A lot of people object to me calling the Christian homeschooling movement a cult. It is a cult. If I called it something else, something lesser in intensity than "cult", I wouldn't be addressing it honestly. Let me explain why I believe "cult" fits.
First of all, if you haven't read this, please do (consider it a sister-post to this one), and please watch the videos embedded there. It's an awakening.
I have two nephews and two nieces (ranging in age from 20 to 3), and I love each of them as if they were my own children. If they choose a path other than one of faith in Jesus Christ, or make unusual or controversial lifestyle choices, sure, I won't like it, but I won't begrudge them their choices or emotionally (or in any other way) punish them for their choices. As long as their choices don't endanger others, the choices are theirs to make. If the logic they use to reach their conclusions is faulty, and they discuss it openly, sure, I might argue the logic with them. Even so, I won't begrudge them or punish them for their choices.
Christian homeschooling doesn't allow the freedom to make such choices. Children within this world MUST accept the conclusions of the paradigm and curriculum - or be expendable, facing brutal emotional leveraging, ostracization, and emotional abuse.
They're taught little and indoctrinated much. There's a good threshold for ya.
I'm a strong believer that education and faith/religion should be entirely separate matters. Matters of faith, in my opinion, should NOT be matters of homeschool curriculum. Faith should be entirely separate within a family dynamic. Matters of faith, matters of biblical text, should be discussed in such a way as to encourage the freedom of critical thought within a child, with no failing grade, or corresponding punishment, for "wrong" answers. Faith in Christ is a personal matter, unique to each individual. When Paul wrote to the Philippians, telling them, "work out your own salvation with fear and trembling" [Philippians 2:12], the "fear and trembling" he spoke of wasn't the punishment, whether physical or emotional, of a disapproving parent, but of a personal understanding of the magnitude of salvation in Christ.
When religion, or a religious lifestyle, becomes intertwined with an "educational" curriculum, and the only hope of achieving a passing grade (or avoiding punishment) is to agree whole-heartedly with the doctrinal and lifestyle conclusions of the curriculum - no one is being "taught" anything. Instead, indoctrination is happening. This is the work of a religious cult.
My former future in-laws wore a mask of Christianity, and could speak Christianese with the best of them, but the fact is that they indoctrinated their children into a religious culture, into believing a boatload of ridiculous things, because they themselves, full of cultural and religious fear and paranoia, drank the Kool-aid of the Christian homeschooling movement, essentially flipped the bird to the Holy Spirit, and took it upon themselves to engineer and control the outcome of who and what their children would be as Christians (I would say "as people", but the movement doesn't shive a git about who people are "as people"). They lived their own brand of "godliness" vicariously through their children, allowed no room for any other conclusions than the approved conclusions, and punished what didn't conform, what they couldn't engineer or control (my ex and I are proof of this). In doing so, they couldn't possibly have been more anti-Christ. Their family is a cult.
It isn't a matter of whether or not there's love between family members. The people at Jonestown loved each other. They're all dead. It isn't a matter of intelligence. There were some very intelligent people in Jonestown - who drank the Kool-aid. Indoctrination trumps love and intelligence in a closed environment. Indoctrination kills. Jonestown is evidence.
The Christian homeschooling movement indoctrinates the same way Jim Jones did. As I've said before, it may not always kill the body, but it kills the soul.
Consider that in a recent exchange (regarding doctrine as it relates to salvation) with a die-hard Christian homeschooler, the Christian homeschooler stated "If you don't believe in Young Earth Creationism, you may have a salvation issue." Now tell me that person's ever been truly allowed to come to ANY conclusion regarding faith or lifestyle without the fear of punishment of a "wrong" conclusion (and do so with a straight face)...and then I'll stop calling the Christian homeschooling movement a cult.
I'll use even stronger language...
The Christian homeschooling movement and industry, as it exists today, is anti-Christ.