Thursday, February 16, 2012

Scared. Conned. Mined.

If you homeschool for religious reasons (as part of the Christian homeschooling movement), chances are the above describes you. If you actually realized as much, you wouldn't have allowed yourself to be scared, then conned, and then mined. Cons don't work without your cooperation. Your "intentions" have nothing to do with it. If anything, your good intentions are taken advantage of.

I get asked occasionally what demographic I consider the target audience of what I write here. For me it's pretty simple. I've always considered mainstream Christianity to be my target audience, hoping to warn them about the ideas, designs, and intentions lurking just off in the fringe, flaunting themselves under the same banner as the mainstream, when, in fact, they're cultic and destructive. Things like "Courageous", and the warm (and overwhelmingly naive) reception it's received from the mainstream, suggest to me that someone does need to sound the alarm - and do so loudly. The ideas introduced to the mainstream through that film can, and do, hurt people and put them in direct opposition to the teachings of Jesus Christ, and professing Christians are quite often among the most gullible people on the planet, allergic to any form of discernment, willing to accept anything that comes in a "Christian" wrapper as good and godly and wholesome.

Secondary targets would be secular society (for the same reasons, even if from a slightly different angle), and people either currently in these movements, coming out of them, or considering joining them. When I say "these movements", they can really ALL (Christian homeschooling, patriarchy, QF, et cetera) be brought under one header: Dominionism - which is connected to Christian reconstructionism (which has some ugly, ugly, ugly roots).

For all the stuff I've written here, nothing creates a larger firestorm than when I write something directly to the Christian homeschooling crowd. I got a lot of angry responses when I wrote this a while back, and the follow-up to it, here, brought about its own sizable share of angry responses. As you read this, please remember, I'm not responsible for you being scared, conned, and then mined, and me bringing attention to it still doesn't transfer responsibility for your decisions to me, and you being offended doesn't change my opinion, nor does it change reality (even if those are two different things). If you want to be angry, be angry at the people scaring, conning, and mining you (and taking a lot of your money in the process).

How were you scared, conned, and mined? 

Generally speaking, it isn't bravery that leads people to religion-based homeschooling. It's fear. Several people wrote to me attempting to justify or support their personal decisions with the idea that they chose to homeschool to protect their children from "the world". That's a problem. You're already trying to control their world by doing so - and putting your fear in the driver's seat, trying to limit their exposure, limit their information, limit their own discernment, taking a certain amount of (if not all) options away before they ever get started - something that more often than not carries over into their adulthood AND is actually encouraged (in some cases mandated) into adulthood by the publishers you're most likely getting your homeschooling materials from.

Here's where it gets ironic...Does your homeschooling curriculum promote ideas like "God controls the womb", patriarchy, courtship, et cetera? Chances are it does. Some more than others. Let's look for a second at the QF idea of "God controls the womb" in comparison to everything else (patriarchy, courtship, et cetera) the paradigm promotes. Apparently, once your baby is born, God becomes powerless, and you, its biological parents, are in total control of its destiny. That would seem to me to be one weak-assed god and belief system. I mean, really, you wouldn't DARE interfere in the process of conception, but you're gonna micromanage a life once it leaves the womb, putting your fingerprints everywhere (read this if you can stomach it)? If you have total faith in God to control the womb, but lack faith to allow God to work, without your interference and officiating, in the lives of your children once born, you have no faith at all, really. You have a culture. You were scared with "the world", conned when culture was masked as faith, and through the QF "God controls the womb" con, you're now being mined. 

Why do I say mined? The Christian homeschooling movement is a product of Dominionism and Christian reconstructionism, much of which was culled from the ideas of this man, championed and pioneered by religious addict racketeers and sociopaths. Before Christian homeschooling, there was no "Quiverfull movement". Christian homeschooling was developed to give the dominionist cultural war a boot camp and training ground. You can't build an army without numbers, so a way to resource the army had to be invented. It's not like they could say "Hey...Y'all start screwin'. We wanna win this thing!" without coming off as overtly cultic and outright kooky, so they found what amounts to an obscure passage of three verses in a Psalm which say nothing of substance to humanity today (and have no commands in them), twisted them (and they still say nothing of substance and have no commands), and created an entire theology out of those three verses that say a whole lot of nothing.

Once you've been sufficiently scared with how "the world" wants to eat up your children with its public schools and burn their houses down with drugs, booze, and hot, pornographic sex and sodomy, it's not that hard to pull the Christian homeschooling and Quiverfull con on you, what with it wrapped up in phrasing like "biblical" and "godly", cause chances are you'll never, ever check the fine print - and you most likely haven't. So, now you can be indoctrinated with cultural war propaganda via Christian homeschooling, and your reproductive organs serve as the "conscription", a resource used to spit out a new cultural warrior roughly every 15-18 months.

You've been scared, conned, and mined. You've been duped.

A whole segment of Christianity which worships an all-powerful God where the womb is concerned, but not powerful enough to outwit Hugh Heffner, network television, public schools, or the neighborhood drug dealer outside of it, meant to live under the influence of Perfect Love, but instead living under the influence of total fear and cultural paranoia - and they can't tell the difference.

If this doesn't speak to YOUR situation, I can't see any reason you'd respond negatively to it or feel threatened by it. If this post angers you or makes you feel threatened, that likely says more about the integrity and practices of your belief system (and its outliers) than it does about what I've written here. It may be time to step back and re-evaluate.


  1. "If you are familiar with the history of Corrie ten Boom, consider what a blessing she and her also unmarried sister were to her old father"

    Didn't the holocaust wipe out most of her family (including her elderly father)leaving her pretty much own her own with little or no family left?

  2. Every time I read something you wrote I want to high-five you. You hit the nail on the head, once again. Thanks.

  3. Well, Lewis, I agree with much of the above.

    I know what you are talking about because as I have alluded to, we were initiated into Christianity with a lot of the unhealthy and paranoid stuff that you detail.As I began to claw my way out of the giant seed-pod that I was sleeping in, I began to notice many things that raised red flags.

    We were taught that all public school kids were dumbed down, immoral atheists bent on all things wicked. But what about my oldest daughter who graduated salutatorian of her high school class(around the time we started homeschooling younger sibs , is a sincere Christian and probably the most conservative of the bunch? And what about all of us parents who went through the system and lived to tell the tale?

    The, the concept of sheltering kids, especially from the opposite sex, began to ring phony. No one is EVER going to convince me that teenagers can be "asleep" to the idea of sexual attraction by some form of self hypnosis...or do I think its necessarily healthy either! I was always the cynical parent when moms would gush about little Tommy who hasn't an impure thought in his age 27. My thought was "What's wrong with Tommy?", but I kept quiet.

    The most evil premise that I came across, and I mean evil, is the subtle and not so subtle idea that you can TEACH your kids into being Christians. You can find these words all over homeschool publications and books- "We are teaching our children to trust in Christ" or "to follw Christ". Now, when I say that, I mean I want to have my kids see ME trust and love Christ, and to always present Him as a loving God. But THEY actually mean that they can make their kids into Christians by control and manipulation. It's true!

    This being said, I am a Christian who homeschools, but no longer BECAUSE of my Christianity so much as my general disenchantment with many aspects of institutionalized learning for young kids. My faith is not compartmentalized, nor do I want it to be- but my kids are free to question and think and I always try to present many sides of an issue. I have changed MANY of my opinions on things over the years, and I explain why.We avoid whitewashed Christian textbooks like the plague.
    So, I guess my thought is- "Christian" agenda based homeschooling is cultish. Public school can work well for healthy kids and families. Homeschooling and enjoying the adventure with my kids has been good for us, overall. I'll let you know in about 10 years for sure, if my youngest wants to finish out at home. If he wants to go to public high school, we would support that.

    1. Thank you, Laura. As a fellow homeschooler, I agree you whole-heartedly. I’m right in the middle of what Lewis talks about in his post. It’s all around me in the homeschooling community that I’m currently involved in. I often feel like I’m on the outside looking in, if you know what I mean.


    2. I am just finishing up my home school career, and I applaud you Laura and Janet. I know it's hard for unafraid Christian home school families. None of my students were sufficiently indoctrinated enough for us to be acceptable to a Christian home school support group, so we went through middle and high school without one. My youngest found a secular group that had a speech club and that worked out really well for him. My oldest? Well, she was on her own.

      Lots of love, and the best materials you can get, and the freedom to find a path and follow it is what has seen my kids through to where they are today. I also avoided Christian textbooks in the later years, though I spent too much on the Christian behavior modification crap in the elementary years.

      Both of my children love Jesus, though like me, none of us go to church anymore. I'm just not seeing why I need a self-appointed guru to give me moralizing lectures once a week, and then demand 10% of my income as his due. If I find a church that's not a sole-proprietor small business in disguise, then I would pitch in with them to do some good. But there is a dark shadow of this authoritarian, patriarchal, dominionist message that has fallen over much of American Christendom. That I and my family are doing our very best to fight, not fund.

  4. Out here in the non-fearful Christian homeschooling world, I have to wonder whether God is trying to make a point by leading me to the best science textbook I have ever read, the one I wish I had had as a kid--which happens to be the work of an atheist. (It's Building Foundations of Scientific Understanding by Nebel.)

    Jenny Islander

    1. Jenny, thanks for the suggestion. I just added these to my amazon cart--even though my kid is 13, I think this series might be what I was looking for to foster scientific exploration in a less haphazard way than we've been doing without the gag-me religious overlay of the most common homeschool science texts.

  5. *adds that to my amazon wish list*
    Lewis, unfortunately you ARE pretty much dead on here. While I do believe in a certain amount of healthy sheltering, it can quickly turn into avoidance/denial/control. And although we don't choose to utilize the public school system here, I would do if it became necessary, as long as the children were being well served. My husband has taught in both Christian and public schools and he swears the Christian ones are actually worse.

  6. The problem with Christian homeschooling is that it must make blanket statements to survive. All public schools are bad. All homeschooling experiences are good. All kids are more likely to follow Christ if they are schooled at home. Therefore, if you're a Christian, it's not even a question of whether you'll homeschool. All Christians do it.

    On the other (saner) side of the spectrum, my in-laws chose homeschooling with their kids because they lived in a rural area with a small school system that was HORRIBLE. Their oldest child had a truly frightful, awful, horrendous time with peer pressure and constant exposure to drugs and alcohol. For that reason, they pulled their kids into homeschooling for a couple of years until they found a good private school they liked.

    However, they would never say that all public schools are bad--or even that their school was bad BECAUSE it was a public school. It just was what it was, and they made an individual discernment based on their individual case. If they had moved to another town, they probably would've tried sending their kids to THAT public school. They recognized that it's not an all-or-nothing deal.

    As a public school attendee from age 4-18, I can tell you that most of us turn out fine. I don't have a love of the public school, but it's not the enemy people make it out to be, either.

  7. "You're already trying to control their world by doing so - and putting your fear in the driver's seat, trying to limit their exposure, limit their information, limit their own discernment, taking a certain amount of (if not all) options away before they ever get started - something that more often than not carries over into their adulthood AND is actually encouraged (in some cases mandated) into adulthood by the publishers you're most likely getting your homeschooling materials from."

    ABSOLUTELY! Christian schools are also very guilty of this as well!

  8. "working side by side with many young men, most of whom are non-Christian, and working for a non-Christian boss"

    i have to ask - where do these people LIVE?! because the United States is around 75-80% Christian [with another 7% or so who are agnostic but claim to be Christian if cornered]. of the rest, it's about 5% Muslim, and the rest is divided between atheist, Buddhism, Hindu, continued Native religions, and some neopagans.

    The vast majority of this country is CHRISTIAN - but, to read that website [about keeping your ADULT daughters at home, possible for LIFE! *gag*] you'd think that less than 5% of the country was Christian.

    what the HELL is WRONG with these people? it's not enough that they have to lie about schools and the government and everything ELSE, but they ALSO have to lie about their fellow Christians?

    [I sooooooooooooo want to be there when they're standing before the Throne*. really, really, REALLY want to hear the smack down they're gonna get. does that make me a bad person?]

    *yes, yes - i'm a pagan who DOES believe in the Divinity of Jesus. and i believe in reincarnation, but not *forever* - just until you've become good enough for Heaven. eh, i'm weird. so, someday, I'll be there before the Throne, and i REALLY want to see some of the P/QF leaders there, first. sigh, i AM a bad person.

    1. Ah, but remember that they think the vast, VAST majority of Christians aren't "true" Christians!

  9. Denelian, my father would say that most of those people aren't "true Christians" because they only pay lip service to Christianity as part of their cultural upbringing. "True Christians" take their religion and family seriously enough to do the things that Lewis talks about above.

    I wasn't home schooled, but I did attend a small Christina school where my education was supposed to be years ahead of public schools. In reality my science education was stunted and much of what I learned in literature and history was biased towards a dominionist model.

  10. Denelian:

    On what the hell is wrong with these people......I AGREE!


  11. Just a couple of thoughts. Not everyone who chooses to home school for religious reasons does so to isolate and shelter their children. The children of many Christians who home school play with the neighbor’s children, participate in sports and dress like normal modern day Americans.

    Many parents assume because a school is a Christian school that is all that matters and they check no further. When my oldest was beginning school I checked three Christian schools out. Top on my list was a balanced curriculum and how they handled discipline problems. I chose the Lutheran school because they used regular textbooks and explained to the students where they disagreed (ex. evolution) and why, children were free to be children without legalist rules and they did NOT use corporal punishment. I also had to explain to my daughters where I disagreed with Lutheran doctrine in a few instances and why. When my oldest daughter transferred into public school in 9th grade she was a year ahead of her 9th grade peers. But I felt she got a good education in her public high school. My youngest daughter went through Christian schools through 12th grade and found that she was ahead academically of her college peers.

    The key is really what is important to the parent. Is a parent only looking for an education that is little more than a glorified Sunday school class or are academics a priority? What concerns me about any form of education whether it is homeschool, Christian school or public school is what it emphasizes and how well it educates and prepares children for life.

    1. As a long time home school advocate, I assumed that all Christian home schooling parents were as concerned about academics as we are, Meg. I WAS WRONG. I have come to the unhappy conclusion that Christian home school parents who home school to provide quality academic and sound pedagogical practices are in the minority.

      Too many Christian home school parents today really are only home schooling for poor reasons: fear on the one hand, and THE VERY PEER PRESSURE THEY RAIL AGAINST on the other! So many of the Christian home schoolers recruit other families to home school by peer pressure.

      The hook is this: home school (like we do!) and you too can be part of the elite in-crowd (like we are!) of the truly obedient, hard-core committed, on-fire Christian parents (who love Jesus way more than those *sniff* other so-called Christian parents) LIKE WE DO!! Join our clique! We want you.

      Way, way too many of these parents are just jockeying for position in their local home schooling cliques. They say stupid things like: "Better late than early! Don't worry if your ten year old can't read. They are probably just late bloomers." and "Who really needs algebra anyway? I never used it after I graduated. I don't see any point in putting my kids through that." and "I would never send my children to (public school or college) where they will just get turned away from the faith." when what they SHOULD be saying is:

      Help! I am not providing an adequate education for my child! They can't read! They can't do algebra! If I were to try to put them back into society's education system, they would need remedial help and I will be ashamed. This is not working.

      Instead, they pile on religious excuses: girls only need to know home making skills, boys should all start their own businesses and not be "wage slaves" for others. They need to demand this from their children, or their children will find out that their parents robbed them of an education.

      Newsflash: Most children of the Christian home school cult industry will eventually find out how academically inadequate their education has been. Many, many of them will also leave the faith demands of their parents, once they grow up and leave the farm, so to speak.

      To stick with farm metaphors, there is not enough lipstick in the world to keep passing off this pig (Christian home school cult) as a "maiden of virtue" forever.

    2. There's no way I'll be able to teach higher maths to my kids...I have a math-related learning disorder :( That doesn't mean I should put them into public school though...I'ma just hire a tutor! :D My husband's already helping with my 5th grader. He's much, MUCH better at that than I am (has to be, it's part of his job).

      And, I don't believe formal education should start before age 8, so my current 5th grader didn't read until then, as she really had no interest in reading (though she loved being read to...I still read aloud to her). I believe studies bear me out on this, and reading levels off after a certain age, to the point you can't tell who learned to read at 10 and who learned to read at 3. I know for my daughter, she was reading the Narnia series with a high level of comprehension a mere year later. Once it clicked for her, it clicked. Incidentally, I was working with a public school and had their blessing in this.

      All that to say, education doesn't always look the same for everyone, and it doesn't have to. Some people have legitimate reasons for not pushing reading skills before a certain age, or whatever.

      Of course, that assumes that eventually you WILL teach your kids to read and do algebra, and it sounds like that isn't what was going on at all. That is scary to me, and very sad. :(

    3. See, this is exactly what I am talking about. A heart-warming story about the child who didn't learn to read until they were 10 and everything turned out peachy! That is the exception to the rule. The rule is that if your child isn't reading by eight you SHOULD SEE A PROFESSIONAL TO LOOK FOR LEARNING DISABILITIES.

      It's not merely incidental that you were working with professionals and it all worked out. Your story does no good to the unschooling eleven year old boy who can't read the instructions on a Mario Bros video game at a friends house. It just encourages his mom to keep pretending everything will work out on its own.

      Hire a tutor? Plenty of people do who send their kids to public school, but home school parents? Only the ones with money can afford that, and they are not usually the QF crowd. I notice you are not saying algebra isn't important, just that a mom doesn't need to know algebra to home school. The ones who can't afford it and don't understand it themselves, THOSE are the parents who are just going to dismiss the importance of higher math, because...

      The boys will all be entrepeneurs, no need for higher education, and the girls will all be home makers, no need for higher education there either. Problem solved!

      You see, these QF home school advocates point to people like you Mrs. Taft, with money and resources, and use YOUR not understanding algebra as proof that no one needs it.

      I am glad you had professional insight to your student's late reading situation, and that you plan to seek assistance with Algebra. But please don't encourage other mothers who lack your resources (intelligence, humility, money) to home school. It's not true that anyone can home school successfully. Your success proves that it takes desire, finances, intelligence, and a willingness to seek outside help.

      Modesty isn't helping here.

    4. If we didn't have the money to hire a tutor, I'd find another way. There ARE free services for such things, heck, many public schools offer free classes and assistance. (Although I guess that would be out of the question for the types who are afraid of anything to do with public school?) I don't need to know everything before my child does, there is also such a thing as learning alongside. I've learned this year some historical facts I didn't previously know, for example. We haven't always had resources, and I have no guarantee that I WILL have finances when the time comes. Thank God for an accountant sister-in-law, an engineer brother who would have minored in math if he wasn't already minoring in music (he was homeschooled btw), an accountant friend who is also homeschooling, and my husband for the logic portions. :) Resources don't have to be fancy. There were years I had literally no budget for school, and we got really creative. But I feel confident in my kids quality of education, and their test scores (in my state all children are required to test after age 8, but I've had my younger one take tests just for fun as well) bear me out. That to say, finances don't play a *huge* role, at least not for young grades. You're very right that it takes humility and desire. I wouldn't even say it takes intelligence if you have the humility to learn alongside and use quality curriculum, but it's a definite plus. After all, if IQ was a pre-req for being a public school teacher, I can personally think of a few who wouldn't currently be teaching. :)

      Also, me working with the public schools wasn't because I was worried about my child. I wasn't worried at all; she had no desire to learn and I had no desire to push. As I said, I don't believe formal education is beneficial to the child as a whole person before age 8. We take more of a Regio Emilio/Montessori/etc. approach for the younger grades. Anyways, one day, she decided she wanted to learn, and so I taught her. It did help that the kinds of video games she wanted to play required reading, so she was extra motivated ;). If I'd been trying to teach her since Kindergarten with no success, I'd probably be worried. But I wasn't, and there's nothing wrong with that. It's a different educational philosophy, but it definitely isn't an "ohhh everything works out eventually, heh heh." I mean, she'd had plenty of exposure to literature, and we did phonics workbooks and different things for 'reading readiness'. I didn't do NOTHING, I just didn't push.

    5. I can tell you're not a fan of unschooling, and that's fine. I was unschooled, so I'm used to the criticism. So was my previously mentioned brother, and all my other siblings, who include: two with business degrees (or in progress of? I forget. They have some kind of degrees that have to do with that and both are working on more...) who are working for excellent companies, one who eschewed college but owns her own business (two, is a charity/rescue for horses and the other, she trains horses and gives riding lessons), one who is still in junior college and unsure about his life direction other than he wants to make music and video games, and one who, despite being severely dyslexic, went to art school and owned *her* own business for awhile before feeling called to be a psychologist. Her desire is to work with trafficked women and children. She's wrapping up her pre-reqs and is about to go on to a master's program. I'm more structured than my mom was, but I hope to retain the gift she gave all of us: freedom to express ourselves, and a deep love of learning. Yes, for anyone who is counting, there are 7 of us. My parents aren't QF. My mom is just really fertile, and it took a couple of "happy surprises" and my dad getting 'snipped' to stop that baby train. :) Anyways, the point is, I promise there are happy outcomes for unschoolers. However...

      What you are talking about is NOT education, and making up excuses like 'girls don't need algebra' and 'boys will just own their own businesses!' is terrible. I may not be able to do the quadratic equation or whatever, but that's because *I have a learning disability*. That doesn't mean the 6 times I took algebra (yes, I know) weren't valuable and important. There's a lot of logic that goes into algebra and it's very valuable for learning reasoning skills. Just because I don't *consciously* use it in my every day life doesn't mean I have no use for it.

      So, to that end, I'd never discourage someone with less means than I have or less intelligence than I have from homeschooling. I WOULD dissuade someone like that. Because what they intend isn't even unschooling, it's just laziness and it does a disservice to their kids. It's abusive. If they want to point to me, fine, but they'd be *missing* the point. My daughter didn't wake up the day she turned eight and was magically able to read. I had to work with her and teach her. was work, and it was intentional on my part. Nothing 'turned out peachy' all on its own.

    6. Mrs. Taft;

      not to dogpile, but to back up what ShadowSpring is saying...
      there are MANY subjects where earlier is better. reading is a big one, of course, and as SS says, if your 10-y-o can't read, in most cases it's indicative of a larger issue -

      but languages are a HUGE area where younger is better. waiting until High School to start teaching other languages has been *proven* to be the worst way to do it; the *best* way to ensure a child learns a 2nd [or 3rd, 4th, etc] language is to start teaching zir before the age of 6. definitely before the age of 10.
      similarly, math skills are GREATLY improved if a child is learning math before age 6. a child who understands the basic mathematical functions - addition, subtraction, multiplication and division - in 1st grade is generally around 300% more likely to have an easy understanding of higher math. [and all those people who claim they never use algebra either don't understand what algebra *IS*, or NEVER interact with real world in ANY way. there's a sweater, normal price is $30, but it's on sale, 15% off. sales tax is 7%. what is the final cost of the sweater? THAT is algebra. granted, most people don't sit down and write it out, but it IS algebra.]
      the earlier the scientific method is taught, the more intuitive it will be, and you can see children applying it to *everything* as a game when they know the basics. unlike math and language skills, there isn't really a "learn before X age to ensure the brain's neural pathways develop in ways that improve function", but it's been my experience and observation that children who learn the scientific method before junior high are more likely to *understand* it and use it properly - children who learn it later tend to apply it as rote learning when they're told to use it, and never use it otherwise.

      the ages are a bit arbitrary, because the ACTUAL age is something more like "when the child is MENTALLY age X".
      i taught myself to read by age 3, and my dad had me solving quadratic equations when i was 6. i performed my first "science experiment" at age 5 [i was fascinated by the fact that plants "ate" sunlight, but could ALSO "eat" other things, and my dad and i set out to "discover" what plants liked to "eat" best. i was *sorely* disappointed that plants didn't like cookie dough at ALL. it wasn't the best experiment ever, of course - i tested the aforementioned cookie dough, chocolate, hamburger, bread, and veggies. but i had fun, i understood what i was doing, and i learned HOW to run an experiment. sure, my hypotheses was absolutely wrong and a REAL experiment would have had a better reason than "plants will do best with cookie dough because it has the best taste", but hey, i WAS only 5 :) ]

      my family is sort of like an experimental group focused on the results of teaching kids early, when they're "supposed" to learn, or teaching them late. my sisters are 3 and 6 years younger than i am, respectively. i was taught early [I taught myself to read at 3; my dad had me doing algebra at 6], my middle sister was taught at the "normal" times, and my youngest sister was taught later than "normal" [not by design!]


    7. i got straight-As with zero effort.
      my middle sister worked HARD to get Bs.
      my youngest sister never worked hard and never completed high school. she STILL doesn't read above a 6th-grade level.

      i'm essentially 2 German units, 1 journalism unit, and an internship short of a double BS/BA [journalism/political science] and the only reason i didn't finish was i became too disabled to sit in class [or do the internship. REQUIRED 30 hours a week in an office. i CANNOT sit for more than about 2 hours without a LARGE dose of opiates. do you know what opiates aren't? what you take when you need to concentrate or work. sigh]
      my middle sister has most of a degree in massage therapy and is a "professional" nanny. married, mostly stable [trying and failing to get pregnant.]
      my youngest sister is a dead-beat mother of 2, has NEVER held a job longer than 6 months [when i had custody of her, i MADE her work after she dropped out of high school. then she moved out, quit her job and got pregnant. deliberately.] all told, at age 28, she's MAYBE worked a total of 2 years of her life. she floats between friend's houses, babysitting their kids in return for crash space, while my incredibly disabled mother and her equally disabled husband raise her 2 kids. my youngest sister isn't inherently stupid - her IQ is only 5 points lower than mine. what she IS is unable to learn. if a child isn't taught how to learn young enough, they'll *never* learn how to learn.

      THAT is the big problem i see with the current "Christian Homeschool Movement". rote learning is NOT enough - ESPECIALLY when it's rote learning of "facts" that are really lies.

      i'm not saying that YOU'RE doing this, Mrs. Taft - it sounds like you're working hard and giving all you have. and the fact that you'll hire tutors and work WITH the school system means that you aren't really doing "Christian Homeschooling".

      i mentor teens - often, i mentor teens who have been emancipated. they've been deemed "capable" of caring for themselves, but are often woefully unprepared for the real world. most of the emancipated teens i've mentored were homeschooled... and most had, at BEST, and 8th grade education. and it's DAMNED hard to learn HOW to learn at 16 or 17. it's all but IMPOSSIBLE at 25. they're woefully ignorant, and tend to not KNOW how ignorant they are – for example, most don't understand how taxation works - and explaining to them what taxes *DO* was almost always amusing. learning that there are *GASP!* socialist mechanisms at work freaked them out - and they didn't understand the difference between Communism and Socialism.

      they often didn't even know the basics of how the government WORKED. shortly after Obama became president, i had a kid who A.) REALLY BELIEVED that Obama was a Muslim, and that B.) BECAUSE he was Muslim, the entire country was going to be forced to convert and those who refused to convert would be punished. He thought being a president was like being an Old Testament king.
      this kid had a computer and internet access; he knew what Wikipedia was [and used it often], but it just never occurred to him to look up how the US was governed. he "knew" how it was governed, end of story.

      and these are the kids who escape and KNOW that they need to learn. i don't have any clue how many DON'T know that they're as ignorant as a box of kittens. that is, frankly, terrify

    8. Actually you CAN'T tell I'm "not a fan of unschooling". That's not true. Unschooling does not equate with illiteracy in most families.

      It's not true that 'anyone' can unschool, though! It only works well for educated, literate people who nurture dreams, have lots of money and time to explore the world and follow every wind of fancy that strikes a child, and an inquisitive, creative temperament themselves. It is not for parents who have no money, little creative impulse, don't read, don't go anywhere, watch TV and play video games all day and have no personal success making their own dreams come true.

      It is just not true that anyone can home school, let along unschool, successfully.

      Unschooling actually takes way more effort than any other pedagogical approach to education, because you can pretend to be letting your child find their bliss if you don't expose them to a multitude of possibilities to explore. A child will never know they love theatre if they never go. A child will never know the thrill of dance, or swimming, or surfing, or any other kinesthetic pleasure if they are never exposed to the opportunity to try it. A child will not ever discover a love of literature or storytelling if they are not exposed to great literature and storytelling.

      You are dead wrong about my opinions on unschooling. I think unschooling is great when and where it is actually practiced. I just do not think that unschooling means you don't actually teach your children anything ever. If you are going to wait until they are hungry to feed them, you still need to have a wide variety of food available all around them if they are going to eat healthy.

      I used to think like the topic sentence of your last paragraph, but since then I have met way too many home school graduates who were DENIED a decent education by parents who should not have been home schooling. They did not have the resources, either the inner resources, the money or the community resources to do right by their children. They home schooled because they were being told it was always the best choice and that all truly good Christian mothers home schooled.

      Well, it's not always the best choice. It's just not.

    9. SS: "Well, it's not always the best choice. It's just not." That is very true, and I agree with you. I didn't mean to imply that I'd encourage everyone to homeschool; it's not the best for every family, parent, or child. I also agree with you that unschooling take a high degree of intention and hard work, more so than just signing up for a covers-everything curriculum and following it. And, that not everyone can and should unschool. I just meant that some homeschoolers may not have the means or whatever that I do, but it's not the only factor in the decision. Maybe their lack of means or intelligence precludes homeschooling, but it's not true for everyone. What I meant was, I wouldn't unilaterally recommend for or against based on that lone criteria. Mea culpa for not being clearer.

      I also apologize for assuming; I totally get what you are saying, and it did seem at the time to be focused against unschooling in particular, but I see you were using it as an example of what this "christian homeschooling" turns into. They say they are unschooling, but they aren't schooling at all. They might even *think* they are unschooling, which is all the more tragic. I understand what you mean, and actually, I agree with you. People who are not capable to take on such a responsibility shouldn't, especially if they are doing so out of fear and refuse to avail themselves of resources. :( It kind of reminds me of one of the darker aspects of the urban farmstead movement. Which is a good thing and I support. On the other hand, people are trying to raise rabbits and chickens for meat, and yet do not understand the realities that go hand in hand with it, and are finding that their animals suffer or that they are unable to dispatch them without suffering. So sad. I believe people are capable of great things, and that all people are capable of greatness. The hard work of reaching one's potential is murky and wearying, however, and an ever-moving target. I think people settle, all too often, for a rote formula.

      "I just do not think that unschooling means you don't actually teach your children anything ever." How true that statement is. Unschooling doesn't mean a lack of education, it just accesses that education in a different way.

    10. Denelian: I wonder how much of your success and that of your siblings has to do with birth order or other factors, though? I mean, you sound like a typical firstborn and your youngest sister sounds like a typical youngest to me. People in my family learned to read at various ages, or other things later, and it doesn't seem to affect that. My youngest brother was the earliest reader, and yet, he struggles. I attribute the struggling to his age, though, and partly to his personality and birth order. He's scary smart, I bet his IQ is higher than mine, but he doesn't have the same drive I do.

      That said, I think we need to define some terms. As I said, studies bear me out that early readers and late readers perform the same eventually. The bigger factor for reading success wasn't how early or how late, but how exposed the child was to quality literature and to reading and phonics and how involved the parents were (regardless of the type of schooling). So, one reason I wasn't worried and didn't push my oldest to read was because she enjoyed reading as in being read to, and I didn't want to destroy her love for literature. I constantly exposed her to good books and phonics, and had from a very early age. So, when we say 'the earlier the better', I mean reading as a global concept and not necessarily personal performance.

      And, I agree that early exposure to language is critical, as well as early exposure to math and history and science. I just don't go about it as per the typical classroom model, and neither did my mom. To be honest about a weakness in my school, I have been the least disciplined about foreign language and music lessons. That's definitely something my mom did better than I am doing. Both of my kids have had Spanish lessons and Korean lessons and lots of exposure to different languages but I haven't really focused on it, and I regret it. It's not too late, really, and I'm really praying about what to do, because I feel like it's make-it-or-break-it with my oldest. I better get cracking! By the time I was in 5th grade, I could competently play two instruments and fluently speak German. Both of my kids have had plenty of exposure to music and dance, but not a lot of practice on any instruments. Both kids have played the recorder, and my older daughter the piano and guitar, but not with any consistency. Oh, and the tin whistle. I *have* a piano, but it's in storage...and I just need to bite the bullet, get it moved here and teach them myself. :) So, I'm not perfect either, but I can get better, and intend to. There needs to be grace, is what I'm saying.

      On the other hand, around here, unless you go to the charter school that is bilingual, there's no such thing as foreign language in the elementary grades, and many of the schools don't have music or band until middle school. So, at least I've done *something* for my kids, and while it's not even up to my own standards (YET!), it's still better than the other options I have. It's not the best ideal, but it's not the worst either.

      That said, I can totally understand where that might get out of hand, and I feel so sorry for those kids you have worked with. :(

    11. Thank, Mrs. Taft, for hearing what I was saying. I appreciate that. :)

      I don't know about you, but I feel that a false humility kept me saying that "anyone could home school who wants to do so", long after I was already running into people who sucked at it.

      If you could competently play two instruments and speak German as well as English when you were only ten, you are not "anyone". You are smart, accomplished, ambitious and imaginative. No doubt you are doing an amazing job, as would any mother with those qualities in abundance.

      We have to got stop acting like it's home schooling itself that produces these results. Rather it's a parent dedicated to providing quality materials, loads of interesting experiences and opportunities, input of other adults as tutors, teachers, coaches and mentors, and last but not least, the money and transportation to put it all together. That's all I am saying.

      And congrats on your home school success. =D

    12. First of all, SS, I am so embarrassed. I didn't mean to sound braggy. I am not particularly exceptional or anything like that. I said, competently play, not talentedly! :) I merely used those experiences as a reference point to our conversation, and I hope I didn't come off like a know-it-all or something. Thank you for the compliments, nonetheless. :) Just don't ask me to play the violin now, unless you wish to be deaf. :)

      "We have to stop acting like it's home schooling itself that produces these results" Well, on that we definitely agree!!! One 'benefit' to homeschooling that is oft touted: you always know the quality of your teacher since it's never know when you play "public school roulette," as they say, if the teacher your child gets will be competent. I do find it ironic, therefore, when same parent using that logic doesn't apply it to themselves, such as you describe. If I can't teach something (like higher math) then you bet I will make sure they learn it from someone who is more than competent, however that has to happen!

  12. cultic destructive fear control...yup pretty much sums it up. glad u pointed out "these movements" connection with domionism & christian reconstructionism! u did a gr8 job sounding the alarm!!

  13. I TRIED to read that article about "When your Daughter is Grown" and I just couldn't finish it. Yuuuuuuuuck. Those poor women.

  14. Lewis,

    Frogla said, "u did a gr8 job sounding the alarm!!"

    Dude, I find this statement rather revealing. It seems that in letting others know about the fear factor in "religious homeschooling," you've used the same tactic to gain the attention of some. You are warning about these kooks and their teaching and lifestyle.

    And "they" are conning people through the fear created from their misuse and abuse of Scripture?

    Where's your use of Scripture? To say something is wrong and unbiblical is one thing. Well, what is the "biblical" way to educate? What does Scripture have to say about education? How do the words of Jesus apply to this situation? Where is the "word"? Where is truth?

    What about a little Holy Ghost leadng into the "Word" by the Spirit of Truth? Jesus prayed that we would be sanctified by the truth. He then said that the word was truth, the same written word Jesus referred to when confronted by Satan in the desert.

    I find in absent in many of your posts.

    Dude, if it's good enough for Jesus, it's good anough for me and it should be for you too! Especially for the issues you are raising on this site.

    BTW, Jesus warned about the "world". He told his disciples that the world would hate them because it hated Him first. Was Jesus fear mongering?

    Drive-By Anon

    1. "Where's your use of Scripture? To say something is wrong and unbiblical is one thing. Well, what is the "biblical" way to educate? What does Scripture have to say about education? How do the words of Jesus apply to this situation? Where is the "word"? Where is truth?

      What about a little Holy Ghost leadng into the "Word" by the Spirit of Truth? Jesus prayed that we would be sanctified by the truth. He then said that the word was truth, the same written word Jesus referred to when confronted by Satan in the desert.

      I find in absent in many of your posts."

      Some really big assumptions there as a result of addiction. You shouldn't come here as a religious addict searching for a fix. I won't give it to you.

      "BTW, Jesus warned about the "world". He told his disciples that the world would hate them because it hated Him first. Was Jesus fear mongering?"

      That's where a little thing called context comes into play. "The world" was a considerably different place 2000 years ago, and actively sought to kill Jesus and many of the disciples.

      The main threat to people who "preach the gospel" these days is heart disease or stroke from their own over-eating. Thousands and thousands of men and women will "preach the gospel" around this nation this weekend under NO physical threat, and if a threat exists, they'll preach under the protection of law enforcement. I'm actually trying to remember the last time Obama rounded up Christians on a football field and fed them to the lions in front of thousands of screaming, bloodthirsty fans. Dang it!...I know he's done it (he's a Democrat and all), but I wish I could remember when it was! [SA]

      That said...if you want to go on believing "the world" is out to get you and devour you, it's a free country, but it's an ignorant idea in context and leads to a fear-based life. If you pour this crap into your children, you're failing them miserably as a parent.

    2. Oh, BTW...

      "And "they" are conning people through the fear created from their misuse and abuse of Scripture?"

      They're conning people in several different ways. Misuse and abuse of biblical passages is just one of them.

      Have they conned you? If you know better, you can change things.

    3. Since you are intent on being a dumbass...

      How many times do I have to tell you "If you have something to say, use the "contact me" link above and send an email"?

      If you can't even understand DIRECT AND REPEATED communication from another human, don't even begin to pretend you understand the bible. You apparently impose your own will on any and everything you consider.

    4. And he still continues to submit comments. Maybe I should type in the King's English or something.

      If thou hath something to say, thou shalt send an email.

    5. "That's where a little thing called context comes into play. "The world" was a considerably different place 2000 years ago, and actively sought to kill Jesus and many of the disciples."

      There are still killers out there today though. In fact, I'd say the crime rate is a lot higher than it was back in Jesus' day. Of course, back in Jesus' day, they still did hangings and such. Nowadays, they slap the wrists of offenders.

  15. My parents homeschooled me for two years, not out of fear (they sent me to *French public school* most of my childhood) but practicality. Unfortunately, they were somehow conned into using the Christian Liberty Academy Satellite Schools program. It was Christian, good values, it was a ready-made program, I dunno, maybe someone recommended it to them?

    Here are some of the materials I remember:

    - an "economics textbook" that was nothing but a mass-market nonfiction book written in support of laissez-faire capitalism
    - a supplementary history book that was a collection of quotes and stories from the life of George Washington aiming to prove that he "was, *too*" a Christian
    - a ninth-grade history textbook that titled its chapter on the Enlightenment "The Darkening of the Western Mind"
    - a sixth-grade history textbook that ended with a glowing review of the Reagan years, capped by the question (paraphrased): "And in the next election, will America reject God again, or return to Him and vote Republican?

    One day as I was working out my issues with Christianity, in college, my mother said to me "But we never told you Christians had to vote Republican." At the time, I didn't know what to say except "Well, but I somehow got that impression." It was only when I ran across my same sixth-grade history textbook and read the ending that I realized. The true answer was "No, Mom, you didn't. But you permitted someone else to tell me that in no uncertain terms."

    All you folks out there who are Republicans, who believe in laissez-faire capitalism, etc, please consider: even if these things are true, is it right to indoctrinate your children into them rather than teach them to think for themselves? Children implicitly believe textbooks--because for one thing, they don't think critically while reading a boring history assignment, and for another thing they can't imagine why a textbook would lie. I doubt that political conservatism was the only "agenda" contained in my curriculum; if I had a chance to go back over all of it, I wouldn't be at all surprised to find Dominionism in some subtle form, patriarchy, etc.

    Anyone who is here reading Lewis' post and thinking "Well, that's not me"--if it's really not you, I'm very glad, but please remember to be discerning with the curriculum you buy. There's a lot of stuff out there that is fear-based and indoctrinating--even if you are not.

    1. Yep. I used CLASS during my senior year (after being pulled out of a very good public/private high school).

      The literature ones were hysterical. I already knew I was persona non grata at the church and school, so I went ahead and challenged them. With references. Mwhahaha.

      Hmmm. C.S. Lewis was demon possessed? *William Blake* was a spirit-filled Christian? Had they read *anything* but Narnia and The Tyger? (I brought in Mere Christianity and The Marriage of Heaven and Hell... they said I just wasn't discerning enough.)

      I found outright errors in the history PACEs. Again, I brought in references. Microfiche scans of *newspapers*. They told me to just act like it was correct.

      I feel so bad for the kids who didn't already have a solid educational background, and a love of books and libraries. They were taught things that ARE NOT TRUE. All in the name of sheltering.

      It sucks.

    2. I did CLASS for the 9th grade, as well - my mother pulled me out since kept me "too busy" and she would rather my training primarily focus on being a good housewife. I completely forgot, though, Paula, about what was in those books until you mentioned it. I only remember taking Saxon Math Algebra 1 and the history book Streams of Civilization.

      And LoreleiHI, C.S. Lewis was painted as a bad guy? Really? Every Christian I know practically worships him!

  16. Shadowspring mentioned a good thing to keep in mind when judging the "completeness" of an education- don't a lot of people think it's weird when families where one or both parents have gone to college and may have professional credentials seem to think that the only thing their sons can do is mow lawns or build houses?

    Now these are fine professions and carpentry is so useful and creative.(Some wonderful people have been carpenters:) And I certainly DO NOT think everyone needs or will benefit from college. Many smart and fulfilled people do well without it.

    But here is what is weird to me. When you see people doing something unusual and outside of cultural norm, it can sometimes be because they are gambling their future on the blind faith that all of their pre-suppositions about life will come true.

    It is really quite mystical. One speaks reality into existence.

    You see it in the courtship arena too. Parents who had a busy (sometimes too busy) social life as teens believe their sons and daughters are "asleep" to the opposite sex.

    We cannot use our kids as a laboratory experiment to prove out what we have already decided to believe. God does not need us to prove that He is real!

    Anyway, this is just something that I think is creepy....and lots of these so called Christian businessmen pay slave wages and seem to think benefits for workers are evil. Oh well...

    1. "We cannot use our kids as a laboratory experiment to prove out what we have already decided to believe. God does not need us to prove that He is real!"

      So insightful! Yep, that is what is going on. Parents say that they are laying their lives down for Jesus, but the lives they are really putting out there on their altar are their children's lives. So well put.

  17. We homeschool-ed for seven years b/c we lived overseas (missionaries). I picked and chose my curriculum (most secular). The few times we were back in the States, we continued to home school b/c it made for easy travel and site-seeing.
    I have to say that the most "fear mongering" I saw was when we were in the States. It creeped me out!
    * "You must teach New Earth Creationism" or you're liberal. (I don't believe this way and when I teach my kids I give them both sides, tell them what I think and let them know they'll have to come to their own conclusion when they get older)
    * Teach "Bible". We didn't do this. Had family devotions at night, but not a separate Bible class.

    Now, my kids are in an international school for three years but we'll go back to home-schooling when we move to a remote location.

    I enjoy it b/c I get to see my kids learn....

    Scary where it seems many who home school in the States are going.
    I'm sure I'd be considered liberal! Oh well, wasn't Jesus also?

  18. Jenner, you are MY HERO! My husband has been so depressed for so many years and is just now coming out of it. There is just SO. MUCH. PAIN.

    The source? Missionary boarding school and the anti-child missionary board culture that came up with and promoted the idea. THANK YOU for understanding that God will never call people to sin against the least of these in order to fulfill any other command. Not even the Great Commission .

  19. Mrs Taft;

    i've heard the birth-order theory before, but IME it isn't the best indicator. as you said, it's usually parental attention.

    which is *REALLY* screwy, as far as my family goes. my parents divorced when i was 6, and my youngest sister is my half sister.
    and my mother grew up being told "you're the middle child, you get less attention." so my middle sister got most of my mother's attention, and my youngest sister got most of her father's attention, and from age 6 on, i got almost no attention.

    Parental involvement is supposed to be the biggest key to a child's educational success. in the case of my youngest sister, her father read to her all the time. she never developed any interest in reading on her own.

    then again, i know that a large portion of her problem was her father was *TOO* involved - she never had to work for anything until he died. at which point it became apparent that she was so far behind the rest of her class, she really should have started over in kindergarten. but she was 9, they tried remedial classes, tutors, everything. in her case, it was too late to teach her.

    *shrug* like i said, the "age" thing is pretty arbitrary - "the mental age of the child"

    and i really wasn't trying to dog pile you - i used to love the idea of homeschooling, thought it would be *THE* best education [because i could go as fast as i wanted! really, REALLY wanted to be able to do that - i'd have had my high school diploma at 14...]

    if you're kids are getting *some* exposure to music and languages, you ARE doing better than most - though don't worry too much on the music. i didn't start until 5th grade, myself, and i played 8 instruments [and sang] by the time i was a sophomore.
    why aren't you teaching them German? i'm just curious, really. in the US, Spanish is the better choice, but in Europe German is. [i have a learning disability w/r/t languages - i can't even learn German. and NOT for lack of trying. sigh]

    mostly, though, while i was replying to you and ShadowSpring, i was writing in the hopes that some homeschoolers who are in over their heads would read what i wrote and get help :)

    1. I've thought about teaching them German, but Spanish seemed like a better choice since we are in the US. I have a decent command of Spanish pronunciation, just doesn't grab me the way German does. On the other hand, I stopped taking lessons at 13, and it's been...a long time since I've used my German in a fluent way. Therefore, most of it is locked up inside somewhere. If you put a gun to my head and said "Translate this German sentence into English, diagram it in German and then put it in the Present Perfect Tense in German, OR ELSE I SHOOT YOU IN THE HEAD!" I would definitely eat that bullet, despite being able to do exactly that years ago.

      Maybe we need to say..."quality" parent involvement? :) It's definitely never a good thing when parents are overindulgent. :( I'm sorry your sister was crippled so. I have people like that in my life, and it's painful to watch.

      I've wondered over the years if I have dysgraphia, but my ability with *foreign* language seems to cancel that out. If I had to choose between emailing someone or calling them on the phone, email wins hands down. I don't stutter, but sometimes I could be accused of imitating Shatner, just not on purpose. :( haha. I DO have dyscalculia or dyscalculus as it was known when I was dx'd. Yay! I'm either terribly early or terribly late, I have zero sense of direction, and the reason I can't do complex equations in my head or on paper is that the numbers don't stay put and I can't make sense of it. I understood, always, the theory and the steps. I could follow along with the practice question. But set a different problem in front of me, totally similar just variables shifted or different numbers, and it might as well have been Farsi. I couldn't figure out where to begin or was constantly switching numbers or operations (i.e. subtracting 4 from 7 when I should have subtracted 7 from 4). Sometimes, even, it was like, I'd go through the whole problem, check it twice, and still get it wrong and marked 0. With a small piece of the equation circled in red that I apparently forgot to factor in, despite being quite obviously written down and plain. It was like, where did those numbers come from? :( Thus, I stick to curriculum with detailed teacher's guides and answer keys and have my husband check things as well...and when we get to the super complicated (for me I mean) problems I will gladly hand them off!

    2. Also, holy cow! 8 instruments! That's awesome :) What do you play, if you don't mind my asking? It sounds like you turned out pretty great, despite the 'lack of parental involvement' ;) You mentioned custody of your sister, and I admire you for that.

      I hope, too, that if someone was reading this and secretly thinking "they are describing me...they are describing my child" that they won't be ashamed, just get help. It's not too late!

  20. Haha, the first thing my professors did at our little Presbyterian college was sit down all of us freshman homeschooled history majors and inform us that Christian revisionist history was wrong - we were astonished! Here we were history majors and we didn't know a single thing about US history!

    I can relate to everything you've said - again. The either/or mentality that we grew up on - either your children were homeschooled and not dating and godly, or they were sexually-promiscuous drugatics who attended public school. I remember once my parents prayerfully decided not to join a church we had been visiting since the pastor's two daughters attended public school and dated and the wife had a job - in other words, not a "biblical" family. Our Christianity was too precious a commodoty to be placed in the hands of such a wretched man.

    My mother actually told me that I couldn't take geometry because she hadn't enjoyed geometry in school and so didn't want to check it. Oh, and she hadn't used it since high school. Apparently learning for fun was bad and a waste of time. The formal education for my sister and me ended at about fifteen and then we took over full time homeschooling our younger siblings, that realistically being the actual education we needed. It still makes me a little angry to think that all of us kids, as completely different as the eight of us are, were being groomed for the exact same future - having Quiverfull families of our own. We were never given any other choices! And when my sister and I left home as adults, we found it almost impossible to function in the actual world, and we had to consciously make an effort to educate ourselves about our own world. Sometimes I still think I'll never catch up...

    1. Wow, what your professors did speaks SO MUCH... it says how much experience they'd had with this thing before! Very good idea on their part to just nip it in the bud.

      But wow. Wow.

    2. me, too - that was awesome of your professors! and i'm glad you got the chance to *really* learn. learning is always good, but learning for fun is, IMO, the BEST.

      that said - obviously your mom has never had to do anything around the house, like wall-paper or get new carpets or ANYTHING. of all the higher maths, geometry is the EASIEST to see getting use out of...

    3. Haha, Denelian, that was my stepfather's thing ... apparently he loved geometry.

      And my professors WERE amazing. In my four years at that school, I had a total of two professors I disliked - the rest were incredible and surprisingly free-thinking. I've realized since I graduated that quite a few history programs at Christian colleges merely continue in the vein of Christian revisionism, and I feel so lucky to not have ended up going to one of them. It was the politics and rules at my little Presbyterian college that irritated me so intensely and had me chafing to leave before the four years were up. I always inform people that I started college as THE most conservative student on campus - my roommate could vouch for that -and was by far the most liberal by the time I left.

  21. well, i can *play* all woodwinds, but i only considered myself "good enough" on clarinet, flute, piccolo, sax and oboe [honestly, on the oboe, if there'd been someone better, i'd have let them do it, but double reeds are hard]. and then violin, drums and piano. i have trouble playing most things at all anymore, because i have rhumatory arthritis.

    when it came to music, i got lucky - i have perfect pitch. i'm not as cool as my dad - if he sees and hears someone play for about 30 minutes, he can take the instrument and play everything they did. [i've seen it, with instruments he's never seen before. i'd be jealous, but he can't read music at ALL, and i can, on all four clefs, and he knows NO music theory, and i know a great deal. so it balances]

    also - math and music are *so* linked, i was doing algebra before my parents split. i could do it in my head before i started taking any music lessons. that probably helped a LOT.

    honestly, i was... i had a really weird childhood. i was never "good enough" [i reminded my mom too much of my dad. she was afraid of me. thankfully, we've both grown up, and i can honestly say "my mom and i are really good friends". but i thought she hated me until i was in my 20s...] and i'd think "if i do this thing, i'll be good enough." not for my mom to love me - i knew she loved me, but i also knew i scared her and she hated me [she didn't hate me, i thought she did] but "good enough" to go live with my dad. one of the *BAD* things my mom would do, when i'd get upset at being left out, is explain that each parent had a "special bond" with one child - so my middle sister and my mom had the "bond", my youngest sister and my stepfather had the "bond", my stepmother and my stepsister had the "bond" - and it was just too bad for me that i couldn't live with the parent with whom i had the "bond".

    so i for years i pushed to do everything that appeared to matter *perfectly* - straight As, dance, singing, instrument after instrument - i was in senior-level AP classes my freshman year, trying to prove that i was "good enough" to live with my dad.

    i had a childhood that i wouldn't wish on my worst enemy - it was the abuse that killed, it was that feeling that i "wasn't good enough", would NEVER be "good enough", and the abuse felt like punishment for not being good enough. so did the pain, from the medical problems i have. i had a therapist once ask me if maybe the PTSD i have isn't from the abuse, but from being 2 or 3 or 6 or 8 and being in level-10 pain for no reason - it felt like random, arbitrary punishment from God. that's how you give an animal PTSD; randomly cause pain, for no reason, with no pattern.

    on the other hand, i look at my siblings, who weren't abused [or rather, weren't physically or sexually abused - verbal abuse abounded] and they are, to a woman, selfish and self-centered. my oldest youngest sister is the best of the 3, and i'd still call her something like "Chaotic Neutral", not "Neutral Good.". my younger sisters are so selfish, it's almost sociopathic. hell, the ONLY thing i accomplished, by getting custody of my youngest sister, was keeping her from getting pregnant before she turned 18. maybe if i'd been able to get her when she was 12... but i was only 18, there was no way in hell. sigh.

    i'm not saying i'm wonderful or some shining light - but i look at my sisters, and i'm almost grateful for the abuse and neglect - i may not BE a good person, but i TRY, you know?

    sorry. i tend to babble. i fall into the trap of overexplaining so that i don't have to go back and answer questions that would require more detail [and make me actually think about things better not thought about outside of my therapist's office]

  22. Mrs. Taft -

    i also hope people who read this and react that way get help! like i said, it was a major part of the reason i made my first comment :)

  23. Mrs Taft -

    i should read *all* comments before responding - sorry for the multiples!

    it sounds a lot like we have the same problem at opposite ends of the spectrum i was told "dyspraxia" is what i have - which could have been "dysgraphia", and i heard it wrong - but i have the foreign language issue [and some issue with just listening. if it's something that i can, in some way, interact with, i'm good. i can quote entire conversations verbatim. but if it's JUST listening to a person, like say a professor giving a lecture, it eventually turns into meaningless sounds] i could always pass my German classes because i could utilize the rules, so i could diagram a sentence, change from one tense to another - and never tell you what the sentence meant. and it was MUCH worse trying to LISTEN to someone speak in German - i just *cannot* get my brain to accept it as real communication. or any other language i've tried.

    but i was really just curious why no German - i keep being told it's easiest for native-English people to learn :)

    my sister, and people like her - yeah, i'd agree that the quality of parental attention/involvement is probably the way it works. a half-hour of GOOD attention a day has GOT to better than the over-doing and creating more people who are... i dunno, willfully ignorant while believing that the *everyone* should treat them like that parent did? [my sister truly believes that the entire world OWES her whatever she wants.] my sister isn't the only one i know, either - but most of the people i know who are like her came from well-to-do or flat-out *rich* families - it's a level of entitlement you don't see often from families as poor as we were. [i've seen some fundamentalist families that came close to that level, though]

    it makes me sad - if my sister TRIED, she could have a great life. but she thinks she should be GIVEN a great life. not being rich, she won't be.

    and it's really sad for everyone like her - they're never *really* happy, have no real *purpose*. what the hell is life FOR, if you don't have a reason for it? sigh.

  24. Rebecca;

    i'm jealous, VERY jealous, of professors like that. i've only had a few that i dislike, myself - but professors willing to first UNteach - that's rare. [that's why most colleges have "Bonehead English" or English 100 - to unteach people who made up their own grammar as they went, never learning the proper way. i didn't learn it, either, but i read enough to fake it well :)]

    i am *SO* happy on your behalf [i'm trying to not sound patronizing] that you got that awesome education with sterling professors and learned that there was so much MORE! and that God isn't about little bittie boxes, you know?

  25. Thanks, Denelian - and for the record, you don't come off as patronizing in the least!

    Yeah, we were all required to do English Comp freshman year, too! I, being the English minor that I was and having previously taken an English CLEP test, still had to take it since the school believed being able to write as the foundation for any other field of study. Great academics, that school. But it IS a PCA school and thus comes with its own set of evangelical crap - I remember senior year still having to go to chapel three times a week and listening to the pious dribble from the Bible - the never-ending God talk at a college where everyone applying was required to be a Christian and write their testimony to get in, and I was just exhausted since I so wasn't there anymore.

  26. Hmm... I don't buy it.

    I am not patriarchal or quiverfull, and I don't believe we can shelter our kids from the world, but I am a christian homeschooler, and it is pretty much my belief that most (all?) public schools are crap and are full of a *different kind* of indoctrination that keeps people from thinking critical thought as well.

    Interesting post though.

    1. If I may ask a couple of questions...What do you not buy? And, what is your belief(s) about public schooling based on?

  27. I don't buy that homeschooling for religious reasons is wrong.

    I base my belief about public schooling on my own experience. My own experience there surely led me to homeschooling.

  28. Wow- I read THAT from "Unless the Lord", and beyond the many things that angered and concerned me in it, there is just one thing that I'll throw out there...If I found myself on my own for some reason, I can take care of myself at least. I'm already single mom while hubby is deployed. What angers me is that the whole idea of unique situations and God working in individuals is lost on people who think perfectionistic-ly.