Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

Homeschooling Moms Homeschooling Moms

Modern Day Homeschooling Divide

Posted by on Jul. 4, 2013 at 8:38 PM
  • 26 Replies

I came across an article about Susan Bauer and I found it really interesting. It is probably old news to everyone else, but I wanted to post this anyways. I am not copying and pasting the entire article, just a snippet. To read the article in its entirety... http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/magazine/home-schooling-pioneer-susan-wise-bauer-is-well-versed-in-controversy/2012/10/29/521a3070-da80-11e1-9745-d9ae6098d493_story.html

In the 40 years since Bauer’s mother began teaching her to read at age 3, home-schooling has gone from a mostly religious fringe activity to a chic trend with numerous conferences, publishers, methods and factions focused on theological views, organic living, parenting styles or various stances on homosexuality or same-sex unions.

Bauer has been a fixture behind the lectern at state and national home-schooling conferences for years. But this past spring, she announced she would sit out the conferences next year because of rifts in this once seemingly monolithic movement.

“For a number of people involved in it, their primary focus is not educating kids but a lifestyle,” she says. Whereas early home-schoolers were a freewheeling bunch forced to stick together against a hostile world because of their aversion to public schools, now it seems as if there are litmus tests for acceptance into the community.

For example, she says, Peace Hill Press came under fire from home-schooling creationists — at conferences, on the Internet and via e-mail — for publishing the work of scholar Peter Enns, who argues against a strict literal reading of the Book of Genesis.

“Susan got really beat up by inappropriate behavior,” says Leigh Bortins, founder ofClassical Conversations, a North Carolina-based home education movement. “In many ways, home-schooling has grown up, but people don’t always act like grown-ups.”

Bauer’s disagreement with home-schooling proponents who say the public schools are hostile to Christianity also has become a point of contention.

“I’ve been told if I say anything supportive of public schools, even charter ones, I’ll lose my speaker’s fee, and I don’t get my expenses reimbursed,” she says. “Of course, I tell them I won’t come.”

Bauer has been asked “to swear I won’t bring certain books for my book table; to mention certain words,” she wrote on her blog in April. “None of which, I should say, have anything to do with what I normally talk about: grammar, history, writing, reading, learning. I have been told that I am not welcome, in some cases, because I talk too much about the psychology of learning, and not about the Bible. Or because I have a theological degree and am obviously pushing a Christian agenda. Because my ‘professional associations,’ however loose, are too liberal, or too secular, or too Christian.

She got 69 comments on that entry, including: “My husband and I ultimately decided against homeschooling after a few years because it was so incredibly difficult to build/find a community and we found the experience horribly, destructively isolating as a result. We were either too Christian or not Christian enough, or not the right kind of Christian, too structured or too unstructured, too egalitarian in our marriage or too husband-led.”

“I’ve had Christian friends who didn’t attend conferences because they were not the ‘right’ kind of Christians,”


“Our lives are important — at least to us — and as we see, so we learn… Our destiny is in the stars, so let’s go and search for it.” – First Doctor Who William Hartnell

by on Jul. 4, 2013 at 8:38 PM
Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Replies (1-10):
Bleacheddecay
by Bronze Member on Jul. 4, 2013 at 8:59 PM

Interesting. I was a liberal, non religious, homeschooler in a very religious, conservative world but I managed to get along if not particularly close to others.

kmath
by Silver Member on Jul. 4, 2013 at 8:59 PM
2 moms liked this

It is sad that even the homeschooling community is so divided and that not everyone is welcome. 

lucsch
by on Jul. 4, 2013 at 9:11 PM
3 moms liked this

I've read that before.

Sounds like censorship to me. I'm a fairly conservative Christian, but I have the good sense to decide for myself what conferences, what books, and what speakers I want to see, read and hear. I also have enough intelligence to choose the type of homeschooling group that fits us and our views.

I don't think homeschoolers have to be a homogeneous group any more, so all this talk about division makes no sense to me.  It used to be homeschoolers had to stick together to survive. It is more mainstream these days, and now could be the time to divide into more specialized groups. That doesn't mean we have to be antagonistic towards each other, though.

kirbymom
by Sonja on Jul. 4, 2013 at 9:24 PM
What are YOUR thoughts on this excerpt?
mem82
by Platinum Member on Jul. 5, 2013 at 9:13 AM
4 moms liked this
I agree. I don't know about any one else but I stick to not talking about politics or religion. It just seems a bit rude. I pick other homeschoolers that have kids I can stand, lol, not whether they are old Earth, young Earth.

Quoting lucsch:

I've read that before.

Sounds like censorship to me. I'm a fairly conservative Christian, but I have the good sense to decide for myself what conferences, what books, and what speakers I want to see, read and hear. I also have enough intelligence to choose the type of homeschooling group that fits us and our views.

I don't think homeschoolers have to be a homogeneous group any more, so all this talk about division makes no sense to me.  It used to be homeschoolers had to stick together to survive. It is more mainstream these days, and now could be the time to divide into more specialized groups. That doesn't mean we have to be antagonistic towards each other, though.

Meadowchik
by New Member on Jul. 5, 2013 at 9:24 AM
3 moms liked this

 

Quoting Bleacheddecay:

Interesting. I was a liberal, non religious, homeschooler in a very religious, conservative world but I managed to get along if not particularly close to others.

 I was a conservative (LDS) homeschooler in Texas but was warned that I wouldn't be welcomed in the local Christian groups.  I ended up joining and enjoying a secular, left-leaning homeschool group.  We tended to opt out of political topics.

KickButtMama
by Shannon on Jul. 5, 2013 at 10:21 AM
2 moms liked this

I agree, it really depends on the parents. I mean, I am a Pagan for crying out loud. When I started, overa decade ago, the only associations were Christian ones. Now I help run a massive secular co-op.i think things have relaxed in some areas - as there are way more opportunities now than then....but I do understand the division and how JUDGEMENTAL some people are. Like you're not a 'real' Homeschooler if you use k12. It wasn't until the last year that I got some flack for my religious beliefs. But I'm in a very liberal state, one w/o a major homeschool conference, so I'm sure that makes a difference.  

Quoting Bleacheddecay:

Interesting. I was a liberal, non religious, homeschooler in a very religious, conservative world but I managed to get along if not particularly close to others.


  Articles / Kicbuttmama's Crazy Lapbooks / Kickbuttmama's Home Education
Albert Einstein -- 
   "Everybody is a Genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will spend its whole life believing it is stupid." 

hipmomto3
by Bronze Member on Jul. 5, 2013 at 10:48 AM
2 moms liked this

I feel very fortunate to have found our current co-op.

The first homeschool co-op we did was quite small - about a dozen families - and was extremely Evangelical in their approach. Some of the families were quite nice - and we are still in touch with some of them - while others were very overzealous. When one of the moms found out I am Mormon, she started giving me her used Answers In Genesis magazines. However, at least I was not made to sign a 'statement of faith' in order to teach the preschool class. I know at some other co-ops they do, and if you refuse to sign in its entirety (my next door neighbor, SDA, has had this issue at other co-ops) they won't let you teach. Some of them won't even let you JOIN, even if your kids are just attending classes and you are not teaching. To me, that is extreme. 

We can not raise our children in bubbles. The purpose of raising them at all is raising them into ADULTHOOD - to make them into active, productive people who know what they believe, but who also know how to communicate with those who may believe differently. This means they need experiences with various types of people, not just evangelicals who are also pro-life, young-earth, dinos+humang-coexisting, left-handed, and brown-haired. :) I mean... for a crazy example.

SusanTheWriter
by Bronze Member on Jul. 5, 2013 at 10:54 AM
3 moms liked this

That's a big reason we're working so hard on this new co-op. Our leadership team is formed of Christians and agnostics (that I know of) and we've been in contact with folks who are also Pagans and atheists. Big deal. We're there to homeschool our kids, not form a church.

I discovered at our last co-op, which is very conservative Christian, that you didn't have to dig very far to find a number of folks who were not of that mindset, but flying under the radar just to take advantage of the classes.

oredeb
by on Jul. 5, 2013 at 10:55 AM
6 moms liked this

 in the early years of homeschooling if you were non christian, new age, public school supporter, divorced, single parent, pagan, lds, jw, homosexual, old earth, didnt use the kjb bible,  wear a jumper,  etc you were looked down on in the hs world where im from,  they just had to put you in a box! it took a few years and other homeschool groups came about, people were freer, and here we are today!!! homeschooling has changed  a lot since i first began in 1983!!

theres always been the jealousies or controvercies (i call them) in homeschooling, from the writers of the curr, books, speakers etc, to moms using certain methods, certain books, i have more kids than you,  no books etc from the early years.

the newer homeschoolers thinking they know more than the older homeschoolers etc! the older hsers thinking they know more than the newer hsers,  so ridiculious! people need to just shut up and listen to each other , they might learn something no matter who they are!!!

Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)