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Homeschooled Kids, Now Grown, Blog Against the Past

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http://www.thedailybeast.com/witw/articles/2013/04/11/homeschooled-kids-now-grown-blog-against-the-past.html?source=upworthy1 

In 2006 the evangelical magazine World featured 15-year-old Kierstyn King—then Kierstyn Paulino—in a piece about homeschooled kids who blog “to rebel against rebellion.” She was quoted describing her heroes: “‘First, Christ. After that: soldiers, my parents, and Ronald Reagan.’” On her blog, she wrote posts with titles like “The Case for Christians in Government,” arguing, “Our founding fathers built this land on Judeo-Christianity, and we have strayed too far from Christ.”

These days King, 22, has a hard time stepping into a church without having a panic attack. She escaped—her word—from her family in Georgia on her 18th birthday and lives in Maine with her husband, also a former homeschooler. Very little is left of the ideology her parents worked so furiously to instill in her. She’s ashamed of the work she did as a leader in various homeschooling youth organizations, which, she writes, “contributed to the amount of hurt I and many others who grew up in this radical/evangelical/conservative/christian subculture endured and continue to endure.”

She is, however, still blogging, both on her own and as part of Homeschoolers Anonymous, a new site that publishes children of Christian homeschooling families speaking out about upbringings that, they say, have left them traumatized and unprepared for adult life. “Our primary concern is for people to be exposed to our experiences growing up in the conservative Christian homeschooling world and to see how those ideologies can create abusive situations,” says Ryan Lee Stollar, one of the site’s founders.

The Christian homeschooling movement first took off in the early 1980s, in tandem with the broader rise of the religious right. The Home School Legal Defense Association was founded in 1983 to promote homeschooling and protect parents from state oversight. Its founder, Michael Farris, dreamed of creating a generation that could do battle with the corrupt secular world and reclaim the institutions of American life for Jesus. At the extreme edge of Christian homeschooling culture, the Quiverfull movement, which picked up steam in the late 1980s, preached the duty of women to submit, bear as many children as God would give them, and train them up as dedicated culture warriors, arrows in a divine quiver. Estimating the size of these movements is tricky, but official statistics give us some hints. According to the Department of Education, 1.5 million kids were being homeschooled as of 2007, up from 850,000 in 1999. Eighty-three percent of homeschooling parents said they did so to provide religious or moral instruction. Not all these parents are Christian fundamentalists, but Christian fundamentalists predominate.

Now the first wave of kids raised in these homes has reached adulthood. Many were trained to be activists, to argue, to question the verities of the dominant culture. Debating skill is hugely important in many homeschool circles, because it’s seen as a crucial tool of Christian apologetics. (Patrick Henry, the Virginia college for homeschoolers that Farris founded, has a moot-court team that has twice defeated Oxford’s Balliol College.) The movement’s leaders never intended, though, for students to turn their prowess against the culture they were raised in. “Michael Farris, his whole idea was creating this cultural army. The finishing point of everything was supposed to be debate,” says Stollar, 28. “That was the ultimate weapon for his soldiers in the culture war. Ironically, debate has given us the tools to think through all that indoctrination.” Of the 30 or so formerly homeschooled kids behind Homeshoolers Anonymous, Stollar says, all but two were debaters.

Stollar was very good at debate—so good that he spent years traveling the country training other homeschoolers in the art of argument. “I didn’t just grow up in the subculture,” he writes. “I was one of its most outspoken advocates and champions.” His trips exposed him to a broad swath of the movement, and though he didn’t say so at the time, some of what he saw shocked him. Though Stollar’s family was extremely conservative, they were liberal compared with many of those he encountered on the road. “Traveling exposed me to all the different craziness within homeschooling—Quiverfull, ATI,” he says, referring to Bill Gothard’s Advanced Training Institute, an influential homeschooling curriculum that emphasizes fathers’ absolute authority over their wives and children. (Gothard’s most famous followers are the Duggars, the reality-TV-show family with 19 children.) “It really took a toll on me,” says Stollar. “I have huge issues to this day with authority.”

She dreamed of going to Patrick Henry College, but her parents saw no reason for women to pursue degrees.

For years Stollar struggled to suppress his doubts, but when he went away to graduate school in New Mexico, he realized he had no idea what he really believed. “Everything kind of washed out of me,” he says. But even as he left his youthful faith behind, he stayed in touch with people he’d met through debate and soon came to realize that many were suffering in similar ways. Like him, they’d experienced depression, anxiety attacks, and suicidal thoughts. “There’s a lot of depression and body-acceptance issues,” he says. “I’ve seen a lot of self-injury, even to this day. When I was 16, cutting was a huge thing, especially among female teenagers in our community. There’s also a lot of coming to terms with one’s own sexuality, being able to embrace it as OK.”

Independent-minded girls had an especially rough time, particularly those raised in Quiverfull families. As the eldest of eight, King was told that her divinely ordained role was to be a helpmeet to her mother until her own marriage, when her job would be to sexually satisfy her husband, bear as many children as God would give her, and homeschool them in turn. She dreamed of going to Patrick Henry College, but her parents saw no reason for women to pursue degrees. King never learned algebra; instead, she was taught “consumer math,” which was mainly about creating a family budget. She learned about fractions and multiplication by cooking, since she often had to double recipes.

Legally, parents have enormous discretion in raising their children: in some states, there’s no oversight at all over homeschooling curricula, meaning that it’s perfectly fine to educate daughters for a life of housewifery rather than for higher education. Some people involved in Homeschoolers Anonymous hope eventually to change that. Meanwhile, along with their own stories, they offer advice about survival. Twenty-nine-year-old Heather Doney endured a Quiverfull upbringing in which she was beaten for the slightest infraction and forced to spend her days caring for nine younger siblings rather than learning until, thanks to the intervention of her grandparents, she was allowed to enroll in high school; she went on to earn a master’s degree in public policy from Brandeis. She’s published a guide for those planning to flee bad homeschooling situations, as well as what she calls “A Quick and Dirty Sex Ed Guide for Quiverfull Daughters.” Someday she hopes to become an advocate for homeschooled children’s rights, but she writes, “all I’ve got right now is my blog.”

by on Apr. 12, 2013 at 7:26 PM
Replies (31-40):
Suzy_Sunshine
by Silver Member on Apr. 16, 2013 at 8:33 PM

I do not believe that we have comprehensive studies that support this assertion. However I do think that when you compare the average public school student and the average home schooled student you should expect to see a far better performance from home schooled students. 

Public schools vary immensely in quality and have to educate everyone. I don't think that you can get very meaningful data when you look at the entire public school population.

For me the real question is whether or not kids with supportive educationally oriented students fare better in home school or public school. Parents who home school are generally going to fall into a particular category of public school parents whose children's educational outcomes are generally far highter than their peers. 

Quoting JCB911:

The studies have shown that homeschooled kids still do better than public school kids even if their parents lack a certain level of education.

The kids complaining in the blog were complaining about religion.

Parents' education level matters little.   What parent, even with an 8th grade education, can't instill a love of learning and exploring in their children.  They can still help teach basic concepts and then they simply learn with the child, or find a tutor, friend etc to help out. By the time the child is high school level, hopefully, they will be able to learn on their own and wouldn't need Mom and Dad anyway.  (And even at the high school level there is plenty of help available).

Homeschooled kids top public school kids in every measure - Our real concern should be the public schools abysmal graduation rates and math/reading ability - we should be more focused on public schools since they have the bulk of the kids and cranking out more "adults" unable to make it in this world.  

I homeschool - I have two kids.  If one kid "fails" I'm pretty much as good as any inner city school - and so much cheaper!   But since I'm their mother and way more invested in their education than any teacher, principal or administrator could ever be they won't fail.

Quoting mikiemom:


the main issue with homeschooling is the parents lack of education. it's not really abou religion, it's about the the child learning wha they need to learn to be sucessful in the world we live in.


 

Quoting JCB911:

I don't doubt the article - but IMO there are kooks everywhere. It sounds as though their complaint is more with parenting and religion than homeschooling.

And the suicide, cutting, depression - that happens to kids who go to school as well, not just the crazy religious homeschoolers.

We're homeschoolers, not for religious reasons (although we are Christians).  I just don't want my kids to be bored in school like I was.  Learning is fun and school just sucks all the fun out of it!





lga1965
by on Apr. 16, 2013 at 8:41 PM
1 mom liked this

 Oh for goodness sake. My grandkids are in middle school and grade school and nobody is punished for saying Merry Christmas and Happy Easter. NOBODY is being "indoctrinated".

I see these modern times as featuring good people who try to teach or suggest that: "Not everyone is Christian and we shouldn't make those who have different beliefs feel like "second class citizens" or Outsiders or people to avoid.." In other words, schools try to teach equality and acceptance.

You exaggerate.

 

Quoting buttersworth:

 

I agree with jCB911. Now there's two of us with a tin foil hat. Merry Christmas, JCB911. I hope you had a super Easter Vacation. Those are things you can't say in public school. Oh wait...let me go get my poptart and I'll meet you out there playing tag

Quoting lga1965:

Indoctrination ?
Oh boy.
More tinfoil hat talk.


Quoting JCB911:

It started a long time ago.  Those public school kids grew up and pushed against the public school indoctrination by homeschooling their own kids.


Quoting AdrianneHill:

I honestly surprised it took this long for the kids to start pushing back against the indoctrination.


 

 

 

buttersworth
by Silver Member on Apr. 16, 2013 at 8:52 PM
2 moms liked this

 

I never said anyone was punished for saying that, but it is not acceptable. I think we should be nice to people of other religions and cultures, and we have had diverse friends. But I think subtle changes are important. Just because there's a few non Christians in a school shouldn't mean we don't call it Christmas break anymore.

You know, it isn't about acceptance. The teachers think it is. But this trend comes from erasing all references to anything Christian, as much as possible. Under the auspices of diversity, and under the guise of tolerance, and in the false spirit of separation of church and state, Christianity is under a cultural assault. Separation of Church and State says the state can't endorse a religion...oh man, we wouldn't want that ...nothing would be worse than the state being our pastors. But endorse is a far different word than acknowledge.

History proves that cultural usurpations are effective religious subversion.

Quoting lga1965:

 Oh for goodness sake. My grandkids are in middle school and grade school and nobody is punished for saying Merry Christmas and Happy Easter. NOBODY is being "indoctrinated".

I see these modern times as featuring good people who try to teach or suggest that: "Not everyone is Christian and we shouldn't make those who have different beliefs feel like "second class citizens" or Outsiders or people to avoid.." In other words, schools try to teach equality and acceptance.

You exaggerate.

 

Quoting buttersworth:

 

I agree with jCB911. Now there's two of us with a tin foil hat. Merry Christmas, JCB911. I hope you had a super Easter Vacation. Those are things you can't say in public school. Oh wait...let me go get my poptart and I'll meet you out there playing tag

Quoting lga1965:

Indoctrination ?
Oh boy.
More tinfoil hat talk.


Quoting JCB911:

It started a long time ago.  Those public school kids grew up and pushed against the public school indoctrination by homeschooling their own kids.


Quoting AdrianneHill:

I honestly surprised it took this long for the kids to start pushing back against the indoctrination.


 

 

 


 

lga1965
by on Apr. 16, 2013 at 9:09 PM
1 mom liked this

 Christians are still in charge and still have power and clout and a loud voice and yet they feel so victimized. Hahaha.....sorry, they are not.They just want to feel victimized and whine. I see it here at CM all the time. Besides...if people thought about it, Christmas was originally not  a holiday that celebrated the birth of Jesus since he was supposedly born in April. Plus, many centuries before the birth of Jesus, Christmas and christmas trees,etc. was a pagan rite and a German tradition . So, why call it Christmas break? Why not a Holiday break for everyone of all religions? Hmmmm?

http://www.britannica.com/blogs/2011/12/origin-christmas-december/

http://www.hope-of-israel.org/cmas1.htm

And, then there is the origins of Easter..... .

http://www.ucg.org/doctrinal-beliefs/what-are-real-origins-easter/

If Easter doesn't come from the Bible, and wasn't practiced by the apostles and early Church, where did it come from?

Easter's surprising origins

Vine's Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words, in its entry "Easter," states:

"The term ‘Easter' is not of Christian origin. It is another form of Astarte, one of the titles of the Chaldean goddess, the queen of heaven. The festival of Pasch [Passover] held by Christians in post-apostolic times was a continuation of the Jewish feast . . . From this Pasch the pagan festival of ‘Easter' was quite distinct and was introduced into the apostate Western religion, as part of the attempt to adapt pagan festivals to Christianity" (W.E. Vine, 1985, emphasis added throughout).

That's a lot of information packed into one paragraph. Notice what the author, W.E. Vine—a trained classical scholar, theologian, expert in ancient languages and author of several classic Bible helps—tells us:

Easter isn't a Christian or directly biblical term, but comes from a form of the name Astarte, a Chaldean (Babylonian) goddess known as "the queen of heaven." (She is mentioned by that title in the Bible in Jeremiah 7:18The children gather wood, and the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead their dough, to make cakes to the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto other gods, that they may provoke me to anger.
See All...
and 44:17-19, 25 and referred to in 1 Kings 11:5, 33 and 2 Kings 23:13 by the Hebrew form of her name, Ashtoreth. So "Easter" is found in the Bible—as part of the pagan religion God condemns

Quoting buttersworth:

 

I never said anyone was punished for saying that, but it is not acceptable. I think we should be nice to people of other religions and cultures, and we have had diverse friends. But I think subtle changes are important. Just because there's a few non Christians in a school shouldn't mean we don't call it Christmas break anymore.

You know, it isn't about acceptance. The teachers think it is. But this trend comes from erasing all references to anything Christian, as much as possible. Under the auspices of diversity, and under the guise of tolerance, and in the false spirit of separation of church and state, Christianity is under a cultural assault. Separation of Church and State says the state can't endorse a religion...oh man, we wouldn't want that ...nothing would be worse than the state being our pastors. But endorse is a far different word than acknowledge.

History proves that cultural usurpations are effective religious subversion.

Quoting lga1965:

 Oh for goodness sake. My grandkids are in middle school and grade school and nobody is punished for saying Merry Christmas and Happy Easter. NOBODY is being "indoctrinated".

I see these modern times as featuring good people who try to teach or suggest that: "Not everyone is Christian and we shouldn't make those who have different beliefs feel like "second class citizens" or Outsiders or people to avoid.." In other words, schools try to teach equality and acceptance.

You exaggerate.

 

Quoting buttersworth:

 

I agree with jCB911. Now there's two of us with a tin foil hat. Merry Christmas, JCB911. I hope you had a super Easter Vacation. Those are things you can't say in public school. Oh wait...let me go get my poptart and I'll meet you out there playing tag

Quoting lga1965:

Indoctrination ?
Oh boy.
More tinfoil hat talk.


Quoting JCB911:

It started a long time ago.  Those public school kids grew up and pushed against the public school indoctrination by homeschooling their own kids.


Quoting AdrianneHill:

I honestly surprised it took this long for the kids to start pushing back against the indoctrination.


 

 

 

 

 

 

autodidact
by Platinum Member on Apr. 16, 2013 at 9:11 PM
2 moms liked this

Not this shit again. 

autodidact
by Platinum Member on Apr. 16, 2013 at 9:15 PM
3 moms liked this

The main issue in this article IS religion. 

Quoting mikiemom:


the main issue with homeschooling is the parents lack of education. it's not really abou religion, it's about the the child learning wha they need to learn to be sucessful in the world we live in.


 

Quoting JCB911:

I don't doubt the article - but IMO there are kooks everywhere. It sounds as though their complaint is more with parenting and religion than homeschooling.

And the suicide, cutting, depression - that happens to kids who go to school as well, not just the crazy religious homeschoolers.

We're homeschoolers, not for religious reasons (although we are Christians).  I just don't want my kids to be bored in school like I was.  Learning is fun and school just sucks all the fun out of it!








AutymsMommy
by Silver Member on Apr. 16, 2013 at 9:15 PM
3 moms liked this

Is everyone aware that these were written by those raised in fundamentalist, extremist, Christian homes... isolated from others?

This isn't the homeschooling world of yesteryear. These days, there are many, many NON religious homesschoolers, and even those who ARE religious and homeschool generally immerse their children in extracurriculars and very much get them out "in the real world".

Our "outside the home" schedule for this upcoming fall is already looking INSANE - from the private school model homeschool co-op that lasts all day Monday, ballet on Tuesday, CCD and gymnastics on Wednesday, ballet on Thursday, and another co-op on Friday, and the inevitable playing in the neighborhood with friends that will last most (if not all) of the weekend... why, I have no clue when I'll have TIME to get my poor homeschooled kiddos out into "the real world", lol.

Also, why is this only a concern for homeschoolers? I see no bashing of those who send their children to religious private schools - why isn't there a concern of indoctrination and isolation from those who aren't "similar" there?

I am a Home Schooling, Vaccinating, Non spanking, Nightmare Cuddling, Dessert Giving, Bedtime Kissing, Book Reading, Stay at Home Mom. I believe in the benefit of organized after school activities and nosy, involved parents. I believe in spoiling my children. I believe that I have seen the village and I do not want it anywhere near my children. Now for the controversial stuff: we have traditional gender roles, we're Catholic, I'm Libertarian, he's Republican, we're both conservative, and we own guns (now there's no need to ask, lol).             Aimee














autodidact
by Platinum Member on Apr. 16, 2013 at 9:19 PM


watch out, if you admit to unschooling someone will insist you're "lazy". 

Quoting Farmlady09:

Mine did ~

I didn't homeschool for religious reasons, nor did I base anything I taught on religion. In fact, I insisted that my boys study a great many other religions, both historically as well as for the purpose of understanding that there are a great many things that people believe. I unschooled more than I 'schooled' in any case, and all three of my boys held part time jobs while they were homeschooling. All three bought their own first vehicles, all three attended college afterward.

I realize there are parents who are NOT capable of homeschooling. I realize that there are parents who ONLY do so for religious reasons ~ but I will not say they are wrong except on a case by case basis. Parents DO have a right to teach their children about their own beliefs ~ and to expect those children to adhere to those tenets while they are growing up and living at home.

No one here who is against religion seems to do any differently, but 'you' do consider yourself to be far better for not including religion in your home. The plain truth is that 'you' teach your beliefs just the same way a religious parent does ... and most of you gripe loudly when anyone 'dare' even say something or pass along a religious pamphlet that 'your' child might see.

Well, get a grip, because what you don't believe is JUST as offensive to people who believe differently than you do as what they believe is to you. 'You' can not prove that 'you' are right any more than they can.

After reading the article a second time, I stand by my original thought which is that the issue here wasn't religion, but the parents/parenting skills and teaching ability.


Quoting mikiemom:


the main issue with homeschooling is the parents lack of education. it's not really abou religion, it's about the the child learning wha they need to learn to be sucessful in the world we live in.


 

Quoting JCB911:

I don't doubt the article - but IMO there are kooks everywhere. It sounds as though their complaint is more with parenting and religion than homeschooling.

And the suicide, cutting, depression - that happens to kids who go to school as well, not just the crazy religious homeschoolers.

We're homeschoolers, not for religious reasons (although we are Christians).  I just don't want my kids to be bored in school like I was.  Learning is fun and school just sucks all the fun out of it!










AutymsMommy
by Silver Member on Apr. 16, 2013 at 9:20 PM
5 moms liked this


Yes, the same public school system you tout as "best", obviously did you a world of good...

Here's the thing - if you feel your public school education didn't prepare you well enough that you could successfully educate one or two of your own children, please do not suggest it as the best option for everyone else.

Quoting mikiemom:


the main issue with homeschooling is the parents lack of education. it's not really abou religion, it's about the the child learning wha they need to learn to be sucessful in the world we live in.


 

Quoting JCB911:

I don't doubt the article - but IMO there are kooks everywhere. It sounds as though their complaint is more with parenting and religion than homeschooling.

And the suicide, cutting, depression - that happens to kids who go to school as well, not just the crazy religious homeschoolers.

We're homeschoolers, not for religious reasons (although we are Christians).  I just don't want my kids to be bored in school like I was.  Learning is fun and school just sucks all the fun out of it!





I am a Home Schooling, Vaccinating, Non spanking, Nightmare Cuddling, Dessert Giving, Bedtime Kissing, Book Reading, Stay at Home Mom. I believe in the benefit of organized after school activities and nosy, involved parents. I believe in spoiling my children. I believe that I have seen the village and I do not want it anywhere near my children. Now for the controversial stuff: we have traditional gender roles, we're Catholic, I'm Libertarian, he's Republican, we're both conservative, and we own guns (now there's no need to ask, lol).             Aimee














LindaClement
by Thatwoman on Apr. 16, 2013 at 9:22 PM

What's wrong with being lazy?

We unschooled from day 1... never found any good reason to stop.

Quoting autodidact:


watch out, if you admit to unschooling someone will insist you're "lazy". 

Quoting Farmlady09:

Mine did ~

I didn't homeschool for religious reasons, nor did I base anything I taught on religion. In fact, I insisted that my boys study a great many other religions, both historically as well as for the purpose of understanding that there are a great many things that people believe. I unschooled more than I 'schooled' in any case, and all three of my boys held part time jobs while they were homeschooling. All three bought their own first vehicles, all three attended college afterward.

I realize there are parents who are NOT capable of homeschooling. I realize that there are parents who ONLY do so for religious reasons ~ but I will not say they are wrong except on a case by case basis. Parents DO have a right to teach their children about their own beliefs ~ and to expect those children to adhere to those tenets while they are growing up and living at home.

No one here who is against religion seems to do any differently, but 'you' do consider yourself to be far better for not including religion in your home. The plain truth is that 'you' teach your beliefs just the same way a religious parent does ... and most of you gripe loudly when anyone 'dare' even say something or pass along a religious pamphlet that 'your' child might see.

Well, get a grip, because what you don't believe is JUST as offensive to people who believe differently than you do as what they believe is to you. 'You' can not prove that 'you' are right any more than they can.

After reading the article a second time, I stand by my original thought which is that the issue here wasn't religion, but the parents/parenting skills and teaching ability.


Quoting mikiemom:


the main issue with homeschooling is the parents lack of education. it's not really abou religion, it's about the the child learning wha they need to learn to be sucessful in the world we live in.


 

Quoting JCB911:

I don't doubt the article - but IMO there are kooks everywhere. It sounds as though their complaint is more with parenting and religion than homeschooling.

And the suicide, cutting, depression - that happens to kids who go to school as well, not just the crazy religious homeschoolers.

We're homeschoolers, not for religious reasons (although we are Christians).  I just don't want my kids to be bored in school like I was.  Learning is fun and school just sucks all the fun out of it!








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