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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 (401-404):
Bonneata
by on Apr. 22, 2013 at 12:26 PM


I am not continueing to argue with someone who is so concerned with being the grammar police thy completely miss the point. Have a nice day! 

Quoting autodidact:



Quoting Bonneata:


I admit I am not flawless with my grammar but it doesn't mean I haven't been an effective tutor in that area. There is a reason for it I do not care to discuss as my grammar is not the subject of the discussion.


As you're a teacher who's casting aspersions on the ability of others to teach, while showing a lack of grade school grammatical and spelling skills, it is most certainly pertinent.

So are you saying a mom with an 8 th grade education is qualified to homeschool there kid? I should hope not. As for public schools have you ever thought one of the reasons they are failing is because the only people person being held accountable for our kids' education is the teacher? I won't argue that there are ineffective teachers out there

you mean that there are not? 

but how about ineffective school administrators? I can't remember the last time a principal or superintendent was fired in my neck of the woods.

Just curious why do you feel that 3 years of college was "not worth it"? I have six years of college and it was totally worth it. That education has been invaluable to me in so many ways. 

Quoting bellaamore:

And my point is that schooling doesnt a qualifiedteacher make.


See how that works? Parents teach their kids subjects they are "qualifed" to teach by your standards by uses other resources available to them, just as I suspect you teach English and spelling.

Quoting Bonneata:


My point was not that parents aren't qualified to homeschool their kids. The point is not all parents are qualified to homeschool. 

Quoting bellaamore:

Because your point is that parents arent qualified to teach all subjects, it is invalid. You are not qualified to teach English or Spelling. Period.


Just like you use lesson plans, curriculum and other sources to cover bases you arent exemplary in, parents do as well.

My mother, both grandmothers and all aunts are teachers and thi Im an exceptional teacher. :) i did go to college for three years to get my Early Childhood Education degree and decided it wasn't worth it. Formerly mentioned family members agreed. The system is flawed and cannot be saved. Public schools are now doi g more harm than good a majority of the time.

Quoting Bonneata:

Teachers education is more than being a master of anyone subject. It is understanding how people learn, think, take in information , classroom management , curricula devolpment, and collaboration with parents and other teachers as well. My degree required demonstrating mastery in several major subjects and the best way to teach them . So yes I am Definatly more qualified than you unless you have a master degree. 

Quoting bellaamore:

Yet here is the issue.

You are an educator with the state reccommended educaton to teach children? In my opinion youare not qualified, as you have terrible sentence structure, poor grammar, and atrocious spelling.

So, how are you any more qualified to teach than I am?

Quoting Bonneata:


I don't know where you live but where I live educators are held very very accountable the education of our young children. Teachers in every state go to school for at least for years if not more ( I went six) to earn a teaching licsense. Lets not forget in most states the standards are continuely raised . I know in the state I went to school in my degree now takes an extra 2 years. So do not think for a milisecond that there is no accountability. Public school education has room for a lot of improvement. Now let me be clear with my argument if I as an educator have to held accountable for the education of the students assigned to me the same should apply to parents who homeschool there children. 

Quoting talia-mom:

No, I don't.   We don't hold public schools accountable for their poor education they often provide to many, many more kids.


Quoting Bonneata:


So let me get this straight you think parents shouldn't be held accountable by any government entity concern there child's education if they choose to homeschool? Which FYI I am not against. 

Quoting talia-mom:

In my state, kids have the right to an education. Your opinion on homeschool is worth as much as crawfish shells.

Nothing regulates it needs to be controlled by the stAte.


Quoting Bonneata:


How is ensuring the right of the child to an appropriate education violating the parents rights? Children have the right to an education that will prepare them to make it in the real world. Not every parent is capable of doing this in the home. 


Quoting sha_lyn68:

So you want to violate the constitutional rights of homeschool parents?

Quoting Bonneata:


I made the suggestion of the social worker do to the worst case scenarios. The worst case scenario I observed was as bad if not worse the what was mentioned in the post. I mean unannounced visits periodicly. 



Quoting autodidact:

No, this points out the obvious flaws of extremists homeschooling without accountability. 

Homeschooling is insufficient grounds for home intrusion by a social worker. 

and it's their, not there.



Quoting Bonneata:

 This points out the obvious flaws with homeschooling. For starters it needs to be regulated and properly overseen in every state. Not every parent is qualified to home school there kids. I think it should include home visits by  a social worker and required social interaction with kids there own age. I have seen home schooling work out really well I have also seen the complete opposite ( this is why I suggest a teacher and social worker visitation ) . If we are legally required to educate our kids aren't the parents in the article breaking the law by on purposely inadequate eduacating their daughters? 































autodidact
by Platinum Member on Apr. 22, 2013 at 1:29 PM
My point is is that YOU are unfit to teach.
Posted on the NEW CafeMom Mobile
autodidact
by Platinum Member on Apr. 22, 2013 at 1:30 PM
1 mom liked this
No, I did not, the point is that you are unfit to teach.


Quoting Bonneata:


I am not continueing to argue with someone who is so concerned with being the grammar police thy completely miss the point. Have a nice day! 


Quoting autodidact:




Quoting Bonneata:


I admit I am not flawless with my grammar but it doesn't mean I haven't been an effective tutor in that area. There is a reason for it I do not care to discuss as my grammar is not the subject of the discussion.


As you're a teacher who's casting aspersions on the ability of others to teach, while showing a lack of grade school grammatical and spelling skills, it is most certainly pertinent.

So are you saying a mom with an 8 th grade education is qualified to homeschool there kid? I should hope not. As for public schools have you ever thought one of the reasons they are failing is because the only people person being held accountable for our kids' education is the teacher? I won't argue that there are ineffective teachers out there

you mean that there are not? 

but how about ineffective school administrators? I can't remember the last time a principal or superintendent was fired in my neck of the woods.

Just curious why do you feel that 3 years of college was "not worth it"? I have six years of college and it was totally worth it. That education has been invaluable to me in so many ways. 


Quoting bellaamore:

And my point is that schooling doesnt a qualifiedteacher make.


See how that works? Parents teach their kids subjects they are "qualifed" to teach by your standards by uses other resources available to them, just as I suspect you teach English and spelling.

Quoting Bonneata:


My point was not that parents aren't qualified to homeschool their kids. The point is not all parents are qualified to homeschool. 


Quoting bellaamore:

Because your point is that parents arent qualified to teach all subjects, it is invalid. You are not qualified to teach English or Spelling. Period.


Just like you use lesson plans, curriculum and other sources to cover bases you arent exemplary in, parents do as well.

My mother, both grandmothers and all aunts are teachers and thi Im an exceptional teacher. :) i did go to college for three years to get my Early Childhood Education degree and decided it wasn't worth it. Formerly mentioned family members agreed. The system is flawed and cannot be saved. Public schools are now doi g more harm than good a majority of the time.

Quoting Bonneata:

Teachers education is more than being a master of anyone subject. It is understanding how people learn, think, take in information , classroom management , curricula devolpment, and collaboration with parents and other teachers as well. My degree required demonstrating mastery in several major subjects and the best way to teach them . So yes I am Definatly more qualified than you unless you have a master degree. 


Quoting bellaamore:

Yet here is the issue.

You are an educator with the state reccommended educaton to teach children? In my opinion youare not qualified, as you have terrible sentence structure, poor grammar, and atrocious spelling.

So, how are you any more qualified to teach than I am?

Quoting Bonneata:


I don't know where you live but where I live educators are held very very accountable the education of our young children. Teachers in every state go to school for at least for years if not more ( I went six) to earn a teaching licsense. Lets not forget in most states the standards are continuely raised . I know in the state I went to school in my degree now takes an extra 2 years. So do not think for a milisecond that there is no accountability. Public school education has room for a lot of improvement. Now let me be clear with my argument if I as an educator have to held accountable for the education of the students assigned to me the same should apply to parents who homeschool there children. 


Quoting talia-mom:

No, I don't.   We don't hold public schools accountable for their poor education they often provide to many, many more kids.



Quoting Bonneata:


So let me get this straight you think parents shouldn't be held accountable by any government entity concern there child's education if they choose to homeschool? Which FYI I am not against. 


Quoting talia-mom:

In my state, kids have the right to an education. Your opinion on homeschool is worth as much as crawfish shells.



Nothing regulates it needs to be controlled by the stAte.





Quoting Bonneata:


How is ensuring the right of the child to an appropriate education violating the parents rights? Children have the right to an education that will prepare them to make it in the real world. Not every parent is capable of doing this in the home. 



Quoting sha_lyn68:

So you want to violate the constitutional rights of homeschool parents?

Quoting Bonneata:


I made the suggestion of the social worker do to the worst case scenarios. The worst case scenario I observed was as bad if not worse the what was mentioned in the post. I mean unannounced visits periodicly. 




Quoting autodidact:

No, this points out the obvious flaws of extremists homeschooling without accountability. 

Homeschooling is insufficient grounds for home intrusion by a social worker. 

and it's their, not there.




Quoting Bonneata:

 This points out the obvious flaws with homeschooling. For starters it needs to be regulated and properly overseen in every state. Not every parent is qualified to home school there kids. I think it should include home visits by  a social worker and required social interaction with kids there own age. I have seen home schooling work out really well I have also seen the complete opposite ( this is why I suggest a teacher and social worker visitation ) . If we are legally required to educate our kids aren't the parents in the article breaking the law by on purposely inadequate eduacating their daughters? 












































Posted on the NEW CafeMom Mobile
sha_lyn68
by Bronze Member on Apr. 22, 2013 at 1:51 PM

The more she posts the more convinced I am that she is a "polly" trying to make all teachers look like they are  militantly anti-homeschooling while holding many double standards. I mean look at her argument that while she has very poor grammar skills, she is still a great English tutor. Seriously? Homeschool parents are unfit because they lack a degree, but a lack in basic grammar stills doesn't make on unfit to tutor a student in grammar skills.

Quoting autodidact:

No, I did not, the point is that you are unfit to teach.


Quoting Bonneata:


I am not continueing to argue with someone who is so concerned with being the grammar police thy completely miss the point. Have a nice day! 

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