Raised Quiverfull: A Homeschooling Future?

Do you plan to homeschool/are you homeschooling your children? Why or why not? If you do plan to homeschool, in what ways will you/do you do it differently from your parents?

Joe:

We tried for two years and were miserable failures.  Not only did we discover we had no life outside of child rearing and schooling and feeding and changing diapers and blah blah blah, but we discovered that you cannot fit a child into a cookie cutter teaching style.  My wife had a very distinct teaching style and it worked admirably on our first daughter and yet failed completely on the next two.  We put them in public school and they flourished – all of them.  And they have friends now.  Friends with different perspectives.  And they are living and breathing and…they haven’t sacrificed a baby to the devil yet.

That was a bit of tongue and cheek and yet, not so much.  We have been warned that our children will be ruined.  At least now, I can blame it on the teachers and wash my hands of all responsibility.

Latebloomer:

I believe that there are good reasons to homeschool, as long as parents try to compensate for the inherent weaknesses of homeschooling (lack of socialization, too much monitoring and control by parents, difficulty teaching more advanced subjects, etc.).   Personally, I will not consider homeschooling unless I feel we have exhausted every other option; if I homeschool, it will be temporary and my children will participate in non-homeschooling activities as much as possible.

Libby Anne:

I do not plan to homeschool my children. It’s not that I don’t think I could do well by them academically – I know I could – but rather that I want them to have the socialization experience I never had. I want them to learn how to handle playground politics, to have teachers who aren’t me, and to have the opportunity to be involved in band, or soccer, or chess club. I want her to have the chance to be normal that I never had. I plan to be very involved in their education, of course, and were there to be some huge issue, I could see homeschooling temporarily.

Lisa:

I will never homeschool my children. If I stay in Germany I don’t have a choice anyway since homeschooling isn’t an option here. If I go back to the U.S., I just don’t think I would enjoy doing it.

Mattie:

I reserve the right to change my mind on this, but: I tentatively plan to homeschool. My husband has a vision for the possibilities that open up for a thorough and tailored education when a student has more freedom and one-on-one attention. I benefitted from this myself, and am really glad I had the opportunities I had as a homeschooler to study more thoroughly certain things which caught my attention.

That said, I would like to avoid the pitfalls which my family experienced: homeschooling isn’t an identity or a calling–we’ll do it if it’s the best option available. We’ll re-evaluate the decision to homeschool for each child, each year. I also will be very open to co-op classes and collaborative learning opportunities. And finally, I need to be very careful to avoid letting myself get burned out and becoming depressed (like my mom did a time or two). My husband is heartily in favor of this and wants to be really involved in teaching our kids (unlike my dad), and this excites me.

Melissa:

At this point, no. Our oldest child is going to Kindergarten this fall. Both my spouse and I feel that homeschooling puts a huge amount of control into the parent’s hands, we both want more community and input and interaction for our kids. I want my children to have a variety of experiences and idea they encounter. I am still nervous about putting my kids in school, because I have literally no experience in that area, so I wonder how I will be able to help them with any problems they may encounter. I still toy with the idea of taking them all out for a year of traveling someday when they are older.

Sarah:

I do not plan to homeschool my potential future children for a number of reasons. First, I do not plan to be a stay-at-home mom. I didn’t leave the house for years of my life, and I know I would lose it if I ever went back to that. I have a lot to offer the world, and I do not plan to closet myself away in the home. Secondly, I want to be a mother to my children. I do not want to taint that relationship by also being their teacher, their supervisor, their principal, and their surrogate friend. I want my children to have a broader frame of reference than just my own. I want them to have other role models and examples besides myself. I also just don’t think I’m cut out to be a teacher.

Sierra:

I would never homeschool a child past elementary school, because I would want my child to have experiences that bind generations together. I want my child to listen to popular music, wear shorts, hang out at the beach, swear and play sports. I want my child to go to prom and graduate in a big pompous ceremony. I want my child to have friends of all genders, races and sexualities. I want my child to have expert teachers.

I would consider homeschooling a very sensitive child for the first year or two, and I would thoroughly check out any school (public or private) that was within reach before enrolling. My child would probably have a more balanced homeschool education than I did, since my partner is into math and science and those are my weak points.

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Raised Quiverfull Introduction — Homeschooling Summary

 

About Libby Anne

Libby Anne grew up in a large evangelical homeschool family highly involved in the Christian Right. College turned her world upside down, and she is today an atheist, a feminist, and a progressive. She blogs about leaving religion, her experience with the Christian Patriarchy and Quiverfull movements, the detrimental effects of the "purity culture," the contradictions of conservative politics, and the importance of feminism.

  • shadowspring

    I love the thoughtfulness each of your panel authors show in their responses! I also love the variety in their answers. The world is such a big place with so many options. It’s exciting to see “sheltered” students unafraid of what the world has to offer.

    My daughter at this point never wants to be pregnant, and would only consider adoption, but she would love to home school if she becomes a parent, at least for the early years. My son, who plans to be a doctor, says that whatever his wife wants to do is fine by him, as you can’t really be a full-time physician and home school. I am so proud of them both.

    I used to freak the other religious home schooling moms by saying that I wanted other adults involved in my children’s lives, because the world has more to offer than I can personally present. By the time my children were in middle school, I would say, “Trust me, at this point they know everything I think about everything I think about! I am always talking. No secrets here.” and then I would laugh.

    I think Mattie’s experience comes closest to our family’s experience, but if I hadn’t had my own awakening while my daughter was in her teens, we would have been more like Libby’s and Sierra’s families. Education and our child’s personal need/interests were the initial motivations in all three families, right? Then religion took over to one degree or another.

    One thing my kids are adamant about (and I am proud of this too!): no Christian schools! It’s either public, secular private, or home schooling for them. Also, that’s the only thing they are dogmatic about: stay away from fundamentalists! :p And if you’re going to be dogmatic about something, that’s seems like a good place to let it rip.

  • Red

    Wow, I too love the thoughtful responses here! I was not homeschooled but had many friends who were, so I recognize both the pleasures and the pitfalls that your panel is bringing up.

    When I was little I used to beg my parents to homeschool me, but I am so glad they did not. I have struggled with anxiety in my life–when I was a teen I had agoraphobia and became afraid to leave my family and the house–and having to go to school every day taught me how to continue on in the real world even when my anxieties were attacking. Even when I felt bad, I had to get up, get dressed, go to class, get my homework done, etc. Had I been homeschooled, I would have become used to shutting down and staying indoors every time my emotions got a bit out-of-whack. I can’t imagine where I would be today if I’d gotten into that habit!

    I also second the panelist who stated that parents have a different sort of relationship with their kids when they homeschool. My mother always says she didn’t homeschool me because we didn’t have the right type of relationship–she didn’t think she could motivate me the way a teacher could. Looking back, I am so glad that my Mom and I did not have the stress factor of schoolwork hanging between us. It allowed us a much easier relationship as I grew into my teen years.

  • ArachneS

    I am also one who will not home school unless something drastic warrants it. I’m disorganized, being at home all the time makes me feel stifled and inevitably puts me in a cranky mood. I’m no good as a teacher, I would end up getting frustrated all the time. If something happened where it was our last good option, I would have husband be more involved with math and science, I would look at tutors who have more teaching experience. And I would DEFinitly get my kids into groups and extracurriculars as available.

    But truly, I do not want to home school. So in all likelihood I never will again.

  • Molly

    I really enjoy your blog–fascinating to me! I’m following this homeschooling topic with interest because I am an adult homeschooler who now home schools. I have no regrets or critiques of my homeschooling past and really can’t imagine sending my own kids to school. The difference between us is that I was not religious–in fact, interacting with fundamentalist families as a homeschooler left a very bad taste in my mouth about religion. I think that is why I’m so fascinated by your blog–it sheds light/detail on this families who so confused and also frightened/worried me as a kid. Anyway, my own reflections on my homeschooled past are here: http://talkbirth.me/2011/09/28/my-homeschooling-life-story-part-1-of-2/

  • http://www.ringaroundthephonics.com/ educator

    As a tutor, I find that even if parents place their children in the public school system, they almost always have to supplement with extra help at home (home school) to make up for the problems associated with public schools.

  • AnotherOne

    Joe, you are awesome. I love reading your posts.

  • http://christiancompletely.blogspot.com/ Skarlet

    “Do you plan to homeschool/are you homeschooling your children? Why or why not? If you do plan to homeschool, in what ways will you/do you do it differently from your parents?”

    I do plan to homeschool my children. I feel like I have a very rich background, one which I would not give up for anything in the world. Academically and mentally (logically), I am very content with where I am now, and the level of interest in knowledge that was always inspired during my homeschooling experience. I wouldn’t want my own children to have less.

    I don’t know whether I will do it differently than my parents did. I think that they had a very balanced and flexible system of schooling, and I want mine to be equally helpful, balanced, and flexible. There is no cookie-cutter mold. A method of teaching one child might not help another of my children, so there’s room for more than one method. One thing that I would change, though, is that I would add more teaching about politics and economics, because I left highschool feeling that I really didn’t understand the political system. Another thing I would change is that I would have more hands-on learning, and would make more subjects immediately applicable to real-life situations. We are fundamentally more interested in something if we can see it’s practical application.

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