“One More Never Made a Difference”

I grew up in a very large homeschooling family, and people were always surprised when they found out how many children my parents had. Sometimes it came from a stranger, a sort of incredulous sort of shock. Sometimes, coming from other homeschooling parents, it was a sort of admiring awe. One thing I remember clearly is my mom's response to people's shock, surprise, and awe. After about five kids, one more never made a difference! At the time, I smiled and nodded in agreement. We children ate … [Read more...]


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“The Rod Is a Tool To Stay Connected.” Say What?

I recently got a rather odd comment on a post in which I discussed Michael and Debi Pearl and their child training methods: You are taking the book out of context. The point they continued to emphasize was that you need to keep in communion with your children and the rod is a tool to stay connected. Look, the book is now online, so it's not like people can't read it for themselves and see whether or not I'm not taking it out of context (I'm not). But the thing is, it is true that the Pearls … [Read more...]


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Dear Pearls: Crying Is How Babies Communicate

I spent an hour this evening at the park with Sally and Bobby. I put Bobby in a swing, and gave him a good push, and you should have seen his face---it was like he'd just realized he had wings! After he'd been in the swing for about fifteen minutes, I took Bobby out to take him to play with something else. He immediately stiffened and started screaming, bucking and thrashing until it was all I could do to hold onto him (he's getting big!). So I put him down and watched him crumple, collapsing on … [Read more...]


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The Breaking of a Child: A Story of Near Disaster

The next day was Tuesday. Hope did not say please and so did not have breakfast, lunch, or her bottle. By late afternoon Hope had gone for forty-eight hours---two straight days---with nothing to eat or drink but a single six ounce bottle of milk. By that time she was beginning to act strangely. Her usual vivaciousness had disappeared, replaced with a sort of melancholy. She lay on the couch listlessly, uninterested in playing or even reading books.  --------------- I've hesitated from sharing t … [Read more...]


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Some Michael Pearl Quotes on Child Training

I recently found the full text of Michael Pearl's To Train Up a Child online, in case anyone is interested. I also found some compilations of quotes and basic teachings from both that book and another of the Pearls books, and the transcript for an interview between Anderson Cooper and Michael Pearl. I want to pull all of these things together for those who may be interested.First, a selection of quotes and recommendations from To Train Up a Child. The Pearls recommend whipping infants only a … [Read more...]


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Trained Monkeys and Seeing-Eye Dogs

If parents carefully and consistently train up their children, their performance will be superior to that of a well-trained seeing-eye dog. This quote from Michael Pearl brought to mind a section in Robert Kunzman's book, Write These Laws on Your Children: Inside the World of Conservative Christian Homeschooling. In this excerpt, Kunzman, a researcher, is visiting a large homeschooling family in Tennessee who follow the Pearls child training methods. Gary, the father, demonstrates his child … [Read more...]


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“Boys Are Wonderful and Wild and Dirty”—And So Is Sally

I just came upon this sentence in a comment on a blog post on some other blog out in the blogosphere: Boys are wonderful and wild and dirty and tender and love their mamas and want to be like their daddies. Here's the thing: Sally is wonderful and wild and dirty and tender and loves her mama and wants to be like her daddy.A couple months ago I was at a wedding, and an older woman stopped by me to admire my small son Bobby, who had just started furniture creeping. He had a bruise on his … [Read more...]


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