More Blatant Hypocrisy from Chris Jeub

Last year, many in the homeschool alumni reform movement were encouraged by the support of Chris Jeub, a homeschooling father of 16 (and author and speaker) who denounced “patriarchy” and urged other homeschooling parents to listen to our concerns. But then Chris’s daughter Cynthia began blogging, and we learned that Chris was saying one thing and doing another. (I wrote about this at the time.) Today, I want to call out another a piece of hypocrisy on Chris’s part. This week... Read more

Things HSLDA Opposes: Marriage Equality

View series intro here, and all posts here. HSLDA opposes marriage equality. This is perhaps the oddest entry of my “Things HSLDA Opposes” so far. By and large, we have been able to link HSLDA’s opposition to things that are not homeschool related—such as required eye examinations for public school students—to their position on parental rights. This one seems more removed. And yet. HSLDA helpfully explains this position in a page titled Why HSLDA Is Fighting Same-Sex Marriage. Let’s take a look!... Read more

Why the Pope’s Recent Comments on Limiting Family Size Were Not Actually “Compassionate”

While in college, I converted to Catholicism. I went through the full process and was received into the Church. I still have the dress I wore that day. As a newly married Catholic, I relied on natural family planning (NFP) to plan and space out my children. Even after I found that I no longer believed in God, I continued using NFP, largely because I liked that it was natural and I was taught growing up that artificial birth control was little... Read more

Grown Children and Estranged Parents

A recent headline caught my eye: Why Some Grown Kids Cut Off Their Parents Could their estrangement be caused by how we raised them? My immediate response was, wow, you think? Like, you abuse and mistreat your kids and then wonder why they don’t want you in their lives when they grow up? Really? But as I read the article itself, I realized that this wasn’t what the author meant. And as I read, I was increasingly horrified. The Rise Of Narcissism In... Read more

How Spanking Sounds to a Never-Spanked 5-Year-Old

Have you ever wondered how the idea of spanking comes across to a child who has never been spanked? I wondered, too, and given that I have a never-spanked five-year-old, I thought I’d find out. This conversation is the result. “Sally, do you think mommies and daddies should be able to hit their children?” “No.” “But what if their children do something wrong? Should parents be able to hit their children then?” “No!” “Why not?” “They should use words, they’re... Read more

On Silencing and Dogmatism and Blogging

As an ex-evangelical and blogger, I am sometimes accused of having exchanged one form of fundamentalism for another. There are other arguments I run into that are similarly problematic. There have been some incidents in the past week where commenters have accused myself or other commenters of retaining fundamentalist thinking or of silencing disagreement, and these accusations are always frustrating. So let’s clear some things up, shall we? Being told you are wrong is not the same thing as being “silenced.” Sometimes an individual will... Read more

Michael Farris’s Selective Interest in Protecting Children

In the most recent installment of my Anonymous Tip review series, social workers Donna and Rita forcibly strip-searched four-year-old Casey. In the comments, a reader pointed this out: The strip-search bit sounds (to me, anyway) awfully similar to a spanking. Child is pinned down against her will, clothing is removed against her will, child writhes and screams to no avail… Casey is probably surprised that after this, the social workers just let her go instead of whacking her with a... Read more

Anonymous Tip: Where Things Go Haywire

Anonymous Tip: A Review Series As you may remember, we are reviewing Michael Farris’s 1996 novel, Anonymous Tip. If you have missed the series so far, you still have time to catch up—we are only a few weeks in. Let me review for a moment, to make sure what has happened so far is still fresh in everyone’s minds! In the first installment, Gordon called the child abuse tip line to make a false report on his ex-wife, Gwen, regarding their four-year-old... Read more

Dolls, Yes; Ballerinas, No

It may surprise some readers to know that in spite of my parents’ patriarchal beliefs, they gave one of my brothers a doll for Christmas one year—because he had begged for a doll of his own. My parents believed that my brothers were preparing to be fathers, and that that meant boys playing with dolls was perfectly acceptable. There’s lots more, too. There’s the brother who built his own dollhouse so that he could get in on dollhouse play with his... Read more

Things HSLDA Opposes: Required Medical Exams for Public School Students

Click here to read the full series. While researching for this series, I came upon this from Illinois in 2009: Summary: Amends the School Code. With respect to the requirement that children enrolling in kindergarten have an eye examination, requires the use of dilating drops for the internal and external examination. HSLDA’s Position: Oppose. No explanation, nothing. HSLDA has absolutely no reason to weigh in on this at all. It does not affect homeschoolers in any way. That they did, however,... Read more