Sometimes Outward Appearances Lie


Mary's story is one of the most horrific yet posted on Homeschoolers Anonymous. I say "one of" because there are others just as bad, and some worse. Growing up, Mary was starved, thrown outside for days at a time in the cold with no coat until she nearly froze to death, and deprived of sleep as a child until she could barely stand. And yet, all those years, no one who knew her family knew any of this was going on. As for my parents, I can assure you that they were not the “fringe” in hom … [Read more...]

Gentle Discipline and Shades of Formula Parenting


There appears to be a growing trend in some Christian homeschooling circles away from corporal punishment. The term generally used instead is "gentle discipline," and it sounds in many ways quite similar to what I call "positive parenting." I hesitate to make the critique I'm about to make, because I truly am glad that these parents are deciding not to spank.The thing is, when I read blog posts by mothers into gentle discipline, I am sometimes afraid that they have simply exchanged one … [Read more...]

My Concerns about Unschooling


I have a friend who unschools her two children, and is passionate about unschooling as an educational method. Here children are ten and eight now, and she's been unschooling them since her oldest hit kindergarten. She takes them to museums and art shows and cultural festivals, she takes them to living history parks and art classes and science programs, she takes them to planetarium shows and on county geological field trips and to the library. Their home is full of material that is … [Read more...]

Homeschool Relationships in the Purity Culture

A guest rant by KateThis is my experience: Dating is only if you want to get married, so don’t date in high school. Be careful when you talk to guys, because you might lead them on, so just be careful what you say and how you act. Making friends of the opposite sex is a useless endeavor anyway, since you will undoubetedly end up attracted to each other, and there is no point having a relationship in high school.But just say you try starting a friendship with someone, when you’ve been tol … [Read more...]

Homeschool Victim Blaming

Yesterday I posted about a young woman I know---Sarah---who was homeschooled, and wasn't taught science. She credited her mother's failure to cover science as part of her homeschool education to the lack of accountability for homeschoolers in her state---a state with no oversight of homeschoolers whatsoever. Here is what one of the commenters---a homeschool parent---had to say in the comments section of that post: There's no reason an adult, such as this young woman, cannot self educate herself … [Read more...]

Judaism 101: Gehenna (Hell)


In this segment of my Judaism 101 series, the panelists discuss the Jewish view of hell---or to put it in Jewish terminology, Gehenna. While I was questioning my evangelical beliefs, I remember very clearly the day I suddenly asked my self "what does the Old Testament actually say about hell?" The answer, I concluded, was not much---or at least not much that resembled the Christian version of hell that I had grown up with. Ever since then, I've been fascinated by the differences between the … [Read more...]

“There Was No Accountability”

Failing grade

I was recently talking to a new friend of mine, a young woman named Sarah who grew up homeschooled in the same state I did. We were talking about things like co-ops and curriculum when she admitted something."You know, I never actually studied science.""But how?" I asked."There was no accountability," she responded, shrugging.I nodded. She was right---the state we grew up in has no subject requirements or assessments, and no registration requirement."We had the Apologia … [Read more...]