Vyckie's Tour de Crap: Homeschool? Oh, I Could Never Do That!

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This photo of my lovely children was taken on Mother’s Day ~ 2005.

Here’s another article that I wrote back when I was “quivering.” (‹(ô¿ô)›) The reason I wanted to share it here is simply to make the point that, for me (and I believe MANY quiverfullers), it was a “package deal.” We started out homeschooling (and I’m not saying that ALL homeschoolers go down this exact same path ~ but we certainly weren’t the only ones) ~ and everything else flowed from there.

I remember that after years and years of getting deeper and deeper, I began to sort of dread opening a new issue of Home School Digest, “The Quarterly Journal for Serious Home Schoolers .” (This was my favorite magazine ~ I often reprinted their articles in my paper and Skeet occasionally published my articles in her magazine.) I’d be thinking to myself, Oh boy ~ what’s next? BUT ~ that apprehension I felt was always coupled with excitement at the thought that we were learning new ways to live out the principles of a truly godly, biblical family so as to bring glory to the Lord and to be Salt & Light to our friends, family and community.

HOMESCHOOL? OH, I COULD NEVER DO THAT!
by vyckie bennett

Those were my exact words when our pastor’s wife, Joann suggested that we try homeschooling. When Warren had a cornea transplant in 1988, he was instructed by the doctors not to do anything for six months – he wasn’t even allowed to sneeze for fear of rejection of the new cornea. So I bought him a set of alphabet flashcards and, although he couldn’t see them, since they were all in order, he was able to teach Angel her letters and their sounds. Eventually, the transplant was rejected and Warren did not recover his eyesight, but that half a year was anything but a waste of time – our four-year-old had learned to read!

We were faced with a dilemma – Angel’s birthday isn’t until November, so it would be another year before she could enter Kindergarten. We worried that when she finally was old enough for the classroom she would be bored to tears academically.
I was sure that I could never teach at home even though I was in my second year of college working towards a degree in education. I didn’t have the patience, nor the time, nor even the desire to have my overly-talkative, very curious child at home all day, every day looking to me to keep her challenged.

Joann urged us to try homeschooling “for just one year” – if we found it wasn’t for our family, Angel would still be on track to enter school on schedule. She shared with us one of her homeschooling catalogs – the materials actually looked very inviting with colorful pages and simple instructions. I ordered one A Beka homeschool workbook and Angel and I were both hooked. So began our homeschool journey.

Homeschooling – It’s Not Just for the Children

Warren and I have learned much more than our children through homeschooling. The first thing I learned was to love and enjoy my children. Not that I didn’t love Angel – but she was such a handful! Cute? Yes. Smart? Very. Exhausting? Absolutely! There was no end to her cheery chatter and inquisitiveness. Angel is very outgoing and thrives on attention. I, on the other hand, am more of an introvert – interacting and relating tends to drain me and I need time alone to recharge. Also, she is highly emotional while I tend to be more logical so I was uncomfortable with what I refer to as her “gushiness.” So, I was ever eager to pass my child off on any occasion. We had her involved in all manner of activities where I could drop her off for an hour or two – or half a day – so I could be free to pursue my own interests.

Through homeschooling books and magazines I was introduced to the truth that children are a blessing and a delight. I had heard it often said that they grow up quickly and we needed to enjoy them while we have them. But the reality didn’t sink in until I began to meet other parents who actually wanted to be with their children and took pleasure in the company of their little ones.

I now understand that Angel and I are very well-suited for each other. She helps draw me out from my escapism and stoicism and I have helped her to temper her passions and not dominate conversations and relationships. I have learned not to idolize “my time” and “my interests” – now, instead of being anxious for my children to be raised so I can “get on with my life,” I see that raising children IS my life for this season and I can live and enjoy them in the present.

Once I decided that I really do love children, we wasted no time providing built-in playmates for Angel. We had six more children in eleven years. Talk about opportunities for personal growth! Warren and I have become experts in organization, time management, and all-around efficiency.

Because the children are with us all day, when character or behavior problems arise we do not have the option of letting things slide – we must either work out a solution or go crazy. This has led us to many creative solutions to family problems which might otherwise have persisted for generations. (Read my article, Bless, Do Good, Pray … 3 Remedies for Sibling Rivalry for an example of God-inspired problem solving.)

Putting the “Home” in Homeschool

An added benefit of being involved in the homeschool movement has been exposure to what I term the “Homeschool Lifestyle” – the revival of ideals and practices that have been forgotten or neglected by Christians for far too long.

Family Unity – Family life has become so fragmented in recent years with each individual member going their separate ways busily pursuing their own person agenda. The homeschool family has been likened to a team of all the same color on a Chess board – working together and all advancing in the same direction.

The Family Altar – The homeschooling community places great emphasis on the role of the father as spiritual leader. Setting aside time daily to worship, study, and discuss the Lord and His Word is THE KEY to family success.

Healthy Eating Habits – Not only do we eat together as a family every day for nearly every meal, but we now have more time and more cooks available to prepare nutritious meals so we are nourishing our children’s bodies and souls simultaneously.

Modesty – It’s too bad that fashions seen in churches these days would have been a scandal on the streets in days past. One advantage that homeschooled children enjoy is reduced peer-dependency which means they are more easily able to forego the latest trends in clothing styles.

Courtship vs. Dating – Why do we encourage our hormone-laden teens in the boyfriend / girlfriend game and then despair when they become promiscuous? Tons of time, money, and energy could be saved on abstinence education by simply eliminating the pairing off of young people who are not prepared physically, emotionally or financially for marriage. Serial dating is nothing more than practice for serial marriages.

Radically Pro-Life – A.K.A. “Quiverfull,” “allowing the Lord to plan our family,” or “trusting God with our family planning.” It is this ideal which has resulted in our having quite a few more than the average number of children. Why do Christians seek to limit the size of their families through the use of chemical birth control? The truth be told, our reasoning generally parallels that of the abortion culture – additional children will cause inconvenience, financial hardships, lifestyle constraints – all this coupled with the desire to separate sex from procreation. How can the Church expect to speak with any moral authority on the evils of abortion when we ourselves are guilty of the very anti-life values fueled by the family planning mentality?

Children Are the Real Winners

We graduated Angel in the Spring of 2004 having homeschooled her all the way through High School. She is currently living in Tennessee, pursuing music and volunteering at Above Rubies, an awesome ministry to encourage women in their role as godly wives and mothers. Recently she has almost single-handedly organized a benefit concert to raise money for a Liberian orphanage and to help bring several of the orphans to America for adoption.

Although she often thanked Warren & I for making the necessary sacrifices to teach her at home, now that she’s living in the “Real World” (a misnomer) Angel is truly appreciative and is bearing good fruit in keeping with the cultivating of the soil of her heart which we have been diligent to tend over the years.
Admittedly, we are still quite early in our parenting career with little Wesley barely two years old. Homeschooling has been our privilege and our delight. The blessings of our first fifteen years of home schooling encourage and motivate us to earnestly look forward to another sixteen or so years.

0r1order30Wesley is the beneficiary of all the wisdom gained from experiments on Angel who has so graciously served as our guinea pig.

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NLQ recommended reading:

Quivering Daughters‘ by Hillary McFarland

Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement‘ by Kathryn Joyce

  • Fi Brown

    Beautiful pictures

  • jemand

    The homeschool through highschool I’ve NEVER seen work out as well as the alternative… while younger children I’ve seen do as well in homeschool as in public or private school, the idea that overworked parents (often with younger children) can actually convey the specialized information required in the high school years just is untenable.

  • Anonymous

    …A Beka? Okay yeah. If nobody has pointed you to http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/ you really need to go there. A Beka was part of my radical Christian-school miseducation. I was pretty humiliatingly far behind on biology when I hit college, but worse was that I’d been mistaught geology and astronomy and anthropology and other sciences that contradicted literal seven-day creationism with their pesky facts.

  • aimai

    Fascinating post–beautiful pictures. What an adorable family you have. I know I’m always posting and bugging you to post more of your thoughts on some other topic but what are your thoughts on the whole father worship in QF families as it applies to sons?I’ve read tons and tons and tons of extremely saccharine and borderline creepy stuff about daughters, daughters as “cornerstones”, daughters as “virgins” and as “help-meets” and etc… but very little about sons as adolescents or as young men. What I have seen is a focus on “politeness” and preventing dating but no first person narratives where QF families admit to the difficulty of limiting their adolescent son’s exposure to the outside world while preparing them for wage earning in a hi tech world. And nothing at all about the relationships between adult mothers and their near adult sons or between these domineering fathers and their sons. I know you got out before that was an issue for you, Vyckie, but I’m wondering about how you see it?aimai

  • an atheist in the Bible belt

    jemand, how do you feel about homeschool “tutoring” groups? Most responsible home school parents that I know either have their high schoolers learn from an educated tutor for certain subjects with a small group of other homeschoolers, or they take classes at the community college. (The community college wouldn’t be an option for those who are hellbent on totally sheltering their children, so would have been irrelevant for Vyckie at the time she was writing, but not every parent homeschools for that reason). The children who are part of these groups seem to learn as well as public or private schooled children. Of course, sadly there are a lot of homeschooled children who aren’t given access to these things and simply suffer a lousy high school education.I don’t personally think that homeschooling through high school is the best choice for most children, especially if one parent is trying to manage the education for 10 children all at different levels, but separated from fundamentalism, it doesn’t have to be a recipe for educational disaster.

  • Anonymous

    Fascinating… Could have written it myself back in the day. I remember pouring over Skeet’s latest publications too! Hey, does Nancy Campbell know about Angel’s “defection?” If so, what has been her response?

  • aimai

    I can’t speak for jemand but I’ve certainly given homeschooling some thought myself. I, personally, have nothing against it. If I had ten kids and wanted them to have a private school education and couldn’t afford it I’d probably have homeschooled them myself–with the caveat that I would certainly have tried to create a mini-not-home-school with other like minded couples in order to hive off the kids to age appropriate peer groups and academically rigorous sub-topics.But that is because I would have home schooled from an academic perspective. That is, because I thought my children could best learn lots of stuff from subject matter experts and because children love to learn. One of the books one of my QF homeschooling mommies loves is John Gatto’s book on “unschooling” which I also love. There’s a long history of libertarian/anarchist very progressive approaches to child rearing and schooling that jumps very well with homeschooling. But where they part company with QF is on the level of appreciation each group gives to true academic quality and where you want your kids to go with their education. Religious homeschoolers aren’t exactly homeschooling because they have such a high level of education that public school teachers aren’t good enough–they aren’t teaching piano at home because they are concert pianists–but because they are afraid of and retreating from a world of moral chaos and technological oversophistication.My great grandparents were anarchists and my grandmother (and my grandfather who met her at her father’s anarchist commune(!)) were “homeschooled” in the anarchist tradition. You learned things because you wanted to. Want to build a canoe? Someone will teach you the math necessary to do so. Want to put on a play? Someone will teach you to read so you can read Shakespeare. But true “child led” homeschooling accords very badly with an authoritarian mindset in other things. If you have a very strong notion of what needs to be taught to the child, and how, the child isn’t truly leading the process. If you have weak notions, or are not a good teacher, the process quickly degenerates into poorly thought out make work lessons and little real learning.I can’t imagine having the skills to meet the true educational needs of several children at once while also earning a living or producing in kind for a large family as most of these women are doing. At the highest level, where the child needs highschool prep. for a serious math/science/history college course I doubt if many indivduals have the skill, even in their own field, to fully educate their own child or children. BTW on the liberal education/liberal history side of things both my grandparents ended up being scholarship students at Harvard and Radcliffe in the early part of the last century. That is, they were homeschooled to such an extent that they could also pass the Latin requirements to get in. But their community also believed in atheism and free love. Result? They were happilly and faithfully married to each other for 60 years.aimai

  • an atheist in the Bible belt

    Vyckie- I know that earlier in your story, you and Angel both said that she was miserable, starting to act out, until she eventually had a breakdown. When you wrote this article, how were things with her at the time? You talked about her in the article as if things were going very well for her. Was this well before her problems became noticeable? Or were you unable to see her unhappiness because you “needed” to believe that Quiverfull and homeschooling had been the right choices for her? I know this sounds critical, but I don’t mean it to be; I’m just trying to figure out the disconnect between the Angel in the article and the Angel that was struggling with the pressures that the movement had put on her.

  • Vyckie

    an atheist in the Bible belt ~ you bring up a good question. I think I’ll wait to address it later in my story ~ but it basically comes down to this: I desperately wanted it to work. I made excuses, rationalizations, etc. ~ I don’t want to think that I outright lied ~ it’s just that I found ways to convince myself that, sure we had some difficulties, but the Lord was getting us through them ~ Angel was getting better ~ Warren was getting better ~ in the end, it’s all going to be OKAY because I BELIEVED ~ I was sincere ~ and therefore, God would work everything together for GOOD ~ eventually.I did mention that it was Angel who made the comment that reading my old articles was like taking a “Tour de Crap” ~ she was right.

  • Jadehawk

    wow, so much weirdness in that article, that it makes me think I’m a grumpy old prude for agreeing that dating is bad! And for almost the same reasons, too!Not that I care about multiple marriages per-se, but all the young American women I encounter (and young men too, to a certain degree) seem to be so preoccupied with the dating-game, that they learn to judge their own value by whether or not they have a date on Saturday evening, or whether they have a bf/gf… and that carries over into adult life, where it’s assumed that there’s something wrong with you if you’re not trying actively to get into a relationship (i.e. you’re not “putting yourself out there”) or are failing at getting one.In contrast, young men and women in Germany, where I grew up, were more focused on having lots of friends to go out with and have fun; go swimming, go shopping, go to the cafe, go to the club (we were allowed into clubs at 16 years) etc. relationships happened, hookups happened as well, but your social life didn’t depend on being desired by the opposite sex.————anyway, back to the article. it really is fascinating how different your presentation of angel was then, as opposed to what seems to really have been going on. makes one think about what’s going on in other “picture-perfect” families!also, the article reminded me of what you wrote in an earlier post about how QF families don’t have teenagers. You really MUST write about that someday! It sounds intriguing…

  • jemand

    “jemand, how do you feel about homeschool “tutoring” groups?”Atheist in the bible belt,I think they are a horrible plan for high school education. They tend to meet an hour a week for a subject, for one, and the textbooks are chalk full of “issues.” I got credit outside my high school for chemistry with one of these books, the book spent a great deal of time lambasting environmentalism and saying how marvelous CFCs are, plus how incorrect evolution is, and several other railings against materialism and socialism and such like. What that had to do with chemistry was beyond me. This textbook, and especially, that SERIES of textbooks is the most commonly used in all the tutoring rings for high school homeschooling of science I’ve seen. Math is often not presented in any of these groups, it’s just impossible for one hour a week to go over the requisite material, if a student cannot learn from a book self-directed, there is absolutely no mathematical progress.I’m not opposed to taking some community college classes, that might be a good plan. But those tutoring sessions are not a good substitute for high school education. You might do alright for some lower grads, but not above, you might occasionally get a good teacher but “qualified” in these circles means something very different than it does in high school or community college.Anyway, just my observations.

  • aimai

    Jadehawk makes a really interesting point. I think all the focus on finding the “one true love” and on sex being a negative thing for girls (its got to be the right guy!) is very harmful to young women. I grew up in a very liberal household where my parents would never have discouraged me from dating or even having sex (after about age eighteen I mean!) but my own parents met when they were 9 and had a storybook romance, perfect in every way (they are on their 52nd wedding anniversary) and I put so much pressure on *myself* to get it right first time I missed out on a lot of fun. I agree with Jadehawk that waiting for the right one makes all the period when you should be working, enjoying yourself, and exploring your identity as a young adult into a bizarre period of waiting and anxiety. Its as though you don’t realize that life is what is happening right now, today, because you keep “waiting for your life to start” as a grown up with that exactly right someone and all those kids. Well, life is what is happening while you make other plans. I could have been so much happier and less anxious if I hadn’t been waiting for my “bashert” (the hebrew word for the one god intends for you) and if I could have had a few starter relationships. I’m happy with my husband but we didn’t meet until I was thirty, and we didn’t get married until I was 35. I don’t think that he benefitted at all from my “inexperience” or my lack of previous relationships. Or whatever other guff they peddle. You never hear people saying that about widows and their previous relationships–oh! if only she hadn’t been happilly married for forty years she wouldn’t have dragged all those ideas about love and marriage into her second marriage! The assumption that sex always ends badly for young girls is just another form of cultural hysteria. As Amanda over at Pandagon always says “people learn a lot of good things having sex with their friends” there’s how to be close and intimate, how to give people personal space, how to negotiate things like work and pleasure. There’s millions of things that both men and women get out of a healthy sex life that pay off, if you want to think of it that way, when you decide to settle down.aimai

  • Jadehawk

    lol, I was actually referring to the other extreme of “a bad date is better than no date, a bad relationship is better than no relationship”, but in any case, both ways seem to be telling girls that their only worth lies in their relationship with men.in the one extreme it’s being the “special gift” of saving yourself for the right one and missing out because you force yourself to NOT DO something; in the other extreme, it’s dating as a requirement; either you’re on a date, hanging out with friends discussing a date/setting up a date, and you’re missing out on life because you HAVE TO date, or else there’s something wrong with you.as far as I’m concerned, either way it’s not valuing girls by who they are, but who they’re with. and I think both the “purity” culture and the “dating” culture foster that, just in different ways. whatever happened to just hanging out with friends and letting life and love happen when they happen, instead of protecting yourself from, or chasing after relationships? it’s another one of those “we don’t teach girls about what a healthy relationship is” things.

  • an atheist in the bible belt

    Thanks for clarifying, jemand. I didn’t know that those groups only met once a week, although I suspected that they used fundamentalist curriculum. ****I think that a dating model where having lots of friends to go out with is a good one. The main problem that I have with the “courtship” dating model is the emphasis that it puts on marriage once a teen couple decides to start courting. In Christian circles I’ve been part of that supported courtship instead of dating, a boy was allowed to start courting a girl as young as 16, and after they started, their families and friends all acted as if they were on the fast track to a young marriage. I had friends who realized after a year or two that the young man who was courting them was not a person they wanted to spend the rest of their life with. When they tried to break off the courtship, they were met with incredible resistance from their family. Apparently by getting involved in the courtship as teenagers, they were all but committing to a future marriage. Often the boy they wanted to break up with was not a bad person and not abusive, and the girls’ families would tell the girls that if they would make God the center of the relationship, they would be able to work things out. Getting overly emotionally involved in a string of failed dating relationships is bad, but not having the freedom to break off a relationship before marriage is worse.

  • Jadehawk

    oh, you’re definitely right about that, atheist!I’m just saying that having your worth measured by whether or not you have a date on Saturday is also not a good way to live your life, and that this isn’t at all an either-or setup and we should teach kids that it isn’t important to find a date/relationship, but that it’s important to find a GOOD date/relationship, and not be worried to be single if a good relationship just isn’t possible at that moment.it’s a bit like the paper-or-plastic debate. people will argue fiercely which one is better, when real answer is “neither”. thinking outside the box is essential.

  • Linnea

    You never hear people saying that about widows and their previous relationships–oh! if only she hadn’t been happilly married for forty years she wouldn’t have dragged all those ideas about love and marriage into her second marriage! The assumption that sex always ends badly for young girls is just another form of cultural hysteria. I had two long-term, committed relationships (both childless, by choice) before getting married and having children. One was, in retrospect, probably a mistake, but the other was emphatically not. It ended for reasons of career and relocation, which was painful, but I don’t for one minute regret having had the relationship. And even in the “mistake” relationship, I learned some important things.

  • Dove

    Let me try this without being anonymous today.I’ve mentioned before that I am breaking out of a narcissistic relationship where controls and unwritten rules limited every thing we did. Recently I came across an article about the family myth where ‘we’ was the assumed unity. I realize now as I spoke, wrote, addressed our homeschool group I used the unified ‘we’ many times with the ideal of a loving, nurturing family which I now realize was an attempt to perpetuate this picture of successful homeschooling. When in reality I was loving, nurturing, teaching my children. I was learning along with them and bending my heart to God’s will for them. I was planning their needs and choosing their curriculum and scheduling our days and responsibilities to please daddy’s vision of a happy, compliant family when he came home. There was no unity there. There was no combined force there. But in my mind I was living this family myth. Now that I have broken and shattered this family myth and am receiving all the brute force of anger, accusation and judgement just for speaking the truth, finally, I can see how we, oops there I go again, I was swept up into this Family Myth from childhood of not wanting friends to know how terrible my life was at home growing up to how my husband really treated us at home. But then I was in denial as well. I really wanted to believe we had it all together. It took me 25 yrs to realize that I was an abused wife and my children were fast learning to be expert abusers and victims themselves.Families and small communities want to perpetuate the Family Myth because it rationalizes and condones their own decisions and protects their own safety from attack. It takes guts and strength and courage and fierce love to combat this Myth and break free.

  • Vyckie

    Excellent point, Dove ~ thanks for making it.

  • Jadehawk

    oh, I should maybe clarify my posts. I’m not talking about Christian vs. Secular culture at all. I was originally comparing American Singles Culture and European/Australian Singles Culture, and how from my experience (and that of an Australian friend who lived in Canada for a while), “dating” was a miserable way of dealing with the opposite gender, and that it took up too much mental space in both the girls/women and the boys/men we met here in America. I’m all for exploration and gathering experience, but life is so much more than the search for a relationship/date/marriage!but then, it still creeps me out to no end that a complete stranger would ask for my phonenumber just because I ordered a coffee from him(for example) :-/

  • Jadehawk

    aaaand back on topic (sorry for constantly derailing the threads, my mind just keeps on going off on tangents)I think homeschooling young children, and sending the older ones to Community College to supplement their basic homeschooling, isn’t a bad setup in general IF:1)there was any sort of quality control on the books (a sort of “USDA organic” certificate, but instead it would be “National Science Association Certified” or something), so that your children wouldn’t HAVE to learn from sub-par creationist textbooks.2)the children had contact with “the outside world”, either by playing team sports, or joining clubs or something. socialization is very important, and kids who only have a very limited group of people they interact with won’t learn how to interact well with strangers/newcomers/people who are completely different than themThe socialization point is BTW one of the reasons homeschooling is illegal in Germany. It’s considered a form of child abuse to not let your kid become socialized into your culture and/or deny it the same teaching standard as all other kids get.

  • adventuresinmercy

    Dove,That was really good. Thanks for sharing that. I am experiencing something similar right now.

  • Orion

    I found this blog through comments on Slacktivist (a religion/current events blog which frequently criticizes extremist christian groups). First, I just wanted to say this blog is a great idea and I support you all in your endeavors.I just wanted to pipe in with a bit of commentary on the thread’s very first comment, that it is “untenable” to homeschool through highschool. I like to think I’m a coutner-example, homeschooled all my life and currently an undergrad at the University of Chicago. It took a lot of resources and special circumstances to get me here, so I’m not saying there’s nothing to your point, but… just wanted to offer a counter-example and answer any questions people might have about secular homeschooling.

  • jemand

    Orion,Awesome! I almost went to U of C myself. I’m glad homeschooling worked for you, remember my comment did say that *I’d* never seen it work, I’ve probably seen about a dozen people homeschooled through high school and it is always worse than the alternative, of course there is always a possibility of it working but your right about it requiring resources and special circumstances to work well, resources which are hard to come by in fundamentalist families where you are “adult” by 14, (especially as one of the first few children), and special opportunities some of which are probably considered “worldly” by most homeschooling families.For full disclosure I was homeschooled through eighth grade and loved it, however I think it is important that parents keep their options open, and actually SEE what their kids are and what they are doing to RECOGNIZE when homeschooling has stopped working (at whatever point that occurs) and then search for alternatives. When parents decide that it would mean hell for children to go to school… that just leads to ignoring very real problems in socialization and education.Can you tell me where you got your curriculum for secular homeschooling? And what was your parent’s background? Sorry if I’m being nosy, but I’m really curious how it worked for you.

  • aohdwyn

    Orion, I believe you would fall under the case of, the exception proving the rule. I have a question: how did you and other QF mothers feel about Christian schools? I went to the Christian school my church had established for all of high school. To put it succinctly, it was a nightmare. My best friend at the time was a girl who was being homeschooled, and having heard your story, I bet her mother was QF (she was the eldest daugter of … six?) and I don’t know if her parents didn’t approve of the Christian school (although they went to our church, and sang with our choir, which is how I knew her) or simply couldn’t afford the tuition.As to the education we received, it was good where religious bias could not interfere (Math, Grammar, such things) excellent in places which were useful to the church (we had a wonderful choir, everyone could sing, harmonize, and the majority of us played musical instruments in the school band, which played during every church service) and terrible in everything else (History, Biology, all the sciences in general). Our church was large enough (several thousands) to have a large (for a Christian school) student body, although people are astonished when I tell them I graduated with a class of 10. Anyway. As to the effects of the school — four school and five years later, I have emerged from the wreckage with a fairly useful associate’s degree. I had to take the GED to get into the last school, since my high school was not accredited, so I could have saved my father thousands of dollars (and myself years of therapy) and just skipped the whole high school experience, but hindsight is always 20/20. =P

  • Orion

    I didn’t have a curriculum, per se. I did use several math textbooks, generally by Harold Jacobs. I took Economics, Psychology, and Composition at night school, lab science courses at a community college, and had Japanese from a tutor. Everything else I learned from a homeschool co-operative or independent study.I don’t mean to suggest that most homeschool families look like this, or that most Quiverful families would have the resources for something like this– I just have to stick up for homeschooling in the abstract.

  • Anonymous

    I find it shocking to hear that these homeschooled kids had such a terrible education and had issues going to college. I know a many families whose kids graduated highschool at home and kids went on to jounalists, engineers, archetects(just lost the spelling for that word, hate that when that happens!) , rns, er nurses, and those are just the ones I can think of off the top of my head. I think that 2 or 3 people are not really a representative sample and those posting here may have an agenda.

  • Linnea

    Anonymous, I don’t think anyone is trying to knock homeschooling in general. The point here is that homeschooling as it’s done in a Quiverfull context may not work very well, for a number of reasons: – the homeschooling mom doesn’t have time to do justice to her children’s learning, because she’s busy trying to keep house for a multitude, and/or she’s always got infants and toddlers taking up her attention; – the curricula used are slanted toward a conservative Christian viewpoint, and don’t adequately cover certain subjects, especially science; – the family is isolated in their own religious community, and doesn’t seek out learning opportunities that might bring the children in contact with “outsiders”Those are just a few things I can think of, as someone who hasn’t/wasn’t homeschooled. People are talking about their own experiences with conservative Christian homeschooling. The only homeschoolers I know well do it for completely secular reasons, and their children do very well academically.Also, could you read on the sidebar that says “ATTENTION ANONYMOUS”, and please make up a name for yourself if you plan to continue posting? Thanks.

  • Anonymous

    “I find it shocking to hear that these homeschooled kids had such a terrible education and had issues going to college.”Eh… Seriously? I mean, okay… Seems like the quality of a homeschool education would depend upon the knowledge and teaching abilities of the homeschooling parent(s). Without national standards, then, you’d have people who turn out to be fantastically successful, but overall, you’d see people having terrible difficulty with getting into college. A good friend of mine had a really unstable homeschooling family life. She did it all on her on and taught all of her four younger brothers for years. She had to take a couple of years of courses at a community college before she could get into a 4-year accredited university because her homeschooling education was so bad. And, then, of course, another homeschooling friend of mine (in a Quiverfull family) had a brilliant and highly educated mother with a master’s degree who gave her a damned good education. She ended up getting the National Merit Scholarship to attend college.So, I would say… It would have to vary quite a lot. Kristin

  • Orion

    Anonymous –You’re “shocked”, really, that homeschooling isn’t always the best education. besides problems cause by religious dogma, there are also class issues that come into play — I’m the oldest of two, seven years apart, and my mother stayed home throughout my childhood. That isn’t affordable for every family. And though I don’t think higher education is a requirement to homeschool well, the fact that my parents had a Masters and a Bachelors certainly helped.I posted only in case anyone was considering the secular homeschooling path and had questions, not because I have any intention to endorse the Quiverful practices.


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