The Formula Ruled Above All

by Erika If you remember from one of my earlier installments, right before we started our first year of homeschooling, I had spent the summer in Uganda on a missions trip with Teen Missions International. It was an amazing summer and everything had seemed normal in my family before I left. I was promised that things wouldn't change much even though we'd be homeschooling. Of course, reading back through my story, you know that things DID change. I enjoyed that summer away so much. I had amazing experiences and the travel bug had officially hit. More than the travel bug, though, I enjoyed the satisfaction of helping others and telling people about my relationship with God. Hearing the … [Read more...]

Our lonely little legalistic world …

by Erika During that first year of homeschooling, my sister took Driver's Ed at the public school. I would go with her in the hopes of being able to spend some time outside the school hanging out with some of my friends. Because my sister had taken to wearing really frumpy jumpers that looked like something out of Little House on the Prairie, some of the guys had started calling her the "Virgin Mary." A conversation started outside after Driver's Ed about Jesus and Mary. Someone asked how it could be possible that Jesus was born to a virgin. I made the mistake of saying, right in front of my sister, "Perhaps Mary was artificially inseminated." As soon as it came out of my mouth, I knew I'd … [Read more...]

It alienates people, pushes friends and loved ones away

by Erika My friend was waiting for me to convince her to help me run away. As my freshman year of high school plodded on, things at home became more and more constrictive and conservative. My friends from school started to drift away as my parents pulled the reigns in at home tighter and tighter. The few friends that stuck around were the ones that were known mostly as the "outsiders" at the public school, so they were of a rebellious and non-conformist attitude anyway. I always felt that my other friends had moved on from me, but I've found out recently that it wasn't that they moved on from me, but they had felt that my parents had pushed them away and that they were no longer welcome … [Read more...]

Someone was trying to control every aspect of my life … including my clothes

by Erika Me and my youngest brother, 1991 After being made to quit the basketball team and the FHA group, I was trying to find any way that I possibly could to stay close to my friends. I called them when I could, I would wait outside on my porch after school ended so that I could talk to my classmates that lived on my street as they walked home each afternoon, I would try to get down to the school or a friend's house when the chance came available. In the meantime, my parents were withdrawing us from as much as they could to be able to cut off as much outside influence and friendship as possible. I remember Mr. Thompson feeding my father the line, "Take away everything that is important to … [Read more...]

No choices of my own

by Erika My sister and I in the winter of 1991-1992, the year we started homeschooling It wasn't long before my parents got really frustrated with the church in town and wanted something different. My father told the pastor that we would be going down to the church in Bellows Falls (run by John Thompson) but would still come to services here and there at the church in town. The pastor felt frustrated at the time, too, so he gave my parents his blessing to attend this other church. I remember when the people at church found out that we wouldn't be attending regularly there anymore. Many were upset and felt offended. Quite a few voiced accusations that my parents only stayed long enough for … [Read more...]

Something didn’t sit quite right with me …

by Erika   The morning that I left for my missions trip Boot Camp. I'm pictured with my pastor and his wife. A newspaper story that was done before I left for my missions trip. When I left for Africa in the summer of 1991, I was excited about my trip and the things that I would see but I was also disappointed to know that I would be coming home to my sophomore year as a homeschooler. I was crushed by my parents' decision and begged them to let me stay in school. After all, I wasn't the one that wanted to be taken out and I wasn't the one that had the problems in school. My parents told me that it was all or nothing. If they were taking out one kid, they were taking us all out. If my 3 … [Read more...]

It started with homeschooling

by Erika My sister and I in a photo booth. I think we were 12 & 13. She's older than I am. My childhood from the time I was born to the age of 14 was pretty much normal and mainstream. I grew up in a Christian home, going to church every Sunday, taking part in VBS in the summers, going to public school (though I went a few years to a Christian private school when I first started school), playing with the neighbor kids, watching cartoons in the morning....all the things that kids did in a normal family and neighborhood setting.I was born in Rhode Island at the end of 1976. I became a Christian at the age of 7. I remember sitting on the bed in my Oma and Opa's house (my grandparents … [Read more...]

Freedom From Patriarchy

by Erika Here in the US, we celebrated our nation's independence and freedom this past Saturday, the 4th of July. This particular holiday always makes me think of my own Independence Day. We had a BBQ with family and friends this past Saturday and while we were sitting inside to stay out of the rain, I was telling my friends about the jumper that my sister had made for herself back when she was 18. I had recently posted the picture of our family on my Facebook account and one of my friends asked, "Does your sister really have a cow on her jumper?" Yes, she did. In fact, she had the whole farm SCENE. The field, the red barn, the fruit trees, the cows, etc. My mom, sisters and I all … [Read more...]


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