Dispelled ~ One Girl’s Journey in a Home School Cult ~ Part 4 : The Darkness Sets In

Please note: The content contained herein does not necessarily reflect the values and opinions of the NLQ blog and its administrators.

by Chandra

The next morning was back to business as usual in our home. There would be no mention of my suicide attempt until I would bring it up, nearly ten years later. I knew waking that morning that Christ himself had pulled me through last night, even at fourteen. I didn’t know though, how I would get through the days and years ahead of me, that I had yet to live.

Emotionally I was spent. Going through puberty was difficult enough, and even more difficult because that also was a topic off limits to discuss. Sexual “things” were just not dealt with in our home, and like everything else that my mom and dad wanted to hide from, was swept under the rug. I had been on an emotional roller coaster in the last several months, ranging in emotions from being openly rejected to wishful hoping that somehow this scandal could be reversed: and I would once again be welcomed into loving arms by the only community that I knew.

Once everyone’s positions and the issues had been exposed, I was left alone. Alone. I hate that word…what I had remaining in my life were three things: my journal, my Bible, and my cat. I sank into a deep, deep depression.

Oh, I covered it well. I had to. But deep down there was a daily nagging, a restless wondering of, I have no one. I have no friends and no one to confide in. No one to talk to. Nightly for years, I would cry myself to sleep on my pillow, silently praying out to God “to just give me one friend, any friend, someone that I can talk to.” Those are still painful moments for me to remember and recall. [Read more...]

Dispelled ~ One Girl’s Journey in a Home School Cult ~ Part 3: Drinking the Kool-aid

by Chandra

I was a tender fourteen when my world fell apart. My parents had become entrenched and enmeshed with The Movement and because of this, The Movement had become everything in our life. The Movement had become a feudal lord, demanding everything from us: time, money, and resources. My family felt that The Movement WAS our family and it was The Movement that we served- from the rising of the sun to the setting of it.

John and Candi, and their four children, had become to us closer than blood. It was The Movement that joined us- heart, body, mind, and spirit. We lived and breathed for The Movement, and followed John and Candi’s every lead. My mom and dad were John and Candi’s devoted second-in-command leaders. Our two families were a potent force, having climbed The Movement’s social ladder to the head of the State of Missouri’s homeschool organization in just a few short years.

But through all of cult-like demands of The Movement, and my family’s worship of it, there was a teenage girl who longed to be free, understood, and accepted. [Read more...]

Dispelled ~ One Girl’s Journey in a Home School Cult ~ Part 2: The Early Years

Please note: The content contained herein does not necessarily reflect the values and opinions of the NLQ blog and its administrators.

Grade school. A time of innocence, that captures the magical essence of childhood. A time of wonder, excitement, and joy; unadulterated by social concerns and pressures of adolescence. My grade school years were different.

Most homeschool mothers are proponents of making learning enjoyable, easy, and memorable for their students, using “real-life” experiences and hands-on activities to reinforce concepts. My mother was no exception. Using a combination approach, she adored and followed Charlotte Mason and loosely implemented Konos unit studies. In her mind, and in her heart, she believed that she was teaching my younger brother and myself. She had read the books by Charlotte Mason, and had underlined nearly every page in For the Children’s Sake by Susan Schaeffer McCaulley. Better Late Than Early by Raymond and Dorothy Moore and Honey for a Child’s Heart by Gladys Hunt were books she recommended relentlessly to new homeschool moms in years to come. She swore by these methods.

Practically speaking however these concepts took root in a very different form. My mother had no formal training in education and had no idea what a child needed socially, physically, or mentally, apart from what these select authors were telling her. Practically, what she took away from these methods was “Don’t push your kids. They will pick up on what they need to know academically if you allow them to play and read.” Teach them to read is all they need, is a main tenet of the homeschool religion.

And so, my brother and I did nothing. We did one unit study on Jewish feasts and Old Testament history while I was in grade school. We did another when I was in seventh grade on Medieval history that Beautiful Feet books had published. My math was shameful. Between kindergarten and twelfth grade I completed A Beka’s 3, 5, 7, Algebra ½ curriculum. My younger brother completed half as many as I did. The thesis behind this was, “Don’t push your kids. If you teach them to read, they will be able to teach themselves anything. Workbooks are boring and not the way to foster a love of learning. They are tedious. Your children do not need repetition. As the parent you know whether your child has gotten the concept or not.”
[Read more...]

Dispelled ~ One Girl’s Journey in a Home School Cult ~ Part 1: Meet My Mother

Please note: The content contained herein does not necessarily reflect the values and opinions of the NLQ blog and its administrators. by Chandra Shrouded in darkness, clothed in a veil and punctured by hints of light. This would adequately describe my childhood if all that had happened to me were the effects of a typically [Read More...]