Quoting Quiverfull: Better Preperation For The ‘Real World’?

Quoting Quiverfull: Better Preperation For The ‘Real World’? February 15, 2013

Mary Pride in Homeschooling World “Getting Started in Homeschooling” -undated

Better Preparation for the Real World. Modern schools only seem normal to us because we have been brought up from birth to accept them. Actually, they are highly unnatural environments. Where else in your life will you have to spend all day with a group of 15 to 35 people of your same age, doing activities that never yield any usable result? In the real world, you are with people of different ages, working together on real projects. Families are more like this than schools are. And it’s easier to give homeschooled kids real-world adventures, such as participating in community theatre, volunteering in a hospital, etc.

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QUOTING QUIVERFULL is a regular feature of NLQ – we present the actual words of noted Quiverfull leaders and ask our readers: What do you think? Agree? Disagree? This is the place to state your opinion. Please, let’s keep it respectful – but at the same time, we encourage readers to examine the ideas of Quiverfull honestly and thoughtfully.

NLQ Recommended Reading …

Breaking Their Will: Shedding Light on Religious Child Maltreatment‘ by Janet Heimlich

Quivering Daughters‘ by Hillary McFarland

Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement‘ by Kathryn Joyce



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  • Sarah

    This assumes all the best about homeschool. An ideal homeschool does contrast favorably against a typical modern school. But, and I suspect Ms. Pride does not emphasize this enough, not every parent or set of parents is able to provide an ideal homeschool, and plenty of modern schools are better than typical. Parents have got to be honest about their own limits, about what they actually can do, and they must not let themselves live in a denial that lets them believe they are providing something they aren’t for their children.

  • K

    Although it seems unnatural to be in a room with 20 other people the same age as you, and you wont do that as an adult, they arent thinking of the real issues here.

    The only reason schools are split into different age groups is because theyre on around the same level, and it is easier to teach children if everyones on the same stage and not some learning to count to 10, while others are doing algebra.

    The main benefit of school compared to homeschooling (especially the fundie sort, where the kids arent allowed friends) is the socialisation. Although their work probably wont have all employees of the same age, this is because theres not a drastic developmental difference between a 30 year old and a 40 year old. Theyre still going to be with a group of different people, who will all be different.

    Where else in your life, other than home and religious events are you going to spend all day with people who share all your religious beliefs?

    Unless they work for Vision Forum or something like that, it is very likely that these poor sheltered fundie kids are going to end up not knowing what to do when they go out to work and meet people who are different. They might have to obey a female boss, or get along with co workers who are gay, atheist, Muslim, Jewish, or even just ordinary Christians. Theyre going to be completely confused at pop culture references and people talking about things like sports and their experiences in High School, when all they have been taught to talk about is God.

    Also wouldnt leaving home be scary and intimidating when theyre married when theyve never been away from Mommy and Daddy for a day-never been to school, never had a sleepover, never been anywhere alone, but normal children have the advantage of spending time away from family to find their own way, as theyve spent a few hours away from their parents a day from being about 5. Even non fundie homeschooled kids get some time with friends away from parents, as theyre allowed to go out and play, go to friends houses and might even be doing something like dance lessons or joining a sports team.

  • Rae

    “Where else in your life will you have to spend all day with a group of 15 to 35 people of your same age, doing activities that never yield any usable result?”

    A theoretical physics research group? (I say this in all love, as an experimentalist 😉

    But, joking aside – if learning to do algebra and read and write doesn’t count as a “usable result”, then what does? By that definition of “usable result”, all my friends who work in advertising, or for silicon valley type tech startups, or anything else that’s primarily made of 20-somethings sitting at desks coding or using InDesign or whatever, aren’t getting anything “usable” other than a paycheck.

  • SAO

    The thing is that math takes time to learn and it is an integral part of most real world projects. To pick a homeschool favorite — building a deck. You need to know how to calculate area and volume. You need to know some geometry, and you need to know some physics to figure out how much load your deck needs to bear.

    Sure, you can build a deck from some cookie-cutter instructions where someone else has figured this out for you, but if your site isn’t like the instructions assume or you want to do something different, you need math. You aren’t going to learn the math in the course of one project. And whether or not you learn the math shouldn’t be on the basis of what projects your family undertakes.

    Without a firm basis of knowledge, stuff like volunteering in a local hospital becomes a field trip, not the basis of an education in medicine.

    Science and the humanities take time, too.

  • Surely it depends on the school? The school my children attend prides itself on having a strong family ethos, so they often put classes together for suitable subjects. For example; the 11-12 year old do gym/sports with the 4-5 year olds. Everyone gets more out of it. The little ones feel encouraged to try more to impress, and because they are supported by the older ones. And for the older ones, it’s a lots easier being useless at sports if it’s because you were putting all your efforts into helping little ones. Also it doubles the number of staff you have, so it makes more options available. Obviously this doesn’t always work for academic subjects (although children who are particularly brilliant at one subject may go to a year group above them for example maths, or science), or those who need help in a particular area have either one-to-one, or sometimes go to a class a year lower than them for a revision session.
    I genuinely feel that my children’s time in school is productive. Every day when I pick them up they want to tell me what new thing they learned or did that day. I feel that, for example, learning scriptural verses by rote or reading the bible over and over again every year because you have to, are more ” activities that never yield any usable result”, than going to a school where you are able to attempt to be the face of Jesus to someone everyday, and give them the opportunity to be the face of Jesus to you!
    I really have nothing against home-schooling, I think it’s great. But I worry when the only way you can promote home-schooling is by trashing the alternative.
    If home-schooling is working for you then promote the merits!

  • Petticoat Philosopher

    11-12-year-olds working with the 4-5-year-olds in gym class–what a wonderful idea! I, like many people, remember gym class as a place of cruelty and bullying and I’m guessing that that arrangement really goes far to solve that problem too. I can see how the older kids might leave each other alone since they are rising to the occasion of being examples for the younger ones (and also putting their energy into helping them instead of into scrutinizing each other) and the younger ones are more likely to behave because, like you say, they want to impress and so they’re going to be on better behavior–little kids naturally look up to older kids so sometimes their presence can be a more powerful motivator than an adult’s.

    I’m a big fan of alternative models for schooling and that is such a great example. I weirdly actually agree with Mary Pride on her criticisms of mainstream schooling–there is a whole lot of pointless busywork. When I was a kid, my teachers were always giving my parents trouble about how I was performing in “reading class” because I wasn’t very motivated about completing my workbook pages–except the reason why I wasn’t motivated was because I wanted to be ACTUALLY READING, which I was doing at a much higher level than most of the kids my age. And I don’t necessarily see the point of grouping children by age so strictly. Yes, kids of similar age are more likely to be at a similar developmental place but the key word is “similar”–not “same” which tends to be the standard in mainstream schooling. And that’s a problem because then you basically get people arbitrarily deciding what the proper “level” is for every age in every subject and making a big fuss if a particular kid is a little behind (or sometimes even a little ahead…) And that’s silly because there’s actually a lot of variety in where kids are at at particular ages but, if you just wait a little while, things tend to even out in the end. Some kids are ready to read at 4, some kids are ready to read at 6, but, at a certain point, pretty much everyone can read and those differences don’t matter anymore. But, in mainstream schooling, often a HUGE DEAL is made of those differences which does nothing except make kids feel weird and parents feel anxious.

    The best example I can think of is when my sister was in kindergarten and her school suggested to my parents that she repeat kindergarten because her “gross motor skills were not up to par for her age” or something. Basically this meant that she could not turn a somersault when the other kids could. lol. My sister was physically a late bloomer all through her childhood and early adolescence, always one of the smallest kids in her class. So, it’s not hard to see how, at that young age, she might simply not have been physically capable of doing things that a lot, even most other kids could do at the same age. But so what? She got there eventually. And ironically, she became a dancer–she is an enormously strong, coordinated and athletic person. The fact that she was less coordinated than her peers when she was 5 means precisely nothing. The fuss that was made about it only served to make her feel stupid. At least my parents were smart enough to respond to the school’s suggestion with “You’ve got to be kidding.”

    Except, to me, these problems are arguments for developing alternative models for schooling, not for trashing the idea of any kind of schooling but homeschooling altogether. I’m a big fan of the Montessori philosophy of education because I think it addresses a lot of the problems that Pride mentions (and plenty that she doesn’t mention.) Kids are grouped together by rough age group instead of exact age and there’s a lot of emphasis on making use of a child’s natural instinct for learning and exploration instead of just loading them down with tasks of questionable value all the time.

    We don’t all need to teach kids at home. We just need to, as a society, get more creative in how we teach kids and get better at accepting and accomodating the fact that there’s a lot of natural diversity among children as far as their needs, interests, learning styles etc.

  • Saraquill

    (sarcasm) It’s good to know that all that foreign language learning I’ve done is not at all useable. (End sarcasm)