Quoting Quiverfull: Public Schools Do What?

Quoting Quiverfull: Public Schools Do What? May 29, 2013

by Mary Pride of Homeschool World – Sibling Revelry

However, in one respect these books do get it right. In school, kids learn to segregate themselves by age. Older kids learn to be embarrassed about spending time with younger kids. Schoolkids also quickly learn the art of the putdown, and all about “ganging up” on the victim of the day. When all these social fighting skills – which clueless folks refer to as “socialization” – are brought home, it can take sibling rivalry to a new level of meanness. Which some people, oddly, find “cute.” Hence the phenomenon of TV shows and movies using brattish behavior for laughs.

Comments open below


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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  • Lolly

    “Schoolkids also quickly learn the art of the putdown, and all about “ganging up” on the victim of the day.”

    Interesting. Actually, fundamentalist Christians perfected the art of the “putdown”. And bullying, reputation smearing and gossip mongering. They wrote the book on it, volumes I, II and III. Only it’s the parents doing it. Feminists, gays, tornado victims, parents who send their kids to public schools, all fodder for Christian bullying. That and petty games of one-upsmanship amongst themselves, who it the most godly, how many times can you use the word “biblical” in a sentence, who is the most prolific breeder. Whose children is the most obedient when dealing with authority figures, “oh everyone says my children are so good around adults”. More gooses to the parents’ egos and concern about appearances.

    Kids in Christian households are so well trained to conform, there’s not much to put them down about, but they always have to watch their back, will their actions elicit gossip? And, since there’s not much to go on about, parents have to make stuff up (can you believe what she’s wearing, that’s not godly, did you see Beth sneak a glance at Levi? Harlot. Straight to hell with her. Her eyes are too shining. Her countenance isn’t shining enough). The gossip is relentless. If a family leaves a church, well, that’s when the fun really begins.

    At least in public schools, parents, faculty and administrators are attempting to address bullying, trying to make kids safer. In fundamentalist Christian homeschooling circles, parents are teaching their kids how.

  • Would it blow Mary Pride’s mind to know that I grew up homeschooled, and the sibling rivalries I saw and still see among my at-home siblings were and are worse than anything I’ve seen or heard of between the siblings of my current friends, most of whom were public schooled? For one thing, based on the advice they received from other homeschoolers my parents had us older ones spank the younger ones. It turns out that the younger ones ended up hating me for that. They tell me now that I was a “bully.” Today, I see one of my sisters who is still at home repeating all of my mistakes with the very youngest kids. So apparently you don’t get away from bullying by being homeschooled. And that’s beside the other kind of sibling rivalry that was just merciless, the constant infighting and getting on each other’s nerves and in each others’ space. And yes, we were all homeschooled, K-12.

  • Kristen Rosser

    Our public schools have a strong anti-bullying program that teaches the kids real socialization skills like how to negotiate on the playground. Also, kids from 5th & 6th grades periodically go into the younger grades to read with them. My son in 8th grade just had a field trip into grade school where he consulted a younger child about what he wanted in a picture book and then wrote and drew it for him. This week his class goes back to present the books to the younger kids.

  • Lolly

    Very true. Kids also volunteer in the younger classes, high school kids tutor other kids and work as camp counselors. In high school we volunteered to help with reading groups in an elementary school. It’s this kind of prevalent activity, working with kids, that makes kids want to become – gasp – teachers.

  • NeaDods

    I doubt it would blow her mind because I think she knows people are people wherever they’re schooled. It would certainly put a cramp in her message, though.

    Also – with all of this insistence on the older kids watching/caring for/being with even the youngest of children all the time, and with the idea of age segregation being A Bad Thing, when do the older kids get to do something that’s age-appropriate for THEM and not their younger siblings? Because that’s a vital part of growing up.

  • Suzanne Harper Titkemeyer

    Learning how to interact with and navigate around people that don’t necessarily adore us is an important skill to learn. So is learning to stand up to bullies. Mary Pride’s way strips kids of the ability to learn these important socialization skills at a young age. Plus, I’ve seen plenty of homeschooled kids that bully each other in their own families when mom or dad isn’t looking. It happens.

  • Age appropriate? Like what are you thinking exactly? In my community, the answer was never. My hobbies in high school were sewing doll clothes and making clay dollhouse food. I honestly don’t know what actually counts as “age appropriate.”

  • NeaDods

    You’ve pretty much answered my question. I was thinking of things that, I realize, apply to the lives of secular teens only, because they involve… well, autonomy. Leaving the house to hang out around the neighborhood/run your own errands, not your parents’. Seeing movies or reading books that deal with topics too scary/complicated/racy for the younger kids to deal with. Hashing out politics and curing the ills of the world in conversation with your friends. Traveling on your own or with your friends for the weekend.

    Basically, trying independent adulthood on for size before you’re quite ready to deal with it full time.

    From what you describe, though, there is no such thing as independent adulthood in the quiverfull/patriarchy. You do what you are told to do by The Authority Figure (be that parent or preacher) If you are female, there is no time in your life that you’re not supposed to be practicing to or actually taking care of someone littler than you.

  • The one thing we did on that list was hash out politics—but it was questions like whether public education should be completely abolished or whether there should simply be an expansion of school choice, or whether or not it was selfish for women to go to college.

  • NeaDods

    And you’ve posted before on how that was parroting the opinions your parents issued to you, not that you realized that at the time.

  • aim2misbehave

    Do they have any idea what being stuck with your siblings 24/7/365 will do for sibling rivalry? Maybe not, if they’ve never gotten the chance to see how sibling relationships can drastically improve when kids have a chance to interact with people independently!