Quoting Quiverfull: Terrifying Homeschooling

Quoting Quiverfull: Terrifying Homeschooling October 18, 2013

by Kris Bales from her blog Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers – 10 Things You Should Know About Homeschool Moms

Algebra terrifies us.

Okay, I know there are those math nuts out there shouting at their computer screens right now. I don’t understand you. I’m speaking for the math-phobic camp now. Algebra terrifies us. Or maybe it’s chemistry. Or physics. Or trigonometry.

Those upper-level math and science courses can strike fear in the hearts of many a homeschooling mom, but there are lots of ways to homeschool high school and make sure our kids learn what  they need to know even if it’s something that we struggled with in school.

And, then there’s always that “learning alongside the kids” thing. Sometimes we discover that some of those difficult subjects make a little more sense the second time around. Especially if there is a teacher’s manual involved.

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


"Get well soon Suzanne! ❤ I hope even if it is The Dreaded Lurgy you'll ..."

Open Thread COVID 19 – What ..."
"I am glad you were able to get a test and I am wishing you ..."

Open Thread COVID 19 – What ..."
"Well, USA has a bigger military budget than Costa Rica, so the latter can spend ..."

Open Thread COVID 19 – What ..."
"Does she rely on the same logic with respect to car maintenance? Maintenance intervals are ..."

Nancy Campbell’s Total Dismissal of Covid ..."

Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!

What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • mayarend

    “I don’t know the subject myself but I think I can teach it anyway”. Gotta love it.

  • JeanPing

    Seems perfectly accurate to me. Her list of ways to cover difficult classes in high school includes hiring a tutor, trading subjects with another parent with expertise, dual enrollment in community college, co-ops, etc. I’d include online classes, but her list might date from the pre-MOOC era.

    And indeed, I’ve found that lots of subjects make way more sense now. I enjoyed chemistry OK the first time around but now it’s a favorite subject that I loved teaching last year. I’m now running a group physics class–it’s only at an early high school level (no calc, it’s conceptual physics aka physics for poets) and it’s going well. It helps a lot that I have a physics-genius husband on tap to answer questions and suggest lab ideas. I wouldn’t try to teach physics with calc, but my 8th grader will be well-prepared to take a course at the community college in a few years. She is also taking high-school English online–not because I can’t teach it but because we thought it would make a nice change and a good intro to doing more high-school work without me teaching it.

    People are capable of learning after the years of school.

  • Madame

    This is from the original blog:

    “Oh, one last very important thing – this is supposed to be fun and
    slightly amusing. If you take offense as you read these, you’re probably
    taking them too seriously.”

  • I know a QF mom who was homeschooled herself, and can’t do math higher than grocery money. I’m not even being factitious. I asked her how she is going to teach her kids math if she has difficulties in that area. Her answer? “Oh, well, clearly I don’t need much math, so they won’t either.”

  • Saraquill


  • Saraquill

    I don’t know what to think. Why is she all but insisting that grown women can’t to advanced math or physics?

  • Nea

    There is a generation that was told that girls can’t do math, says one of the women who absorbed that message. But I think what she’s really saying here is that there’s some subject that a parent feels beyond them to teach, and used algebra as the example.

  • Nea

    O.M.G. So nice to know that her kids are never going to be in a position to need to balance a budget. Or even do something like “figure out how much paint/yardage/materials are needed to complete a project.”

    And that’s not going into how ripe that mother and those kids will be to a shyster who says all the right things about investments that they won’t have the wherewithal to evaluate.

  • Nea

    Well, yes. It’s actually a goal of mine to take a certain number of classes for personal development per year.

    But what people are reacting to is the fear that something very basic will be either ignored or mistaught, as in the story elsewhere on this thread about the woman who knows next to no mathematics at all and doesn’t seem fussed that she can’t teach it.

  • Periphrastic

    Algebra as advanced math? Algebra is not an ‘upper level’ course. Algebra is something I took in eighth grade and a lot of kids can probably handle it earlier. If you’re terrified of algebra, are you just going to run screaming once it gets to calculus? I was going to ask what you do if your (for your sake hopefully male) child decides to set sights on MIT, but I guess that would be considered a gross failure by this crowd.

    I never had kids, but I always thought if I did that I would have liked to have done homeschooling. But mostly because I look back at my own childhood and I’m pretty sure I could have been through calc and fluent in several languages by the end of middle school, if I’d been given the resources. I always presumed that knowing the material was a prerequisite. I guess you can’t go wrong underestimating people.

  • SAO

    I have a masters in a field that required a lot of math, but it’s been a while since I used it. Lagrangian equations and Matrix math are my special peeves, so needless to say, I can do algebra. But I don’t remember a lot of it. When I try to help my kids, even my 8th grader, I have to go back and do a lot of work to remember.

    So, can I teach algebra — yes, if I do the course a few steps ahead of my kids. But can I answer a question about 8th grade algebra when my son has it, without spending a hour or so researching on the web? Not always.

    I often find my trouble comes from unspecified assumptions buried in the problems. The triangle is a right triangle. The projectile is thrown with only upward force. (ie zero outward, or if it’s thrown off the building, zero downward force).

    So, if algebra didn’t make sense the first time around, why does she suppose it will the second time around? Yes, it will be easier, but to teach, you really need a much better grasp than the student has, so you can remind him of stuff that seemed unimportant when he first learned is, like the order of operations.

  • Trollface McGee

    It does seem reasonable but how many parents are going to take all those steps is my concern. There was an article recently by a young man who emerged in his teens from homeschooling – homeless. So yes, it looks good on paper but can it be adequately implemented?
    Good homeschooling is possible but it requires a great deal of planning, work and money – hard when you have a bunch of kids of all ages, the mother (and older siblings) being responsible for all the homeschooling as well as all the household tasks and the parents not being well educated – it becomes a much more difficult proposition.

  • MyOwnPerson

    Yeah, no, I know how this usually works. Some parents will go the extra mile to make sure their kids learn math (an extra mile that they created for themselves, by the way, so it is their responsibility to make up for the shortfall), but most kids will just be labelled as struggling with math and their parents will give them easy math courses. It usually doesn’t occur to homeschooling parents that maybe their kids are struggling with math because they have crappy math teachers, or maybe no math teachers. I had to teach myself math out of Saxon books, so I tried to choose easier math courses in high school.

  • Theo Darling

    Sure people can learn outside of academic settings or long after their own formal education’s completion, but in real life it doesn’t always work out that way. For instance, there’s my own mother, whose highest level of education is high school and who’s been homeschooling at least one child at any given time for the last fifteen years. That seems like plenty of time to catch up on some things she might have missed or didn’t understand the first time around, and yet she still gets so frustrated while going over my youngest sibling’s books that she’s been known to throw books, scream, or tell him that he doesn’t have to do the work after all. She says that “this stuff is ridiculous” and that my brother “will never need to use any of this.” “This” being strategies for interpreting works of literature, formulating logical arguments, writing coherently, etc.

  • Catherine

    I did a head-turn at the idea of algebra being advanced also. My husband has all of his pre-calc/Calculus/Diff. Equations textbooks from his school days. If we had kids and homeschooled them, our biggest struggle would be finding LOWER-level math books!