Quoting Quiverfull: Homeschooling Can Only Be Perfect When Public School Is?

Quoting Quiverfull: Homeschooling Can Only Be Perfect When Public School Is? March 19, 2014

For those of you who vomit every single time we put up a Von posting here’s a comment on a wonderful blog posting by a lady named Jennifer Bardsley who blogs at Teaching My Baby To Read – Why ordinary moms should know about the Bill Gothard Scandal. Thanks R.L. Stollar of Homeschoolers Anonymous for posting this on Facebook!

By Lori Mom of 11

Homeschooling should be regulated as soon as public schools have no more pedophiles, bullys, murderous rampages and 100% graduation rate. Until they get their own house in order, they don’t need to worry about the few families that desire to homeschool their children. Of course people will always be a problem, we are all sinful, but I don’t believe the state will ever have the money to regulate what families do in their own homes.

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 and Spiritual Abuse 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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  • Catherine

    Um…the only reason my high school didn’t have a 100% graduation rate the year I finished was because it didn’t count students who were doing a joint HS/college program as graduates.

  • Trollface McGee

    So… until things are perfect we should do nothing? We shouldn’t prosecute murder because people get away with murder. We shouldn’t treat cancer because some people still die from cancer. Her kids should never do chores because there are kids living elsewhere that are spoiled and don’t have to do chores (bet she’d love that).
    That’s just ridiculous logic. I’m more concerned that she apparently has eleven kids that she’s presumably homeschooling and has logic like that.

  • lodrelhai

    So… by this logic, there should be no driver’s license testing until all bus drivers and train engineers are perfect. No oversight on private lawyers until the DA and Public Defenders never prosecute or defend the wrong person. No regulation of private practice medicine until all public clinics have 100% recovery rates of patients.

    That sound about right?

  • Nea

    Take the log out of your own eye, homeschoolers. What is with this passivity – “everyone else has to solve 100% of their problems to 100% of our standards before we can be arsed to lift a fingertip about our own abuse and neglect”? Because THAT doesn’t make people (and their philosophy) look like monsters at all, know does it? Great “witness” and “dominion” there… so it fails by religious standards as well as secular ones.

  • Nea

    This is the same logic I’ve seen used against the Guardasil vaccination. It doesn’t cover 100% of cervical cancer cases, so shut up and don’t use it until it’s perfect.

    As the protection rate is like 7 out of 10 women who are vaccinated, that’s a lot of cancer for the “pro-life” position to handwave in its demand for perfection.

  • gimpi1

    Perhaps we should turn this around:

    No new families should be permitted to home-school until all currently home-schooled kids test letter-perfect in all subjects, with no signs of abuse or psychological problems, and all get substantial employment and are shown to be self-supporting and well-adjusted.

    How about it?

  • Edie Moore McGee

    I think you can regulate homeschooling without spending a lot of money. Just requiring some minimal level of compliance with a standard curriculum and yearly testing to see if kids are on grade level would be sufficient in most cases to assure quality. No need to classroom monitoring and home visits. If the kids are learning, they’re learning. And if abuse or neglect is suspected, turn it over to CPS.

  • Edie Moore McGee

    Oh, man. I’ve had this argument with a fundie anti-vaxxer before and that was exactly the logic she used. Needless to say, my own daughter got the shots. 70% beats 0% any day.

  • Trollface McGee

    Yeah, but cancer is punishment for being female so 7 out of 10 girls are getting out of getting cancer and that’s a bad thing (the other argument against Guardasil).

  • $97346805

    “Homeschooling should be regulated as soon as public schools have no more … 100% graduation rate.” She should learn to put together a proper sentence before she tries to teach her kids.

  • Astrin Ymris

    Alaska has a voluntary program wherein as long as parents participate in state testing (with no cut-off score) they get access to public school resources and funds to buy instructional materials.

    My proviso would be that such tests should be written by EDUCATORS, based on scientific research on cognitive development. Not CEOs who commission Writing Tests for 4th graders that require Formal Operational thinking.

    Interestingly, the Alaska data suggests that the so-called “homeschool advantage” may be caused by the fact that the poorest families don’t homeschool. When the scores of low SES students are removed, homeschoolers do no better or even slightly worse than public school kids. Of course, that figure doesn’t include parents so suspicious of “gubberment” interference that they don’t participate in the voluntary program.


  • Rachel Heston-Davis

    So, if bad things happen at a public school, that makes the abuse suffered in some homeschool families okay.

    Got it.

  • Edie Moore McGee

    Some states (and individual districts) do require some oversight, or at least offer some voluntary oversight. There are states like Texas that are notorious for no oversight whatsoever. I agree that educators should write the tests — I trust you are referencing one of the big weaknesses of Common Core, and I agree on that. Interesting point about poverty, but seems to make some sense.

  • Nea

    “getting out of getting cancer”… and then people wonder why Christianity gets such a bad reputation!

  • Catherine

    No kidding!

  • Nea

    I like it!

  • Hannah

    “Until they get rid of all the pedophiles, bullies, and murderers, they’re not allowed to watch for the possibility of pedophiles, abusers, or murderers within the home”

    ^What I got from what you said

    So because it’s not perfect we should just give up. Because that makes so much more sense. *headdesk*

  • tulips

    By this logic… until no homeschooled kid ever raids their household’s private arsenal to go on a serial killing spree the homeschool community isn’t allowed to criticize bullies and drop outs. Clean your own house first people./sarcasm

  • Meagan Truitt

    Wow, you guys totally miss the point she is making. I would take it even further. She focuses on some of the failures and abuses of the public schools but there are many more that are very subtle at least to most people because they are so brainwashed. John Taylor Gatto sums them up pretty well in his book the hidden curriculum of compulsory education. The mind numbing, soul crushing effect of one size fits all factory style schooling nearly killed me and I mean literally. And that doesn’t even take into account the abuse I endured from various teachers and students. The thing this homeschool mom is pointing out is that regulation has not made public schools safe, healthy, and academically adequate or excellent places and that there is no evidence that they are doing any better than homeschools even with little or no regulation. In fact on average do better academically if they choose that route than publicly educated kids. I’ll give you an example. I have a friend whose homeschooled daughter was not very academically inclined. About all she could get her to read was Harry potter and she didn’t advance very far in math. She was more into her music and martial arts. But later about 17 or 18 she decided she wanted to get a degree so she prepped for ACT and brushed up on her algebra and now has a 4.0 average at UK. She says all the students around her are apathetic and burned out because they were raked over the coals for 12 years. This girl would not have been well served by some standard that forced her into the same meatgrinder as everyone else. The truth is that public schools are harming more people than they help and government regulation will never make them good places but in reality is a big part of what makes them so bad. The government is incompetent. It is so because it has no competition or accountability. An organization with no competition or accountability has no incentive to be innovative or satisfy its customers or even be competent at all.

    You are looking for some outside protector and assurance via regulation that all will get an education and avoid being abused but that will never happen.
    Those who are supposed to do the regulating are themselves wrong headed and oppressive and harm those they are supposed to be helping either by their requirements and restrictions which end up being an ill fitting straight jacket for many, or by their neglecting to stop things that they should stop.

    It is each persons responsibility to get an education. The cold hard reality is that it can be very hard and an uphill battle against seemingly insurmountable odds for some people. But many have done so even with great disadvantages and even without much in the way of school. There are many examples from history like Abe Lincoln and Thomas Edison and many many more. Each person should be free to get the education that is right for them. There is nothing wrong with the state requiring that the basic competencies of reading writing and math be taught to all students including homeschool students. The problem is that this has a tendency to morph into ever more control that ends up not helping but constraining, enslaving and harming. People far away from you and having no idea of your unique needs, gifts, etc end up in control. It can potentially get very tyrannical as demonstrated in Germany under Hitler and in other countries as well where things intellectually and morally repugnant were forced upon people totally contrary to their beliefs and understanding of what was true and in opposition to their own health and welfare.

    I would suspect many of you here were homeschooled. Don’t be duped into thinking that the grass is greener on the other side of the fense. There are a few that feel good about their public school experience but there are many many more who don’t. Those of you who were homeschooled probably only went to public school for a few years. The more years attended the worse the harm done, so if you had had to spend 12 years there your opinion about it would likely be very different than if you only spent say 4 years and at higher grade levels.

    It is human nature to look for people to blame and to look for a savior. It seems that many of you believe government regulation to be a savior that will make sure people get educated and are not abused. But we already have massive regulation and it is not working. The US has so many laws on the books numbering in the tens of thousands that they can’t even be enforced consistently and they are about all kinds of ridiculous things. I watched a documentary on this topic and it showed how most of the population is breaking laws every day and they have no idea. Sometimes people are getting prosecuted over stuff they had no idea even existed.

    This is why we need as a nation to come back to the constitution and the truth is that the federal government has no constitutional jurisdiction to do most of the things they are doing. I would highly recommend getting educated on the constitution and government and it may radically change your views on this subject and many others. I would recommend writings by Ron Paul and the Mises Institute. Jon Taylor Gatto and Ron Paul and many other libertarians would argue that much of the regulation that has been brought up here such as drivers liscenses etc are not so much about altruism as they are about control, money and expansion of government. The government is a jobs project, a place where people can get a paycheck with little risk of losing that paycheck because without competition or accountability you don’t have to do a good job. Once a government beurocracy gets started it’s almost impossible to get rid of. It usually just mushrooms out of control more and more. RP and JTG point out that things were just as good or better before these regulation programs came into existence. For example, there were no more accidents with automobiles before liscensing started for driving than after. That’s because most people don’t want themselves or their kids to die in car accidents. They don’t need someone else to motivate them to learn to drive safely or monitor them to make sure they do. The ones that are idiots and don’t care are going to manage to be idiots and harm themselves or others no matter what. But when they exhibit irresponsible behavior they should be severely punished and made an example of so that other idiots will be deterred. Same goes with many other things. Micromanagement and government regulation and control is not needed. Just information on how to do things and exhortation to personal responsibility and then if you harm others by being irresponsible you have to pay with consequences.

    The trouble with regulating education is that there is such wide variance in opinions on educational philosophy and approaches that are valid and reasonable and such wide variance in the goals and needs of people that a standard imposed beyond a very rudimentary basic thing like all students must learn reading writing and math and maybe civics becomes oppressive. Even mandating students be at someone’s opinion of grade level is problematic because we are not all identical robots. I have a child who walked at 10 months and one that didn’t walk til eighteen months. The idea of regulation is predicated upon the assumption that there are people who will regulate rightly. But there is no one who has all the right answers and the right way for everyone. It is just opinion.

    That said it must be remembered that one of our founding fathers, I believe it was John Adams said that our form of government is wholly inadequate except for a morally sound, god fearing people who will govern themselves. People must love their neighbor as they love themselves. Which means they must know what love is and how it looks and behaves and it must be the motive in our hearts for all that we do. Otherwise there is no legislation or regulation that will contain the evil and harm that people will commit. Even the regulators become without judgement and corrupt and abuse their power for their own ends. Religious people and are hazardous without love. The bible says God is love and that his love and mercy are greater that his justice.

  • Meagan Truitt

    Weird. I posted here just a minute ago and it’s already gone. I saw with my own eyes that my message posted. Don’t know what happened. I said wow, you guys don’t get her point. She is saying that regulation has not made public schools safe, healthy, academically excellent or even adequate places. And there is no evidence that they are doing any better than homeschools even with little to no regulation. You seem to think that regulation equals everyone getting an education and being treated well and it just isn’t true. The people regulating are just as prone to being wrongheaded and oppressive as everyone else. Some people feel ok about their public school experience but many more don’t. I hated it and it just about killed me. I’m just talking about the mind numbing one size fits all factory. The abuses by students and teachers made it even worse. I totally relate to John Talor Gattos book the hidden curriculum of public education. The mind numbing soul crushing effect of factory style one size fits all education is a meat grinder that crushes the life out of and harms many people. Forget about religious views. Even people who are not religious see this.

    The bottom line is that it is each persons responsibility to get an education and many have done that even though it was hard and with little schooling or advantages like Abe Lincoln and Thomas Edison.

    Libertarians like Ron Paul or John Taylor Gatto would argue that regulation like many mentioned here, drivers liscenses, etc are really about money and control and not to help people. Accidents were no more before liscensing than after. This is because most people want to live and will learn how to drive just fine without nanny government making them. The ones who are idiots will be idiots no matter what. What is needed is not regulation but information and encouragement in self governance and stiff penalties for those that harm others. Government is a big momma to people because it makes money and expands their jobs project. The government is a place where lazy and incompetent people can get a paycheck and not get fired. They don’t have to satisfy their customers because we can’t get rid of them. There is little to no accountability and no competition. I’m not saying that every government employee is lazy or incompetent but many are and I’m sure it is frustrating to those who aren’t. Beyond that at an organizational level government is lacking in responsiveness and innovation because they don’t have to be responsive or innovative or individualized.

    I think if you would study government and the constitution it might radically change your viewpoint. Some good places to start are Ron Paul’s writing and the information provided by the Mises Institute.

    The homeschooled daughter of a friend of mine is good example of how someone would not be well served by standards that go beyond all students being taught reading writing and math. Even enforcing all kids being at a grade level, which is just an opinion is wrongheaded and potentially harmful. She wasn’t academic and her mom couldn’t get her to read anything but Harry potter and she didn’t get that far in math. Later however she decided she wanted to go to college so she brushed up on math and got through algebra and prepped for ACT. She now has a 4.0 average at UK. She says the other kids are all Burnt out and apathetic and she is thankful she wasn’t put through the meat grinder and forced to be a professional student for 12 years.

    I’m sorry to those that were hurt by homeschooling parents but don’t be lulled into thinking that the grass is necessarily greener on the other side of the fence and that regulation is going to save people. It didn’t save me. If you have hard ass religious parents it very well wouldn’t make any difference being in school vs not anyway. My parents were religious hard asses and I spent most of my years in public school and a little in private. Being in public school didn’t lower my burden it was either the same or even added to it.

  • Suzanne Harper Titkemeyer

    Read the commenting guidelines page. It says that anyone that hasn’t posted here before will have their comments moderated. The reason we do that is because of trolls, like one yesterday with an obscene name. It keeps out those that only want to fight for arguments sake.

  • tulips

    2 quick responses:
    1 Given the absence of regulation/data re homeschool on what grounds would you make a judgment that it was superior/inferior/comparable?
    2 It is each persons responsibility to get an education like in the good old days? Suggestion? Check your statistics/facts and having thus rinsed the soft focus good old days apple pie film from your eyes correct your statement regarding education and privilege prior to public education.

  • Suzanne Harper Titkemeyer

    Oh no you did NOT just call government workers lazy and incompetent! My husband is one of the editors of the US Government’s oldest publications, an honorable man who has WORKED for no pay during government shutdowns. Most of the federal workers in DC are hard working dedicated people WITH advanced education. I take that personally, tells me you have no real idea how regulations and educational standards actually work.

    If you have nothing to hide and are doing such a damn perfect slam dunk job with homeschooling then why so much opposition to regulator practices. Having oversight from regulator bodies, even if they are connected to federal and state government, is good and as it keeps you on your toes as far as assuring that each child has the best shot at the proper education. What are homeschoolers hiding? They should be welcoming to oversight if homeschooling is such an outstanding and perfect way to educate.

  • Nea

    The government is a place where lazy and incompetent people can get a paycheck and not get fired.

    The US military and police forces thank you for your support.

  • CrimsonWife

    If you’re feeding your children an adequate diet, then you should have NO problem with submitting daily menus, grocery receipts, having some bureaucrat observe meals on a regular basis, and paying for expensive lab tests to prove that your child is getting proper nutrition. Having oversight is good and assures that each child has the best shot at the proper nutrition, right?

    I am concerned about the welfare of those who received an inadequate education K-12 (whereever that education was received). But the solution is not adding a lot of red tape that the problem homeschoolers will just ignore anyways by going “underground” or by banding together to form their own awful little church schools. Remember that the FLDS with the polygamy and child brides did not homeschool but sent their kids to FLDS schools.