Quoting Quiverfull: Homeschoolers Should Only Use Approved ‘Christian’ Curriculum?

Quoting Quiverfull: Homeschoolers Should Only Use Approved ‘Christian’ Curriculum? August 27, 2014

bibleby Mary Pride at Homeschool World – Homeschooling Invaded by Marketers 

Most of the article is bemoaning the fact that major mainstream publishers and suppliers to the public school systems have started to target the homeschool brigade with their material.

You and I do have some voice in all this.

We can vote with our pocketbooks, demanding that products for homeschoolers meet our standards. At a bare minimum, this should include honoring the family, recognizing the religious nature of holidays such as Thanksgiving and Easter, encouraging actual virtues such as honesty and kindness rather than phony virtues such as self-esteem, and teaching useful skills quickly without a lot of busywork twaddle. We shouldn’t have to fight our way past illustrations of ghosts, witches, and vampires to use their workbooks. We shouldn’t be treated to sibling nastiness and parental indifference as “normal” behavior. Daycare , divorce, and depression should not be on the scholastic menu. The myths of overpopulation, echo-apocalypse, and evolution should not be presented as scientific fact. The weight of the world’s political problems should not be dumped on our kids’ shoulders, and they should not be pressured to become pint-sized propagandists for politically correct points of view.

There are enough products out there already to choose from. We have no need to put up with the very same problems in our homeschool materials that we left the public schools to escape.

Question of the day: If you’re homeschooling your children is it really wrong to use products not put together by the Christian homeschooling movement? Wouldn’t you want to take advantage of the best available resources out there?

QUOTING QUIVERFULL is a regular feature of NLQ – we present the actual words of noted Quiverfull leaders or their followers/enforcers 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.

Comments open below

NLQ Recommended Reading …

Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement by Kathryn Joyce

13:24 – A Story of Faith and Obsession by M Dolon Hickmon

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  • ConcepcionImmaculadaPantalones

    Phony virtues…include self esteem? Yeah, I can see how a kid feeling good about themselves and their abilities would be a totally useless and unnecessary thing in certain circles. A kid who didn’t feel like crap about themselves wouldn’t be as easy to manipulate and control.

  • Astrin Ymris

    Translation: I don’t want to have to compete with homeschooling curriculum with higher production values! And I don’t like the idea of liberal/moderate homeschoolers no longer being a captive market we can proselytize their kids through.

    And I get why she doesn’t want the concepts of “daycare” or “divorce” penetrating her happy little world of SAHMs, but DEPRESSION? After poor Matthew Warren’s suicide, you’d think even the most extreme of fundgelicals would HAVE to admit that depression exists!

  • She needed three “D”s to round out the magical triple.

    No, really. It’s a legitimate alliterative device. Three things listed in a group and all that.

    But other than that, there’s also the fact that if they admit Depression exists, then they have to admit that it’s blindingly COMMON in their culture and that there’s something *wrong* with their culture because of it. And they don’t attribute depression as the cause of *any* suicide because, again, that would require admitting that there’s something *wrong* to cause the depression. Root causes, ya know.

    I agree it’s stupid, but no one ever said Quiverfull’s were smart.

  • When you’re a fundy homeschooler, those ARE the best tools for education. Or indoctrination as the case may be.

  • Nea

    Wow. Does she think that never mentioning divorce will stop it from happening at higher rates in her world than the secular world?

  • Trollface McGee

    Thank you Mary Pride for helping make the case for greater homeschool regulation. You should not have the right to keep your children wilfully uneducated and unprepared to face the world.

  • JeanPing

    A certain segment of the homeschooling world seems to feel that they own it. I guess Pride is part of that segment, along with Ken Ham and (hopefully no longer) Doug Phillips. They don’t want to acknowledge that a greater and greater percentage of homeschoolers are not fundamentalists, and that secular homeschoolers usually want secular materials. Homeschoolers who aren’t fundamentalists don’t like Apologia or A Beka or Bob Jones, so there’s a big market out there.

    Which is partly why a group of women that I belong to started a blog about homeschooling–just homeschooling, not religion. We keep having bigger dreams about making our voices heard but then life gets in the way every time. Which is, I suppose, why so many speakers at fundamentalist-themed homeschool conferences are men–they aren’t the ones doing the actual work…

  • Mary Pride, the woman who helped spawn the Ron Paul Revolution. No wonder she doesn’t want to discuss depression. They’re helping to create one.

  • elanoreirlys

    I get the sense she’s sticking her fingers in her ears and screaming “la la la la!” When it comes to anything reality-related.

  • lh

    Since when is Thanksgiving a religious holiday…?

  • Independent Thinker

    I am going to translate this message a bit. About five years ago a few mainstream companies figured out their is major money marketing to homeschoolers. Those companies are the Discovery Channel, Usborne Books, and Rosetta Stone. I have absolutely nothing against any of those companies entering the homeschooling market. However, they have apparently cut into a piece of the fundamentalist homeschooling pie. Usborne books has become huge because homeschooling moms can become sales reps for the company for 75-150 dollars. They can sell the books like Avon or Pampered Chef and take home a bit of extra cash.

  • SAO

    The entrance of textbook publishers into the homeschooling market might be followed by campaigning to require homeschoolers to use approved curricula and textbooks. Such a move would be supported by the vast numbers of people who send their kids to public school and suspect the majority of homeschoolers to be kooks, anti-science Christians, or incompetent.

    Without the financial weight of publishers lobbying for regulation of homeschooling, there isn’t a huge interest. The wider public might be for more regulation, but it’s an issue that they are mostly unaware of. The vocal homeschooling minority cares a lot. But when you add money and marketing into the mix . . .

    Things might change.

  • Well, they *have* stated that the whole reason why there’s an issue with child abuse is the abuse prevention programs making such things seem “normal”… so it naturally follows that they would believe that if they just didn’t admit that something exists that it would then, naturally, stop existing. Never mind that it’s logically unsound AND it surrenders the war before it ever begins.

    Anyone who’s fought *anything* knows that unless you correctly identify your opponent, you can’t fight them. You can’t battle depression unless you admit that you suffer from it. You can’t stand up to abuse unless you admit that some abuse and that what is going on is fundamentally *wrong* in nature. Denying a name to something doesn’t destroy it, at least not outside of some forms of magical fantasy.

  • Ahhhhh, so what she’s *really* arguing against is anything that might POSSIBLY give a homeschooling mother the least amount of financial independence, possibly allowing her to break free of an abusive marriage AND still be able to support and raise her children…


  • Uhm… I think it has to do with the legend associated with the holiday linking it with gratitude to *Heaven* for a bountiful harvest. It’s actually the closest thing we in the US have to a legitimate Harvest Festival, but that connection to the concept of *Gratitude* is what is enough for some Fundigelicals to stamp “Christian” on the whole thing and lay sole claim.

  • gimpi1

    “Daycare , divorce, and depression should not be on the scholastic menu.”

    Because those things don’t exist? Divorce is actually more common in Evangelical families. Utah has one of the highest rates of antidepressant prescriptions.

    “The myths of overpopulation, echo-apocalypse, and evolution should not be presented as scientific fact.”
    I assume ‘echo-apocalypse’ refers to global climate-change. If so, none of these things are myths. They are scientific fact. This lady doesn’t want facts, she wants to have her religious biases catered to.

    “The weight of the world’s political problems should not be dumped on our kids’ shoulders, and they should not be pressured to become pint-sized propagandists for politically correct points of view.”

    Rather they should become pint-sized propagandists for Mrs. Pride’s point of view? Yeah, that’s much better.

  • gimpi1

    Quick question, how is Pride linked to Paul? I hadn’t heard that before.

  • Astrin Ymris

    It’s not that they aren’t smart; it’s that they refuse to admit the existence of any disconfirming evidence to their belief system. That’s like trying to reason with one half of your brain tied behind your back.

  • lh

    Yeah, they do seem to think they have a monopoly on anything remotely Good and Moral.

  • Jenny Islander

    Hey, don’t make me use the approved textbooks; about half of them are crap! I started homeschooling in the first place partly because about half of my textbooks were crap. The ones that weren’t crap had to be presented at a pace that suited the hypothetical average student in a class that really needed to be much smaller, so about a third of the students were bored out of their trees (raises hand) and a third were always struggling to catch up.

    The situation has improved at my local school district, but the readers and science textbooks are still crap.

  • Astrin Ymris

    All the upvotes! ;-D

    Believing that language can be used to prescribe reality, rather than describe it seems peculiarly prevalent across the Religious Right. If you proclaim that Global Climate Change isn’t happening, then it isn’t, no matter what all the peer-reviewed science says. If you proclaim that the Tea Party budget will revitalize our economy then it will– despite the fact that it was an epic fail when Kansas tried it.

    And if you preach a God who embodies all the traits of an abusive spouse and proclaim that He’s a LOVING God… then that must be what love is. Or so your “perfect victim pool” should believe, anyway.

  • Jenny Islander

    This! My kids love the Usborne history books. We also use the best science curriculum I’ve ever seen, the one I was wishing for as a primary student myself without being able to verbalize exactly what was wrong with the scattershot approach in the standard science texts. It’s written by an (gasp!) atheist.

  • Independent Thinker

    For a woman who has been a stay at home mom for years at least she would have something to put on a resume and might build some self confidence in the meantime. It’s a pretty small investment and most of the cost of the consultant’s kit is to cover sample books to be able to show the products Usborne sells. Some moms are selling Usborne not only to homeschoolers but also at local parenting events like women’s expos or parenting expos put on at local convention centers.

  • lh

    As an addition to that, a Harvest Festival would be so much more fun than traditional Thanksgiving…I have moral and ethical objections to the whole revisionist view of the history of colonization. But as someone who grew up in a heavily agricultural area, I could get behind the idea of a Harvest Festival.

  • SAO

    I’m not making you do anything, I’m merely observing that the politics of regulation could change with the entrance of deep-pocketed publishers with an interest in selling more books.

  • Oh, I agree that some of the implications of Thanksgiving are… questionable *at best*, but the idea of an actual Harvest Festival would be *excellent*. Let’s set it to run from Halloween to Thanksgiving, so most of November… oooh, that’d line up NICELY with the Texas Renaissance Festival and NaNoWriMo as the lead-in for the Christmas Shopping Season! *chuckle*

    Heck, a little more connection with the earth and the rhythms of the seasons could be good for us as a people, ya know?

  • Well, to give them some credit, there IS power in giving something a Name. It identifies and, to an extent, limits the thing by defining what it is and is not. There is also power in *denying* something a Name. For myself, I have a former fiance who is Nameless to me. I will never speak his name again. That’s my way of reclaiming my sense of power in light of what he did. On the other hand, I *firmly* believe in what Harry Potter’s story taught so many of us. That the fear of a name increases the fear of the thing itself and makes that thing *more* powerful and more controlling of us and our actions.

    All that said, just because they call a given being “God” doesn’t mean that they’re accurately identifying that being. Sometimes I wonder if the entity they’re calling “God” isn’t, in fact, the Other Guy because of how downright *abusive* their concept of the Divine is. That… that’s not *my* God. That’s not *my* Jesus. I don’t know who it is that they’re calling God and Jesus, but that’s not them.

    They’ve twisted and corrupted the very *language* that people use to communicate as a means of controlling and redefining those concepts themselves. They can’t, in fact, change the nature of anything, but they’ve so altered the language that actual, meaningful communication might be impossible without a massive recalibration of language itself. This is why part of the process of breaking free from these abusive systems is having to relearn a large portion of our shared vocabulary. Words have meanings, after all.

  • Saraquill

    “The religious nature of holidays such as Thanksgiving…”


    *ahem* I find it much more prudent to teach how that day represents the beginnings of continent wide genocide. Though religious zealots were involved…

  • Astrin Ymris

    Plus, I’ve read that a lot of Native Americans are ticked off at all the supposed Settler/First Nations harmony that’s so lionized in Thanksgiving specials and decor. Apparently, the only Good Indians are ones who’ve been dead for centuries.

    A Harvest Festival would (hopefully) get rid of the trivializing images of Native Americans that our commercialized Thanksgiving abounds with.

  • Astrin Ymris

    To be fair, “genocide by religious zealots” is completely biblical. 😛

  • I would try to argue the point… but mostly because I have a feeling that fundigelicals have significantly more than *just* half the brain tied behind their collective backs.

  • Astrin Ymris

    Darn, I need to get some more upvotes now! Shouldn’t have used them all up on the preceding post. ;-D

    Seriously, I know exactly what you’re referring to! It’s part of what makes trying to debate with all denominations of True Christians™ so frustrating.

  • It was actually something I realized as I was making my way free of Mormonism. When someone else said a word, I didn’t always know what they *meant* by that word, or that they knew what I *heard* when they used it.

    It didn’t take me long to figure out that they’d redefined those words specifically to keep me from ever breaking free, me or anyone else.

  • Recently came across a quote from John Wesley: “Is not this such love as makes your blood run cold?”

  • *nod* It’s right up there with the one that says “with friends like these, who needs enemies?”

  • Astrin Ymris

    I’ve noted that in debating Catholic apologists before– they have “special pleading” definitions of words that are distinctly different than the commonly-understood definition.

    The one Mormon who was a major player on the Amazon Religion forum did usually use dictionary definitions as far as I remember, though it’s possible that any such outré usages flew over my head. I usually ignored his faith-based proclamations, and engaged him on issues of constitutional rights instead.

  • It’s like that five degrees of separation game, with Gary North in there with them. She helped consult on the home schooling curriculum North wrote for RP. She’s a pillar of the tea party community.

  • gimpi1

    Oh, OK, good to know. I frankly find it alarming how many “libertarian” people appear to actually want a theocracy with much less liberty than we enjoy now.

    “Libertarian” except we’ll ban birth-control, treat abortions as murder, outlaw all sorts of sex including gay and non-marital relationships, mandate church membership and ban any religions but our approved ones.

    That the Rushdooney and North crowd considers themselves “conservative” or “libertarian” should be taken as a profound insult by anyone who actually respects either of those beliefs.

  • centaurie

    Um, I just took a moment to read the entire article on the website (I generally don’t, since I don’t want to give the CP/Q websites more traffic. Isn’t there a way round this? ) and apparently the article is an online publication from the original print version from *1995????? Yes Nineteen Ninety Five, I actually had to check that twice. WTF. Since when do these guys reprint such old articles?