Quoting Quiverfull: Part 3 – Homeschooling? Who Needs Stinkin’ Edumakashun?

Quoting Quiverfull: Part 3 – Homeschooling? Who Needs Stinkin’ Edumakashun? April 27, 2016

quotingquiverfullby Michael Pearl from No Greater Joy – Homeschooling High Schoolers

Editor’s note: Here comes the authoritative leather strap of Michael Pearl’s words. He is now telling homeschooling parents that what they do is no different than his hated public schools. Talented and gifted children? He thinks that translates into warped adults and does not think they should receive any tutoring or specialized education at all. Claiming that it’s too high pressure competitive. Sounds to me like his vision of what students are is the weaker screwed up version, not the ones in his previous piece in public and private schools. He wants a world where every single person is as ignorant, uneducated and backwards as he is.

It is obvious that many homeschooling families are nothing more than reformed public educational systems. A system faulty at the very core of its philosophy doesn’t need reformation; it needs dismissal. The education system in America doesn’t need a new teacher; it needs a new birth.

Whether in the home dictated by parents, or in the corporate classroom John Dewey style, education has taken an invasive, destructive course. Intensive, time-consuming mental discipline—out of proportion to working with the hands—is alien to natural humanity and a threat to normal development. It is a perversion to take a five- to twelve-year-old child and enter him in a demanding competition for academic excellence. We would all find fault with an ambitious adult that put his seven-year-old through a demanding schedule of football training. Is the seven-year-old any better equipped to handle the emotional demands of professional study? How can we justify raping a child’s youth by forced confinement in full-time study? Child prodigies are usually abnormal, unfulfilled adults. Head-starters are often late finishers with no desire to continue their education.

Part 1 | Part 2

QUOTING QUIVERFULL is a regular feature of NLQ – we present the actual words of noted Quiverfull leaders, cultural enforcers and those that seek to keep women submitted to men 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.

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  • As usual, Michael has taken bits and pieces of truth and perverted them towards his own ends. It is true that there are educators who believe our current system of mass education doesn’t serve children well. Interestingly enough, one of them was John Dewey, who, when he uttered the words “children learn by doing” meant pretty much what Michael means when he talks about his children learning math skills by producing a product to sell. Back in the 70’s, John Holt developed some innovative ways of teaching children by involving them in projects that required that they be able to perform basic math and writing skills. When I was working as a speech pathologist, I often did big projects with my children, like the aptly named WHY-ME TV news video, which I can describe in a separate post if anyone wants to know.

    The thing is, no one needs to reinvent the wheel. If you start your own business or write a first novel, you are usually happy to get taught by somebody who has been through the process and has skills and information. So no matter how many projects you involve children in, at some point you have to sit them down and teach them things, and let them engage in repetitive practice and give them feedback – all the stuff we called teaching.

    Like in my video project. One of the participants was our “spokesmodel” – she was working on her /s/ sounds and some grammar and vocabulary, so her portion of the video was to give the commercial for the facility where I worked. That meant we had to sit down and drill, drill, drill on all the words with an /s/ in them used in her presentation, along with memorizing the speech. She also practiced some oral motor exercises before drilling on the words.

    Another young man had a problem with stuttering and cluttering. His job was to interview the father of yet another participant who had returned from Desert Storm. Again, we had to practice, practice, practice those questions (which he also had to think up.)

    All of the students involved were learning about who, what, where, when, why and how questions, so those played a big part in organizing what they presented. They all had a lot of fun and their parents were impressed, but a lot of sit them down, tell them what they need to know and drill them until they do a good job was also involved. The project just made everything more meaningful and taught them about watching and listening to the news as well.

  • Nea

    Oooookay. So classic education is “child rape,” smart kids are “abnormal adults,” study, patience, persistence, and concentration are “a threat to normal development.” The guy who wrote happily of a toddler with a dirty diaper attempting to “help” with a construction project, who smirked at his own kids trying to cheat each other financially, who speaks with praise of bullying and social competition finds *mental* work and competition “a perversion.”

    And this is the system that he promises will create the leaders, inventors, doctors, and scientists of the future. The ones who will be hiring and directing the public schooled secular kids.

    We are not, I’m sure, meant to notice two inconvenient facts:
    1) His own children Can. Not. Hold. A. Basic. Job. Not. One. Not even run a simple business of their own creation!
    2) Mikey leans HARD on doctors and lawyers when he wants their help. He’s also pretty darn fast to cite any professor or white collar professional when he thinks they agree with him. No complaints about their schooling then, or even a hint that macho manly ubermale Mikey could do better than them.

  • Rachel

    It really burns me when people misuse the word “rape,” especially when concerning children.

    I also think he severely underestimates children. I took up piano at 8 and pretty quickly got into the performance/competition sphere. Sure I got nervous, but I loved competing and I picked up skills that I continue to use today, like learning how to perform under pressure!

  • Mel

    Again, the woman asked about how to educate 14-18 year old teens. Mikey’s gone off on a rampage against teaching young children and pre-teens, but he’s still missing the whole teenage bit.

    Teens can concentrate quite deeply on subjects that interest them. Some teens won’t apply that skill to academic subjects, but that’s often not because they are incapable of focus. They just don’t want to focus on something that is boring. (I don’t blame them for the feeling, but growing up requires being able to focus even on a dull or boring task like reading books by the Pearls.)

  • BridgetD

    …Mikey never even addressed the woman’s question. She was asking about teenagers, not about 5-12 year olds.

    Moving on, I subscribe more to the progressive philosophy in K-6 education (less so in 7-12 education). Literally the philosophy that John Dewey proposed, and the one that Michael Pearl doesn’t seem to understand given that he mentioned the “corporate John Dewey style.” Our public school classrooms have a lot of traditional authoritarianism opposed to the student-centered learning that I tend to prefer (though no one philosophy is necessarily better than another, since they all have their pluses and minuses), and no doubt there are issues with corporate interests in public education. That said, you don’t throw out the baby with the bathwater. There are many GOOD things about public education, and you can’t function in today’s society without. Plain and simple.

    He also underestimates kids. The saying “practice makes perfect” has real bearing in education. Although I think the system has some flaws and concerns to be addressed, but it still stands that if children don’t have opportunity for intensive practice, they aren’t going to learn. And they’re perfectly capable of it if they put their mind to it. The trick (in my opinion) is making it less of a chore and more of something that they want to do.

    Also, this gem: “Child prodigies are usually abnormal, unfulfilled adults. Head-starters are often late finishers with no desire to continue their education.”

    Really? I don’t know if you would call me a “prodigy” per se, but I was a gifted student. My dad tells me a story about how he once walked in on me when I was probably less than two years old tracing a maze with my finger. A few years later, preschool or early elementary, I was at the Dallas Aquarium with my family. I not only correctly identified the whale baleen, shark’s teeth, and other objects they had displayed, but I was giving extra information on each. There are several more of these stories that my dad tells of my siblings and I.

    As for head starters being late finishers, what BS. I graduated from high school on time, and although I took a couple years off of school before starting college, I’m here now and I’m on track to graduate on time with a decent GPA. I not only have the desire to finish my education, I’m studying in Spain this summer and will begin student teaching in a little more than a year (I will technically have “field work” next year, but I believe that is more observing than it is doing). It’s too early to say I’m “fulfilled,” since I have little experience in the classroom. That said, I have goals I want to achieve, and I have a plan for them, a backup plan if that goes wrong, a backup plan for the backup plan if THAT goes wrong :P. I have several hobbies that make me very happy. I have a lot going for me in the present and immediate future that give me hope. So, for the early part of my life that I’m in, I think I’m in very good shape. Abnormal is up for debate. I’ve had a lot thrown at me, and it hasn’t left me completely unscathed. Then again, who isn’t carrying a few scars? What is “normal” anyway? I have a few mental disorders (runs in the family), and I have a little sister who is actually special needs and behind her peers. So I take that question very seriously.

  • Petticoat Philosopher

    Actually, what do his kids do? I don’t really know anything about them and I didn’t know he said much about them.

    And well…he seems to think chiropractors are doctors and both the Pearls are into “natural” medicine so he quite possibly takes a dim view of real medical education too.

  • Nea

    They do take a dim view of real doctors — right up to the point that Debi needed actual surgery, which have no amount of tea or neck-twisting can fix. As it was neck surgery, it’s not hard to deduce that whatever half-trained chiro she saw actually did or aggravated the harm.

    As for his kids, the girls (naturally) do whatever hubby tells them, although they surface occasionally on their parents’ blog, online herb shop, and newsletter. One used to have a blog of her own, but she lost it soon after hubby decided to sit on his lazy ass and let God provide, because electricity and money and running water make people lazy. To the best of my knowledge, none of the daughters blogs on her own now.

    One son actually lived the dream and ran his own coffee business for a while… but the website is defunct and his parents now talk about what a good hunter he is, leading to the implication that he couldn’t hold onto his business and he can’t hack working for anyone else, so he has to hunt and gather to supply for his family.

    Certainly not ONE of them has been an innovator or scientist or social leader, and the girls who defensively say they were beaten into being “happy and successfull” also spend a lot of time talking about how hard it is to submit to their husbands’ requests… be that to live without money and with him delivering all the babies without training, or to be asked to pick a restaurant.

  • Poster Girl

    Dewey’s philosophies have a place in secondary ed, too. I teach math grades 10-12, mostly seniors in calculus. I’m at a school where around 80% of our seniors take calculus, meaning it’s not just the top of the class. We do a lot of interactive learning, working with manipulatives, discussing results, and explorations. Our school’s and indeed our district’s entire guiding philosophy is centered on student-centered learning. And I love it!

  • Mirlo

    “Head starters… late finishers”
    Yeah whatever. I read at age 3. College at 16. Career by age 20. Grad school at 30 something. A decade later, I’m still learning.
    Oh, and in case my book-learning isn’t good enough, I can cook, sew, grow a garden, raise and butcher chickens, repair plumbing and electrical, mend a roof, build a shed, lay carpet, do basic car repair, and anything else I put my mind to do. Because my mind has been well-trained to absorb and apply learning.

  • BridgetD

    That actually sounds awesome :-). Secondary ed isn’t my specialization, so I wasn’t sure, but thinking about it, why not? Now, I’ve always been primarily an auditory learner, secondarily a visual learner. Hands-on learning was never really as effective with me, since I have always learned better through observation: reading, watching, listening, and thinking. Even in my favorite high school class (AP bio) which probably had the most active learning of all my 9-12 classes, I generally sat back and let my peers handle the labs and dissections. For that matter, I don’t even take notes in my college classes now since I find it very distracting (I still manage to get As and Bs and keep the information with me, so I don’t feel bad about that). However, I realize that many (if not most) people aren’t like me. After all, why would the need for touching, manipulating, and active learning in general stop once they reached middle and high school level? So, yeah. I feel a little silly for saying that now :-P.

  • BridgetD

    Nice. Mikey doesn’t know what the heck he’s talking about. My sister, brother, and I were all brilliant as young children. I don’t know what age exactly I was reading full sentences and books by, but my parents have a home video from when my sister and I were about two years old and I was at least able to identify letters correctly. My parents tell many stories about my early years, such as when I traced mazes in a puzzle book before I could really even talk coherently, or when I dazzled the aquarium volunteers with my knowledge on aquatic animals, or correctly identified a herd of Morgan horses. I don’t know how much of this is exaggerated, since aside from the aquarium, I have no memory of these events.

    As for being a “late finisher,” I kept at the average public school student pace (I had thought about going to the collegiate high school that my sister went to for junior/senior year, but in retrospect I’m glad that I didn’t given the state of my mental health during senior year up to freshman year at university), and I’m on track to graduate from university in 2018. I currently have no intention of grad school, since the current climate of public education isn’t particularly favorable to grad students. We’ll see what the future holds. And, although I’ve never been a hands-on learner, I’m resourceful and can apply critical thinking when I have to. Practical and creative skills aren’t my strong point, but sew, knit, and crochet, I can draw, I can read and sing sheet music, cook using a recipe or improvisation (though I’m a little accident prone, so it’s inadvisable to leave me to my own devices, lol), I can take care of livestock even as an urban-born girl, and I have a few other miscellaneous talents. If I put my mind to it and it doesn’t require a lot of physical strain (my health isn’t so great right now), I can do it. I’m always learning, and plan to continue learning for the rest of my life.

  • Astrin Ymris

    Let’s see… going to public school involves the same level of stress as training for the Olympics, but living with parents who blanket-train and demand “first-time obedience” on the threat of being beaten with plumbing products is somehow free from any anxiety or tension?

    Classic Michael… saying whatever he thinks will advance his argument-of-the-moment, even though it completely contradicts what he says to bolster a different thesis.