Homeschooling Failure & Other Steven Anderson News

Homeschooling Failure & Other Steven Anderson News December 29, 2018

First up for the Steven Anderson family I just have to share this screen cap from his wife, Zsuzsanna Anderson. It’s of a homeschooling worksheet by daughter Miriam.

Miriam is now 11 years old according to Zsuzsanna’s blog. I know that Zsuzsanna is homeschooling those children. I know that with the large number of children she has it has to be hard to stay on top of everyone’s unique educational needs. I know that the issues with having to abandon her home for other places for months on end just to get mold remediation has to be very hard. But… but I am just going to say it. An 11 year old that thinks ‘Banned’ is spelled ‘Band’ has been seriously failed along the way by whatever educational method is going on there.

We’re not even going to go into the sick ideas that make bragging that her father cannot go to certain countries in the world a thing. Those poor kids.

On the other Anderson front Zsu has also announced that 17 year old son Solomon is getting married next year.

Congrats. I guess.

Why am I bringing up all of these things? Because the Anderson’s recent posts, on both social media and on their blogs are illustrative of the big failures of Quiverfull, the realities that are glossed over, undereducated children, undereducated children getting married young without the skill set it takes to have a successful life.

I don’t know if you’ve followed the drama at Zsuzsanna’s blog about the mold situation in their home, but this is another common principle I’ve seen over the years in too many homes in this sub culture, ignore a problem with the home until it becomes an obvious crisis, which ends up creating major chaos, costs much more money and upends everyone’s lives. Don’t do maintenance, don’t look for the source of a leak until it turns the entire ceiling black, making the home uninhabitable.

Most of these things boil down to a lack of money in the household mixed with a strange ignorance that is cultivated in the more fundamentalist religions. So unnecessary, it sets up children for failure and more of the same chaos in the lives of the parents. Sad.

ETA: If you have come here to defend Steven Anderson and pals please read our comment policy first before posting. I have no trouble banning and blocking those of you that violate it on purpose.

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NLQ Recommended Reading …

Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement by Kathryn Joyce

I Fired God by Jcoelyn Zichtermann

13:24 A Dark Thriller by M Dolon Hickmon


About Suzanne Titkemeyer
Suzanne Titkemeyer went from a childhood in Louisiana to a life lived in the shadow of Washington D.C. For many years she worked in the field of social work, from national licensure to working hands on in a children's residential treatment center. Suzanne has been involved with helping the plights of women and children' in religious bondage. She is a ordained Stephen's Minister with many years of counseling experience. Now she's retired to be a full time beach bum in Tamarindo, Costa Rica with the monkeys and iguanas. She is also a thalassophile. She also left behind years in a Quiverfull church and loves to chronicle the worst abuses of that particular theology. She has been happily married to her best friend for the last 32 years. You can read more about the author here.

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  • AFo

    That worksheet looks like something from a second grade classroom, so Miriam is about four years behind educationally. She may have a learning disability that’s slowing her down as well, but good luck getting an appropriate diagnosis and interventions. It pisses me off to no end that these people see no problem with this, just like it horrifies me that they don’t find two seventeen year olds getting married to be disturbing.

  • SAO

    Well, my son is a freshman at a top engineering school. He got on the dean’s list. His spelling and handwriting are atrocious. However, he did well enough on the PSATs to be a national merit scholarship finalist (ie in the top 1% of the state). Which just shows you that multiple choice is not a good way to test writing skill. He got 5s (the top score) on all his Advanced Placement tests. He didn’t do AP English and the rest didn’t take points off for bad spelling. His APs got him a semester of credit at college. Admittedly, his spelling is better when he is trying, but I don’t know how many times I’ve pointed out that seams are found in clothing and not in the phrase, ‘it seems like . . .”

    In short, the part of my very smart son’s brain that does spelling is the one part that is not very smart.

    So, who knows what is going on with Miriam.

  • Friend

    It’s worse than just the homonym confusion about band versus banned, which a lot of people might flub. The instructions say to write sentences about specific collective nouns. She was writing about team, class, and band.

    Banned is not a noun. So the poor kid appears to have missed the whole point of the exercise. Did her mother teach her the lessons about parts of speech, or was she supposed to muddle through alone? The absence of a verb in sentence 1 makes me wonder too.

    ETA: Class is wrong too, not used as a collective noun in the answer.

    Oh, and is that a man in a suit at the bottom of the page, labeled as “supervisor”? I thought moms did the home education. What’s going on? Anybody recognize the curriculum?

  • Friend

    Correct, she could be a very bright child with poor spelling or just a preference for looking out the window. Unlike your son, though, this child has parents who are determined to limit her education. She’ll be lucky if they let her print a homeschool diploma.

    And all of us are diminished by this. Every kid forced to accept ignorance in place of education turns into an adult who will never develop better treatments for cancer, safer designs for bridges, or more accurate software to predict hurricanes.

  • Saraquill

    I’m surprised there is anyone willing to marry into that family. That said, I feel bad for the couple, as they will likely be hungry for a long time.

  • (((J_Enigma32)))

    Was your son homeschooled or did they go to a public school? If he went to a public school, it’s an apples to oranges comparison.

  • Friend

    For a very long time in our history, young men were raised to get a job and save some money before trying to pursue courtship and marriage. People looked down on men who tried to get romantic without bothering with other aspects of adult life. Such men were considered cads and freeloaders.

    Yes, things were even more sexist then, and unemployment and poverty postponed marriage. Still, I like the fact that girls and women watched for signs that a man was finding his own way in the world.

  • This is a very good point. Even if she confuses “band” and “banned” in trying to recall how to spell the word she wants, an 11 year old should be able to use the context cues from the exercise to recognize that the word shown means a group that plays music. However, I don’t think that we can overlook the possibility that she was bored, feeling mischievous, and went for the joke even though she knows “band” and “banned” are different words.
    But the two 17 year olds getting married; that’s no joke.

  • Friend

    I’m willing to assume they are deeply in love, and I wish them well.

    What follows is not about them but about their social milieu. In fundagelical land, the groom is the son of a celebrity preacher managawd and all that. And Papa Anderson is one angry, caustic sumbitch. I cannot imagine anyone in this couple’s circle having enough loving detachment to size up their situation, still less the gumption to offer them whatever perspective they might want or need.

  • bekabot

    I think the boo-boos are supposed to be endearing, which they might be, if the kid who was making them were a lot younger. (“I just died laughing,” etc.) This is supposed to be an example of cute domestic chaos, IMO. (Nope, doesn’t work for me either).

  • Sometimes Christian schools use the fundy curricula.

  • This happened with a lot of my friends, in which they education was done half-heartedly and they got recruited to work in their teens (and, for years, made to work for less than minimum wage). However, my mom made sure that I got a decent enough education. (Sadly, the church opposed college, so I didn’t start college until my 30’s, and spent years working for less than minimum wage.)

  • My question is what are the chances that the intending spouses actually had a free choice in the matter, rather than being pressured into the marriage.

  • Will the subculture even allow men to save money, or will they have to continually work at low-paying jobs? This is especially true if they are working poor, and the subculture opposes the means of escape from poverty (esp considering the anti-education attitudes present).

    As for the old school expectations, I can also see a degree of classism there, as the norm would be much easier for the rich and class than the (working) poor. Of course, women were also sometimes pressured into marrying Mr. Moneybags, regardless of his character, and sometimes her family would disapprove if she married someone lower class.

  • Friend

    I’d love to know details about the church’s objection to college. Please share.

    My youth group was a secret fundy cabal in a mainline Protestant church. Most of our parents were educated, and the youth ministers were not quite foolish enough to tell us not to go to college. However, we were warned repeatedly about the perils: living away from home, “falling away,” being “Lone Ranger Christians,” and getting sucked into a cult (HA!). We were also told to avoid taking psychology, social work courses, any science that might include evolution, and a raft of other things. I knew I couldn’t follow the scary guidelines and actually earn a degree. The objections made no sense to me.

  • Friend

    Yes, classism. Just spitballin’ here, but I think it was enough for a poor young man to have a mining job and a separate room, or maybe some farm tools, a few acres, and a shanty. They expected poverty for themselves but tried to do better for their children.

  • Jennny

    I agree, some of us find spelling difficult. DD got an english degree, then transferred to medicine. She became much in demand among her friends for proof-reading their essays/ dissertations etc and she was privately shocked that some of these very intelligent medical students had such bad grammar and spelling. They very sweetly always bought her a gift to thank her, and a couple got a first (is that a UK expression? a top degree) which they certainly wouldn’t have got with their own grammar…So,we could give poor Miriam the benefit of the doubt, she has an educational problem like dyslexia or special needs…but on balance, knowing her wacky parents, I think that’s the level she functions at because of the inadequacies of her tutor, a mother with a quiverfull to look after. Poor child.

  • Yeah, these people read that verse in Matthew about being like a little child and take it WAYYY too literally!

  • I know the BOY is 17, but how old is that poor girl, I wonder?

  • Jennny

    I admit that when I’m bored on a wet winter afternoon, I take a look at the Andersons’ blogs. I wondered why it took so long for them to realise how bad the mold was, it looks like the whole house has had to be taken apart. You say QF-ers don’t look after their properties, when I used to read fundy adoption blogs, looking for advice about my newly-adopted god-child’s RAD, I found one where the wife smelled burning for a week, saw smoke coming out of a basement electricity box of some sort and ignored it. The house burned to the ground and the family, including disabled adoptees escaped in their pjs at midnight – hubby was out of town. Who in their right mind wouldn’t have called an electrician on day one of the fault?…Andersons seem the same, all part of god’s wonderful plan I guess…and those under-schooled, home-schooled kids get even less time on school books due to the disruption. (Adeye Salem once said proudly they’d done almost no schooling for 3m, as they’d been too busy adopting new kids…)

  • The objections of my old church was that college was a place that young Real, True Christians (TM) were transformed into atheist, became binge drinkers, and flouted fundy sex rules. They objected to being taught to “question everything” and opposed logic and being analytical, which they saw as at odds with the Kingdom of God (TM). They thought that obeying The Prophet (TM; i.e., the pastor) was more important, regardless of how logical what he said was. They also once gave a “horror” scenario of a young person calling their RTC family to tell them they no linger believed what they were taught growing up, such as in God and Jesus.

    Oh yeah, there was also a conspiracy theory they believed that Hillary Clinton was involved in a plot to recruit young, Christian girls into lesbianism when they go to college. (Notice the homophobia.)

  • Kathleen Margaret Schwab

    I think it is part of the mindset of gaslighting yourself. You are telling yourself constantly that violation of personal boundaries isn’t important, so when another warning signal comes in – Look out! Fire! – your brain ignores that too. That what the brain was trained to do, ignore danger signals.

  • Kathleen Margaret Schwab

    They were allowed to be ‘sweetheart for years’? I thought Quiverful was all about kissing dating goodbye. Or is this revisionist history?

  • frostysnowman

    The girl might be younger, the article doesn’t say her age.

  • Friend

    Maybe he was allowed to write letters to her father.

  • Friend

    Holy frijoles! Much more vivid narrative than what was fed to us.

    Upon further reflection, I do think we were warned about being murdered by Satan worshipers. The natural consequence if we were truly living our faith.

  • persephone

    Zsuzsanna’s first language is German, which I’m sure adds to the difficulty of teaching her children in English, especially homophones. I studied German for two years, and it’s a PITA, but it is at least phonetic in spelling.

  • persephone

    I’m sure it was something like letting them sit together during visits or make the occasional short phone call.

  • persephone

    Ugh. Did a search on marriage ages in Arizona and found this:

    Code Section 25-102
    Minimum Legal Age With Parental Consent Male: 16; Female: 16
    Minimum Legal Age Without Parental Consent Male: 18; Female: 18
    Comments Minors under 16 may be allowed to marry with parental consent and approval of superior court judge.

  • persephone

    When I was a JW, they told us not to go to college because it was a waste of time, because Armageddon was due at any moment. Of course, the reasoning behind it was the same as Kevin’s church: they knew that if we went away to college that they would lose power over us. If we weren’t home with our controlling parents, pushed to attend 5 meetings a week plus hours of studying their literature, that we might have time to think, and once the kids start thinking, they’re bound to think about how stupid all the BS they were selling us is.

  • Allison the Great

    My guess is that the bride-to-be is still 15 and won’t be 16 until summer at the earliest. That’s even if they believe in getting marriage licenses.

  • persephone

    I’m not sure about Steve’s views on that. He’s a total nutjob, and does like to challenge governmental authority (one of the reasons he’s “band” in so many places).

  • Not just no money, no time. When my second was a newborn–like the week he was born–I saw some fleas in the cat’s usual sleep spot. I wanted to get on top of the problem, but I had just given birth, and by the time four weeks later I was really in any shape to deal with it, they’d infested much of the house. He was really high needs and wouldn’t nap … I remember vacuuming with him in a wrap while my first child hid in his room with a pillow over his head because the noise scared him.

    And that’s just one of the many crises that have turned into full-scale disasters over the years. When you’re always having babies you never have brain space to do more than survival level stuff. Then you realize you’ve been just crawling by for years and you’ve never painted the house or refinished the floor or organized …. well anything. It didn’t help that I was young and didn’t know, for instance, that furnaces had filters you needed to change.

  • Allison the Great

    I’m not sure either. The man is such a raging asshole and lunatic that it’s difficult for me to tolerate finding out what his views are. It would not surprise me one bit that he shared the same creepy ass views as Vaughn Ohlman when it comes to very young people getting married.

  • I think this is a big part of it. You want to be a little child and a lily of the field because it’s so *relaxing.* Takes the pressure off. Everything that happens was meant to happen and you’re not responsible for anything. My mother lives this way. It justifies her natural flakiness so that instead of trying to find ways to keep herself organized, she just does what occurs to her and if the kids miss a meal, oh well. She forgot. Must have been meant to be.

  • Saraquill

    I’m reminded of someone earlier this month who stated they didn’t care for Those (presumably brown, presumably non-American) People, on account of child marriage. Cue a number of people pointing out it happens in the US, including among caucasians.

  • Saraquill

    No social work courses? Were they even aware of the Middle Eastern Hippie’s lifestyle?

  • paganheart

    That is changing; I live in Arizona, and a law passed this year makes it illegal for anyone under 16 to marry, period. The original proposal would have made marriage illegal for anyone under 18, no exceptions, but the final bill signed by the Governor allows 16-year-olds to marry as long as their parents consent (or they are legally emancipated) and as long as the age difference between the couple is no more than three years. (So a 16-year-old could marry a 19-year-old, but not a 25-year-old, for example.)

    The unfortunate compromise was probably necessary to get the bill past politicians in our right-wing Legislature who represent loonies like the Andersons, and those who have a lot of Mormons in their districts. The mainline LDS church doesn’t push polygamy and child marriage like their FLDS brethren, but I know from Mormon friends that the church doesn’t exactly discourage young marriages, either.

    For my part, I don’t even think 18 is old enough to marry. I don’t think anyone should even be considering marriage until 21, if even then. Maybe young marriage made sense once upon a time in the “good old days,” but given current economic and social conditions, it makes absolutely no sense now. I’m not sure it even made sense back in the “good old days” to be honest. I come from a long, long line of people who married young; my mom married at 19, and one of my great-grandmothers was married at 13. But I also come from a long, long line of people who were very poor (my Dad was born in a house with dirt floors and no indoor plumbing; no they weren’t Quiverfullers, just Appalachian literally dirt poor) and I don’t think those two things are coincidence.

  • Kathleen Margaret Schwab

    I suspect – no, I am sure – that both of them think marrying will get them some space from their over controlling families. Perhaps they will get lucky and have fertility issues, and then they will actually get a real break.

  • Friend

    1) Too much overlap with psychology, which taught us to trust our minds instead of God

    2) Social workers are official government meddlers sent by Satan to destroy Christian family life

    3) Social…ism

  • otrame

    She looks younger; But that can be deceiving.

  • otrame

    I am pretty damned smart, and spelling was always my downfall. However, since the invention of spellchecking, I found I was remembering the correct spelling much better. Unfortunately, autocorrect often changes the incorrect spelling before I can note the difference. (Not to mention getting the correction oh, so very wrong, of course).

    But Miriam’s problem isn’t spelling, it’s grammar. She didn’t misspell. She used the wrong word. I see this a lot in people who do not read much. They know what the word sounds like, more or less, but they have never seen it spelled out, so it is easy to make a mistake like the one in the OP. It has nothing to do with how smart she is. Miriam needs to read a lot more.

  • Jim Jones

    11 Years Old, a Mom, and Pushed to Marry Her Rapist in Florida

    Not surprisingly, the marriage didn’t work out — two-thirds of marriages of underage girls don’t last, one study found — but it did interrupt Johnson’s attendance at elementary school. Today she is campaigning for a state law to curb underage marriages, part of a nationwide movement to end child marriage in America. Meanwhile, children 16 and under are still being married in Florida at a rate of one every few days.




    Outrage After Teen Gets 10 Years for Oral Sex With Girl

    Wilson was convicted of aggravated child molestation in 2005, after, at the age of 17, he had engaged in oral sex with a 15-year-old at a New Year’s Eve party, an offense carrying a mandatory penalty of 10 years’ imprisonment.

    At the time of his conviction, provisions for similarity in age that allowed underage consent to be taken into account were only applicable to vaginal sex. Because the case involved oral sex, the consent of the girl was not at that time legally relevant.

    Children as young as 12 were granted marriage licences in Alaska, Louisiana and South Carolina, while 11 other states allowed 13-year-olds to wed.

    More than 1,000 children aged 14 or under were granted marriage licences — America 2018

  • Friend

    Many of those laws were made long before contraception became available. I’m willing to believe that parents wanted to allow teens to marry early in a crisis pregnancy. Some couples definitely would have been forced, but many were probably in love. I suppose that a few teen couples deliberately brought about a crisis pregnancy to force their parents to let them wed.

    Having said all of that: the laws need to be changed so that youngsters are never forced to marry, and rapists have no parental rights whatsoever.

  • TLC

    Never thought I’d say this, but in Zsuzsanna’s defense, I understand about the leak and the mold. I mean, she couldn’t even see the mold til she scraped off tile behind the fridge. And she’d seen the leak only the week before.

    I once had a leak in my roof for eight months before I figured it out. It wouldn’t happen with every single storm — only when it absolutely poured rain and winds were 25 mph or more. And then it didn’t drip straight down. The water drops rolled down the decking and dripped at the very end where the decking joined the roof. I can’t remember how many times I popped my head into the attic and stood there with a flashlight trying to find that leak! Finally, we had 10 inches of rain in less than 48 hours, and I saw the leak at last. Thankfully, the roofing company had to replace just a couple of shingles, and it cost less than $200 to fix.

    There’s no excuse for the spelling problems, though. That is horrifying.

  • Plain English

    I heartily agree, otrame. If young people were readers, they would naturally become better writers. My kids were unschooled, secular-wild style and they both spell well without any particular focus on spelling. We always loved reading for them and with them. They both read now (in their early twenties) and they both write very well, thoughtfully and with good grammar and spelling. Homeschooling or learning outside public school is not the issue. Respecting children is the issue and allowing them to learn in their own ways with their own passions supported and mentored. Religious homeschooling is simply abuse as I have observed it. I call it abuse because it is prison, not freedom to learn, not respect for a child’s vision and inidividual passions. The Anderson family is a gulag and early marriage for the boy is probably an escape. By the time he is in his mid-twenties, he might even be free enough to seek therapy for what he has suffered. I wish him peace and good fortune.My feeling regarding Steven Anderson is perhaps best expressed by paraphrasing Margaret Atwood: Please die so I can write about it.

  • Suzanne Harper Titkemeyer

    She said she knew that the roof had leaked. I guess I’m so anal because I get the roofing guy out to look at my roof every single time I notice a leak. I don’t delay. I’ve seen what happens so perhaps it was ignorance on her part.

  • SAO

    My son read a lot. He had spelling words in elementary school. Nothing stuck.

  • otrame

    Every brain is different. We all learn differently. When I was young, you were required to repeatedly write out spelling words, 5 or 10 times each. Then use them in sentences. That would probably work for a lot of people. It didn’t for me. I don’t think they teach spelling the same way anymore.

    But each one of us has to work out how to learn, and how to learn each subject, in a way that works for us. I took a lot of notes in college, but rarely ever looked at them again. The writing down was what I remembered. But that is just me. Everyone is different. If your son decides to get his spelling under control, I’ll bet he’ll do it, as long as he has been taught that figuring out how to learn spelling is a very individual thing, and once he figures out what works for him, he’ll be good.

    Now if we are talking about math…

  • lekusa

    The curriculum looks like ACE (Accelerated Christian Education). Jonny Scaramanga has written a lot about it on his blog: (He also wrote his PhD thesis on it)

  • lekusa

    Re: the term “first”- in the UK they use First, 2:1, 2:2 and Third for their Bachelor’s degrees. In Australia we do something similar for students who graduate with Honours (an optional extra year in which you mainly do a research project): the top classification is First Class Honours, followed by 2A, 2B, and then Third.

  • Knitting Cat Lady

    I’m much like your son.

    I had tremendous difficulties learning to write and spell. In German, mind you, which is much more logical than English.

    For me it’s not a function of intelligence, as I can type perfectly fine without error.

    It’s a motor skill problem. Turns out I’m dyspractic and dysgraphic…

  • Mel

    Well, I think the pressure the two of them felt was a combination of teenage libido and the intoxicating idea of being free of their families of origin.

  • Mel

    She’s around the same age as Solomon. Zsu’s been very clear that both of the kids will be 18 when they marry in the fall. Bit too young in my opinion – but completely legal.

  • Mel

    Her handwriting is a bit wonky for an 11-year old, too. I say this as an adult with mild cerebral palsy who was always having people harp on my handwriting.

  • Friend


  • Jennny

    But normal folk, here on planet earth, notice their child may have a problem with writing, with comprehension, reasoning skills or whatever and seek help or advice from excellent professionals usually! It makes me feel even more sorry for Miriam, that no one’s going to care or find help for her if she has problems.

  • Robert Baden

    My oldest aunt married as soon as she could to escape an abusive situation. She took her younger siblings including my mother with her. Fortunately that marriage seems to have worked out well.

  • Suzanne Harper Titkemeyer

    At least it’s not Vaughn Ohlman’s twelve year old with breasts marrying a sheltered 16 year old boy and having both of them submit to the father.

  • Nea

    And this is the alternative to taking what the Andersons call “the public fool bus” and getting an actual education.

  • Friend

    Good for her! That took some guts.

  • Samantha Vimes

    A sentence missing a word, printing rather clumsy for her age… I don’t think the child is getting as much or as good quality of schooling as she needs.

  • Astrin Ymris

    Given that Zsu’s website says Solomon is 15 when we’ve just been told he’s 17, I think Miriam would be 12 or 13 by now. So it’s worse than we think.

    Mind you, even educated adults can have brain farts when writing, but two errors so close together in a very basic worksheet rather than a longer piece of writing is troubling.

  • Astrin Ymris

    But will it? Will two fundgelical homeschooled kids be able to afford to get their own place and leave the nest? Especially given that they’ll probably be expected to live on one income as per CPM doctrine.

  • Nea

    I’m willing to presume that your uncle knew exactly what the score was, as he was willing to accept all the siblings as well as a new wife. Which would mean that your aunt communicated honestly with him and he was on board for whatever they had agreed the marriage should be like.

    Good for your aunt – and good for him too.

  • Mel

    As Friend pointed out below – Zsu found two mistakes that Miriam made out of four. Miriam wrote the first sentence without a verb – which happens if someone is rushing or if writing is still enough of a trial for them that they are task-saturated then confused “band” and “banned”. Zsu caught those – but missed the fact that both “band/banned” and the way she used “class” are not examples of collective nouns.

    In my first teaching job, I taught something like 12 different science independent study courses in a classroom of high school students. Doing corrections was crazy – but the kids were sympathetic to my explanation that I was new at these courses and that as I got more familiar with the material my grading would speed up.

    The part that took longest were the open-ended questions that had the words “Answers will vary” in the answer key – and nothing else! If it was a class I was confident about like Bio, Chem or Human Anatomy, I’d just eyeball the answer and see if it made sense. For Earth Science or Physics, I’d have to pull out the text, skim the lesson the question came from and double-check the answer. Since this was a pain in the ass, I started making an annotated master key that included a rubric of points that the answers should include and where the answers came from in the book.

    Zsu doesn’t have time to do that.

    Equally disturbingly, she probably doesn’t have the time to do all of the worksheets/tests herself to see if there are errors in the answer keys – and there always are. I created a master data analysis sheet that all of the science teachers entered which answers students chose on the test for MC, T/F and matching. Questions that had errors or simply bad writing stuck out like a sore thumb that way.

  • Mel

    She’s also 17. How recently turned 17 I don’t know – but Zsu swears that they will both be 18 in the fall when they get married so she’s gotta be at least 17 right now.

    I’ve known a few people who married their HS sweetheart young and are still married – but most of those people were at least 20 and two years out of high school. I know a lot of people who married at 18 or 19 but they are all divorced.

  • Mel

    As a teacher, poor spelling – or poor differentiation of words – plus shaky handwriting sets a yellow or orange flag warning for dyslexia. It’s not something that always needs a specific treatment or even intervention, but it’s only fair to the student to discuss the issue with other people who know the student’s work to see if the kid need evaluation for special education resources.

    Personally, my fairly mild dyslexia wasn’t discovered until college because I became good at choosing words that I was certain of the spelling on when handwriting essays on tests etc., . I also find printed words less problematic than handwritten ones so I became very comfortable using a dictionary at an early age. Spell-check is still my best friend because I can often put together an incorrect phonetic spelling like “burrowcratic” and select bureaucratic from the list to get the spelling I forgot.

    The fact that Miriam forgot a verb in the first sentence could just be a case of rushing to finish the assignment – and that might make her handwriting sloppy, too. But the directions say to use “team, class, and band” as collective nouns – and Miriam did the correctly once out three times. She used “class” as a noun – but not a collective one, but most concerningly used “band/banned” as a verb. That’s a lot of mistakes to cram into three sentences on a lesson I remember doing when I was 8 or 9 instead of 11.

    I’m far more worried about the fact that Zsu only caught two of the four mistakes. That gives me little hope for the Anderson’s home schooling education.

  • Mel

    Yup. I’m dysgraphic with a smidge of dyslexia and didn’t receive a diagnosis until college.

  • SAO

    Miriam doesn’t go to school, so she probably uses the words ‘class’, ‘team’ and ‘band’ less often than the average kid. There’s probably an issue with just being too sheltered and not exposed to enough. If she’s a good reader and can take any book she wants from the library, she may be exposed to plenty of concepts outside her life.

    I always thought dyslexia was about struggling to read, but my son was an early and good reader. (I also always thought, before I had him, that good readers were pretty automatically good spellers). My nephew is 8, in 2nd grade and not really reading. He watches science videos and has a sophisticated understanding of science concepts way above his grade level. He also has difficult to understand speech, making speech-to-text not really an option.

  • Hannah

    A country where you can rape an 11 year old, then marry her and get off scott-free, but do ten years jail time for consensual oral sex, really needs to sort its priorities out.

  • Mel

    Dyslexia often is a cause of kids who struggle to read – but there’s a wide spectrum of severity and adaptation. For me, I can read using whole-language -ish skills and use context clues to figure out which word the sentence is using when I hit one that is hard for me – like the words through, thought and throughout. Like…those look exactly the same to me and always have, but “thought” is totally different in usage than “through” or “throughout” and if it’s one of the other two I can usually use context clues.

    The part where I get totally screwed up is spelling especially spelling words written in my handwriting. Spelling tests were just a hot mess for me – but my parents knew that spelling (like handwriting) is not terribly important for long-term success as long as I could recognize the right word in a dictionary or that newfangled spell check.

    Likewise, my mom realized early on that I could improve my fine motor skills by learning crafts which I was much, much more into than the mazes and other drawn oddities that occupational therapy for kids consisted of in the 1980’s.

  • lady_black

    Yeah. Well, the person who I thought at 17 was “made for me” isn’t the same person I thought was “made for me” at age 27. Nobody has any business getting married at age 17 or 18. Such decisions ought to be delayed until age 25 or later, after the part of the brain that controls executive function are fully matured. There’s still plenty of time left for having kids.

  • Suzanne Harper Titkemeyer

    The other issue, at least for me, where homeschooling Zsu-style fails is in the whole team approach. At least in public school there are multiple adults interacting with the children. One might pick up a weak area that another might miss. The whole team approach that can lead to a specialize IEP written just for that child can help tremendously with educational challenges. But since Zsu thinks public schools are the devil she’s missing out on all of that.

  • B.E. Miller

    I can see the mold issue not being noticed, since it was behind a wall.

    Is anyone else creeped out by where Zsuzsanna says that Solomon and Saer have been sweethearts for “years”. So how young were they? Is this part of that ‘courtship’ culture? Like were they paired up at 14 but of course had to wait to be at the age for legal marriage?

  • B.E. Miller

    Definitely. There used to be a Baptist school “Temple Christian Academy” that had uncertified teachers, and used the A Beka curriculum.

  • Suzanne Harper Titkemeyer

    Buh, bye. Thanks for violating our posted community standards by attacking the author. Don’t you have some books to burn, or abortion clinics to bomb?

  • Suzanne Harper Titkemeyer

    Oh, and thank you for your kind contribution to Jerks 4 Jesus

  • Suzanne Harper Titkemeyer

    Anna, you registered for Disqus only to make this one comment. That tells me you have no intention of rational discussion at all. Only attack.

    Here’s the thing that you and Newman miss. I used Anderson and his woes as an example of some of the very bedrock things wrong with the QF lifestyle. Steven and Zsuzsanna are QF. This is a site that looks at the toxic nature of QF. There will always be dissection of QF here. You don’t like it or how I do it? Too bad. Please leave.

    Also I started Jerks 4 Jesus because of the overwhelming constant flood of angry QF people that loved to come here, insult, curse and act hateful. Knowing they will be called out at the site has cut the amount of hate mail, comments and Facebook messages a hundred fold and made my job here much easier. I will continue to mock whoever comes here and violates the comment policy. We are a recovery group, many of us are former QF and the last thing we need is to have hateful others showing up and behaving badly. Deal with it. This is Suzanne-nistan

  • Plain English

    SAO, sorry to hear that nothing stuck. Any idea why nothing stuck? Perhaps it had to do with the way spelling was taught at school or perhaps your son had a more affinity in other areas at the time? The focus on spelling is quite secondary to me in early education; what seems more worth paying attention to is the idea being expressed, not that it involves some missspellled wrds. The human brain scans language and does not need even close to perfect spelling to follow a thought pattern. Nevertheless, many parents fret alot about high scores in spelling. Did your son’s spelling improve as he matured and if so, any idea why?

  • SAO

    His spelling is still pretty awful for a college student — and at parents’ weekend, he showed up with a girl who was wearing a Spelling Bee Nationals t-shirt!

    My son decided in Elem school some things weren’t worth his bother, spelling, capitalization and punctuation were among them. He does well enough on multiple choice tests to have aced the SATs.

    But I’d say every other 2 sentence text he sends me has a spelling error — and it’s not like in these short texts he’s writing words like pneumonia or phlegm.

    With computers and spell check and standardized test that are multiple choice or have lists of points (for example, the AP history test has essay questions, but you get point for having mentioned this or that fact, theme, etc, and not for spelling.)

    In short, his spelling is still atrocious, but he was a national merit scholar finalist, he got into a great college and it looks like his spelling won’t hurt him.

  • Mimc

    Florida changed that law in 2018. No one under 17 can marry for any reason now.

  • Mimc

    The school I attended for upper elementary and middle School used a Beka. It’s perfect if you want to get really hope a diagramming sentences and spend your collage years correcting all the puedo science and revisionist history they taught you.

  • Mimc

    We had one a little like that. We put scraps of paper all over too figure out exactly were it was coming from.

  • Mimc

    I was just hoping they’d secretly use birth control and blame fertility issues. I mean I’m sure that’s what some of my Catholic family did. The birthrate of suspiciously low.

  • Mimc

    Happened to me too. I read an article the other day about stealth dyslexia where you read alright (just a little slow) but just can’t pick up spelling. I think that’s probably me. The dyslexia test they used on me as a kid only tested my reading.

  • Mimc

    It doesn’t seem like an assignment for a 6 th grader. The spaces are so wide. She must be using a workbook for a lower grade.

  • Suzanne Harper Titkemeyer

    Thank you for your kind words. Welcome to ban.

  • TLC

    How long did it take to figure out?