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Fri Dec 6, 2013, 11:55 PM


The Homeschool Apostates by Kathryn Joyce


...the emergence of a coalition of young former fundamentalists who are coming out publicly, telling their stories, and challenging the Christian homeschooling movement. The website that linked to Jennifer’s story was Homeschoolers Anonymous, launched in March by two homeschool graduates, Ryan Stollar and Nicholas Ducote. Their goal was to show what goes on behind closed doors in some Christian homeschooling families—to share, as one blogger puts it, “the stories we were never allowed to talk about as children.”

As of October, Homeschoolers Anonymous had published nearly 200 personal accounts and attracted more than 600,000 page views. For those outside the homeschooling movement, and for many inside it, the stories are revelatory and often shocking. The milder ones detail the haphazard education received from parents who, with little state oversight, prioritize obedience and religious training over learning. Some focus on women living under strict patriarchal regimes. Others chronicle appalling abuse that lasted for years.

Growing up in California and Oregon, Stollar wasn’t abused, but he met many other homeschoolers who were. His parents led state homeschooling associations and started a debate club in San Jose. The emphasis on debate in fundamentalist homeschooling was the brainchild of Michael Farris, the founder of Patrick Henry College, and his daughter Christy Shipe. Farris believed debate competitions would create a new generation of culture warriors with the skills to “engage the culture for Christ.” “You teach the kids what to think, you keep them isolated from everyone else, you give them the right answers, and you keep them pure,” Stollar explains. “And now you train them how to argue and speak publicly, so they can go out to do what they’re supposed to do”—spread the faith and promote God’s patriarchy.

As a teenager, Stollar toured the national homeschool debate circuit with a group called Communicators for Christ, sharpening his rhetorical skills and giving speech tutorials. Along the way, he found himself increasingly disturbed by what he saw. He met families that follow the concept of “Quiverfull,” wherein women are submissive to men and forgo contraception to have as many children as God gives them. He encountered entire communities where women wore only denim jumpers for modesty’s sake, where parents burned their daughters’ birth certificates to keep them at home, where teenagers practiced “betrothal,” a kind of arranged marriage. He met homeschooling kids who dealt with the stress by cutting themselves, drinking, or developing eating disorders—the very terrors their parents had fled the public schools to avoid. “Even as a conservative Christian homeschooler,” Stollar says, “I was constantly experiencing culture shock.”...

Coming out of the Unschooling Movement (John Holt, Boston), I knew of this parallel but perverted form of home schooling. There was a lot of discussion of what would happen when those children escaped the indoctrination centers (their parents' homes). I am gratified that the speculation is fulfilled, and appalled that it took so long...Demeter

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Reply The Homeschool Apostates by Kathryn Joyce (Original post)
Demeter Dec 2013 OP
mzteris Dec 2013 #1
Demeter Dec 2013 #3
mzteris Dec 2013 #4
mzteris Dec 2013 #2

Response to Demeter (Original post)

Sat Dec 7, 2013, 12:13 AM

1. And?

They wpuld brainwash them would they be in traditional school.

And for each of those examples, there are others who embody the opposite. Yes, even fundies whom I abhor, may accomplish a superior educational experience. The liberals out there? Some good, some not so much. Yet, I reserve the right for all to homeschool. For some, it is the best choice. For some, the ONLY choice. Not all children belong, or thrive, in a traditional school environment.

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Response to mzteris (Reply #1)

Sat Dec 7, 2013, 12:21 AM

3. The discussion is about INDOCTRINATION and ABUSE


Specifically, indoctrination in forming a theist state...something very unlike the USA as envisioned by those who fought and died for it.

And abuse, as in physical, mental, and emotional torture.

Neither of these are conducive to any intellectual or vocational pursuit.

It does appear as if these children who escape have had their wits, creativity, and coping skills greatly developed...rather like the children who survive to adulthood in the worst 3rd world countries...

I went to public schools, spent a year in Catholic girls school, attended a practically all-male college. I homeschooled my disabled child for years because of fear what the NH school system would do to her.

I've done it all. There isn't anything that justifies these parents" abuse.

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Response to Demeter (Reply #3)

Sat Dec 7, 2013, 12:27 AM

4. You're right.

My premise -and first hand knowledge- is rhat the abuse would exist, hsing or no.

And no, being in public school would make not one whit of difference for 99% of those kids. Maybe a few more would escape, but not enough to outlaw hsing.

Maybe I misunderstood your post. It struck me as anti-hsing in general. If ago, I apologize.

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Response to Demeter (Original post)

Sat Dec 7, 2013, 12:19 AM

2. And Unschooling?

Few fundies embrace that methodology. And done correctly, it can produce amazing results. Ymmv.

Hsing is an INDIDUAlIZED and TAILORED educational model designed for the learning stile and skills of the child. Any legitimate expert will agree that one-on-one is the optimal form of instruction. You canNOT
get that in a classroom of 30+.

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