Sunday, April 14, 2013

Homeschoolers taking to the internet to blog about their experiences. As you might imagine they are not positive.

Courtesy of the Daily Beast:

In 2006 the evangelical magazine World featured 15-year-old Kierstyn King—then Kierstyn Paulino—in a piece about homeschooled kids who blog “to rebel against rebellion.” She was quoted describing her heroes: “‘First, Christ. After that: soldiers, my parents, and Ronald Reagan.’” On her blog, she wrote posts with titles like “The Case for Christians in Government,” arguing, “Our founding fathers built this land on Judeo-Christianity, and we have strayed too far from Christ.” 

These days King, 22, has a hard time stepping into a church without having a panic attack. She escaped—her word—from her family in Georgia on her 18th birthday and lives in Maine with her husband, also a former homeschooler. Very little is left of the ideology her parents worked so furiously to instill in her. She’s ashamed of the work she did as a leader in various homeschooling youth organizations, which, she writes, “contributed to the amount of hurt I and many others who grew up in this radical/evangelical/conservative/christian subculture endured and continue to endure.” 

She is, however, still blogging, both on her own and as part of Homeschoolers Anonymous, a new site that publishes children of Christian homeschooling families speaking out about upbringings that, they say, have left them traumatized and unprepared for adult life. “Our primary concern is for people to be exposed to our experiences growing up in the conservative Christian homeschooling world and to see how those ideologies can create abusive situations,” says Ryan Lee Stollar, one of the site’s founders.

I personally think that this huge push for homeschooling is essentially driven by religious fundamentalists who are terrified that society will teach their children that their belief system is antiquated and no longer relevant in these changing times.

And before you jump all over me, yes I realize that not ALL parents who home school do so because of a desire to control their children or keep them separated from others who might point out facts that debunk their parent's values or faith.  However you also must realize that YOU are not part of the Evangelical push to avoid public school in favor of religious based homeschooling.

I am thrilled to see that sometimes even early indoctrination is not enough to keep out young people from learning the truth. It give me hope for our future.


  1. Anonymous3:59 AM

    I would think that with the internet, it must be very difficult for these cultists to keep children under their thumbs. 20 years ago was different. But today? Even homeschooling parents use the internet for research. And surely any child with two fingers can google information on creation or gvernment or the Bill of Rights and find lots that conflicts with Mommy's view of the world.
    We lived near Detroit for a while, and there were many many homeschoolers down there. I worked in a library, and it was astonighing how many of these people had kids who were out of control, noisy, rude and wil zero social skills. They inevitably had overdue fines and a million excuses as to why we should waive our $5 policy and let them keep checking out books. And very few of the older kids even had college on their radar. No dreams for these kids.
    Long ago, I wanted to homeschool. Not because I am or was evangelical, but because I wanted some control over what my kids learned. I am an English major, and my husband an engineer, so I thought we had the bases covered pretty well. He convinced me to give publoic schools a chance. My kids thrived. I stayed involved by volunteering, and later, working in the system. When I saw gaps (when did we stop teaching grammar?) I filled them in. I requested teachers into high school, because I knew who was effective and who was waiting for retirement. I was PTO President, Music Parents President, a parapro, a room mother.
    And the kids? Both National Merit scholars (like Chelsea Clinton) with multiple AP credits who got great scholarships to great colleges, and who graduated with honors. Oh, and both are fully employed, married, and doing well. They own homes, pets, and have kids of their own.
    I suspect we will see even more homeschoolers as people stockpile guns and food in fear of the government (and Common Core.) This is not good for kids, obviously. Glad to see some are breaking away, but I feel sad that they had to go through what they did in the first place.

    1. Anonymous7:14 AM

      You don't get the difference between real live humans and info on a box, do you? The right is using the interne, too. Google Western Governors' University to see the sham that is Internet education. Whether formal or "getting info" it is no match for face to face contact. which is shy these Right wing governors are trying to eliminate the liberal arts taught by professors at public universities.

      We really need to sound the alarm about this.

    2. Anonymous7:22 AM

      We will see more homeschoolers as public policy - vouchers for private schools, charters, homeschooling tax break, pushes for early matriculation combined with public schools such as mine pushing to keep parents out, cuts of services for special needs students (including high ability/gt) cuts in electives, etc. coupled with higher unemployment push parents with time on their hands and college degrees to think they can do better on their own - MANY CAN- many can't.

  2. Anonymous4:10 AM

    Rand Paul slapped his name on a new homeschooling curriculum that's being offered free. His Director of Curriculum is a man named Gary North, a Christian Reconstructionist who has said many times that disobedient children should be stoned to death. Other beliefs of his include the entire USA being forced to live by Old Testament beliefs (strangely, not the ones that say it's an abomination to cut your hair or eat shellfish or plant a backyard garden with several varieties of plants). The homeschool circles are all atwitter about how wonderful this free curiculum is.

    1. Anonymous4:29 AM

      They will probably also skip the parts about helping poor people as these people also like to pretend that the Bible supports supply-side economics.

    2. Anonymous5:43 AM

      Rand? I think it's his dad, Ron.

      Gary North is not "just" a Reconstructionist. He is also the son-in-law of JR Rushdoony, the god-father of the movement.

    3. Anonymous1:23 PM

      Oh, f**k. We used a Gary North "textbook" in my dominionist high school poli sci class. I have forgotten details, but the gist was about why capitalism is the only Christian economic system, per the Old Testament. I hoped this guy had just gone away.

      At Christian college, I applied to waive the poli sci requirement because my high school class had allegedly been an AP course (although none of us took the "liberally biased" AP test, of course). The college asked what textbooks we used, laughed really hard when they found out, and made me retake poli sci.

  3. Randall4:28 AM

    The personal leap from dogma to enlightenment is somewhat of an IQ test.

    No tooth fairy...
    No Easter Bunny...
    No Santa Claus...
    No ...Jesus?

    WELCOME to adulthood - it's wonderful!
    It's about time, we were beginning to wonder about you.

    1. Anonymous7:23 AM

      Except in Texas where teh GOP says students shouldn't be taught criticaal thinking skills - as it might challenge those "fixed beliefs":
      such as
      tooth fairy...
      Easter Bunny...
      Santa Claus...

  4. fromthediagonal4:29 AM

    The sentence above, which states that homeschooling leaves students unprepared for adult life, cuts to the core of the problem.

    The true dangers in growing up isolated from the wider population are in the lack of preparation for the realities of both the joys and the vicissitudes of living among the rest of the residents in a global society, even of existence itself.

    In the larger context, this also holds true for societies in which there is a rigorous caste system of any kind. This is why we MUST push back against the dismantling of public schools in all of its manifestations.

    1. Anonymous7:26 AM

      Oh stop it. (Secular) homeschooling has many good aspects, too.

      The biggest IMO is that students learn to communicate outside their Lord of the flies age peer group - an artificial construct that NEVER, ever again exists, and relate to people of all ages. They also aren't boxed in to knowledge of only the Common Core for their grade, but have the time to pursue knowledge form books, movies, museums, lectures etc that a good homeschooling parent exposes them to.

    2. The freedom to homeschool seems to me just a variation of the freedom to choose a private school, the freedom to move into a community with quality public schools, and the freedom within the schools to choose subjects and levels of difficulty beyond the core curriculum.

      From another perspective, if one is concerned by creationist leaning parents trying to enforce their views on your kids, why try to force all into the same system. The more creationists who opt for homeschooling the less pressure on those school systems to adopt their views, or so it seems to me.

    3. Anonymous1:24 PM

      7:26 a.m. "students learn to communicate outside their Lord of the flies age peer group - an artificial construct that NEVER, ever again exists"

      Obviously you haven't worked at some of the offices where I've worked. I feel like I'm still in that exact "Lord of the Flies" junior high mentality.

    4. Anonymous4:52 AM

      @1:24 The point I was making is that an age-based peer group never again exists.

      And much of the problem in the work place is exacerbated by age-based bias.

    5. lwtjb9:36 AM

      We once made the mistake of visiting Oregon's wonderful seaside aquarium on home school kids day. The home schooled kids made no effort to read any of the posted information about the various creatures or for that matter to look much at those creatures. Instead they were just running around. The whole visit was difficult for us because the kids were also invading our space and interfering with out looking. Their mothers spent the whole time talking to each other and ignoring not only their children but also the aquarium. What could have been a fine educational experience was turned into a social occasion for the adults and free rein for the children. One woman was using the visit to educate her child, talking to him and showing him the most interesting stuff. She did not seem to be with the rest of those parents.

    6. lwtjb9:46 AM

      At one time I worked in a print shop where part of my job was purchasing supplies. One of the salesmen was always difficult. He just always seemed slightly out of kilter. Sometimes what I said was not what he heard. Things like that. Some time after I left the print shop, that fellow started a crusade against home schooling. He said he'd been home schooled and that it caused him a lot of problems dealing with other people. He was quite visible and outspoken for months. Then he disappeared from sight. I've always wondered if he just moved away or was silenced some how. The problems dealing with him made a whole lot of sense after he started talking publicly.

  5. Anonymous4:49 AM

    I you want to understand the evolution of the radical xtian right homeschooling movement, you have to go back to the roles J. Rousas Rushdoony (of xtian recontructionism/dominionism infamy) & Francis Schaeffer (father of Frank Schaeffer:
    played in tying this movement to Fred Koch and the John Birch Society.

    It's a hideous history, the roots of which lay deep in soil of radical right world views.

    There is no better inoculation against the spread of this mind virus than the anti-bodies produced by those who were infected with it as children and who are now evolving into its strongest critics.

    1. Anonymous5:33 AM

      ooops...the first sentence was supposed to start with, "If you want to understand...".

    2. Anonymous1:26 PM

      I've been reading Frank Schaffer's (son of Francis) book "Crazy for God." He grew up helping found the religious right and has now repudiated it completely. Very good, interesting read, especially for someone like me who came from a background in which Rushdoony was all but deified.

  6. Anonymous5:24 AM

    Thanks. I'll check out the blog. The only homeschoolers I knew or know are the religious nuts. I grew up in a Catholic Charismatic household, but my mom didn't home school as she was too damn lazy and narcissistic.
    I know that many of their friends homeschooled = and the kids that resulted are a mess. One family has six kids , one of whom escaped and is estranged from her sibs. She will enjoy this blog.
    I must say that the Catholic church did nip the charismatic movement after awhile and most believers turned to other Christian fundie groups.

  7. Anonymous6:09 AM

    I don't get the attitude that schools are better than homeschooling. I think there is some very bad homeschooling, and some very bad group schooling.
    I also think there is some very good shcooling, and very good homeschooling.
    The following people were homeschooled:
    Margaret Mead,
    Venus & Serena Williams,
    Sandra Day O'Connor,
    Agatha Christie,
    Thomas Edison,
    Michelle Kwan
    many actresses and elite athletes.

    If the socialization of children was something that was valued in schools, why doesn't teacher education require teacher training in socialization of children. Why are so many aspects of school contrary to our understanding of child development and good socialization. Why is there so little attention to bullying in schools.

    I'm not saying schools are bad. I'm saying that schools offer something homeschooling doesn't, and homescooling offers something schools don't. And that both can be very bad, or very good. I suspect the best homeschooling is superior to the best schools.

    I understand not liking the extreme Christian homeschooling movement that seeks to isolate - although I think it offers more than you give it credit for, although still not something I would like. I don't understand calling all homeschooling bad, and all schools better than homeschooling.

    1. Leland12:44 PM

      Notice anything else similar among these people you listed? Look at their ages. They mostly went through home schooling BEFORE these crazy xtian fanatics got hold of it and used it to lock their kids into their own religious beliefs!! The so-called christians about whom Gryphen and a lot of us here talk about a lot.

      Your list of home schooled were educated when the state actually TESTED properly those who went through it! When there were state standards and guidelines for what was considered a quality education. Unfortunately, a lot of the states in which home schooling is taking over are those where even the government agrees with the ignorant rantings of those same radical xtians!

      Are there decent home school systems? Certainly and more power to them. The problem is that more and more we see the extreme right using it - and WE are going to pay for it by having to support the poor kids that get stuck with the crap going on. Unless they are some of the lucky ones smart enough to recognize all of this as those mentioned in Gryph's posting!

    2. Many of the present-day students listed were NOT "home-schooled" in the sense the post speaks of - they were TUTORED - by an education specialist - often under strict state guidelines.

      Big difference. Great, big difference.

    3. Anonymous5:00 AM

      What about Ronan Farrow? KAO, you don't know ANYTHING about state regs, do you? There is no such thing as an "education specialist" and tutors are not regulated at all under any state reg unless they are hired by .... a public school.

      And that is one of the attractions of homeschooling - my sons were homeschooled, now n public school. In homeschool, they often attended lectures/presentations at our nearest city museum - taught by people with PhD,s but no "ed background" - in case you didn't know, the 'education department is generally scorned by real academics, justifiably, as it's entrance requirements (GPA) are much owe than most other disciplines. They also took music from a dynamic teacher and MUSICIAN who has played internationally. From her they've learned advanced theory as well as performance skills. Their public school chorale class is abysmal(and this is a "better school.) Off-key, fidgety, and my sons have "learned: little there.

      Educate yourself before you spew on a blog - 'kay?

  8. Anonymous6:12 AM

    If you had a child that was bullied for being gay, would you keep them in school? or homeschool?

    If you had a child that was told not to show off in math class (because he knows the answer instantly) would you keep him in school or homeschool him? What if he was publicly humliated for not letting other kids have a chance.

    If you had a child that was bored stiff and hated school because he was picked on for being smart, would you make him stay in shcool? or homeschool?

    I'm not sure any of these are easy answers. I'm suggesting one size doesn't fit all.

    1. Leland12:52 PM

      You are describing situations in which it DOES "pay" to home school - after formal complaints are filed and acted upon (or not).

      But you are also missing the point of Gryphen's posting. Home schooling can be a rich and rewarding way to go - as long as it ISN'T used to drown out facts and imprint blind religion onto a child's brain. As long as it IS used to actually EDUCATE. And THAT is the point many of us are trying to convey. At least, as I read it!

      That and the people mentioned above are saying the same thing!

    2. Anonymous5:01 AM

      Then Gryphen's headline should reflect that, instead of unwarranted bias.

  9. dlbvet7:02 AM

    This is exactly why, when people ask my daughter and me when we're out and about, 1)what grade she's in 2)where does she go to school and 3)what is her teacher's name...I cringe.
    We homeschool.
    We do so because, as my 6 yr old daughter tells anyone who asks her, "we live on the side of a mountain in the middle of nowhere."
    The closest towns are 45 minutes north and 30 minutes south, on a two-lane highway that is the last to be plowed in the worst weather. We have a 1 1/2 mile BLM road to the highway that is our "driveway."
    I would have to drive her to school...the buses don't come this far. Or drive her up to the ranch to get the bus where she would then spend an hour before she got to school.
    She turned 6 in December. So she would have been in kindergarten this year.
    Driving 2 hours a day for her to spend the day in a kindergarten class in which the teacher stopped me in the hall last year (when we did go to preschool 1 or 2 days a try it out)..the teacher shouted out to me in the hall that she couldn't understand where my daughter's "chunkiness" came from...given how my husband and I look. She said "chunky" in some form 3 times before I realized what the hell she was getting at. Suffice it to say...NO WAY IN HELL was my child going to sit in her classroom for a year.
    Both towns are made up of a majority of people who are ULTRA conservative, cling to their guns with a sickening obsession (don't know bout their religion), routinely use the "N-" word to describe our esteemed President, and at one point during the 2008 election, I listened to a mother talk about her kindergarten son coming home in tears because his teacher went off on a tirade about how "Obama was going to come and take all of his guns." A kindergartner.
    Nope. Not going to waste our time (and safety on bad roads) to support the public schools here that would not have my child's best interests at heart.

    Yes, I know she needs socialization. We go to big town (well, Laramie is sort of a big town) once a week for dance classes. She travels with me when I do relief veterinary work. She is exposed to the world.

    Does she need a classroom? Absolutely. We'll get there one of these days. But for where we are right now, this is what works.

    Do I wish it was different? You betcha. (SORRY!!! Couldn't help myself.) But really, I wish it was like when I was a child. My sister and I walked to our elementary school...3/4 of a mile away. My mom waved at us as we walked out the door. The crossing guards got us safely across the street. Our principal, Mr. Tjardes, stood at the front doors, welcoming all the students every day. School was HEAVENLY. It was simply beautiful. My teachers were outstanding. The music classes, the art classes, the PE was even fun. My public school education was the foundation. It was the solidness that my family life lacked later on. All through high school, the public schools I went to became my second family.

    Is that the way it is today where I grew up? Not by a long shot.
    Would my daughter have the same idyllic experience as I did?
    Probably not.
    Which was why I agonized over the right thing to do for her.
    Enroll her in a kindergarten in a school that employed teachers who thought she was chunky and routinely told youngsters Obama was takin' away their guns?
    Or take the plunge, make the commitment and spend a year or two homeschooling her.

    Oh yes, and...we are FAR, far, far from a Christian Homeschooling household.

    We're reading a book right now titled "A Faith Like Mine." It gives a snapshot of various faiths in the world, with atlas pictures of where the faiths are practiced, basically teaching tolerance.

    That's our faith...tolerance.

    So sorry to rant on and on.

    It's obviously a sore point for me. Mostly cause of the ridiculousness put out there by the Christian Homeschooling Networks. Gives us all a bad name.

    1. dlbvet7:19 AM

      Wow...eating some major crow here.

      Did you see my last 3 sentences?

      I toot my horn about teaching my daughter tolerance...then I basically put down the Christian Homeschooling Network.

      Bad, bad mommy.

      I do have to really, really try to extend my tolerance to Christianity and the believed superiority of the white race. We, the white men, have persecuted so many people for being different. Religions have persecuted so many people for being different. for the crow-eating. I do try to teach my daughter tolerance.

      And then I go into my room, sit in a quiet place and ask for the serenity to accept all things and the wisdom to know what I can and cannot change. And the tolerance to come that I so badly want to teach her.

      I think I'll turn off the computer now folks.

      Have a lovely day.
      We've got winter again here. Lots of snow, the trees are bowed down to the ground, still covered. The wind is blowing. The sky is bright blue and it's about 20 degrees out there (before the wind chill).'s great.
      We need every snowflake! I cannot go through another summer and fall fire season like last year.


    2. Anonymous7:33 AM

      Former secular homeschooler here. Have you discovered a book called "The Well-trained Mind?" It's an excellent resource and one all folk bashing homeschooling in general should read. It;s about classical education, which is what most of us who went to grade school prior to the 1970's and 1980's had whether we were in pubic or private schools.

      Most schools started spiral curriculum in the 1980's or whenever mainstreaming and tracking systems ere dismantled. It is torture for and means high IQ (above 120) learn little year to year.

    3. Anonymous7:54 AM

      As a teacher, I am obviously a strong supporter of the public school system. However, I understand that there are many circumstances that make it a wise decision to homeschool a child and, under the proper conditions, homeschooling can result in a well-adjusted, successful child.

      In your case, and those of some other people who commented here, it seems to be the best option for your child. When it is done to prevent a child from being in a dangerous or destructive environment, exposed to a negative social environment, or for purely practical and logistical reasons, homeschooling is a good choice, especially when the child is provided with a comprehensive and varied curriculum.

      When it is used to isolate a child and 'protect' them from knowledge and information they might acquire from the Big, Bad, Outside world, then it becomes a dangerous thing and can do permanent damage to the child.

    4. Anonymous5:24 AM

      @dbvet, regarding your second post - please stop with the uber-tolerance. It would be warranted if the religious were actually being persecuted. But they want to impose their religious beliefs on the rest of us. Pushback isn't wrong - it's justified self-defense. When they push on others and not us particularly - gays, pregnant women who don't want to be pregnant - that's bullying to which I WILL proudly and loudly say NO.

  10. Anonymous7:11 AM

    Gryphen, if you don't want to lose at least one loyal reader - me - and those I recommend your blog to, tehn STOP PAINTING ALL HOMESCHOOLERS with such a brad brush. Yes, I saw your qualifier in the article itself, but the headline should read, RELIGIOUS Homeschoolers.

    Please correct this error.

    There are many legitimate reasons for homeschooling - religion is NOT one of them.
    For instance, should the crazies in the majority of my state's legislation choose to arm teachers, my sons will again be homeschooled, or right to college. There was NO WAY for a teacher to accommodate a kid with a 150 IQ when the administration fought acceleration tooth and nail. Or, to put it more bluntly - differentiation , my tuchus!

    Again, please correct that headline.

    1. Anonymous8:44 AM

      I agree with your comment about arming teachers. I would never let my child go to a school with armed staff, nor would I ever teach or work at one. The real concern should be with armed staff at high schools. The staff is liable to shoot one of the teenagers on any given day. I'm just sayin'.

    2. Anonymous9:41 AM

      Anonymous 7:11 AM wrote: Again, please correct that headline.

      It's now about 9:40 Alaska time, and the headline begins: "Homeschoolers taking to the internet to blog …"

      What did it say at 7:11 when you posted your comment? "All homeschoolers …"? Or, less strongly, "Most homeschoolers …"? Or maybe, "The majority of homeschoolers …"?

      Or did it say what it says now, that there are homeschoolers taking to the internet to blog about their unhappy experiences? If so, would you prefer the headline read, "Some, but not all—no, no, definitely not all—homeschoolers taking to the internet to blog …"?

    3. Anonymous5:03 AM

      If this had been a one-time occurence - fine. But the homeschool bashing from ignorance here needs to stop.

  11. I did homeschool some when the situations of many moves called for it. I'm not a religious nut and even when I wasn't homeschooling my kids had challenging extra-curricular reading lists. However, even I agree that most of the homeschooling is being done be religious nuts who want to indoctrinate their kids without reality intervening.

  12. Gryphen,

    As a homeschooling Dad, I appreciate the balanced perspective in this post- some homeschooling parents are indeed trying to pass on literal creationist ideology, but others, as you note, are differently motivated. How the statistical homeschooling pie might be sliced by motivation seems a subject worthy of debate but I suspect the creationist portion isn't small.

    Where I live in upstate NY, a majority of local homeschooling parents fit the picture you paint. When my son was reading about Harry Potter and The Lord of the Rings we lost contact with the group as such were considered heretical books- the irony that both are messiancially themed stories (albeit with quaint twists) and Tolkien's quite obvious (to me at least) Catholic sensibilities had me chuckling.

    To that crowd I'm the big bad heathen, although, of late, I've been tutoring some of the older kids in math (trig. and intro. calculus) and physics.

    Looking beyond the now-easing ostracization, I feel for these people- they are doing their best based on their beliefs which, sadly, make them easy prey for anyone wearing an "I Love Jesus" t-shirt. Their children are earnest and when, during tutoring sessions, conversation turns to current events (most recently abortion) I urge them to consider the difference between having and imposing a belief. "If you are against abortion," I suggest, "make that manifest in your life and let others who don't share your faith do as they will in peace. Be thankful we are free to homeschool without feeling the need to abolish the public school system and understand that others are just as thankful for the freedom to abort. Be thankful for freedom, and don't deprive others thereof"

    Just a little seed I enjoy planting from time to time.

    1. Anonymous12:04 PM

      1000 thanks to you for helping young people grow into thoughtful and learned adults.

  13. WakeUpAmerica8:42 AM

    I don't disagree with your post at all, but honestly you should probably re-title it to reflect that you are talking about apocalyptical evangelical homeschooling. For instance, our small town has a group of home schooling families with "Christian Home School" in the title. Oddly, religion isn't necessarily the core of the curriculum. They have formed an alliance to share their resources as teachers, so, one parent might teach the kids astronomy, and one might teach them computer science. They all choose their own materials and use the state guidelines as a template. They do field trips together to get the group discounts. So what is the outcome of this group? Most of these kids have gone on to graduate from four-year institutions. One went into the Marines and was subsequently sent to a prep school and fast-tracked to Annapolis where he has since graduated. Another was offered a regents scholarship and is currently completely a PhD in biochemistry on a full-ride scholarship at Stanford. I had her as a student in middle school before she went to home schooling. Her test scores showed her to be slightly above average but not exceptional in any way. She wanted to be home schooled so that she wouldn't be held back by the immature behavior in the classroom. Several other of the kids in the home schooling collective have received college scholarships and moved on to productive careers. Most of these students have attended the local community college at the age of sixteen.

    So, that is an example of home school parents combining their resources and doing a great job of educating their children. Serious home-school parents are usually doing it to remove their children from negative influences in over-crowded classrooms. They want their children to not be held back nor distracted by the behavior of others. Yes, it may be the exception, but there are still many of them doing a wonderful job and producing great scholars to help move this country forward. The flip side is the huge group to which you refer of rigid, anti-science,home schooling parents and religious schools churning out narrow-minded, rigid, under-educated seditionists. OK that might have been a little bit harsh. :-)

    1. Au contraire, not nearly harsh enough. -:)

  14. Anonymous9:40 AM

    Celebrities who are atheists:


  15. Anonymous10:01 AM

    Gryphen wrote: And before you jump all over me, yes I realize that …

    May I suggest that for articles where such a disclaimer might be appropriate, that you place it at the beginning, so that people get to read it before their adrenaline level gets too high? Regarding the headline, some people do have a problem with quantification, especially when it's implicit (no way does every homeschooler have a blog!).

    1. Leland1:50 PM

      May I suggest that fulling reading an article before jumping to conclusions (and causing the rise in blood pressure) might help?

    2. Anonymous5:13 AM

      Leland, many people do just skim headlines. Headlines like these perpetuate that homeschooling is a religious/crazy endeavor. Not the case.

    3. Anonymous9:17 AM

      Why would I want to read an article that appears uninteresting and lumping a lot of people together. I skipped the article cuz I didn't want the preaching I expected. Eventually, as I saw the number of comments increase, I did read the comments.
      If someone wants to play games with misleading headlines (like HuffPo) and not be sufficiently accurate to reflect the article, they can do that. And I can not like. And the headline writer can care or not.

  16. Anonymous10:04 AM

    I see some texans are praying for rain today. Like many in this country, they are experiencing serious drought. A convenient thing about their religion is that it always seems to give them someone to blame if their god has abandoned them - the gays, the atheists, etc. They don't believe in that science stuff, that would raise too many questions about what they believe. Nah! Blame the homosexuals and unbelievers instead. Yeah, that's the ticket. It is amazing to think about how much of the dogma of these religions is devoted to keeping the gravy train going for those in charge of them. How many preachers have mansions, luxury cars, boats? Nonprofit my ass.

  17. Anonymous12:53 PM

    They can't wipe out intelligence or the will and desire to question.

    I wasn't homeschooled but attended a very repressive, authoritarian "Christian" school. We were encouraged to "think" (=adhere to the Gospel of capitalism and dominionism, resisting the "worldly forces around us") until we started to question what we were taught. At that point we were told it was a sin to question the authority "God had placed over us." Essentially, we were taught that God wanted us to subsume our individuality to him and cared only for our obedience and submission.

    Like the woman in the excerpt, I tried very hard to be a perfect, submissive, obedient acolyte. In my case, I ended up severely depressed and borderline suicidal by age 16. I was blamed, told I needed more faith and to be less selfish, and informed, with increasing severity, that I needed to snap out of it and "stop whining." (I have since been diagnosed with bipolar disorder.) I could not control my unruly emotions, and within that paradigm, there was no room or understanding for a teenaged girl with unruly emotions. It was an either-or, and for me, with a raging and untreated chemical imbalance, there wasn't even a real choice. I left the church and rejected everything we had been taught.

    Twenty years later, and despite years of therapy and medication, I still have nightmares about that school, and I still cut myself.

  18. Anonymous4:03 PM

    LOL, the ad at the bottom of my page is for a tuition-based homeschool program for grades 3-12. And you get...wait for credit at Liberty University! That's Jerry Falwell's outfit.

  19. Anita Winecooler6:20 PM

    I've seen good homeschooling that's done for the right reasons for the particular family's situation, but I understand the fundamentalist religious type of home schooling a lot of people automatically equate with the term "homeschooling" and the damage it inflicts on the child's development.
    I was raised in a Parochial Roman Catholic educational system, and the "religion" part was, for the most part, rote regurgitation mixed with what I call "Catholic Aerobics".

    There was a family in my neighborhood that raised a boy with a "congenital liver condition" that limited his interactions with other kids. He had a few friends who were allowed to play on the porch or in the house, only if they all wore masks to cover their mouths. The parents hired tutors and were held to the same requisites as the public schools. Years later, they found that what he had was a form of jaundice that's fairly common in newborns.
    We chose to send our kids to public school and stayed closely involved with their education. Our son didn't seem challenged enough in his grade and we discussed it with his teacher. Based on his grades, they gave us the option to have him tested at the next grade level, and if he got a b or better, he could skip a grade but had to audit Math and English classes before making the decision. It was something that put his needs first, but we had to take the initiative and have his teachers vouch he was mature enough.

    1. Anonymous5:21 AM

      Great that they did that - not all public schools do. Even when I presented the testing done by a state university that my kids were gt would my school offer a path to acceleration. Had to wait for cyber schools, desperate for numbers to make them attractive to a corporate buyout to come along. (BTW, public cyber charters also cater to fundies as parents can pick and choose lessons and alternates). They had them subject test (online from home, so could be cheatable - we didn't) and put them in the grade appropriate. The next year we put them into bricks and mortar public - no questions asked. This is one of the problems with public schools - rigidity. I'd been asking for the opportunity for my sons to test into a higher grade since Kindergarten. The answer was always - "we don't accelerate."

  20. Anonymous7:26 AM

    Yeah, my son is both bright and motivated. We asked on more than one occasion for him to be allowed to move up a grade level and were always shut down. There's no doubt in my mind it's because they needed him for his grades and test scores. Helps bring the average up.

  21. DetroitSam7:38 PM

    Please explain to me how parents who have little knowledge or understanding of academics can home school anyone?

    Are they teaching algebra, physics, grammar, science? Science? Of course not.

    These people are preparing their children to fail in the real world.


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