Dear Homeschoolers Anonymous,
I just recently discovered your blog through a friend. I read about how you encourage homeschool alumni to write in their stories of abuse, neglect or involvement in a cult-like lifestyle.
"If you would like to submit your own experience as a homeschool student or alumni (Christian or otherwise), we would love to hear from you. Whether it is a story of evolving personally, suffering abuse, breaking free from a cult, or finding the strength to be yourself, we want to give you a platform to be heard and supported. Both positive and negative stories are welcome."
The thing is, I don't think you really want to hear MY story. I'd bet a million bucks, if I was a gambling type. You focus so much on highlighting the negative details that a few people have experienced, due to abusive parents or being in an unbiblical church, that positivity doesn't really belong.
People just love to make blanket statements, when it comes to this topic. The leftists love to just throw homeschooling, "fundamentalism", Christianity and abuse all in the same casserole dish together, serving out a bowl of misinformation, falsehoods and ignorance.
These are strong words, but they are totally justified. I think at core it's because society depends on people to be raised in a way that doesn't question authority, or think outside the box. Society wants lemmings who will just watch their Hollywood TV shows, buy the products of big box industries, and mull over which Kardashian just got a new butt implant.
Society doesn't want THINKERS or DOERS, let alone Christian warriors. Society demands a level of conformity to the preset standards, which are constantly shifting. If you don't conform, you are labeled "weird" and "backwards". And if you happen to be Christian, you are just called a "fundie" and a religious freak, and generally the secular public won't take you seriously. (Isn't that ironic, in such a "tolerant" nation?)
So anyways, here we have this crazy phenomenon called "homeschooling", and oh what terrors it has wrecked on our placid, entertainment-obsessed country! Oh, us poor "neglected" people who weren't raised on Britney Spears and the Backstreet Boys. Oh, us poor "sheltered" folks that never got to have Hannah Montana posters on our walls during the early 2000's.
How on earth did we make it? I mean, how does anybody make it without watching a few Britney Spears music videos in their early childhood?
How come I'm not in a mental center somewhere getting treated for abuse and psychological damage?
I guess I would be your "horror story".
Believe it or not, I actually SURVIVED homeschooling! Crazy, right?!
I grew up, got engaged to an awesome man who is just my type, have already published a full length historical novel and two poetry books, have composed over a dozen musical pieces, have performed across the nation, can play 9 different musical instruments and spoken with people of all different ethnicities and social backgrounds.
I've illustrated a children's book.
I've organized, planned and produced public contra dances by myself for the past two years. Some of the dances had over 60 attendees. (social anxiety?)
I have been involved in public relations, public speaking and performance since I was a young girl, and have always loved it.
Oh, and I currently hold 3 different fitness certifications and am now working on my fourth. As a personal trainer, I have trained dozens of people and helped folks work toward their health goals. I have been given the chance to change peoples' lives for the better, which feels pretty darn amazing.
I have taught piano for over 6 years.
I have run hundreds of miles since age 14. I have lifted over 600 pounds with my legs.
I have traveled to most of the United States and been on an airplane more times than I can count.
In high school, I studied college-level biology, cellular biology, geology and paleontology as well as astronomy and meteorology.
By age 14, I had already been running my own business for 4 years. By 14, I had already gotten involved in local politics, by raising awareness of a detrimental high-density development plan that could have ruined the rustic, rural beauty of north Marion county, my beloved homeland. I created petitions, talked to locals and even made a video that I sent to the government officials.
I also was the secretary of a local farmers' market committee board, once again getting involved in local 'politics' where I learned many real-life economics.
None of this, by the way, was forced on me by my parents. None of it was shoved down my throat as an expectation to fulfill. My parents simply gave me exposure to opportunities, and lots of encouragement, and I jumped on them and took flight after my dreams.
Am I abused? Am I neglected? Am I socially inept? Hmmmm let me think about it...
By the way, I am not bragging about myself. I am merely telling you what I have done in the past 21 years of my life, thanks to my amazing parents who encouraged me every step of the way and who by the grace of God, taught me from home and by the Word of God.
I am not idolizing the concept of home education. I am simply applauding it.
Because I was raised in an environment that allowed me to explore my full potential as a human being, without condemnation or judgement, I am who I am today. My parents gave me structure, teaching me all the basics of a good education. But they also allowed me to be myself. They allowed me to think for myself, to research all the different options, to consider all the possibilities. They let me decide what I would wear, without making me feel ashamed of my body. By the way, denim jumpers were never a staple, let alone included in my closet. lol thank goodness! I got to see movies and do things that most every other kid could do, maybe minus the really crappy stuff that young eyes shouldn't be seeing anyways.
As for socialization, tell me how I've not been incredibly successful in these few years of my life, and maybe I'll consider your idea that I wasn't socialized properly.
Every aspect of my life involves social interaction, whether it is for work purposes or just for fun. I am an extrovert who loves people! And anybody who knows me will tell you I am a super confident individual overflowing with ambition and drive.
(non-socialized people geeeeenerally don't tend to be like that js)
Seriously. I could go on and on about that, but I was exposed to all the different age groups, all the different social and religious backgrounds, all the different ethnicities. Yes, I had enough friends and no they weren't just my siblings. No, my family wasn't rich at the time. No, we were not a small family. I mean, there are 5 of us kids, so...yeah.
Homeschooling is not a cult. If it ends up feeling like one, guess what?
You're doing it wrong.
Home education is not a religion and neither is it automatically associated with "fundamentalism". (There are actually a good number of liberal homeschoolers out there, btw) That being said, a good number of conservative Christians do tend to end up teaching their kids in their own style, instead of sending them away to an unnatural environment where they are ridiculed, bullied and compared to other kids in a way that is harmful to the brain and severely damages their creativity and reasoning powers. Believe it or not, Christianity is totally separate from home education.
You don't have to home school to be a Christian, or vice versa. The two just fit together really nicely, that's all.
So yeah. That's my little rant. I get so sick of people condemning something they don't understand.
Don't listen to the media when they try miserably to convey life as a home educated person. As I mentioned earlier, their agenda is skewed.
Now, a small percentage of homeschool alumni will tell you they suffered from actual abuse or neglect - just like a small percentage will try to tell you that Michael Pearl endorses literally beating children to death.
And sadly, some parents out there are truly abusive and have messed up ideas of what Christianity is. Some create their own idea of what God is, and in the process end up creating their own little religion where it's all about rules and legalism, instead of Biblical truth and grace. And this is a very tragic thing, that no real Christian would ever do or inflict on their child.
But can I also mention, this is no new thing in the world? And it happens more in 'typical' homes than it does in the 'fundie' ones, statistically? Don't accept the exception as being the norm, when it's not. We have to keep things in proper perspective.
My life is amazing, and it always has been, even despite the mental illness I've battled in the past and a couple failed relationships. I've hit a couple bumps in the road, but it was never for naught, and dare I say it, but that's just part of growing up. I have no regrets and have nothing to hold against anyone.
The reason I call this my "horror story", is because of how horrified the liberals/communists/big government pushers would be to know that I am literally proving their agendas wrong with every moment of my little life. Every success that I add to my years, every little dream I accomplish.
All the people who love to condemn homeschooling as a practice, to call it detrimental, abusive and cancerous...where are you now?
//peace out, y'all//
visit my actual website here