So for my second post, I had a few ideas. I could rant about Todd Akin, a political candidate and homeschooler of 6 who is confused or in denial about the female anatomy and pregnancy risks of rape, among other things, and why the mainstream media has so far not included anything about the extent of his radical beliefs and Quiverfull lifestyle in any articles.
I could shake my head and grin at the hysteria that Michael Farris, a homeschooling Dad of 10, and the leader of the Homeschoolers Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) and founder of Patrick Henry College (a very conservative Christian university for homeschooled young people), is trying to drum up about a nonexistent tick-borne disease that he claims a number of his immediate family members have. He believes it so heartily that he is even spending time convincing presidential candidate Mitt Romney (who should not be this gullible!) that his misguided activism is somehow a good idea.
I could make an inappropriate joke about news anchor Anderson Cooper and the segment on former homeschooler and “To Train Up A Child” author Michael Pearl whipping him with a switch. I could confess that I, as a person with a twisted sense of humor, laughed as I watched Anderson turn white at such a tiny taste of what I knew in my childhood home. I could say something about this misguided “obedience training” being taken even farther, to where kids have been physically and psychologically damaged in a visible way, and a few even killed, but Elizabeth Esther says it so well, right to Mr. Pearl’s face.
I could note that Hillary Adams’ father, a homeschooling family court judge who was secretly filmed by 16 year old Hillary herself, beating her violently with a belt, cursing at her and demanding submission, is trying to get his job reinstated so he can once again oversee cases with the same kinds of dysfunctional family situations that he created in his own home.
I realized I wanted to mention them all, that they were all part of a pattern – homeschooling men operating well outside an acceptable range of normal behavior.
So I’ve got to ask, since homeschooling is an education option that’s chosen by only 4% of the American population, why are there so many prominent people in homeschooling behaving badly? Why are these men behaving badly? What’s going on in homeschooling, y’all?
There are plenty good homeschooling parents and kids who have happy home learning environments filled with homemade paper mâché objects, backyard gardens, regular library days, exercise routines, field trips to factories or state parks, and family dogs that have an opportunity to eat the actual schoolwork while it’s in progress. As you know, I did not grow up in one of those homes, but I wanted one and I think they are good and healthy, and if you’re going to homeschool a kid, they should have that stuff.
No homeschooled child deserves to have parents who do not know the basics about human biology, healthy childrearing practices, or properly diagnosing and treating illness to be the only people teaching and guiding them until they reach adulthood. Yet these homeschooling men have not stopped at trying to control and misinform their own families. They have moved on to pushing their misguided attitudes and mistaken beliefs on the rest of us through churches, politics, literature, and media. This is not okay and we need it to stop. We really, really do.