Sometimes (thankfully more rarely than I expected) I get yelled at on my blog by homeschooling parents. Other times I get absolutely wonderful messages. Lately I’ve had some amazing ones and a couple quasi-nasty ones, and some that may or may not have had me reaching for the tissues because I’d suddenly gotten something in my eye.
I’ve realized that the crossroads of faith and education is a particularly fraught space. Well, I’ve actually known this for some time. I used to try to steer clear of it because it was triggering to me, but now I see that it needs to be discussed. It’s a powerful intersection, a space buzzing with a lot of emotion and opinions and cultural influence and it is also often hard to talk about. After all, it brings up hot button issues on legacy, what values we impart to the next generation, and therefore it is about who are are as people. Also, there is plenty angst around it due to the fact that people often screw up and accidentally perpetuate their own issues onto their children, or are at least pretty afraid that they will. I think there is a lot more room for dialogue and discussion on the topic of faith and education than I could ever hope or wish to get into, but today I want to highlight three recent messages I got from blog commenters that really caught my eye. I think they add to the conversation and I expect maybe they will get your wheels turning too.
A few days ago I got a stereotypical angry message from a homeschool Mom named Judith telling me that I was wrong for discussing homeschooling and faith together:
This whole thing isn’t really about homeschooling at all. It’s about religion and being raised in a conservative religious community. You may as well have been Amish and attending a private Amish one-room school (yes, that’s how the Amish educate their kids). You may as well have been raised in a conservative Catholic family and educated in a convent school. You may as well have been Islamic, or LDS, or any other religion with conservative views on how women are to be treated and educated. I’m offended, as a homeschooler, by your misuse of homeschooling to create a sensation in the media. Guess what? Not all homeschoolers are religious conservatives. Quit trying to reform homeschooling. Homeschooling isn’t the real issue. Conservative religious groups who deliberately create a separation from mainstream society are the issue. Quit waving the homeschooler flag and crying that homeschool screwed you up. It did not. Your family’s religious views did.
Then I got a much nicer one from a Christian homeschool Mom named Tonya who talked about recovering from a toxic strain of faith:
Well, first and foremost, I want to say that I am so sorry for your pain and all that you have gone through. Secondly, I am a homeschooling mom with two grown children and I have really taken the posts that I have read to heart. I applaud your courage to be willing to share your stories. I started blogging about my life many years ago and it has been a cathartic experience that has led to amazing opportunities for me. I too, have PTSD and it came from coming from such a toxic fundamental church, and I still deal with the stress and anxiety that comes from feeling judge, especially since I moved to the NYC area to finish my degree.
I am still pro-choice when it comes to education, which hasn’t always gone over well with my homeschool friends or my public school friends and I agree, the competition between the choices only causes more division. I do say that I lean more towards homeschooling though, but that comes from my own experience being in over 20 public schools. When I read what you went through in high school, my heart broke for you, for I remember all the bullying I went through. I am sorry you had those experiences.
I think it is imperative for those who have been silenced be able to speak and if you all can provide a safe place for that, then that alone is worth it.
As a sociology major, I believe in the power discourse, it brings about change. I also know that the stigma that comes from homeschooling. Anything that goes against society lives by these stigma rules that are reinforced by society. I think you all have slightly touched on this, but when the data is collected, sociology comes in handy.
There were many things that I did not think were right in the homeschooling movement. I was NEVER meek enough and I think that marked my kids, too. Well, I did confront people or issues at times and normally it didn’t end well. People don’t like to see problems when they feel like they have keep up with appearances. And there is reason for that- I remember fighting to keep the laws the way they were in Colorado and some old lady came up to my daughter while we were at the Capitol and quizzed her! I wanted to keep the laws that we had. Many homeschoolers remember having to testify or work to get the laws passed. That being said, homeschooling should never cover up abuse that is for sure.
I am not sure how much my opinion matters, I only have two kids, but we did homeschool all the way through high school and both of my kids sat under Chris Jeub. In fact Chris Jeub was instrumental in helping us when our son became gravely ill in FL while at a debate camp in 2010. Our family feels very indebted to his generosity in our time of need. But even if that hadn’t have happened, I think Chris is a great guy, who is open to listening. I just wish there were more leaders who would be that open to listening to your generation. BTW, he didn’t know I would post a comment- but it is through his link on FB that I have come to know you.
I think more people are starting to realize that things can be tweaked since the first generation of homeschoolers. I believe that stigma has had the power to keep homeschooling families from growing or for reaching out for help when they need it. I am NOT a fan of Vision Forum or any of that-unfortunately fundamentalism in its ugliest form has grown under the protection of homeschooling and many things that were propagated were very harmful to many families that I know.
Keep writing! Don’t let those who disagree stop you- we will all learn from what you all have to say.
Then just last night, “J,” a Jewish homeschool Mom, left what I found to be a very insightful and balanced comment that really crystallized some thoughts I’ve also been having on certain authoritarian strains of Christian faith and how they use homeschooling as a tool to subvert human rights, and explaining why homeschool parents of all stripes freak out about this and immediately play the “no true Scotsman” card, disavowing any connection to these problems. “J” said:
I’ve been reading your blog and thinking about this very issue, and it’s clearly tremendously complicated. Homeschooling plays a prominent role in the Christian patriarchy movement in the US, and its oppression of women (and men, in a different way) could not be achieved to the same extent without it.
Even a specific type of religious out-of-the-home school could not achieve the same effect. Caring for numerous younger siblings and slaving away in the home seems to be too important an aspect of girls’ upbringing within this movement for this to be only about academic education. This movement depends specifically on homeschooling, not merely on education that keeps one away from the rest of the world.
Having said that, I can understand why homeschool parents who are not from within the said movement believe this to be about something other than homeschooling.
I am Jewish. It bothers me when certain extreme Jewish sects appear in the news, and people reading about them think only about those when they hear the word “Judaism”.
In the same way, it bothers me when people hear “homeschooling” and think only of homeschooling in the context of the American Christian patriarchy movement. We can probably agree that homeschooling can be about academic success, or personal freedom (for the child!), or about many other things that have nothing to do with religion or keeping kids away from the real world.
Yes, homeschooling can be an essential tool of religious and personal oppression, and this is something society needs to address. But it can also be something perfectly normal, and I think it is, at the very least, understandable if homeschooling families feel upset about being lumped into the same category with those who have oppressive, sexist agendas.
I think “J” is right. Judith and others like her are scared and lashing out because they just want this story to go away and strongly feel it should not belong to them. People like Tonya have seen the good and the bad and want a balanced perspective. They were hurt by the “homeschooling movement” but they don’t want to lose actual homeschooling. They like homeschooling and think it can be a good thing.
I don’t take the harsh words of people like Judith personally, but I am quite sure about one thing and that is that this story that she doesn’t want connected to her or homeschooling belongs to all of us. Not just homeschoolers but (to go ahead and use the example of where I’m from) New Orleanians, and Louisianians, and Cajuns, and Americans, and global citizens. Casting blame and deflecting responsibility achieves a very unhealthy result. We all have a duty to correct this problem in our society (societies?), in our churches and communities and homeschooling groups and in our very own homes.
So we need to have some hard conversations about doing the right thing and what that looks like and we also need to be patient with people who are freaking out, still working with too much of the old script, or otherwise doing stuff that drives the rest of us nuts. We will have to differentiate between the people who are scared and the true obstructionists – people who are benefitting from the status quo in some way and have an interest in sowing fear and perpetuating it. This last part is hard.
It’s difficult to tell what people’s motivations are sometimes, or whether they are being honest. We all like to think we are good judges of character and make good interpersonal decisions, but fact is we only know what we see, what other people show us about themselves, and we interpret it all through the lens of our own limited experience. It’s a guessing game, a trust fall, a leap of faith. In fact, I will go out on a limb here and say that if there was ever a need to pray for guidance I’d imagine it would be best used in the effort of dealing with other people. It can be pretty scary stuff sometimes.
Also, just because it is hard to figure out what to do and not do and we know we won’t always succeed after we plan it out doesn’t mean we should opt out of trying. There are a lot of unknown unknowns and more known unknowns than I am comfortable with, but we’ve still gotta do what we’ve gotta do, work with what we have. The other choice – to just sit here slackjawed – simply isn’t good enough.
It is also quite easy to take this kind of jumbled up mess and get paranoid about it, bogged down in demonizing “those other people” and responding to their fear and anger with your own fear and anger. I think the most important thing we can do is try to check ourselves when we are feeling aggressive, see if there can be space for conflict resolution, “I statements,” for pinpointing win/win arguments and fostering collaboration and respectful dialogue rather than facilitating fierce competition, low blows, and pointed insults.
It might look a little more boring to do it that way, but having done both, I can assure you that it is the greater challenge and if it can be managed, it is the better way.
I know that it is sometimes hard not to unnecessarily escalate the situation, that sometimes I’m not very good at chilling out, at de-escalation, because after all there is definitely a pressing need here. However, there are things I can do to help myself remember and one of those is to try to meet somebody where they’re at when at all possible.
I don’t know what Judith’s story is, but I’d be willing to bet that she latched onto homeschooling as a safe haven, a way to protect her family from some of the social ills she sees in the world around her, and maybe she has seen a lot of social ills and doesn’t feel she has room to deal with any more (I will admit that 2013 has been quite a doozy of a year for me, so I can understand the impulse, although I doubt any of us, when asked, would say we have more room for struggle or bad news). Seeing me work to shatter the myth that homeschooling is automatically a safe space may have been incredibly triggering to Judith. Maybe she just needs a safe space, a port in the storm, a safe haven. However – and this is a key part of what I want to get at – you can’t create safe spaces by sticking your head in the sand or by using harsh words against survivors. In fact, that exact kind of behavior creates the most dangerous spaces imaginable. So Judith, if you want a safe space, start at home. You have to learn how to be a safe person.
There are homeschooling Moms of faith out there who are safe people, who are rejecting the programming, casting aside the authoritarian Christian cookie-cutter mold of what homeschooling Moms of faith are supposedly supposed to be doing, and who are then setting good (and often very creative) examples of what homeschooling can be. We would do well to follow the lead that more of them have set. I met one for lunch the other day actually, an ordained minister, and spent time with her and her kids (happy, well-adjusted children who were noisily eating carrot cake muffins before heading to a science museum), and it was awesome. These are the people we should be watching and emulating – home educators acting out of love and caring, rather than out of fear or obedience to an authoritarian structure that uses them as pawns and breeders in some culture war.
Maybe us homeschool kids, now grown, blogging against the past as “homeschool apostates,” can help improve these things, reset the tone, point out what kind of homeschool leadership is needed and what kind definitely isn’t. I sure hope we can and I think we are starting to. I think Julie Anne of Spiritual Sounding Board might be right that the pressure we are putting on homeschool leaders to vet their conference speakers more carefully, to not have people advocating teen marriage in a place of authority and honor, for example, might keep other homeschoolers from experiencing the heartache and loneliness and bad advice that so many of us in the first wave needlessly endured.
However, we are at an interesting crossroads. There are people who want to make this about them and their agenda, exploit the political fault lines of the religious right and the secular left and continue the culture wars, pigeonholing us in the middle of it. I don’t want to be Belgium or Laos. I have zero interest in it. I’ve read my history. I saw what happened. So I reject this proxy culture war that I and my friends were supposed to be trained as a child soldiers for and say shame on those who thought it was a good idea to put us in this position in the first place.
I have already said that I want to opt out of that fight and concentrate on something that is much more important to me than than whether stay at home moms v. working moms are happier, or unions v. free markets are better, or plastic v. reusable canvas grocery bags are more respectful. This is about kids. It is about peace and living life and belonging. It is about doing our best to have happy, healthy, well-adjusted kids who we lovingly give the gift of an open future – the skills and determination and drive and sense of belonging – where they can feel empowered to decide how they want to live life to the fullest and figure out for themselves how to do their part to make the world a place more fit for man and beast.
It’s a tall order, for sure, and we could keep stalling on it, continue the divisive politics where we rehash the liberal/conservative, religious/secular, homeschool/public school, and good parent/bad parent debate while claiming that we are actually trying to achieve something, but look where that sort of “demonize the other” black and white thinking has gotten us. It sure isn’t anywhere good. There are a lot of economic and social problems in our country right now and ridiculous (and disturbing) levels of political infighting, and the gap between the haves and the have-nots is widening. The homeschooling world has not been immune. Indeed, I figure it would be weird if it were.
So now that many of us homeschool students are banding together and raising awareness of the issues we faced as children, homeschool parents and leaders can choose to get out ahead of this thing, respond compassionately, and make changes in an innovative and child-centered way that fits well with the culture of hands-on learning prized in many homeschooling families. Or they can choose to freak out, minimize what too many of us are saying happened to us, point fingers, cast blame, and maybe even call abused children “whiners” like Kevin Swanson did the other day. But we know where that latter course of action will take us. We’ve already been there. We’ve already seen that and done that. And it sucks. So let’s try a new way.
I know I’m ready for a new way, trying to lead by example and do my part on that. After all, that’s why I went to policy school. It wasn’t to get rich or to amass power or to gain prestige. It was that I strongly felt and then made a promise as a little girl that when I grew up I wanted to “help people like us.” I still do want to help. I want to do the right thing, make a positive difference in this world. Maybe you do too.
I can’t help but think that maybe if we can tap into those deeper motivations, the spiritual things that really drive our desire for knowledge, that perhaps we can stop going round in circles so much and actually solve some problems.
Thank you for facilitating open, honest and fascinating discussion. Hopefully it will be productive as well.
Some more random thoughts, since you obviously don’t mind them. When I came to the decision to homeschool my children, I was unaware of the various sub-cultures that engage in this type of education in the US. I am, after all, European. I decided to homeschool primarily for academic reasons.
I am not sure to what extent “no true Scotsman” applies to this discussion. I have seen the phrase “homeschool parents” used on this blog, either by you or those commenting, more than once. Without any type of modifier, it is easy to feel attacked.
There was another comment on that post that struck me — the one from the person who was raised as an unschooler by liberal parents. This comment shows that “fundamentalist” isn’t necessarily the right modifier to use, and that there are more potential problems with homeschooling than we — those who decide to engage in it — might easily see.
Those problems might be summarized as a sense of isolation from mainstream society and an inadequate education?
Now, what is the answer? Is it extremely rigorous scrutiny of homeschool families, of the type that was just recently proposed in Ohio? For some children, the answer would be yes. For other children and their families, this type of scrutiny could be damaging. It could make homeschooling extremely difficult and give authorities that are simply opposed to homeschooling the right to override parental decisions for no good reason.
I think we also have to acknowledge that public schools are not equipped to meet the needs of every child, that public schools can be damaging, and that public schools do not necessarily solve the problems children have within their families.
I was an academically gifted child with a physical disability, for instance. Not having my academic needs met and being bullied severely by peers, to the point I felt suicidal, was a personal tragedy and not a huge political issue — but I believe I would have benefited from being homeschooled. I came away from public school with the same problems described above; a sense of isolation from mainstream society and an inadequate education.
Finding the right balance is hard, and I believe that parents who are currently homeschooling their children need to be part of this discussion.
Parents tell me all the time that they are not religious homeschoolers. First of it, it does not change the presence of those who aren’t. Second, sme of the thngs I write about still are present in their own homeschool communities (not accusing any individual, nor do I have the stats).
Lana, was your comment made in response to mine? If so, what point are you trying to make?
Your blog and life perspective would be well served to stop lumping all home schoolers together. You were trapped in a cult like quasi religious culture that used homeshcooling as a method of programing and isolation like any good abuser or clut would.
This is not the face of most homeschoolers. I oly homeschool one of my 3 kids for now and that is becasue my 4th grader couldn’t find the main idea in a story nor had she memorized multiplication tables.In the few months since we started she not only memorized her multiplication bu is on to basic algebra. She can not only find the main idea but read for pleasure and write an age appropriate book report.
Your experiences were terrible and very common in the south when fundamental baptists decide to homeschool ( though christian extremeism is alive and well everywhere not just the south.)
It is not homeschooling parents or homeschooling that is bad it is homeschooling used as a tool for spreading religious extremeism and hate that is harmful. I take personal offense at you lumping my self and all the families in our homeschool group together. At you lumping yourself and your horrifying experiences in with those of my daughter who is happy healthy has friends, sports, field trips, and ( if everything works out) will be attending a school with an advance paced cirriculum next school year.
Your language is offensive. No less so than saying All you black people are criminals to or all you white people are hateful, or all christians are full of hate, or saying all muslims are terrorists. You have lumped me and all of the other loving families who due to choice or circumstance homeshcool lovingly, with people who are just shy of christian terrorists practicing the christian version of Sharia law.
What was done to your family and the many other fundamentalist, Bill Gothard, ATI, QF/P families is abuse. Religious abuse, physical abuse, emotional abuse, educational neglect, NEGLECT, isolation, teen marriage, arranged marriage etc are in no way involved in homeschooling.
Keep speaking out againset those who use homeschooling as a tool to spread christian Sharia but stopp insulting myself and the many homeshoolers who homeschool because we love our kids.
I guess I don’t get offended by your language because I know I’m not part of the Christian patriarchal movement? I don’t feel lumped in because, well, I’m not.
That being said, I personally was raised in what I guess might be called a “borderline” abusive fundamentalist home. Basically my dad wanted to be a dictator, and ran with that model of Christianity to justify his desires. But while we were treated as “less than” and spanked far beyond anything reasonable and what could certainly be considered abusive (I have since realized that spanking is no more Christian than homeschooling) and constantly told by our mom that motherhood was our highest calling as girls, we weren’t homeschooled. I’m sure that balanced things out a bit for us.
But I hated school. Did fine academically, suffered socially to the extent that I decided early on (when I was around ten) that no child of mine would be subjected to the same system. It worked out that the life my husband and I lead makes homeschooling make sense – we’ve had to move a lot for work. But my own issues – a round with clinical depression, moving away from our support system – definitely created less than ideal circumstances for my kids. I was struggling with believing that spanking is required of Christian parents while feeling in my bones that it is WRONG. One day, reading Proverbs, I realized that *correction IS the rod*. You’re not supposed to hit your kids with a stick, you’re supposed to correct them when they’re wrong. How freaking simple is that, and how many children’s lives have been destroyed by a contrived idea? That started the revolution in our family. Got me re-evaluating every choice we’d made in our children’s “best interest”.
We are still homeschooling, and have every intention of continuing, but I want to thank the “Homeschool Apostate” movement for sharing their experiences, for showing how the wrong choice, no matter how well intentioned, can have lasting and painful impact. Having gotten treatment for my depression, having found new supports, having realized the different ways I’m handicapping my children’s development directly through the experiences of adults sharing how homeschooling hurt them, I feel like we’re finally working towards the right goals for our family and building a broader range of experience and the dreaded “socialization” into our lives.
And I forgot to say I AM so very sorry that you and so many others went through such horrid experiences at the hands of those who should’ve been loving and protecting you. I’m so sorry they believed they WERE loving and protecting you, teaching you such an awful interpretation of those words, and I’m appalled that they were able to use homeschool as a tool to further their agendas. I fully understand where you’re coming from as you and others seek to change the laws to protect children, and I think it’s really for the best.
Some thoughts from a parent in the spirit of reconciation and mutual understanding encouraged in this insightful and helpful post
The pursuit of power or control are not the motivation of all who homeschool
It is possible to be a conservative or Baptist or believe in modesty precisely because we believe it is good for our children
To assume breeding and spawing as a reason for large families is hurtful and not helpful
People can do things the same or have the same guidelines for very different (and perhaps opposite) reasons…
Sensitive and tender-hearted parents who fail to be loving or act ugly (often when frustrated or exhausted) are always intrinsically motivated and thereby most quickly restored to their desire to be good parents when children do not add sinful responses to their parents thereby keeping the air clear for the parents to repent and regroup quickly
Focusing on building up and mutual kindness approached with sincere humility and deliberate kindness fosters and promotes understanding and creates a win-win. Snark is always a lose-lose and fueled by pride.
We must all not let the failures or sins of others allow us to justify our, often worse, failures and sins.
Child-centered education does not have a large enough perspective; children do not always know what is best for them…and there is a bigger picture. Neither selfishness in children or in their parents is a good idea.
There is work to be done..It is very important work. Future generations have a stake in our current work and for ours and theirs we must walk carefully and speak the truth in love and never assume any of has the only answer or the only truth or sees the whole pictures.
Throwing stones always hurts everyone. New Testament
Gathering stones as memorials of victory for the future helps everyone. Old Testament
Avoiding unnecessary pain, even for those we consider our enemies or oppressors, should be part of our strategy.
The truth sets us free…free to care and love and work and find a better way…
Forgiveness and humility are worthy tools….Kindness is wonderful…
I did homeschool my kids. The two oldest all the way, and I put the younger two in public school in high school.
I actually didn’t do it so much out of fear of the world (I did plenty of other goofy things on account of that) but because I just felt like nobody would be invested in my children’s education as much as I was.
Being a well-read, strong willed, outspoken woman, I never was able to pull off the submissive wife thing and my husband didn’t really want me to.
We did have our Pharisee days and have had to reconsider our beliefs, but for the most part, I refused to allow anything (church shit included) to hurt my kids. We did spank….. not beat… but if I had that to do over again, I’d probly not spank as easily…
I am so sorry for all the pain some kids have gone thru and I’m appalled at the abuse involved with the q/f thing…. I actually belonged to an elist (I qualified cause I had 4 kids in 5 years) and couldn’t believe the abuse these women put themselves thru for the sake of making babies. I love all my kids, but it was terrible to think that these women were just wearing their body out with trying to have too many babies.
Thankfully, the Lord has blessed me with good sense and I didn’t get too wacky….
My oldest is proudly gay and we’re fine with it, Son #2 is a husband and father of 1 with another on the way which will finish their family….. #3 is in university and #4 is in the air force…. 2 boys and then 2 girls…. And they run the full gamut of liberal to conservative with all points in between…..
One thing I always wanted for my kids and wouldn’t bend on (even with hubby) is that they would always be able to speak their mind. And they do…..
I was raised by religious parents who were really abusive, sexually and otherwise. I attended public schools to Grade 11 and then a private religious school in Grade 12. The students at the private school were light years ahead of public-schooled students and those who had been homeschooled were more so. I know that for the most part homeschooled kids are way ahead of public-schooled children. I know that the hell I went through at public schools only exacerbated my problems.
The government has no place in the home. I am asked by Jesus Christ to take up my cross and follow Him. My cross is having parents who are sexually abusive. My cross is having to be separate from my parents because of threats to my life. I’m not going to blame religion (my father is a pastor) for the situation. The problem is sin. I could easily lump all pastors into the same group as sexual deviants. Those two groups are different.
It’s the same with bad parents and those who are homeschooling parents of integrity. These two groups of people are two totally different groups. The ideals behind homeschooling are very good and if they are accomplished the experience is very profitable.
Many bad, abusive parents send their children to public schools. If your parents had sent you to public school you would still need to separate those two issues and you would still need to deal with the devastating affects of having bad parents.
My parents did send me to public school, starting in 9th grade. Or more like my grandparents made them. And there were issues but it was a lot better. You are still spouting a lot of fundy programming. It sounds like you have a lot of processing to do. But suffice it to say that you are making a lot of assertions you can’t possibly back up and you seem to think you’ve connected the dots when there’s a lot of other dots you obviously don’t know exist yet. So keep learning and growing and healing. And if a faith community that ignored signs of your abuse and poorly designed homeschool laws that allowed your parents full reign for their cruelty can’t bear blame for what happened to you, I’m not sure what can. Sure, it’s your parents fault for being awful human beings, but there’s no rule that says fault can’t point at more than one person and fault can’t point at a system. And I think here in your case, as in mine, it quite clearly does.
” And if a faith community that ignored signs of your abuse and poorly designed homeschool laws that allowed your parents full reign for their cruelty can’t bear blame for what happened to you, I’m not sure what can”
You don’t know that the faith community ignored signs of abuse. She doesn’t say that in her post. But the thing that CAN take the blame for what happened to her are the people who did it.
” Sure, it’s your parents fault for being awful human beings, but there’s no rule that says fault can’t point at more than one person and fault can’t point at a system”
Well, there is, actually. It’s the rule that tells us that in justice we blame those who are responsible and no one else. That may be one person, or it may not, but we don’t blame those who didn’t do a thing for the fact that it happened.
There is no that will ever exist that will stop child abuse from happening. None. Even in the most extreme dystopian fantasy of raising children in in incubators and factories, child abuse would still happen. It is delusional to think otherwise.
” You are still spouting a lot of fundy programming. It sounds like you have a lot of processing to do”
This unbelievably insulting. It is the kind of ad hominem attack that never fails to shut down real discourse. I’ve been so conflicted reading your blog, because I feel so badly for what you went though, on the other hand, you conflate so many issues and dismiss people out of hand through ad hominem attacks upon them or their worldview. It’s really not much different than the post where you share that your father “gaslighted” you by calling you bi-polar. You dismissed this woman’s point of view by saying she “has a lot of processing to do”. Your father claimed your point of view was illegitimate because you are (according to him) mentally ill and you claim that the above poster’s point of view is illegitimate because (according to you) she is mentally ill.
I think that you have a real voice to add something to the homeschooling issue. But it’s going to be very hard to be heard while you display such contempt for those whose world view you do not share.
The problem is, in fact, homeschooling. The instances that this homeschooling mom described is a case in which there is a small amount of accountability yet still more than what would be given in a homeschool environment. Attending a small religious school with isolated beliefs or a one-room classroom is similar to living in a small town where everyone believes the same thing. However, a homeschool can not compare. Only one or two people have full reign on the decisions made about your well-being. It can hardly be compared to going to school no matter how small or religiously isolated.