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#41 bloop

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 05:57 PM

I don't see how fundamentalist parents trying to push Creationism on public schools (and often failing) is the same as a parent unilaterally determining that it's what their child's curriculum will be at homeschool.

#42 Joel C

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 06:06 PM

I don't see how fundamentalist parents trying to push Creationism on public schools (and often failing) is the same as a parent unilaterally determining that it's what their child's curriculum will be at homeschool.

Both such parents belong to the same ideological group, both want the same thing, for their children to be taught creationist curriculum. I'd wager that a lot of the public school parents from that ideology are already pushing creationism in their own home. I wouldn't be surprised at all to see AiG material in those homes as well. Parents make all sorts of unilateral decisions, no matter what schooling paradigm they subscribe to.

Edited by Joel C, 24 January 2012 - 06:08 PM.


#43 NBooth

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 07:08 PM


I have a less polite version that goes something like "statistics are the trollops of reasoned argument."

And yet you had no problem using statistics of your own in our previous discussion, no?


Shamelessly. Go back and read the context of my initial comment. I was explicitly referring to my own use of James' study.

Not entirely affirmed, perhaps, but in my experience it's hardly an unfair stereotype--particularly since the best-selling homeschool textbooks tend to cater to exactly this isolationist tendency. Perhaps those of us who aren't fringe-dwellers are the real exceptions.

I'm feeling a lot like a broken record player here, and I don't have the time to get deeply involved in another long discussion, but why is it assumed that homeschooling has any more of a problem with this than the very loud, embarrassing culture war battles to get creationism to be taught in public schools? Fundamentalists Christians of every ilk, and in every corner of education, are peddling creationism. If a lot of Fundamentalist Christian public school parents had their way, such textbooks would be included in public school curriculum.


Ah, but the majority of public school text books aren't published by Bob Jones and A Beka. That is the issue here, as far as I can tell--that suitable materials aren't as readily available to homeschooling parents. What fundamentalist parents want is precisely not the issue.

[And this leaves aside the very simple fact that--and here come the statistics!--most parents who homeschool do so for "religious or moral instruction." This observation doesn't automatically mean that the majority of homeschooling parents are fundamentalist, but when you pair it up with the best-selling "science" textbooks I referenced earlier, it seems pretty apparent that a large number--perhaps a majority--are. And no amount of saying "but there's fundamentalists in the public schools, too!" will change that. The simple fact is that the fundamentalists--by and large--don't call the shots on what's in the curriculum in public schools. Yet, anyway. They very obviously do in the homeschool-textbook publishing arena.]

Dear sweet merciful heavens. I couldn't make it more than a few seconds in.

Oh no, don't tell me you missed the punchline! :)


You mean the whole video isn't a punchline? :)


Emphasis mine, because this is definitely an issue. My own upbringing wasn't exactly evolution-hostile; it was more evolution-indifferent.We didn't study Answers in Genesis-approved textbooks, but we did have plenty of AiG material laying around the house, and I wasn't exposed to any real science on the matter until college. Fortunately, my parents instilled enough of a love of learning--and respect for, y'know, actual scientists--that it didn't take long for me to synthesize the science and move on. Not everyone is so fortunate.*

My parents took me to hear both Ken Ham and Hugh Ross. I read Creation Ex Nihilo, and Francis Collins. My parents were never pushed "old earth" or "young earth", they presented us with both and gave us the freedom to decide. Peddling Creationism might or might not be a problem, but if it is a problem, it's one that is shared in all educational arenas.


No, it really isn't. Outside of a few (widely-mocked) states, it seems that for the most part science classes in public school teach science. How well or poorly it's taught might depend on the teacher, but since we're looking at textbooks that's not really inside the scope of the discussion.

Edited by NBooth, 24 January 2012 - 07:17 PM.


#44 Joel C

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 09:26 PM

Shamelessly. Go back and read the context of my initial comment. I was explicitly referring to my own use of James' study.

Ah, I see now. Well aren't we scandalous!

Ah, but the majority of public school text books aren't published by Bob Jones and A Beka. That is the issue here, as far as I can tell--that suitable materials aren't as readily available to homeschooling parents. What fundamentalist parents want is precisely not the issue.

Come now, this is silliness. Unless someone is amish, or lives somewhere remote and inaccessible by car, there are hundreds, nay thousands of non-religious books and materials readily available to homeschool students on a variety of topics. In my entire 18 years of homeschool education, I never once used either A Beka or Bob Jones. Besides the fact that public school curriculum is broadly available to homeschool families, there are hundreds of different textbooks available through bookstores like Barnes & Noble.

#45 NBooth

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 09:34 PM

Ah, but the majority of public school text books aren't published by Bob Jones and A Beka. That is the issue here, as far as I can tell--that suitable materials aren't as readily available to homeschooling parents. What fundamentalist parents want is precisely not the issue.

Come now, this is silliness. Unless someone is amish, or lives somewhere remote and inaccessible by car, there are hundreds, nay thousands of non-religious books and materials readily available to homeschool students on a variety of topics. In my entire 18 years of homeschool education, I never once used either A Beka or Bob Jones. Besides the fact that public school curriculum is broadly available to homeschool families, there are hundreds of different textbooks available through bookstores like Barnes & Noble.


Not all homeschoolers (and we've had anecdotal reports of others in this very thread) have found it as easy as you seem to have.

At the same time, having done a quick Amazon search, I'm happy to withdraw the generalization. The other points I made still stand, though.

Withdrawing the withdrawal. This is one of only two biology books that show up. The other's about horses. Looking through the other selections, it looks like this is a consistent thing.

Look, I'm not saying it's impossible to build a solid curriculum. I'm saying it's more difficult. There's no need to get defensive over an observation like that. It's a fact that most of the top-selling homeschool resources are fundamentalist-oriented. Not an opinion, and not a smear--a simple honest fact. And it's a fact with which anyone who either homeschools or is considering it must come to grips.

These should be pretty non-controversial observations:

[1] That the majority of homeschoolers seem to be religiously conservative-leaning-fundamentalist, and
[2] That the textbook market reflects this.

That's not at all the same thing as saying that all homeschoolers are fundies, or that all textbooks are useless for people interested in real science. As far as I can tell, no-one on this thread is insinuating that. My own family wasn't fundamentalist, and I suspect most of the homeschooling parents here wouldn't identify as such. After all, observing trends isn't the same thing as getting a bead on every single member of the group.

Edited by NBooth, 24 January 2012 - 10:12 PM.


#46 Joel C

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 10:15 PM

Dude. Took me less than five minutes. Seriously.

#47 Joel C

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 10:30 PM

And for the record, this really doesn't need to be about textbooks. Textbooks are only symptoms. Going back to what you said earlier, I suppose I just disagree. It is about what fundamentalist parents want. It's always about the parents. Parents shape the way children learn, no matter the schooling method. In my eyes, anyway.

Edited by Joel C, 24 January 2012 - 10:36 PM.


#48 NBooth

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 10:42 PM

Dude. Took me less than five minutes. Seriously.


Oh, I saw it when I was searching around earlier. Somehow I think 32 items covering a diffuse area (and some of which--like the top pick there--look pretty chintzy) doesn't really prove your point. But whatever--since no one's saying there aren't options out there. This might be a better link, although you would have to comb through it.

So I suppose all the parents who complained about not being able to find solid texts are just...computer illiterate? Or perhaps it speaks to the more general tenor of the home-schooling community. The latter would certainly fit in with my experience among the homeschoolers in Georgia and Alabama.

And for the record, this really doesn't need to be about textbooks. Textbooks are only symptoms. Going back to what you said earlier, I suppose I just disagree. It is about what fundamentalist parents want. It's always about the parents. Parents shape the way children learn, no matter the schooling method. In my eyes, anyway.


In that case, you've really got to face the fact that the best-selling home-school textbooks are fundamentalist in their bent. Because if these books are what the parents want, it confirms the idea that homeschoolers are majority-fundamentalist in a way that public schools just aren't.

Edited by NBooth, 24 January 2012 - 10:45 PM.


#49 Joel C

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 11:43 PM

I'm going to step back here, and say that this is not a worthwhile discussion. I have plenty of things to bring up, like the fact that Bob Jones and A Beka have as much to do with private Evangelical Christian schools as homeschooling, and that what you're really objecting to here is probably the whole Christian education movement, which stretches far beyond the bounds of homeschooling, and which is a far stronger and more time-honored bastion of fundamentalism.

However, this tit for tat is a waste of both of our time. It's obvious you came from a more fundamentalist environment. I did not. Our two perspectives will not mesh because we are obviously from different ends of the spectrum, so to argue about it is somewhat pointless. I am a living, breathing, evolution-believing, socially-liberated, societally-integrated homeschooler. I'm here to say that I and others like me do exist, and we're not as rare as people are making us out to be. Perhaps it's because we're not as loud and obnoxious as the fundies. Noisy people tend to give off the impression they're more substantial than they are. I don't know. But there are plenty of us normal H.S. folks out there.

[EDITED TO ADD:] The bit about noisy people wasn't aimed at anyone here. It was meant to be a reference to fundamentalism in general.

Edited by Joel C, 24 January 2012 - 11:47 PM.


#50 NBooth

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 12:02 AM

I'm going to step back here, and say that this is not a worthwhile discussion. I have plenty of things to bring up, like the fact that Bob Jones and A Beka have as much to do with private Evangelical Christian schools as homeschooling, and that what you're really objecting to here is probably the whole Christian education movement, which stretches far beyond the bounds of homeschooling, and which is a far stronger and more time-honored bastion of fundamentalism.


I hate that you feel that way. I actually think this is worthwhile, since the purpose of this thread seems to be, in part, an inquiry into the environment of the homeschooling movement. This sort of thing is absolutely worth discussing, particularly for parents who are wondering what in the world they might be getting themselves into.

[And this is why the discussion of textbooks is absolutely germane. If a parent is considering homeschooling, they need to know how great a wealth of resources will be available. I've suggested that, while there are materials available, they might take more digging to come across. You've offered alternative resources; I've critiqued their paucity and offered an alternative link. I'm not MLeary, but I suspect this is very helpful in trying to develop a possible curriculum.]

I am a living, breathing, evolution-believing, socially-liberated, societally-integrated homeschooler.


Good for you. FWIW, I am too, though I suspect my background is more conservative (my parents weren't so fundamentalist; my father's congregation was). I'm also a leftist, a quasi-socialist and a theological centrist. Not that any of that matters; what matters is whether these opinions are common. From what I can tell, they aren't, really. And that's not just my impression coming from the Deep South; it's an impression that was confirmed at my (conservative but not fundamentalist) Christian college and further confirmed through the reasoning I've laid out above.

So there's no need to get irate or feel like anyone's attacking you. As far as I can tell, that's not happening. General observations aren't the same as pronouncing on individuals.*


_________________
*Says the guy who on this very board argued against generalizations about gender on the grounds that they are harmful. A foolish consistency and all that. ;)

Edited by NBooth, 25 January 2012 - 12:10 AM.


#51 Joel C

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 02:01 AM

I hate that you feel that way. I actually think this is worthwhile, since the purpose of this thread seems to be, in part, an inquiry into the environment of the homeschooling movement. This sort of thing is absolutely worth discussing, particularly for parents who are wondering what in the world they might be getting themselves into.

Well, I'm not trying to storm away in a huff or anything like that, but the textbook hair-splitting is getting to be a little tedious.

[And this is why the discussion of textbooks is absolutely germane. If a parent is considering homeschooling, they need to know how great a wealth of resources will be available. I've suggested that, while there are materials available, they might take more digging to come across. You've offered alternative resources; I've critiqued their paucity and offered an alternative link. I'm not MLeary, but I suspect this is very helpful in trying to develop a possible curriculum.]

I think it is helpful to a certain extent. I also think that a homeschool parent looking for a good textbook on evolutionary science is going to spend more than the five minutes I spent, and will probably reap more from the process as well.

However, arguing over these menial details is exactly the thing I tend to not enjoy when having a discussion online. To be honest, it feels unsophisticated and monotonous. And I'm not pointing the finger, I've certainly contributed to it. But I'm starting to run a little low on banter fuel.

Good for you. FWIW, I am too, though I suspect my background is more conservative (my parents weren't so fundamentalist; my father's congregation was). I'm also a leftist, a quasi-socialist and a theological centrist. Not that any of that matters; what matters is whether these opinions are common. From what I can tell, they aren't, really. And that's not just my impression coming from the Deep South; it's an impression that was confirmed at my (conservative but not fundamentalist) Christian college and further confirmed through the reasoning I've laid out above.

I had no doubt you adhered to such a perspective. I think such people are more common than you're giving them credit for. And for what it's worth, I could say the same about my own "reasoning". :) Which is exactly why this discussion is too subjective to come to any conclusions. I went to a (very secular, very liberal) college in the Northeast, and had numerous homeschool friends, all of whom I met by luck of the draw, and several of whom came from non-religious backgrounds. The top graduating student in my major in 2010 was a homeschooled liberal atheist. My experience tends to lead me to see homeschooling as far more mainstream and diversified than your experience is telling you. Which means that by consequence of our varying perspectives, homeschooling must represent a diverse group of people! :)

I'm not trying to say Fundamentalists aren't out there in the homeschool circles. I've run into my share of them for sure. But I've run into as significant a share of fundamentalists outside homeschool circles as inside them. Besides that, I don't think homeschoolers even need to fit the "evolution-believing, socially-liberated, leftist, quasi-socialist, theological centrist" mold to be considered mainstream and normative in comparison to the broad Christian population at hand. Reasoned conservatives are fine, too. :)

So there's no need to get irate or feel like anyone's attacking you. As far as I can tell, that's not happening. General observations aren't the same as pronouncing on individuals.*

I'm not irate, nor am I feeling attacked. What I am feeling is that this argument has gone on quite a while, and has taken up a lot of time, a commodity I'm finding a little scarce at the moment.

Edited by Joel C, 25 January 2012 - 02:50 AM.


#52 Joel C

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 02:24 AM

Reading back over, realized that when I said that it was "not a worthwhile discussion", you probably took me to mean that I felt the whole discussion was worthless. Definitely a bad choice of words on my part. What I should have said was that it did not seem worthwhile to continue down the same path we were going any further, as it felt we would only get into effectively meaningless parsing of words, ideas and statistics. I'm not at all sorry that I've been part of this conversation, and on the contrary it's been very enlightening in many ways. However, the bulk of what I have to say has been said, without clicking the repeat button.

#53 NBooth

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 10:00 AM

[And this is why the discussion of textbooks is absolutely germane. If a parent is considering homeschooling, they need to know how great a wealth of resources will be available. I've suggested that, while there are materials available, they might take more digging to come across. You've offered alternative resources; I've critiqued their paucity and offered an alternative link. I'm not MLeary, but I suspect this is very helpful in trying to develop a possible curriculum.]

I think it is helpful to a certain extent. I also think that a homeschool parent looking for a good textbook on evolutionary science is going to spend more than the five minutes I spent, and will probably reap more from the process as well.

However, arguing over these menial details is exactly the thing I tend to not enjoy when having a discussion online. To be honest, it feels unsophisticated and monotonous. And I'm not pointing the finger, I've certainly contributed to it. But I'm starting to run a little low on banter fuel.


Perhaps a better tack would be to mention some texts you found helpful yourself (and, actually, it would be interesting if currently-homeschooling parents weighed in and shared what books they find helpful).

For my own family, we found Saxon Math to be incredibly helpful. And this book is, to the best of my recollection, a pretty solid guide to setting up a well-rounded homeschool curriculum.

I had no doubt you adhered to such a perspective. I think such people are more common than you're giving them credit for. And for what it's worth, I could say the same about my own "reasoning". :) Which is exactly why this discussion is too subjective to come to any conclusions. I went to a (very secular, very liberal) college in the Northeast, and had numerous homeschool friends, all of whom I met by luck of the draw, and several of whom came from non-religious backgrounds. The top graduating student in my major in 2010 was a homeschooled liberal atheist. My experience tends to lead me to see homeschooling as far more mainstream and diversified than your experience is telling you. Which means that by consequence of our varying perspectives, homeschooling must represent a diverse group of people! :)


I've said (several times) that location matters. The reasons people homeschool in rural South Georgia are different from those of city-dwellers. That doesn't change the numbers. There's a huge difference between saying "most homeschoolers seem to be fundamentalist" and saying "all homeschoolers are fundamentalist." Religion is among the most frequently cited reasons for homeschooling. This paper seems pretty fair about the issue:

"The point of such a comparison, however, is not to imply that
homeschooling inherently fosters religious fundamentalism. The structural
flexibility of homeschooling, and the space it provides both literally and
ideologically, lends itself to countercultural movements of all kinds. For
instance, it also supports a socially progressive critique, which is where the
modern homeschooling movement gained early inspiration, in the writings
of John Holt" (Gaither, 2008).

It's a simple demographic observation.

So there's no need to get irate or feel like anyone's attacking you. As far as I can tell, that's not happening. General observations aren't the same as pronouncing on individuals.*

I'm not irate, nor am I feeling attacked. What I am feeling is that this argument has gone on quite a while, and has taken up a lot of time, a commodity I'm finding a little scarce at the moment.


Fair enough.


Reading back over, realized that when I said that it was "not a worthwhile discussion", you probably took me to mean that I felt the whole discussion was worthless. Definitely a bad choice of words on my part. What I should have said was that it did not seem worthwhile to continue down the same path we were going any further, as it felt we would only get into effectively meaningless parsing of words, ideas and statistics. I'm not at all sorry that I've been part of this conversation, and on the contrary it's been very enlightening in many ways. However, the bulk of what I have to say has been said, without clicking the repeat button.


"Ah," said he, leaning back and peering through the rising smoke, "But where would we be without parsing?"

Nah, I feel ya. The reason I'm so insistent on this point is that (again) I think that a fair consideration of the issue demands a recognition of the limits, and potential problems, of homeschooling.

Incidentally, the 'blog that linked to the article I quoted above is here. The author is by no means anti-homeschool, but does seem to have a clear-eyed view of the field. Here's a post looking at an article on "three types of homeschoolers." Here's one on family intimacy. Here are two reviewing a book about fundamentalism and homeschooling. One on "why Black parents homeschool." There's also a series of posts on the Quiverfull movement.

Sorry for the linkspam, but my point is this: it's possible to be fully aware of the broader trends in the movement without tarring the entire field with one brush. Indeed, that seems to me to be the only clear-eyed approach to the matter.

Edited by NBooth, 25 January 2012 - 10:50 AM.


#54 Joel C

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 11:46 AM

Perhaps a better tack would be to mention some texts you found helpful yourself (and, actually, it would be interesting if currently-homeschooling parents weighed in and shared what books they find helpful).

Of course. A fairly comprehensive place to start would be McGraw-Hill Education, for a variety of subjects. Their textbook selection is vast, and they have a wide variety of supplementary resources as well.

However, the beauty of homeschooling is that you get to be creative about the learning process. To wit, here are several non-textbook-based ideas for exposure to basic scientific concepts: Non-fiction mass-produced books which present basic pictures and ideas, such as Steven Jenkins', Life on Earth. Getting a subscription to kids NatGeo is also a fantastic idea. There are the Kids Discover magazines, which are fantastic for kids of all ages, on a variety of topics. And of course, nothing can replace a visit to a local zoo, aquarium, or local botanical gardens.

It's a simple demographic observation.

Well, no demographic observation is simple when you dig into it. Like the fact that the author grew up in the buckle of the Bible Belt, in that most fundamentalist of institutions (far more so than homeschooling), the private Christian school. So his reaction to fundamentalism in any paradigm will potentially be stronger and more pronounced.

Look, like I've already said, I'm not trying to prove that fundamentalism doesn't exist in homeschooling. Of course it does. But general paradigms like "public school", "private school" or "homeschool", as we've already established, can't be comprehensively or definitively fundamentalist. Incidentally, parents and families can. The beauty of homeschooling is that what one family believes is really irrelevant to what you believe yourself. Every homeschool family is as free from the bounds of ideological institutionalization and standardization as they want to be.

Nah, I feel ya. The reason I'm so insistent on this point is that (again) I think that a fair consideration of the issue demands a recognition of the limits, and potential problems, of homeschooling.

You seem to be considerably more concerned with pointing out the problems and perceived limitations than seeking to equally affirm its potential and inherent strengths. I am seeking to balance that sentiment out. Call me the yin to your yang. :)



Sorry for the linkspam, but my point is this: it's possible to be fully aware of the broader trends in the movement without tarring the entire field with one brush. Indeed, that seems to me to be the only clear-eyed approach to the matter.

Linkspam indeed. Too much to respond to right now, sorry. I think trends are interesting (even when we disagree about them), but ultimately less relevant to a parent considering homeschooling. It's a little akin to saying a majority of Americans are conservative. This may or may not be true, but it doesn't really matter to me as I get to decide my own perspective, and I spend time and develop friendships with the Americans who hold similar perspectives. The same is true of homeschooling.

I think your ultimate objection is that fundamentalism in homeschooling somehow makes it hard to be a non-fundamentalist homeschooling family. I guess I feel I'm a living example to the contrary.

Edited by Joel C, 25 January 2012 - 11:52 AM.


#55 NBooth

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 12:05 PM

I don't really disagree with any of that, although I stand by my "demographic observation" point. The author's upbringing is irrelevant to the fact, pointed out in the paper, that "religious conservatives likely remain the largest subset of homeschoolers, at least in the United States." The author goes on to cite the same survey-data I did earlier and draws the same conclusion that "it helps lend credence to the generally
accepted notion that conservative Christians comprise the largest subset of homeschoolers in the United States."

Again, that's descriptive, not prescriptive; nor is it derogatory of all homeschoolers everywhere.

I think your ultimate objection is that fundamentalism in homeschooling somehow makes it hard to be a non-fundamentalist homeschooling family. I guess I feel I'm a living example to the contrary.


Actually, I'm not making an objection at all (unless it's to the idea that fundamentalism isn't somehow closely tied to the homeschooling movement). I'm making an observation and pointing out that it may make finding an appropriate covering (depending on whether the state requires such)/appropriate texts difficult for non-fundamentalist parents. It's less a matter of objecting to anything than it is of pointing out potential trouble-spots. The fact that your family seems to have successfully avoided (or, perhaps, navigated through) these reefs doesn't mean they don't exist.

Edited by NBooth, 25 January 2012 - 12:07 PM.


#56 Joel C

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 12:26 PM

I don't really disagree with any of that, although I stand by my "demographic observation" point. The author's upbringing is irrelevant to the fact, pointed out in the paper, that "religious conservatives likely remain the largest subset of homeschoolers, at least in the United States." The author goes on to cite the same survey-data I did earlier and draws the same conclusion that "it helps lend credence to the generally
accepted notion that conservative Christians comprise the largest subset of homeschoolers in the United States."

Again, that's descriptive, not prescriptive; nor is it derogatory of all homeschoolers everywhere.

Agreed, and agreed. However, "Conservative Christian" is quite different than "Fundamentalist".

Actually, I'm not making an objection at all (unless it's to the idea that fundamentalism isn't somehow closely tied to the homeschooling movement). I'm making an observation and pointing out that it may make finding an appropriate covering (depending on whether the state requires such)/appropriate texts difficult for non-fundamentalist parents. It's less a matter of objecting to anything than it is of pointing out potential trouble-spots. The fact that your family seems to have successfully avoided (or, perhaps, navigated through) these reefs doesn't mean they don't exist.

Let's just agree to disagree on the whole parsing of fundamentalism, shall we?

And I suppose we'll also have to disagree about the "covering"/textbook issue as well. I thought that perhaps my list of resources above would negate at least the textbook side of things. As for the "covering" (a term I'd never heard until this conversation), this is somewhat of a non-issue to me. My family has lived in four different states while homeschooling, with varying severity of homeschool laws, and we were never part of a fundamentalist umbrella organization. As a matter of fact, the most Fundamentalism-inclined state we lived in, TX, didn't even require a "covering".

No doubt homeschoolers will have to wade through the waters of strong fundamentalist attitudes, somewhere along the way; but, let's be real, nearly all evangelical Christians will wade through those waters, no matter what their schooling choice.

Edited by Joel C, 25 January 2012 - 12:26 PM.


#57 NBooth

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 08:48 AM

Actually, I'm not making an objection at all (unless it's to the idea that fundamentalism isn't somehow closely tied to the homeschooling movement). I'm making an observation and pointing out that it may make finding an appropriate covering (depending on whether the state requires such)/appropriate texts difficult for non-fundamentalist parents. It's less a matter of objecting to anything than it is of pointing out potential trouble-spots. The fact that your family seems to have successfully avoided (or, perhaps, navigated through) these reefs doesn't mean they don't exist.

Let's just agree to disagree on the whole parsing of fundamentalism, shall we?

And I suppose we'll also have to disagree about the "covering"/textbook issue as well. I thought that perhaps my list of resources above would negate at least the textbook side of things. As for the "covering" (a term I'd never heard until this conversation), this is somewhat of a non-issue to me. My family has lived in four different states while homeschooling, with varying severity of homeschool laws, and we were never part of a fundamentalist umbrella organization. As a matter of fact, the most Fundamentalism-inclined state we lived in, TX, didn't even require a "covering".


Ah, "covering," "umbrella"--any of those will do. It's been nearly a decade since I've had to worry with any of it. Some states require 'em and some states don't. And depending on where you fall on the rural/urban map you may have more or less choice about what the umbrella organization is like (as we've both said--location, location, location).

(And why am I not surprised about Texas not requiring an umbrella? ;) )

Edited by NBooth, 26 January 2012 - 08:49 AM.


#58 Joel C

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Posted 28 January 2012 - 11:30 AM

Ah, "covering," "umbrella"--any of those will do. It's been nearly a decade since I've had to worry with any of it. Some states require 'em and some states don't. And depending on where you fall on the rural/urban map you may have more or less choice about what the umbrella organization is like (as we've both said--location, location, location).

You do realize you sound uncannily like a realtor, right? :)

(And why am I not surprised about Texas not requiring an umbrella? ;) )

That was definitely the best response to that comment in all worlds possible. :lol:

#59 NBooth

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 08:51 AM


Ah, "covering," "umbrella"--any of those will do. It's been nearly a decade since I've had to worry with any of it. Some states require 'em and some states don't. And depending on where you fall on the rural/urban map you may have more or less choice about what the umbrella organization is like (as we've both said--location, location, location).

You do realize you sound uncannily like a realtor, right? :)


Nice to know there's something to fall back on if the literature thing doesn't work out. ;)

#60 NBooth

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 10:34 PM

FWIW, i/r/t the exchange above, Andrew Sullivan links to an article on new trends in homeschooling:

We think of homeschoolers as evangelicals or off-the-gridders who spend a lot of time at kitchen tables in the countryside. And it’s true that most homeschooling parents do so for moral or religious reasons. But education observers believe that is changing. You only have to go to a downtown Starbucks or art museum in the middle of a weekday to see that a once-unconventional choice “has become newly fashionable,” says Mitchell Stevens, a Stanford professor who wrote Kingdom of Children, a history of homeschooling. There are an estimated 300,000 homeschooled children in America’s cities, many of them children of secular, highly educated professionals who always figured they’d send their kids to school—until they came to think, Hey, maybe we could do better.


Sullivan also links a Slate piece and a couple of pieces by Dreher. Of course, Dreher calls suspicion of homeschooling a "fatwa" and calls on "less-capable minority" rhetoric to make some of his points, but if anyone wants to check 'em out, Sully's got the links.

Edited by NBooth, 21 February 2012 - 10:35 PM.