Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Bending the Twigs: Homeschooling and "The Mommy Myth"

Bending the Twigs: Homeschooling and "The Mommy Myth"

The authors' bias is obvious in their treatment of the National Center for Educational Statistics study statistic about 30% of the homeschoolers surveyed citing the desire to "provide religious or moral instruction" as their primary motivation for educating their kids at home. Now, those of us inside the homeschooling community know how broad that statement is, and how extremely diverse the group of families are who might concur with it. No one group has a monopoly on morality and people of any faith or none whatsoever might decide to homeschool in order to teach their children in accordance with their family's values.

In my inclusive homeschool group we have pagans, atheist, agnostics, Muslims and many different beliefs represented. Some of them choose to homeschool to "provide religious or moral instructions" to their children. But authors of books like "The Mommy Myth" never take these groups into consideration when writing their dribble. In fact one of the pagan parents in our group confided that she homeschooled because of the Christian bias in the public schools and that one public school teacher told her daughter that she was going to hell because she was a pagan.

Yet to Drs. Douglas & Michaels, they're all ultraconservative fundamentalists motivated by:

"an insistence that their kids never encounter the words 'evolution', 'birth control', or 'Oscar Wilde'."

Guess we aren't real homeschoolers then because I teach evolution, which included having my students read Charles Darwin's Origin of Species, not only have I taught my children about 'birth control' I am pro-choice and we enjoy Oscar Wilde.

Please stop by Bending the Twigs to read her whole post.


  1. Yikes for your friend's daughter! I hope the mom lodged a formal complaint against the teacher because that kind of religious intolerance has no business in the government-run schools :-(

    The best way to evangelize IMHO is to live out Christ's teachings, especially the Golden Rule.

  2. Because this is a Bible Belt and they were new to the area, the Mother was afraid of retaliation if she lodged a complaint so she just removed her daughter from school and started homeschooling. She had been thinking about homeschooling anyway and that was the "push" she needed to go ahead and do it.

  3. I also meant to add that it's ironic that people always assume it is Christians removing their children because they don't want them exposed to secular stuff.

    Where I live I know parents who have removed their kids because they wanted their children taught evolution and creationism/nothing was being taught instead in the public schools. I know parents who removed their children because so -called Christian teachers were 'preaching' in the classroom in public schools.

    So parents of all beliefs are finding the public schools full of bias depending on the area you live in and the particular teacher.

  4. it's ironic that people always assume it is Christians removing their children because they don't want them exposed to secular stuff.

    We view HSing as an opportunity for our kids to see the many views that people hold about various life issues, and how philosophies and theories affect our perceptions and understanding of seemingly unrelated concepts.

    I bet my kids know MORE about evolution than many kids in PS, even though we are creationists. We have just been studying the various theories of the evolution of language, and comparing the evidence supporting each theory.

    Regardless of what you believe, I think the nurturing environment of home can help kids get their idealogical sea legs, so that when they are in the position to be challenged, they are able answer intelligently and confidently. Many kids turn into walking waffles because they have spent their formative years being harassed for everything from their hair color to their faith, and in attempting to conform, they end up not knowing what they believe about anything.

    The Mommy Myth and assorted tripe peddlers have managed to shift female oppression from men vs. women to women vs. women. Using such harassment to shame women into conformity with their ideals is betraying the very freedoms they pretend they uphold.

  5. sunniemom don't you just love the way feminist insist they are fighting to give women choices; but then they refuse to accept my choice (and the choice of many other women) to stay home and raise a family

  6. Yes- and isn't it weird that so many good and noble ideas degenerate over the years until the original purpose is unrecognizable?

    One of the things that bothers me most about modern feminism is the vocabulary. Did those courageous ladies of bygone times really fight so today we could label ourselves as female dogs and body parts? Ugh.

  7. Sometimes I wonder if the reason they bash stay at home Mother's so much is because they feel guilty/sorry for their choice.

    I have a dear friend who has a wonderful career as a chemical engineer. Her husband stayed home with the kids. She confided to me that she envied my decision to be a stay at home Mom, because she saw how close my boys were to me. and she knew she would never have that closeness with her boys. They were closer to their Dad because he was the one who stayed home and took care of them.


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