Browsing Archives for December 2010

Probably the most famous homeschooling family in all of the world, the Jim Bob Duggars have homeschooled all of their school aged children. They currently have nineteen kids and at least four of them are old enough to have graduated from highschool.  Of course none of them have graduated from highschool, but they have reached an age where they could have had their local schools not been so teeming with the spawn of Satan’s hordes. At this juncture, none of the Duggar’s older children have attended college.

The Duggars homeschool their children via a variety of curriculum including material from fundamentalist right wing Christian cult leader Bill Gothard’s ‘Institute in Basic Life Principles’. Among his many biblical based principles, Gothard is known to teach that…

A mother violates Scripture when she works outside the home.

Married couples are to abstain from sex 40 days after the birth of a son,

Married couples are to abstain from sex 80 days after the birth of a daughter. (It takes longer to clear out the girly germs?)

No sex prior to the evening before worship.

People should avoid rock and even contemporary Christian music because it can be addictive.

Men should track their wives menstrual cycles.

Women who ride horses are rebellious. (Rebelling against what?  Cars?)

With principles like the ones listed above, it is absolutely fascinating to consider the possible future careers of the Duggar children!  Witch doctoring and voodoo priestess might immediately spring to mind, but Jim Bob has much more lofty goals for his eldest son Josh.

“Joshua enjoys the car business.  You get to meet a lot of neat, interesting people.  You get to drive a lot of cars.  And it’s fun just like doin’ hands on work versus being a factory or somewhere closed up throughout the day”

Jim Bob Duggar

So Jim Bob’s vision for his son involves either running the family car lot or…

‘like doin hands on work’

or

‘being a factory’

or

‘somewhere closed up throughout the day.’

Is that last sentence a veiled reference to prison?  Does Jim Bob Duggar think that the only options for his son are used car salesman, being a factory, or life in prison?  Holy Hell!  No wonder he homeschooled him!

Another quote from Jim Bob reveals his other worldly child surveillance system…

It’s a daily job to keep up with their hearts and attitudes and actions. I don’t know how any parent can do this without pointing to a relationship with God. Even when parents aren’t around, there’s nothing they can get away with!

Jim Bob Duggar

Awesome thinking Jim!  That’s way better than actually having to watch your kids yourself!  Next up he tackles the future careers of his daughters…

The girls have talked about doing some classes about being a midwife or they may want to be a nurse… we would support then in whatever field they feel like the Lord is pursuing them to go into.  BUT we also want them to be prepared for the different secular teaching and stuff that’s taught in those schools.  I believe our children, each one would be prepared to face those different view points at that time, but I think it’s something that each parent must prepare their children for that.

Jim really is a spectacular wordsmith isn’t he?  According to this fine quote the career options of his daughters include…

‘doing some classes about being a midwife’

‘nurse’

‘whatever field the Lord is pursuing them to go into.’

For an excellent post on Duggar homeschooling versus public schooling – click here.

And here’s a look at what a day in the life of the Duggar homeschool is like…

The Duggars visit a public school.

Reality Check –The utter chaos of Duggar homeschooling

At one point on their television show Nineteen Kids and Counting, the Duggar boys were asked about their future careers.  This is what they said…

Jedediah Duggar – missionary because he likes studying the bible.

Josiah – Doesn’t know what he’s going to do

Jason – Missionary

James – Missionary

Jackson – Wants to be a policeman cause they can shoot guns and they can help people.

Jeremiah – Artist (uh oh Duggars!  You gotta live one!)

John David – ‘Fixin’ to start my own towing business’.

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Another famous homeschooler who never fails to inspire me in many, many, many ways is my favorite blogger of all time – Ree Drummond.  Here are a few of her more inspirational homeschooling quotes…

Homeschooling is so much fun! More than anything, I just love learning. And I love to impart that passion for learning to my young, impressionable children.

,

“Why do they even HAVE science?”


I hate Einstein’s Theory of Relativity.


Why do they even HAVE Einstein?


“Some days we do school. Some days we don’t. It all depends on whether or not I’m in the mood.”


“Can you tell I wouldn’t care one iota if mathematics disappeared from the earth altogether and never came back?”


“I’d always heard from seasoned, experienced homeschoolers that the best day of their lives was when one of the older kids began teaching one of the younger kids.

“If you’ve read anything I’ve written about my homeschooling journey to the center of insanity, you’ll know that when it comes to homeschooling materials, I’m…well, I’m the fickle type. I still haven’t figured out whether or not being a homeschooler is really just a strange opportunity to express some latent need to shop”

 

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 Some of you may remember a few years back when Ree promoted the awesome homeschooling tool, Choreganizers on her website.  As usual, I was so inspired by her post that I immediately set about creating my own special Choreganizers to help my boys with their uh…. aim. Well guess what!  The woman who created Choreganizers is a homeschooler too!  Here are a few of her awesome reflections on why she chose to homeschool…

I wanted to be the one to see my children learn something new and amazing and watch their eyes sparkle with amazement. But as time went on, our reasons were much more spiritual and had deeper biblical roots. We began to understand that it would be better for our children to learn nothing than it would be for them to learn lies. The public school system does teach a religion and that is the religion of humanism and evolution. We also saw so many negative influences children pick up on just by being with “foolish” peers all day! The Bible say that foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child so spending all day with fools doesn’t really make sense. We must teach this foolishness out of our children using God’s precious Word and we are able to do this because we spend time with them building godly character as we go through our days together. So even though our children have excelled academically, we consider it a true educational success if our children graduate with a love for the Lord!

Jennifer Steward – creator of ‘Choreganizers’

Furthermore, here is what this astute and wise homeschooling mom had to say about world population…

The idea that the world is overpopulated and in need of reducing the number of consumers who are damaging the earth and using up the resources has been promoted for a long time. But this is not a biblical world view, because if you’ve ever flown in an airplane and looked down, you can see that there are vast amounts of land area and only small clusters where cities are located. The scriptures are correct (as always!)

Jennifer Steward – creator of Choreganizers

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A few weeks ago, I wrote a little post on Susan Wise Bauer and her self-labeled ‘hive mind’ followers. That post contained several homeschooling quotes from Bauer, the author of the Well Trained Mind, but I somehow missed this one…

The truth is, I am teaching my sons at home for religious reasons; I find most classrooms to be toxic social environments, where children are taught to gang up on the weakest to survive. As a Christian, I want my own sons to turn away from violence, to learn humility, compassion, and patience. This, to me, is proper socialization. It isn’t going to take place if my three boys are surrounded for most of each day by a crowd of peers who thrive on aggression and a steady diet of multimedia bloodshed.

Susan Wise Bauer – Author of ‘The Well Trained Mind’

Yes Susan – I’ve noticed that too.  My kids regularly come home absolutely soaked in the blood of their public school classmates whom they have exchanged flesh cleaving blows with throughout the school day.  I have no idea how our local district has managed to win a $150,000 award from Intel for excellence in math education!  It must be just another vicious Satanic lie to keep my babies from Jesus.

Finally we arrive at a new class of homeschooling nutjobs – celebrity homeschoolers.  Here is what they have to say about the wonders of homeschooling as well as some stellar commentary on the drawbacks of regular old classroom education that us non-celebrity types must endure.

The school system in this country – public and private – is designed for the industrial age,” she said. “We’re in a technological age. We don’t want our kids to memorize. We want them to learn.

Jada Pinkett Smith

Oh I know Jada!  I hate it how my kids go to school and are forced to lay railroad ties and operate treadle sewing machines in a dimly lit factory that turns into a blazing inferno at least once a week!  And then they have to memorize the alphabet and all those stupid numbers!  So entirely irrelevant!  I wish they could only learn instead!

Erykah Badu had this to say about her son Seven whom she homeschooled all the way through the first grade and who was eleven at the time of this interview…

“He developed an edge in his schoolwork,” notes Badu. “He enjoys challenges…He pushes himself…He does his homework voluntarily. He does not want to miss school or be late or be untidy or not have his things in order because that was a big part of how he was brought up. I don’t have any idea what Seven is going to choose to do, but he knows how to be disciplined and how to learn, and because of that he’s one of the top students in his school, and one of the top students in Dallas.”

Erykah Badu

Heck yeah Erykah!  I can so totally see how those years and years of homeschooling turned your son from the typical catatonic second grader into a tidy, school loving, top student in Dallas!  Who knows what would have happened to him if he had gone to kindergarten with everyone else!

“We see what our son is interested in, and gently introduce new ideas. We listen to him and try not to overwhelm him, or push him when he’s not ready. Our general rule is, ‘Don’t fight the kid.’ We don’t do flashcards or sing the alphabet song when he shows an interest in letters, but when he asks ‘Can I make a name card for someone?’ we write out the name and let him trace out the letters.”

Neuroscience major and child sitcom star – Mayim Bialik aka ‘Blossom’

I totally concur Blossom.  Alphabet song BAD.  Making name cards GOOD!

“And we homeschool Suri – she has a teacher who is with her every day. We like the one-on-one education. I’m happy that my daughter is strong-willed and determined. You really have to go with what the child is wanting.”

Katie Holmes

All I can say to this one is – who wouldn’t look to the Cruise family for parenting guidance?

And finally we come to Blair. Remember Blair of The Facts of Life?

 

The role of Blair was played by Lisa Whelchel who eventually went onto author several homeschooling books as well as a slew of Christian devotionals for women.  Here is what she has to say about homeschooling…

“My oldest daughter, Haven, is a gifted student. Because we don’t have to place any limits on her progress, she is able to set her goal of graduating by the age of 14. From there, she has already plotted her course through Patrick Henry College and onto a career in politics, leading to her election as the first female president of the United States.”

Need I say more?

Well – maybe just a little…

In conclusion, homeschooling truly is the choice for people who want their kids…

Doin’ hands on work, while escaping the blood bath that is your average public school, while fixin’ to start their own missionary towing business to fleeing the industrialized age and learning to deal with having the weird name of ‘Seven’ to ultimately becoming the first female president of the United States!

HOLY CRAP!

I am so yanking my kid’s butts out of public school today!  I only hope there is still time to save them!

 

Anatomy of a Nasty Comment

December 6th, 2010

Dear Charles,

I am a blogger who frequently says things on her blog that tend to enrage a certain segment of society. In particular I frequently say the absolutely wrong things to religious homeschoolers. Whenever I do this – my blog filter catches a lot of angry comments and I have to read through them and decide whether or not to let them post to my blog. Usually I let them through, but some are so vile that I can’t make myself push the ‘approve’ button and they end up in ‘spam’ or ‘trash’ instead. After a day or two of filtering these comments, I start to develop a high level of anxiety. I find it harder and harder to look at my blog because I don’t want to read the comments that have posted that did not require approval nor do I want to open my in-box and read through the comments that are waiting for me there.

Here are a few examples…

“Your poor kids.”

“Hey dufus-not all WTM board members are Christian. Some of us go there to garner info on the latest classical homeschool curriculum. There are plenty of secular folks there as well. It was disappointing to see the waste of space devoted to your inane babbling blog. Catch a clue and stop hiding your profound insecurity behind your newfound cliche of atheism. What is next in your arsenal of hate?”

“Stopped reading when you completely got the description of The Well Trained Mind completely wrong, and you became completely offensive.  Will not continue reading more lies and rubbish.  Adding to my list of blocked sites.”

“I can’t believe that your husband hasn’t left you.”

“Your husband must hate being married to you.”

“No, I am not a huge fan of hers but from what I have seen so far, she doesn’t have a bad word to say about anyone which is more than can be said about you.  I hope people think twice before inviting you to their homes, you may turn on them for no reason as well.”

“Rechelle, your blog is so full of misinformation and hate for anything you don’t understand or ‘believe’ in, it is a really pity you aren’t ‘plugged.’”

What I am wondering Charles – is how much longer this is going to affect me so intensely? At what point will I be able to shrug the hate away? At what point do the barbed comments begin to slide off of my back like water from a greased up chicken? When do I become so immune to these low aimed insults, that I no longer flinch when I read them? Are there any breathing exercises? Should I take up jogging? Would it help if I eliminate dairy from my diet? I am sorry to tell you this – but I probably won’t be able to stop writing about issues that tend to infuriate religious homeschoolers. I am kind of like a two year old in this regard. There’s something in me that likes poking the pig with the blunt end of a wet twig. As a result, am I just going to have to suck it up? Can you help me?

Over caffeinated, anxiety riddled, bad mother, awful wife, terrible house guest, miscreant, and horrible human being,

Me

Dear Rechelle –

Yes, it seems that there are people who find the sort of thing you post on your blog upsetting and that some of these people, for reasons that are not clear to me, read your blog. Since you will likely be unable to stop expressing viewpoints that might be distasteful to this small segment of your readership, your best bet may be to develop a way of looking at the icy barbs these people sometimes hurl at you that will melt the ice to a point where the barbs will more easily slide down the newly greased feathers on your back and into oblivion.

First, it may help you to realize that although a comment might be ostensibly intended to hurt you, it’s not really personal. The authors of such comments don’t really hate you (although they really aren’t too fond of your blog posts); they can’t possibly hate you, because they don’t know you, and they couldn’t possibly hate you if they knew you. You’re just a convenient object at which they can direct the eruptions they deem necessary to vent the magma that has been set to roiling and gurgling inside them by your posts. What the commenters really want to punish are the points you raise, but even in a rage-impaired state of mind in which all they are capable of coming up with are mean, base, dull-witted comments, they are somehow still able to grasp the fact that the points you raise are impervious to pain but that you are not (people in rage-impaired states of mind often feel strong desires to hurt something, whereas people who simply disagree with you will be content to assail your points), so unfortunately, you are chosen to suffer for the actions of the offending points. For what it’s worth, the commenters might take your posts personally because they’ve invested so much of themselves in the beliefs and practices you question that those beliefs and practices have become a part (often a very large part) of their identity, and thus they may perceive your criticisms as personal attacks.

Also, consider that there are a couple of positive things about negative reactions to your blog posts

1. A spiteful comment can be a sign that you’ve made someone think about, or brought them to the edge of thinking about, something they don’t want to think about, which means that what you’ve written is thought-provoking and is probably inspiring countless less-closed-off people to explore new contemplative avenues even as the more-closed-off people are typing their nasty comments and clicking the “Submit” button.

2. It seems that the light emanating from the content of your posts is unbearably blinding to eyes that do not wish to adjust, and some of the owners of such eyes apparently take the precaution of blocking your site to minimize the danger of being subjected to this glare again if your blog ever comes to life and tries to invade their computers. Some of these people might even want to hire a security service for extra protection. I plan to begin offering such a service and guaranteeing to keep your blog from forcibly invading the computers of my customers for a low (that is to say, high) monthly fee (possible slogan: “Nice computer. I’d hate to see anything happen to it.”). I intend to advertise this service on the blog, so that will bring in some extra blog revenue.

If none of this helps, perhaps you could at least minimize the number of nasty comments you’re subjected to by sending such comments to “spam” or “trash” and adjusting your settings so that future comments from the authors of the offending comments are sent to “spam” or “trash” without your having to look at them. You could also block the e-mail addresses of those who clutter up your in-box with vile dreck. For those who will accuse you of “not keeping it real” for not approving every single stink bomb or “you suck!” that’s tossed in your direction, you could post a statement clearly detailing your criteria for what is and is not acceptable with regard to comments and warning potential commenters that they will be doomed to spend eternity in the fires of “spam” or “trash” if they violate those criteria. I recommend that fate for anyone whose comment seems to be intended only to wound you and offers nothing of substance to the dialogue and for anyone who resorts to name calling (anything that begins “Hey dufus” should be deleted, even if what follows the salutation is the most thought-provoking, insightful, and moving piece you’ve ever read) for starters, and you’ll probably want to broaden those criteria a bit. Don’t forget to delete any rule-breaking comments that posted without approval and to cast their authors into the fiery pit. It’s your blog, and by god, people are going to have to follow your rules while they’re under your roof.

Rule-abidingly,

Charles

The House I Grew Up In (bitch).

December 5th, 2010

I suppose that some of you may be wondering why I added that (bitch) to the end of the title of this article.  Well, it has to do with ending a sentence with a preposition.  I suppose I could have entitled this post ‘The House In Which I Upwards Grew’ or “Grow Up in This House I Did” or “The House Where Up I Did Grow” but none of those options seem to convey the direct simplicity of the title I chose which is ‘The House I Grew up in”.  Sadly, that title ends in a preposition which is just about the only rule of grammar I find hard to break.  Simple solution?  Add bitch to the end of the sentence.

Many of you may be familiar with the brilliant birthday card which inspired this solution.  No?  Well it goes like this…

Friend – Where is your birthday party at?

Birthday girl – Don’t end a sentence with a preposition.

Friend – Where is your birthday party at bitch?

As recently discussed in the comment section of this blog, I have adopted adding the word ‘bitch’ to all my sentences that end in a preposition so that I no longer have to awkwardly re-word them.  Of course, adding the word ‘bitch’ tends to lend a different kind of awkwardness to my writing, but it is one that I am much more comfortable with (bitch).

Moving ON!

After six years on the market, my parents have finally sold their home of thirty plus years out in Goodland, Kansas.  They are relocating to be closer to their grandkids.  It will be nice to have them around more, although I will miss my visits to the High Plains as I really do think it is one of the most beautiful places on earth.

My mom designed this home during my tender formative years.  I remember the thick rolls of plans lying around our little house in town.  I remember her discussing her dreams for this home with my dad, builders and draftsmen.  I remember my parents dragging my sister and I out to look at several possible sites for the house and mostly I remember the summer before we started building when this lot was four acres of weeds and my mom in her rapture to get things started would haul my sister and I out to pull those weeds.  Now I realize that she was really just looking for an excuse to visit her building site and dream about her future house, but at the time I acquainted home building with physical, sun scorched torture and I wasn’t a very big fan of the idea.

My dad planted the evergreen trees that line both sides of the driveway and it was the job of my sister and I to water these trees.  We had to stand by the trees and wait for the wells that my dad had dug around each tree to fill up and then we had to move the hoses to the next tree in line.  Waiting for each of those wells to fill up was mind numbing.  While the water slowly filled the wells, all my vitality slowly drained away.  I had television shows to watch!  I had Nancy Drew books to read!  I had day dreams to day dream!  Why am I standing here getting beaten down my the western wind and the glaring sun while my childhood ebbs into a hole in the ground?

But look at those trees now!

I helped to grow those trees!

Me!

ME!!!!!

After admiring my trees (bent sideways in the frigid wind) we enter the foyer of my mom’s house.

It looks into the music room where Jack is playing the piano.

Around the corner from the foyer is a huge walk-in pantry and then you enter the kitchen.

This is my mom’s kitchen.  She remodeled it a few years ago and I kind of miss the way it used to be.

But don’t tell my mom I said that.

That door by the kitchen table opens to a little bathroom which led to many of the more awkward moments of my teenage years.  I had a boyfriend that invariably had to ‘go’ in the middle of a meal at our house.  We would sit at the table, forks paused, eating ceased while he relieved himself in the little room.  Then he would come back out and we would all pretend that we had heard nothing.  It’s the sole reason why the bathrooms and the dining room are at opposite ends in my house.

The kitchen over looks a sunken family room.  You can see a bit of the spiral staircase that heads to the basement.

Also off the kitchen is a massive laundry room with a center island, three closets and a sewing desk.

You would think a room like this would produce a crafty daughter.

But no.

Quite the opposite in fact.

Also off the kitchen is what my parents call a solarium.  As far as I know this is the only house in the world with a solarium.  I don’t even know what a solarium is, but I do know that it used to be a patio until my dad enclosed it several years ago.  My parents aren’t big on windows.  There are only eleven windows in the rest of the house.  So this is where you go when you want to adjust your eyes back to daylight before stepping outside.

Let’s go back to the music room and hear Jack play some more!

When I was in the fourth grade, we moved into this house.  Two years later, my dad had to move to Dodge City to salvage a part of the family business that had fallen apart.  Of course my mom was not very happy to leave her brand new house, but once we got to Dodge City, our whole family loved it.  It was a much bigger town with lots more to do.  Both of my parents got very involved in a church there.  I tried out for a coveted position on the Dodge City drill team and won a spot.  My sister and I made some very close friends and then after two years, we were informed that we were moving back to Goodland.

My father had fixed and then sold the business in Dodge City.  In the meantime the person to whom he had sold the business in Goodland had managed to almost ruin the company and could no longer make the payments to buy the business from my father.  So back to Goodland we had to go.  My dad once again, turned the flailing family business around and we settled back into our new/old house.

My dad felt kind of bad for taking my mom away from Dodge City because she really loved it there.  So he bought her the baby grand piano as a consolation prize.  None of us can really play the thing, but it does look good sitting in the room.

Across the hall from the music room is the formal dining room.

And then you hit the bedroom wing…

This was my room – except it looked totally different when I lived in it.

For one thing – all the Andy Gibb posters are gone.

This is the little Jack and Jill bathroom that connected my room to my sister’s room.

There are no locks on the doors, so we got in the habit of opening the drawers to keep the doors from opening on both sides of this bathroom.  We frequently forgot to close one of the drawers when we left, so you invariably slammed a door into a drawer when you entered this bathroom.  Then you had to squeeze your hand past the door and inch the drawer shut so you could get inside.  My mom had wallpaper put on the ceiling of this room.  I really thought that was extremely creative.

But mostly this bathroom was the scene of many bloody battles between my sister and I as we got ready for school each morning.  We beat the crap out of each other with our hot curling irons, blow dryers, brushes, and hot rollers.  Most of the trouble seemed to come from having only one outlet and far too many beauty implements that needed to be plugged and heated.  Oh the peace that a single powerstrip would have brought to this home.

This is my sister’s room.  It also did not look anything like this when we lived here except for the bedstead.  If you can picture a room full of furniture, wallpaper and carpet to match it,  you would be a little closer to what it used to look like.

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These are the two dorks that used to beat the crap out of each other every single morning of their lives.

But look at our hair!  Were not the daily beatings so worth it?!?!?!?

This is my parent’s bedroom.

And their bathroom.

My mom chose turquoise and chocolate brown for these rooms.  She would always say, ‘chocolate brown’.  It was never ‘dark brown’ or ‘smokey brown’ or ‘deep brown’ always ‘chocolate brown’.  I still think that ‘chocolate brown’ is one of the finest colors on earth, not because of chocolate part, but because my mom made it sound so beautiful and stylish whenever she talked about it.

And then we traipse all the way back across the house and head down to the basement.

Please to note the fab fire pit.

My sister and I watched Saturday morning cartoons starting at 5 am from this very fire pit for the last years of our childhoods.  We piled up blankets and pillows in the center of that pit and watched the tiny far away screen thoroughly enjoying ourselves.

The bar from which only a variety of coke products were ever served.

And then it is back upstairs and out into the wide, fresh air of the western plains.  You may remember this scene from a certain Grey Gardens fashion show that occurred a few years ago.

I will miss this old place, but I am glad my parents are moving closer.

Goodbye old house.