thatmom

real encouragement for real homeschooling moms

phillips, swanson, baucham, and ray casting a vision for whom? not me!

Fourteen months ago I aired the first of my nine part series of podcasts on what I call patriocentricity, that is, the philosophy within some Christian homeschooling circles that teaches that the father is the center (prophet, priest, and king) of the home. In this paradigm, the father receives the only calling from the Lord and every family member is to seek to fulfill that calling. The response to this series continues to amaze me as these recordings are still the most often downloaded podcasts and most requested CD’s. Apparently thousands of homeschoolers share my concerns.

In putting together this series, I approached the subject with my guests from the standpoint that these teachings are extreme within the Christian homeschooling community and that they are arrived at through the eisegesis of Scripture rather than through proper exegesis of the Word of God. So that fact alone ought to give Bible believing homeschoolers great concern when they see the leaders of patriocentricity now rewriting the history of homeschooling and at the same time appointing themselves to “cast a vision” for the future of homeschooling in order to further prop up their extrabiblical agenda.

Last week it was announced that the Christian Home Educators of Colorado will be hosting a conference in Indianapolis in March of 2009. They state that the goal of this 2009 “leadership summit” is to “define a vision for the future of the Christian home education movement, (to) lay down a rock-solid, biblically-based vision for home education that will withstand the attacks of our current generation and preserve this precious vision for future generation.” In order to do this they are “assembling the key national leaders, authors, researchers, speakers and advocates who have framed the homeschool vision over the past generation (1979-2009).” Headlining this meeting will be Voddie Baucham, Doug Phillips, Kevin Swanson, and Brian Ray.

I found the time line they are using to be quite interesting. In fact, I found it interesting a few years ago when Doug Phillips stated that “home education began to emerge as a national movement” in 1983, remarkably the year Bill Gothard launched his Advanced Training Institute. Why did he choose that time in history as a starting point? Could it be that he equates the advancement of home education with the theonomic, patriocentric agenda that saw home schooling as an essential vehicle for promoting those goals for a Christian society?

My own first introduction to the idea of homeschooling came in the 1970’s when my oldest children were still toddlers. Having an interest in homesteading and organic gardening, Clay and I read books like Living on Five Acres and numerous back issues of Mother Earth News. The notion of homeschooling seemed to go along with some of the other ideas of self-sufficient living we were exploring and we began to consider it for our own family. And it was about that time that I heard an interview with a true leader in homeschooling, Dr. Raymond Moore, on Focus on the Family and we began to think seriously about teaching our own children. It was the book Better Late Than Early, co-written with his wife, Dorothy, that finally substantiated much of what we believed about children and that convinced us of the value of home education. It was also a book that was based on decades of research done by the Moores, including the educating of their own children which they began in 1944! (Doug Phillips’ father would have been 3 years old at the time!)

The announcement of this conference and the use of the word “vision” about a dozen times on the website should be concern enough on a variety of levels. Three of the four named speakers currently travel around the country promoting the Family Integrated Church agenda and the patriocentricity lifestyles that threaten the spiritual health of both church and family life. As I read through the website, I kept asking myself “Who appointed or elected these men as leaders? What makes them think they can speak for me or the millions of other Christian homeschooling families? Where are the voices of the mothers who are doing all the hard work of homeschooling in the first place? Why are they being excluded in this vision casting?”

It is obvious that this agenda is meant to be embraced all across the country within homeschooling support groups and at homeschooling conventions. They state that one of the objectives for the leadership summit will be the development of a Christian Education Manifesto statement which I assume will be written and men will be asked to sign, acknowledging the document as a statement of faith for all who claim to be Christian homeschoolers.

Then, last week I watched this trailer for a new film that is about to be released entitled “The Rock From Which We Were Hewn.”

Immediately I had three thoughts as I watched this. The first is that it appears that the true leaders and founders of Christian homeschooling are missing in this version of the history of this movement. The second is that some of the “leaders” shown in this trailer have serious charges against them and their reputations, in my mind, disqualify them from speaking for any of us. And thirdly, I find some of what they are saying to be unsubstantiated and questionable and, quite frankly, more of the same scare tactics I have seen used to promote and sell a paradigm to homeschooling families in the past. I see this conference as one of the Trojan horses that pose a tremendous threat to Christian homeschooling and I will present more about this in the months to come.

Any thoughts?

I had another thought after I wrote this article. R.C. Sproul Jr. set up a division between homeschoolers in his article about “movement homeschoolers” as opposed to the rest of us who don’t homeschool “by conviction.” I think it should be considered in light of this upcoming conference.

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111 Comments»

  Lin wrote @

Wow, some high drama in that film. I guess it would to far a stretch for them to realize that there are many homeschooling families that are not part of the Christian HS movment.

“The announcement of this conference and the use of the word “vision” about a dozen times on the website should be concern enough on a variety of levels. ”

Yeah, I run when I see the word ‘vision’ used by Christian leaders. We already have one laid out in scripture… given to us by our Lord. We do not need man made visions for our faith. And this is coming from a certified strategic planner who facilitated visioneering for companies for 18 years!

The real problem is that some homeschoolers have matured and no longer need the leaders. Therefore the fear mongering.

  Heather wrote @

It is all about SELLING!

I believe that these “leaders” are protecting their “base”, their “market share”, by promoting the fear and protection cycle that have funded HSLDA, local “Christian home schooling” groups, and many a publisher. For many years.

Yes, there are many new homeschoolers who don’t know the ramifications of their actions, as Gregg Harris says in the video. They are the ones prime for being fleeced. But why take their money once when they can be drafted into the ranks of the “partiarchal vision” and then keep adding to the customer base for generations to come?

Semper reformanda? Oh, yes!

  Corrie wrote @

I echo your concerns, Karen. Who appointed these people as our homeschool leaders? Why do they feel that they can speak for homeschoolers?

I would like to see leaders such as the Lamberts, Diana Waring, Mark Hamby and others speaking for me rather than some of these others. They do NOT cast a vision for me and my family nor do they cast a vision for many homeschoolers I know.

Also, what about this so-called “national homeschool convention” held in New York this past September? Who sponsored that? Why is there no information available? Who spoke at that convention? Why was James McDonald invited but the leaders in the state of Illinois were not invited? As far as I know, the only homeschooling organization to receive an invite was the leaders of Chec. The McDonalds are not leaders in any of these groups. How do you get invited to these things? Also, why is this all so secretive?

  thatmom wrote @

Corrie, I have been trying to find information about the agenda for that conference and basically there is NO information out there. Any time things are this hush hush and hoosh hoosh, red warning flags go up!

I saw that CHEC in Illinois sent representatives but I asked my local group if they had attended and they didn’t. However, I did see that James and Stacy were there, though I have read no specifics on their blogs. What places someone in the position of being a “leader” who defines the vision?

  Mel wrote @

So, per this trailer, one group’s definition is the only definition of Christian homeschooling? Rich. Just rich! And a tad egotistical, but what do I know? My children aren’t old enough to homeschool yet, therefore I must be one of those who will “sell out” all these hard-fought rights if I don’t see this movie next year. Please! :rolls eyes:

  Corrie wrote @

Social workers are “savaging families” just because they homeschool?

Can we have some data on this, please, Mr. Phillips?

Could it be OTHER reasons why social workers come to these homes?

I have been homeschooling since 1993 and I have yet to be “savaged” for the choice of homeschooling. I have made friends with my neighbors, they see my children are well-cared for and not being neglected and left out in the elements with no shoes/socks on while the 8 year old supervises a small toddler in the front yard with no sign of mom.

I have a feeling that these social workers are called to the homes because of neglect and unfit living quarters and not merely because they homeschool.

I have a bit of insight into this since I know of several cases where CPS was called out to the home. Having been at these homes, I understand why neighbors were concerned.

  Corrie wrote @

Oh, Mel, it doesn’t matter if you don’t homeschool yet. Some of these self-made, so-called “leaders” of the homeschool movement were barely married and homeschooling their own children before they foisted themselves onto the homeschooling scene and beckoned others to follow (including taking over a popular homeschooling magazine when they had only been homeschooling their own blended family for a few years, but because they were a blended family and had older children from previous marriages, it gave the appearance of looking like they were an established family with experience and not the newly married, blended family they really were).

  Kathleen wrote @

Karen, thanks for posting this. When I saw this video I immediately thought of the hard work that the Moore had done as well as other secular home education advocates in the early years.

I have a lot to say about some of this, and have met some really hurt people from these guys’ narrow and exclusively “trademarked” teachings.

  Kathleen wrote @

Lin said:
“The real problem is that some homeschoolers have matured and no longer need the leaders. Therefore the fear mongering.”

Yes! This is the truth! When it comes to the practicalities of homeschooling, it’s nice to have a friend, whom you know, recommend certain things, but the extra “biblical” teachings these guys are selling just makes me think that the only thing that they are good at doing is “leading” you to their book tables!!

  Kathleen wrote @

I just thought of another reason why what Gregg Harris said about taking gov’t. monies for home education (like attending public charter school at home, via internet; like taking high school charter school grants to attend local community college, as well as getting high school credits for graduating with a diploma …. ect.). There many people he knows personally that gladly take advantage of those services.

He’s got a habit of ticking people off by his “rather than” ministry, that always preaches his ways are better than other’s ways.

  thatmom wrote @

You know, I intend to find evidence of the “savaging” of homeschooling families. Do you remember all the discussion regarding the FLDA group and how it could open the door to “savage” homeschooling families? DCFS went into that compound because they suspected child abuse, not because they were homeschoolers. I think the same is true for nearly if not all situations today where homeschoolers are questioned. Where I live, which is pretty rural and not the least bit cosmopolitan, homeschooling is well respected and accepted. I can’t image that being the reason homeschoolers would be investigated. BUT, I think homeschoolers often invite authorities to examine them because of irresponsible behavior as Corrie mentioned.

Years ago I saw a little homeschooled girl who was wearing wool tights in the middle of July and when I asked her why she told me it was because she had bruises on her legs from being spanked. It is that sort of thing that gets the attention of authorities, not the fact that we are homeschooling. Perhaps this might have been the case 20 years ago, but not today.

  thatmom wrote @

Kathleen, feel free to unload on us….I know you have lots of insight into this! And thanks for sending the video clip my direction.

You know, I can remember hearing Gregg Harris tell parents that we needed to spend about as much money homeschooling as we would spend sending our kids to a private school. That just set him and others up to make money off of homeschoolers, whereas the Moores always made sure that parents knew they could homeschool on a shoe string, thus opening the door of opportunity to everyone. Do you think that perhaps there is an agenda to limit homeschooling to the “haves” who can afford all the amenities of homeschooling or to those who embrace their affluent lifestyle as portrayed in their films?

  Peaches wrote @

We’ve only been homeschooling for two years. I am not familiar with some of these names. Who are the Moores? And who is Gregg Harris?

  thatmom wrote @

Raymond Moore and his wife, Dorothy, spent years doing research on education and wrote several books on homeschooling after homeschooling their own children. As I mentioned, I was first introduced to them via Dobson and it was really the first time I knew that homeschooling could and had been done!

I read their book Homeschool Burnout about 20 years ago and just pulled it off the shelf again last week. I am absolutely amazed at how prophetic Dr. Moore was when he talked about those things that could harm the modern homeschooling movement. He was aware the creating division among homeschoolers would lead to what we are now seeing.

Gregg Harris was well-known about 23 years ago and then faded away, only to resurface in the past few years. His son, Josh Harris, wrote “I Kissed Dating Goodbye” and his twin sons have written a book recently, are involved with Doug Phillips, and run a blog called “Rebolution.” Kate can tell us more about him.

Also, Kate, could you post that link to the white papers by Moore. They explain a lot of why Moore is persona nongrata with these guys.

Kathleen, could you post the link here to the white papers written by Moore that outlines his problems with Harris et al?

G

  Connie wrote @

I, for one, am heartily sick of these scare tactics. Interestingly, at the Iowa hs convention last summer, there was a screening of a very similar movie. The title had something to do with the Trojan horse and featured the usual suspects–V. Baucham, K. Johnson, etc. Of course, this DVD could be purchased at a booth outside the auditorium, probably for a “special” conference price.

Another interesting note–Zan Taylor was one of the main speakers at the convention. While I didn’t agree with all of her points, at the time I thought she was fairly balanced in her approach, at least in the sessions I attended. However, since she’s featured on this DVD (complete with ominous background music and evil judges and lawyers), I’m now thinking that I must have missed something last summer. In my opinion, this makes her, in some ways, more dangerous than those over-the-top demagogues. At least they’re pretty easy to see through.

  thatmom wrote @

Connie, I would be really interested in seeing that movie if you can find out a name for me. My guess is that one of the issues they will harp on at this conference is the influence of “feminism” white-washed or otherwise on homeschooling and the need to squash it. But the truth of the matter is that their agenda is affecting marriages left and right to the point where many families throw in the towel and stop homeschooling. I also hear younger homeschoolers saying how frustrated they are with this agenda and many refuse to even attend conferences where this stuff is promoted. In reality, these leaders are doing much harm to homeschooling.

  Connie wrote @

Karen:

According to the workshop schedule, the video is simply called A Trojan Horse. Last summer I was able to google the title and see some of the film. I imagine it’s probably still out there somewhere.

I’m far from being a young homeschooling mom. In fact, I’ll admit to being a middle aged homeschooling mom who’s homeschooled for many years, and I’ve had it with my state’s conference. I refuse to give our money to promote the likes of Voddie, Kevin, R.C. jr., the McDonalds, et. al.

I sincerely doubt anything will change in Iowa. From what I can tell, the board is made up entirely of patrios, and they won’t listen to any other point of view. After all, their way is the biblical way, right? Sad, but that’s just the way it is here.

  thatmom wrote @

Here is the youtube clip of Exposing a Trojan Horse:

http://ca.youtube.com/watch?v=HHzTw4605Pc

  Corrie wrote @

I think that many people who make money off of homeschooling could stand to really take hold of Peter’s rebuke to Simon the Sorcerer:

These are not “ministries”. These are business entities who depend on our money in order to live some very nice lifestyles. They must make sure that their audience believes that they have something we need and therefore they create a crisis and produce a product that fills that perceived need.

It may not be the gift of the Holy Spirit that they want people to buy but they should not fool themselves or others into thinking they are “ministering” to people. They have a product that they want to sell and this is not something freely given to others as ministry should be.

I sometimes get tempted to turn over a table or two at some of these conventions when I actually stop and think about what a racket some people have turned homeschooling into. And considering some of the business practices of some of these people and how they treat their vendors really, really causes me some distress. When a person is not honest, just and fair in their business practices, why should I trust them at all with their “ministry” to me and other fellow homeschoolers?

I do know that I do not need what they are selling and the homeschooling community would be better served if many of these people went out and got a job in order to make an honest living and used their free time to truly minister to others.

  Corrie wrote @

About the scare tactics…….this stuff has an uncanny resemblance to the patrio-hysteria of Y2K. I will have none of it.

Here is my advice, for free (no cheesy documentaries needed to make these points):

1. Trust God. He is sovereign and completely in control. He is not taken unaware.

2. Do what is right. Abide in the true Vine (prayer, Bible study, fellowship with God). Obey His word and the two greatest commandments- love God and love your neighbor as yourself.

3. Observe the Golden Rule.

4. Instill a strong work ethic in your children, teach them what they need to know to not only survive but to be an effective witness for Christ in this world.

5. Don’t meddle (and that is what MOST of these homeschooling leaders are doing). Other people will do things differently than you but that doesn’t make them wrong or disobedient or guilty of some “ism”. Do not foist your eisegesis of God’s Holy word onto other people. Worse yet, do not make money off of your faulty eisegesis and peddle it as the very word of God.

6. Live by these words in 2 Cor. 2:14-17

Now thanks [be] to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place.

For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing.

2To the one [we are] the aroma of death [leading] to death, and to the other the aroma of life [leading] to life. And who [is] sufficient for these things?

For we are not, as so many, [fn] peddling the word of God; but as of sincerity, but as from God, we speak in the sight of God in Christ.

  Corrie wrote @

I remember seeing that clip when McDonald promoted it on his blog.

  thatmom wrote @

Someone sent me this clip of presidential candidate John Edward’s wife talking about their experience with homeschooling.

http://ca.youtube.com/watch?v=9BjB5aFzOzk

along with the caption “I tremble for the purity of the movement.” That really made me laugh because I, too, thought all homeschoolers had to be from the Constitution Party (at best) and Republicans (at the very least)!!! Not……

  Susan T wrote @

AARGH!! If I scream outside in the cornfield, will anyone hear me?

Seriously, what is wrong with these people? Where is there faith? What is with the scare tactics?

“God did not give us a spirit that makes us afraid. He gave us a Spirit of power and love and self control.” 2Tim 1:7

  Spunky wrote @

Ack! That last comnent was mine, I didn’t change the login. Karen if you could edit that out and replace it with my info that would be awesome. Thanks.

  thatmom wrote @

Spunky, was homeschooling itself the first or main reason for the investigations? Were there contributing factors, such as disgruntled relatives or people they knew with an axe to grind against them?

  Spunky wrote @

“Social workers are “savaging families” just because they homeschool?

Can we have some data on this, please, Mr. Phillips?”

Corrie, this statement does have some merit. I spoke with Richard Wexler of the National Center for Child Protection Reform out in DC for an article I was working on and he confirmed that homeschooling, like anything out of the mainstream, is a “red flag” that draws the attention of CPS. Anecdotally, I also spoke with more than one homeschool family who was called by CPS and told that they were being investigated because they homeschool. I wrote about one family in The Old Schoolhouse Magazine who told me their story. So I wouldnt dismiss this concern out of hand. Perhaps “savaged” is a bit dramatic but the concern itself is real.

I also had a state legislator in Michigan tell me that homeschoolers needed to be regulated because “no one was watching them” and thus possible cases of abuse were left undetected. Teachers are manadatory reporters and often seen as the first protectors of children who are being abused.

I’ve written a few articles on my blog and in The Old Schoolhouse on this topic.

  Spunky wrote @

That mom asked, “Spunky, was homeschooling itself the first or main reason for the investigations? Were there contributing factors, such as disgruntled relatives or people they knew with an axe to grind against them?”

Yes, homeschooling was the main reason. The intiital charge was drug use by the mother because at the birth of their child, their was a drug test performed on the baby’s stool and supposedly it was positive for pot. The family was notified of the allegation after discharge but before they left the hospital that CPS was called. When the CPS worker investigated they told the family that the reason they were there was because the family homeschooled and they had no interest in the infant. It was the older children they were interested in talking with.

CPS allegations are becoming a method of accountability and regulation by the state into the lives of homeschoolers.

  Lin wrote @

Just a few thoughts..

“I just thought of another reason why what Gregg Harris said about taking gov’t. monies for home education (like attending public charter school at home, via internet; like taking high school charter school grants to attend local community college, as well as getting high school credits for graduating with a diploma …. ect.). There many people he knows personally that gladly take advantage of those services. ”

ONe wonders if Greg will take Medicare benefits when he is 65. If he doesn’t, he will pay full price. :o) The government is already taking our tax dollars for education so what is the big deal if some choose charter schools?

What is strange about the CPS thing and homeschooling is that we are seeing more and more liberal, agnostic academics choosing to homeschool their kids here. Wonder how that is going to pan out with the authorities? :o)

On another note…what is driving all this fearmongering is, of course, money as we all know. But another reason could be the proliferation of the internet and access to all kinds of information and resources for everything under the sun. When I asked Corrie what Latin curriculum she uses, I went to the link and found that the woman who developed it started a Christian Latin school here that is going great guns.

They don’t own the ‘franchise’ of hs anymore and they know it. They are trying to create an atmosphere that makes them the ‘go to’ people. Let us pray that no one will sign such a ridiculous document as their manifesto. YOu don’t need it folks, you have scripture. Don’t sign man made manifestos.

  Kathleen wrote @

Okay, here is the White Paper article Dr. Raymond Moore wrote in the 1990’s.

http://homeschooling.gomilpitas.com/extras/WhitePaper.htm

He passed away in the last year or so.

Also, about the gov’t. money thing I mentioned with the charter schooling. A while back his church leadership sent out a strong admonition to the congregation why taking money from the gov’t. to homeschool (like with computers, books, curriculum, etc., much like charter schooling) would be a bad thing to do because then the gov’t. could dictate what your children should be learning, etc. Again, scare tactics, and where’s the informed choice in such matters? Undue influence to conform to the group (you know, like we’re always told is so evil in public schools?)

Then, just this year, I found out several families in the homeschool church there have taken advantage of what is called “middle college” . It’s a charter school situation and guess what! The Harris’ have direct family (by marriage) and the father of this family is a deacon in Harris’ church. I just wonder how much friction that causes between the families. In fact, the program is a gov’t. funded way for high school homeschoolers to gain college credits at the same time they gain h.s. credit to graduate with a diploma. Not too shabby, actually. It’s all kept on the “down low” in those circles there (and that was quite frustrating to find out at the last minute because my daughter — bless her heart — wants to be a graphic designer and pursue a career in the field — gasp! (I actually had a “friend” who judged us for allowing my 18 year old daughter to choose that path).

I need to pick up my teens, but would love to dish later on this, if anyone cares to know anything else about inconsistencies. Oh! I just thought of another medical/medicare one! It’ll have to wait. 🙂

  Kathleen wrote @

I said this:

“A while back his church leadership sent ”

I meant to imply that was Mr. Harris.

  Bill Roach wrote @

Hi,

My name is Bill Roach and I serve as President of CHEC…we are sponsoring the National Men’s Leadership Summit II.

I have read your comments with great interest.

We could have a robust discussion about this topic!! I’m not quite sure we would come to a consensus about the issues, but I’m sure it would be lively.

First, my sympathy and prayers to those of you who have been the recipient of “angry patriarchs.” Whether you received it by teaching or personal experience…I know that kind of pain is real and extremely damaging. I don’t know if there is a worse roof to live under than one that has an unloving man claiming a biblical headship and living a life of anger.

To be honest, I have come to shy away from the word “Patriarchy”…partly because it has been misunderstood, and partly because it has been misdefined. I prefer to see my role as father/husband in unity with my wife. I guess you can call it “one flesh.” We strive for unity in all areas of our marriage- education, discipline, business, church…etc. I would probably have a different take on egalitarianism than some that have commented on this blog, but I’m sure we would agree on more things that you might think.

Secondly, may I say a warm and hardy thank you to all of you hard working moms. Without you all ,the modern homeschooling movement wouldn’t have even gotten off the ground. God clearly used moms from all over this country in a mighty way. While most men couldn’t see the need for homeschooling back in the 70s and early 80s, the love that you moms had for your children spawned the movement (sorry, I know some of you disdain that word…) From my heart, I say thanks….for all that you did and all that you are doing.

Here in Colorado, we owe a huge debt of gratitude to Sandy Lundberg who literally gave her health to the start of CHEC. She is an extremely taleted, giving and godly lady. At one point she served as Executive Director, Conference Coordinator, Newsmagazine Editor and Volunteer Coordinator…all at the same time!! There is not a week that passes that I don’t thank God for her contributions.

I owe my own wife so much for the job that she is doing in raising the 6 we have at home. I have 3 natural born children, 2 adopted children and a young lady who came to live with us after her mom died of cancer. Without my wife, I would be lost at sea…

My only question to you all is this…has anyone here ever met Kevin Swanson?

If not, you should…he is one of the most gentle, humble men I have ever met. I would have to say that if you only know the “radio Kevin,” you wouldn’t get the full picture. In fact you would get about 3% of who Kevin is. He and Dave (his co-host) sometimes do go over the top in their satire and humor. Kevin is very good at visual illustrations…but he would be the first one to tell you that sometimes he misses. But his radio program is a blessing to so many people…I wish you all could read the comments of people who are hearing the Word of God…sometimes for the first time!! The folks who write or visit the church come hungry and hurting I have seen time and again where the love of the church body ministers deeply to their soul.

Just thought I would let you know that this is a man who loves God, loves his family and is a wonderful church leader and Executive Director of CHEC. He serves the organization without pay, he donates his book sales (which are small but growing, to CHEC) and will travel to speak anywhere for little to nothing in return. He genuinely loves people. He is the last person in the world that you would think was in it, “for the money.” Not quite sure where that money is, even if any of us were in it for that. 🙂

I’m sure that if we all sat in a room and talked about the issues, there is no doubt that we would disagree…in fact, I’m sure some of you might even be angry.

But I do know one thing…even though you might not agree with him; you would know that Kevin Swanson is a kind, humble, loving man.

Anyway…just thought you might want to know…

I am not so naive as to think that you have to meet Kevin to comment about him…he has a daily radio program…you have the right to comment on it and disagree with it…but try to remember to be gracious in that disagreement… the way I assume you would want someone to disagree with you, if mentioning you by name.

Thank you,

Bill Roach

  Kathleen wrote @

The fear mongering about CSD, in my opinion, is a bit much, too.

For example:

When my daughter, Jennifer, was alive, we were not only on the Oregon Health Plan (state aid for medical), but we had contracted nurses and officials in and out of our home and lives 24/7. We also started homeschooling the year before, all 4 of our children. We didn’t really know what we were doing at the time, being new to it and all, and I actually started listening to the Y2K felgercarb that was coming over the radio airwaves for those couple of years.

If anyone was going to look wacky weird and full of strange convictions, it would have been our family and yet, the gov’t. never came and took our children away.

It’s the Hegelian dialectic in the homeschool arena. “Oooh, there’s a big scary problem, and HERE’S the solution (that’ll be a cool $35 at the door, thank you)”.

  Kathleen wrote @

Thanks, Bill, for your comments. I just remembered Kevin Swanson made the broad sweeping comments about girls who go to college being “vagabonds”, etc.:

http://truewomanhood.wordpress.com/2007/07/19/kevin-swanson-responds-to-reactions-he-got-from-his-broadcast-with-the-botkin-sisters-karen/

He may have a lovely family, and have a wonderful “off air” personality, but it is his teaching words that I’m concerned about. I hold the same standard up to the people of leadership in my church (former).

  Spunky wrote @

“ONe wonders if Greg will take Medicare benefits when he is 65. If he doesn’t, he will pay full price. :o) The government is already taking our tax dollars for education so what is the big deal if some choose charter schools?

What is strange about the CPS thing and homeschooling is that we are seeing more and more liberal, agnostic academics choosing to homeschool their kids here. Wonder how that is going to pan out with the authorities? :o)”

What Gregg does when he is older is not relevant. What is relevant is how taking government funds for home education can affect homeschooling. Much of what the government promotes as “homeschooling” is public school at home, by blurring the terminology they hope to bring all homeschoolers back under the government system. No Child Left Behind (or whatever Obama may call it) means exactly that, all chilren are in accountable to the state. It is not secret that a favorite way for that to happen is through carrots like money, curriculum, and computers.

Many angnostic academics who choose to homeschool often see government regulation as a positive and the CPS a positive to weed out those parents who are not doing what they should. They would not likely see the CPS issue as apllying to them, especially if they have teaching credentials of some sort.

“They don’t own the ‘franchise’ of hs anymore and they know it. They are trying to create an atmosphere that makes them the ‘go to’ people. Let us pray that no one will sign such a ridiculous document as their manifesto. YOu don’t need it folks, you have scripture. Don’t sign man made manifestos.”

Some people will sign this document but that is because they are already commited to the thinking behind it. And I whole heartedly agree that Scripture is our standard and sufficient as a “manifesto” for all who follow Christ and homeschool.

  Spunky wrote @

“I’m sure that if we all sat in a room and talked about the issues, there is no doubt that we would disagree…in fact, I’m sure some of you might even be angry.”

There in is the heart of much of this, there is no possibility for discussion with some who hold to this “vision.” They dismiss any dissent as an “attack” on them personally not a critical examination of the propositions they teach.

Blogs provide an excellent way for many to discuss these issues but even there dissent is deleted, even when said graciously. I have been the reciipient of exactly this sort of treatment. simply because I disagree.

Kevin Swanson may have pure motives for what he does, but his teachings still must be examined and discussed. So please don’t consider this a personal attack on him, Truth can withstand the toughest scrutiny.

  Cindy K wrote @

Bravo to the many here who point out that we are not called to fear nor are we given a spirit of fear, but we are given the spirit of love, power and a sound mind. How did any of us survive? What ever happened to the power of the Word of God and the power of the Holy Spirit???

Reading this and watching those two video clips, I am amazed at how it all reads right out of the spiritual abuse playbook or just like standard thought reform. Control the flow of information, isolate people, manipulate circumstances to appear a certain way, demand for purity runs high which labels things as sins that are not sins at all. The Demand for Purity is all about defining the only true way of doing things, creating sin and manipulating people through shame over their lack of ability or failure to attain the created standard. The sacred science establishes these leaders as the only “anointed” people who can speak, and their judgements rule and reign. Dissent is punished harshly. Doctrine over person speaks to the inclination to put everyone in the same mold and diversity or adaptation is resisted or punished. They disregard the past and reinterpret current events to suit their purposes. This is classic thought reform. We then have dispensing of existence which is pretty obvious with RC 2.0’s comments making it obvious: to be acceptable, you must be in the “group.” If you fall outside of that narrowly defined group, you are something less — less than Christian and sometimes less than human.

  Cindy K wrote @

Spunky,

You said something intriguing regarding people assuming that if you question or oppose one’s teachings that you are condemning or rejecting them personally. This is a characteristic of our age, and I found that even intellectual people and theologians interpret criticism this way. I’ve come up against several people who accused me of saying that so-and-so was a “bad man” because I said that their teachings were unbiblical (and they were quite unbiblical). That does not equate to declaring that the person is not a Christian…

The most insightful thing I’ve read concerning this came from James Sire in “The Universe Next Door.” If we believe in truth that is dependent upon something objective that is greater than we are, such as reality or upon the integrity of the Word of God, if the truth is challenged, we are not at risk. You said that truth can stand up to scrutiny, and I completely agree. It should not even be terribly personal, because the critic does not wrestle against you but against the truth. You are just the communicator.

When truth is based on the spin that we give it, it becomes intensely personal. In a world of relative morality and situational ethics, truth is in the experience of the beholder. If these principles and these visions are grounded outside of the truth and are based upon the spin and meaning we give it, it gets personal. It cannot be much of anything else.

Sometimes I think that the emotional responses of some of these people and the intense aggression vented at those who voice decent serve as evidence that many of these ideas are not grounded in the truth. You can disagree agreeably when we agree upon the integrity of the truth, differing only regarding the interpretation or implementation of that truth, something that the Word of God provides for. But when we agree on the same values but one group insists on having the only correct interpretation, it makes you wonder why there is such aggression and name-calling and all the rest. Why be intimidated if you rest in the truth?

  Lin wrote @

‘What Gregg does when he is older is not relevant. What is relevant is how taking government funds for home education can affect homeschooling”

I will just disagree. It is the same principle. But I doubt he will refuse medicare.

“Many angnostic academics who choose to homeschool often see government regulation as a positive and the CPS a positive to weed out those parents who are not doing what they should. They would not likely see the CPS issue as apllying to them, especially if they have teaching credentials of some sort.”

I guess I did not make my point well. I was thinking more about equal protection.

“No Child Left Behind (or whatever Obama may call it) means exactly that, all chilren are in accountable to the state. It is not secret that a favorite way for that to happen is through carrots like money, curriculum, and computers. ”

Being in the the public school system (GASP) as a sub has shown me that most hs’ers I know that are in elemetary grades can outread high school kids in public schools. It is an embarassment for the public schools. But a serious positive for homeschooling. It would help if the homeschooling industry would stop thinking in terms of us and them.

What shocked me is how many teachers have their kids in private schools. 😮

Just a quick question. What would you do if you knew of a “homeschooling” family that was not teaching their kids a thing? Just keeping them home watching tv all day and by age 10 could hardly read? I don’t have an answer to this. I guess it is their right. It happens. I have met some of these poor kids trying to get into community college!

  Spunky wrote @

Exactly, Cynthia. Truth is truth. An angry response reveals more about a person’s convictions than the words they speak.

  Spunky wrote @

“What would you do if you knew of a “homeschooling” family that was not teaching their kids a thing? Just keeping them home watching tv all day and by age 10 could hardly read?”

That is a very involved question and not easily answered without knowing more details. But all freedoms have their abuses and it is my belief that you don’t punish all because some may abuse their freedoms.

As far as the “us versus them” between public and homeschoolers, it is a tense relationship by nature because our success threatens their monopoly. If we can do it well without the budget of the public schools and the teaching credential it severely undermines the basic premise of public education as ti stands today. If the government would eliminate compulsory education laws, the tension would decrease severely, much as it has in regard to welfare for young families.

  Kathleen wrote @

I found the “Trojan Horse” video clip on youtube here:

It features Kevin Swanson, Brian Ray, Voddie Bauchem. They’re talking about the control of the children.

  Corrie wrote @

Mr. Roach,

Thank you for your kind words to homeschooling moms and for your response.

As for Kevin Swanson, it is his words and teachings that we are measuring. I do not see anyone making a judgment on whether or not he is good or bad.

There is no reason for such over-the-top rhetoric. It is embarrassing to me, a homeschool mother, to listen to some of the extreme hyperbole. It discredits us as homeschoolers and makes us a laughing stock for those who oppose us. We look more like the caricatures on SNL than we do logical and rational individuals.

I am not opposed to satire or sarcasm but claiming that working women, for instance, sell their flesh for cheap in one-night stands with their co-workers is beyond ridiculous. It is one thing to believe that women should not work outside of the home and quite another thing to make such claims.

  Corrie wrote @

Hi Spunky,

I think it is a very rare thing for CPS to go after a family solely because they homeschool. It is a sad reality that some homeschooling families use homeschooling as a cover for evil but I do not know of one case, personally, where a family was investigated because they homeschooled.

In the case of the family you mentioned above, CPS was called because pot was found in their newborn’s stool. And, without speaking to the social worker myself, I have a hard time understanding why he/she would tell the family that she/he was solely there because they homeschool and he/she was there for the older children and not because of the newborn and not primarily because pot was found in their newborn’s stool. It just doesn’t add up, imho.

The ones that I know that have had CPS come to their homes are because there was legitimate concern on the part of neighbors or family members who saw the children neglected, unsupervised, and the home in filthy condition. The families are the ones who tried to claim they were being persecuted because they were homeschooling but I, a homeschooler, could see through that claim right away to the real reason.

If it were only homeschooling that CPS was going after, I have to believe that they would have knocked at my door a long time ago since I have several family members who were/are against homeschooling.

There has got to be some hard and fast data that we can look at to see that certain families are being targeted solely because they homeschool, no?

As for the claim of being “savaged”, I would like a few examples.

  Amy R. wrote @

Karen, my husband and I sincerely hope that you will keep discussing this conference situation. Please share information as it becomes available.

We live in Indianapolis, and we are wondering whether we should be proactive about this with our local lawmakers, newspaper editors, etc. On one hand it is usually true that “the least said, the soonest mended,” but on the other it might be wise to publicly distance ourselves from this conference. We should not let the media or our lawmakers see “Christian homeschooling” as some singleminded entity represented by Vision Forum. Still praying; we’ll know better how to proceed when we are able to learn more about this “manifesto.”

I just think this is all so foolish and unwise. Our President-elect has many ideas and agendas concerning education and the public good, but as far as we can tell homeschooling is not really on the radar.

If we were wise, we would recognize when it is time to lay low. Right now is the time to quietly mind our own business and responsibly educate our own children at home. It is not the time for trumpets, battle cries, conventions and manifestos.

I fear this public posturing may bring harmful attention to us all.

  Cally Tyrol wrote @

I haven’t had time to read all the comments, but I must say that I find it interesting that men are getting together to talk about a vision for the future of homeschooling, but its usually the WOMEN who do the majority of the teaching… I guess they are only following orders?

  Corrie wrote @

“If we were wise, we would recognize when it is time to lay low. Right now is the time to quietly mind our own business and responsibly educate our own children at home. It is not the time for trumpets, battle cries, conventions and manifestos.”

Amy,

Amen!! Now is the time to quietly do what we know to do so that we may win them over without a word because they see our good works and praise the Father in heaven.

But, then if there is no crisis then legal services and tapes/books are not really needed and there are many people whose sole income depends upon making sure that homeschoolers are in need of their services.

Crisis=$$$$$$

No Crisis=no $$$$$$

We don’t need any more manmade watershed moments. We don’t need another manifesto.

  Corrie wrote @

I just received a solicitation for funds for a http://www.clionline.org.

Christian Leaders Institute is run by Henry Reyenga. It is a training program for Christian leaders. The professors include Baucham, Feddes, Powell, Kevin Swanson and others. There is a video clip of Mike Farris at the above website promoting this institute.

You may also download their handbook which gives a lot more info about the institute, the professors and the student requirements. The application looks like it is open to both males and females but I see no female students pictured on their website. All the classroom situations pictured are all male.

It even asks if the person applying is ordained and then it asks “by whom”. Such an intrusive question! 😉

Swanson teaches a class on “Contemporary Culture”:

“This course identifies and analyzes urgent cultural  matters that must be addressed by the 
church and  its  leaders. ”

Another class offered is this:

Christian Apologetics  Dr. Voddie Baucham  3 credits 
A survey  course designed to introduce students to basic  issues  in apologetics (defending 
and contending  for the faith). The course will  emphasize Biblical  Worldview and Cultural 
Apologetics, or the application of apologetics to 
contemporary cultural  issues. 

  thatmom wrote @

Bill,

Welcome to my blog and thanks for your comments. I would heartily agree with you that we are most likely in agreement with many, many things, first of all our love for and commitment to Jesus Christ and secondly our love for and commitment to home education. And on a personal note, I was adopted and have a great deal of respect for those who choose this way of welcoming children into their homes so I appreciate your sharing that part of your life with us. (One of my podcasts in the militant fecundity series addresses the growing number of orphans worldwide and the importance of homeschooling families in making homes for them.)

You didn’t say whether or not you would welcome a robust discussion about the issues surrounding your upcoming conference but I would be happy to host that discussion here if you are interested. I will always allow unmoderated comments and will only delete those that are rude or inappropriate. I know that there are many who read here who would welcome the opportunity to have a real discussion about some of the concerns they have. In fact, I often hear from homeschooling moms who live in Colorado and whose families have decided to no longer attend your convention because of the patriocentric beliefs of your leadership and speakers you bring in. I believe it would be wise for you to listen to their concerns.

My chief objection to your conference is that I do not believe that neither your organization nor the speakers who are advertised speak for the vast majority of Christian home educating parents in this country. In fact, for your group to assume that you can cast a vision for all Christian homeschooling families is audacious and arrogant. There are so many believers in solid, Bible-believing and teaching churches, whose leaders and teachers are committed to sound exegesis, who do not agree with your conference speakers on any number of issues. In fact, I believe that the number of those who embrace your philosophy of family life and education is becoming more of a minority all the time as the fruits and benefits of relationship homeschooling (see my sidebar) are apparent. Healthy, vibrant homeschooling families practice the one anothers of Scripture and seek to build relationships both within their homes and with those who are in need of a Savior.

Sadly, many of those things that your conference speakers represent are in sharp contrast to those objectives. Let me list just a few of those things that I believe have placed your conference into question and please consider engaging us in dialogue regarding these and other issues, for the sake of the future of homeschooling and the glory of God.

1. Kevin Swanson, Voddie Baucham, and Doug Phillips have all embraced and promoted a view of daughters that is not based on Scripture and, in fact, have misused the Word of God to promote their views. (Numbers 30) Those who have a high view of Scripture and who seek to follow its counsel rather than to use it to promote our own views, bristle at this every time we read or hear these teachings, not because we are feminists, white-washed or otherwise, but because we love the Word of God and cannot bear to see it handled in such a manner. Being a wife and a mother is a high calling from the Lord and it is one that any young woman would do well aspiring to. In fact, most of us who have real concerns about your movement are stay at home mothers who serve our families, some with many children, we homeschool, and would be the first to testify that we love being homemakers. But nowhere in the Bible does it say that it is the ONLY calling for a woman nor does Scripture claim that it is the highest calling. To place this burden on all women to conform to a patriocentric image of hearth and home when the Bible does not do so is legalism. In their zeal to show the value of motherhood, these speakers have gone further than the Word of God does and have superimposed their agenda onto all women.

2. The concept that the father is the only one in the family who has a calling from the Lord and that all family members are to further that calling is also not substantiated in Scripture. While I do believe that God works generationally and through families, it is not the ONLY way that His redemption plan is brought into fruition. The Holy
Spirit works in the individual hearts of individuals, in each generation, giving spiritual gifts to each believer at the time of salvation and calling each one to serve and follow Him. Both mothers and fathers are to introduce their children to Christ and are to disciple them, using their own gifts to help their children recognize God’s plan for each of them. Placing the father at the center of the family and giving him a higher calling within that family is idolatry.

3. A few months ago, Doug Phillips made a declaration that a woman who faces an ectopic pregnancy, a life-threatening situation, and has surgery is considered to be a “murderer,” one who practices “child sacrifice” or “infanticide,” and is not 100% pro-life. In researching Doug’s position and asking pro-life leaders around the country to comment on his writings, I could not find a single person who could agree with his perspective and many were concerned that homeschooling mothers who are being influenced by Doug could have their very lives placed in danger. He also stated that he would not support any organization that didn’t agree with him so I can only conclude that his is also the position of CHEC, lending credibility to this dangerous view.

4. Kevin, Voddie, and Doug promote the family integrated church movement and use the homeschooling venue to do so. As self-proclaimed leaders of homeschooling who are purporting to establish the standards for all Christian home educators and are casting a vision for all of us, I believe that the FIC agenda will most certainly be part of that vision, further isolating homeschoolers from other Christians and causing further division within the body of Christ. (see my article on the pros and cons of the family integrated church on at http://www.thatmom.com for a more complete listing of my concerns.)

5. No mothers are included being included in your conference, which is unfortunate. Why would this be? Where is the prohibition against women helping to establish a vision for home education? You mentioned that women helped to found the modern homeschooling movement but imply that now the men should take it over. Could you please explain your thinking so moms can understand this?

6. There is concern among some homeschoolers that there is a class distinction agenda being promoted by Doug Phillips because of his affinity for the pre-Civil War south and the lifestyle of that day. Combined with the message that anything outside of this paradigm is “socialism,” the message is sent that there is a certain elitism to home education. R. C. Sproul Jr.’s observations seem to substantiate that and were affirmed by James McDonald.

I have one final thought, regarding Kevin Swanson. I have not meant him in person but have listened to his podcasts. In fact, I have Kevin to thank for inspiring me to have my own podcasts. I was in awe of the lack of a gracious spirit that permeates his presentations and the fact that he was homeschooled himself cause me to cringe every time I heard him speak. My oldest children are just a few years younger than he is and I would be appalled if they behaved as he does. Do you remember those who heard Jesus speak and “marveled at the gracious words that came from his mouth?” I pray that that would be the response to my own children as they represent both Jesus Christ and homeschooling. Maybe you could pass that along to Kevin.

Bill, I look forward to hearing from you and to exchanging ideas regarding homeschooling and the future of this great way of educating children.

  Susan T wrote @

Corrie,
We received that CLI brochure last week… it was addressed only to my husband… which I thought was odd… because I figure they bought/borrowed a mailing list based on homeschoolers and my husband has NEVER signed up/purchased anything alone. However, I have used my name alone many times… all catalogs are in my name. And our local group membership lists both our names… .
As soon as I saw the speakers/experts listed, I tossed it. My husband, my greatest supporter. trusts my judgment in homeschooling matters. And he trusts me to prioritize his mail.

  LizJ wrote @

Spunky wrote:

As far as the “us versus them” between public and homeschoolers, it is a tense relationship by nature because our success threatens their monopoly.

—-

Depends on whether you are referring to public school students and their parents, or people employed by the school system.

As a parent who has sent my children to public schools, and who is in the process of evaluating the choices for the last two years of my younger daughter’s high school studies, I have never looked upon homeschoolers – except perhaps the very radical, patriarchal, Phillips/Gothard variety – as “them.” I know many homeschooling families whose values and beliefs are very close to, if not the same as, our own (but then again, in the circles we run in, we know a lot of artsy-eclectic evangelical families who homeschool, and very few patriarchal and/or isolationist families).

Not all public school employees have the “us and them” attitude either (while I recognize that “us vs. them” may be a commonly held view in the higher levels of the educational establishment). Even among public school employees, there are many devout Christians (YMMV depending on where you live). Since public schooling is likely going to continue for quite some time to be the place where most American children are educated, I am thankful for those believers who dedicate themselves to educating and nurturing children who in many cases don’t have another educational alternative. They are persevering despite school systems that for the most part are moving faster and faster away from Christian values (which is our own problem – our school system has a lot of Christian employees at all levels, but the demographics of the area are changing and along with it, the school policies and curriculum).

  Name Witheld wrote @

During the few years I worked for HSLDA, I attended over 25 different conferences around the country. This ideology has already largely succeeded as these types of speakers are invited back again and again. In Kansas City, for instance, a major advocate for arranged marriages was one of the keynote speakers!

What I also discovered, however, is that the more narrow Doug Phillips, Vision Forum, etc., tried to push their ideologies on others, the more they marginalized themselves. The reality is, most of the Christian state homeschool organizations that subscribe to this nonsense are dying. Their state conferences are dying with them. For the first time, you are seeing non-ideological, even somewhat secular organizations popping up all across the country and they are growing rapidly. The legalist wing of the homeschool movement may think they control homeschooling still, but the reality is, their golden age has long since passed, especially now that homeschooling has gone more mainstream. All radical ideologies eventually wane (in part because they become so stringent, no one has a chance of adhering to them properly) and the harder they try to control the message, the farther they will drift from the holy graile mantle of leadership of the homeschool movement.

  Spunky wrote @

“Depends on whether you are referring to public school students and their parents, or people employed by the school system. ”

Parents and students and most of the employees are participants in the monopoly but do not yield the power that comes from it, so they are less likely to have an “us versus them” mentality. The monopoly is the government education beauracracy that controls the funding and the power to regulate. They are the ones most threatened by the success of homeschooling.

  Corrie wrote @

Susan,

LOL!

I didn’t even look at who it was addressed to. It was addressed to my husband, also.

  Spunky wrote @

“I think it is a very rare thing for CPS to go after a family solely because they homeschool. It is a sad reality that some homeschooling families use homeschooling as a cover for evil but I do not know of one case, personally, where a family was investigated because they homeschooled.”

It is not as rare as you may think. Mandatory reporters are in every hospital across the nation and children are routinely reported to CPS because the medical professionals fear that if they don’t report they will be the one in trouble. The likley reason you don’t hear about them is that many families are afraid to speak up because they fear further repraisals from CPS if they do. They don’t want to draw any more attention than they already have to themselves. I know more about them because of my written work, but don’t dismiss it out of hand simply because you may not have personally heard about them.

  LizJ wrote @

Spunky wrote:

“Depends on whether you are referring to public school students and their parents, or people employed by the school system. ”

Parents and students and most of the employees are participants in the monopoly but do not yield the power that comes from it, so they are less likely to have an “us versus them” mentality. The monopoly is the government education bureaucracy that controls the funding and the power to regulate. They are the ones most threatened by the success of homeschooling.

I generally agree with that assessment.

My father was a professional educator in the public school system of the county in which we resided, and then became the dean of education at a Catholic university (retired now, and he’s not Catholic). He regards homeschooling with some suspicion, but is also not taking into account the differences between the time he was a professional educator and today – differences in the culture, differences in the values and beliefs of the educational bureaucracy, etc. I think he’d be pretty shocked if he got a good look at the climate in most high schools today.

  Kathleen wrote @

Spunky,

I understand first hand the fear of the state looking into your family, only because when Jennifer was alive, we had to interact with the state for her medical coverage, her at-home nursing care and several workers at the hospital during her many months of surgeries and care there. We often brought our homeschooled children with us to spend the days visiting her and doing “homeschool” at the hospital. Many nurses and doctors wondered at our family and even complimented us, but no one ever threatened to turn us in for neglect, or whatnot. I think we had one of the more visible examples of homeschooling within a state-observed situations than most people, except for some homeschool families I know now who also do foster care.

My point is that, in our family’s case, they could have reported us for many things such as the homeschooling, along with the weird Y2K radio broadcasts I would listen to while we had the in-home nursing care for our daughter, and the big one: we went through the whole questioning of whether vaccinations were safe for our baby (and our other children) to the doctors caring for her. We had red-flags all over us, it would seem, and yet, God gave us safe passage to homeschool our children.

Maybe it has alot to do with trusting God and not fearing man. But that’s just been my experience.

  thatmom wrote @

Corrie and Susan, Clay also received that mailing on Saturday. I just wanted to point out that it is my understanding that Christian Leaders is training young men for ministry within FIC churches. If I am wrong about that, somebody please correct me.

  thatmom wrote @

Amy, you correct that this is not the time to draw attention to the weirdness on the far end of the patriocentric scale in homeschooling.

I also wonder if it is wise for them to hold this conference at Bill Gothard’s Indianapolis Training Center since it was the site of so much controversy in the past.

http://www.yuricareport.com/Ohio/GothardJuvenileCtrInvestigated.html

It also looks like Gothard took money from the state to educated and rehabilitate juveniles. Is it me or is there some inconsistency here?

  thatmom wrote @

Spunky, would it be possible for you to give us some links regarding CPS and homeschooling?
And wouldn’t this be more of a states’ issue because of the varying laws surrounding homeschooling? Maybe some of us who live in states where the laws are less intrusive have not seen what you are seeing and perhaps that is the difference…just wondering.

  thatmom wrote @

“The legalist wing of the homeschool movement may think they control homeschooling still, but the reality is, their golden age has long since passed, especially now that homeschooling has gone more mainstream.”

Name Withheld, this is very true. And I believe this is why this conference is being held. It is why Kevin Swanson uses so much hyperbole. It is why Doug Phillips sounds so frantic in that video. It is why R.C. Sproul Jr. had to define “them” as movement homeschoolers and the rest of us as whatever homeschoolers. (I prefer to use the phrase “relationship homeschoolers.”) They don’t like it that there are lots of Christians who are homeschooling by conviction, just not their convictions, and they are determined to control state and local group leadership with their agenda through this conference. I know that eventually it will wane. My concern is what it will do to the wonderful children and the sincere and godly moms and dads who will be caught up in this in the meantime!

  Kathleen wrote @

Karen,
Doesn’t Gothard have the “Character First!” (or something like that) curriculum that PUBLIC schools have been using, paid for by gov’t. school funds? Many of these so-called leaders in the HS arena have close connections with Gothard, they promote each other’s books, seminars, and some have even based their own “brand” of seminars off of his Basic Life workshops (Harris’ Christian Life Workshops in the 80’s) and/or vice versa.

Maybe these guys are “rebelling” against their “authority” (Gothard).

  Bill wrote @

Hi Karen,

Thanks for your warm comments about the adoption of my children. What a wonderful way to experience the love and grace of God by being adopted yourself! Of all the “things” that we have done as a couple and family, adopting two children was the one I was most convinced was of the Lord.

My goal in chiming in was to just present to you a different perspective on the Kevin Swanson you probably don’t know. Nothing more and nothing less.

I hope that you would respect that the first difference we would have between us is the format of a blog to discuss such heavy issues as you have asked of me. Unfortunately, we would disagree on that issue, and I have to respectfully decline your offer to engage in this way.

If you are ever out this way in beautiful Colorado and would like to meet, I would do all that I can to make it a reality. Please contact me at my email that I gave you.

May God grant you wisdom as you raise your family and run this blog.

Sincerely,

Bill

  thatmom wrote @

Bill, thanks for your response and I will accept your position though I hope you will reconsider.

I really think being open and forthright about our beliefs and a willingness to hear a variety of positions from other Christians whom the Holy Spirit works through will be the first step in understanding the purposes of your conference and to clearing up any misconceptions we might have.

  Cindy K wrote @

Spunky wrote: It is not as rare as you may think. Mandatory reporters are in every hospital across the nation and children are routinely reported to CPS because the medical professionals fear that if they don’t report they will be the one in trouble.

As a registered nurse, I am required by law to report anything obvious as well as anything that is SUSPECT that I see regarding children. The lecture was given by one of the sisters at the Catholic college I attended, and she was also my clinical instructor, and that experience was sobering. The state of PA has a detailed form that must be completed if anything is factual OR suspect. Frankly, I found it to be a deterrent to me pursuing anything related to pediatric nursing (including emergency department work which was of some interest to me at one point) because of these laws.

Depending on the political climate, I think Spunky points out a valid concern. Homeschooling as a mainstream choice for educating children definitely has decreased what was once considered very “suspect” or an automatic “presumptive” (not “positive”) finding suggesting abuse. And I trained and worked for many years in a trauma facility that served several Amish communities, too, so I have actually worked with a community that is not mainstream who sometimes sought care in cases of trauma.

People are not out on a witch hunt, and I would not walk around in fear every day, but it is prudent to take note that homeschooling is still considered something that is a “presumptive” marker that can be suspect. Groups that are isolationist are suspect as well, and there is even paternalism that still persists in Pennsylvania concerning illness within Amish communities, and many people associate homeschoolers with refusing vaccinations (something that many healthcare people find to be sinful). Depending on the political milieu, and because the law requires individual healthcare workers to report anything they find “suspect” (a very subjective and fluid standard), it is something that people should be well aware of.

I can tell you that, given the current nursing and physician shortages in most emergency care settings, people are not sitting around looking to fill out extra paperwork. If something does get reported, there is some serious cause for concern regarding a child’s well-being. I can tell you though, if someone comes in with an injured child, looking like they walked of an FLDS camp and seems like a paranoid isolationist, that person will be scrutinized to some extent.

But I want to validate what Spunky has pointed out here so that people don’t brush this influence off as something that is not a potential concern. I can tell you, though, that acting like a pious, isolationist, uptight person that does not cooperate does arouse suspicion, when your child is given care for an acute injury or something. I think it’s a natural concern of nurses and such that if a parent is very uptight and suspicious of the plan of care or those who are trying to help (projecting “The state wants to take my child away!”), it does pique your concern. In many ways, this is why I am concerned about some of these extreme attitudes.

  Cindy K wrote @

I’ve heard many people ask just how these extreme speakers get invited to homeschooling conventions as plenary speakers when they are considered to be so controversial. Someone earlier in this thread stated that their state group is lined up with patriocentrists, so that is who they call upon to speak. I have also heard from others the same information that “Name Withheld” points out, suggesting that many of these state homeschooling boards are dying. Unfortunately, there are many that are not. In my own state of origin, the Botkins spoke and Baucham was the headline speaker. Though I know many who outright and passionately reject Baucham and the Botkins, the PA state group is alive, well and going strong.

Something I have heard is that many speakers like Phillips and others “buy” their way into conventions. Either they drop money as sponsors or buy large vendor table packages or advertising blocks in order to “qualify” as plenary speakers. I don’t know how true this is but I’ve heard it suggested by several people. Does anyone know if this is true in your particular state or organization?

Or, you can sponsor your own meeting as this upcoming male leadership only convention…. When you run the show, you can promote any agenda you want and can invite any speaker.

  Spunky wrote @

“I can tell you that, given the current nursing and physician shortages in most emergency care settings, people are not sitting around looking to fill out extra paperwork. If something does get reported, there is some serious cause for concern regarding a child’s well-being.”

Not necessarily in all cases. Remember the infamous “Lemonade story” from this past summer at Tiger Stadium. While not specifically homeschool related a family lost their son for nearly a week for mistakenly giving him a Mike’s Hard Lemondae at Tiger Stadium sold to him by a vendor when he asked for a lemonade. The son spent the night in a CPS office and then in a foster home, only returning home once the dad moved out! The father is Professor of Archeology at the UM and retained a UM Law attorney who was able to draw attention to his ridiculous story and get his son back. But not until the son was questioned profusely. The “chain of command” from the Tiger Stadium to the emergency room was just passing the case on even though the allegations were obviously absurd. No one wanted to be the one to let a child slip through the cracks.

In most cases regarding homeschooling it is the charge of “educational neglect” and it can be leveled for simply taking a child out of the public school. Here’s one news story that I remember from last year, but educational neglect is the catch all phrase for those that may not be providing an adequate education for their children as defined by the state.

http://homeschooling.families.com/blog/educational-neglect-due-to-homeschooling

I’m presenting this not to foster a climate of fear but for informational purposes. I’ll get other links as I am able but a search on educational neglect and reading the legislation proposed because of it will confirm that this is indeed one means for the state to increase regulation and mandatory reporting for homeschoolers. Keep in mind that most of this is in PDF’s and not easily accessible.

  Cindy K wrote @

QUOTE:

But there is something deeper going on here that I think touches on cognitive processes in all of us as members of non-cult groups, such as political parties: confirmation bias. This is when we look for and find evidence to support what we already believe, and ignore or rationalize away evidence that does not. And because we are so tribal by nature, we employ confirmation bias with extra vigor when it comes to defending the groups we belong to. Republicans tend to listen to conservative talk radio, watch Fox News and read the Wall Street Journal, gathering data and noting arguments that support their political beliefs. Democrats are more likely to listen to progressive talk radio and NPR, surf liberal blogs and read the New York Times. Everyone does it.

Confirmation bias explains why so many rumors about candidates were eagerly embraced recently…

Research on confirmation bias has found that when subjects are presented with evidence that contradicts their deeply held beliefs, they dismiss it as invalid, while other subjects treat the same information as valuable when it confirms what they believe. In one study, for example, subjects were shown a video of a child taking a test. One group was told that the child was from a high socioeconomic class; the other group was told that the child was from a low socioeconomic class. The subjects were asked to evaluate the academic abilities of the child based on the results of the test. The child believed to be from the high socioeconomic group was rated as above grade level, but the child believed to be from the low socioeconomic group wasrated as below grade level. Same data. Same kid. Different interpretations.

The confirmation bias sways us all, especially when it reinforces our inner tribalism…

It is for this reason that we need to look for disconfirmatory evidence, to listen to the arguments of those with whom we disagree, to ask for constructive criticism of our beliefs, and to remember Oliver Cromwell’s words to the Church of Scotland in 1650: “I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ, think it possible you may be mistaken.”

http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-shermer18-2008nov18,0,2806746.story

I’ve also read in “True Enough” that Conservative Christians have a stronger ability to resist the negative information, and it only serves to galvanize what they want to believe. Criticism can have a very validating effect and can encourage those who are criticized. It serves as validation for them and makes their commitment to their presuppositions (or their tribe) even stronger. And Christians, in general, are the toughest crowd to get to consider truthful evidence that challenges their presuppositions.

I’m honored to be numbered here with others, both men and women, who have once been a part of these groups including Bill Gothard, Vision Forum and others, but we were willing to consider the disturbing truths that challenged our original beliefs about the virtues and orthodoxy of some of these teachings and groups. Like Spunky stated, the truth can stand up to scrutiny. A friend of mine says “Everything works for the truth and nothing can work against it.” It takes courage and what is sometimes a painful reckoning of our fragile natures to admit that we might have been taken in by a belief system that was partly in error. You are heroes, and I encourage others to follow their brave examples by considering the doctrines and the truth about some of the beyond questionable behavior of some of these speakers.

Most of us know about these matters because we were once entrenched in them or bought into them in some manner. We do share so many common goals, values and virtues, but we also oppose many that are promoted by these teachers and groups. Unfortunately, those more questionable things are not those items that are presented with full disclosure and informed consent to the person signing up for them. The more hidden pet doctrines are the little foxes that spoil the vine. The groups with whom these plenary speakers are affiliated are the biggest promoters of the little foxes.

  Spunky wrote @

Here’s is one piece of prosposed reform for CPS in Ohio,

“Rationale Behind the Provision

States disagree about whether “educational neglect” or, alternatively, failure to provide for necessary education, should be included in child protection laws and whether child protective service agency

involvement with families is appropriate in such cases. Some state laws reflect the belief that this is an issue that should be handled exclusively through state truancy laws, excluding the traditional child protective system from such cases. About half the states, however, have laws that provide for mandatory reporting, child protective service agency involvement, and judicial child protection proceedings when parents fail to arrange for the education for their children that is required by law.

Does this proposal cover charter schools, digital academies, and home -schoolers?

Answer:
Yes, whenever a child is not being educated as required by law – whether that child is home
schooled, attends a charter school or digital academy – the child may be found to be a Child in Need of Protective Services. Whoever is charged under current educational law with monitoring and enforcing school attendance in such settings would be responsible for documenting efforts and making a report to
the child protection agency that a child is lacking legally required education.”

This quote is taken from an Ohio document titled, “How will the child protective law reform affect educators?”

The purpose of the reform is “The change in the proposed statutory structure that will have the greatest impact on the education
community is the inclusion of a “Lacking Legally Required Education” category in the Child in
Need of Protective Services statute. This provision seeks to provide a clearer definition of the circumstances in which a child protection agency may intervene in a family due to a parental failure to ensure a child’s education. Additionally, the new provision provides greater specificity regarding the roles of schools, child protection agencies and the courts in ensuring that children
receive education services.”

This creates a cateogry of allegations called “educational neglect” which would immediately involve CPS in the life of the family. The allegations can be anonymous.

These reforms are being attempted all over the country as a means of increasing regulation on homeschoolers. If a state has a category of “educational neglect” then they can take measures to make sure that no child is falling through the cracks. In states like Michigan, that translates into mandatory reporting requirements which are currently not required. The measure was proposed last spring and may be taken up again in the next legislative session. The rationale for the legislation was exactly what was outlined for Ohio.

  Cindy K wrote @

Spunky wrote: I’m presenting this not to foster a climate of fear but for informational purposes.

Spunky,

We have the same concern, then. When I served with the PA Nurses Assoc. on our local board, these matters were frequently discussed. I’ve advocated for people’s rights to refuse vaccinations from both a religious right and a natural health perspective. (The Amish have no incidence of autism, you know.) But there are those in healthcare and many I can cite by name who are zealous to enforce some of these types of things for all people. Unfortunately, that makes homeschoolers (many who refuse or defer vaccination until later) also suspect. Many people see that as a marker or a presumptive sign of abuse. Thankfully, not all people do.

Living in Michigan, I heard for at least a week on the local news about the son of a U of M professor who went into the system (despite other family that was willing to care for him) over the “MIkes Lemonade.” I’m not saying there is no threat to people. In fact the subjectivity of some of these things, whether they be at a baseball stadium or in the healthcare setting is a WILD CARD. We’ve got to be prudent and sober about these matters, because so many of these matters are left open to subjectivity. (That can be a hayday for a person with an axe to grind or an agenda.) But I agree that we shouldn’t be wandering around in fear and second guessing everything. We walk in faith and confidence as Christians, but we are called to do so with wisdom.

  Cindy K wrote @

I just watched that video again, and I’ve been thinking about the “CPS savaging homeschooling families” comment. The truth is that you don’t necessarily need to be a homeschooling family to be “savaged” by CPS. They savage everyone they deal with, and the process is not particularly more harrowing for homeschoolers than it is for anyone else (considering the professor’s son who drank hard lemonade, for example). The system is brutal.

And I’ve known of cases of abuse within homeschooling families personally, and I am torn over these matters. CPS may have been of some service to some of these people, brutal as they are. I’ve also attended a church (as I know others who are posting here also have experienced) where rape of children and physical abuse was covered up and the abused were told to just suffer and love their husbands or whoever because love covers a multitude of sins.

But what is ironic, having spoken to someone who I unexpectedly discovered was in the same church system that I once attended, we both cited cases of where OUR CHURCH (our sister churches actually) were the ones who called CPS to report members who where dissidents as punitive measures for unrelated matters to cover their own spiritual abuse in the church. (What a way to malign a mother with a brain and a willingness to shine the light on the truth of abuse! They use this as a desperate measure to poison the well.) I went with one woman who had been falsely maligned when she reported to the local CPS for questioning after our church elders advised the husband to report his wife (to cover up his own sins to take the heat off of him). The same practice took place in a sister church, according to this former member in recovery from it all. Reporting people to CPS seemed to be one of the measures that spiritually abusive group used to keep dissidents distracted and quiet, poisoning the well. Considering the people that were falsely reported by our CHURCH, and though I don’t think I would wish CPS on anyone, there is a sense of justice in the idea of wives and kids suffering real abuse getting help. Our church certainly never held any of the abusers accountable. (The were all men…)

So I wonder if people who homeschool believe that CPS holds them to a greater scrutiny than anyone else? I suppose you might think this, if your only source of information was from this video and some of these reactionaries. They don’t just ravage or savage homeschooling families. I think that they are equal opportunity savages.

Then, in Michigan, I also did forensic work on a case where CPS rallied to keep a child who was being drugged by a parent in the home. It was the most bizarre thing I’ve ever seen. The CPS agent was partial to one parent, and even though there was evidence of drug abuse in the home of the one parent, they fought for the rights of that parent. (After about 2 years of work, the other parent did get custody, but it was not an easily won battle.)

All of that just further convinces me that we do rest in God’s protection and sovereignty. He is our hope, not our government system. Even with a perfect system, we can have the worst of outcomes.

  Spunky wrote @

“So I wonder if people who homeschool believe that CPS holds them to a greater scrutiny than anyone else? I”

Not necessarily greater scrutiny, but the charge of educational neglect would be one that would more likely apply to a homeschool family more than a parent who gets their child on the bus every day regardless if anything is actually learned while they warm a seat in the school. Rmoving this from a truancy issue to a CPS issue makes the charge of educational neglect possible and actionable for a homeschool family, but a lot harder for a public school student.

CPS does savage equally once in their system and they use the public school teachers as one source for reports of possible abuse. Because homeschoolers do not particpate in the public school system, possible abuse goes undetected. The remedy according to the government is to make sure that homeschoolers are accountable in some way to the state. In Michigan that was the catalyst for the legislation last spring requiring homeschoolers to register with the local school district. It hasn’t passed, but if it did failure to register would likely be considered evidence for possible educational neglect.

  Name Witheld wrote @

I’ve heard many people ask just how these extreme speakers get invited to homeschooling conventions as plenary speakers when they are considered to be so controversial. Someone earlier in this thread stated that their state group is lined up with patriocentrists, so that is who they call upon to speak. I have also heard from others the same information that “Name Withheld” points out, suggesting that many of these state homeschooling boards are dying. Unfortunately, there are many that are not. In my own state of origin, the Botkins spoke and Baucham was the headline speaker. Though I know many who outright and passionately reject Baucham and the Botkins, the PA state group is alive, well and going strong.

Something I have heard is that many speakers like Phillips and others “buy” their way into conventions. Either they drop money as sponsors or buy large vendor table packages or advertising blocks in order to “qualify” as plenary speakers. I don’t know how true this is but I’ve heard it suggested by several people. Does anyone know if this is true in your particular state or organization?

Or, you can sponsor your own meeting as this upcoming male leadership only convention…. When you run the show, you can promote any agenda you want and can invite any speaker.

Conventions are always under pressure to bring in “big names,” in large part because in several states now competition is emerging. They also have to pay for expensive convention halls (or in PA’s case that smelly farm show building). State homeschool leaders are largely unwilling to try new things, so they talk to other state leaders. (HSLDA, for instance, has a national conference just for state leaders that it pays for that allows for such elbow rubbing). As you can imagine, the patriocentric leaders are among the most outspoken about their conferences and the speakers they bring in. Thus, some states just book these speakers without necessarily doing their full research, but relying on the successes of others.

The speakers themselves do a lot of coordination and they do try to promote one another. I can’t say that I wouldn’t do the same in their position. It’s pretty decent money, especially at the larger conference.

Aside:
Kevin Swanson has been trying for the past several years to transform CHEC from a state organization into something more known nationally. He himself has been traveling across the U.S. marketing CHEC. I met Kevin when he was at CHAP in PA a few years ago. He is not an extreme guy, unlike the others that have been mentioned and several of his lectures are well thought-out. For him to be present at this vision conference is not necessarily surprising since he would like CHEC to have an influence on any national gathering of homeschool leaders. That being said, it would be a shame if did subscribe to this line of thinking.

  mary wrote @

I would like to respectfully ask Bill what he would consider as an appropriate venue for the discussion of the points that Karen mentioned? As far as I know there has never been a venue for this discussion . Would CHEC consider some kind of public discussion of these issues?

  mary wrote @

To “name withheld”: I’m afraid Kevin is way over the edge on patriocentricity. Browse through the archives on his website for radio shows featuring the Botkin sisters. He has gone so far as to say that a father who lets his daughter go away to college “hates” his daughter. Talking with Kevin one on one you would not come away with this impression. He seems a very warm and caring man. For some reason his radio show gives him, as well as his cohort a sense of bravado that allows them to say such things. I am embarrassed by his radio show. He comes off as a very arrogant and sarcastic man, not at all as a godly leader of a homeschool organization.

  Corrie wrote @

Spunky,

“It is not as rare as you may think. Mandatory reporters are in every hospital across the nation and children are routinely reported to CPS because the medical professionals fear that if they don’t report they will be the one in trouble. The likley reason you don’t hear about them is that many families are afraid to speak up because they fear further repraisals from CPS if they do. They don’t want to draw any more attention than they already have to themselves. I know more about them because of my written work, but don’t dismiss it out of hand simply because you may not have personally heard about them.”

I am not dismissing this out of hand but I am saying that with my almost 2 decades of experience as a homeschooler, I have not witnessed any family being savaged merely because they homeschool.

I have seen a FEW families have CPS visit them because there was a report of neglect or filthy living conditions. Homeschooling has never been THE reason these families are being investigated. I also know many people in law enforcement and in social work and having discussed these issues with them, I don’t see that this persecution of homeschoolers is a real threat.

I have been in the ER many, many times and I have never had CPS called on me nor have I been treated in a rude or threatening manner.

I do know families that have been treated rudely and I understand why because they are rude and hostile to the medical staff whenever a simple question is asked. They go in to these situations with their back up and ready for a fight and most times, when you are looking for a fight, you will get one. 🙂

I have to think that it boils down to how we handle ourselves in various situations and if we act suspiciously as if we have something to hide.

Sadly, I do know homeschooling families that have sexual abuse perpetrated by members of the family upon other members of the family and, although they would like to make others believe they are victims because they homeschool, those who know the WHOLE story know that this is not true. They use their “rights” as a cloak for evil and that is what raised the suspicions of law enforcement.

I am sure that abuses of power exist but I would like to see real cases and talk to and examine both sides because my own experience shows me that people are not always honest and forthright about why they might be in trouble with the law.

Mandatory reporters have to report merely because a family homeschools? Why do I not know people that this has happened to? I have asked a couple of friends that are social workers and they say that this is false.

If they are afraid to speak up, how do we know these things even exist? Have you been to their homes? Did you talk to the individual CPS workers to get their side of the story? Do you know that these people are telling the whole truth?

I would be the first one to stand up against forces that oppress and use the law unjustly but life has taught me, from firsthand experience, that these things are very rare and that most times people have brought these things upon themselves because of their own behavior. I would need to know a LOT more about these individual cases before I took their word for it that they were being oppressed merely for choosing to homeschool. I have belonged to a lot of large groups and I know of no one who has experienced this oppression or savaging.

If a home is filthy and the children are running about unsupervised and appear to be neglected, than CPS will be called. The system is over-burdened as it is and they do not even take away children from very real dangers because of this fact. Why would they be savaging intact families who are caring for their children just because they homeschool?

I dealt with a situation where I had detectives and such in my home and also CPS workers. It was because of something that happened to one of my children and they were investigating it. They had to cover all of their bases and I understood that. They were nothing but complementary of our family and our home and our homeschooling.

So, I am not dismissing these claims out of hand. I am skeptical because of my own experiences and I consider them to be vast enough for my opinion to count in this discussion. I am bringing my years of experience which has resulted in wisdom into this discussion.

If there is oppression because someone is homeschooling, then it is a very rare thing and we should understand that there will always be some level of corruption in government because of personal bias and wickedness. And I will fight against such oppression wherever I see it.

  Cindy K wrote @

Mary,

Don’t forget the wild rhetoric that points out that, for those hateful fathers that send their daughters off to college, they will have three abortions and all kinds of sex partners. I don’t remember the rest of the inflammatory and ridiculous stuff he’s said concerning this, but it’s outrageous. It is fear-mongering that plays upon the honest fears of earnest parents that are already concerned about their kids, all with exasperating polemics that are so weird sometimes, they border on silly.

All that is readily available on sermon audio for people to hear and judge for themselves. If that’s the kind of stuff their interested in, more power to them. Just don’t claim to speak for all Christians or all homeschoolers. And don’t call yourself Reformed.

  Cindy K wrote @

Corrie wrote: Mandatory reporters have to report merely because a family homeschools? Why do I not know people that this has happened to? I have asked a couple of friends that are social workers and they say that this is false.

You cannot merely report someone because they homeschool. There has to be something that indicates that there is a problem that puts a child in jeopardy. Now, some of that can be very subjective, and that’s where the reporting of this can be a real wildcard. If someone with a vendetta, an agenda or an axe to grind gets wired up, they can offer all kinds of subjective suspicions that can become something that CPS must investigate. (And like my former church, they would report people “because they think that there might be abuse in the home. Kids have said things that indicate it.”) That is very subjective.

Homeschooling is like a “presumptive sign” and is not any cause to investigate. Think of it like pregnancy. If you are pregnant, there are positive signs (cycle stops, positive pregnancy test, and a heart beat). There are also “presumptive” signs that are markers for pregnancy like breast tenderness/swelling, constipation or moodiness. Homeschooling is just an indicator and it not the main concern. But when you see those signs, it give you cause to ask questions which can open up the process for CPS. But there has to be a primary cause. It cannot be homeschooling alone. The child must be in trouble.

Also, if you have a problem kid and you have them in therapy of some type and seek counseling, it is also very difficult to take any action against someone. I know an abusive parent, but they had a problem kid and had him enrolled in two related programs and were in counseling. So no one could do much of anything. (I was not in the state at the time, and I called my State Board of Nursing to get advice about what my responsibilities were because I knew there was physical and mental abuse going on on a daily basis.)

  Cindy K wrote @

Spunky,

I’m glad to see you back here and posting again. Thank you for helping to flesh out these matters.

It’s not easy striking a balance sometimes, and there is some possibility for abuse of these powers. State laws also vary greatly, and the prevailing opinions about how to handle matters can change, even within the same state. Pennsylvanina used to always remove children from homes, and they would not think twice about breaking sibilings apart from one another say 30 years ago. I don’t know what the prevailing trend is there now, but it changed from a philosophy to keep siblings together at all costs and then into a trend to keep kids in the home and with the parents, but policing the parents more heavily. I don’t know if any trend worked better than any other, as it all is pretty sad. It’s all CPS and it’s all pretty bad.

I can say that I know that for one of the mothers who was falsely accused where I lived, despite the wicked reputation of CPS in Maryland, they treated her quite well. There was no cause for concern and absolutely no evidence that supported the claims that the church made. They went through her home and interviewed her children, but they were very fair with her. I know that this is not the case with most families, and you essentially get blacklisted as a result of the report which is another type of nightmare.

Again, I agree with you that it is a serious matter of due concern, but we should not live in fear and run around second-guessing ourselves all the time.

  Cindy K wrote @

Hey, before I forget….

Cessation of a menstrual cycle is only a “presumptive sign” of pregnancy.

You can only look at homeschooling as a presumptive finding in light of something else that is a more positive indicator like a physical sign of inflicted harm. Any bureaucrat will think an unregulated system is sinister to some degree, so homeschooling is viewed as an indicator. It cannot be your only positive indicator.

  Cindy K wrote @

Since it was mentioned, I thought I’d put up a link to a form that indicates actual or suspected abuse to the state.

It should be fairly easy to pull up the form that healthcare workers are required to file with the state. The one for my current residence in Michigan is called the FIA 3200, and you can link to it here: http://www.michigan.gov/documents/FIA3200_11924_7.pdf

The one in PA had an outline of a child where you were supposed to draw on the diagram to indicate the location and character of physical lesions. It is burned in my mind, though I don’t think I’ve seen one in at least 15 years.

I think that it is worth looking at the form for your state to see what kind of information they gather, just to get more information about what is questioned. (And I’d like to think that most healthcare professionals are much more wise and compassionate than the police who took the kid ignorantly drinking hard lemonade away from his U of M professor father! )

  Cindy K wrote @

This is the Pennsylvania form which seems much more detailed and intimidating to me:

http://www.michigan.gov/documents/FIA3200_11924_7.pdf

  Cindy K wrote @

Ooops.

I thought I copied it?? I just posted the Michigan one twice:

http://www.pennsylvaniafamilysupportalliance.org/cy47.pdf

  thatmom wrote @

I was gone to a funeral for a good part of yesterday and haven’t had a chance to catch up until this morning. Thanks, everyone, for keeping such a good discussion going.

Thanks, Spunky, for posting those links. It has inspired me to look into my local DCFS and find out what the procedures might be. I think that living in a small town, as I do, has insulated our homeschooling families because everyone knows us and they know our kids etc. I also think that where we live there are too many real abuse situations that need attention and that fall through the cracks that supposed “educational neglect” doesn’t even blip the radar.

A little off topic but relevant….A friend of mine is a public defender and has lots of juvenile cases, often representing young men in some pretty horrifying situations. What he encourages is the mentoring/advocacy program where families need to be helped on a very personal level with very basic parenting skills. I think this might be a wonderful opportunity for retired homeschooling moms down the road and it could serve several purposes. We could actually help some of the families with learning parenting skills and relationship skills. We could also have opportunities to share the Gospel of Jesus. And we could help paint homeschoolers in a more positive light with those in DCFS or CPS…. just something to think about….

Cindy, I really appreciated your quotes on confirmation bias. I understand this on a personal level. I think it is easy to do this, though, when there are those who have a history or a reputation that overshadows their other behaviors.

  thatmom wrote @

BTW, in Illinois there was a list of things that would qualify a child for being named “at risk.” I am not sure what that list looks like now, but at one time it included things like having a stay at home mom, having 3 or more children in the home, living on one income, etc. These would make a child eligible for attending the Head Start program. My friend worked in a related public service office and when the list came across my desk, told me that my kids were at risk, which they were according to the list. As I shared here before, my neighbor had 4 preschoolers and every morning put two of them on the Head Start bus as she had a toddler beside her and an infant in her arms. 15 minutes later 3 vans showed up, each with a single toddler in them, so she could babysit for them. Her own kids were at risk by those toddlers weren’t because they didn’t qualify…their moms worked, they were only children, their families had two incomes. My tax dollars at work.

  thatmom wrote @

Mary, you are correct, Kevin Swanson has chosen to align himself with the other patriocentrists and has embraced their views as well. I don’t give him a pass. In fact, he is their voice piece.

  Lin wrote @

“As far as the “us versus them” between public and homeschoolers, it is a tense relationship by nature because our success threatens their monopoly”

They will always have a monopoly and homeschooling does not threaten it in the least! There are too many parents out there who expect the public schools to educate their children. Schools are crowded.

One shock to me was finding many wonderful Christians laboring in the public schools be they both parents and teachers…even principles! They view it as a mission field. Since I am in many schools (We have one of the largest public school systems in the nation) I have been shocked to find it is nothing like all the propaganda I was fed for many years.

ONe point I was trying to make is that homschooling is no longer some fringe movement. It is pretty much accepted by the larger public. But, if some of the leaders act like hateful kooks, it hurts you all.

I believe Amy has it right when she wrote:

“If we were wise, we would recognize when it is time to lay low. Right now is the time to quietly mind our own business and responsibly educate our own children at home. It is not the time for trumpets, battle cries, conventions and manifestos.

I fear this public posturing may bring harmful attention to us all.”

This is sound biblical advice…to live quiet lives and peacefully with everyone as much as we can. I would distance myself from the Doug Phillips’ in the hs movement because they relish a fight with the public sector. It brings them dollars and fame.

You know when you get one on one with people whether they be officials, etc., it is amazing what love and compassion can do for a relationship. It is a witness.

Just as a note…I have a dear friend from church who is a CPS trainer and travels all over training CPS departments. Most CPS departments are so overwhelmed they cannot even take care of the case load they have. they get all kinds of calls they have to investigate. Many are a waste of time but they do not get to choose those. And the more bizarre stories always make the news.

Let us not forget that many so called ‘Christian’ groups (some homeschoolers, too) were sympathetic to the FDLS and spoke out against the government for raiding the compound! And these were men who were having sex with 14 year olds and refusing to educate girls. We need to think twice about what we are doing. This is one reason it is so dangerous to align ourselves with movements.

  Cindy K wrote @

My husband is a forensic toxicologist, and I wanted to verify this information with him before I commented on it. Spunky referenced a case that she seemed to think had nothing to do with a newborn whose stool was positive for marijuana but that this was used as an excuse for reporting the family to CPS. The CPS worker told the family that they had no interest in the infant, but they were very interested in the older children.

My husband would be quite willing to review this data, as he is an expert in the detection of drugs of abuse. I’m very interested to know what the circumstances were surrounding this case and why the meconium (a baby’s first stool) was tested as this is definitely not routine. However, meconium is a fairly easily tested matrix and requires just an extra simple extraction for testing. They use radioimmuno assays for this which is only a screening tool and give only a “presumptive” positive. Further testing is required to confirm the presence of a substance, as the cornerstone of forensic toxicology is confirmation of the substance using two, separate analytical methods. Otherwise, you cannot say that the substance it there because RIA has a high false positive rate. Also, you don’t just stick the extracted sample into an instrument to get a readout of what drugs are in the sample. A specific test must be requested. Drug screens for blood and urine usually include a panel of the 8 most popular drugs of abuse, and they are screen only. Note that meconium does not always contain all 8 drugs. You cannot tell how much of a substance is in the sample, and that can only be done with a confirmation and quantification. (When you look for “how much” with another method, you find out more specifically whether or not you had a false positive on RIA, something actually more of a problem with this type of screen.)

My point is that someone had to suspect that there was a problem with the baby and had to request a drug screen. (Note: If any person ever has a positive drug screen without quantitation of the drug, tell that person that this is not forensically defensible. It is only a presumptive positive.) There had to be some indicator that someone picked up so that a drug test could be requested. My question is why was this family targeted? Was there a real issue with the baby, or did the family act weird? Someone had some call to suspect something, and I can tell you that they do not do routine drug screens on all homeschoolers. I verified this with local county officials, but they did say that if there was suspicion of a problem with an infant, than they would open up an investigation. (Someone would have been required to submit the report of known or suspected child abuse when they had cause to order the test.)

The real question in this issue is whether whoever ordered the test was a “wild card” and was subjectively responding to their own prejudice against homeschoolers by ordering the test (knowing that CPS would have to respond). And think about it. If you had cause to believe that a late term baby was exposed to drugs, would you not be concerned for the welfare of the baby and the other children in the home? And if you were going to pick something up on a screen, THC/marijuana hangs out a long time in the body because it is a fatty compound (lipophilic). The rationale behind outlawing partial birth abortion is the same rationale for holding a mother accountable for a drug-positive newborn. But there would have had to have been both a clinical indicator that the child was affected physically and there would have also had to have been some reason to suspect the parents. Now, again, that could have been a lame judgement call on the part of whoever called for a drug screen on the meconium, and it may have been a personal matter.

If there was a drug screen that was pending, even if there were no positive, just with the suspicion of a problem with the baby, CPS could open a case. But to say that this is the case with all homeschoolers is unfair. If there was only a presumptive positive screen without confirmation on the meconium (which might be likely if they depleted the whole, small volume specimen on individual screens for multiple drugs, that family had cause to sue. It is sometimes done, and I have also reviewed legal and medical documents for a party who did so several years ago. They received exoneration in court. Sadly, 99% of people do not have the money, stomach or patience to go through such a proceeding and they do fear the shame that comes with the labeling. And I have no idea whether you get of the indelible “blacklist”.

My two cents after investigating this with a long conversation with my husband, checking the professional literature regarding meconium screening and testing procedure and talking some county officials this morning, you cannot arbitrarily open a CPS case based on homeschooling alone. Again, because of the subjective aspect of reporting that is required by law or like my former church elders who would make false or exaggerated reports to CPS without cause, people with an axe to grind are “widlcards.” There would have had to have been some cause to order a drug screen on that newborn, though that may have been a lame excuse to target a homeschooling family.

If anyone has information on this case concerning the reasons behind why the drug test was ordered to start with, please get in contact with me, and my forensic toxicologist better half and I would be happy to review all the records.

  thatmom wrote @

Cindy, thanks for doing all this grunt work. So, are you saying that you don’t believe a homeschooling can be investigated by CPS without other factors first causing that family to come into question? I am still a little confused. What about this issue of “educational neglect?” I would question whether or not a family could be investigated for that reason just because they are homeschoolers since homeschooling is legal, just as other types of education are legal. What about someone like the woman we met at the retreat who is homeschooling children who were kicked out of their own schools?

  Cindy K wrote @

Lin wrote: Let us not forget that many so called ‘Christian’ groups (some homeschoolers, too) were sympathetic to the FDLS and spoke out against the government for raiding the compound!

The article I quoted yesterday was sent to me by someone that just said “good article”, and I forwarded it to someone else without adding any comment of my own. In other words, I didn’t say “Doesn’t this sound just like homeschooling….” (The article is about Jonestown.) Here is the response I received from her:

The Home School Leaders use this technique to perpetuate the “fear” of social services and government. I.E. When child-raping FLDS leaders are stormed, they are being savaged because they are “home schooled.”

Great minds think alike.

And Lin, you also wrote:

This is sound biblical advice…to live quiet lives and peacefully with everyone as much as we can.

Wiser words could not be said, IMO. I guess this is the flipside of my now regular statement of ” If it walks like a duck…” and “If people act like nuts, they should not be surprised when people treat them like nuts.” I do not believe that Jesus called us to wage a culture war, and certainly not to wage it by making ourselves look like wild extremists. There is an element of that that once appealed to me, back in the days of Operation Rescue and the secular activist things like “Hands Across America.” It was what everyone did. But what did we accomplish? It’s one thing to be true and trenchant, and it’s another thing to be reactionary and revolutionary.

What about just being radical? You can speak hard truths and live them against the flow and grain of culture, striving to be an exemplar of all the virtue of the Word of God. (I know that more than one of these leaders in this conference are not.) But you don’t have to make it into an emotionally arousing scene, do you? Those opportunities find me, and I do not go out and make them. Both my husband and I have done such battle and have suffered for it throughout our careers, merely for being willing to speak the truth and defend it. It’s been a hard road, and our coffers could be full of gold if we had chosen to play political games, play loose with the truth and keep our mouths shut. Why is that not enough for these people?

( I know. $$$$)

  Melanie wrote @

I have a couple thoughts on this. The first is relating to the video clip posted here, and that is as a younger homeschooling mom, I really have no idea just how difficult it was for some of your generation to have gone against the grain to homeschool when social stigmas did abound and resources were few and far between. Because of your hard work and the evident success and the fruitfulness of your endeavors my job is easy. So Thank you. From that perspective I don’t think it would hurt any of us younger moms to learn more of the history of homschooling – perhaps from a more balanced perspective.
My second thought is in response to The Trojan Horse You Tube clip. As a Canadian looking in from the outside (who incidentally just returned home from a family vacation in Florida) your American culture is riddled with fear mongering on every level. This Trojan horse is one sad example of this. It seems that it is intended to incite fear among Christian homeschoolers rather that fuel us with faith for the future and so rather than being set apart from the culture as they claim to be they are joining in with one of the more foolish and detrimental aspects of their culture. I don’t want my decisions to be based on fear for the future but where the Lord is leading my family.
Incidentally, here in the province where I live, I receive government funding to purchase curriculum and am accountable to a certified teacher. This is by choice not law, however if the day should come where they want to tell me what to teach me kids I may opt out – until then why not receive back some of my own tax dollars?

  Spunky wrote @

Cindy K. said, “There had to be some indicator that someone picked up so that a drug test could be requested. ”

A drug test was not requested. It was part of a routine panel of tests done on newborns in this state. The parents were not informed of the test. Parents are not informed because those that do use drugs would obviously decline the test because it would incriminate them. When you are admitted to the hospital you sign a admittance form. Signing this form allows them to do this test.

The case has been closed after the CPS investiagtion and home visit. But the experience is not forgotten.

I agree that homeschooling will not likely prompt a visit from CPS but that other “anonymous” charges are likely to be the catalyst.

That is why Richard Wexler of NCCPR is looking to reform many aspects of the system. It is a guilty until proven innocent mentality.

  Cindy K wrote @

Karen wrote: So, are you saying that you don’t believe a homeschooling can be investigated by CPS without other factors first causing that family to come into question?

Karen,

As a nurse with several publications in forensic toxicology, I addressed the case that Spunky mentioned from that perspective. That incident was initiated in a healthcare setting and there was legitimate reason to investigate. (The question that should be asked, based on the CPS agent’s insinuation that the drug test was a farce, is whether there was someone with a legitimate cause to order the drug test , or whether this was a person with an issue with homeschooling.) You can’t just order a drug test like that without some clinical cause or unless you lie, documenting findings or exaggerating findings.

I can only answer this as a nurse or a healthcare representative, and that’s all that I investigated.

I am still a little confused. What about this issue of “educational neglect?”

Ah. Another potentially fluid standard.

There are standards for these things, but they can be applied subjectively by both the public and licensed people who have to comply with reporting standards as a condition of that licensure. People can always be wildcards or they can lie or exaggerate., making unwarranted reports. But that can happen to anyone, whether they homeschool or not.

As a nurse doing homecare, I have to do a family and home assessment. I’ve been involved with the reporting of neglect, with two elderly clients and one infant, and it is obvious and horrible neglect. The mother of the infant (when I was in school) was wiping the icing off tastycakes with her finger to feed her newborn. No breast. No formula. The baby had dropped from her birthweight and was very dehydrated with obviously sunken fontenelles. That baby would die if we did nothing. The one man, when I showed up to admit him to homecare was naked, wrapped in a rug and was covered with spider bites. He went to the hospital for dehydration and I couldn’t find any bowel sounds (and was living with his family). There was also a chicken wandering in the kitchen. The other woman could not walk well and had breathing problems, and her tiny house was ankle deep in cat feces. I thought she might have been unable to breathe because of the smell of ammonia, but she turned out to have pneumonia. All three of those clients were in life-threatening jeopardy and there was no family that would help. I’ve never seen anyone else ever reported. (Wouldn’t it figure?)

If I went to a home and encountered a 10 year old that couldn’t read and was clearly and obviously limited, I would be required by law to do something. But I would not call CPS, but rather our social work department. Unless there was some kind of immediate problem, they would connect the family with resources. If the family was grossly noncompliant, then we would be required by law to report the problem to CPS. But that would not be the first option. Our intervention would likely be much more gentle than having a neighbor call the state.

I mentioned earlier that if you are working to get help, you are also somewhat shielded. If you have a child with a learning disability and can demonstrate that you have sought help and counsel, providing for learning needs, then there is little that they can do, though you may get investigated (but not necessarily to the fullest extent). Also, if you can document that you address learning needs through a homeschooling program that offers such monitoring, then you have some evidence to the contrary of any charges of neglect. My friend’s son couldn’t read much at all until he turned 12, but he also turned out to have Tourettes. They worked with him though, and even put him back into a private Christian school for a year and a half to see if they could do any better with him. It might not prevent a CPS investigation, but it is in your favor to be able to demonstrate that you had initiative to address the problem. (Christian schools are also required to provide these services to children and can be reported for the same kinds of neglect, BTW.)

There are legitimate reasons for concern, and one of them occurred in my backyard in Maryland and the DC area. I know people that were involved in the cult (as they cult hopped when they got out of “Children of God”). They did get out of the fire, but they jumped into a hot, frying pan. Government agencies still refer to the homeschooling mess that went on in that group, and it is a black mark on both homeschooling and Christianity.

“The Family” or the Children of God did homeschooling, and it was just awful, along with sexual abuse and other things that went on inside that group. But they had levels within the group as well. People were transitioned into the weirder stuff (as all these groups have a hierarchy as you get closer to the “inner circle” of special, enlightened leaders). So that is something that homeschooling must live down, though it turns out that these isolationists that claimed to be evangelical Christians (that preached salvation by faith, etc) and were not Christian at all.

So unfortunately, as we’ve seen recently with the FLDS, religious groups have been known for these types of abuses. The more isolationist they are, the more neo-tribal they are and the less tolerant they are of outsiders, the greater the cause for concern. I stated earlier that I came from an area in Eastern PA with a high Amish population. Though there are people who find them suspect, we never had the issues with the Amish that are anything like some of these groups like the FLDS or the Children of God.

There are legitimate reasons to consider homeschoolers to be markers that are “presumptive.” And it should seem obvious that the weirder and the more far removed you are from society, the greater the scrutiny you will have to face. If you dress like you just walked off an FLDS compound and you’re as uptight as you can be (the opposite of how Jesus acted with the woman at the well), people are going to spot a duck. (Looks like a duck, acts like a duck, etc.) And can you really blame them? And what if they are 10 years old, seem otherwise normal and cant read or do rudimentary math?

My homeschooling friends in Maryland participated with a group that awards a high school diploma upon completion, requires at least yearly reviews of progress and assessment of work, etc. They have an aptitude testing option and they encourage non-college bound students to also take the GED to demonstrate their compliance and aptitude. So I think that your best bet is to stay in contact with the outside world and be an exemplar of what all families should be, whether they are Christian or not.

  thatmom wrote @

Melanie,

When we began homeschooling in 1985, we knew only one other family who homeschooled and they moved away a few months after we began! We never personally knew any of those who experienced real persecution for their educational choices. Both Iowa and Michigan were the most difficult states to homeschool in at the time and our in-laws in Michigan were constantly worried about us,though in Illinois, a homeschool is considered a private school…we have a great law here.

Today, I am more concerned about those extremists who dare to speak for all Christian homeschoolers and sometimes for all homeschoolers period. They will draw attention to all of us and already have. I wrote about this a while back when I wrote about the law professor who is suggesting that more scrutiny be given to homeschooling because some young women’s education are being compromised:

https://thatmom.wordpress.com/2007/12/03/are-patriocentric-views-of-a-womans-role-causing-homeschooling-freedoms-to-be-at-risk/

I am also concerned when homeschooling gurus like Doug Phillips hold to views like his on ectopic pregnancy:

https://thatmom.wordpress.com/2008/06/06/doug-phillips-poses-threat-to-life-of-homeschooling-moms/

These are the real dangers to homeschooling, I believe.

  Cindy K wrote @

Spunky,

What state was this? I would like to contact the toxicologists in that state and would like to confirm with the State Board of Nursing in this state that this is standard procedure.

I really find this hard to believe, because I’ve attended toxicology conferences for 15 years and read the literature. I even did a big pediatric review for a medical examiner, and there is no literature that supports this from the toxicology perspective. It requires an extra extraction measure, and state and local governments have a hard time paying for toxicology when there is direct and due cause for testing.

  Lin wrote @

“What about just being radical? You can speak hard truths and live them against the flow and grain of culture, striving to be an exemplar of all the virtue of the Word of God. (I know that more than one of these leaders in this conference are not.) But you don’t have to make it into an emotionally arousing scene, do you? Those opportunities find me, and I do not go out and make them. Both my husband and I have done such battle and have suffered for it throughout our careers, merely for being willing to speak the truth and defend it. It’s been a hard road, and our coffers could be full of gold if we had chosen to play political games, play loose with the truth and keep our mouths shut. Why is that not enough for these people?”

Same here. And like you, it finds me… I never have to go looking for it! Unfortuantly, in my situation, the worst evil was perpetuated by a church.

And, in talking about CPS, I want to remind folks that there is a lot of sexual abuse and perversion going on in churches that is covered up …and the victim made to suffer twice. I am glad that the secular world at least acknowledges the horrors of abuse.

  LizJ wrote @

Cindy K wrote

“Don’t forget the wild rhetoric that points out that, for those hateful fathers that send their daughters off to college, they will have three abortions and all kinds of sex partners. I don’t remember the rest of the inflammatory and ridiculous stuff he’s said concerning this, but it’s outrageous. It is fear-mongering that plays upon the honest fears of earnest parents that are already concerned about their kids, all with exasperating polemics that are so weird sometimes, they border on silly.”

Coming in a little late on this one, but when I read this, I started laughing so hard I spit out my Diet Coke! Yes, I’ve heard it before, but it’s so funny IMO that even with this view, a lot of patriocentric families send their sons — and daughters — to Bill Gothard’s various organizations, or to Patrick Henry College, with its close links to the Home School Legal Defense Association and Mike Farris.

And yes, I did mention daughters AND SONS. Someone’s sons are having sex with those girls. Sometimes it’s even the son of a conservative Christian – even a patriocentric Christian.

And you know that most of the people making those claims don’t differentiate very much in their view of most evangelical Christian schools compared to secular schools. Unless it’s a college run by Mike Farris, I guess.

  Spunky wrote @

At the request of the mother, I cannot reveal the state in which they live.

When I said, “It was part of a routine panel of tests done on newborns in this state. ”

That is what the hospital told the parents when they asked why the test was done without their permission.

  Corrie wrote @

Lin,

“And, in talking about CPS, I want to remind folks that there is a lot of sexual abuse and perversion going on in churches that is covered up …and the victim made to suffer twice. I am glad that the secular world at least acknowledges the horrors of abuse.”

Amen, sister! You can say that again. I will tell you that I am thankful for the secular authorities because, in my situation, they were the only ones with their heads screwed on straight. At least they take the sexual abuse of children seriously and understand its destructive nature. Everyone else wanted to cover it up and worse…….

  Corrie wrote @

1 Peter 2

Keep your behavior excellent among the Gentiles, so that in the thing in which they slander you as evildoers, they may because of your good deeds, as they observe {them,} glorify God in the day of visitation.

Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether to a king as the one in authority, or to governors as sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do right.

For such is the will of God that by doing right you may silence the ignorance of foolish men.
{Act} as free men, and do not use your freedom as a covering for evil, but {use it} as bondslaves of God.

Honor all people, love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king.

  Cindy K wrote @

Spunky,

From two professional perpectives, I believe that mother was told an outright lie.

I would not make such a statement, but I know by first name the first person to publish on the evaluation of meconium for THC, Spunky. It’s a small profession. My husband is now getting reviewed by the 6th most wealthy county in the US to justify the expense of toxicology testing in medical examiner cases because the bean counters don’t think it’s a legitimate expense. ???? (To have an accredited ME office, they have to do that work.) There is no money to do such testing.

Google my name or plug me into pubmed, and my name will come up on articles published in toxicology. I’ve given lectures and won awards from the Society of Forensic Toxicologists. I would not make so bold a statement if I thought it was untrue, and I can tell you with all certainty that no state runs routine tests on the meconium of infants unless there is some cause.

I can also tell you as a nurse that drug testing is not routinely performed, on all infants or even on the infants of homeschooling families. Something is very wrong here, and I am willing to find hard documentation from the nursing profession and from forensic toxicology to demonstrate it.

  Spunky wrote @

I agree something is wrong here. And that’s why this mother was willing to tell her story and why Richard Wexler seeks to reform the CPS system. It’s an unaccountable system where anonymous allegations or vague suspicions lead to incredible heartache and needless stress.

Drug testing of an infant without probable cause and without the parents permission caused them an incredible amount of grief and made the early months of the baby’s life very stressful. When they were finally investigated months after the allegation, they didn’t even examine the infant but declared that they were there because the family homeschooled and demanded to interview the older children.

  Cindy K wrote @

Spunky,

I’m just upset, because it sounded like you were saying that if someone reading here has the strange fortune to deliver a baby in a hospital in the same state as this homeschooling mom, their newborn will undergo drug testing based on only the fact that the family homeschooled. Since we don’t know what state she’s in, everyone could safely assume that it was true in their own state.

To do this kind of testing legitimately, there had to be a clinical cause or reason for suspicion (like mom saying “Glad I smoked up last night!”). It is not routine. And we know it’s not routine, or every homeschooling mother who birthed in a facility would get a CPS eval.

I don’t think anyone is saying that there is no concern regarding abuse of the subjective elements of the reporting process, but this is not routine. As a nurse who has been on many sides of this issue clinically, this is not routine. Either there was legitimate cause to investigate the baby’s well being, or someone exploited the testing process for a deceitful purpose. No state routinely does this testing, and to say so is not true. What is true is that people can exploit the subjective aspects of the reporting process. I don’t think anyone denies that or downplays it.

I just want people to understand that this is very unusual, and they should not fear this if they go into a hospital to deliver. The testing itself is uncommon, by RIA or by GC/MS (which could yield a quantitative value). For that reason, I know that it can’t be routine. There are never cases in the journal, Clinical Chemistry, and the testing is rare. I know that there are few labs that would even agree to do the testing. And the data in the literature is research related.

[…] has been officially announced to it’s intended broad, target audience, but bloggers are currently discussing it HERE. I wanted to point out the nature of the response that one outside the culture of […]

  thatmom wrote @

Corrie, thanks for sharing that passage of Scripture. It is a reminder that we all need to hear. I can remember when all we heard as homeschoolers was the phrase “character first” and some interpreted that to mean that academics could be put on the back burner. But one important character quality is diligence and we must always strive to be diligent as homeschooling moms, both in school work and in caring for our children. I know we all have bad days but in the words of Miss Stacy to Anne Shirley “tomorrow is fresh with no mistakes.”

I also believe it is quite rare for a homeschooling family to be singled out these days simply because they homeschool their children. I am not saying it never happens, but I do not believe it is that common. Through the years we have seen people with an axe to grind use homeschooling as a way to intimidate families but we have also seen far more people who are champions of homeschoolers because they love the children that homeschooling typically produces. And we have also seen the “little red hen” syndrome many times with those who really didn’t want to be involved but once they saw the benefits and fruits of homeschooling, they wanted to share in the positive results. Funny how this works….

  Chris Ong wrote @

I am one of the producers of “The Rock from Which We Were Hewn” and owner of Ongoing Productions

You can find out more about the video as there are much more people who were interviewed and shown in the video then what is on the trailer. The Trailer having been made fairly early in production.

http://westerncivtogo.com/ A blog published by a homeschool mom and part of the faculty at Chambers College has more info as to where you can contact someone if you are interested in seeing the whole documentary. After all judging a Movie by its trailer is like judging a book by its cover. 🙂

  Cindy K wrote @

This may be amusing to those who are interested in this topic:

http://undermuchgrace.blogspot.com/2008/11/baucham-and-sbc-more-patriocentric-spin.html

  Lin wrote @

“After all judging a Movie by its trailer is like judging a book by its cover. ”

So, are you saying the full movie negates the message of the trailer?

  Cindy K wrote @

Chris Ong,

One of the people actively posting here may not have seen the entire film, but she has what I understand is about two decades of experience with one of the men who appear in the trailer. He’s been her pastor, their children have been close friends and they’ve broken bread together likely more times than she can recall. Does that mean that like the trailer, she and others cannot judge the message based on her intimate experience with only one of the speakers?

Like her, we are intimately familiar with the scare-tactic messages that are propagated throughout the homeschooling community. This trailer sounds no different. Maybe we need at least 10 years in homeschooling and must be HSLDA members for some time before we can discern anything about the message at all, from the trailer or the full film?

  thatmom wrote @

Hi Chris,

Welcome to my blog. I would love to know who else was interviewed for this film project. Could you share a list with us?

  Cindy K wrote @

Chris Ong,

I apologize for being sarcastic in my previous comment. It’s just hard not to interpret your appearance as damage control, since the trailer was mentioned in an unfavorable light on this well-trafficked blog. It did happen earlier in the week concerning the leadership summit, and that whole exchange seemed to also be a damage control attempt to defend the name of the conference. Mr. Roach was not interested in engaging anyone on the subject matter and concerns about the conference. But I’m sorry if I responded to your comment with my disappointment that was directed at that issue. The video is another matter.

But I do stand by my comment that those of us who are familiar with individuals appearing in the clip posted here. Harris is one example. Phillips is yet another, and his reactionarly polemics and name-calling are well known by many.

One can certainly not fairly judge a book by it’s cover, but one can anticipate and wisely discern material by the author. We know Harris and Phillips well, and we are well-versed in their witnesses, their teachings and the type of projects that they participate in. Once can discern a great deal from that information alone, and a person really should.

It is sad, because many of us participating here do share most of the same concerns, but we are also aware of the exploitation to which we’ve been subjected and the financial motivation involved with many of these individuals.

It’s just rather insulting, following another response that was quite maudlin, to be told that we cannot have some discernment in these matters.

[…] 7:39 am · Filed under patriarchy/patriiocentricity A couple months ago I drew your attention here to the 2009 Homeschooling Leadership Summit to be held in March, expressing concern that the […]


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