Jump directly to the Content

Women

Opinion | Pop Culture

The Normal, Drama-Free, Totally-Healthy Christian Homeschool Movement

In a culture that loves shock value, typical evangelicalism rarely makes news.
The Normal, Drama-Free, Totally-Healthy Christian Homeschool Movement
Image: jimmiehomeschoolmom / Flickr

When I was in high school, purity balls marked the passing of another year, conferences taught me not to hold hands until I married, and women discussed whether pursuing a career would betray their God-given calling to marriage.

I was in the thick of conservative homeschooling culture. When American Prospect published Kathryn Joyce's recent article on the "apostates" among us, I took note. In fact, I couldn't stop reading. It was a little like watching a train wreck with family members on board.

Joyce's piece profiles several homeschooling horror stories—narratives of children raised by hypersensitive, overbearing parents, parents who used mental and physical punishment. The article ties those stories to the history and culture of the broader homeschooling movement, which became popular in the 1980s and spread in the last few decades to more than 2 million practitioners.

While I know the kinds of heartbroken children of homeschooling Joyce profiles, I also know the other side. For every mistreated homeschooled kid who's grown up to be an outspoken rebel against the culture — and I know a few — I know a half-dozen young adults who grew up to go to college, get a real job, and find a healthy place in society without too much drama.

I say this not to discount the experiences of those who have been hurt by the patriarchal and overbearing bent in some homeschool settings. Those hurts are very real, and I hope with all my heart ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview
To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.
Already a CT subscriber? for full digital access.

Read These Next

close
hide this
Access The Archives

Member-Only Access

Subscribe to Christianity Today to continue reading this article from CT's digital archives.

Subscribe

Already a subscriber? to continue reading.