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The revolt of the Christian home-schoolers

Aka, “Be like rabbits!”

The Washington Post recently released an article with the title, “The revolt of the Christian home-schoolers“, subtitle, They were taught that public schools are evil. Then a Virginia couple defied their families and enrolled their kids.

In my original series about my oldest son’s lost faith, I didn’t share about the environment that my kids grew up in. All five were home-schooled by their mother.

I am proud of all of my kids. But I’m truly sorry for what they went through and for what they endured while growing up, which includes religious indoctrination and social isolation.

The Washington Post article shares the story of a married couple, both home-schooled as children, who decided to enroll their daughter in public education. This was against the vehement arguments by the grandparents.

My ex-wife and I raised 5 children. Our home-school journey started when our oldest son was 6 and we discovered that he was having significant struggles in school. He was diagnosed with ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), which came about after having a teacher at our private Christian school tell us that our son was “the worst student she had ever had“. If you’re a parent, you can understand how much that hurt to hear.

I won’t duplicate the article from WP, but if someone were to ask me today if home-schooling was a good idea, I would tell them “no“, unless their circumstances were truly severe. Mothers typically assume the role of home-school teacher, and I truly admire any parent who can effectively handle the very difficult task of homeschooling plus everything else. The personal energy requirement for it all is incredibly steep, to put it mildly.


My children are all adults now. They don’t yet have any children of school age but given their childhood experience, I would truly be surprised if any of them chose to home-school their kids.

In later years, my wife and I were routinely in strong disagreement about home-schooling. It became a very touchy topic between us, because they were not receiving an adequate education. I believed that a good public school could provide a more extensive education along with an environment that gave far greater opportunities for building social skills. Unfortunately, our kids were getting intentionally isolated and sheltered, largely fueled by religious paranoia — the same paranoia mentioned in the WP article.


My wife held very conservative beliefs and strong fears about many things, and those beliefs compelled her to home-school. In her mind, all public schools were utterly evil and God-less, and our children would be severely and eternally harmed if they were put into public schools — an attitude shared by the grandparents in the WP article.

Unfortunately, my wife’s identity was completely wrapped up in being the stay-at-home mom and teacher, and any discussions we had on the topic would naturally feel like a direct attack on her as a person. I tried hard to not come across in that way. I felt it was a superhuman undertaking — an impossible job — but in the end, I suspect our arguments might have further motivated her stubborn nature to stay the course.

As I shared before, our marriage eventually ended but home-schooling wasn’t the cause. However, I can’t help but have disdain for home-schooling nowadays. My adult children still have internal scars as a result of their upbringing. I am hopeful they will one day, forgive us for what they went through.

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