Ready for Real Life: Part Nine, Concluding Thoughts

“The Botkins’ webinar encourages Christian homeschooling families to take dominion, but fails to provide realistic instructions for doing so. The ideology they preach is not only inadequate for achieving the dominion they crave, but inadequate for preparing young people for real life. Life in a fundamentalist bubble simply isn’t good training for leadership in the real world.”

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Ready for Real Life: Part Eight, Q&A Session

“The Botkins’ attitudes toward connections outside of the nuclear family were mixed at best. They did not place great value on support networks, and outright rejected support networks (i.e., homeschool groups, relatives) who espoused beliefs that differed from theirs. Girls were encouraged to funnel their talents into the home, rather than seeking university educations or jobs outside of the home.”

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Ready for Real Life: Part Seven, Vocations

“In this part of the ‘Ready for Real Life’ webinar series, the Botkins discuss the transition from homeschooling to adult life, offering advice on work, education, and adult leadership. As with prior webinars, the Botkins give this a separatist spin, discouraging young people from entering traditional workforces, the military, or universities that could ‘exploit them to their ruin.’ Maintaining Christian dominion is paramount, as usual.”

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Ready for Real Life: Part Six, History and Law

“The Botkins, like other fundamentalist homeschooling voices, attribute historical events to divine intervention. History, in their eyes, is a record of divine intervention, as well as how humans obey or reject God across civilizations. In doing so, they shoehorn history into a narrow narrative, oversimplifying history and ignoring the complex causes of historical events.”

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Ready for Real Life: Part Five, Science and Medicine

“In this part of the ‘Ready for Real Life’ webinar, the Botkin family discusses the roles that science, nature, and medicine play in Christian homeschooling. While the Botkins spoke warmly of these fields, their words betrayed a distrust of evidence and scientific communities at odds with their beliefs.”

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Ready for Real Life: Part Four, Ready to Lead Culture

“In this part of their ‘Ready for Real Life’ webinar, the Botkin family discusses the role of the arts in homeschooling, contending that parents must train their children to appreciate Christian-friendly art and music instead of worldly arts. The webinar amused me in its disdain for Bratz dolls, jazz, ragtime, Picasso, the Frankfurt School, and Jimminy Cricket, but disturbed me with its advice on constraining children’s tastes.”

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Ready for Real Life: Part Two, Ready for What?

“Geoffrey Botkin stressed that parents must cultivate correct knowledge about their children. Children are ‘godly seed,’ not pupils or accessories, he argued. The Bible teaches that children are weapons of war, he added, asking listeners if they were truly acting like warriors. Like other fundamentalist voices, Geoffrey Botkin described children as torchbearers for a fundamentalist agenda.”

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“My Daughters Are Not Going Off to College”: When Homeschooled Girls Are Trapped

“Some homeschooled adult daughters fare no better than Pakistani young ladies when it comes to education. Nick is right. We expect this kind of thing in Pakistan, but not in the US. Some of these young ladies who have officially graduated from their homeschool high school are not allowed to even choose whether they go to college or not. College is simply not allowed. They are destined to be a ‘stay-at-home-daughter.'”

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Crosspost: When I Rejected Dominionism

“By now most people have probably heard of the dominionism in homeschooling and conservative evangelical circles — the idea that homeschoolers will change the world by their involvement in absolutely everything, from science to the high arts to politics. Oddly even after I rejected patriarchalism (and courtship and purity), I still saw myself as a huge warrior and herione.”

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Rewriting History — History of America Mega-Conference: Part Eight, Closing Thoughts

“Presenters understood children to be transmitters of fundamentalist Christianity unto future generations, and thus concepts such as ‘generational thinking’ often came up. The History of America Mega-Conference was a homeschooling conference, after all, and its revisionist ideas were intended for the curricula of homeschooled children. To boot, children are to be steeped in fundamentalist Christian thought and shielded from mainstream culture.”

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Rewriting History — History of America Mega-Conference: Part 7, Christian Vikings, Godly Explorers, and Strange Bacon

“By holding up a Eurocentric, Christocentric narrative as the only valid one, Foster effectively erased Native Americans, non-Christians, and non-Protestants from the history of the New World. Foster’s version of history does not force us to wrestle with atrocities of the past, or face the effects of colonization and ethnocide that still linger today. In short, Foster’s history is a shame-free history that absolves us from having to learn from the mistakes of our predecessors.”

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Rewriting History — History of America Mega-Conference: Part Six, Doug Phillips Rages Against the 20th Century

“For right-wing Christians such as Phillips, the present is a time of barbarism and delusion, which Christians must struggle against. This distrust of the present era and refusal to recognize complexity and nuance in the 20th and 21st centuries reveals a great deal about the Religious Right mind.”

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Crosspost: Brainwashed Shock Troops

“Christian homeschooling parents, Michael Farris says, removed their children from the perils of Egypt (aka the public school system) and educated them in the wilderness (aka homeschooling them) in order to send them forth to conquer Canaan (aka take America back for Christ). This really is the entire point of Christian homeschooling.”

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