Home School Marriages: Shadowspring’s Story, Part Two
Shadowspring’s story was originally published on her blog Love. Liberty. Learning. She describes herself on her blog as, “a home school mom near the end of my career home schooling and looking forward to what life has to offer next. I am a follower of Jesus and a lover of freedom, as it is for freedom that Christ has set me free (Gal 5:1).” This story is reprinted with her permission.
I am so unhappy with the choice of home schooling magazines available.
I know, I know, why don’t I publish my own if I’m so unhappy, right? Well, how about I have no extra money, no extra time and no publishing experience. That’s a start anyway. I’m sure I could come up with more reasons if I tried.
My biggest beef with the home schooling magazines I know of out there is that they are not honest. Practical Homeschooling is not about home schooling, it’s about legalistic Christian homeschooling. Why not be honest in the title? How about Practically All Religious Extremism Home Schooling? Yes, it is a little wordy, but at least people would know before they picked it up what they were getting into.
I just tried a new one, titled Home School Enrichment. Not. It is also written by and for legalistic Christian home schoolers. Yawn. That is hardly what I would call home school enrichment, though there is an excellent article on study skills by Ruth Beechick and a few other informative articles on obscure subjects that could be interesting. I think one is on the history of the metal can as a food storage method.
However I will applaud the magazine for this: They did touch on one taboo subject in the legalistic Christian home schooling community that really needs exposing. In my opinion the article wasn’t all it could have been, since they chose to only explore two women’s individual experiences and opinions about the what and why of their problem rather than the endemic proportions of the problem. The problem: crappy marriages, and in the Christian home school community there are a lot of them to go around.
I’ve been home schooling for 13 years now, and I have seen a lot of divorces and even more unhappy marriages. Unhappy marriages of course mean miserable home lives for the kids who are in that home 24/7 as well. The levels of hypocrisy on this subject are astounding!
Women who are exhausted, depressed, unloved and at the end of their ropes will insist they are happy and their lives are working well, even though one look and a few minutes conversation clearly exposes their misery. Why? Why do they insist they are happy when it is obvious they are not?
I believe it’s because that’s what the home school magazines say “godly Christian marriage” should be like. The magazines insist that it is normal to be overworked, under appreciated and tired all the time. The Christian home school magazines claim it is holy for a woman to suck it up with a “gentle and quiet spirit.” The fact that they feel no real joy in their lives is seen as a temporary trial to be endured rather than as proof that their lifestyle is not bearing the fruit the magazine prophets promised.
Of course that is a recipe for crazy. Some women will eventually admit this is not working and decide to just chuck it all. For the wisest this means they get rid of oppressive religion and ditch the rigid gender role division and militant fecundity that is destroying them. For others it means ditching home schooling as well, and if they know of no other way to home school then they should ditch it. The children will be better off escaping from that unhappy home for a few hours a day.
Sadly in my point of view, for a few it means ditching Jesus as well. Honestly, since they truly believed all this legalistic home school mumbo-jumbo was “authentic Christianity,” who can blame them? Tragic.
For those who don’t come to their senses, there is only crazy left. The women who refuse to acknowledge the misery in which legalistic religion and strict gender roles in marriage have trapped them will just continue to live in denial. These women will have their unhappiness manifest in other ways: immune systems that buckle under the strain, minds that can’t handle the daily stresses of life. It is also tragic, heart-wrenching and the logical end of living a lie.
Why do these magazines even exist? I submit that if this legalistic home school family paradigm actually worked, they wouldn’t need to keep selling it in the magazines. Neighbors, friends and relatives would be knocking down their doors to find out the secret to these happy, healthy families. True love would result in fullness of joy like Jesus said, and joy is attractive. Joy gives us strength.
The magazines sell because guilt-ridden and unhappy women think the problem is with them, not the whole silly paradigm. The see the happy smiling innocent faces on the magazine cover and then look at their own bored and unhappy children, hair uncombed and house a mess because the baby was up all night and Dad doesn’t help out with “woman’s work”. Instead of rightfully saying to themselves “Those magazine articles are full of crap!” they think something is wrong with them as women. Or worse, they come to believe something is wrong with their precious children.
No, no, no, dear sister. You are just fine. Your children are wonderful. The magazines are a scam. Don’t let them suck you in!
Maybe someday someone will come up with a home school magazine that is about actual home education, rather than this wacko religious subset of home education. I would subscribe to that magazine.
To be continued.