, 25 tweets, 6 min read Read on Twitter
Oh how exciting! I have thoughts on this one. I don't get to #ExposeChristianSchools, I just watched other people from afar. But I sure have thoughts about #ExposeChristianHomeschooling because I definitely did that. I was "homeschooled" until I was 16 or 17 years old.
My mother homeschooled my brothers and I to protect us from the godless public schools and because they couldn't afford private (or I'm sure I'd be on the other tag with the rest of you). Washington state has stricter homeschool laws than some states, which means very little.
Here's the link for the WA state law. You'll see you're required to have taken 45 credits at some point or taken a "Parent Qualifying Course." While looking this up, I have realized you can AUDIT the parent qualifying course, which is about 4 hours long.
So future me may end up doing that to see what exactly it is that they teach. Either way. 4 hours or 45 college credits and you are set to homeschool your child. You should also file paperwork annually declaring your intent to homeschool (although not if your kiddo is under 8).
There are 11 "required subjects" but no restrictions around how they might be taught. The subjects are - reading, writing, spelling, language, math, science, social studies, history, health, occupational education, and art and music appreciation. No one is checking on these.
Finally at the bottom of that list there is the requirement for testing. You must test your child annually. There are agencies that are certified to do it. You must also keep records including immunizations and all of that. You must keep records of the tests that have been given.
BUT! Fun twist! It specifically says these records are "for your private homeschooling records." You don't have to show them to anyone! I was told growing up that it was "possible we could get audited" but that is actually a total lie. The law DOES say...
"The state board of education shall not require these children to meet the student learning goals, master the essential academic learning requirements, to take the assessments, or to obtain a certificate of academic achievement or a certificate of individual achievement"
And! "If, as a result of the annual test or assessment, it is determined that the child is not making reasonable progress consistent with his or her age or stage of development, the parent shall make a good faith effort to remedy any deficiency."
So if they determine based on the testing your kid isn't doing well enough you have to make a good faith effort. Which isn't defined. If you fail to meet this definition, which is so poorly defined that you cannot possibly fail to meet it, you'll get in trouble. That's it.
I would like to note that mom just stopped taking us in for testing at some point. Maybe she realized it didn't matter. I don't know. But it definitely stopped happening. In spite of her assuring me we could always be audited, that the government hated homeschoolers so much.
And that's part of it, right? Being taught that you are hated and feared, being taught that if CPS is ever called they will come into your house and take you because they hate homeschoolers and hate Christians (boy does that seem laughable in my life as a social worker now).
This life is best life because there's nothing outside of it. You have nothing to compare it to. I was not as isolated as some homeschool kids. My mom was pretty lazy in a lot of ways. We weren't fundies, I wasn't ever wearing skirts (really like ever) and we read Harry Potter.
But our schooling was a hodge podge disaster. We learned to read and do basics. After that it all sort of fell apart. My mom was a smart person, I know she was. But she was never cut out to be a teacher, certainly not home alone all day with 3 small children (I mean yikes!).
There was a lot of handing us books and telling us to do stuff. Occasional flashes of new ideas that were dropped quickly. I mostly remember her reading in her chair. I remember very little engagement with school. Some things came easy for me, reading and such.
Math was different. Mom is great at math, but not great at teaching it. I've realized now that I never really nailed fractions. When I got to algebra, that was clear. Every day was me sobbing at the kitchen table while mom screamed at me, telling me I was pretending to be stupid.
I think, knowing myself now, that if I had had a good teacher I probably could have been okay at math. I don't think it ever would have been my best subject but I would have been all right. As it is I have an automatic kickback response when I see an equation.
Our science was books that told us all the reasons that evolution was a lie. It wasn't just blatant lies (I just figured out yesterday men and women have the same number of ribs!!), it was BORING!. Realizing as an adult that science is beautiful and fascinating has been a trip.
I wish I could remember more of what we learned. I know enough of the outline of what I "knew" to take a guess. I barely knew anything about Civil Rights except MLK had a dream and was assassinated, racism is dead now. Also Rosa Parks refused to stand up? *handwave*
I was taught that America was chosen specifically by god, shaped by god, that the fact that it existed was proof that god had blessed us.
I was taught that Native Americans had all been killing each other before we came anyway. We did nothing wrong. Those were liberal lies.
It should be noted that during this time I was in an emotionally and verbally abusive home. I was depressed, I was suicidal. I had no adults in my life I could trust. I was sexually assaulted multiple times, without even understanding enough to know that was what happened.
I never wrote a paper or took a test I couldn't easily cheat on. My work was basically all reading comprehension except for math. I gained no skills that would help me, everything I learned was a lie. But I was told repeatedly that I would do better if I actually WANTED college.
I ended up getting a GED when I was in my 20's. I went to college for real at 28, I was terrified I wouldn't have the ability, that people would know. I had so many fears and anxieties, and basically no road map. Everything felt (and often still) foreign to me.
But I'm in grad school now. I'll be 35 in 6 weeks. I am pretty decent at school. I was SO lucky. I naturally excel in certain classroom skills, I picked things up quick as an adult, I was an okay writer. I still assume I'm not that good, still have crazy impostor syndrome.
But again. I was SO LUCKY. I got out. There are kids all over this country being "educated" off the map with zero supervision who may never be that lucky. Being abused in the name of God and no one is watching. They deserve better. Fuck parent's rights. Children deserve safety.
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