Homeschoolers Anonymous is happy to be partnering with several well-known bloggers who write about, among other things, their homeschooling experiences as either former homeschool students or current/former homeschool parents. They have agreed to share their homeschooling posts with HA, and we very much appreciate their support.
Note: Our partnerships with these blogs does not necessarily reflect an endorsement of their viewpoints; our partnerships reflect a desire for substantive dialogue about the Christian homeschool movement and how to improve it.
Libby Anne was raised in an evangelical family, was homeschooled, was taught to embrace courtship rather than dating, learned that women’s place is in the home, and was highly involved in the religious right. College turned her world upside down, and she is today an atheist, a feminist, and a progressive. She lives in the midwest with her husband, Sean, and their two young children, Sally and Bobby. She finds herself endlessly fascinated by religion, feminism, and politics. She blogs about all sorts of issues, but especially about the trials and joys of leaving fundamentalist and evangelical religion, the problems with the the Christian Patriarchy and Quiverfull movements, the fallout of what she calls “purity culture,” everything about Christian Right politics, and the importance of feminism. Because she was once herself an evangelical, a Christian Right activist, and an antifeminist, she tries to address these issues with empathy.
Follow Libby Anne’s blog on Patheos at http://www.patheos.com/blogs/lovejoyfeminism.
Julie Anne’s first site was BGBCSurvivors.blogspot.com. She began that blog in Feb. 2012 after noticing that the Google reviews she had posted of her former church were being removed. Days after the commencement of her blog, she received a legal summons suing her and three others for defamation to the tune of $500,000. She believes that stories of spiritual abuse need to be told, as people are being hurt emotionally and spiritually by pastors who use bully tactics and people need a place to learn, to talk freely, and to heal. On July 26, 2012, her case was dismissed and she won. In addition to blogging about spiritual abuse, Julie Anne also writes about dangerous trends in the homeschooling movement from her perspective as a 20+ yr homeschooling parent.
Follow Julie Anne at http://spiritualsoundingboard.com.
Latebloomer, “Past Tense, Present Progressive”
“Latebloomer” is on a journey away from the ideals she was raised with in the fundamentalist Christian homeschooling culture. Becoming a wife and mother has prompted her to re-evaluate her childhood experiences in an effort to avoid repeating those mistakes. Her blog “Past Tense Present Progressive” is her place for sorting through her thoughts.
Follow Latebloomer at http://pasttensepresentprogressive.blogspot.com.
Lana Hope, “Wide Open Ground”
Lana Hope has a love for Asia, missions, and thinking. From Texas Lana was homeschooled 1st-12th grade in a small town and rural culture. Involved in ATI, her life growing up was gendered, sheltered, and with a lot of shame and rules indisguise of Biblical principles and character qualities. After college Lana moved to SE Asia and began working with the abused, and upon discovering that the large world is not at all like she had been taught, she finally questioned it all, from Calvinism to the homeschool movement to the foundation of her Christian faith. Today Lana is a Christian Universalist, holds a B.A. in English, and is currently working on a M.A. in philosophy. She blogs about the struggles she has faced leaving fundamentalism and homeschooling behind and how travel and missions has wrecked her life for good and bad at her blog www.wideopenground.com.
Follow Lana at http://www.wideopenground.com.
Kieryn Darkwater is a homeschool graduate, the oldest of 8, and a native Floridian who currently lives in the Bay area. They spend their time advocating for housing with East Bay Forward and protecting homeschool students as the Tech Director of the Coalition for Responsible Home Education. When they’re not writing, organizing, or otherwise doing activisms, you can find them drawing comics, talking about what HRT is like, learning any new art skill, or playing video games.
They blog at mxdarkwater.com.
Brittany Meng was home schooled from 1st-12th grade in a very conservative Christian homeschooling family and subculture. After meeting her “heathen” public schooled husband, she learned how to think for herself. She has a BA and MA in English. Brittany lives with her husband and four sons in Virginia. Two of her children have special needs (Autism and ADHD) and all four of them have lots of energy. She writes about the grit and grace of her every day life at www.thebamblog.com.
Kathryn Brightbill, “The Life and Opinions of Kathryn Elizabeth, Person”
Kathryn Brightbill was homeschooled from the start of formal schooling in 1st grade through graduation from high school. She is the second of four children and the first in her family to be homeschooled all the way through school. Growing up in a politically active family, at one time Kathryn was the youngest ever precinct committeewoman elected to her county Republican Executive Committee. She has a B.A. in Information and Computer Science from Covenant College, a graduate certificate in Teaching English as a Foreign Language and Intercultural Studies from Wheaton College, and has her J.D. from the University of Florida Levin College of Law. Prior to law school, Kathryn dabbled in several different fields, including spending time on the English faculty at the Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam in Hanoi, VN, where she taught reading and writing for international relations to foreign affairs students. While in law school she was asked to assist in researching an amicus brief in the Perry and Windsor US Supreme Court cases, including coauthoring a survey examining the experiences of LGBT youth and young adults. She’s still not quite sure what she wants to be when she grows up, but she thinks it will be working in Intellectual Property law.
Follow Kathryn at http://kathrynbrightbill.com.
Faith Beauchemin grew up homeschooled in a very conservative Christian family in the Detroit area from age three until college. She attended Cedarville University, a Baptist college, graduating in 2011 with a double major in history and communications. By the end of college she had become interested in social issues and embraced progressive viewpoints, thanks to a few good professors who swam against the conservative tide. Ironically, it was while living with her parents after graduation (due to financial circumstances, not by choice) that she fully embraced feminism and radical politics and rejected religion altogether. Faith currently lives in North Carolina, and although she works in real estate she dreams of eventually writing and engaging in political activism full time.
Follow Faith at http://rosesandrevolutionaries.wordpress.com.
Seanny is the eldest of 8 in a quiverfull/patriarchal family. He realized when he was a teen that he was gay, but spent a decade in denial, trying to turn straight. Finally at age 25, with the help of a friend, he was able to come out not only to himself, but also to his family and friends. His family has cut him off completely. Through the process, he has left conservative Christianity and has become a vocal feminist. He began a blog for fun in July 2013, and it quickly became a place for him to share his experiences in conservatism. Besides writing, Seanny’s hobbies include music, fashion, and theater. When not in a stage production, Seanny can often be found gaming.
Follow Seanny’s blog at http://ofpenandheart.wordpress.com.
Lana Hobbs was homeschooled from 7th grade through graduation, is the second oldest child of 8 children, raised quiverfull and patriarchal. She married Luke, her highschool best friend, at age 20 after a no-touch courtship. She recently left the conservative homeschool movement behind after learning more about grace and freedom of thought while learning to parent her two young children in freedom, understanding, and love. She now identifies as an agnostic freethinker, feminist, and secular humanist. She has bipolar 2 disorder. She blogs about mental illness, leaving fundamentalism, and life in general.
Follow Lana’s blog at http://lanahobbs.wordpress.com.
Sarah Henderson, “Feminist in Spite of Them”
Sarah Henderson was homeschooled from age 6-14. She is the second child, oldest daughter in a family of nine children, who were raised with fundamentalist Quiverfull ideology. Her parents travelled from church to church trying to find sympathy for their beliefs, which included the “divine right of kings” (the doctrine that only God can judge a ruler who acts as he sees fit) – extrapolated to excuse the father from judgment from earthly authority, and allowed verbal abuse and physical abuse as taught by Michael Pearl. By the time the ninth child was born, homeschooling was something that was attempted, not completed, and older children taught younger children basic lessons. Sarah’s father spent the majority of the years unemployed by choice, and her mother was a stay-at-home mom, and teenaged children brought home paychecks from jobs at other people’s farms which were used for basic necessities. Sarah became disillusioned with the promise of the happy, Godly future her parents promised she would have if she submitted to them, and decided to escape the Quiverfull lifestyle. She left at age 17 to complete high school against her parents’ wishes, graduating high school in three years at age 20 while living with a friend’s parents, and completed university on her own, earning a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Social Work from the University of Waterloo. She lives in Ontario Canada with her husband and works in the social work field.
Follow Sarah’s blog at http://feministinspiteofthem.blogspot.ca.
Darcy is a homeschool alumni, homeschooled K-12, raised very conservatively, whose family dabbled in Gothardism and has since thrown it all out the window. She loved the education part of homeschooling but could have done without all the influences and damages of the conservative Christian homeschool culture. She married her high-school sweetheart (do homeschoolers have high-school sweethearts?) and is mother to four beautiful, rambunctious children. They live in the mountains of central Montana, where Darcy is a college student finishing her undergrad and planning to go on to a grad degree in counseling. She is passionate about human rights, peaceful parenting, healthy relationships, women’s issues, and healing from spiritual abuse. When she’s not wrangling kids or studying or exploring Montana, she can be found blogging at www.darcysheartstirrings.blogspot.com.
Micah J. Murray is a writer, creative director, social media manager, and video guy. He loves Jesus, words, pictures, and people. He writes about blogging, parenting, becoming human, and his tumultuous relationship with spirituality. He’s been published on the Huffington Post about his experiences growing up in Bill Gothard’s homeschool cult.
Micah blogs at RedemptionPictures.com about church, faith, politics and family.