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"The Superiority of Their Women"

by Kelly Crawford
“I have nowhere seen woman occupying a loftier position…”

Women of the past…America owes its greatness to their sacrifice, and we would do well to learn from them.

I think there is no better time than as we enter this Thanksgiving season, to reflect on our pioneer ancestors and the sturdy virtue upon whose backs our nation was built.

Few people today know their story, who they were and what they really stood for. History has been largely rewritten, and we have been virtually raped of truth.

Twenty-nine pioneer women braved that first colony and only seven survived. It was not for the weak of heart. What would have given them such tenacity, such fervor that they were willing to die?

The answer lies greatly in their love of God and freedom, and their willingness to live beyond themselves, building a bridge with their very lives for a generation they would never even know. Such sacrificial love for others is scarcely found.


Alexis de Tocqueville was a French political thinker and historian, and a representative of the classical, liberal, political tradition.

Upon his visits and observations of the American culture, which he greatly admired, recognizing a “peculiar superiority” over Europe, he had some profound reflections…particularly regarding America’s women.

Everything he observed flies in the face of modern feminist thinking, and unveils the truth that women were previously given a place of very high esteem among American society. So high, in fact, that comparing their treatment then to how we treat women now, one can only hang his head at the degradation to which our culture has succumbed.

[On the complementary role of men and women in marriage, Tocqueville said:]…

“This opinion is not peculiar to one sex and contested by the other; I never observed that the women of America consider conjugal authority as a fortunate usurpation of their rights, or that they thought themselves degraded by submitting to it. It appeared to me, on the contrary, that they attach a sort of pride to the voluntary surrender of their own will and make it their boast to bend themselves to the yoke, not to shake it off.

….as the Americans can conceive nothing more precious than a woman’s honor and nothing which ought so much to be respected as her independence, they hold that no punishment is too severe for the man who deprives her of them against her will…..Thus the Americans do not think that man and woman have either the duty or the right to perform the same offices, but they show an equal regard for both their respective parts; and though their lot is different, they consider both of them as beings of equal value. They do not give to the courage of woman the same form or the same direction as to that of man, but they never doubt her courage; and if they hold that man and his partner ought not always to exercise their intellect and understanding in the same manner, they at least believe the understanding of the one to be as sound as that of the other, and her intellect to be as clear.

As for myself, I do not hesitate to avow that although the women of the United States are confined within the narrow circle of domestic life, and their situation is in some respects one of extreme dependence, I have nowhere seen woman occupying a loftier position; and if I were asked, now that I am drawing to the close of this work, in which I have spoken of so many important things done by the Americans, to what the singular prosperity and growing strength of that people ought mainly to be attributed, I should reply: To the superiority of their women.”

To you, women, mothers, wives…hold fast the word of truth, set forth by God from the foundation of the world…for in it lies the secret to strength, dignity, prosperity and freedom. Those few women who are wise enough to shake off the crippling lies of the culture, and stand solidly resolved to be what she was gloriously created to be–those women will be the ones that future generations will “rise up and call blessed”.

Stay the course.

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Rebekah November 24, 2008 - 11:02 am

Well said.

Civilla November 24, 2008 - 11:24 am

Wow! That’s great. Makes you proud.

Terry @ Breathing Grace November 24, 2008 - 11:30 am

What a wonderful post. Thanks for sharing this important piece of historical writing. It truly speaks volumes.

Anonymous November 24, 2008 - 11:40 am

You call that “esteem?” I don’t.

Can’t you just stay home with your kids if you want and let others go to work if they want (or need to?)

Kim M. November 24, 2008 - 12:01 pm

Great post!

Kelly November 24, 2008 - 1:06 pm

Wow, a wonderful thing to read.

Mother of Dog November 24, 2008 - 4:16 pm

You are talking about these times, right? LOL.

“During the 18th century, the women’s role and work was extremely difficult, exhausting, and society was unappreciative. Young girls were often married by the age of 13 or 14 and if women weren’t married by the age of 25, it was socially humiliating. Marriage was mostly for economic benefits, not romantic situations. Widows were also pressured to get married as soon as possible. Even in some states, laws were proposed that would force widows to marry within 7 years after their husband’s death. Women were considered legally dead once they were married under common law. Once married, they legally became one with their husbands. Married women had no control of their earnings, inheritance, property, and also could not appear in court as a witness nor vote. Their husbands, therefore, were responsible for all aspects of their wife including discipline. Husbands could legally beat their wives. If a woman ran away from her husband, she was considered a thief because she was stealing the clothes she was wearing and herself. If a man murdered his wife, he would be hung. If a woman murdered her husband, she would be burned alive.”

Yes, the good old days! 🙂

Word Warrior November 24, 2008 - 4:22 pm


Bless you heart, your brainwashing is atrocious! No wonder you’re a feminist. You might want to consider reading the whole of history, getting the accurate picture of the “lofty place of women” that Tocqueville (unbiasedly) observed, and actually reading what some of those men and women have to say.

Don’t know where your “history” is coming from, but there are some blaring contradictions that demand explanation.

Mother of Dog November 24, 2008 - 4:58 pm

I would respectfully submit that it is YOU who is brainwashed, Kelly.

You are quoting from another time period with a system of…oh whatever. What do I care if you want to put on a bonnet and live in the 17th Century? Go have fun. Honestly, I would respond with a complete set of references (my minor is in Colonial History), but it’s far too much trouble. 🙂 Come on, you clearly do not want anyone to disagree with anything you write and you’ll just shout me down with your shaky “beliefs” – and frankly it’s not worth the effort. It would only be for the entertainment value of how wrongheaded you are about so very many things.

I will say that it is your warped sense of “herstory” that makes me cringe at the lack of controls over homeschooling. Hopefully Obama will address this – I’ve read that it is in the works to apply testing to homeschoolers across the country.

Happy Thanksgiving. Even Feminists eat pumpkin pie you know! I can even bake one. Heh.

Jasmine November 24, 2008 - 5:06 pm

This is one of my favorite quotes, Mrs. Kelly!

It’s true that colonial America had her pitfalls, as has any other time and place in the history of this fallen world, but it is such a blessing that, in every age, there are men and women of God who truly “get it,” and are willing to serve Him despite the obstacles of the period they live in.

You’re always so encouraging; the Lord put it on my heart to encourage *you* today -despite the discouragement of others, for what it’s worth, you are definitely an example and an inspiration to this younger woman. 🙂


Word Warrior November 24, 2008 - 5:41 pm


What we’re left with is “which history is truth?”…obviously, what you believe about history is not what I believe about history. I believe history has been rewritten and retold from a politically correct point of view and hardly resemlbes true history anymore.

Now just to clarify…I’m fully aware that women have been degraded and mistsreated throughout history, both in station and by certain groups of people–and continue to be.

What people don’t understand is that the Bible has ALWAYS exalted women. Where Christianty (true Christianity) reigns, women are esteemed and honored.

I’ve got one up on you though..I’ve been a “high-powered feminist” with the degree and the “I am woman hear me roar” mantra.

I am now a “recovering feminist”. Having lived on both sides of the coin, I can say AS FACT, there is no freedom that compares to the life I now live.

I’m sorry that your view of “my belief system” is so skewed. (I hate bonnets, personally 😉

I am treated like a queen. Can’t imagine why people would be repulsed by that lifestyle.

I don’t embrace a Victorian lifestyle, or a colonial one, or any other period of history, but rather that of the one my Bible describes…”strength and honor are her clothing..her children rise up and call her blessed, and her husband also praise her”.

Might I say, if you disagree with this mindset, be my guest. But your aren’t going to convince me of “coming back over”. I’ve tasted of the good life–I ain’t going back!

“If God be for us, who can be against us?”

Word Warrior November 24, 2008 - 5:42 pm


Thank you so very much–your words are an encouragement!

Kim M. November 24, 2008 - 6:07 pm

1. In 1997, a study of 5,402 homeschool students from 1,657 families was released. It was entitled, “Strengths of Their Own: Home Schoolers Across America.” The study demonstrated that homeschoolers, on the average, out-performed their counterparts in the public schools by 30 to 37 percentile points in all subjects.

A significant finding when analyzing the data for 8th graders was the evidence that homeschoolers who are homeschooled two or more years score substantially higher than students who have been homeschooled one year or less. The new homeschoolers were scoring on the average in the 59th percentile compared to students homeschooled the last two or more years who scored between 86th and 92nd percentile. i

This was confirmed in another study by Dr. Lawrence Rudner of 20,760 homeschooled students which found the homeschoolers who have homeschooled all their school aged years had the highest academic achievement. This was especially apparent in the higher grades

Lawrence M. Rudner, Ph.D., Director of the ERIC Clearing House on Assessment and Evaluation, Home Schooling Works: The Scholastic Achievement and Demographic Characteristics of Home School Students in 1998, published by the Home School Legal Defense Association, Purcellville, VA 20134, http://www.HSLDA.org. ERIC is sponsored by the National Library Services of the U.S. Department of Education.

Jamie November 24, 2008 - 7:29 pm

Thank you Kim for those facts. I wish everyone could see the truth about homeschooling. I don’t understand why someone would want to outlaw, ban or further test homeschoolers when it has over and over been proven to be the most effective way to teach children. Whose interest is really at heart when the proven best way to teach children is being banned in some countries and others are shouting for more regulations and testing? I daresay the children’s best interest is not at heart in these instances.

madgebaby November 24, 2008 - 8:19 pm

I know some homeschooled children who do excel. I know others who do nothing. The ones who excel would probably do fine regardless given the homes they grow up in. The ones who do nothing don’t have a chance.

Here’s a real conversation overheard in a doctors office recently. Two homeschooling mothers were discussing the curriculum they use in common.

Mom 1 (somewhat obviously a schoolteacher in a former existence, with the cute patterned sweater to prove it) went on and on at length about the science experiments and field trips she and her children went on. Children were well behaved and reading. I was very impressed.

Mom 2 (somewhat disheveled, bad grammar) exact quote, “I don’t have much time for all those experiments, but we did go to (local childrens’ museum) last year. one extremely overweight child stared at the today show and the other child played a video game.

The thing is, both of these families will launch children into the world “home educated”, and the children are the ones to suffer at the hands of the parents who are either not smart enough to do it or aren’t really trying.

Were I a homeschooling parent who is working hard at it, I would be livid at the example of Mom 2 and I would be working hard to establish some basic norms for what is expected of home education.

madgebaby November 24, 2008 - 8:26 pm

Also, if I could see some similar statistics published by someone other than HSLDA (clearly biased toward homeschoolers) I’d be more convinced. I seriously looked into it when our kids were little, and I’d still do it under some circumstances, but my experience with actual homeschooler is very spotty. Some do it great, many do it in a mediocre way, and far too many do it terribly or not at all.

Word Warrior November 24, 2008 - 8:48 pm


Several things to think about…

You said your experience with HS is “spotty”…what’s your research turning out on the masses of government-educated children? Are there any “spotty” ones? (I taught school…I know the answer.) Fact one: the fact that there are some children who don’t “measure up” to your standard of education doeesn’t make homeschooling a bad thing, nor does it negate all the wonderful examples.

Fact #2: Why does the government, or anyone else, have a right to define “education”? We have been brainwashed (by the school system) that every child must jump through the same hoops, read the same books, follow the same course or it’s harmful to him. Nothing could be farther from the truth. I could write a whole book about it, but in short, education is a parental right–both in method and definition. Just because it doesn’t all look the same, doesn’t mean it’s wrong. (What’s that about choices?)

It is such a huge misconception that homeschooling is even supposed to look like the rote 25-kids-in-same-room routine. It’s sad really. We stick ’em in a room all day, force them to conform (even though each one is drastically unique from the other), put a teacher in front of them (who is underpaid and overworked), implying that in order to learn, they must be spoon-fed “knowledge”, then feel sorry for the homeschoolers who are gorging themselves on LIFE.

I fear the system has done exactly what it intended….Let’s “think outside the classroom”.

If one thinks long enough, removes his biased opinions, homeshooling would make so much sense the evidence wouldn’t even be necessary.

Kim M. November 24, 2008 - 8:51 pm

But what about the public school kids who are obese, playing video games, with moms who don’t care?

I mean we all know LOTS of people who go to public schools like that. Would you have even thought about it if the kids was public-schooled?

What about public school teachers who show their students unacceptable movies, force them to read books that parents do not like, yell at the students, have sex with their students, etc, etc………

A relative of mine had a boy PUT HIS HANDS DOWN HER PANTS DURING CLASS!
She was terrified to even tell on him because of retaliation.

A lot of kids will not tell their parents what goes on at school because they do not want to deal with going to court. I KNOW A CERTAIN GIRL like this.

If you still question the academic side watch this put out by ABC NEWS :

Stupid in America by


And if you really care about your kids, get informed instead of just making assumptions. I spent over a year in prayer and research before I made any decisions to home-school my kids.

My gifted child has the opportunity to excel and my struggler gets special help instead of getting ignored..

Yes, I feel bad about the obese kid but it goes on everywhere .

Kim M. November 24, 2008 - 8:52 pm

*Stupid in America by John Stossel

Kim M. November 24, 2008 - 8:53 pm

*were in public school

sorry I was typing in a hurry

madgebaby November 24, 2008 - 9:23 pm

I spent years mulling over my decision about homeschooling, Kim. The mothers I knew who did it well were either so sanctimonious that they were truly unbearable or were exhausted and grumpy and yelling at the little kids so the big ones could finish their latin or violin or whatever.

I do know two beautiful souls who seem to manage to homeschool and lead a household in ways that are truly inspiring.

I know many others–I’ve had long conversations in all sorts of places–many others, who pull me aside and say,”all you have to do is send them that letter that says you will cover the content areas and then you can do whatever you want.” to a person, those people go on to tell me that they do NOT cover the content areas.

The reason so many people seem to homeschool is that they didn’t like school themselves or couldn’t advocate for their own children in the school system. Many indicated to me that they felt trapped between a rock and a hard place because they didn’t have the money for private school.

My own perspective is this: if all the people who were throwing so much money and time into homeschooling would embrace their local schools with prayer, advocacy, and service hours, we’d see a real revolution in this country–a revolution where the needs of ALL children were prioritized.

Every hour I spend in our local public school benefits my own children but also benefits all the ones who don’t have parental support. I should add that we have had a very positive public school experience with kind and gifted teachers and administrators, and I have felt valued and supported as a parent. Yes, I do have to ensure that my gifted child is challenged, and I watch the influences and friends, but I’d do that any way as would all of you.

Rebekah November 24, 2008 - 10:09 pm

Dear Madgebaby,

I am sorry you have had such a bad experience observing homeschooling families. I wish they all could have been the wonderful examples I have seen and enjoyed knowing.

I am sure, too, you have seen negative examples in public and even private schools, even though you didn’t mention them.

Homeschooling has been a wonderful experience for our family. I was an English and history teacher before having children and believed to be in a very good school system (Blue Ribbon Award, acknowledged in DC). However, I could easily, even as a young adult, see the obvious benefits and advantages that homeschooling would afford. I only knew ONE family who homeschooled and did not know them very well.

We did not base our decision upon how others did it, obviously, and it would not have mattered one bit if my neighor homeschooled or if she would have done it poorly or well. We researched, prayed, considered our goals for our children, and used common sense to determine that what we wanted for our children could realistically only be achieved through a faith-based, parent-driven education and mentoring approach.

I know a lot of homeschooling families, and I can honestly say that I do not know one that would be the poor example you are describing. (I’m sure they are out there, as I always hear anti-homeschooling voices mentioning these families.) Granted, I do not know how the families I know are teaching within the privacy of their own walls, but I see the fruit in their children’s lives.

And honestly, how others educate their children (homeschool well, homeschool poorly, public school, private school) does not affect how I am teaching and training mine. I say this because I hope those who are genuinely considering this incredible education choice would never look at their neighbor to determine what is best for his or her own child. That would be unwise.

Angela November 24, 2008 - 10:18 pm

I also spent several years mulling over homeschooling and in the end I could not be disobedient to God’s command for me to homeschool. I know that this was His calling for our family and for me to turn my back on it would be going against His will for us. I do cover all of the critical areas but I also leave alot of freedom for my daughter to explore the things she is interested in. My goal is to help her to become a self-learner just like Benjamin Franklin. So many great people in history were self-taught or home-schooled and we cannot deny the impact that they had on our history. People like Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Edison, General George Patton, Abigail Adams, and Martha Washington just to name a few.

Kim M. November 24, 2008 - 10:58 pm


I truly did not mean to sound mean-spirited in my reply. I went back and re-read my comments.
They lacks the passion that a heart to heart conversation would give.

I must admit that I am in more of a defensive mode than offensive….
I have no reason to attack you for sending your kids to public school. You are their mom and have obviously made your decision. Thankfully you have the right to choose.


We mothers who sacrifice so much to do what we know is best for our children do not need to be discouraged by naysayers.

I was also a teacher before I had my oldest, so I saw what I thought was a lot of flaws in the typical classroom setting.

(BTW… most teachers WILL BE on their best behavior if they know you are watching. So yes, spend as much time at your child's school as possible).

We home-school moms really do not need others to make assumptions based on what they "think" is going on in our homes.

I am giving money to public schools by paying taxes. More money has not helped one bit. If you would watch that documentary I mentioned in the above post
(secular documentary… homeschooling is not mentioned at all), they discuss the money problem.


Have you ever seen a tired, grumpy, public school mom yell at her kids?

I, like Rebekah, made the choice solely on what I thought God was leading me to do.

I am the only home-school mother in my church. I really didn't have a neighbor at which to look.

I spent a lot of time on my knees in prayer, a lot of time with my nose in books, and yet some more time on the internet researching it.

But I will take up your challenge to pray for our schools!!! GREAT IDEA!

My boys and I already spend time in prayer for our local Christian school & its leaders each morning (it is tied to our church).

Will you pray for us home-schoolers?

Kathleen November 24, 2008 - 11:11 pm

I have been inspired by an early colonial woman who I’ve been reading about in a book entitled, “American Jezebel”. It’s about Anne Hutchinson, and I never knew how strong she was and yet fulfilled a tremendous calling during her time in Massachusetts Bay Colony.

She raised many children, midwifed other’s babies into the world, and she was faithful with the Word of God. She was committed to her husband and family and dealt with more stress than I think I could ever imagine (she’d walk for miles and miles in the cold of November with her family while pregnant to present her case to the ruling elders who believed her to be guilty of heresy). She was brave and diligant with her convictions and had a tremendous influence of faith with the women whom she had midwifed over, for example, and men who also were interested in her discussions at her home about God’s grace as opposed to some works-based teachings the people were struggling with in their new community.

Anyway, I’ve been reading this book and saw your post and was just thinking how brave the early pioneer-ish women were — especially when they had to suffer such conditions as well as the constricting rules of behavior for women. No voting, no speaking in church; rigid rules to follow under the threat of heresy and banishment. Now, that was enduring hardship for Christ.

Mrs. Lady Sofia November 25, 2008 - 12:13 am

I’m probably a “little late” but I wanted to add my “two cents” worth about home schooling.

I have worked in the field of education for 10 years, and I currently work part-time as an Instructional Assistant. Trust me when I say that there are a lot of things “wrong” with the current educational system (I won’t go into details). I’m currently in a situation now where one of my groups of children (6th graders) are being “forced” to read a book that is boring, uninteresting, and lacking in meaning for them. I am aware of this problem, but guess what? Nobody cares! As a result, the children and I are in misery.

This is just one minor example. I wasn’t too hip to home schooling simply for the fact that I don’t have my own children. However, to better understand home schooling, I have done some reading on the subject (plan to do more), and I can honestly say that home schoolers, overall, are better self-sufficient learners than children in public schools. Sure, there are some situations where the home school environment isn’t very productive, but I would have to say that is in the minority – at least according to what I have been reading.

Although I don’t have children of my own, I don’t think government has the right to tell parents who home school that you have to “take a test” to prove they can teach, or force them to “put their child in public school like everyone else.” I must confess that the only home schooling mom’s I know are the ones I have “met” through blogging, but I think all of them do an excellent job of educating their own children. I think they should continue to be encouraged and supported to continue with this way of teaching instead of being derailed from it.

Besides, putting a “control” on home schooling defeats the home schooling purpose – for parents to educate their children without countless rules, demanding schedules, and regulations; to be able to be more “relaxed,” creative, and open-ended with their children’s learning.

In summary, I know that all parents may not be able to home school their children, or may not even like the idea. However, I DO SUPPORT the parents who do, and I don’t think this right should be snatched from underneath them, nor should they have to “prove” their intelligence to educate their own children through various testing methods.

Word Warrior November 25, 2008 - 12:16 am

Lady S–well said. When the role of gov. steps beyond the bounds of protecting families and individuals from criminals and crosses over into requiring parents to prove themselves worthy to raise/teach their children…we gots major problems!

Catherine November 25, 2008 - 12:48 am

I totally agree with some of the comments with regard to poor home school teaching. I home schooled all of my kids (one never went to traditional school) for a time. Most of them entered traditional school (either Christian or public) in high school. My last two attend Christian school, but we started them in school earlier than the others.

I cringe when I read blogs in which the writers tout their love of home schooling, but the blog is so poorly written that, from my perspective, gives home schooling a bad name. Is it too much to ask that the spelling be correct? “Ect,” “you’re” for “your,” and “truley” are just some of the examples that I see routinely. I understand mistakes and typos, but I think it gives home schooling a bad name when the writing is substandard and rife with poor syntax and misspelled words on a consistent basis. You may argue that public schools produce the same kind of inferior writing, but home schoolers actually claim that it’s best to home school partly for educational reasons. I’m just sayin’…


Mother of Dog November 25, 2008 - 2:33 am

In order to become a teacher, you must demonstrate facility with important areas of knowledge. Why should this be different for parents? Why shouldn’t they be held to standards?

Personally, I’d prefer children to be educated, not indoctrinated. Education should offer opportunities to ask hard questions and to explore other avenues of thought and society. I don’t think Christian homeschooling (or, to be fair, Hippie Leftie homeschooling) offers that option.

And Kelly…when did I ask you to “come back?” I think you should live any way you want. That to me is the POINT of Feminism – it simply offers choices. No one is forcing anyone to accept any of them. Why do you have such an issue with the fact that I am a Feminist anyway? I mean, seriously? You feel the need to say “Feminist” the way you might say “Storm Trooper” or “SS Officer.” (JOKE. I know you’re not calling me an SS Officer!)

I was simply pointing out that women at that time had NO rights. You can’t tie a pretty ribbon around that. It’s just a fact.

Jasmine November 25, 2008 - 6:48 am

Mother of a Dog,

I am a homeschool graduate, so I’m sure that you’ll, no doubt, find my opinion quite biased. 🙂 My mother was a public school teacher for seven years.

I didn’t find your comment about homeschooling very fair:

Personally, I’d prefer children to be educated, not indoctrinated. Education should offer opportunities to ask hard questions and to explore other avenues of thought and society. I don’t think Christian homeschooling (or, to be fair, Hippie Leftie homeschooling) offers that option.

I was homeschooled, and have always been encouraged to “ask hard questions and explore over avenues of thought and society.” I read books like “The Communist Manifesto,” “The Autobiography of Malcom X,” and others contrary to my belief system to learn more about the world around me, and to learn to think critically about why I believe what I believe. For history and government, I read source documents rather than biased textbooks.

Yes, I am a Christian, unapologetically so, and so I was homeschooled by parents with a biblical worldview, just as public school children are taught from a secular humanist worldview. Everybody has a “bias” when it comes to education. Yes, homeschool parents drop the ball sometimes, but so do public school educators.

Have you ever read “The Harsh Truth about Public Schools” by Bruce Short? He is a homeschool dad, but he’s also a Harvard Law School graduate with a Ph.D. from Standford… and a family friend. 🙂 It’s an insightful read on the subject.

authenticallyme November 25, 2008 - 10:58 am

I can see both sides of the coin. I homeschooled my children up until 4th grade (except the youngest)….now all in public school.

authenticallyme November 25, 2008 - 11:28 am

oops. continuation…..

When I homeschooled, I did not meet many people who were careless with ‘educating’ their children, but I did meet at least half who were overwhelmed…and IMO, oversheltering their kids. BUT, overall, I saw parents who really wanted to do the best for their kids. My ‘way’ of homescholling wasd a more relaxed method, and I didnt really like some of the massive pushing and ‘working ahead’ that I saw many homeschoolers doing….it almost seemed like tons of sit down work, workbooks, etc, and not indulging in the freedoms that homeschool was meant to give. I live near Philly, NYC, Jersey, etc, so maybe the way I, in part, witnessed homeschooling here had to do with geographical location. I will say, luckily, I had a few homeschoolers around who did share my desire to do the Five In A Row stuff..the Charlotte mason method, and just plain old tons of field trips, making crafts, serving at the animal shelter, soup kitchen, and reading books all the time! sometimes I would just ‘quit’ schooling (haha) and we’d get a ton of books on a favorite subject and read, read, read. i still say reading alone provides the best education..my kids all still love to read.

Anyway, due to family situations, and my being overwhelmed, I did place my chidlren in public school. A friend and my counselor at the time, had suggested i was in denial about how stressed i was. while i had a hard time wrapping my head around the idea, i learned about myself, that fear and pride were motivators keeping me from even CONSIDERING public school. But, I placed my children and I must say, I was equally shocked at how many parents genuinely care about their kids. I do feel, FOR ME, that i was skewed in my thinking concerning public school, and the people who send their children there. I have been pleasantly surprised, not to mention HUMBLED, at how caring, loving, and talented many of the teachers are. I thought I knew it all. But I didnt.

Now granted this is an *isolated* incident, but my own sister “homeschooled” her daughter. My niece is very hard of hearing…and as a child went to Easter Seals. At the age of 5 she was placed in public school becasue although she had somewhat of a disability, she was so intelligent the teachers felt she would have been held back by going to a special school. When she was 14, my sister pulleed her out of school to homeschool her, which mostly consisted of leaving my niece home alone all day to do her work, while my sister worked for a doctor. my niece fell way behind, and she is 18 now and *I* am taking her to the local high school twice a week so she can earn her GED. Yes, this CERTAINLY isnt a ‘norm’ you will find amongst homeschoolers.it is an isolated incident. But when it hits so close to home, it grieves the heart. Just like schools are expected to make certain standards, i dont see the harm in homeschoolers doing the same…at least for BASIC math and BASIC language arts. science, history, etc….i dont see the big deal, at least if the basics are known, esp at jr high and high school level. elementary standards could be a lot less ‘invasive’.

So, I will stiuck up for homeschoolers and say many; most ARE doing well by their children; they take their responsibilities seriously. But I also think public school teachers do too, and i have been surprised by the fact that they dont have to follow some rigorous ‘schedule’ or way of teaching…they do have some room to play with. I do think homeschooling offers a broader spectrum out of which to learn, and i miss that…..with the right parents an individual thinker can be wrought; but IMO i have seen this happen with public schooled children too. It is primarily rubbed off on the kids by the parents, IMO. Yes school does influence, but i dont think it can undermine or completely throw off parental influence.


I wonder if you would consider my thought to this portio n of your one post:

***I am now a “recovering feminist”. Having lived on both sides of the coin, I can say AS FACT, there is no freedom that compares to the life I now live. ***

well, I feel I am a recovering fundamentalist. I have lived on both sides of the coin too. Im sure your experience was FACTUAL to you, but so is mine to me. Does this have to mean, simply because I am now leaning on the other side of the fence, that I must be “in error”? Your experience was real and factual to you, but that doesnt mean it is factual to everyone, as everyone has different “sides of fences” they must learn to pull away from. I believe that God ordained, in order to deliver me, to walk the path I am now walking. *I* didnt want to give up fundamentalism, homeschooling, my quiverful mindset. I died a death when that happened. I never imagined it. But I also feel that I am experiencing a freedom I never knew before. Not a licentious one…..but a freedom nonetheless. Often I think God delivers us from extremes. For others to suppose they know, as God, what my real path should be, is minimizing what I know to be fact for my life, by saying that I simply must be in error, or deceived. When a standard is equated with God, that leaves some of us always falling short. Raising a standard to elevation of God himself is idolatry. and supposing that we know what is best for everyone seems equivalent to witchcraft? do you sense what I am saying?

Just wanted to share. Thanks for listening.

And I am not ‘dissing’ homeschoolers in my post…..Im simply saying that when a poor example of a homeschooled child hits close to home, the people saddened by it often change their tune on how much say the govt should have. I feel so sorry for my niece. 🙁

Word Warrior November 25, 2008 - 11:57 am


To your comment: “i still say reading alone provides the best education..my kids all still love to read.” I say, “Amen”.

I do know what you were getting at regarding my comment about being a recovering feminist. Let me note first that MOD had made the derragatory assumption that a woman who embraces biblical feminity is “bonnet-wearing”, weak, dumb-headed, etc. I was responding to the wrong perception she had of “my life”, if that makes sense.

I’ve heard other women say the same thing about “coming out of fundamentalism”, which I personally think is very dangerous, depending on what that means for people.

With out experiences being apparently opposite and yet both of us feeling freedom, I’d say what you were “in” is not the same as what I describe. I’m not a part of a group, as I’ve said before, or “in” some camp or another. Truly. I don’t have a dress code, or a set of rules someone has given us.

My husband and I embrace what we believe is God’s standard regarding women as keepers at home (when at all possible), we homeschool because we believe God gave our children for us to teach and train, we talk about submission because the Bible does…and so on.

If it doesn’t measure up with Scripture, it’s not a standard.

So maybe when you ascribed to a group’s idea of what godliness was, that was it…you were looking to a group and not God. I don’t know, I’m just suggesting.

Kathleen November 25, 2008 - 12:32 pm

authenticallyme said:

“Your experience was real and factual to you, but that doesnt mean it is factual to everyone, as everyone has different “sides of fences” they must learn to pull away from. I believe that God ordained, in order to deliver me, to walk the path I am now walking. *I* didnt want to give up fundamentalism, homeschooling, my quiverful mindset. I died a death when that happened. I never imagined it. But I also feel that I am experiencing a freedom I never knew before. Not a licentious one…..but a freedom nonetheless. Often I think God delivers us from extremes. For others to suppose they know, as God, what my real path should be, is minimizing what I know to be fact for my life, by saying that I simply must be in error, or deceived. When a standard is equated with God, that leaves some of us always falling short. Raising a standard to elevation of God himself is idolatry. and supposing that we know what is best for everyone seems equivalent to witchcraft? do you sense what I am saying?”

Oh, I so agree with what you’re saying here. I also wrestled with the guilt and fear of mishandling Scripture, but God is not the author of fear (of man and their opionions). I also have been going to God with my presuppositions and asking Him to direct me on the right path, which doesn’t look anything like what I thought it would. I’ve found more peace in my heart and marriage and family since realizing I’m not made in the image of other women — I’m being formed in His image, and that’s different than what is being preached as the norm for some women (from certain Bible teachers).

I’ve broken alot of “rules” that make me scratch my head as to why, as hard as I tried, my life never looked like the women in the more isolated women’s circles of christianity (full-quiver, homeschool-only, no career or college education for women, etc.) I even was the one to share the Gospel with my husband, and he’s a changed man (night and day kind of change). When I’ve shared that testimony in a circle of christian women, they just didn’t seem to “get it”, that God would use a woman — a determined and unashamedly not quiet one — to bring a man to conviction. The standard for women in those circles is to be a “quiet” witness, to win their husbands without a word.

I’m more of the persuasion that a Good Word, spoken in season, by the power of the Spirit can be shared by anyone (woman, man, child) who has been gifted by God to do so. That doesn’t mean I steamroll over my husband, but he recognizes the gifting God has given me now, and vice versa.

This was just one example of how I don’t fit into the more rigidly defined roles, besides the fact that I couldn’t birth any more than 4 children (I’m the previous anonymous with the insulin-dependent diabetes whose 2-yr-old daughter died), who, according to some commenter’s opinion here, I’d be guilty of sinning (sin of Onan) because of my/my husband’s decision to have my tubes tied to prevent more children from suffering and my own health.

It’s okay, though, to have different convictions in how to live, as long as we’re open to what His Spirit is telling us through a careful study of the Word and not to cast a stumbling block before others. The Good News of Jesus Christ lived out in our lives needs to be the primary focus, not rules and roles to follow.

And, I really do learn to understand other’s perspectives who don’t share my convictions about God more than I used to since realizing that I don’t have a perfect understanding of Him. I’ve walked a more rigid or legalistic walk before and was never at peace with God.

Mother of Dog November 25, 2008 - 5:33 pm

“Let me note first that MOD had made the derragatory assumption that a woman who embraces biblical feminity is “bonnet-wearing”, weak, dumb-headed, etc. I was responding to the wrong perception she had of “my life”, if that makes sense.”

Wait…where did I say women who embrace biblical whatever were weak and dumb-headed? I didn’t say it and I don’t believe it. I think it’s a different path, and it makes me sad that so much of it is wrapped up with a rather dogmatic world view in terms of gay rights, etc – but I haven’t called anyone stupid for choosing a different path. Now I think YOU are wrong-headed at times, no question. I’m sure you feel the same way about me. At no point have I pictured you in a bonnet lol, and you seem happy in your life. After all, I’m not telling YOU how to live.

My point is that you’re quoting from a very old text and applying it directly to contemporary mores. I don’t think that holds water. You yourself admit that women were mistreated then, and it wasn’t Nirvana by any means. Further, I meant there is no point in responding to your claims with references because you keep telling me what an idiot I am to be a feminist. You don’t seem to realize that I’m not trying to convince you to be a feminist and I’m not attacking your choice. The fact that you seem to belittle MY choice is somehow lost on you. But moving on….

Jasmine, if I implied that ALL homeschoolers are lacking, I’m sorry. I’m sure that you received a wonderful education. I’m saying that the other direction is possible – and so controls are good. Sure, all systems of education have biases. However, there are checks and balances in the school system. Why can’t we have them in the home? I’m not a huge proponent of private schooling either. I think we should all work towards a great public school system. That’s opinion, not empirical.

If the point of homeschooling is to ensure that your child gets the best possible education, that’s wonderful. A well-educated and motivated parent can do a lot in that case. But if the point is to keep the nasty idea about Evolution out of their minds – well, that’s another thing entirely. I’m being reductive here, but you see my point.

authenticallyme November 26, 2008 - 12:22 am


First, 🙂

Second, I really love what you shared. I find that what I deem grey areas, others deem black-and-white, but I look at greys as opportunity to seek God, know Him, etc. living black and white left my relationship with God lacking. I didnt have much to ‘figure out’.

I too believe everyone has a gift…I focus on that moreso than where i think they are sinning, simply because sometimes it is very difficult to know if for that individual, if it indeed *IS* sinning. I personally believe there is not a cut-and-dry mandate regarding homeschooling, birth control, etc……though on an individual basis, there *may* be. I think God knows when we are genuine, sincere, seeking, and truthful…and he will reveal to us his individually prescribed ‘boundaries’. Because of this, I find unity is very hard for the church to embrace….we get too caught up in others allowed or unallowed ‘diversities’.

I did read all your old posts (at the time) and no amount of ‘sorrys’ can alleviate your grief for the loss of your child; your daughter. I personally try to practice the rule that if i am not in your shoes, i dont know what you are going through, and therefore have NO RIGHT to suppose i know what was best for your situation. I know that the amount of pain your family must have experienced, and continues to experience, and will always in many degrees experience-is of much more importance to me. (i am not of quiverful mindset anyway…) I think living and making decisions for the day, taking one day at a time, and trying to operate out of truth….is what we are called to do. each persons situations are too unique and complex….it only makes sense to me that we will all live differently…think differently….choose differently.

thank you for encouraging me today with your comments. 🙂

Kathleen November 28, 2008 - 3:46 pm

Here is an example of the kind of thinking that I encountered by women and men who say they weren’t judging me (for my decision to not have any more children). This is a statement from a website’s statement of beliefs that encourages reversals of vasectomies and tubals:

“Blessed Arrows is designed for Christian couples to confess openly their sin, repent before God and others, and act on that repentance through obedience in putting their bodies back the way God designed them and trust in Him for their family.”

Someone I know from my former church and is full-quiver links to that site. All that I’m trying to show here is that yes, it is a judgement indicating some believers think it is sin (and would even preach that) to use any form of birth control, including NFP, which has been going on for millenia. I disagree with that, because I believe there is little grace involved in such teaching, and positions people like myself in a perpetual state of “unrepentable” sin, theoretically.

authenticallyme November 30, 2008 - 5:57 pm


I agree. I am familiar with “Blessed Arrows” and it is unfortunate that some people in the world would rather get everyone on the ‘right’ page, supposing they know what that is. It just burns my feathers..Isnt it more important to show love, grace, and compassion? I have seen ‘doctrines’ such as that claim they really care about people’s best interest……but I find it hard to believe at least sometimes..that there is not an ulterior motivation underlying it all….i can totallly see how words and mindsets like that would make you feel condemned, less than, and almost irreconcilable.

On another note, I wonder…..if these same people get upset when their family size is questioned, what makes them think it is “ok” to tell any of us to repent, and get our parts UNfixed? very confusing.


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