some interesting links for July



After a really cool spring and  the most lovely June I can ever remember, aside from all that rain, our 4th of July was near-perfect. Now the heatwave has swept the prairie and air-conditioning and Taco salad are my best friends. Clay has been working on our front porch for the past two months and is almost half way through the project. It is slowing down a bit since the heat of the day is also when he gets home from work but we carry on! Gatorade might be his best friend. I thought you might enjoy some thought-provoking reading while you are in the shade or by the pool! As always, I welcome your thoughts and comments on any or all of these!


While I do not necessarily agree with all the commentary, I think this is pretty fair reporting.  There are five parts so far in this series that discusses the Vision Forum history conference that was held over the 4th of July weekend. /


Veteran homeschooler, Rob Shearer, has some great insights into the Common Core discussions. Scroll back through his blog for even more.


Persecution of Swedish homeschoolers….a scary scenario to be sure.


I try to earn at least one new thing every single day and this was my bit of information for last Monday. Clay was describing to me this scientific wonder called the space elevator over the weekend but I could hardly believe it. Well, if you have never heard of this, you will find it fascinating and I know your children will, tool


Sharon has some important things to say about the patriarchy movement and this segment in her series is particularly informative as she links some of the problems within denominations and authority back to Bill Gothard. Especially poignant is the comment left on my FB page when I shred this link. This is why I will not stop talking about this destructive movement.   “So many good things in the article. I think this “principle” caused more problems in my family relationships than any other. Ordinary teenager stuff suddenly becomes grounds for panic. Any questioning or backtalking (I was good at that!) was the same as witchcraft, so my soul was at risk. Once one has a reputation for being “rebellious,” everything is interpreted through that lens. It is difficult to ever have healthy adult relationships with one’s “authority” after that.”


Really good insights into why Christian youth who stay in the church do so! This will encourage you!!!


Now this is my kind of mom!


9 Marks of an Abusive Church….good to know.


Here is a fun article on how to break it in to others that you are going to homeschool!


Some fun ideas for teaching math skills to your children using household items.  Yes!


Laughing at ourselves as homeschooling moms….yes, again!


Some powerful words about how we treat our little ones!


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  1. Avelinn says

    As a black person, I seriously worry about some of the “insinuations” I feel like I’m hearing from these conferences. I’m not entirely sure what Kevin Swanson was talking about when he spoke of Biblical slavery. At least, I hope he was not insinuating that American slavery was anything like the Biblical slavery that we read about. I remember being taken aback several months ago, while on Justin Turley’s site, to see him criticize the idea of abolitionism. The idolatry that some of these people have concerning the pre-Civil War south deeply concerns me. And if it were just a few, that would be one thing. But for Doug Philips/Vision Forum to be endorsing these ideas is such a public manner is discouraging. I know Doug Philips isn’t an out and out racist. But I feel that the romantic way that they see the foundations of this country leads them to all manner of ideas. I cannot find anything to validate this, but I did read somewhere a while back that Doug Philips saw slavery as God’s way of protecting this country’s economy. I seriously hope this is not the case. These ideas, I believe, are a big reason why the evangelical church in America remains so segregated.

    Beyond all that, I find Kevin Swanson to be incredibly obnoxious in both his ideas and his delivery. I can’t quite discern whether he is in earnest or a charlatan, but either option is equally troubling. And the enthusiastic response he receives from these communities makes me more inclined to believing that some of these Christians are seriously in danger of being cult like followers.

  2. Laura (old OR vintage) says

    Avelinn, these are excellent points. One thing that really makes me uneasy are the homeschool “Civil War Balls” that are promoted in our area. I think that some people honestly see them as just fun events, or historically educational, but I am very concerned that they actually are rooted in this distorted belief that the godly South was bullied by the evil North, and that the Civil War really had nothing to do with slavery. There is a big emphasis on the honor and courage of the gentlemen and ladies of the South, whereas I have noted that Northerners, particularly Lincoln, are portrayed as wild eyed, anti- Christian, and tyrannical in some of the history that these folks promote. Have you heard of these? Some of us need to take off our blindfolds and look to the core beliefs of some of the homeschool celebrities of today!

  3. says

    Avelinn, you are spot on in your assessment of these groups. When our family was part of one particular family integrated church, the glorification of the pre-civil war south was a dominate theme. In fact, the pastor who was called after we were gone had a birthday celebration in his home for a future son-in-law who was gifted with a confederate flag. Even worse was the fact that one of the founders of the kinist movement was welcomed into church membership there without being required to repent of or renounce his views about segregation. ABsolutely horrid!!!!!

    Here is an article that is the fruit of really solid research and needs to be given to every homeschooling family who might consider aligning themselves with the patriarchy movement.

    I’m so glad you brought this up!!!

  4. says

    Laura, I recently saw that one of these balls is scheduled for this fall in our area. I know many families would love to attend for the historical aspect of it and then they are drawn into the madness.

    And, absolutely, some of the homeschool celebrities are absolutely adherents to this sort of hegemony!!!!!

  5. Laura (old OR vintage) says

    Yes, they claim that these “balls” are neutral on the politics of the war (Is that possible?), yet they all have the flavor of the old, “noble” Confederacy….at least the ones I have checked into. And Karen, I think people are just drawn in by the historical angle. We cannot afford to be identified with the type of philosophies that some of these organizations adhere to. When I was a kid, I remember going to some historical Civil War re-enactments in New England. Both sides were represented, but I didn’t get a sense that politics were involved, though of course it was taken for granted that slavery was a great evil. I don’t see that in the Civil War Ball crowd.

  6. Avelinn says


    Thank you for the link. I honestly don’t even know what to say. It took me a while to read it and then I had my husband read it as well. Where to begin? You know, honestly, I am a little baffled and confused. It was somewhat encouraging that the blogger himself, having come from a patriocentric background, was not in fact taught many of these things, because I see some of the people from these groups and I have such a hard time believing that they adhere to some of these philosophies. But it does concern me when I know that for the last several years here in Virginia, the home school conference has been inundated with these folks, and I can’t figure out what in the world is going on. I mean, on the surface it makes sense because they are home schoolers. But in the last five years we have had Voddie Baucham, the Botkin sisters, and just this year, the Duggars. I know there have been others as well, but my mind is going blank. Honestly, thatmom, do you have any idea of just how many of these people are adhering to this racist belief system? Because the idea that they are here, represented at a Virginia home schooling conference, in a big way (they are speakers), is upsetting and concerning to me and makes me feel as though I need to say or do something. I have friends who go to the conference every year. I avoid it, mainly because of the infiltration of these groups and what I see to be messages that are, at best, distracting. But I know of a fellow home schooling mom who has come to align herself more and more with Voddie Baucham and Vision Forum in the last couple of years because their influence and their causes are acutely felt at the conference now. When Voddie Baucham spoke a couple of years back, I had many friends who were flat out confused. And what in the world does Voddie Baucham think of these things as a black man? I really do wonder.

    I don’t think I’m making a lot of sense right now because I am literally overwhelmed by what I have read. But it explains the random posts I’ve seen on Justin Turley’s site concerning secession and his criticism of abolitionism. I’ve actually known about Doug Wilson for a while, but what’s crazy is that many years ago, when my husband, who is white by the way, and I were newly married, we were given a couple of Doug Wilson’s books about gender roles at a mainstream PCA church we were attending at the time.

    I have to admit that the Doug Phillips quotes and particularly that idolatrous poem he wrote about Dabney was really upsetting. And part of my confusion comes into play because I remember a while back Doug Philips put up a post specifically to address the issue of interracial marriage and how he didn’t have a problem with it. Why would he do that? Is he trying to cover his tracks? Has he changed his mind? What in the world is going on? What happened to the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ? Whatever happened to the fact that we are aliens and strangers in this world and that our citizenship is in heaven? Have they idolized the south so much that they are willing to let the racist elements go, or do they actually believe those things? I just don’t know, but I am very disturbed. It’s hard for me to look at people like the Duggars (whom I actually like) at this point because I’m wondering if they believe these things. Just how much of this is “underlings” not understanding what their “authority” figures believe vs. they know what they believe and they share in the belief system.

    Laura, I have seen those balls. And I don’t understand them at all. I don’t understand how they have romanticized these periods in history and held them up as ideal. It’s as if they celebrate the time while completely ignoring one of the darkest things about American history.

  7. says

    Laura, I, too, find the whole Civil War balls to be troubling. It is a throw back to events that were only experienced by an upper class whose lifestyle was only possible because they owned slaves. Do we really believe those who plan and promote these events are not aware of this?

  8. says

    Avelinn, my heart breaks as I read your thoughts.

    “Just how much of this is “underlings” not understanding what their “authority” figures believe vs. they know what they believe and they share in the belief system.”

    This is such a great question. I have seen way too many sycophants who refuse to even consider that their “leaders” are wrong abut anything so that is pretty discouraging. On the other hand, as these truths are made public,we always can hold out hope that eyes and hearts will be opened.

    I had never heard of Justin Turley until you mentioned him and I googled and found his blog. Is his wife one of the girls who was featured on the Return of the Daughters film a few years ago? As I looked at the blog he recommends, they are all of the patriocentric mindset which is the theology that undergirds these beliefs, especially that of theonomy. If you haven’t yet listened to the two series of podcasts I did on this movement, I would highly recommend them. They are listed as Patriarchy and Patriocentrcity 1 and 2 in the pull down podcast menu on the bar above.

  9. Avelinn says

    Yes! That is, in fact, his wife. Melissa, I believe her name is. She was on The Return of the Daughters video.

    This is the post, or one of the posts I read a couple of years ago that led to some of my confusion concerning the movement. He has several posts, from many years ago mainly, that contain quotes from and praises for Confederate soldiers or officers. He hasn’t said as much in recent years as he has gotten married and his family has grown. But the archives of his site are littered with all kinds of madness. Not just differences of opinion. It takes a lot for me to call someone’s thoughts madness. And maybe I shouldn’t and am taking it too far. But the quote is under the post called, “The Yankee, Defined”. He seems to be praising a quote by a man named Nicholas Davis.

  10. says

    Avelinn, I am posting the quote from that blog becasue I don’t want it to be missedL

    “The popular name for the citizens of New England. This is what Webster says it means, “…a name for the people of New England” and, as their history is well-known to the civilized world, the whole world will understand us. The word extends to all their ten thousand schemes of deception and fraud and comprehends their every act of lying and stealing… from the days of Washington to the present hour… in all their political, legislative, executive, commercial, civil, moral, literary, sacred, profane, theological, and diabolical history.
    The word Yankee when thus applied means meddlesome, impudent, insulant, pompous, boastful, unkind, ungrateful, unjust, knavish, false, deceitful, cowardly, swindling, thieving, robbing, brutal, and murderous. This Yankee country has given birth to Socialism, Mormonism, Spiritualism, and Abolitionism with every other devilism which has cursed the nation of unionism.”

    Well, I will proudly consider myself a Yankee. And would have been an abolitionist, too, if I had lived back then. This sort of stuff just sends me……

  11. Laura (old OR vintage) says

    Well, having come from Connecticut, I am glad that I at last have a definition of what a “Yankee” is …:) Seriously, can anyone align themselves with this type of thinking?

  12. Avelinn says

    I know what you mean, Laura. It seems hard to believe that Christians are believing these things.

    Thatmom, it really is an incredible quote. I couldn’t believe it when I read it. Also, have you noticed there is some tendency in these groups towards foreign adoption and in particular, adoption of black children? That concerns me as well. Are they teaching these kids they are adopting these things? I really wonder and worry about those kids and the identity they will grow up with as a result. I know Nancy Campbell’s family seems to be adopting quite a few children from Liberia. I just wonder what they are telling these kids about their ancestry. I really do.

    I also saw the Swedish home school video and was quite taken aback by that. It really surprised me and is very unsettling.

  13. says

    Avelinn, again, more good insights. I know that some in these groups are opposed to adoption in general, Bill Gothard being one of them.

  14. Avelinn says

    Thanks for the link, thatmom. I will definitely be listening to that. And thanks so much for sharing this information with us!

    It is interesting to hear about Gothard because I know that the Duggars have been asked repeatedly lately if they are going to adopt and they have said that it’s something they are considering. It will be interesting to see if they ever do go through with adoption.

  15. Laura (old OR vintage) says

    I know that Gothard has often been negative on adoption.As I said before, this is one of the rare instances where he makes some sense, though for all the wrong reasons. He has warned against adoption because he thinks that the adopted children may bring “the sins of the fathers” into apparently sinless families. Last time I checked, we are all sinners, and if we were all doomed because of our past or anyone els’s past, we would be in a bad place.

    However, I will repeat that I am very concerned that people not rush into adoption, considering their motivation and the cost to their biological children-emotional and otherwise. As I said before, these orphans are not “cursed” with anything- but often come with the baggage pf abuse, violence, and neglect. These horrors do not magically disapear when they are welcomed into a big (or small) Christian family.

    I know of disastrous things that are happening with some of these large families who bring wounded children into their homes, particularly with young or special needs kids part of the mix. Would the Duggars simply assign a “buddy” to watch over a child from a war torn nation who had lived through the murder or torture of their family before coming to the U.S.? This is entirely irresponsible and people need to speak up. In a facility that I am familiar with, over one fourth of the kids in a residential treatment program have come from disrupted adoptions of older kids.This can mean traumatized kids from the U.S. foster system as well as overseas kids.

    We are all called to help orphans (though there is another whole scandal brewing about Christian families who strongarm kids away from living parents overseas, to give them a “better” life here.) But that help can come in the way of helping kids stay with biological parents by helping parents, supporting well run group homes here and overseas, and sometimes adopting into our families.

    Don’t allow this to be just another fad, or requirement to be a “better” Christian family. Pray and earnestly search your motivations and the needs and vulnerability of your biological family.

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