Are American Homeschool Movement Leaders Holier Than The Bible?

Always watch out for self-proclaimed leaders. Especially the ones who don’t answer to any higher authority than themselves (wait a minute, didn’t they just have a “Sufficiency of the Scriptures” convention? Oh, good. Then they won’t be able to argue with me. Because I’ll only back up my arguments with the fully-sufficient Scriptures).

These men have turned in to quite a hot commodity on the homeschool conference speaking circuit.

No doubt they will have to amplify their message some other way before long, as homeschool families without extra cash will be forgoing conference attendance due to tight funds in this bad economy.

Kevin Swanson is a good example of a “Leader of the Homeschool Movement” who is a danger to the Body of Christ. I will illustrate this with his own words from his online radio broadcast, “Generations with Vision,” which airs daily and has a very large audience of Christian Homeschoolers. Probably made up mostly of women who try and coax their husbands to listen along if they can. (I’m one of them, so I know this dynamic!)

First they attempt to induce fear.

Then they attempt to instill in us, their audience of Christian homeschool (probably quiverfull, too) families, a confidence that they are the ones with the answers. Since we’re already afraid, we’re primed to feel they speak for us. Fear, as we so easily forget, is one emotion that does a great job of erasing our faculties of rational problem-solving. This is why terrorists are so effective–their primary weapon is fear.

Then they try to shame their critics.

Then they begin to spout off the teachings of men.

The last thing they do to deflect criticism is to get us to believe their leadership came naturally, invited by others, and was not self-proclaimed. When they do this, they’re showing their vulnerability and trying to cover their weak spots.

The problem they don’t have a solution for, is that they are mortal. And as such, they are not above criticism. Just as Christ and the Apostles openly criticized those who sought to mislead unsuspecting people, so everyone who communicates to a large audience is fair game. Surely they know this, for they openly criticize various “leaders” who take hold of social trends. We can do the same with them, can we not?

Because when it comes to The Cult of the Experts, the rule they live by is Communicate or Die.

How ever did Christian families manage before they came along? Before we first heard their golden tongues?


I always have a problem with my spinach getting slimy in the fridge before we use it all up. It lasts only 7 days or less for us (I’m the only one in the family eating it).

One day I inadvertently stored a bunch of fresh ginger root in the same bag (trying to quell the overpopulation of separate ziplock baggies in my fridge).

The spinach lasted much longer! Was I surprised? Not really. I already knew about the antioxidant and other health properties of ginger–little did I know it would keep my spinach from spoiling quickly. Plus, the ginger is still fresh and usable!

Tertullian, A.D. 160-240, who sought to defend Christianity against
charges of immorality had plenty to say about the practice of
“In our case, murder being once for all forbidden, we may not destroy
even the foetus in the womb, while as yet the human being derives
blood from other parts of the body for its sustenance. To hinder a
birth is merely a speedier man-killing; nor does it matter whether you
take away a life that is born, or destroy one that is coming to birth.
That is a man which is going to be one; you have the fruit already in
the seed (55).”

This sounds like it also implicates contraception! No doubt if we were to ask Tertullian, he would oppose contraception outright. You should see what a stickler he was on headcoverings (I Cor. 11:1-15)! More on that beloved subject of mine later!

Lush Garden days!

The Cutie Pie in front of the community herb garden at the WOCOG.

The Cutie Pie in front of the community herb garden at the WOCOG.

Here we ate lunch together after the gardening was done. So peaceful!

Here we ate lunch together after the gardening was done. So peaceful!

I love bees on sunflowers.

I love bees on sunflowers.

In a neighboring plot. God's glory in an iris!

In a neighboring plot. God's glory in an iris!

The Cutie Pie weeding.

The Cutie Pie weeding.

Carrot tops, bunching onions, cherry tomato plants exploding from the side.

Carrot tops, bunching onions, cherry tomato plants exploding from the side.

Check out all those cherry tomatoes! Can you count them down to the flowers?

Check out all those cherry tomatoes! Can you count them down to the flowers?

Yesterday we went to tend our garden plot at Wild Oats Community Organic Garden (Long Beach). I have a small plot there, and my mom started a plot right next to mine. I planted carrots, radishes, green bunching onions, and cherry tomato plants. The watermelon sprouts I planted vanished (dried upl, probably) within a couple days, which is good because the cherry tomatoes have completely taken over the space that had been allotted to the melons!!

One thing that worked well: mycorrhizae spores I got in a powder form from Paul Stamet’s fascinating company, “Fungi Perfecti!” The product is called MycoGrow, and it’s not expensive. It’s not a synthetic fertilizer–it’s natural underground fungal spores that are amazingly designed by God to just stay underground and form a symbiotic relationship with the roots of your plants! I love this stuff. I sprinkled in about a 1/2 teaspoon into each little hole just before inserting a seedling into the plot, and it does an amazing job of conserving water, warding off disease and pests, and improving nutrient transport to the roots. This is the first time I’ve used it, and I am amazed at the quality of my onions, radishes and tomatoes! My cherry tomatoes look like regular tomato plants in how long and gangly and enormously productive they are! But they’re still the size of cherry tomatoes (so far!). And, since it’s hard to tell from the photo, I counted 17 cherry tomato-sproutings from just one branch on this plant. That’s if you count from the first green tomato down to the last flower. 17!!! And it’s still growing strong, so it will probably produce quite a few more flowers there. When I planted cherry tomatoes in containers 2 summers ago, I think I got about 6 per branch.

My mom's garden plot (mine's beyond hers). Someone's waving at you!

My mom's garden plot (mine's beyond hers). Someone's waving at you!

Kelly at Generation Cedar has put up such a wonderful post today, entitled: “Biblical Marriage: Does It Only Work If My Husband Is Nice?”

I think many Christian women struggle with this. Perhaps because of incomplete instruction on what the Bible says about marriage, but likely because of our human sinfulness and limitations. This side of heaven, we will always struggle with doing our part in Christian marriage: the unconditional respect, the submission, the selfless love commanded in God’s Word. That’s why I’m so thankful that confession and forgiveness are also commanded in God’s Word.

I have struggled with this myself, many times. But I must also say that my husband has struggled with feeling disrespected by his wife many times, so neither one of us are innocent victims. There can be rivers of hurt if a woman doesn’t feel loved by her husband, but the wonderful thing is that God already knows what we’re thinking, so He is the One we must cry out to in these times. He had compassion on Leah because He knew she was unloved by Jacob. He hears and, like my wonderful pastor says, “He is more apt to come to our aid than we are apt to ask Him for help.”

In our marriage, we’re at a wondrous stage right now. God is coming to our aid, because we asked Him for help in our desperation when our marriage had degraded into something very painful. I am stunned. I’m seeing God work in my husband in ways I despaired of ever seeing. Perhaps because it got so bad I gave up hope and gave up trying to make my husband be a certain way. I just cried and cried and cried to God. I’ve still given up, in the sense that I don’t want to go back to the striving for a great marriage that I had immersed myself in, but I’m seeing signs of new life where I thought there would only be a wasteland. When I am weak, then I am strong. I feel God’s strength doing this marvelous improvement in our marriage, because I gave up trying, and just cried out to Him.

Like the waves of the ocean will always come up continually, you can be sure that God answers prayer without fail.

[posted later: Did I just share all those private details? Oops. Blogging can be dangerous! That’s okay. I never hear people talk about having a troubled marriage until they’re planning their divorce. I know some women are desperate to hear that their Christian marriage is not the only one struggling–so they don’t feel like a misfit of some sort, and how God can bring healing. So I don’t mind being this candid.]

Music to My Ears

She’s 3 1/2. Maybe she’s beginning to outgrow her nap?

A smile comes to my face. This is what I’m hearing emanating from the room where our little Munchkin should be napping:

“Hoh-wee, hoh-wee, hooooh-wee! Yord God Al-migh-ty!

Er-wee in da mor-ning my song shall wise to dee!

Cher-a-bim and Ser-a-phim, fah-ying down before Dee.

. . . . [she must have forgotten the words here] . . . Ev-oo-moh shaw be!”

It amazes me how much that little sponge absorbs from us. We sing this hymn at church, as well as in the car together. My husband told me last week she was singing it at the top of her lungs, waving her arms around, as they walked down the Belmont Shore sidewalk together (Belmont Shore, for those not familiar with Long Beach, Ca, is the trendy place-to-see-and-be-seen with your baby stroller, your dog, your sweetie-pie. Boutiques, restaurants, chocolate shops . . . )

Character is built from the inside out.

“Remember the home has the strongest influence: school and church only supplement that. Your own behavior is the strongest influence your child has.
The way to keep out evil is to fill the mind and the time with wholesome, interesting thought and occupations. Let your watch word be occupy.”
-Burrell -1907
This is from the family at Teaching Good Things. What a great thought. I must occupy her with productive, wholesome thoughts and occupations. That means I have to first do so with my own self. Let my daughter never see me wasting my time.
I want her to see me cooking, sewing, gardening, reading, piano-playing, singing, cleaning, writing, creating, exercising, serving, and all with a cheerful attitude to be of service to God and to others.
I really want to pursue some entrepreneurial occupation in the home. I’m still bandying about different ideas. It ought to be something involving skillful work, which wouldn’t be too hard for her to also learn.
Lazy hands make a man poor, but diligent hands bring wealth.
Proverbs 10:4