Sunday, 15 May 2011


Interesting piece from an American source;


  1. I dislike the 'them and us' attitude towards schooled children. I do think there are social advantages in home education (it's one of the many reasons we home ed) but I can't stand the snooty, superior attittude towards young people who go to school. I have schooled nephews and nieces who are perfectly pleasant young people. I don't think it does home education any favours to present our children as some sort of 'chosen few' who are superior to other children.

  2. Well said Allie.
    Here's a gem from America, it concerns the death of a chap called Jeff Hall who ran the South West Chapter of the NSM, they're neo Nazis and home schoolers.
    His 10 yo son was being indoctrinated into race hate.
    The boy shot his father dead.

  3. The "World Nut Daily" is a publication of the American extreme religious right. The only US homeschoolers it represents are those on the _far_ edge of the protestant right-wing fringe (most evangelicals who homeschool wouldn't recognise themselves in the WND any more than secular homeschoolers would.)

    The us-and-them attitude Allie recognises comes from the fact that the "them" in question are "the unsaved," according to the WND.

    The WND doesn't normally go too far out of its way to advocate homeschooling, since it's mainly concerned with "birtherism" and anti-gay-rights advocacy.

    Simon...please find another source. There are so many American HS magazines, ranging from ultraconservative to secular liberal, surely you don't need the WND as a source for stories!

  4. I am perfectly familiar with the World Net Daily and it is indeed a right-wing, survivalist site. I quoted the article becuae socialisation is often the main stick used to belabour home educating parents, rather than educational provision per se. I shall continue to post pieces from a wide variety of different places. This is to create a balanced view of the subject. On other occasions I have posted links to articles about successful home education outcomes and also to cases where the practice has led to abuse and murder. I like to explore the scene from all angles and points of views. The WND piece came to my attention because somebody a few days ago posted a link to a piece there about our own Peter Williams.

  5. Not sure I'd like my child to be the topic on such a vile forum.

  6. Sound rather like someone doesn't want to face the fact that there are Neo Nazis that homeschool.

  7. Luckily, the number of this type of extremist is quite small, but homeschool neo-Nazis do exist - an example would be the girls in the 'band' Prussian Blue, profiled by Louis Thoreaux in a BBC documentary a while back. Luckily, such people are in a tiny minority, and are far outnumbered by extremists of various types (Christian. Muslim, Jewish, and others) who send their kids to congenial schools, mostly (but not all) private.

    It's worth noting, too, that the Hall family were very much being monitored by the state of California - they were well aware of their repugnant views, but did not see enough evidence of abuse to take the child out of the home. In the US, extremism alone is not grounds for removing a child - there has to be evidence of abuse or neglect.

    Home education wasn't what protected Mr. Hall from losing his kids: unfortunately, Mr. Hall was able to give enough impression of being a competent parent to protect _himeself_ from losing his children, though it now appears that his ex-wife's accusations of abuse must have been true.

    I think Simon is really not 'getting' how extreme the WND really is. While he likes to examine things from 'all points of view' (a position I respect), WND is really the equivalent of quoting stories from a stalinist newsletter or an extreme anti-semitic newsletter (check out the WND's views on Islam for examples.) It's really not in any part of the mainstream. If you are looking for the views of American right-wing homeschoolers, The Old Schoolhouse, Homeschooling Today, Cathy Duffy's site, or the website Ladies Against Feminism (which focuses on traditional gender roles but covers a lot about homeschooling from an extreme family-traditionalist viewpoint) are better places to go.

  8. So, it looks like you're saying that the white supremacist home schoolers are confined to America eh..
    What about the home schooling British Neo Nazis, do you believe that they exist anon?

    They're out there, there are some that have posted on VNN and others using the Stormfront forum, as I recall there was someone from Sussex and another from the West Mids. Then the BNP made it part of their manifesto to favour home schoolers by making tax allowances. I don't recall EO ever having one single black person on their council and I've certainly witnessed some very odd instances of extremely unpleasant homophobia that wouldn't have been out of place at a KKK rally. I've heard home educated children make remarks that could only have come from racist households.
    From what I can make out, Peter himself contacted WND regarding his own circumstances. Whether he was aware of the right wing nature of the site is something only he knows, however his case was picked up by white supremacists and posted on an extremist network forum.

  9. I am absolutely sure that there are racists who home educate in the UK as well as the US (and other places), and I am more than certain that there are religious extremists who do so. Luckily for home educators, most home educators in both the UK and the US are not racists or otherwise extreme.

    However, as I said above, the tiny minority of racist home educators is far outnumbered by the racists and religious extremists who send their children to congenial schools (or, I would add, into average schools, in an attempt to convert others!)

    The only difference between the UK and the US (as far as I can tell) is that in the UK, more of the schools that are friendly to extremism (and therefore to racists' or extremists' children) are state funded, although this mostly applies where fringe groups have control of state funded _religious_ schools (such schools do not exist in the US because the state can not fund any religious school at all).

    In the states, a state school that falls into the control of religious extremists may persist for a few years or even for decades in some small communities, but it is in breach of the law and will eventually be found out and returned to the control of the community.

  10. Oh neatly turned, blame the state and smear the schools.

  11. Religious extremists?

    Which religious extremists do you mean?

  12. Which state schools are friendly to extremism?

  13. Simon, here's an interesting radio broadcast for you. It's a great example of how American broadcasters treat home education, and also of the 'esteem' in which the World Net Daily is generally held. Diane Rehm is a very well-known US radio interviewer, sort of a pre-Terry-Gross version of Terry Gross. Here, she's interviewing Jonathan Kay, from Canada's National Post newspaper, about conspiracy theories in politics.

    at 40 Minutes, the Kay defends the Tea Party, but makes an exception for the WND, explaining that it is a 'birther' publication on the 'fringe' of the Tea Party movement.

    Mid-way through the segment, the Hall case (discussed above) is mentioned, and (as is quite common in US media), both interviewer and interviewee go out of their way to point out that Home Ed is an excellent alternative for many families before discussing the specifics of this case (in which the family were clearly isolating their children in a group of fanatics.) Even in this type of extreme case, HE is pretty much always discussed as a positive alternative in the US media.

  14. '....a positive alternative in the US media'
    I can't see how that stands up when compared to claims made by HSLDA.

  15. Anon says that the Old Schoolhouse website is 'one of the better places to go to'.
    It's also a website that supports Michael and Debi Pearl's doctrines of discipline.

  16. Actually, what anan said was, "If you are looking for the views of American right-wing homeschoolers, The Old Schoolhouse, Homeschooling Today, Cathy Duffy's site, or the website Ladies Against Feminism (which focuses on traditional gender roles but covers a lot about homeschooling from an extreme family-traditionalist viewpoint) are better places to go. "

  17. Better?
    As compared to?

  18. "Better?
    As compared to?"

    If you are trying to read the views of American right-wing homeschoolers these sites are better than places that do not give their views, of course.

  19. I don't really want to read the views of some gun toting, misogynistic racist or his subjugated wife.
    Obviously that type of homeschooler is very popular with some of you.
    Everyone knows that they're out there on the net spouting their bile, so how dare you make recommendations of what you consider to be a 'better place to go'?

  20. Ahem - the sites listed are better places to go to get an idea of the views of right-wing Christian homeschoolers in the US than World Net Daily, which Simon quoted in the original post, and which is considered 'fringe' even by right-wing Christian homeschoolers.

    _None_ of these places is a generally good place to go for advice on home education, as they all cater to a particular part of the US religious right. If, however, you want to _understand_ what this particular part of the US right wing thinks, these places are good places to look to get an idea of the spectrum of views in this particular group of people.

  21. "Everyone knows that they're out there on the net spouting their bile, so how dare you make recommendations of what you consider to be a 'better place to go'?"

    It was Simon that 'went there', other people just suggested alternatives that were not as extreme as the site he visited and posted a link to! We know nasty people and ideas are out there, but this doesn't mean that we should shut our eyes, put our fingers in our ears and shout 'La, La, La...' as loud as we can. Nobody is suggesting that your read the sites in order to follow their advice. Unless you are suggesting that we should never, ever read anything we disagree with? Which begs the question, why are you reading this if you disagree with it?