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Innocent and naive homeschool kids


homeschoolmomma1

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I know I used to homeschool, but I look at the fundies on the TV and internet and think their kids seem to never grow up. Not that I am saying it is bad for a 15 year old to be 100% worldly, but for 15 and 30 year olds to pose with stuffed animals and to never not want to hang with brothers and sisters seems odd to me.

What are your thoughts and examples? Have you seen the same?

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Just to clarify, nieve = naive? And if so, in the sense that they're being sheltered from what, exactly? Do you have any examples to start with?

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Yeah, Ive noticed that. I think its because these kind of homeschooled kids have no idea what is supposed to be age appropriate as they dont have contact with other kids, and because of the focus on keeping the whole family together, all activities have to be suitable for the whole family, which is usually mostly toddlers and school aged kids. Also, when you get to the age where you are growing out of toys, there isnt much more for a fundie kid to do. When a worldly kid grows out of toys, they have loads of things to do-they can hang out with friends, watch movies and TV, listen to music, go on the computer, play video games, go take classes in something they enjoy, go out places with groups of friends instead of with mom, dad and 10 littler siblings coming along...For fundies, theres no imbetween stage, its either playing with toys or being pretty much an extra parent and spending their time cleaning.

They also seem more innocent and naive because they dont have the knowledge other kids have. Their ability to understand the world is like that of the average 4 year old. For fundies, it is normal for a 15 year old to not know how babies are made, but you will not find a normal kid who doesnt know by 15. They also can lack social skills, as theyve been restricted to only being with their siblings or other fundies, so they have no idea how to react when faced with something unfamiliar. They also come across as very different, not knowing about pop culture, not dating, constant mentions of God, the innocent bigotry...

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In the case of the Arndts, I think their parents would like all of them to be Peter Pan. This is because they manage to go out into the real world and have jobs and occasionally travel, but they stay the same in terms of their psyche. It's very bizarre. I'm not sure how their parents succeed at this. Maybe all of them genuinely felt happy as a child, so they've kind of remained in that state.

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Yeah, I don't get it.

I have a 9 year old always homeschooled only child that is 100x more worldly than those weird 30+ year old Arndt boys. She plays with stuffed animals, but she also listens to current music and watches current non-animated movies and does things other 9 year olds do.

Can it really be blamed on homeschooling? I honestly wouldn't know how to create an Arndt child, if homeschooling does it I've failed miserably. I just have a feeling there's a dysfunction there that goes way above and beyond schooling methods. We go to hsing events and I've never seen anyone remotely like them. Maybe the people like them don't go to the events, but the Arndts are always doing their softball games and taking jobs etc so they don't seem isolated.

We need a Jane Goodall type to go observe them for 20 years and try to figure it out.

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I think its because these kind of homeschooled kids have no idea what is supposed to be age appropriate as they dont have contact with other kids, and because of the focus on keeping the whole family together, all activities have to be suitable for the whole family, which is usually mostly toddlers and school aged kids. Also, when you get to the age where you are growing out of toys, there isnt much more for a fundie kid to do. When a worldly kid grows out of toys, they have loads of things to do-they can hang out with friends, watch movies and TV, listen to music, go on the computer, play video games, go take classes in something they enjoy, go out places with groups of friends instead of with mom, dad and 10 littler siblings coming along...For fundies, theres no imbetween stage, its either playing with toys or being pretty much an extra parent and spending their time cleaning.

They also seem more innocent and naive because they dont have the knowledge other kids have. Their ability to understand the world is like that of the average 4 year old. For fundies, it is normal for a 15 year old to not know how babies are made, but you will not find a normal kid who doesnt know by 15. They also can lack social skills, as theyve been restricted to only being with their siblings or other fundies, so they have no idea how to react when faced with something unfamiliar. They also come across as very different, not knowing about pop culture, not dating, constant mentions of God, the innocent bigotry...

I think that top bit is absolutely key, for the type of oddly childlike SOTDRT graduates we so often see here. Some people who went through that system have posted about their own experiences to say pretty much the same thing too - the education (not to mention the socialization) sort of just peters out after upper elementary (or even middle elementary) as there are more kids, not much time for Mom to teach the older kid, the schoolwork starts becoming more difficult and requiring more dedicated study time (rather than "well you can learn fractions from cooking!" type stuff) AND, possibly most important, Mom starts relying on the older kid to help teach the younger ones.

At that point, the reward for teaching a younger kid, feeling smart, feeling almost like a mom when the younger kid learns to read simple words, being an authority and feeling success, all of that is very much more attractive than sitting down and seriously struggling to master your own more advanced studies, which can be frustrating and boring until you "get it." Without some serious discipline coming from somewhere (and it won't be mom even if she tries to - mom's unspoken reward is for when the kid is helping teach) the choice is obvious.

The family takes field trips, but as you say they're always together as a unit and so the activities are always pitched at the young kids - lower elementary at best.

So the kid is always the oldest among a big group of little kids.

As for the pop culture though - I think it's a sign, but that alone isn't quite enough to fully bring the odd feeling. They don't just not know modern local pop culture, they don't know ANY mature pop culture or involved references that are aimed at an older crowd, from any time, really. Foreign kids who have no clue of US TV can still "get it" quickly when explained because they know similar "level" of entertainment from somewhere else. Kids who only read classic stuff but read adult classic stuff, similarly they can "get it" because the humor and the the intrigue and all the rest of it are again pitched at that higher level. Nerds who are obsessed with some topic but at an adult level of depth can talk about that with you, etc. Plus all those things mean they're off and thinking/researching stuff on their own, which the SOTDRT doesn't exactly encourage.

Add to all that, plenty of SOTDRT actively fetishize "innocence" so the kids are purposely avoiding any sort of "adult" entertainment (and by that I very much do not mean porn). 20 year olds who refuse to see PG-13 movies as almost a badge of honor? THAT is weird.

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Yeah, I don't get it.

I have a 9 year old always homeschooled only child that is 100x more worldly than those weird 30+ year old Arndt boys. She plays with stuffed animals, but she also listens to current music and watches current non-animated movies and does things other 9 year olds do.

Can it really be blamed on homeschooling?

I think it's not just "homeschooling" but the explicitly SOTDRT style of homeschooling, plus the insistence on family togetherness 24/7. Probably the extreme family togetherness is the biggest thing since it limits the activities of the older kids.

If everything you do has to be suitable for your youngest child, ALWAYS, and you're popping out kids for the entirety of your oldest's childhood, your oldest kid is going to end up stunted.

Just the homeschooling and having the tons of kids would be okay, IF you let the oldest kids do activities on their own away from the younger kids. If the older kids in the homeschool get to go on field trips and factory tours pitched at an adult level, it's fine.

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We need a Jane Goodall type to go observe them for 20 years and try to figure it out.

I had to laugh at this, because as one of those "innocent and naive" homeschooled kids, I've spent the last 20+ years of my life feeling like Jane Goodall, trying to study and figure out the real world. I will always feel like an outsider; I have acclimated to the real world but I will never feel integrated.

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Just to clarify, nieve = naive? And if so, in the sense that they're being sheltered from what, exactly? Do you have any examples to start with?

Darn it I did spell that wrong! It looked like it this morning, but I had such a bad headache I didn't care. Could a MOD fix that lol

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I think it's not just "homeschooling" but the explicitly SOTDRT style of homeschooling, plus the insistence on family togetherness 24/7. Probably the extreme family togetherness is the biggest thing since it limits the activities of the older kids.

If everything you do has to be suitable for your youngest child, ALWAYS, and you're popping out kids for the entirety of your oldest's childhood, your oldest kid is going to end up stunted.

Just the homeschooling and having the tons of kids would be okay, IF you let the oldest kids do activities on their own away from the younger kids. If the older kids in the homeschool get to go on field trips and factory tours pitched at an adult level, it's fine.

Homeschooling can be wonderful - if done right.

As a homeschooler, I almost never take offense to homeschool comments here because I know they are referring to the SOTDRT Duggar/Arndt type homeschool. The whole never learn anything beyond what mom and dad want you to believe in the eyes of God, sort of schooling.

Not the "I homeschool because my district sucks, or my kid learns better one on one, or whatever other legitimate reason yo may have" type.

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Darn it I did spell that wrong! It looked like it this morning, but I had such a bad headache I didn't care. Could a MOD fix that lol

I struggle with that word too! I am a pretty good speller but that's a tough one. lol I usually overkill it and spell it "naieve". :lol:

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I think it's more likely that people who have poor social skills (or realize that their kids do) and who have a narrow view of the world are more likely to homeschool, than that homeschooling makes kids socially awkward and unaware of the world around them. I know several parents who made the decision to homeschool a child with Asperger's syndrome not just to protect them from the torment of their classmates, but mainly to give the child an opportunity for more positive social interactions. It's easier to learn social skills in the company of people who have the same interests as you do even if they are much older than you, than it is with people your own age with whom you have nothing in common and are seen as weird.

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Add to all that, plenty of SOTDRT actively fetishize "innocence" so the kids are purposely avoiding any sort of "adult" entertainment (and by that I very much do not mean porn). 20 year olds who refuse to see PG-13 movies as almost a badge of honor? THAT is weird.

My husband is 33 and will rarely see anything above PG and even more rare that he'll see something not animated.

Edited because I suck at using the quote button. :doh:

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Homeschooling can be wonderful - if done right.

As a homeschooler, I almost never take offense to homeschool comments here because I know they are referring to the SOTDRT Duggar/Arndt type homeschool. The whole never learn anything beyond what mom and dad want you to believe in the eyes of God, sort of schooling.

Not the "I homeschool because my district sucks, or my kid learns better one on one, or whatever other legitimate reason yo may have" type.

Oh, I took no offense! I just was offering my opinion that the Arndts would be weird as hell no matter what. lol The dysfunction seems to be Arndt related more than anything else.

I do know SODTRT types, one of my daughter's friends comes from a quiverful family - french braids, 6 kids under 9, long skirts/denim jumpers, homechurching .. the whole 9 yards. Even THEY are nothing like the Arndts. They aren't listening to Lady Gaga, obviously, but still the 9 year old acts like a 9 year old.

GardenVarietyCitizen> I think you are on to something with the fetishizing of innocence.

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I think there's some fetishizing of innocence, and some outright educational neglect happening in some families.

There is just no way 19, o even, say.. ten kids can be taught by one parent- between the splitting of being Teacher and being a Parent, your attention is divided too many ways. Having your kids help each other out isn't the worst choice you could make (I did it in a montessori school as a kid, but was never forced or had it made a requirement for my participation), but it's really not feasible in the long run as the only educational input method.

Now, I participated as a homeschooler in several parent-led classes through our homeschool co-op. Like the dad who was a university chemistry professor, and did classes for high school homeschoolers on the weekends in his lab, or the english lit major mom who did a book group. Those, I feel, are a bit different from having your mom be the only educator- you go to someone's house and there's a different set of rules; because you're there to learn, not goof off or see how you can get mom distracted from teaching.

I think there's also a lack of motivation for a lot of the parents in the fundie homeschooling world- how many of them get pre-prepared "school in a box" type kits, and never bother to learn more than is in the educator's guide, or beyond their schooling background? I know my mom and I did several projects together that had her learning as much as I did on a subject I wanted to learn about.

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On the homeschooling question itself, I don't think it's impossible for a parent to homeschool a large family spread across the grade spectrum. There are free entirely computer based systems in some states for k-12 they even provide the computers! Or you can take one curriculum theme and adapt it to different abilities and learning styles. But that takes a lot of effort and creativity. Many districts also have great homeschooling enrichment activities and help from certified teachers.

Some of my kids who are now adults are extremely silly and playful and I could definitely see them posing with penguins or playing Legos or any of those child like behaviors, and they were most definitely not naive.

It can definitely be a tough balancing act when you have children of varying ages to not over expose the younger children to inappropriate material, while still letting the older children grow up, particularly when you have kids in the middle, so there is no clear cut boundary between big and little kids. And we just had a ten year spread from oldest to youngest, it must be even more difficult with the 20+ year range some of these families have.

I agree with the poster who said that a key issue is that the older kids aren't allowed to have outside, independent interests and friends away from home, so everything in their lives is geared to a a young child's level. Just basic things like if you have kids aged 5 -15, most families might drop the teens off at the mall while they take the younger ones to the playground, but that doesn't happen in these families, ever.

Edited because the iPad refuses to know the difference between there and their.

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Exactly. Or hire a babysitter for the young kids while the 12-15 year olds go on some advanced field trip where they're hearing age-appropriate details about whatever it is, with appropriate homework assigned afterward - things that would bore small kids. Or let the older kids do some essential job-shadowing (on their own!) while mom stays home with the others, etc.

Rent some movies with advanced themes (again, I very much do NOT mean porn) to watch with the older kids while the young ones do something else. Ditto for reading groups - it's fun to have a reading group with friends where people are all reading the same book and talking about it (or even reading together and taking turns reading out loud) but a lot of good important books you can't read with little kids because either it's inappropriate or they'll be bored stiff and won't understand anyway.

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I think homeschooling is just like any other type of school- there are really good, really bad, and everything in between. By saying that something is because of homeschooling is putting to broad of blame on it. I think you can say it is the fault of their particular home school situation, but not homeschooling in general.

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Darn it I did spell that wrong! It looked like it this morning, but I had such a bad headache I didn't care. Could a MOD fix that lol

Will do momentarily :)

FWIW, if you remember "evian" like the bottled water backwards? that's naive.

One of the only spelling memory tricks that has ever 'stuck' for me :D

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I think these kids seem naive because they never learn how to be older kids. They're either adults or children (even if they have adult responsibilities) and they don't get much chance to see what other kids their age play or experiment with or what they're admired or teased for. If they do, and get interested, there's a good chance they may be told it's immodest, disobedient, selfish, etc.

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I think homeschooling is just like any other type of school- there are really good, really bad, and everything in between. By saying that something is because of homeschooling is putting to broad of blame on it. I think you can say it is the fault of their particular home school situation, but not homeschooling in general.

So much this. There is overall less regulation, which in theory could let kids fall farther behind, but I have heard of plenty of barely literate kids who kept getting passed and end up unable to write a cohesive essay or do basic algebra by the time they graduate from public high school.

I do know that teachers have a hard time teaching 20 same grade kids in a classroom, when they are all learning the same things. Whenthat is confounded by having to teach 18 preschool through high school aged kids all at the same time, while doing all housework,and feeling like shit from closely spaced and never ending pregnancies, the fun dies are basically setting themselves up for failure. Combined with the isolation factor, It's not surprising if some of the kids get lost in the mix and end up childish and undereducated.

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So much this. There is overall less regulation, which in theory could let kids fall farther behind, but I have heard of plenty of barely literate kids who kept getting passed and end up unable to write a cohesive essay or do basic algebra by the time they graduate from public high school.

I do know that teachers have a hard time teaching 20 same grade kids in a classroom, when they are all learning the same things. Whenthat is confounded by having to teach 18 preschool through high school aged kids all at the same time, while doing all housework,and feeling like shit from closely spaced and never ending pregnancies, the fun dies are basically setting themselves up for failure. Combined with the isolation factor, It's not surprising if some of the kids get lost in the mix and end up childish and undereducated.

The second paragraph, a thousand times over. I have a very hard time teaching one Grade 1 student and one Grade 4 student, I can't imagine how homeschooling parents with like 7 or 8 kids do it.

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I know lots of parents do a good job homeschooling, but I do wonder about others. I care for my small grandchildren in an area where many "helicopter mothers" are homeschooling, mostly I think because they don't want to be separated from their kids and it gives SAHMs the status of SuperMom. Granted, these kids are young but I already see they are different from other kids, and not in a good way--for example, in an indoor play area we frequent, these moms play with their kids all the time (even go down the slide with them)--the kids don't interact with the other children. And they expect everyone else to see them as "special"--I've had moms walk right in and up to my girls and tell them to get off some play equipment because their child wants it, or move over at storytime because they walked in late but their child doesn't like to sit in the middle...These kids are 4 and 5 but they don't know anything about standing in line, waiting their turn, being quiet when someone is reading, raising their hand before speaking in a group--simple things that they should know by that age. I think it's going to be a very rude awakening for these kids when--at whatever age it happens (and I have friends who teach college who see the same phenomenon, so it may be a while) they have to interact with the rest of the world and find out that the rest of the world has its own rules and priorities, and they aren't nearly as special as they think (like Smuggar may be learning now?)

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I know lots of parents do a good job homeschooling, but I do wonder about others. I care for my small grandchildren in an area where many "helicopter mothers" are homeschooling, mostly I think because they don't want to be separated from their kids and it gives SAHMs the status of SuperMom. Granted, these kids are young but I already see they are different from other kids, and not in a good way--for example, in an indoor play area we frequent, these moms play with their kids all the time (even go down the slide with them)--the kids don't interact with the other children. And they expect everyone else to see them as "special"--I've had moms walk right in and up to my girls and tell them to get off some play equipment because their child wants it, or move over at storytime because they walked in late but their child doesn't like to sit in the middle...These kids are 4 and 5 but they don't know anything about standing in line, waiting their turn, being quiet when someone is reading, raising their hand before speaking in a group--simple things that they should know by that age. I think it's going to be a very rude awakening for these kids when--at whatever age it happens (and I have friends who teach college who see the same phenomenon, so it may be a while) they have to interact with the rest of the world and find out that the rest of the world has its own rules and priorities, and they aren't nearly as special as they think (like Smuggar may be learning now?)

Sounds like some women might benefit from reading at freerangekids.com.

OTOH, maybe they just think they have indigo children.

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