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EowynW

The Smyth Family Homesteaders

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EowynW

 While researching tiny(ish) houses for ourselves in the future (we plan to build a 5-600 square feet home cabin home one day) we stumbled across the Smyth family. A homeschooling family of 8, living off grid, packed into a 500 square foot house. I don't know if they are fundies but their are in some religious branch, because Mama Smyth dresses quietly and wears a covering. 

https://m.youtube.com/channel/UC_iz0mIhVFaMwD-KBfrLPWA

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JemimaPuddle-Duck
2 hours ago, EowynW said:

 While researching tiny(ish) houses for ourselves in the future (we plan to build a 5-600 square feet home cabin home one day) we stumbled across the Smyth family. A homeschooling family of 8, living off grid, packed into a 500 square foot house. I don't know if they are fundies but their are in some religious branch, because Mama Smyth dresses quietly and wears a covering. 

https://m.youtube.com/channel/UC_iz0mIhVFaMwD-KBfrLPWA

I know this family personally. I would consider them fundie, but they are not of any particular sect; she dresses that way out of personal preference. Since I imagine it will be asked, both parents are college-educated and she takes homeschooling seriously and the children are very sweet.  While we may not agree with them in every way, they are genuinely kind and loving people and I would really hate to see them picked apart here. 

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JermajestyDuggar
3 minutes ago, JemimaPuddle-Duck said:

I know this family personally. I would consider them fundie, but they are not of any particular sect; she dresses that way out of personal preference. Since I imagine it will be asked, both parents are college-educated and she takes homeschooling seriously and the children are very sweet.  While we may not agree with them in every way, they are genuinely kind and loving people and I would really hate to see them picked apart here. 

If they are what you say then I really doubt they will be picked apart. 

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Howl

Hoo boy, that's a lot of people packed into a little space, especially if there are long cold winters.  I suspect it can work if the mom and dad are mellow, kind people  and on top of gentle parenting. 

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JermajestyDuggar

The fundies picked apart the most on FJ are the ones who post the most WTF?! Type of stuff. The hate filled assholes, narcissists, smug as hell, abusive, fundie families get the most snark. Families like the Rods, Anderson’s, and Nogs will always be talked about as long as they keep putting the crazy out there. This family is probably too ordinary for FJ to talk about much. 

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hollyandivy

wow, I looked at their house - what  a disaster for living there for a full year, I would go insane with all the unfinished things!  Living in a tiny space is not an issue for me but living in a construction site - different matter entirely!

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pook

I can't believe it but I took the afternoon off today and independently discovered this family on Youtube.  I have been glued to the Smyths all afternoon!  Then I came here and voila!  A thread.  I think they are a very sweet family.  Esther appears to have alopecia of some sort but looks happy, confident and healthy.  The baby is adorable and Mom seems so calm, patient and loving.  O.T. I am amazed at what she is able to feed those kids because mine would run away screaming.

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DangerNoodle
54 minutes ago, pook said:

I can't believe it but I took the afternoon off today and independently discovered this family on Youtube.  I have been glued to the Smyths all afternoon!  Then I came here and voila!  A thread.  I think they are a very sweet family.  Esther appears to have alopecia of some sort but looks happy, confident and healthy.  The baby is adorable and Mom seems so calm, patient and loving.  O.T. I am amazed at what she is able to feed those kids because mine would run away screaming.

I picked the vitamin D video to watch. She has a son and a daughter with the alopecia. Their hair grows in the summer and then falls out in the winter. She attributed it to uvb rays  rather than vitamin D because vitamin D supplements didn't necessarily help like regular sunlight did.

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GenerationCedarchip

I hadn't heard of this family so I had to admit I went looking online.  That house would make me crazy but they look very happy and seem like a sweet family. They actually reminded me of a discussion in a Christian FB group I'm on, where we were talking about what we would be like if we ever went back to super-fundie-dom (most of us are probably what FJ would consider fundie-lite).

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Meh
formergothardite

How weird is it that I looked at their channel a couple weeks ago. I love looking at tiny houses, living off grid and stuff like that. 

I was turned off at the homeschool video where they are just thrilled at the total lack of regulations when it comes to homeschooling in their state. Apparently one of the one things they looked for when it came to finding a place to live was making sure they didn't have any sort of homeschool regulations. Wanting no homeschool regulations is always a red flag for me.  The Bible being the most important homeschooling text was also a red flag. Not wanting to risk their children being around a bad child who might encourage them to do something wrong was another reason they homeschool. They put in a weird part with a older son having to spout about him being his brother's keeper. The child was clearly uncomfortable and it was Jill Rod like. One of the reasons they homeschool is so their children can learn to be polite to adults? You can teach that outside school hours. Also so they can learn to take care of their younger siblings. They mentioned something about learning life skills, again, things that can be taught outside of school hours. They said something about how they homeschool to teach time management, which, again, is something you can teach outside of school hours and something you learn in school. My oldest is in middle school now and learning to manage her time wisely has been important. They also said they homeschool to teach problem solving, again something taught in school and can be taught outside of school hours. 

So it basically seems like they homeschool because they like the Bible to be the main part of their curriculum and don't want their kids to interact with the worldly children. 

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JermajestyDuggar
54 minutes ago, formergothardite said:

How weird is it that I looked at their channel a couple weeks ago. I love looking at tiny houses, living off grid and stuff like that. 

I was turned off at the homeschool video where they are just thrilled at the total lack of regulations when it comes to homeschooling in their state. Apparently one of the one things they looked for when it came to finding a place to live was making sure they didn't have any sort of homeschool regulations. Wanting no homeschool regulations is always a red flag for me.  The Bible being the most important homeschooling text was also a red flag. Not wanting to risk their children being around a bad child who might encourage them to do something wrong was another reason they homeschool. They put in a weird part with a older son having to spout about him being his brother's keeper. The child was clearly uncomfortable and it was Jill Rod like. One of the reasons they homeschool is so their children can learn to be polite to adults? You can teach that outside school hours. Also so they can learn to take care of their younger siblings. They mentioned something about learning life skills, again, things that can be taught outside of school hours. They said something about how they homeschool to teach time management, which, again, is something you can teach outside of school hours and something you learn in school. My oldest is in middle school now and learning to manage her time wisely has been important. They also said they homeschool to teach problem solving, again something taught in school and can be taught outside of school hours. 

So it basically seems like they homeschool because they like the Bible to be the main part of their curriculum and don't want their kids to interact with the worldly children. 

Thankfully they also seem to be learning homesteading stuff. Like gardening and taking care of animals. That can at least be useful. 

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formergothardite

I think it is good that they will have some life skills unlike so many of the fundies we discuss. I don't have an issue with homeschooling, I do think there needs to be some regulations(and I give the side I to any parents who are thrilled that they can pull their kids out of the school system without any regulations to ensure they are actually teaching the kids), and that it should be done as looking for what is best for each individual child. Another reason they gave for homeschooling is that it made it easier for the parents to live out their dreams of homesteading, that is a really shitty reason. When their reasons were really looked at, it made it pretty obvious that the choice to homeschool was all about the parents and not the kids. 

Fouch Family Off Grid handled the homeschooling while homesteading issue really well. They started off with their kids in public school. They made sure that they got internet so their kids could have a chance to play online games and and watch shows like their peers would watch because they didn't want their children to be totally culturally unaware. They then had their kids input into homeschooling and they tried it. Half way through the second year(I think it was the second year), their oldest son confessed he was miserable being homeschooled so they allowed him to go back to public school while they homeschooled the rest of the kids. Eventually all three children wanted to attend public school and the parents allowed it. I don't see the Smyth family being the sort of family where their oldest kid could confess he was miserable being homeschooled and wanted to attend public school. The poor kid looked miserable having to discuss his character training and how he had to be a good influence on his younger brothers! 

Now I don't get the vibe that this family is evil like Lori or Jill. But I do think they hold many of the hateful, dangerous beliefs that we discuss. I don't get the impression they would be open and accepting towards a gay child or even a child who said they didn't like homeschooling. 

Another reason they moved to that area is because there are no building codes and being able to build without an inspection was a big deal to them.:pb_rollseyes:

Spoiler

 

I didn't watch the whole thing because I find the dad a smug asshole, but at the 5:00 mark he talks about the "snowflakes" wanting the government to build them a safe space. This guy isn't pleasant. The wife seems sweet and reminds me of Jayne Lockwood. 

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JermajestyDuggar

Aren’t the patriarchs always smug asses though? I feel like when it comes to patriarchy, it’s extremely easy to not only attract the smug ass dudes but it’s also easy to raise smug sons into smug adults. Josh Bontrager is a perfect example of that. 

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formergothardite

Patriarchy does seem to attract smug assholes who have beautiful wives who appear to be on the timid side. I'm not sure the oldest son is this family will get the smug asshole trait, he seems to be a lot like Timothy Rodrigues. 

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JermajestyDuggar
2 minutes ago, formergothardite said:

Patriarchy does seem to attract smug assholes who have beautiful wives who appear to be on the timid side. I'm not sure the oldest son is this family will get the smug asshole trait, he seems to be a lot like Timothy Rodrigues. 

I kind of feel sorry for those types. They are supposed to be leaders and I imagine their wives want them to lead because it’s how they were raised. But if it’s not in their nature, they are a disappointment. 

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OGEmoji

I watched a few of their videos., and the wife and children seem lovely. I think she genuinely wants to do a good job raising her kids, wherever they are. She seems a bit sad to me though, especially during the "How we became debt free" video (Spoiler Alert: they filed bankruptcy and walked away from their debt. ) The husband just rubs me the wrong way. He seems like a "bro" who never got adulting quite right (why, oh why, was he trying to raise a family on a single Home Depot salary? Why can't the wife have a cell phone out in the middle of nowhere with 6 kids by herself all day?) I get the feeling he is very controlling, and that the wife and kids fear him a little bit. I don't think the home is quite as adorable and peaceful as they let on. I think that just having that many people in such a tiny spacy would make everyone on edge. And I always worry for kids who eventually will become hormomal teens in these situations. There is no private space to be alone, cry into a journal, daydream about boys or girls, or just have a little secluded alone time for whatever you need to do. Teens need space, and cramming them into jam packed bunk beds won't cut it.

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TuringMachine

There also doesn't seem to be anywhere to put the youngest girl once she needs her own bed. When they were first posted in the Naugler thread they looked so much better by comparison (though really, everyone does). I mean the kids have beds, there's evidence of them having three meals a day, some semblance of education, and they've managed to keep animals alive for more than a few months. But @formergothardite brings up a lot of good concerns about them once you look at them on their own.

In one of the videos the dad (Kip?) talks about what a misbehaved child he was and that's one reason why he doesn't want his kids to go to public school, but like I assume he considers himself to be a good, godly man right? So what's the problem?

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EowynW

Eh sometimes building codes in some areas truly are outrageous. We are members of a tiny home/cabin/shed to house group and some (very sane) people live in areas that are nightmares as far as permits and regulations go. So I can see why they'd move to a more lax area for that. 

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Four is Enough

@EowynW, can you elaborate on that? My husband and I watch and marvel at the tiny house shows. (I'd kill him if I had to share 200 sf with him snowed in, let's just say that)

My question is: conventional house builds have to have electric/plumbing/other stuff inspected and passed. Do Tiny home builds have to have that?

I wouldn't want to live in a house I wired myself. Let's just put that out there.

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formergothardite
53 minutes ago, EowynW said:

So I can see why they'd move to a more lax area for that. 

He is claiming that there are no regulations where they moved. That and the no regulations for them homeschooling is why they chose that location. I can see how over the top regulations can make life difficult, especially for people building non-conventional houses, but no regulations at all seems a bit much. 

2 hours ago, OGEmoji said:

"How we became debt free" video (Spoiler Alert: they filed bankruptcy and walked away from their debt. )

So they didn't become debt free, they just accumulated debt and then washed their hands of it? Is this guy a Trump fan, because that is a very Trump thing to do. I understand that sometimes people have to file bankruptcy, but don't act like that is the same as becoming debt free. 

2 hours ago, OGEmoji said:

Why can't the wife have a cell phone out in the middle of nowhere with 6 kids by herself all day?) I get the feeling he is very controlling,

Oh wow. She doesn't have a phone and she is off grid by herself with children during the day?! I get the controlling vibe from him too. 

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TuringMachine

Do the wife and kids ever leave the property? 

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Happy
ViolaSebastian
1 hour ago, Four is Enough said:

@EowynW, can you elaborate on that? My husband and I watch and marvel at the tiny house shows. (I'd kill him if I had to share 200 sf with him snowed in, let's just say that)

Two years ago, my cousin moved into a tiny house with her boyfriend of (at the time) three years. It was a big deal in our family because aforementioned cousin was on one of the many reality television programs about building tiny homes. In private, her sister-in-law and I referred to it as "the murder house," because we were fairly sure that one of them wasn't going to make it out of this kind of living arrangement unscathed. 

All that said, they're still happily together...but we still refer to it as the murder house. 

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JemimaPuddle-Duck
28 minutes ago, TuringMachine said:

Do the wife and kids ever leave the property? 

Of course!

 

Sigh, as I said, I don’t agree with them on everything, but I’d like to defend/explain certain things that have been brought up. But I’m unsure what I’m comfortable/what is “right” to share; I will have to think on it some. 

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TuringMachine
45 minutes ago, JemimaPuddle-Duck said:

Of course!

 

Sigh, as I said, I don’t agree with them on everything, but I’d like to defend/explain certain things that have been brought up. But I’m unsure what I’m comfortable/what is “right” to share; I will have to think on it some. 

I suppose that was a silly question. I mean, even the Naugler children are allowed to go to Hardy's occasionally 

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NachosFlandersStyle

Ugh, of course they live in Missouri. Can't people who want to vote for good government ever move to my ancestral homeland? We don't need any more libertarian gun nuts!

(And I'm pretty sure MO does in fact have construction codes on the books, but maybe I'm just not familiar with their particular situation?)

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