Large Family Woes

Nicole wants peace.  That’s what she said. She’s over it.  That’s what she said.

Only she’s monitoring every word posted everywhere.

A couple of pages posted a link to this.

mental health article
click image to link

The article, which is one of those types of articles reporting the findings of the “latest study,” is the sort of thing one should take with a huge grain of salt.  Remember that it’s the result of one study.  One study does not make for definitive science.

And some of what it says is pretty much common sense.

The researchers found that the more the children, the lesser is the investment of parents on each child, which is defined on the basis of time spent with children, home environment safety, affection and resources such as money, books and other materials. “If you are in a well-resourced family, some of these things do not apply,” Juhn said.

In other words, you run out of money.  You run out of time.

Just like it takes several boxes of macaroni and cheese to feed a family of 13, where it might only take one or two boxes to feed a family of three or four, less time means less time per child. And unlike boxes of mac and cheese, you can’t just buy more time.

The scientists, of course, took into consideration the fact that rich families have less problem with this because they can buy more books, or clothes, or food. (They cannot, of course, buy more hours in the day, but they can purchase help in the form of nannies.)

The same thing would hold true of a school. The more students per teacher, the worse the students tend to do academically.  Smaller classes, better outcomes.  That’s not a universal truth, of course—you find exceptions to almost anything—but generally it is a fact.

Anyway, that’s the gist of the study. Not really earth-shattering, but these websites have to have something new to post, so they glom onto anything that appears even slightly interesting to get people to click.

anti large Christian family

. . . anti-Christian, anti-large family propaganda.

Actually, no.  It isn’t.  It never even mentions religion at all.  Not once. And it’s not really “anti-large-family.”  It’s the result of a study and just presents some findings.  And as I said, it’s the sort of article one should take with a big grain of salt.

But this is what happens when you go on a tirade without even reading what you’re all pissed off about.

Tossing out the whole “anti-Christian” moniker is especially low.  That’s just red meat for Nicole’s little supporters.  OMG, the article doesn’t love Jesus.  Because, naturally, if  you’re interested in actual science, you can’t possibly be Christian, can you?

. . . ignorant, rude, disgusting, hateful, damaged goods. . .

Gee, that’s an interesting list.  I have not interacted with the Naugler children (knowingly) except for one, once, who tried to post here and I declined to allow him to do so.  His comment here was, in fact, sort of rude, and a bit profane, but I tossed him some slack because he’s a kid and was peeved.  He actually sounded like a teenager.  He blustered a bit about how great he is (probably because his folks keep telling him that he’s better than other kids his age).  But generally, he sounded like a kid.

Most of the photos of the children that I have seen show them dirty.  Dirty faces, hands, skin, clothing, surroundings. That’s not something I am making up. It’s simply a fact.  That might mean something and it might mean nothing.

And it remains to be seen if those kids are, in fact, ignorant.  My guess is that yes, they are and will be.  But it’s possible that I am totally wrong and one of them will become a nuclear physicist and come up with an alternative energy source that saves the planet. I wait with breathless anticipation.



54 thoughts on “Large Family Woes”

  1. SHE is the one bringing her children into this.

    None of the critics have denigrated those children.

    This is a cowardly and transparent attempt by a sick woman to play the “family” card and garner sympathy.

    Nicole, you’re a disingenuous and manipulative woman. People don’t like you or that useless man child you are married to.

    People are concerned for your kids because of YOU.


  2. Nicole, I know you are reading this. Many of us have said the following many times: If you have issues with Facebook or blogs, or other Internetwise topics, please shut down your devices and be a mother, groomer and wannabe homesteader. You will be calmer, more at peace and maybe, just maybe, accomplish some of those plans you are wont to proclaim. Because, being on your electronic device constantly is your main time sucker. Just think of what you could do if you turned them off, placed them in a drawer and forgot about them.


  3. Amen, please, you nailed it!

    I am not anti-large family or anti-Christian but I certainly am anti-Joe & Nicole Naugler because I prefer to make my life an anti-bullshit zone and deplore people who are full it.

    Bullshit does baffle brains sometimes but meh- with Nicole & Joe not-so-much. You even suck at online bullshit games.


  4. By going on the attack and insisting that people are writing these things about her children, she’s trying to force critics energy and attention onto defending themselves rather than focusing on what she and Joe have accomplished (or not). Now, of course most people are going to take the time to indicate that they haven’t attacked the children – which is a waste of their time. It doesn’t matter to Nicole or Joe whether someone has written any of these things or not. What does matter is that they indicate it’s happened. It’s necessary to state it HAS happened to Joe and Nicole as that is the basis of their fundraising. “Mean people picking on our children! No, those mean people aren’t criticizing us – they’re picking on our kids! See! We SAID SO!”

    You can’t prove a negative, after all. It’s a waste of time to do so.

    I haven’t noticed anyone calling her children rude, disgusting, hateful or damaged goods. They may or may not be ignorant of things that we as a society expect them to learn as they go through their school years (algebra, trigonometry, geometry, perhaps calculus; biology, chemistry, biochemistry, geology; how to diagram a sentence, write essays, read and interpret literature; art, music, drama, electronics, coding, mechanical drafting (man do I miss industrial arts when we got to use the jigsaws and other machines where we might cut off our thumbs!); U.S. History, World History, etc.

    They may have bits and pieces of some of them but it’s impossible to quantify how well they’ve learned any particular topic as none of them have shared their standardized testing results. Not that they guarantee mastery of a topic, no matter how well they score on them, but at least it provides a measure. Ditto for AP tests. They’re not infallible but they are tough. Doing well is worth celebrating.

    Ugh. A paywall. Here’s a bit more of the paper that was discussed on Science Daily.

    “”Families face a substantial quantity-quality trade-off: increases in family size decrease parental investment, decrease childhood performance on cognitive tests and measures of social behavior,” they wrote. “Importantly, we find that these negative effects are not merely temporary disruptions following a birth but in fact persist throughout childhood.”

    That persistence into early adulthood is consistent with other research pointing to the importance of early childhood experiences.

    “A lot of what happens in early childhood has lasting impacts,” Juhn said. “In many respects, this matters more than a lot of things that happen later in (a child’s) life.”

    Most previous research in the field is based on data collected after children reach adulthood; this study used a dataset that tracked outcomes throughout childhood and compared outcomes of older children before and after a younger sibling was born. They found that additional children reduce “parental investment,” a category defined as including time spent with children, affection, the safety of the home environment and resources — money, books and other material goods.

    But the findings weren’t monolithic. Children in families where mothers had above median scores on the Armed Force Qualification Test (AFQT) were less affected. Juhn said the AFQT is a proxy for socioeconomic factors. Mothers with low test scores are more likely to be poor, while those with high scores are more likely to be better educated and wealthier.

    The data didn’t include information about fathers, although Juhn said women with low AFQT scores are less likely to be married.

    The work expands upon older research and offers explanations for some discrepancies in earlier studies. One key inconsistency: While several earlier studies found a negative relationship between family size and children’s educational and labor market outcomes, a 2005 study using data from Norway found no trade-off.

    Social supports and public policies in Norway may lessen the impact of increased family size, the researchers say.

    “Parental investments may matter more in the U.S. where a substantial fraction of young men and women, particularly from lower income backgrounds, are at risk of not finishing high school,” they wrote.

    “If you are in a well-resourced family, some of these things don’t apply,” Juhn said. “When the second child comes along, there is less time and attention. But in an environment with more resources, it’s not as binding.”


  5. Another site discusses the paper.

    I also want to point out that while the kids were noted as being well-rounded (which is undefined), polite, kind and intelligent their children are, that doesn’t tell us how well educated they are then or now. Well-rounded is a nebulous term and in this context she WANTS people to think that her educational program has been a wild success. It may be, but there is no empirical data to back it up.

    AP, SAT and ACT test results while imperfect give a fairly good indication of how much a kid has learned through the years. Most people expect some test nerves, that’s why the SAT and ACT are offered multiple times throughout the year. So the kids get a chance to get accustomed to the format and how to organize their time. No, a high score doesn’t mean a kid is ready for college any more than a low score means they’re not really smart. But it is a decent starting point for a discussion.

    How can Joe or Nicole know how well they’re educating their children if they never see how they compare to others in their cohort? Why aren’t they interested in getting more information on their success as educators? “Unschooling” doesn’t mean turning the kids loose without active participation by the adults in their lives.


  6. Who among the critics and so-called “trolls” EVER denigrated these children? or large families, or religion for that matter? Jeez Louise.
    Have one kid, have fifteen, as long as you provide for them without perpetually living off the charity rolls!
    Nicole and Joe-Joe are decidedly un-Christian. True Christians are kind, forgiving and believe in helping others. A devout Christian does not harbor rancor and spew bitterness and expletives like popcorn kernels exploding in the microwave. For the Nauglers, Christianity is a foil, a way to garner sympathy and money. When have the Naugler parents given to others? Aside from dirty and worn clothing that they themselves received as charity? Even given of their time, to the elderly or sick? Nope.
    They are good Christians like I’m the Pope.


  7. i suspect even the duggars would rethink their stance on birth control if they were aware of the naugler saga.
    But, really. The nauglers could be Buddhists with one kid and they’d still be negligent parents. Religion and size of the family has nothing to do with the adult naugler shortcomings but both have served them well in certain term$ and certainly serve as human shields to excuse the adults’ behaviors.


  8. True Christians are kind, forgiving and believe in helping others.

    Well, we can argue about that one. Some Christians are, yes, kind, forgiving and helpful. Others are abject assholes. Using the term “true” is a bit of a No True Scotsman fallacy.

    By the same token, some atheists are kind, forgiving and helpful and others are abject assholes. 🙂

    Some Christians and some atheists are generous as hell. Others, in both camps, are selfish as hell.

    I would agree that Joe and Nicole seem to use religion as a foil.


  9. Tilting at windmills. Spinning controversy out of thin air. Reeks of desperation for any kind of attention, as well as, an attempt to convince herself of her own relevancy. Not a good combination. To seek validation from anonymous people on the Internet is pathetic, pathological even.


  10. Tekla, thank you for that in depth summary of the study. I truly enjoy your comments, they are always very informative.


  11. More than likely the Naugler children are intelligent.
    It appears, however, they are being brought up to be ignorant through no fault of their own.
    At this point in their lives, they will know only what their parents are able to teach them.
    I’m assuming these kids are intelligent and would like to pursue dreams of being able to someday, be on their own with their own space on planet earth, just like any other healthy minded teenager.
    The older Naugler children should absolutely utilize the ACT test to see where they stand academically.
    They would, then, have the opportunity to address any weak areas in their education. I
    The ACT can be used as a tool. If anything to lessen anxiety of how they measure up to the outside world. They then could tackle areas needed to pursue a higher education at University or a tech school to learn a marketable skill.
    If I were their parents I would never share their scores with any one. The scores belong to the children and should be private.
    The older kids need to be studying the drivers handbook, and getting their learners permits. It’s not that hard, it would make them mobile and able to not only help the family, but help themselves to get real jobs, training and higher education.

    I expect Nicole, Joe and the older children read this blog.
    I want Nicole to know that the only reason I have followed this realitynet is because of the children.
    Nicole degrades and frightens her own children by saying any one would think they are “disgusting” “hateful” “damaged good”… In all the reading I have done here ( rabbit hole) I have never read anyone calling the children that!.
    I’m saddened that Nicole could even write that… And that the kids could read it or hear her say that.
    As for the word ” ignorant”, we are all ignorant of something in this world. It’s important that the ignorance doesn’t destroy our potential to be happy and a productive member of society.


  12. MIM wrote “Nicole degrades and frightens her own children by saying anyone would think they are “disgusting” “hateful” “damaged good”… In all the reading I have done here ( rabbit hole) I have never read anyone calling the children that!.”

    Hey Nikki, if anyone has said those things about your kids where is the proof? You spend an awful lot of time taking screenshots so surely you must have some on hand with folks saying what you accuse people of saying in your comments.

    I am sure you can’t, can you?


  13. Agreed. I try to never discuss the children, I personally think too much of their lives are too public already. That being said, I wish nothing but success and happiness for them by whatever measure they themselves equate success and happiness. Not my standard of success or happiness, not anyone else’s standard either, just their own standard which is the only measure that counts.


  14. The Naugler’s depend upon the art of misdirection to keep people looking and more importantly – DONATING to them. This is easily accomplished when you deem those who ask or criticize you “haters” and “trolls”.

    “The older kids need to be studying the drivers handbook, and getting their learners permits. It’s not that hard, it would make them mobile and able to not only help the family, but help themselves to get real jobs, training and higher education.”

    Yes, but that would also cost the family more money when they do get their driver’s licenses because the insurance will shoot up. Plus if they obtain jobs there is no reason to believe that they would all get them on N’s route to work – it could be in the opposite direction. Which could lead to a need for an additional vehicle.

    Yes, the scores *should* be private but as J/N have yet to share anything that remotely resembles success stories, I thought they’d enjoy the opportunity to brag about how well their kids score on standardized tests. Or at least one of them. After all, they’ve not had the opportunity to plaster “My kid is an honor roll student at ______ ” bumper stickers on their vehicles in a very long time. At this point none of their kids are in the National Honor Society, 4H, FFA, Key Club International, or other programs that focus on community service and also regularly offer scholarships to high-achieving students as they move on to the next phase of their lives. How do I know this? By the complete lack of discussion about it on any of the Naugler’s pages. These are not people who keep their successes under wraps.

    Still waiting on the photos of their humanare composting system. It’s right there on the property, surely it’s not difficult to post those photos.

    Perhaps this album will inspire the Naugler’s to new heights. It took about 3 months but it goes to show what can be accomplished with planning and persistence. There are over 200 photos.


  15. Blessed Little Blogger said:
    “By the same token, some atheists are kind, forgiving and helpful and others are abject assholes.”

    BLB: I did not mean to imply that all “true Christians” are kind, forgiving and helpful, nor that this behavior is reserved to them and not non-Christians, agnostics, atheists. I am not Christian, but was raised to be kind, forgiving, generous, altruistic, and have raised my children as such. Being a religious Christian does not mean one has proprietary rights to being a good, decent human being. I may not have articulated that well. What I meant was many Christians like to point out what is “Christian”, or “Christian behavior” (regardless of whether or not they uphold it).
    I used that example because the Nauglers espouse to be “faith-driven” Christians. It’s a convenient lure for a base of largely Christian followers bent on fundamentalism, homeschooling, libertarianism, iconoclasm as remedy to America careening into Satan’s hellfire.


  16. Please said, ” Nicole, you’re a disingenuous and manipulative woman. People don’t like you or that useless man child you are married to.”

    Thank goodness the critics have taken the high road, unlike Nicole, with regarding the children and respecting their privacy. As LE and CPS have done also. I’ve not witnessed anyone on pages denigrating the children. I have seen pages refusing to interact with one of the kids, because the page is restricted to 18 years and older. I feel confident if comments were to be made, denigrating the children, the rest of the critics would call it out as unacceptable. Many of us are parents, with a moral compass. We have children. Why does she make her children spectacles for sensationalism?

    She must be short on material, today. Grasping for straws. Straw man argument.


  17. “Why does she make her children spectacles for sensationalism?”

    Follow the money. It’s all part of her fund-raising campaign. That’s why there is NO POINT to defending oneself from the charge. Instead, continue to ask for the evidence, “Where are the screen shots?”


  18. There aren’t any screenshots of people being nasty regarding the Naugler children. Zero, zilch, nada. Because the Naugler children have been off limits. The Naugler supporters haven’t extended that curiosity to non supporters.


  19. Re: the paper. It’s 46 pages and I’m going to see if it will get through our filters (256K in size). It’s not very likely but at least I can give it a whirl. I CAN print it out but I don’t really want to do so at this time. If someone really wants a copy, perhaps we can figure out a way to get it to the administrator to post for the readership.

    I haven’t read it yet, but I did want to keep people informed of its availability.


  20. I forgot to add this but there is not ONE WORD in the paper regarding religion. Nothing.

    Nicole, you may want to pony up the $5.00 to download your own copy and see for yourself. Alternatively, if you go to your local library you may be able to open it up and read it, for free. No guarantee that will work but I think it may be worth your time to try it.


  21. Not sure if this would be considered denigrating the children or not, but I do believe this would be of the child’s parent since the child in question is an infant and therefore not responsible. Did anyone else notice that in the latest picture of the baby that his shirt was disgustingly filthy? That shirt looks like it has not been washed in weeks. Nine times out of ten when she posts pictures of the baby he is wearing something that is in desperate need of a good washing. Now if that is not signs of neglect not sure what would be. Even his face looked dirty!!!!!!!!!!! Makes me wonder if they even know what a wash cloth is. When does anyone find time to do laundry in that family?


  22. “Yes, but that would also cost the family more money when they do get their driver’s licenses because the insurance will shoot up. Plus if they obtain jobs there is no reason to believe that they would all get them on N’s route to work – it could be in the opposite direction. Which could lead to a need for an additional vehicle.”Yes, but that would also cost the family more money when they do get their driver’s licenses because the insurance will shoot up. Plus if they obtain jobs there is no reason to believe that they would all get them on N’s route to work – it could be in the opposite direction. Which could lead to a need for an additional vehicle.”
    Tekla, I agree with you this is probably the excuse Nicole and Joe will use to discourage their children from becoming free adults. But I’m betting the the kids are smart enough to figure out a way around the road blocks. Public transportation, a bike, get a job near by the shop, see what tech schools are available and figure out a way to get there..”And so on and so forth”… If there’s a will there’s a way. I’m betting on the kids.


  23. People have posted many times denigrating the parents for making those poor kids live in disgusting, filthy conditions. Don’t forget: They have had more than one house before, on acreage even, and every single time the Nauglers managed to lose it–not merely through lack of money, but due to destroying the property and being horrible neighbors. And that’s on the parents, not the kids.

    It’s on you, Mr and Mrs. Naugler. You. You. You.


  24. The Naugler children most likely will not be getting learner’s permits and driver licenses. Remember in order to get those you need a birth certificate and ss#. The only one out of the children that we KNOW has those would be the oldest since his birth was in a hospital and the hospital files for the bc and ss#. None of the other children were born in a hospital. Now a couple did have a midwife attended birth and those midwives may or may not have filed for a birth certificate. The rest of the children were all unattended homebirths so you know those children have nothing. Most likely the children will be taught to drive with no learner’s permit and receive no driver’s license, even the oldest who has the documentation to get a license will most likely not get one. He will drive without them since the Nauglers belief system is they do not need the governments permission to drive. So to all the locals if ya see any of the children driving, contact the nearest LE officer.


  25. MIM – in order to get a job the kids will need to supply their social security numbers. I doubt that any of them outside of the eldest has one. Even if they do, they’re depending upon their parents to share the information with them and hand them the card.

    Unless they intend to become part of the shadow economy. Actually, some of the children have been part of it with Joe’s unlicensed cleaning business. He indicated that at least two of the children were working under his supervision, at night. That was months ago, I don’t know if it’s still ongoing. I certainly hope the kids received payment for their work.


  26. “Who knows, maybe we are the exception.”
    -Nicole Naugler, “public-figure”.

    Wrong. The exception among large families are those with fewer children and/or bountiful RESOURCES, aside from parent to child one-on-one time, because it progressively lowers, and worsens with each child queefed-out. Mathematically, there simply is not enough time – it is not possible.

    You become the exception by making up for it with a wealth of resources that, completely aside from everyday school curriculum, give children a multitude of generous educational tools like annual memberships to science, history, or art museums and book clubs, character and team-building skills like sports or science teams, community involvement like beach-clean ups or Scouts, and the investment of music lessons. Most importantly, you give them an individual, active schedule to follow, so as to promote constant learning and personal responsibility. With “unschooling”, Id imagine you would replace traditional school with more activities. With nearly a dozen children, this requires a Nanny or two, or live-in relatives.

    I read an “Unschooling” forum wherein a mother of 4 was seeking advice, as she was unable to keep up with all 4 of her childrens’ individual interests!! 4 Children! Imagine 10 or 11! No two parents could manage it on their own, and definitely not without an income well above the poverty line.

    Personally, I would only utilize “Unschooling” as a bevy of after-school activities, in addition to a regular curriculum.


  27. Following up… (Because, admit it! It is so frustrating to wrap your mind around the Naugler’s strange choices!)

    It does not help to be mean… But really!? Letting your kids wander around your 28-acres, babysitting “the littles”, reading an occasional book, painting an occasional picture or ceramic that will never be fired in a kiln, is not qualified as “unschooling” as I understand it. They severely lack the resources. And about that book BLH just posted, the one Joe found at Goodwill for Abigail – a random book in the middle of a series otherwise unread – why wouldnt they take the poor girl to choose her own book(s)?!! Let her thrive! There is a wealth of knowledge available, and children are hungry for it. Why deny them?! America has lax laws on homeschooling requirements, yes, lucky them – but why would one brag about this poor excuse for Unschooling?

    They should be very, very private with such life-choices – much like the fundamentalist Mormon/polygamist communities on the utah-arizona border. They are insanely isolated and private, in order to protect their families and their choices from the government and those who would report abuse.


  28. “Thinking back, we’ve never been conventional people. We’ve always done things the “wrong” way. ”
    ~Queen Bee

    Just hung on to a thought with this statement. It struck me, a definition of conventional. Common and ordinary : not unusual. But really, is that so special, to not have conventional beliefs? It’s just a guess, but I would imagine the most of the critics are not especially conventional in a whole of beliefs and mantra. Unconventional and the “wrong way” do not go hand in hand for everyone, not synonyms. Unless maybe you are a member of a group or organization or something else, where you are insistent to buck the system. And that might be lacking conventional wisdom. Unconventional, “wrong” way ignorance.

    Not nit picking, the statement gave me thought. Not that I am special too, but I think and do outside the conventional box, often.


  29. Great comments, Prolapsed Ovaries! Young curious minds, can’t seem to get satiated. So many resources to explore and show them, in advancing their educational experience. When mine were littles, always taking them on adventures to children’s museums, zoos, musicals and shows, sports, travel, public library, scouts, community service projects, family reunions and more. How much of the activity they actually remember, not sure, but the impressions and the foundations of the plethora of exploring has been monumental in the young adults they are today.


  30. From a book lover re: woes of unschooling in a large family

    Reading alone for 4 days is not schooling per say. It’s wonderful entertainment, and so fun for a “bookworm”. Recreational reading is excellent, and in an unschooling setting, a perfect jump off point for deep learning conversations in literature, history, writing, environment, economics, politics etc. It would be hard to structure these conversations without deliberately selecting the text, and reading the book alongside of the student. It would be time consuming to guide the reading experience individually with many children (full time doable, difficult and so worth it tho).

    When there was a question about a book choice for a youngster, N shared – “I asked her if the book was good, she said it was.”

    Hopefully, there was more. Much more.

    Every day, in brick and mortar schools in America, in homeschool settings, and in unschooling situations, students are discussing and analyzing, learning and connecting, using diverse literature and non-fiction texts. Recreational reading is incredibly valuable and a child can learn so much from self selected reading materials (it didn’t seem that the student selected the book in this case). Directed reading is incredibly valuable and a child can learn so much from this style too. Both can be done in the home if parents are mindful.

    Unschooling is the most complex of the learning constructs. It takes background knowledge, research, dedication, assessment, reassessment, funds, facilities/resources, community involvement/awareness, intense concentration, humor and thoughtfulness towards achievement of individualized goals for each learner in multiple content academic areas and life skills, while simultaneously working towards an identified end goal for success. It would take tremendous organization and time to do this well in a large family. Unschooling done right looks simple from the outside. It is most definately not. Done carelessly or without a plan, it’s a mess, and does more intellectual harm than good.

    Bless those who have the patience and resources to unschool. Bless those who homeschool. Bless the teachers who bring their knowledge, energy and passion to schoolchildren every day across the country. Our children are our hope for the future.

    Where are the baby goats?


  31. Throw the kid a book. I am glad she enjoyed it.

    “A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one.” George R.R. Martin


  32. I’m glad she liked the book too, not my favorite author, but read, read, read! Amazon sells these old used books often for the cost of mailing ($4.) If she likes Auel the entire series could be had for just a few bucks.


  33. Excellent commentary, Bill. I appreciate your sharing, and enjoyed the read.

    And yes, bless all the teachers for the work they do. It’s a hard job, and so rewarding. I do believe the profession is a calling, of the passionate. I had thoughts of a career change a couple years ago, and acquired a substitute teacher certification to test my thoughts. Yes, it’s a challenging job, challenging oneself to keeping each day a fun and productive educational experience for each of your students. Teachers are so impressionable, I can recall every teacher’s name from elementary thru high school. The really good ones, especially. So bless all teachers, parent teachers too, for the work they do. It matters.

    I am thankful for my parents instilling in all their children, the investment in an education. My Dad was the first in his family to receive a high school diploma. My Mom dropped out of school at 15. With 5 kids, money was short and life was sometimes rough. They wanted better for us, and believed education was key. We were all expected to make good grades, what they knew we were capable of. All of us kids earned college degrees, a couple with advanced degrees. We’ve all been able to do the work we love, have families, and provide for our children. My children are going on to college to further their education, towards the work they want to do. And it all started with Mom and Pop impressing the investment in education. Oh, and all 5 of us worked and paid for our own college, and Mom and Dad helped with what they could. Years later, Mom wanted to get her GED, then went on to college and graduated with a nursing degree. And then worked over 25 years as a nurse.

    So the moral to my story, is parents are a very important and crucial partner to advancing their children’s education experience. It begins with the parents, their leadership, participation and engagement.

    Yes, our children are our hope for the future.


  34. She can also peruse the ‘Friends of the Library’ sales for books to keep. Many of them are ongoing & very affordable. Goodwill also sells books very inexpensively.

    She may also enjoy Marion Bradley Zimmer. “Mists of Avalon” may interest one or more of the family.


  35. Nicole mentions all the time that her kids are very intelligent.

    Okay it takes a child to age 7 or 8 to learn how to read and that is a indicator of being intelligent? IMO more like lack of parents ability to teach the children.

    My daughter must be a genius then. She could read picture books that had short sentences at age 3. She was in advance reading in kindergarten. The teacher had to give her harder reading work as she was so advance. In first grade she was reading chapter books read the whole Little House on the Prairie series including the recipe book. 2/3 through 1st grade they took the standardized testing and my daugher scored a 11.8 grand in vocabulary. Not even all the way through 1st grade in a public school and had the vocab just shy of a 12th grader. When she was in high school she took the English regents (it is a NY thing) she scored a 99.8 the highest the school ever had any one score. She went to college and they gave testing for English placement, she scored above average class placement. And she was only public schooled. Oh yeah she did go to pre-school for 2 years but that was actually for socialization time being she was an only child at the time.

    757 pages over 4 days is 189.25 pages a day. Now divide that by 8 hours that is only 23.65 pages an hour. Sounds like a huge feat until it is broken down.

    Last of all who lets a 13 year old girl read a book with the sexual stuff that book has in it. Mom’s comment was to the effect oh she knows about that stuff and she would skip over it. Hmm yeah okay mom not gonna buy that one…I was a teen once and I know what teen girls do… they read it and soak it all up. Yes she probably does know about sex very well after all she has witnessed how many births? I am sure she has at the very least heard the makings of some of those siblings too. Those sounds can be heard some times even in homes with rooms with doors on them especially if the bedroom is right under where you sleep.

    The gist of all of this is these kids could very well be highly intelligent but with the teachers they have their minds and talent are being wasted. My kids did great in public schools they turned out very well with college education. One is a business owner.


  36. There are various ways to effectively educate, and the adult centered, isolated living, hands-off non-teaching described by the Nauglers will not suffice. Perhaps there’s more going on, but they don’t say. Having the kids help at home, babysit and help in the business so they can “work as a family and spend time together” are all good, but insufficient.

    Educating our children well is an American dream. Because this family is large, and struggling with ideology and resources, there is plenty of “woe” to be had.


  37. Alas, FB Refugee:
    Mama won’t pay the shipping for these books. Joe probably paid a buck or less at Goodwill. Their educational materials are dictated by their wallet. With exception of cell phone and internet usage, of course.

    The Nauglers could go to the library, but that’s a long drive and their van is a gas-sucker. They probably don’t drive to Radcliffe or Elizabethtown or, God forbid, Louisville, for field trips for the kids. When it’s a question of having enough money for food, a land payment and business lease payment, there’s nothing left for classes or interest camps or trips. Instead, it becomes reading a potentially inappropriate book, the middle of a series, because that’s what was on the Goodwill shelf.

    For the poor, brick and mortar schools win the day. Homeschoolers will disagree, meh. We’ve heard their tired arguments about “non Christian values”, forced curriculum, bad influences.

    But even poor schools have libraries, some computers, sports instruction. Even at poor schools, there are always some kids who excel. If [kids’ names] were in school, they would be learning a foreign language, U.S and World History, biology, advanced math, reading literature, learning to analyze fiction and non-fiction, and write papers. There would be an arts elective, like band, orchestra, or art or choir or drama. There are any number of team or individual sports. Few homeschooling parents can give their children the breadth and depth of learning of a real school, due to cost and time…especially with multiple children. When they do, it’s the educated parents with funds to pay for enrichment classes and camps and trips.

    Large families are not really the culprit. My kid’s HS sports coach, who also teaches math and biology, came from a Catholic family of eight kids. In a poor part of Flint, Michigan. Four siblings became professors, two became lawyers, one, a doctor, one, a builder. The parents worked hard, and stressed education. Education.

    If any of the Naugler kids read this post, I hope you dream big about your future. The world is a wide sea of opportunities if you get an education and work hard. Not working hard for things to consume, but for someone to become.


  38. I am a court-appointed child advocate– not in Kentucky, but the job is pretty much the same. This is among the worst neglect cases I’ve seen, but I have indeed seen worse, in all honesty.

    That said:
    Ma and Pa Naugler have mentioned that the oldest child is dating via social media/online/text, whatever. Eventually, and I’m guessing soonish, he’s going to meet a girl and want to date/have a relationship. He’s going to need more independence than I think his parents are willing to give him or prepared him for. If you want to date, you need money. Unless, of course, he’s going to bring his dates back to the homestead.

    So, he’s going to want to get a job. I’m guessing Joe really thinks the child has some skills because he’s watched Joe build a shack once, and I do think the poor kid is doing his very best to help around the homestead, but you can’t turn a child loose with a big job and google as his only support. So the skills he thinks he’s learned? Construction, trapping, hunting, gardening? No one is going to pay him to do the kind of job he’s learned from General Fatton.

    He can’t go to college because he doesn’t have the most basic forms of identification, and to apply for financial aid, you have to have your parents’ tax returns. This kid is stuck.

    And here’s the deal– for all their anger and mental illness and personality issues, I can’t believe they’re so evil as to really want their kids to stay single and jobless and live in that shed with them forever, right? I mean, hell, I don’t believe THEY really want to live in the shed. They’re spinning this whole homestead nonsense because they’ve been evicted from so many homes that they were forced to live in a shack made of sticks that offered less protection from the elements than my toddlers Little Tykes playhouse. Wouldn’t you want one of your kids to do better than you did, simply so you have a place to shower once a week?

    Sorry. I know I’m rambling. This is simply baffling.


  39. My parents were children of uneducated immigrants. With a public school education and master’s of engineering, my father grew up to design the instruments and vehicles that allowed men to walk on the moon. Having become bored with that he then went to medical school and became a surgeon. He did all this, even though he was a father in his teens, and came from an impoverished family. My uncle through public schooling also became an engineer (doctorate) and a professor of engineering. Not satisfied with that he tinkered with bio mechanical engineering. If you have had an artificial joint implanted in your body, chances are he designed it. The reason your gas doesn’t overflow your car’s gas tank, he invented it. The air horn, ditto. Hundreds of patents for things used daily.

    Parental lack of education, size of family (ours run big) or lack of resources did not determine the success of each and every one of my parents, aunts and uncles. What did determine their future success and happiness was the determination of my grandparents, their expectations, their attention and the opportunities freely given and/or sought out for their children. I was taught through words and example that being a parent is the most serious responsibility one has. My grandparents worked, hard, and often at pretty crappy jobs at unfair wages. My grandmother scrubbed other people’s floors, not so she could purchase fancy material things like a telephone (what a luxury), but to pay for lessons in music, art, and dance and to pay for those extra educational materials (encyclopedia, etc) necessary for the betterment of her children.

    My grandparents learned to read (in an entirely new language) alongside their children. The concept of a free public education available to each and every child in America and the ability to advance beyond a rigid class structure is what brought them here. Just imagine, parents willing to leave behind everyone they know and every familiar place for the unknown opportunities to be found here. Even now, 80 or more years later parents do exactly that each and every day. They come to America, doctors scrub floors, rocket scientists tutor HS math students, their children thrive and for this those parents are grateful.


  40. Lisa, such a beautiful story. As a child of immigrants, I can totally relate. I also did whatever it took to ensure my child had more opportunities than I. Is that not what a loving parent wants for their children?


  41. We know Nicole reads this blog so I am going to put it here for her to see since this is the only place I can think of to do it.
    I think most of us want the best for your kids like we would our own. It is just a parental thing that is like first nature to us. I am sure that you want the best for your kids and wish you had the means to do better for them, all parents wish they could do better. Kids do not come with a manual giving step by step directions on how to be a perfect parent. Even if they did not everyone has the means to give what they wish they could for their kids.
    If you really want the best for your kids and are willing to put differences aside with the child and only the child in mind I have a offer for you.
    Myself and my husband will offer to take one of your children at a time (we only have 1 spare bedroom with a twin bed in it) and let them stay with us free of charge. We will even provide the transportation. While they are with us we will teach them things like gardening (our garden can be up to almost 2 acres depending how plant crazy the husband gets. We sell our home grown produce.), canning (I can things from the garden and other things we pick elsewhere. Canning would consist of tomatoes, pickles, relishes and jams/jellies – all things that can be done in a water bath and no need for a pressure canner. I will even go to the expense to buy a propane burner to do the canning outside as they would be how you probably would have to do it at your home.), crocheting or knitting (crocheting is my preferred needlework as I am better at it, sewing, bread making, yogurt making (with fresh from the farm milk), dehydrating fruits and veggies, making home made dog treats, building or home repairs. We can also see if we can arrange for job shadowing with a small animal vet. We do know some farmers that we could reach out to and see if they would be willing to help dairy farmer, goat farmer and a rabbit guy. Might even be able to find some one who raises pigs too. We have dogs we breed and can teach canine care and raw diet feeding. I have some friends that have horses and I am sure they would be willing to help too.
    If the oldest daughter would like to do this we would love to have her come stay with us and pick things she would be interested in one thing would be taught for a week, unless it is something simple that would not take long to learn like dehydrating, making bread or yogurt and dog treats. We will provide all meals and even some fun trips to see things.

    I can give you a promise that your family the way you live what you believe in or do not believe in will not be discussed. The only thing that would be discussed is what is being taught. No questions will be asked about the family for example how your live, what you believe in, why you live like that etc. That is not a part of why the child is there, they are there to learn something that they can take home with them to help the family.
    The child would only take part in what they want to learn and what is age appropriate for them.
    You can call at any time to talk to the child. We would follow the guidelines that you would set forth for your child such as things you would allow and not allow them to do. If your child wanted to come home before the agreed upon time when they come we will bring them home. We will make it a fun and enriched learning experience for your child.

    I hope you find it in yourself to put things aside and think about this to help your child learn somethings that they will be able to use the rest of their lives and bring home to teach the others.

    If this is something that you are willing to do for your child just make a post here saying that and I will contact you by email.

    My husband and I are not rich people we live a simple life but not off the grid. We are kind of like homesteaders but in a village as we can, freeze and dehydrate a lot of food to make sure we have enough for us and extended family to use all year long. I can promise that we will tighten our budget so we have the money to provide transportation and provide for your child while they are with us. Trips to do fun things will not be big expensive things instead free or low cost things around our area that would be educational. If you have any questions or concerns we can discuss them in email.


  42. Will you look at that. Reaching, you are what this world needs more of. Kindness, compassion and empathy to name a few qualities you seem to behold.

    IMHO, don’t hold your breath on your offer being put to good use. In order for that to happen, the Naugs would have to admit they don’t have a Damn clue as to what they are doing. Defeat.

    Wouldn’t it be splendid to see a post of a project that was started and completed! All due to a kind stranger. I’m gonna go out on a limb and say they’d rather have your money not your time and wisdom.

    You’re a good egg.


  43. I’ll go out on that limb with you, Jack Livinashack. That way, they don’t have to feel obligated to show how the charitable donation was spent. Wondering now, the GoFundMe campaign list, if all those items have been purchased. Wasn’t that fundraiser attached to specific things that would be purchased with the money? If I am recalling, laptops for all the children and books. A new cabin. And a new car or van. Sorry if there was an announcement or photos of all the purchases from the GoFundMe, I may have missed it.

    It is a thoughtful, kind and wonderful offer, though.


  44. Kentucky Bred,
    $25,000 – Physical materials and upgrades including labor costs to the home including a fence, finishing a new primary living structure, and permanent solutions for clean water and electricity.

    $3,000 – Purchase of laptops or phones and other technology aids and a reading library of age-appropriate books for their children.

    $15,000 – Purchase of a newer, more reliable 15-passenger van for family transportation.

    $2,000 – Possible unforeseen expenses related to the children being kept in the home such as the cost of travel to fight this and time off work from Nicole’s pet grooming business.

    If excess funds are available beyond these needs, funds will be used for outreach to help other poor families in similar circumstances to keep their children.

    I have linked a local bank account in the name of Joseph and Nicole Naugler to this GoFundMe campaign. The Nauglers will be able to withdraw needed amounts in accordance with these specific objectives.

    Whether you can or cannot contribute, please consider them in your prayers, meditations, positive energies, and any other support you can provide to help Joe and Nicole keep the homestead alive while fighting to get their kids back. Share their story!

    Did you catch where Pace happened to add in that sentence “funds will be used for outreach to help other POOR families,” what? Poor? Ya don’t say. Perhaps he didn’t mean it. Or perhaps a well calculated plan?

    Poor, really poor fools.


  45. Such a kind offer! An offer that will go unacknowledged, and under no circumstances accepted. Those 2 have such a high and mighty attitude; an ungrateful, unappreciative, know it all attitude.

    No one outside that shed will get to have any influence on those children…EVER; unless they can somehow escape the parents clutches.

    Don’t you know by now, the children have everything they need right there on the homestead? No outside influence needed nor wanted.
    I’ll leave it at that. I can’t dwell too much on those two. The thought of all of life’s learning experiences that they’re depriving those kids of, is maddening!

    I apologize for my negativity on such a thoughtful, generous, offer to that family.


  46. Jack – if they are waiting for money donation from me not going to happen. First off we live on a tight budget that is why I work so hard canning, dehydrating and freezing what we grow to help on the grocery budget. Also so I know we are eating quality foods without the acceptable limits of bugs, worms, mouse droppings, hair or dirt in it.

    “Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.” Give them the produce and they will never learn to grow their own. Teach them how to grow it and if they put the effort forth they will never be hungry. I will admit I do nothing in the garden at all I do not have a green thumb. But once it is harvested I will find many ways to use it to preserve it. It is nothing for me to put up close to 500 or more jars of stuff each summer/fall. I do about 150 jars of stuff just for our two dogs to ensure they have the best quality food.

    I could be shocked and get a reply. It is a generous offer and the best way that I can help. I could just deliver cases of canned food but that would be defeating the purpose of teaching them how to be able to do it on their own. I would rather give a life time of something than a fleeing moment of it is here, used up, gone and what do I do now.


  47. Thanks for the refresher, Jack Livinashack. This is the GoFundMe that Pace took over from Joe, who originally created it, I am recalling. It was originally created by Joe, for anticipated legal expenses. “If excess funds are available beyond these needs, funds will be used for outreach to help other poor families in similar circumstances to keep their children.”

    Now looking hindsight, maybe this was a well calculated plan. By the Naugler’s account in their viral story and the months afterward, it was a story of children being removed because of their off the grid lifestyle, and failing to notify the school system that the children were being home schooled.

    Nicole says she will not be a government assistance whore. Nobody and nothing will have any influence or cause change in what they want to do. That this was their lifestyle choice, their decision. By her accounts also, the only requirements of CPS back in May/June, were fencing around the pond and cleaning up the trash, broken glass and nails. I don’t know, but where did a new cabin (long in the plans), new van, new electronics like laptops and cellphones, permanent solutions for water and electricity have any essential factor to the viral story of the “children kidnapping”? Or as stated in the GoFundMe campaign, was this an instrument in helping out the poor, and any leftovers would be used in outreach to help fund other poor families in similar circumstances keep their children.

    Hindsight is 20/20. But I guess the truths wouldn’t have as broad emotional and $$$ appeal.

    I wonder what the next youfundme orchestration and appeal will be? And who will champion the cause? It’s no wonder why the Nauglers want the critics to go away.


  48. To: “Reaching out to Nicole to help the kids”
    I was very touched by your generous and caring offer. What a blessing to share one’s knowledge and skills. I hope the Naugler parents will consider this opportunity. Any child would be lucky to be offered these experiences.


  49. Reaching Out – It’s a lovely offer and if you’re not careful you may find yourself fielding phone calls from others who would not only appreciate you teaching their kid(s), but they’d be willing to pay for their room and board for the duration of the apprenticeship.

    I’m tempted to deliver my youngest (who will have a learner’s permit at the time) for the summer, but I’m going to hold my breath and hope that one or the other of the Nauglers will respond.

    Really, that is a wonderful thing to do. In addition, it could become a source of summertime revenue if you are interested.


  50. Reaching- Your post is so heart warming! I may be sending in my application soon, JK.

    Nicole has posted a couple of pix of her kids working on about 8 raised beds, and she says they are planting about 1/2 ac. corn. GREAT!!!, but cut the the saplings shading, get rain barrels to collect off the shed, test and augment the soil, provide at least 12″ of good soil, and fully enclose the plot. Good late winter projects.
    I will ask here as I am banned on BLH, Nicole: why didn’t you just plow and level this area? 8 raised plots are inadequate for your families needs, or is this just the kids hobby garden? Is all of the gardening/ planning/ labor the children’s responsibility including the corn? Why didn’t you cut all the saplings shading the raised beds? What is planned for the raised beds? What is your plan for watering?
    How are you planning on preserving the corn if it is successful. Have you thoroughly investigated what the best corn for your area is? What variety/ varieties are you planting? Planting all at once or staging? Corn has a many common pests and diseases, do you know what to look for? Are there deer, groundhogs, voles/moles raccoons, squirrels, rabbits, dogs, cats, goats, birds to name a few, in areas of your gardens you need to protect from? Do you have a person in the area to consult that can help when the inevitable pests and diseases arrive or are you going to try to use online help? Are you using organic pesticides?

    Nicole, thanks for the pictures, keep ’em coming on your garden work in progress, very hopeful for you.
    Any progress on getting outside socialization and friends for your kids? Do you think this is even important?


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