It has to smart a bit to be on a list like this, not once, but five times (I know, math is hard), especially when there are only 21 items on the list in the first place. Josh Duggar beat the Nauglers out with 6 mentions.
And it’s informative to note what website this is. Homeschoolers Anonymous is not some crank website of malcontents. It’s a website for people who were actually homeschooled and who have varying views of their experiences. Some of them are very negative about the whole process. Others are not sure, but are willing to discuss what was good and what was bad. A great many are very supportive of the endeavor.
And the title of that top article, the most viewed article on the website last year, was this.
If you are one of the Nauger’s supporters, or if you even feel the slightest bit of sympathy for these dead-beat parents, read this article. Notice several things as you do.
The writer is articulate. He obviously was well-educated in his homeschool environment or he’s managed to get educated in the years since then.
He never says a single negative word about homeschooling, or even about so-called “unschooling,” nor about homesteading, nor about living off-grid. He describes his family’s living situation with fondness, actually. He seems to have left the more-or-less fundamentalist religion of his childhood behind, but he doesn’t appear to harbor animosity about it.
He knew a dozen families living nearby with the same lifestyle. Off-grid. Family-built cabin. The whole bit.
And I never, ever, saw living conditions even half as dangerous, anarchistic or filthy as what is shown on the “Blessed Little Homestead” site and Facebook page.
And this one, from another off-grid homeschooler, this one a missionary kid. This woman not only grew up in off-grid, primitive condition, she has homeschooled her own children (so she didn’t consider the experience so terrible, apparently) and she aspires to be at least somewhat self-sufficient. She’s not unsympathetic.
This isn’t an issue of civil liberties.
It’s an issue of stubborn, close minded adherence to a way of living even our forefathers were working to rise out of.
The reason this one is important, and reached the number two slot, is that the Homeschoolers Anonymous audience, far from being critical of all homeschoolers (the picture Nicole would like to paint), is actually so sympathetic to much homeschooling that they needed to be warned lest they rally to the support of the Naugler’s scam.
These people who regularly read HA are not the people Joe and Nicole should be trying to alienate. Joe and Nicole, who can do suck-up beautifully when it suits them, should be doing that with these folks instead of insulting them.
And this one isn’t what the title makes it sound like it is. This is a call for homeschoolers to come to some sort of agreement about how to define homeschooling, because there is a tendency among them to commit the No True Scotsman fallacy. They declare everyone a homeschooler until a family does something atrocious and then say, “Oh, that family wasn’t really homeschooling.”
If you listen carefully, you’ll hear this fallacy used a whole lot. “Well, she isn’t a real Christian. If she was, she wouldn’t do that.”
“A real Democrat wouldn’t vote for a Republican, ever.”
And on and on.
What the article does point out is that technically, the Naugler children were not homeschooled (up until this year). They were truant. That was because Nicole refused to file the appropriate paperwork. All she had to do was fill out a simple paper, but that was just too much for The Man to ask, and she declined. Or she did until they dragged her ass into court and then she said, “Oh. You really mean it? Okay.” Even then, she wouldn’t taint her pristine, state-free fingers with the paper, and made her children fill it out.
And this last one is basically a news update after the first court hearing.
But I love this little remark:
The BLB is trying to make their (sic) name known as well—tabloid blogging at it’s (sic) best.
Don’t worry about me, Nicole. I’m doing just fine here at the Blessed Little Blog. I don’t even advertise the thing, anywhere. It has been entirely done by readers. I don’t have somebody like Joe, who goes all over Facebook posting links to your little page (Blessed Little Homestead), trying to lure in suckers. People read here and they either like what they read and come back, or they don’t.
I’m not a “their,” by the way. There is only one of me. And “it’s” means “it is.” Put that in your sentence and see how it doesn’t work. Or is English grammar hard, too?