Hester Takes the Gen2 Survey

In December, my mother, who is still on several homeschooling mailing lists even though she’s officially retired from support group leadership, got a notice in her inbox about Brian Ray’s Gen2 Survey. Neither of us had heard of it, though apparently word had been circulating for several months (that’s what you get, I guess, for finally withdrawing, in large part, from the homeschooling community). Ray is the founder of the National Home Education Research Institute (NHERI), and as you might expect has released many studies of homeschoolers in the past, almost all of which have been criticized for methodological flaws (see here and here). Continue reading

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What to Expect from a Twelve-Year-Old (TBB)

The “TBB” in the name of this post means that it is part of The Big Box series. If you’re new to Scarlet Letters, read the introductory post to see what the Big Box is all about.

Well, after recovering from last week’s disaster post, I’m pleased to report that What to Expect from a Twelve-Year-Old (hereafter referred to as 12YO) will not be a repeat of Why Satan Wants Your Firstborn. That’s not to say that 12YO didn’t have its fair share of wrongheaded ideas, just that they weren’t quite as extreme or ridiculous as the ones in Why Satan Wants Your Firstborn. And since I’m short on time (it’s Saturday night – all hail Hester’s mad time management skillz) and not in the mood for a lengthy or clever introduction, let’s get right down to business and take a look at Davis’ central thesis in 12YO: that some Biblical accounts give us specific developmental goalposts for our children. Continue reading

Epiphany – Reges Tharsis

Reges Tharsis et insulae munera offerent,
Reges Arabum et Saba dona adducent.
Et adorabunt eum omnes reges terrae,
Omnes gentes servient ei.

The kings of Tarshish and of the isles offer gifts,
The kings of Arabia and Sheba bring gifts.
And all the kings of the earth worship Him,
All peoples bow before Him.

Why Satan Wants Your Firstborn (TBB)

The “TBB” in the name of this post means that it is part of The Big Box series. If you’re new to Scarlet Letters, read the introductory post to see what the Big Box is all about.

Okay, confession time. Sometimes, I have a love-hate relationship with this series. I know many people have been helped by the Big Box. I know it’s even more relevant now that patriarchy, in the wake of Vision Forum’s spectacular implosion, has become more decentralized and its proponents’ relationships even murkier than they already were. But it still happens occasionally that when Monday night rolls around, and with it the prospect of listening to yet another hour of patriarchal drivel, I cringe and put it off till Tuesday. I think this week’s post will show you why. Continue reading

Robert Gifford Speaks Out

Well, at long last, a tiny bright spot seems to have appeared in the deep dark mess that is the collapse of Doug Phillips and his empire. After being out of the loop over the holidays, I decided to check Jen’s Gems to see if any updates had been posted about the final shuttering of Vision Forum Inc. (For curious readers, any attempt to search for products on visionforum.com currently yields only a page titled “Clearance” and the message “No products match the filters you selected.”) I didn’t find anything about the closing, but I did find this encouraging report by T. W. Eston about Robert Gifford, the pastor whom Doug Phillips has repeatedly referred to as his “spiritual father” and mentioned in several of the lectures I’ve critiqued in the Big Box series. Continue reading