Establishing a Career the Hard Way

11 June 2012, 06:00

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57

A number of  former ATI (Advanced Training Institute) students have shared their post-ATI experiences in light of ATI’s position against pursuing higher education.  This is “Julia’s” story:

I want to start off by saying I greatly value most things about my upbringing. But how I plan for the future now is based largely on my past experiences, and there are definitely some of my parents’ choices that I will not be repeating for my own family. My childhood was amazing, and my life now is as well, but my teen years were very difficult. While it would be easy to chalk this up to typical teenage angst, there definitely was more than that at play.

My family wasn’t completely against college, but they were against going into debt. They definitely felt that most college was a waste of time and money, especially for people who end up spending thousands of dollars to “discover themselves” (a premise I generally agree with). My parents also believed that you didn’t need a degree to get a good job. However, had my parents presented college as an option or plan for me, my journey to a career path would have been much less rocky.

Against my parents’ wishes, I moved out of their house at 19 years of age. I took whatever job I could find, which at one point was working a retail job for 20-30 hours per week, making only minimum wage. I also took a seasonal fall job and worked as a nanny. Eventually I became a nanny full-time, supplementing my income with office work. The only reason I was able to obtain this office work is that the father of the family for which I was a nanny needed part-time help with his business. I did that for a year and a half. Recently, I was able to move into a full-time secretarial position, which I consider to be a very good job for someone with my minimal experience and qualifications.

At some point, I do hope to earn at least a certification in my field of interest, and perhaps more. I think what frustrates me the most though, is that my mom was always the one proclaiming, “You don’t need to go to college; You can magically turn your interests into a paying job,” while my dad worked tirelessly to support our family. Ironically, my dad obtained the job he did only because while he was working full-time, he went to night school to earn his degree.

My mom, on the other hand, had only worked a part-time job while she was finishing high school, and she never had responsibility for bringing in an income. She seemed to assume that a legitimate source of income would just present itself to us kids. Don’t get me wrong–she and Dad had some financially tight times, but it was never an option for her to get a job, so I feel like there’s a certain level of financial responsibility she never fully understood. I know she would say that she and my dad made these choices and decisions in faith that God would provide for us (and God definitely provided for us), but I still feel that my family could have been much better prepared financially.

My mom also believed that we didn’t need a high school diploma because “we never stop learning.” So I earned my GED while working three jobs. At first my mom wasn’t happy with the prospect of me obtaining my GED because she still had some negative “dropout” associations with it and she didn’t see the necessity of it. However, she was proud of me when I graduated with honors.

I feel like my parents became so focused on creating family culture and being close knit, that they did not spend enough energy on raising us to fit in with society at large. In many respects, the ATI experience seemed to be an alternate reality that we were expected to live in for the rest of our lives.

Speaking from first-hand experience, transitioning to the “real world” has been a rough ride. When my husband and I have kids, I want to be able to present them with more options than were presented to me so that they are better prepared for life.

All articles on this site reflect the views of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of other Recovering Grace contributors or the leadership of the site. Students who have survived Gothardism tend to end up at a wide variety of places on the spiritual and theological spectrum, thus the diversity of opinions expressed on this website reflects that. For our official statement of beliefs, click here.

57 Comments

  1. Karen Richmond June 11, 2012 Reply

    It really bothers me the way we were taught that trusting God meant not having foresight or preparing for the future in any rational way. Somehow God was supposed to come through with great things in reward for our faith without any practical action towards getting there.

    • Heather July 17, 2012 Reply

      Yeah, and when I literally put that very belief into action, my mom told me that it was, 'bad theology.' Well, she was right, she just didn't realize she was the one who put that thought into my head... derp!

    • "Haley" February 18, 2014 Reply

      Yes, and we were basically trapped and waiting for the miracle, helpless to do anything, because we had to submit to His will and timing and learn contentment . . . .

  2. RyanR June 11, 2012 Reply

    I agree with Karen's comment. We were also told that doing anything in our own will was "iniquity" which would cause Jesus to tell us "Depart from Me. I never knew you." In my experience that seemed to breed a sort of mystical laziness. "Oh, I'm waiting on God to provide."

    I used to use the analogy that there are some things you need to do yourself, though you certainly should honor God in the process - like getting dressed in the morning. It's one thing to consider whether what you intend to wear would honor the Lord. It's another thing to sit on the edge of your bed waiting for Him to dress you.

    I just don't think the latter is likely to happen.

  3. Shari June 11, 2012 Reply

    Thank you for sharing your story. I, too, earned a GED as my high school diploma during my family's 7 years with ATI. Although I went to college, there were definitely strong undertones in ATI against higher education - especially for women, who were supposed to pursue only God's "highest calling" as a wife, mother, and homemaker. Any kind of "career woman" was looked down upon (except for maybe a midwife or a cosmetologist). A woman was to prepare for and serve her husband's dreams only and live off his income (along with their dozen kids, of course).

    It was as though the possibility of a Christian woman getting divorced, or separated, or widowed, or even married to a man who was unable to work due to disability or unemployment - these options were thought of as highly unlikely and thus hardly mentioned. After all, God wouldn't let these situations happen to a Christian woman who followed biblical principles and stayed under authority! Ha.

    Now, as a wife and mother of four, I can boldly say that the teachings, formulas, and promises of ATI have failed me many, many times. But God's grace - unlimited divine favor - has been there for me every time. And that's the beautiful thing about your story, and so many others here.

  4. Heidi June 12, 2012 Reply

    Amen to all of that Julie,

    This hit home: "In many respects, the ATI experience seemed to be an alternate reality that we were expected to live in for the rest of our lives."

    As a former ATI student now forty year old single mother of three who just got an associates degree and is going on to her bachelors, I appreciate your words. You speak for a lot of us.

  5. Elizabeth June 13, 2012 Reply

    I really love your beautiful attitude in this article. While you obviously have faced challenges, you are not bitter and furious with ATI or your parents.
    I was raised in an ATI/conservative circle in which females could pursue midwifery, photography, nannying (for a Christian family, of course!) or marriage. Higher education and real jobs were looked down upon. I broke the mold and got a job immediately after I graduated from Highschool (at home) at 17. While it was expected by my parents that I would NOT attend college, I had absolutely no desire to do so.
    My parents may have not encouraged me to pursue higher education, but they allowed me to have life experiences very early on in life that prepared me to be useful in the workforce without a degree. I have worked a variety of jobs and felt adequate to perform- or at least quickly learn to perform my duties regardless of not having a degree.
    I have found that working and earning my own living has been a wonderful experience. I look forward to someday having a family and being at home with my kids, but I wouldn't trade these years for anything.
    If a young woman has never worked or paid bills, it is difficult to develop the proper respect and appreciation for a husband's labor. If you have not watched your own entire paycheck be eaten up in two days by insurance, fuel, food, rent etc...it is difficult to appreciate the diligence it took to procure that money.
    It is a great travesty that many conservative women go into marriage never experiencing the rigors and difficulty of providing for oneself, and therefore never truly appreciate it when it is bestowed upon them!!

  6. Pingback : ATI upbringing an “alternate reality” « A Quiver Full of Information

  7. Karenado June 15, 2012 Reply

    It sounds like your parents meant well and you did have a good upbringing. There are flaws with EVERY family, you are no different in that way. You may end up overcompensating with your own children and screwing up in other ways. Don't look at ATI as the reason your life got screwed up. If you weren't involved in ATI and had different parents, you would probably be screwed up in other ways. It's hard to see that since that's the only life you knew, but I grew up in an average home and I still have plenty to complain about, and I too feel that my parents did a better job raising me as a child than as a teenager, but all parents have their strengths and weaknesses.

    • Chris June 15, 2012 Reply

      Karenado - it's important to read this article in context with other articles to see what the article is getting at, which is to show how Bill Gothard's and ATI's views on higher education damaged students by influencing parents to make bad and uninformed choices about preparing their children for adulthood.

      It's also important to recognize that ATI was not an AVERAGE educational system and many ATI parents, influenced by Bill Gothard and ATI, did not act like "average" parents.

      Bill Gothard and ATI actively and proudly discouraged students from pursuing higher education in any form not expressly under his own control, and encouraged parents not to send their kids to college. He belittled secular institutions of higher learning and Christian institutions alike and promoted the idea that one does not need a college degree to succeed. While it is true that some people are able to have successful careers and provide for their families without a college degree, in today's modern economy not having puts any young adult at a severe disadvantage, especially in professional fields.

      Gothard sold a false reality that many parents accepted. Gothard's ATI conferences often often featured "amazing" testimonies from some kid who was able to make a few bucks without college were offered as proof that college wasn't necessary. However, these testimonies often neglected important details about how the person was able to achieve this success, like family connections, or that the success was not sustainable in the long term. Furthermore, ATI's alternative to college, the "apprenticeship" programs didn't live up to their promise and weren't really true apprenticeships like one would think of in trades like pluming, construction, welding, etc.

      In addition, the ATI home school curriculum was not academically sufficient. Parents who exclusively or almost exclusively used ATI materials were not only depriving their children of a higher education, but also a adequate high school education as well.

      What Gothard's conferences and newsletters did not feature, however, were stories like this person told, where someone well into their twenties and thirties is struggling to find and advance a career because they didn't have enough education.

      Combining Gothard/ATI's teachings on college with the isolation that Gothard/ATI promoted, its teachings on unquestioned authority, and it's indoctrination that students were to unquestionably follow their parent's guidance and direction for their life (even if misguided) has made the transition transition to adulthood and the ability to provide income for independent living very difficult for many ATI students. This is particularly true for girls, as this author describes, because they were assumed to get married and have children, stay at home, and thus never need to work.

      There were many well-meaning ATI parents who followed Gothard's recipe because they thought his system would produce success. No parent is perfect, but it's also true that many parents (most I would say) recognize the value of education and aren't going to undermine or discourage their children from obtaining an education, as many ATI parents did.

      I attended college (and law school), and had my parents blessings in doing so, but that was only after I started getting more deeoly involved with ATI after finishing "high school" and my parents (thankfully) came to see that Gothard's promises of alternatives to college were hot air and inadequate. Sadly, not every parent did, and the consequences have been disastrous for many former ATI students.

      • MatthewS June 15, 2012 Reply

        Sadly, these words ring very true. Once you've seen behind those testimonies, etc. they lose their power to fool you. Unfortunately, you get to stand back and watch the next generation be seduced by them.

      • Wes August 14, 2012 Reply

        I second (third?) this comment. My wife was in the ATI system. She was discouraged from attending college and so didn't attempt to do so until her late twenties.

        Also, she had huge gaps in her education particularly in math and science.

        • Another Hannah August 15, 2012

          Hey Wes, I know this is random and you may prefer to stay annonymous...just wondering if your wife's name happens to be Julia...or Julie

  8. Karenado June 15, 2012 Reply

    You might have had parents that encouraged you to spend $50,000 a year for a theatre degree (this is happening to someone I know).

    • Chris June 15, 2012 Reply

      Karenado - at least those parents aren't actively discouraging their child from pursuing an education. Sadly, many ATI parents did.

      • Chris June 15, 2012 Reply

        . . . And they did so because they believed that Gothard's promise that his system made college unnecessary and because they were scared by Gothard's false teachings that a strong faith and a university education were incompatible.

    • DavidM June 16, 2012 Reply

      Discouraging education is a problem. And yes, going deeply into debt for a degree can also be a problem. In one sense, they are opposite ends of the same spectrum.

      HOWEVER! Your comparison ignores one key difference. Most families that encourage education at any cost don't make it a moral or spiritual issue. Gothard however does make a moral and spiritual issue of his discouraging education. So, on the surface, the comparison may seem to work. Scratch the surface and there is a world of difference. Its not just about parents making mistakes. Its about parents making mistakes while claiming to hold the moral/spiritual high ground. The first is bad advice, the latter is bad advice combined with legalism.

  9. Majenta June 15, 2012 Reply

    Karenado... You are right when you say every family messes up
    and that people can't blame there circumstances.

    Many families fail unintentionally... in the area of following men and MAN's interpretation of God's word. If we don't seek to truly study God's word ourselves, then we can be easily deceived.

    My family had a good experience with ATI, but my family never idolized Gothard or believed everything he said was 100% accurate. We knew families that did have that view and felt sorry for them, because we watched them fall apart. But we also knew families that didn't know anything about ATI or Gothard that made a mess of there family because of other "christian" views.

    The bottom line is every family will make mistakes, but are they sincerely(right heart motives) seeking to
    please God or man?! In everything we do, we need to be asking ourselves this question.


    Unfortunately we live in a sinful world and therefore life will often be unfair, painful and full of mistakes.(made by us and others) But, God can give us joy and turn all those ashes into something that will be a crown as grace and beauty upon our head and bring Him the utmost glory! This is not our home, we are foreigners in a strange land. The trials of this life will pale in comparison to the joy of one day being in the presence of our King!

  10. RyanR June 16, 2012 Reply

    While I agree with Karenado and Majenta, that on the other side of eternity, these things will be trivial and won't matter, the sad fact remains that for many, there will be a good number of years between now and when they reach eternity. And they need to be able to provide for themselves (and their families) until that time.

    If you read through some of the other articles in the "What Now - Life After ATI" category, you'll see that Julia's story is not unique. There were quite a few folks left holding the bag after apprenticeship didn't exactly pan out the way Gothard sold it. My story is included among them.

    And DavidM is correct - this wasn't simply a regrettable decision by a well-meaning parent. No, in Gothard's system, it very much was presented as those who will do it "God's way" will skip college and reap the benefits and those who do it the "world's way" will end up knee deep in debt and faithless (which in my experience, neither extreme was quite true).

    Not every ATI family bought into that way of thinking, but mine did. So did Julia's.

    We write these articles not to complain about the injustice of having to overcome obstacles in eeking out a career, but rather as a warning to those contemplating ATI (and perhaps those still within the program): Be careful about believing what Gothard tells you about career-planning. We believed him and we regret it and have had to go back and do everything he promised we could bypass by doing it "God's way" (i.e., in reality it was just Gothard's way).

  11. Don June 16, 2012 Reply

    Karenado and Majenta, I was in my twenties before I got my first paid job. My mom, following ATI influence, would not let me get a job prior because she was extremely afraid of evil influences. While my mom did have a hard life growing up, which contributed to her being controlling, ATI definitely heightened that in many ways.

    I am fortunate that my dad did not buy the ATI line of "no college"-he sent both my sisters and me through tech college, which even then, my mom was still paranoid about "evil influences" instead of trusting me to stand by my beliefs-which I did. I have an associate degree now, and am working on my bachelor's. I should say too that even my sibling, who is not as anti-ATI as I am, feels that ATI hampered our college education.

  12. Seth Shelton June 16, 2012 Reply

    Thanks for writing! It is difficult to get the whole career thing started. I can remember one of the "Young Men's Sessions" at Knoxville, where the speaker talked about this father who largely stayed at home with the family, when they "got low on money," he would pick the phone, buy some items, and then resell them at a profit. This, we were told, is a level of entrepreneurial excellence we were to emulate. Surely God would bless us with income like this if we put our families first.

    Even back in the day I thought "but we all don't have the connections and skills to pick up the phone and make money. I certainly don't. How can this be God's best for everybody?" The sad fact is that we WEREN'T being prepared to work within the structure of our own society.

    Hey, I am all for being creative and working against the grain. It's just that you have to know what the rules are before you can bend them to your own advantage. I have worked odd jobs paying low wages for almost a decade. Now I am in school trying to establish an actual career. It's a long mile ahead of me--but it can be done! Kudos to all of you who are trying to get established!

    • grateful June 18, 2012 Reply

      hang in there Seth. You will be done before you know it adn be all the better for it!

  13. Majenta June 16, 2012 Reply

    Ryan...

    I believe I said "Many families fail unintentionally... in the area of following men and MAN's interpretation of God's word. If we don't seek to truly study God's word ourselves, then we can be easily deceived."

    I NEVER ONCE said that a higher education is not a good thing! I said "The bottom line is every family will make mistakes, but are they sincerely(right heart motives) seeking to
    please God or man?! In everything we do, we need to be asking ourselves this question."

    I don't care who you are, even RECOVERING GRACE itself needs to ask this question.

    Many families in ATI followed a MAN and never really studied thing out for themselves.

    If you believe in Grace, then you have to believe that even if you are seeking God with all your heart you can still mess up.
    I believe the Bible says "So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin." Some do thing out of ignorance.

    You said David was right...does that mean some of the decisions you have made in parenting that haven't been the best, is because you are seeking to destroy your children? Because unless your going on record as being the perfect parent, then you too have messed up. I'm sure you're a loving parent that want's to see his children love and serve the Lord.

    But what will you say when your kids grow up and if they're honest say hey I don't think my dad did as good of a job in this area. Every person I know has things they feel there parents didn't do right. Maybe it's just because I'm the only one that knows all the unique people.

    It doesn't matter if it's ATI or some other "ministry." We must learn to follow Christ over man.

    Ephesians 4:14 As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming; (NASB: Lockman)

    Greek: hina meketi omen (1PPAS) nepioi, kludonizomenoi (PPPMPN) kai peripheromenoi (PPPMPN) panti anemo tes didaskalias en te kubeia ton anthropon en panourgia pros ten methodeian tes planes,
    Amplified: So then, we may no longer be children, tossed [like ships] to and fro between chance gusts of teaching and wavering with every changing wind of doctrine, [the prey of] the cunning and cleverness of unscrupulous men, [gamblers engaged] in every shifting form of trickery in inventing errors to mislead. (Amplified Bible - Lockman)
    NKJV: that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting,
    NLT: Then we will no longer be like children, forever changing our minds about what we believe because someone has told us something different or because someone has cleverly lied to us and made the lie sound like the truth. (NLT - Tyndale House)
    Phillips: We are not meant to remain as children at the mercy of every chance wind of teaching and the jockeying of men who are expert in the craft presentation of lies. (Phillips: Touchstone)
    Wuest: in order that we no longer may be immature ones, tossed to and fro and carried around in circles by every wind of teaching in the cunning adroitness of men, in craftiness which furthers the scheming deceitful art of error, (Eerdmans)
    Young's Literal: So we shall no longer be babes nor shall we resemble mariners tossed on the waves and carried about with every changing wind of doctrine according to men's cleverness and unscrupulous cunning, making use of every shifting device to mislead.

    Our lives do effect the lives of others and I'm sure you would agree that none of us always make the right choices and others(especially our families) pay for it.

    Gothard and anyone else especially in ministry will give an account for those they lead astray.

    But also we as Christians will give an account for the decisions we make for ourselves and our families and those we choose to follow.

    You said "for many, there will be a good number of years between now and when they reach eternity." I found this interesting because I thought even Christ Himself said he didn't know when His return was going to be. That only the Father knew the day and the hour. But I won't argue it with you.

    @Don... I know a family that would DEFINITELY NOT be what you all would call legalistic and they probably have never even heard of ATI or Bill Gothard. But, this mother has had the same reaction with her daughter that your mom has had with you. She came from a past with a lot of "regrets" and she's so afraid that her daughter will make the same mistakes.

    I obviously don't know you so I'm trying to say that plays in to your mom's issue. But, I'm just saying that it's not just in ATI...others struggle to.

    • "Hannah" June 17, 2012 Reply

      Doing horrible or abusive things with the right heart motives, doesn't mean squat. Not saying this author's parents did, but that is what many of us experienced. The heart motive didn't change that.

      I'm hearing a lot of, "You will screw your kids up, too." Yep, I will. I don't think that's an excuse to not try, or to not try to figure out what went wrong. I hope the damage to my kids will be minimal. If someone saw me making a grave mistake, I hope they would care enough to point it out to me.

      • Don June 17, 2012 Reply

        Well said Hannah.

      • Majenta June 17, 2012 Reply

        Hannah...It would be impossible to have the right heart for God and be abusive at the same time! That is a total oxymoron! That goes against what scripture teaches over and over again we are told you can't have evil and good dwell together. So therefore someone that is being "horrible and abusive" CANNOT have a sincere heart for God!

        • MatthewS June 18, 2012

          I'm really glad you made this comment - this spurred some thoughts for me. I am curious: what is your scriptural basis for your claim?

          I would have thought that Gal 5 (fruit of the flesh vs. fruit of the Spirit), Eph 4 (put off and put on), and Col 3 (put to death... clothe yourselves...) all imply that a believer can indeed cause great damage if they walk in the flesh versus walking in the Spirit.

        • Majenta June 18, 2012

          In regards to "putting off, putting on" The Bible say to "put off the old man" It doesn't say to add to it! Thus if your putting something off and putting something else on, then there should be something obviously different about you.

          When the flesh is in control then clearly God isn't! It doesn't mean you lose your salvation!!!!(although, if your life has never shown any change whatsoever and you are comfortable in your sin...then you better read 1st John) But, there is No way you can be seeking God and flesh at the same time!

          Note David: when he took Bathsheba, was his motive to sincerely seek and please God at that moment? ABSOLUTELY NOT...he was seeking to please the flesh and the flesh is carnal.

          What about when he had Bathsheba's husband killed to cover up his sin was he doing so because he was wholeheartedly seeking God's will?

          NO... he was following the flesh and trying to cover up his sin.

          I could go on and on but the point is the things that Hannah was speaking of the they scripture clearly says are wrong("horrible and abusive and the work of the

        • Majenta June 18, 2012

          *hit the wrong button

          "horrible and abusive" are clearly wrong in scripture. The Bible says "The carnal mind is enmity against God"—Romans 8:7
          "We all know that the word "carnal" here signifies fleshly. The old translators rendered the passage thus; "The mind of the flesh is enmity against God"—that is to say, the natural mind, that soul which we inherit from our fathers, that which was born within us when our bodies were fashioned by God. The fleshly mind, the phronema sarkos, the lusts, the passions of the soul; it is this which has gone astray from God, and become enmity against him." So then how can you say if you are living according to the flesh that it is possible to be have the right heart for God at the same time?

        • MatthewS June 18, 2012

          You use such an interesting example... David was overall a man after God's own heart, yet what he did with regard to Bathsheba was in fact horrible and abusive. Beyond that, his parenting style doesn't seem to have been great. He lived in the Old Testament, so some things are different now that we have the indwelling Holy Spirit but is it not possible that a spiritual leader today might do many things out of a sincere heart for God and yet turn around and behave "in the flesh" at home?

          If being saved meant that you completely walked in the Spirit now, why the instructions not to walk in the Flesh? If it is necessary to remind believers not to walk in the Flesh, then perhaps it's possible for believers to walk in the Flesh at times? If a dad or a mom walks in the flesh at home in dealing with their children (perhaps even without realizing it), the children might indeed bear wounds from parents who may not even realize how deeply they were wounding their kids.

          It's possible for well-meaning believers to hurt people. This does not make them horrible people, it makes them sinners in need of grace. And isn't everyone born a sinner in need of grace?

        • Majenta June 18, 2012

          So, let me get this strait; you believe that someone who claims to be a christian could get so angry that they murder someone but still be walking in the spirit AT THE SAME TIME?
          Because this is essentially what Hannah seems to be saying when she says "Doing horrible or abusive things with the right heart motives"
          Is it really possible to do something that is clearly sin with the "right heart motive"
          Well that is a very interesting point of view.

          I brought up David for the specific reason that he WAS known as a man after God's own heart. Thus being a good example of what happens to Christians today. But I DON't believe he was walking in the spirit when he chose to SIN! For sake of argument would like me to give a NT example instead?

          There is a difference between SIN and making mistakes. Sin is ALWAYS horrible and abusive!

          But, for instance say I am EXTREMELY offended and hurt by the the way you spoke to me in your comments.

          The truth is your heart may be in the right place and you never meant to hurt me. In fact you might be trying to save me from heading down a road that would be even more hurtful. In such a case you were NOT actually sinning, if you weren't angry and sarcastic in the way you addressed me. You inadvertently(mistakenly) hurt me, it wasn't like you were cussing me out. You were just trying to speak truth.

          That is the same with parenting...I AM NOT saying that if you're a christian you will NOT ever walk in the flesh. What I AM SAYING is that you can't simultaneously walk in the flesh and the spirit. We can only serve one master at a time...either we are seeking God or ourselves! Can you turn to the right and left at the same time? Or can you have dark and light simultaneously?

          You do realize that by saying "but is it not possible that a spiritual leader today might do many things out of a sincere heart for God and yet turn around and behave "in the flesh" at home?" That you are basically agreeing with what I am saying.

          As far as our kids go...I believe I said EVERY parent will make mistakes. But if we are really seeking God on a moment by moment basis(as we should be) hopefully we will spend more time walking in the spirit then we do in the flesh!

          Every child will have things that they will have to work through because they have imperfect parents. But that's what the grace of God is for.

          Because of God's grace we have been empowered by the Holy Spirit to move beyond the scars of the past and into the abundant life that Christ came to give us!

          Christ never said this life would be easy just because you become a christian or were raised in a "christian" home. In fact the sad truth is some of those "parents" who profess Christianity are totally lost and therefore all they can do is walk in the flesh.

          Christ told his disciples "I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world."

          We live in a sinful world and unfortunately that affects every area of our lives. But, Jesus Christ gives us what we need to overcome the trials of our past and the trials of the future.

          You are welcome to disagree with me! The fact we disagree won't send either one of us to hell.

          But I want other people who read these comments to have more then just one point of view.

          I strongly believe it is important to hear both sides of an argument and then study it out for ones self. Thus hopefully coming to a decision that is based first and foremost on scripture and then human facts.

        • MatthewS June 18, 2012

          I don't know - I tried to ask in a respectful and conversational manner what your Scriptural basis was for your strong claim that So therefore someone that is being “horrible and abusive” CANNOT have a sincere heart for God!

          I would have said the same thing as you did at one time. However, I can point to several parents I know who really screwed up, yet I know that at least on some level they did and still do have a heart for God. Between their own problems from their own backgrounds, and applying Gothard's teachings such as the chain of command, the diamond and chisel, and the umbrella, they did great damage. I take your statement to mean that parents who leave deep wounds in their kids must not have had a heart for God. I claim that sometimes parents who are believers may do a lot of things with good motives and yet still respond to their kids in the flesh, and thereby cause real damage.

        • Majenta June 18, 2012

          Definition of Horrible:Horrible describes something very frightful, dreadful or shocking

          Definition of Abuse:Abuse is the improper usage or treatment for a BAD PURPOSE, often to unfairly or improperly gain benefit. Abuse can come in many forms, such as: physical or verbal maltreatment, injury, sexual assault, violation, rape, unjust practices; wrongful practice or custom; offense; crime, or otherwise verbal aggression.[1]

          1 John 2:15-17 "Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

          For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.

          And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever."


          1 John 3:4-10 "Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness. 5But you know that he appeared so that he might take away our sins. And in him is no sin. 6No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him.

          7Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. He who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous. 8He who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work. 9No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God. 10This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not a child of God; nor is anyone who does not love his brother."


          Looking at the definitions above and then at the scripture. I don't see how someones life could be so characterized by those things...to the point that their own adult child would call them "horrible or abusive" and have a sincere heart for God.

          Who you are at home behind closed doors, is who you really are. If your actions and attitudes don't line up(and I don't mean 100%) at home with who you are when you're away from home then there is something terribly wrong. At home what characterizes us...the spirit or the flesh?

          Maybe you could give me the scriptures that apposes my view so I could study it out?

          I guess ultimately we'll know when we get to heaven.

          P.S. I just wanted to make sure you knew I wasn't offended by your comments. When I gave the above mentioned "for instance" I was just using it as an example.

        • Don June 20, 2012

          Majenta,

          Again, thanks for your input in the discussion. I have to say, I find your thesis interesting, that one can't be a sincere Christian and be abusive at the same time.

          While those are polar opposites, yes, I think it possible for a sincere Christian to be abusive, yet not realize that they are. For example, I could safely say that my parents are somewhat spiritually manipulative/abusive, yet at the same time, I know they don't think they are, yet I also believe they sincerely want to follow the Lord in their lives. I believe that my parents love me, but at the same time, that doesn't mean they're wrong in how they handle things.

        • Majenta June 20, 2012

          I am basing what I say on what I have studied in scripture. I am not God, nor will I be so foolish as to assume that I fully understand all of scripture and the heart of God.

          I am in a process like every other christian and I enjoy studying and learning more about God's word.

          If you can give me the scripture references that clearly define your premise I would love to study them out.

          I haven't ever...(that I know of anyway)come across any scripture that says you can have a sincere heart for God and yet your life can be characterized by sin.

          I'm not talking about struggling with the flesh and failing sometimes. I'm talking about a life defined by evil...example the above mentioned definitions.

          But, as I have said...I want to have the correct balanced view and would really appreciate the scripture references so I can study them.

        • Jonathan August 14, 2012

          Majenta I echo Don’s sentiment and example. I believe my wife’s family is somewhat spiritually manipulative/abusive, yet at the same time, I know they don't think they are. Yet I know that they sincerely believe they are following the Lord’s will for their lives.

          I will give you a clear example in the Bible:

          Jesus was not "image conscious." He was willing to associate with wine drinkers, cheating tax collectors and even prostitutes. He accused the legalistic Pharisees of "teaching for doctrine the commandments of men" (Matthew 15:9) and likened their showy, hypocritical outward righteousness to "whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness" (Matthew 23:27).

          Fast forward a few years. Why did Paul criticize Peter and Barnabas for not eating with the Gentiles any more when those who were of the circumcision turned up in Antioch? (Galatians 2:11-16 & Acts 15:4) They were doing this in front of the entire Antioch congregation.

          Actually Peter and Barnabas didn't break any commandment in the WRITTEN Torah. Not at all.

          But David Stern in his Jewish New Testament Commentary (apart from confusing the subject here with clean /unclean meats) slips in this one line:

          "Eating with Gentiles was itself against CUSTOM, even if the food was kosher."

          It appears then that what's ACTUALLY happening here is that Peter and Barnabas succumbed to peer pressure because of our friends again

          What's more, because people were immediately following Peter's example Paul had to quash that right then and there.
          Paul knew Peter wasn't being false. It was just a slip up.

          Far easier to put it right straight away, than let all sorts of rumors circulate that Peter was either two-faced, or gave some credence to the view that gentiles still needed to be circumcised.

          It is possible for one to be serious about one’s faith. It is also possible to have serious theological untruths mixed in with truths even as a Christian. It takes someone calling that person out for them to fully understand their error. We can all agree Peter was a Christian? We can all agree Peter was led astray by the fear of man in this instance? We can all agree he repented and order was restored?

          Another example relating to this is in Acts 11 with the issue of circumcision and salvation.

          Now the apostles and brethren who were in Judea heard that the Gentiles had also received the word of God. And when Peter came up to Jerusalem, those of the circumcision contended with him, 3 saying, “You went in to uncircumcised men and ate with them!”

          Can we agree these people wrong? Can we agree they were abusing Peter? Can we agree these Christians were sincere? However, the matter was settled at the council of Jerusalem in Acts 15. Praise God salvation was deemed to be a matter of the faith and not of works (circumcision).

          Your thoughts?

  14. Don June 16, 2012 Reply

    @Majenta...while it is indeed very true that people outside of ATI also can struggle with the same things, my situation with my mom was due in very large part to ATI influence. I could tell you other stories along that line, like not being allowed to hang around other guys my age much...she was totally freaked about my getting bad influences.

    You're right...my mom's past did play into her issues. She was very concerned about my welfare, and her motives were good, as she sincerely desired to protect me. I'm not invalidating any of that, I am merely saying that she went way too far, and ATI was a big reason why.

    I look at ATI families who did not really have a negative experience, and most, if not all the time, it is due to the fact that either they did not take Gothard's teachings to be Bible truth, or they had a real relationship with God outside of ATI. They were willing to disagree with Mr. Gothard when they thought he was wrong.

    However, there were many ATI families who unfortunately did not think independently (my mom esp. would be in that category; my dad was more balanced, although he still had that tendency too), and DID take everything Bill Gothard said as truth and something to be followed...such as unconditional submission to authority, for instance. Those were the families that had a bad experience with ATI.

    Recovering Grace does not exist for the purpose of bashing a man. It exists to warn of the underlying ideology behind Bill Gothard's teachings that is unScriptural, and to serve as a testimony to those considering ATI for their families that it's not what they may think.

    • Heather July 17, 2012 Reply

      My mom used to beat the living stew out of us.. make us lie down on the bed face down, and not move while she hammered away on our butts, and every so often would stop and pace around the room, wringing her hands and wailing, 'Oh God, give us godly sorrow for our sins!!!" and then would go right back to whipping the tar out of my butt. I think she was taking out a world of frustrations on our rear-ends. If the police had ever been called, she'd have been locked away for the rest of her life, probably.. And would you believe, I'm not particularly angry with her about the physical abuse. I'm angry about the spiritual/emotional/phsycological abuse, as it was a thousand times more damaging, at least to me. btw, she has hotly denied ever committing the spankings I just described. I'm not happy about that, for dang sure. She's also super controlling, manipulative, dishonest to the extreme, and hateful towards lots of people.
      She would have people believe she is super Godly though.
      I'm not really sure why I'm posting this. I guess I'm just trying to figure some things out.

      • MatthewS July 18, 2012 Reply

        wow, Heather. So sorry to read this :-( You had it worse than I did physically. I understand what you mean about the verbal and emotional abuse being worse.

        It's interesting, my dad also denies the spankings that I clearly remember. Those experiences used to live in my mind as if they were happening in the present (thankfully, they are receding now a certain amount) and yet my dad would claim it never happened. I don't fully understand this, other than perhaps since it was done in anger the parent didn't even fully realize what they were doing? Whatever the case, it's obvious it did not make nearly the impact on them that it did on those of us who experienced it.

  15. Majenta June 17, 2012 Reply

    @Don...your right... I was taught to NEVER except mans opinion as God divine wisdom. I was told to always go to scripture and study out everything. I am very thankful to have been raised this way! God has greatly grown me in my relationship with Him because of this and has helped through some very tough times!!!

    I think that there is an increasing amount of Christians these days(especially, young Christians) that buy into whatever seems "popular" because they aren't being taught to have there own personal relationship with Christ. Therefore they try to ride along on the coat tails of others "spirituality" This leads to many wrong and even harmful ideas about what a life lived for Christ is suppose to look like.

    I am not trying to bash Recovering Grace, I have read many of the articles on hear and what you all believe. I can't say I agree with everything but I'm not against everything either.

    Not that it matters but,I will say sometimes it amazes me at how rude some of the comments are. I realize people can kinda say what they want, but it might be a good idea to have some way to differentiate between who the administrators are. Otherwise it can kind of paint everyone in a bad light.

  16. Don June 17, 2012 Reply

    @Majenta...I am glad your parents taught you to evaluate the teachings of mere men in light of Scripture. That is excellent indeed!

    However, while some ATI student's parents may encourage this, they often seem to make an exception for Bill Gothard (as did my parents). Interpret Scripture, yes, but don't criticize Gothard if Scripture proves him wrong. My mom, for instance, very much discouraged independent thinking with me.

    I think you've got a valid point: there are a lot of Christians like that...and there were back in the '70s too. Christians that don't know what a relationship with Christ looks like, and they latch on to something that looks and sounds spiritual, such as ATI. I think that is how my parents got into it.

    I respect you for trying to be objective and to think things through. That is indeed an excellent trait, and I commend you for it. I don't think you're trying to bash Recovering Grace, as you've been pretty cordial in your comments here, from what I've seen.

    Thank you for your input though, even if we differ. This is indeed a great discussion.

  17. Julia June 19, 2012 Reply

    Majenta, Thank you for your comments. I understand your point that no parents are perfect, and every child will have struggles, even good Christian parents. However I feel that you are overlooking the main point of the article. These issues I experienced were very common in ATIA. I'm very sorry if this came across as someone complaining about some growing pains in life, that is not at all my intent. I am very grateful for all of my past experiences that made me the person that I am today. I want you to realize though that I was very careful in composing this article. I love my family dearly and don't want to cause them any pain. I do want you to know though that my moving out caused major upheaval in my family relationships. My mom and I have only recently found our footing as friends and adults. My first two visits home after I moved out were extremely difficult for all of us. It took a good year and a half to mend the relationships that HAD to be broken just for us to be able to have that relationship, one that should have already been developing through my teen years. I sat in a sparcely furnished apartment more than in tears asking God if I had made the right decision because it was one I had had to make 100% on my own without support from my parents. This isn't a symptom of growing pains, this is a symptom of a major disconnect. I feel that my very spiritually focused and well meaning parents were hampered by the lies that we didn't need to prepare ourselves for life after high school, or life outside of our own fabricated alternate reality. Have you ever seen "The Truman Show"? It's a similar concept. I also want to say that I have met many awesome Christians outside of ATI who WERE raised with healthy parental relationships and were prepared for life in the real world. My husband is one of them. We both still highly value his parents influence and opinions on our lives not only spiritually, but because we know that they aren't speaking out of an alternate reality they fabricated to keep their family safe, or make them perfect. My husband is also one of the best logical thinkers and debaters I have met. My husbands parents aren't perfect. We've both been frustrated with them and had our difficulties. But they did prepare him well for life, and I fully respect their experience parenting and would value any of their advice in the future. I don't expect to be a perfect parent, but I am afraid of even having kids right now due to a lot of the ATIA teachings and growing up in fundamentalist circles. But that's a subject and an article for another day.

    • MatthewS June 19, 2012 Reply

      The Truman Show: I've seen the term "Truman Christians", referring to being raised in an artificial bubble. I like that.

  18. Majenta June 19, 2012 Reply

    Julia...I must say I am very impressed that you said " I am very grateful for all of my past experiences that made me the person that I am today. I want you to realize though that I was very careful in composing this article. I love my family dearly and don't want to cause them any pain." I respect the fact that you don't just focus on the negative. But, seem to be actually seem to be allowing God to use the negative things in your life to make you a better person for Him!!!

    I have to admit I haven't seen many articles or read many comments, where people have said anything positive about how God is using the trials of there past. For that matter I don't remember reading anything where someone gave the negative about their family as well as some positives. For example something like..."my family really loved me and I know they wanted what was best but..." and then sharing what happened. Maybe I just haven't gotten to those articles yet.

    My comments weren't actually directly tide to your article. They were tide more to the comments being made in regards to what Karenado said and then what Hannah seemed to be implying.

    I didn't feel like your article was badly written or that you were trying to bash your parents.

    I have absolutely NO issue with people sharing with others so they can hopefully avoid some of the same pitfalls! As long as it's really done with grace and balance and not just a way of letting off steam.

    If someone has gotten to the point that they can truly thank God for taking the ugliness of their past and making something beautiful... then that person has the ability to help others heal and be a glorious witness for Christ.

    I truly believe we need more people like that to stand up and say as Joseph..."You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives."

    • Heather July 17, 2012 Reply

      Hey, regarding the articles where people don't talk about positive stuff, some of us may be at a point where we are very confused about many different things, sometimes I feel like I can hardly tell which end of me is up, just trying to sort through things, and we may sometimes post on here as a cry for help. Wow, that was quite a run-one sentence... Anyway, I feel like that's where I'm at, I haven't got it all together, I'm still in recovery for certain things, and am still going through some tough stuff with broken relationships that directly stems from ATI. It's so painful, and not knowing what to do, being afraid of doing the wrong thing.. it's a whirlwind.. Just throwing out another perspective.. :)

      • Esbee July 18, 2012 Reply

        And that is why Jesus is the one we turn to in all these confusing times. He accepts us just as we are, right where we are, without judgement or even saying you have to do anything to fix it. Sometimes cussing Him out is the deepest prayer we have.

      • Majenta July 19, 2012 Reply

        Heather, I'm sorry for what you've been through!!!

        I feel I should give a little back ground here lest it seem that I come down on things with out any understanding of what others have been through.

        I was molested when I was five...(not family related) and verbal and emotional abuse became a way of life from about the age of six on. My Dad got to the point that He started doing things like, hitting us, choking, trying to use a baseball bat for correction and then threatening to shoot us all. He told my Mom that he had a dream of skewering her and cooking her over a fire.

        But you see for me it had nothing to do with ATI...my DAD was a VIETNAM VET and that's where the issues came from! My Mom however was a saint in my book!

        Right after my Dad started threatening to shoot us all...he lost his sight(also related to Vietnam/agent orange) We felt that was God's way of protecting us! They now have him on medicine that has GREATLY helped!

        But I am so thankful for what God has brought our family through and how He is healing us!!!

        I will pray you find that healing as well...God Bless!!!

  19. Julia June 19, 2012 Reply

    Majenta, Thank you for your reply! I went back and re-read some of your comments, and realized I was replying as much to Karendo's original post as I was yours, so my apologies on the book. :) In thinking over my article, and some of the responses it strikes me that some of us are really in a catch 22. If we DO focus on the negative, we can easily be labeled as bitter and not having proper perspective of our experiences. However if we are careful and try to keep the family drama to a minimum focusing only on the root issues we can easily be dismissed as making a big deal out of something that all "normal" families go through. I'm not sure if it's possible to strike a balance here, it feels a bit like walking a tightrope. Thank you for all of your thoughts!

  20. Majenta June 20, 2012 Reply

    Julia...I think you did a good job at being balanced!

    I have seen what you said in your article in other ATI families, as well as some that are not apart of ATI. But I do think ATI can increase the tendency toward that issue!

    As parents from the time our children are born we should be preparing them to leave the nest.

    They should be learning what it means to be independent of us, fully reliant on God and able to make decisions and take a stand for what's right on there own.

    Then we have to trust God and believe in our children enough to let them go.

    If they want to go on to continue their education great and if not that's fine too.

    We shouldn't make that decision for our children, but, we should make sure they are prepared for which ever road they decide to take and then support them.

  21. "Haley" February 18, 2014 Reply

    Julia, thank you for sharing your story. I can relate to much of what you say, and I like your "just keep moving forward" attitude. My parents had much the same attitude towards college, even though they both attended college and my mother has a postgraduate degree. After attending ATI men's events, my dad told me that he was afraid I would be exposed to too much of the world in college. (I also read in between the lines that he was afraid I would meet guys and be seduced.) When I was 14, my dad said he was looking for various ATI solutions for me to pursue higher education (via ATI). I was given no guidance whatsoever on applying to colleges; however, since a number of my friends were doing it, I went ahead and took the PSAT and SAT I & IIs at a local high school and selected that my scores be reported to colleges. Having never applied anywhere, I was eventually contacted and recruited by a private college and offered a full academic 4-year scholarship. I also qualified to attend any of my home state universities for free based on my score. But my dad made me turn all of this down. He said that if I wanted to keep his blessing on my life, I needed to submit to his authority and stay at home, and do some "alternative opportunity" via ATI. I was really, really frustrated by this, but I forced myself to submit because I loved God and ultimately I wanted His best with my life. I was used to being different and having to suffer alone, experience the death of visions, subject myself to authority, etc., so this was nothing new.

    Fast forward several years, and I was 23 and still living at home with my parents. I was isolated and under-stimulated, and I honestly think that for a period of time, the misery and social isolation of being trapped at home day after day caused me to suffer from some mental health problems (religious OCD among other stuff). I was so bored, it was almost as though I was finding all kinds of extra stuff to worry about and pray over. I was studying through an ATI opportunity, but not enjoying it. My parents were struggling financially and thus the little that I earned by teaching violin and piano lessons to neighborhood children went directly to the family. I was never able to save up, to make plans to move out, etc. I was able to find a job working 2 days per week outside of the home, and I was shocked that my parents allowed this, but really grateful. I had very few opportunities to meet guys age, as I went to an all ATI church and, let's face it, guys and girls were barely making eye-contact, let alone taking a risk to court under the scrutiny of the church.

    Finally, I began to pick apart the theology on which I was basing my life decisions, a little at a time. I attribute this to God's mercy and His leading, as He began to show me that certain beliefs I had accepted as foundational truth were not actually Biblical. Why was it that, in obeying my parents' request not to attend college, I was the one suffering with the consequences of limited job opportunities? What if I didn't marry? How would I provide for myself? Even if I lived with my parents into retirement age, how would I provide for myself after they died? Why was Amy Carmichael praised for doing what God called her to do even though it was not what her parents wanted? What made that ok for her, but not for me? I wanted to live, have adventures, and experience life. I started attending a separate church from my parents that actually had a "young professionals" Bible Study (thankfully my parents were understanding about this), I had some difficult conversations with other Christians, and finally had fresh insight on the ATI principle of authority.

    I had wanted to move out of my parents house and move on with my life for years, but had not allowed myself to do so because I believed I would lose God's blessing if I did not submit to my father and serve his wishes until I was married. I now began some serious talks with my parents, in which I told them I saw myself as an adult, responsible for making decisions about my future and heeding God's call on my life. It did not go down well at first -- at age 23, my dad insisted that I was still a child, under his authority. I calmly said that I was an adult, making plans to take responsibility for my future, and that I would be pursuing higher education.

    I had to take the SAT again at age 24 as my other scores were too old. I was now also too old to take advantage of attending any state university in my home state for free, which was very sad. Additionally, because my home school education had taken place years earlier, rules had shifted and tightened up, and schools were not as open to accepting me. State universities were going to make me jump through multiple hoops before I could even apply. Private institutions were more open to a unique story and a student of mature age, so that's what I went with. My dad did try to interfere with my college applications a number of times, and I ended up literally running my application down to the mail man to make sure it got sent out. I applied to two schools and by a miracle was accepted to one, far away from home, and a better opportunity than I ever could have imagined. I had to take out student loans despite receiving some financial aid grants, but it was more than worth it, and as I had no savings to show for my years of living at home, it was really the only option out.

    I was afraid that I would stick out like a sore thumb as a 25 year old among 18 year old freshmen, but I was so sheltered and naive, people actually thought I was 18. : - /

    While I was at university, I was able to start to de-program from ATI and seek God afresh among other believers. I attended therapy sessions through my university, and yes, while I didn't buy everything they said, the secular psychologists were still helpful. I also met with pastors and other mentors at my church. I did not try drugs, did not have sex, did not even get drunk (although I did try wine). I loved God and honestly was never out to become a drunken party girl, not at age 18 or age 25. Spending time with non-ATI believers at university was so.... freeing.... because so many of them were passionately living for God, but free from legalism. I was no longer a miserable single pining after marriage because I was living life passionately and pursuing God, traveling the world, learning new things, making friends, using my talents, challenging myself. . . I ended up meeting my husband after a few years, and then attending grad school. Now that I've finished, I don't really feel the effects of starting late, or of starting my career late, I'm just glad I did it.

    I did struggle with being bitter towards ATI and towards my dad (who took advantage of the ATI authority principles and culture to keep me home and, quite honestly, control me like a child, much longer than he should have). For a while, I lamented that I had lost 7 years, trapped and isolated under my dad's control, in my parents house. I have realized that, while there may have been consequences for that, I also have to take responsibility for my part in things. I have forgiven my parents, and choose to forgive them again, everytime I'm tempted to think in new ways about how that lost 7 years may have harmed me. I can't change the past, or the decisions I made (e.g., to be an obedient daughter, albeit brainwashed daughter). I can impact the future of my life, and I just have to pick up the pieces and move forward. I do believe that God uses all things to work together for good, and as much as a "lost 7 years" may be frustrating, what's important is that I'm loving God with my whole heart and pursuing Him today. He does bring us healing and redemption, and He does bind up our wounds in the most gentle of ways.

    • Teresa May 21, 2014 Reply

      Somewhat late, but..

      I think you should check out homeschoolersanonymous.wordpress.com.

      Cheapest therapy I know of. : )

  22. Anonymous June 18, 2015 Reply

    Leaving all of the compelling allegations of BG's sexual improprieties aside, what he did might not be criminal in the legal sense but in the moral sense it is worse than criminal because he cut straight to the soul of people and even destroyed their material lives in the process.

    I have a sibling who infected with Gothard's brainwashing manipulation and suffered financially later in life in terrible ways.

    • David June 19, 2015 Reply

      In other words, if BG were the most moral man who ever lived then he is still a false teacher and a heretic. Not to minimize his immoral actions, but to me, the false teachings are what made all of that possible -- they are the glue that held together his authority and influence and kept him on the throne of his self-created kingdom.

      • Anonymous June 19, 2015 Reply

        Despite everything said on this thread, however, I am still a big proponent of home schooling because the fact is most home schoolers are academically far superior to their public school counterparts because public schools really ARE falling down on the job. Asia is putting us to shame. However, homeschooling done right should have a heavy focus on the three Rs and not the rest of this crap like homemaking and sawing a 2x4 or whatever. READING, WRITING, AND ARITHMETIC and THEN COLLEGE AFTERWARD or gtfo.

  23. Guinea Pigg June 20, 2015 Reply

    I agree with Anonymous. My daughter got to know several home schooled persons during her 8 years at UC Davis (both undergrad and grad school). They were usually strong students, even in the hard sciences.

    • Anonymous June 20, 2015 Reply

      Guinea Pigg, i know a homeschooling community. They do tend to be too dry and conservative for my tastes but they also take the education of their kids very seriously. One of them is a friend of mine. He's a university professor and he was telling me that his kids were required to write 20-page papers in a history class they had put together by another college professor in the community group. When my friend's daughter attended community college, the class was groaning because they had to write a 3-page paper and his daughter just laughed because she was able to write it up in about 45 minutes. My point is that homeschooling is just a tool and the degree of success depends on the way it is wielded.

      Regarding socialization, I believe this to be a valid concern because, although the public school system teaches all the wrong socialization, many homeschooling situations can replace that with no socialization at all except among adults. Children should socialize with children and not adults exclusively. However, homeschooling outside of the GB koolaid drinking cult compound has become extremely sophisticated these days so that instead of existing as the alternative to public school, it is the public school alternative to public school without all the deleterious effects.

      • 'Megan' June 20, 2015 Reply

        THANK YOU!!! Thank you for this comment, these are my sentiments exactly. Any and all forms of education are nothing more and nothing less than tools. Tools that can build up, or tools that can destroy, but still just tools.

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