Thank you so much for this message and for praying for our family. Though as usual I took a long time to compose a reply, your message was a godsend to me.
Yes, yes, yes! A few weeks ago when I sat down at our home computer, I noticed among the open windows a tirade published by CMI: “Evolutionary creation”, round squares, and other nonsense. I don’t know if a friend directed her to it or if she found it on her own, but it was really disheartening to read—the typical misrepresentations of science, sloppy reasoning, false dichotomies, and uninformed or mendacious attacks on evolutionary creationism. Over the past year or so that I’ve been reading the BioLogos Forum regularly, I’ve become so accustomed to the “gracious dialogue” that marks this forum that it’s jarring to read essays like this or what I’ve found in It Couldn’t Just Happen. But that is absolutely the milieu she is in, and, yes, those moms have been an invaluable support to her and our family the past few years.
I really appreciate your (and your husband’s) willingness to share this part of your story. It’s very encouraging!
Well, actually I take on a lot of the schooling responsibilities in our family. I handle basically all of the math, and because geography and history are shared interests for my son and me, I mainly handle those subjects as well. Honestly, I’m more involved in a hands-on way that any other homeschooling dad that I’ve met. There have been multiple times that I’ve been at a CC meeting that consisted of a bunch of moms… and me. I was more frequently the one to sit down with my son to edit his IEW papers, and I’m typically the one who composes a letter or organizes a portfolio for a homeschool review. I say all this not to toot my horn in some way, but because it’s quite relevant to the ongoing concerns I have in at least three ways.
First, I don’t know that I have the time or energy to continue all that I’m doing, especially if doing damage control on YEC indoctrination is an ongoing issue. One of the reasons I proposed to my wife that we step back from CC this semester was so that we could “table” this issue for while. I tried to explain to her that it’s not as though I’m trying to teach him EC ideas or that I think it really important that he understand evolution as a thirteen year old. I’m just reacting to what I perceive as very harmful messages, and as long as he’s being exposed to those messages, I’m going to be vigilant in countering them. Given that this is leading to much family stress, and that our family has plentiful other sources of stress, it seems wise to try to defuse this subject.
Second, though we are still a few years away from the heat of it, I am already looking ahead to the college application process. This past summer, I sent letters to admissions directors at several colleges that I thought could be appealing for us in a few years. I have no idea what class of schools our son will be qualified to gain admission to or what we’ll be able to afford, but set I set the mental bar high and contacted some top-notch schools. My intent was to learn what the expectations will be for an application package if we stick with homeschooling and particularly with CC. Along with questions about how the objectivity of grades and transcripts that are produced entirely by parents are assessed, I also brought up my concerns about science content in the program we are doing. I have thought about introducing college admission questions as a separate discussion here, and I may still get to that. But my point now is that I’m the one that’s going to be weighing these issues. My wife—as things stand now—is not. And I feel confident that if we’re still homeschooling in the high school years, I’m the one who is going to be authoring the syllabi and grade reports and transcripts. So I have a real concern when I think ahead to explaining an issue like, “this year our son studied biology using a textbook that insidiously disparages the unifying theory of biology because the authors believe said theory is the product of nefarious scientists who promote it as a way to undermine belief in God.”
Finally, in addition to the wonderful community of friends my wife has through CC, the concept of a “one-stop-shop” for homeschooling is very appealing to her. I’ve read many of you on this forum write about your time spent researching and evaluating textbooks and courses and methodologies and such, and frankly my wife is likely never going to do that sort of work. I’m at peace with that. My wife has had ongoing health challenges since I’ve know her—often quite severe. By God’s mercy and lots of effort and expense, we’ve found a lifestyle by which she can get through the week with relative normalcy. But taking care of her health is essentially her part-time job. So I can empathize with her dismay when she thinks about quitting CC and what that would mean going forward. As I’ve said before, and like Lisa and Sharon have expressed, I’m really torn about CC. Our is a beautiful community that has enriched our life in many ways, but they’ve staked their ground firmly in anti-evolution ideology, and thus I don’t know how sustainable an option for us it is.
Well, of my many tiresomely long messages, this may have surpassed all others. I didn’t intend for this to be so long, and honestly I’m still not sure whether I’m disclosing too much personal details here. But for better or worse, this forum is for now the place for me to find some understanding and support through a particularly stressful time.
Again, I appreciate all of you who are praying for me and my family.