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Cloistered Homeschool Syndrome

August 15, 2008
Homeschooled kids

The Foger family came to stay with us one spring about 12 years ago while they were on furlough from Mozambique.

Their eighth child was soon to be delivered. Although I had just met the family, I was highly impressed by them. The oldest daughter, 19 years old, was a joyful, hardworking, energetic, blue-eyed beauty. The next, a 17 year old son, was cut in the mold of his father, dedicated, reserved, and very mission-minded. The five other children were 13 years old and younger. The family sang together with strong, forceful voices, no bashfulness among them. The two oldest children provided the instrumental accompaniment. It was an experience just listening to such a group.

They all understood and spoke two languages. The oldest two children spoke three languages. The father had left South America after ten years of mission service to move to another country, which meant learning another language. The parents still stumbled around slowly learning the Portuguese language. The two oldest children were invaluable in the new ministry, which was already showing promise.

While we sat around one evening, the mother casually asked us to pray that their daughter find a husband before they left for Mozambique in the Fall. I asked in a shocked manner, “Why on earth would you want her to marry now? She is such a blessing to you and knows the language. Surely you need her to help you with the other children.” The mother lifted her arched brows as she pondered how she would answer me. Her look conveyed her surprise at my lack of understanding. “We will be in a foreign country for the next 4 years. All that time she will be at the prime of her marriageable age. We feel it is best for her to marry an American. God called my husband to Mozambique as a missionary…not our adult children. We have obeyed God and raised them up to serve HIM…not US. We don’t add; we multiply. It is time for her to live her life.”
That next year we received a mission card with their picture. There were only six children in the picture. The mission letter briefly stated that the oldest son was in Bible school and the daughter was married.

Over the years I received their missions update. I noted that the parents were growing fatter and grayer. The children disappeared from the picture, one or two every year or so. It was sad to see the diminishing of such a magnificent family. The mission letters were filled with gospel film presentations to prisoners and villagers, church camps, protracted meetings, people getting saved, and only a brief mention of their now grown children. They would write something like, “Joshua and his wife are in Romania serving as missionaries; Peter and his wife are in Russia working with the something ministry; Sara married this year. Her husband is the pastor of a church.” And so it went.

Today we receive mission letters from their now grown and ministering children. I see their families expanding. Their joyful, energetic, blue-eyed beauty of a daughter is now the mother of six children. Her family is growing up in Cajun country. I know if I meet them I will be very impressed. I heard that they sing like soldiers…with power and command.

I am thankful for the testimony of the Foger family as well as other families that have come into our lives. They are a prototype to help us understand the problems that are arising among some older homeschooling families. We call it by different names. Today it is the Cloistered Homeschooled Syndrome. Briefly, it is the failure of the parents to understand, appreciate, and respect the individuality of their adult children. They sacrifice the individual identities of their children on the altar of their own emotional needs, making them nurse when they should be killing and dressing their own food, making them obey when they should be learning to command. They seem to think that grown children are God’s gift to them rather than their gift to God. Through letters and personal contact, we see more and more of this cult-like isolationism, parents demanding absolute allegiance to the family group, and fearing outside contact might break up their “fellowship.” Adult kids who want to launch out on their own are told that they are rebellious and disloyal and are causing grief to those who have nurtured them. Emotionally needy parents manipulate their grown children into remaining loyal to the unit. Thirty-year-old daughters sit at home acting as surrogate mothers, watching their prospects to ever be a mother dwindle.

You cannot stop a tree from growing without killing it or deforming it. Likewise, every year of one’s life up until about the age of twenty-one or twenty-two is a year of radical change and development. Some parents are trying to stop that development, clinging to their teenagers like they were six years old. We have observed the victims many times. They either flee their chains in anger, or they are slowly smothered into inordinate submission, and their personalities die as they merge into the ego of their dependent parents.

This medieval hierarchy is preached as Bible doctrine. Father and Mother as King and Queen of their little kingdom preach the divine right of Kings and parents—“Obey me without question, for it is your manifest destiny.” Their “patriarchal” status is the only expression of their significance in an otherwise disconnected world, and they milk it until their children are dry and lifeless in spirit, or until they fly away to breathe fresh air.

For over a year we have been discussing this subject, thinking about how to address it. We have talked with many young adults who are, or were, held captive, the rebellious and the subdued, those who are disciples of Christ and those who are worldly and lost. We have spoken with families who lost their children early, in their teens, and families who lost a child to the world in their twenties or later.

How did this happen? It is the old pendulum at work. Thirty to forty years ago Christian parents were losing their children to the world through public schools, public churches, and public play. The family was disconnected and dating was the norm. We rebelled against the soul eating monster and took charge of our lives. Our children would not be raised on the TV. They would not lose their virginity in a school bathroom or under the stairwell. No more evolutionary philosophy and godless history and science. We took our children home and taught them from used books and the Bible. We created culture anew, abstaining from mega churches with their youth groups and revolving boy-girl relationships. We parents became the principle influence in our children’s lives, selecting their friends and ours with care. No overnight sleeps or backyard playhouses with closing doors. Family worship and Bible study took the place of Television. Once again parents were in charge and there was hope.
It felt good to be in control of our own destiny, to not be a victim, to know that our children would escape the sin and shame that some of us had to go through before we came to Christ.

There was a vacuum, a need for leaders to arise and define what had become a movement, to clarify our journey and give us direction through uncharted waters. First, curriculum was written, then seminars. Sub-movements arose to flesh out the new culture, specialists addressing every conceivable issue—head coverings, dress, doctrine, spanking, scheduled nursing, Kosher foods and Jewish practices, and the list goes on. Books were written, some good, some not so good. Then someone pulled from ancient Chaldean and Sumerian culture, also practiced by Jews of that day as reflected in Scripture, a system of Patriarchal rule. It was the way nomadic clans were held together, a necessity of the times, but never taught by Moses, the prophets, or Christ as God’s divine plan.

I laughed the first time I hear of the Patriarchal Movement. “It will never fly,” I said, “People are not that gullible.” But they were. Daddies who were never in charge of anything, maybe not even their wives, were finally given justification for assuming the throne. Yippee!

It is now become a disease of epic proportions. We call them PDFs, Patriarchal Dysfunctional Families. The children are treated as permanent property of the parents. If they don’t marry, and many of them never have the opportunity, they remain at home as a sort of indentured servant, never rising to the status of an adult, always under authority of the head of the clan, the Patriarch Daddy. Don’t snicker. A lot of kids are hurting. And if you want to see something scary, try to conduct a betrothal with two patriarchal mothers involved. It is uggggly.
Daughter sits at home serving the younger children and doing Mama’s chores—waiting for God’s choice. Daddy and Mama hold their merchandise guardedly, waiting for a buyer who never comes.

What is pitiful is the whole process is done in hopes of getting the perfect will of God, but one vital ingredient is missing—encouraging your children to become responsible, autonomous, well educated, and experienced adults as soon as possible. You should have trained your sons to be men by the time they are fifteen, independent by the time they are eighteen. Your daughters should be capable of living apart from the family by the time they are eighteen and should be allowed to make their own life’s decisions somewhere between the ages of eighteen and twenty. Unmarried, grown (18 years old) children may remain at home; it is good if they do; but the parent-child relationship should evolve into an adult-adult relationship by the time they are sixteen to eighteen years old. Parents should have earned the right to give advice, and kids should have grown in wisdom enough to ask for it. But a parent should never invoke his parental authority on a grown kid. It is demeaning to both and akin to not being potty trained.

To teach a student to drive or fly a plane and then always make him be in the company of his parents is degrading. You teach them so they can become independent of you. Whose need is being met when a Father treats a 22-year-old girl like a child, dictating the parameters of her choices?
The glory of a parent is to work himself out of a job, to stand back and see his kids fly solo. I expected to have supplanted myself by the time my kids were eighteen. And so it was. Long before that, I began to confer with them adult to adult. I have stepped back and allowed them to make decisions that I knew were not the best choices, and sometimes I was wrong; they were wiser than I.

Space does not allow us to say more at this time. More will come later. Sit down and talk with your nearly grown kids. Ask them what they want, feel, aspire to. Don’t express hurt, and don’t emotionally manipulate them. Encourage them to pursue their dreams and support them in their effort.

In 1996, our daughter Rebekah Joy, then a 20-year-old in training to be a linguist, wrote this poem. At the time, the poem was the future; it was full of promise and hope.
There is a mighty army
Being trained to stand and fight.
A Battlefield of soldiers
Learning what is right.
A Company of warriors
That will boldly take the Word
To every tribe and nation
Til every soul has heard.
There is a mighty army,
I’ve seen them everywhere.
Most are wearing diapers
And dragging Teddy Bears.
Infants in the training
Drilled in right and wrong.
Mom and Dad are making
Soldiers brave and strong.
There is a mighty army

Trained in righteous war.
Cheer them on to victory,
Children of the Lord!

At 22 years old, Rebekah went into a remote mountain range of Papua New Guinea to study the language of a tribe who had never even seen a white person. Her 19-year-old brother, Gabriel, went for a few months, then was replaced by Nathan, her 17-year-old brother. Nathan stayed for a few months until he believed that she would be safe. She was left alone on that mountain with the unreached tribe. After two years, others came to help, and she came home.

It was her understanding of languages that gave us the information needed to pass on to veteran missionary Tom Gaudet. He is a publisher of Bibles into obscure languages. He sent out an appeal on the web for any translator that might have been working on a common language of that area. He received 14 replies. One was from a missionary who had spent 35 years translating the Bible, but when he went home he couldn’t raise the money to get it printed. Tom pulled together all the translators, had them correct each other’s work and settle on a finished manuscript. We raised the money to get 20,000 printed and shipped.

Sending a beautiful, unassertive, young woman is not God’s usual way. He was proving a point. He was making a statement to her, to us and to you. “If I can protect and use this young girl to win a remote tribal people, then I can do the same for you.”

Rebekah kept a diary of those years, which we read when she came home. We wept at her courage and resolve. We wept that we had the honor of being her parents. We published Rebekah’s Diary in 1997. She was such a regular, normal girl until God gave her the vision of reaching a tribe. A few years ago, missionaries contacted us and told us that there are now seven strong villages of believers on that mountain and that the village men proudly carry their Bibles under their arms.
Because a young girl went willingly…
Because we, HER PARENTS, didn’t say no.
Because she would have obeyed us and stayed home.
But we cheered her on to victory…
There are new names written down in glory.


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25 comments on “Cloistered Homeschool Syndrome”

  1. Well said. I have also observed this odd branch of homeschooling with growing concern. I am 31 and my husband 33 and we were both homeschooled all twelve years, something we are grateful to our parents for doing. We are surprised at the level of control we see parents exerting over their children. Both of our parents (mainly my dad and his mom) struggled some with letting go but it was mostly understood as being emotional and not justified using the Bible. Perhaps our parents didn't become entrapped in the Patriarchal movement because they were balanced out by their spouses. Thank you for standing out and saying what needs to be said to your readers. Oh and to any parents feeling clingy realize if you let your children go out and be free they will marry and bring you home grand-babies that are ever so much fun.:)

  2. It is good to see someone highly respected in the homeschool community saying this. Ever since I left the ATI ministry I have been saying this cloistered homeschool patriarchy movement is wrong and against God's will and that a lifestyle of don'ts is hurting our walk. Thanks for saying that we do need to live for God and DO.
    Thanks

  3. thanks guys. I am considering homeschooling for my kids in the future (when I have them!) and I think that your advise about the dangers as well as the joys of homeschooling is very wise. May God continue to bless you.

  4. You have described my brother's family to a "t".
    I am saddened by how his children seem so robotic, unable to think or choose for themselves, never being able to choose what to do in their adult lives, escpecially the daughters....all they are allowed to aspire to is being wives and mothers, no careers for them. My brother actually forbade his wife and children from voting in the last presidential election (I assume because a woman was on the ballot). His wife and children should be free to make decisions on their own. It is so sad to think of the potential being wasted.

  5. liOh, thank you, thank you!!! You have described my father to a "T"!! I "ran away" from home 3 months ago, basically because my father didn't see me as the 18 year old adult that I was. He prayed that I would get cancer in order to "turn from my sin and return to his 'headship' ". His new philosophy is that college is not biblical and he is planning on my younger sisters remaining home and being tutored by him. He also wants to start his own church, in order to protect his family from the devil in the local church. HELP!!

  6. My husband and I just talked about this topic recently because someone brought up a study that shows that adolescents do best when leaving the home if there is a big clash with their parents first (this was brought up to me when someone found out I was homeschooling). I thought, "hrmm... there must be some reason for this beyond what this study concluded." Well, after discussion with my husband, we found that it is not the big clash that helps, but the fact that the particular child came to the conclusion that they need to make adult decisions for themselves. We decided after those discussions that by early to mid teen years our children should have the ability (through training) to be responsible persons who are fully able to make decisions (including that they are comfortable seeking counsel). I don't think that the "clash" is necessary if parents train their children to make wise decisions from youth and step back at the appropriate time.

    This article is particularly encouraging in that it has been done, it does work, and God is always faithful! "Train a child in the way he should go and when he is older he will not depart from it"! Praise the Lord that we have promises like this to rest in.

  7. Thank you so very much for your stand on these difficult and often confusing situations!! I am 23 years old and I was homeschooled.... and everything you have said is true. The longer I stayed at home, the more difficult it was to become an adult. God help us... this isn't what God had in mine when he created the family!

  8. Thank you for writing this. It has helped a little to read it. It describes my family when growing up so well. Even though I am married my dad tried to control my husband, who stood up to him and said NO. It has taken us a move to another country to get him to let us make our own decisions. We are still learning to put our marriage back together. May God turn the hearts of the fathers to their children so that this stops happening.

  9. Wow! I about cried reading this. So so true! My family was that way. My only escape was marriage,thankfully God brought a wonderful Godly man into my life and I was married at 19. This yr we will be married 10 years and still my dad is trying to undermine my husbands authority and take control whenever he comes here or we go to visit them( we live In adifferent state). He is always watching for someone to say or do something wrong and you can never relax around him. It is so hard to watch him driving my younger siblings away now. But of course,it is cause they are rebellious.
    Thankfully my husband grew up in a family who let's there children grow up:). We love to be with them,their house is the place to be. We can differ with them on opinions of certain things,but they respect us. My husband told me that as a teenager he could debate things with his dad,and he was treated with respect. My dad it wasn't open for debate,it didn't matter what it was about,if we disagreed we were rebellious,and he was constantly changing his mind,so we didn't even know most of time what we could and couldn't do.
    And like what the other girl said about the grandchildren is so true. I love for my children to be with my husbands parents. But have to be constantly on edge around my dad cause he is always trying to override our authority with them. And he has recently been trying to "pass on" his wisdom,which some I don't agree with. Makes me not want him around them:(

  10. I am actually really depressed with this article. My parents homeschooled me until fifth grade growing up, I then went to a small school (no more than 13 students a year) until my junior year of high school when I left for academy. I'm proud of who my parents raised me to be, and I do ask for their advice.

    However, you state in the article, "You should have trained your sons to be men by the time they are fifteen, independent by the time they are eighteen. Your daughters should be capable of living apart from the family by the time they are eighteen and should be allowed to make their own life’s decisions somewhere between the ages of eighteen and twenty."

    Why, I must ask, do women get to make their choices later? You are still adhering to a patriarchal relationship where you keep women submissive for longer than men. It's truly revolting. I'm a female, almost 20 years old, and have been making my own decisions since I turned 18. Furthermore, I am independent, strong, and driven. Don't try to force women back for longer, that's absolutely ridiculous.

  11. I find this article refreshing.

    At church - we are a small church - I have taught children's SS classes. I have had a problem - and others, too - of children being disorderly - they cannot or will not hold still and listen. They do not mind either. Now, I am teaching again and the children are different - they mind, listen. Had one homeschooler and she was restless, disturbing others. The difference is the restless one is homeschooled and the others are in a parochial school where they are taught to respect authority.

    I just wish that homeschooled folks would produce children that respect authority ... some do but not all. The problems they wish to prevent has not happened.

    Thanks for writing...

  12. I see this is an old article, but it was linked to me just today. I find it to be incredibly ironic that you would address this topic so eloquently, since your books are so often used to keep children, and especially girls and women, in subjugation.

    1. If NGJ books are being "used" to keep children, girls and women in subjugation, then the guilty parties are misusing the materials. Anyone observing the success of families that are actually practicing the philosophy and using the materials, will not see subjugation. The Shindigs were perfect opportunities to see many of these families and "non-subjugated" children, girls and women.

  13. Oh my, thank you so much! I grew up in a cloistered family and escaped when I got married. There is so much I could say but right now the only words that come are thank you. God bless you!

  14. What you say here is exactly what my family is! I left home at 18 through an arranged marriage, nearly 10 years ago. And even after I left home my parents tried to control my husband and I. Now, I am divorced, and have since moved on to form my own life, free of my parent's influence. I have 7 siblings at home, and until recently I was beginning to lose hope that they would ever be allowed to leave, and find spouses, or even just be independent. But that is beginning to change. I feel horrible that my sisters are not given the same rights at my brothers. And given how controlling my parents are, they will never be able to find a mate. It is exactly what you said, about parents having this emotional need and clinginess. Plus my sisters are exactly as you said - indentured servants. It makes me so angry! I wish I could do something about it, but my parents have brainwashed them into thinking I am evil and will lead them to hell, so they don't trust me. I have been cut off, pretty much shunned. It often feels like I don't have a family. Which considering how close I used to be with my siblings before I left home, really hurts. For a while after I left home, and left my ex-husband, I wanted nothing to do with God. I walked on the wild side. But God has changed my heart over time, and I realise a lot of things. My perspectives have changed a lot. My heart is open and filled with love. Being a Christian is not tedious or unpleasant any longer. But I am still filled with anger when I think how my siblings are still trapped and there is nothing I can do! It is indeed very cult-like as you say, how my parents have raised us, and kept all outside influences out. They have even kept us from knowing our extended families. It is so wrong! But I don't know what to do! If you can help, please talk to me!

  15. This is much need article. This kind of family can also happen in families that do not home school. My husband's father was legalistic, religious, and controlling. His mom was jealous. They MADE us come to there house every week. If he did not do what they wanted they said they would tell my husband that he had rejected them. They would tell him he was their "only" child (but my husband does have a sister that had spina bifida.) They always were quoting scripture and making us pray with them we were always in the wrong and always having to apologize and because they never changed there is no reconciliation. One time my husband was in a car wreck and his father told him that if he had been killed they would've had to spend the rest of their life knowing that he had rejected them because he had gone fishing with my dad. When our first child was born his dad told us that my husband was still under his authority and I was under my parents authority and we have been married five years at this time. Sadly this did not ever change this was now years ago. We still protect them and everyone thinks that they were wonderful parents. This has caused many problems in our marriage and we have grandchildren now and are not making the same mistakes. God is still healing me. So parents if you want to have a relationship with your children you have to let them go. Mr. Pearl thank you for letting God use you to help so many families.

  16. This article is living water for my soul. However, I am struggling still. My mother was widowed at a young age. She never remarried while we were growing up and so we developed a very co-dependent lifestyle as a family unit. Mom made it very clear to me, as the third oldest, how much she needed me during my teenage years to help with my younger siblings and nephews. But, upon high school graduation, desiring to go away to college to pursue my dreams, she began to bargain with me in order to clip my wings. She actually offered to buy me a brand new car if I would only stay home and help her with my younger siblings. I am now a 36-year-old wife, mother, and college graduate. But, the road has been a constant uphill battle against my mom's wishes. Especially because my two older sisters have never left her. They both live and work under her even though they are each married with children. I was the first to leave. In fact, I have 'left' many times only to be sucked back in because of guilt. The guilt and shame are unbearable at times. She says I have abandoned the family because I chose not to work in her business and I now live 3 hours away from her. She is a successful business woman with means and good health. What is my obligation to her? My husband encourages me to not feel guilty and assures me we are doing nothing wrong. But, it is hard on both of us because he did not grow up in a Christian home and though mine was a Christian home it was very, very broken. We need guidance in this area as it has been years of heartache. My specific question is that when Jesus was in his public ministry why did his mother and siblings come to take him away because they thought he was out of his mind? How did they think they had the right to exert that power over him when he was a thirty-year-old man? Please help. I desperately need some advice on this. Thank you so much!

  17. I cannot agree with this author's analysis or conclusions regarding this very big issue in parenting youth. Presenting unbalanced, controlling and/or self-serving parent(s) as the only type that would want children to stay at home is an effective tactic in persuasion but does little for a parent who has seen just as many disasters of young people that went out on their own. I could also present a cadre of cautionary tales about young people who were not fools but were clearly not of a level of wisdom to make lifelong decisions without parental input, guidance and insight. It is one sad story after another so for you to present this as a normal part of successful parenting is incomprehensible. For every success you can name, I could give you 10 flops, failures or folly stories that were difficult for the person to recover from in life.

    America is full of proud, simple, and naïve Christian youth who can do very well with proper guidance but on their own would make very poor decisions that they would deeply suffer from for years. I would be considered by many as a successful professional and yet in my early twenties I was very interested in my parents input and approval. It was not my emotional weakness, lack or manhood or unpreparedness (I was near the top in my class). I simply wanted to have a launch that optimized my chances for success. I had no interest in going out on my own until I was married and that was without a walk with Christ. This is also what both of my parents did without any Bible or conversion, and neither were miserable, felt controlled or despised their parents; in fact they loved them dearly. Looking back, now, I see this clearly as a Biblical approach that is supported by the scriptures far more than the modern one you advocate of taking off as soon as you can or feel like it. If one group is Patriarchal, I would have to say that your group is the Autonomists, and I would hardly say that the latter is much better than the former.

    It reeks of the sixties mentality and presents all concerned levelheaded parents as perfect fools that are bound to create hostile children with miserable lives. It is breath taking how with one fell swoop your article implies that anyone desiring and/or guiding their young to stay with their family until the right circumstance arise are totally out of touch with life and with properly raising children. I am glad your daughter survived her rather perilous solo journey unscathed, not many do nowadays and Jacob's daughter certainly did not. I would not let my wife do that, let alone one of my daughters. I know several women who were attacked when they were on their own. And to present this practice as some regular course of growing up is not only misleading, it is irresponsible and extremely difficult to prove from Scripture.

    It is feeding the all too overgrown egos of many a "Christian" youth today and "Christian" closet feminists who are anxious to go it alone despite needing to learn many important lessons of life. Perhaps some notions of patriarchy are incorrect, or improperly handled by troubled souls but there is no denying that leaving home just because one is of age is not only a likely contributor to low income, poor spousal choices, poor career choices and poor financial decisions but is not even supported by history regarding multigenerational stability, upward mobility or common Christian practices. I would have expected an article of this type in a secular magazine, that mocks conservatism (of any branch) and certainly not from a Bible believing preacher.

    In fact, where I come from, the idea that you advocate of early autonomy was common belief among the parents and youth of the lower class in our area. Those who would amount to very little in life, had a problem with authority, had poor relations with their parents or just wanted to get their life started would dart from home as soon as possible. However, nearly all of them usually stayed in the lower class (mentally, socially, emotionally, financially) of society for life. They were very easy to recognize, (all with a similar story and mindset) and were in the majority, they were the norm, not the exception. They not only did not benefit from this approach but suffered from it dearly. I remembered asking some of them why they were doing it and they just said that they felt like it or their friends were doing it or they wanted their freedom to drink, date who they wanted, go where they wanted and sleep around, etc.). Despite all of the other drawbacks, I thought that the financial drawbacks alone made it a dumb decision.

    The successful people usually did just the opposite and usually amounted to something career wise, money wise and marriage wise. This approach is what contributed to the upward mobility into the middle class of many persons and families. However, what we considered as folly and decreasing the chances of success, you are advocating as an obvious and sensible step in raising successful children. This brings to mind the Billy Joel song of Keep it to yourself its my life. I remember hearing that song in my youth and being very disturbed by it. It really lowered my opinion of him. I figured that He was just another Rock and Roller who despised authority, especially parental authority and was going to encourage more of my classmates to leave home early and ultimately enter low income lives.

    I think that you would have an interesting time explaining how your position would square with God's revelation about the Rechabites in Jeramiah 35 and their eternal blessings for heeding their father's counsels about their adult life. Let alone all of the admonitions in Proverbs to hearken unto your father, mother, parents, etc. (unless there was some expiration date on these commands; say at age 20 or even 18). Even the case of Isaac, a 40 year old man letting his father be involved in a spousal choice. According to your reasoning that would be pathetic or unmanly, or just having a controlling father who did not raise him to make his own decisions. In any case, my dozens of time through the Bible has never led to me to conclude anything remotely related to what you are teaching here and in fact, just the opposite. It persuaded me that I had made a right move and was blessed for it. I am reminded of the story of George Washington choosing not to leave home and join the Navy because of his mother's weeping over the decision. He could not break his mother's heart, over his decision to leave, with a good conscience. Was not the hand of God clear in that decision? Was that not the turning point in his life to his true destiny? (This is just one of many examples I could give.)

    I am sorry for all of the sad stories you have encountered from troubled and sinful parents but to conclude and convey that this notion of adult young people staying at home is a dangerous branch of the Christian homeschooling movement is reckless. If it is cloistered homeschooling then your approach would be free range homeschooling. It wreaks havoc in the homes of many caring and concerned parents whose children are now fully convinced that they have horrible frightening parents that are secret monsters. It ignores the fact that the majority of young people (saved or lost) actually harm their life greatly from following these ideas and glosses over the countless failures that have tried this approach. Lastly it supports the global Satanic mindset that seeks to get children out from their parents as soon as possible so they can draw them into every foolish and vain notion about life. It also promotes the notion that parental wisdom is little more than a jukebox that you can listen to if you feel like it and like the sound of it.

    No doubt, the troubled sinful parents should be rebuked for selfishly using their children for their own benefit, for not actively working to find them a spouse and creating ample opportunities to do so. Their particular notions of patriarchy should be shown to be wrong and unscriptural not the general idea of young people staying with their parents and learning a respectful relationship with appropriate amounts of freedom based on the persons involved. Your conclusion is throwing out the baby with the bathwater. However, the sad reality is the average Christian parent(s), especially those who don’t homeschool, make very little effort to assist their children in finding a proper spouse. Many young people wish that they would because they are unsure what to do themselves an do not want to leave home. As the family unit and parental authority continue to come under attack and break down more and more each year in these last days, the last message that is needed is one of Age Based Autonomy instead situation and person based autonomy that parents can guide and bless and not dread or weep over.