I’m not sure that someone who has never been homeschooled would really understand what that entails. I understand it can be very different for each individual family but in my case it was basically teach yourself things because the alternative is having your mother yell at you because you don’t understand. My mother would buy used curriculum usually of a very very Christian origin which means that most of it was factually inaccurate. She would buy old textbooks to the point that my geography book talked about the USSR and Czechoslovakia because she couldn’t be arsed to actually buy a newer book. When your 9, 10, 11 which means this was Circa 2000, you shouldn’t be learning about geography like it’s 1982. This stuff actually does matter and needs to be updated. Basic math is something different. But history books that talk about current events and geography, those things need to be as current as possible else you need to include supplemental material.
The amount of propaganda that I was fed is ridiculous. I remember my geography book including a section on communism and how terrible it was and how only atheists believed in communism (as if atheism meant you worshipped Satan and were entirely evil). I remember specifically learning about how people were not allowed to be true Christians in China. My entire world view was deeply entrenched in religious belief and conservative Dogma. Socialism and communism were evil. Only capitalism was the way to go.
Everything I was taught was of an Evangelical Christian nature. Textbooks included the plan for salvation and outright lied about the origin of man, evolution, and the environment (i.e. climate change). we learned about how God would never flood the whole earth again and how he was planning on destroying the entire Earth and making a new one and so of course he wouldn’t allow everything to go to pot until the Rapture occurred. These things were taught as if they were factual. That the USA was a Christian Nation. That all the founding fathers were Christians. Blatant lies.
My mother was probably was able to teach us to read and write a little bit in the sense of very very basic ABCs and 123’s. But only because of books and because her children probably would have been considered gifted. I pretty much remember from 5th or 6th grade onwards being on my own. if I had a question she would read word for word either from the book that I was currently reading or from a small passage in a teacher’s manual which usually was not helpful. If I didn’t understand my language arts or math lesson she would yell at me because she was frustrated. She didn’t know how to teach and she still doesn’t know how to teach. As a kid I didn’t know any better so I assumed that even though she didn’t have any kind of training in teaching that she was doing just fine. As an adult I know much better.
She told me I couldn’t write creatively and that I was too logical. In truth she just sucked at teaching any kind of creative writing or English. I’ve actually been told that I write fairly well considering things. I never learned how to write an essay until I entered college. I remember being so so sheltered but it didn’t know what homecoming was and so when I took the SAT test and had to try to write an essay for the first time, I was talking about coming home after being away because I literally did not know what the word meant. And that is entirely on my parents for being so shoddy with my education and not allowing me any kind of social outlets.
My mother’s was too lazy to properly teach any kind of actual science course that she rarely if ever did any kind of experiments. Because *gasp* she would have to clean the kitchen! And actually plan something out and buy the materials! And good Lord we couldn’t have that. Which meant that I didn’t really get to take chemistry like a normal high schooler which was something that I really wanted to do because she was too lazy. I had a home-ec course that was in black and white because it was written in the 70s or early 80s. I learned about computers as if we were still using ms-dos and giant floppy disks at 16 years old which was well beyond floppy disk era. I learned about being a proper housewife because let’s put people in 1950s rolls in 2005. my mother wasn’t a proper housewife; she just didn’t really care and wanted to make sure that I knew my proper place in the world according to Christian doctrine. I remember her half-assing the home-ec course to begin with because she wasn’t really good at taking care of the house and certainly didn’t really care about teaching me to do so. She claimed my piano lessons were a music course so that I could get extra credits towards my high school diploma and called the once-a-week Bible club I was involved with a Bible class so I could get credit for that as well. I know she flat-out made up numbers for some of those because I really didn’t have enough material or time put into it to really count but as long as you have a “record” of something, the homeschool groups that we used would write it down like it was fact. Nobody was really checking to make sure that any of this work was getting done and frankly my mother could have probably fudged a lot of things to make it look like I had more credits than I really did.
I would get burnt out sometimes trying to do the work that she would give me because I was teaching myself and I was dealing with a lot of depression and everyone was ignoring my struggles. Lesson planning involved more of a to-do list for me everyday. Nothing like actual lesson planning the teachers do. How do I know? I dated a teacher. I know. I didn’t really have much structure; everything was chaotic. I didn’t actually read some of the books that I was assigned in middle school or high school because my mother would read them to me (they were super overwhelming and I never did a proper book report in my life). To be honest she would assign ridiculous amounts of reading and then wonder why I was so burnt out and then she would end up reading it to me. She would ask me critical thinking questions that I wasn’t prepared to answer because I’ve never even been taught actual critical thinking. Rather, how to spit out the correct answer because critical thinking was “what does the Bible say?” I was never taught how to properly take notes. I would get so overwhelmed because I just didn’t know what I was supposed to be writing down so I would try to write down everything as my mother was reading things to me. Then she would get upset because I was taking too much time.
Heaven help me if I have a child and then I have to help them write a book report. I always wondered what those were. Most of the group project type deals I was never even exposed to until I hit college because it was just me and my sister. So I really have no idea what a public school classroom functions like because I was never exposed to it (outside of standardized testing once in awhile). In case you haven’t noticed I am very resentful that I did not get a proper education. I’m having to make up for it now because much of my young life was devoted to fucking memorizing scripture verses every week. I could have actually been learning something useful.
Speaking of memorizing verses, I was pushed to do and excel above everyone else in my local Bible club by my mother. I got frustrated because I did thrive on competition but there was a person there with a photographic memory which I did not have and he always would come out ahead. I remember being shamed because one time I didn’t finish the review section of a memory book and so I didn’t get the patch that went behind a pin that I had earned and my mother was so disappointed. And I wasn’t allowed to go back later and redo it. I remember crying during the meeting because I realized a lot of the other kids were doing the review and I was the one that wasn’t now and I knew that my parents would be so disappointed. Pretty much my accomplishments were the things that showed that I mattered in my small mind. Because I certainly wasn’t getting any attention otherwise.
Dad worked a lot of the time because mom had chosen to stay home with the kids and homeschool. And when he wasn’t working he was cooking and trying to clean things because my mother wouldn’t. Or he was working on music because he played guitar for church. basically what I remember from my childhood was my mother being a lazy ass individual who would not teach us how to help take care of the house and then would yell at us for not doing things but she was sitting around not doing things and then my dad would come home from working 8 hours and still have to cook and clean. I don’t know if she couldn’t cook or she just refused to learn. Everytime she was guilt tripped into actually doing any housework, she would stomp round and sigh/swear under her breath to show just how angry she was. She would even take out her frustration on the dog but then again so would my dad.
I remember my mom obsessively sorting laundry and getting mad if I didn’t wash the clothes exactly how she wanted which wasn’t really clear. Or not folding clothing the way she wanted. I understand having a preference but if you’re going to yell at your children or treat them like dirt because they don’t know your exact meticulous way of doing something it’s ridiculous. I remember getting in trouble because I didn’t pre-sort the silverware when loading the dishwasher. I would get in trouble if I didn’t put all of her matching mugs on one side of the cabinet and if the cabinets were too full. which was basically a no-win situation because we had way too many mugs and cups to fit in our cabinets and dad would complain that everything was always booby-trapped. I couldn’t reach the top shelf very well and if I didn’t put more things up there and things got too crowded on the lower shelves I got in trouble with my mother. She never wanted to wipe off the counters or do any kind of housework if she could get out of it. and then she’d play the victim like she’s slaving away everyday when she definitely was not.
She claims that she was treated like Cinderella growing up. On the one hand, her sister is a narcissist and that could have been semi true; on the other, I have a hard time believing her about anything anymore because she has such off-the-wall ideas about things and is wrong most of the time.
As to why I don’t want to spend time with her during the holidays at all, what should have been a nice and happy time of year was usually an even nastier time of year at least leading up to the day of Christmas. every year I would get excited and every year I would end up with this sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach because oh my God the house must be immaculate because I’ve just decided to throw an annual Christmas party that I’m not prepared for. And so we would have to do some ridiculous amount of cleaning and get yelled at and my dad would get frustrated because my mother would wait until the last second to do anything. On top of that Dad was the one that did most of the cooking and baking for said party. They wouldn’t really buy pre-made things as much and my mother had this asinine way of baking cookies so that she would send out boxes and boxes and boxes of cookies to relatives because she was, I don’t know, trying to be nice? And yet it was an excuse to treat us all like absolute garbage and she would yell at us if we ate a cookie and so I never knew whether I was allowed to have a Christmas cookie or not. I tended to see it as “I’m trying to give the impression that I’m a nice person” but she wasn’t really a nice person. And then she got mad when she had leftover cookies that were all stale and I wouldn’t eat them. We always got the leftovers. The things that weren’t as fresh because I guess maybe your immediate family doesn’t really matter to you? This is what I remember from the holidays. Basically the week of Thanksgiving up until Christmas day was utter hell. I would try to get into the holiday spirit and then I would be treated like shit. This is why don’t want to spend Christmas with my mother. I could deal with seeing my dad for a small amount of time but I do not want to see my mother because she was the one that made everything absolutely horrendous.
How someone could be that mean spirited and nasty all the time is frankly astounding. I honestly don’t know if I’ve met anybody who behaves that way outside of her sister. Her sister is just better at being overt in her narcissism. Like somehow growing up with a narcissist sister she managed to turn into sort of one herself. I’m not sure she’s a full-on narcissist but God she’s got a lot of tendencies. She eventually got to where she wasn’t bending over backwards every time her sister told her to do something but she’s become this bitter, nasty individual. And unfortunately dad has gotten some of that as well from being around her, unless he also has a lot of those tendencies. I’m honestly not sure. It comes across as more that he’s very frustrated with dealing with my mother than anything else. He doesn’t know how to deal with her behavior and he never really learned how to healthily interact with people.