The Unfundamental Conversion

My Homeschool Graduation

March 7th, 2014 | Posted by Lana Hope in Homeschool

Sometimes I think about the part of homeschooling the bruised me the most. Undoubtably it was first the extreme purity culture and second the sexism. In fact, the purity culture bothered me so much that it was the first thing I questioned, tested, and rejected in college, but I felt its effects more weighted on me until later on. (I recommend the sex eduation series on homeschoolers anonymous.)

The second is the sexism. This is because the sexism was constantly in my face. It’s not just Sunday morning. I had to put on dresses, but boys did not. I had to wear funky bathing suits, boys went topless. I could not go rock climbing, the boys did.

Even before I rejected complementarianism, I just knew the gender roles in our homeschool circles was extreme. One of the first times I vocally got angry about it was at my homeschool graduation. Read the program, and see if you can figure out why.


The dads gave us the diploma, which came from HSLDA, and gave individual speeches. Moms were on the pews.

But that did not happen without an appeal from me. At graduation rehearsal, I told the family in charge that the moms and dad should stand up together, and I said that my mom was the one who had homeschooled me, not my dad, and so discriminating against her was wrong. I also said that we should not have the candles (too much like a wedding) or the singing (only two people could sing). My voice was hit at a deadend.

Here’s the song we sang. “Go Light the World” is definitely a homeschool motto. It’s not surprising the parents choose for us to sing it.

I do not have the rest of the graduation program with me, so I not remember the details.  I also don’t remember much of the dad’s speeches (the pastor spoke a while; one dad said just a couple words). I just remember that it was a really crappy day. I had spent all those years as the solo kid of my class, and it all came down to some dumb moment.

Oh, and my name is misspelled on that diploma. Thanks, Mrs. K.

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  • Lana, I see how this is unfair to your mother–this attitude is unfair to all mothers and all women.

    The song is new to me, and I don’t like the aggressiveness and superiority it represents. However I really resonate with the lines: ‘Carry your candle; run into the darkness; seek out the helpless, confused, and torn.’

    Unfortunately the context in which it is applied is sad and harmful.

    • Lana Hope

      That’s a great line. Mostly the reason I had trouble with the song I was I was embarrased that we had to sing, lol. But the other part that bothered me was this was our day to celebrate, and we were still talking about being a salt and life of the earth.

  • I find myself often having a tough time with terms like sexism and gender roles because it is like feminism trying to puts their ‘pants on’ in order to prove that women have worth. Your post hear takes this level downward to the religious Fundamentalism level and in that I can understand why the backlash. I can’t help but think of girls who are tomboys and want to climb things and be boyish but are not lesbians. Yet it seems to be Ultra Fundamentalism steals this away because of staunch beliefs? It is often enough to just kill away the spirit of any kid.

    I think of Vyckie Garrison’s story and what happened to hear. She has become an Atheist as a result. I find it sad when such a situations drives a person to Atheism.

    • Lana Hope

      How do you know that’s why she became an atheist?

  • Typical Christian Patriarchy thinking — make women do all the real work of raising a family, but don’t give them any respect for credit for their efforts. That arrangement was grossly unfair to the mothers, and I’m glad you spoke up.

    • “Respect or credit”, not “respect for credit”. Sorry.

    • Lana Hope

      Exactly, exactly. Even if I did not get along with my mom, it made me mad.

  • Kelly

    Yeah… It always kills me when “homeschool dads” go on and on about homeschooling. I can’t think of a single homeschooling father I’ve ever known who actually taught his kids anything beyond maybe– MAYBE– some biblical stuff. The moms did/do everything.

    My “graduation” was coming home from waitressing at my summer job and finding my diploma had come in the mail and was lying on the kitchen table. A tad underwhelming.

    • Lana Hope

      Oh, wow. I did not want a graduation (because I technically did not go to school with these people, so why were we having a graduation together), and today I would refuse.

  • At my graduation, none of the moms spoke, but at least they got to go up with the dads. I was just recollecting this the other day. my husband’s father is a preacher, and he preached at the graduation. but two other dad’s were preachers too, and they weren’t asked to speak. so when they were supposed to get up to say a few words to and about their graduate, instead of talking about his daughter, he preached for at least ten minutes about homeschooling and i think he presented the gospel. didn’t really say anything about his daughter, but did embarrass those of us with non-homeschooling family members that came to the graduation.

  • Pingback: My Homeschool Graduation | Homeschoolers Anonymous()


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