School of Lies | Sojourners

School of Lies

Christian homeschooling texts are based on the idea that white Protestants should oversee our world.

WHEN DID YOU realize your textbooks lied to you?

I grew up in the Pacific Northwest and was homeschooled by my mother, the wife of a conservative Christian pastor. I didn’t think too much about my education until the 2016 election when I became increasingly alarmed by the enthusiastic support white evangelicals gave to Donald Trump. When Trump ascended into office, riding in on the phrase “Make America Great Again,” my memory was pricked. I had heard all this before.

To check it out, I obtained two history textbooks that I had used growing up. In 1999, when I was a sophomore in high school, 1.7 percent of the U.S. population was homeschooled. By 2012, the percentage had doubled. When I was homeschooled, there were three prominent curriculum producers for Christian homeschooling: Abeka Press, Bob Jones University Press, and Accelerated Christian Education. Abeka remains the most popular. Officials at Abeka, according to the Orlando Sentinel, would not say how many textbooks the company sells or release the number of schools that use their curriculum, but said that “it is safe to say that millions of students” have used the materials.

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