Friday, April 1, 2011

Stay-at-Home Daughters: Secret Weapon of Christianity

The lovely Anna Sofia and Elizabeth Botkin
This issue has been on my heart for about a month now, and I think He wants me to write a post about this. And that is the stay-at-home daughters movement.  I first heard about this a couple years ago, but heard very little, and thus didn't really pursue it. But in early February, some dear friends of ours let us borrow the documentary The Return of the Daughters and the book Joyfully at Home. The DVD is produced by Anna Sofia and Elizabeth Botkin, and the book is written by Jasmine Baucham, 23 year-old daughter of the Baptist preacher Voddie Baucham.  (Great guy! Love his books/cds!) These works turned my e-n-t-i-r-e thoughts on college upside down. I'll be going three ways with this. Number one, what is the stay-at-home daughters movement/The Return of the Daughters about? Number two, what would be the alternative to college? And number three, what I think about all of this.
Number One: What is the stay-at-home daughters movement, and by extension, The Return of the Daughters, about? The term 'stay-at-home daughterhood' was first coined by the Botkin sisters, and has been used ever since to describe young ladies who have chosen not to go to a college building, and instead, use the years after highschool to learn homemaking skills and how to run a household effeciently. Some of them have also chosen to still get a college degree through an online course.
The first statement one usually hears when they have just told someone that they are a stay-at-home daughter is, "Oh! So you're against college?" Actually, no. Stay-at-home daughters are not against college by any stretch of the imagination. They're not against education after highschool. They just don't particularly care for the way that this education is taking place for three main reasons: one, it costs a ton. Why spend a lot of money just to get the degree from a college building when you could get it from an online 'college'? Secondly, it takes 4 of the most crucial years of your life. 18 to 21 are some big years. Those years could be spent learning how to take care of a home, courting a young man, writing a published book (I put in that one because a stay-at-home daughter called Jasmine Baucham actually did that!)...the list goes on and on.
And thirdly, there's a lot more to a brick-and-mortar college than just education. There's some immorality at a college campus, certainly. I'm not saying you can't avoid that immorality.  But when you're around it 24/7, it's a huge temptation. Why put that temptation in the forefront of your life when it could be eliminated?
So yes, stay-at-home daughters are actually proponents of education after highschool. They're just not promoting it in the usual sense.
Now about the documentary The Return of the Daughters. This show, produced by Anna Sofia and Elizabeth Botkin, gives a very interesting look into the homes of six stay-at-home daughters. These beautiful, intelligent, amazing young women said on camera, "You know what, we don't have to go with the status quo. We do not have to go to a brick-and-mortar college for life to go on!  We can stay at home and learn from our parents how to be a good help-meet for my husband when he comes along.  We can learn how to be better sisters to our siblings.  And we can learn a ton from Dad about his work-yes, real-life work.  And we don't have to learn any of that at college." It gave a great look into their acual lives. One of the young ladies, Katie Valenti, has a dad who is an interior designer. From him, she has learned how to design the interiors of homes. She also tracked all his income and managed all of his business finances. She married Phillip Bradrick in 2009, and now has a little boy by the name of John Mark.  In her father's home, she learned interior design-without a college degree.  She'll use that in her own home.  Under her father's tutelage, she learned about economics, because she took care of his on a day-to-day basis!  She'll use that in her own home, too. 

Jasmine Baucham's book
Very good read!

Another young lady, Jasmine Baucham, graduated from homeschooled high-school at 17. She worked with her dad, Voddie Baucham, to form an online bookstore, and is his research assistant. But Jasmine not only formed a bookstore for her dad. She wrote her own book, and published it! And the subject matter? She wrote about her journey as a stay-at-home daughter. She's 23, majoring in English from CollegePlus (an online college degree program), and is still in her father's house, helping him, her mom,and her 6 siblings. 
Number Two: What would be the alternative to college?
One alternative to college would be an online college program. The one I'm mainly talking about is called CollegePlus and comes highly recommended. These are created for young men and ladies who want a college degree but who do not want to go to a college campus to get it. It takes about two years to get a major in a subject, and you can do it all from your laptop. You get the exact same thing as you would if you were going to a college building: a degree. And you can work your day in a way that you can do the college-work in the morning, and have the rest of the day to learn homemaking skills, take care of your siblings, etc.
I think now would be a good point to address another advantage to the stay-at-home daughterhood movement. One could ask, "Well, why learn homemaking skills if you're not 100% sure that you're getting married?" Homemaking skills take you far in life, whether or not you have a family. Even if you are living by yourself, household skills are still important. Plus, this life is about service. Service to your family, community, spouse...So when you spend four of your most formative years serving yourself through education and the "college experience", and then try to throw yourself back into serving your family or spouse, it's really difficult! I think I'd rather stay in the family unit, a place where service is needed, and learn to manage my continuing education without becoming self focused.
 This question brings up another assumption many people have about this movement.Many people say that stay-at-home daughters are sitting at home, knitting, and sitting around waiting for Prince Charming to ride along on a shining white horse to save them. Nope.  Some others say that stay-at-home daughters hate education. Wrong again!  These women are waiting for whatever God has in store for them. If that means Prince Charming comes along when they're 23, glory be and hallelujah!  But if the right man comes along when they're 32, and they've had all those years to learn how to be a great wife and mother from their mother, and have learned from their dad about real-life much more exciting to get married! Plus, when and if Prince Charming comes along, my parents are there to thoroughly examine him.  They'll find out if this man is going to take care of their little girl for the rest of his life.  And they're there to make sure that their daughter's purity is protected and cared for,something that a college may take away from her. Yes, this is old-fashioned.  This isn't modern.  But this saves from so much heartbreak-and that's modern.
Number Three:  What do I think about all of this?

The documentary "The Return of the Daughters"
Wonderful and insightful watch!

I've decided....that I don't need to go with the status quo. I don't need to leave my family at 18!  I can serve God, and serve him well, right here at home.  I can learn how to be a better helpmeet for my future husband, if that's what God has in store for me, right here at home. I can get a college degree from home too, in whatever major I want to get. Again, I am not anti-college. I am anti-college experience. (Look for a future post on this...) I love education, and can learn so much about so many things by staying at home.
And that's what stay-at-home daughterhood is all about: listening to what God's plan for you is, and doing that as best you can. So when you ask me (as I'm sure I'll be asked very soon by many people, as I prepare to start homeschool highschool), you'll get a long and well-thought-out answer. Believe me, I have thought about this so much.  I think that this is what He wants from me. 
Ecclesiastes 16:1,3,4 says, "Rejoice not in ungodly children, if they be multiplied: neither be delighted in them if the fear of God be not with them...For better is one that feareth God, than a thousand ungodly children. And it is better to die without children than to leave ungodly children." I'm not saying college is ungodly. But I think that in my case, I can serve God better, and become a godlier daughter of God by serving Him at home. And with His help, I will learn to do so.
If you want to learn more about this, please watch The Return of the Daughters and read Joyfully at Home. Great book and a great DVD!  I couldn't recommend them more, and look for a review of Joyfully at Home shortly. For more information on the stay-at-home daughterhood movement, here is Anna Sofia and Elizabeth Botkin's website:
Please comment, if you would like....this is to be a dialogue, not a monologue. 

Watch for future posts on what I'm learning as a stay at home daughter!
Aut viam in veniam aut faciam. (Latin for "I shall either find a way or make one!")
In XC,

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