As an adult I actually like this show a lot and watch it religiously – pardon the pun. I guess without violence, alcohol/drugs, consumerism (other than what I consider to true belief and use of a product/message) or sex, it won’t corrupt your child in traditional ways. Since they live in normal society (most of them), their uber cult-like Christian (someone here said they were Mormon, but I was not aware of this) values are unlikely to rub off on your kids unless that’s your goal. It’s certainly not like Jon & Kate plus 8. At the same time, I think there are better things for your children to be watching. A * marks the start of a paragraph because sometimes this site runs everything together even if you put in breaks.
* At first, they seem like the ideal Beaver Cleaver family. After watching the show for about a year and then doing some online research, many things began to bother me. Education is one of them that seemed good or even great on the surface. Upon closer inspection, I have no idea how these kids could actually attend and keep up in a regular (non-bible) college. Reading more about them (FAQ section) of their website was creepy. I found these two statements (J-O-Y- Jesus first, Others second, & Yourself last!) and that the kids are in a “constant training process” very disturbing. I’m sure lot’s of you will think this is a good thing, but I strongly disagree. I think it’s wrong to feel like you’re a 2nd (or 3rd) class citizen or that kids should be trained like dogs. Maybe it’s the wording – TEACH, not train. You can read more about my beliefs in the last paragraph below. This reminds me of my nightmare Christian school days where statement like that God was responsible for whether or not we got a good grade test. Is it just me, or whether or not I got a good grade is based on if I studied and/or learned the material? If I didn’t know the material (possibly prayed beforehand) and got a good grade, then it was a miracle and I should thank the some higher power for it, but otherwise it had nothing to do with God. Take the opposite way; I should blame God if I didn’t do well, even if I studied. However, there is nothing wrong with praying (nothing is wrong with using a positive thinking crutch) for help to steady nerves.
* You can view a sample of their educational materials in a 60+ page .pdf file at http://ati.iblp.org/ati/about/curriculum/wisdombooklets/ . It is 90% God, 10% actual real subjects like math. Of the dozen word math problems, every single one has Bible connection. The one I read in particular focused on death and mourning. In addition to this, they read the Bible together 3x a day and memorize passages. While I am not a huge fan of what the haughty experts consider classic literature (I think any book you can understand and enjoy reading is a good book), I think not letting your kids reading anything but the Bible or religious propaganda books is wrong. I don’t believe that you can really choose to follow a certain religious path unless you know about other beliefs, such as studying about other religions or reading books with different viewpoints. You would never know light if you spent your life in a box. They can’t have a conversation that doesn’t involve God or other moral propaganda. They are like their own mini cult. Even the Amish allow their kids to explore the world before choosing to become a baptized Amish adult. BTW, I am normally a big fan of home schooling, even if it is mostly for religious reason. However, I am against in this case when I don’t feel the children are getting a good education. My Christian school education was not nearly as intensely religious as theirs was.
* As for the person who said they don't interact much with other kids, they do, but only within their small world. They go to home school conferences, church and I think that they can chat with about school subjects with other kids that take in their class online. I was shocked to learn that they don't dance as well. In the Bible's famous passage - "a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to throw stones etc..." They stand still in time. It also really bugs me that the mother insists that she lost a baby because she was talking birth control pills and sinned against God.
* One thing I find myself wondering what they will do if (or more likely when) one of the kids decides to rebel. Will they do what another large family did and stop communicating with them so as not to negatively influence the others? They seem like they would not, but if they do, it would be so sad because most of the closest friends are their brothers and sisters. I find it interesting that they don’t seem very strict, just wary of outside influence. I’ve seen what strictness does, it alienate kids and makes them want to rebel. This approach seems to work much better. They use a brainwashing technique and keep them in a bubble, insulating them and undermining regular societies normal.
* To see where my viewpoint come from, here is a little background on me. After doing lots of research on various religions, beliefs and viewpoints online, I am proudly Neo-Pagan. I was raised protestant Christian, later I became atheists- belief in no God/Divine, and then I was agnostic- belief in the Divine, but not the Bible or a specific religious path. My values and beliefs come from a variety of different religions, but primarily Wicca. I believe that the Bible was written by man (not God) and has stories based on historical fact and embellished or purposely changed to serve the needs of those in power. I also believe the Bible is a kind of like Aesop’s Fables, with stories that are meant to teach moral values. I believe Jesus was a great prophet, but not the son of God, anymore than we are all silvers of the Divine. I don’t have anything against Christians (or other religions) per se, but I do have major issues with those who try to force their values on others or impede my ability do as I wish as long as I don’t harm anyone. These are things like assault or murder. This is anything from not watching a certain TV show or wearing sexy clothes to obtaining a legal partnership (I’m not gay, in fact I’ve been married for 12+ years) with someone of the same sex.