I agree with your assessment.
The key difference in this case is that the mom DID NOT prioritize trying to teach her kids to learn. Not just IN SCHOOL-but at all.
They are now adults struggling to understand why the world shits on them, unable to hold down jobs, unable to care for themselves, unable to keep relationships etc because they weren't taught to even THINK for themselves.
An example of one instance, a year went by with the bathtub filled with dirty laundry. So the kids just washed off in the sink and went on with life... no bath, no shower.... a YEAR. It didn't occur to any of them (her or the kids) to just MOVE THE FREAKING LAUNDRY out of the way-the oldest kid was in middle school.
Anyway-I didn't want to fill this thread with the whole entire layout of the story-my point was that different people identify different behaviors as abuse.