Garritt is a movie industry veteran with credits on some of the biggest movies of the last decade, including Interstellar, Furious 7, TRON: Legacy, GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra, The Twilight Saga: New Moon, and many more. He is passionate about using his talents to build up the family and glorify God. You can view Garritt's credits on IMDB.
In the latest episode of the Schoolhouse Rocked Podcast, Yvette Hampton sits down with Tim Barton, president of WallBuilders, to delve into the crucial links between education, culture, and the Christian faith. Tim Barton, armed with an impressive collection of original documents from America’s founding era, sheds light on the historical foundations that shaped the nation and challenges prevalent narratives that undermine its core values. Join us as we dive into this enlightening conversation on education and culture.
Barton, in his passionate and persuasive manner, emphasizes the importance of Christians getting involved in political and social issues. He stands firm on the need for believers to actively engage with organizations like Planned Parenthood. Barton remarks, “It’s about showing Jesus to people.” He encourages listeners to take action and “raise up leaders who can actually make a difference” in shaping a godly society.
Drawing inspiration from biblical characters like Daniel, Esther, and Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, Barton underlines the significance of preparing the next generation for the battle of life. He challenges the conventional idea of sending kids to fight battles that even adults struggle with and focuses on the importance of homeschooling. Barton encourages homeschooling parents to set a good example, saying, “We want children to understand truth, but we want them to understand why truth is true.” By homeschooling, parents can equip their children with both knowledge and critical thinking skills needed to navigate the confusing narratives prevalent in today’s society.
Barton raises numerous concerns about the infiltration of critical race theory and the 1619 Project into schools and even churches. Acknowledging that many parents may believe these divisive concepts are not being taught in their children’s schools, Barton warns that these ideologies might be unknowingly infiltrating classrooms. This issue is further exacerbated by the influx of families turning to homeschooling due to the COVID-19 pandemic; he advises caution in using government-funded sources that may promote these harmful ideologies. He expresses concern about the potential impact of these ideologies on the values and beliefs of families and the broader society.
4. A Call to Courage:
Despite the challenges faced in the present day, Barton believes that it is one of the best times to be a Christian in America due to a growing hunger for truth. He urges Christians to have the courage to stand up for what is right and not be intimidated by the opposing voices. Additionally, Barton emphasizes the importance of raising the next generation with not only the truth but also the ability to defend it through apologetics. He aims to promote love while speaking the truth boldly.
Tim Barton’s insights on education and culture provide invaluable guidance for Christians who seek to make a positive difference in society. His emphasis on actively engaging in the political process, equipping the next generation, and combating misinformation serves as a clarion call for believers to rise up as influential forces of righteousness. By understanding and embracing the historical foundations of America, Christians can stand firm in their faith while embodying Jesus’ love. To hear more thought-provoking discussions on education, culture, and the Christian faith, tune in to the Schoolhouse Rocked Podcast.
Yvette and I got to do one of our favorite things over the weekend. We attended a homeschool conference in Moore, Oklahoma where we showed Schoolhouse Rocked and spoke on a few panels. More importantly, we got to connect with homeschooling families. We always leave these conferences encouraged and energized.
We were once again struck by how many NEW homeschooling families were there. One of the most important things that COVID-19 did was open millions of parents’ eyes to how desperately public schools were failing. And many parents chose to bring their children home for good!
By What Measure?
But is the public school system actually failing? From the consumer perspective – that of the student, parent, and taxpayer – it’s clear we are not getting what we desire. Students are provided with poor academic outcomes. Parents have their authority undermined and their trust betrayed. The American taxpayer watches as every year school spending increases while school safety declines, test scores decline, and the anti-Christian, anti-family, and anti-American values being taught in the classroom result in moral decline, political unrest, and cultural chaos.
From the perspective of the founders and the architects of the system it should be understood that government schools are a raving success. The worldview and values taught in the classroom are adopted by the majority of the students and the system produces millions of mostly compliant workers who will continue to pay taxes and won’t overthrow their leaders. Further, they will continue to feed the system with fresh generations of disciples to repeat the process.
I often say, “public schools are the world’s most effective evangelistic organizations.” The vast majority of disciples who pass through the system come out dedicated, unquestioning adherents to the religious worldview of the schools – regardless of the religious upbringing they receive at home or church.
“The model for utopia…equal poverty for all”
In order to understand the true aim of the public school system and what they are succeeding at, let’s look at what the father of progressive education, John Dewey, had to say.
“John Dewey (1885-1952) is generally lauded as the father of progressive education” (p. 1).
“Dewey stated that the only way to undermine the capitalist system was to get rid of the emphasis primary schools placed on the development of high literacy and independent intelligence” (p. 1).
“Destroying the brainpower of a nation is an act of war against that nation” (p. 4).
“Dewey admitted that the reading program he was proposing would not be as effective as the traditional method” (p. 7).
“The plea for the predominance of learning to read in early school-life because of the great importance attached to literature seems to me a perversion” The Primary-Education Fetich by John Dewey (p. 8).
“The model for utopia…equal poverty for all” (p. 9).
As homeschooling parents we have the perfect opportunity to fight back. We have the privilege of training our kids’ hearts and minds in truth, day by day. In the words of Deuteronomy 6:5-7, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.”
Meeke Addison, co-host of Airing the Addisons on American Family Radio, recently joined Yvette Hampton on the Schoolhouse Rocked Podcast to talk about how to train our children for the cultural battle that they will inevitably face. She explains why we need to keep a close eye on politics, pop culture, and the church; and how to equip our kids to effectively engage in and transform culture.
We pray that the Schoolhouse Rocked Ministry is a blessing to you and your family. Here are a few ways to be involved in this important mission…
Share the movie (it’s FREE to stream) and podcasts with your friends and family.
My favorite economist, Thomas Sowell, would often quote Milton Friedman, saying “there’s no such thing as a free lunch.” The thing is, before Milton Friedman popularized this as a common economic term, Robert Heinlein used its more colloquial version, “there ain’t no such thing as a free lunch” or “TANSTAAFL” as a central theme in his novel The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress. But even before Heinlein, the term had been used in literature and everyday parlance since at least the 1930s. So, I guess it would be best described as a “meta-quote.”
TANSTAAFL certainly applies when we’re talking about“school choice.” The great lure of school choice programs is the “free money,” but we should all know that government money never comes without strings attached – and every penny the government hands out has to first be taken from taxpayers. This reminds me of another quote from President Ronald Reagan. “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help.”
We recently published the ultimate resource for understanding the school choice issue: School Choice: Unmasking the Euphemism. This is an article you will want to bookmark and share often, as the school choice movement is gaining steam and, unfortunately, is being adopted as a pet issue by many “conservative” politicians. It’s critical to understand the nuances of this important issue, because it poses an existential threat to homeschooling. If you’re on Facebook you can share this post.
New Podcast Episodes:
This week former public school teacher, Kelly Crawford, joined Yvette on the Schoolhouse Rocked Podcast to talk about the difference between “School” and “Education.” They discuss how today’s traditional school model strayed from the heart of true education, and what can we do as homeschooling parents to avoid these traditional schooling traps.
“It’s a beautiful thing, the destruction of words.”
– George Orwell, 1984
As is so often the case in politics, pundits and activists give friendly sounding names to hot-button political movements to mask the true character of these matters. Abortion advocates are labeled “pro-choice.” Genital mutilation becomes “gender affirming care.” Illegal aliens become “undocumented workers.” Women become “birthing persons.”
This is certainly the case with the “school choice”issue. At the most basic level, the term “school choice” substitutes the concept of choice (options, opportunity) for the true focus of the movement, government education funding. School choice programs take on many forms – public charter school programs and virtual charter programs, magnet schools, intra-district transfer programs, school vouchers, education savings accounts and tax-credit education savings accounts (ESAs), tax-credit scholarships, individual tuition tax credits and deductions. The unifying thread that ties all of these programs together is the “public money” that is being distributed under each program.
It is important to note that homeschooling and private schools are usually included in the school choice conversation, but the references to homeschooling and private schools always devolve to a discussion of how these programs will include or exclude homeschooled and private schooled students in the distribution of these funds.
School choice advocates, who are actually advocating that our tax dollars should be given to individuals for the funding of private and (sometimes) home education, want taxpayers and voters to believe that these measures increase choice (educational opportunities) for families. While it is a subtle distinction, it is critical to understand that government funding has no bearing on actual educational choice.
I recently had an exchange with school choice lobbyist, Corey DeAngelis, on Facebook and I was, once again, convinced I needed to explain why I am so strongly opposed to the school choice movement and believe it is an existential danger to homeschool — in spite of pleasant sounding catchphrases like “fund students instead of systems” and “money follows the student,” all of which, like the “school choice” moniker, are used to lull parents into supporting big-government programs that will ultimately hurt every student.
Following our Facebook exchange, I will share an extensive breakdown of the problems with school choice measures. While it should be noted that most of the arguments against school choice that I present in this article apply equally to private schools (both secular and religious) and to homeschools, because the Schoolhouse Rocked ministry specifically serves homeschool families, for the most part, I will only address homeschooling here.
“BREAKING: Oklahoma legislature sent Governor Kevin Stitt a bill to fund students instead of systems.
All families will be eligible.
Oklahoma will soon become a national leader on education freedom.
This is the way.”
“’Fund students instead of systems’ is just a euphemism for redistribution of wealth. Government money doesn’t make education free. Oklahoma already has some of the most family and student-friendly education laws on the books, with homeschooling written into the state constitution. We don’t need or want government handouts or oversight. Corey DeAngelis, stop selling soft socialism as a conservative value. Parents, don’t fall for the “school choice” Trojan horse.
Government money ALWAYS comes with strings attached. The cheese in the mousetrap is free for a reason.”
For the first time, after trying to engage Mr. DeAngelis on this topic for years, I was able to get a response from him. His response to my concern; “Schoolhouse Rocked no one is forcing you to take the money.”
While this is true now, I felt it was important to continue the conversation, so here was my response:
This is the camel’s nose in the tent. As more and more families take the money, inevitably there will be calls for accountability measures (testing, safety checks, teacher qualifications, etc.) and curriculum and course of study requirements. These will absolutely be pushed across the board, whether homeschool families take the money or not. We’ve already seen these battles play out in other states and countries.
Coming from California, we understand how enticing the “free money” is. We watched as homeschooling went from mostly privately funded and parent-led to mostly government controlled with the majority of “homeschool” families participating in public charter schools.
“I also appreciate that you didn’t dispute the “soft socialism” and “redistribution of wealth” claims.
The role of government should be extremely limited. There are very few instances of governments taking or spending more money that result in freer or safer societies. This isn’t going to be the first socialist program to succeed. They fail because they are based on faulty premises.
True conservative values are smaller government, lower taxes, more freedom, open markets – with the government’s role being limited to defense, law giving and enforcement for the public good, and upholding the laws of nature and nature’s God. These principles always work.”
I was happy to see that in this thread Corey shared a link to the referenced Oklahoma bill he was referencing: Oklahoma House Bill 1934: “Oklahoma Parental Choice Tax Credit Act.”Thankfully, I was already familiar with the bill, and as an Oklahoma resident, I had already had an in-depth conversation with one of our (very conservative) state senators on the subject of school choice. Unfortunately, like so many other conservative politicians, he was partially under the school choice spell and was a supporter of this bill – in spite of being homeschooled himself.
What we need to understand is that government programs grow over time. It’s what they do. What starts today as a voluntary “tax credit” in Oklahoma will always have the lurking threat of ubiquity behind it. Someone will always be pushing to make these programs mandatory – for the sake of the children. And when all school options are government funded, we really have NO school choice, because all school is public school.
While the bill is labeled as a “tax credit,” this is another euphemism, as the bill actually provides government funding for parents regardless of the taxes they pay, and at a graduated level based on household income.
Here was my response to Mr. DeAngelis:
“Corey DeAngelis this is labeled as a tax credit, but most families with school-aged children will get more than they pay, and the “credit” amount is based on household income. This is a welfare program, not a tax credit.”
It should be noted that while Mr. DeAngelis bills himself as a “school choice evangelist” and “educational freedom advocate,” he is actually a professional lobbyist with ties to UNESCO and other large NGO’s and think tanks, including the American Federation for Children, Educational Freedom Institute, Cato Institute, Reason Foundation, and Liberty Justice Center, though it appears that his UNESCO ties have been recently sanitized from the World Wide Web. Thankfully, the Internet has a long memory.
By analyzing the term “school choice” within this framework, we can unravel the deceptive nature and danger of these programs.
The Illusion of Choice:
At its core, the term “school choice” replaces the focus on education funding with the concept of “choice,” painting a false picture of increased options, freedom, and opportunity. Advocates of school choice argue that government funds should be allocated to individuals for private and home education, under the guise of increasing educational opportunities for families. However, it is essential to grasp the subtle yet critical distinction: government funding has no real impact on genuine educational choice.
The Illusion of Expanded Options:
One of the primary arguments put forth by proponents of school choice is that it expands educational options for families. However, upon closer examination, these programs often result in a reduction of options rather than an expansion. As governments institute control and accountability measures – which should be demanded every time the government spends money – inevitably, the broad educational freedoms experienced by homeschoolers and private schools are diminished.
Our family witnessed this first-hand. As a flood California homeschool families joined the school choice bandwagon provided by the state’s public charter schools, they found themselves dealing with curriculum restrictions (no religious curriculum), curriculum and lesson plan approval, regular check-ins with charter school “teachers,” testing requirements, attendance reporting and specified minimum attendance rules, and requirements to keep “normal school hours.” It is not a far stretch from these “reasonable” controls to mandated teacher certification and in-home safety and wellness checks – and the slope is very slippery. In states like Georgia and California we have already seen these measures proposed by state legislators (usually in response to highly-publicized abuse cases).
While it would seem that each of these control measures should result in better outcomes for students, in practice we find that none of them result in higher achievement among students. In fact, while I am no fan of no-holds-barred unschooling because I understand that God calls parents to train up their children, multiple studies have shown that unschooled kids – not bound by any of these restrictions or regulations – have extraordinarily positive social, academic, and professional outcomes.
It should be noted that many families choose to homeschool specifically because they want to teach their children from a Biblical worldview. In our case, the primary reason we homeschool is so that we can integrate God’s Word into every subject. One of the first steps each state takes when implementing school choice programs is to require funded materials and curriculum to be secular, thereby undermining the primary reason many Christian families homeschool.
What our family saw first-hand in California illustrated why this requirement alone should be a primary concern for homeschool families. Instead, we saw that the lure of “free money” was enough to cause many families to ransom their values and jump on the school choice bandwagon.
Among the many families we knew who participated in government homeschool charter programs, two main tactics – and a third, less common tactic – were employed to deal with the secular curriculum requirement. Most commonly, families would use two sets of curricula for any subject that they wanted to teach from a Biblical worldview – one approved (and purchased) by the charter and one that they wouldn’t submit for approval. This meant that, in many cases, students were doing extra work to submit worksheets and projects from the approved curriculum before they would do the “real” Science, History, or Bible work from the unapproved Christian curriculum. At best, this represented a massive waste of time, but in reality, it also served to frustrate students and make homeschooling more difficult than it needed to be.
Sadly, what we also saw was that in many cases Christian families would just lie about what curriculum they were using, justifying the omission by saying that what they were teaching their children was no business of the government. While I agree that the government should have no place in the education of our children, this fact doesn’t justify intentional, low-level fraud. American parents are not currently forced to participate in ANY charter schools or school choice programs, so they are not forced to lie when they chose to participate, take the handout, and then ignore the rules of these programs.
Tactic #3 – The ”After Hours” Compromise:
At least in California, there was a technicality that allowed for students participating in charter schools and charter homeschool programs to receive religious instruction: the “after hours” loophole. State law and the charters of these schools stated that religious instruction couldn’t be administered during “normal school hours.” While I’ll save the rant about “normal school hours” for a future article, this meant that Christian homeschool families who abided by this rule could do “regular” school, using “neutral” “secular” resources during the day and then do religious instruction in the evening or on weekends.
This compromise has a few major holes. First, it fails to acknowledge that ALL instruction is religious by nature. Education is DISCIPLESHIP. Education is WORLDVIEW TRAINING. What we teach our children about creation, the LOGOS behind reason, logic, and language, the perfect order of mathematics, God’s work throughout history, who we are as people, and our purpose in the world is explicitly religious. The only question is which religion is being taught.
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.”
More subtly, to relegate “religious” teaching to after-hours teaches our children that religion and work (“real life”) are separate. What a shame it is to teach our children that it’s perfectly acceptable to compartmentalize our Christianity and only take it out only when appropriate (or approved). As Christian parents our principal desire in teaching our children should be to pass our faith on to them, to teach them the truth of God’s Word, and to train them to live boldly for the glory of Christ “in season and out of season” – in spite of the approval of man or government.
Not Private, Not Independent, Not Parent Led – Not Homeschooling:
On the topic of public virtual charters schools, it should be noted that, technically, while much of the instruction under these programs occurs in the home, these are actually considered public schools. CHEA (Christian Home Educators Association of California) states: “When enrolling in a school-at-home charter school, it’s important to recognize that it is a public school. Your children are independent study public school students and you are subject to the laws that govern public charter schools. You sign an Independent Study “master agreement” with the charter school for each student enrolled (Educ. Code § 51747(c)(8)(A)). The funds that these schools offer you are public tax dollars. In exchange for these funds, there is government oversight across several areas of your home school.” And “When a student is enrolled in a charter school, they are assigned a teacher. The title of this “teacher” varies–teacher facilitator, educational advisor, educational specialist, educational coach–but they are all California credentialed teachers who become the teacher of record in your student’s cumulative file. (Educ. Code § 47605(l))” (Katie Julius, 2019, Homeschooling 101: Public School at Home (How Charters Allow Government Oversight of Your Children’s Education)
Additionally, it should be noted that while these programs mimic traditional home education their methods and reliance on state-approved materials results in poor academic outcomes.
The Illusion of Increased Spending: Lack of Academic Improvement
In spite of the inevitable drawbacks that school choice programs bring, if it were as simple as “more money=better performance,” a decent case might be made for them. In reality, what we find is quite the opposite. When faced with the steady decline of academic outcomes demonstrated in government schools, homeschool families should be very wary of inviting the same government, which has so desperately failed public school students, into their homes.
Over the years, per-student public school spending has consistently increased across the country. Currently, U.S. public schools spend an average $13,185 per pupil annually, with several eastern states spending well in excess of $20,000 per student. (Melanie Hanson, 2022, Education Data Initiative, U.S. Public Education Spending Statistics) Despite the substantial growth in funding, academic outcomes have not been marked by a corresponding improvement, refuting the assumption that increased spending directly translates to better educational results. Standardized test scores, graduation rates, and other academic indicators have not shown consistent advancements aligning with the increasing financial investments made in public schools.
Given the lack of a direct correlation between increased spending and academic achievement, it should remind us how vital it is to exercise fiscal responsibility when allocating any public funds, let alone when considering applying tax dollars to education. Ironically, it is in this area – and only this area – where I agree with school choice advocates. If public dollars are spent on education fiscal accountability should be demanded.
Since I have no desire to answer to Uncle Sam about how I spend our household’s money I will continue to refuse any school choice handouts or “tax credits.” In theory, I would have no problem with a tax exemption or direct tax deduction for families who homeschool or choose to pay for private school. I would never be opposed to the government taking less of my money to pay for programs I don’t support. However, any scheme that requires homeschool families to register or report to any government agency is going to be a non-starter.
Ultimately though, this just serves as a hypothetical thought experiment, as this option is never seriously promoted by school choice advocates. In the end, all of these schemes boil down to new ways to tax, skim, and spend – repackaged redistribution of wealth with all of the normal bureaucratic fraud, waste, and abuse.
Contrary to the narrative that school choice programs save money, they often result in higher costs for education, both for individuals and the public as a whole. Just as we have seen with colleges and universities, as government funding for higher education has increased through grants, scholarships, and government guaranteed loan programs, college tuition has skyrocketed along with student loan debt. This is the nearly inescapable cycle of inflation. As “free” money is dumped into a system, prices inevitably rise. And as school choice programs increase the cost of education across the board, these increased costs will put an unequal strain on families who don’t qualify for these programs, live in areas where they are not available, or choose not to take the funds.
Administrative Bloat and Expensive Amenities:
We don’t have to guess about what the outcome will be as school choice programs gain ground and the government takes an ever-expanding role in the funding of K-12 education. All we have to do is look at the colleges. The infusion of government funds into colleges led to an increase in administrative staff and the growth of bureaucratic structures within institutions. As colleges expanded their administrative departments, costs associated with salaries, benefits, and administrative operations soared. Moreover, colleges started investing in expensive amenities and non-academic facilities to attract students, further driving up costs.
Additionally, increased college funding discouraged price competition among colleges. When students rely heavily on financial aid and grants, they become less sensitive to the actual cost of education. As a result, colleges have less market pressure to control costs and provide value for money. This lack of price competition and market discipline has enabled colleges to continue increasing tuition without significant accountability, and consequently the real cost for a college education has skyrocketed. The same will be true of private K-12 education costs if school choice programs proliferate.
The Student Debt Crisis – Coming to a Homeschool Near You:
Though we have to venture a bit into slippery slope territory, I think it is important to consider the student debt crisis as a cautionary tale. The escalation of college costs fueled by expanded government funding has contributed to our current student debt crisis – currently a $1.78 billion dollar burden on American families. (Matt Schulz, 2023, LendingTree.com, Student Loan Debt Statistics) As tuition prices have skyrocketed, students (and their parents) have increasingly relied on loans to finance their education. Consequently, students graduate burdened with substantial debt, affecting their financial well-being and future opportunities. It is not much of a stretch to expect a similar situation to arise as homeschool families increasingly rely on government funds – and soon government loans – to be able to afford ever-increasing education costs associated with increased government funding of (formerly private) K-12 education options.
Obscuring Wealth Redistribution:
Behind the euphemistic facade of school choice lies a broader agenda – the redistribution of wealth through socialist policies. While proponents of these programs may argue that they empower families to make educational decisions, the reality is that they divert taxpayer money – extracted by force or threat of force – to a select group of individuals, regardless of the consent of the taxpayers. While the details of every school choice proposal vary, necessarily, the recipient group (parents of school-aged children) is smaller than the contributing group (all taxpayers). Fundamentally, these programs represent the government forcefully taking money from one group to “give” it to another group, bearing the basic hallmarks of any socialist redistribution of wealth or welfare program.
School Choice as a Welfare Program:
When viewed through a critical lens, School Choice programs can be understood as a form of welfare. These programs involve the redistribution of taxpayer funds to individuals to pay for services that they desire but may not be able to afford – though the true issue of affordability is a subject for another article (we have addressed this topic here). Additionally, in many cases, the amounts distributed are based on the recipient’s reported income. This is the definition of welfare.
While school choice proponents argue that these programs empower families with educational options, just like other welfare programs, they also create reliance on government handouts for education. Instead of empowering families to make choices based on their own means and preferences, such programs will inevitably create a sense of entitlement and diminish personal responsibility.
“We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it.”
– George Orwell, 1984
Homeschool families need to remember that the battle to legalize independent, privately funded, parent-led, home-based education was long, hard fought, and not without casualties. And it was more recent than we might care to remember. Homeschooling has only been legal in all fifty states since 1993.
Over the years we have heard the stories of many families who faced jail time, fines, and the threat of losing their children simply for educating them at home. We had the privilege of sharing Zan Tyler’s story in Schoolhouse Rocked: The Homeschool Revolution. Zan fought for years to make homeschooling legal in South Carolina and through that battle she was threatened with arrest and had to spend a fortune in legal costs, but because of her efforts, and the efforts of many more courageous families like hers, we now have the freedom to home educate in every state. We should be very wary of giving back any of the freedom we had to fight so hard to win.
As we peel back the layers of the school choice argument it becomes clear that no amount of friendly euphemism can cover up the danger of these programs. As enticing as the idea of “free money” is, the real consequences of these programs: diminished options, declining academic outcomes, increasing government oversight, increased costs, and increased dependence mean that every family should oppose school choice, with homeschooling families leading the battle to preserve truly private education.
If you are ready to experience TRUE school choice we have a few free resources to help you on your homeschooling journey.
Watch the movie tonight and you’ll also receive a free copy of the Homeschool Survival Kit, a 72-page eBook packed with great resources and encouragement for families at every stage in their homeschooling journey.
“Schoolhouse Rocked is EXCELLENT and a wonderful testimony to the growing popularity of home schooling and the superior education that it provides young people.” – Dr. James Dobson
“This is not an exaggeration to say, this is the movement that is needed to save this country. Incredibly, incredibly well done.” – Rick Green, Wallbuilders
“This phenomenal movie is a must-see for every parent and every American. I can’t recommend it highly enough.” – Alex Newman, Liberty Sentinel
Once you’ve joined the homeschool revolution you’ll need regular encouragement and resources to finish strong. Be sure to follow the Schoolhouse Rocked Podcast on your favorite podcast app for new episodes every Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday.
Only have a few minutes? Check out the Homeschool Insights Podcast where you’ll find practical, Biblical, home education and parenting encouragement and resources in under ten minutes a day.
In a demonstration that free speech died long ago, once again, we were blocked by a social media media giant. It wasn’t the first time and it won’t be the last time.
I’ll cut to the chase. If you want to see our content on social media or streaming platforms you can’t just follow us. You have to hit the notification icon and make sure our content is prioritized in your feed. Otherwise we don’t exist.
As “Pride month” heats up we are taking every opportunity to warn parents that the public schools are NOT SAFE for kids. The indoctrination doesn’t just go on in June. It’s a year-round full court press. It’s time for parents to bring their children home – and June just may be the best time to do it!
So we’re advertising Schoolhouse Rocked: The Homeschool Revolution and the Homeschool Survival Kit across a few platforms – at least the ones that don’t reject our ads because they don’t “comply with our [sic] Ads About Social Issues, Elections or Politics policy” or contain “references to religious services and any religious call to action.”
It’s that time of year again. Each June public and private school teachers, unions, and education associations fall all over themselves in the ultimate virtue signaling contest – trying to demonstrate who has the most “pride.”
Even while Target, Bud Light, The North Face, and Kohl’s are reeling from large-scale boycotts in response to woke LGBTQ+ ad campaigns and product displays, teachers and administrators are doubling down on their support of gay and trans indoctrination in classrooms and school libraries across the country.
On the first night of the month, in a little under an hour, I was able to find dozens of instances of teachers and their representative organizations changing their social media avatars, and posting their “pride month” celebrations. Tens of thousands more of these posts will be made throughout the month.
It’s not just individuals and private organizations pushing this agenda. The U.S. Department of Education is heading up the charge toward sexual deviancy, abortion, gender confusion, and genital mutilation. Not only do they openly advocate for LGBT positions, but they set the national standards and hold the purse strings that direct the activities of schools in every state (yes, even the conservative ones).
In fact, not only are they pushing this agenda in the classroom, but they are using affirmative action to actively hire teachers who will promote these ideals.
National Education Association Policy Statements for 2022-2023 state, “NEA reaffirms its strong support for the use of affirmative action in employment (a) to cure the effects of past ethnic or gender discrimination by the particular employer involved, and (b) to achieve or maintain ethnic or gender diversity in an employer’s workforce.”
“Role model your pronouns before inviting everyone to introduce theirs.
‘Hi, my name is Meg and I use she/her/hers pronouns. Could everyone please go around and share their name and pronouns.‘
Explain what pronouns are and why you’re asking people to introduce theirs before you do.
‘Hey everyone! So during introductions we are going to introduce our name and pronouns. Pronouns are words that we use to replace names, like she/her/hers, he/him/his, or they/ them/theirs. I want to make sure that we are referring to each other in the way that feels most accurate, so we are going to be going around and if everyone could share their name and pronouns that’d be great!‘”
I’m sorry parents. The problem is pervasive and it’s no longer enough to say “it’s not happening in my school” and ignore it. This is the publicly-stated position of the teachers unions and the state and federal education departments that run your schools. It is happening everywhere, you can’t opt out, and it’s your responsibility to protect your children.
“A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone when he is fully trained will be like his teacher.”
Luke 6:40 ESV
Here’s the great news. June is the PERFECT month to start homeschooling!
SUMMER IS HERE!
With the school year ending it’s the perfect time to start fresh. The school year has wrapped up and you can use the summertime to prepare for your first year of homeschooling. Check out our free Homeschool Survival Kit for a step-by-step guide to beginning your homeschool journey. This guide will help you make sure you’re in compliance with your state laws (it’s legal to homeschool in all 50 states) and will give you all of the resources you need to start strong, including recommendations for curriculum, teaching methods, and fun activities to keep your kids engaged.
IT’S THE PERFECT TIME TO DESCHOOL!
We always suggest that parents take some time to “deschool” when transitioning their kids from the classroom to homeschooling. Because home education is so different from the “traditional” school model that most of us are accustomed to, it takes some time for everyone – parents and kids – to adjust. This is where deschooling comes in. During this season of adjustment take it easy. Use this time to build relationships, enjoy the outdoors, build memories together, and rediscover what it means to be a family.
“This is not an exaggeration to say, this is the movement that is needed to save this country.”
Rick Green, Wallbuilders
For parents, this is a great time to observe your children and try to discover what their passions and gifts are. For kids, it’s time to rediscover CHILDHOOD. During this time your kids should re-learn what it means to be a child (or adolescent or teen). Let them play, explore, get dirty, and soak in the sun – and know that the whole time they’ll be learning valuable life skills!
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.”
Proverbs 1:7 ESV
A quick note: during this deschooling period we do recommend two “academic” pursuits. First, spend time reading God’s Word to your kids (this is a great time to explore the concept of a “morning basket”). If you’ve never done family Bible time together this is a great time to start. As you move into this new season of home education, it’s important to build your academic model on the true foundation of knowledge and wisdom – God’s Word. In fact, homeschooling allows you to integrate the truth of Scripture into every subject.
Next, spend time reading great books to your kids and encourage them to read on their own. While this my seem “school-y,” reading should be viewed as a life-long activity, and reading aloud to your kids is a great way to bond with them.
START THE NEW SCHOOL YEAR FRESH – AT HOME!
If you are reluctant to make this big change, if you think you’re not capable, or if you just don’t know where to start I would encourage you to sit down with your family and watch the documentary Schoolhouse Rocked: The Homeschool Revolution tonight. You can stream the film for free here. Not only will it help you to understand the “why” and “how” of home education, but you’ll hear from other parents who NEVER thought they could or would homeschool their kids and are now outspoken advocates for this revolution in education.
“Schoolhouse Rocked” will rock your educational world to the foundations and give you and your kids great hope for the future! The old-school paradigm has proven broken and a new way of learning is here. Don’t miss this important film!”
As I write this, we’re in the middle of a recording blitz. We always try to get ahead of recording for the Schoolhouse Rocked Podcast and Homeschool Insights Podcast before summer, and this always tends to be a busy time of year for us appearing on other shows, as well. Yvette recorded two interviews today. I’ll be on a podcast tonight and another live show early tomorrow morning.
As I have been preparing for my interviews, I realized that the questions that will be asked and answered on these shows are the same questions that EVERY parent should be able to answer about education.
And some of them aren’t that obvious.
So here they are….
What does God’s Word have to say about education?
How are parenting, education, and discipleship related?
Who does the Bible specifically instruct to educate children?
Culture, the family, the church, and our constitutional republic seem to be crumbling around us. How is education contributing to their decline?
What is the major philosophy or worldview that drives public education?
How are DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion), the LGBTQ+ Agenda, BLM, CSE (Comprehensive Sexuality Education), Critical Race Theory, the 1619 Project, “anti-bullying” campaigns, and radical environmentalism related?
What’s with “book banning” and the rise of pornographic books in libraries and classrooms?
How does the traditional school model contribute to the decline of the family?
How does government funding shape the agenda that is promoted through government schools?
Who should pay for education?
How is the culture war a “War of words” and how is this agenda being driven in schools (how are critical thinking, language, and logic handled in traditional schools)?
What is this all leading to?
What is the earthly/political end game (NWO, the Great Reset, one world government, global Marxist tyranny)?
What is the spiritual/eschatalogical end (One-world government, the Great Tribulation, the rise of the Anti-Christ, and ultimately the return of Christ)?
What about “good schools?” We often hear “Our family lives in a small, conservative town and our kids’ teachers are Christians. Do I need to worry?”
Can the public education system be reformed?
What is dad’s role in education and discipleship?
What is mom’s role in education and discipleship?
What is a grandparent’s role in education and discipleship?
What should churches and pastors be doing to solve these problems?
What am I doing to solve these problems?
What resources are available to help?
As parents, the answers to these questions are all critically important. Here’s the good news. We are constantly addressing the REAL answers found in God’s Word. We are committed to producing high-quality resources to sound the alarm and help families take back the hearts of their children. I’ve listed a few great resources at the end of this post, butbefore we get to those we should look at what the Bible has to say about these things.
Psalm 1:1-2: “Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on His law he meditates day and night.”
We are blessed if we avoid the unGodly counsel our children will receive in government schools, and the socialization of sinful classmates and the mocking, scoffing attitudes they pick up in school.
How can a child meditate day and night on God’s law in government school? He can do this when his parents teach him to apply God’s law to every area of life.
Contrast “Blessings” promised in this passage with the “Cursings” in Deuteronomy 28, and see which one you want to receive.
Proverbs 1:8: “Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching.”
Proverbs 22:6: “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is grown, he will not depart from it.”
There is a way a child should go, and parents need to be training the child in THAT direction, not in the direction of the world.
Joel 1:3: “Tell ye your children of it, and let your children tell their children, and their children another generation.”
Christian education is best understood as the equipping of each successive generation to train the next. This is a family matter, not a governmental mandate.
Ephesians 6:4: “Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the LORD.”
Is schooling mentioned in the Bible (and does God have an opinion)? Why YES! I’m glad you asked! This is just one of many passages that should solifiy this issue, but in Ephesians 6:4 we are commanded:”Fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but instead, train them up in the nurture (literally, “Biblical counseling”), and admonition (the Greek word, “Paideia”) of the Lord.” (KJV)
What does Paideia mean? From the Encyclopeida Brittanica:
“Paideia, (Greek: “education,” or “learning”), system of education and training in classical Greek and Hellenistic (Greco-Roman) cultures that included such subjects as gymnastics, grammar, rhetoric, music, mathematics, geography, natural history, and philosophy. In the early Christian era the Greek paideia, called humanitas in Latin, served as a model for Christian institutions of higher learning, such as the Christian school of Alexandria in Egypt, which offered theology as the culminating science of their curricula. The term was combined with enkyklios (“complete system,” or “circle”) to identify a large compendium of general education, hence “encyclopaedia. Everything that could be taught in academics was wrapped up in the Greek word, “Paideia.” It was the word the Greeks used for “Schooling.” Paul commanded fathers to train their children up NOT in the Paideia of the world, but instead, in the Paideia of the Lord.
Colossians 2:8: “See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world.”
Christian education must be predicated on the foundation of Christ, not on humanistic thought.
Deuteronomy 6:6-7, 11:19: “These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.”
This describes a 24/7/365 discipleship paradigm, centered on the commandments of God.
Deuteronomy 32:46: “Take to your heart all the words with which I am warning you today, which you shall command your sons to observe carefully, even all the words of this law.”
Christian education is modeling first, instructing second. You have to have God’s law written on your own heart. If you don’t own it, you can’t sell it.
Parents and Grandparents:
Exodus 10:2: “That you may tell in the hearing of your son, and of your grandson, how I made a mockery of the Egyptians, and how I performed My signs among them; that you may know that I am the LORD.” • Instruction of the young is given to parents and grandparents.
Joel 1:3: “Tell ye your children of it, and let your children tell their children, and their children another generation.”
Christian education is best understood as the equipping of each successive generation to train the next. This is a family matter, not a governmental mandate.
Jesus the WORD (LOGOS)
John 1:1: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”
Hebrews 1:2,3: “in these last days spoke to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the [worlds, 3 who is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power; who, having accomplished cleansing for sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,”
Colossians 1:17: “And He is before all things, And in Him all things hold together.”
Free Homeschool Survival Kit – 70+ page eBook to take you from start to finish in homeschooling. The Homeschool Survival Kit begins with a quick-start guide and ends with a value packed resource guide. In between, we cover the topics that every homeschool parent needs to know so that their family thrives.
Homegrown Generation Family Expo – This online homeschool conference features over 50 hours of homeschooling, parenting, and family discipleship content from Kirk Cameron, Heidi St. John, Sam Sorbo, Kevin Sorbo, Kathy Barnette, Andrew Pudewa, Israel Wayne, Rick Green, Ginger Hubbard, Meeke Addison, Todd Wilson, Leigh Bortins, Rachael Carman, Davis Carman, Durenda Wilson, and many more.
The Schoolhouse Rocked Podcast – Biblical homeschooling, parenting, and family discipleship encouragement and advice every Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Each show shares practical advice to help point our children to Christ, build a solid Biblical worldview, teach effectively, preserve our marriages, manage our homes, and approach child-rearing and discipline issues with a heart-centered focus that will result in confident, biblically-minded, wise, well-balanced adults.
The Homeschool Insights Podcast – Homeschool Insights gives you practical, Biblical, home education and parenting encouragement and resources in under ten minutes a day. Hosted by Yvette Hampton, each show features the advice of Christian education experts, authors, speakers, curriculum publishers, and homeschool veterans, to help you disciple the hearts of your children for the glory of God!
As a homeschooling mom, you know that there are days when everything seems to be going wrong. Between managing your kids’ education, your marriage, household responsibilities, and your own health and well-being, it can be overwhelming.
If you’re struggling with depression, anxiety, or exhaustion, you’re not alone. In fact, it’s a common challenge among homeschooling moms. But there is hope!
In a recent interview on the on the Schoolhouse Rocked Podcast Rachael Carman and Yvette Hampton share their personal experiences with depression and anxiety and offer practical advice for other homeschooling moms facing similar challenges.
Please share this post with a friend who needs this encouragement.
Thank you for allowing us to walk with you through your homeschooling journey!
Has the Schoolhouse Rocked Podcast been a blessing to you? Support from our listeners allows us provide resources, support, and encouragement to homeschooling families around the world. Please consider donating to support Schoolhouse Rocked.
Want more encouragement? Listen to the Homeschool Insights Podcastdaily. Homeschool Insights gives you practical, Biblical, home education and parenting encouragement and resources in under ten minutes a day. Hosted by Yvette Hampton, each show features the advice of Christian education experts, authors, speakers, curriculum publishers, and homeschool veterans, to help you disciple the hearts of your children for the glory of God!
Are you a homeschool parent looking to unlock your child’s potential? Are you uncertain if you’re doing enough to reach that potential? Do you often find yourself asking “am I doing enough?”
Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Jodi Mockabee faced this same challenge and discovered an accountability mindset that embraced the uncertainty while striving to make intentional decisions for her children. In this post, we’ll outline how she did it, and show you how you can do the same and gain the same peace of mind she did.
“That one voice, and we’ve talked about it earlier, of am I doing enough? That tends to stick around with homeschoolers almost on the daily. I discovered recently that that is not a bad thing to ask that.”
Jodi Mockabee is a photographer, writer, blogger, speaker, social media influencer, and homeschooling mother of five living in the Black Hills of South Dakota. With a passion for health, wellness, parenting, and more, Jodi blogs her family’s journey and shares tips for a healthy and active lifestyle. She also writes curriculum for creative and artistic learning in a homeschool environment. With her thoughtful and relatable advice, Jodi has become a go-to source for homeschoolers looking for support and guidance.
Why is it important for homeschool parents to pursue accountability?
For homeschool parents, having accountability, both internal and external, is critical for providing a high-quality education and ensuring the success of their children. This accountability mindset is important because it motivates parents to create an organized and structured learning environment, which is essential for student success. Accountable parents ensure that their children have the resources and support they need to stay on track and meet their educational goals. Additionally, an accountability mindset encourages parents to be actively involved in their child’s learning and to provide consistent feedback and guidance. This helps children to stay motivated and engaged, as well as to develop a strong sense of self-discipline and responsibility.
Having an accountability mindset is also beneficial for homeschool parents in the long-term. It helps to ensure that their children become independent learners and develop the confidence and capability to pursue their educational goals – and ultimately, to meet their God-given purpose. Additionally, an accountability mindset helps parents create a positive learning environment, which is essential for fostering a love of learning and creating an atmosphere of trust and respect. Ultimately, an accountability mindset is important for homeschool parents as it helps them to create an environment where their children can thrive and reach their full potential.
“What is the chief end of man?
Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy Him for ever.”
Recognize that the voice of accountability is a good thing and should be embraced.
Use the voice of accountability as a form of encouragement.
Don’t reject the voice of accountability, but use it as an opportunity to stay humble and on track.
Recognize who you are ultimately responsible to.
As parents, it is easy to forget who we are ultimately responsible to. Sometimes it cans seem like we have a chorus of voices giving us advice and demanding answers – especially when it comes to the education of our children. “Do you think you’re qualified to teach?” “What about socialization?” “How will your kids get into college?” “What curriculum/teaching method/standardized tests are you using?”
The questions are endless, and while there are a few standards, they can differ for every parent. Here’s the good news! None of the people asking those questions are your ultimate authority.
Whether we realize it or acknowledge it, we are ultimately ONLY responsible to GOD for the decisions we make as parents – that is especially true in the area of education (discipleship).
“And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.”Deuteronomy 6:6-7
“This describes a 24/7/365 discipleship paradigm, centered on the commandments of God.” – Israel Wayne
“Take to heart all the words by which I am warning you today, that you may command them to your children, that they may be careful to do all the words of this law.” Deuteronomy 32:46
“Christian education is modeling first, instructing second. You have to have God’s law written on your own heart. If you don’t own it, you can’t sell it.” – Israel Wayne
While we may feel a responsibility to meet state requirements, or meet the expectations of parents, family, or friends, these are secondary to the responsibility to carefully steward the lives and souls of the children God has entrusted to us. They are his first.
Recognize that the voice of accountability is a good thing and should be embraced.
The first step is to recognize that the voice of accountability can be a positive thing and should be embraced. Jodi confessed, in her interview for the Schoolhouse Rocked Podcast, that after struggling with self-doubt and the nagging question, “am I doing enough,” she discovered that asking herself if she was doing enough was actually a form of accountability and should not be seen as a source of shame or guilt. She encourages listeners to use it as a way to stay humble and accountable. Accountability can be a great tool in motivating us to make intentional decisions for our children and to strive to do our best. It can also be a reminder to stay humble and trust in God’s grace and love. By embracing the voice of accountability and using it as a positive tool, we can stay motivated and encouraged in our homeschooling journey.
“So I just want to encourage you, if you hear that voice, don’t look at it as shame or guilt or something to bring you down.”
Accountability can also be a great way to build a sense of community and accountability among homeschooling parents. While we are ultimately accountable to God, we also understand that every parent deals with these same feelings at times. This is a perfect opportunity to build each other up.
“Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:11
“And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” Hebrews 10:24,25
When we extend grace and accountability to one another, it helps to foster a sense of unity and mutual understanding. This can be especially beneficial for those who are new to homeschooling and may feel overwhelmed or uncertain. By being open to constructive criticism and offering advice and encouragement, we can provide a safe space for everyone to grow and learn.
Finally, embracing accountability in homeschooling can help to create and maintain a sense of balance and harmony within the family. By embracing the voice of accountability and using it to stay motivated and balanced, homeschooling families can create an atmosphere of learning and growth.
Use the voice of accountability as a form of encouragement and accountability.
Using the voice of accountability as a form of encouragement and accountability is an important step for homeschoolers. It is a way to stay humble and keep yourself accountable for the decisions that you make for your children. This means acknowledging the voice in your head that questions if you are doing enough and embracing it instead of rejecting it. This does not mean that you need to strive for perfection, but rather strive for intentional decisions for your children. It is a way to stay humble and keep yourself accountable. Instead of looking at the voice as a source of guilt or shame, view it as a form of encouragement that you are striving to do your best. You will never be able to do enough because you are human and sinful, but striving to do your best and running the race is enough.
“Let it be an encouragement to you that you care and that you’re always striving to make intentional decisions for your kids.”
In addition to using the voice of accountability as a form of encouragement and accountability, it is also important to be aware of the voice of discouragement. This voice can come from within or from outside sources, such as other homeschoolers, friends, or family members. This voice may tell you that you are not doing enough or that you are not capable of homeschooling. It is important to recognize this voice as a lie and will only serve to derail you in your important work as a homeschool parent. When faced with this voice of discouragement, take a moment to remember why you chose to homeschool in the first place. Remind yourself that you are doing what you are called to do.
Finally, it is important to remember that the voice of accountability and encouragement, as well as the voice of discouragement, can be a great source of motivation, both in homeschooling and in life. Recognizing this voice and using it to your advantage can be a great way to stay humble and stay accountable for the decisions that you make for your children. It can also be a great way to keep your homeschool journey upbeat and positive.
Don’t reject the voice of accountability, but use it as an opportunity to stay humble and stay accountable to God, your spouse, yourself, and your children.
To stay accountable to God first, your spouse, yourself, and your children, don’t reject the voice of accountability but use it as an opportunity to stay humble and be reminded of the high calling you have as a parent.
Setting boundaries and proper expectations. Then stay in your lane. You can only do what you can do, and you should only seek to do what you are called to do. “Stay in your lane” and “mind your own business.” In this case, these aren’t insults or reprimands. Rather, they are critical reminders to focus on the important things – and let the other things go.
As a parent, it is important to set expectations and boundaries not just for yourself, but also for your kids. This allows children understand what is expected of them, which in turn helps to create a sense of security and stability. It will do the same for you. Establishing expectations also helps to keep parents accountable for their actions and ensure that they are being consistent.
Finally, it is important to stay humble and accountable foster an environment of open communication. Talking to your kids about their feelings, experiences, and opinions helps to create an atmosphere of mutual respect and understanding. When conversations are open and honest, you can gain valuable insight into how your children are feeling, and you can also better understand their needs and goals. This can help to create a better relationship between you and your children, and it will also help to keep you accountable and humble.
Uncovering an accountability mindset is essential for homeschooling parents looking to unlock their child’s potential. When embracing the voice of accountability, parents ensure that their children have the resources and support they need to stay on track and meet their educational goals. This accountability mindset helps to create an environment where children can thrive and reach their full potential. Remember, you don’t need to strive for perfection, but striving to do your best and staying humble is enough; you can achieve the same result!
I’d love to hear how you apply “The Voice of Accountability” to get accountability, intentionality, and humility.
Leave me a comment on how it has gone for you for you or drop any questions you want me to answer on an upcoming podcast episode!