Yvette Hampton: Alex. Can you just offer some hope? Because this stuff is so heavy and it’s scary to look at our nation around us and know that we’ve got … We’ve all got young kids. You have them, Alex, Aby has them, I have them. And we look at the future of our nation. Offer some hope to …
Alex Newman: So no matter how bad it gets down here, no matter if everything comes crashing down, we know who wins in the end …
Yvette Hampton: That’s right.
“anybody who says, “I don’t know what God would have me do,” just open your Bible. There’s so much stuff you could be doing, and it starts in your home. It starts with your children.”
Alex Newman: … and that is God, and you want to be on that side, trust me.
Aby Rinella: Amen.
Alex Newman: I think that’s the most hopeful thing that we can know. And in the meantime, God has got us here for a reason. He’s given us plenty of assignments. I mean, anybody who says, “I don’t know what God would have me do,” just open your Bible. There’s so much stuff you could be doing, and it starts in your home. It starts with your children.
Yvette Hampton: That’s right.
Alex Newman: God will make a way. God is always faithful to His people. If the country goes down in flames … and it might. I’m not going to say that America’s going to see this great revival and we’re all going to be fine. It might not happen. But we just have to do what God told us to do, and that is to disciple our children, take good care of our families … If you don’t take good care of your family, you’re worse than an infidel, God said. So we’ve got to do those things that God has commanded us to do. And in the meantime, we have some great freedoms.
So moms, dads out there, let’s take advantage of these freedoms. Right now, we can yank our children out of schoolin all 50 states. We’ve got to fight to preserve these freedoms. I think there is an awakening going on in this country. There’s an awakening in the church, which is just … For me, this has just made my year. Just the sermon we had on Sunday. People are waking up to the lies of the enemy, to what the enemy is doing, and it’s so incredible to be even just a tiny little part of God’s plan. Even if all we do is raise up some children who raise up some children who go out and do something great for the kingdom, I’ll be so satisfied with that. That’s all I could ever ask for.
Alex Newman: So guys, take heart. God is so much more powerful than all of his enemies combined.
Yvette Hampton: That’s right.
Alex Newman: I mean, He could just flick them away and that’s the end of it. So we’re on His team.
Yvette Hampton: That’s right. Those of you listening, I hope this has been a great encouragement to you. The ministry of Schoolhouse Rocked exists to encourage you and to equip you to disciple the hearts of your children. We love you guys. We pray for you constantly as a family. I mean, Garritt and I and our two girls, we constantly pray for you and we pray that God would use us to impact God’s kingdom and your lives. And so thank you for just being with us today.
If you would like to support the ministry of Schoolhouse Rocked, please click here. We are really in need of support. I mean, everything that we do … The movie is in post-production right now and it’s going so well, you guys. It’s been so very exciting to see it all coming together. Garritt has been working really hard on just getting this movie done, and it has brought tears to my eyes more than once. And if you know me, you know I do not cry easily. But it’s so exciting to see the movie coming together, and then the podcast, and everything that we have going on. It all costs a lot of money to do these things, and so if the Lord puts it on your heart to help support the ministry financially, you can go to SchoolhouseRocked.com and there’s a link there. You can actually make a donation and help support the ministry that way.
Otherwise, thank you guys. You are an incredible encouragement to us. Thank you for those who continue to send letters in and just comments and stuff, and letting us know that this ministry is a blessing to you. We love you guys. Have a fantastic rest of your night, and we will see you guys back here soon. Buh-bye.
“We are new to homeschooling and I’m very excited, but also nervous because I’m not a trained teacher.”
Recently, Yvette Hampton sat down with Aby Rinella to do a homeschool Q&A session. Read on to learn how you can be equipped to teach without being a professional teacher and what the differences are between homeschooling and merely doing “regular school” at home.
Yvette Hampton: This question says, “We are new to homeschooling and I’m very excited, but also nervous because I’m not a trained teacher. I’m struggling to understand what homeschool should look like for our family. I assumed it was recreating regular school at home, but now I’m figuring out that it doesn’t work that way. Please help.” I love this question so much. I’m going to let you answer this one first because you are a trained teacher, Aby.
Aby Rinella: Okay. I want to say you are blessed that you are not a trained teacher. Not being a trained teacher is going to make your homeschool that much better. I am a trained teacher and it has taken me years to shake that, to unlearn all of the things that don’t work in a home. So, I get so sad when I hear people say, “I’m not a trained teacher.” And I want to give them a high five and say, then you’re 10 steps ahead of me because your home should not look like a public school. That’s the whole reason you brought your kids home: the public school isn’t working. It’s not working for what we want for our children.
Aby Rinella: So, it says you’re recreating a public school at home. I would say that the worst thing you can do, as a homeschool mom, is to try to make your home look like a public school. Don’t do it! Throw that out, get rid of that. It’s really hard for some of us that were raised in public school because we’ve been programmed to think that way. But listen to this podcast, go back and listen to old ones because we talk about how it shouldn’t look like that. You were created to train and teach your children up in the Lord. And nowhere in the Bible does it say it takes a degree to do that. It says it takes a love for your child, and a reverence for God, and pointing your children to Him. You are fully equipped to do this job because God equipped you to do this job.
Aby Rinella: I remember I said this on another episode; when we bring a baby home from the hospital, and we’ve never had one, and the hospital hands us that blue nose sucker thing. And we’re like, “I’m not equipped to keep this baby alive. And you’re handing me a blue nose sucker and I’m supposed to …,” and we felt so ill-equipped, but we weren’t. God gave us what we need. And he’s going to give you what you need as a homeschool mom. Just don’t think that it needs to look like school. It doesn’t. It needs to look like your family teaching and training your children.
Aby Rinella: So, I mean, it would take us hours to sit and talk about how exactly that would look. But the first step is to get rid of it. And I’ve heard people even say that you take a year, or a semester, or even a month just to decompress, and set up your home life again. And reconnect with one another, and dump the school system ideal that is not an ideal. And take some time to just come back home, and be with your kids, and then start into what school looks like. You need to get rid of the old before you can start the new.
Yvette Hampton: Yeah, I agree completely. And everybody’s homeschool looks different. It depends on so many things. And kind of back to the last question, find people who can walk alongside you, who have done this before, who can mentor you, and help you figure out how it can work best for your family. The first year is going to be a mess. And the second year is going to be a mess, but it’ll be a little bit less of a mess. And the third year is going to be less of a mess than the second year. So, take baby steps here.
Yvette Hampton: Let me just explain one thing, don’t start everything all at the same time. Don’t jump into day one, or week one, and try to do every single subject, and think you’re going to do it well. Do one thing at a time. I highly recommend starting with a morning basket. We’ve talked quite extensively about that. We did a podcast quite some time ago with Pam Barnhill. And, as a matter of fact, for Homegrown Generation, we talked about morning basket as well. So, you can go back. For only $10, you can have the entire 2020 Homegrown Generation family expo at your fingertips. But you can go and listen to Pam’s session on that.
Yvette Hampton: And morning basket, basically, is we literally in our family have a basket, and we have just different books in there. We always have a book that we’re reading. Right now, we’re reading Anne of Green Gables. Have you read that before Aby?
Aby Rinella: But you probably watched the movie they ruined.
Yvette Hampton: No, I never have even watched the movie. But I am loving this book. And so, are my girls. I mean, we get to the end of a chapter, they’re like, “One more.” And we have the whole series, I’ve seriously had this series for probably six years.
Yvette Hampton: And I just now picked it. I mean, we have a lot of books, but for whatever reason. Anyway, rabbit trail. So, we always have a book that we’re reading. We have a Heroes: Then and Now biography. We just got a new one that we’re going to start reading. And we have our Classical Conversations timeline cards, and we read one or two timeline cards a day. We have maps in there, so my girls can trace maps while I’m reading to them. We have other little kinds of brain games and things like that that they can do while I’m reading. We do our sword drills, which we talked about in the first part of our Q&A episode on Monday. So, we do sword drills and Bible study.
“I’m in my 10th year of homeschooling and we’re still taking kind of baby steps…”
Yvette Hampton: I mean, it can be anything you want it to be. But start with that. It just starts our day off on the right foot.
Yvette Hampton: It does, and it’s not, “go to the table and let’s do math, and let’s do science and history.” Those things come into our day, of course, but it’s just such a refreshing way to start our time. And, I mean, I’m in my 10th year of homeschooling and we’re still taking kind of baby steps, and things. We’re just now next week going to start introducing some famous artists, and famous composers. And it doesn’t have to be a big study on it. We’re not going to make lap books about it. If you don’t know what a lap book is, just type it into Pinterest. I’ve never in my 10 years of homeschooling ever made a single lap book and we’ve survived all these years. But some people love lap books, and that’s great.
Aby Rinella: And that’s the thing that sets you apart from what the school looks like. You do what works for you. In public school, you are trying to fit every kid into a box. In homeschool, you are teaching to your unique child that God gave you, which means you’re teaching at their pace. Not at the pace that’s in the box. You’re teaching to their gifts, to their talents, you’re teaching to their interests. You might have a kid who every year for the rest of his life bucks you on learning about a composer. And guess what? They don’t really have to. My guess is that child is not going to become a famous composer, and they’ll be just fine not learning about them.
Aby Rinella: So, just remember that you are not fitting your kid into a box like the public school. And that’s the difference; you’re teaching to a unique individual that God created on purpose for a purpose and gave to you. So, you’re already equipped.
Aby Rinella: There’s an amazing book that I get every new homeschool mom called Teaching from Rest by Sarah Mackenzie. And every mom should read it every fall. It just puts you back in that mindset of “we don’t need to be frantic about this.” We don’t need to be stressed. We don’t need to be overwhelmed.
Aby Rinella: Both of them, yeah. That’s what’s amazing.
Yvette Hampton: And Teaching from Rest, I actually have the audiobook. I don’t even have the book, I just have the audiobook. So, I’ve only ever listened to it. But yes, it’s fantastic. So, just get those books because it will encourage you to know that you don’t have to do it all. Take baby steps.
Yvette Hampton: I want to go back to something that you talked about just a little while ago. You were talking about phonics versus other methods of teaching reading. Talk about that a little bit, because I know that’s something that you’ve studied, and I understand the difference between the two, but I’ve never actually heard anyone explain how has that played into what’s happening today in education?
Alex Newman: I’ll try to condense it into as quick a time as possible. It’s such a huge subject, but it’s such an important subject. I had the chance to work with Sam Blumenfeld, who was banging the drums on this for 60 years, so I’m so glad you asked me that because I know there’s a lot of homeschool moms out there right now who are thinking about this exact thing. And I know how hard it is because my wife and I — me knowing all this — we tried to go out and find phonics books for our children and we’d order one and we’d open it up and the first page would say, “Here’s the list of sight words your children are going to remember.” Oh my goodness. Kick me in the face, please. Really?!?
Alex Newman: I’ll try to boil it down quick. There are two basic ways today of teaching reading, and then there are some variations on those, but for simplicity’s sake, let’s just call it two. There’s the phonics method, which has been used from the time we had our written alphabet, going back clear to the Phoenicians. It was an incredible development in human ingenuity. Instead of having symbols represent words or ideas, we had symbols that represented sounds. And so a P makes a “puh” sound and an O makes a “ah” sound, and a P is a “puh” sound, and so that spells, “pop.” That’s very, very simple. That’s phonics. Each symbol represents one or more sounds. You blend those together and then you can decipher any word that you might come across. I mean, it could just be any combination of symbols, and you can sound that out and understand what it’s supposed to mean, assuming it has meaning.
Alex Newman: The other basic way of teaching reading, which is used all over the United States today, is the whole-word method. It’s got such a bad smell, they started coming up with new disguises for it. They call it the “sight word” method and the “look say” method and now they’ve got “whole-language”. They introduced some caveats and stuff to try to conceal the craziness. But the heart of this one is, you treat the words as symbols themselves. And of course, words are not symbols. Words are collections of symbols that you can sound out to determine what that word means. So the history of this is really instructive.
Alex Newman: I mean, I don’t want to give any bad feelings toward the people who developed this. They were actually good Christians who had the best of intentions. The guy was called Reverend Gallaudet. He was running an asylum for … they called it the deaf and the dumb back then … in Connecticut, and what he said was, “Well, we can’t teach a deaf child how to sound out a word because you can’t teach a deaf child what the symbol corresponds with in terms of sounds. So, what if …” And he got this idea from some French monastery where they had been trying this out on deaf and mute children. “So, what if we teach the children to memorize entire words as if the word itself were a symbol?” So, take the word “cat” as an example. If you were teaching it phonetically, you would say a C is a “cuh,” an A is a “aah, and a T is a “tuh,” and so the child could then read that by deciphering what each of those symbols stands for.
Alex Newman: Gallaudet’s method – he actually created a primer for this in early America – was, “Let’s teach the children how to decipher ‘cat’ just from the symbol.” So, C-A-T, you don’t decipher that as a C, an A, and a T. When you see the squiggly lines like that, that means “cat,” and you can memorize those. And what he figured out was really smart kids could memorize hundreds, and really, really smart kids could maybe even memorize thousands of words that way. And so, if you’re a deaf child and you’ve never been able to access the written word because you can’t hear sounds, that is an enormous leap forward in terms of being able to communicate with the world. It was a great development.
Alex Newman: But then Horace Mann said, “Hey, why don’t we try this in the public schools that I’ve created in Boston?” And they did, and it only took a few years for the quackery to be exposed. I’ve actually got a book behind me right here, The New Illiterates, by Dr. Sam Blumenfeld in 1973, and he has got a treasury in there. In the appendix, he republished the letter that the schoolmasters from all the public schools in Boston wrote to Horace Mann about this quackery that he had put into the schools, teaching non-deaf children to read using the whole-word method. It’s beautiful, it’s eloquent. It’s not written like it would be today. “You’re a poo poo head and we don’t like you, so you should be quiet.” It’s just a beautiful, eloquent explanation of why the whole-word method is not a proper way for teaching reading when you have a phonetic … In China, that’s how they do because that’s the writing system they have. For them, a symbol actually represents a word, so you actually have to memorize tens of thousands of symbols. Our writing system is not like that.
Alex Newman: So they took it apart, they dismantled it, and in this beautiful essay they said, “Sorry, Mr. Mann. We tried it. It didn’t work.” They actually explained that the children were getting symptoms of what we would today call dyslexia. They said they couldn’t read. They would read words backwards
We didn’t hear about it again until our good friend John Dewey came along and said, “Hey, let’s resurrect that whole-word method.” And he tried it out in that experimental school that the Rockefellers funded. Actually, the kids graduated illiterate. They couldn’t read properly. And John Dewey thought, “Hey, this will be perfect. Let’s create some reading primers.” And he did. He created the Dick and Jane series, which a lot of our parents and our grandparents used. “See Spot run. Run, Spot, run.” This is just teaching the children to memorize the whole word.
Alex Newman: Now, this is ubiquitous in America. Now, there are still a lot of rogue teachers who will defy the Common Core standards and who will use only phonics, but if the administration figures it out, if the school board figures it out, if the state superintendent figures it out, there’s going to be a big problem. Now, a lot of parents now have figured this out, so they teach their children to read using phonics before they send them to school. And after you know how to read using phonics, all the sight words in the world are not going to hurt you. But it’s such a tragedy and it’s so unnecessary. America was the most literate society on the planet before this innovation came. If you look at the literacy data we have from the early 1800s it is very clear. Dupont de Nemours did a study of literacy in the United States in 1812. He said “not more than 4 in 1,000 young people were unable to read and write even legibly,” he said.
Aby Rinella: Wow.
Alex Newman: If you look at the reading statistics from the government today, they will tell you that most of our children today are below basic proficiency. We have tens of millions … maybe a hundred million, maybe more … who are functionally illiterate. Some parts of Washington DC, half the population is functionally illiterate, and the reason why is very simple. They were taught to memorize words rather than to sound out the words.
Alex Newman: So, what they do under Common Core now, they say, “Well, first we’re going to do the sight words, then we’ll sprinkle in a little bit of phonics,” after you’ve already built that faulty reflex in your brain. And so that really does enormous, devastating damage to the children, and that’s why so many children today can’t read
I think Satan probably just thought this was brilliant. “Hey, if they can’t read, they can’t read the Bible.”
Yvette Hampton: That’s right.
Alex Newman: “And they can’t go to the library, they can’t educate themselves, they won’t know their history, they won’t be able to read their Constitution.”
Yvette Hampton: That’s right.
Alex Newman: “This is positively brilliant.” And that brings us to today.
Thankfully, the solution to this problem is clear. There is an effective method for teaching reading to our children. Phonics works.
For more on this subject, listen to our interview with Andrew Pudewa, entitled “The Importance of Reading Aloud.” In this lively conversation, Andrew Pudewa, founder of the Institute for Excellence in Writing (IEW), explains the importance of reading to our children to establish a firm foundation as they become great readers, writers, and communicators.
Alex Newman is an award-winning international journalist, educator, author, speaker, investor, and consultant who seeks to glorify God in everything he does. In addition to serving as president of Liberty Sentinel Media, Inc, he has written for a wide array of publications in the United States and abroad including the Epoch Times, The New American, the Law Enforcement Intelligence Brief,WND (World Net Daily), FreedomProject Media, and many more. He also serves as executive director for Public School Exit, a ministry to rescue children from government schools. One of his major works was an exposé of government schools with internationally renowned Dr. Samuel Blumenfeld called Crimes of the Educators published by WND Books, endorsed by conservative leaders ranging from Phyllis Schlafly to Ron Paul. Last year, he travelled across the United States for the “Rescuing Our Children” speaking tour urging parents to get their children out of public school. Alex has appeared on hundreds of TV shows including Newsmax, One America News, the Dove Network, the Christian Television Network, the SonLife Broadcasting Network, and many more. In addition, he serves on several advisory boards for education-focused organizations, including U.S. Parents Involved in Education (USPIE), the Nehemiah Institute, and the Samuel L. Blumenfeld Foundation for Literacy. For the last seven years, Alex has also been teaching advanced economics to some of America’s brightest high-school seniors through FreedomProject Academy, an accredited K-12 Christian school offering a classical education to students worldwide. Alex and his wife homeschool their 4 children.
If you are considering homeschooling or just need some great homeschooling encouragement, please check out HomegrownGeneration.com for over 9 hours of FREE homeschool videos from the 2020 Homegrown Generation Family Expo.
One of the major effects of millions of students doing public school at home is that the heart of public school education is being revealed to parents who are paying attention to their children’s Zoom lessons. At the same time, our culture has been in a state of upheaval, in near civil war, and the roots of this culture war have been nourished in the public schools. Now the truly radical nature of the indoctrination our public school students are receiving is coming to light.
Alex Newman recently talked with Yvette Hampton and Aby Rinella on The Schoolhouse Rocked about the true nature of what is being taught at public schools. Common Core, Marxism, statism, nihilism, atheism, evolution, the LGBT agenda: these are the philosophies that are central to public school indoctrination, and if we want to see our culture and our Constitutional Republic saved, we must reclaim the education of our children. Education is truly the key to saving our nation!
Alex, talk about the reality … and I’m not talking just about Common Core. Talk about the reality of the indoctrination that’s happening in the public school system right now. We have many friends back who are public school educators. These are people that we love, people that we’ve gone to church with, and they say, “No, our kids need to be salt and light in the public school. We need to have these Christian kids in there. They’re doing okay.” And for whatever reason, a lot of these parents are still not really seeing the full picture of the indoctrination that’s happening.
Can you talk about that and just bring it? I mean, I really want these parents to know the reality of what is happening to the minds of their children and why so many children … even if their children aren’t walking away from the faith … why it’s dangerous for kids, not just physically. I mean, of course we see that. My niece goes to a public school in Saugus, California and several months ago they had a school shooting. So physically, it’s not safe. But spiritually and emotionally, what is the damage that’s being done in these schools?
Alex Newman: This is, I think, the most important question, and the data now is very clear. Dan Smithwick at the Nehemiah Institute has been studying this for quite some time, and what he’s found is that the overwhelming majority of Christian children from good Christian homes who spend 12 years in a government indoctrination center masquerading as a school are going to leave the faith. I mean, it’s up there in the 80% range. And that’s the kids who come from good Christian homes with two Christian parents whose parents take them to church. I mean, the data now is very clear. For my generation, millennials, a poll just came out late last year and 70% of millennials now describe themselves as socialists. This would have been unthinkable to earlier generations of Americans, that we would give up all our freedom, that we would give up our understanding of God and trade it in for this cheap fraud that is socialism, that always and everywhere results in death and misery and shortages and tyranny. I mean, it would have been unthinkable.
The reason this is happening is because of the indoctrination going on in the schools. Nowadays, it’s gotten so extreme, especially in California, but this is now a nationwide issue, in kindergarten, they’re telling children they might have been born in the wrong body and, “We won’t tell your parents if you want to wear a dress to school.” I mean, that’s the level we’re at. In California, now, they’ve got gender support plan and individual transition plan where they’ll start giving your kid hormones and puberty blockers to prepare them for genital mutilation. I mean, I can’t even believe I’m saying this, and yet this is the reality of what our children are going through now at the youngest possible ages in government schools. They’re being just saturated in this race mongering and the hatred of America and the hatred of Christianity.
Our kids are not safe in the public schools, folks. It’s that simple. We’ve got to get them out. And so, for people who really want the condensed version, we have produced a special issue of The New American all about education. You can get it in PDF for like 75 cents. If you want a physical copy, we have to mail you one. I think it costs like three bucks, and you can get 100 if you want to give it to your pastor and your neighbors. It’s an excellent tool, because we have Duke and Israel and great Americans who’ve worked on these things showing the problem and then the solution. So that’ll give you a really comprehensive overview of what’s happening and where this is going and how you can free yourself and protect your children.
“The idea that we would send our children into battle, alone, without us, where our enemy holds all the power, where the enemy holds all the commanding heights, and they’re the ones who are going to teach your children, I mean, it’s just unfathomable to me.”
But I’ll just wrap it up by saying … People tell me all these different excuses. “Oh, I can’t afford to get my kids out.” You can’t afford not to get your kids out. When they come home, and they want to mutilate themselves and they’re suicidal and they’re taking heroin … I mean, I’ve seen this in my own family, in my own community. This is ubiquitous now. You can’t afford not to get your children out. And then the salt and light thing, “My kids are going to be salt and light.” Would you send your children into a war? Would you send your children off to go fight in Iraq or whatever? Of course, you wouldn’t. We know better than to send our children into armed conflict. And yet God tells us crystal clear … Go to Ephesians 6:12. We are in a spiritual war.
Yvette Hampton: That’s right.
Alex Newman: And if you don’t recognize that you’re in a spiritual war, you might be on the wrong side, so you probably better get up to speed. But we’re in a spiritual war right now. The idea that we would send our children into battle, alone, without us, where our enemy holds all the power, where the enemy holds all the commanding heights, and they’re the ones who are going to teach your children, I mean, it’s just unfathomable to me. I know a lot of Christians, they don’t want to think about it this way because, “Hey, we both have to work and we don’t have enough money.”
I tell people, “I would live in a cardboard box before I would send my children to a public school.” And I don’t mean that in a condescending way at all. Mom and Dad who you’ve got your kids in a public school, I’m not judging you. It’s just you don’t know these things because your pastor hasn’t told you and the fake media hasn’t told you. So now I’m telling you because I love you and because I love your kids and I don’t want them to be destroyed. I don’t want them to be brainwashed. I don’t want them to turn against you and turn against your church and turn against our country.
I think, frankly, the only solution … If you go with the title of this show … the only way we’re going to be able to save our freedoms, our nation, our families, our churches, absent just straight divine intervention and God just comes down and fixes it all for us, is going to be to get our children out of the public schools and to make sure they’re getting a good, godly, Christ-centered education either in our homeschools or in a good Christian school if for whatever reason you absolutely can’t homeschool. But parents, you have no higher responsibility to your children than to make sure they’re getting a good education in the things of God, and that’s on you, folks. That’s on you.
If you are considering homeschooling or just need some great homeschooling encouragement, please check out HomegrownGeneration.com for over 9 hours of FREE homeschool videos from the 2020 Homegrown Generation Family Expo.
Yvette Hampton: A listener asks, “How long is a homeschool day supposed to be?” So Aby, how much time should a family spend homeschooling each day?
Aby Rinella: Okay, your homeschool day is as long as it needs to be for your family. The answer is not going to be “as long as a public school day.” I’ll tell you that.
Yvette Hampton: Right. Now, explain that real quick, because you were a public school teacher, so I want you to unpack that a little bit.
Aby Rinella: Okay, so let’s say my class started at 8:00 and we got out at 2:30. It’s different at different schools, but that’s a long day. But let me tell you what that day was filled with; 23 kids getting their snow clothes on and off. It was filled with bathroom breaks and it was filled with helping one kid while the rest of the kids waited. It was filled with trying to walk in a line 58,000 times to get to music class. It was filled with all of these things that we, as parents at home, don’t have to think about or worry about. So your homeschool day is going to look different based on how long it takes your kid to accomplish whatever it is that you, as the parent, have set out for them to accomplish.
That looks different at different ages and in different seasons of life, but if you are doing five hours of kindergarten, you need to stop it!
Yvette Hampton: You’re doing too much.
Aby Rinella: You need to knock it off. So many parents ask this question. The thing that we fall into as parents is to think, “I’m not doing enough because this is only taking two hours” and I want to say, “It really shouldn’t take much more than that in those elementary years.” Honestly, it’s that you have been programmed to think that a school day is eight hours or seven hours and that is absolutely not the case with homeschool.
“I used to get so frustrated because we would get up and we would do our morning chores and we would do all this stuff that needed to be done in the morning and then by the time everybody was up and ready and moving, it was 11 or 12.”
Yvette Hampton: Right. And it depends how you define homeschool day, because for our family, I used to get so frustrated because we would get up and we would do our morning chores and we would do all this stuff that needed to be done in the morning and then by the time everybody was up and ready and moving, it was 11 or 12! It’s typically 11 or 12 before we’re really into our schooling academics.
Aby Rinella: Your academic studies, yeah.
Yvette Hampton: Until we’re actually doing math and science, but part of that morning time we’re doing morning basket and we’re reading together and sometimes we’re playing games. The other day we sat and played googly eyes for 45 minutes and we’ll play Yahtzee. That’s all just part of life. Sometimes we go grocery shopping. Last week, I got my girls up one day and I was like, “We’re going to go get donuts this morning!“ And it’s shocking how quickly they will get up and ready when you say the word donuts! Anyway, that’s a different topic.
Life is part of homeschooling and so how are you defining your homeschool day really matters, because there are often days where we’re still doing history or science or math or any of those things until five o’clock in the evening, sometimes six o’clock in the evening, but we have done a whole lot of other stuff through the day. It’s not like they have been sitting at the table from 8:00 AM until 5:00 PM doing schoolwork.
Aby Rinella: Exactly.
Yvette Hampton: We’ve done it kind of sporadically, throughout the day because we’ve had interruptions and stuff, but that’s the beauty of homeschooling. That’s how our family works.
Aby Rinella: Yeah, and that’s really the beauty of homeschool freedom. And that’s what really is important, is the freedom that we have as parents to make those schedules and to be interrupted because really it’s not an interruption, it’s life. And so, every family’s homeschool day is going to look different, so try to get out the box of thinking your day should look like a typical school day. The worst thing you can do as a homeschool mom is make your home look like the public school.
Yvette Hampton: Right.
Aby Rinella: That’s not what we’re trying to do.
Yvette Hampton: Or make your homeschool look like your neighbor’s homeschool or your friend’s homeschool, because Aby, you and I are very different…
Aby Rinella: Very different.
Yvette Hampton: In the way that we schedule our days. I mean, you kind of get up and get going with your kids and you guys are done earlier than us. You’re two hours behind us and you’re probably done before we are and that’s okay. It’s just how our family works.
Aby Rinella: And here’s the thing, it’s going to change. You might have teenagers who have a job to get to, so they need to do school at a different time of day. Look at your family and go to the Lord seek His wisdom on how your day should be scheduled.
Yvette Hampton: Right, and do what works best so that you and your children are not constantly stressed out and on edge all day long.
Aby Rinella: Totally.
Yvette Hampton: Like you said, it depends on the age of your kids. I have a high schooler now, so academics have gotten a whole lot more serious this year than they have been in the past and my youngest is in fourth grade and so she’s getting a little bit more serious about her academics as well.
Aby Rinella: I think one of the greatest things we could do is throw away the clock and do school based on how long your kids’ attention span is. This may not always be possible, because we live in the real world, but we get bogged down by the clock.
Jesse and I lived off the grid for a while and we got rid of our clock for about a year. And you know what, we worked when the sun came up, we ate when we were hungry, we stopped when the day was done and the stress level went away.I know we can’t do that now, but if you could just hide the clock while you’re doing your school day, and as long as your kids are engaged, keep them there. When they’re done, quit. Don’t let the clock rule your homeschool day!
Yvette Hampton: A listener asks, “How do I homeschool my son, age 11, who’s uncooperative? He fights me on everything and I’m feeling so defeated and overwhelmed.” Aby, Do you want to jump on this?
Aby Rinella: I read this and immediately two great resources came to my mind, because at age 11 I feel like everything changes. With adolescence comes a huge shift.
I’m going to give you some great resources for dealing with this critical time in your child’s life. First, is an amazing book called No Longer Little: Parenting Tweens with Grace And Hope, by Hal Melanie Young. And this book really gave me insight. It’s not just boys. It’s also girls! There’s a lot going on in an 11-year-old. And you’re not alone, mama! I think that this is a common thing. So I would suggest that you get this book. It really helps navigate through some of those tumultuous years and the confusion that they’re feeling. And often that that comes out in what you called “uncooperative” behavior. They fight you on everything that is just kind of a result of where they’re at. This book gives you a lot of good tips and pointers.
The other one is called Mother And Son: The Respect Effect, by Dr. Emmerson Eggerichs. And it talks about how around that age, 11 – you’ve babied your son. He’s been your baby. I have a son and it’s the same – They’re your little baby. And you hold them and you snuggle them. And they do whatever mama says because you’re mama. And then they hit this certain age where they’re starting to become men. And in their nature, they don’t want to be told what to do by you. And so there is this new dance that you’re going to have to learn, between being his authority and his teacher, but at the same time, understanding that he’s coming into manhood, and he is naturally learning to assert himself in a new way.
And your relationship with your son is very unlike that one your daughters… It’s very different with sons. Your relationship very much shifts at that season.
We want you to know that we’re praying for you. You’re not alone. This is normal, but there are answers out there. So it’s just going to be a shift with a son to understand how you’re going to relate to him differently in this season and moving forward.
Yvette Hampton: I am so glad you could answer that because I have a family of all girls. I come from a family of girls. I only have daughters and five nieces. And so it’s hard for me to even wrap my mind around what it’s like to homeschool a son, because they really are different. God made them male and female!
Aby Rinella: Yes, he did.
Yvette Hampton: Imagine that.
Aby Rinella: But I would say, too, for those with daughters, No Longer Little talks about daughters, too, because they go through a shift in 11, too.
Yvette Hampton: Yes. Oh yes.
Aby Rinella: Oh, my goodness. Do they go through a shift.
Yvette Hampton: Hormones. Oh, goodness.
Aby Rinella: Yep. So you know, it’s not just sons, but there is something different about sons. So I cannot recommend that book highly enough.
Yvette Hampton: A listener asked, “I’d love recommendations on a good homeschool curriculum for my preschooler, age three.” And Aby, I’m going to let you answer this, but before you answer it, I’m going to say, we just recorded an whole episode all about preschool with Leslie Richards, from the Homegrown Preschooler. In this hour-long conversation with Leslie she dives deep into homeschooling preschoolers and how to keep order in your home when you are teaching multiple ages.
Aby Rinella: I hope I don’t answer it differently than her!
Yvette Hampton: It’s okay. I know you won’t because I just interviewed her and I know where you stand on this issue, because you stand where I stand.
Aby Rinella: Wonderful. So, what I’m not going to do is give you recommendations on a good homeschool curriculum for your preschooler because your three-year-old is three! We need to throw out curriculum because your three-year-old doesn’t need curriculum. Your three-year-old needs you to read to her, as much as you possibly can. Your three-year-old needs you to talk to her, play with Play-Doh with her, play games with her, take her on adventures. Read to her. I’m going to say that over and over.
I have my Elementary Ed degree and I got an emphasis in early childhood development. My husband always says I have my masters degree in “coloring and Play-Doh.” And there is really no evidence that says that if you use a formal academic curriculum in those early years – and I’m even talking about for kindergarten – there is no evidence that your kids are going to be any more academically “successful” than kids that didn’t. But there is an unbelievable amount of evidence that shows that if you read to your child, interact with your child through verbal communication, and play games with them, they will be far ahead of their peers.
So that’s, I’m not going to go too much further into this because there’s a whole podcast on it. But I would say, would you just take your three-year-old and snuggle that three-year-old on your lap, and just do life with them and not worry about the curriculum. That is my greatest advice.
Yvette Hampton: Yep.
Aby Rinella: And my guess is that this is this mom’s first three-year-old, because we all asked that with our first kid. And then we all realized that you don’t do that!
Yvette Hampton: Right. When Kirk Cameron was with us for the Homegrown Generation Family Expo someone asked him a question about curriculum and he said “parents are the best curriculum for their children.” YOU are the curriculum! We are their curriculum. They will watch us and learn from us.
Aby Rinella: Oh good. I mean, she’s literally written a book about preschoolers and it’s through play, it’s through exploration, it’s through interacting with your kids. That’s how they learn. Do not sit your three year old down at a table and expect them to copy letters and do worksheets because they can’t.
And here’s the thing, if you do, not only can they not, you are going to rob that child of the love of learning. You’re going to kill their love of learning before they’re ever even actually school age. And I’ve seen it happen time and time again, you get a first grader who hates school and that’s because they’ve been sat down for the last three years trying to do school when they never should have. So just right now, just instill in them a love of learning. Don’t kill that with worksheets and curriculum.
Yvette Hampton: Right. And I used to be a preschool teacher. And let me just tell you, we didn’t have a set curriculum. We literally read to the kids several times a day. We had our reading hour, they played dress up, they played with toys, they played outside, they just explored, they played with Play-Doh. We did not make them sit down, pull out flashcards and say “A says Ah” “B says Buh.”
Aby Rinella: At three they’re not even able to put that stuff together.
Parents, be encouraged. You will have plenty of time for academics. While your kids are in pre-school (and even in kindergarten) let them play, read to them, and love them!
One of the most important things you can do for your kids is let them play outside – a lot! Listen to Aby and Yvette discuss the importance of outdoor play here. Were created to be in the garden, and there are SO many benefits to the great outdoors, including dirt, sun, exercise, and especially, pointing our kids to their Creator through His creation!
It’s time for the next installment of our homeschool Q&A discussion with Yvette Hampton and Aby Rinella! Today’s conversation discusses what is important for your child’s reading development and offers some helpful resources for those who are trying to find age-appropriate material for their advanced reader.
Yvette Hampton: We are back, and we have a mom asking for advanced reading help. She says, “My now-second-grader is reading chapters and I want to continue to make sure she’s deciphering the words properly. She’s comprehending what she is reading, so I’m thankful for that.” You want to jump on this one, Aby?
Aby Rinella: As long as she’s comprehending what she reads, you’re good to go there. As far as deciphering words, let me just tell you a story. I mispronounced the word argue until two years ago because I only ever read it. In my mind, the G was silent. And nobody in my entire life was kind and loving enough to say, “The G is not silent.” Like, why would someone not tell you that?
Yvette Hampton: Oh, my goodness. [chuckle] Oh, I love it.
Aby Rinella: I don’t even understand why everyone was silent. It’s like, are we so afraid of offending people?
Yvette Hampton: Did you have a lot of arguments?
Aby Rinella: I “arue” a lot. And now I argue. Anyway.
Yvette Hampton: Oh, dear. But we need to just need to move on because that’s way too funny, Aby.
Resources for Advanced Readers
Aby Rinella: Okay, sorry, so she may stumble, but she’ll get it eventually. Additionally, I would say get audio books, she can listen and follow along as she reads. Also, have her read aloud to you, so you can actually hear. Reading out loud to her constantly would be helpful, too. Read-alouds are really great to help her get those words.
Aby Rinella: Those are really good; often with advanced readers, parents get into a place where the content that is advanced enough for their children is too mature. So even though they can read it, and even if they can comprehend it, if the content is beyond what you want them to be reading, that isn’t healthy. So with these resources that we gave you, you can feel safe knowing that all of those books are safe for your child to read.
Yvette Hampton: Yes. And I want to say one more thing on this, don’t always assume that because a child is advanced now, that they’re always going to be advanced. Sometimes we get that in our minds thinking, “Well, she’s in second grade and she’s reading at a fifth-grade level. So, when she’s in third grade, she’s… ” I think that’s setting yourself and her up for disappointment. And it could be, she could soar and always be way ahead of her grade level, but that doesn’t always happen. She may just pause where she is for a while, and that’s perfectly fine; just let her go with it. She’ll grow naturally into her ability to read.
Yvette Hampton and Aby Rinella continue their homeschool Q&A series with a discussion on homeschool parent mentors. Where can you find a mentor? What are the benefits of having one? Is the internet really enough, or could in-person interactions be even more valuable?
Yvette Hampton: This question says, “I need a Christian homeschooling mentor that can walk me through and help me step by step.” Oh, I love this question.
Aby Rinella: Yes, you do. We all do.
Yvette Hampton: Yes, we do. And let me just say that is so much of the reason why we do what we do at Schoolhouse Rocked. Aby and I do not spend the time that we do, recording podcasts and videos, and doing all these things because we make a ton of money at it, or get tons of rewards for it. Our reward is knowing that we are doing what God has called us to do, and being a blessing to you. And so, we really want to help, virtually mentor you. And we have others who do that with us, because Aby and I are still going into our 10th year of homeschooling, but there are many who have gone ahead of me and graduated their kids.
Yvette Hampton: And so, I have people in my life, like Durenda Wilson, Rachael Carman, Ginger Hubbard, and Connie Albers and people like that who…, who have spent years pouring into their kids, and are now pouring into us younger moms. It’s the whole Titus 2 thing. The older women teaching the younger women how to do this parenting, and marriage, and life thing, and being keepers of our home. Because homeschooling falls under all of those categories, and so you do need a homeschooling mentor.
Aby Rinella: Absolutely.
Yvette Hampton: I would say if you can find someone in your local church, or a local Christian homeschool support group or co-op, or something like that, seek them out. Because I think it’s part of our nature as humans to want to feel needed. It’s a blessing to those who are helping. I know when moms come to me and say, “Can you just help me with this, can you answer this question for me,” Or, “I was thinking about this, and I know you’ve been through this already, can you just walk me through this?” It is a huge blessing to me, and an honor, to be able to walk with them and help them to do that. And then, you know what? Later on, down the road, you get to be that to someone else.
Aby Rinella: Yes. And please, if you are at the end of this journey, when you graduate your last, don’t be done. It is so important that you stay in the game, because these new moms need you. And often, I think, without these great mentors, they may quit. So, stay in the game. There are a lot of mentorship things online where you can reach out to people, but I think nothing beats someone that’s walking it with you day-to-day, that can show up at your house and fold socks with you while you’re crying, and pray with you, and knows your kids, but… So, what was actually the question though? “How do I find one?”
Yvette Hampton: It’s more kind of a statement than a question.
Aby Rinella: Okay, okay.
Yvette Hampton: I think she’s just saying, “How do I find a homeschool mentor?”
Aby Rinella: So, one thing I would say is, “Ask.” Where I live, I tried to set up a homeschool mentorship program where we took some of the veteran moms and the younger moms. I remember the veteran moms saying several times, “These new young homeschool moms, they don’t act like they need us. They’re not asking. They have it all kind of figured out, and they’ve got their books and their online courses, and their this and their that.” So, don’t be afraid to go to that older woman in your area that has homeschooled, and say, “Hey, would you mentor me?” Don’t be afraid to ask. And older moms, please don’t be afraid to reach out to the younger moms. We need that.
Yvette Hampton: Right, yeah. And be honest and transparent with them. Don’t act like you have it all together, because none of us do, trust me.
Aby Rinella: Totally. We can see right through you.
Yvette Hampton: Just be honest with them and just say, “This is really what I’m struggling with.” And sometimes you may not have that person in your local community, but try to find that person somewhere.
Aby Rinella: Right.
Yvette Hampton: Yeah. [chuckle] Part of me wants to say, “You know, even through social media, you can find that.” But you can also find a lot of really, really bad advice.
Aby Rinella: Right.
Yvette Hampton: And so, I would say, be careful of that too. Rarely do I ever go on homeschool social media pages, like on Facebook and stuff, because some of the advice out there is just so poor. Some people give really good, sound Biblical advice, but some don’t. So just be careful who you’re listening to.
Aby Rinella: Exactly.
Yvette Hampton: She’s saying, “I need a Christian homeschooling mentor.” So, it sounds to me like she’s wanting someone who really is going to point her towards Christ.
Aby Rinella: Yeah, because a homeschool mentor is going to homeschool you in everything. Like you said, life, parenting, motherhood, marriage. So, you make sure your mentor lines up with God’s Word as they mentor you.
Yvette Hampton: Yeah, that’s right. And check everything through scripture. Don’t just take it for what they say, but back things up with scripture.
Aby Rinella: Yes.
Yvette Hampton: Sadly, we are out of time for today. Again, if you have questions for us, please send them in to firstname.lastname@example.org. It is our absolute privilege and joy and honor to be able to answer those for you. So, let us know how we can encourage you. Aby, thank you for joining me today, again. And you guys cannot see this right now, but Aby is wearing a Schoolhouse Rocked T-shirt. And it is so cute.
Aby Rinella: It is so awesome. There are Schoolhouse Rocked long sleeves, shorts, it’s endless. You could actually change out your entire wardrobe to Schoolhouse Rocked… And your husband’s, too, honestly!
Yvette Hampton: Yes.
Aby Rinella: If you go to the Schoolhouse Rocked website, click “Support Schoolhouse Rocked” and select “Store” in the drop-down menu (Or click HERE!)
Yvette Hampton: Hey, everyone, welcome back to The Schoolhouse Rocked Podcast. I am back with Aby Rinella and we are doing another Q&A episode, and these are so much fun. We love getting to encourage you and just having the opportunity to serve you, homeschool parents, and answer some of your questions. And so, if you have questions for us, be sure to send them to us at email@example.com, and let us know how we can encourage you. Aby, welcome back to the podcast.
Aby Rinella: Hey, it’s good to be here.
Yvette Hampton: This is one of my favorite questions. I love being asked this question and getting to answer it, because I always have a ton of resources to offer. The question is
“What are your favorite homeschool books?”
We’ve actually done several podcast episodes with authors of various homeschool books. And that’s a broad question. Because we could talk about books that are related specifically to homeschooling, like how to homeschool, or books that relate to things that are related to homeschooling, or parenting, because that falls under the umbrella of homeschooling.
Aby Rinella: Right, for sure.
Yvette Hampton: Or…
Aby Rinella: Marriage.
Yvette Hampton: Marriage, or homeschool books could also be, “What kind of books do your homeschoolers read?”So, it’s a really broad question. So, I’m going to talk through some of my favorite homeschool books, meaning those that I think have been really helpful in teaching me how to homeschool, or at least given me some guidance. My… One of the new ones actually that I have, and we did a podcast with her recently, it’s by Aimee Smith, and it’s called The Restful Homeschool Resolution, and it’s a 21-day journey that she takes you on through scripture and through just thinking through like, “Where are we? What are we doing? Why are we doing this? How is God working in your homeschool and in your heart?” And it’s just fun.
Yvette Hampton: It’s a book/journal, and it’s very well written. You can listen to that conversation with Aimee if you want to know more about that book, but that one’s fantastic and it’s a brand new book. It just came out, I don’t know, some time in the last six months, I think. So, that’s a great one. Another one that we’ve talked about on the podcast that I really love is by Tricia Goyer and Kristi Clover, and we have had both of these homeschool moms on the podcast, and this one’s called Homeschool Basics. This is a fantastic book for any homeschool mom, even those of us who are seasoned in homeschooling, but it’s a great one for those who are just getting started.
Yvette Hampton: And it’s actually called, Homeschool Basics: How to Get Started, Keep Motivated, and Bring Out the Best in Your Kids. And I love that last part, “Bring out the best in your kids,” because it’s not just about checking the boxes and having the right curriculum and doing it all the right way. But it’s really like, how do you make that connection with your kids, how do you build that relationship with them? We talked with Kristi about these concepts on The Schoolhouse Rocked Podcast and it was a great conversation.
Yvette Hampton: In our homeschooling. This one, I read this one a couple summers ago and loved it, it’s called Mere Motherhood, and it’s by Cindy Rollins. This one is not talked about a lot, I don’t hear a lot of people talking about it, but it is such… It’s like one of those gems that if you have it and you’ve read it, it’s… I almost feel like I’m in this secret club of moms in the know who have read this book.
Aby Rinella: Ooh. I want to be in that club.
Yvette Hampton: It’s fantastic. So, it’s called Mere Motherhood: Morning Times, Nursery Rhymes, and My Journey Toward Sanctification. So, it’s Cindy’s… It’s a story of her journey of getting started in homeschooling, homeschooling her kids, and her kids are all adults now and grown. So, it’s written by a veteran homeschool mom, and it’s not really a how-to book, but she gives so much… This book is just full of wisdom. And it is very well-written, it’s entertaining because she tells some really funny stories in the book, and then she has a ton of resources, but it’s interesting because the resources are interwoven through the book. And so, as I was reading it, I was highlighting like crazy, like, “Oh, I need to read that book. Oh, oh, I need to check this thing out, or check that thing out!”
Aby Rinella: I’m just sitting here putting things in my Amazon cart as we’re talking. This is an expensive episode. [chuckle]
Yvette Hampton: She’s just wired that way and gives some really, really practical advice on how you can organize your day. So those are my how-to-homeschool books that I love and recommend. Two others that I think every homeschool mom should own, or every homeschool dad, is, Honey for a Child’s Heart. And… That’s so good. And there’s also Honey for a Teen’s Heart. And it’s just a book about books. And it’s about the imaginative use of books in family life. It’s a book that will help you figure out what books you can read to your kids, what books your kids can read on their own, and she gives little descriptions of each of them and has them broken down by category and tells what age groups each book is good for. And they’re just… It’s just a fantastic resource to have, so that one’s more of a resource book. And she talks about reading. And then there’s also Books Children Love, and that’s basically the same thing, it’s a guide to the best children’s literature. So, as you’re looking for good books for your kids, because we know with homeschooling, one of the most important things is good books. Read to your kids, read to them. Every day.
Aby Rinella: Right. And we also know that you can no longer just browse the libraries like you used to.
Yvette Hampton: Right. Yes.
Aby Rinella: And let kids pick out books. And I know so many homeschool moms are asking what books we can or cannot read. So, what an incredible resource that you can just trust to go to.
Yvette Hampton: Yep. Yep. And both of these books were written many years ago, and so you’re not going to find books that have been written in the last, even 10 years. Let’s see, Books Children Love, the first printing of it was 1987.
Aby Rinella: Oh, wow.
Yvette Hampton: So, we’re talking about books that have been around for quite some time. And not just classics, but just really good children’s literature, fantastic books. And Honey for a Child’s Heart, this came out in 1969 originally, and then the copy that I have was… Is dated 1989. So, these are just great resources that, really, I think every homeschool family should have those. And I know I’m going fast here, but again, I’ll link to all these. My two absolute favorite books on parenting are Shepherding a Child’s Heart by Tedd Tripp…
Yvette Hampton: Well, okay. This… I don’t know, I’m just bragging about this because I’m really excited, I just discovered for free… Well, I didn’t discover them for free. We had a book sale for our local homeschool support group. And I have wanted for years to get the McGuffey’s Readers, and someone put the entire box set on the free table for someone to just be blessed by them. And I felt like I had won the lottery, literally, because I got this whole boxed set, which I have wanted these… I’ve wanted this set for years and years and years.
Yvette Hampton: And these are the original McGuffey’s Readers. These were written in the 1800s. And the funny thing is, is we rarely watch TV, we don’t have cable to watch, but on Amazon, we will sometimes watch Little House on the Prairie, and these are what the kids read on Little House. And so, my daughter, she was so excited because she was like, “Those are the books that they read on Little House.” And literally, she’s reading them now and she’s loving them, and you know what’s so amazing is, guess what, they talk about God.
Aby Rinella: Oh, constantly.
Yvette Hampton: And they have Scripture.
Aby Rinella: Yeah, isn’t that amazing?
Yvette Hampton: Yeah, they’re all about morals and values in the Bible. And these are the books that they actually used.
Aby Rinella: For school.
Yvette Hampton: To learn how to read. They used them for spelling, for everything. And so, anyway, so those are great. If you guys can get your hands on them, you should.
Aby Rinella: That’s exciting.
Yvette Hampton:McGuffey’s Readers, they’re amazing. So, that’s the end of my list. Aby, do you have anything left? [chuckle]
Aby Rinella: Well, do I have anything… That’s the question, do I have anything left? because you… She took that one first. No, it’s actually, I kid you not, of my whole entire list, I only have two left.
Aby Rinella: And that’s a fun one because it’s written from a dad’s point of view, and Todd Wilson is absolutely hilarious. And what’s really great about it is you read these things and you’re like, “I’m not the only one that believed that lie?” So, it debunks a lot of the lies that we as moms tell ourselves. So, that’s another really great one. So, that’s really… That’s really all I have on my list after you stole all of those from me.
You must be logged in to post a comment.