The Joys of Motherhood and Homeschooling

Yvette Hampton:               This is the type of interview that I love, though I love all of my guests. Sherri Seligson is one who has been through homeschooling with her kids. And she has a really neat story about where God has taken her and where she came from, and what he’s done through her homeschooling. So, I’m excited to introduce you to her. Welcome, Sherri.

Sherri Seligson:                  Hi Yvette. Glad to be here.

Yvette:                                      Yeah, tell us, tell us about you. Tell us about your family.

Listen to Sherri Seligson on the Schoolhouse Rocked Podcast (5/13/2019 episode)

Sherri:                                       Well, my husband and I have four children. We homeschooled them K – 12. They are all out of school. I still have my hair and most of my sanity. They’ve made it through college and are actually productive adults. And before we had kids, I worked at Walt Disney World’s Living Seas Pavilion as a marine biologist, and then left that to what I consider a promotion, to become a mom. Yvette:                                      Oh, I love that you say to a promotion because marine biology is a pretty amazing career to have. I love the ocean. You got to really experience God’s creation in a whole different way that most people don’t get to. Sherri:                                       Yeah, it was amazing. It’s definitely not as glamorous as people tend to imagine it, but it’s definitely fun, definitely fascinating. And the more I studied it, the more I saw God’s creative hand in our world, just a beautiful testimony to Him. Yvette:                                      That’s awesome. And so God has used that in some pretty amazing ways, for you as a homeschool mom, but for you also as just a homeschool leader, as a speaker, as an author. You’ve done some pretty neat things that help Mamas like myself who are in the middle of homeschooling right now and in the thick of it. We’re always looking for good curriculum. We’re always looking for the best thing to direct our kids’ hearts towards Christ. And so, you have been able to do that. But one of the things that you love to do is to encourage moms who struggle with the feeling of putting their lives on hold. Because some may have seen what you did as that. I would love for you to tell that story of you, “putting your life on hold” even though, like you said, you actually ended up getting a promotion. Sherri:                                       Yes. You know, it’s something that we have as our… we imagine as a young parent or a young single person, before we have kids, we have this career, because society is telling us that it’s valuable to have a career and that being a stay at home mom is lesser, is settling for less, is not good enough. That is completely wrong in my opinion. Completely wrong. One of the best mission fields we have is our children, our family. One of the best ways to impact the world is through that.

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When I left my job, most of the feedback I got from coworkers, friends, even some family members was, “You’re nuts! What are you doing putting your career on hold like that?” And we tend to do that. We kind of think that we’ve got this plan that we’re going to do in our lives that’s significant. And then we become parents. Then we decide we’re going to homeschool. Which, you know, again, that reinforced the fact that my friends and family thought I was nuts. But then we kind of see that as a sidetrack to what maybe God has for us, what we’re going to do that’s great and mighty in this world. And so, we take this time, we count down the years, we mark off the calendar. “I’ve got five more years.” “Four more years until my last one’s graduated.” Or we even feel the pressure of, you know, putting them in public school or private school, or part-time. Because we just want to do something so that we can say we’re significant. But in my experience, if I did nothing else but… like people say, “What’s on your bucket list?” – and I’ve been to lots of fun places. I’ve been in New Zealand, I’ve been to Iceland, I’ve been to all over. My bucket list top check-off box is being a mom and being with my kids. So I’ve been able to check that box as I’ve been doing it, because that’s the best experience I’ve ever had. That’s the best place I’ve ever been. And God used that time to build skills in me, both spiritually and academically. I learned so much about history that I never learned when I was in public school. And that’s a whole entire topic right there. How much I believe homeschool moms and dads are some of the smartest people I know because we get the enjoyment of learning with our children and filling in a lot of those gaps that we had with the excitement of teaching them. And so He taught … God used this to teach me grammar that I did not have, writing skills, speaking skills, at encouragement, talking with my kids, teaching other kids. Because once you get pegged as a scientist in the homeschool community, you just kind of get volunteered to do co-ops, and to teach this class, which I loved. But it built skills in me that now I’m using every day. So, I’m able to have the blessing of writing curriculum for Apologia educational ministries. I get to teach. I get to film instructional DVDs that help go along with those courses. So we go on location. We talk about the science that’s happening wherever we are. And those skills that I learned going through that process of being a homeschooler, being a mom, were built in me because of that. I could not be doing what I’m doing today if it wasn’t for that amazing experience. And so, I believe that God uses His plan A. It’s not His plan B or our plan. It’s a plan A of bringing the children He has into our families, and then utilizing that experience to build in us humility, to build in us- Yvette:                                      Patience. Sherri:                                       What are those? In real ways … but then also building in us skills, whatever those skills are, that we can use to not only pour into our children, but prepare us for the next chapter that He has for us. Because, believe it or not, you may not believe it at certain times in your life. They will be grown one day. They actually will graduate. They actually will become adults. And then, what does God have for us at that point? And I know he’s got great things for all of us. And it doesn’t mean we’re all going to be like involved in politics or becomes famous whatevers. But we have a responsibility to use our time well and pouring into our extended family, pouring into our children and their children and then whatever it is God opens up to us. And so, I count the experiences that I had as a homeschool mom as part of that preparation, that it wasn’t a sidetrack, it was part of His plan A. And I continue to see, “Oh, I’m so glad I learned that. I would not have learned that had I not homeschooled.” So just as an encouragement to moms to continue building yourself as you’re building your children. Yvette:                                      Yeah. Oh I love that so much. I love that you call it plan A too. Because I think oftentimes we feel like, “Oh, you know, we wanted to do this, we wanted to do that. And now, I’m stuck at home with these kids and I’m having to homeschool them.” And we feel like our work is insignificant and it’s not. Sherri:                                       And it is not. Yvette:                                      And the time goes by so quickly, which I’m sure you will relate to that. You know, our oldest is 13. And I cannot believe that she’s already 13 years old. I mean she was just born yesterday. How can she be 13? And I realize more and more how short our time is with our kids. I mean, it goes by in a flash. And I’m sure you experienced that with your kids. And now, God is using all of the things that you did before you had kids and took the things that you did from being a mom and homeschooling them. And now, he’s done something different with you. But he’s still using all of the gifts and talents and abilities that he created you to have to impact His kingdom. And there’s just no greater work than that. Sherri:                                       Yeah, it’s not wasted time. It’s not. It’s the best thing we can do. And again, it’s the top of my bucket list. I have, you know, things I’d like to do, places I’d like to see, but that’s my bucket list topics. So yeah, it’s worthwhile. And there are days … I mean, I don’t know, I’m going to ask the Lord one day about this, but how time can feel like it’s fleeting, and then there are days or weeks or months where time feels like it’s standing still. I mean, there were those moments with our kids during those little years and I felt like time was not moving. There was no progress. There was no … like I was going to be in this moment forever. Yvette:                                      Yes. Sherri:                                       You know? I think that that’s when we need, even if it’s an hour break, or a perspective change, a friend we can chat with. Because within that tiny little moment of that little parenthetical moment in our life, where we feel like all we’re going to do is clean up liquids coming out of children … they do. That we feel like that’s going to be our life forever. And that’s a tiny little moment within the tiny little period of those young years, within the tiny little period of having them at home, within the tiny little period of my life that God’s eternal timeline … and He’s placed us in this spot for this time, for this period. That perspective helps me to say, “Okay, one more diaper. Okay, one more whatever it is, spilled honey with glass.” Yvette:                                      Oh gosh. Honey is the worst. Oh no. It’s so sticky. Sherri:                                       It is, especially in the glass containers. Come on. Yeah. And so, I think that a lot of it’s our perspective. But if we can get a vision of it, that God’s got a plan for us. And he doesn’t say, “Whoops, well this is happening, I’ll change the plan.” Then, it helps us have that right direction, that right perspective to keep moving, keep moving forward with what He has for us today. Yvette:                                      Yeah, that’s right. Yeah. What are some things since … So you’ve homeschooled your kids from kindergarten through 12th grade, all four of them. How many years apart are they? Sherri:                                       They’re each two years apart. I married an engineer. So, we had four kids in six years. And then God just … We didn’t know how many we were going to have and God just said that’s your four is your number. And so yeah, we started with preschool with our first one, and thought, “Well, I can’t ruin preschool. I know my colors, I know my numbers.” And every year we would just pray and we assessed. And it’s usually like this time of year. We’re recording right now. It’s just now February. This is that. I would like check the computer, “How much is it for private school?” But every year, we’d reassess and we would pray and God just said keep going. Eventually our children said keep going. They enjoyed it, they caught it. And so, yeah, we went all the way through k through 12. And it was … They were lumped together, but the spacing was enough to where I could only teach certain groups. I mean, I had older and younger enough to where you couldn’t do everything with all of them. It was like spinning plates sometimes. But it was okay. Yvette:                                      Which life is spinning plates anyway. Sherri:                                       Yes. Yeah. Yvette:                                      How did that build relationships between you and your kids and between your children and them as siblings? Sherri:                                       I could tell you the perspective I have now watching my kids, watching ourselves with our kids, that that’s one of the best benefits of homeschooling is they are building relationships with you as parents and with each other. You know, if you think about the artificial environment of a brick and mortar school where kids are parsed into grades, and the fifth grade class goes on a field trip to the zoo, and they watch the elephant give birth or something. And they’re with kids that they’re probably never going to seek in the rest of their lives. And they’re not … When you’re as … as a homeschool family doing something like that, and the van breaks down and it’s raining and mom’s crying and the kids end up getting lollipops at the store because they’re waiting for the to truck to come. My kids have memories of that, that they share, the shared memories that built were their relationships. Oftentimes, I get the beauty of watching them come home for Christmas and we’re all sitting around having something to eat or something to drink. And they’re just chatting and reminiscing about their experiences. And some of them are misadventures and some of them are just, you know, inside jokes, movies they’ve seen together, things that have happened in their lives. They have shared memories that they get to enjoy together and relive together and that builds their relationships. They’ve been guided gently, sometimes not so gently, to get along. And even with us, we get to spend time with them through those challenging years, through those questioning years, wrestling. And so … And it’s not been easy, but it has been beautiful to see the pursuit. You know, God pursues us, He doesn’t let us go. We need to pursue them. Sometimes they don’t want it. Sometimes … At least, they don’t look like they want it. You know, when you give them a hug and they kind of go, “Oh mom,” they still love it. Tell them you love them, even though they may kind of give the eye roll. They, “I know that mom.” Well, I want to tell you again because they need to hear it. They need to know that we’re pursuing them. And it builds a relationship that is just beautiful, that’s wonderful, that never ends. And again, they’ll call each … When I hear that they’re going out together, two of them are going to go get dinner. I’m like, “Oh, I’m just so excited about that.” So, that will happen. And there were days where, you know, stop touching me, he’s touching me, that was our life a lot too. You know, my children, just like me, were sinners. So, we have to learn that. But just it’s a beautiful thing. The relationship building is such a blessing. And because we homeschool, we’re able to foster that. Yvette:                                      Yup. I love it. I often tell our girls and you hear it all the time, we’re raising adults, we’re not raising children. And I desperately want my girls to grow up to have a great relationship and to be the best defense. ‘Cause I tell them, right now they’re almost five years apart, and so they feel like there’s such a big gap in their age. And it does seem that way, you know, between eight years old and 13 years old. There is a big difference. But I keep telling them, “When you’re adults, when one of you is 25 and the others 30, there’s not going to be a gap there. That gap completely closes.” You know, I’m friends with many, many moms who are 10 years younger than me or five years younger than me and it doesn’t matter. I don’t ask first, “How old are you?” You know? And if you’re five years younger than me, “I’m sorry. I can’t be your mom friend.” And so, that is one of our greatest desires for our girls is that they will grow to have a deep, deep bond with one another because they share life together. That’s what they get to do because of homeschooling. Sherri, I want to talk about how you transitioned your kids from the elementary grades into middle school and then into high school because it seems a little bit overwhelming to me. Yvette:                                      Brooklyn, my oldest, she is in seventh grade right now, if we must label her with a grade. And I’m … that part didn’t seem as overwhelming as it does transitioning her into the high school years with transcripts and all these things that need to be taken care of. How did you deal with that with your kids? Sherri:                                       Besides panic? You know, we … we … each child is different. You know, we actually, after having gone through the process with our oldest, everybody would say to me, “Oh, you’ve completed this transition. You’ve done it all the way through. You’ve got it figured out.” And I realized no, because each child is so different. Their direction was different, their giftedness is different. And so, the mechanics of how our courses that we had them doing and their experiences, whether they would work or not, whether they would dual enroll, it was different with each child. So, that’s going to look different. And that’s what we want. Because remember, we’re homeschooling them. We get that opportunity to adjust their needs, based on their needs, their direction, what God has for them. If we want to do the same thing with all of them, let’s just put them in a big classroom full of 25, 30 kids and do the same thing. And so it’s going to look different. But there are some things that we can do to help our kids in the transition that’s kind of across the boards the same, at least in theory or for the most part. Like as they exit elementary school years and enter the middle school years, we’re talking about adolescence. And it’s interesting that adolescence kind of falls at the same time as … I mean, physically, emotionally, mentally, developmentally, academically, there’s a lot of changes going on. And so if you imagine your child having that, it’s kind of like, I mean, we have to cut them some slack first of all. Their bodies are growing. Their bodies are doing things. They’re like, “What’s happening to me?” They’re having to … Developmentally, their brains are being able to transition from understanding only concrete information to understanding abstract ideas. And they’re questioning more, which is good, sometimes not so great, but good because they’re trying to process what this world is. Who is … what’s truth? How do I fit into this? So they’re going to have awkward feelings. They’re going to have questions. They’re going to be maybe inward. They’re not going to know how to respond. And we have to have that dialogue. That’s when we pursue them gently and give them space. And we also work on academically the transitions that are occurring. They are becoming more able as they enter sixth, seventh, eighth grade to become more independent. They want that. That can cause some of those issues in your household. They’re maybe loading the dishwasher differently than you want to because they see it as a better way to do it. And there’s going to be those questions or those, you could call them clashes, but it’s more of just really trying to see how everything fits. And so, academically, we want to help build those independent learners in them. And so … Like I love doing that as we design curriculum for the kids. Because, in those middle school years, we want to train them walking through it step by step, here’s how you do it, in the same way that you would show a child, let’s say, how to fill a dishwasher. You do it for them and show them. Then, you do it with them. And then, you let them try a couple of times. And you give them good feedback. And then, you’re ready to launch. And they’re going to make mistakes. And they’re going to put the non-hand-washable thing in there and ruin a couple of things. But that’s a process. And it’s the same way with learning. You’re going to give them … sometimes they may have access to solutions manuals or they at least know where they are. And sometimes they may kind of be tempted to find them and use them when you’re not aware. And those kinds of trial and error … This is the time to be addressing those things lovingly, gently, the temptations that they experience in that. They’re also spiritually going to be going from following mommy and daddy’s beliefs, belief system, to making it their own. And so, they’re going to ask questions that might shock us, you know, “How is it fair that a person over in wherever is born there and not hearing the Gospel like I am? Or how do we know that what they’re believing is not true and what we’re believing is true?” And if you don’t know the answer to that, that’s fine. Seek out the answer to that with them. Walk through. It’s not that they’re challenging you necessarily. They’re challenging questions. And we want to walk through that and it’s harder. And that, you’re going to find that in academics. You’re going to find that in how the household is run. You’re going to find those questions. But if you have an understanding that this is a child who’s maturing, this is a child who’s developing, and this is expected. We don’t want them to be elementary aged in their minds all the way through. Right? You don’t want an 18 year old like that. So, we want them to become thinkers. We want them to reason. And we want them to do it early on like this so that they have the benefit of dialoguing with us, of having those hard concepts. We started putting our kids in a co op that met one day a week for certain number … certain classes, not all of them. But I wanted my kids to experience external deadlines. I wanted them to take on that responsibility of communicating to me, “Well, you know, this is the way this teacher is doing this and how do I deal with that?” Or “Mom, this is not how we’re supposed to do it.” Okay, well let’s talk about that. We want them to be able to start navigating that a little bit at a time so that we can walk with them through those harder concepts, or how they manage their time. Let them fail sometimes. This is a safe place at home to fail versus a college environment or a career environment where they’re not knowing what to do and they fail something and they just fall apart. We can’t be … you know, we talk about helicopter parenting, when you’re all involved in everything. It’s really hard to do as homeschoolers because we know who their friends are. We know what they see, what they do, what their learning. And we tend to be helicopter parenting. But we also don’t want to be what I’ve heard as lawnmower parents. Like just push them on through. Just get them going. We don’t care what we’re mowing over. Let’s just get it done and check off the boxes and say, “We’re done.” We have to have … be somewhere between those two machines. I don’t know what we are. I haven’t come up with a metaphor for that. But it’s … We did it. I want to say we did it perfectly, but we didn’t. We did it vary fallibly. We made mistakes. We had lots of times where we would have just, you know, “Let’s have a family meeting and let’s talk about this.” Lots of tears, lots of apologies on our part and my part. But helping them to see that you’re navigating this process with them, through all of those arenas in their lives, helps to build conversation, helps to open up those doors for talking about those things, and helps them to identify that your heart is for them. You want the best for them in the same way that God wants the best for them. And it helps them to navigate those new experiences. I had the blessing. I’m right now working on my master’s in education and science design and science curriculum design. And I get the opportunity to talk with lots of teachers in the public school arena. Yvette:                                      Oh, okay. Sherri:                                       Part of this classroom. And it’s been so eyeopening to see what these dear, dear people have in their hearts for their kids that are in their classrooms and the challenges they face. And most of those who are in middle school, in those middle school years are just hitting their heads against the wall because they can’t influence those kids in the short time they have. They’re not the parents. We had that beautiful blessing of solving that problem, because the kids were home with us. We had those teachable moments. And you can’t have that quality time without quantity time. Yvette:                                      Yeah. Sherri:                                       ‘Cause you can’t just say, “Okay, sit down with me and have coffee. We’re making this appointment one day every month and let’s just talk about something important. Go.” And they just look at you. You know? It has to happen as I mess up, as they mess up, and those natural conversations occur because you’re with them. You’re with them all the time. Yvette:                                      Yeah. Sherri:                                       I mean, I don’t know. Does that help answer some of those- Yvette:                                      Yeah. Oh, it totally does. And I love so many things that you said. You know, you talk about how they’re, at that age, kind of processing, what is truth? What is this life around me? What do I really believe? And what better way to navigate that with them then to be able to be with them day in and day out? Sherri:                                       Absolutely. Yvette:                                      Because we get to see … I mean, you know, no one knows our kids better than we do. No one. They can have teachers. And there are teachers, public school, private school, universities, there are teachers who love their students, truly genuinely love them. But they can’t … They just don’t have the ability. They don’t have the time. They don’t have the ability to know our kids the way that we do. And so they cannot walk through them … through life with them, and help direct them in every single way and, like you said, just allow them to figure it out. And one of the things you said really struck me as you said it. And it reminded me of Ginger Hubbard, if you’re familiar with her. She’s a sweet, sweet friend of mine. She has a book called Don’t Make Me Count to Three. And she talks a lot on parenting. And one of the things that she talks about is do overs and we do them with our kids. And so, you know, if you’re child disobeys and they … and we’re talking, you know, a toddler, maybe they hit their brother or sister because they’re mad for whatever reason. Instead of just saying, “Don’t hit your brother and sister.” And scolding them and then walking away, you show them the right way to act. So let’s do it over. If your sister took your toy, instead of hitting her, let’s figure out the best way to respond to her. And so, you take them by the hand and you walk them through how to respond properly. And I love that you relate that then back to our children and their life and their education. And that, even at the age of 13, 14, 15, you know, 18 years old, we can still take them by the hand and say, “Let’s do this together. I’m going to show you the right way to do it. And then, I’m going to let you do it on your own. And you may or may not fail. And if you do, then we’re going to do it together again.” And let them practice, but coming alongside of them. Because I think as homeschool moms, oftentimes we just assume that they know how to do things the right way. We assume they know how to write a paper. We assume they know how to do these math problems. We assume that they know how to, you know, make a speech or whatever it is. We just think, “Well, of course they know how to do that.” Well, maybe they don’t. And so they need mom to be able to come alongside of them, show them how to do it. Or if we don’t know how to do it, find someone else who does like the marine biologist mom. And you know … and that … I mean, that’s a whole nother topic, but that’s the importance of community in homeschooling. You must have community, you must seek out people. Don’t wait for people to come to you. You seek out people because there are people who are waiting to be sought out. And build community. And then, you come alongside of one another’s children as well. And you do this together, you do this life together. And it’s such a beautiful thing. And so I love that you talk about that as a great way to just transition them. Sherri:                                       Yeah. Well, understanding also that what you do with one kid … you know, you may have … like we had this phenomenal lady that was homeschooler and she’s great for educating our kids on how to write. And I kept thinking to myself, “Oh please don’t retire next year. I’ve got three more kids. Oh, two more kids.” And yet, we have to realize that … I really believe God’s got His plans for our kids. And so, what He makes available for one child, He may not make available for the others, but for His good purposes. And so, we can’t rely on a curriculum or a human or a friend who’s doing something to have to be there for us, as long as we realize that God’s got it. You know, I can tell you example after example of things He did that with our kids. I mean, one of our children is a musician, full time musician, makes a living doing it. Yvette:                                      Awesome. Sherri:                                       And I’m thinking to myself, “Oh Lord, how is he going to feed my future grandkids?” But he has been gifted in that from the beginning and God opened up opportunities beyond what I knew to do. Yvette:                                      Yeah. Sherri:                                       To give him these experiences that he had during his growing up years to prepare him for what he’s doing today that I could not have done. He didn’t make those opportunities, the same ones, available to my other kids. It was just … And so, I see His hand throughout that and we have to trust that, that that’s going to happen to you. It’s going to look different. And as like you were talking about, the sharing thing or the hitting my child and having a navigator, maybe they don’t know how to write a paper. Maybe they did know how to write a paper. But now, as a hormonal 15 year old, they don’t, or they’re questioning it, or they’re saying, “Why do I have to use an ly word here?” I mean, the gamut. It’s there. And so, we have to walk through them… through the questioning season based on everything they’ve learned. “Why is this called red? Does everybody see the same red that I see? Can I call it something else?” I mean, they like to challenge, because they’re trying to reformat their world with their mature brain. And so, it’s just fascinating to see how the brain works, and how God in his amazing design coincided those adolescent years with their … all of that transition time, which makes it fun for homeschool families. Yvette:                                      Oh, what a beautiful reminder that they’re not just crazy. Sherri:                                       No. Yvette:                                      You know, we’ve all been through it. But I think we forget. I mean, I honestly … I remember my junior high years and my high school years. But I don’t remember going through the insanity, sometimes it seems like these kids go through. But I’m certain I did. But I’m sure my mom remembers. I’ll have to ask her because I’m certain she’s got stories. But it’s such a good reminder to just show them grace because we were there once too. It’s how God created them. They are doing exactly what they’re supposed to be doing and not to always see it as them challenging us, which I think sometimes we always feel like they’re butting up against us. They’re challenging us. They’re being disrespectful. And sometimes, that’s the case. And then, we need to redirect them and their attitudes. So, I’m not giving permission for that, but sometimes they are really just trying to figure out what this life and this world is all about, so I love your encouragement. Sherri:                                       Absolutely. Photo by Dakota Corbin on Unsplash

A Homeschooling Legacy

Yvette Hampton:               Hey everyone, welcome back to the Schoolhouse Rocked podcast, this is Yvette Hampton your host, and I am really glad that you’ve joined me today. I hope you are just having a great week and that God is doing great things in your life, and through your homeschooling if you’re homeschooling. If you’re not homeschooling, maybe you’re just thinking about it and you’re jumping on this podcast to figure out what this homeschooling thing is all about. I think today’s podcast is going to be a great encouragement to you. So I am really excited to introduce you to our guest today. Her name is Ruth, and she has a really amazing story. She actually was homeschooled growing up, and she is a homeschool mamma now, herself. So we’re going to talk to her today and just get a different perspective on the transition of homeschooling and where God has brought us today, and I think you’re going to be super encouraged by today. So Ruth, welcome to the podcast.

Ruth:                                          Thank you.

Yvette:                                      Tell us a little bit about you and your family and what you do.

Listen to Ruth Adams on the Schoolhouse Rocked Podcast. (Airing 3/18/2019)

Ruth:                                          Well, I am a homeschool graduate from the prehistoric pioneer vintage days of the movement. And now I’m a homeschooling mama to my seven children. My husband and I are raising them on a small hobby farm about an hour outside of Houston. We live there with Zebu cows, chickens, horses, bunny rabbits, cats and dogs so our lives are full, and we’re just enjoying this journey of home education but most important family discipleship. And my husband and I had a heart to encourage other homeschooling parents to focus on the discipleship aspect of their homeschool journey.

Yvette:                                      Oh, that’s awesome. So you were homeschooled back in the 80s and 90s. That was the time that I was growing up, so you and I are probably about the same age. I’m 44. Those are my childhood days as well, and back then, I think I only knew, gosh that I can remember off the top of my head, only one girl who was homeschooled. At that time in our town.

Ruth:                                          Yes.

Yvette:                                      I’m certain there were more, but there was only one that I can even recall at this point. So you were back in the day when it was not as well acknowledged and accepted as it is today. Talk a little bit about what your experience was growing up being homeschooled.

Ruth:                                          My parents began this journey with home education in 1979 when I was in kindergarten. And I actually started kindergarten in a private Christian school, but we were having to commute a ways. And my mom got tired of that really quickly and thought why am I doing this? I can bring these little Abeka booklets home and work with Ruth on her numbers and her letters at home, so we did. And then first grade rolled around and she thought this is getting more serious, so again she enrolled me in a private Christian school, and this time we were carpooling with another family from our church. So that worked out. We still had a commute but we were carpooling, and that helped and so I finished out first grade and started second grade in that private Christian school, but then my dad felt God’s call to move our family to the big city of Houston from a small east Texas little town to the big city of Houston to start a church. And so we landed in Houston in the middle of my second grade year. And so once again, my mom thought well why can’t we just take her textbooks and finish out this year?

But for third grade we heard about a Christian school in Houston, and I started there, and it was about this time that my mom heard James Dobson’s program with Dr. Raymond Moore about homeschooling, and it really kind of opened her eyes that this really would be a valid educational option for us long term. And because my parents were pouring their lives into trying to start this little church, and that took a lot of their time, and then I was involved in the Christian school and that was taking a lot of our time and every night I would come home with tons of homework. It was hard for us to have good quality family time, it just didn’t feel right for our family. And so when my mom heard that radio program about homeschooling, she started to think more seriously. Why don’t we just spend our days learning at home, and serving the Lord in ministry as a family, and so that’s what they decided to do.

I guess I was in third grade maybe a month or two of that school year, and then they brought me home, and they homeschooled me all the way through 12th grade.

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Listen to this historic radio broadcast. Dr. James Dobson talks with Dr. Raymond Moore, author of Better Late Than Early.

Yvette:                                      Okay, I love that program. Those listening, if you haven’t heard it yet, listen here. But the first recording that Dr. Dobson did with Dr. Raymond Moore. And Dr. Moore, he wrote the book Better Late Than Early, right? And it was kind of this new … I don’t want to say revelation but … this awakening that parents had that oh, you mean we can actually homeschool our own kids? We can bring them home and educate them ourselves, and they don’t have to go to preschool and they don’t have to go to kindergarten and they don’t have to go to first grade and be taught by someone else? I think, I could be wrong, but I think to this day, that airing of that episode of Dr. Dobson’s radio show was one of the most listened to ever. And really kind of, many people say that alone was what really kind of started the whole revolution of homeschooling. And opened a lot of people’s eyes up to the possibility of homeschooling, and what it could be and what it could look like for your family. So I love that. Did you have siblings growing up?

Ruth:                                          One brother.

Yvette:                                      One brother. Okay, was he older or younger than you?

Ruth:                                          Younger, so he never went to school at all. They were sort of experimenting with homeschooling with me for the first few years. Back and forth, and back and forth, but finally we got in our groove during third grade. I know that they had specific reasons, one being that we needed more family time together. But another thing is, even being in a Christian school, they realized that I was being influenced by other students, and the teachers and I remember specifically one day I went to school and my teacher was talking about something in a positive light, it wasn’t a big deal, and she was a sweet lady, and I like her, but she was talking about something in a positive light that my parents had a personal conviction against. And when I went home and talked to them about that, I think it really hit them hard.

Schoolhouse Rocked Backstage Pass members get exclusive access to the video from this episode, which includes 20 minutes of bonus content!

They realized that, well whoever Ruth spends the most time with is who’s going to shape her perspectives and her thoughts about life. And I don’t think world view was a huge term back then like it is now. But that’s basically what the Lord was showing them is like we want to take the responsibility to disciple our daughter. We want to be the ones who will guide her and shepherd her and disciple her so that she will think biblically. I’m so thankful they did that and I know that they also really wanted me to have a different vision then the typical vision of youth culture and the foolishness that so many get caught up in their youth. And they challenged me with 1 Timothy 4:12 that says let no man despise you because of your youth, but set an example for the believers in speech and love and conduct and faith and in purity.

And my parents always said Ruth, you can be a leader in righteousness. You don’t have to follow the crowd into foolishness. There’s so many teenagers throwing their lives away to foolishness. But you can serve the Lord in your youth, and you can do great things for God in your youth. They did a great job of bringing me on board with the ministering, and I saw them every day pulling their lives into the Kingdom of God, and the kingdom work into working with other people and discipling other people and they did a great job of saying you can be a part of this. So even from a young age they began giving me ministry opportunities. Whether that was making copies at the copy machine in my dad’s office in the back of our house, or when I got a little older helping in the nursery. I got a little older, it was teaching a class of children and then leading children’s choir and then playing piano for church. But they made me feel like I was needed. And gave me a vision for ministry. So I know that all of those things really were reasons they brought me home, and part of their vision for our family discipleship program. So I’m really thankful for that.

Yvette:                                      Yeah, and so you see those then as a blessing now looking back. At the time when you were being homeschooled, was it difficult for you because there were not very many other kids your age staying home with their parents, or did you actually enjoy that time?

Ruth:                                          Maybe a little bit of both. We didn’t have huge homeschool groups, but we were able to meet a few families and again, they just continued to encourage me in this vision of, you know, you don’t have to have a huge group of young people around you. You can serve the Lord with your time, and our family can be close and we can do this together and the Lord is building character in your life, even if you don’t have a ton of friends around you. And they encouraged me to have friends with people of all ages, so growing up some of my best friends were Godly adult ladies in the church who had children. And I would go to their houses, and I would help them, and then that was tied as two in action, because I was learning from them how to manage a house, and how to work with their children, and they would talk to me about things the Lord was teaching them as wives and as mothers. And then I worked so much with the little children in the church, that I loved them so much. And they were some of my best friends as well. So I learned to have friends of all ages. So that was a long term blessing for me.

Yvette:                                      Yeah, it’s one of the greatest blessings of homeschooling, I believe, is because your kids learn to interact with people of every age. And it’s such an amazing thing. Our eight year old, she’s very outgoing. And we’ve often times had adults say to us, it’s amazing how she can carry on a conversation with an adult. And that’s not to say that kids who go to traditional school can’t speak to adults. But when you’re in a classroom setting all day long with only people your age, and then you’re with adults for a little part of the rest of the week, you don’t have that opportunity to constantly interact with people your own age. And like you said, older or younger. And so it just, I think provides so many great opportunities for us to just expand our view of people. And learn from, like you said, those tied us to women in our lives. Come alongside those other women and learn from them. I think that’s such a blessing. You talked about how your parents taught you to be a leader in righteousness, and I see you doing that now.  You’ve actually come out with a book called Legacy: Reflections of a Homeschooled, Homeschooling Mama, because you were homeschooled yourself and now of course your homeschooling your own children. Tell us about your book.

Ruth:                                          My husband encouraged me to write this book, he thought that my perspective coming from a homeschooled student and now being a homeschool mama of seven would be helpful to new homeschoolers and maybe also to long time homeschoolers who just need encouragement in the journey. So the book really just tells my story over about four decades of involvement in homeschooling, and what the Lord has done through all of that, and what he’s teaching me now as a homeschooling mama. It’s a real encouragement to focus on family discipleship in our homeschooling, and some practical tips too about managing the home and just managing life as we try to juggle a lot. A lot of plates are spinning when we’re homeschooling our children. Yeah, it’s just my story and what God has done and what he’s teaching me now.

Yvette:                                      What are some of the things about homeschooling that the Lord is teaching you now?

Ruth:                                          One of those things is just to measure success with the right measuring stick. You don’t want to use the measuring stick of the world which often times is rooted in humanism and materialism and we want our children to grow up and have the American dream and these sorts of things. But I think the greater goal is that our children will grow up and love the Lord Jesus Christ with all their hearts, soul, mind and strength. We’re not just going for high academics, and them getting into a prestigious university so that they can make tons of money. We’re wanting generational faithfulness. We’re wanting them to take the torch of faith into the next generation. So I think, I love Psalm 1, that says, “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.” (KJV) And I meditate on that Psalm, it’s talking about us loving God’s word. About us delighting in his words so that we can prosper. That’s God’s definition of success. Is that we’re living according to his word. And that’s what brings true prosperity.

So when our families are mediating on the Word of God, dwelling on the Word of God, going to the Word of God all throughout the day, and living according to it. Applying it. That’s what’s going to bring true prosperity. And it also talks about His leaf shall not wither. As homeschooling mamas, I know that it’s very easy for us to grow weary, and to wither. And I am encouraged to remember that when we keep going back to the Word of God, that is what’s going to persevere us in this journey. That’s what’s going to keep us going and fuel us and renew our perspective so that we continue to have the vision in mind. Why are we doing this in the first place when we grow weary? He will keep us from withering. Also I think using the right measuring stick. We have to be careful in this online world of social media. We can go on social media and Pinterest and it lies to us all the time and tries to tell us that if our houses are not Pinterest worthy, we’re not good moms or if we’re not throwing our children elaborate birthday parties, we’re not measuring up as mothers, or we see our friend’s photos and their families look perfect. We get misconceptions by what we’re reading online and what we’re seeing online.

I think we just need to continue to counsel our hearts with God’s Word and what He says is the true measure of success and absolutely we want our children to have a good education. And we want to equip them for life. But we don’t want to idolize education. This is something that God has had to teach me, because starting out in the early years, I was putting a lot of pressure on myself by comparing myself with other moms, and feeling like there’s just this huge academic push. And at times I got caught up in that, and it distracted me from the more important areas of discipleship with my children early on in the journey. And so we have to not compare and then not use a short term vantage point but a long term vision of it’s not about how I’m feeling today. It’s not about how does my house look today, and I’m so frustrated because I can’t things organized or my children just aren’t cooperating with me today. We’re just failing, we’re just falling apart because things aren’t going well. Long term success is not based on my feelings today. But we want to say 10, 15, 20 years down the road, will our children be taking this generational faithfulness, will they be taking the gospel of Jesus into the next generation and teaching this to my grandchildren?

We’re not just raising children, we’re raising adults and we’re raising our grandchildren’s parents. And so sometimes it gets very discouraging when we’re feeling overwhelmed as homeschooling mamas, but if we can get our eyes off the immediate stresses, and look at what are we really aiming for? And it helps to ask ourselves that question. What’s really most important? What are our highest goals for this home education, home discipleship thing we’re trying to do? And keep our eyes on that.

Yvette:                                      Yeah, yeah. Oh, I love it so much. We were actually talking last night, or family about you know, you’ll hear people say oh, they eat sleep and breathe volleyball. Or they eat sleep and breathe gymnastics or whatever it is that is that passion of that person. We were talking about Deuteronomy 6, and how we need to eat sleep and breathe Jesus. And that’s what homeschooling allows us to do. I’ve said it a million times, I’ll say it again. Homeschooling is not the gospel. It does not save our children. But it gives such a great opportunity to raise our children in righteousness. And you were talking about Psalm 1, and just the Law of the Lord, and how that brings blessings, and we tell our girls all the time, and I say it on the podcast all the time. One of the things we tell them is that obedience brings blessings, but sin causes pain. And we want our children to understand that God’s Law is there to protect them. God gives us his laws because he cares about us, and what an amazing opportunity we have as homeschool parents to be able to just instill that truth and that grace into our children’s lives, because like you said, it’s not about just the academics. Those are important, as long as they’re pointing our kids towards Christ.

But it’s so much more about character, it’s so much about who they become as adults. Who they become as people, and how are they impacting the Kingdom of God? And everyone of us has a platform. No matter what it is that we’re doing, he has given every one of us a gift and an ability to impact his kingdom for goodness and for truth. And so, are we raising our kids to be able to do that effectively? And how are we doing that with them? I’d love to know with you, what are some of the ways that you do that practically with your kids? How do you raise them in righteousness? How do you raise them in truth?

Ruth:                                          Well I would say that the most important thing is just relying on the Lord and praying. Because I oftentimes say Lord, I don’t know what to do about this or that or the other. But allowing His strength to flow through, and then just, we keep trying to bring things back to the Word of God. It’s not just like there’s a subject of bible in our homeschool. But we want bible to be weaved through every subject. We want the gospel to be weaved through, integrated into every subject, so we just keep coming back to it over and over. And taking moments, as Deuteronomy, you were talking about that passage, says as you lie down, and as you rise up and as you walk along the way. And as I look back I see that that’s what my parents did with me. It was like a 24/7 discipleship center where if we were going to the grocery store, they were talking about the Lord, maybe they were talking about what they had read in their devotions, or they were talking about what the Lord was doing in the church and ministry. They were intentional, I guess having intentional conversations with me. So we try to do a lot of that.

Now we do have family bible time, and I do circle time with my children in the mornings, and that’s a time where I gather all of them, ages three to 17, and that’s an intentional time that I’ve set apart where I am trying to go over discipleship materials with them. It’s partially academic, sometimes we read our history lessons and things like that. But it’s heavily discipleship focused. It’s a time where we read books on Christian apologetics, and on world view, and on culture, do character lessons and make sure we’re reading straight from the Word of God. So there’s intentional times. But there’s many times just throughout the day where we’re just trying to converse. And talk to them about what God is doing and where we see the fingerprints of God in our lives throughout the day.

Yvette:                                      I love that. I love the fingerprints of God. It’s so amazing, because you can’t, if you’re looking for it, you can see Him everywhere. In just about everything. There’s always evidence of our great God all around us, and it’s such a beautiful thing. How have you seen the transition of homeschooling from what it was when you were back in the 80s and 90s to what it is today. We’re in 2019, how have you seen that paradigm shift of what it used to be to what it has become today?

Ruth:                                          I’ve seen so many changes. Just things like, there were only a few curriculums back when I was being homeschooled, and it was difficult to get your hands on homeschooling curriculum. We didn’t have the internet, we didn’t have homeschool mommy blogs. we didn’t have homeschool mommy podcasts. These pioneer parents back then were tenacious and brave and courageous, and they took the vision that God gave them. And they ran with it, even though they had very little resources to help them. And that’s one thing I like to share with people is that in the pioneering days, these parents took risks. Some of them were taken into court battles over homeschooling, and by God’s grace our family never faced that. And I’m really thankful for that, but some of them did get taken to court for homeschooling. And you just look and say why would parents take those kinds of risks and do something that seems so hard and so daunting and very little in the way of resources, they didn’t have big homeschool conventions. What were they thinking? Why would they do this? And I think for, not all of them, but I think for many of them, their reasons were really grounded in this desire to disciple their children.

They wanted to raise up young men and women of faith and virtue and character and wisdom and they felt that was what God was calling them to do.

Yvette:                                      They had a conviction about it.

Ruth:                                          Yes, yes. And now we’ve seen homeschooling explode, and I hope it continues to explode exponentially. I’m encouraged to see this. But I think that in our current homeschooling climate, I believe that many families are jumping onboard the homeschooling wagon for all kinds of reasons. And it’s not always discipleship reasons. I remember years ago we were at an ice skating rink and I met a mom and she told me that she was homeschooling, and she said her reasons were so that her child could skate all the time. And hoped to go far in skating. And there was nothing about discipling the daughter. And so I see people doing it for all kinds of reasons, I see a lot of people homeschooling out of fear, because they’re very scared of the school shootings and things like that. And so maybe running from the public school, and running out of fear rather than running to a vision for family discipleship. And if it’s running out of fear, I’m still glad that brings them to homeschooling, and then I guess my message is to say that’s great. Welcome. Now here’s a greater vision for discipling your children. And it’s not just about the academics, it’s not just about bring them home so they’ll be safe.

But there’s a vision, and realize what you can do in these years and with this extra time that God is allowing you with your children. So that’s one thing, I want homeschooling parents to have vision. I would say in the early days, there was more of a conservative [trench 00:25:48] to the homeschooling movement. There were a lot of families that were more conservative and with the growth and explosion of homeschooling, we see it becoming more mainstream. So in the early days of homeschooling I saw some families focus so much on wanting to raise mature and wise students that they focus a lot on the external behaviorism of their children, and had the best of parts. And yet sometimes they failed to reach the heart of their children through Christ.

And it was things like teaching good character, teaching good manners, teaching them to carry themselves in impressive ways. And yet sometimes there was so much of a focus on that external behavior, that I think some of those kids grew up confused. And maybe thinking that they were earning God’s favor by their mature impressive outward behaviors. And I try to be so balanced when I share this because I think those external behavior things are very important. I mean we all want our children to have good manners. We all want them to be mature and to walk with Godly character. And those things are important. But the thing is if those things are not coming out of a pure heart towards Christ, if it’s just taught as moralism or behaviorism, then I’ve seen many of those kids go off the rails when they grew up and gained independence.

And some of these young people, you would never ever think that they would go off the rails. It’s left me going what in the world, I would have never seen this coming. And I’ve seen this happen, I really think some of these kids never went from darkness to light. I think a lot of them never truly came to know the Lord Jesus Christ in a personal way. They just grew up, like well this is the way our family is. This is our family culture. These are the things we do and the things we don’t do, and God is pleased with me because of that. And so I think we have to be very careful about this. And I think we need to be, as parents explaining the why’s of the standards that we have with our children. Deuteronomy 6 verse 20 says, when your son asks you in time to come, what is the meaning of the testimonies and the statutes and the rules the Lord our God has commanded you. Then you shall say to your son we were Pharaoh slaves in Egypt and the Lord brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand.

So it’s just talking about when your sons and daughters have questions, that you take the time to explain, say the Lord has done this. Or this is where I’m getting this. I’m not, I think some of these kids might have thought mom and dad went to a homeschool conference, and they heard this guy and now they came home with 25 new rules for the family. Or mom and dad are just making up these rules because they’re weird, and they’re trying to ruin our lives. Things like that. And so we want to really give good biblical applications and explanations to our young people and lead them in loving humble sacrificial ways. We want to have heart relationship. And we want to be, our utmost goal to be that they know Christ because the bible says out of the goodness of the heart, when the heart is right, the behavior will overflow. So I think sometimes people like to stigmatize all homeschoolers as being this way or that way, but I think we can forget the question of what should homeschool culture look like, and say how can our families bring the most glory to Christ? What can we do to honor him and glorify him? So we want to be careful we’re not just creating little pharisees or little good rule followers.

Yvette:                                      Little robots.

Ruth:                                          But that we’re truly, truly seeing heart conversion.

Yvette:                                      Yes, oh I love that so much. That is a perfect way to end the podcast. We are unfortunately out of time for the podcast, but I actually want to continue this conversation for our backstage pass members. So for those listening to the podcast, thank you so much for joining us today. For those who don’t know, I think most of you do, but we have what’s called a backstage pass membership site, and you can go on there and for a few dollars a month, you can become a member and that actually helps to support production on Schoolhouse Rocked. But you get a ton of extra videos and footage from the movie, and all kinds of exciting things. So we’re going to continue this conversation, and the remainder of it will be on the backstage pass membership site. But, really quickly, where can people who are listening to the podcast, where can they find you?

Ruth:                                          I have a website, And I have a podcast, The Legacy Homeschool Reflections Podcast that can be found on iTunes or on that website. I can be found on Facebook at Ruth L. Adams. So I’m glad to connect with your listeners in any of those ways.

Yvette:                                      Awesome, and we will link to those in the show notes so people can find you. So Ruth, thank you so much for your time today, you are a blessing. We will continue this conversation for our backstage pass members, and thank you guys for listening. I hope you have a great day today.







Legacy: Reflections of a Homeschooled, Homeschooling Mama by Ruth Adams

Ordinary Homeschool Dad by Matthew Adams (Ruth’s Husband) –

Better Late Than Early: A New Approach to Your Child’s Education by Dr. Raymond S. Moore

Listen to Better Late Than Early – Dr. Dobson Talks with Dr. Raymond Moore –


Photo by Laura Fuhrman on Unsplash

Photo by Tom Jablonski on Unsplash

Photo by Jenna Beekhuis on Unsplash

Homeschooling in Russia!

“I grew up in this country where, in a socialist country, communist country, which really tried to teach us not to think with their own heads. The government wants to make decisions for us. The doctors made decisions for us. In a country like ours, basically everything; your body, your soul, belongs to the government. You were not supposed to be asking questions or think outside the box.” – Andre Furmanov

In this episode of the Schoolhouse Rocked Podcast, Yvette Hampton speaks with Russian pastor and homeschool dad, Andre Furmanov, about how and why he and his wife began homeschooling and what homeschooling looks like in Russia.

Andre Furmanov came to Christ while still living in Communist Russia. He is a graduate of Leningrad State University, with an English philology, literature and translation major. Considers himself a pastor by default, since his ministry started after his high school class accepted Christ almost in its entirety through his witness as a teacher.

Andre is a graduate of the pastoral training center at the International Church of St. Petersburg and has been pastoring his flock for the past 29 years. Andre is a major advocate of Parenting ministry in Russia and the initiator of the Christian homeschooling movement in his hometown of Vyborg. He and his wife, Nadya, have been married for 21 years. They have three daughters – Emily (18), Erika (17) and Elsie (16), who they have been raising according biblical principles and homeschooled for the past 6 years.

You can support Andre and his family at Select “VCC- Andre Furmanov” in the designation drop-down list. (once in the list you can search, rather than scrolling).

Join us on the Schoolhouse Rocked Backstage Pass membership site for the full unedited video of this interview. Save 10% on any paid Backstage Pass Membership by using the coupon code “Podcast10”.

Yvette Hampton:  Hey everyone, this is Yvette. Welcome back to The Schoolhouse Rocked Podcast. I am so glad that you’ve joined us again today. We have a really, really exciting guest on today. His name is Andre Furmanov and he is a Homeschool dad and pastor in Russia. You guys, Homeschooling is growing around the globe. It’s not just in America. He has a really exciting story about how Homeschooling is affecting his family and how they got into it. So let me introduce you to Andre. Andre, welcome to the podcast.

Andre Furmanov:  Thank you so much. I’m excited to be here.

Yvette:  Yeah, I’m so glad to have you. We got to meet you at a conference about a year and a half ago. We got to hear you speak. Your story was so moving and inspiring. So I would love for you to introduce your family to our listeners and then tell us your story of Homeschooling, how you got started.

Andre:  I’m Andre Furmanov. I’m a pastor as already was mentioned. I became a Christian way back in the ’80s, still under communism. I always called myself a pastor by default because my church was started when I was still a school teacher, under communism is not being allowed to do that. I shared Christ with my 24 students who accepted the Lord. I ended up with the flock without even being trained to be a pastor, but somebody had to take care of these kids. So at this point, I’ve been a pastor for almost 30 years. It’s 29 this year. I’m a father of three daughters and a husband of one wife. My daughters are Emily, Erika and Elsie. At this point they are 18, 17 and 16. All are working with the Lord and excited about ministry. Our family is basically a team that does ministry together. We are very much, we believe in family discipleship and I just feel my wife and my daughters in the first place as my primary disciples. My wife is my coworker, a very faithful partner, and the love of my life. So this is my family.

Yvette:  I love that. I love it. Your family is so beautiful and so sweet.

Andre:  Thank you.

Yvette:  Very gifted as well. Your girls are incredibly gifted in so many areas. Tell us your story about how you got started Homeschooling.

Andre:  Well, that’s, how much time do we have? Anyway, we began Homeschooling only about six years ago. Prior to that, I grew up in this country where, in a socialist country, communist country, which really tried to teach us not to think with their own heads. The government wants to make decisions for us. The doctors made decisions for us. In a country like ours, basically everything; your body, your soul, belongs to the government. You were not supposed to be asking questions or think outside the box.

Andre:  But I just remember even when I was growing up, I had a lot of questions about a lot of things. I guess this is the good thing about the way I turned out to be. I like asking questions and I need answers for those questions. With my wife and I having three daughters, we decided to make a very, very serious step of faith and not send them to daycare. Everybody send their kids to daycare. Everybody’s supposed to work. Wives are supposed to work. Everybody talks about how important it is to make more money and stuff like that.

A working wife, a working mother is considered to be such a wonderful, wonderful thing. People forget that mothers work at home so much that if a man, a husband tries to do what a woman does at home, at the end of the day, he feels like, “Okay, I’d rather go to work than do what you’re doing.” A lot of men testify to that.

We didn’t send our kids to the daycare center. Many people thought we were crazy. Then there was a time for us to send our kids to school. Everybody does it. I’d never heard of anything like Homeschooling in my country. I heard that Americans did that. But in this country we kind of think that things come easy for Americans. It’s a bunch of baloney of course. But people have that view.

I remember I was taking my oldest daughter to school. I was walking behind her and she had these beautiful pony tails and I walked behind her carrying her bag and a bouquet of flowers. I was in tears. I think I was the only man in the face of this earth who was like bawling when he was taking his daughter to school. I felt I was doing something incredibly wrong. I didn’t know what was wrong. I didn’t know that there was something else that could be done.

So anyhow, she went to school and there was one less person at the breakfast table. Then the second daughter went to school and then the third one and my wife and I felt like empty nesters without our kids having grown up. I remember what happened to our kids, we always try to raise them in the Lord, but what happened to them, they just became different. They became distant and alienated from us. At some point I just realized that we only spent about 30 minutes a day with our girls because they went to school, they went to music school, they did all of their little routines, sports and everything.

By the time they were done, they were just dog tired and wanted to go to bed. They needed to make their home assignments and all that kind of stuff. I felt like, so why have a family if you can’t raise your children the way you know you should be raising them? I was a very strong believer in raising my girls or kids God’s way based on the biblical principles.

That was the time when God brought us to America. I’ve visited America at this point about 14 times and there was one of those times. Every time when God takes us to America, I know that he wants to tell us something. I didn’t know what he wanted to tell us at that time. So we came to visit our friends in Colorado and it was interesting when we came to see them they just said, “Oh, we mixed up the dates of your arrival and that’s why we’re going to go to Homeschooling conference tomorrow. You can take our car, drive around, and do whatever. We want to give you some money to have fun or you could join us at the Homeschooling conference.”

I’m the kind of person, I really would like to see things and experience things, especially things that are so different from what I’m used to. So I said, “Well, we’ll definitely go to the conference.” So we went to the conference and the first person we meet is a person that was going to Saint Petersburg, Russia, which is where we’re from, along with his entire family. Eight children, one of whom was, had just been born. I was like, “Whoa, that’s crazy. I’ve been traveling to Russia and why are you going there?” He said, “Well, I would like to teach Russian people about Homeschooling.” I was like, “Wow, you must believe in it very strongly.”

Anyway, I heard Kevin Swanson, I heard Ken Ham and I saw a lot of people there. What really struck me was the discovery that at some point a time Americans were actually put to jail for trying to Homeschool their children. I was like, “Oh, so things don’t come easy to Americans too. That’s interesting.” I thought, “Gosh, America’s a free country. Everybody can do whatever they think is right.” But it’s like, no. It wasn’t like that. People had to actually fight for their right. I was like, “Uh-huh (affirmative).”

Anyway, so I experienced three days of Homeschooling conference. A lot of great things, heard a lot of testimonies, talked to a lot of people. I was asking questions at the speed of light. Then three days later our friends took us to the famous park, the Garden of the Gods. I remember we drove up there and we stood there looking at the mountains and the beautiful rock formations and all that. It just struck me, dawned on me, I thought, goodness. I know from history that sometime not too long ago, people who were fathers, were taking their families west going across this wilderness with no beautiful roads that brought me here by car, with nothing, just wild animals. They just really needed to go west. They needed to explore and conquer that land there was wild.

I thought, what drove them so firmly and so strongly? Then I thought, just some kind of crazy dream that they were passionate about. I just realized, oh my goodness, that’s what actually made America great. That spirit of discovery, pioneering, and daring spirit not to be afraid to try something new that you think is right.

I felt so ashamed. I thought, if some people came from Europe and settled this land and they were just so brave. Here I am knowing that I need to Homeschool my daughters, that I need to raise them in the Lord and I’m losing them to the system. I’m afraid to do that because of what? I turned to my wife and said, “Nadya, we’re coming home and we’re starting to Homeschool.” I didn’t know how, I didn’t know what we need to do in our country in order to actually escape jail, but I’ll do that.

Then as we came home, I started to explore things. I realized that Homeschooling had been allowed since 1992. Since the very beginning. Since communism fell. But nobody really knew about it because we’re just too careless to figure it out. So, anyway, a long story short, we took our girls away from school, started to teach them at home. 15 families that attended the same school, families from my church said, “We’re going with you.” I was like, “Guys, I want to make sure that you’re not just following us, that you’re following the will of God, because it’s like, we might even be in trouble for that.” But they said, “You know what? We think we should do it.”

Then that family from Colorado came and shared their experience. I remember as they came to Russia with eight of their children, we were thinking, “Okay, now this is a family with eight children and they’re Homeschooling them all. This is a family that was not afraid to come to Russia to teach us about Homeschooling. Why are we afraid to Homeschool our three girls or two kids, whatever?” However many kids was in each family.

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So anyway, there was like a huge exodus from public school system. But I’m going to tell you, the whole point was just not leaving school but going somewhere we wanted to go. For me, my passion was to really raise my girls for the Lord because I always knew that I was never raising them for my pleasure. I knew that the kids were a gift from God and they didn’t belong to me. I was their daddy, but they already had a father. But I wasn’t able to really teach them how to fall in love with Jesus because I didn’t have time. The fact that we took them out of school and started to really explore how to involve God in every subject, it really changed our lives.

Our girls were just growing apart from us and all of a sudden we started to read the Bible. But for the whole year I spent every day just teaching them about Christ and their identity in Jesus. That changed their lives because they just realized that they didn’t need to … I mean, they almost became invincible. That they know that their identity is not in what they do and not the achievements they make, but in Christ already accepted them.

It’s amazing. We taught our girls not to live for acceptance so that others would accept them for their good grades or whatever, but from acceptance because they already know that the Lord loves them dearly and will never leave nor forsake them. They don’t need to really live for anyone’s pleasure. They just live out of the fullness of their lives.

We could see that they started to get involved in ministry. They started to read the Bible. They started to talk about God. We have these amazing family times when everybody shares their hearts. I can see that their knowledge about God became their knowledge of Him and also turned into practical steps of manifesting that amazing love. I can see that, when in Galatians 2, Paul says, “It’s not me who is living with the Lord who lives through me.” I can see that in my girls’ lives and I’m so grateful.

I know that it’s not the magic of Homeschooling, but this is freedom we got in order to do what is right. We also figured that, I remember I told you that our girls, children are not, they’re not a bucket to be filled, but they’re a gift to be unwrapped. I realized that our children already were designed by God a certain way and we allow them, in the context of Homeschooling, to explore who they truly were, how they were designed by God. I could mention that they’re extremely talented and I think every kid is, but we allowed the Lord to actually help them develop their special giftings.

With the Erika, my middle daughter, she’s so gifted in music. She plays the piano, she plays the harp, she plays the whistle, and she plays the Ukulele. Elsie plays violin. Emily plays guitar and the piano. But again, Erika decided that she wants to be a musician, but again, she doesn’t need to become someone. But she is a musician at heart, but she’s a child of God. That’s her primary identity. But she uses music to glorify Jesus.

I see Emily is excited about technical things. She’s reading a lot about business, but she would like to actually free herself up from having to go to a secular job so that she could do counseling. She really is passionate about that. Elsie is still searching what she wants to do, but she already knows who she is and that most important thing. So anyway, that’s in a nutshell. Maybe too long.

Yvette:  No, I love it. That is an amazing story.

Want to hear more about how homeschooling is growing around the world? Listen to Mike Donnelly, HSLDA Director of Global Outreach, on the Schoolhouse Rocked Podcast.

So you were talking about how there were about 15 families from your church who came along with you into Homeschooling when you got back. You went back and he said, “Okay family, okay girls, we’re going to do this Homeschool thing.” What was your, what was the response from your family to doing this? Were they excited and did having those 15 families make it easier for them?

Andre:  It was interesting. Everybody, there was not even one exception, everybody thought we were crazy. Grandparents were just upset with us. They thought we were destroying our children. Actually those 15 families came to us and they said they were leaving with us. But prior to that for about a week, they had thought we were crazy. We had to actually talk to a lot of people and give account of what we truly believed in.

There was really, for some time, there was no support. My wife’s sister and her husband actually became our best enemies. They really ostracize ourselves, I mean us, from their family. They just really were upset with us. Nadya’s mother came to us almost on a daily basis and called us all kinds of names and yelled at us for being so brutally horrible towards our children and depriving them of their rights that were constitutional for education. We had to actually … God really taught us a lot through that because, I kind of tended to get into all defensive mode and almost become just like those people that yelled at us.

But later on I’m like, “No, you can’t really change anybody through yelling. Think of Jesus and His example.” I learned a lot about what it means to give account in Godly way. So anyway, after about a week, those 15 families left school. It’s interesting that Nadya’s sister at this point is Homeschooling her children. My parents, they say this was the wisest decision we could ever make and they’re totally supporting that. Nadya’s mother is still undecided, but since her other daughter is doing the same thing, she had to quiet down.

But it was interesting because there was a lot of pressure and there was a lot of gossip spread around. You heard that story that one day the friend of my daughters comes to us and says, “Have you heard about this horrifying family that’s doing this horrible thing to their children. We heard that they not only had they left school but they also took a bunch of people with them.” It was really crazy. We said, “We are that family.”

You should have seen the look on her eyes in her eyes. It was really like a paradigm shift for people because people … it was interesting in our town, we were kind of well-known because I taught my girls English since they were babies. Even though I have an accent, they don’t have any accent. They speak totally like Americans. So we have been known in this town like the family that speaks English or something like that because my girls speak English to each other.

Anyway, so they kind of think we’re so smart and whatever. All of a sudden it’s like, “The smart people did this stupid thing.” But it was interesting because when this happens, when people ask you questions, when people … when that paradigm shift occurs, you have a lot of opportunities to share your faith and to give account of what you believe. So, it’s interesting because at this point people call me from time to time and people who are non-Christians and have different reasons for taking their kids out of school, but nobody’s happy with school system anymore for different reasons, like I said.

As a friend of mine, Chris Davis, you might have heard of them. I read his books. He’s an amazing Homeschooling dad. He’s in his seventies. He’s raised three sons and a daughter Homeschooling them. But anyway, he wrote a book in which he said that there’re pioneers and then there are followers. Then there are people that are kind of lagging behind. Pioneers are the ones that just go and make way and cut through the path.

Then there are followers who feel like, “ I’m afraid to become a pioneer but now that the road has been cleared, I can follow.” Then there are those who just rush from one side to another thinking like, “Okay, maybe I can Homeschool just in case so that I wouldn’t miss anything out.” Then when things get tough, they go back to the school system and stuff.

So anyway, I can see that a lot of non-Christians really don’t have the good foundation for why they’re doing what they’re doing, but nobody is really happy with the system anymore because the system is just killing creativity. To tell you the truth, in our country, it is becoming the tool of horrifying propaganda and nationalism. I just, I would never want my girls to be a part of that. I actually think it’s very unhealthy for any child to be there because it’s all about, we used to hail communism and hail Lenin, now we hail Putin. So it’s just the same old stuff. We’re just coming back with a very different, even more cruel and evil flavor.

So anyway, we don’t want to be a part of that. Funny as it is, or strange as it is, even non-Christians feel like something is wrong with that. So, people, parents sense that they’re losing their children. Some don’t. Some really are going along with the system. But there’re some that called me up and asked me lots of questions. In a way, I’m sort of viewed like some kind of Homeschooling guru, which I don’t really think I am because I have very little experience. Well, more than most people.

Yvette:  You have a whole lot more than most do.

Andre:  But anyway, it’s really exciting to be able to help them. This gives me an opportunity to talk about my faith, not only about school, but about the true reason why I’m doing that. It really opens the way for a lot of incredible conversations. So we’ll see. We will see what happens.

Yvette:  That’s amazing. How many families are there in your hometown about who are Homeschooling now?

Andre:  More than I know I bet. But I know at least 30.

Yvette:  Okay, so it’s growing still?

Andre:  Yeah. We have a very small town by Russian standards. People in Russia basically are very afraid of change. They are very fatalistic. So I mean, so people that are not are considered to be very crazy like myself.

Yvette:  So how, okay, of those 30 families and looking at those 15, 16 families, including yourself who started six years ago or so, how have you seen that change the culture of these families individually? Have you seen the kids change, the families changed as a result of Homeschooling?

Andre:  Well, it’s interesting. I realize that the problem that occurs a lot of times that people take their kids out of school, but they don’t take school out of their system which has been a problem. It was actually a problem for us the first year. It took me going to a conference, a Homeschooling conference and meeting some radically amazing people. Some of them are very well known in America. I’m not going to mention their names, but because some people think they’re great, others think they’re horrible.

But I just love people that are different. I don’t have to necessarily agree with all of them or about every little thing, but I just like people who think outside the box. Anyway those people help me see that under it, you’re still thinking like the system. So I repented of that and I said, “Okay, now I need to have a biblical worldview.” So anyway, those families who realize that, that they need to get the system out of their household, they really changed radically.

Because it seems like it’s really, it allowed parents to focus on God more in their personal walk. It allowed the children … I mean the children are really focused on what is true, what is right, and what is worthwhile. It’s interesting because those kids do not really strive for getting a degree, but they’re striving after pleasing the Lord. If a degree is something, is a step towards that, they would do it.

It’s amazing because a typical Russian person just goes through all these hoops. Just you’re born, you go to kindergarten, you go to school, you go to college, then you get a job and that’s that. Well, one of the conferences, one of the craziest and very controversial peers came to the conference, which was Rhea Perry. I mean, you meet this woman once you’re changed forever. It’s just amazing.

So when she came and she shared with us her philosophy in life, I just realized, oh my gosh, I still had that in me. That my girls are being raised and we’re doing all these Christian things. But then they grew up and they figure out a way to get a job. So you raise a kid to get a job and all of a sudden it’s like, “No, we need to raise them to be able to be free.” So I would say that those people that really got that, they are raising their kids differently.

We don’t live for today, we live for eternity. We live today but not for today, we live for eternity. They’re trying to make eternal difference. Then the methods they choose and the way, even they schedule their time is just so different from a typical Homeschooler that has not figured what it is truly about. Do I make sense?

Yvette:That makes absolute sense. I mean, it’s the same way here in America; in that most people when they start Homeschooling, they think they’re bringing the classroom into their home and they try to make it, they try to just replicate what the classroom looks like. Pretty quickly, I think most start to realize that you can’t do that. Now, certainly you can have structure and you can have your different subjects and all, but it’s not just about the academics. It’s about their character and about growing them as people.

I love that you talk about success and the idea of going to college and things. We’re certainly not anti-college, but we’re also not of the belief that every kid must go to college in order to be what some would consider successful. God has called everybody to do something different with the gifts he’s given them. So, no, I completely understand it and agree with that. I think that’s a very exciting thing. Really, a great thing.

Talk about your family and what you’re doing in ministry because I know that you have, you’re a pastor and you’ve got a ministry that your family is involved with. What do you do as a family for ministry?

Andre:  It’s amazing how much scope for Christian work there is for us as a family. Well, of course I’m a pastor and I do a lot of teaching, training, counseling and that kind of stuff. It’s amazing because as I trained my girls, they actually doing the same thing. Meaning teaching, training and counseling their peers. We’ve gone through a lot of amazing, well, one of the most amazing courses I’ve ever gone through and apply in my life is called Victorious Christian living.

Basically, I mean, it’s nothing but the Bible and it just shows to you how to solve any issue. Just going through, going to the Lord with it. I’ve taken my girls three times through this and they’re so eager to pass it on to others. They’ve been able, I mean the oldest two are just really walking in this freedom in the Lord and they’re really able to share it with others.

My girls do a lot of things. Like they would, they work a lot with children. They serve families. They can see that those young families, young couples that have children have babies, kind of fall away from everyday church life. One of my girls, Emily said, “I just really feel like I would like to make it my ministry and not a job, but a ministry. I would like to help those families.”

My girls would go and babysit for the families that would like to attend a small group or go to a ministry team meeting. It’s not just like, “Oh, I’d like to go to the store and go shopping.” No, my girls don’t do that. But it’s like, “Okay, if you want to attend the church, if you really need to go to a meeting in the church, or would like to have a getaway together to build the relationship between the husband and wife.” They would just be there like, “I’m willing to babysit.”

It’s amazing because in our church, because of people like my kids, there is never a lack for babysitters. When I, a lot of times I come to America and some of my friends go like, “We would like to go out, but we can’t because there’s nobody to babysit and we have eight kids. We don’t have enough money to hire a person.” I was like, “Well, I wish my girls were there.” Because they would totally tell us, “Well, every Wednesday I’m yours. Just invite me over I’ll take care of your children.”

So they do that. They do a lot of music work. My daughters, they all play musical instruments and Erika arranges different pieces for different groups of instruments. So they do a lot of stuff for Christmas, for Easter. They used to go, when we had this mission in a small village close to Vyborg, they used to go there and bring musical education to kids and adults in that really dark little village. We’re not allowed to go there anymore because it was … anyway, it’s the government involvement that actually prevents us from going there at this point.

But they do a lot of music work with children in my church and they prepare worship for children’s Sunday school. They do a lot of music for youth ministry, teenage ministry. It’s just amazing. It’s like they feel the music is not their goal, it’s a tool that they use to teach people how to worship and they do that.

They also do a lot of cooking for different projects like orphanage project that we have. My girls really love to take some tough assignments. For example, in an orphanage, the kids never have pancakes because it’s too complicated to make pancakes for so many children. So it’s like every time our team goes there and there is a need to make pancakes, because kids really love those, so they would just spend the whole evening baking, making pancakes, frying pancakes for those kids.

It’s like, every day there is something. There is always every opportunity to minister, every opportunity to share with kids the Bible, to lead a small group. I mean, my girls are doing, it’s just amazing. I feel like I would never be able to do the job that I’m doing without them there.

It’s like my wife, she does a lot of the first Christians Living Counseling with women. She also does a lot of children’s work. It’s just basically everything I do, they do. On a different scale but-

Yvette:  Yeah. You have more opportunity to do that because your Homeschooling them. You had said before that when they were in school, you felt like you only had about 30 minutes a day with your girls.

Andre:  Exactly. Right on.

Yvette:  Now that they’re home, you get to serve together as a family, which is incredible.

Andre:  Exactly. We just, we can cancel some of our plans and just say, “Okay, instead of that, this is the need.”

Yvette:  Yeah, that’s great. Really quickly, what is it like to Homeschool in Russia in regards to government laws and stuff? Do you, are you just free? Because you said as of 1992, I think that it has been legal. How does that work with the government there and the system? Do you have to report back to your public school system or do they have to do testing? I know that’s one of those questions that here it’s different in every state. So everyone is always wondering, well, how is it even possible for you to Homeschool there?

Andre:  It is important for us to have certain tests, to pass certain tests and ensure that the government get the results. After the ninth grade and the 11th grade, we have 11 grades here all together, we have to pass the governmental test. That’s what my youngest is doing right now. That’s what my second daughter is doing at the same time for the 11th grade.

But anyway, the thing is that it’s all doable. It’s possible. It’s all legal on paper. But depending upon where you live and depending upon who is running the school you’re sort of officially attached to, connected to, they can either make your life living hell or it can be a piece of cake.

So in our case, the principal of the school we’re connected with, she’s just in love with us and basically we as a family get green lights always. She was like, she actually goes like, “You know what? I know that you know you don’t even have to pass some of the tests that are offered.” She’s like, “You don’t have to pass that. Only the ones that the governments require.” She’s just so amazing to us. But it’s a very rare situation. The problem with Russia though is that Russians are trying to brainwash their people right now.

The relationship between Russia and America is getting worse. I think it’s as bad as it was during the Cold War. So in order to brainwash people and continue pouring kind of supporting and building up that attitude, negative attitude, to America, you have to have a system for doing that. The school system is doing it really well. So in a way, even though it’s legal, it looks like the government is really not happy with the fact that a lot of people walk away from that system and teach their kids differently.

For example, when the Crimea was conquered by Putin, I shared with my family biblical principles of why it was wrong. My girls were not ashamed to say it. We were called pro Americans, traiters of our country, people that need to be crucified, people that need to be cast out forever and that kind of stuff. We really are notorious for just thinking differently.

When I was raised in this country, I was lied to so much that I decided I’m never going to lie to my daughter. Even if that’s what people call a white lie, no. I want them to really know what’s going on. For us, the Bible is the guiding force, the guiding light, and it’s Jesus. So it’s I will share with them the biblical principles. So they think freely and they think biblically and that’s what the government is not happy about.

Yvette:Yeah. Well, it sounds like God is really showing you much favor where you are and giving you great opportunities and opening big doors for you to be able to impact the lives of many people in your area. I think it’s amazing what you’re doing. We’re about out of time, but I have one more question for you that I would love for you to answer. You’re in Russia. Talk to the American parent right now who’s listening to this. Obviously most of our listeners are American.

What message would you have for us Americans and about American culture? Why should we Homeschool? I know why you Homeschool and I understand. Obviously, you do it for the same reason that many of us do it. But looking at it culturally, why should Americans Homeschool? Looking on it from the outside.

Andre:  I used to come to America way back in the beginning of the 90s and every time I came to America I had this amazing experience every time without fail. Sort of like some load was lifted from my shoulders each time I landed in the states. That lasted until I guess 2011. For some reason during my visit in 2011, I just came there and I felt that oppression as much as I feel it here. I was like, “Where is my America that I love so much?” Spiritually, I just felt it was gone. I talked to my friends, I said, “Is it just me or maybe there is a reason for that?” They go like, “There is a reason for that.”

As I see what’s going on in America, it’s still my favorite country. I have to be honest, I still love it so much. But I can see that people there are losing the sight of why they live, how much they have, and how much they need to be appreciative of everything that the Lord gave them. Not proud, but grateful. When you’re proud, you just think you deserve it. When you’re grateful you go like, “Wow God, you gave me so much, I want to use it for others.” It seems the government in America is no better than ours really.

Andre:  I mean, and the schools there, basically are also a tool for teaching kids the way of thinking.

Yvette:  Indoctrination. That’s right.

Andre:  If you truly want to change this world, we really need to teach our kids to be free. Free, I don’t mean do whatever they want, but the truth will set you free. Honestly, how much time do American parents invest in their children? How much time to fathers invest in their children personally so that they would stand strong on the Bible? On the foundation of God’s and make it a part of who they are?

I talk to a lot of American kids and it really saddens my heart to see that a lot of kids that grew up in American family, when you ask them, “What is your passion?” They just go, “Graduate from college. Get a job.” I’m like, “Really? That’s all?” The thing is a lot of my friend’s daughters who are a little older than mine, have been getting married lately and I talk to their fiancés, “Well, what would you like to do in life?” They just giving me a bunch of stuff that’s not even worth living for.

I had my girls hear that, I said, “Girls, never marry a guy who leads you nowhere because that’s exactly where he’s going to lead you.” I feel like it’s us fathers in the context of home and family, and family discipleship that need to instill this passion for the truth, for Christ, and for the ministry in our sons’ and daughters’ hearts. I don’t think school will ever be able to do it. Even Christian school. I would say that.

Yvette:  I love it. Well, Andre, thank you so much for your time today. I love your story. I love what God is doing with you and through you and your family. You have such an incredible testimony. I’m so grateful for the way that He’s using you.

Andre:  Thank you.

Yvette:  Not just in Russia, but here. I know, we know many people who know you and who have met you. You are such an inspiration and encouragement to so many including our family.

Andre:  We might be back this summer.

Yvette:  Yeah. Come back. Come back for sure. We would love to see you again. But thank you for allowing the Lord to use you and blessings to you. How can people support you and your ministry there?

Andre:  Well, pray for us because every time we want to do something in this country, it’s always a struggle. It’s always a struggle. Actually something that I love in America still, even in America after 2011, in America you can do, you still have so much freedom. You have no idea. Unless you lose it, you’ll never understand how much. Just trust me that you have it. In Russia, the simplest things is a struggle, is a fight. We feel like anything we do, it’s like there’s a threat. There’s a physical threat and spiritual threat.

So please pray for us and any time you guys are able to come here and minister, bring us some fresh ideas about Homeschooling, about making business, about thinking freely, please do that. People like Rhea Perry came here and did that. It’s like she changed lives of many people just by being a testimony, by teaching us the right things. So if that’s what your question was about.

Yvette:  Yeah, no, that’s great. Is there a way that we can support you financially?

Andre:  Yes, I’m actually on staff with CRM Nodal Ministry. I can send you information about what we’re doing and our accounts with CRM that you could send finances to.

Yvette:  Okay. We’ll put those links in the show notes sent, so people know how to do that. But we will certainly be glad to pray for you, encourage you, and support you in any way that we can.

Andre:  Thank you.

Yvette:  So thank you so much for your time today, Andre. You are a huge blessing. Thank you for listening to The Schoolhouse Rocked Podcast today. If you want to know more about Schoolhouse Rocked, if you are trying to figure out what we are all about. We’re actually in production on a Homeschool documentary right now, called Schoolhouse Rocked.

Yvette:  Then of course we’ve got the podcast and all sorts of other things to encourage and equip you in your Homeschool journey. So, go to It’s R-O-C-K-E-D You can learn a whole lot more about what we’re doing. So thank you guys for joining us. Have a great rest of your day. Thank you Andre. Enjoy the rest of your day and please give hugs to all your girls for us.

Andre:  I will. Thank you so much.

Yvette:  All right. Thank you.






Photo by Tom Grimbert (@tomgrimbert) on Unsplash

Photo by Nikolay Vorobyev on Unsplash

Overcoming Feelings of Inadequacy in your Homeschool – Yvette Hampton on the Joy in the Journey Podcast

Schoolhouse Rocked producer, Yvette Hampton, recently appeared on the Joy in the Journey Podcast to talk with host, Misty Bailey about overcoming the feelings of inadequacy that so many homeschool moms face.

Click here to listen to this encouraging episode of the Joy in the Journey Podcast.

Married for twenty-three years, and a homeschool mom for seven, Yvette has a heart for building up other homeschool moms. She has heard the stories of how unprepared many moms feel to handle the education of their children, in fact, she has shared (and shares) many of those same insecurities. Now, she has embraced the idea of slowing down, focusing on what is truly important, and enjoying the privilege of investing in her children every day.

I am sure you will be encouraged in your own homeschooling journey when you listen.

 “Salt and Light” in the Public Schools? 

Yvette and Misty also talked recently, about another important issue. In a recent episode of the Schoolhouse Rocked Podcast they talked about whether our kids have the responsibility of being “salt and light” in public schools. Are we missing an opportunity to evangelize when we remove our kids from public schools, and if they do not have the responsibility of being “salt and light” there, who does? Finally, they discussed how, when, and where our kids should be “salt and light”, and how we can prepare them.

You can find Misty at

For more on this subject, pic up a copy of the excellent book, Already Gone by Ken Ham, Britt Beamer, and Todd Hillard.

Wallbuilders Live!

Eight years ago, Yvette and I were at our first homeschool convention trying to make heads or tails of this whole homeschooling thing. We had said for years that we would never homeschool, yet here we were considering it. The keynote speaker at that homeschool convention was Rick Green, a former homeschooler and Texas state representative, and host of the Wallbuilders Live! radio show. He made a huge impact on us that day, and we left that convention convinced that homeschooling was for our family.

Today, we were blessed to appear on Wallbuilders Live! We were privileged to be able to discuss what God is doing with Schoolhouse Rocked and through homeschooling.

“This is not an exaggeration to say, this is the movement that is needed to save this country. These kids in public schools are not getting the civics, they’re not getting the things they need to be patriots, to be good citizens, to keep our nation from going down the road to socialism, and all the things that we know are bad. The homeschool community is a critical part of this movement in raising up this remnant of young leaders.” – Rick Green

“And there was a time even I remember very clearly when homeschooling was a fringe movement, literally. They were arresting parents who were daring to homeschool their children. I remember the big standoff at a church in Nebraska where that a bunch of homeschool parents took refuge inside a church and the officials coming to arrest all the homeschool parents.

So, there was a time even 25 years ago when this was not tolerated in America. This was fringe. But today is a whole different thing. It is now part of mainstream. Nearly two million children are being homeschooled at this point, six million in private schools. There is a huge philosophical rift occurring on what students should know and they’re not getting it right now public education. Informed citizenry is coming out.” – David Barton