Classical Conversations Partners with Southeastern University for Master’s Degree Program for Parents

“I would like to thank the Schoolhouse Rocked for hosting this important announcement from Classical Conversations to classical homeschoolers around the world. Schoolhouse Rocked and CC have been great partners for many years, and we are so excited for the documentary they are putting together and the journey that have been traveling.”

– Robert Bortins,

Many people who homeschool give up income and careers for their children. Some manage to work full- or part-time, but the vast majority exchange income and validation by society for their children. These moms (and some dads) are focused on their kids and often don’t think about what they will do after they launch their last child.

Although most of these moms are experts at planning, time management, scheduling, delegation, and communication, many employers will only see their gap in employment. Many homeschool moms must settle for minimum wage jobs or entry level positions if they choose to go back to work. 

Private schools could benefit greatly from hiring veteran homeschool parents to teach. They know how to help students truly learn, not just how to lecture and give tests. They understand child development first-hand, have a well-rounded knowledge, have studied logic and know how to think. However, most of these positions require college degrees, even master’s degrees. 

If you are a first-year homeschooler or a veteran Classical Conversations Director, it is my belief that God has ordained you with love for your children, that you are their first and best teacher. My wife was a public-school teacher for eight years before we were married, so I hear daily from her how different it is to homeschool than it was to teach in a brick-and-mortar school. At her first Parent Practicum she asked, “why weren’t we taught this?” 

The U.S. has a growing need for classically trained teachers. Homeschool parents need more options upon graduating their last student. CC needs more qualified CC+ assessors. Three problems, one solution— a master’s degree in teaching aligned with the Classical Conversations program for CC parents! In order to offer this absolutely unique graduate program1 this fall, Classical Conversations is partnering with Southeastern University (SEU) in Lakeland, Florida.

Imagine graduating with your master’s degree, being hired at your child’s college and teaching him as a freshman. Just kidding, you probably shouldn’t do that, but with a Master of Arts degree from SEU and CC, you could. You are already doing a great job as homeschool moms and dads; you don’t need me to tell you that. But to have a university confirm it with a diploma and tell me that they want to hire people just like you to teach college courses, well, that’s special. 

So check out http://www.ccdegrees.com for more information about the program. You must have a child enrolled in Classical Conversations to qualify for this unique opportunity, and other requirements apply2. Don’t miss out on this opportunity starting August 2020.

Pending approval by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools

2 See website for additional details

Photo by MD Duran on Unsplash

Photo by Chichi Onyekanne on Unsplash

Classical Education and Homeschooling Through High School

“I just don’t want any barriers of entry to any parent who wants to home school. They don’t have to join Classical Conversations. I just firmly believe in homeschooling.”

In teaching study skills for over 30 years to children and adults, Leigh Bortins has written several books including The Core,The Questionand The Conversation, a series which explores the classical trivium from a parent’s perspective. She has also authored complete K-12 curriculum guides for parents and homeschool tutors all across the country.

Yvette Hampton:           I am super excited about our guest today, and I know you’re going to be too, because many, many, many of you have asked us to have her on the podcast. Her name is Leigh. I know that that name to many of you is a very familiar one. She is the founder and chief visionary officer of Classical Conversations, and she has had a great impact in our lives and in the lives of hundreds of thousands of families around the world. So Leigh, welcome to the podcast.

Listen to Leigh Bortins, of Classical Conversations, on the Schoolhouse Rocked Podcast. (7/2/2019 epidode)

Leigh Bortins:                Thanks for having me, Yvette. I’m so glad to be here.

Yvette:                         Yeah. We’re just absolutely thrilled to have you on. Before we even started the podcast, we sent out … I think it was to our mailing list, maybe on Facebook … just a “Hey, who do you guys want to have on the podcast and what questions do you have?” And so, hands down, yours was one of the names that was repeated over and over and over again. People said, “We want Leigh Bortins.” You have been just an inspiration and blessing to me and my family. We did Classical Conversations for three years when we were back in California, and it was the greatest blessing of my homeschool life at that point.

Leigh:                           Well, thank you.

Yvette:                         The only reason that we’re actually not in a community now is because we travel of course, because we’re making this documentary, Schoolhouse Rocked, so we’re not settled in a place to be able to do so. But, I’ve actually shared this-

Leigh:                           Well, I appreciate that sacrifice that you’re making to get this movie out there.

Yvette:                         Thank you. Thank you. It’s been so great. And, Classical Conversations, you guys have been … I can’t even put into words what an encouragement and blessing you’ve been to us. You have supported us financially, you’ve supported us with prayer. We’ve been really in close contact with Robert and your marketing team, and it’s so great. You know, we’ll talk to them, and they’ll say, “How can we pray for you?” That has just been over the top an encouragement to us, and it’s what’s kept us going. So thank you for how you have come alongside of us and supported us in this endeavor to film this documentary on homeschooling.

But I don’t want to talk about us. I want to talk about you and Classical Conversations and the great things that you guys are doing there. For those who have heard of Classical Conversations, or CC as most people will call it, I would love for you to just give kind of an overview of what Classical Conversations is for those who are maybe just coming into homeschooling, and they’ve maybe heard of it and they’re not exactly sure what this Classical Conversations thing is.

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Leigh:                           So, we’re a kindergarten through 12th grade educational support organization for homeschooling parents. The parents are our clients, they’re our customers, they’re our community. The children are not our emphasis, though our programs include the children. What’s really important to me is that we work hard as adults to sharpen one another, and our Christian worldview, and in our classical training. We’re trying to recover skills that we’ve never seen before. So, I wanted to put together a business where adults met once a week to try to work on a rigorous classical education together, and of course it’s much more effective if you practice on your children and they’re with you. Then, students and the family go home, and they have assignments for the week, and then they come back the next week and work together again. A lot of parents think that we’re some sort of a school, and we are in the sense of we’re a school for the family.

We’d like to say that we helped but there we’re tutors. And that we would like to help the parents in the room just continue to improve at this mission. The other thing I think about Classical Conversations is, our tagline is Classical Christian Community. That really is what we’re about. But, sometimes I think it should have been Homeschool with a Friend. So many of the moms and dads that are a part of the programs say, “You keep us going because I’m meeting each week with my friends and it’s a little PTA meeting.” So it’s not just about how do you do better at Latin, but also, my child has learning issues or my in-laws are coming and I don’t know what to make for dinner because I’ve never cooked a turkey before. It’s all the things that go along with families that are like-minded, trying to raise children for Christ, because the world is not going to offer us a model to do that well.

And so, we need to meet regularly with each other. And the body of Christ is just an amazing thing to be part of. And you go to church on Sunday to get that really depth in the word of God. And that’s exactly what our pastors are supposed to be doing. And yet still we need to also know how does the world work, and how does math work, and how does language work? All those things that are academic skills that help us to know God’s world better. And so Classical Conversations offers that in the middle of the week for the families that are interested. So we help folks who need help. And we also encourage people who are really competent in homeschooling to come in as directors, and leaders, and trainers and a to avail their services to the folks that maybe feel less confident teaching Latin, and physics and things like that. So that’s a … I would say, about three minute elevator pitch.

Backstage Pass Members can watch the video of this full interview with Leigh Bortins.

Yvette:                         That was a great elevator pitch. I love this system that you have set up. It has been so effective for my family. When I started homeschooling I, like many moms had no clue what I was doing. I just knew that the Lord was calling us to do this. My husband knew it, and we just dove in and the first two years I really … it was okay because we started in kindergarten and so kindergarten and first grade were, they were just challenging in the sense that I felt like I was trying to figure it out. But you know, my oldest was, she was so little at the time and I didn’t feel like I was really messing anything up too terribly bad.

But then we were going into second grade and I was like, “Okay, I know I need more, but I don’t know what to do.” I wasn’t trained as a teacher and I just didn’t know what direction to go. And so I heard somebody actually who, ended up being my director, my sweet friend Annette, she came in and she spoke at a meeting that I had gone to, a local homeschool meeting. And she started, she just presented Classical Conversations in a few minutes and I was like, “This is it.” And I was so excited and I went home and I told my husband, I said, “We have to go to this information meeting.” That, “I really think this is the thing that we need.”

So of course, we signed on and the funny thing was, that first year I signed, she was in need of a tutor. I signed on to be a tutor and I had never been in a Classical Conversations classroom before. So I started tutoring that year without having seen it, and I was terrified, actually. I will tell you that the tin whistle was the most terrifying thing to me ever. It was the crack. I could do all of the other stuff, and then I had to stand in front of about seven or eight seven-year-olds and teach them the tin whistle and my palms were sweating and I was shaking. I was so nervous and I was like, I don’t know what I’m doing.

But we got through it and I had a very gracious mom who, couple of moms who were with me, who helped me out.

Leigh:                           Yeah. And see you learn something new.

Yvette:                         Yeah.

Leigh:                           Do all things through Christ. And he pushes us right off the comfort couch every time that you will let them.

Yvette:                         He absolutely does. But it was fantastic from the academic standpoint, but like you said, the community of coming together with the other moms and the other families was just something that there was no comparison to that. I didn’t even know how much I needed it until I got into it and I realized that they became my family. As a matter of fact, when we left California to travel and start filming for Schoolhouse Rocked, leaving our CC community was by far one of the hardest things that we had to do because they were our family. We did life together always every week. And, so it was such a blessing and I love that it has spread so far and deep throughout the world. I mean, because you guys are all over the world now. It’s not just …

Leigh:                           We are.

Yvette:                         In America, right?

Leigh:                           Yeah, they were … we have a hundred communities in Russia.

Yvette:                         Wow.

Leigh:                           We are opening up with … I don’t have the final number. They just had been in February in Brazil. And I think that we have a couple of dozen programs there for the first time. They’re working in English in Brazil with the expats while we get it translated into Portuguese.

Yvette:                         Wow.

Leigh:                           And then in Russia, we’ve already been working on the translations for a while. So it’s in … it is translated. So they’ve got foundations and essentials in A, I think is what they’re offering.

Yvette:                         Okay.

Leigh:                           In Russia. And then we’re also … we’ve begun translating Mandarin.

Yvette:                         Wow.

Leigh:                           Because have a Far East market that’s using the curriculum and more and more programs at our first practicum in actually mainland China this year.

Yvette:                         Okay.

Leigh:                           It was in the kind of a clandestine situation. Very, very fun to hear.

Yvette:                         Yeah. Okay, so you just mentioned practicum and I would love for you to talk about that because when I first started with Classical Conversations, I heard this word practicum being thrown around and I was like, “I do not even know that word and I don’t know what it means.” So explain what a practicum is because those are going to start coming up, and this is something that for people who are not familiar with CC, would be fantastic for them to attend. And of course those who are familiar with it usually love going anyway. So explain what a practicum is.

Leigh:                           So, I just don’t want any barriers of entry to any parent who wants to home school. They don’t have to join Classical Conversations. I just firmly believe in homeschooling. And so one of our hallmark events throughout the summer is to offer three day parent practicums where, we basically get together three days in a row and you bring your family and there’s camps and care for the littlest ones. And the teenagers go to camp, but they’re academic camps. And the reason we’re having the academic camps for the kids is because mommy and or dad are sitting in a room also practicing teaching classically. And so every year has a theme. It might be a math topic one year, or it might be Latin. It might be history, it might be English, but you can only do one thing well and you only get the three days.

So, we try to do, in the morning really emphasize just a big overview conversation on what is the Classical Model. And then the afternoon is more training on a specific subject. And that’s where that practice part of the word practicum comes in. And so we encourage not just home schoolers. If you’re thinking of homeschooling, if you’re headmaster of a Classical school, if you’re on a school board trying to figure out what are some better resources for your school, anybody can come to them, they’re absolutely free. And we do charge though for the kids’ camps. It’s pretty cheap. It’s like $40 for three days.

Yvette:                         It’s well worth it, yeah.

Leigh:                           Yeah. Well thanks for saying that because we do have to pay that staff and they got the background checks, supplies, cookies, all that. There’s a cost to that part, but it’s … we’re happy to donate our own time for the adults that are there. And so, you know, everyone’s welcome.

Yvette:                         Yeah. So practicum is just kind of this three day intense, almost like a homeschool conference. Kind of a local with your own people kind of thing.

Leigh:                           Yeah. We try to keep it between 20 and a hundred people depending on the facilities with the children. Think of if you have 60 adults and they took two or three kids, that’s a big event. Yes. And so it’s just, it’s more focused than a conference where you pick and choose things. Yeah, real particular. And in some ways, it’s both the best and the worst of Classical Conversations. People have to make some real effort to spend three days learning something, so sometimes you just don’t want to do it. But mostly when people get there, they’re so glad that they did it.

And the folks who stay with us the longest of course end up going year after year, and even many times in the summer because they just want to learn how to teach classically. Yeah, it’s, I mean, you can go online. There’s so many ways to learn how to do all kinds of things now, but we just feel really convicted that the best learning is in community. That you have someone to touch your back, and answer your questions, and have a glass of water with. And then the kids running around the playground together and you feel like, “Okay, this Christian Classical Community’s going to really work.”

Yvette:                         Yes. One of the things I love is, we would go to practicum each summer and you always see those moms who, it’s their first time and they kind of have that deer in the headlights look. And you can point them out every time. And it’s so neat to be able to just connect with those moms and just go up to them and just say, “Hey, are you new to homeschooling? Are you need to see CC? Are you new to classical education?” And it’s a great way to build relationships with these moms, especially with those who are just getting into homeschooling and trying to figure it out. It’s fantastic.

Yvette:                         I want to back up just a little bit because you explained what Classical Conversations is, but I want to very shortly if you can just kind of give a picture of what a typical day at a Classical Conversations Community looks like for those who have never attended before and they’re like, “Okay, what in the world is she talking about?” Just give a glimpse into, into a day.

Leigh:                           Sure. So let’s say your community meets on Tuesday at a local church. Your Challenge students, which is the middle and high school program, they may have to be in their classrooms, say eight o’clock. And while you’ve dropped them off, you’re gathering your little guys and getting them to their classrooms, and you’re making sure they have their supplies and the lunches are out of the car and that kind of thing. So your older students are in a cooperative with up to 12 other students. That’s their cohort. That’s who they hopefully will travel through from Challenge A onwards and you know people move. So you don’t have to stay with …

Yvette:                         And Challenge A begins in seventh grade, correct?

Leigh:                           Right. That’s our middle and high school program. And so that very much is more peer based with one of the parents that’s already at the facility tutoring. Usually doesn’t have to be this case, but usually the tutor would have their own children in the program. So, me and mom, a mom and dad, if both come are also on the same church campus with their little guys. And we encourage the parents to stay with the children that are four to 12 years old in the Foundations and Essentials program because there’s two things. Those children need the most help. And that’s generally the age group that the parents most involved with and wants the most help with, right? Once you’ve been homeschooling for six, seven years, those older kids know how to do quite a lot on their own.

And so, but we still encourage you not to treat the Challenge program like a drop-off program. Let the tutor know of your older child, how old or what’s going on with your younger ones and say, “Hey, let me know. But, if my kid’s struggling in a course, tell me what time you’re going to be talking about that and then I’ll be there in the room with them.” I’ve also had parents in there, so welcome to stay the entire time with the Challenge program. And they just sit in the back, and they’re quiet, and they do the work and they figure out what’s going on with Latin, and history and, and chemistry and all those things we’re doing, and can go home and help their older child. So at lunch time, the little guys, they’re pretty much finished for the day and sometimes there’s an afternoon nursery kind of opportunity. It’s not really a nursery like you think, it’s more like playground time.

Yvette:                         Yeah.

Leigh:                           And then the fourth, fifth and sixth graders have an additional two hours of the Essentials program where it’s just too hard for the little guys and they’ve been sitting for a long time. They need to get out of there. I mean, while the Challenge students continue. So they, the Challenge students have a six hour day and then everyone goes home around three o’clock and it’s one day a week. And so it’s a big commitment, especially to we homeschool moms. We don’t like anybody tell us one when to be where. So we have to … you got to have lunch, you got to have their shoes on. You got to have the pencils in the case.

And so, it’s this one day of work and hard to work, not just for your own benefit and learning more, but compromising, being part of a community and saying, “You’re good. Yeah. You didn’t get to do your speech today. Did you listen to three other kids?” Right? It’s not all about you. We need a bit of give and take in our school situation and with education. So there’s just a lot that goes on and the older kids are working on six different subjects over six hours, versus the littlest ones through third grade are really, it’s the parents that are doing the work, right? They’re the ones that are trying to understand the Classical Model.

The younger kids are there playing games and singing songs, just doing various activities. And so everything’s kind of designed for the age of that student. And the fact that no matter who you are as a parent, you’re going to juggle between kids and there’s no way to make it perfect for everybody. And so we all come together and work on, just as a community, how do we get better at Christian classical education?

Yvette:                         Yeah. One of the things I love about the Foundations program, which is kindergarten, so it starts at four years old and goes through eight … yeah. Eighth grade. No, no, no.

Leigh:                           Well through about 12 years old.

Yvette:                         Right. Sixth grade.

Leigh:                           Sixth grade, yes.

Yvette:                         And, it’s so much fun because these kids get to come together, and they get to learn what Classical Conversations calls memory work. And they just, they memorize different things about all different subjects, science, history, Latin, English. But it’s really fun and so they get to do it, with jump roping and I should say jumping rope. And games and all kinds of fun activities and stuff. And so it really makes school fun. But they also get to do it with their friends and they get to build those relationships as well, which is really, really exciting for them. And so my girls always loved it. We couldn’t wait until CC day, except for the packing of the lunches. That was always the dread of my weekend. My favorite week was always when we had potluck, and I only had to think about bringing one thing and we always had a wonderful feast. It was lots of fun. Or pizza day, so that was fun.

Leigh:                           Yeah. And also, the only thing is it’s one day a week you have to not wear your pajamas all day.

Yvette:                         That’s exactly right.

Leigh:                           You have to get dressed.

Yvette:                         I always would think, “I cannot believe people actually do this five days a week.”

Leigh:                           I know. It was exhausting.

Yvette:                         I could never do it. I can barely do it one day. I want to talk about the high school years. I know that this is even for myself, my oldest is 13 so she’s in seventh grade respectively, and as we’re getting into those high school years, it’s starting to become a little bit terrifying for me. I did not like school as a child and so those years kind of scare me, but I know enough about homeschooling now to know that God has gotten us this far. He’s going to take us all the way through. How can you encourage the mom who is going into the high school years and give her some support?

Leigh:                           Yeah. Well, I’d love to say, think back to your own high school years. I know that my mother and father were involved in my academic work at that point. They were around for resources. They were around to ask questions. Around to say, “Well, did you talk to the teacher?” That tends to be what happens with homeschool older students, too. They do a lot of the work on their own and they really use their parents as a resource.

One of the things I found very helpful because I had split, right? I had two in the Foundations program and I had two in the Challenge program. Those little guys can take up a lot of your time and home schooling stops being home schooling for the older ones, and can become what some people call loans school and you don’t want that to happen. So one of the things that I would do was schedule specific tutoring appointments with my older two twice a week for two hours each, and we could get so much accomplished in that one. The one time that they were able to do everything else thoroughly the rest of the week.

So academically I wasn’t doing all that much with them, once they got to about ninth grade. And then with Classical Conversations you’re there once a week and their classmates are using the same materials. Their tutor’s trying to help them with the assignments so we would make a list of questions to ask when they got into 6th. And so besides our encouragement and then … it’s your mom and dad are going to be good at some of the subjects that they’re studying. And then of course the program itself, that was adequate. But one of the things that I think that parents forget about, or actually you don’t forget about it, you don’t really even know about it since this is your first time through with having older children. You don’t know what it’s going to be like having them.

And so, you had this in your mind, this kind of imaginary world that they’re about to enter. And a lot of it’s skewed by your own schooling experience. And that’s not what you’re doing. Your life is very different. They’ve been at home, they know the ropes, the part of the team, they enjoy their family. You figured out what their activities are that they’re going to focus on. And what’s really interesting is they’re finally old enough to be responsible and we send them to a room and stick them there and tell them to do it. Some stranger that doesn’t have our worldview wants them to study and to do. So, don’t do that. The high school years is when it’s finally fun to homeschool. They’re finally beginning to think like adults. They’re able to engage in these conversations we’re preparing them for, and they’re able to be trustworthy.

That’s one thing that I just really focused on a lot, especially being the mom of four boys. They have a great dad. He was around a whole lot, but we began looking for mentors that were males and other adults for them to hang out with, and because they were homeschooled, they had the time for it. And so it wasn’t just mom and dad, their CC tutor and their books. They had each other and they took other courses. They all had different interests, whether it was sports or art, or we found other folks and engaged with them. All my boys were very interested in Bible studies and they, every single one of them had jobs and their employer oftentimes became their best friend through high school. Provide a lot of opportunities for them. Sometimes when people tell me their high schooler’s not happy in homeschool, I’ll ask them, “What are you doing?”

And all they did was brought school home. And I would be unhappy, too if I was in high school and that’s what happened. The world really is our classroom. And then if you mean that, raise children who you trust and then stick them on a bus and say, “Go to New York City. I want you to study what it’s like at the art museum there. I’ll see you in three days.” See, people won’t do that with their high school students anymore. They’re frightened by what the world has opted, and we didn’t have that attitude with our boys. They were all over the East Coast when they were in high school. And our one rule was, “You have to tell me what state you’re in.” Just in case they get lost.

Right? We meant what we said. And I think how fortunate people are who live at where there’s like a bus system or like in Europe, I mean goodness, I would never be home, homeschooling. I would be, have a backpack on my back and get on the bus or train and be somewhere different every day if I was in high school. So really mean it that this is the … We’re missionaries to the world and then the opportunity to learn how the world works, get them on planes, trains, buses, and boats.

Yvette:                         Yeah. Oh. So funny.

Leigh:                           Yeah.

Yvette:                         I love that. You mentioned a few minutes ago, worldview, and it’s one of the things I love about CC is that you teach everything from a biblical worldview. Why is that important, to teach from a biblical worldview?

Leigh:                           Well, if for me, the point of education is to learn how to pursue truth, and to me, truth is a person whose name is Jesus Christ. So if you’re not pursuing truth, why are you even engaged in that activity? Right? You say what it is, it’s entertainment. So to me, the difference between them and so recognize when you’re being entertained and recognize when you’re actually are trying to understand how the world works. And so the world’s kind of confused in that. So maybe that’s why it’s important because we’re, … I got up every day when the boys were at home and for people who don’t know all four of them, now they’re all grown men. But I literally would when my feet would touch the floor, I would say, “Okay, I’m the Queen Mum. I’ve got these four kings to raise. What am I going to do today with them, Lord?” Because his mercies are new every morning and we will fail throughout the day.

But just thank God that we can go to bed at night and die, and be resurrected again in the morning with this mercy being new. And so if you have that as your worldview, fear just escapes and it just goes away. There’s no place where it’s reside because you know who you’re serving each day. And people, a lot of times they’ll say, “My kids have to be prepared for the real world.” And I’ll say to them, “Do you mean the one where every knee will bow and every tongue confess?”

Yvette:                         Oh yeah.

Leigh:                           Is that your real world? We’re confused by what in the world is going on, even when we claim to be Christians. And so this whole trying to recapture worldview and knowing, whose we are and remembering it. It really difficult and no one is going to try to help you in that endeavor except, I would say, your Christian friends.

Yvette:                         Yeah, and homeschooling gives us the opportunity to continuously train our kids in that. Constantly reminding them you are here for a purpose and, God is so good and he’s so big and being able to teach them all of those things through the things that we teach them, is so powerful. And, I think that moms, I love that you talk about his mercies are new every morning, because I think so often moms just get into the drudge of that everyday homeschooling and just dealing with the responsibilities and pressures of life. And we forget. We forget the importance of what we’re actually doing and what’s in front of us. You said you’re raising four kings and that’s right. We’re raising queens and kings and we’re raising the future generation who is going to … they are the church, they are the future leaders of this world.

And so, it’s so important to keep that focus and be reminded that God has a big job for us as moms and dads, and he will continue to use us as long as we continue to be used by him, and allow him to use us to do these great things. I want to talk really quickly, we’re almost out of time but, about two more things. So …

Leigh:                           I’ll make it shorter.

Yvette:                         Okay. Oh no, no. I’m loving your talking. So in Challenge Two, Classical Conversations offers what’s called concurrent enrollment, which is different than dual enrollment. Can you explain that a little bit?

Leigh:                           Yes. So what we’re doing is we’re working with a variety of universities. One or two in particular who have just looked at us and said, “Wow, your high school students are doing what our college students should be doing. Is there some way we can partner with you?” And we were actually on the lookout for folks that would do this with us. I mean we initiated this and we knew what we were offering. And so concurrent enrollment means that somebody else has looked at our materials and said, “We will credit that. Accredidate that for you.”

So, you don’t go somewhere else or do something else. It’s all CC. It’s all about CC. But a accrediting body has said, “Concurrently, we will call that college credit.” So we don’t have it for every subject, every year. We have it for about two for Challenge Two, Three and Four. And you can pick and choose, you can do them all or you can just do one of them. Because there’s a little bit of extra work you have to do. You got to get the assignments to the person who’s grading them for you. So you just have to be willing to be organized in order to get those credits. And it does cost a little bit more each year for those. And so I’m not going to say what the price is, because I don’t know what it is. It’s not particularly expensive.

Yvette:                         Yeah. That’s awesome though. Because that gives them the opportunity to go into college already with some credits, that they would otherwise have to do once they get there.

Leigh:                           And a lot of parents don’t know this, but that looks good on your resume and it’s a good thing to do. But it’s not an important thing to do because think about it, wherever your child goes to school, they’re going to have their own standards. And so the credits may not transfer. And a lot of schools have stopped taking credits from other people because they want your money, and they want you to pay for their credits. So don’t think it’s this great big amazing thing that’s going to solve lots of problems and save money for you. You’re doing it more as a resume builder and it’s something to help your students know, kind of, “Yes, this is college level material. You’re doing a really good job, someone else has approved it.” Then you may save some money by doing this.

Yvette:                         Yeah. Well we have, in filming for the movie, we’ve actually talked to several college professors and hands down, every one of them have said that they can almost always spot the homeschool students because they typically are our better students in college. Not always, but oftentimes they are, and there’s just something different about the way that they learn, the initiative that they’re able to take. They’re not always surprised by being handed this whole syllabus of something and saying, “Hey, go do this,” and waiting until the last minute.

Leigh:                           Because you’re self-directed by then.

Yvette:                         Exactly. Exactly. They’ve learned to be self-directed and so that really will benefit them, not just in college if they choose to go to college, but in life because that’s important in life. I want to ask you about one last thing. So you’re working on a math curriculum. You’re developing a math curriculum right now that maps the structure and learning, K-four through 12 math, from a Classical Christian perspective. I know that’s in the process right now. Can you talk just a little bit about that?

Leigh:                           So, basically, I feel like, and I know I’m short in time. That may put pressure on me now.

Yvette:                         That’s okay. Go ahead. It’s okay if we go over for a couple minutes.

Leigh:                           I have to gather my thoughts and make it quick. So basically one of the confusions about math, why people don’t like math, is they don’t know where they’re going or where they’ve been or why they’re doing it, right? That’s number one question, “But why do I have to do this?” Right? “And I’m never going to use this.” And so most adults don’t know why either. And so we raised kind of kids that are cynics. We make them do something that then they go and they never do anything with it anyway. And so it is, it’s an odd situation. Especially all of us went through K to 12 math. So I feel like one of the reasons we don’t know what’s fun is curriculum is not really well designed. It doesn’t lead you through a specific map, year after year that you recognize. A mathematician will recognize it.

It’s not set up to train the student or the teacher, even if it’s a school situation, to understand why you just did and how it’s going to apply next year. And there’s also, if you have an age range of children, they’re going to be in different books at different levels. And you can’t turn to page 78 in all and say … if you got three kids. In my curriculum, if you turn to page 78 in all three years, the kids are going to be doing the same activity. At a different level. So I as a parent, well no, I have one thing to work on with all of them, whether it’s in calculus or whether it’s in digits. Right? And so that’s what’s unusual about the curriculum we’re developing, and it’s going to be really hard for people to wrap their brains around that. But so far so good. It’s coming along.

Yvette:                         Yeah. Very cool. Well that’s exciting. We will definitely keep an eye out for that as it is going through development and, I’m excited to see it when it’s done. So Leigh, thank you so much for your time. You are an absolute blessing to us and to many, many others and we appreciate all that you guys are doing and all that you continue to do. I know you’re not stopping anytime soon. You guys, every time we talk to you, there’s something new and exciting and so it’s really neat that God is continuing to use what you’re doing there.

Leigh:                           And we can’t wait for Schoolhouse Rocked to make it into the screen. It’s not just because my Robert’s in there and I know half of your cast, but it’s really important what you’re trying to say. So thank you very much.

Yvette:                         Yes. Well we appreciate the encouragement and the prayers very much. God is, he is such a big God and I can honestly say that all the glory goes to him. Because the things that have been accomplished over the last two and a half years make no sense, except that we can just point to God and say, “Only you, God. Only you could have done what you’ve done. So thank you.”

For those of you who, maybe you’re listening to this for the first time and you’re not sure what we’re talking about, go to schoolhouserocked.com and you can see a couple of our movie trailers there. Learn more about the documentary that we are in production on. Many people know this, but many don’t. We are supported completely by donations at this point. So if anybody feels led to support us, what we are kind of like missionaries right now and God has been so faithful to provide.

But if the Lord prompts you to do that, you can actually go on schoolhouserocked.com, under support and can make a tax-deductible donation to help us as we are working on this. A much needed documentary that’s all about homeschooling and debunking the myths and misconceptions of homeschooling and encouraging people to do it. Because it’s a fantastic opportunity that we have and a fantastic freedom that we have in our country to be able to homeschool

 

Books Written by Leigh Bortins

The Core

The Question

The Conversation

Echo in Celebration: A Call to Home-Centered Education

 

Helpful links

https://www.classicalconversations.com

https://www.parentpracticum.com

https://leighbortins.com

 

Photo by Jasmine Coro on Unsplash

A Public School Teacher’s Perspective of Homeschooling

Caleb Schroeder is a public school teacher and adjunct college professor, and brings his wisdom and insight from his experiences in the public school system to this important interview for the Schoolhouse Rocked Podcast.

Yvette Hampton:               Hey everyone. This is Yvette Hampton. Welcome back to the Schoolhouse RockedPodcast. I am really glad you’ve joined us today. I have a really exciting guest on today, and you are going to be so encouraged by him. He is actually … Well, he and his whole family are good friends of ours. We’ve known them for well over 20 years, and I think you’re going to enjoy what he’s going to talk about. He’s going to talk about being a teacher in the public school system in California, and whey he homeschools his kids. So his name is Caleb Schroeder, and I’m excited for you to get to know him. So hi, Caleb!

Listen to Caleb on the Schoolhouse Rocked Podcast. (Airing April 15, 2019)

Caleb:                                       Hey. How are you doing?

Yvette:                                      I’m good. I’m so glad to have you on the podcast today. We actually interviewed you for Schoolhouse Rocked, the movie a little over two years ago, right?

Caleb:                                       Yeah.

Yvette:                                      Yeah. And so for those of you who are on … Actually, I want to say who are on the Backstage Pass membership site, but I actually think that your video has been seen by people who are not Backstage Pass members. I think we made that available to people for free. And we will actually do that again. We can talk about that at the end of the show, but people can go to the show notes for this podcast and see your video. But you had a great interview, talked about spiritual leadership in your home, and just about how you come alongside of your wife and encourage her. And so that’s a great video that you guys definitely are going to want to see.

But today we’re going to talk about something a little bit different with you, on kind of the other side of homeschooling, and that is public schools. So before we get rolling on that topic, tell us about you and your family a little bit.

Backstage Pass Members can watch the bonus video from this episode, which includes an additional 30 minutes of content! Not a member, keep reading to find out how you can get a free 3-month Backstage Pass Membership!

Caleb:                                       So I’m the father of six kids, and all six of my kids are homeschooled. My oldest is 14. She just started high school, just finished up first semester of her freshman year. And then I have a 12-year-old daughter who is in 7th grade. I have twin boys who are nine years old. I have a daughter who’s seven, and then the youngest is four and a half. We use a classical model for education. We love Classical Conversations, and we’ve been doing that for, I think, four years, now.

I’m a practicum speaker. I usually speak at different practicums over the summer. I love encouraging homeschool parents. My wife and I are actually both homeschool graduates. We were homeschooled K through 12, in the ’80s and ’90s, when you had to do that with your curtains closed and the phones turned off.

Yvette:                                      Yep.

Caleb:                                       … in California. And we love what we’re able to do with our kids with homeschooling. I’m a public school teacher. I’m really involved in ministry at my church, both in my kids’ ministries, and then I direct the college ministry in my church.

Yvette:                                      Yeah, well you guys are busy. You’re a busy, busy bunch. We love your family dearly. We are good friends with you guys, and as a matter of fact, your wife Leah and I are really good friends. And her parents, the first time we met, I think Leah was 12, and her parents were my and Garritt’s pre-marriage counselors.

Caleb:                                       Yeah.

Yvette:                                      And that was 24 years ago. That was actually a little over 24 years ago, because we are just celebrating our 24th anniversary so we’ve-

Caleb:                                       Oh, congratulations.

Yvette:                                      Yeah, thank you. Only by the grace of God. So it’s been really neat to see your family grow. I know I got to be kind of a little part of helping with your wedding and so we’ve seen your family grow from the very beginning.

I love your story of having been homeschooled to where God has brought you today. And I was talking to somebody recently, and she said, “I don’t see that a lot of homeschool graduates are doing a lot of things and being really successful in life.” Now, this is someone who does not come from a background of homeschooling.

And I said, “Well, you know, the reason that you may not see that quite yet is because that whole first big generation of homeschool graduates are just now really into their adulthood. You know? They’re in their maybe late 20s to mid 30s, and really starting to shine as adults. And so you’re one of those, where God has done amazing things with you. Talk a little bit, first, about what your homeschool journey was like growing up, because I know you were … I don’t want to say … I mean you might say unschooled, but I won’t say that you were unschooled, but I know you had kind of a loose school structure growing up, and then to where you are today and what God has done with you.

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Caleb:                                       So I don’t know if I mentioned this, but my dad was a public school teacher for 37 years. He was teaching high school. And that’s what sort of motivated him to make the decision to homeschool. It wasn’t necessarily because he wanted to protect us from indoctrination, he just saw the system was broken. Educationally, students were not learning; they were not being taught. And so he realized, “I could do this better on my own,” and he did. I just finished my second Master’s degree. Most of my siblings have Master’s degrees. A lot of us are very successful working professionals. But because his response wasn’t to try to maybe pull us out and protect us from the system, it was very educationally focused, he had some radical ideas about how he was going to educate us. And some people might describe it as unschooling, but it wasn’t, because our mathematics was very structured. So mathematics was something that we did everyday. We had to put in time, we had to work systematically through … He wrote our curriculum for mathematics. For reading, that was very structured. Reading was very structured. And he sort of designed it like those are they keys. If you have your math, you have your reading, you can do anything.

And so outside of that, it was more whatever our passion was. So I remember one year when I was in high school, instead of doing US history, I just spent the entire year doing research on George Washington. He just fascinated me, and so I just did all this research on him, and I learned US history by studying the life of George Washington.

Yvette:                                      Right.

Caleb:                                       And so that was sort of the unschooling bit, is it was a little bit passion-driven. But the math and the English portion were very structured. My dad is a strict grammarian. Even in my Master’s graduate programs, I would send my research papers to him and say, “Hey, can you check my grammar?” And he would always, inevitably, find something. I was hoping after my second Master’s degree I’d finally arrive where he wouldn’t be able to find any errors, but he could always see them.

Want more from Caleb? Watch his interview for Schoolhouse Rocked on our Backstage Pass membership website. Visit this page for a FREE 3-Month membership!

Yvette:                                      Yeah.

Caleb:                                       So our experience … Because he really structured the math and the reading, we’re able to excel in anything we wanted to. And we’re also able to keep our passion. So I’m still somebody who’s extremely passionate about learning.

Yvette:                                      Yeah. You learned to love learning.

Caleb:                                       Yeah.

Yvette:                                      Which is really the purpose of education. It’s not just to put a bunch of facts into our kids’ heads so that they forget them after the test, and then move onto the next subject. It’s really to teach our kids how to love learning.

Caleb:                                       Exactly.

Yvette:                                      So how did he do that with you? What was the key that you found that caused you to love learning? And how are you doing that with your kids?

Caleb:                                       So I would say the key was having enough structure so that we could acquire the tools necessary to be successful. Let me illustrate it this way: When I was taking a … I was taking a PE class when I was in college, on teaching PE to students. My degree was in education. And our professor was explaining to us … She was like, “This is the most important class you’re going to take,” and a lot of people laughed that off, “Well, this is a PE class. This is not important.” And she explained that people’s quality of life is tied towards how active they are. And she said, “People aren’t active if they’re not skilled enough to enjoy activity.” And so when you teach a child how to throw a ball correctly, when you teach them how to jump correctly, when you teach them how to run correctly, they can then enjoy those activities.

In the same way, with education, is your mind is equipped where you understand the inner workings of mathematics, so you have … Your brain automatically sees the logic in systems, looks for the logics, understands how to put it together, and then you can read, you can do anything.

So the first key was having that structure in place, there. But the second key was my dad and my mom were passionate learners themselves. So their passion was caught by us. They were excited. My dad was a biologist. So everywhere we went, he was just pointing out the wonder of what he saw. And it wasn’t faked at all. It was just like he was in awe of God’s creation everywhere we’d go. We’d spend a lot of our summers up at Mount Whitney here in California, and we’d spend a lot of time on the trails and hiking around, and he’d just be showing us all these things as we’re hiking, and we’d be looking at the stars at night, and he’d be teaching us. So the world was our classroom.

And because of that, everywhere I go, I want to learn. I was going on a run this morning with this lady who was … There’s a local running store, and they do a run there every single Saturday morning. And I was running with this lady who is a … She has a PhD in nuclear fission, and I was like, “Wow. This is amazing. She can answer all these questions that I have.” And so I was just grilling her while I was running. And that’s not something that I’m researching, but it’s fascinating to me. I want to know about it.

So everywhere I go, I’m asking people questions, trying to learn about the world that’s around me. So I just have … We’re born with an innate curiosity, and the school system destroys that. And I’ve been able to preserve that. So I have the same curiosity I did as a five-year-old. I never lost it.

Yvette:                                      Yeah. Yeah, and you’re passing that along to your kids, now, just like your dad passed that onto you.

So Caleb, you are a public school teacher. You teach math. Do you only teach math, or do you teach other subjects, as well?

Caleb:                                       Yeah, primarily math. This year I’m doing a study hall. I teach a lot of dual-enrolled students, so I work for a local community college, and I work for the high school. And so I have a lot of students who are enrolled in the community college classes and the high school classes, so I run a study hall for them to come in and get help with their homework, and just sort of stay on top of them. I make sure they’re getting work done. So it’s not math, per se, but I end up helping them with a lot of mathematics.

Yvette:                                      Okay, so here’s the question: You are a public school teacher, and many would ask the question, then why would you not have your kids in public school? If you own a business, maybe creating … Who knows, I don’t know. T-shirts. You would obviously want your kids to wear that t-shirt that you create, because that’s your thing. That’s your family business. That’s what feeds your family. And so everyday, you go into the public school system, and you have decided that that’s not what right for your kids. Why is that?

Caleb:                                       You know, I guess it might seem strange from the outside, but because that’s how I was raised, that was sort of assumed. It wasn’t assumed that I would become a teacher, but it was assumed that I would homeschool my kids. The system’s broken, and it’s broken beyond repair. Education is a … There’s so much political activism in education now, that the working professionals who actually know what’s best for students and what’s going to help them cognitively, we can’t even do that. We can’t teach students where they’re at; because we’re working with 30 or more students at a time, we have to force everybody to fit into the same cookie cutter mold. And so it becomes indoctrination.

Public school flowed out of the industrial revolution. And in the industrial revolution, it actually made sense for what they were trying to do. In the industrial revolution, they needed a good factory worker. They needed somebody who would clock in, do the same mundane tasks without asking any questions, and then clock out. We don’t have those jobs anymore. We don’t have any careers … Yeah, there are some factory workers, but if you look at it, the majority of what factory workers are doing now, is they’re troubleshooting. They’re working on the equipment because the equipment does the work that a worker used to do.

Our education system is the same as it was 100 years ago. And because of that, we’re still preparing students to go into a job where they don’t think about what they’re doing, they don’t know how to troubleshoot, they’re just really good at, what I call, regurgitating on demand. So the teacher tells ’em, “Okay, here’s everything you need to know. Come back tomorrow and recite it to me.” That’s useless. There’s no value in that at all, in our culture anymore. So no matter what your religious background, but just cognitively, looking at what the brain needs to be effective, for a worker to be able to be successful, those skills aren’t given at all anymore.

And so I made the decisions to educate my kids primarily because I saw how broken the system was. Why I’m in the system, it’s not that I necessarily think that I can change it. I felt like I could. I’m teaching at a small, rural high school. And I have a principal who gave me a lot of freedom, and we were able, for about five years to be extremely innovative. Drastically change, within the confines of what California restricts us to, drastically change how we set up math instruction. And we were really, really successful. I have a student right now at Harvard Medical, who graduated from my program. He’s going to be a medical doctor. And I have students who are at UCLA. And so I was able to create an atmosphere where I was able to sort of salvage the students’ education in their last three years. The school is small enough that I had students for three years, and I could get them to that point where they became autonomous learners and I sort of shocked that curiosity back inside of them. But that’s an anomaly.

Usually, you don’t have a principal who will give you that freedom. And that whole system was dependent upon the administration I had, and that administration just shifted, and my new administration will not work with me at all. And so they’re coming in and they’re dictating, and they’re destroying everything I’ve built, which is sort of … That’s standard fare in California public schools. Education is determined by the politicians.

A big thing for mathematics, every single incoming freshman that I have, I’m required to put them in an algebra I class. I’ll give them an entrance test, and they can’t add a fraction, they can’t multiply single digits, they never got through … If you guys are familiar with the classical method, they never got through those grammar stages. They never mastered that grammar stage. They were never taught to mastery, and they need that. You can’t go on if you don’t understand how the brain works. You can’t go on to that dialectic or rhetoric stage until you have the grammar of a subject down, but I’m required to put them in an algebra class, which is-

Yvette:                                      Wow. It’s like building the roof first on a house before you’ve built a foundation.

Caleb:                                       Exactly. Yeah, it’d be like putting a student in their third year Spanish class when they haven’t had Spanish I or II.

Yvette:                                      Yeah.

Caleb:                                       And so that’s just because the government requires us to do that, and it’s because algebra is a social justice issue. Instead of being a math issue, it’s a social justice issue. And there are social justice components there, for sure. There’s pockets of racism, where people will put students in a class just to hold them down. But as a rule, that’s really not happening in California, and it really shouldn’t be how you determine what class students are put in.

So really, the reason that I’m there is I never felt called to be a school teacher. I felt called to be a missionary. And that’s how I see it. I think that the public schools are the front line of the culture war in our nation today. So if you want to be making a difference, the biggest difference that you can make is to be right there in the thick of it. So California public schools … I’m on the front line. And how I shine my light in that is not by going out and lecturing my students about their immoral lifestyles. I love kids. I love kids. And students are attracted to the love of Christ. And so what happens is, is I’m able to develop relationships with them. They know that my classroom is a safe space, and they come in there and they share their hearts with me. They share their struggles, and I’m able to share Jesus with them.

Caleb:                                       And you know, one of the young guys I got to share Jesus with. And now he’s a pastor at your home church.

Yvette:                                      Yeah.

Caleb:                                       So that’s why I’m there. I’m there because … I’ve described it this way: The public schools are the cesspool of our society. If you look around and you think, “Wow, the media’s bad and this is bad,” well imagine the next generation that’s raised by that generation with those lack of respect and any moral compass whatsoever. Those children, their lifestyles, their moral compass, it’s despicable. And to go into that, it’s almost my … I’m passionate about missions. I love to read missionary stories and that’s sort of how I’ve always envisioned it. I’m sort of an anthropologist. I’m studying how these students work, how their minds work. How do I communicate to them, how do I get through to them, so I can communication the gospel to them.

Yvette:                                      Yeah, well you do a good job of doing that. You know, you talk about being on the front lines, and I did a podcast a few weeks ago with a homeschool mom named Misty Bailey and we talked about being salt and light in the public schools, and how often times, that is the argument that Christian parents will say, “We want to put our kids in the public school system because God calls us to be salt and light.” But God does not call the student to be salt and light. He doesn’t call a student who’s not old enough to really understand what they believe yet. I mean, sure, they might believe in Jesus. Hopefully they do. But they’re not really quite solid enough in their foundation as a child to be able to go out and stand against the forces of evil that are taking place in the public school system.

Caleb:                                       Yeah.

Yvette:                                      And so how do you answer that? I mean, if a parent says to you, “Well, I don’t want to homeschool my kids because I think God has called us to be salt and light, and so I want to put my kid in the public school system so that they can be the salt and light.” What would you say to that parent?

Caleb:                                       I would ask them what they’re doing to have such amazing kids who can go out there and be doing what I’m doing that’s exhausting me, that’s really, really difficult. But at the same time, I do know Christian parents in my school who are very involved. You know, they’re on campus and that’s what I would say is, “Okay, I know that some parents can’t homeschool their kids.” Just, their life situation doesn’t allow them to do that for whatever reason. My wife and I, we just make it happen. California’s pretty expensive to live here, so living on low income, I’ve got to work a couple jobs. But God is good, he provides for us. And so I know … I’ve talked to people, sometimes, where they feel like that’s a necessity and I say, “Well, you need to understand with that, that the responsibility for discipleship still lands squarely on your shoulders.”

And one of the problems is when you start entrusting the education of your children to somebody else, you can begin to think, “Well, maybe because I’m not educating them, I don’t need to be as active in what’s happening in their mind. And part of discipleship, it’s for sure spiritual, but you’re also discipling your children’s minds. And you need to be learning how they’re thinking. And if you can do that as a non-homeschool parent, then more power to you. But for myself, I can’t. I need to be teaching my children at home.

But one of the things that I saw as a homeschool graduate, in the ’80s and ’90s, a lot of my contemporaries, a lot of my peers, their parents were making that decision because they feared the culture. And what happened is they completely removed their children from that culture, and then those children, once they graduated, they weren’t able to engage with that culture. And we have a mandate from our Lord to make disciples, which means we have to be interfacing with people who aren’t yet disciples. We need to be fishers of men, which means we need to have venues where we’re interacting with people who are in the world.

And so I actively pursue that for my children. That’s something my parents actively pursued for me. So my kids, they interact with people outside of just our home, and our homeschool community. My daughter was on my cross country team at my public high school this last year. I think within the first two weeks, she’d shared the gospel with all the other freshman girls on the team. You know?

Wow.

And I mean, that’s my heart. And she sort of knows, “Hey, that’s why I’m here.”

Yvette:                                      Yeah.

Caleb:                                       Another untapped venue that I think a lot of homeschool parents don’t recognize is youth groups in the church. Often times, in a youth group, you’re going to have unchurched kids coming in and visiting and homeschooled kids, that can be in a place that they learn to be salt and light.

And so I think that parents who make that argument, there’s something valid there, and we need to own that and recognize that, and think how are we helping our children right now prepare to engage in the culture? We’re training up a child, but part of training up a child is, we need to be teaching them how to make disciples. You know? So to be their friend across the street that they play with.

Yvette:                                      Right.

Caleb:                                       “Hey, let me challenge you to invite them to come to church with you. Let me challenge you to tell them what it means to believe in Jesus, to share your faith with him.” I can remember as a little kid doing that, and making a mess of it with my next-door neighbor. You know, I didn’t know what I was doing. I was trying to … I asked him if he was a Christian, and he said yes, and then I didn’t know what to do, ’cause I knew he wasn’t, and I didn’t want to argue with him. But that was something my parents did for me. They put me on the public parks and rec basketball teams, and I would do swim teams. And so I was interacting with the world constantly, and then learning how to be a witness, but my dad was my coach.

Yvette:                                      Right.

Caleb:                                       So he was right there watching me, encouraging me, but also giving me enough space so that I could learn to do those things.

Yvette:                                      Yeah.

Caleb:                                       We can’t just bring our children up to the place of being 18 years old, they graduate from high school, and then they go out there and they’re ready to engage in the world. If the first time they ever hear somebody use profanity is after they graduate from high school, that’s a problem.

Yvette:                                      Right.

Caleb:                                       You know? And so … I mean, yeah. My daughter probably learned some new works this last year as a … She’s actually 13, as a freshman in the public school system. And she doesn’t like that, but also I’m not worried about that affecting her, because I know that her light is stronger than those bad morals. And I know that she can stand up on her own two feet. And that’s really a decision you make child by child, year by year; how much you’re engaging them with the culture and how much you’re not.

Yvette:                                      Right.

Caleb:                                       I talked to a mom recently … Not recently. Probably eight years ago, who was … She was really struggling with the decision of whether she should put her son in public high school or in a private school. And what I told her is, the public high school’s the cesspool of our culture. And your son, maybe he’ll learn to stand up for himself, and he’ll learn to share the gospel, but it’s going to be vexing to his soul. It’s like Lot when he was in Sodom. Remember what Peter says in his epistle, he says, “Every day his righteous soul was vexed.” So if your children love Jesus and they’re in public school, everyday their righteous soul’s going to be vexed.

Yvette:                                      Right.

Caleb:                                       And so you need to be figuring out a way to be bringing massive support to them because their soul is just going to be attacked day after day after day. This mom put her son in the public school, and within two months, she pulled him out, and she called me up and she’s like, “Oh my gosh, you were right. It is just a cesspool. His friends are constantly just trying to push stuff on him and challenging him to do all these things that he knows he shouldn’t do,” and she pulled him out and she put him in a private school.

Yvette:                                      Yeah, yeah. It’s tough to put kids in a situation like that where … Often times I think they feel like they’re standing alone, or then, they’re the ones who get labeled as the bully, because now you’re telling this kid that what they’re doing is wrong. Or, whatever the situation might be, and that’s a really hard place for kids to be. And so-

Caleb:                                       Yeah.

Yvette:                                      I love that. And we’re like that with our kids, we’re very intentional. We travel a lot, we do a whole lot of things that are not homeschool-related, but we get to spend the days and hours with our girls, training their hearts, and training them up in righteousness, teaching them God’s word so that when they go out into the culture, they can recognize good from bad, truth from lies, and I agree completely. I mean, I’ve known kids who were homeschooled their whole lives, and they came out and they were like, “Nope. Not for me.” And did not even know how to interact with culture because their parents kept them so isolated and so protected. And you can’t do that.

Yvette:                                      But it is our job to protect our kids. And so you have to find that balance, and that’s what it is, is a balance. But I think sending them into that cesspool for 35 to 40 hours a week, and then expecting them to come home and be able to undo everything that they’ve been taught and seen, seems nearly impossible to do, ’cause you can’t undo what’s already been done to them.

Caleb:                                       This last year, Leah and I both read a book called The Gospel Comes With a House Key by Rosaria Butterfield.

Yvette:                                      Okay.

Caleb:                                       We really enjoyed that book. And she’s a homeschool mom, and how she creates that space for her kids to learn to reach out, is by having a home that’s constantly open. And so her kids are learning to make disciples because she’s having unsaved people in her home all the time, and she’s making disciples. And so they’re seeing that. What happens often times when somebody comes to Christ, within about three years, they don’t have any more non-Christina friends. I mean, either their non-Christian friends have stopped being friends with that, or they’ve just stopped engaging with the world. And it’s important for … One of the reasons I’m part of a local running club is that gives me a space where I can interface with people in the world. My public school lets me do that. My college students … I run a college ministry for my church, and I have them in my home. And they’re constantly going out and bringing other people, and those people are in my home and part of my ministry is, I do it with my kids. My ministry on the context of family, I think that family makes you more effective in your ministry. And kids are learning it.

If I go out and I’m sharing the gospel, I take my sons with me. You know?

Yvette:                                      Yeah.

Caleb:                                       And they hear people reject us, and they get to see how to share their faith. And so we just need to be making sure as parents that we’re engaging with the world, that we’re letting the world into our home; inviting strangers. That’s what hospitality means.

Yvette:                                      That’s right.

Caleb:                                       It means loving strangers. Also, we’re inviting strangers into our home. That’s how our kids are going to learn to make disciples. Sending them off away from us where they can’t be learning from us and seeing us model it, and knowing how to do it? Not really effective.

Yvette:                                      Yeah, yeah. Oh, I agree completely.

Caleb:                                       Yeah.

Yvette:                                      Unfortunately we are out of time for the podcast, but if you can stay on with me, I would love to continue this conversation, ’cause I want to keep talking about this. So for those who are Backstage Pass members, this video, of course, will be on, and you guys can view the rest of this interview.

For those who are listening on the podcast, thank you guys for listening today. We are so grateful for you. We’re grateful for the encouragement that you continue to bring to us. Continuing praying for us. God is doing some big things with Schoolhouse Rocked, and with the podcast and with our family, so we would love your continued prayers as we move forward in post-production with the movie and just continue doing what God has called us to do.

So thank you guys, for your encouragement. Thank you for listening. And please, please share this with your friends. It’s always exciting to hear when someone says, “Oh, I had a friend who told me about this podcast.” I got to talk to a dad the other day, and the mom actually said, “Oh, my husband Ryan always listens to the podcast, and he’s always the one telling me, ‘You’ve got to listen to this one! You’ve got to listen to this one!'” And I was like, “That is awesome!” I love that dads are listening as well, so hi to the dads listening, and hello Ryan. I’m glad you’re listening.

But thank you guys for being with us today and we will have a new podcast for you next Monday. And for those of you on the Backstage Pass membership site, stick with us, and we’re going to continue this conversation with Caleb.

So Caleb, thank you for being on the podcast with me today.

Caleb:                                       Oh, for sure. Thank you for having me.

Book Recommendation:

The Gospel Comes with a House Key: Practicing Radically Ordinary Hospitality in Our Post-Christian WorldBy Rosaria Champagne Butterfield

Links:

Child Evangelism Fellowship(CEF)

Young Life

Campus Life

Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

Impacting God’s Kingdom Through Homeschooling


Seen regularly on Fox & Friends, Kathy Barnette is a conservative commentator, and proud mother and wife. Kathy Barnette is a veteran, a former adjunct Professor of Corporate Finance, a conference speaker, and a political commentator. In addition to Fox & Friends, Kathy can also be seen on Neil Cavuto, Martha MacCallum, Fox & Friends First and several local news stations around the Philadelphia area. She served her country proudly for ten years in the Armed Forces Reserves, where she was accepted into officer candidacy school. Her corporate career includes working with two major financial institutions and in corporate America. She also sat on the board of a pregnancy crisis center for five years. Kathy is not only a public advocate, but she advocates for her own family. Perhaps her most cherished opportunity to date, besides being a wife, is the ability to homeschool her two children. You can learn more about Kathy and watch some of her media appearances by going to KathyBarnette.com.

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Listen to Kathy Barnette on the Schoolhouse Rocked Podcast.

Yvette Hampton:               I have a really special guest on today, that I’m really excited about. Here name is Kathy Barnette. I am so excited to introduce you to her, because she is one of those people who, if we ever were to have an underachiever on the podcast, it would not be Kathy. She may be the over achiever. She is just a woman that God has used in big, big ways. Kathy, welcome to the podcast.

Kathy Barnette:                 Thank you for having me, Yvette. I’m so excited to be here with you and your listeners.

Yvette:                                      Yes, me too. We first found out about you, actually from my father-in-law. He said, “Have you heard of this lady named Kathy Barnette? She’s on Fox and Friends and she’s a homeschool mom, and a political commentator.” And I was like, “No, I’ve not heard of this Kathy Barnette lady. Tell me more.” So of course, I started stalking you on Facebook as we all do with one another. I was just so blessed by who you are, what you stand for, your ministry and the platform that God has given you.

Tell us about what you do, and then I want to talk about just what God is doing in your life.

Kathy:                                       What do I do? Oh my goodness, so much.

Yvette:                                      Or what don’t you do? I should say.

Kathy:                                       Yeah, I know it may be shorter if we go that route. I don’t smoke, I don’t drink. First and foremost, I’m a homeschooling mommy. I’m a momma bear. I didn’t even know I was a momma bear, but I’m a momma bear, Kathy. By the grace of God, he opened up a door of opportunity about two years ago for me to go onto Fox and Friends, primarily, but Fox News up in New York, on the national television station, and to begin to speak to millions of people about truth. Truth is what is so in my heart. There’s so much information out there. How do you discern between what is truthful and what is just downright foolish? And so I’m very grateful to God for that door of opportunity.

Just a couple of days ago, I secured a book deal. I’m so excited. It is with one of the top five publishing houses in the world. And so, I’m just so amazed at how good God is. I often say, “From a pig farm, to the big apple.” Only God can do something like that. And so, I’m very excited.

Yvette:                                      I love that. And you’re also a veteran, right?

Kathy:                                       I’m a veteran. 10 years. I know so you can just keep going. Veteran, was in the Wall Street environment for about four years. I worked in corporate America adjunct professor of economics, in corporate finance. I used to charter buses, before I started doing television to take people to the state capital in Illinois, and show them how to walk and talk to their elected official. Because, believe it or not, these people work for us. Sometimes I think we forget that.

Backstage Pass members get access to the video of this interview, which includes 20 minutes of additional content!

And so that was one of my grassroots … I didn’t even know what was grassroots, until many years later. Like, “Oh, that’s what I was doing?” But it just comes so natural that this is my world. My babies are going inherit this, and by the grace of God, it’s our job as parents, mothers, momma bears to get out there and to let our voices be heard.

Yvette:                                      Yeah, that’s right, and you’re doing a fantastic job of getting out there, and allowing the Lord to use you in that way. Talk to me about your homeschool journey, because I love that with all of your accomplishments, the one thing that you constantly say is, you are first and foremost a homeschool mom. You’re a child of God, daughter of the king and you are a homeschool momma and a wife. That’s your real gig. The other things are just your side gigs.

Kathy:                                       And in fact, I lead with that. I led with that, when I started going to Fox. I will not be ashamed. I remember saying to myself. But, going to the beginning I had just moved from Texas to Illinois and I was pregnant with my second daughter, so this is back in 2008. I was very pregnant, as they say in the south. I was walking around in our cul-de-sac, rubbing my belly, just talking to the Lord. I heard God so clearly say to me, “You are going to homeschool.” And I stopped in the middle of that, and I said, “No, pick something else.” I know, so arrogant.

I’m so grateful to God, and his kindness, his grace and his mercy that he extols on us. But, in all my arrogance and wisdom, I thought I knew better, because I have so many degrees, I have so much experience. Surely, you’re going to use me to make a real impact in our world. And homeschooling just was not on my top 100 things that I could be doing with myself. So, I remember rushing, waddling into the house and I slammed the door, and I said to my husband, “Oh, my goodness. I think God is going to call me to homeschool. Why would he do that to me?” I kind of like children, but oh my goodness, really? Because at that time, I truly was one of those parents who looked forward to that little yellow bus pulling off, with her children every day, so I can get back to real work for the Lord, right? Real warrior-ing for the Lord, so I thought.

At that time I was sitting on the board of a pregnancy crisis venture, and saving babies lives. Just doing the most I thought. Several years later, several years later now, my baby was in my womb, is now six years old, getting ready to start Kindergarten. We are in a new state and I’ve enrolled her into school, because that’s what we do. We go to public school, so mommy can … And I was so excited my last child was going to be in school. That means I have what, eight hours a day to just do me. Within three months, my daughter was pulled out of that environment, because almost immediately I saw, going through her paperwork, that my daughter had a guidance counselor. I thought to myself, “Well, why does a kindergartner need a guidance counselor for?”

I mean, I had a guidance counselor when I was in high school. Discussed which college you want to go to. You want to take the ACT or the SAT, so I was very curious to know what this guidance counselor was guiding my six year old on. So, I emailed her and said, “Please send me your teaching objectives.” And it was 35 of the most ridiculous things. And essentially, guidance counselors go into your kindergartner’s classroom twice a week and they parent your child. They take the role of the parent. They talk to them about how to distinguish between a truth and a lie.

Number 35 was going to come home with a permission slip, because they were going to talk to my six year old about boys anatomies, girls anatomies, and how they work, right? Number 15 was the one that really cooked my goose, is that it was teaching … She was going to go into my six year old daughter’s classroom and teach her how to distinguish between different family’s configurations, and that is buzzword for homosexuality, same sex marriage. I scheduled a meeting, went in, and I asked the guidance counselor, “Show me what you’re going to take into my six year old daughter’s class to teach her how to distinguish between different family configurations.” It was the most beautifully colored, illustrated book about Billy going to his father’s house, and his father’s boyfriend, Henry was there. Or Sally with two moms, or some kid dealing with the divorce of their parents.

This woman, I can tell at any other given moment, I may be her … I could’ve been her friend. She seemed very nice.

Yvette:                                      She seemed very well-intentioned?

Kathy:                                       She seemed very well-intentioned. She was clueless of why a parent would disagree with this. And in fact, she said to me, she’d been doing this for eight years, and not one parent, during those eight years had ever said anything to her. So she was very taken aback that this would have been seen as inappropriate. She just had no idea. We talked, she seemed to realize this, that she would not … She would skip lesson number 15. And in fact, gave me all of her books to go through and to see what I found to be offensive.

I’m thinking, “This is what the Lord has called me to this state for.” Two days later, my third grader, he who’s eight years old, comes home and says, “Mom, what’s a stepmom?” And I’m like, “Why?” Because his teacher, who’s divorced was talking to the kids about his divorce, and his children’s new stepmom. When I talked to this teacher, he too had no idea of just how out of his pay grade he was operating. And I explained to him, “I send my child to you to teach reading, writing, arithmetic, social studies, thrown in some science, and send my babies back to me. They already have a parent. I don’t need you to parent my children. In fact, they have two parents, and we’re doing what we believe to be the best thing for our child.”

He had no idea, so within 45 minutes of that conversation, a light bulb went off, over my head that said, “Take your kids out of this.” That was on a Friday. Monday I took them out of the school system. Tuesday we’re all sitting around our kitchen table, and I’m like, “Okay, now what?” I have a very large social media following. I put it out there, “Help! I’m homeschooling. I have no idea what to do.” This is from a professor. I taught economics and corporate finance, and I felt so woefully ill equipped to teach my kindergartner and my third grader a simple subject.

By Tuesday night, so many people was giving me information. One lady, from Texas, grabbed me proverbially by the hand, technology wise, and led me to Classical Conversations, Set up a meeting for me. I met with them in my community on Thursday, and four years later, five years later I’m homeschooling, and I love it.

Yvette:                                      That is so awesome. Such a great story. Why was it that you felt ill equipped? Because we hear this time and time again, and it doesn’t matter who the mom is, what her background is, what her education is. Pretty much every single mom we talk to, feels like she’s not enough. She feels like, “I can’t do this. I’m not well enough educated. I don’t have the patience. I don’t have what it takes to educate my children.” Why did you feel that way about yourself?

Kathy:                                       Yeah, well I have multiple degrees. Like I said, veteran 10 years, Wall Street for four years, Corporate America taught. I was an adjunct professor of corporate finance and economics. So if anyone should have felt equipped from an education background, and an experience background, should’ve been me. The constant thought that ran through my head, initially was, “What if they turn out to be stupid? What if I make my children dumb? What if I don’t teach something that they should know? And it’ll be all my fault. I won’t be able to blame the public school system. It will be all my fault, if they turn out to be dumb or something.”

So irrational, but it was the constant thought on my mind, at the time. And then the other thing that constantly bugged me, I did not know, as a Christian woman, just how much of this feminist lie I had bought into. I am woman, hear me roar, look at me. Veteran, adjunct professor, corporate America, Wall Street. Look at all the things I’m doing, right?

And I did not know just how much of that was my identity, so when I started homeschooling, and people would get around to that question, “What do you do?” I’d be like … I felt embarrassed. I felt like I was less than. And then, as I’ve mentioned to you before, I remember so clearly a passage that came to my mind, and that is when Jesus was on the cross, he rejected the shame, because of the joy that was set in front of him. I remember thinking that. One day, I was at Fox and someone was asking me, “What do you do?” It was that, “Oh, I knew that question was coming. What do you say?” And I remember feeling the shame creep up in my throat, and I just said to myself, “I reject that shame. I’m going to push beyond that, because I see the joy that is set in front of me.” What a wonderful opportunity as homeschooling moms, we have to truly influence the world. When I was walking around so many years ago with my daughter in my belly, thinking about all the great things I was going to do, for the Lord and the world, how I was going to make an impact. There is no greater impact we can make then on the little lives that are in front of us. The world is going to need what my children will have, and my children will have those things in large part because we’re pouring those things into our children. The character, right?

We’re dealing with the society who are now telling our young children, you cannot trust your own two eyes. You’re looking at me, I look like a woman, I sound like a woman, but I may not be a woman. You need to wait until I tell you who I am. I look like a duck, quack like a duck, walk like a duck, but I may be a sheep. You don’t know, and somehow you’re wrong if you trust your own two eyes. Think about that for a moment. We have a society, a whole culture that is teaching formable little minds, you cannot trust your self. Those little minds, those little souls are going to become our future doctors, our future lawyers, bankers, our future accountants who will test the wind to see which way it’s blowing before they know what is right and wrong.

And, as a mom today, I fully understand that the joy that is set before me or the two little souls that God has allowed me the opportunity to kind of walk alongside and to make sure they have a firm understanding that truth really does exist. And, it’s not based upon how you feel in this moment, right? That’s my role. So yes, I’m on Fox. I get to talk to millions of people multiple times a week. I have a book deal by one of the largest publishing companies, and yet there is nothing more profound, more impactful in this culture that I can do than to raise up these two little ones who will understand there is such a thing as right and wrong.

Yvette:                                      We’re talking about just the impact that we get to make in the lives of our children through having them at home with us. And how, in the midst of all of the other things that you’re doing, that we do, the most important thing is getting to speak into the hearts of our kids. How do you do that practically, on a day to day basis? Because I know you’re all over the place. I talked to you the other day and you were in your chauffeured car on the way back home from Fox, and I think you had your kids in the car with you actually that time. I think they had been on with you, and so I know you’re a mama who is just, you’ve got a lot going on, but how do you focus your attention on a regular basis on your children and really work to help guide their hearts and direct them to living a life that will have a great impact?

Kathy:                                       Yeah. You know what, it’s a moment by moment. I heard someone say, we just celebrated the home going of my sweet aunt. She’s a giant in the faith and I heard one of the pastors say, my aunt did not go out witnessing, she was a witness. Her life was a witness. And, I vehemently agree with that and that is how I earnestly try to live my life. The way I talk, the way I walk, what I read, how I dress, how I eat, just everything about me.

My children are always with me. They’re at Fox almost every time I go on. So, they’re in New York. If I have a speaking event, my babies are usually in the background somewhere. They’re always with me because that’s a part of homeschooling and they watch everything. My daughter watches her mommy interact with other men. Right? The way in which I do that. I’m witnessing. My son sees me on those quiet moments, right? What I’m watching on television, right, in my home. Everything about our lives. It’s not just setting aside 20 minutes a day, 30 minutes a day to speak truth into our children’s lives. It’s every single moment of my life.

I remember when my babies were very, very little and I used to love watching Bachelor. I know. And, when my babies will walk into the room, I will pause it because the stuff that they’re … I mean, it wasn’t even nearly as bad as Bachelor is today. This was six years ago, eight years ago. So, it wasn’t nearly as bad as it is today, but it was still bad enough for me to pause it when they walked into the room. And my son, who was then about four years old said, “Mommy, if I shouldn’t watch it, you shouldn’t watch it.” And, that was so-

Yvette:                                      Conviction.

Kathy:                                       … so true. I stopped watching Bachelor, the Bachelor, the Bachelorette, eight years ago when my four year old witnessed to me that if I shouldn’t watch it, Mommy, you shouldn’t watch it. Right? So, it’s recognizing that those little eyes are forever open. They’re little sponges. We know that. Right? And so, that’s one of the things that I do is that I am a witness.

Also, just making the Bible practical. I was telling my son the other day that before the foundation of the world, he’s 12 now, before the foundation of the world, God saw you. He called you. He pre-destined you. He created a purpose for your life. And then, in 2006, he put that purpose in a body and we named him Carl. And I said, “So, I’m sure when God was coming up with your purpose, spending four hours on Xbox wasn’t a part of that purpose.” So, it’s using scripture in a very practical way of helping them to see that you’re going to have to give account of that purpose, of that time that he … you want to have so much time in the world to make an impact. Spending four hours a day, quote unquote, probably wasn’t what God had in mind before the foundation of the world when he was designing your purpose.

And so, therefore letting my children see that Mommy don’t spend four hours on Facebook any longer scrolling, scrolling, scrolling. Mommy doesn’t spend four hours watching TV, scrolling, just watching, flipping through channels. So, that’s probably not what God had in mind when he designed me as well. So, our whole lives have to become a witness to our children.

Yvette:                                      Oh, I love that answer so much because we talk about this all the time on the podcast, and sometimes I feel like people are going to be like, yeah, yeah, yeah. You say that all the time. School is not sitting and doing worksheets all day long. That’s not what it is. That is part of schooling our children, and they need to know those basics of academics. But, life is school. Everything that we do from the time they wake up until the time they go to bed, the things that we’re teaching them through our lives and through the things that we allow them to get involved in and the ways that we are serving together as a family, that is what’s the most important.

And, God is not going to ask our children when they come face to face with him, how well they did in math or science or English. How well can you diagram a sentence? He’s going to say, what did you do with what I gave you? Because he has created all of us on purpose and for a purpose. And so, I love that you take your kids along with you on this journey of life and you’re just teaching them in a very practical way what that looks like.

Are you able to talk about your book? Because I know you just signed this book deal, and I’ve been around enough authors to know that there’s always kind of the secrets that cannot be told. Can you talk a little bit about what you’re doing and with what the premise of the book is?

Kathy:                                       The premise of the book, yes, I’m kind of beholden to some of those right now, so I can’t really talk about the name of the book and all of that. And, I’m new to all of this. So, I’ve been learning. I’m walking and learning as I go. But, the premise of the book, it talks about my own life, growing up on a pig farm in a very small rural area. It talks about my genesis. I am the product of a rape, and yet, how God has used my family, my own life, the life of my mother, the life of my father’s side of the family because they all knew each other at the time and just what God has done.

Just the workings of God, right? How he’s able to take ashes and make something beautiful out of it. And, just trusting him. He has plans and purposes we have no idea about. And, just learning to trust him. Learning to say, not my will, but your will. I had a completely different thought in mind about my life, and what I would be doing with my life and everything that I have planned and yet, but God has something completely different. And, I guess that’s what I would love to just encourage your listeners is to trust God.

There used to be that shame in the back of my throat when I had to tell someone, oh I homeschool because I didn’t know how much of the lie of the world I had swallowed in that in order to be important, you have to be doing something important. And, staying at home and raising your children and homeschooling them just doesn’t really qualify as meaningful. Especially when you’re surrounded by a lot of elites like you often are at these various news stations. And yet, rejecting the world’s idea of who I am. According to the world, my pedigree is nothing to be proud of, and most definitely, is it something you want to write a book about? Yeah, God. And so, I love that.

So, there’s an element of how I grew up, the circumstances surrounding my birth, being black and yet not being a Democrat, and how I walked out of that environment. And, just how as Americans not allowing ourselves to be defined by others. Not allowing others, using my own life, my own personal story, using the story of the African American community to kind of put a spotlight on all of us as Americans in this journey we’re walking. And, not allowing people to stereotype us and tell us, you’re a woman, vote for a woman. You have ovaries, so clearly you should vote for Hillary. You’re black, vote for a Democrat. You’re gay, Democrat. You’re this, Republican. I mean, you grow up in the south, okay, you must be a Republican. Just not allowing people to box us in and learn our true identity and to walk in that.

Yvette:                                      Yeah. Oh, so beautifully said. I love what God is doing with you and the way that he’s using you.  You have done such a great job of just encouraging us and just showing that God can still do great things with you as a homeschool mom, and he can use you in very, very big ways. So, really quickly, I would love for you to just give one last encouragement to the moms, and I want to ask you, sometimes I ask for encouragement for one set of moms and sometimes for another, but I would love for you to encourage both sets of moms, and here’s the two that I want you to encourage.

One, the mom who’s thinking about homeschooling and she was in that same state that you were in, where you’re like, who me? What? You want me to homeschool? I have other things or better things to do. I would love for you to encourage that mom. And then, the second one is if you could encourage the mom who is in the thick of it right now and she’s overwhelmed and tired and just encourage her to keep going. So, if you could give those last two words of encouragement and then let’s tell people where they can find you, that would be awesome.

Kathy:                                       Awesome. I think it’s the same bit of encouragement I would offer to both sets of parents and that is to trust God. I know. So simple, right? Because we want things to be much more sophisticated. And yet, we serve a God who has made salvation so simple, so much so that he said it confounds the wise. They just can’t get their mind around how simple the gospel message is of salvation, right? And so, that’s my word to you, is to trust God. To trust God. Be silent. Be still. And, just trust him. What was the last thing he said to you? Trust him in that.

Yvette:                                      Yeah. Oh, I love it. I love that you say be silent. I think I shared this with you a few weeks ago when we were talking in that God just has us on this crazy journey of making this movie and doing the podcast and just getting Schoolhouse Rocked up enrolling. And, it’s been a really exciting, but really hard journey for our family and a lot of unknowns. And, we’re kind of in limbo on a lot of things. And so, a few months ago I felt like the Lord kept just bringing Psalm 46:10 back to my mind, be still and know that I am God. Be still and know that I am God, over and over again. I mean, literally he kept speaking that to my heart and then we drove by a church, this one week specifically, we drove by a church and there was a big marquee sign out front. And, of course, we drove by and as soon as we drove by, it popped up, be still and know that I am God. And, then we went to a coffee shop the next day and there was a big sign on the coffee shop wall that said, be still and know that I am God. And so, over and over again, he continues to remind me. Just be still. And, that doesn’t mean don’t do anything. That doesn’t mean sit on your couch and watch TV all day long-

Kathy:                                       Watch TV all day.

Yvette:                                      … and wait for God to just fill in all the gaps. But, trust in him, like you said. He is a faithful God. And, if he has called you to homeschooling and he’s called you to disciple the hearts of your children, he’s going to equip us with everything that we need in order to accomplish that. So, thank you for that encouragement. Where can people find you?

Kathy:                                       I’m all over the place. You can go to kathybarnette.com. That’s Kathy with a K. I’m trusting you have links out there for that.

Yvette:                                      I do. Yeah, we’ll put links on the show notes.

Kathy:                                       Kathybarnette.com. You can also see me on Facebook, Kathy Barnett 4 Truth, or Twitter handle is Kathy4Truth. I’m also on Instagram, YouTube, all out there. I would love to connect with your listeners.

Yvette:                                      I would love that. And then, how often, I know it’s kind of sporadic, but how often are you on Fox and Friends, and how can people see you on there? Do you have some kind of schedule?

Kathy:                                       Yeah, I’m on maybe about two to three times a week. It just depends on what’s going on, and so I’m on there two to three times a week, on Fox and Friends. Neil Cavuto, Martha MacCallum, and a variety of other places. But again, you can go to kathybarnette.com. The overwhelming majority of my hits are out there under the media page or on Facebook.

Yvette:                                      Okay. Awesome. Well, thank you for your time today. You are an absolute blessing and I am so glad to call you friend, Kathy.

Kathy:                                       Thank you.

Photo by Cassidy Rowell on Unsplash

The Important Role of Homeschool Dads – Slaying Dragons!

“What are some ways dads can help homeschool? Become the trainer of future Dragon Slayers!” – Matthew Bianco

As we have interviewed homeschooling dads for Schoolhouse Rocked we have realized that the role of fathers can’t be overlooked in establishing a successful foundation for training our children. When fathers invest in discipling their children and leading their homes Biblically families thrive.

With all the recent talk of “toxic masculinity” we sometimes need to be reminded that masculinity is NECESSARY and GOOD. Biblical masculinity should be TOXIC to the enemies of family and faith. Men need to protect their wives and children, and train their boys to be literal and figurative warriors – dragon slayers!

It can not be forgotten that the same radical feminist movement that scoffed at and undermined chivalry, now cries foul when men fail to act chivalrous. We can not have feminized, subservient men AND truly civilized society. Real men fight, protect and serve, and in doing so, preserve civilization – and saying this in no way undermines womanhood or femininity.

Matt Bianco writes for Classical Conversations, “Our enemy is a dragon, THE dragon. And Jesus Christ, THE offspring of the woman will crush his head, while he will bruise Christ’s heel. All throughout the Scriptures, we read stories of Godly people crushing the heads of God’s enemies. Samson pulls a pagan temple down atop the pagans worshiping within. Jael pounds a nail through the head of a wicked general. David plants a stone in the head of the giant Goliath. As the great Dragon Slayer, Jesus Christ, would bruise the head of the great Dragon, Satan, so too did these saints follow him in being lesser dragon slayers who slayed the lesser dragons. And this is what we are, (to borrow the language of Douglas Wilson) lesser dragon slayers.”

“Dads, we play a crucial role in training our youngsters to be dragon slayers. This is because we should do it, not because moms cannot. Moms are the intercessors, the protectors, the comforters. Face it, what mom would send her young child out to face a dragon rather than face him herself? But, mom would send dad to face the dragon. She expects dad to protect her, but expects to be the protector of her young.” Take a few minutes to read the rest of this excellent article here.

While the topic of dads’ roles in homeschooling will be covered in the film, we wanted to dive deeper into the subject, so we conducted several hours of interviews with Christian leaders, on the importance of Fathers becoming great spiritual leaders. These interviews have been a great encouragement to both the men and women who have seen them.

We are thrilled to see so many dads taking up the mantle of leadership and to see organizations like Homeschool Dad Media and leaders like Scott LaPierre, Israel Wayne, Kevin Swanson, Wilbert Addison Jr., Bryan Osborne, Abraham Hamilton III, Davis Carman, and so many more leading the charge, calling dads to accountability, and training them to disciple their families effectively. This is fuel for revival!

We want to give you a 30 minute video – one of our most encouraging interviews on discipleship – for free! Caleb Schroeder is a homeschool dad of six who was homeschooled himself. He has spent many years in ministry and has some great practical advice for parents on establishing a Biblical foundation for education and effectively discipling their children. I know it will be a great encouragement to moms and dads (whether you homeschool or not!).

 

Photos by Sarah Phillips and Dmitry Ratushny on Unsplash