Aby Rinella: Hey, thanks for having me. Excited to be here.
Yvette Hampton: Yeah, of course, this is so much fun. I love answering questions about homeschooling. So, next up is the question,
What are the best online homeschool Curriculum options?
And that’s a great question because a lot of people do stuff online. So, I’m going to let you tackle this one first, Aby.
Aby Rinella: Okay. This is a huge question right now as parents are thinking, “We want to bring our kids home, we all just got thrown into this online distance learning that we just… We’ve all just experienced. We’re considering keeping our kids home, and so this is what we know, so this is what we want to do, is this online thing.” So, before we actually give you some actual curriculum options for that, there is a difference that you need to know. There’s a huge difference between online public school, which is huge right now, and privately funded, home-based, parent led education options.
With publicly funded online homeschool options, your kids are at home, and they’re doing online school, but it is public. It is government school. It is publicly funded government school. There are regulations. You don’t have the freedoms with homeschool that you have. So, we just want to make a very clear difference. These programs include K12, public distance learning programs, online charter schools, and the “distance learning” programs that schools have instituted since the COVID-19 shutdowns. This would also include hybrid public school and charter programs (part-time classroom, part time at home). Many of these programs are free, and in some areas, parents even get money for supplies and activities, but with that money comes government oversight and control over what materials and curriculum options you can choose. For more on this subject, I highly recommend reading what HSLDA (Home School Legal Defense Association) has to say about charter schools and public-school-at-home programs, here, here, and here.
Side note: We recommend every homeschooling family keep an active HSLDA membership, at all times. These guys are homeschool heroes!
Aby Rinella: And then there is, what we’re assuming that you’re asking, or hoping that you’re asking, which is online resources for privately funded, home-based, parent-led education. And that’s what we here at Schoolhouse Rocked, that’s what Yvette and I do. That’s what we promote. That’s what we love. Because with privately funded, home-based, parent-led education, you can teach and train your children’s heart in the Lord. You can point them to God and His Word in everything you teach. So, the great thing about that is there are still a ton of great online options. So as you’re looking for online homeschool curriculum options, and Yvette is going to give us a few options that are out there, but as you’re looking, really make sure that what you’re looking at is a Bible-based, true homeschool curriculum, that you don’t stumble onto a public school at-home, internet-based school. because they’re both out there.
Yvette Hampton: Yes.
Aby Rinella: And there are great options. So, Yvette, you have a list of some really awesome options.
FULL ONLINE HOMESCHOOL CURRICULM
Yvette Hampton: I do. I have a few, and I know that there are a whole lot more than this, but I’m just going to tell you some of the ones that I’m most familiar with and that I really trust. The first one is BJU, which is Bob Jones University.We have used some of their online science curriculum, and I really like it. As a matter of fact, we have had the privilege of going to BJU a couple of times, and getting a tour of their whole facility, and they are so incredibly intent on teaching everything from a Biblical worldview.
Aby Rinella: That’s awesome.
Yvette Hampton: And not only are they intent on doing that, but they are intent on doing everything with excellence. They have studios set up where they actually have teachers come in, and they teach in front of a screen, and you purchase the books and then you can purchase the videos to go along with the books and have that teacher teach, whether it’s science, or history, or language arts, they have foreign languages, they’ve got just a ton of different things. because then you can choose by subject. And they’re so well-done, very well-produced. The teachers are friendly and engaging, and they’re colorful. And so, my girls have really liked those videos. It’s been fun because I’ve gotten to actually see them record these videos in person.
Yvette Hampton: And their teachers are just as amazing in person as they are in front of the camera. They’re great. So, the website for that is BJUPressHomeschool.com. That’s where you can find out more about that.
Another one is Abeka. We have actually not used Abeka, but I know a lot of my friends who have used them really like them. And Abeka has been around forever. Since the dawn of time! I myself actually have used Abeka curriculum as a kid, because I went to a Christian school where we used Abeka. And so, I feel pretty comfortable saying that they are a trustworthy publisher, who is really putting out some really good, quality curriculum.
Aby Rinella: I agree.
Yvette Hampton: Biblical worldview curriculum. And so, you can check them out at abeka.com.
Aby Rinella: They also have a video series, so you can do online or video, or you can teach your kids with it. So, there’s a few options there as well.
Yvette Hampton: Many, many different options. And all of these companies, you can actually call and talk to their consultants and figure out what’s best for your family. You don’t have to do all subjects through them, you can just do some. Another one that we have used with our family, that I really like, is Easy Peasy All-in-One Homeschool.
Aby Rinella: I love that name.
Yvette Hampton: They have done a fantastic job. It’s funny, because you go on their website, and it’s not flashy, it’s not fancy, it’s very simple. It’s basically text, and there’s a little bit of artwork and stuff on there, but there are just different. You can search by grade or by subject, and everything is online, and it really is Easy Peasy. [chuckle]
Aby Rinella: So, are they online classes, or just resources online?
Yvette Hampton: Yes. Yes, to both.
Aby Rinella: Okay. [chuckle] They’ve got everything?
Yvette Hampton: Yeah. I did some of this with Lacy, she was third grade, she just finished third grade, and so I went to their third-grade language arts, and you can download, basically, their packet of language arts worksheets and things like that, which she really enjoys. She’s my worksheet girl, she thinks that’s fun. So, you can go on, download those. And then, for reading and stuff, it will have links to different things that you can read. And you do want to do it with your kids, because a lot of it is taking you to other websites, and there… I have not found anything that has compromised what we’ve seen at all, but of course, there’s always that…
Aby Rinella: Yes, absolutely.
Yvette Hampton: You never want to just put your kid in front of a computer with something like this and just say, “Go for it, kid,” and, “Good luck at what you click on.” But it’s fun to navigate through their website and it’s just… It’s really well thought out, and they’ve put a lot of work into it.
Aby Rinella: And isn’t it free? Is it, Easy Peasy free?
Yvette Hampton: It’s free. It’s all free.
Aby Rinella: Okay. That’s amazing.
Yvette Hampton: It’s absolutely free. So, this is a great resource.Abeka and BJU are amazing and fantastic, but they are definitely pricey. And so, if you have a budget and you can use it, it’s definitely worth it, but if you don’t have a budget and you’re just getting into this, and trying to figure this out and you need something free, you can literally do… You can homeschool all of your kids for free, using Easy Peasy All-in-One Homeschool. The website for that is allinonehomeschool.com. And just great resources on there, I highly recommend that, and it is a Christian website as well, so they are always pointing kids to Christ. Now, not every single video that they have on there is specifically a Christian video, because some of the videos, they’ll link you to a YouTube video to help teach some science, something like that.
Aby Rinella: Yeah, if you’re learning about ants.
Yvette Hampton: Yeah, right, right. But again, be with your kids when you do that.
Aby Rinella: Right, for sure.
Yvette Hampton: I wouldn’t seat them behind a closed door and say, “Go for it.”
Another one, and I’ve been on their website, but I’ve never really used this, but again, I have many friends who I trust, who have used it, is AmblesideOnline.
Aby Rinella: Yes, I’ve heard. I have people that I trust, that use that as well.
Yvette Hampton: Yeah, and that’s more of a Charlotte Mason approach. And so, that’s another great one. I can’t really tell you exactly how it works, but that’s just another one to check out online. I think the website is free, I know you can go on there and get resources and stuff, and then a lot of that is books that you can get through the library, or order online or whatever. But it’s a lot of reading and seems to be really well organized.
Aby Rinella: And I know that both… I know Abeka for sure, I’m not sure BJU, but they do have accredited programs, if you are looking for that in your state. I don’t… You’d have to know your state laws or what you need for high school courses, but I do know Abeka, and I’m sure BJU Press as well.
Yvette Hampton: Yes.
Aby Rinella: Okay. So, those are both accredited and have all subject matter, every subject… Is both of those. And then, another resource we didn’t mention in the first, but, Cathy Duffy’s 102 Picks… Curriculum Picks. She would probably have, if you go to her website, other options for online, privately funded, home-based, parent-led education, online schools.
Yvette Hampton: Yes.
Aby Rinella: And that is the freedom of homeschooling, we can all do it differently, but there are definitely online options for homeschooling.
ONLINE MATH CURRICULUM
Yvette Hampton: Yes. And math, one last one, I didn’t mention this. [chuckle] I’m not a math person. Math is the one thing that I was like, “Oh, dear, I don’t want to teach math.” Our family uses Teaching Textbooks, we’ve used it for years.
Aby Rinella: Yes, we do too.
Yvette Hampton: And we love it. They are so fantastic. As a matter of fact, they’re coming out with their newest version, hopefully this summer, hopefully before this next school year starts. I know that they’re working really hard to get it out.
Aby Rinella: It is absolutely excellent. For us, it changed math for our whole family. The kids can work independently and really excel.
Yvette Hampton: And then the other one, which you guys always hear at the beginning of every podcast, is CTC Math, and that’s another one that we have not used, but… I’ve gotten to know the guys at CTC Math, really like them, and I have a lot of friends who use CTC Math. It’s similar to the same concept as Teaching Textbooks, but seems to be really well laid out. And I know those who use it really like it a lot. I have not heard a single complaint about CTC math, so that would be another one. And both of those… Actually, all of these, as far as I know, you can go on and test out, like watch a couple of sample videos. I know with Teaching Textbooks, you can do the first 15 lessons for free.
Aby Rinella: Yeah, with Teaching Textbooks, those first 15 lessons are in order, so you could put your kids on there for a couple of weeks to really get a feel for if they like it. They also have online placement tests, so you can know where exactly your kid should start. The possibilities with this are endless, so don’t feel like you can’t do it, because you can!
Yvette Hampton: While we’re at it, we should recommend a great online option for homeschooling MOMS and DADS. The Homegrown Generation Family Expo has over 40 hours of great homeschooling conference sessions to encourage and equip homeschooling parents to get off to a great start, stay strong through the years, and finish well. You can get lifetime access to all of the content there for just $20, or you can enjoy over 9 hours of FREE videos here.
Yvette Hampton and Aby Rinella recently sat down for a discussion on time management for homeschooling families. While Yvette finds her self chronically challenged in this area, it is second nature for Aby. This made for a lively discussion on the topic.
Yvette Hampton: Hey, everyone, welcome back to The Schoolhouse Rocked Podcast. I am back with Aby Rinella and we are doing another Q&A episode, and these are so much fun. We love getting to encourage you and just having the opportunity to serve you, homeschool parents, and answer some of your questions. And so, if you have questions for us, be sure to send them to us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and let us know how we can encourage you. Aby, welcome. Welcome back to the podcast.
Yvette Hampton: I love this, I love doing this with you. It’s so much fun, and I love getting to answer these questions that we’ve gotten from our listeners. And so, we’re just going to jump in with this. And this first question, so funny, when I first saw it, it’s two simple words that have a gigantic meaning in the world of homeschooling, and I looked at it and I was like, “I think I’m going to have to let Aby answer this one.” And those two simple words with the big meaning are,
Aby Rinella: Oh. Double question mark.
Yvette Hampton: Double question mark, and I’m not great at time management. I’m not a very “type-A” person, and so I’m just one of those people who I don’t really fly by the seat of my pants always, but I kind of do. And I’m starting to realize more and more that I need to have better time management. As a matter of fact, we recently did an episode with September McCarthy and, oh, she was so fantastic. And after that one I was like, “Okay, we’re going to change some things this year, going into this new year, and we are going to do a morning time, just a more concentrated morning time basket.” So, I actually got a basket and I’m actually putting it together, I’m assembling it right now, and I need to be more intentional with time management. And so, since you’re good at this, Aby, I would love for you to tackle this question and help me and help those other time management challenged to moms like myself. Just know, how can we get better at this? What do you do? What does it look like for you?
Aby Rinella: Well, I am super “type-A.” I thrive on schedules and planning and all of that stuff. So, I think what works best, at least for my family, is blocking out my day rather than every… You can pick, 15-minute blocks, 30-minute blocks, but really just blocking out my day and then deciding what are my priorities? Like you were saying, we do a morning time, we do an hour actually, I chunk out an hour for our morning time and we can hit all sorts of things during that time that we can all do together. And then I have the next chunk or block of time where my kids go off and they can do their independent work, and that allows me to work with my little one. And then the next chunk of time is our lunchtime and then reading, read-alouds, so I can read aloud to the kids. So, I think the best plan that works for us is really just blocking out my day chunks, and then deciding what is most important.
Aby Rinella: I think also, or I know, that when you do that, what ends up getting pushed to the end are all those fun and exciting “I really wish I would have done that” Things. So for our family, I leave Fridays as open for all those extra fun things that we want to do, all those extra read-alouds that didn’t get really planned in, or the game schooling, which is so much fun, or all those extra things go down on Fridays, and that way, I can really focus on my Monday through Thursday and work in those chunks of time. The other thing is, is when that chunk is up, whether my kids have finished their work or not, they can put their stuff away. So, I just require that they work their best for that chunk of time, rather than just get it done, get it done, or it helps them to not rush through it, they know that they have this much time and they’ll get that done.
Aby Rinella: For homeschool moms, we also have to cook, we also have to clean, we also have to manage the laundry. So, in those chunks where my kids are doing their independent work, that’s where I’m prepping dinner. Or in the chunks where they’re reading aloud to one another, they can read aloud and I can listen while I’m also doing laundry. So, you can work your daily stuff that you also have to do into those chunks of time, and that works really well. One huge thing that really helps our family is menu planning, because then that gets taken off your daily list. I do it every other week, so I do a two-week menu, but you could do one-week menu, you could even do three days, but if you’re doing it every single day, that will take a huge amount of time. So, that’s a huge help for time management.
Yvette Hampton: So, what you’re saying, let me just get this correct, [chuckle] is that it’s not good time management to stand at the refrigerator at 4 o’clock in the afternoon…
Aby Rinella: And decide what’s for dinner.
Yvette Hampton: And figure out, “What are we going to have for dinner tonight?”
Aby Rinella: You know what, some people can do it.
Yvette Hampton: I’m not saying I do that. I’ve just heard of other moms.
Aby Rinella: And my way would only work, it worked for us, and it could help a lot of moms who need something. Some people do fly by the seat of their pants and it works really well, and if they try to chunk out their day like I do, it would make them absolutely crazy. I couldn’t do that. I would end up starting at 4 o’clock looking in the fridge, and by 4:15, I’d be on the floor crying, calling pizza. So, yeah.
Yvette Hampton: Well, that’s basically how I feel every day.
Aby Rinella: [chuckle] Every day?
Yvette Hampton: I want to curl up in the fetal position every day at dinner time.
Aby Rinella: So, for us, because I have it planned out, I know the night before what I need to take out of the freezer, because I know what comes tomorrow. I get up in the morning, if it’s a Crock-Pot meal, I throw it in and I’m done. I don’t have to think about it and dinner’s done. It just, it takes it off my plate that I already know what’s going to happen for food the next day, that I don’t even have to think about it, it’s just done. And then I can plan according, when I make my menu plan, I can say, “Okay, that day we have co-op.” So, it’s not going to be a five-course meal that takes three hours to make. It’s not going to work on that day. Not that I ever do those, but… And so, you can plan according to your activities that you have going on, and so that it just takes a lot of the stress off of things.
Yvette Hampton: Yes. Are you for hire? [chuckle]
Aby Rinella: Am I for hire?
Yvette Hampton: I want to have Aby plan my meals.
Aby Rinella: I love to time manage so much that if you want to reach out to me, I’d love it. It’s strange. I thrive on it. It’s a stress relief for me. Is that weird?
Aby Rinella: Maybe it’s a disorder, I don’t know. [laughs]
Yvette Hampton: Not at all. I think, like everything else, there needs to be a healthy balance between the two. Especially for someone like myself, because I I like order, and I like cleanliness, and I like… I like my towels to be folded a very specific way. There are certain things, but when it comes to scheduling our day out, I just have a hard time. And one of the things that I struggle with the most is when a wrench gets thrown in it. Like if there’s a doctor appointment in the morning, I feel like it throws off my whole day. Mornings seem to be a little bit better, because I feel like we can come back and pick up school later in the day.
Aby Rinella: Right. See, that’s so funny, because I’m the opposite. If I have something in the morning, the whole day is done.
Yvette Hampton: Well, yes. That often happens with me too, but I’m saying, if there’s something in the middle of the day, at like lunch time, then there’s no chance that anything is going to happen. And I cannot tell you how many times the girls and I have said, “Okay, well, we’re going to just do this one thing, but when we get back, we’re going to get back on track with school,” and then we get back, and then the neighbor kids come over, they want to play…
Aby Rinella: Totally.
Yvette Hampton: It’s a lost cause.
Aby Rinella: But I think that’s too why we need to schedule in margin, because it’s not good to have such a tight schedule that the schedule is ruining the freedom. Part of the reason we homeschool is we have freedom. We have freedom to say, “Hey, there’s an opportunity, let’s go do it,” or, “Hey, we got a call and a neighbor needs help, we can throw… We can skip our school and go help that neighbor,” or… Honestly, we just work in that sometimes we just have really bad days, and no one’s going to learn anyway, so working in margin is really important. And for someone like me, the type A, we can be owned by our schedule, and that’s not good at all. So, when you… And that’s also why these blocks are nice. Work in a couple chunks, a couple of those blocks in your week for nothing. So, if you get derailed on Monday, you can bump it to that empty block on Thursday. So, you’ve got to schedule in margin also, or else you’re going to lose your mind. And don’t let the clock and the schedule run you.
Yvette Hampton: Yeah.
Aby Rinella: You have freedom.
Yvette Hampton: So, you do yours in chunks?
Aby Rinella: Yeah.
Yvette Hampton: So, you don’t necessarily say from 8:00 to 9:00, you just say for the first hour that we can do school. So, if you have a doctor’s appointment at 9:00 in the morning, you can bump that chunk of time to 10:00 or 11 o’clock.
Aby Rinella: Right. You could bump it, yeah. Yeah, there’s lots of different ways to do it. I usually chunk out my day in two-hour chunks. And so, if there’s a doctor appointment, it goes in that chunk. And that might mean we don’t do morning basket that day, and that’s okay. It’s okay. You need to go to the doctor.
Your kids are going to learn at the doctor too. So, that really helps. And I’ve done the loop scheduling before, and that’s really nice. That has worked well for our family, so that I’m not owned by our schedule. I make it work for me. So, if we… We just… We do the next thing; we just do the next thing the next day. And that works in margin, so…
Yvette Hampton: Loop scheduling is great. I know Pam Barnhill has loop scheduling forms, and she explains it. I’m sure you could find a video somewhere on YouTube or somewhere of Pam Barnhill talking about loop scheduling, for those who are like, “What in the world are you talking about?” Or on her website, PamBarnhill.com. But I’ve heard her talk a lot about that. And I’ve actually… I have the print-out of her loop schedule.
Aby Rinella: It helps because you can be scheduled and yet you aren’t owned by your schedule. Like if one thing goes wrong, you’re not completely derailed.
Yvette Hampton: I know you’ve briefly touched on it, but explain what loop scheduling is, how it works for those who are like, “What in the world are you talking about?”
Aby Rinella: Okay. So rather than, “Monday, we do this, Tuesday, we do this, Thursday, we do this. Lesson 121 on Monday, 122 on Tuesday,” And the worry about that is, “What if I don’t get to 121 on Monday?” Now, everything’s a mess. So basically, loop scheduling is just, you write down what you’re going to do without dates, without times, and you just do the next thing. So, you just do the next thing. And you need a visual, and maybe we can link to some stuff with visuals, but you basically, you loop through it, if that makes sense. When you get to the bottom, you go back up to the top. And you just keep doing the next thing. So, for example, if you need to do math five times, and language three, you intersperse it and you just… You do the next thing, rather than saying, “On Monday at 11:00, I must do this.” It just… It opens you up to a lot more freedom, but it also keeps you on track, if that makes sense.
Yvette Hampton: Yes. And you keep some things the same.
Aby Rinella: Yes.
Yvette Hampton: Like you have your morning basket time.
Aby Rinella: Always.
Yvette Hampton: Every morning…
Aby Rinella: Yeah.
Yvette Hampton: But then as far as… And when you’re talking about scheduling stuff, you’re talking about history, science…
Aby Rinella: Math, science, yeah.
Yvette Hampton: Math, right.
Aby Rinella: Exactly.
Yvette Hampton: Those things you have to do.
Aby Rinella: And you can budget your time to make it work for you. I kind of do a modified loop scheduling. You have to do what works for you. And that’s the beauty of homeschool. What works for you, what works for your kids, what works for your schedule. And it’s different year to year. It feels sometimes different week to week. But just get some sort of time management in play, don’t let it own you, but make it work for you, so that you have a smooth-running home.
We are very pleased to be a part of this community of like-minded Christian producers who podcast on areas of expertise and passion. Check out the community for excellent, “soul-feeding” programming that believers can find useful and focused on the Gospel of Christ, its truth, and its application.
There’s a Revolution Transforming Education and it’s NOT Happening in the Classroom!
“This is not an exaggeration to say, this is the movement that is needed to save this country.” – Rick Green, Wallbuilders
“We believe homeschooling is critically important if we are to save our republic and the Christian family and church.” – Kirk Cameron, Actor and Producer
Yvette Hampton, producer and host of the upcoming documentary, Schoolhouse Rocked: The Homeschool Revolution, brings you encouragement and resources from home education experts and REAL families just like yours, to help you train your children well. The show allows you to grow with Yvette as she talks with today’s home education leaders – speakers, authors, activists, curriculum publishers, in conversations that will build you up and give you important resources to help you train up your children for eternal success – from pre-school to graduation – to start strong and finish well!
Schoolhouse Rocked will impact countless lives by…
• Encouraging families who aren’t yet homeschooling to dive in! • Bringing much needed encouragement and resources to current homeschool families so they will stay the course. • Breaking down the misconceptions and negative stereotypes that many people believe about homeschooling.
Join us in providing this great resource to families considering homeschooling for the first time, to moms struggling with feelings of inadequacy, parents working hard to balance family responsibilities and school time, and to students wondering if they are missing out by not attending public or private schools.
While we are asking you to donate, we really want to build a partnership with you in this important endeavor. As a donor, you will receive regular project updates, and we will call on you to spread the word about the film and podcast. We will work to finish the film with excellence, so that together we can fill theaters and share Schoolhouse Rocked in your community.
“The Kingdom of God is going to be built or comprised of all the nations. And I think that those nations can be blessed and experience the fruit of the Holy Spirit when we line our principals up. There’s lots to say in the Scriptures about government and about the economy and about family and church and marriage. Our forefathers understood that. They don’t get into the “D” and the “R,” they don’t get into the “liberal,” “conservative.” They get into principles that all of us can understand. They’re universal and they’re rooted in the Bible. And that helps me to understand where I sit on these kinds of issues and policies.”
There are few people who are better encouragers than Kirk Cameron. In March, Kirk joined us for a live discussion on Biblical Principles for a Healthy Nation. As we have seen so many things change in our nation since then, we wanted to bring you that discussion. We hope that it will be a great encouragement to you in these uncertain times.
I want to talk about Monumental, not so much about the movie. I mean the movie is fantastic for those who have seen it, it’s just a fantastic movie, Kirk, where you kind of take us on this journey along with you as you kind of bring us back to the founding of our country. And eventually in the movie you end up at this monument called The Matrix of Liberty. And it’s funny because I’ve asked a few people who have not yet seen the movie. “Have you heard of The Matrix of Liberty.” And they are like, “The what, the matrix of what?” And people have not heard of this monument and it’s so important to our nation.
Yeah. They’re probably thinking it’s the sequel to the matrix and it’s some sort of freedom fighter who’s trying to figure out which world he’s in.
So the monument is actually referred to as The Matrix of Liberty. It’s sort of the recipe, the matrix, the code that unlocks freedom. But the official name for it is The National Monument to the Forefathers. And there’s actually quite a few monuments to the pilgrims throughout the country, but that’s the one that really impressed me and that’s why we made that the centerpiece hero of the documentary.
Yeah. How did you find out about it?
So I had never heard of it. I mean, has anybody ever heard of this thing before? I’ve talked with politicians, congressmen, congresswomen, I’ve talked with people like Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity and others who you’d think would know about such a monument because of what it says, and most people have never heard of it.
In fact, if you try to find it you’ll have a hard time. I know people who live in Massachusetts and have never heard of it, even though it’s maybe a mile away from Plymouth Rock, and it is the largest solid granite monument in America. But the problem is it was built on top of a hill. So imagine if my head is a hill in your neighborhood and there’s a little monument that’s sitting on top. But the problem is there were trees that grew up all around it and are now taller than the monument. So you can’t see, especially if you’re down here below looking up and it’s concealed and hidden within this residential neighborhood.
And honestly, most people don’t go see it. Since the documentary (Monumental), they’ve had more traffic, which I’m thankful for. But I think it’s the most important monument in the nation because of what it says. And it spells out the biblical worldview and the recipe that our fore-fathers and fore-mothers used to launch a nation that would later become the freest, the most prosperous, the strongest, healthiest and generous nation sending the Gospel out to more countries than any other. And it’s all wrapped up in this matrix of liberty, like you called it.
I happen to know that you have a replica of it sitting right next to you. So I would love for you to take it and just kind of take us for a tour of it.
Sure. I would love to. Before I show it to you let me just speak directly to some of our viewers who are watching right now. As you watch the news, as you’re having conversations with your kids or your spouse or your friends, you’re texting, you’re emailing, and you’re just wondering what in the world is going on in our country, even beyond the coronavirus. Just look at politics in the way that they’re being handled. It’s amazing. I mean, it seems like gone are the days where we’re able to have respectful disagreements with each other. If you’re on the right and your friends are on the left or if you’re a conservative or if you’re a liberal or you’re a libertarian or you’re an atheist or a Christian, it seems like fighting is the name of the game. And just smashing and crushing anyone who disagrees with you is sort of the way things work now. And with social media, all of that just sort of gets applauded and people are just trying to slam each other. And we look at our economy and we wonder what’s the right way to do that? We’re talking about “democratic socialism” with Bernie Sanders. We’re talking about more of a moderate type of socialism. Is that better? I mean, after all, shouldn’t the government be generous and helping the poor? And shouldn’t the government be taking care of education all the way through to college? Is there financial inequality that should not exist in the country? Or is capitalism a good thing or a bad thing? All of these things have to be answered somehow in the scriptures. And I believe that the Gospel, the Good News that Jesus came to solve the sin problem couples with the Word of God and the Law of God to help not just make healthy individuals and healthy marriages and families, but healthy nations. And the Kingdom of God is going to be built or comprised of all the nations. And I think that those nations can be blessed and experience the fruit of the Holy Spirit when we line our principals up. And there’s lots to say in the scriptures about government and about the economy and about family and church and marriage and all of that stuff.
Our forefathers understood that. And so what I love about this monument is that they don’t get into the “D” and the “R,” they don’t get into the “liberal,” “conservative.” They get into principles that all of us can understand. They’re universal and they’re rooted in the Bible. And that helps me to understand where I sit on these kinds of issues and policies. So let’s jump in.
For those who are seeing this for the very first time, this might remind you a little bit of the Statue of Liberty, but it’s not, in fact, many people think that this was actually the inspiration for the Statue of Liberty because they were raising funds for this in France before the Statue of Liberty was built with little models of what it was going to be.
In fact, this was before the Civil War that this was made. And Abraham Lincoln was one of the very first financial contributors to the building of this monument. So here it is. It’s called The National Monument to the Forefathers.
It says, “The National Monument to the Forefathers erected by a grateful people in remembrance of their labors sacrifices and sufferings for the cause of civil and religious liberty.” So this is a monument that is all about liberty or freedom, but two kinds. It’s in remembrance of both civil and religious liberty. Civil liberty is a government liberty, right? This is our religious freedom. This is our freedom of speech. This is our freedom to assemble all these things.
And then there’s internal religious liberty. And that is the freedom to worship God, to be able to have the Word of God and to practice our faith without government interference. And this is what they were all about.
So first of all, this monument is the largest granite monument in America. It is 88 feet tall. It’s in Plymouth, Massachusetts. And this was established in 1889. It took them 50 years to build it because the project got interrupted by this little thing we like to call the Civil War. And it was going to be twice this height, but the budget got cut in half due to the war. And that’s why actually the reason why the “Faith” figure is twice as tall as any of these smaller statues.
So Faith was going to be as big as everything else, but it got cut in half. But it’s still, today, the largest granite monument in America. So it’s pretty important.
So let’s go through these. The tallest statue, her name is Faith. Below Faith are other figures. There are Morality, Law, Education, and finally Liberty. Each one of them have smaller reliefs on the sides, which are all really significant.
On the front is the names of the passengers of the Mayflower. And then you also have a quote from the governor of the pilgrims, Governor William Bradford.
You can see that faith is at the top, not morality, not education, not liberty. Faith is really the capstone. This is the key. This is the core that holds everything else together, faith. And if you notice she’s pointing to heaven. She’s got one finger pointed to heaven, and she has a star on her forehead and she’s holding a book in her hand, and the pages of that book are being blown open.
It’s not a closed book. It’s open. And she’s standing on this rock. And all those things are pretty significant. The book is the Bible. In fact, it’s not just any Bible, it’s the Geneva Bible. Now, the Geneva Bible was a very unique Bible. In fact, it was a hated by King James. It came out after the King James Bible. Now we all love the King James Bible. It’s a beautiful Bible, and it was the authorized Bible and it’s written so poetically and many, many people quote from the King James Bible. So King James made a great Bible, but he made a terrible King. He was like a tyrant on steroids. And so he hated the Geneva Bible because it was not authorized.
“So this was something that the parents would teach their kids, just like the Bible says. The book in faith’s hand says that, that parents are to train up their children in the way they should go.”
“So if you educate your kids to the second and third generations, as the Jewish people believed, then you can pass on your faith. You could pass on your values, your worldview, and it would result in what everybody wants, right? And what does everybody want? They want freedom. They want liberty. And that’s what the world has never had outside of this strategy, outside of this recipe. Because freedom has to start internally with the heart.”
What made the Geneva Bible so unique was that it had study notes from theologians of the day, and inside the study notes of this Bible, they used phrases and words like tyrants. Now, tyrants referred to government authorities that were bad authorities. But see, King James considered himself to be practically God’s representative on earth. And so there was the mixture of the church and the government together, and he coined the phrase, “the divine right of Kings.” “In essence if God made me King, well, then I’m in charge of you. I’m God’s representative here and you need to do what I say.” Well, that’s a great recipe for becoming a really great tyrant. And so when they use the word tyrant in this Bible and that tyrants need to be opposed, well, of course that’s was against the King.
And this Geneva Bible was also the first English translated Bible that had chapters and verses in the text. So the first time for God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son was John 3:16 was in this Bible, the Geneva Bible. And it was translated and small enough for a family to have one in their house and study it for themselves, rather than having it locked up in a church in a language they couldn’t understand. They were able to read it for themselves rather than having it read to them and explained to them. And that really changed the game in the whole world. And you get to the effects of the reformation and everything else, which is really what launched the pilgrims out of England to the New World.
Isn’t it amazing to think of how we just take it for granted? Of course we have a Bible, we’ve got 20 of them. Which color would you like and or which version would you like? We’ve got so many in our homes and that we just take for granted what we have. We haven’t always had that.
You’re absolutely right. It’s amazing. One of the features of this Bible is you’ll see the pages are being blown open there. It’s not shut. And most that I have talked to, the historians in the area, people who understand that and knew who the architect was, say that that is blown open as if by the wind of the Holy Spirit. It’s being opened and God is opening the scriptures the way that Jesus would open the scriptures to his disciples.
Also on her forehead, you’ll see there is a little star and that star represented wisdom. Our forefathers believed that faith was not just this goosebumps feeling that you had, it wasn’t just this hopeful, trusting in God that you didn’t ask questions. They believed that wisdom was something that you received from God. They also knew we should worship him with our mind, not just with our heart and soul, and that they would reason from the scriptures to all areas of life. So these were thinkers. These were people who really reasoned from the scriptures.
And then of course, she’s pointing to the one true God of heaven. This is not just any deity. This isn’t just some random God that it was okay to have faith in. This was a Christian worldview. This wasn’t just a bunch of agnostics and deists or people of other faiths. It was the Christian faith that they believed was absolutely essential, because that was the true and living faith that could transform the heart of man. And without faith in God and faith in God’s word, none of these principles work.
Right, that is still true today.
And she’s got her foot on a rock, which is Plymouth rock. The real Plymouth Rock is just a short distance away from where this statute sits in Plymouth. So that’s faith. She’s the center and core and capstone of it all.
So we start with Faith. Where do we move from there?
So they would believe that faith would then be expressed through these four different aspects in your society. And first we can go to Morality and she’s seated on her chair. And if you look closely, you’ll see that Morality’s eyes are closed. Some of the other statues have their eyes open, but morality’s is closed. She’s looking inward. It’s suggesting that morality is an inner quality. Morality is not just an external standard that is forced on you by the government. It’s an internal virtue or set of virtues. And if you look in her hands, she’s holding the 10 Commandments in her left hand and the scroll of Revelation in her right hand. On the Ten Commandments, on that touchstone tablet, it says Exodus 20. These are the words that God spoke to Moses.
If you look below Morality, she’s got another little carving here and it says “Prophet.” and on the other side it says “Evangelist.” There’s an evangelist who’s actually preaching the Gospel to lost souls. How’s all that tied into morality? Well, they believe that morality must first start with a transformation of the heart, which is coming from the power of God when the Gospel is preached. So once the heart is transformed, you then begin to love what God loves and hate what God hates by the power of his Spirit. And now you need a standard, which was given to us by the prophet Moses when he came down from Mount Sinai with those Ten Commandments, those two tablets. And there she’s holding it as well as the scroll of Revelation indicating that our morality is founded on both the morality found in the Old Testament and in the New Testament.
I look around in our culture today and our morality has shifted a little bit from this standard. Right?
It’s so interesting that she’s holding the 10 Commandments, which is also known as the moral law.
When we look at the moral law and how we as humans have broken God’s moral law, it has separated us from him.
That’s right. That’s how we know that we’ve sinned. When we look at the Ten Commandments it’s just like a mirror. In fact, Scripture calls God’s moral law a mirror. And if we look into it, we can see what we look like from God’s perfect perspective, and that we’re broken and dirty and that we need his healing and his cleansing.
So the reason that this morality is so important is that not only do we please God personally when we are moral people, but it allows us to make good laws in our nation. And that’s the next figure, “Law” and laws are morals.
Now, some people will say, “Well, you can’t legislate morality. You just can’t be imposing your morals on other people.” Well, if you think about it all laws are legislating somebody’s morality. I mean, if someone says, “Well, you need to go 55 miles an hour because you’re going to be endangering other people’s lives and you shouldn’t be doing that.” That’s legislating morals. That’s what laws are. They’re there to protect the people and to minimize evil. And that’s the government’s job. Government exists to restrain evil. So good laws are portrayed by the man of law who’s seated in his judge’s chair.
And he’s holding the Book of Law in his hand. His other hand is outstretched in mercy. And if you notice the book in his hand, of law, is directly beneath the book in Faith’s hand. And this is indicating that the laws of man must always line up under God’s laws. And so God’s laws are always superior. If they don’t line up and agree with God’s laws in the Bible, they’re not good laws. And those good laws are characterized on the right side by Justice.
Lady Justice is holding the scales of justice in one hand and a sword in her other hand. There’s an inference there that laws must be just, and that justice is always to be served and dealt out when laws are broken. That’s why the government does not bear the sword in vain.
On the other side is Mercy, and Mercy is there to balance out injustice. And that’s what we see in the scriptures. We see justice and mercy, justice and mercy. And the judge is able to either sentence someone to a just punishment or to extend mercy because he’s a man of morality and faith himself.
What a beautiful representation of God, our savior who is just, but he also is merciful at the same time. I mean, it’s hard to combine those two things. But wow, what a beautiful picture of our savior that is!
That’s right. Our kids try to catch us on that, right? “You’re always going with justice, where’s the mercy? Give me mercy.”
All the time. My daughter asks for grace all the time. “Mom can you please do show me grace just this one time.”
So that’s law. You must have good laws in your nation, in your society, in your culture. I think it’s important to remember too, that this idea that government can solve our problems if we just elect the right person or we just have the right laws in place is incorrect. Our forefathers understood that a big powerful government that took care of everything was really a bad idea. That’s why they came out of England, right? I mean, King James, he did everything. He owned everything. He had all the power. You lived and died based on what the good King said was best for you. That wasn’t their idea of a good way to live.
So they understood that the first kind of law that needs to be adopted are personal laws. – that I’m going to love God with all of my heart, mind, soul, and strength, and I’m going to love my neighbor as myself. So the government, in their mind started, with self-government, without self-government and people running around and taking advantage of each other you’re going to need to find a police officer. Now, you’re going to need to find somebody to help you protect yourself against all these thieves and people killing each other and doing all this stuff because they’re not self-governing under God’s laws.
But if you do self-govern, then you don’t need… Look, if kids would govern themselves, they wouldn’t need parents to discipline them, right? And if parents would govern themselves, we wouldn’t need police officers to come and take care of domestic problems. And if the police could take care of local problems, we wouldn’t need the national guard to show up in a city because locally we’re taking care of things and that’s what they understood. So personal self-government, obeying God’s laws on a personal level takes care of so much that there should not be much need for big authoritarian government from the top down.
Right. It’s interesting, the Bible says “foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child.” And I would say it’s not just bound up in the heart of a child, it’s bound up in the heart of man. We, as humans, are foolish, rebellious people, which is why we need God’s law. We need God’s moral law to tell us how to live. It’s why we need God’s Word to direct us and guide us in the ways of the Lord.
So once you have some good laws in your nation and people are governing themselves with good morality, and that morality is built on a transformation of the heart by the Word of God, and you’re trusting in the true God of heaven, our provider, our protector. Then you can begin to do the… I want to say the finer things in life, but it’s not just the finer things. These are essential things in life. But if you’re constantly fighting and just trying to survive and protect against internal strife in your society, you’re not going to have the opportunity to teach your kids math and to teach them history and to teach them all these other things. But if you have good laws and good morality and trusting in the Lord, and you’re receiving his blessing, now you can teach your kids about architecture. You can teach them about warfare. You can teach them all about charity and all of the things that make life worth living.
So here we have Education and Education is a woman seated in a chair. This woman is representing a parent figure. And I know that the pilgrims did not see education as any less than a parent-led privilege and responsibility. They would never go along with the idea of a government funded, government run school. Why? Well, think of it. They just came out of England and if King James or queen Elizabeth was funding a school system, the first thing that would be out of the school, it’d be the Bible. And it would be, “Do whatever the King or the queen says.” And so this was something that the parents would teach their kids, just like the Bible says. The book in Faith’s hand says that parents are to “train up their children in the way they should go.” And so she’s holding the books of knowledge.
She has a wreath of victory around her head. She can do this this, this woman, this mom has gotten what is required for her to educate her children. On her right it says “youth” and there’s a picture of a mom training her child in the way they should go so that when they become old, and there’s an old man right here, his name is Wisdom and he’s holding a globe and he’s holding a Bible indicating that he has a Biblical worldview.
So if you educate your kids to the second and third generations, as the Jewish people believed, then you can pass on your faith. You could pass on your values, your worldview, and it would result in what everybody wants, right? And what does everybody want? They want freedom. They want liberty. And that’s what the world has never had outside of this strategy, outside of this recipe. Because freedom has to start internally with the heart.
And that’s what we read in the very beginning for both civil and religious liberty. As we continue, we see liberty man. He’s strong. He’s ready to fight. He’s got a sword in his hand, he’s got a helmet on his head, and he has a breast plate. He’s got all of the things that he needs for battle.
In fact, you can see the entire armor of God that we see in Ephesians 6 represented right here, the helmet of salvation, the breastplate of righteousness, the belt of truth, the sandals of the Gospel of peace, the sword of the Spirit.
The chains on his wrists and on his ankles are broken. He has been liberated and set free. He’s been set free internally from the power of sin by the Gospel. And he’s been set free externally from the power of tyrants. And if you look on his shoulder, you’ll see there’s a lion’s claw. There is a lion draped over his back. That lion represents tyranny. Tyranny has been overthrown, the lion represented England. And he Liberty has overthrown the tyrant.
And on his side is a picture of his wife and her name is Peace. She’s holding a basket full of gifts for her family and for her friends.
Liberty is ready to defend his faith. He’s ready to defend his morals, the laws of his country. And also the ability to educate his children in a biblical worldview. This is the liberty man. And this is the result of The Matrix of Liberty. You don’t start with that guy. You finish with that guy after you have Faith, Morality, Law, Education, and generations of those virtues produce men and women of liberty.
Yvette Hampton was recently on the Be The People podcast with Schoolhouse Rocked cast member, Carol M. Swain, to talk about homeschooling and Schoolhouse Rocked.
“What knowledge and skills does it take to become a successful home-schooling parent? In this episode, I interview Yvette Hampton, a home-schooling parent and producer of the forthcoming film: School House Rocked: The Home-Schooling Revolution. Yvette updates us on the film and legal and educational resources available to parents contemplating their next steps.”
“Yvette and Garritt Hampton are the producers of a feature-length documentary on home schooling in America. The film, Schoolhouse Rocked: The Homeschool Revolution, is in post-production. Yvette and I discuss the more than two-million families who now home school and the challenges they face. Join us for an informative session with a true believer who has interviewed education experts, curriculum developers, parents, and families across the nation.”
Carol M. Swain, PhD is an award-winning political scientist, a former professor of political science and professor of law at Vanderbilt University, and a lifetime member of the James Madison Society at Princeton University.
Join Yvette Hampton as she tells Israel Wayne the story of how she and Garritt began homeschooling their daughters and why they went out to make Schoolhouse Rocked. In this episode Israel also discusses the rise of public education and home education and contrasts the story of Schoolhouse Rocked and Indoctrination, which he was also involved with. Israel is a great friend of the Schoolhouse Rocked team and has been an important part of the movie, the Schoolhouse Rocked Podcast, and the Homegrown Generation Family Expo.
I know how intimidating the thought of teaching math at home can be. When our family began homeschooling over 9 years ago, my greatest fear was having to teach math to my girls. And I don’t say that lightly. When I was in school, which was quite a long time ago, math was mymost dreadedsubject. So, naturally, I didn’t look forward to the idea of teaching it. Afterall, how could I teach the very subject I struggled with the most? (There’s a reason I frequent the calculator on my iPhone!)
In spite of my original terror at the thought of having to teach math at home I have great news for you. There are excellent resources to make teaching math at home completely manageable – even for me. And if I can do it you can do it too!
When Brooklyn was in kindergarten, I vividly remember having a conversation with my good friend Ashley, whose daughter was in 3rd grade at the time. She told me about a math program called Teaching Textbooks. I actually wrote it on a piece of paper and filed it away in my school file box so that I wouldn’t forget about this revolutionary math program and the answer to my math problems (pun intended). When we hit 3rd grade I was ready! I new the answer to our homeschool math needs. We could finally use this fantastic tool and could focus on the things I love most like reading to my girls, studying history, playing games, and spending time outdoors with them. I have to admit that even though I couldn’t wait to get started, I knew I could effectively teach kindergarten, first grade, and second grade math skills while we waited.
As soon as we could, our family jumped on the Teaching Textbooksbandwagon and we have never looked back. We LOVE Teaching Textbooks! The program is so well thought out and executed. It’s easy to access. The concepts are clearly explained. It’s fun and interactive. It’s visually appealing, especially to its young users and, I don’t have to grade math papers or keep track of grades. The program does it all for me. I honestly couldn’t ask for anything more. And my girls love it too!
I asked my girls what they thought about Teaching Textbooks and here’s what they had to say about it:
I love the interaction from the instructor and the fun, animated characters. It’s easy to understand and I like how short the lessons are. I also like the “encouragement” from the automated program when I get a problem right.
– Brooklyn (age 14)
“I like how it’s fun and how it makes math seem so easy. And I like that I can do it on my own. I like how I can put little characters up and check my grade book anytime.”
– Lacey (age 9)
One of the greatest blessings of homeschooling is that we are able to teach for MASTERY. While students in a school classroom are forced to move at the pace of the rest of the class, homeschool students are able to spend extra time to really learn the subjects that they are struggling with or move ahead if they are excelling in a subject. This is especially important with math, as math is progressive. Math concepts build on themselves and if you miss steps as you are learning you will definitely struggle with learning more complicated concepts in the future. In my experience, Teaching Textbooks has been great in this area. At times, my daughters have been able to move more quickly or slowly through lessons, without feeling rushed or frustrated. This has allowed my girls to actually enjoy learning math – something that I was never able to do!
If you are looking for a solid math program for 3rd grade throug Pre-Calculus, Teaching Textbooks is definitely worth looking into. The program is very reasonably priced, and they even offer a large-family plan.
You can even try the first 15 lessons for FREE! If you are considering which math curriculum to use, take advantage of the Free Trialof the first 15 lessons of any Teaching Textbooks level. This means you will have access to their lectures, their audiovisual solutions (to each problem), their eBook, and the automated grading feature. You have nothing to lose.
If you haven’t tried Teaching Textbooks yet, you’re missing out! Give it a try and let me know what you and your kids think.
Photo by Science in HD on Unsplash
We feel the highest responsibility to faithfully serve and support the homeschool community. One of the ways we do this is by recommending the BEST homeschooling curriculum, products, and services. We use every product we recommend, and we paid for these products for many years before we ever received any free products or financial support from the companies we recommend. We would like to thank Teaching Textbooks for sponsoring the Homegrown Generation Family Expo and for sponsoring The Schoolhouse Rocked Podcast in the past. Their support of the homeschool community is greatly appreciated. While they are a valued sponsor they are a PRIZED RESOURCE that we couldn’t live without!
“We found ourselves in a situation where we were at this impasse where we realized that our kids were being discipled away from us. Because whenever there is influence, whenever there is training, whenever there was teaching, there was discipleship.”
– Meeke Addison
Yvette Hampton recently had the opportunity to interview Meeke Addison for The Schoolhouse Rocked Podcast about the importance of preparing our children for the ongoing culture war. Meeke Addison is the Assistant Director of Special Initiatives at the American Family Association and co-host of Airing the Addisons on AFR. Her work with AFA began in 2007 as a stay-at-home mom in Louisiana. Since then she has primarily served on-air as a radio personality.
Yvette Hampton: Hey, everyone. This is Yvette Hampton. Welcome back to The Schoolhouse Rocked Podcast. I have such a great guest on today with me, and I’m so excited for you to get to meet her. Her name is Meeke Addison, and she was actually introduced to me by Israel Wayne. I know that many of you know Israel. He’s been on the podcast several times, and he said, “You need to meet this lady, Meeke Addison.” And I said, “Okay,” so we started checking into her, because this is what we do. We use the internet to spy on people. And so, Garritt actually started listening to your radio show, and just following you on Facebook. He’s been for months, and he said, “We have got to get this lady on the podcast. She is such an encouragement.” So, I’m really, really excited, Meeke, to have you on today. I would love it if you would introduce yourself to our audience.
Meeke Addison: Well, thank you. I’m so excited to be with you guys, and that means so much to know, because we have so many different outlets, people can listen to whatever they want. So, it’s an honor to me and for me that anybody would listen to anything that I have to say. I’m Wil Addison’s wife, and we’ve been married for 15 years, and I’m the mother of his five children, and we homeschool. That’s my full-time job. My part-time job is as a spokesperson for the American Family Association, and I picked that up from my good friend, Abraham Hamilton. He says that what we do out in the culture, that is part-time work, but that our full-time work is with our families.
Meeke Addison: And so, anyway, I do that, and I host a national radio show for an hour, Monday through Friday, where we talk about cultural issues. We talk about marriage, the family. We look at what’s going on with the church, and how we can hold the line. That’s what we’re constantly encouraging people to do, hold the line in 21st century America.
Yvette Hampton: Yeah, I love it. Well, you are doing amazing work. I love what you just said about Abraham Hamilton III, right?
Meeke Addison: That’s correct.
Yvette Hampton: He’s your pastor, I learned, and he’s another great advocate for Jesus and homeschooling and culture, and just this desperate revival that we are in need of. You said that being a mom is a full-time job, and the other stuff is your part-time job. And we just actually did a podcast about motherhood, the ministry of motherhood. I kind of gave my testimony of what the Lord’s been doing in my heart, and going from working full-time with Schoolhouse Rocked, and pouring my whole self into that and realizing that my first priority really needed to be my children. And so, the Lord has really been working in our family, and kind of allowing me to let go of some Schoolhouse Rocked stuff, except for the podcast, and allowing me to be more present with my family. And so, I love that that is your primary ministry as well.
Yvette Hampton: And you know, that podcast, it wasn’t at all to say we shouldn’t ever work, as wives and as moms, we should never, ever, ever work outside of taking care of our families. But there has to be balance in doing that. We need to know what our priorities are, and so I really appreciate you saying that.
Yvette Hampton: I know that the Lord has done many great things through you, and you and I got to talk on the phone the other day, and you got to share with me your story about how you started homeschooling. And so, I would love for you to tell that story, and then I want to talk about culture, and how homeschooling kind of ties into this whole culture war that we have going on. So, share with us your homeschool story.
Meeke Addison: We found ourselves in a situation where we were at this impasse where we realized that our kids were being discipled away from us. Because whenever there is influence, whenever there is training, whenever there was teaching, there was discipleship. You are making people who are followers. And so, we had our kids, the two oldest of the five were educated traditionally, outside of our home, and one of the things that we noticed was just these slow changes happening in them, where the things that they cared about and the things that grabbed their attention seemed to be more the things of the world.
Meeke Addison: And they had wonderful, Godly teachers. We live in a small community, and so they went down to First Baptist in our area, and the teachers are active in the community. But at the same time, I started to notice that those became my girls’ influence, that their teachers and that their peers were their influence. Add to that, I felt like I was spending 2-3 hours after they got home every day just kind of reteaching them, and Yvette, I just felt like, why am I doing this? I’m frustrated, and then also I’m adding time to my day to teach them the way I wanted them to be taught.
Meeke Addison: And after prayer, and just Will and I putting our heads together, we felt like the Lord was really directing us to homeschool them. I guess that was 2015, and we haven’t looked back. I was expecting baby number four. I keep track of life by the babies that I’m expecting. But I was expecting baby number four, and that’s when we made the decision that when the school year came to a close, we would homeschool.
Yvette Hampton: Yeah. I love that. In your radio show that you host, you talk a lot about culture, and this culture war that we are in. And I would love for you to talk about it from the perspective of a Christian homeschool mom. What do you see going on in the culture right now, and how can we as homeschool moms help this revival that is really needed to take place?
“The reality is that it’s not the type of America that I think even you and I grew up in. I think it’s rapidly changing, and what we have to recognize is that it’s not a neutral change. It is a very aggressive change that pulls toward darkness.”
– Meeke Addison
Meeke Addison: I think one of the big mistakes that we make is that we think the culture is neutral. We think that the culture does not have a goal or an aim, or that it is not aggressive with that goal or that aim. And that’s one of the things that we try to sort of awake and stir the Christian community to see, in that the culture is making grabs all the time, and actually, it’s predominant, right? Our country has undergone a shift where it’s no longer the Christian culture that is predominant. We’ve heard people describe this as post-Christian America, and what does this look like?
Meeke Addison: But the reality is that it’s not the type of America that I think even you and I grew up in. I think it’s rapidly changing, and what we have to recognize is that it’s not a neutral change. It is a very aggressive change that pulls toward darkness. So, you can’t just expect your kid to be out in this culture and be unaffected. Your kid doesn’t just go out into the world and arrive at a neutral position. Your kid going out into the world is going to arrive at the position that’s already established by the culture. And it is antithetical to the faith.
Yvette Hampton: That’s right. It truly is, and we’re trusting that because we have them at home with us, when we have them at home with us if we have them out in the public, we’re teaching them Bible verses, and maybe they go to one, and they go to church on Sunday morning, and so we think oftentimes at Christian parents, well, that’s enough. They know we love Jesus. But then for 35 or 40 hours a week, we’re putting them under the influence of someone else, and someone else’s ideas, and someone else’s religion, really, because everybody believes in something, and there is religion being taught in public schools. And oftentimes even in private schools, there is false religion being taught in those schools, as well. And so, yes, I think it’s a very difficult thing to expect our kids to spend all of that time away from us, and then still come back with our own values and believes and morals. It’s a war. It’s a battle that we fight.
Meeke Addison: It is a war.
Yvette Hampton: What can we as parents who, some listening to this are homeschool parents, some are not. Some are trying to future out this homeschool thing and wondering is this for us, is this something that we want to pursue. How can we have a greater influence on our kids, and therefore in our culture?
Meeke Addison: The first thing I think we have to realize is that there is the need for greater influence. I think sometimes, we start talking about hey, here are some solutions you have to do, but I don’t know that Christian parents, or even nominal Christian parents, have even bought in to the idea that there’s really a war, that they really need to be aggressive in this. And so, one of the things that we try to do with our kids is, we try to parent them for the America that they live in now. Not the America that we knew. Not the America that our grandparents knew. But we try to parent our kids based on the America that we live in now and the unchanging message of the Gospel.
Meeke Addison: So, we still teach our kids that they are peculiar. We teach them that they will have, by default, a different approach to live, and we believe that we have to prepare them now so that when they go out into the world, they’re not shocked to discover that they’re not well-liked. They’re not shocked to discover that people don’t love their message. Because you know what, there was a time when we were all just pretty good. Christians were everywhere, and everybody kind of had the same values and the same morals.
Meeke Addison: But for those of us that are adhering to the word of God, we’re waking up to the reality that where the rubber meets the road is that a Bible-believing Christian will be called hateful, will be called a bigot, will be called narrow-minded. And you can believe in a Jesus who accepts everyone as they are and doesn’t require anything of us, and is just one path among many. But if you say what the Bible says about Jesus Christ, that he is the only way, he is the only way to God, he is the only one who forgives our sin, then you’re narrow-minded, and we don’t want that type of Christian to be in our circles. So, we prepare our kids, and this is going to sound weird, I know, but we prepare our kids to not be popular in the current culture that we live in.
Yvette Hampton: How do you do that? Practically speaking?
Meeke Addison: Okay, this is going to sound really weird, right? But one of the verses, and we may get into this a little bit later, but I really believe that a kid or a student who is fully trained, as the Bible teaches us, is going to be like their teacher, right?
Yvette Hampton: That’s right, Luke 6:40.
Meeke Addison: Exactly right. So, I try to ensure that Wil and I are the number one influences in our kids’ lives. And so, we model for them that we as your parents are not chasing after the latest fad. We’re not into everything that’s cool and popular. There are things that we filter, even as adults. We constantly tell our kids, the things that we say, no, you’re not going to participate in that, or we don’t watch that, we call it consumption, we’re not consuming those things, you know what I mean? We tell them, guess what, we subject ourselves to these same rules, because these rules aren’t arbitrary. It’s not, we do it because we’re adults and you can’t because you’re kids. We say, no, this is what we do as people who follow the Lord Jesus Christ.
Meeke Addison: So, practically, what we try to do is make sure that we ourselves are not in the world to be loved by the world. That we’re not in the world to be liked. So, that means that we’re not ripping and running all the time. We’re not trying to keep up on the latest things. I cannot stress enough how parents influence their kids with their actions more than what they say. So, it means that the things that we value, we want to make sure that it’s Biblical, and then we want to communicate that it our kids so that these are also the things that they value, and it’s as natural to them as breathing. It’s the way that we live our lives.
Yvette Hampton: Yes, yes. I love that so much. It’s a hard thing to do, especially because we have grown up in a culture where we want to be liked. We want to be popular. I definitely, thinking back to my high school years, it’s so funny, I was just talking to my daughter about this the other day, and I said, I remember high school and junior high like it was yesterday. I graduated in 1993, and that was a long time ago, but I remember it like it was yesterday. And I remember that deep desire to be popular. I wanted to be liked by everybody, and I wanted to be the cool girl.
Yvette Hampton: And that’s something that even as an adult, I find myself going into, I want people to like me. I don’t want people to dislike me. And it’s hard to not conform to the culture around us. But I mentioned this on last week’s podcast, where we talked about when my oldest was born, I had a very wise mom come along side me, and she said, you become the wife and mom that you want her to grow up to be.
Meeke Addison: Yes!
Yvette Hampton: And that’s it.
Meeke Addison: That’s wonderful.
Yvette Hampton: That’s who I want her to become. And I’m going to fail a million times, because I’m a simple human, but at least I can attempt and to my very best to be who God made me be. And then we get to teach our kids. I went on a walk with her this morning, actually, and we were talking about identity, and how her identity is found in Christ and being Christlike. It’s not found in the culture. It’s not found in what magazines say is the new fashion, and what things on TV say, and how you should talk, and what music you should listen to. And it’s hard to keep them from that.
Yvette Hampton: We’re very intentional about what our girls say. We’re not TV-watchers. We’re not really big movie-watchers, which is kind of ironic, since my husband is a filmmaker. But oftentimes, we sit down and we’re like, let’s see if we can watch a movie, and it seems almost impossible to find even a decent movie for us to watch as a family.
Meeke Addison: I agree.
Yvette Hampton: But that’s okay. Then we end up playing a game, which is what we do all the time anyway. But it is difficult. It’s difficult to be set apart. How do your children react to that? Has that just been something that they just know, because that’s how your family is? Or do they push against you on that ever?
Meeke Addison: No, I have to say, each of our kids has their own unique personality. I’ve noticed that there are objections, but those objections are raised differently. With our oldest, she tends to be, she was very strong-willed. From the age of three to seven, it was consistent and constant discipline and character-shaping. Oh my goodness, it was exhausting for me. But man, the spirit of God just really gave ne, I guess, the endurance to know that if I can get to this point and not just leave her on autopilot, it’s going to produce a reward, and I have seen that. She’s 13 years old now, and she is my second-in-command. We always had that ability, but it needed to be channeled.
Meeke Addison: I remember having a conversation with her, she was maybe about seven or eight, and it was almost the height of the rebellion, challenging everything. And I said to her, I said, listen, without consequence, let’s have a conversation. What do you want? What is going on? I said, you’re not going to be in trouble. I just need to know what it is. And my daughter said to me, she said, I want to be your boss. I want to be your boss.
Yvette Hampton: Hey, at least she knew.
Meeke Addison: This was a breakthrough for me, because I understood that what we’re doing here is now we’re battling for leadership. And so, I had an opportunity to teach her that the time is going to come where she is going to be able to be in her own family, and she will be the mom in the family. She will be in that position of leadership. And it was a wonderful moment, and it changed the course of our relationship. So now, she is actually very honest with me when she is tempted to rebel. When she feels like things are not going her way, we’ve built the kind of relationship where she will tell me.
Meeke Addison: Then, I have my second daughter, who is compliant outwardly, but inwardly, no. I disagree. I don’t understand the reasoning. I don’t understand why we have to do it that way. And I’ve noticed that in her, and so I’ve tried to encourage honesty and transparency. Do you sometimes think that my rules are arbitrary? Yes. Do you sometimes think that we don’t need to do it that way? Yes. Let me explain to you why we’re doing it this way, and let me explain to you that again, when you’re married, or if that’s not the Lord’s will for you, but when you’re on your own or however this all works out, after you leave this house, which that’s a whole other topic, we’re not pushing our kids out. But so, I have to deal with them each differently.
Meeke Addison: And then, I have another son who he doesn’t understand why the world is so wicked. He really just doesn’t understand why people are not better. He’s 10. He’s very philosophical in his thinking. He’s very scholarly, so he reads a lot. And he reads the Bible a lot on his own. He just loves the Word of God. And he goes, there’s nothing that the Bible doesn’t speak to, is what he says all the time, when he has an issue.
Meeke Addison: And to go back to another question that you asked, Yvette, one of the things that we have tried to do, as homeschooling parents, we still try to make sure that our kids do not see us as the final authority. We position the Word of God as the final authority, and when they ask us questions, we take them to the Scriptures, and we say to them all the time, this is the straight edge. This is the straight edge. And so, we try to take them back to the Word of God, and I feel like that’s helped them to process a lot of what our objections are, because they see them as Biblical objections and not just parental usurpation. I don’t know. I guess these little people, they want to be independent.
Yvette Hampton: Yes, yes. I love it so much. And it’s true. Our girls are kind of flip-flopped from yours, in that my oldest is the more outwardly compliant, and my youngest is very strong-willed, and it’s so net to hear her, because we’ve really been working on her strong will. And it’s strong. I didn’t … I never really understood what a temper tantrum was until she came along. Then I was like, oh, that’s actually a thing. It’s different from a tantrum. A temper tantrum is something completely different.
Meeke Addison: Wow.
Yvette Hampton: But she prays now. Like yours, she has such a soft heart, and often, almost daily, she prays, Lord, help me to use my strong will in a way that honors You. Because God gave her that strong will, and I want her to use it in a way that honors Him. I don’t want to take it away from her. She just needs to use it in the right direction.
Meeke Addison: That’s right.
Yvette Hampton: She can do big things for His Kingdom if will learn to honor and obey Him. And what a beautiful thing.
Yvette Hampton: We were talking about how God is the final authority, and we were talking about parenting, and just teaching our kids that it’s not our rules that we are enforcing upon our children, but it’s really God’s authority, and just saying this is what God has for us. And I say this on the podcast all the time, so for those who listen, they know. One of the things we tell our girls constantly, and it has been said many times today. Today has been one of those days for us. But we tell them all the time that sin causes pain, but obedience brings blessings.
Meeke Addison: Amen.
Yvette Hampton: And the reason that we want them to obey is because we want them to have a life of blessings, and not a life of pain. And here’s the thing, life is painful. Obedience doesn’t mean you’re not going to have any pain in your life at all, because we live in a sinful, fallen world. But it’s a different kind of pain than the pain that you choose for yourself because of your own disobedience.
Yvette Hampton: And so, we are constantly trying to just pour God’s word over them, and it’s one of the greatest things about having them home with us, is because we get to be the ones … you and I were talking about the different character traits in our children, the strong-willed versus the one who is outwardly obedient but not so much inwardly obedient. And when we have them with us for the majority of the time, we get to work with them one-on-one and focus on who God created them to be, and what a wonderful and amazing privilege that we have. And not just a privilege, but a responsibility that we have as their parents to pour truth into their hearts, and help them to become who God created them to be.
Yvette Hampton: So, I would love for you, I know you’ve got some scripture that you share with your kids and your family, and I would love for you to share with us some scripture that you go back to for conviction, and for the encouragement and training of your children.
Meeke Addison: Yeah. One of them we kind of alluded to in the previous broadcast, which was the understanding that … and this is sort of like, whenever it’s taxing. Whenever I feel overwhelmed, or whenever I feel like maybe I talk to a friend, and they’re like, we’re studying this and we’re doing this, and that temptation kind of rises up to compare yourself, and you think, wait a minute, should I also be doing that? I don’t know if I’m …
Meeke Addison: And I think about, what’s the purpose? Why am I doing what I’m doing? I’m not doing this so that my kids will be competitive in the world. That’s not the reason that I’m doing this. I am doing this because I really do believe that when a student is fully trained, he or she will be like their teacher. And so, I go back to that whenever I feel discouraged, whenever I feel like I’m overwhelmed, or even when the enemy tries to condemn me. These feelings that we battle with as moms, like am I meeting all of their goals? Are there going to be gaps? Are there things that I don’t know?
Meeke Addison: I remind myself of the reason that I’m doing this, and the reason that I’m doing this is so that I can pass the Gospel on to them intact. I want them to have the truth of the Gospel. Not some American version of the Gospel. Not some 21st century version of the Gospel. But I want them to have the faith as it has been handed down to us, and that’s why we do what we do.
Yvette Hampton: Yep. You talk about the American version of the Gospel, and I know that one of the things that you really focus on in your ministry is the church, and where the church is today. Can you talk a little bit about what you’re seeing in church culture, and how we can be part of some change that needs to go on?
Meeke Addison: Yeah. I feel like there’s always been a battle in the church. I tell people all the time that the Gospel has never existed in safety. We have this idea where we think that back in this day, or in this time period, it was just easy to hold on to the Gospel. It’s never been easy to hold on to the Gospel. Through persecution, through loss of live, through insidious methods infiltrating the church, the Gospel has always been under attack.
Meeke Addison: But I think in the United States of America, it’s been different because we kind of think that that can’t happen in the United States of America, that the Gospel cannot be under attack because America, and my husband says this often, America and Christianity have grown up alongside one another. And so now, people think that Americanism is Christianity.
Yvette Hampton: Right.
Meeke Addison: But the two are distinct, and one is supposed to influence the other. It’s supposed to be Christianity that influences the culture, influences the nature. Unfortunately, what we’ve seen is, we’ve seen Americanism influence Christianity, and that was never supposed to be. We see this represented in our churches, where our churches have growth models, like they’re businesses, right? Where how do we grow our church? Well, you do that by conversion. You do that because the Gospel bears fruit everywhere that it’s preached, and then the church grows.
Meeke Addison: If you read through Acts, we’ve been studying through the Book of Acts with our children, because we want them to understand that our faith is real, that it’s something that has passed down through generations, that it holds up under scrutiny. And so, when you go back to that, when you look at the Lord adding daily to the number of believers who are being saved, you look at the Gospel bearing fruit, one of the things I think that our church got into, our churches in America, was really just Americanism.
Meeke Addison: How do we create more popular youth groups? And I’m not anti-youth groups, but I just feel like if we have gotten to a place, and Yvette, I think we have, but if we’ve gotten to a place where we think it’s the youth pastor’s job to train my kid, if I think it’s the church’s job to equip my kid to stand against the onslaught of the culture, then I’m sorry, and not to be offensive, but we’re raising lazy Christians. And we ourselves are lazy believers. If we think that someone else is supposed to do that, it’s sort of like outsourcing discipleship. You know what I mean? Who can I get to do that for me, so that I don’t have to get my hands dirty? Well, you’re going to get your hands dirty.
Meeke Addison: My husband says all the time, he says, we glamorize being fishers of men, and yeah, but at some point when you catch the fish, you have to clean them. It doesn’t stop with catching them, and that’s the discipleship. That’s the dirty work, where you have to really get in there and shape character. Well, I’m doing that first and foremost with my kids. That’s where it starts, and then after that, I’m discipling women, because I believe the Lord has called us to that, that older women are to teach younger women.
Meeke Addison: And so, that’s important to me. But my work is first with my own kids. They’re right here. They’re closest to me in proximity. So, I don’t want to skip over them and then go to meet somebody else’s need, and my own kids are growing up like these wild weeds, you know?
Yvette Hampton: Yeah, yeah, yeah. I love this conversation. I love what we’re talking about. I love talking about the church, and how America has really influenced the church, instead of the church influencing America. And that’s really what we’re seeing happen. And it’s not just in America, actually. It’s all over the world. We see that in European countries. I mean, it’s everywhere.
Yvette Hampton: And I think that Satan is very clever. I think that he wants people to believe that they’re Christians if they go to church and they say all the right things, and they serve in church, and they serve the homeless. And I’m not saying any of that stuff is bad by any means. Of course it’s not. But we tend to think that just playing the game is our ticket to heaven, instead of people having a really deep, sincere, longing relationship with and for the Lord.
Yvette Hampton: That is one of the things that we desperately work on teaching our girls, is we want them to thirst for the Lord. We want them to desperately want to know Him and have a relationship with Him, because it’s their relationship, it’s not ours. They don’t get to ride on our coattails into heaven.
Meeke Addison: That’s right.
Yvette Hampton: And it’s a hard thing to do. But all we can do is what God has called us to do, and be diligent in doing that. You have such a passion for Christian parents, and I know that for women, as well. You talked about Titus 2:3-5, and that the older women are to teach the younger women. And you’ve talked about this a little bit already, you did this in the first part of the podcast, but I would love for you to give some very practical advice on how we can very practically teach our children to love Jesus.
Meeke Addison: My first piece of advice would be, we have to live that out. That has to be true for us. We can’t desire something for our kids that isn’t fist true for us.
Yvette Hampton: Right.
Meeke Addison: So, that’s our first prayer point, that we as the Lord, by the power of His Holy Spirit, to give us a genuine love for Him, that we ask the Lord to create in us a clean heart, to renew our right spirit within us. If the things of this world have overtaken us, then we need to confess that. We need to bring that to the Lord. If we ourselves have been, I don’t know, captivated by Americanism, then again, we need to confess that and bring that to the Lord. So, that’s number one.
Meeke Addison: Number two, I approach training our kids like I approach discipling other people’s kids. We were missionaries for a number of years, and we trained university kids. And so, I look at my kids like an extension of that work that we did as missionaries. That means that I start with the Word of God as our authority and as our straight edge, and I talk to them like real people made in the image of God. I don’t disciple them, and this would be point number three.
Meeke Addison: I don’t disciple them for them to make me look good. Because our kids are not here to make us look good. In fact, our kids are going to embarrass us. Our kids are going to say things, they’re going to have these little road bumps along the way as they grow in their faith. And I’m reminded of my own walk with the Lord, where there were things that I didn’t know, I didn’t understand perfectly, and the Lord was patient with me. He didn’t cast me away because I embarrassed him. No, the Lord was patient and enduring and long-suffering. And so, I want to have that as a model with my kids. They say things on a regular basis that I’m going, and where was that in Scripture?
Meeke Addison: So, that’s number four. When they make claims about Christ … We’re going through the book of Acts, and so recently we’re on Acts chapter 17, where the Apostle Paul has moved on from Thessalonica, and he’s going to Berea, and the Bible says that the Bereans were more noble than the Thessalonians because they actually checked the Scriptures to see what the Apostles were saying was true. And so, I told our kids. And this is something that holds me, my feet to the fire. I tell them, if somebody makes a truth claim about the Lord, about His character, about His nature, your first question should be, where was that in Scripture? Where’d you get that? Where is that?
Meeke Addison: And my son doesn’t miss a beat. He’s like, yeah, that’s great. He goes, mom, I was wondering. He goes, you said that Barnabas and Luke … or John Mark. You said that Barnabas and John Mark were cousins. He goes, where is that in the Bible? And I said, you know what, JD, I read it. I need to get that reference for you, but that’s a great catch. If I’m going to make a claim that Paul and Barnabas split up because of this dispute with Mark, and Mark was Barnabas’s cousin, well, that’s sensational. And so, I need to be able to back that up.
Meeke Addison: So, I was talking to my husband, and I said, I remember reading somewhere about this, and he’s like, where is it? I said to my husband, where is it? And he goes, it’s in Colossians. And I go there and I did read it, but I’m thinking, these are the things that I need to subject myself to as well, right? I don’t pretend, and this would be number five. I don’t pretend to have all the answers. When I don’t know something, I say to my kids, I don’t know that answer, but I’m going to research it, and I’m going to get back to you, because that is a question worth digging in to.
Meeke Addison: I think it’s so important for us to not trip ourselves up in being super parents, and our kids see that we have a real faith. I let my kids know when I’m wrestling, when I have questions. Recently, my sister, I’m the second of five, so my older who was the oldest of the five died suddenly. There was no reason. We still don’t know. And this was February 20th. And so, I’ve been walking through this grief process, and I’ve had to say to my kids, listen, this is a really tough time for me. This was my first best friend. She was just a year older than I am.
Meeke Addison: And so, it’s been really tough, but I’m not going to hide that from them. I’m not going to only come out of my room once I’ve gotten it all together. I mean, they’ve seen me suddenly break down crying, and we were okay one minute. And I say to them, listen, the Bible teaches us that we don’t grieve as those who have no hope, but guys, we do grieve, and I’m going to miss her. And so, these are opportunities for us to show our kids that our faith is real, we live in a world where there’s pain, where there is suffering, but we also serve the true and living God.
Meeke Addison: If I could summarize all of that for you, Yvette, what I would say is, I want my kids to know that my faith is real. That it’s not something that I just grew up in this, and this is just what people do, but that our hope is real. Everything that we’re passing on to them is something that we put our entire lives into.
Yvette Hampton: Yeah. Oh my goodness, that is amazing. I love that. I love everything you just said. I’m sitting here, I’m trying to write notes and still look at you at the same time. God’s word does not return void.
Meeke Addison: Amen.
Yvette Hampton: And when I was in high school, I think I’ve probably shared this before, but when I was in high school we went to a church that did many things that were anti-Biblical. And I really struggled with that, and I knew, there was just something in my spirit. I was a Christian at that time, and I knew that there was just something wrong with the things that were going on. And so, I went to a Christian school, and my Bible theology teacher, his name was Dean Spoelstra, and I would come to him and say, this happened at church this weekend, and what do you think?
Yvette Hampton: And he would always say to me, it doesn’t matter what I think. Let’s see what the Word of God says about it. And he would always direct me back to Scripture, and he was the first one ever, and this was my junior year in high school, I remember specifically. He was the first one ever who just always directed me back to Scripture, and just say, what does God say about it? It doesn’t matter what I say. What does God say about it?
Yvette Hampton: So, we really try to do that with our children, as well, because it doesn’t matter what we say. And teaching them Scripture as a whole, because it’s easy to take one verse and take it completely out of context, and say, well, this is what the Bible says. Okay, well, read everything around it. What’s the history around it? What does the Old Testament say that refers to that part of the New Testament? It’s one big story, and that’s why it’s so important to teach God’s Word as a whole. And so, yeah, I love that.
Yvette Hampton: Pointing back to Jesus, there’s no better way to disciple the hearts of our children, and we have, again, such an amazing opportunity with having our children home with us, to be able to do that on a daily basis. If our kids were away from us for 35, 40 hours a week, we would miss so many opportunities to be able to do that, and so what a privilege and a responsibility we have to teach and train up our children to love Jesus.
Meeke Addison: That’s right. I don’t think I would recognize them, Yvette. I don’t think I would recognize these kids that God’s given to me if I were not able to be around them and have these times with them.
Yvette Hampton: Right, right. It is such a blessing. Well, we are unfortunately out of time. I feel like I could talk all day long with you. But again, you are going to be on the Homegrown Generation Family Expo. We’re going to do a live session with you. I’m so excited about that. And so, we will continue to talk about all things culture and discipleship with you during that event. Thank you again, Meeke, for your time today, and where can people find out more about you?
Yvette Hampton: Okay, sounds great. We’ll put all those links in the show notes as well, and thank you guys for listening. If you have not yet left a review for the podcast, we would love for you to do that. We really appreciate it. I know it’s kind of a hassle to do that. For some reason, iTunes does not make it easy to leave a review, but we appreciate those who take the time to figure it out, because it is a bit of a hassle. But we love you guys. We’re praying for you. Thank you for joining us today. Have a fantastic rest of your week, and we will see you back here next week. Bye!
One of the greatest blessings of homeschooling is that it is generational. Homeschooling builds a LEGACY. Because of this simple fact, it is critical that we take seriously the motivation, direction, methods, and values of our homeschooling, because these will do so much to determine what that legacy is. Is our desire to train spelling bee champions, professional athletes, doctors, lawyers, engineers, pastors, missionaries, mothers or fathers, leaders, or followers?
It is helpful to know WHY we are homeschooling in order to establish HOW we will homeschool. Once we have determined the “why” and “how” of homeschooling, the real challenge begins. It is at this point that we realize we must MODEL for our children what we want them to be, because we know that “The student is not above the teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like their teacher.” – Luke 6:40 (NIV)
Barb and Rich Heki, of Grandparents of Homeschoolers, have seen the generational impact of homeschooling. As homeschool parents and grandparents themselves, they are committed to encouraging, inspiring and equipping grandparents to lovingly support, actively engage in and fully delight in the home-education adventure of their grandchildren – whether they live locally or long-distance. They also understand the importance of breaking down the resistance of grandparents who don’t understand homeschooling or support their children who homeschool or are considering homeschooling. As advocates of multi-generational family discipleship (because education IS discipleship), they are excited to be ministering to grandparents of homeschoolers, connecting the generations through home education.
Yvette Hampton recently had the privilege of interviewing Barb and Rich Heki for The Schoolhouse Rocked Podcast. In this conversation they discussed the Biblical instruction for grandparents to disciple their grandchildren, which is given in Psalm 78, and they revealed the most effective way to break down the resistance of grandparents who oppose homeschooling – to get them involved!
Whether you are a parent or grandparent, child or grandchild, we hope you will be blessed by their discussion.
Yvette Hampton: Hey, everyone. Welcome back to The Schoolhouse Rocked Podcast. I am thrilled that you’ve joined me today. I have two very special guests on with me today. Barb and Rich Heki. Some of you may have heard their names. They are also the founders of Grandparents of Homeschoolers. So today, we are going to talk about all things having to do with our own parents, and grandparents, and grandparents of your kids. Barb and Rich, welcome to the podcast.
Yvette Hampton: I am delighted to have you on. We actually had you both as part of the Homegrown Generation Family Expo. It was just such an amazing event, and so I’m glad to have you back on talking about being grandparents of homeschoolers. There’s so much to talk about with this topic. I was actually talking to my mom, and I’ll have you introduce yourselves in just a minute, but I wanted to say I was talking to my mom last night, and I was telling her how much I appreciated the fact that when we started homeschooling, we never got any kind of resistance from her.
Yvette Hampton: My mom in the beginning, and actually I was talking to her, but I was talking about all of our parents. My mom, and my dad, and my husband’s mom and dad. When we first went down this road, we had said we’d never homeschool, and then all of a sudden we go to this homeschool convention and we came back, and we were so excited, and we were like, “We’re going to homeschool, and we’re going to do this forever.” We were just so excited about it.
Yvette Hampton: None of our parents really understood it, but none of them gave us resistance about it. They just said, “Okay, if this is what you guys think is best.” I think part of that is we had been married quite a long time. By the time Brooklyn, my oldest, was going into kindergarten, we’d been married for 15 years, and so we were well-established in our adult life, and we were in our mid-30s. So I think they’ve trusted us. We had proven that, “Okay we can make logical and wise decisions for our family, and we had taken really good care of their grandchild so far.” So they trusted us to do that.
Yvette Hampton: I know that that’s not the case with all parents. I’m grateful for our parents and their support even though they didn’t totally get it. You guys have an amazing ministry, not just to grandparents though your ministry is to grandparents, but it’s also to parents who are trying to figure out what this homeschool thing is. So, tell us a little bit about your family and how you got started in this ministry.
Rich Heki: Well, we have four adult children. We homeschooled them all the way through, and they’re all walking with the Lord, and that’s one thing we are so grateful for. We have been blessed so far with three grandchildren. The only bad part about that is they don’t live right near us. They live over a thousand miles away. One of the components of Grandparents of Homeschoolers is we talk about how we communicate, stay in touch with our grandchildren when they are a distance away from us, so we can still stay engaged in their lives. We can talk about that more later. Anything else you want to know?
Barb Heki: Lots of long distance grand-parenting out there. The ministry actually got started when we were leaders in our state organization, and we went to a different state’s convention to just get ideas, and they were having a grandparent tea, and we weren’t grandparents then, but if we asked if we could go just to observe. We saw the grandparents just connecting with each other. The ones who came and just weren’t really sure about this homeschooling thing were sold by the grandparents who were so excited, and they were involved in different ways. We just saw that, and oh my goodness, that was the seed of this ministry.
Barb Heki: The convention thing that you talked about, yeah how excited you were, we encourage grandparents to go to conventions whether they’re online like the one you just had, or whether they’re on site, just go to all of them. Because that’s where they capture the vision, and they get ideas, and they get excited about what they can do.
Yvette Hampton: Right, because then they feel like they can be part of this whole homeschooling experience for their grandkids, which I think is exciting, because when you think about kids who go to traditional school, how often if grandparents are local, how often do grandparents go to the kids’ school play and their sports activities, and all the things that grandparents, their award ceremonies, things like that. I know my parents and my husband’s parents have really worked to do that with my nieces who are in traditional school.
Yvette Hampton: It’s great to be able to help them figure out how they can play a role of encouragement without playing the role of leadership in the education of their grandkids, because obviously there’s a big difference. You’ve got every so often we hear of those grandparents who really want to be controlling and tell their kids, “This is how you should raise your kids, and this is what you should do,” instead of just trusting that, “You know what, you did a good job raising your kids.” Trust that they’re doing the best job for their family as well.
Yvette Hampton: Wait, we’ve talked a lot in the movie about how education is discipleship. I am so blessed to hear that your four adult children are walking with the Lord, because that’s not always the case. Certainly, there are parents who love Jesus, and they’ve led their children to Jesus, and their children have chosen to walk away, but I’m encouraged to know that your kids are all walking the straight neuropath. Talk about as your children were growing up, as you were raising your kids, because you homeschooled all four of your kids all the way through, correct, from kindergarten through 12th grade?
Barb Heki: Yes, we did.
Yvette Hampton: So as you did that, and you guys were back in maybe not so much the early pioneer days of homeschooling, but maybe at the tail end of that, but back in the day where maybe it wasn’t as widely accepted as it is now. Did you homeschool because you were running from something, because of discipleship? What was your reason behind it?
Rich Heki: Let’s see if we can synthesize this. Because of where our oldest son fell in his age where his birthday was, we had the opportunity basically to decide to put him in school a later year. The suburb we lived in at the time, they had just opened a brand new preschool, and they got a bunch of new teachers in there, because the teachers were all excited to be in this new facility, and everybody’s really excited about it. Then they had an open house, so people that didn’t have children in the school could check it out. So we went and when we left the school we had absolutely no peace.
Rich Heki: But because of where Sonny, our oldest son’s birthday fell, we had a whole year to make a decision. We used that time to research, and my wife, we’ll probably come to know just researches everything. She was discussing lamenting about the situation with a friend of hers. We thought of sending him to the Christian school, but it was really not possible for us to afford to do that. So she was lamenting to her friend, “We don’t know what we’re going to do.” Her friend said, “Why don’t you homeschool?” Barb says, “Homeschool? What’s that?”
Rich Heki: So she explained what it was, and we started learning about that. At first, I was a little reluctant. I said, “Well, all right maybe we could try this, but we’ll give it like I don’t know, six months or maybe at the most a year, but let’s see how we do for six months.” I’ll tell you, within probably a few weeks after starting the homeschool, we were fully convinced this was the way to go. Then it got to the point where it’s like, “Wow, even if we had the option, I’m sending our children to the Christian school, we would choose homeschooling even over that.”
Barb Heki: Right. If we got a free ride for all 12 years, we’d turn it down. There is no way.
Yvette Hampton: Me too.
Rich Heki: So God really did a work in us. Once we really understood what homeschooling was about, and actually started getting involved and doing it ourselves, we were convinced this is the way that God wanted us to raise our children.
Barb Heki: What’s neat now that we see at conferences is we see these young married couples coming to homeschooling conferences, and registering for online conferences, and they don’t have any kids yet. They’re already researching homeschooling. We waited until our son turned five and panicked.
Rich Heki: Yeah, we waited till our back are against the wall basically.
Barb Heki: So, I love it. Just seeing the vision that they have, and they are bringing the grandparents along, and the grandparents are getting excited about it, and they’re looking at all this curriculum, and getting ideas, and it’s really neat.
Rich Heki: Yeah, it’s been a blessing.
Yvette Hampton: It’s such an exciting thing, because even with parenting, I started reading parenting books, and I started talking to people about parenting, and thinking through, “Okay, when we have children, how are we going to do this, this, and this?” Of course, I was one of those moms who thought, “Well, when we have kids, our kids will never throw tantrums in the grocery store.” I was the perfect parent, but it’s the same with homeschooling and that if you know that that’s the direction that you want your family to go, you can certainly start preparing for it.
Yvette Hampton: I love hearing from moms, and I have a couple of friends who listen to the podcast who don’t have kids yet, and they listen to this podcast, which is primarily about homeschooling. It’s such a blessing to me, because it’s so much fun to think, I love that they’re preparing their hearts in order to prepare the hearts of their children, and for a life that is honoring to the Lord.
Yvette Hampton: We are talking about discipleship and about the importance of parents discipling their children. I want to talk about grandparents, because this is your ministry. I know you talk about how, and Psalm 78, the Bible actually exhorts grandparents to disciple the hearts of their children and grandchildren. Talk about that, about how that would work. How can grandparents come alongside their grandchildren and help disciple them?
Rich Heki: Since you brought that verse up, would it be all right if I read that?
Yvette Hampton: Sure.
Rich Heki: So, Psalm 78:1-8, it reminds us this, “My people, hear my teaching. Listen to the words of my mouth. I will open my mouth with a parable. I will utter hidden things, things from of all, things we have heard and known, things our ancestors have told us. We will not hide them from their descendants, we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord, his power, and the wonders he has done. He decreed statutes for Jacob and established the law in Israel, which he commanded our ancestors to teach their children, so the next generation would know them, even the children yet to be born, and they in turn would tell their children.
Rich Heki: Then they would put their trust in God and would not forget his deeds but would keep his commands. They would not be like their ancestors, a stubborn and rebellious generation, whose hearts were not loyal to God, whose spirits were not faithful to him.
Barb Heki: It’s a worldview change or a change in mindset to try and get grandparents who maybe solid Christians, but they have always viewed school or they view homeschooling now as education, and parents view it as discipleship, because that’s what it is. So that’s the vision we’re trying to get grandparents to grasp is it’s not a separate thing. They disciple the grandkids through everything they’re doing with them. Every moment is 24/7, it’s not 9:00 to 3:00 on weekdays, and to be proactive as they’re doing things, whether they’re teaching a skill to their grandkids, or whether they’re going for a walk in the park, to just be always thinking in terms of look at what God made.
Barb Heki: Just bringing discipleship into everything they do with them. Because the one thing about education is it consumes a child’s life for basically from birth or at least preschool all the way through college sometimes, high school and college. If grandparents aren’t involved in the education of their grandkids, they are missing so many discipleship opportunities, because it’s just all their time.
Yvette Hampton: Yup, I love that passage and just what it teaches to grandparents and exhorts them to take that role seriously. Because they’re leaving a legacy for their kids, and for their grandchildren, and for their grandchildren’s grandchildren and for generations to come. Garritt and I were talking about this actually the other day about what kind of legacy do we want to leave for our kids and for our grandkids. I think that as parents, we need to be intentional about that, because if we don’t have a goal in mind, if we have no idea what direction we’re heading then we’re going to lose our way.
Yvette Hampton: We have to know what our goal is, and we have to know what direction we’re going with our kids, because we hope that they’re going to take that same direction with their kids. Our family has been studying the book of Revelation, and yeah you talked about it. It’s such just a powerful book. Garritt is doing such a great job of leading us through it, and he’s the first to say how intimidating it is to try to teach through a book that is so hard to grasp. As we’re thinking through that book, as we’re studying it, and as we’re looking at the culture around us, and we’re looking at all of the things that are happening, we’re sent back going, “Well, the end times, they might be here, and the tribulation may come in our lifetime.” I don’t know, may come in our girl’s lifetime, we don’t know, but our job is to teach our kids truth, and to teach them to stand firm, and put on the full armor of God. Because if we don’t teach it to them, then they’re not going to be very effective in teaching it to their kids.
Yvette Hampton: No, they could be, of course, but it’s our job to do that with them. So I love that you’re so intentional about just leaving that legacy for your kids. I know one of the things that you talk about is how grandparents can make or break homeschooling. I have interviewed well, many times actually on the podcast, and she’s been part of a lot of things we’ve done is Karen Debeus. She talks about how when she very first started homeschooling, her parents were adamant about her not doing it.
Yvette Hampton: Just like almost to the point of disowning her. They of course now, I mean, the Lord has done a great work in their hearts, but it can undo someone just where you’re just thinking of my parents. I want to still, as an adult, I’m 45 years old, and I still want to please my parents. If I made a decision about my family that my parents were just adamantly against, it would be really hard. I would love for you to talk to the two separate parts of parties in this situation.
Rich Heki: There are actually three.
Yvette Hampton: Okay. So then talk to the three parties in this situation, and how to deal with that.
Rich Heki: So we’ve talked a little bit about the first one, which is having the grandparents onboard. They hear about and they go, “Oh yeah, that’s great.” Now, maybe they homeschooled you, and so they’re automatically going to be pro homeschooling. They will be onboard, and they’ll probably do whatever you ask them to do, and then some, just to spend time with the grandkids. That’s the easy, because they’re already there.
Rich Heki: Then you’re going to find that there’s some that are support of, but they’re a hands off approach. They just say, “We raised you, whatever you want to do is fine.” They’re okay with it, but they’re also not really engaged. I guess with that, the problem with that is there’s so many opportunities where they could do something with the grandkids, and that there’s going to be missed opportunities if they don’t get involved.
Rich Heki: What we want to see is that middle group where it’s like, “Yeah, do whatever you want to do.” That’s great, but we want to see the grandparents ramp it up and actually get involved, so that they can have some of the enjoyment that we’ve had discipling our kids, that they can share in that too, because they have so much to offer probably way more than they realize, because they have all this life of experience that they can bring to the table.
Rich Heki: Then there’s of course the third group is the oppositional one. Those are the ones we have to work on, because a lot of times it’s like they may have had a really good experience in their particular growing up and their history with public school or whatever. They think, “Well, it was good enough for me, so why is it good enough for my grandchildren?” Then if they know nothing about homeschooling, it’s like, “What are you doing with my grandchildren?” Because they know nothing about it, and maybe they’ve heard some negative stories about it or whatever.
Rich Heki: We got a bigger education process just to them to try to explain why are we doing this? Why is this really the best road for teaching our children, but this is going to be the very best education they can have.
Barb Heki: One of the things on the pro side is we have talked to lots of grandparents who actually have moved to the city that their grandkids are in so they can help homeschool them. We’ve talked to families who have moved and say the grandparents are in. So the grandparents can be involved. That deepening of the relationship and the discipleship opportunities are just wonderful. It takes the stress off of parents. You’re not doing it a hundred percent yourself. You’ve got help, and you’ve got support. You’ve got encouragement. You’ve got prayer, and it’s a really neat thing.
Barb Heki: On the other side, we had some friends for the oppositional grandparents. We always also tell grandparents and parents that, “Now, we as grandparents had a chance to raise our kids the way that we felt God was leading us to raise them.” Now, it’s our kids’ turn. It’s not our decision. They’re the directors and we’re the supporters. Grandparents, you now need to remember that. Then parents need to remember to ask them for some of the wisdom that they have from all those years of experience.
Barb Heki: We had some friends at a church that we went to, that they watched us homeschooling our kids, and they came up to us once and said, “We really want to homeschool our kids. We like what we see among the homeschoolers. We know, and we want to homeschool our kids, but our parents are really against it.” As it turned out, one of the parents offered them a free ride through Christian school for all, I think they had four kids, all four of their kids for 12 years if they would promise not to homeschool.
Barb Heki: They buckled too. They didn’t want to have trouble with the grandparents, and wanted to keep the relationship good. So they took them up on that offer, and I was just so sad, because God had given them this vision and this excitement to homeschool, and then the parents just shut it down. The grandparents are really key in how a family operates, because it can be wonderful and joyful, or it can be totally miserable. Sometimes relationships just completely broken off as well.
Yvette Hampton: Sure. I’m certain that those grandparents meant well. They wanted what was best for their grandchildren.
Barb Heki: Yes. That’s a key to remember too in the relationship aspect is that they’re really on the same side, because they both want the best for the kids, but they just have different ideas of what is best, so it’s a matter of bringing them together.
Yvette Hampton: Yeah, that is a difficult thing for them.
Rich Heki: I was just going to add to that. We try to impress on the parents as well as grandchildren that our parents did the very best they could with the tools they had at the time. Back in the day, homeschooling wasn’t even on the radar, modern homeschooling wasn’t even on the radar at that time. The thought probably never even occurred to them that that could be done, but back in the founding of this country, all the founding fathers were homeschooled. I think all the presidents I believe on Mount Rushmore were homeschooled.
Rich Heki: There’s a rich heritage in homeschooling, but now that we have these tools, and in many ways it’s getting more and more easy to homeschool because of the internet and through all the resources that are now available is making the job of the parents that much more organized and easier to do for homeschooling. It’s a little bit easier now in some ways to convince the parents that, but there’s still those opposition out there, and we still have to do a lot of education on that.
Barb Heki: There’s two things that I think are key too in dealing with that. One is what is the missing element in all of this, especially for Christian grandparents? The missing element is Jesus Christ, because what educational situation is going to glorify Christ, teach the kids to love and honor Jesus Christ, his Lord and savior. It’s not going to be a public school, it’s not going to happen there. So, to be looking at that.
Barb Heki: The other thing is the most effective way to get really oppositional grandparents to come onboard in homeschooling is to get them involved, because it’s hard to oppose something that you are involved in. If you can have them teach a skill they know, that’s pretty easy. Maybe mom and dad don’t want to ask them grandparents to do that, maybe the grandkids can say, “Grandma and grandpa, will you teach me X, X, X?”
Barb Heki: Then after that is done, then mom and dad put it in under the proper academic category in their records and stuff and say, “Thanks grandma and grandpa for helping teach science.” We put that in our official records. You help teach them science today. So anyway, that’s a big help.
Yvette Hampton: Yeah, I think that’s fantastic. I think one of the greatest things that any grandparent, whether grandmother or grandfather can do if they’re local is to just offer your presence, especially if you have a child … if your child has multiple children that they’re trying to homeschool, or if they’re only trying to homeschool one, and maybe they’ve got a baby underfoot, or a toddler or something like that.
Yvette Hampton: So just having grandma come over, grandpa come over maybe once a week or twice a week or something, just for a few hours, and hold the baby, feed the baby, fold laundry, help with some dishes, just help in some way. I think that most grandparents don’t understand the desperate need that most moms feel for that support and just for someone else to come alongside them and just say, “Okay, how can I help you? What can I do? Can I just silently fold laundry? Can I just play with the baby for a little bit?” Just to give mom a little bit of a break, and to give her the opportunity to maybe catch up on lesson plans if she wants to do that, or to just sit and read with her child, or to take her older one to the park, or to get ice cream or something like that just so that mom could be more effective in her role as mom, and as homeschool mom, and all the things that she has lined up.
Yvette Hampton: I shouldn’t even just say grandparents, and that I wish that there were more retired, if you will, homeschool moms who would seek out younger homeschool moms in their churches, in their communities, in their neighborhoods and just say, “Hey, can I come over and just help you? What can I do? How can I be a blessing to you?” Most moms would eat that at. You’ve got the introverted mom who maybe wouldn’t want that so much, but I think that it’s probably not the norm.
Yvette Hampton: What are some ways? You had mentioned earlier about how grandparents can be involved from a distance. So if grandma and grandpa like you guys, you live a thousand miles from your grandchildren, how can you be involved? How do you find yourselves being able to do that?
Barb Heki: A lot of stuff over Skype you can do things. I mean, not Skype, but just online chats, video chats. We’ve written books or short stories together. We’ve done books too like picture books, but we’ll just start out and our granddaughter will maybe write a sentence or two, and then we’ll write a sentence or two, and we just keep writing the story together, or you encourage them in writing the story. You ask questions, “What happened next?” If they’re too young to write, you take down what they say, and type down what they say.
Barb Heki: If they’re a teenager, they can go on and type on their own, but just help them with the story writing. A lot of things that they can do online is you can do I mean, just about anything really. We’ve looked at pictures on the internet and studied animals, different things like that. The Fibonacci numbers are really fun, because anything that you can do sitting beside each other on a couch, you can also do in a video chat. You can have a copy of the same book that they have, and you can read it back and forth to each other.
Barb Heki: For older kids and teenagers too, that is really reading aloud, and going through a book.
Rich Heki: Yeah, possibly they’re learning some Bible verses either through one or just through their folks, but grandparents, it’d be a great way for the children to be learning their verses if they could recite it to grandma and grandma. Then they could coach them and help them out with that.
Yvette Hampton: Yeah, that’s so fun.
Barb Heki: About half of grandparents live long distance from their grandchildren. So you’ve got half of them doing long distance things, but the other statistic we ran into is that 90% of grandchildren say that their grandparents had a tremendous influence on their values and their behavior. What is that? That’s discipleship, because their values come from being discipled, and the behavior is played out from their values. So grandparents who live long distance should be really encouraged, because they have a huge influence, and they need to take as many opportunities as they can to do things by distance with the grandkids.
Barb Heki: Then when they go there, you can do so many more things and continue that. We always bring art projects or science projects in our suitcase and stuff. Now, our granddaughter asks so every time we come, “Grandma and grandpa, do you have something for us in your suitcase?” It’s a neat tradition and a neat memory too.
Yvette Hampton: I love the idea of grandparents being involved through just activities like reading. How easy would it be for with the technology we have today, it’s so easy and amazing even though you’re not there in person.
Yvette Hampton: To open up a book, and flip it around, and show them the pictures, and be able to just have them see your faces and get to know you without having to be physically present, it’s the next best thing truly.
Rich Heki: Right.
Barb Heki: Exactly.
Yvette Hampton: What a blessing it is that in our day and age, we have the ability to do that. I know we’ve talked about so many times the whole issue of socialization and how that’s the big thing. I know that with a lot of grandparents, because they don’t quite understand homeschooling. That is the number one reason why grandparents are not supportive of homeschooling, because they simply don’t understand it. That is one of the main reasons why we re making this documentary Schoolhouse Rocked, because we really want to open up people’s eyes to, “This is what homeschooling looks like. This is why it’s beneficial. These are the great blessings of homeschooling.”
Yvette Hampton: Talk about if you were talking to a grandparent. Let’s role play for a minute and say you come face to face with another set of grandparents who were saying to you, “My child wants to homeschool my grandkids and I’m really not comfortable with it, because I think they’re going to be unsocialized.” How do you answer that question?
Barb Heki: I answer it with questions. I ask them first, who is it that does the socializing in whatever environment they’re in, whether it’s the home, a public school or whatever. Then what is the content of that socialization. They need to think about what socialization in a different environment really is. Is that what they really want? Does it glorify Jesus Christ? They need to hone down to what they think socialization is. Basically, in a traditional school, it’s going to be the teachers there and their peers, and probably about 10% teachers and 90% peers.
Barb Heki: The teacher has a lot of influence too, because Jesus said that the goal of education is to become like your teacher. Do we want the grandkids to become like their parents, or do we want them to become like some random teacher who was assigned to them in a classroom, and students who just happened to sit next to them at a desk? Just to get them to think through that, because they really don’t think through it.
Rich Heki: Yeah, and another thing with socialization, most children that I’ve seen that have been homeschooled very readily can communicate with adults, and have a conversation with them. Think about it in a minute, how natural is it to be in a class of 30 children all the same age, not even a variance in the ages. They’re just all with the same age. Then you look at society, where is that replicated in the society? It’s not. It’s just that one particular situation.
Rich Heki: We see it as being, people like to throw around the word diversity. It’s a lot more diverse to be in a homeschool setting where you’re interacting with all sorts of different ages, and you’re interacting with parents and a lot of times as homeschoolers, we’ll go on field trips with our children. They get to interact with adults. They get to learn about maybe another occupation and what they do. They’re being exposed to a whole lot more of life than in a closed classroom.
Barb Heki: There are going to be kids that are shy and withdrawn in the homeschool environment and in the public school environment. The opposite is true as well. It’s just that people are different. One of the things I did, like he mentioned, I like to research. So when I was first looking in the homeschooling, I had this list of I don’t know, probably 30 questions I asked. I asked the one friend we knew who’s homeschooling for names of other homeschoolers. So I called them all.
Barb Heki: When I went through the list of all my questions, and then I asked them for names of people they knew, and so I called all of these people. After about the first three people, I crossed the socialization questions off my list. It wasn’t even an issue.
Yvette Hampton: Right. Nope, it’s not an issue at all. We’ve learned that and it’s funny. I always chuckle inside when people actually bring that up. I always just want to say, “Look at most kids, not all, but look at most kids coming out of the public school and tell me which one of those characteristics you would like my children to emulate.”
Barb Heki: I know.
Yvette Hampton: Not many of them. Not that every public school child is a terrible example, but many of them are. We know a lot of them. Yeah, and so and not that every homeschool kid is perfect, they’re not. We know a lot of them too, but overall, I certainly would want our kids to have Christlike character and to spend their time with other kids whose parents have the same goals in mind that we do and who are heading down the same path as us. So that’s important. Let’s talk about family tree.
Barb Heki: Okay. Family tree is a really fun thing that grandparents can do with their grandkids, whether they’re locally or long distance. Because they’ve got some of the personal memories too that go back further than the parents. The one thing that we tell grandparents to do is to do a twist on the family tree. So don’t just record the names and the dates. You need that to have your framework, but look at character. Talk about what that person was like. Were they a Christian? Were they not? What was their character like? How did that impact their life and what happened to them?
Barb Heki: You can get in this stuff, all kinds of discussions on what just the impact of a good character and bad character. That also leads into the goal that we want to get in the lots of discussions with, with grandparents and grandchildren is salvation. Because that’s the key difference. In a family tree, people don’t think about salvation, they’re just, “Who beget who?”
Barb Heki: What happened to these people based on their faith or lack thereof, and then that leaves right into a gospel message and a deep conversation with the grandkids about where they stand in their salvation and their faith, that sort of thing.
Yvette Hampton: Yeah, that’s fantastic. I love the idea of family trees and going back to figuring out where we came from. Because all of the grandparents have played a role in some way that has led their grandchildren to be where they are in life. Unfortunately, we are out of time for the podcast. I would love to continue going on and on, but I’m so grateful for you. I’m grateful for your ministry to grandparents and to parents alike. Where can people find out more about you?
Barb Heki: If they go to our website, it’s just grandparentsofhomeschoolers.org. If they can click on “join,” it’s free. They just fill in the information and then they will get resources and things that we send out. We’re going to be launching some things in the first quarter, new resources for grandparents, and they’ll get messages as to how they can get a hold of this and free resources, so yeah.
Yvette Hampton: Okay. Fantastic. Am I correct that you actually speak at some conventions?
Rich Heki: Yes, we do.
Yvette Hampton: Across the country, right?
Barb Heki: Yeah, and internationally as well.
Yvette Hampton: Oh wow. Okay. Do you know yet where you’re going to be or are you not exactly sure of the schedule?
Barb Heki: We don’t have this everything tied down this one yet, but if they’re in an area where there’s a homeschool convention, or an online convention, they can look for us and just Google us. Yeah.
Yvette Hampton: Okay. We’ll put a link to your website in there, grandparentsofhomeschoolers.org. Thank you both for your ministry. Thank you for the heart that you have for homeschool families and just for what the Lord is doing through you. You are a great blessing, and it’s been fun having you on the podcast. So, thank you so much.
Both: Thank you.
Barb Heki: Thank you for what you’re doing. It’s great.
Yvette Hampton: Thank you so much. All right you guys, thank you for listening. We will see you back here again next week. Have a great day.
It usually doesn’t take new homeschooling parents long to realize that homeschooling doesn’t – and shouldn’t – look like traditional school. It is one of the greatest blessings of homeschooling that we are able to integrate education, training, discipleship, and even academics into every aspect of life.
Yvette Hampton and Danielle Papageorgiou recently sat down to talk about the freedom and effectiveness of Lifeschooling. In this conversation for The Schoolhouse Rocked Podcast, Yvette talks with Danielle about her passion for integrating education into every aspect of life, and about discovering our children’s gifts, so that they can thrive in the lives God has called them to.
This leads to an important discussion about the blessing of lifeschooling allowing us to continue to train our children even when we encounter unforeseen circumstances. Whether illness, a move to a new city, or a new baby in the home, lifeschooling allows us to continue to train our children while experiencing all aspects, challenges, changes, and blessings, of REAL LIFE.
Yvette Hampton: Hey, everyone, this is Yvette Hampton. Welcome back to The Schoolhouse Rocked Podcast. I have one of my favorite homeschool people in all the world on with me today. She has been on the podcast before, so you may have heard her in the past. If not, you are in for a treat. Her name is Danielle Papageorgiou. Isn’t that a fun name to say? That’s why I’m friends with you, Danielle, because your name is just fun to say. Papageorgiou.
Danielle Papageorgiou: In high school, every girl wanted to marry my husband because they just wanted his last name.
Yvette: Probably not the best reason to find a husband.
Danielle: Probably not. Yeah, probably not.
Yvette: But you lucked out. God blessed you and you ended up with a really good guy. And you have a really great family. We love you guys. So tell us really quickly about your family.
Danielle: Okay. I have my husband John. We’ve been married for 20 years now, which I can’t believe. My oldest is 18, Connor. And then I have a girl who is almost 16, and then a little boy who is just a crazy whirlwind and he is eight. So that’s us.
Yvette: Yeah. You’ve been homeschooling for how many years?
Danielle: Well, I say right from the beginning because I think birth is day one of homeschooling, because we’re always teaching our kids, you know?
Yvette: That’s right.
Danielle: Right from the womb. And before the… I can’t talk tonight. Before the womb, people read to their kids in their wombs. So, I mean, I say 18 years.
Yvette: Yes. Yep. Well, you’ve done a great job of it and it’s always fun to be able to talk to moms who are really committed to discipling the hearts of their children and just pouring into them. We met you a couple of years ago when we attended your Lifeschooling Conference, and that was a new term to us. It was something that we really had done as a family. We just didn’t actually have a name for what we were doing. And so, you’ve got this conference. It’s called the Lifeschooling Conference. And your home ministry really is about how we incorporate schooling into life and life into schooling.
And it’s all about bringing it together and making it just kind of one great big part of our family, because it’s not separate. It’s not like sending your kids to school.
Yvette: Talk to us about lifeschooling a little bit, and then I actually want to get into talking a little bit about some unforeseen circumstances that might come into our homeschool, because I know you’ve dealt with some of those things. We’ve dealt with some of those things. And so, that will bring some encouragement to families who maybe things just aren’t going smoothly and their whole world is getting shaken up and they’re not exactly sure what to do. So, first, let’s talk about the lifeschooling thing.
Danielle: Right. It’s funny that you say you just didn’t have that term for it, because I hear that a lot. People are like, “Oh, well, I guess we’ve been life schoolers.” That was really my heart, is just to, I guess, rebrand the idea of homeschooling because I feel like over the years, it’s really become more and more schooly. And certainly you’ve always had that element because we do what we know. And so, that’s all people have known. They grew up going to school and having the different grade levels and everything’s sort of segmented like that.
But it’s really not the best way, in my opinion. You really have to integrate all of education. I really think there’s a biblical basis for this because when you look at Deuteronomy, I think it’s Deuteronomy 6, and I always mix up if it’s 4 or 6. But anyway, you look at the verses there in that passage, which is very familiar to a lot of us as homeschoolers, and it talks about teaching our children as we walk, by the way, as we sit, and as we just go through life.
And so, if that’s good enough for spiritual things, then why not the academics as well? It just should be this life-integrated approach. So lifeschooling, the official definition is the individualized process of discovering your child’s God-given gifts and talents that happen primarily within the context of your family’s unique situations and missions. And that’s all about our little tagline is emerging life with homeschooling. Because I really want moms to understand, and dads, that it’s okay when things don’t go the way you’ve planned because, typically, life doesn’t.
I mean, in all other areas, how often does life go the way we plan it? It just doesn’t. And that is because God wants to stretch us. He wants to test our faith and he wants us really to rely on him and not on our own plans. A man plans his ways, but the Lord directs his steps, it says in Proverbs. And so, we need to be open to the Lord’s direction and His leading in our homeschooling. And so, that’s just really my heart, is to help parents just really relax and understand that all of these circumstances that happen are ordained by God and He uses them. And we just need to figure out how that learning can integrate with that, and how we can just make it all work.
Yvette: Yes. Yes. I love that you have a whole definition for it, which is really cool because you’ve really thought through this process. I know that you’ve really encouraged me along our homeschool journey over the past few years in that God really does have a purpose and a plan, and has gifted each one of our children in a specific way. I look at your family and your kids, you’re not one who sits down and “We’re going to do math from 7:00 to 7:30, and then we’re going to do science from 8:00 to 8:30, and then we’re going to do grammar. You don’t have your homeschool structured like that.
But knowing your family and knowing your kids, God has really developed in them some incredible gifts. They’re artistic. I mean, your daughter is quite possibly the most amazing artist I’ve ever known of in my life. I’m just stunned by the things that she is capable of doing. They’ve written books. They’ve made movies. They’ve done all of these things. And what’s so cool about your homeschool style and parenting style that I think ties in well with what we really try to do with our girls, is trying to direct our kids to using those gifts and talents and abilities in a way that glorifies their creator because God created them to be able to use those things for His glory, not for ours, but for His glory. And so, lifeschooling allows you to do that.
Then there’s just the practical side of lifeschooling as well. That’s just life. It’s grocery shopping. It’s doctor’s appointments. It’s house cleaning. It’s organization of our home and of our day and trying to just navigate through this life because it doesn’t really come… I mean, some things come easily, but not all of it does. And so, what a privilege we have as homeschool parents to be able to come alongside our kids and help them navigate through the murky waters of life, and at the same time be able to depend on the Lord to help them figure that out.
Danielle: Exactly. Well, and it’s funny because we could think all these things are going to just kind of come naturally to our kids, like how to clean the toilet or cooking and all of these things. But they don’t. I remember when I got to where I was about to graduate college and my mom’s like, “Okay, it’s time to learn how to cook.” And I’m like, “I can cook.” I always laugh because my poor husband, when we got married, I didn’t know how to cook. I mean, I made chicken and I’m thinking, “Well, if you just turn the heat up really high, it’ll get done faster.” So he cuts into this chicken that’s burned on the outside and it’s a raw in the middle.
Yvette: Oh no.
Danielle: And he’s like, “Next time just put it in the trash.” Oh, it was bad. It was bad. And so, all these things are very practical. They’re a part of life and they’re just as important. If not, I think sometimes more important than some of the academics that we think our kids have to know. Like they have to take physics and they have to take chemistry in high school. Well, maybe not. I mean, if that’s not their gifting, God put into them gifts and things that they’re passionate about. And so, we need to really let them do that.
And all the academics… I think of the verse, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Oh, I mean, that’s a promise. And so, I just believe that as you’re seeking God’s kingdom and you’re teaching your kids to seek God’s kingdom and His glory, with the gifts that He has put in them, particularly for them, then all these things are going to be added, and all the academics come in so naturally.
Danielle: Studies have shown that when you learn things in this way, they stick much better through this real life, practical type of learning. And so, it’s just very practical. It just makes things a lot easier. Like I said before, when life doesn’t go according to the plan because we know that it doesn’t.
Yvette: Yeah, Nope. It almost never does.
We are talking about lifeschooling and how to integrate that into our homeschooling. And so, we were talking about God-given gifts and how we have the opportunity as homeschoolers and as life schoolers to be able to take notice of those things in our kids. I would love to know just how practically you have done that with your children. How have you recognized and discovered those gifts in them? And then, how have you gone about fostering those gifts in them in order for them to be able to use those for God’s glory?
Danielle: Well, it’s a funny thing because a lot of moms will say that to me, like, “How do I find my kid’s gifts?” Or, “I don’t know what they are.” They don’t seem to have any gifts or they just want to play computer games all day long. First of all, and this might be a bit of a tangent, but get rid of the computer games or at least cut them way back. You’ve got to have limits on that because it really stifles their imagination and it really prevents them from being creative and figuring out who it is God created them to be. But besides that, I think it’s really a funny thing because they will just sort of come to the surface. There’s no real magic formula as with anything in life really.
There’s no magic formula that, okay, step one, you do this. Step two. And again, that’s because it’s a faith walk and the Lord wants us to trust in Him. And so, you just have to pay attention to your kids. One of the things that I recently created, that I really love, I use it myself, is a Who Is This Child journal. And so, every day I can write down the little things that I notice, the questions that… Right now, it’s Corbin. He’s my youngest. My older two, they’ve kind of got their path and their direction. And I see gifts in my youngest one already, but it’s been really fun to write down the different questions he’ll ask during the day.
Then there’s another section for what I call sparks, so anything that I notice that really captures his attention. I’ll just write that down and that, this is something that maybe we need to explore a little more. So that’s been a lot of fun in that the bottom, I just have a place where you can write a prayer. So every day you just write out this prayer of just, I don’t know, just whatever comes to your heart as a mom and as you’re watching your child develop. And so, it’s just been a really fun resource for me to learn more about my son because I think a lot of it does go back to simple observation.
Sometimes we’re so caught up in the busy-ness of every day and checking off the boxes and doing all the things that we have to get done as moms and homeschooling moms and wives. And so, we can just forget to pay attention. And so, I just think it’s important to be intentional. And I know that’s a really popular word, but sometimes we really do have to just try to be more intentional about that. It is amazing. I remember my friend, Barbara, I don’t know, maybe four or five years ago was like, “I just don’t know what’s going to happen with my kids, what direction God’s really leading them, or how they’re going to use these guests, what He’s going to do with them.”
And I’m like, “Barbara, it’s amazing because the Lord will just bring people into your path, and he’ll just open these doors that you never would have expected. And then, here we are, and her son, Matthew just finished up a movie, a short film that my kids were involved with. My son’s actually the lead in it, and it was accepted into the Christian worldview film festival as a contestant. And so, it’s just so cool to see that. And then, how the Lord used her daughter’s gift of sewing, because she was like, “I don’t know how that’s going to be used.” And so, she sewed all the costumes for it.
When we just, again, just trust in Him and trust in the process, and don’t get so worried, because really, it’s not up to us. I think we carry that weight and it’s so needless because we’re not the homeschool teacher. God is. We’re just the teacher’s assistant. So we need to just trust that process and trust in Him because if we’re doing our best, how is He going to be unfaithful to that? He’s a faithful God and all He asks for is our best. And it’s usually very imperfect.
I will be the first to tell you, I am the world’s worst at scheduling. And it’s always been a struggle for me. But the Lord still works through that somehow. And so, it always amazes me to see that.
Yvette: Yeah. I love that. And I love that you do talk about being intentional. And like you said, that’s a word that we kind of throw around
Danielle: Kind of a buzzword.
Yvette: Yeah. But it really is an issue of being intentional with our kids, and also being flexible in that when they’re not fitting into our idea of what we think that they should be, or how we think they should act, or what career they want to pursue, whatever that is, it’s not up to us. It is, what has God called them to do, not what do we want them to do. And so, I think it’s one of the great blessings of being a homeschool parent, is that we know our kids better than anyone else knows them.
There are teachers all over the world who genuinely love their students. They really do. Most of them don’t teach because they make a ton of money. They teach because they love kids and they want to have some kind of influence in their lives. Unfortunately, many of them have a really terrible influence, but there are many who have a fantastic influence and who genuinely love the kids. But when you’ve got a classroom full of 20, 30, 40 kids, you cannot individually take each one of those children under your wing and nurture their talents and their abilities and their gifts that God has blessed them with and help them develop those things.
And as homeschool parents and as lifeschooling parents, we have such a great opportunity to do that. And it’s not easy. It’s not easy. Sometimes it’s incredibly inconvenient. When my daughter wants to take out the glue gun and cardboard boxes and fabric and paints and make a big mess, I’m looking at that I’m like, “Okay, what are you going to do here?” Then she comes up with something amazing and beautiful. My oldest is very artistic, and she loves to paint. She loves to draw. But she also likes to create things. And so, she got these boxes for Christmas. She made for her little sister, as a Christmas gift, she made these little kind of… It’s hard to explain, but she made dollhouses out of them.
Danielle: How cute.
Yvette: But they open and close, and so they can travel with them. It was so cool and it was just such a special gift that she gave to her sister. And she worked for days and days, weeks, actually, on these two portable dollhouses. What a privilege. And so, she would go into her little craft area and she would listen to an audio book and she would make these creations, and what a joy. How fun it was for her to be able to do that. Danielle, we are out of time for this part of the podcast, but let’s come back on Wednesday and let’s talk more, because I want to talk about just how to deal with some of those unforeseen circumstances. We talked about that in the very beginning, and I want to jump on that bandwagon and talk a little bit about that.
Danielle: Absolutely. Sounds great.
Yvette: Yeah. Thank you, guys, for listening. Join us again on Wednesday. And I forgot to say this at the beginning, but Danielle, she is a special part of the Homegrown Generation Family Expo. And so, if you have not yet participated in that or signed up for that, you can watch it live, or you’ll be able to go back and watch replays of that. So she will be speaking about lifeschooling for that event. It’s going to be awesome. Thanks. We’ll see you guys back on Wednesday.
Yvette: I just said that and then I realized this is probably not going to air until after the expo.
Danielle: Oh, well, do you need to re-record a little snippet or…
Yvette: I’ll do it at the end.
Yvette: Okay. Where are we on time? All right. Let’s go another 20 minutes. You good?
Danielle: Yep. Let’s do it.
Yvette: I want to talk about something that not a lot of people really discuss in the homeschool world, but pretty much everybody that I know who homeschools deals with this in one way or another. And that’s how to deal with unforeseen circumstances. There are so many things. Danielle and I were talking about this earlier, and how there are so many things that disrupt our homeschooling.
It could be illness. It could be just a short stint of illnesses, the flu making its way through your family. It could be chronic illness that you have to deal with day in and day out. It could be a move. It could be having a new baby. It could be having a mother or father-in-law, or grandparent, or somebody move in with you that you now have to care for. There are so many things that can derail us. And so, I want to talk about how to handle some of those things.
Danielle, I would love for you to talk a little bit. Tell us a little bit about your family in the sense of this, because I know that there have been some really difficult things that your family has dealt with, but you and your husband, you’ve stayed the course. You have been faithful to what God has called you to do even through the really, really hard times, and you have trusted Him for the outcome. So talk with us a little bit about your story.
Danielle: Yeah. Well, first of all, I want to make the point, before I forget, that we have to always remember that at the heart of our homeschooling needs to be relationships. So, first of all, is the relationship that we have to the Lord, and that our children have to the Lord. And then, secondly, is our interpersonal family relationships. I think that if you really keep the main thing, the main thing, and focus on the fact that the relationships have to be the priority, everything else kind of falls into place.
We have dealt with chronic illness in our family for just about our entire marriage. My husband got sick with Lyme disease. It was about two years after we were married. And so, that’s always been a struggle in our family. I’m thankful that he works from home and works in IT, which is something he could do in his sleep. I don’t know how. But God’s just really gifted him in that area. And so, that’s been a blessing that he could be home.
And, of course, me being the homeschooling mom, it didn’t really affect our homeschooling all that much, really. It affected our family in the sense that we just really did not do a lot of family things. And still don’t. Going out to the grocery store is like a family event. If my husband goes and my daughter will be like, “Oh, I want to go.” And so, I think just cherishing those things too is important.
One thing we have always done is had family movie night, and that’s almost sacred to my children. We can’t do anything outside the home on family movie night because that just doesn’t happen. So it’s special time with our family that the kids really treasure. So I think it’s important to have those types of things. But recently, really it was a steady decline for both my children. But first we noticed in my daughter, she would complain about not sleeping very well. And this went on for a number of years. But sometimes you just don’t really know how to help your kids. It’s like, well, take more calcium and magnesium and do this and that.
It was just hard to figure out what was going on. And eventually, through series of circumstances, the Lord led me to do a little more research. She really had like a crash. I enrolled her in this camp and she’s like, “I just don’t think I can do it.” I’m like, “Well, just try to go for one day because we paid for it.” And by the end of the day, I literally almost had to carry her out to the car. She was just so exhausted, and I’m like, “Lord, what do I do?”
And so, we got home and He just really led me to, I don’t even know why, but to research adrenal fatigue. And it turned out she checked off all of the boxes for adrenal fatigue.
So she’s been struggling with this for probably going on a year now, that we knew about. But it’s been much longer. And just thinking, it’s just really, really hard for her right now. Reading, huge challenge, even audio books, but she does a ton of artwork. And you’ve seen her art.
Danielle: Just the things that the Lord is teaching her through this. And I just want to say something here too. It’s okay if your kids get behind, okay? Like maybe she won’t graduate on time, but what is that? That’s, that’s something that is imposed on us. And so, again, we just have to protect our children and if they can’t do something, we have to protect their health. If I force her to do things that she literally cannot do, the stress level goes up. The cortisol levels increase and it’s just this cycle. And she will literally have an adrenal burnout.
Again, this is her health we’re talking about. What is more important? We have to protect our children. So it’s okay if they get behind. There is no behind in homeschooling. I just want to stress that. She does the things that she can do, and we’re okay with that.
Yvette: And you’re also talking about a girl who she does well on her state testing.
Danielle: Right. Right.
Yvette: The girl has written a book. I mean, she literally-
Danielle: She wrote a book, yes.
Yvette: … authored a book.
Danielle: She started at age nine.
Yvette: Which is incredible.
Danielle: So if you think of it in that sense, she was ahead and now she’s not as ahead. And she’ll catch up, because that mental capacity, it’s still there. Once she heals, she is going to skyrocket ahead to where she was, and I truly believe that. And so, it does not stress me. We just can’t let it stress us. We have to protect our children and their health.
My son recently, you never expect to deal with these kinds of issues in your kids. But he’s sleeping more and more, and I’m thinking, “Well, he’s a teenage boy. He’s growing.” But then it was like all day long, he’s sleeping and he’s missing meals. So I’m like, “Something is wrong,” And praise the Lord, He led us to a wonderful natural doctor. He’s been helping both my kids now and my husband. But she did testing on him and his cells were not taking in nutrition. He’s really bad off.
He’s graduated. And so, we don’t have that pressure. But it’s hard for a young 18-year-old guy who really wants to just jump into his IT career and really start doing life to be slowed down. But, again, I just see the lessons that the Lord is teaching him through this, and that he has to be patient and wait on the Lord and just learn to trust in Him, because my son is a planner. He when he was young, I mean, you can imagine two people like me and my son. I’m total not planner at all, and my son is super scheduled.
So every night when I would tuck him in, from like three or four or five years old, he’s like, “Okay, what are we doing tomorrow? What’s the schedule?” And it used to drive me crazy. I’m like, “I don’t know. We’ll figure it out tomorrow.” And so, this has been good for him because he said, “I had learned to let go of all the details, but I still wanted God to give me this general direction of where I’m headed. And now, the Lord is just saying, “Nope, you’ve just got to trust me completely, and you don’t know what tomorrow brings, and you don’t know how you’re going to feel, and you just have to trust me.” Yeah. So it’s been an interesting journey for both of them.
Yvette: Yeah, it has. I want to just put this disclaimer in there for you, in that you are one of the most healthy people I know, in regards to how you prepare food for your family. And so, you talked about his cells not being able to take in nutrients. It’s not because of lack of them. It’s not that you’re not providing those for him. It’s just that his body is going through something difficult right now and you’re helping to try to figure out how to help him overcome that.
Danielle: Yeah. Right, right. And it’s just a testament that no matter how healthy you try to be, we can’t do everything perfectly in this fallen world no matter how hard we try.
Yvette: Yeah, oh, sure. I mean-
Danielle: Better trust in the Lord.
Yvette: We all know people who eat donuts and drink Pepsi all day long and they’re like the healthiest people we know.
Danielle: I know, or seem to be anyway.
Yvette: We were talking about how to deal with unforeseen circumstances in our lives. And she’s talking about how her family has dealt with some just different chronic illnesses. And we often, as homeschool parents, come face to face with things that are just hard, whether it’s a move or the loss of a job or a new baby. So in this last half, Danielle, I would love for you to really just offer some encouragement to parents who are dealing with that, who are on that side of it and they’re just like, “I don’t know what to do. I’m ready to put my kids back in school.” Not because they think that’s the best option for them, but because they feel like their whole life is just unraveling and their foundation has been shaken up so badly that they don’t know what to do. They don’t know what to cling to. So can you offer some advice and just hope and encouragement for those parents?
Danielle: Yeah. Well, there’s so many things that you can do. Again, I think it’s more the way you look at things and your perspective. We have to, first of all, like I’ve been saying, we have to have that perspective really of an eternal perspective, and what is truly most important. When your kids graduate someday, who is it that you want them to be? Not necessarily what is it you want them to learn. That’s important, but who is it that you want them to be because character has to come first.
And so, how can you get them from point A to point B to be that person that you want them to be? I believe that God has equipped every parent to be the best person to instill that character and training into their child to help them develop into who God wants them to be. Then just, I would say, from a practical standpoint in this idea of learning to change your perspective, it’s great if… And this is another resource that I have is a lifeschooling vision planner. And one of the things in there that I really love is this backwards method of planning.
It’s going through your day after the fact and writing down in all the different subject areas and categories, what your child learned that day and what they did. Because it’s very surprising. When you start to document those things, there’s a lot of academics that happens just in your day-to-day routine and going about life. It’s always surprising to me when my children will throw out all these science facts and I’m like, “Where did you learn that?” “Oh, Jonathan Park.” I don’t know if you’re familiar with that series.
Yvette: Oh yes.
Danielle: But yeah, they grew up on that, and we have all of the CDs and they listened to those and absorbed it. And they recall that stuff later. And so, I think audio books are excellent because it stimulates the imagination. You can pop them in any time. If you’ve just had a baby, just give your kids audio books, give them lots of audio books and lots of real books too because they’re going to absorb all of that stuff and they don’t need you hovering over them all the time to instill the information into them.
We feel like we have to spoon feed our kids, and they’re natural learners. We just have to encourage that, encourage that natural learning and finding that spark and what excites them, and letting them run with it and learn all about that. Because, again, more academics come in to those different things they’re interested in. You’ll find that just all the different subject areas, how they naturally come in when they find something that they really love to do. So, from a practical standpoint, that’s one thing that we’ve really found beneficial.
Yvette: Yeah. Yeah. And I think just, we’ve talked a lot about this already, is just trusting the Lord, allowing Him to lead you to lead your families. When we read James chapter 1, it talks about asking for wisdom and it says if you ask for wisdom, the Lord will give it to you. And I think oftentimes we forget that. We forget to ask, Lord, what do you want me to do with this? How do you want me to proceed? How do you want us to move forward with this child who maybe they’re struggling with an illness or, again, maybe we’ve just had a big move and my child is having a really, really difficult time adjusting.
In those times, it’s okay to step back and just say, “You know what? We just moved.” We have some good friends who are just going through a move right now and they’ve got six kids.
Danielle: Oh wow.
Yvette: That’s a huge, huge deal. And not all of their kids are going to handle it well. And so, you know what? It’s okay to just step back, take a break and just say, you know what? This is one of the reasons why we homeschool, because we have the freedom to be able to do what works best for our family. And in situations like that, they’re still learning. Like you said, they’re learning now how to organize a home. How do you move into a new home? How do you lay everything out? How do you put everything away and figure out where things are going to go in the kitchen, and in the bathroom, and you decorate the walls.
I mean, there are so many life lessons and that’s why I love so much of your ministry, Danielle, because it’s all about lifeschooling. I’ve said this on the podcast many times before. We are raising adults. We are not raising children. We are raising them to become functional, responsible, Jesus-loving adults. It’s not about the academics. The academics are fantastic. They’re important because those are what point them to Jesus, but we’re really raising our kids to be able to go out into the world and function and have some sort of an impact in God’s kingdom. That’s what it’s all about.
It’s not about, did they become valedictorian and get to give an amazing speech in front of 5,000 people at the end of the year? Who really cares about that staff? Honestly. When they come face to face with their savior, he’s not going to say, “Well, how was that speech you gave?” He’s going to say, “What did you do with the talents and abilities and gifts and the hardships that I put before you?” And we realize over and over again, we are so incapable of doing the things that God has called us to do without Him. And when we get to accomplish a thing, He gets all the glory for it. And so it ends up being-
Danielle: Exactly. Exactly.
Yvette: … such a beautiful thing.
Danielle: That’s one of the things that really has always bothered me because our culture does put such an emphasis on academics and intelligence and all of these things. And as Christians, that’s just not what we should be doing. It’s okay to learn a lot and to use those gifts if you’re academically inclined. I think that’s wonderful. But we have to be careful as parents that we don’t let that go to our heads and get prideful about valedictorian, all these things because really, in eternity, that’s not what really matters. God really doesn’t care about that. He cares about what we do with the gifts and the talents that he gives us and how we give glory to Him.
Yvette: Right. Right. And He wants us to do our best. We always tell our kids, “Work as unto the Lord. In everything we do, we should do for His glory.” And so, we should always do our best. You talked earlier actually about some kids are inclined to learn chemistry and physiology, but not every kid is. Some are created to be historians and some are created to be scientists. Some are created to be mathematicians. Some are created to be moms. Some are created to be pastors and truck drivers. I mean, there are a million business owners. There are a million different things that God can use us for. So, we have the opportunity to be able to foster that in our kids and encourage them in the way that God created them, even through the hardships and bumps that are thrown at us through life.
We are out of time for the podcast. But Danielle, I appreciate you so much. I love your heart for families. I love your heart for homeschooling. And I am so grateful that you took the time to sit and chat with me today. Thank you so much.
Danielle: Thanks, Yvette. I love you guys too. It’s always good to talk with you.
Yvette: Thank you. Yeah. Where can people find out a little bit more about you?