FAQ

    Can you tell me what the “vibe” of the documentary is? The preview looked like it was of the mind that homeschooling is the best option for educating all children. Is that the belief of the producers and the angle of the film?

    As far as the “vibe” of the project goes, Schoolhouse Rocked is a pro-homeschooling movie. It is not an anti-public school, anti-private school, anti-government, anti-vaccine, or anti-anything else movie. We believe that homeschooling is a GREAT option for many families, but we are not making a movie to shame viewers for their educational choices. Also, we know that not every family is in a place where they can homeschool their kids. We want to present homeschooling as a great option and break down the myths, misconceptions, and negative stereotypes that keep many families from ever considering homeschooling in the first place.

    Unfortunately, in a trailer or crowdfunding video there is only a small window of time to tell a compelling story and you just can’t give a complete picture of what the movie will be. In this crowdfunding video we tried to present the reasons why we and many other families don’t feel like public school is the right choice for us, but every family has a different story, which is why Millions of families have chosen to homeschool and the movement is growing rapidly.

    In our case, we NEVER thought we would homeschool, but we felt our hand was forced by the extremely bad public school options in our area. Now, we are HUGE advocates for homeschooling, because we have seen the incredible benefits it offers, including flexibility and freedom to tailer you children’s education to their strengths and to the values and beliefs of your family.

    Are there representatives from all faiths and backgrounds represented in your interviews? I think it’s so important to show the wide spectrum of families who choose to homeschool and their myriad reasons for doing so.
    In Schoolhouse Rocked we present homeschooling as a great opportunity for STUDENTS and FAMILIES – not just for (insert your choice of narrow people group here). We have tried to represent a pretty wide swath of the homeschooling world in the film. Our cast is made up of many (but not all) Christians. This is representative of the wider homeschooling community, as Christians make up around 2/3 of the community, by some estimates, but there are several cast members who represent other faith backgrounds, including secular homeschoolers. Much of the content of the film is just HOMESCHOOLING – why it works, what the benefits are, how to do it well, how to deal with different challenges (single parents, learning difficulties, health challenges, costs, etc.), and what the end result looks like (college, graduation,work life, business, life, etc.).

    That said, we (Yvette and Garritt) are committed Christians and our beliefs and values will necessarily shape the final outcome of the film. We love that homeschooling allows us to transmit our values to our children and that we are able to integrate God’s Word into every aspect of their learning. This message will absolutely show up in the film, as it has been echoed by so many of the cast members.

    This is a one of the MAIN benefits of homeschooling, and families of every background should recognize that all education reflects a worldview (there is no such thing as morally or ethically neutral education). Every student will be impacted by the beliefs and values of their teachers. In homeschooling, the values of the home and the beliefs of the parents become central in the education of their children. This is true whether those values are secular humanism, environmentalism, socialism, progressivism, Mormonism, Islam, Judaism, or Christianity.

    Is Schoolhouse Rocked a Christian movie?
    In Schoolhouse Rocked we present homeschooling as a great opportunity for STUDENTS and FAMILIES – not just for Christian families (or for any other singular group of people). We have tried to represent a pretty wide swath of the homeschooling world in the film. Our cast is made up of many (but not all) Christians. This is representative of the wider homeschooling community, as Christians make up around 2/3 of the community, by some estimates, but there are several cast members who represent other faith backgrounds. Much of the content of the film is just HOMESCHOOLING – why it works, what the benefits are, how to do it well, how to deal with different challenges (single parents, learning difficulties, health challenges, costs, etc.), and what the end result looks like (college, graduation,work life, business, life, etc.).

    That said, we (Yvette and Garritt) are committed Christians and our beliefs and values will necessarily shape the final outcome of the film. We love that homeschooling allows us to transmit our values to our children and that we are able to integrate God’s Word into every aspect of their learning. This message will absolutely show up in the film, as it has been echoed by so many of the cast members.

    This is a one of the MAIN benefits of homeschooling, and families of every background should recognize that all education reflects a worldview (there is no such thing as morally or ethically neutral education). Every student will be impacted by the beliefs and values of their teachers. In homeschooling, the values of the home and the beliefs of the parents become central in the education of their children. This is true whether those values are secular humanism, environmentalism, socialism, progressivism, Mormonism, Islam, Judaism, or Christianity.

    What's up with the drag queen and gender-neutral bathroom imagery? Do you hate LGBT+ people?
    Please understand that there isn’t the slightest bit of hate in our message. It is never our intent to offend. We love people – ALL PEOPLE – and we want to see them live healthy and happy lives.

    That said, there is a war being waged for the minds of our children. There is a right side and a wrong side, and to sit silent and allow lives to be destroyed by behaviors and philosophies that are counter to human nature and God’s creation would be neglectful and hateful.

    The gender debate (and the promotion of unfettered sexuality) is front and center in this cultural war. Public schools, by promoting this injurious agenda are destroying the lives of children and undermining the family. To argue that a boy can be a girl is insanity, yet the schools don’t just promote this idea, in many cases they enable children to pursue this harmful path, without the approval or knowledge of the parents.

    While it is our intent to represent THE HOMESCHOOL COMMUNITY, there is no way to satisfy everyone. A movie that tried to appease every Christian, Secular, gay, straight, Muslim, Mormon, Catholic, Jewish, Buddhist, capitalist, communist, progressive, and conservative homeschooling family would be awful. It would stand for nothing and would, by its very nature, be worthless. I would rather stand for something and offend some people, than stand for nothing and accomplish nothing at the same time.

    I see the Classical Conversations logo in the opening of the trailer. Is Schoolhouse Rocked promoting classical education or a single method, company, or philosophy?
    Thanks for the question. Schoolhouse Rocked is a homeschool movie! We are not promoting a single system or philosophy, but rather promoting homeschooling as a great alternative to public and private schooling that provides excellent benefits for students and families.”]

    Classical Conversations has been a very important sponsor of the project and has been a blessing to us, but their intent in sponsoring Schoolhouse Rocked is to grow homeschooling rather than to just promote CC. In fact, Robert Bortins, the CEO of Classical Conversations is also the President of Homeschool Now USA, an “independent nonprofit coalition of homeschool organizations, dedicated to unifying homeschoolers in a shared mission to promote homeschooling during School Choice Week.” From their website, “Our goal is for homeschoolers across the country to speak in a loud, unified voice, reaching Americans who may not know that homeschooling is a feasible option and encouraging more families to educate their children at home.”

    You can check them out at http://www.homeschoolnowusa.com/homeschool-now-usa

    Several of the other members and board members of Homeschool Now USA are featured in the movie and have partnered with us to get the word out.

    We have been careful to feature the voices of many different homeschooling movement, including classical, Charlotte Mason, Eclectic, road schooling, lifeschooling, etc. We have also tried to address some of the many challenges that homeschooling families face, including learning disabilities, giftedness and twice-exceptionalism, and more. Unfortunately, in the short time allowed for a crowdfunding video it is hard to tell more than a single story, however, several hours of video are available for free to subscribers at Members.SchoolhouseRocked.com. Right now, you can see interviews from Heidi St. John, Sam Sorbo, Mike Smith, Josh Tolley, Andrew Kern and many more contributors on the site. These represent a really wide swath of homeschooling and we regularly post new content.

    If you have a minute, check out the Sponsors and Marketing Partners pages on our website. These also give a pretty good picture of the range of organizations who have helped make Schoolhouse Rocked a reality.

    Marketing Partners – https://schoolhouserocked.com/marketing-partners/

    Sponsors – https://schoolhouserocked.com/sponsors/

    For full disclosure, our family did Classical Conversations for 3 years and loved it. They were one of the first companies we approached for support and they immediately got on board and have been a huge help in getting this movie made!

    Since leaving California to film Schoolhouse Rocked we have not been able to participate in a CC Community. Because of the amount of travel we have done, our family has gravitated toward a bit less structured Charlotte Mason/Lifeschooling approach, while still using several of the CC materials. That is one of the GREAT BENEFITS of homeschooling! It provides freedom to adapt schooling to your family.

    If you have sponsors and marketing partners why are you asking for money from the community.
    We love our sponsors!!! We love our marketing partners!!! We love our donors!!!

    We have been blessed, throughout this project, with much needed support from generous donors, sponsors, marketing partners, and now, Kickstarter backers, but a project like this requires the support of the WHOLE homeschooling community to be successful. This much needed support has gotten us through production, but we still need to raise quite a bit of money to finish Schoolhouse Rocked and get it in theaters. Not only that, but without the buy-in of the homeschooling community, the movie will be a flop and will not have the intended effect – strengthening and growing the homeschool community!

    We are calling on you to do something that is bigger than us – bigger even than our sponsors! Partner with us. Spread the word, pledge, then go to the theater, take a friend, and give away a DVD to spread the word that homeschooling is awesome!

    By the way, here are our sponsors and marketing partners. Give them your thanks and support. They deserve it. Note: This information is current as of September 11, 2018. We are constantly blessed to form new relationships with Sponsors and Marketing Partners.

    Sponsors: Classical Conversations, Classical Academic Press, HSLDA, CiRCE Institute, IEW (Institute for Excellence in Writing).

    Marketing Partners: Apologia, Called to Mothering, Durenda Wilson, Educating for Success, Everyday Education with Janice Campbell, Family Renewal, Great Homeschool Conventions, Half-a-Hundred Acre Wood, HomeLife Academy, Homeschool Solutions with Pam Barnhill, Lifeschooling Conference and Activities Fair, MomStrong International, Purple Monkey Garage, Rock Your Homeschool, Simply Living for Him, SPED Homeschool, Science Shepherd, Scott LaPierre, Teach Them Diligently, The Creation Trail, The Front Porch, The Mystery of History, The Unlikely Homeschool, They Call Me Blessed.

    You say, Schoolhouse Rocked is not an anti-public school, anti-private school, anti-government, anti-vaccine, or anti-anything else movie, yet in your trailer you don't paint a very nice picture of public schools. What's the deal?
    Schoolhouse Rocked will be a feature-length movie (around 90-100 minutes). In the film, we will spend a few minutes explaining some of the reasons why families are choosing to homeschool. There are as many reasons as there are families, but here’s a short list: Parents are concerned about the school environment, parents want the ability to provide moral instruction, parents are dissatisfied with the level of academic instruction in public schools, parents desire to provide religious instruction, parents want the ability to provide a non-traditional education to their children, parents have a child with special needs that they don’t believe are being adequately met by the public schools, parents have a child with a physical or mental health problem that precludes them from being able to attend a traditional school, and many more.*

    In the short (4 1/2 minute) crowdfunding trailer, we had a very small window of time to tell a compelling story about why we believe Schoolhouse Rocked is an important project and why others should support it. This is a tricky proposition, but we believed that the best way to do this was by sharing our personal story, so we stated our reasons for choosing to homeschool. Quite honestly, in our case, we never wanted to homeschool and felt like our hand was forced by the terrible public schools in our area. It was only after starting that we realized what a blessing homeschooling was.

    Please realize, this is not an attack on the teachers or administrators in those schools. In fact, we are very close friends with many teachers and administrators in the area. These people take their positions very seriously and genuinely care for their students. Ironically, MOST of the public school teachers and administrators we know do not send their kids to these public schools. Most of them homeschool their own kids, and some of them send their kids to private schools. This is a huge indictment of the public schools in the area where we lived, but I realize not all public schools are the same. However, they all use similar methods and have very similar worldviews and goals for their students. A quick study of the fathers of public education, Horace Mann, John Dewey, and Jean Jacques Rousseau (an important precursor to these men), and the Prussian model of education is all it takes to understand that this model is BAD for students and culture, and that the moral decline and rise of socialism we are seeing in America is a direct result of public education.

    I acknowledge that not everyone has the ability to homeschool their children. It is not my place or desire to judge parents or play their conscience. We are committed to a very simple mission – to encourage and equip homeschooling families!

    Homeschooling is challenging. Many times families who choose to homeschool face opposition from family and friends (and strangers). It takes MANY YEARS of hard work and commitment and sometimes the rewards can’t be seen until you have invested years into the process. It can also be expensive, as in most cases, it requires a parent to be home (not working) and these families don’t receive any financial support, but are still required to pay the the same taxes as families who receive the financial benefits afforded to public school families.

    We want to validate and encourage the families who have made this huge decision and commitment. We want to show them examples of students and graduates who are thriving and let them know that this investment will be worth it. We want to provide resources and instruction to make the process easier and to help them be successful.

    We also want to give these families a great tool to pass on to the naysayers in their lives. We want them to be able to give Schoolhouse Rocked to the family member or friend who continually asks why they are not socializing their kids, or why they feel qualified to teach them. We want Schoolhouse Rocked to really clearly answer those questions.

    Does that mean we don’t care about public school students or families who choose to send their kids to public schools? Not at all.

    Quite honestly, public schools don’t need our help! We (homeschool families) already help by paying a portion of the taxes that fund those schools, and students in those schools receive quite a bit of “help” already, by way of busses to and from school, free meals (in many schools that means breakfast, lunch, and dinner), free books, before and after school programs, sports, etc. There are literally THOUSANDS of organizations who provide support to these students, in the form of backpacks and school supplies, grants to schools, support programs, etc (on top of the BILLIONS of dollars of state and federal tax money they receive).

    I can count the number of organizations providing similar help to homeschool families on one hand.

    One more thing… Not a week goes by that there isn’t a negative national news story about public schools. You see violence, teacher and administrator sex scandals, stories about low teacher pay, failing students, the failures of the Common Core, etc. To call attention to the fact that public schools aren’t great for students is like calling the sky blue or water wet. We don’t feel like we have to make a case against public schools, because public schools are doing a great job of that for us. Also, there is no need to make another anti-public school movie, because IndoctriNation, Killing Ed, and Escaping Common Core, from Exodus Mandate do a GREAT job telling that very important story.

    That still doesn’t mean we don’t care about these students or families. We are just choosing to spend our time, energy, and resources to build up the homeschooling community, because it is a worthy and important cause, and because it can have a GIGANTIC, lasting benefit on these students and families, and in the culture at large.

    * Noel, A., Stark P., and Redford, J. (20130. Parent and Family Involvement in Education, From the National Household Educations Surveys Program of 2012 (NCES 2013-028), National Center for Education Statistics, Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education, Washington , D.C. http://nces.ed.gov/pubsearch (Thanks, Michael P Donnelly for the reference!)

    So, you're not going to help those people who have no option but to public school their kids?

    I acknowledge that not everyone has the ability to homeschool their children. It is not my place or desire to judge parents or play their conscience. We are committed to a very simple mission – to encourage and equip homeschooling families!

    Does that mean we don’t care about public school students or families who choose to send their kids to public schools? Not at all.

Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash