How Can I Find a Homeschooling Mentor?

Older and younger woman cooking together

Yvette Hampton and Aby Rinella continue their homeschool Q&A series with a discussion on homeschool parent mentors. Where can you find a mentor? What are the benefits of having one? Is the internet really enough, or could in-person interactions be even more valuable?

Yvette Hampton: This question says, “I need a Christian homeschooling mentor that can walk me through and help me step by step.” Oh, I love this question.

Aby Rinella: Yes, you do. We all do.

Yvette Hampton: Yes, we do. And let me just say that is so much of the reason why we do what we do at Schoolhouse Rocked. Aby and I do not spend the time that we do, recording podcasts and videos, and doing all these things because we make a ton of money at it, or get tons of rewards for it. Our reward is knowing that we are doing what God has called us to do, and being a blessing to you. And so, we really want to help, virtually mentor you. And we have others who do that with us, because Aby and I are still going into our 10th year of homeschooling, but there are many who have gone ahead of me and graduated their kids.

Yvette Hampton: And so, I have people in my life, like Durenda Wilson, Rachael Carman, Ginger Hubbard, and Connie Albers and people like that who…, who have spent years pouring into their kids, and are now pouring into us younger moms. It’s the whole Titus 2 thing. The older women teaching the younger women how to do this parenting, and marriage, and life thing, and being keepers of our home. Because homeschooling falls under all of those categories, and so you do need a homeschooling mentor.

Aby Rinella: Absolutely.

Yvette Hampton: I would say if you can find someone in your local church, or a local Christian homeschool support group or co-op, or something like that, seek them out. Because I think it’s part of our nature as humans to want to feel needed. It’s a blessing to those who are helping. I know when moms come to me and say, “Can you just help me with this, can you answer this question for me,” Or, “I was thinking about this, and I know you’ve been through this already, can you just walk me through this?” It is a huge blessing to me, and an honor, to be able to walk with them and help them to do that. And then, you know what? Later on, down the road, you get to be that to someone else.

Aby Rinella: Yes. And please, if you are at the end of this journey, when you graduate your last, don’t be done. It is so important that you stay in the game, because these new moms need you. And often, I think, without these great mentors, they may quit. So, stay in the game. There are a lot of mentorship things online where you can reach out to people, but I think nothing beats someone that’s walking it with you day-to-day, that can show up at your house and fold socks with you while you’re crying, and pray with you, and knows your kids, but… So, what was actually the question though? “How do I find one?”

Yvette Hampton: It’s more kind of a statement than a question.

Aby Rinella: Okay, okay.

Yvette Hampton: I think she’s just saying, “How do I find a homeschool mentor?”

Aby Rinella: So, one thing I would say is, “Ask.” Where I live, I tried to set up a homeschool mentorship program where we took some of the veteran moms and the younger moms. I remember the veteran moms saying several times, “These new young homeschool moms, they don’t act like they need us. They’re not asking. They have it all kind of figured out, and they’ve got their books and their online courses, and their this and their that.” So, don’t be afraid to go to that older woman in your area that has homeschooled, and say, “Hey, would you mentor me?” Don’t be afraid to ask. And older moms, please don’t be afraid to reach out to the younger moms. We need that.

Yvette Hampton: Right, yeah. And be honest and transparent with them. Don’t act like you have it all together, because none of us do, trust me.

Aby Rinella: Totally. We can see right through you.

Yvette Hampton: Just be honest with them and just say, “This is really what I’m struggling with.” And sometimes you may not have that person in your local community, but try to find that person somewhere.

Aby Rinella: Right.

Yvette Hampton: Yeah. [chuckle] Part of me wants to say, “You know, even through social media, you can find that.” But you can also find a lot of really, really bad advice.

Aby Rinella: Right.

Yvette Hampton: And so, I would say, be careful of that too. Rarely do I ever go on homeschool social media pages, like on Facebook and stuff, because some of the advice out there is just so poor. Some people give really good, sound Biblical advice, but some don’t. So just be careful who you’re listening to.

Aby Rinella: Exactly.

Yvette Hampton: She’s saying, “I need a Christian homeschooling mentor.” So, it sounds to me like she’s wanting someone who really is going to point her towards Christ.

Aby Rinella: Yeah, because a homeschool mentor is going to homeschool you in everything. Like you said, life, parenting, motherhood, marriage. So, you make sure your mentor lines up with God’s Word as they mentor you.

Yvette Hampton: Yeah, that’s right. And check everything through scripture. Don’t just take it for what they say, but back things up with scripture.

Aby Rinella: Yes.

Yvette Hampton: Sadly, we are out of time for today. Again, if you have questions for us, please send them in to podcast@schoolhouserocked.com. It is our absolute privilege and joy and honor to be able to answer those for you. So, let us know how we can encourage you. Aby, thank you for joining me today, again. And you guys cannot see this right now, but Aby is wearing a Schoolhouse Rocked T-shirt. And it is so cute.

Aby Rinella: It is so awesome. There are Schoolhouse Rocked long sleeves, shorts, it’s endless. You could actually change out your entire wardrobe to Schoolhouse Rocked… And your husband’s, too, honestly!

Yvette Hampton: Yes.

Aby Rinella: If you go to the Schoolhouse Rocked website, click “Support Schoolhouse Rocked” and select “Store” in the drop-down menu (Or click HERE!)

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.

What About Secular Homeschoolers?

A few months ago I received an email from a woman wondering if Schoolhouse Rocked was appropriate for secular homeschool families. I appreciated the question and felt like it warranted a sincere and thoughtful response, so I sat down and gathered my thoughts and emailed her back. The question continued to gnaw at me, so I kept my response, knowing that at some time I should address the issue in a more public way.

As I am sure you have noticed, many of the posts on the Schoolhouse Rocked website and Facebook page emphasize a Christian worldview. This will continue to be the case, as my wife and I are Christians. We are in our seventh year of homeschooling our own daughters, and one of the main reasons we chose to homeschool was to provide a great Biblical education for our girls. Schoolhouse Rocked is an outgrowth of our love of homeschooling, our belief that it is important and beneficial, and our desire to support and encourage other homeschooling families. We feel privileged to have the opportunity to make the movie and because it is such a personal project it will obviously be colored by our beliefs and values. Additionally, many, though not all, of the cast members are Christian leaders in the homeschooling movement and their faith has influenced their contributions to the film.

While the film will have a Christian point of view, the majority of the content will benefit all homeschoolers, as it will break down many of the misconceptions about homeschooling and will provide practical advice and encouragement for homeschooling families.

In Hollywood, “faith-based films” is a politically correct catchphrase for movies like Schoolhouse Rocked. There is no doubt that the film is faith-based, but even more to the point it is a Christian film. Schoolhouse Rocked will hold up Biblical values and will encourage parents to train up their children in Christian morals, values, and ethics. These are many of the same universally beneficial principles that our country was founded on (love your neighbor as yourself, don’t steal, don’t murder, don’t covet, don’t lie, etc.), and that for several generations have been the foundation of a prosperous, safe, and truly “tolerant” society – one which allowed for secular families (and families from every other religious background) to prosper alongside Christian families. These same values have been largely abandoned in the past 50 years in society, leading to widespread cultural decay, unchecked immorality, and rampant violence in spite of ever-increasing government legislation. Public schools have reflected this great societal shift and have become unsafe, academically ineffective, and intolerant “safe spaces” so obviously lacking in value that secular families are now pulling their kids out in droves.

It is our goal to empower all homeschool families to better enjoy the benefits of homeschooling by clearly outlining the common challenges and then providing real-world advice and access to resources to overcome these challenges. In an effort to encourage the support of family and friends of homeschoolers, the movie will also dispel many myths that can lead to opposition to homeschooling. Finally, the movie will provide heart-felt encouragement from real people who have experienced the common struggles and blessings of homeschooling. We believe that by providing a realistic picture of the benefits, challenges, and real-world outcomes of homeschooling, by disseminating wise advice and valuable resources, and by offering heart-felt encouragement we can effectively carry out our mission.

Schoolhouse Rocked doesn’t just give lip service to the homeschool revolution. We believe that we are at the leading edge of a very real revolution in education, which will provide enormous societal benefits. Therefore, we want to provide valuable tools for current homeschoolers and encourage the next wave of families to join the revolution. Along with the film, SchoolhouseRocked.com will offer many hours of free and subscription content, including videos, articles, product reviews, and recommendations to equip the next generation of world changers.

It may surprise you to find out we didn’t set out to make a Christian homeschool movie. When we started pre-production on Schoolhouse Rocked we were excited about the opportunity to advocate for homeschooling and point families in the right direction to get started, knowing that a large majority of homeschooling families were Christian, but that there was also a very large contingent of secular families and families from other religious backgrounds who were a part of this revolution in education. The reasons for choosing to homeschool are many and varied. Each homeschooling family exhibits a commitment to training their own children that is no less resolute and requires no less sacrifice or determination than that of any other family. While the worldview, educational philosophy, and goals of every homeschool family are different, every homeschooling family can benefit from heartfelt encouragement grounded in experience, excellent resources, and the generously shared wisdom of experts. That is what we set out to share, and while we did not initially set out to make a Christian film, we were never opposed to it. Like many documentaries, we were not sure how the story would evolve over time. As filming progressed it quickly became apparent that Christian principles would be central to the story, as they figured so heavily in many of the interviews we conducted, as can be seen in the example below.


Andrew Kern – Seek Ye First

I hope that Schoolhouse Rocked will be a valuable resource and encouragement for you. Our mission with the film, website, and Facebook page is to encourage and equip homeschooling families to start strong and finish well. We believe that homeschooling is one of the most practical ways a family can invest in their children’s future, and we are encouraged to see the growth in the homeschooling movement and the wealth of resources available to homeschooling families. While many may consider the growing homeschool movement to be a simple response to the decline of public schools, we believe that it signals something more important and valuable, namely a desire for families to take personal responsibility for the training of their children. It is one thing to complain about public schools, it is another thing entirely to make the great sacrifices and investments of time and effort to homeschool your children. We believe that this change of hearts and commitment to our children will yield great results for our society and culture as these kids become adults and leaders.

That said, we (Garritt and Yvette Hampton) are Christians and we are committed to working for the glory of God in all we do (knowing we fail many times, but thankful he uses unworthy and unqualified people to do His work). When we started we dedicated the project to the Lord, set out to make it for His glory, and asked for His blessing and supernatural provision. He has provided and continues to provide in miraculous ways. He is being glorified!

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