One of the major effects of millions of students doing public school at home is that the heart of public school education is being revealed to parents who are paying attention to their children’s Zoom lessons. At the same time, our culture has been in a state of upheaval, in near civil war, and the roots of this culture war have been nourished in the public schools. Now the truly radical nature of the indoctrination our public school students are receiving is coming to light.
Alex Newman recently talked with Yvette Hampton and Aby Rinella on The Schoolhouse Rocked about the true nature of what is being taught at public schools. Common Core, Marxism, statism, nihilism, atheism, evolution, the LGBT agenda: these are the philosophies that are central to public school indoctrination, and if we want to see our culture and our Constitutional Republic saved, we must reclaim the education of our children. Education is truly the key to saving our nation!
Alex, talk about the reality … and I’m not talking just about Common Core. Talk about the reality of the indoctrination that’s happening in the public school system right now. We have many friends back who are public school educators. These are people that we love, people that we’ve gone to church with, and they say, “No, our kids need to be salt and light in the public school. We need to have these Christian kids in there. They’re doing okay.” And for whatever reason, a lot of these parents are still not really seeing the full picture of the indoctrination that’s happening.
Can you talk about that and just bring it? I mean, I really want these parents to know the reality of what is happening to the minds of their children and why so many children … even if their children aren’t walking away from the faith … why it’s dangerous for kids, not just physically. I mean, of course we see that. My niece goes to a public school in Saugus, California and several months ago they had a school shooting. So physically, it’s not safe. But spiritually and emotionally, what is the damage that’s being done in these schools?
Alex Newman: This is, I think, the most important question, and the data now is very clear. Dan Smithwick at the Nehemiah Institute has been studying this for quite some time, and what he’s found is that the overwhelming majority of Christian children from good Christian homes who spend 12 years in a government indoctrination center masquerading as a school are going to leave the faith. I mean, it’s up there in the 80% range. And that’s the kids who come from good Christian homes with two Christian parents whose parents take them to church. I mean, the data now is very clear. For my generation, millennials, a poll just came out late last year and 70% of millennials now describe themselves as socialists. This would have been unthinkable to earlier generations of Americans, that we would give up all our freedom, that we would give up our understanding of God and trade it in for this cheap fraud that is socialism, that always and everywhere results in death and misery and shortages and tyranny. I mean, it would have been unthinkable.
The reason this is happening is because of the indoctrination going on in the schools. Nowadays, it’s gotten so extreme, especially in California, but this is now a nationwide issue, in kindergarten, they’re telling children they might have been born in the wrong body and, “We won’t tell your parents if you want to wear a dress to school.” I mean, that’s the level we’re at. In California, now, they’ve got gender support plan and individual transition plan where they’ll start giving your kid hormones and puberty blockers to prepare them for genital mutilation. I mean, I can’t even believe I’m saying this, and yet this is the reality of what our children are going through now at the youngest possible ages in government schools. They’re being just saturated in this race mongering and the hatred of America and the hatred of Christianity.
Our kids are not safe in the public schools, folks. It’s that simple. We’ve got to get them out. And so, for people who really want the condensed version, we have produced a special issue of The New American all about education. You can get it in PDF for like 75 cents. If you want a physical copy, we have to mail you one. I think it costs like three bucks, and you can get 100 if you want to give it to your pastor and your neighbors. It’s an excellent tool, because we have Duke and Israel and great Americans who’ve worked on these things showing the problem and then the solution. So that’ll give you a really comprehensive overview of what’s happening and where this is going and how you can free yourself and protect your children.
“The idea that we would send our children into battle, alone, without us, where our enemy holds all the power, where the enemy holds all the commanding heights, and they’re the ones who are going to teach your children, I mean, it’s just unfathomable to me.”
But I’ll just wrap it up by saying … People tell me all these different excuses. “Oh, I can’t afford to get my kids out.” You can’t afford not to get your kids out. When they come home, and they want to mutilate themselves and they’re suicidal and they’re taking heroin … I mean, I’ve seen this in my own family, in my own community. This is ubiquitous now. You can’t afford not to get your children out. And then the salt and light thing, “My kids are going to be salt and light.” Would you send your children into a war? Would you send your children off to go fight in Iraq or whatever? Of course, you wouldn’t. We know better than to send our children into armed conflict. And yet God tells us crystal clear … Go to Ephesians 6:12. We are in a spiritual war.
Yvette Hampton: That’s right.
Alex Newman: And if you don’t recognize that you’re in a spiritual war, you might be on the wrong side, so you probably better get up to speed. But we’re in a spiritual war right now. The idea that we would send our children into battle, alone, without us, where our enemy holds all the power, where the enemy holds all the commanding heights, and they’re the ones who are going to teach your children, I mean, it’s just unfathomable to me. I know a lot of Christians, they don’t want to think about it this way because, “Hey, we both have to work and we don’t have enough money.”
I tell people, “I would live in a cardboard box before I would send my children to a public school.” And I don’t mean that in a condescending way at all. Mom and Dad who you’ve got your kids in a public school, I’m not judging you. It’s just you don’t know these things because your pastor hasn’t told you and the fake media hasn’t told you. So now I’m telling you because I love you and because I love your kids and I don’t want them to be destroyed. I don’t want them to be brainwashed. I don’t want them to turn against you and turn against your church and turn against our country.
I think, frankly, the only solution … If you go with the title of this show … the only way we’re going to be able to save our freedoms, our nation, our families, our churches, absent just straight divine intervention and God just comes down and fixes it all for us, is going to be to get our children out of the public schools and to make sure they’re getting a good, godly, Christ-centered education either in our homeschools or in a good Christian school if for whatever reason you absolutely can’t homeschool. But parents, you have no higher responsibility to your children than to make sure they’re getting a good education in the things of God, and that’s on you, folks. That’s on you.
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“I’ve taught at seven different universities now and I’ve always had one colleague in every English department who looks forward to teaching homeschool kids. One, because they were smart and two, because they saw it as their mission, as one put, to kick the Jesus out of them. So the universities recognize that these kids are smart and they want them because these are kids that don’t drop class, they don’t swear or cut classes. They turn their homework and they say, “yes ma’am,” “no sir.” They like that. But then they want to socially engineer these kids. And so they’ll take them. The universities want them, but a lot of the professors want them for very different reasons.” – Dr. Duke Pesta
Dr. Duke Pesta is the Director of FreedomProject Academy, host of the Dr. Duke Show, and a professor of English at the University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh. His experiences as an educational reformer, university professor, and high school teacher, uniquely qualify him to address the current state of education in our country. He speaks across the nation on topics including the necessity of homeschooling, the decline of morality and critical thinking in the public schools, and the myriad of ways that colleges and universities indoctrinate students.
Dr. Duke is one of America’s foremost authorities on the dangers of Common Core and the federal takeover of education. He hosts A weekly program about education—The Dr. Duke Show—which covers educational issues from preschool through graduate school.
Yvette Hampton, host of The Schoolhouse Rocked Podcast, had the privilege of talking with Dr. Duke about the influence that culture and churches have had on today’s youth, and how we, as parents, can best prepare our children for the secular worldview ideology that they are being exposed to on a daily basis. They also discussed how most homeschooled students fare in a university setting.
Yvette Hampton: We were visiting Heidi St. John this past summer, filming for Schoolhouse Rocked and actually, while we were at her house was when your episode on her show aired. She had talked about you and she’s just so impressed with who you are and the knowledge that you have of the public education system and all things going on in culture, having to do with education. Of course, you know a whole lot about many, many other things, not just education. So, I heard you on her podcast after she had spoken of you and I thought, man, we’ve got to get this guy on the podcast.
Talk about what you do because, I like that you’re labeled kind of the educational reformer and that’s really what Schoolhouse Rocked is. The full title of the movie is Schoolhouse Rocked: The Homeschool Revolution! And it really is a revolution because we need to reform education not just in our country, but worldwide. Why are we in need of a reformation right now when it comes to education?
Dr. Duke Pesta: Well, I mean, anybody who’s involved with education who is not trying to reform it as part of the problem. We have an educational system that is getting worse and worse. I mean, because you asked me in one word, one sentence to explain the major problem. It is the following. That our progressive educrats, it’s the progressive left who’s been in charge of our public schools, our colleges who are going on 50, 60 years now. And what they have succeeded in doing now over the last 25 years in particular is transforming the way we educate our kids, whether it’s public schools from kindergarten through high school, whether it’s our universities, to educate them primarily first for left-wing ideological purposes. What you and I would call the social justice movement.
Dr. Duke: We have relegated academic achievement, merit, hard work, we have relegated real serious study to all of these political objectives of the left, which is why our kids know less and less and less the farther they go along but are much more politicized. So you’ve got these kids on college campuses who can’t tell you who their senator is, who don’t know the three branches of government, can tell you nothing about the constitution. Yet they know America’s a racist, sexist, evil place and that capitalism and free markets have to go. What we’ve seen happen is a hijacking of the schools by ideology and leftist politics at the expense of real learning. And it’s really starting to transform this country into something very different than what it was meant to be.
Yvette: Yeah. It’s all about indoctrination and no longer about education. And that’s a scary place to be. And you talk about being involved in and reformation on the end of education. And we just got back from a camping trip, actually, yesterday and I was talking to one of the dads there and we had such an interesting conversation because we were talking about as homeschoolers, sometimes, we feel like, well, our kids are protected and so we’re good. We can just close that door. We don’t worry about the education of our kids because we’ve taken it into our own hands, which obviously is what we stand on as a family. It’s why we’re making a movie about it. It’s why we do a podcast, and a blog, and all that stuff because we feel like it’s important for parents to take that role of educating our children.
Yvette: However, it can’t stop there. It needs to continue on. And we were talking about our tax dollars are going to pay, they’re paying for all of these other children to be indoctrinated, and these children are the ones who are the future of our country, our future political leaders, our future doctors, lawyers. And we’re seeing this crazy shift. I mean, sometimes, I feel, and I know you feel this way too, I’m sure, like I’m in the Twilight zone. I hear the things that are happening in universities and in the schools, private schools, public schools, public schools K through 12. We’re from California and I, I literally cannot wrap my mind around the things that are being taught to these children. How did we get here? How did we get to this point where people are having the freedom, because it really has become a freedom for them, to be able to indoctrinate our kids with these horrible, horrific, wicked ideas and have turned so far away from the truth of God? How did we get to this place? And what do we do? How do we get back to where we came from?
“How we got here is really kind of basic, it seems to me. Our churches have stopped fighting this battle. The churches have … I argue that the institutional Christianity, church Christianity is on life support in this country because they don’t want to lose that 501(c)(3), I have had pastors who haveve told me, yeah, gee, Dr. Pesta, we’d love to have you speak here, but I’ve got four public school teachers in my faculty. I can’t upset them.”
Dr. Duke: Well, start with the first part of your question. It was very clear that Christ in the Gospels wants us to be in the world but not of the world. On one hand, we have to protect our kids, our families, our communities in a Christian way. On the other hand, we have to turn outward to a corrupt culture. We can’t ignore it or it’s going to swallow us up. We have to prioritize protecting the faith but we also have to reach out into the world. And so many homeschool moms and dads, I think you’re right, they think that their kids are safe, that by pulling out of the schools, they fix the problem. They really haven’t because not only are we paying for it with our taxpayer dollars, but we are sowing the seeds of our own destruction because as these kids become more common, still many more, like 9.5 out of every 10 school kids are public school kids.
Dr. Duke: And so, as they become more indoctrinated, more secular, they’re convinced now that God was never meant to be a part of the culture, that our constitution somehow banishes God from public spaces. These are the lies our kids are being told. And as they get older and older, and the generation that leaves college becomes the millennials, they’re … 54% of millennials believe in some kind of cult behavior, right? They believe in tarot cards, they believe in astrology, 54% of them believe in sort of a cult spirituality and less than 50% actually believe in God. And that’s going to come back to bite us. You and me can homeschool our kids, but will your kids be able to homeschool theirs We’ve already seen California, the state you ran away from, wisely got out of, California’s trying to put the screws to homeschoolers. They’re trying to force state agents into homeschool families to kind of watch and see what’s going on, and this is beginning to spread. So that’s the first part of your question, I think.
Dr. Duke: And how we got here is really kind of basic, it seems to me. Our churches have stopped fighting this battle. The churches have … I argue that the institutional Christianity, church Christianity is on life support in this country because they don’t want to lose that 501(c)(3), I have had pastors who haveve told me, yeah, gee, Dr. Pesta, we’d love to have you speak here, but I’ve got four public school teachers in my faculty. I can’t upset them. And so all of this temerity on the refusal of our Christian pastors to actually wade into this, to take a side … because if they were doing that, if our Christian pastors were doing it, they would ultimately be telling the moms and dads, you got to get your kid out of these schools, you’re not going to be able to fix them. Sorry for being long winded, but the answer to your question is you got to get them out. If we’re going to fix any of this, many, many more American kids have to be educated outside of that system and it’s happening but not fast enough.
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Yvette: Yes, I agree with you completely. We often have people ask us, we’re trying to fundraise for this movie just to get through post-production. And we have had many, many people ask us, well, you know, have you gone to churches? And we’ve said, we’ve talked to pastors before and churches will not touch this movie because it is a movie about homeschooling. And it’s the same exact thing is that they don’t want to offend people because they’ve got people on their leadership board or, elders, deacons, whatever, some pastors who are part of their church who have their kids in public school and they don’t want to ruffle their feathers. They don’t want to. And even people in the congregation as well, they don’t want to upset people. And I don’t understand that because I’m thinking, well, if you’re standing up and you’re teaching the truth of God’s word, we often talk about Luke 6:40. It says, “The student is not above his teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like his teacher.”
Yvette: Well, who’s teaching our kids and are we the ones who are coming alongside and teaching them and discipling their hearts? Again, Deuteronomy six, we talk about that all the time. You know, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, strength, and mind and teach this to your children when they rise and when they sleep, and when they walk about their day.” We can’t do these things if … we can’t teach our children the way that they need to be taught if they’re not with us. And when we’re sending them to a public institution, a government school for 40 hours a week, they’re being taught by someone else who is not their parent and who doesn’t have their best interest in mind.
Yvette: Now, there are teachers, of course, you and I both know, I mean you’ve taught in the public school system. There are teachers who love kids, genuinely love their students, but their hands are tied and there’s nothing that they can do about it. What are you seeing? Because obviously, California, I know a whole lot about what’s going on in California because that’s home for us. What are you seeing as far as what’s happening in the California and kind of whole Left Coast part of the world? How is that infiltrating into the rest of the nation and what changes are you seeing even in these so-called conservative states and towns?
“They do not like freedom and liberty. They don’t like the constitution. They don’t like American history and values. And Christianity is at the core of what they don’t like. They see Christianity in 250 years of American history, 2000 years of Western culture as the root of all evil in terms of repression and backwardness.”
Dr. Duke: Yeah, to start with where you started, it always amazes me when I read the Gospels. Christ spoke to the power, he spoke to the churches, basically, spoke to the synagogues, told them the truth, it made them uncomfortable and then you had the great divide. And here we are, the heirs of Christ, and we won’t speak to the culture. We won’t speak to the moms and dads in our parish, our constituency, because, hey, they got kids in the wrong place. And if priests and ministers, if pastors can’t tell their parents, you’re sending your kids to not just a godless place but an anti-God place because you fear your 501(c)(3), that shows you the state we’re in, right? That our biggest ally should be biblical Christians, should be Bible-believing Christians. And when the ministers who lead those congregations will not stand up for the truth, then we really can’t be surprised where we are.
Dr. Duke: But you mentioned California and California, because there is so little opposition, what few Republicans remained in the state have been more or less completely elected out of office. It’s been a landslide for far-leftist politicians and this is of course fueled by a huge base of illegal immigrants, many of whom are finding ways to vote. And what’s happening is that there’s no balance here. There really are no longer any checks and balances in California because they got basically supermajorities to pass any radical agenda item they want to, they’re doing it. Then we have places like New York City where they pass these radical abortion laws where you’re allowed to abort babies while they’re in the process of being born. And so the left has run away and then we know what the progressive left is. They’re atheist or secularist. They are very sympathetic to communism.
Dr. Duke: They do not like freedom and liberty. They don’t like the constitution. They don’t like American history and values. And Christianity is at the core of what they don’t like. They see Christianity in 250 years of American history, 2000 years of Western culture as the root of all evil in terms of repression and backwardness. So we’re seeing this problem. And the problem with California is that there are a lot of states in the union that aren’t as progressive, that still have more of a balance and legislature who are using California as an excuse to do it themselves. And the places like Massachusetts, and New Jersey, and New York, and Chicago, the district of Chicago. So these big liberal cities are incorporating this stuff and using their power, the big cities and liberal states, to transform how state business has done as well. So this is spreading. It’s a virus. And what you see in California today, you’re going to see in Nebraska, you’re going to see in North Carolina tomorrow unless somebody turns this around.
Yvette: Yeah, that’s right. As far as kids being in the public school system, we hear all the time, and we were just talking about this the other day, my husband and I. People will often say, well, our kids’ school is different. We live in a small town. We live in a conservative state. My child’s teacher is a Christian. Are there any kids who are safe anywhere in this country from being taught and indoctrinated with these godless ideas that they’re being indoctrinated with? Are they safe anywhere?
“It’s not terribly intellectual. They’re slipping in sexuality education into all the different classrooms. They’re using math, and science, and social studies, even physical education classes as a way of reinforcing a certain set of liberal, progressive values.”
Dr. Duke: I wouldn’t call them safe anywhere. I would say that some schools have gone farther down the rabbit hole than others. And of course, with this new Common Core scheme and the federalization of education, that starting first in the major cities in every state. So in Wisconsin, Milwaukee is gone. If you’ve got a big city in Wisconsin, the kids in Wisconsin are all getting the same diet of ideology. But in smaller towns, it hasn’t quite got there yet or hasn’t quite got there fully. But even still, even if your kids are in a relatively safe place, and it’s a small school, and there is still some oversight, the fundamental nature of the pedagogy, how they’re being taught, even non-religious subjects is really very screwy. It’s not terribly intellectual. They’re slipping in sexuality education into all the different classrooms. They’re using math, and science, and social studies, even physical education classes as a way of reinforcing a certain set of liberal, progressive values.
Dr. Duke: So, at the best, your kids are being pushed very hard left. At the worst, they’re being downright indoctrinated. So there is really no place. And what’s bad now is going to get worse. There’s no place where your kids can hide from this and that doesn’t even mention the data gathered how the feds are using your kids’ public schools to gather all sorts of private data, how they’re using your kids’ schools, your kids. Something called social emotional learning, SEL, social emotional learning, which is big all across the country where there are actually unqualified elementary school teachers are making psychological evaluations of your kids. That’s happening even in the safest of schools now and it’s dangerous.
Yvette: Yeah. Yeah. It really is. We have a friend who is just a wonderful Christian lady. She’s been teaching in the public school system in Northern California for probably 30 years, a very long time. Loves teaching. I believe she teaches kindergarten or first grade and she was telling me that last year, they had brought in so many books on the LGBT movement into the school library. And so though she is finding ways to not teach that in her classroom, the kids have access to those books. And so she did something that I thought was very clever and she said, I just checked out those books because as a teacher, she can check them out for the school year to quote-unquote use for her classroom. So she just checked out all of the books that she could find to get them out of the library. She obviously didn’t teach them in her classroom, but she was trying to do something so that the children, the kindergartners and, elementary school kids didn’t have access to those books.
Yvette: But like you said, I know these things are being taught and they’re being weaved into all of the curriculum. It’s not like they are just doing it, you know, here’s the sex ed class and you can opt out of it. It’s in everything. It’s in science, it’s in literature, it’s in grammar. I mean, they’re literally weaving it into everything that these kids are being taught. They’re very clever and intentional about it and it’s a scary place to be. How can parents prepare their kids? And I’m not talking just about homeschool parents, I’m talking about parents, homeschool parents, public school, private school parents. How can we prepare our kids for this culture war that we are in right now, not even entering, but we’re in a war right now. How can we prepare our kids as they’re growing into young adults and the future of our country? How can we help them?
Dr. Duke: Well, I mean, think about what you just said. I want to reiterate it. You have a well-meaning and incredibly brave young teacher in California who is evading the system to some degree. The entire library has been stocked with books that are harmful to these kids’ development and she’s checked them out. And that’s the best you’re going to get. She hasn’t protected her kids from that. In her classrooms, they don’t get it. But in other classrooms, they will. So even the best-case scenario, you see how dangerous it is. And so the way to prepare them, I say, I think I go back to what I said before. Number one is you’re praying with them two or three every night before they go to bed, if you take them to church on Wednesday and Sundays or you spend an hour every night doing Bible study, that pales in comparison to what they’re getting eight hours a day, nine months of the year. It is relentless.
Dr. Duke: So, the answer is our kids need an education. But they need an education that is our education. It is Christian based. It is Biblically-based. It is knowledge-based. They need to be able, these kids, and unfortunately because we’re attacking kids at younger and younger ages, in the public schools, they start this when they’re six and seven years old. We need to prepare our kids to answer those things. It’s not enough just as you teach the kids that God loves them and to teach them the moral values. That’s important. We’ve got to give them a reason to believe intellectually. So many of our kids, we homeschool them and they know the Bible, and they know their prayers, and they believe in their country, and they believe in God. And then they get to the university if you’ve homeschooled until high school. And then they meet really smart professors with PhDs after their name who don’t engage them on a biblical level, don’t engage them on a moral level.
Dr. Duke: That’s a battle they won’t win. Instead, they engage them on a rational level. All right, you know, prove to me your God exists. And they started hitting them with those kinds of questions. Our kids have to be able to rebut secular arguments. It’s not enough simply to be able to cite the Bible. And that’s an education they used to get. They used to get it before we corrupted the schools, they would get a sound logical education and then that would be reinforced by their faith. Now they’re getting an education that is hostile and absolutely the opposite of what their faith teaches them. And when they say that they’re not allowed to use the Bible, they can’t use scripture to prove their point. So every tool we give them is rendered moot by the professors. And so they dutifully line up.
Dr. Duke: Either they drop out or they fight and get lower grades. We’ve got to do a better job of, when I say giving them a Christian education, we’re handling the Bible stuff well. We’re not handling culture well. Why should you? Why is chastity better than libertinism? Why is humility in this culture, where it’s a total narcissistic self-esteem culture when it comes to education, why is humility perhaps the primary virtue Christ witnesses to us? Why is humility better than pride? Why is my self-esteem less important than making somebody else feel better about their lives? They don’t get that anymore. And we as Christian parents aren’t giving it to them. And again, our pastors aren’t giving them. We don’t talk about … everything is the prosperity gospel. Sin is judgmental. Many of our pastors actually believe talking about sin is prejudicial. It’s one-sided. So without that kinds stuff, it’s a bleak landscape unless we as parents decide to give them those things.
Yvette: Yeah, well, it hurts people’s feelings when you tell them that they’re sinful and we don’t want to do that. And you’re exactly right. It’s all about apologetics. Teaching our kids to understand what they believe, ask the questions, and then understand why they believe what they believe. Because if they don’t understand why they believe what they believe, they’re never going to be able to defend it. We’ve watched this happen time and time again with kids and it happens to kids in public school, private school, homeschool where they think, well, we’re good. And the parents think they’re good because we’re Christians and they go to church, like you said, a couple times a week and they can play their cards right, and they can say all the right things. But if they don’t really own their relationship with the Lord, then they have no solid foundation to stand on. I’m curious to know because you’re a university professor, what is your viewpoint of Christian universities today? How are you seeing those kind of shake up culture?
Dr. Duke: The vast majority of them are worse than the public schools. You take schools, the obvious Catholic ones like Notre Dame or Georgetown, and these Christian schools, and the Protestant ones do it as well, in the name of plurality, in the name of open-mindedness, the Christian universities all hire non-Christian faculty. They don’t want to be seen as discriminating like the pastors. They want to invite secular teachers in because our Christian kids need to hear both sides and immediately when they get to campus, these non-Christian faculty members who are now 70% and 80% of the faculty now. That number of Christians keeps shrinking, and they’re demanding LGTBQ, and they’re demanding socialism, and they’re demanding an end to borders. They’re turning around and accusing the Christian theology that governs the school of being exclusionary and there’s nobody to stop it. But I’ve said this many times. I would much rather my kid lose his faith from a public school teacher or a public university professor because you expect it.
Dr. Duke: You expect them when they go into a non-Christian classroom to have their face challenged. It is really dangerous when our kids go to so-called Christian schools and they encounter in Christian environments really anti-Christian ideas. they begin to think that Christianity is either evil by definition if all these Christian professors don’t like it or their Christianity becomes really social justice pretending to be Christianity. And many of our kids are working again, many of our Christian kids think that Christianity now means radical left-wing politics. And so it’s undermining faith. I’d rather have my kids in a secular school than in a Christian school that’s lost its way. And there are very, very, very few Christian schools that are faithful to their heritage and their mission.
Yvette: Yeah, I agree with you completely. And it’s so deceptive because they think they’re getting a Christian education and these parents think that they’re sending their children to a good, solid Christian school. It’s got all of these awards, and accreditations, and blah blah blah. Okay. But are they really teaching the truth of God’s word? And I know that there are some out there that really are, but I appreciate you saying that because we’ve talked a whole lot about that and that’s a scary place to be as a parent.
Yvette: We’re looking at, our daughter is going into high school next year and starting to just think through, okay, what direction is she going to head? And we were talking to a pastor several months ago and he was saying the same thing. And I said, “Would you ever consider sending your kids to a public university?” He said, “Most of them are better than private universities today.” And he goes, “And at least they know that they’re getting a secular education.” And hopefully my children will have been trained and have a very solid foundation and be able, again, back to apologetics, they know what they believe and why they believe it. And so they know that going into it.
Dr. Duke: Well, one piece of advice I give your parents, I can give you, even. When you go to a Christian school, Christian college to find out what it’s really like, don’t ignore the administration. They’re going to give you some student is going to give you a tour of a Christian campus and talk about how faith-friendly it is. That’s all propaganda. Go to the cafeteria, sit down with a couple of strange kids and say, hey, my daughter is going to be coming here. Can we buy you lunch and talk to you? Sit down with the kids. The kids are much more honest. Ask them, is there regular church service? Are the faculty really open to Christian values? You’ll find out quick from the kids whether or not. They’re a much better gauge of what’s going on than the school’s trying to get, they want your money. They want you there.
Yvette: Yeah. That’s a fantastic idea. We have a few more minutes left. Let’s talk about FreedomProject Academy. Tell us what that is.
Dr. Duke: It’s one more way to try to help homeschool moms and dads. There a lot of homes. There are a lot of moms I’ve encountered across the country, oftentimes, secular moms or Christian moms who are overwhelmed by what’s happening in the public schools, but they got to work two jobs. The husband and wife have to work. Sometimes it’s single mothers. These are families that desperately want out of public school, but they can’t afford the costs of private Christian schools and they don’t have time or they feel like they’re not qualified to teach the kids the way they have to. So what we do at FreedomProject is we have real live teachers teaching over the computer just like you and I are watching each other right now. And they teach in real-time and they come right into your living room. We can do everything from kindergarten through high school. We can do one or two classes or an entire range of classes.
Dr. Duke: We are accredited. So kids who come with us can get a high school diploma. And our kids are getting into colleges all over the place. So we’re a Christian school, we teach Christian values, we teach biblical principles, we give a high-quality classical education. And so for moms and dads who use us, we’re not for everybody. I mean, it’s a lot of screen time but we do give a really good education in a Christian vein for families who want to homeschool but don’t think they can quite do it themselves. We can either help them or do it for them.
Yvette: And can they choose from specific classes or you just sign up and you get everything?
Dr. Duke: No. We have moms and dads who are great at homeschooling, the only thing they can’t teach their kid is chemistry at junior year of high school. So they’ll just take our chemistry class or we’ve got moms and dads and keep the kids in the public school, but they don’t like the fact that American history is so bad. So they’ll send their kids to public school all day and then in the evening, they’ll do one of our courses on American history so they get to see the other side of the story. We have other parents for whom we do five classes a semester from kindergarten through high school and we give them a diploma. So it depends on what you need, what you want. We’re very flexible that way.
Yvette: Okay. I know you started classes at the beginning of this semester. Will you start new classes mid-year? And can people sign up for it mid-year or do they have to wait until next school year?
Dr. Duke: Rolling admissions is too difficult because, especially because, and this is a fact across the board when kids come to us from the public schools, they are at a minimum two years behind where they should be. So it’s very hard in the middle of the semester to try to place that. So unfortunately, we need to wait until the following August, September. But we can do it then. And we’re very serious about that. The nice thing about this online course stuff is if your kid comes to us and she’s a fourth grader and she does fourth grade English, she’s doing good, but her math grade is second grade, we can keep her in all the other classes at her age and then put her back into math classes a little earlier and then catch her up. So this is something that public schools can’t do. It’s not something we do.
Yvette: Okay. And do you assess the children before you assign them to a class?
Dr. Duke: Anybody who applies to FreedomProject and you could do it for, even if you want to find out where your kids are, we’ll do placement exams in math and English for you. Even if you have no intention of coming to us, it won’t cost you anything. And then we’ll tell you where your kids are. Vis-a-vis where they should be. It’s not that complicated. If you want your kids to be able to read at a high level and you want them to be able to do at least precalculus by the time they graduate high school, then at every grade you have to get them a certain place. And so every parent that comes to us, we give the two exams, we let them know. And even moms and dads who don’t come with us, we tell them where their kids are so they know, they have a sense of where their kids should be and where they are.
Yvette: Okay. That’s fantastic. We’ll definitely link to that in the show notes. One last question. As a university professor, I don’t know how many homeschool kids you get in your classroom, but are you seeing that homeschooled students going into college and universities, are they well prepared? Are they better prepared? Are they less prepared? What are you seeing?
Dr. Duke: It’s undeniably true that the homeschool kids we get at college are better because … it takes us full circle back to the beginning of the interview. We’re not educating anymore kids to be good readers, to be good mathematicians and scientists, we’re educating them to be woke, socially aware, progressive. So when they get to college, most of the public school kids shouldn’t be there. I estimate about four out of 10 of my kids in every class, every one, shouldn’t even be in college. They don’t have enough knowledge or they’re unwilling to work at it. But when I get homeschool kids, they’re fine. I mean, they’re solid. They’re literate. They have a basic foundation that the public school kids don’t have. So then even if they’re not completely ready, you can catch them up quickly.
Dr. Duke: It’s the public school kids. And even many of the Christian educated kids who get a solid Christian education, they’re more or less ready. But certainly, the public school kids aren’t. And then the sad thing is, the tragic thing is that the universities too are catering to the progressive kid who doesn’t know anything rather than the Christian kid who could succeed. So we’re lowering our standards. We’re bringing kids to college, not on the basis of achievement, but on the basis of how woke they are and how malleable they are to progressive arguments. So universities, to the surprise of nobody, universities are worse even than the public schools in terms of turning kids into good little progressives.
Yvette: Yeah. Yeah. It’s encouraging to know that universities are seeking out homeschooled kids. We’ve talked to a few university professors and that’s one of the fears, of course, that parents often have of homeschooling is my kid’s not going to be able to get into college. And so we talk about that in the movie and say, yes, they will be able to getting to college. Not only that, but there are actual universities now, many of them and more and more each year who are seeking out homeschooled kids because they really are better prepared.
Dr. Duke: Absolutely. And I’ll tell you, at every university, I’ve taught at seven different universities now and I’ve always had one colleague in every English department who looks forward to teaching homeschool kids. One, because they were smart and two, because they saw it as their mission, as one put, to kick the Jesus out of them. So the universities recognize that these kids are smart and they want them because these are kids that don’t drop class, they don’t swear or cut classes. They turn their homework and they say, “yes ma’am,” “no sir.” They like that. But then they want to socially engineer these kids. And so they’ll take them. The universities want them, but a lot of the professors want them for very different reasons.
Yvette: Interesting. That’s really interesting. What is one last bit of encouragement that you can give to the moms and dads who are listening to this podcast? How would you encourage them in regards to either bringing their kids home from public school, why should they do that, or just homeschooling in general?
Dr. Duke: Well, I think rather than give them some platitude, I would simply cite your story. because I’ve heard your story tens of thousands of times. Concerned parents who are Christian, who watched their kids’ education, who see what’s happening around them, who hear the horror stories, who understand what’s happening, who never thought, and you and I’ve talked about this before, I mean, you never thought in a million years you would homeschool your kids. You’re a good Christian, but you thought that those homeschool kids were a little socially maladjusted. And now that you’ve taken the leap, I love the phrase you said, it’s St. Paul on the road to Damascus. The scales fell from your eyes and now you wouldn’t trade your homeschooling for anything.
Dr. Duke: I have never, ever, ever, ever, ever, I’ve been to 48 States, I’ve given over a thousand talks on this stuff, I have never met a single homeschool mom and dad who regrets doing it. Not one. And that tells you something that if you take that commit, that you make that leap in God’s name to give your kids a godly education, God is going to allow you to do it. God will give you all the tools you need. Every financial, every sociological, every family obstacle that the devil has thrown in your way will fall away. You just got to take that leap of faith and as Christians, we all we do every day. Do it. You’ll be happy.
Yvette: Yeah, that’s right. Well, you guys heard it from Dr. Duke Pesta and he knows his stuff. So where can people find out more about you and FreedomProject Academy?
Dr. Duke: Well, you can go to our freedom project website. It’s FreedomProject Education, fpeusa.org, and there’s all sorts of stuff there about the school. One thing I would urge you to do maybe is if you like podcasts like this one you’re watching now, ours too, the Dr. Duke Show. It’s four times a week, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and it’s absolutely free. You can get it anywhere you get podcasts and you’re going to you, at the very least, you will be a very, very informed person as to what is actually happening in the schools.
Yvette: Yes. Well, I appreciate it so much. I listen to your podcast. I have been since I heard you on Heidi’s podcast, and you and Katie are a riot.
Dr. Duke: It’s such a sad, depressing story. We try to make it as fun as possible. And that’s the Dr. Duke show.
Yvette: Well, you do a good job of it. It’s hard to talk about the issues of today sometimes and it’s not entertaining where you sit and laugh all the time, but you have made me think about a lot of things and really opened my eyes up to a whole lot of things going on in our culture. And so I get a lot of my information from you, so thank you for what you’re doing. You are a blessing.
Find out more about Dr. Duke’s FreedomProject Academy, an online homeschool curriculum that offers a fully accredited, Classical education for Kindergarten through High School.