TANSTAAFL: No Free Lunch!

My favorite economist, Thomas Sowell, would often quote Milton Friedman, saying “there’s no such thing as a free lunch.” The thing is, before Milton Friedman popularized this as a common economic term, Robert Heinlein used its more colloquial version, “there ain’t no such thing as a free lunch” or “TANSTAAFL” as a central theme in his novel The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress. But even before Heinlein, the term had been used in literature and everyday parlance since at least the 1930s. So, I guess it would be best described as a “meta-quote.”

TANSTAAFL certainly applies when we’re talking about “school choice.” The great lure of school choice programs is the “free money,” but we should all know that government money never comes without strings attached – and every penny the government hands out has to first be taken from taxpayers. This reminds me of another quote from President Ronald Reagan. “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help.”

We recently published the ultimate resource for understanding the school choice issue: School Choice: Unmasking the Euphemism. This is an article you will want to bookmark and share often, as the school choice movement is gaining steam and, unfortunately, is being adopted as a pet issue by many “conservative” politicians. It’s critical to understand the nuances of this important issue, because it poses an existential threat to homeschooling. If you’re on Facebook you can share this post.

New Podcast Episodes:

This week former public school teacher, Kelly Crawford, joined Yvette on the Schoolhouse Rocked Podcast to talk about the difference between “School” and “Education.” They discuss how today’s traditional school model strayed from the heart of true education, and what can we do as homeschooling parents to avoid these traditional schooling traps.

On the Homeschool Insights Podcast, Kathy Hutto joins Yvette to talk about the reality of single parents homeschooling. “What about single parents” is one of the most common objections we hear to homeschooling, so we are always blessed to be able to share encouragement from single moms who have made it work. 

We pray that the Schoolhouse Rocked Ministry is a blessing to you and your family. Here are a few ways to be involved in this important mission…

True Faith and Strong Families – with Sam Sorbo

Sam Sorbo is passionate about faith and family. She and her husband, Kevin, have been strong proponents of marriage, family, and faith, in the shifting sands of Hollywood and the notoriously family-unfriendly movie industry. We had the chance to sit down for an interview with Sam for The Schoolhouse Rocked Podcast, in which Sam shared some of the keys to preserving and strengthening her family and living out her faith. Please enjoy this transcript of their heart-felt and encouraging conversation.

Sam Sorbo studied biomedical engineering at Duke University before pursuing a career in entertainment. An award-winning actress, author, radio host, international model, and home-schooling mom to three children with Kevin Sorbo, Sam Sorbo seeks to inspire parents to home educate. Her books, They’re YOUR Kids: An Inspirational Journey from Self-Doubter to Home School Advocate  (Reveille Press) and Teach from Love: A School Year Devotional for Families  (Broadstreet Publishing), are available at SamSorbo.com. Sam co-wrote, produced, and co-starred in the 2017 feature film Let There Be Light(executive producer, Sean Hannity; director, Kevin Sorbo.) To correspond with the film, Sam and Kevin wrote their devotional, Share the Light. Their newest film, Miracle in East Texas, due in theaters in 2020. Sam and Kevin have teamed up on a new book, True Faith: Embracing Adversity to Walk in God’s Light, due out early 2020.

Yvette Hampton:           Hey everyone, this is Yvette Hampton. Welcome back to part two of the podcast with Sam Sorbo. And we are having so much fun with her. I love talking to you, Sam. I love your heart for families, for culture, for homeschooling, and for your children. It is very evident that you have a deep passion for shifting the needle a little bit and the direction that our culture needs to be headed.

Sam Sorbo:                   Yeah.

Yvette Hampton:           And so I want to talk a little bit about that. You actually have a new book, it’s just now released called True Faith. And you wrote that with your husband Kevin Sorbo.

Sam Sorbo:                   Yep.

Yvette Hampton:           Tell us a little bit about your book.

Listen to Sam Sorbo on The Schoolhouse Rocked Podcast. (2/3/2020 and 2/5/2020 episodes)

Sam Sorbo:                   So right before we got married, Kevin suffered three strokes and nearly died. And it was a three year recovery. We got married anyway, it was a three year recovery. It was a very difficult recovery. He had myriad symptoms that were terribly debilitating. And he battled through, he is the strongest man in the world.

Yvette Hampton:           He’s a real Hercules.

Sam Sorbo:                   And he was going through this while he was playing Hercules, exactly. And so I nagged him long and hard and he finally wrote the book about his recovery, because I saw it as a way to minister to people, who were also going through hardship. Any kind of overwhelming struggle, right? It’s always good to hear someone else’s story and say, “Oh well. My story’s not that bad”. Or “My story is just as bad, but different. But look how they overcame and there’s hope for me”. That kind of thing. And so this book is sort of the next step in that. So I have a little bit of a bigger role. And in this book we kind of went halves and we just tell the story of working together. A lot of people ask us what’s it like to be conservative in Hollywood? What’s it like to work as Christians in that industry?

Sam Sorbo:                   And so we just set out to answer some of those questions to give you a little bit of insight into our life together. And it’s very difficult for us to get pregnant. We talk about that journey. And that’s actually part of the reason that I eventually figured out that I needed to home educate my kids, because I was just sending them off to a stranger every day.

Yvette Hampton:           Yeah.

You can watch the full video of this interview on the Schoolhouse Rocked Backstage Pass Website.

Sam Sorbo:                   And I’ll tell you a quick story. When we moved for the schools, we moved to the really good schools, and my son went through first grade, and second grade. And the first grade teacher that he was assigned, I was not allowed to change. I had to accept what they gave him. I had no idea who the teachers were. Somebody said to me, “Oh, you’ve got a really good teacher. Oh, you got the good one, she’s awesome.” And I’m like, “Great”. Do you know why she’s awesome? Because she keeps a bowl of candy in her classroom.

Yvette Hampton:           Oh, gosh.

Sam Sorbo:                   And so all the kids at every age level who know that come and hug her and get pieces of candy. And I didn’t realize that was sort of the modus operandi for her until halfway through second grade.

Sam Sorbo:                   When I saw it happen again and it was just this one time and I was like… It was the 10th time or whatever. But I was like, “Huh, that’s why”. Do you know what I mean?

Yvette Hampton:           Sure.

Sam Sorbo:                   And then you start discovering other things. And I’ll tell you something, if you just take a moment and say, “I’m just going to try it for a semester”, and the bond you’ll have with your child is improved by miles. Because what happens is when you drop your child off at the school house gates, you’re tacitly telling the child, “My authority stops here. You are now under the school’s authority”. When your child comes home and says, “Mommy, mommy, you have to sign this. The teacher says you have to sign this”. And you take it, “Okay, let me sign it”. You are under the teacher’s authority. So now anything that the teacher says that disagrees with you, whatever it might be, the teacher says, “Oh, plastic bags kill dolphins”. And your child says, “Mommy, plastic bags kill dolphins”. And you say, “Oh, that’s not really true, because whatever”, right?

Sam Sorbo is a cast member on the upcoming documentary, Schoolhouse Rocked: The Homeschool Revolution. Enjoy this live interview from the set of the film. This video was shot at the end of a long day, in which Sam had flown in from speaking at a homeschool convention in another state, then interviewed with Yvette, having just met her. Sam’s interview will be a highlight of the film, and has already been featured in a few trailers for the film.

Sam Sorbo:                   No. Now you… Now, here’s the problem with that, right? Either your authority prevails, in which case there’s a huge conflict of interest.

Yvette Hampton:           Yeah.

Sam Sorbo:                   And you were lying when you dropped them off at the school and said their authority prevails.

Yvette Hampton:           Right.

Sam Sorbo:                   Right? There’s a huge conflict of interest in it. It can’t end well. It’s not in good scenario.

Sam Sorbo:                   So we talk a little bit about that. We talk about politics, how we became more political. You know what, I just, I love the truth. And the Bible tells me that I have to adhere to the truth as thou shall not lie, thou shalt not bear false witness. Right? And so we just started to hunker down into our values, and that’s what brought us out into the limelight, I suppose you would say, right? And it’s sad the number of people in this nation who are enamored by lies.

Yvette Hampton:           Yeah. Well, it is sad. And you know, I want to go back really quick to where you were talking about giving up that parental authority, when we send our kids off to school. And it goes so much further and deeper than that, in that in public school… Most parents don’t realize this, but when you drop your child off at a public school, and actually I shouldn’t just say public, I believe private as well would fall under this, that school becomes their legal guardian (in loco parentis) during the time that your child is in that school. And that is the reason why in many States if your 13 year old daughter goes to their school nurse and says, “I just found out I’m pregnant”, that school can take that young innocent girl who doesn’t know anything about what she’s doing and they can take her to have an abortion and murder her baby without the parent’s consent or knowledge.

Sam Sorbo opens this trailer for Schoolhouse Rocked with a powerful reminder for parents, “You are perfectly capable”. Parents are able to successfully educate their own children!

Yvette Hampton:           In the state of California it is illegal for the school to inform the parents of what has gone on with their very own daughter, because the school has become their legal guardian during the school hours that we’ve dropped them off. (see In Loco Parentis)

Aby Rinella:                  But I would actually challenge that to say that you ARE giving them consent when you drop your kids off.

Yvette Hampton:           Sure.

Aby Rinella:                  But when I drop my kids off with someone else, I’m handing over my consent.

Yvette Hampton:           Sure. Right.

Aby Rinella:                  So parents need to also take responsibility to say they didn’t do this without me knowing, because when you get handed your child over to them, that’s a little bit on you.

Yvette Hampton:           Right.

Sam Sorbo:                   But guess what? The schools don’t actually bear the responsibility for educating the child. And there have been court cases where parents have sued the schools, because the children didn’t learn to read or what have you. And the judge always sides in favor of the school, that it’s the parent’s responsibility to teach the child to read.

Yvette Hampton:           Right.

Sam Sorbo:                   It’s absurd. What kind of subcontractor do you have in your house, who leaves you homework?

Yvette Hampton:           Right.

Sam Sorbo:                   Do you have somebody come clean your house, but she leaves dishes in the sink? Right? Why are we giving, why are these children coming home with homework? It just… And it was the salami tactic. It was just a little bit, and a little bit, and a little bit, and then… And pretty soon… I mean, when you’re a child, and you’re four years old or five years old, and you’re shipped off to kindergarten, and your parents are all, “Oh, you’re going to kindergarten. It’s going to be so good. And don’t cry and whatever”. And so you’re taught “No, no, be complacent. Do what you’re told and just go with the flow. Don’t raise a ruckus.”. Right?

Yvette Hampton:           Yeah.

Sam Sorbo:                   And so now parents, they go, “Oh my gosh, the homework for my child is terrible”. And I’m like, “Yeah, that’s not a problem for me”. They say, “I have to go into the school and meet with the teacher.” Yeah, I did that this morning in the mirror. It’s so much better.

Yvette Hampton:           Yeah.

Sam Sorbo:                   And we talked earlier about this idea that people look at you like you think you’re better than they are.

Yvette Hampton:           Right.

Sam Sorbo:                   And here’s the problem with that. Of course you think you’ve got the better solution.

Yvette Hampton:           Right. Or else you wouldn’t be doing it.

Sam Sorbo:                   We don’t think we are a superior human being. No.

Yvette Hampton:           Right.

Sam Sorbo:                   But of course you think that it’s a better solution because-

Aby Rinella:                  Why would you do it if it weren’t?

Sam Sorbo:                   So we have to get off of that sort of weird societal thing now that’s really just leftism run amuck, frankly.

Aby Rinella:                  Yeah.Totally. Because they’re offended because you’re doing something they’re not. And it’s the whole offended thing.

Sam Sorbo:                   Right. I actually, because I do a radio show every day called the Sam Sorbo Show, and I did a story on a young girl who had like a… Is it called a Norplant? It’s a-

Aby Rinella:                  Oh, yeah. The birth control.

Sam Sorbo:                   And it got infected, because it was improperly implanted.

Yvette Hampton:           Oh.

Sam Sorbo:                   And so she had to have it surgically removed. And strangely enough, she needed her parental consent to have it surgically removed. They were not aware that she had gotten it done by the nurse facilitator person at the school, not even a nurse, like a non-nurse helper person at the school. These stories are crazy. I did a story the other day, a young girl in Colorado, 11th grade, given a poem… The whole class is given a poem that was at the time, it came out in the ’60s. I think there was even a court case about it, it’s a very controversial poem. And the publisher had seen fit to leave out all of the swear words, because it depicted very graphically, sexual violence of all kinds, as you might imagine. And so the publisher left out all the bad words, the F word, the C word, the other C-word, all of them.

Sam Sorbo:                   The teacher stood in front of the class and verbatim gave them each of the bad words to write into their version of the poem. And I had the girl on the radio, and we got to the point where she said, “I felt violated”, because because she did. Her parents tromped down to the school and said, “Hey, we need an apology, and you need to reconsider this curriculum because it is not acceptable”. They reconsidered the curriculum. The teacher wrote a “sorry, not sorry letter,” which did nothing.

Sam Sorbo:                   The school reconsidered the poem and said, “Nope, the poem’s fine. It’s part of teaching. And he wanted to make the point that some artwork can be offensive” or something. I don’t even know what. And so I had her at the end of the program. I had to modify the schedule to accommodate her school classes. I said, “So I understand that you’re back in school now?”. And she said, “Oh yes”. And her dad piped in with, “You know, we’re so proud of her because “salt and light” and she’s witnessing to an atheist girl who’s in her class”. And I said, “Okay. But do you understand that you going back into the same place where you were violated is actually sending the message that Christians don’t mind when they are violated?”.

Yvette Hampton:           Right.

Sam Sorbo:                   And let’s get this straight. It was a sexual violation. Yes it was just words. But I’m sorry, that counts.

Yvette Hampton:           Right.

Sam Sorbo:                   And she’s only in 11th grade.

Aby Rinella:                  And what is the father telling his daughter?

Aby Rinella:                  Unbelievable.

Sam Sorbo:                   And he said to me… “Well, we allowed her to make the choice”. How ’bout you be a parent, how about that?

Yvette Hampton:           Right.

Aby Rinella:                  Yeah. Yeah.

Sam Sorbo:                   And you protect your your daughter and say, “Not on my watch”!

Aby Rinella:                  Which is what every little girl needs to hear from a dad is this isn’t okay and this will not happen again. And you don’t have a choice to have this happen again, because I’m going to be here to protect you.

Sam Sorbo:                   That’s right.

Yvette Hampton:           Yeah.

Aby Rinella:                  Wow.

Yvette Hampton:           It’s shocking to me how often I hear from parents, “Well, my child doesn’t want to be homeschooled. My child wants to go to public school”. Okay.

Sam Sorbo:                   Oh. Oh.

Yvette Hampton:           Foolishness! I mean, the Bible says “foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child.”

Aby Rinella:                  Yeah.

Yvette Hampton:           The child does not know what’s best for them. You don’t say, “Well, my four year old wants to go play out in the middle of the street with speeding cars, and I don’t want to hurt his feelings. And so I’m going to let him go do that”. No.

Sam Sorbo:                   We’re living in the age where parents allow their five-year-old to determine that they are of a different gender.

Yvette Hampton:           Right.

Sam Sorbo:                   That’s crazy. What gets me isn’t that as much as the parents that say, “Yeah, my daughter really wants me to homeschool her”.

Yvette Hampton:           Yeah.

Aby Rinella:                  Yeah, I get that a lot. I’ve heard that so much lately, “My kid would love to be homeschooled, but I”. And I said right there, “But I”. It’s not about you. It’s never been about you when you gave birth to that child. You know? And that’s the part that really gets me. I want to take those kids home with me.

Sam Sorbo:                   What’s worse is, and I’ve actually said this to somebody, and I say it sort of generically, because it’s really harsh. If your child wants to be homeschooled and you refuse, then you have to understand that that is you refusing your child, their desire. And either that paints you as too stupid or too uncaring. It’s a no win. You can’t win that one.

Aby Rinella:                  Well, they’re also crying out. I think those kids are crying out. And then parents are shocked when these girls start cutting, or all these things that they’re doing. And it’s like, but they cried out to you. They told you, “Get me out of this situation”. So don’t be surprised when they have to stand up and read these crazy poems.

Sam Sorbo:                   Exactly. Yeah, it’s frustrating.

Yvette Hampton:           Yeah.

Sam Sorbo:                   So I’m on a crusade to wake people up. We’re somnambulant, we’re just brainwashed.

Yvette Hampton:           Yeah.

Sam Sorbo:                   [Saying things like] “Who’s winning American idol?”

Aby Rinella:                  Well, we need more people on that crusade.

Sam Sorbo:                   And I want to get the message out, because homeschooling is the secret sauce. It’s the most amazing thing. I’ve produced two movies now. I never would’ve produced a movie if I hadn’t started home educating my children.

Yvette Hampton:           Yeah.

Sam Sorbo:                   I’ve written several books. I never would have done that if I hadn’t started home educating my children.

Yvette Hampton:           Yeah.

Sam Sorbo:                   It has empowered me, that’s why the subtitle of my book is an inspirational journey from self-doubt at a homeschool advocate. My job when I wrote this book, the way I saw it was I was going to empower parents to make that choice. And thank God, I’ve had so many people reach out to me and say, “It was through your videos. It was through your book. Thank you lighting a fire under me or guiding me in this process. And thank you for encouraging me and telling me that I could do it”. You don’t have to know everything. In fact, it’s better if you don’t know anything. Because here’s the thing, how best can we teach our children by showing them what it means to learn.

Yvette Hampton:           Yeah.

Sam Sorbo:                   By showing them how learning is done! How do accomplish that? They have something to learn, first of all, right?

Aby Rinella:                  Right. I’ve told this story on the podcast before, but I’m a former public school teacher [gasps] I know, but do you know what I’m doing with my kids? They never step one foot and one day in a public school. But so many people say, “Oh, you can homeschool because you were a teacher”. And that is probably the most offensive thing to me, because being a public school teacher was my greatest challenge in homeschooling. I had to unlearn all of the brainwashing I got, how to teach a kid, because I realized that’s not how you teach a kid. That’s how you teach a kid that lives in this box. But when you said it’s better to not know everything, I could not echo that more, because I went to four years of school on how to teach a kid and I didn’t have a clue how to teach a kid till I came home and learned what it meant to teach a kid.

Sam Sorbo:                   Well, and when I criticize the institution, I don’t criticize the teachers, right?

Yvette Hampton:           Right.

Aby Rinella:                  Right.

Sam Sorbo:                   So many of them really want to serve.

Yvette Hampton:           Okay.

Sam Sorbo:                   A good thing. I mean, they really want to serve. They’ve got a heart for the kids and they want to do the best by them. So for Christian teachers especially who are now really more and more conflicted between their faith and values and what they need to do, so I encourage them to hang out a shingle and become a home educator for other people’s children, because there are plenty of people who… And I had a friend, actually, who had four kids, his wife refused, just steadfastly refused. And he had to work. And so he just hired retired school teachers for a half day every day, one per child. And that was cheaper than sending them to the local private school. And he wasn’t going to send them to the public schools there because that was a nonstarter. And his oldest daughter graduated Harvard. They’re doing great. Well, they had private tutors growing up. It’s a win-win! So If you’re a public school teacher and you’re getting fed up to here with everything, go into business for yourself. Be an entrepreneur.

Yvette Hampton:           Yeah, that’s right.

Sam Sorbo:                   That’s I want to put on the entrepreneurship back in education.

Aby Rinella:                  Yes.

Sam Sorbo:                   We should be teaching self-sufficiency.

Yvette Hampton:           Well, Sam, I so much appreciate your stance on family and on homeschooling. You and Kevin are a rarity in Hollywood. Garritt worked in the Hollywood movie industry for many, many years and we saw it firsthand just like you have. And I mean, it’s no secret that most marriages in Hollywood fail miserably. And it’s one of the things I respect so much about you. And one of the reasons that I love that you homeschool is because I forget exactly what your role is, but if Kevin’s going to be away for two weeks or more or something like that, then you guys go as a family, right?

Sam Sorbo:                   Yeah. We’re never separated for more than two weeks. That was our rule.

Yvette Hampton:           Yeah. And I mean, that’s amazing. And with the career that he has and the career that both of you have had, that you are able to take homeschooling with you, and you’re able to be a family. When we went and filmed with you for Schoolhouse Rocked, we met up with you in St. Pete, Florida, where you and Kevin were both filming a movie there. And it was so much fun. Your kids were there with you. My daughter and your daughter had a great time. They spent the whole day together.

Sam Sorbo:                   Yeah. That’s right.

Yvette Hampton:           And I mean it was just so much fun to just see your family all the way, because at that time you were living in Los Angeles, but you were filming in Florida, so you were all the way on the other side of the country, but your family was together! And you have worked really hard to protect that family unity. And I respect that so much about you, that family is that important to you.

Sam Sorbo:                   You know what? I think I learned at a fairly young age to prioritize. Right now we say you can have it all. You can’t have it all!

Yvette Hampton:           No.

Sam Sorbo:                   No. No. Sorry. That’s not part of the equation.

Yvette Hampton:           Right.

Sam Sorbo:                   That’s pie in the sky. That doesn’t work. So, prioritize. And so we made it… We became dedicated. We said, “Okay, we’re prioritizing our marriage”. I said, “I’m prioritizing the children” when I realized that it was actually damaging for them to be in the environment of the public school. And what’s great is, when you understand, I’m going to use air quotes, “the sacrifice”, and you sacrifice for something, you imbue it with even more value. And what you get out is so precious.

Yvette Hampton:           Yes.

Sam Sorbo:                   But if we don’t value things, if we’re just like, “Eh, a little bit of that, a little bit of that, a little bit…”, nothing has any value.

Aby Rinella:                  Right.

Sam Sorbo:                   And we find ourselves lost at the end of the day, at the end of the year, at the end of the lifetime.

Yvette Hampton:           Yes.

Sam Sorbo:                   So yeah, I mean that’s partly why, that feeds into true faith. We stepped out in faith. Marriage is an act of faith.

Aby Rinella:                  Yes. Amen.

Sam Sorbo:                   Marriage is an act of huge faith.

Yvette Hampton:           That’s right.

Sam Sorbo:                   Children are an act of faith. Home education’s an act of faith.

Yvette Hampton:           Yes.

Sam Sorbo:                   Learn how to practice your face every day.

Yvette Hampton:           Yes.

Sam Sorbo:                   And you’ll have a more fruitful, more fulfilling life.

Yvette Hampton:           Yeah, that’s right.

Aby Rinella:                  Absolutely.

Yvette Hampton:           Well, that is a perfect way to end this podcast. Sam, you are such a blessing. I am so thankful for you. Thank you for your part in Schoolhouse Rocked. Thank you for your part in the Homegrown Generation Family Expo. We are so excited to have you as part of that event. Thank you.

Aby Rinella:                  So what day are you speaking and what topic are you speaking on?

Sam Sorbo:                   I think I’m the last. Am I the last speaker?

Yvette Hampton:           You are. You are actually closing it out, as the last solo session, which will be on Friday, February 21st at 4:30 PM, Eastern time.

Aby Rinella:                  With me again!

Sam Sorbo:                   Great.

Aby Rinella:                  I’m going to hang out with you again.

Yvette Hampton:           Yeah. You’ll be a part of that last round table panel that we’ve got going on, so we’re so super excited, looking forward to having you as part of that. That last panel will be myself, Aby, you, Kristi Clover, who I know you’re a good friends with.

Sam Sorbo:                   Yeah.

Yvette Hampton:           And James Gottry from the James Dobson Family Institute is going to be joining us as well.

Sam Sorbo:                   It’s going to be fun! And God bless you for doing that. I think it’s very cool and it’s a great way to reach people. And so I would encourage everybody who’s hearing this, please invite your friends.

Yvette Hampton:           Yes.

Sam Sorbo:                   It’s an easy thing to do. You don’t have to go anywhere. You just sit at your computer, you can peak through everybody who’s speaking and learn a little bit. And maybe you’ll have the epiphany that you need to push you into the right direction with your kid.

Yvette Hampton:           Yeah, that’s right. Yeah, and it is going to be very helpful in getting post-production funded on Schoolhouse Rocked, so that we can get this movie done and into people’s hands. So Sam, thank you so much for your time today. Aby, thank you for being with us again.

Aby Rinella:                  Thank you.

Yvette Hampton:           You both are a blessing. Thank you guys for listening. Have a great rest of your week, and we will see you back here next week.

Impacting God’s Kingdom Through Homeschooling

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

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Listen to Kathy Barnette on the Schoolhouse Rocked Podcast.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yvette:                                      She seemed very well-intentioned?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yvette:                                      Conviction.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kathy:                                       Watch TV all day.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kathy:                                       Thank you.

Photo by Cassidy Rowell on Unsplash

Yvette Hampton Discusses Homeschooling on the Common Sense Podcast with Dr. Carol M. Swain

Yvette Hampton recently appeared on the Common Sense Conversations podcast with Professor Carol M. Swain, Ph.D. to talk about homeschooling. Dr. Swain is an award-winning political scientist, a former professor of political science and professor of law at Vanderbilt University. Before joining Vanderbilt in 1999, Dr. Swain was a tenured associate professor of politics and public policy at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. Her new podcast features conversations with thought leaders from around the country about the issues we face, and how we can use common sense to solve them.

We met Dr. Swain on our recent trip to Nashville. We were privileged to spend many hours getting to know her, then we were able to interview her for Schoolhouse Rocked. You will be blessed by her wisdom.