Let’s Send 2020 Out in Style (Kirk Cameron Style!)

Watch this conversation with Kirk Cameron here.

There is no question 2020 has been full of challenges, but it has also been another year where the sovereign God of the Universe was still at work. One of the greatest things he has done this year has been to bring millions of children home from school – many for good (read more here and here). While this has created a year of chaos for many and required many families to make tough decisions very quickly, this single event will have positive effects for many families that will last for generations.

Watch the second part of our interview with Kirk Cameron.

Through this tumultuous year, as so many new families have experienced the world of homeschooling, God has grown the ministry and impact of The Schoolhouse Rocked Podcast. He has used the practical advice, heartfelt encouragement, and Biblical instruction of dozens of excellent guests to minister to families around the world. Just in 2020 we have seen listenership grow to from around 9,000 downloads January to almost 21,000 in August, with regular listeners in over 40 countries. We continued to be amazed at his goodness and continue to be blessed that he has allowed us to do this important and exciting work. 

As we close out the 2020 podcast season we really wanted to go out with a bang, so for the last week of the year we are bringing you a three-part conversation with Kirk Cameron, from his session for the Homegrown Generation Family Expo.

As we listened to this interview we were, once again, reminded that God LOVES families and the instructions he gives us in his Word are for our good and his GLORY! We are certain that this conversation will be an encouragement to you too. Please be sure to share this one with a friend…after you have a listen, of course!

Just because we are closing out the year in style doesn’t mean we won’t be back. We are SO excited to bring you more great guests in 2021. In fact, we’re kicking off the year with an excellent new interview with Heidi St. John!

For the fourth season of the podcast, we’ll be bringing in many new guests, as well as some of your favorite return guests, who are sure to bring you the encouragement you need to stay the course as you journey along this path of homeschooling and since the podcast exists to serve YOU, we want to hear from you! Please email us and let us know the following…

1} What GUESTS you’d like us to have on the podcast

2} What TOPICS you’d like us to discuss

3} How we can IMPROVE to better serve and encourage you {we promise not to get our feelings hurt…we really do want to know}. 

Also, if you haven’t left a review on iTunes for the podcast, we’d LOVE it if you would! 

Here’s a recent review from a listener: (5 Stars) “This show does not disappoint! Great, in depth interviews on homeschooling, discipleship, family relationships, and more. It has become a must-listen podcast for me.”

Praise God!

We pray that 2021 is a blessed year for you and that whatever the year brings you are able to see God’s good hand at work.


Soli Deo gloria!
The Hampton Family ~ Garritt, Yvette, Brooklyn, and Lacey

P.s. If you have started homeschooling in 2020 check out the following great resources.

Enjoy over 9 hours of free homeschooling videos from the Homegrown Generation Family Expo!
Get off to a great start. Watch 10 Steps to Homeschooling with Excellence, with Yvette Hampton and Aby Rinella.

Still on the fence about bringing your children home from school? Read COVID-19 – Homeschooling during Coronavirus School Closures.

A Guide to Celebrating Advent

Christmas is just around the corner! How are you preparing your heart, and the hearts of your family, for this important season? Does the busyness of the Christmas season overwhelm you? Does your family end the season focused on its true meaning or does it end in a state of exhaustion and a missed opportunity to point everyone to their Savior?

Yvette Hampton spoke with Lara Molettiere from Everyday Graces Homeschool and author of A Gentle Advent about the joy of celebrating Advent. They discussed what Advent really is, how and why you should celebrate it with your family, and how to incorporate it into your homeschool. 

No Black Friday Here…

In this season of amazing deals and sometimes runaway consumerism, instead of Black Friday deals we are asking you to consider something else. If Schoolhouse Rocked has been a blessing to your family we would like to ask you to consider making a year-end donation to help us keep providing these resources to homeschooling families around the world. You donation is tax-deductible and will be used to continue production on the feature-length documentary (now in post-production) and to continue to publish The Schoolhouse Rocked Podcast. Whether or not you can donate, we ask that EVERY listener support Schoolhouse Rocked by sharing articles, videos, and podcast episodes with your friends and family, by leaving a review on iTunes, and by praying for our team.

Watch Yvette’s full interview with Lara Molettiere on the Schoolhouse Rocked YouTube Channel.

Check out Lara’s Advent courses! Listen to part 3 of this interview to find the one that’s best for your family:

A Gentle Advent

A Gentle Advent: Jesse Tree

A Gentle Advent: Colonial Christmas

A Homespun Hallelujah

*Receive 15% OFF any of Lara’s Advent courses using Code: SHRADVENT

What is Advent? 

“The celebration of Advent is possible only to those who are troubled in soul, who know themselves to be poor and imperfect, and who look forward to something greater to come.” ~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Why Celebrate Advent?  

“For the Christian message is not merely that God is lovely, but that God is love; not merely that God is beautiful and is to be found in the pursuit of what is attractive and desirable in the world, but that God is transcendently and absolutely beautiful and is to be found even in what to the world’s eye is ugly and deformed and unworthy.” – Richard Viladesau, Theology and the Arts 

Why do some families choose Advent “school”? 

“One of the major obstacles impeding any positive future change in our lives is that we are too busy with our current work or activity. Levi quit his tax-work, Peter stopped fishing at lake, Paul ceased being a priest. They all left their jobs because they thought it was necessary.” -John Ruskin

ADVENT BY THE WEEK 

Week 1} HOPE – Isaiah 9:2 – “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned.”

Week 2} PEACE – John 14:27 – “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”

Week 3} JOY (the pink candle) – Luke 1:46-47 “And Mary said: ”My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior”

Romans 15:13 – “Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

Week 4} LOVE – John 3:16 – For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.”

Recommended Resources:

Lara’s Blog

@LarasPlace

Everyday Graces Homeschool – Facebook

BibleStudyTools.com

It’s a Wonderful Life

Not Quite Black Friday…

Here’s an every day GREAT DEAL! We have lowered the price of LIFETIME REGISTRATION for the Homegrown Generation Family Expo to just $10!

Too rich for your blood? How does FREE sound?

If you are considering homeschooling or just need some great homeschooling encouragement, please check out HomegrownGeneration.com for over 9 hours of FREE homeschool videos from the 2020 Homegrown Generation Family Expo.

How Can We Homeschool and Show Hospitality?

God tells us in I Peter 4:9 to “show hospitality to one another without grumbling.”  If you’re like me, you want to obey the Lord and practice hospitality, and we as homeschooling moms know how much we desperately need relationships with other moms.  We also know that our kids need healthy, strong friendships, and that all of these relationships are built through the practice of hospitality. We bless others and are blessed abundantly when we offer the gift of hospitality. 

Watch Yvette Hampton’s conversation with Annie Boyd for The Schoolhouse Rocked Podcast.

But how can we open our days to more people when our homes are already always filled up with children? I tend to feel overwhelmed on a lot of days with completing school and keeping our household running, and it’s not easy for me to be willing to welcome more people into our days. Do you feel this way, too? 


One summer evening, my mom invited our family to her home for a gathering that she called Favorite Pie Party. On that night, she showed the love of Christ through simple hospitality, and it really got me thinking about how I could incorporate some of these practices in simple ways. 

I wrote all about that evening and what I learned about simple hospitality in my family’s upcoming book The Gathering Table (Revell, October 2020).  This is what I wrote: 

“Welcome! I’m so glad you’re here!”

After experiencing hospitality from my mom during the favorite pie party and thinking about what the Bible has to say about opening up our hearts to show love, I got to thinking about some practical ways we can bring hospitality into our already full lives. I’m often one to measure things in volume—food, budget, laundry—so I tend to think I have to do something huge to be hospitable. But I’ve learned it doesn’t have to be big. Guests are actually relieved when it’s quite simple, because it means they don’t have to do something big either. See how good this is for all of us? I take the pressure off you—you take the pressure off me!

There are many ideas you can easily incorporate into your life to offer this type of hospitality.

“I’m so glad you’re coming! Just wear your comfiest clothes.”

Keep It Simple

I was recently invited to a book club by a new friend. The hostess texted me the day of the gathering to say, “I’m so glad you’re coming! Just wear your comfiest clothes.” That text relieved my anxieties about going to a new group. My friend let me know that it was important I was coming and that she was more concerned about the true me than a perfect outfit. When I arrived, I was greeted with a warm hug and a “Welcome! I’m so glad you’re here!” She proceeded to offer me a cup of coffee and a treat from a plate full of . . . Oreos!

Those Oreos and the fact that the other ladies were wearing favorite yoga pants and hanging out together on the couch made the evening comfortable and low-key. The relaxed atmosphere took the attention off of food, clothes, or home decor and instead helped us to focus on each other and some great conversation. This “come as you are and be yourself” attitude exhibited the love of Christ to me.

In what ways can you show hospitality in a similar, comfortable way?

●      Meet at a park and bring a picnic to share. When my kids were little, I invited friends to meet at a community center that had a play structure. We’d visit over a cup of coffee while keeping an eye on the kids. No one will feel any less “loved” because you aren’t meeting at your home.

●      Be spontaneous and casually invite people over. Last-minute often works better for some folks than weeks of planning. Intentionally focus more on the people rather than the food and preparations.

●      Host a “leisure club,” “informal book group,” or other gathering around a purpose and serve foods you can pick up at the grocery store. When your friends see that you didn’t stress, they’ll feel more at ease and open to conversation.

●      Like my friend did, text your guests before arriving to say, “I’m glad you’re coming. Just wear your comfiest clothes!” Your text might also say, “Don’t worry about childcare—come with your kids!” or “Come when you can!” Use texts as an encouraging way to show others you value them and their presence at your gathering.

●      Have some light, casual music playing in the background. Music sets the tone for the environment and helps guests (and hosts) feel more at ease. 

Most importantly, just ask the Lord for help and ideas to obey him in simple, doable ways. He knows you’re homeschooling, he sees your efforts everyday, and he wants to help you obey and show his love through hospitality. 

Author Bio:

Annie Boyd is  the wife of Shane, her high school sweetheart. She is the mother of five gregarious and adventurous children, whom she homeschools. She loves traveling, spending time outside, reading, and baking bread. Annie received her BA in elementary education and biblical studies from the University of Northwestern, St. Paul. She accepted Christ as a young girl and hopes to invite others to know about his love, faithfulness, and forgiveness. 

The Gingham Apron – We are five women from one Iowa farm family who love to find new ways to celebrate everyday life together. Join us as we plan family gatherings, try new recipes, take care of our homes, and educate our kids. We cherish our beautiful family farm, our time spent with our family, and most of all- our faith in Jesus Christ. 

*****

Excerpt and pictures used with permission. 

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.

Take Back Your Kids! Interview with Sam Sorbo

Sam Sorbo is passionate about faith and families. We had the chance to sit down for an interview with Sam for The Schoolhouse Rocked Podcast, in which Sam shared her story of going taking her own kids back from the schools and how that decision has blessed her family. 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 The Schoolhouse Rocked Podcast. I am so excited that you are with us today because you are likely listening to this podcast because you likely saw the guest that I have on today. Her name is Sam Sorbo. Many of you are very familiar with her as a homeschool mom, as an actress, as the wife of Kevin Sorbo. She is just an amazing mom, an amazing wife, and she is such a blessing to me. Sam, welcome to the podcast.

Sam Sorbo:                   Thank you so much for having me.

Yvette Hampton:           Yeah, and welcome Aby too. I’ve got my co-host here with me as well so the three-

Sam Sorbo:                   Hi, Aby.

Aby Rinella:                  I’m here. Hi, I’m so excited to get to know you a little bit better and be encouraged.

Sam Sorbo:                   Its fun. It’s just like us girls.

Aby Rinella:                  Yes.

Yvette Hampton:           Right. We need our cup of coffee. Right?

Aby Rinella:                  I know.

Yvette Hampton:           We have a neat story of when we got to actually meet you Sam, you are a really important part of Schoolhouse Rocked, the movie.

Yvette Hampton:           It was about two years ago, several people had said to us, you really need to try to get Sam Sorbo in this movie. And I felt I don’t even know how to get hold of Sam Sorbo. One day, Garritt just said, we really want you to try to reach out to her, because I’d really like to get her as part of the cast. I said, okay. I found SamSorbo.com and I went onto your contact me page, sent you an email. Every time I do that, I always just assume it’s going to go into this big black hole of email that no one’s going to see it. At least not the person I’m trying to reach. And a couple of hours later you called me and it was so funny because my phone rang and I was expecting another call at the time from someone whose number I didn’t know. I didn’t expect to recognize the number.

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

Yvette Hampton:           I picked up the phone, I said hello, and you said “hi, this is Sam Sorbo” and it was so funny. I actually said, hi Sam, could you hold on just one second and I put you on hold. I looked at Karen, I said “Its Sam Sorbo!”

Yvette Hampton:           It was so funny. And then I calmed myself down, and you and I from there had a great talk. I think we talked for about an hour about our families and homeschooling and culture and all things related to those three things. And just it was so neat to get to know your heart, and that made me even now much more excited about having you as part of the movie and so-

Sam Sorbo:                   Can I be perfectly Frank?

Yvette Hampton:           … yes.

Sam Sorbo:                   I had heard about the movie, and I don’t know if I’d seen stuff but I’d heard about it. I knew some people who had done the movie and stuff. And I was like, I want to be in that movie. When you reached out I’m like yeah. And I had just started this new thing where I pick up the phone now because I’m so tired of texting in the evening and I’m like look, she reached out, she put her phone number right there, she’s getting a call. I picked up the phone and we did, we had a really like mind-meld on the phone that first time that we talked, I think because we share a passion for the incredible grace that homeschooling provides. Is that the right way to put it? It’s such a gift. We feel like we’ve figured out sliced bread, we’ve got the wheel, it’s the most amazing invention, right?.

Sam Sorbo:                   So when you find somebody who’s like-minded, you just want to hug them. I think when I came to the house I just hugged you. I’m like, hey you’re here!.

Yvette Hampton:           There is that there is a connection between moms that choose to school, to raise their own children. There is such a deep connection because it’s a commitment. It’s a beautiful commitment. And like you said, it’s the greatest gift, it is absolutely, next to marriage, it’s the greatest gift.

Sam Sorbo:                   Yeah. And there’s also the flip side, which is, I don’t want to say that we’re ostracized, but we’re sort of on the outside, and so there’s the mainstream people who send their kids to school and then we’re the other. And so when we meet people who are like us, there’s an instant comradery and it’s such a gift, homeschooling, that we feel like we’ve got that special sauce or we figured something out like it’s the worst kept secret or something.

Yvette Hampton:           Well Sam, you and Kevin are from Hollywood and so this is the great analogy, is that when you see a good movie, like an excellent movie, and you want to tell everyone about it, like God’s Not Dead. It’s such a good movie or Let There be Light. You’ve seen a great movie and then you want everyone to see it and so will you tell all of your friends, you’ve got to go see this movie, it’s so good and you get excited about it. That’s how I feel about homeschool. I mean that’s why we’re making a movie about it. That’s exactly why. That’s why we do the podcast. It’s why we’re doing the movie. It’s why we are doing the Homegrown Generation Family Expo, because we want to share the goodness that we have discovered.

Sam Sorbo:                   And recognize that there are people who don’t want you to share that. Unlike movies, for the most part, it’s like if you like the movie, then go ahead and tell anybody. But if you like homeschooling, there are people out there saying no don’t do it.

Yvette Hampton:           Well, I think oftentimes, and I don’t know if you find this to be true, I think oftentimes the reason that people don’t want us to talk about it with them is because they don’t have that conviction, and they don’t want to feel convicted or guilted over the fact that they are not homeschooling. So Aby, do you find that to be true?

Aby Rinella:                  Yeah, I do. I do find that to be true. As I talk to older generation homeschoolers, I feel like it’s totally shifted. They used to get the, don’t do that, that’s so terrible. And now I almost feel like people are like, aren’t you lucky to be able to do that? But I never could because of a, b, and c and d. The other part I sometimes get is, oh, you think you’re better. And that part breaks my heart because not at all do I think I’m better.

Aby Rinella:                  I mean, I do with my heart and soul and, and even with God’s word, believe this is God’s best design. This is God’s best way to raise our children. Do I think I’m a better person or a better mom? No. But I do believe, and God’s word says this is God’s best design to raise our own children. He gave us these children to raise, but I think it’s different than it was back on the day of like, this is a bad thing to do now. It seems like people are almost slightly envious that we get to spend as much time as we do together as a family.

Yvette Hampton:           And that actually segues perfectly into Sam’s book. You actually have a couple of books, and the first one that I really became familiar with was called, They’re Your Kids, an inspirational journey from self doubter to homeschool advocate. So I would love to talk about that. Let’s have a quick break and then let’s come back and talk about that book.

Aby Rinella:                  Sam, we had just kind of segued into your book called They’re Your Kids. I love the name of that book because when we were ready to put our kids in school, my husband said, you know, God gave us these kids to raise. He didn’t give them to everybody else to raise, they’re our kids and we need to raise them. So when I first saw the title of your book, I’m like, that was the line, the catching line, that kept our kids home with us to raise. So excellent name. So tell us a little bit about that book.

Sam Sorbo:                   That’s awesome. So I started homeschooling after my son finished second grade and the school just wasn’t getting the job done. They just weren’t doing what I expected them to do, which wasn’t that much frankly, but they were getting too much, just really wrong. And so I just made the leap and I said, okay, I’m going to do this. At that point I decided to start blogging about it. So that first year I did it until Christmas, and then I said I was going to reevaluate but I knew already I wasn’t going to go back. So the first year was great. Hard, not like oh this is easy, I’ve got this all covered. I was the young homeschooler so I tried to do everything. I checked off every box, it was labor intensive.

Sam Sorbo:                   And of course I had my third grader, a first grader, and a toddler.

Aby Rinella:                  You were in the trenches.

Sam Sorbo:                   So I was blogging about what I was learning and I began learning so much, which I had not expected. Because I was done. I went through high school, I finished, I went to college. I felt like I was done. So why was I learning all this stuff? And yet my kids were teaching me so much and I was learning so much that put me in the position of being able to tutor them and stuff. And the second year I put them back into a little Christian school that had a hybrid program. It was a classical Christian-modeled school, and it was a disaster. And the day that I dropped them off, I cried my eyes out. And the weird thing is, and this is really the reason that I wrote the book, I brought my kids in and my second child was not a great reader, but he was a little mathematician.

Sam Sorbo:                   He was like a human calculator. He loved, loved, loved math. And so I had allowed him to work ahead in math, and I’d had to tutor him a lot in reading because he was just abysmal. So he was in second grade. I brought him in and the gal said, okay we’re going to test him to see where he lines up with what students. And she comes back and says so you’re right. Because I was apologetic. I said he’s great in math, he’s advanced in math, but he’s remedial in reading. She comes back and she says, so you’re right, he’s testing at about a fourth grade level in math. And I’m like, “yeah”. She said, but he’s reading at about a fifth grade level. And I said, “so I’m the one with the problem?” And she said “yeah, I think so.”

Sam Sorbo:                   Here’s the thing, right? I made the rules and the rule was I was dropping the kids off that day. So it never even occurred to me, hey look, you’re vindicated. You’re doing fine. Good job mom. Keep up the good work. Take the kids home and keep going. I didn’t, I dropped them off. And the rest of the story is in the book. It didn’t end well. I lasted six weeks and then I stopped and I brought them back home. And somebody said to me about a year later, it took me a while to process what had happened, and somebody said to me, “isn’t it wonderful how God allowed you to make that mistake to teach you that you are enough?”

Sam Sorbo:                   And that was a huge lesson. So after that I didn’t look back. But before that, you can’t help it, you look back, and the reason is because the system has taught you that you’re not enough, that you’re inadequate, but you can’t. In fact, the system has taught you everything that you can’t do because you can’t do anything that you haven’t been formally instructed to do by a teacher standing at a blackboard. Like this is the paradigm, this is how you learn, and everything else is not learned. And so we have this weird, honestly it’s like we’ve been brainwashed, we have this odd idea of what is really education. I got to tell you I have a new initiative now to revamp the way that we even define the word education. In fact, I may have a way to put it into the political campaign this coming year.

Sam Sorbo is a cast member in the upcoming documentary, Schoolhouse Rocked: The Homeschool Revolution.

Sam Sorbo:                   And I’m very excited about that because people need to reexamine what constitutes education, what counts for education. We saw the parents that are being indicted for purchasing their children’s way into college. Really what is a college degree worth if all it takes is some cash that your folks have to get you into the school of your choice or the school of their choice. So we’ve seen that more recently, there was a young man who they found out his parents had bought his way into school, and they were considering rescinding his degree. If we get into the take-backs, then what? And now of course we have the socialists saying, well, education should be free. Well then know how much it’s going to be worth, right? The fact is with the internet, we all have the facility to learn anything we want, basically at any time we want for free. For the most part. It’s insane. So education is in the offing. It’s out there for the taking, and we need to get away from this old, dead paradigm of sending your children into an institution. It’s killing our young men. It’s just destroying them because it’s not geared to young men. Little boys should be outside picking up critters.

Yvette Hampton:           Yes. And on that point, Sam, you know it’s really important, and we talk a lot about this on the podcast in that the whole idea of raising up our kids and homeschooling them is to teach them how to learn, and to teach them to love learning. It’s not just an issue of teaching them a bunch of facts, pouring it into their brains so that they can then go off and rattle them off on a test and mark, all the right check boxes. It’s really teaching our kids how to be lifelong learners because like you said the internet is full of all sorts of information that our kids can try. First of all, they need to have the discernment to know what is real information and what is false information. And where that comes from too is then takes us back to the word of God.

Yvette Hampton:           Are we training our children up in discernment and in wisdom and teaching them how to be wise and how to discern right from wrong? Just because Facebook says it or the internet says it, or your friends say it certainly does not make it true. And we’re seeing that all around culture right now and this whole new generation of kids has been raised up, and they have no idea what they believe, but they’ve got degrees and they’ve got a piece of paper saying $60,000 in debt to tell them that they have this great education and they don’t know anything.

Sam Sorbo:                   What’s worse is they don’t know how to find joy. So I just want to step back for a minute, and say that it’s our job to teach our children to love learning. The fact is, no teaching required. Children love learning. They’re innately curious and they’re innately creative. There’s a great Ted talk, well the first half of it, by Ken Robinson, I think it’s been viewed 64 million times. And he talks about the death of creativity. How schools basically kill creativity because you need to get it right. And the only way to be able to get things right is if there’s a culture of the ability to fail. That embraces failure as a way of getting to the right answer. We don’t have that. If you get it wrong, it’s a red check mark, it’s a cross out. Well now they don’t even discern between right and wrong.

Sam Sorbo:                   As long as you feel good about the answer it’s cool, crazy stuff. So our job is actually even easier, because all we’re supposed to do is inspire the children toward your goal of learning, towards their creativity and that’s the wonderful thing. But now we’ve got these kids who have grown up in this environment where there is no right and wrong, there is no moral yardstick for them. They’ve been taught everything but Christianity there, it is not, no religion. Let’s get that straight. It’s not that we have no religion in our schools. We absolutely have a religion. It’s actually called irreligion now. It’s the combination of atheism and agnosticism and it’s irreligion, and it is the antithesis of Christianity or Judeo-Christian principles. And the reason that I’m so desperate to get the word out is because our freedom is completely intertwined with our Christian faith. And so as we lose the faith in our culture, we lose our freedom because they don’t have the same value as they did, and so we will squander them because they’re completely intertwined, and it’s a very powerful thing. People who have no faith have no concept of what that is, so they’ll squander it freely.

Aby Rinella:                  That’s why you see so much selling out, without that foundation of a faith, you’ll sell out to the highest bidder, the almighty dollar or whatever they’re going to offer you.

Yvette Hampton:           Let’s close out this episode and let’s continue on for part two on Wednesday, because I want to talk more about this, but we are out of time for this one. So Sam, for those listening to this one, where can people can find out more about you at SamSorbo.com, correct?

Sam Sorbo:                   At samsorbo.com and I do have a new book coming out, so I’ll just throw that up there. It’s called Through Faith. This is my mock up, so it’s not a real copy, I wrote it with my husband Kevin. It talks about marriage, movie making, and miracles, oh my!

Yvette Hampton:           When we come back on Wednesday and we talk a little bit more about that book.

Sam Sorbo:                   I would love to. Just go to SamSorbo.com for all the information you need.

Yvette Hampton:           All right, sounds great. Thank you guys for listening. We will see you back here on Wednesday and have a great day.

Connect with Sam Sorbo:

SamSorbo.com

Facebook.com/SamSorbo

Twitter.com/TheSamSorboShow

Watch the TED Talk by Ken Robinson, “Do Schools Kill Creativity?”

Photo by Jude Beck on Unsplash

Getting Started in Homeschooling, with Israel Wayne

Few subjects bring so much fear and uncertainty to parents as the thought of pulling their kids out of school and homeschooling them. While there are a wealth of fantastic resources available and a thriving homeschool movement across the country, until families take the leap into homeschooling there are always going to be unknowns and the nagging thoughts of “am I able”, “am I enough”, “will my kids get a good education”, “will my kids be able to get into college”, and the ever-present “what about socialization.”

Even if your kids haven’t started school yet and you are just considering homeschooling your preschooler or kindergartener, many of those same questions and doubts persist, and too many times this is compounded by the objections of friends and family members.

Here’s the good news. You can do this! Literally MILLIONS of students are being homeschooled right now. Not only have Millions been homeschooled since the rise of modern homeschooling, many more have been homeschooled throughout history, as “traditional school” has only been the standard for the past 150 years or so.

There’s even more good news. Not only can you do this, but it will be good for your children. Homeschooled students are thriving. Decades of research is now proving that homeschooled students are, on the whole, better prepared for college and life than their public and private schooled peers. Here are just a few links to back up these claims:

https://www.nheri.org/research/research-facts-on-homeschooling.html

https://secure-media.collegeboard.org/digitalServices/pdf/sat/TotalGroup-2014.pdf

http://www.nbcnews.com/feature/college-game-plan/colleges-welcome-growing-number-homeschooled-students-n520126

http://newsonrelevantscience.blogspot.com/2011/09/httpwwwonlinecollegeorg2011091315-key.html

If you, or someone you know, is considering homeschooling we encourage you to attend the Homegrown Generation Family Expo. We have gathered an amazing group of speakers together for a week of homeschooling encouragement and practical advice. The online conference will be LIVE and INTERACTIVE from February 17th through the 21st and registration includes lifetime access to the videos, notes, and a virtual swag bag full of valuable resources. Lifetime registration is just $20 here.

Homegrown Generation Family Expo - Online Homeschool Conference

Homeschooling is good for students, good for families, and good for culture, so it is our mission to encourage and equip homeschooling families to start well and finish strong.

Yvette Hampton recently talked with author and speaker, Israel Wayne about how to start homeschooling – how to do it well – and how to make it to graduation and beyond! Israel Wayne is the author of Answers for Homeschooling: Top 25 Questions Critics Ask, which answers many of the questions that people have when considering whether homeschooling is appropriate for their family. In this conversation, Israel and Yvette discuss why so many families choose to homeschool and how the alternatives (public school, and private school) are really doing. They also discuss whether homeschooling is appropriate for all types of families, or if it is best suited to certain groups.

They also discussed what steps a family should take when they want to start homeschooling and what really matters once they start, whether it’s curriculum choices, educational methods, scheduling, organization, life skills, relationships, or discipleship. Finally, Israel gives helpful insights for dads in leading their families in instruction and discipleship.

Enjoy their conversation

Yvette Hampton:           Hey, everyone, this is Yvette Hampton. Welcome back to The Schoolhouse Rocked Podcast. I have a return guest on with me today, and he is one of my absolute favorite homeschool people, one of my favorite guests that we’ve ever had on the podcast. As a matter of fact, Israel, I think that your podcast, I don’t think, I know that your podcast interview that I did with you quite some time ago is one of the most listened to that we’ve ever done. I am so excited to have you back on. Israel Wayne, welcome to the podcast again.

Israel Wayne:                Hey, it’s great to be back with you. Thank you so much.

Yvette Hampton:           Thank you. Thank you. You are such a blessing to us. We have really enjoyed getting to know you, Garritt and I. We’re excited, because you’re going to be part of the Homegrown Generation Family Expo that we have coming up February 17th through the 21st. It’s so funny, because people keep looking at the list of speakers that we have at our speaker lineup and just going “Oh my goodness, this is amazing, you have the best of the best of the homeschool heroes.” And I don’t say that to puff you up. I say that because you have truly had a huge impact in not only my life, but I know the lives of thousands and thousands of families. We are very honored. It is only by the grace of God that we have the speakers that we have for this event, and you are one of them that from the very beginning we said, “We’ve got to get Israel as a speaker for this event.” So thank you for joining us for that in a few weeks, and thank you for being with me again on the podcast today.

Israel Wayne:                Absolutely.

Yvette Hampton:           Tell us very quickly about your family, because you’ve got a couple of kids and a wife who you really like.

Israel Wayne:                Yes, absolutely. Well, my homeschool journey actually started when I was a child. My family began homeschooling in 1978, which is like what, 42 years ago now? I’ve been in it my whole life, and was homeschooled all the way through high school, met my wife, who was homeschooled. Her family started homeschooling in 1983. Both of our families were pioneer homeschooling families. My mother founded and published the Home School Digest magazine since 1988, so I kind of grew up in the leadership side of homeschooling as well. So when my wife and I got married, being that we were homeschooled pretty much our whole way through, it was a foregone conclusion for us that we would homeschool our children. Lord has so far blessed us with 10 children. The oldest is 19, and the youngest has just turned a year. We have 10 children sandwiched in there between 19 and 10. Our oldest is working full-time. We have a daughter that just turned 18, a son that turned 16, I’m taking him to driver’s ed here later today.

Yvette Hampton:           Oh no! Wow!

Israel Wayne:                It’s one of those things. We actually have four teenagers living in our home right now, and then some little ones too. So we’re kind of hitting it on all cylinders, all sides of the parenting spectrum, we’re deeply entrenched in now, the parenting scene and the homeschooling world as well. Now, I speak at conferences and write books on homeschooling as well.

Yvette Hampton:           Yeah, that’s awesome, and you don’t write books just on homeschooling, you write books on family, on parenting and things like that as well. So, that is exciting. We’re doing a series right now on getting started homeschooling. This time of the year is that time where, as you know, because you’ve been in homeschooling for quite a long time, it’s that time of year where you kind of get into that slump. A lot of moms, they’re thinking through “Okay, why am I doing this? Am I going to do this again next year? What does our family look like?”, and reevaluating their decision to homeschool. Many of them are sold out on homeschooling and they wouldn’t do anything different, but they’re still having to think through what the rest of this year and next year is going to look like for them. Then you’ve got that kind of group of parents who are starting to think … There’s something about the holidays where we come into the new year and we start thinking “What are we going to do next year for our kids and for their education?”

Yvette Hampton:           We’ve got that group of parents too who are just saying “What are we going to do? How are we going to educate our kids next year? Are we going to send them to public school, private school, homeschool? What are the options here for me?” And those are always my favorite people to talk to. I love nothing more than being able to talk heart-to-heart with another mom and just explain to her why homeschooling is so beneficial to our families. I would love for you to be able to talk about “what are some of the benefits of school?”, “Why do this?”, “Why get started in this whole journey of homeschooling?” Because it’s not always easy. It’s a lot of work actually, but it’s so worth it, and anything worth doing is hard. Can you just talk to the heart of those parents who are maybe just kind of thinking through “Okay, where are we going with this? What are we going to do next?”

Israel Wayne:                Sure. Well, not all homeschoolers are religious, and not religious homeschoolers are of the same faith or religion. But for my wife and I, we’re Christians, and our Christian faith is very important to us. It’s a very defining aspect of our life and who we are. We want to be able to pass our faith onto our children, but I think for all parents, whether they’re religious or not, there’s a desire to pass their values onto their children and to teach them the things that are important to them. Then relationship. One of the things that I talk about in my books is the importance of influence, and if you want to have influence in your child’s life, you have to spend time with them. It’s unfortunate that the vast majority of children growing up in the United States, their parents are not the predominate influence in their life, simply because the parents have given away the number one factor or force in influence, which is time.

Israel Wayne:                So if you want to have influence in your child’s life you need to buy back time, and homeschooling is a wonderful way to do that, because you get to actually be present with your children, to be with them and to teach them your faith and values. In the process of that you will have more conflict, I’ll just be honest, if you do that, as with any relationship, because when you spend time around people you see your faults and you rub each other the wrong way. It’s kind of like marriage, right? The more that you spend time with somebody the more that they can irritate you? But I don’t know very many people who say “The more you spend time with somebody the more possibility there is for conflict or irritations, so don’t get married.”

Israel Wayne:                Most people recognize that there’s a huge payoff in that, yeah, you have more opportunity for conflict, but you have more opportunity for a deep profound loving relationship as well. That’s true with our children, that the more that we spend time with them, them more we’re around them, those conflicts actually give us an opportunity to press into real relationship and a quality and a level of relationship that we would never have if we only saw them occasionally. The same thing with like a marriage relationship, you would just never have the opportunity to really get to know someone or grow into deep love with someone if you just see them occasionally. This opportunity that we have with these children to be the primary influence in their life, for me, as the credit card commercial says, that’s priceless.

Yvette Hampton:           Yeah. I love that. A few weeks ago I interviewed Durenda Wilson, and we were talking about sibling relationships. One of the things that really hit me during our conversation was we were talking about the opportunity that we have as parents to work with our children through their relationship with one another as siblings. Sometimes that can be a really, really hard thing. But what struck me about our conversation was I thought as parents we have a responsibility to teach our children how to handle relationships with other people, and if you can imagine, everyone working and really putting effort and being intentional about teaching our children to get along with one another and to be forgiving and to be loving and to be selfless, and all the of the things that you would expect in a marriage and that you want in a marriage, if we can teach that to our kids with their brothers and sisters, imagine how much better they are going to be prepared for a successful marriage, because you take those same characteristics into marriage and you’re going to have a pretty solid good marriage.

Yvette Hampton:           But when kids learn to be selfish and they’re not around each other and they’re not used to building those family relationship, it makes it hard going into a marriage to then know how to do that. The sibling relationships are so important in addition to the parent/child relationships.

Israel Wayne:                Yeah, for sure. And I’m seeing the fruit of my investment right now in my children, particularly with my oldest, because he works 40 hours a week, and then he volunteers for some things with our church. So he’s gone a lot. So we don’t have that same time that we used to have when he was here all the time and we were teaching him and so forth. But at 19 years old he’s a man now, and he does still live at home for now. But because he’s so busy and he’s working our relational dynamic has changed, and I am, and he is, we’re both best friends in way. My wife and I are best friends, but he’s one of my best friends in the whole world. So our dynamic has changed where it’s not so much parent/child as much as it is that we really are friends.

Israel Wayne:                I appreciate that I have influence in his life that if there ever is anything that I need to talk to him about, like decisions that he’s making or whatever, most of the time he’ll come to me and he’ll ask me for advice and he’ll look for input, or if there’s ever a time where I feel like I need to give him advice or council on a certain direction I try to be sparing with that. He’s open to it, and the reason is because, I look at it a little bit like, I didn’t invent this analogy, but like a relationship bank. Where you put deposits into the bank and you can make a withdrawal every once in a while, because there’s enough cash in there to float a withdrawal. If there’s something I need to talk to him about and say “You know what? I think this decision would be a good decision for you”, or “I think this would be a better decision for you.”

Israel Wayne:                I have some investment there that he will listen to that and he’ll take that onboard because he respects me. And he respects me because I put the time in. Our children have to know that we have their best interests at mind and at heart, and that the things that we’re doing for them, we really are doing for them. Not because it’s easiest for us. Not because it’s most convenient for us, but because we really believe that this is the best decision for them, and of course we’re parents, right? So we’re going to mess up sometimes.

Israel Wayne:                We won’t always call that right, but if your children really believe that you are for them, that you love them, you like them, that you have their best interests in mind and you have invested the best of yourself and your time and your energy in them, generally speaking, that comes back to you in terms of respect and relationship and influence later on in life. But when they know that they’ve been second fiddle, when they know that they’re way down on the priority list, maybe not even two or three, maybe like 8th, 9th, 10th … The average parent in America spends 19 minutes a day with their child.

Yvette Hampton:           Wow.

Israel Wayne:                19 minutes a day.

Yvette Hampton:           Yeah, why even have them?

Israel Wayne:                Yeah, and the average parent in America watches two and a half hours of TV or Netflix every night of their life. I think kids understand that they’re just not a priority to mom and dad in most cases. So when parents come back to them at 18 years old and they’re trying to tell them what they should do … I hear parents all the time, “I don’t know why my kid doesn’t listen to me. He doesn’t like me, won’t pay attention, and ignores everything I say.” Well, they got ignored their whole childhood. So you didn’t put the time in, didn’t put the investment in. So for us, homeschooling is really just an extension of parenting and relationship. I call it Parenting With Academics. We’re not really doing anything radically different. It’s not school-at-home. It’s just the parenting and relationship process, adding academics to that mix.

Yvette Hampton:           Oh, that’s such a great answer. I love that. We were talking about just that relationship between parent and child, and I know when we’re talking about homeschooling and why parents should homeschool oftentimes we talk about it from the perspective of “Don’t put your child in public school.” And I’m going to ask you a question that I know is going to step on some toes, and I don’t ask this in order to do so. I ask this because I really want to think through this. I want parents listening to this to actually think through the process of this, and I want to talk about private Christian school, because oftentimes parents will say “Well, I wouldn’t put my kids in a public school because clearly what they’re being taught there is completely against everything that God’s word says, but if I put them in this really good Christian private school they’ll be fine.”

Yvette Hampton:           And let me just give a disclaimer here. I grew up in a really good Christian private school. I loved the school that I went to and I was discipled by my teachers that I had. I had great Christian, solid Christian, teachers who really helped guide my spiritual walk as a teenager. But that is certainly not always the case, and even now Garritt and I have really come to the conclusion for our family that we believe that homeschooling is best, even if there was a perfect … Well, I shouldn’t say perfect. There’s no such thing as a perfect school or a perfect homeschool. But even if there was an excellent Christian school, as you will, talk to the parent who’s maybe considering “Well, we have this opportunity to put him in a good Christian school or homeschool, because now I look at the relationship part of it and I think I would never want to give up that time with my child and me being the one to disciple them.” What would you say to that parent?

Israel Wayne:                Well, when you look in scripture there’s three different categories that we can evaluate this from. The first is what does God command, or what does God prescribe, and then the second would be what does God allow? Then the third is what does God forbid? Then we can take those three principles and we can apply them to education, and you’ll find that if you’re looking simply at what the scripture prescribes, what it commands, you find repeated commandments for parents to teach their children, instruct their children, disciple their children, discipline their children, train them in the way that they should go. You have multiple passages, dozens of passages in the Bible where God commands parents to teach their children. There are no other groups in the Bible, other people groups, or agencies, that are commanded by God to teach children except in a couple of places. Grandparents, where it says “Teach your sons and sons’ sons”, or “Your children and your children’s children.”

Israel Wayne:                You have just a couple of passages where grandparents are commanded by God to teach their grandchildren. But for the most part it’s parents. Interestingly, the government is never commanded to teach children. They’re told in 1 Peter 2:14 and then Romans 13 that they’re supposed to bear the sword to punish the evildoer, that’s their responsibility. You don’t bear a sword … Bearing the sword doesn’t have anything to do with raising children. Then the church, interestingly, and this’ll be hard for some people, but do your own study on it, there are no passages in the new testament where the church is ever commanded specifically to teach children as a separate entity or separate group, and there are no examples in the new testament early church where the new testament church ever did it. There are none. We have built this entire infrastructure within the church on the idea of the church being responsible for teaching children, and there’s not one verse anywhere in the new testament that supports that concept.

Israel Wayne:                Now, so then you ask “Well, then are you saying it’s forbidden?” Well, no. Things that are not specifically forbidden in scripture, in direct command or in principle, are allowable. So is it wrong for the church to teach children? No, it’s not, and certainly in the context of the body, or the context of the entire church you don’t want to disciple everyone in the church. That’s part of the thing. But a more fully Biblically orbed view of the church’s role in education is that they’re supposed to teach parents how to teach their children. They’re supposed to disciple parents to know how to disciple their own children, not to be replacement parents, not to be surrogate parents who do the work for them. I see very few churches that operate that way, very few churches that even have an understanding of that. I wrote a book called Education: Does God Have an Opinion? And in this book, I talk a lot about that whole concept of what does the Bible say about education and what are the parameters that we should have when we look at this issue?

Israel Wayne:                Finally, when we look at what does God forbid in education, you’ll find that anti-Christian teaching is forbidden. Very expressly, very clearly, in multiple places in scripture, as a Christian parent you cannot lie to your children, you cannot give them false narratives about who God is, about the reality of life and how God is ordained and orchestrated in life-to-work and gender identity and all of those kinds of things. It’s not optional for us to promote an educational system that lies to our children and teaches them things that false, and teaches them things that are anti-Christian. That’s not an option. So, back to Christian schools. Are they allowable? Biblically they’re allowable in that they’re not expressly forbidden in direct command or in principle, but I think when you look at Deuteronomy six and some other passages where Deuteronomy six, it talks about how you’re supposed to teach your children from the time that you wake up in the morning to the time that you go to sleep at night, and you’re supposed to teach them whether they’re inside your house or outside your house.

Israel Wayne:                Is there ever a time when you’re not inside your house or outside your house? Is there ever a time when you’re awake that it isn’t encompassed in that Deuteronomy six mandate? I think you’d have a really hard time doing that when you’re sending your children away from you for over 10000 hours between kindergarten and 12th grade. I don’t know how you fulfill the commands that you’re told to do in scripture when your children are being sent away from you. So there are situations that are less than ideal, and I think that we need to be sympathetic to those.

Israel Wayne:                But even those situations where you don’t have the ideal scenario, you have maybe one parent and that parents has to work and whatever, and other people have to come along and make up for the lack based on the condition, it still has to be in the fear of the lord, it still has to be based on the truth. It can’t be anti-Christian. So there’s a place I think for Christian education that doesn’t look like parents teaching within the home. I think there’s a place for that, but we wouldn’t consider that to be the normal prescribed approach or method in scripture.

Yvette Hampton:           Well said. I want to say, I’m not trying to put down anybody who has their children in school, because like you said, there are many situations where that is necessary. We have a friend, she has cancer right now, and she’s been struggling with her health for years now, and she had to put her children in school this year. It just broke her heart, because she really wants to be home with them, but she couldn’t physically be home with them. So they had to put their kids in school. And God is faithful, our kids belong to him. So I’m not trying to shame anybody who does. I just want to think through-

Israel Wayne:                Yeah, we welcome the church to come along in those moments and help us. One thing I want to say though too is that the average cost for private school right now is 8600 dollars per year per child.

Yvette Hampton:           Yes, it’s very expensive.

Israel Wayne:                Which is crazy-expensive, and parents do it thinking “These people are going to give my children a strong Biblical world view”, and I want to encourage parents to do two things, Google Search a couple of things. Number one, the Gen 2 Survey. G-E-N, the number two, and then Survey. They have a chart in that survey, the Gen 2 Survey, it’s the largest study on church millennials. They have a chart in there that shows how education impacts the outcome of people having faith in Christ, having good relationship with their parents, having satisfaction in life, having a life that reflects Christian values and Christian fruit I guess you would say. All of those things are very dramatically impacted by the education that they receive, and Christian schools, according to the Gen 2 Survey, are producing negative results in your children becoming a Christian, living like a Christian, having a Biblical worldview, having a close relationship with mom and dad and having satisfaction in life. Negative in every one of those categories on the whole.

Yvette Hampton:           Wow.

Israel Wayne:                Christian schools are actually negating against the Christian faith, not helping it, not improving it. Your child is less likely to be a Christian if they go to a Christian school than if they’re homeschooled, by far.

Yvette Hampton:           Wow.

Israel Wayne:                Another thing that I’ll point you to is NehemiahInstitute.com. If you go to NehemiahInstitue.com, on the very homepage there is a graphic that shows Biblical worldview assessment tests of students that are homeschooled, those that are in public school, and those that in Christian school, those that in public school and Christian school, a very low Biblical worldview and decreasing. It’s been decreasing since 1988. Whereas, homeschooling is significantly better and is slightly increasing. Both the Gen 2 Survey and the Nehemiah Institute show that Christian schools and public schools are both actually negative to faith outcomes, whereas homeschooling is positive. So we don’t base what we do on statistics, we base what we do on scripture, but the statistics seem to be bearing out what we find prescribed in scripture, parents taking responsibility for the discipleship of their children works, sending your children away from you to people, who in many cases you don’t even know, to teach your children things, you don’t know what they’re being taught. That approach is not working.

Yvette Hampton:           Yeah, I agree. You were talking earlier about the church and how oftentimes we expect the church to do the discipling of our children and to teach them spiritually and to grow them spiritually. Oftentimes I think parents do that with school as well. We expect them to not just educate them academically, but to educate them spiritually, and that’s a dangerous road to take, because Luke 6:40 says “A student will become like his master.” Well, do you know every one of their teachers, even if it’s a Christian school? Like I said, I went to a great Christian school, but this was almost 30 years ago, and I had great teachers but not all of them were believers. And that’s a touch place, but even when we do that, just like when we go to church, it’s still the parents’ responsibility. So when they’re coming home from school, whether it’s public or private, are we knowing what they’ve been taught and are we undoing anything that has been negatively taught to them according to God’s word, and are we still taking that role of discipleship with their hearts, because that still ultimately is the role of parents?

Israel Wayne:                One more thing on the Christian schools. Nehemiah Institute has a Biblical worldview assessment test, and the Christian school teachers as well as students, and one of the things that they show is that the majority of Christian school teachers actually have a worldview that is either secular, humanist, or socialist. And you think “Well, how could that be?” I was talking with Dan Smith with the guy that is the leader of Nehemiah Institute, and he said that one of the reasons for that is that schools, because they cost so much money, Christian schools, they are requiring these teachers to be certified. 30 years ago that wasn’t a requirement, but now the schools are requiring they have teacher certification.

Israel Wayne:                Well, where do they get that teacher certification? In most cases if you graduate from a teacher school you have gotten the most anti-Christian humanist socialist education on the planet, and you’ve been certified that you passed. So you bring these teachers in on the basis of their academic credentials and that they sign your statement of faith, but most schools never have any Biblical worldview assessment that they give before they hire to find out do they know how to think Biblically about social issues and about economics and science and so forth.

Yvette Hampton:           Right. I don’t remember who I heard this from for the first time, it was many years ago. But as I heard when my oldest was a baby I think, is that we’re not raising children, we are raising adults. And that’s very true. We’re raising adults, we’re raising these kids to be all that God has created them to be. In your book called Education: Does God Have an Opinion, in the appendix on that one you have a sectioned called A Christian Education Manifesto. I would love for you to kind of jump into that and talk about what that is.

Israel Wayne:                Sure. Well, I’ve often had people say to me that God doesn’t have an opinion on education, God doesn’t care how we educate our children, there’s no one-size-fits-all, what works for you may not work for me, there’s public school, private school, charter school, online school, homeschool, and people often say “You can’t say that God has one prescribed approach that’s the right fit for everybody.” That sounds really good, until you actually study the scripture on it, and my book, Education: Does God Have an Opinion, this book came out of a conversation that I had with my mother when I was a teenager, a young teenager, and I made that statement. I said “I don’t know whether I’ll homeschool my children or not. I guess I’ll just have to find out what my wife wants to do”, and I kind of liked being homeschooled myself. There were definite perks to it. I liked not having to get up till 9:00 in the morning and do school in my pajamas and not have to stand outside when it was cold and wait for the school bus.

Israel Wayne:                There were perks, there were things I thought were pretty good about homeschooling, but as a young teen I’d never really done a scriptural study on it. My mom encouraged me, she said “I would like you to write an essay and defend that viewpoint, that God doesn’t care about education, it doesn’t matter how you educate your children. Defend that viewpoint, but defend it from the Bible, not just your opinion, but find scripture that actually supports your view that any form of schooling is equal and valid.” So, I thought, “Well, this shouldn’t take too long.” I thought I’d be able to whip something together in a couple hours, and I started studying that topic and boy, 30 years later I’m still studying the topic. But I found I was definitively wrong, that God was not silent on education, that God wrote voluminously on the issue of education and the scripture, both old testament and new testament, is absolutely full of statements of how God wants his children to be educated. He’s not silent on the issue, he has spoken.

Israel Wayne:                So that appendix is mostly just scripture verses. This whole book has a lot of scripture in it all the way through it, but that appendix in the back is kind of a compilation where I just took a bunch of passages of scripture and applied it. One thing I’ll say about it is that when you see a universal principle that applied to everything, that universal principle that applies to everything applies to everything that it applies to. Everything it applies to is everything. So if you’re talking about everything, then you’re also talking about education, because education is a subset of everything. When you see something that God says that’s universally true for everything, then you have to say, “God has made this statement about education as well.” So just when you look through some of these passages, let me just grab a few of them, we sometimes don’t think about some of these passages as applying to education in particular, or schooling.

Israel Wayne:                Like take Psalm 1 for example, it says “Blessed is the man who walks not in the council of the wicked.” Let’s just stop there. What kind of council are your children getting in the school that they’re in? Is it Godly council, or is it ungodly council? Is it wicked council? Is it teaching them the truth about their origins, or is it lying to them about who made them and where they came from? Is it teaching that God created everything in six days, or is it teaching them that they’re the result of a cosmic accident four billion years ago? Is it teaching them that God made them male and female, or is it teaching them that gender is a fluid concept? Is it teaching them that there are moral absolutes and there’s right and wrong that’s truly objective for all people and all places and all times, or is it teaching them relativism, that truth is in the eye of the beholder and what might be true for you is not true for me, we can decide our own truth, we can make our own path?

Israel Wayne:                What is it teaching them about even sex before marriage, and so many of these things? But what is the school teaching them? Is it Godly council, or is it ungodly? Well, this tells us we’re supposed to avoid the council of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners. What’s the social environment of the school like? Is it a Godly social environment? We’re told in Proverbs 13:20 that “He who walks with wise will become wise, but a companion of fools will be destroyed.” What’s the social environment like? Or in 1 Corinthians 15:33 we’re told “Do not be deceived. Bad company corrupts good character.” So what kind of social environment are your children being exposed to? So many times people bring up the socialization quote, “Aren’t you concerned about socialization?”

Yvette Hampton:           Yes.

Israel Wayne:                “Well, yes. That’s why we’re homeschooling. We don’t want our children to be in the way of sinners.” Now you’re saying “Oh, so you’re saying that you want to isolate your children and never allow them to spend time with anyone who’s not a Christian?” Well, I talked about this in the first podcast and those that didn’t listen to it should go back and listen to it, but the number one factor in influence in someone’s life is time, and if you let your children spend significant time around other children, those children will influence your child. It will just happen. If you let them spend time around anybody! A video game console. An iPod.

Israel Wayne:                They’re going to be influenced by what they spend most time around. So the question is who do you want to be that influence, their peer group, or you as a parent? If you spend time around wise people you become wise, but around foolish people you will be destroyed. Well, what are foolish people? Well, in Proverbs 22:15 it says, “Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child.” That’s one Biblical definition of a fool. The other Biblical definition of a fool that comes to mind is when the scripture says, “The fool has said in his heart there is no God.” So what do we do as Christian parents?

Israel Wayne:                We think “I want my child to be well-rounded, and I want them to be successful in life, so I’m going to put them in a classroom with 30 to 40 children that the Bible says has foolishness bound up in their heart and have an atheist teacher who says there is no God, and if they’re not in that environment with this atheist teacher that the Bible calls a fool, and these students that God calls foolish, if they’re not just immersed in this pool of foolishness they won’t be able to grow up and be socially well-adjusted.” Well, where did we get that idea? We didn’t get that idea from scripture. Scripture doesn’t support that idea. Scripture never tells you “Make sure you socialize your children with lots of other children.” I challenge you, parents, get your Bible, get a concordance, look it up, do a passage search on this.

Yvette Hampton:           Do a 30 year essay.

Israel Wayne:                Yeah, do your essay. Find from scripture where it tells you “Make sure your children spend lots of time around other children so they can be socially well-rounded.” It doesn’t say that. In fact, it says the opposite. It says “Make sure they spend a lot of time around wise people.” Well, who are wise people? Wise people tend to be older, tend to have the fear of the lord, and it then it talks about not having them sitting in the seat of the scoffer. Well, what’s the social environment again? Is it one that mocks and scoffs at authority? Is it one that undermines parental authority? Well, if that’s the social environment they shouldn’t be in that environment. But then someone says, “So what’s the antidote?” But instead of all that, his delight should be in the law of the lord and on his law, God’s law, he should meditate day and night. How can you meditate day and night when God’s law is not even allowed in a government school?

Yvette Hampton:           That’s right.

Israel Wayne:                We violate the thing that it tells us to do, create an educational context where you can meditate day and night on the law of the lord. We violate that. We violate all the things it tells us not to do, and then we somehow expect that it’s all going to turn out okay. That’s just one passage or scripture where the Bible has spoken really clearly to the issue of education, but people don’t think about it as an education passage because it doesn’t use the word school. So that’s what I do in this book, Education: Does God Have an Opinion, is I just go through dozens and dozens and dozens of passages just like that, and when you really are honest about it and study what the scripture says, it’s forceful that children need an explicitly, exclusively Christian education.

Yvette Hampton:           Yup, that’s right. I couldn’t agree more. Can you take us back a little bit to John Dewey, Horace Mann, those guys who really have kind of influenced what public school is today, because they had an agenda. Talk about that a little bit.

Israel Wayne:                Most people for some reason believe that public schools in America were started by Christians, that they were Christian, that basically they promoted Christian principles, Christian values, up until about maybe the late 1960s when they started to lose their way a little bit, and today they’re not ideal. That’s kind of where most Christians are on it, but most Christians have never really studied the history of government schools. If you go back and you study the Prussian school system, which is the one that our American system was founded on, you find that there was an intentional design on the part of the atheist God-haters to get children away from their parents so that they can indoctrinate them in anti-Christian worldview, and Horace Mann, who was in Massachusetts, he was a Unitarian God-hater, he started the compulsory attendance movement in Massachusetts in the 1850s.

Israel Wayne:                By the year 1900 basically every state in the United States had adopted compulsory attendance laws where you had to attend these government schools. And Dewey’s role was to make sure that there were virtually no options for parents, that they had to have their children in a government tax-funded school, and whatever the government funds it controls. So Dewey started out with some basic Bible reading and prayers being allowed within the classroom, but his goal was over time to slowly remove all of that and just create a kind of secular utopia where everyone would come together under the banner of moral goodness, because as a Unitarian he didn’t believe in a personal God, he denied the doctrine of the trinity. He believed that all people were good, morally good, and that they would all come together and create a utopian society if you just get religion out of the picture.

Israel Wayne:                And John Dewey, who was a teacher of teachers in the 1930s, he really revolutionized the schools, particularly in the 30s. He had gone to Russia, Vladimir Lenin’s wife had invited him there. He met Joseph Stalin’s wife, who was a big fan of his. They wanted him to come, he was the most famous teacher in American, the founder of the NEA, and they said “We want you to come here and teach us everything you know about pedagogy, about teaching method, and we want to teach you how to teach economic socialism in the classroom. In the 1930s they changed the textbooks where they pulled out three subjects that had been taught separately, history, civics, and geography, and replaced those with a Marxist curriculum called Social Studies, that had never been taught before. From the 1930s on there was a strong socialist push within the government school system.

Israel Wayne:                I talk about some of this in this book, Answers for Homeschooling, the Top 25 Questions Critics Ask, this is my latest homeschooling book, and a little bit also in this book, Education: Does God Have an Opinion? For people that don’t know the history of the government school system, you just need to do your homework and there’s other great books out there by Samuel Blumenfeld and John Taylor Gatto. Those two guys were two of the best education historians, they’ve both passed on now, but great resources. And the IndoctriNation film. IndoctriNation: Decline of Christianity in America. Those are all must reads.

Yvette Hampton:           Yeah, absolutely. That’s a great film. We watched that early in our homeschooling journey and it really had a great impact on our lives. And you were part of that documentary as well. Just like you’re a part of Schoolhouse Rocked.

Israel Wayne:                Ah, we’re looking forward to that.

Yvette Hampton:           Oh gosh, us too. Us too. All right. In the last few minutes that we have I want to talk about just some practical things for parents, because we’re kind of talking about the getting started, and this interview with you, we’re kind of talking about the why. Like why homeschool? Why does it even matter that we don’t have our kids in school? Isn’t education just education? Isn’t it all academics? Aren’t they all teaching kids math, writing, this and that? And you and I have talked about this before. As a matter of fact, I think we talked about this on the last podcast, but for those who maybe are new to listening to this podcast, the reason that Garritt and I have been so convicted about educating our kids at home and why it’s so different in teaching them from a Biblical worldview is because not everything … Sorry, I’ve got a notice popping up on my thing here.

Yvette Hampton:           Everything that we teach our kids should point them to Christ. Math can point them to Christ, because God is the God or order. He is the God of absolutes. So, when we see math laid out and we understand how all these numbers and formulas work together we understand the awesomeness of God. When we study science, we understand God as our creator. When we study history from a Biblical worldview, we understand God’s plan for mankind, and so on. So when we take God out of those things, which is precisely what the government schools have done, then we’re really doing a disservice to our children and to their hearts really, because math is not just math, science is not just science, history is not just history. So I really appreciate your take on that. So now that we’ve talked about all that I want to talk about just the practical part of getting started with homeschooling.

Yvette Hampton:           What does a parent do if they’ve got their child in school, especially in a public school? At a private school they’re not going to really question it, but maybe they’ve got their child in a public school, especially if it’s in the middle of the year, and they’re just feeling like the lord is calling them to homeschool. How do they go about doing that? How do we just say “Okay, we’re going to pull our kids out of school now, and golly, with all that’s happening right now in the public school system and all of the parental rights that are being taken away?” We’re seeing parents pulling their kids out left and right. So can you talk to that parent and offer some encouragement to them?

Israel Wayne:                Absolutely. Well, the first thing is, again, this book, Answers for Homeschooling, the Top 25 Questions That Critics Ask, I literally answer almost every question you can imagine about homeschooling. How to get started. How to choose a curriculum. Is it legal? What about socialization? Shouldn’t I have my kids in school to be salt and light? What about different learning styles, different learning teaching methods? I cover all that in this book, Answers for Homeschooling. So you definitely want to get that book, because Mike Smith of HSLDA said something like “This is the Walmart and Costco of homeschool books. It’s everything you need to know about homeschooling in one source.”

Yvette Hampton:           I agree.

Israel Wayne:                But what I would recommend, mentioning Mike Smith, that you become a member of HSLDA, go to their website, hslda.org, because they will provide support for you, make sure that you’re protected legally. They have a host of information on their website. You can get connected to state organizations. You should always be connected with the Christian State Homeschooling Association in your state. There’s a list of those on the HSLDA website. Also there’s a website called homeschoolfreedom.com, and there are state organizations that are mentioned there as well.

Yvette Hampton:           Yeah, we actually have a link to that on the Schoolhouse Rocked website. If you go to SchoolhouseRocked.com right on the front page there’s a button that says “Homeschooling in your state”, that will take you straight to Homeschool Freedom.

Israel Wayne:                Then from those state associations, when you finally find your state association, almost all the state associations have a homeschool conference, the larger states do at least. You will want to attend a homeschool conference in your state. They have wonderful teaching, lots of great speakers, workshops on almost every possible topic, vendors that take curriculum. You can go and look at the curriculum and see what’s available and ask questions. There are homeschool experts there. There’s community, and from those state associations you can get plugged into local homeschool support groups, local co-ops in your area, so that you’re not just homeschooling in isolation, but you can homeschool with the community around you. I would also recommend going to nheri.orgNational Home Education Research Institute. They area research group with Dr. Brian Ray. They have all kinds of statistics.

Israel Wayne:                I have a lot of that in the Answers for Homeschooling book, because you’re going to have skeptics, right? You’re going to have in-laws, you’re going to have people say “Well, is this a good choice?” And “How are your children going to turn out academically?” I’ve consolidated a lot of the highlights into that book, but there are maybe specific question that people ask you and Dr. Ray has done fabulous research on all that. So having facts is really important, because you’re going to meet people who have opinions, and you’re going to be able to trump their opinions with fact. So that’s part of what I’m doing with the Answers book is trying to give you fact to refute the opinion. But definitely, member of HSLDA, become a member of your state homeschool association, get plugged into a local support group, and check out Answers for Homeschooling, I think it’s a great way to get going. Then there are lots of Facebook discussion groups.

Yvette Hampton:           Which some can be a little dangerous.

Israel Wayne:                Some can be a little bit dangerous, yeah. Again, a lot of the state homeschool associations now are starting their own, and those have some guidance from people that actually know what they’re talking about. So if you find your state association ask them if they have a discussion group, because they’ll kind of make sure that things don’t derail. It’s amazing how many people are maybe not factual, but boy, they have strongly held views. I’m in Michigan and we had somebody recently that said “I’m new to homeschooling. I’m just looking into this. How do I get started? What are the laws about homeschooling in Michigan?” And somebody said “Oh, there are no laws on homeschooling in Michigan.” I’m the vice president of our state homeschool association, so I had to get on there and say “Well, actually there are, and know what they are, because it’s really relevant to your life.” So it’s just amazing how people are really free to share what they think they know, but you really do want to find people that know what they’re talking about, and the state homeschool associations are a great place to do that.

Yvette Hampton:           Yeah, they really are. We love state organizations and HSLDA both, because you all have worked so beautifully together. HSLDA, Homeschool Legal Defense Association, this is not a commercial for them. They’re not paying us to say this. This is just something that we strongly believe in. But HSLDA and the state organizations are two groups of people that really work hand-in-hand together in order to keep … They’ve worked to make homeschooling legal, because it has not always been legal. They’ve worked to keep homeschooling legal, and then they work to really provide the resources and encouragement that families need in their own individual states. And like you said, knowing what the laws are, knowing what their rights are as parents. So like you said, on our website we’ve got the link to homeschooling in your state, and people can go straight there. They can look at their own state organization, contact them directly and say “Hey, what do we need to do?” HSLDA is the same way.

Yvette Hampton:           They’ve got tons of consultants that will actually walk you through what you need to do for your state. HSLDA has representatives for every state and they will help you figure out what you need to do to legally homeschool in your state, because every state is different. Literally, every state is different. We homeschooled in California, and I was just talking to someone today, I was saying “Ironically, homeschooling in California’s one of the easiest things to do.” It will not always be this way, I’m 100% certain with the direction that California’s going. That’s a different topic, but homeschooling is very easy in California. You don’t really have to do a whole lot of anything. You have to keep attendance and file an affidavit, but other than that it’s much easier than some states that require a lot of … They have all kinds of rules and laws. So, anyway. But yes, that’s a great thing, and your book, we have it and it’s fantastic. I want to talk really quickly. We’re just going to over on this, and I’m not going to worry about it.

Yvette Hampton:           I’m trying so hard to keep these podcasts short, but there’s so much good information here. Really quickly, I want to talk about the last thing, and we’ve touched on this already in this conversation, but what really matters? When parents are thinking of homeschooling, or they’re thinking about continuing to homeschool, is it curriculum that matters, is it keeping the perfect schedule, is it keeping our house clean? What is it that really matters? What is the heart of homeschooling our kids? And we talked about relationships, or course, but I would love for you to talk about this as a homeschool dad, and from the perspective of a dad. How have you gone about discipling the hearts of your children, because obviously discipleship is really what matters. It’s not curriculum. It’s not the perfect pretty schedule. It’s pointing our kids towards Christ. So can you very quickly talk to moms and especially to dads right now, and talk to them about as a dad what really matters and how do you disciple your kids?

Israel Wayne:                I, a lot of times, think of children in our home as sort of the thermometer of the spiritual and relational temperature of our family, and when we see all kinds of bad attitudes and relational conflicts and stress and strife and lack of respect and all of that, we don’t like that, right? We look at it and go “Wow, it’s frigid in here, emotionally, relationally, spiritually.” We don’t like the temperature. But what we don’t think about sometimes is that we as the parents, we’re the thermostat, and if we want to see the temperature in our house, our relationships change, we change that by changing us. I get letters from people all day every day asking me “How can I change my child? How can I change my child? How can I change my child?” Well, the bad news is that the way that God has orchestrated things, usually the path to our child’s heart is through our heart.

Israel Wayne:                You see this in Deuteronomy in chapter six where it says “This law which I give you this day shall be on your heart. Then you teach it diligently to your children.” So, God wants our heart first, and as dads in particular, I think even more than moms, we’re the thermostat for the family. Man, I notice if I come home grumpy and I have brought work home and stress home, and I’ve allowed my day to impact my mood and I bring that into my home and I externalize that on my wife, what happens to my wife? She gets grumpy. And it’s easy to do, but I can’t take it out on my boss. I work for myself, but we’ve all had those scenarios where there’re certain scenarios you just can’t externalize how you really feel there. So there’re certain times that I can’t take it out. So if I bring that home and I’m just negative and I externalize that on my wife, what happens? She feels that stress, she gets negative, and then who does she externalize it to? She externalizes it to the children.

Israel Wayne:                Then who do they externalize it? Well, the younger children, or to each other. Then what do we do? We tell them “Stop acting like that or you get disciplined.” Well, right, well, who did that? We did it, right? We set the temperature. We set the tone. So in terms of the big picture, what we’re going for, is we’re really going for God to conquer all of our hearts, and being home in an environment where we’re together, we’re working together for a common goal, a common purpose, we’re a team, we learn things in that process of teamwork of you have to have leaders, you have to have followers, just like any team, but we learn things in that process that make us more like Christ, cause us to press through the difficult things into the deeper relationships.

Israel Wayne:                And if we avoid that, if just avoid each other, yeah, we’re avoiding conflict, but we’re also avoiding relationship. So, I just think that God created this concept called family and in America we’ve done everything that we can to get away from it. We just try to avoid each other, because we think that that’ll lessen conflict. And it does, it lessens conflict, but it also ruins relationship. So, I really believe that God is a relational God, he wants us to know him, he wants us to be in a relationship with him, but he also wants us to enter into and take the risk of relationship with each other. When the family works, homeschooling works. When the family’s not working, homeschooling’s chaos.

Israel Wayne:                So you can change curriculum, you can find a better math program, you can fix the academics, that’s not hard. That’s really, really doable. The relationships are where you have to focus, and if the relationships are in order and everything’s working, you’re going to find the homeschooling process goes relatively easy. It’s not easy, but relatively easy if the family’s working. But, man, when you got people that hate each other or they’re at each other’s throats, it’s grueling. So you’ve got to fix that, and that’s why our ministry’s called Family Renewal, and we encourage you visit our website at FamilyRenewal.org, because that’s what we’re about, we’re about family discipleship and about those relationships.

Yvette Hampton:           Yeah, I love it. You’ve got a great ministry, and you will be speaking, we mentioned this in part one, you’re going to be speaking for the Homegrown Generation Family Expo that’s coming up February 17th through the 21st, and you’re going to be speaking specifically on this topic of family relationships. The day, the 19th, that you’ll be speaking, that whole day is going to be about family relationships. We’re opening it up that day with Kirk Cameron, and he’s going to be talking about marriage. It’s going to be followed by Ginger Hubbard talking about discipling the heart of your child, or Reaching the Heart of Your Child I think is actually the title of her session, and then Durenda Wilson is going to be talking about sibling relationships. And you’re going to kind of tie it all together that day, as well as on the panel.

Yvette Hampton:           We’ve got a panel at the end of that day with all three of you just to answer some questions from those who will be part of the event. So if you guys have not yet signed up for the Homegrown Generation Family Expo, please do so. It’s only $20. You get the live event, it’ll be streamed live through Facebook and through the Homegrown Generation website. Then you’ll have lifetime access to be able to watch any of the sessions that you would like to watch at any time, and lots of free stuff. So we’ve got free virtual swag bags and lots of contest giveaways and things like that. It’s going to be a really fun event, but we are really excited to have you as part of that, and really just encouraged by your message, Israel, and the ministry that God had put on your heart. So, we’re excited to bring you back into the Expo to talk more about that with people, and then be able to interact with the people who are watching live.

Israel Wayne:                Yeah, it’ll be fun.

Yvette Hampton:           It’s going to be a lot of fun. So HomegrownGeneration.com. You can register on there. Israel, thank you again for your time. Thank you for your wisdom, and just for all you do for the homeschool community and for families. You are a huge blessing.

Israel Wayne:                Well, we appreciate you guys and we’re excited about your ministry.

Yvette Hampton:           Thank you.

Israel Wayne:                We look forward to the conference. So again, everybody make sure you register and join the fun.

Check out Israel’s Books:

Answers for Homeschooling: Top 25 Questions Critics Ask, by Israel Wayne

Education: Does God Have an Opinion?, by Israel Wayne

Pitchin’ A Fit!: Overcoming Angry and Stressed-Out Parenting, by Israel and Brook Wayne

Recommended Resources:

Israel Wayne, Christian Education: A Manifesto 

The Gen2 Survey, by NHERI (National Home Education Research Institute) – This study examines adults who attended church growing up and seeks to understand the key influences which either encouraged or deterred them from believing and practicing the faith of their parents.

HSLDA – Home School Legal Defense Association

NHERI (National Home Education Research Institute)

State Homeschool Organizations 

Nehemiah Institute 

Scripture References:

Psalm 1

Proverbs 13:20

Proverbs 22:15

1 Corinthians 15:33

1 Peter 2:14

Marriage Matters – Building Strong Marriages and Families, with Rachael Carman

In her books How Many Times Do I Have to Tell You? and How to Have a HEART for Your Kids, Rachael Carman challenges mothers to surrender their will and draw closer to their heavenly Father. She invites moms to join her in loving God passionately and worshiping him fully while sweeping up Cheerios, doing laundry, and planning dinner. You will be affirmed in your role as a mother as Rachael speaks of her struggles with perfectionism and impatience and shares her challenges, failures, and victories amid the ever-changing seasons of life. Her honesty will surprise you, and her humor will put you at ease.

Rachael is not only a respected author but is also a sought-after speaker. She has been a speaker in over thirty states and seven countries. She has been married to her husband, Davis, since 1986. They have seven kids with whom they love to laugh. Together, their life has been a roller-coaster ride, with God at the controls. Rachael enjoys playing in the dirt, eating dark chocolate, and walking on the beach. She and Davis are the owners of Apologia Educational Ministries.

You can find Rachael online at www.RachaelCarman.com.

Yvette Hampton and Aby Rinella, of The Schoolhouse Rocked Podcast, recently sat down to talk with Rachael about why marriage matters, how to make it a priority, why it’s important to set a good example for your children, how to respond when things get hard (because that’s reality) and practical tips on how to have a successful and God honoring marriage. Backstage Pass members will get access to the extended portion of this episode with more tips on how to have a great marriage!

Enjoy their conversation.

Yvette Hampton:           Hey everyone, this is Yvette Hampton with my co-host, Aby Rinella, and we are back with another fantastic guest. Thank you so much for spending time with us today. It’s always such a blessing to know that you’re on the other end and that we get to spend a little part of your day with you. Many of you are familiar with our guest today, Rachael Carman. She’s a wise veteran, homeschool mom who both Aby and I highly respect and we’re thrilled to have her as a speaker for the upcoming Homegrown Generation Family Expo. Welcome, Rachael.

Rachael Carman:           Oh, thank you so much for having me. I’m really honored to be with you in here.

Yvette Hampton:           Thank you, tell us briefly about you and your family.

Rachael Carman:           Okay. So I’ve been married to my man, it’ll be 33 years in December and we started out on this journey a long, long time ago together and we have seven children, which even now seems impossible. So we have two boys, two sons, and three daughters in the middle and then two sons at the end. I think it’s our 24th year of home education because next I have one more year and that will be 25 years. But we have five homeschool graduates, we have three college graduates and a fourth in this next May and one with his master’s degrees. So all to the glory of God no one is more surprised than I, and not because of my kids, just because of their mom. “O ye, of little faith.” That was me in the beginning of this whole journey.

Backstage Pass members can watch the video of our full interview with Rachael Carman, which includes over 20 minutes of bonus content. Bonus – Lifetime Backstage Pass members also get lifetime access to the 2020 Homegrown Generation Family Expo.

Yvette Hampton:           Well, it’s always an encouragement to hear from moms like yourself who have gone into this without the great confidence of I got this, I can do this and this is going to be amazing because very few moms feel that way. And so to hear you in this from the other end, just saying God works out all the details and in his fullness is so great. So…

Aby Rinella:                  Well, Rachael, I’m excited to have you here. I was able to hear you at the Homeschool Idaho Convention, last summer. My husband and I both heard you and it was powerful you bring a powerful story and just a great encouragement. And one of my favorite sessions of yours was the session that you did on marriage. And I think it’s so relevant today because marriage is under attack. The family is under attack and what God’s word has to say about marriage isn’t always a popular message that people want to hear. But it just was so encouraged. I just remember I walked out of that room and I could not believe the amount of women that were encouraged I mean just talking about. Wow. It was life-changing for a lot of marriages and it wasn’t just your opinion of marriage, but it was God’s word. And what does God say about marriage? And God’s word works, it’s designed to work. That’s why he gave it to us.

Aby Rinella:                  So, I’m so excited to take that message that I know just changed lives at my Homeschool Idaho Convention and just bring it to the masses through this podcast. So, you said 33 years you guys have been married?

Rachael Carman:           Yeah.

Aby Rinella:                  And every moment has been absolute wedded bliss, right? No difficulties?

Rachael Carman:           You’re funny. You need to take your show on the road. No, it hasn’t been that at all. And I don’t know if I shared this in Idaho so you might get some repeat stuff today, right? So I remember when some friends called to say that they were getting a divorce, which is heart-wrenching to receive that phone call. I’m sure both of you have received that phone call it’s not a phone call you want to ever receive and the person said they were getting a divorce and why. And he said to me, “But you know you wouldn’t understand because you just think each other are amazing and you all are just crazy about each other”. I can tell you this conversation happened 15 years ago. I can tell you where I was standing when I had this conversation. Because I said to this person on the phone. I said, “No, whoa, whoa, whoa. Look, we have been through our ups and downs.”

Rachael Carman:           So this would have been … We weren’t even married 20 years at this point. As we’ve been through our ups and downs and if it were not the fact that I made a covenant before the living God, I would have walked years ago and there was this… I was overcome and I said, “It was some force”, but I don’t think it’s right for any of us to look at anyone’s marriage. Anybody who’s been not married longer than 24 hours, should know it takes work. It’s work. And I think we insult each other when we just think anybody is as easy.

Rachael Carman:           I think it’s admirable those who have determined, especially in this disposable generation, to stay the course. Because that’s what it is, it’s not about we’ve had friends that got a divorce because they were no longer in love with each other. That’s not part of the equation according to the Bible, this was a promise I entered into a blood covenant with the holy God of the universe that said that I was committing my life to stay in this relationship, good or bad, up or down. I like it or not it wasn’t about my feelings. It was about a promise that I made. And that’s I really think you talk about circling back, we got to circle back. It’s not this marriage thing isn’t a feeling because that does not get you through the hard times. But a covenant does. And one of my big things about marriage is it’s really easy for us to think, it doesn’t matter if we don’t get who God is. Because when you get who God is there becomes a seriousness to the covenant made.

Rachael Carman:           Because of who you made the promise to when you make it to God, the almighty sovereign of the universe. You made a vow and so yeah, 33 years, ups and downs, lots of moves, good financial times, bad financial times, selling houses, houses that don’t sell, unemployment, sick children, death of parents and grandparents. It’s been like anybody else’s but we have determined to stay true to the vows that we made before God.

Aby Rinella:                  I love that. And not even the vows you made to each other, but the vows you made to God and I think that’s really where the difference comes in with a biblical marriage like you said, “Who did you make the promise to? And do you have a reverence for him?” And that is what carries through the hard times.

Rachael Carman:           It really does. Just like his word does not return void when we spend time with God and in his word, when we keep our word, which if you study God’s word is a pretty big deal. Keeping your word is a pretty big deal. We were just reading this morning in family devotions and the Sermon on the Mount. When Jesus told the masses, “Let your yes be yes, don’t go around having to swear”. And my son goes, ” Well, that didn’t make sense. You have to sign contracts.” I said, “No. But that’s not what it meant. It meant we need to be people of integrity such that when I say, ‘I’m going to do something’, people are like, ‘Oh, no. Rachael said she would do it. She will do it. You don’t need to get a signature. She will keep her word'”.

Rachael Carman:           That’s what we’re called to and that’s what marriage is. It’s about being men and women of integrity who stay true to the word that we gave. And we stand our ground and determine to… It’s about honoring God, right? We’ve all heard it and they say it. It takes hearing something 17 times before it soaks in. It takes more than that many times if you have teenagers, that was true, but it takes… In other words, it takes a multitude of times to hear something.

Rachael Carman:           And this generation has leaned into the idea that marriage is all about being happy.

Yvette Hampton:           That’s right.

Rachael Carman:           Then we have heard it, it’s really about that process of becoming Holy, Leviticus 19:2, “Be holy because I, the LORD your God, am holy”. And so we’re supposed to… Sanctification is a very real part of this. I mean, marriage is a very real part of the sanctification process that God invites us to lean into, not a runaway from, right? Oh, what I mean when we all love to run away from sanctification, do it our own way, right? And our arrogance and our pride and our selfishness, but marriage is this beautiful context that God says, “Lean in and trust me, I’ve got something for you”.

Aby Rinella:                  Right.

Yvette Hampton:           I love that reminder of trusting him because it’s so hard and like you’re saying, the world is telling us, just do what makes you happy. You see it everywhere. You see it on tee shirts, you see it on signs, you see it on billboards, just do what makes you happy, do you, and that is not what the word of God says. And I was, as you were talking, I was actually thinking about the movie Fireproof with Kirk Cameron. And it’s such a fantastic movie because I think if we’re all realistic about our marriage, we all come to points in our marriage where we feel like we don’t love that person. We’re angry with them. And I mean that feeling may last for 10 minutes or it may last for 10 hours or 10 years. But I think we all feel that at times.

Yvette Hampton:           Like I just, I don’t like you. I don’t love you. I don’t want to be with you anymore. But if we rely on those feelings to make the decisions that are life-altering for us and our families, it’s not going to go well with us. And in that movie, Fireproof, he learns to fall in love with his wife all over again. And it’s such a fantastic and beautiful look at what God can do in a marriage. Because even though we don’t feel a certain way, it doesn’t mean that God can’t help us walk through that and heal our marriages. I mean, just like he can heal a wound that a cut on your leg, he can heal the wounds of marriage as well. And if we’re willing to be committed to what God has called us to do, then he can do that.

Yvette Hampton:           He is a powerful God. He’s the God of the universe and, he can do that. Why especially in our culture today, Rachael, why does marriage even matter? When you look at a lot of millennials, and I know there are a whole lot of them who just feel like, “Well, marriage doesn’t even matter. I don’t need a husband. I don’t need a wife. I’m doing just fine on my own. I’m pursuing my career. I don’t need a family”. Why does marriage even matter in light of God’s plan for our world?

Rachael Carman:           That’s such a great question that I think it’s a question that gets lost. And this me, me, me culture, right? There’s an assumption that it doesn’t matter that it is something that we should do away with. Let’s throw off the shackles of tradition. Let’s throw off the heavy weight of the way things have always been done instead of considering, well, why have they been done that way? Why don’t we dare to ask that question? And it’s a very important question. So, in the very beginning of the Bible, in the beginning, God created, we read through the Genesis account. There is the pronoun we used because we learn very early in scripture, the eternality of God that he established a beginning, right? He established time but he actually existed outside of time, established time with the rhythm of the seasons and all of that.

Rachael Carman:           But there’s a… We introduced early in scripture because we know that there’s this perfect unity within the Trinity between father, son and holy spirit. And it is that unity that is physically illustrated in our marriages, right? So, husband, wife and God, that’s the Trinitarian representation in a marriage are those three. And then the reason it matters, I believe is, God wants us to participate in fellowship with one another. He invites us. We were never made to do this by ourselves, which is in my opinion, simultaneously awesome and incredibly intimidating, right?

Rachael Carman:           Because it’s awesome because I don’t want to have to do this by myself. I think there are a few things worse than loneliness, which is really why I’m so committed to encouraging homeschool moms specifically because that loneliness can literally take you under when you feel like you’re all by yourself. And I want to just say here if you are a single homeschool mom and you’re longing to be in a marriage, I would just… I pray for you because it is a deep longing and I have friends that are single homeschool moms and that is a very difficult, and I’m so grateful that in scripture we’re told that God is the husband to those women who are doing it.

Rachael Carman:           And it’s not easy. It’s harder than doing it as a couple, but God is so good to be a faithful husband in those circumstances. So I wanted to make sure that it didn’t seem like I was unaware that is a very real part of the homeschooling demographic. But marriage matters because again, it’s a part of our sanctification and as we come together as husband and wife and we practice in that fellowship and we practice what we’re called to as followers of Christ, and that is death to self, right? We become more and more like in the likeness of God’s son. It’s a molding process. And when we start learning the beauty and the power of dying to ourselves, then we are better equipped and ready to really serve this others that God puts in our path.

Rachael Carman:           That’s what it means when it says so they were trying to trick Jesus and the lawyer I believe comes up and he says, “What’s the greatest commandment?” So it started out as 10, they expanded to 613 and now they’re trying to snag Jesus. Which one of the 613 is he going to say, because he can’t win this, right? Because in theory none of them are more important than the others. And so he goes 10, 613 and he goes to what two and he says, “Love the Lord your God with our heart, soul, mind, and strength”. And the second is like intuit, “Love your neighbor as yourself”. Well, that scripture makes a pretty long list of scriptures that have been taken out of context to mean something that it didn’t mean. And so our culture wants that to mean that we need to love ourselves. This whole idea of self-love to the point that we’re neglecting others and we’re becoming selfish and we’re becoming thoughtless and inconsiderate is not at all.

Rachael Carman:           If you really want to love yourself, you will seek to become what God has planned for you to be, which means you’re dying to yourself. To love your neighbor means you’re dying to yourself. You love yourself enough to know that your plan for you is not anything on what God’s plan for you is. And so marriage gives us this opportunity to practice this fellowship, to practice dying to ourselves, practice this unity, forgiveness and grace and mercy, right? And it gives us an opportunity to practice intimacy. I mean you want to talk about… So marriage has been under fire for a while now. We’ve seen even among believers, I think it’s 50/50 now, tragically. But even now, I mean you’d have to be dead not to see the attack on sex, right? This beautiful intimate acts that God has given to one man and one woman in a monogamous relationship with each other in a covenant relationship as long as they both shall live is under fire.

Rachael Carman:           Because that intimacy represents the intimacy that is available to us, with the God of the universe. It’s a physical representation of the intimacy that God has in store for us and invites us into. So, of course, the enemy is attacking it. We ought not be shocked and surprised. He wants to attack that. He wants people to participate in relationships that are not God-honoring and to carry that shame and that embarrassment and he wants to destroy the beauty of God’s gift to us. So, it matters that we as believers stay true to the covenant that we’ve made, that we lean into the opportunities for sanctification, that God gives us in that context, that we learn what it means to forgive and to be kind and gracious and consider it. That we learn to die to ourselves and that we do indeed enjoy the intimacy that God has given us so that we can be allied to the nations.

Rachael Carman:           Because that is something that plays from the inside out, right? And it does, people know. We went out on a date because I’m a huge advocate for couples… Still dating. So we went out on a date and our waiter, he’s in his thirties and he’s like, “So what are you celebrating an anniversary?” And something my husband goes, “No, we’re actually celebrating that in a couple of months”. And he didn’t really care. He just wanted to know. He is so… “And what will it be? How many years have you been married?”. And Davis looked at him square in the eye and said, “On December the 20th, it will be 33 years”. I thought the guy was going to collapse. You know what that nowadays, a marriage that honors God is a huge witness and testament and, I double-dog dare everyone to live that out. Live a marriage that other people look at and go, “I want that”. I think we can… It’s a conversation starter.

Yvette Hampton:           Yeah.

Aby Rinella:                  Right.

Yvette Hampton:           Yeah. Such good reminders and I will say happy anniversary to my hubby because right around this… At the time this is going to air, we will actually be celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary.

Rachael Carman:           Oh, that is awesome!

Aby Rinella:                  That’s awesome.

Yvette Hampton:           Only by the grace of God.

Rachael Carman:           I understand.

Yvette Hampton:           Only by God’s grace have we been able to do that. And like you talked about earlier, it is only because we made that commitment to God in the beginning and we promised that we would never even say the word divorce. And, we’ve taken that covenant seriously and it at times has been really hard and just like you and just like everybody, we’ve been through hard times but, we go through them together and even in the midst of the trials and hardships that we have, God created us as a team and he brought us together as husband and wife and we’re committed to this no matter how hard it is.

Yvette Hampton:           And, so, yeah, by God’s grace, 25 years and happy anniversary to you guys. I mean, it’s just amazing to see that and we love that. We get to share that with others and not brag about it. Like we’re so great, but brag on God about that and say, “Look what God’s done”. Because truly it’s only by his grace that we have been able to stay married this long.

Yvette Hampton:           We are talking about why marriage matters. That was what we talked about in the first episode and just about our covenant that we make between not just us as husband and wife, but as us between our savior, the creator of the universe and how important that covenant is and how God will take all of these hardships and trials that we go through in marriage and use them for his glory. If we’re willing to commit to sticking with our marriages and trusting the Lord, he can and will heal any brokenness that we have because he is a God who loves us. He created marriage. He created it for his glory.

Yvette Hampton:           And so I want to continue on this conversation and I want to talk about how homeschool moms can make marriage a priority because that’s something that I know that I struggle with. We get so consumed with our kids and with homeschooling and in our responsibilities at home and laundry and dishes and doctor’s appointments and park dates and all of these things. And sometimes by the end of the day, it’s us and our husband, our kids are hopefully finally in bed. And then sometimes, I just… I’m so exhausted and I don’t even want to have a discussion because I’m just done, I’m spent.

Rachael Carman:           I love your honesty.

Yvette Hampton:           So how have you after 33 years of marriage… We talked about at the end of the last podcast that you and Davis have celebrated 33 years of marriage and Garritt and I are celebrating 25 years of marriage and you’ve got seven kids, Rachael. So you have had a whole lot more even than I have of little people pulling on you constantly. How have you found it possible to make your marriage a priority?

Rachael Carman:           Well, I think it really takes us… So I have a theory that I actually think is true and that is that it is very easy for us to just go through this journey at breakneck speed, trying to get it all done, throwing up a lot of dust, but really not accomplishing anything. And the reason why is because we don’t think that we can afford to take the time that we really at the end of the day, can’t afford not to take. And that is to establish a vision with objectives and goals for what we’re doing. It’s so easy to get caught up in just our lesson plan and I’m actually working on some stuff for my grandkids, right? So therefore and too, and I’ve been working on some stuff in concert with my son and daughter-in-law, putting some little activities together for little hands.

Rachael Carman:           It’s been lovely and I just been thinking back on when I had little hands here and like you’re saying how hard it was. But very early on, Davis and I were counseled by some really wise people to take a weekend and think what exactly were we trying to achieve? Was it really just reading, writing and arithmetic? That’s not a bad objective and goal. But was that all that we were trying to do? Are we just trying to get kids who would be accepted into Ivy League institutions where we just…What were we trying to do? And I think it’s easy for years to go by and we just keep thinking, “We’ll think about that later. We’ll think about that later”. And I gave the example of homeschooling because we’re homeschooled moms and I think a lot of us can relate to… You get 5, 6, 10, 12, 25 years in and you’re like, “Wait, what did we do?”

Rachael Carman:           But, it happens in our marriages too. And I think if we could step back and get a vision for the opportunity that we have. So, I would bet that most everyone wants their children to marry someone who is going to point them to God over and over. I think we would all want for our children, really good spouses who love the Lord, who are going to encourage our children that we have poured so much into, right? As homeschool moms, we pour an inordinate amount into our children and for all the glorious reasons and it’s wonderful and I love it. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done next to marriage, but I’m very grateful that we’ve done it, but if you step back long enough to get the opportunity that you have to have a massive influence on who your kids choose as their spouse… By the way, you interact with your spouse now, right?

Rachael Carman:           I can, when I’ve got little’s at my feet already begin to have a very loud voice. Not an obnoxious, not an obtuse, not an overbearing, not a manipulative, but a legitimate, authentic, gracious voice into my children as they began to look for a spouse as Davis and I interact on a daily basis. Because, we are either modeling for our kids something that they are going to long to have that they’re going to want or we’re modeling something that they’re like, “What was that? I don’t want that”. Right. And I mean everything in between, but I want to have the kind of relationship with him on a daily -basis that my kids, as they’re growing up and as they’re teenagers and graduating and getting out into the world, they’re thinking, “I want that”. And so I think it takes getting a vision because once you have a vision for the opportunity, right? Then it becomes a priority because then you’re like, “I want my kids to see an amazing marriage”. Not a perfect one. Our kids have seen us… I will confess, we are not yellers.

Rachael Carman:           So, I know that can be a hard thing for a lot of people. We’re just not, we neither one of us came from yelling families. So, our kids have not seen us have a knockdown drag-out, yell crashing. That’s not been part of our home life. But they have seen us upset with each other. They have seen us cold towards each other. They have seen us frustrated and they have seen us come together and they have seen us stick it out and they… Because it’s up close and personal in this journey is going right. So they’ve seen this marriage grow and ebb and flow and work itself out. But they’ve also seen it as a priority. We have had date nights when the kids were little and it was a big deal. I would get dressed up, right? Davis would get dressed up because back in the day, I mean good grief when we had at one point seven under 13. I think, yeah. I mean really it’s a fog.

Rachael Carman:           But even back then, I mean we prioritize going on a date and we would make a really big deal of it to the kids. This was our date night and sometimes Davis would go to the local grocery store and pick up a carnation and bring it to me. And it was a big deal. And the sitter came and… Everybody was a part of it and this, daddy is taking mommy on a date, and we would go out. I think your kids need to see that. If marriage is important to you and you want your children to have good marriages, then have one yourself. Prioritize it yourself. I’ve said for a long time, and this is not unique to me, but it is such a powerful truth that applies to a myriad of things. You cannot give what you do not have.

Rachael Carman:           So, if you don’t have a vision for your marriage, if your marriage is not a priority, then you can’t cast those two things on that I think you probably want for them, but you can’t pass it on. I mean, you’re setting them up to do what… I don’t know if this is true for the two of you, but it’s been hard to be a first-generation homeschooler. Our parents didn’t do this, right? So we were trying to figure this out. I don’t want my kids to like be a first-generation good marriage, right? I want them to go, “Oh, I remember when dad used to do this and I remember when they do this, I remember they would go on date night”. So, our oldest son is married and they have two grandkids. And so when we get to go see them in the great state of Idaho-

Aby Rinella:                  Thank you very much.

Rachael Carman:           Yeah. They live in Moscow.

Aby Rinella:                  Oh wow. They’re way North. That’s beautiful.

Rachael Carman:           Yeah. They’re way North. And he got his masters and so that’s why we were there. But when we would go and visit, we always made up for to watch the grandkids so they could go on a date. So we… That’s a gift, that’s a very cheap, inexpensive gift that we can give to them and we will continue to give to them. But if you want that for your kids, figure out a way to start doing it now and moving it out.

Aby Rinella:                  And honestly, I really think not that women need one more thing to fall on them, but I believe this falls on you moms because I don’t think there’s ever been a time where my husband hasn’t wanted alone time with me. There’s never been a time where he said, “No, I don’t have time. I have too much to do”. I usually see it as the homeschool moms who’s 170 lessons that they need to get done in one calendar year comes far before… That 170 lessons is at the expense of their marriages or their husbands. And so it’s usually us when the kids go to bed that say, “Well now I can do my color-coded lesson plans. Or now I can pre-read the book that I want my kids to read tomorrow”. And really I think moms need to know that this falls on you.

Aby Rinella:                  You need to be available to your husbands. And for years the minute, the kids went to bed, I sat down with my lesson plans and I started to realize, I am being unfaithful to my husband because I am married to these lesson plans. And when I surrendered that and honestly repented of that to the Lord and I said, “God, you know what, I’ve got one hour a day to get these lesson plans done. If I’m going to be spending the rest of the time with my husband, I need you to take this little fish, this one hour and make this work”. And when I put my husband before my lesson plans, when I put my husband before my meal plans, when I put my husband before my clean house, it’s amazing how God extended my day-to-day. It’s amazing how he took a little bit of time that I did have and extended that because I was seeking first the kingdom of God.

Aby Rinella:                  I was being obedient to God by putting my husband first. And I think we’re afraid to say, you know what when you are putting anything above God, it’s an idol. And when you are putting anything above your husband, even if it’s a worthy thing like lesson planning or… It’s not being faithful to your husband. And so ladies, we got to step it up in this area. We’ve got to be the wife of his youth that he fell in love with and know it’s not easy, but it’s worth it. It’s 110% worth it. And it’s amazing how everything else comes in to play, how God honors that when we make that choice in every other area of our life.

Aby Rinella:                  And I love how you said… I wrote down and I love how you said, “We need to make our marriages something that our kids want”. We beat them over the head with how important marriage is, we read the scriptures of how important marriage is. But if we’re battling each other every day, they’re going to walk away from it so fast. So I just love how you said, “We’re the living, breathing example of what God’s word says marriage is to be”.

Yvette Hampton:           Yeah. That is-

Rachael Carman:           We have a whole generation of kids, and I’m talking across the United States, so not exclusively in Christian circles, but we have a whole generation of kids that have experienced the very real ramifications and reproductions, repercussions of coming from broken homes. And so it’s not even just to our kids, but to their friends. I remember a couple of Thanksgivings ago, I have some mantras that everyone should have things that this is a hill I’m going to die on. No one should not have a place to be on Thanksgiving day. Everybody is welcome. People should have, nobody should send it by themselves. Everyone is welcome. This is not my house, this is God’s house. I want people to feel welcome here. I remember a couple of Thanksgivings ago, my second son who went to art school.

Rachael Carman:           So yeah, it was as bad as you can imagine. Academically outstanding. He is a gifted artist but the liberalism and the promiscuity and every other blank you want to fill in was present. And this particular Thanksgiving, I remember he called and he said, “So mom, I have some friends I want to bring home”. I was like, “You know that’s fun. That’s great. Just let me know” and he goes, “I know, but I want to tell you”, all of them come from broken homes and we’re all… I’m always talking about, I just got off the phone with me or with dad or I’m looking forward to coming home. And they literally said, “Can we come and see? We’ve never seen it”. So I’m really telling you… And this is something that we also don’t understand the Genesis mandate renewed after the ark, renewed with Abraham to fill the world with the glory of God.

Rachael Carman:           That’s part of what we’re doing. It’s a huge part that we have grossly underestimated when we have growing, thriving, joyful marriages. We are participating in the mandate that God has given us to fill the earth with his glory because it’s only with his goodness and his grace abiding in and through us, that’s even possible. But there are other people, Aby, there are people watching you and your husband. There are people watching you and your husband… People you’ll never meet, right? When they see you on a date or they see you’re holding hands, those are all things that we get to say, “God’s way is a good way” and it’s good for us. You know this chasing after my selfish happiness only ends in emptiness.

Yvette Hampton:           That’s right.

Rachael Carman:           God’s way always brings more fullness and joy than any way we try to do it on our own.

Yvette Hampton:           That’s right. His plan is best. Rachael, we have just a few minutes left for this episode and then I would like to do an extended version of this one for backstage pass members, but in the last few minutes that we have for this one, can you speak to the hearts of those whose marriage is just under fire, they are not in a happy marriage for whatever reason. I mean there are a million reasons why marriages are unhappy. Sometimes it’s the husband, sometimes it’s the wife. Their marriage is falling apart all around us. How would you encourage those moms?

Rachael Carman:           Yeah. And that’s really a great question and it’s a question that I get often when I do this session. Stand by your man is what it’s generally called. First of all, don’t try to do this by yourself. I believe the first thing you do is you seek God and you spend time in prayer. I think the best way to get the spouse you want to have is to be the spouse that you want to have.

Yvette Hampton:           That’s right.

Rachael Carman:           So, I think the best thing you can do to improve your marriage is improve yourself and in terms of taking a self-inventory of where you are, how are you contributing? How are you dying to yourself? How are you serving? Are you available? I think Aby made a great point a minute ago when you said it’s not generally the man, but men don’t like to be turned down indefinitely. That’s one thing I learned from my husband that he has talked to our girls about when it comes to dating.

Rachael Carman:           He said, “Guys, don’t ask you out unless they think you’re going to say yes”. And so if you get asked out and it’s really a no, you need to be very kind and gracious and considerate because he probably didn’t ask. He would not have asked if he hadn’t thought you were actually going to say yes. So, my point in this is, I really do believe there comes a point where our guys aren’t asking us to snuggle on the sofa anymore and aren’t asking us to get away for the weekend anymore and aren’t… But that doesn’t mean nobody is. You know what I’m saying? I mean, if your husband is wanting to have time with you, we need to run with reckless abandon and do that. So the first thing, if your marriage is in trouble, take some time with God.

Rachael Carman:           Dare to pray the hard prayer. God, show me what I need to see in myself, in my own heart. Their prayers that God… I believe God answers all of our prayers. But I mean, boy, that’s one. You’re asking God to show you. He generally shows you. And it’s not usually pretty, but he’s very gracious, loving-kindness. Secondly, know when you need help. There’s no shame in seeking out good Christian counseling and talking to someone. We’ve known friends that in their marriage, some childhood issues come up and it looks like a marriage issue, but it’s really something from way back that was undealt with and unhandled. And we’ve seen marriages reconciled through counseling when they’re both struggling with not… Communication is such a huge thing in marriage. So know when to get help and get it and don’t wait too long.

Yvette Hampton:           And know who to get help from because it doesn’t mean go get help from your girlfriend next door who’s not a believer and who’s going to just let you gossip and break down your husband and your relationship, but know how to get godly help.

Rachael Carman:           Yeah. I’m so glad you said that. Yeah, and be wise and who you seek help from, and again in this generation, one of the tragedies is their help is so generally pure-based instead of seeking out mentorship from older, they seem to be more content just commiserating among themselves. That doesn’t generally lend itself to progress forward, nor does it offer accountability. Which I think is bad design, but that’s not good. So you’re right. Seek out good biblical Christian counseling and dig your heels in on your covenant. Determine to honor God. Scripture speaks to this. Scripture talks to the woman who finds herself in a bad marriage and adopt a quiet spirit. Live what you believe. Honor, serve, respect. I would commend to anyone that book, Love and Respect. I mean, it’s been an outstanding book. Respect your man, honor him, seek to serve him. Do not talk in any way negatively toward him, to your children or to anyone else that will do it in faster than anything I know. And dare to do the hard work and stick it out.

Yvette Hampton:           Yeah. Such good advice. I wish we could go on and on. I wish we had all the time in the world to continue talking about this because I know that there are moms out there who even if they’re not in a struggling marriage, we just need to be reminded of God’s promises and of his faithfulness to keep our marriages going and to keep them strong, not just existing but to keep them strong and have that good example set for our children. But we are out of time.

Yvette Hampton:           So Rachael and Aby, if you guys can stay on, I would love to do an extended version and some bonus content for our backstage pass members. If you are not a backstage pass member, go to SchoolhouseRocked.com and you can see the Backstage Pass membership button right there and learn more about becoming a backstage pass member. There’s tons of great content on there, interviews from the movie, behind the scenes stuff from the movie and then tons of great podcasts, extended versions of the podcast that we’ve done. But thank you for your wisdom, Rachael. We are so thankful for you. Where can people learn more about you and your ministry?

Rachael Carman:           Okay. So I do have a website, RachaelCarman.com.

Yvette Hampton:           Okay.

Rachael Carman:           My name is a little tricky to spell. It’s R-A-C-H-A-E-L.

Yvette Hampton:           You’ve got that A in there.

Rachael Carman:           I know that A is in there and then my last name is C-A-R-M-A-N. So, RachaelCarman.com and there’s tons of content there. I’m on YouTube with some presentations and I’m also on Facebook, Rachael Carman. So I do Facebook lives periodically and all of that’s available there.

Yvette Hampton:           Okay, fantastic. We will link to all of those things and I’ll throw in really quickly, I know you’ve got a couple of books, How Many Times Do I Have to Tell You?, and then another one called, How to Have a HEART for Your Kids and you also… Some will know… This many will, but you and your husband Davis are the owners of Apologia Educational Ministries and so that’s a fantastic Christian worldview curriculum. You guys have a ton of great resources on there, so we’ll link back to Apologia as well. Rachael, thank you for your heart. You have such a heart for moms, for ministry, for homeschooling, and I am grateful for your wisdom and your willingness to share with us today.

Excellent books on marriage:

Excellent movies that will encourage you in your marriage:

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Homegrown Generation Online Family Expo

The Homegrown Generation Online Family Expo is coming in February! This one-of-a-kind event will be live and fully interactive, and will feature some of today’s most popular speakers addressing the most important issues that homeschool families face. Sign up today for lifetime access to this event.

Coming Monday, February 17th to Friday, February 21, 2020, confirmed speakers for the Homegrown Generation Family Expo include Kirk Cameron, Heidi St. John, Sam Sorbo, Andrew Pudewa, Kathy Barnette, Israel Wayne, Ginger Hubbard, Todd Wilson, Leigh Bortins, Rachael Carman, Durenda Wilson, Pam Barnhill, Connie Albers, Jeannie Fulbright, Aby Rinella, Karen DeBeus, Ana Willis, and Danielle Papageorgiou, and many more!

All Homegrown Generation Homeschool Conference workshops will be available for live viewing and participation on a private Facebook Group and in the attendees area here. Every attendee will receive a Swag Bag featuring gifts and resources from our sponsors and speakers. Additionally, attendees will have access to a vendor’s hall, resource recommendations, and life-time access to the course materials and conference videos.

The Homegrown Generation Online Family Expo is a ministry of Schoolhouse Rocked: The Homeschool Revolution, a feature-length documentary about homeschooling, currently in post-production. The proceeds from this event will go directly to help fund post-production on this important film.

The Homegrown Generation Online Family Expo will be hosted by Yvette Hampton, host of The Schoolhouse Rocked Podcast and will feature a workshop by Schoolhouse Rocked Podcast co-host, Aby Rinella.

Don’t miss this life-changing event! Visit HomegrownGeneration.com for more details or to register today.

Building A Godly Heritage – Encouragement for Dads

“That’s what we need right now. We need some continuity of faith, and I think the breakdown of faith has resulted in the breakdown of family, the breakdown of family relationships, the breakdown of our social systems, our social morality and so forth. So what we need more than anything else, as I see it, in our churches today and our families today, is a real vision for a family discipleship and family worship. The hearts of fathers and mothers turning to the kids, and the kids’ hearts turning towards their fathers and mothers, in this sort of family discipleship context.” – Kevin Swanson, Generations

Yvette Hampton:           Hey, everyone. Welcome to The Schoolhouse Rocked Podcast. I hope you’re having a great homeschool day. This podcast is one that’s going to be a little bit different for you moms who might be listening, and if your husband is around and you are able to grab him, or if you want to just pause it and wait to listen to this later, this one is going to be for both moms and dads.

Listen to Kevin Swanson on The Schoolhouse Rocked Podcast. (10/21/2019 Episode)

Yvette:                         We have a special guest on today. His name is Kevin Swanson. He’s the director of Generations. If you’re not familiar with Generations, it’s a ministry for strengthening homeschool families around the country. We’re going to talk to Kevin a little bit about dads, and about the heritage and Godly legacy that dads can leave for their children. And so, this is going to be a really exciting one, that you can listen to with your husband. So, Kevin, welcome to The Schoolhouse Rocked Podcast.
Kevin Swanson:             Thank you, Yvette. It’s great to be with you today.
Yvette:                         Yeah. I’m very excited to have you on. Tell us a little bit about you and your family.
Kevin:                           Well, it’s me and Brenda, and we have five children, ages… I’m going to get this right… 18 through 27.
Yvette:                         Okay.
Kevin:                           So, we’ve graduated four of our older children. Abigail’s still left. She’s 18 years old, and she’s going to graduate this year from high school. We have four of our daughters that live with us. They have all kinds of projects going on, studying different subjects and things. My son is a software engineer in the Denver metro area. So, that’s where we are. I’ve been involved in the homeschooling movement now for 50 years.
Yvette:                         Wow.
Kevin:                           This is my 50th year. Because my mom started homeschooling me exactly 50 years ago in Portland, Oregon, if you can believe it.
Yvette:                         Wow.
Kevin:                           Yeah.
Yvette:                         Was that in kindergarten, when she started with it?
Kevin:                           You know, it would have been… I think I would have been four years old.
Yvette:                         Okay.
Kevin:                           It was Portland, Oregon, and they were going to go into the mission field in Japan, and that’s one of the main reasons they homeschooled us. But in the 1960s, my folks were really focused on this idea of Christian schooling, but then they began to think about homeschooling. So, they really started to homeschool us, myself and my sister especially, in 1968, and I never attended a school until I was 10 years old, and spent one year at a Christian school in Oregon. But outside of that, I was homeschooled the whole distance.
Yvette:                         Wow. Wow. So you’ve really seen the evolution of homeschooling, and obviously what it used to be, back in the days when you had to keep your curtains closed during the day, and you couldn’t go to the grocery store in the middle of the week, because people would question you.
Kevin:                           As the old song goes, I was homeschooled when homeschooling wasn’t cool.
Yvette:                         Right. Oh, well, it’s so neat to have you now as part of the homeschooling movement and ministry. I know you have a great ministry to families and to homeschool families, but you really have a huge focus not only on fathers, but you really do have a great ministry to Christian men who are leading and discipling their own children, whether through homeschooling or not. And so, I want to talk a little bit about Generations. Talk about your ministry and what you do, and how you come alongside of families and men, to encourage and disciple them.
Kevin:                           Well, the main focus of Generations is passing on the faith. That’s our byline. You know, we’re living in a really tough time right now, because the millennial generation is more likely to be unchurched, de-churched. They have less spirituality and less faith than the previous generation. So what we want to do is, we want to see that there is something of a connection from generation to generation, and we think that comes primarily, of course, by the work of the Holy Spirit, but also by the God-ordained means of the hearts of the fathers turning to the children, and children to the fathers and mothers. And when those generational connections exist, there’s just a very much higher probability that there will be some continuity of faith.

“I think the first thing that’s happened is the massive secularization of education and pop culture. These are become the disciplers of the day. But the fact is, at one time, young kids were raised in families, and the pastors of churches and the parents had the most influence in the children’s lives. But since the 1800s we’ve had a massive social revolution, that has produced a massive culture revolution, and it happened when fathers left the home, and then eventually mothers left the home. And then you begin to get professionals that established large institutions. Those institutions become increasingly secularized.”

And that’s what we need right now. We need some continuity of faith, and I think the breakdown of faith has resulted in the breakdown of family, the breakdown of family relationships, the breakdown of our social systems, our social morality and so forth. So what we need more than anything else, as I see it, in our churches today and our families today, is a real vision for a family discipleship and family worship. The hearts of fathers and mothers turning to the kids, and the kids’ hearts turning towards their fathers and mothers, in this sort of family discipleship context.
So that’s the focus of the ministry, and I do believe that fathers are key. You know, the mothers, I think for the most part, have really been the impetus behind the modern homeschooling movement. There’s no question about that. But I do believe that when fathers get involved, you get a little bit more rebar in the concrete foundations of the home and the homeschool. Does that make sense?
Yvette:                         Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. The role of fathers is so very important, and I think so many of them don’t realize how desperately their wives need them to take that leadership in their family.
Kevin:                           Yeah. Yeah.
Yvette:                         You know. Spiritually, emotionally. I think a lot of dads think, “Well, you know. I go to work and I provide for my family, so that my wife can stay home.” Which is fantastic. That is such a wonderful blessing to the family, if mom is able to stay home. And even if mom isn’t able to stay home, or if mom has to work from home, there are… You know. You’ve got the Proverbs 31 woman who helped care for her family, and care for her home. But it’s not just bringing home a paycheck. Women need, moms need, wives need for their husbands to come alongside of them, and encourage them and their children spiritually and emotionally, in so many different ways.
I want to back up really quickly, because you were talking about how our generation today, people have just kind of fallen off of church and discipling their children and taking that spiritual leadership. A lot of families have done that, but a lot of men have done that. Why do you think that is?
Kevin:                           Well, I think the first thing that’s happened is the massive secularization of education and pop culture. These are become the disciplers of the day. But the fact is, at one time, young kids were raised in families, and the pastors of churches and the parents had the most influence in the children’s lives. But since the 1800s we’ve had a massive social revolution, that has produced a massive culture revolution, and it happened when fathers left the home, and then eventually mothers left the home. And then you begin to get professionals that established large institutions. Those institutions become increasingly secularized. Of course, they kicked prayers out of the schools, and the Ten Commandments, and the reading of the Word of God out of the schools in the 1960s.


And so, over time, you find that the young generation, each successive generation is discipled out of the Christian faith, and there’s less and less influence of the Christian faith in their lives. And it’s very, very difficult to salvage a young person who’s receiving secular inputs. You know, the other worldview, through their iPods and their iPads, and through education and pop culture and such throughout the week. And then you’re trying to salvage it with a 20 minute Sunday school lesson on the Sunday morning in the church. You know, to be honest, the church just is not able to stand against this massive, massive flow of a counter worldview, this other form of discipleship.
So, I think it’s just that simple. I think it’s competing discipleship. And here’s one more factor that plays into it. At one time, pop culture was not as influential on the peer group as it is today. Think about the 1980s, when young children had access to the television set only in the family’s living room, where there was some oversight from mom and dad.
Kevin:                           Well, see, they couldn’t carry a 600-pound television set into their bedroom then, and set it under the covers, or take it into the bathroom. It was just too heavy.
Yvette:                         Right.
Kevin:                           You can’t carry 600-pound television sets around. But today, with the iPod, iPad revolution, these kids have access to the popular culture and these other worldviews. They’re effectively hooked up by wires into the matrix, and they are being fed these other ideas. And so, you know. Even if your child is attending a Christian school, or attending a public school, their peer group is far more connected to a popular cultural system, that is not really receiving much oversight from parents. It’s a family disintegrated form of entertainment, that just predominates in these kids’ lives. And so, that becomes the peer group, and that peer group becomes much more influential. That popular culture, that peer group influence becomes much more influential, much more powerful in the life of a young person today, than it was, say in 1990.
So, you know. I would say that pop culture, peer culture, is probably 100 times more influential today than it was in the early 1990s, and those competing discipling influences are very hard to stand against, unless you homeschool. Unless you spend concerted time with your children, and you become the primary influence in their life.
Yvette:                         Yeah, I agree with that completely. You know, you look today at what… And maybe I’m completely off base on this, because I’m not in the homes of every person of every family, of course. But it seems to me that the majority of families, you know, dad comes home from work, sits down on the couch. Watches TV, watches the evening news or sitcoms or whatever it is. And while he might be engaged a little bit with his kids, it’s all about, “How can I just rest and be entertained myself, so then I can go off to bed, and my kids can do their homework, and they can take their baths and have dinner, and we all go to bed, just to get up and do it all over again tomorrow?” And I feel like there’s a big disconnect between a lot of fathers and their kids.
And one of the things over the past few years that has really frustrated me, and it kind of seems to be the new trend is the man cave. You know, dads are building these rooms in their houses. They’re taking up one of the rooms, and they build their man cave. It has their video games, and it has their TV, and it has their computer, all their stuff, so that they can escape their family, basically. And I’m not saying… I’m probably going to get some nasty emails about this, and that’s okay… I’m not saying that there’s never a time for a mom or a dad to want to be able to just get away. You know? I’m with my family pretty much 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and there are times when I just say, “You know what? I need to just go take a drive. I need to go walk around the park. I need to go drive. I need to do something. I just need to get away for a little bit.” But I’m talking every like few months, maybe. You know.
And it’s okay to have a little bit of alone time, and to be able to breathe, and I get that. And especially for those who are maybe more introverted than I am. But to have an intentional room where you say, “This is my room. It’s off limits to the family. This is my man cave, and I’m going to go away, and be disengaged from my family,” is not discipling your kids. That’s not coming alongside of your children and teaching them the ways of the Lord, and being able to embrace them and build the family unity, because you can’t possibly do that. And parents being so distracted with sports and this and that. And I’m not saying that those things are bad or wrong at all, but I feel like culture has gotten so busy, and so overwhelmed with things that are outside of the family, that we’ve almost forgotten how important it is to just be a family. To read together, to play games together, to just talk together, to cook together, to do things together as a family. And so, anyway-
Kevin:                           After a while, you find you actually enjoy being together.
Yvette:                         For sure.
Kevin:                           But I think you have to begin to establish the habit first, before you discover that this is the life. This is a better life. This is the life of relationship. And I think there are two words that describe the zeitgeist of the day. Zeitgeist is the spirit of the age, basically the river of culture in which almost everybody participates. The zeitgeist is defined by diversion and isolation. That’s pretty much the modern world. And I think most sociologists would agree with me, actually, that isolation diversion makes up most of modern life. But it’s not healthy.
Yvette:                         Right.
Kevin:                           It’s escapist, and it eventually sort of deprioritizes human relationship.
Yvette:                         Yeah.
Kevin:                           And certainly, that’s the music form, that’s the cultural form. That’s the way in which we view the stars on the movie screen. You take somebody like James Bond, or 24 movie star, who plays the part of the lone protagonist, who is divorced, and he lives by himself, and he sort of lives the brave existentialist life of the individual who is isolated from family, and isolated from friendship and other things. That’s sort of the modern world. That’s the modern individual. And of course, pornography being the ultimate derelationalized form of sexuality, where it’s depersonalized.
There’s no second person. But this has now become almost the predominant form of sexuality amongst young men. Some 80% of young men are now hooked on this derelationalized form of sexuality. So, isolation, just isolating ourselves and consuming ourselves in diversions, is really escaping the real world. It’s escaping God’s world. It’s escaping God, and escaping a relationship with God, and escaping a relationship with God’s people, with the church, or escaping a relationship within a marriage or within a family. So, that’s the philosophy. That’s the spirit of the age. And we, as Christians, just need to say, “You know what? That’s not the life God wants for us. God wants a life in fellowship with others. God wants us to live a life in relationship.”
And you know, we need to come back to this as men especially, because I think it’s men who are the first ones to walk down the river, as the men did in John Steinbeck’s East of Eden or Grapes of Wrath. You know, the men were the ones to abandon camp. The men were the ones who abandoned relationship. The men were the ones to walk away from responsibility and the pressures of life. But you know, the life of faith is the life that wants to face the challenges before us believing God, trusting in God, and then establishing relationship and fulfilling those responsibilities that God has given us.
Because you know, Ephesians 6:4 does say, “Fathers, bring your children up in the nurture and the admonition of the Lord.” So that specifically is directed towards fathers, first and foremost. Obviously, mothers were intended there too, but fathers are the ones that are responsible and culpable before God, to really focus on a proper raising, a proper discipleship for their kids. So, this is just a ball we just simply cannot drop.
Yvette:                         Yeah, I agree. Kevin, you’ve got a conference coming up. It’s the Shepherd’s Conference. It’s November 5th through the 9th in Elizabeth, Colorado. Let’s talk about that. I remember last year, we met you at the Life Schooling Conference in Charlotte, North Carolina, and you talked about this conference, and I remember thinking, “Wow. This is a conference that every husband, every father on the planet should attend.” So, can you give us a 10-minute version of the Shepherd’s Conference, and what it is that you’re going to discuss there and talk about, and what this conference is?
Kevin:                           Well, Yvette, this is an opportunity for men to disciple and to be discipled. You know, we don’t get an opportunity like this very much, to get into a home, and for four to five days, really immerse in the Word of God, and immerse ourselves in prayer and in fellowship, and building one another up. I mean, it’s a four to five day, just go for it, you know, 14, 15 hours per day, being together and fellowshipping together, and going through good teaching, and confessing our sins and struggles in small groups, and praying for each other, lifting each other up. You know, we learn how to pray. We learn how to lead in the Word of God. We’re learning how to be disciplers and shepherds in our homes. So, this is kind of a radical idea.
Now, one of my strategies is kind of an immersive approach to discipleship. In other words, you sort of have to dive into the deep end, if you’re really going to grow. And especially in the age in which we live. You know, we’re so busy, as you said. To take four to five days off, and just immerse yourself in a Biblical approach to shepherding and relationship building and spiritual growth for yourself, I think is really helpful for men. Now, we open this up for dads and older sons. You know, they come together. By the way, we still have I think two or three or four slots open for this year’s Shepherd’s Conference, so if anybody’s interested in this, just go to our website, Generations.org, and click on Events, and you’ll go straight to it. But-
Yvette:                         Now, what would the age be of the sons?
Kevin:                           Well, you know, I’d say anywhere from 10 to 12 years up.
Yvette:                         Okay.
Kevin:                           It depends on whether they can sit and listen.
Yvette:                         Sure.
Kevin:                           And if they’re not wanting to do that, perhaps a little older.
Yvette:                         Okay.
Kevin:                           But yeah, the Shepherd’s Conference is a great opportunity to do that. The other thing I do is I open up my home for this, and my daughters make 1,000 meals for the guys. Three meals a day for about five days, and it’s… You know. It’s not just the formal time together as we’re studying God’s word, as we’re praying together and singing hymns together. It’s also getting together in fellowship around those meal times, and getting to know each other, and iron sharpening iron. Just building each other up for the week. I find this is probably the most successful thing we have done as a ministry.
Also, I think it’s important for people who know about us, and know about my ministry, to come into my home and watch the dynamics in my home. You know, a lot of leaders, a lot of spiritual leaders across the country, they wouldn’t do this kind of thing, but I think it’s important for leaders to be accessible to those who want to drop by, and just sort of enjoy some hospitality at our house. So, this has been an important aspect of my ministry over the years, and we have had literally thousands of people come through our home over the years.
Yvette:                         Wow.
Kevin:                           We always open up our home, so if anybody is ever coming through the Denver metro area here in Colorado and would like a little Christian fellowship along the way, we invite them to our home for that fellowship. I just think that’s the way Jesus would have done it, you know? Jesus was always accessible.
Yvette:                         Yup.
Kevin:                           He was always accessible. There might have been a line of 10 or 20, but He was there, you know? He was just walking around, and He was accessible. He didn’t drive into the conference center in a big limo, and then come into the stage from the back, and then leave from the back in His limo. Jesus didn’t do that, and that’s not how we shepherd. That’s not how we grow as the body. I think it’s important for us to be in the same house, the same home together, sitting up to the table together and fellowshipping, and finding ways in which we can edify each other and build each other up. So that’s the vision for the week, and that’s been really successful.
In terms of content, we’ll talk about some basic biblical doctrine. We’ll go through psalms, a couple psalms together. We’ll talk about practical issues in terms of marriage, in terms of raising our children, in terms of education. We’ll talk about family, church, and state, which are really the three basic spheres in which we interact. We interact with our families, we interact with brothers and sisters in the church, and we also have an obligation as those who are part of a wider community. And so, we’ll talk about those three aspects. We also get into spiritual warfare a little bit. We want it to be intensely practical. You know, because we all know what spiritual warfare is, so we want to be sure that we’re geared up for spiritual warfare.
And our goal is that we would grow, that we’d become mature, that we’d be able to stand in the day of trial and persecution, and prepare ourselves with the full armor of God, in order that we be prepared to stand in the evil day. So, we want men built up and strong in the faith, so we do that through the teaching. We do that through the singing of the hymns and psalms and spiritual songs, and of course lots and lots of prayer. We do spend time in prayer together. That is probably the most powerful part of the week.
Yvette:                         Wow. That’s great. And I imagine that a lot of these men who go to this conference get to know one another, because they probably come from different places.
Kevin:                           Yes.
Yvette:                         And so they build those relationships, and can then encourage and support each other.
Kevin:                           They do. They do. You know, it’s amazing how much can be accomplished in 45 to 55 hours together.
Yvette:                         Yeah.
Kevin:                           You think about your average church. You come together for an hour every Sunday.
Yvette:                         Right.
Kevin:                           That’s 52 hours a week. We knock that out in four days.
Yvette:                         Wow. Wow.
Kevin:                           You follow me?
Yvette:                         Yeah. Yeah.
Kevin:                           So, those relationships are lifetime relationships, and these guys stay in contact with each other for years and years.
Yvette:                         Wow. That’s great. One of the things I love about it is that you allow the younger men to come alongside of their fathers and learn. You know, we talk with our girls. I have two daughters. They’re almost eight… She’ll be eight in two weeks. Eight years old and 12 years old. And so, we already talk a whole lot about, you know, when you are getting to that age of marriage, what is it that you look for in a husband, and what does God’s best look like for you? And one of the things that we tell our girls is to look for a man who is being discipled by other Godly men, and then for a man who is discipling men younger than him. And I think that discipleship is so, so very important. And so, it doesn’t matter where you are in your Christian walk. You need to be accountable, and discipled by someone who is… You know. Whether older than you, or your same age or whatever. And women need that, too.
Kevin:                           Yeah.
Yvette:                         But you need to know how to disciple younger men as well. And so, I think it goes on both ends, and I think this conference is such a beautiful way to teach these young men, to raise them up to be discipled, and to be able to disciple others as well.
Kevin:                           That’s some of the best advice you could give. In fact, I just did a presentation at our church on preparation for marriage, and the advice that I gave the young ladies and the young men was, be sure that you marry somebody who has been discipled, and has opened themselves up for discipleship, has sought out that discipleship.
Yvette:                         Yeah. Yes.
Kevin:                           And that’s I think so, so, so very key, especially in the day in which we live. That’s one reason we have been discipling young men, as part of our ministry, for about 14 years now.
Yvette:                         Wow.
Kevin:                           In fact, we’ve had young men living in this house here for nine years. Our family lives upstairs, and then these young men, who are part of our discipleship center, live downstairs. And that’s been a full time thing, pretty much for the last nine years. We have probably discipled, I don’t know, 14 to 16 young men over a period of nine years, and it has been generally very successful. These young men become future fathers, husbands. They get married oftentimes early, like 21 or 22 or 23 years of age.
Yvette:                         Sure.
Kevin:                           Not that that’s the end all and be all of maturity, but it’s been encouraging to see them now raising children. Some of them have three, four, five children. Some of them become deacons in churches. Some have become elders. One of them is becoming a pastor, in about three weeks from now. So, yeah. It’s been probably the absolute most powerful thing, and influential and important thing, that I have done in my ministry over the last 30 years. You know, bringing up these young men, and preparing them for their own ministry and their own home life. I personally encourage every single church in America to engage in this, because if we don’t disciple the young men, it will be bust. I have this little word. I call it Discipleship or Bust. Either we will disciple the young men, or our young women will have nobody to marry.
Yvette:                         Right.
Kevin:                           We will not have churches. We will not have families in the years to come.
Yvette:                         Yeah.
Kevin:                           It’s discipleship, discipleship, discipleship. The Apostle Paul, in Second Timothy 2:2 says, “You’ve got to disciple the young men, that they will be prepared to disciple others as well.”
That was his advice to Timothy. And of course he wants them to preach the word and such, but as far as what we are to be doing to be preparing the next generation, we have got to be focusing on discipleship, discipling the young men. Of course, we encourage the older women to disciple the younger women.
Yvette:                         Sure.
Kevin:                           But the young men have not been discipled, and they are wandering around. They’re not growing up. Newsweek magazine came out with a statistic a couple years ago that said 70% of young men are not grown up by 30 years of age, up from 30% in 1970. That means they don’t have jobs. They’re not getting married.
Those statistics are based on a couple different indexes. And so, 70% of young men not grown up by 30 years of age, up from 30% in 1970.
Yvette:                         Wow.
Kevin:                           They are living in guy-ville. They’re living in this Peter Pan man cave thing, yeah. And we’re just not seeing the maturity. We’re not seeing that young men are ready for life, and the end result of course is going to be the breakdown of entire social systems. It will be the breakdown of churches. It will be the breakdown of future families, and it will be the breakdown of an entire nation. I’m convinced of it.
Yvette:                         Yeah.
Kevin:                           That this nation will break down. We are looking at the breakdown of character and the breakdown of maturity across this nation, because we have not invested in the discipleship of our young men and our young women.
Yvette:                         You know, if the Christian men today do not take that responsibility, to disciple the younger men who need that, the world is going to take over. And that’s exactly what’s happening, is the world is taking over, and they’re going the way of the world, and not the way of God. And like you said, it’s breaking down the family unit.
I want to take this a little bit back to homeschooling. That is one of the reasons why homeschooling is so very important, and so very powerful. Because it allows the Christian dad to disciple his Christian young son, or his daughter, who is going to marry a Christian man, hopefully, and show her, “This is what it looks like. This is what a Godly man looks like. This is what I want you to strive for to marry.” You know. And I agree. It’s so important for our culture.
Kevin:                           Yvette, even the secularists. I’m talking about non-Christian sociologists. They’re writing books like The War Against Boys, The End of Men, The Demise of Guys. You’ve heard all of these books.
Yvette:                         Oh, yes.
Kevin:                           They’re all over the place today. And it seems to me that Christians should establish something of a better standard. You know, shouldn’t we, above all people, take on ourselves the opportunities to give up of our selves? You know, sacrificially love our brothers and our sisters in Christ, and really invest that time and that energy into the discipleship of young men?
Now, I wouldn’t say that you have to bring them into your home, as I’ve done. There are some opportunities where perhaps you meet with a young teenage boy in the congregation, you know, once a month for lunch or something, and you just are there to invest in his life, or you might create some small Bible studies. We’ve got I think six Bible studies in our church, that are primarily attended by young men. There are prayer groups and there are Bible study groups. These guys will come once a week, and we’ll invest an hour or two hours a week with them. But, you know, 52 hours a year is a big deal for a young man. So, you know. I mean, I’m not just working with 14 guys. I’m probably meeting with anywhere between 30 to 40 young men every week, as part of our ministry.
Yvette:                         Wow.
Kevin:                           And then we’ve got the Shepherd’s Conference, where we do that full 52-hour deal in one four to five day spread. So, you know. I think the focal point for ministries at this point really needs to be discipleship.
Yvette:                         Yeah.
Kevin:                           We need to come back to this vision, and that’s the thing we encourage with our families. As we talk about homeschooling, it’s not just about homeschooling. It’s also about discipling our kids as we sit in the house, as we walk by the ways. We rise up as we light up.
Yvette:                         That’s right.
Kevin:                           And this also needs to be the focal point of the wider body. We need to disciple young men. We need to disciple the young women. They resonate to it, you know? For the most part, these young men and young women, when they realize that you care about them, and you care about their future, and you want to invest in their lives… You really are buying in to their success in life. Their spiritual success, their economic success. You are buying in, man.
Yvette:                         Yeah. That’s right.
Kevin:                           You are going to be their cheerleader… They respond to that.
Yvette:                         Yeah. That’s right.
Kevin:                           And it is amazing what will happen in your homeschool group, in your church, in whatever relationships you’ve built as you pursue this discipleship vision.
Yvette:                         Yeah. I love it. Well, thank you so much, Kevin. Thank you for your time today. Thank you for your encouragement to families and to husbands. It has been such a pleasure having you on.We are very grateful for what you’re doing. And we’ll get word out about the Shepherd’s Conference this year, and if people are listening to this after it’s full, or after it’s over, I’m sure you’ll do it again next year, because I know you’ve done it many years in a row. So, it’s been an absolute pleasure to have you on. Thank you for your encouragement with homeschooling and to families. We appreciate it so much.

Learn more about the Shepherds Conference here!

Find Kevin online at Generations.org

Check out Kevin’s books on Amazon

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The Benefits of Homeschooling, Part 2

“Anxiety in teens is higher than it’s ever been. Because these kids are having to perform at a standard that is a generalized standard that they don’t necessarily fit into and it does make sense because when we remove God’s design and plan, we end up with these things like depression. Because the Bible tells us that the joy of the Lord is my strength. And so when I’m sent into a place every day where, well, God is there but where I’m not allowed to be taught about God or speak of God or see God or do things God’s way, then it’s not going to be a joy-filled place. When you remove the Lord from the school, you’re also removing joy and strength.”

Yvette Hampton:           Hey, everyone. In case you didn’t read the previous post, The Benefits of Homeschooling, Part 1, make sure you go back and read that one.  Aby Rinella is back with me today and we are talking about the benefits of homeschooling. We talked before about “The Why of Homeschooling” and today we’re building on some of those ideas. We recorded that episode several months ago, but this is the second part of that conversation about the many, many benefits of being able to keep our kids at home and disciple them.

The Bible passage that we have parked on for this episode is Matthew 6:31-33, but really focusing on verse 33. But it starts out, “Therefore, do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ for the Gentiles seek after these things, and your Heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”

“I think in the beginning, I would look at other kids who parents would talk about the struggles that they had with their children but also the blessings of it too. But I thought, well… Homeschooling’s going to be different in our house. It’s going to run smoothly. And as I had this fairytale in my mind of what it was going to look like, we were going to just have this perfectly scheduled-out day. My children were going to just sit so compliantly in their desks and they were going to just do the work that I asked them to do. And they were going to learn everything the first time and they were not going to argue with me. I mean, I had this idea of how it was going to unfold and then I started homeschooling!”

Aby Rinella:      I love talking about what these things are that are going to be added when we’re obedient to God in raising our kids, and last week we talked about all the academic benefits, all the things that moms panic about. “Can we really do this academically?”, and how we’re seeing that academically, homeschooled kids are thriving. We talked about all the reasons why, so I’m excited to get into a lot of the other benefits and all the other things that are added on to us when we choose to obey God’s call to homeschool.

Listen to this conversation on The Schoolhouse Rocked Podcast. (10/8/2019 episode)

Yvette:             Yes. We talked a whole lot about the principle, “obedience brings blessings.” God is a God of blessings. He loves to bless his children and he hears our prayers. And he loves to listen to us as we cry out to him on this journey of homeschooling and parenting and just trying to figure it out. I know for myself, it has been… You know, before you have kids, you think you know it all.

Aby:                 Everything, yes!

Yvette:             You see other kids and you’re like, “My kid would never do that. My kid would never throw a tantrum in public. My kid would never say no to me.” And then you have kids and you’re like, “Oh, so, let me take back everything”-

Aby:                 It’s universal.

Yvette:             Right. It’s universal. And the same goes with homeschooling. I think in the beginning, I would look at other kids who parents would talk about the struggles that they had with their children but also the blessings of it too. But I thought, well… Homeschooling’s going to be different in our house. It’s going to run smoothly. And as I had this fairytale in my mind of what it was going to look like, we were going to just have this perfectly scheduled-out day. My children were going to just sit so compliantly in their desks and they were going to just do the work that I asked them to do. And they were going to learn everything the first time and they were not going to argue with me. I mean, I had this idea of how it was going to unfold and then I started homeschooling!

Aby:                 Reality.

Yvette:             Reality hit. So there are things that are hard about it, but in looking back, I also didn’t get to see all of the blessings that would come from it. And so it’s been… We’re in our ninth year of homeschooling now. And it’s so amazing to just see how with Garritt and I having been obedient to the call that God has put upon us to homeschool our kids and to have them with us day in and day out and discipling their hearts and training them. He has just blessed that beyond belief and I love what it’s brought. You and I, in the last episode we talked, like you said, about many of those things. One of the greatest things we talked about was marriage and sibling relationships. And I’m so grateful for what the Lord has done in our family through those things. So, let’s keep on talking about this. What are some of the other benefits that you’ve seen through homeschooling?

Aby:                 Okay, we’ll keep going through the list. One that I have seen hugely and I never expected and now I’m so passionate about it is health. We are a family that’s really health-oriented and I never equated that homeschool would have anything to do with health and it’s kind of blown my mind. Which everybody knows and science has shown that too much sitting leads to all sorts of issues, increase of diabetes. It kind of slows your brain. They say it actually gives you lethargic thinking, increase of heart disease. Obesity has tripled since the ’70s as more people are going to computer-oriented jobs rather than more labor jobs. So, sitting causes a lot of health issues and so, when you have the kids in a classroom from the day that they’re four all the way forever and they’re sitting for endless hours, it is not good for their health. And I am seeing in classrooms now they’re trying to do all these creative things. Like, let’s say you want to bounce the ball or let’s say you want a swivel chair. But we’re still sitting and we’re just sitting on different things.

So, that’s a huge benefit with homeschool. We did an episode before on the benefits of getting outside. And we talked a lot about that, about how it’s important to get up and move our bodies and physically outside. So, that’s when everybody can go listen to hear the health effects of that. Aside from just kids being able to move more, which helps their brain, especially if you have a kinesthetic learner. But even non-kinesthetic learners, it helps our brains when we’re moving.

So, in addition to that, sleep. This is one that has hit me and I have seen that with health, like a lack of sleep brings on illness. They’ve said that, I mean, if you’re listening to this and you’re a homeschool mom, that means most likely you’ve had babies. And that means you know what it’s like to sleep, to not sleep for long periods of time.

Yvette:             Right?

Schoolhouse Rocked Backstage Pass members can watch the video of this full interview.

Aby:                 And that does affect our health. It affects our attitudes. They say a lack of sleep can lead to depression, it leads to a lowered immune system. So with homeschool, we can let our kids sleep when they need to. And I’m not saying that if you want to get your kids up at 7:00 AM and start school, that’s fine but that’s your option. That’s your privilege, that’s your freedom to decide how much sleep your kids need. And so, we run by our own clock in our own home, not somebody else’s. So, just the beauty of not having to get my kids up, yelling and screaming at them to get dressed, hurry up, and shove food down them and get them out the door when they’re exhausted. That can take a toll on a child’s health.

The other thing that just is brand new to me and you’ll relate to this, is when kids hit that pre-puberty, their whole circadian rhythm changes, like all of the sudden, they’re staying up later and they’re sleeping in. And I didn’t see it coming. All of a sudden, I have a daughter that’s entering into that and she’s up later. And it’s not that she’s just trying to be up later like her body is, it’s just her whole rhythm is different. That’s a scientific thing that happens when you’re going through those pre-puberty. So, again, we can let our kids sleep when they need to sleep according to their body and their season and when they are. When kids aren’t tired, they learn better.

And that’s something I saw as a public school teacher. I would have kids that were so exhausted, little teeny tiny five-year-olds coming in so tired because they didn’t get a nap because now we’re doing full-day kindergarten in most states. These kids were so tired and then we expected them to learn. And that just doesn’t… That’s not healthy. So the beauty of homeschooling, one of the blessings is that physically, it’s so much healthier.

Yvette:             Yeah. And not just kids but for mom too. You know, mom having to get up early to get her kids up and ready and out of the house and fulfill all those responsibilities. Then mom is tired, and we talked in the last episode about marriage when mom’s having to get up and she’s exhausted from the day. By the time her husband’s home and kids are in bed and now it’s finally time for you and your husband to spend time together.

Aby:                 Yes.

Yvette:             You’re exhausted and you want nothing to do but sleep. And that’s not healthy. That’s not healthy for your marriage. It’s not healthy for your kids. It’s not healthy for mom. And so, I mean, there are often days with us where Garritt or I or our girls will just say we just need a nap today. And it doesn’t happen often. But sometimes, I’ll just say, “I really need to sleep. I can’t even focus on what I need to do right now. I’m going to go just take a power nap.” I’m good at power-napping. I can take a 20-minute power nap and be refreshed for the rest of the day. Not all of my family members can do that but I love the benefit of being able to do that. And my girls, every once in a while they do that too. Lacey, my little one, we call her the Energizer bunny because she requires so little sleep. We don’t know how she does it but that girl, I feel like she could be one of those adults who can survive off of four hours of sleep at night. I don’t know.

Aby:                 She’ll handle newborns well.

Yvette:             She will. I mean, from the time she was about, I think, a little older than two, she didn’t even nap anymore. Because if she did, she wouldn’t go to bed till 11 or 12 o’clock at night. She just does not require a lot of sleep but many do.

Aby:                 But many kids need a lot more than the average kid, too.

Yvette:             They do, yep.

Aby:                 Again, when we try to fit all the kids in the same box, well, every kid has to be up at the same time to make the bus at the same time. And we’re doing this herd thing where I don’t care if you need more sleep or less sleep, you’re going to get the average amount of sleep that everybody gets because the bus hits it this time.

Also, when kids are sick, I saw so many times, moms bring kids to school sick because they couldn’t stay home from work. And then they would be sick week after week because they never got the rest they needed for their body to heal.

Yvette:             Sure, they couldn’t fully recover.

Aby:                 They couldn’t. So again, when you can just rest, when you can just say, “You don’t have to do school today because you’re sick.” And our kids are healthier, they can heal faster. Their bodies can do what God designed their bodies to do.

Yvette:             Yeah, that’s great.

Aby:                 And another physical health benefit is… Can you tell I’m passionate about when it comes to kids’ health?

Yvette:             Yes, I love it.

Aby:                 Is food. I think, I look at an adult schedule, we all get hour lunch breaks. Well, those that work outside the home. I just can eat all day.

Yvette:             Right.

Aby:                 But most adults in settings an hour lunch break and we’re giving kids 20-minute lunches. The average lunch in an American school is a 20-minute lunch. And those kids are so amped to get up and out of there to the playground that most of them aren’t even eating their whole lunch because they want to get out the door. So they’re eating too fast. And again, when you look at the medical side of things, it is eating too fast, has been linked to high blood pressure, cardiovascular problems. And actually, not getting enough food that you actually need nutrient-wise because you’re just shoving it in and your body isn’t being able to balance what you’re eating. This is what we’re setting. We’re setting these habits in our kids at such a young age that are going to stick to them through a lifetime. And food choices too. Even just what the kids are eating when they’re rushed out the door and hurry up and grab.

So, there’s just so many health, just physical health benefits that are secondary reasons, secondary benefits to homeschool when we… Not the reason to homeschool, the reason to homeschool because God has called us to, but these are benefits that come with it.

Yvette:             That’s right.

Aby:                 So, also physically, ADHD symptoms drop and that’s an incredible one. ADHD is through the roof now and it’s growing every single year. But you’re finding that, this is really interesting. Early childhood school enrollment is a primary culprit with the ADHD diagnosis epidemic. The earlier kids are registered for school or in schools, the younger the age, the higher rates of ADHD. And that’s really interesting. So, we now have all-day public kindergarten. You’re in kindergarten all day and now we’re taking it down to preschool. So right now, putting kids in at four years old.

Yvette:             Oh, they’re just babies.

Aby:                 They’re babies and the rates of ADHD, which really, just a kid, a four-year-old can’t sit still all day, anyway. Just, their bodies aren’t made to do that.

Yvette:             No.

Aby:                 So, the ADHD symptoms drop when kids can get outside, and we talked about that before, when we play outside. And so that’s a benefit. This is interesting, I’m just going to read this. A Harvard study found that in states with a September 1st enrollment age cutoff, children who entered school after just turning five were 30% more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD than children born later about to turn six.

Yvette:             Wow.

Aby:                 So, that’s a 30% increase.

Yvette:             That’s huge.

“I can’t stand to sit all day. It drives me crazy. I mean, I have to get up every now and then. If I’m sitting and working and doing stuff at the table, I have to get up every probably 30 minutes at least and just move my body. I need to grab a snack, go outside, and get some fresh air or something. And no one is made to sit all day, every day at a desk and have to focus on what it is that you’re supposed to focus on.”

Aby:                 With putting these little tiny ones in school. So, obviously we see with a lot of this, and I’m not negating ADHD. I’m saying that there are ways to help that and some of these studies show that immaturity is really the real factor, not pathology. So, that’s a huge benefit that we have. If our kids aren’t ready to sit all day, that’s okay. We don’t have to make them sit all day. We have the freedom to change that up.

Yvette:             Sure. And it’s not just the preschool kids who aren’t ready to sit all day.

Aby:                 If you had a teenage boy, just look at them.

Yvette:             It’s all kids, even me. And I’m not a super… I’m an outgoing person but I’m not a super crazy high-energy person. But I can’t stand to sit all day. It drives me crazy. I mean, I have to get up every now and then. If I’m sitting and working and doing stuff at the table, I have to get up every probably 30 minutes at least and just move my body. I need to grab a snack, go outside, and get some fresh air or something. And no one is made to sit all day, every day at a desk and have to focus on what it is that you’re supposed to focus on.

Aby:                 No, it’s not healthy. It’s not healthy. So, those are some of the physical benefits. And then, the mental benefits are absolutely incredible. So, adolescent anxiety, depression, and suicide declines during summer when they look at the statistics. So all those things go down in the summer. It’s different for adults and I’m not sure why but when they study adolescents, then they find that those things spike right at back-to-school time. So that seems pretty obvious. Suicide has more than doubled since 2007. Then we’re just… The more the testing, the more the requirements. But I just find it very interesting that all those symptoms go away in the summer and then they spike back up when it’s time to go to school. And that’s pretty obvious. So, a Boston college psychology professor that writes frequently about the problems with this other kind of schooling looked at the statistics and stated that the available evidence suggests quite strongly that school is bad for children’s health. That kind of blew my mind but psychologists are saying this isn’t a place where kids are going to mentally thrive in, in that health department.

Yvette:             And when he says school, he’s talking about sitting in a classroom all day. He’s not talking about academics, of course.

Aby:                 Not academics. No, no, no, no, no. Although sometimes trying to teach subtraction makes me lose my mental health but that’s not what he was talking about.

Also, fear is eliminated. Because when kids are home with mama that loves them and they’re safe and they don’t have to fear the bullying that goes on. There’s, again, an epidemic of bullying going on in our schools. The programs, when I was just stepping out of the school, a huge part of our days were spent with an anti-bullying program that was being put in because bullying is such a problem. Safety, drugs, the temptations that are out there that kids have to battle every day. I was a public school high-schooler, and the temptations that I faced every day just caused severe depression in me. I stood for my faith. I was able to stand for my faith but it just was a pressure that I wasn’t mature enough to handle. And so, kids are dealing with that every day. Constantly having to perform for someone else’s standards. That is a lot of pressure on kids and that leads to depression and anxiety.

Anxiety in teens is higher than it’s ever been. Because these kids are having to perform at a standard that is a generalized standard that they don’t necessarily fit into and it does make sense because when we remove God’s design and plan, we end up with these things like depression. Because the Bible tells us that the joy of the Lord is my strength. And so when I’m sent into a place every day where, well, God is there but where I’m not allowed to be taught about God or speak of God or see God or do things God’s way, then it’s not going to be a joy-filled place. When you remove the Lord from the school, you’re also removing joy and strength.

Yvette:             Sure. Sure, it’s a very dark place to be.

Aby:                 It’s a very dark, a very dark place. And I know because I was there. And the other thing that you just did an awesome podcast with Heidi St. John, which was amazing. You guys spoke about something that really hit me about how when we educate kids collectively as opposed to individually. And when we’re not able to educate the independent, individual child, which is the child that God created to be unique with a purpose and a plan, with unique interests, with unique strengths. When we have to educate kids as a collective, we’re kind of forcing them into this peer-pressure situation. And I got to thinking about that when I was listening to you and Heidi speak, where we’re kind of telling kids, “You have to be like everybody else. You need to have the same scores as everybody else. You need to learn the same thing as everybody else.”

And then, that carries over with kids too. “Okay, well then I need to dress like everybody else and act like everybody else and talk like everybody else and have the same gifts and talents as everybody else and the same hobbies.” We’re kind of shoving our kids into this state of peer pressure. And then, we’re acting confused as to why there’s all this peer pressure yet these kids that were trying to be a part of the collective that we’re forcing them into, they have a unique independence inside of them because God made them that way. Because whether they’re believers or not, they’re still created in God’s image.

So, then they have this battle of, “I want to be independent and I want to fight for my independence, but I need to be a part of this collective and fit in.” And you see these teens and it’s just like extreme mental anguish that they want to stand out and be unique. So they’re going to do these extreme things to be noticed. But then they want to be a part of the crowd and fit in. And it’s an unhealthy thing that you don’t really see elsewhere besides this setting. So they vacillate and that leads to depression and anxiety and bullying and a lot of these social issues that we see because we’re setting up this artificial setting for kids to try to be socialized in.

Yvette:             Sure, sure. Which you can also see that sometimes in the church and in youth group and homeschool co-ops, things like that.

Aby:                 It’s part of our nature.

Yvette:             It is part of our nature but at the same time, it’s different when they’re not faced with it all day, every day for 40 hours a week.

Aby:                 Yes. Yeah, that’s for sure. And the thing is, homeschool is not a savior and that’s not what we’re saying but God’s way is. Doing things God’s way will lead to a much better outcome. So, we want our kids to be able to embrace their uniqueness.

Yvette:             Yep, that’s right.

Aby:                 The Bible, we’re told in Corinthians 12 that we’re a body created all different with different unique traits and different talents. Yet we are part of the body. So, we are created unique but we are all being part of this collective. But if you do that void of God, which is what’s happening, we end up with a terrible mess. Because anything we do, void of God, no matter how natural it is, it ends up being a mess because it’s void of the one that designed it.

Yvette:             That’s right.

Aby:                 Anyway. And so I guess lastly, this is a big one. What’s the number one thing people ask you about homeschool? The big “S word”.

Yvette:             Oh, socialization for sure.

Aby:                 Socialization. What about socialization?

Yvette:             Awkward unsocialized homeschoolers.

Aby:                 Right? Totally. Which all you have to do is go hang out with them. So the definition of socialization, I love, it’s the process beginning during childhood by which individuals acquire the values, habits, and attitudes of those they’re being socialized by. So that’s the habit, the values, and the attitudes. You can be socialized anywhere by anyone. You’re just getting the attitudes, the habits, and the values from those people.

So, my husband was in law enforcement previously and he always said, “The closest thing that we have in our society that looks like the school system as far as socialization goes is the prison system, incarceration.” And he worked in the prison system. We segregate these people in the prison system based on… They have parameters. They can eat when they’re told to eat, they can socialize when they’re told to socialize. But they can only socialize with a certain set of people that are in the same pod they are, right? And they have to move as a group where they’re allowed. So it’s interesting that that social setting is very similar to what we see in the schools.

And so a blessing with homeschool, one of the secondary advantage when we seek first God’s way is that our kids can be socialized anywhere and with all ages and it’s a more natural way because they’re interacting with people of different socioeconomic status, people of different ages, people of different class. It’s a much more natural way, which leads to kids having, we’re talking about health, a healthier way of socializing.

Yvette:             Yeah, that’s right. One of my favorite answers when people ask about socialization and “Don’t they need to be in school so that they can socialize?” is, “Okay, well, tell me exactly which character trait you want my child to emulate of those kids who are in the public school system because pretty much none of them.” And I’m not saying there aren’t great kids in the public school system. There certainly are. And in private school as well, there are many, many great kids. But overall, I’ve seen those kids. You’ve seen those kids, you see them when you go in public anywhere. You go to the mall or Walmart or anywhere. Why would I want my child to emulate that? And you don’t see a lot of godliness going on, at least not a lot of godly examples happening in the public school system.

So, that is not where we want our children to be in order to be socialized. I will say on that point though, that even today, we have seen that there are homeschool parents who are so afraid of the world out there that they really still continue to keep their children isolated at home. And I don’t think that that’s healthy. Parents need to have their children out there. But one of the great benefits of homeschooling is, in a sense, we often get to choose our kids’ friends and at least we can better direct who they’re going to be spending their time with.

So if you’re part of a co-op or if you’re a part of your church youth group or their sports teams or whatever it is that they’re part of, you can really encourage them because you get to know their friends better and you’re around them more. And so you have a whole lot more control over it. Not full control, of course. And especially as they get older, they’re going to hang out with kids who maybe you don’t know as well. But I don’t think isolating our kids from other children is healthy for them.

Aby:                 No. And that’s not seeking. We’re going back to our whole point is seek first the kingdom of God. So, if you’re homeschooling because you’re afraid of what’s out there then you’re not seeking first the kingdom of God. And if you’re homeschooling because you don’t want your kids to be exposed to certain things, which granted we don’t. But if that’s your primary then that’s not seeking first the kingdom of God. So when we seek first the kingdom of God, we’re not afraid of those things. But just because I don’t fear it doesn’t mean I want that to be the primary influence in my child’s life.

So, we seek first the kingdom of God and all these other things. God will guide us and direct us. And, again, we’re not saying that kids in the public… I was a public school system child and I love God with all my heart and I had to overcome a lot of things. We’re not saying that homeschool is the save-all end-all. Because if we were saying that then we wouldn’t be seeking first the kingdom of God. We’d be seeking first homeschool. And that’s not the message that we or Schoolhouse Rocked or anyone that follows Jesus wants to send.

But we do know that when we seek first the kingdom of God that all these other things will be given to us and he gives us discernment and he gives us wisdom. He gives us clear instruction in his book as to how to do these things. So, it only makes sense that when we remove God from the way, from a huge chunk of our kids’ days that we are going to be seeing so many of these social issues, so many of these health issues, so many of these academic issues. Because we’re separating our children’s daily life and God. And that’s not how it’s supposed to be. Those two things are supposed to go together. So seek first the kingdom of God and then all these other things.

Yvette:             And his righteousness.

Aby:                 And his righteousness and you can kind of chill out on the rest of the stuff. It’s just going to naturally happen.

Yvette:             Yes.

Aby:                 That health will naturally come. You’re naturally going to let your kids sleep in if you’re a sane woman.

Yvette:             Because you’re going to want to sleep in yourself.

Aby:                 Exactly.

Yvette:             Yes. Oh, and there are so, so many other benefits to homeschooling and I would encourage those moms who are still… Maybe they need some encouragement. Maybe they haven’t started homeschooling yet and they’re thinking about it. Maybe there are those moms who are just exhausted. Find a seasoned homeschool mom and just ask her, “What are some of the benefits?” And ask, “What are some of the things that you would have done differently?” And that’s really one of the reasons why we have the podcast is because we want to bring on moms who will encourage the homeschool community and just say, “Just keep at it.” There’s so many benefits to having your kids at home and discipling their hearts and training them and working through the relationships, working through the academics, working through the character training, working through those life skills that we’re trying to instill into our children.

And find a mom who will walk alongside you. Don’t do it on Facebook. You and I talked about that. No, I should… There is some good encouragement on Facebook but I feel like the further we go with social media, the more detrimental it has become. And one of my favorite things is, well, I shouldn’t say my favorite things. One of the most annoying things to me is when you’ll pop onto one of the Facebook homeschool pages and it’ll say, oh, what did they say? Not homeschool related but, “Can you please tell about?” Well, shouldn’t there be another page for that? I feel like these homeschool pages should really be just that. They should be for encouraging homeschool families. And I’m not saying you shouldn’t talk about anything because, I guess, homeschool related is life. Homeschooling is life for those who do, are part of their life for those who do it. But anyway, it seems like everything, people talk about it.

Aby:                 Totally, and we can fall into that same trap even amongst homeschool moms of comparing our kids and forgetting that God made our kids individuals. So it’s going to look different in my home than it is in yours. And we need to guard ourselves because that’s our human nature. I mean, our human nature is our human nature, whether we’re in one setting versus another setting. So we just need to guard ourselves and keep going back to, “Am I seeking first what God wants from me as a wife, as a mom, as a woman, as a homeschool teacher?” And if I’m seeking first God then I don’t need to get hung up on, “Hey, all you other moms, how would you handle this?” I can seek God and then he will guide and direct me to women who are truly going to give me wisdom, not just opinions. Yes. That is good cautionary. Don’t just throw it all out there because it’s a little overwhelming when you get 50 responses and they’re all different. So, seek God first and then ask discernment and where to seek second.

Yvette:             Sure. That’s right. That’s right. And there’s a lot of good encouragement on there, I should say. So, I’m not trying to devalue everything that’s said on social media. A lot of people have a good heart and they really want to help those. But I’m just saying, not everything that you see on there is worth taking to heart.

Aby:                 Yeah. Just be cautious and discerning.

Yvette:             Yeah, that’s right.

Aby:                 And remember that if God’s called you to do it, he’s going to equip you to do it. It doesn’t matter how anybody else is doing it. And it doesn’t matter how you feel on one day versus another. He will give you everything you need for what he’s called you to do. And you will see all the blessings flow from there.

Yvette:             Yeah, that is right. Well, I feel like we could talk about this forever but we are out of time for the show. So, Aby, thank you again for coming on. You are such a huge blessing to me, to my family, and to our listeners. So thank you for your time and just for all the research that you put into this episode. I love listening to the things that the Lord has shown to you.

Aby:                 Well, thank you. Thank you. We’re in it together. We’re all in it together.

Yvette:             That’s right. That’s right. The body of Christ working together.

Read more from Aby Rinella at CalledToTheTop.com and on the Schoolhouse Rocked blog.

Photo by Mike Scheid on Unsplash