“Help, I’m not a teacher! How can I homeschool my kids?”

Help. I'm not a teacher title

“We are new to homeschooling and I’m very excited, but also nervous because I’m not a trained teacher.”

Recently, Yvette Hampton sat down with Aby Rinella to do a homeschool Q&A session. Read on to learn how you can be equipped to teach without being a professional teacher and what the differences are between homeschooling and merely doing “regular school” at home.

Yvette Hampton:           This question says, “We are new to homeschooling and I’m very excited, but also nervous because I’m not a trained teacher. I’m struggling to understand what homeschool should look like for our family. I assumed it was recreating regular school at home, but now I’m figuring out that it doesn’t work that way. Please help.” I love this question so much. I’m going to let you answer this one first because you are a trained teacher, Aby.

Aby Rinella:                       Okay. I want to say you are blessed that you are not a trained teacher. Not being a trained teacher is going to make your homeschool that much better. I am a trained teacher and it has taken me years to shake that, to unlearn all of the things that don’t work in a home. So, I get so sad when I hear people say, “I’m not a trained teacher.” And I want to give them a high five and say, then you’re 10 steps ahead of me because your home should not look like a public school. That’s the whole reason you brought your kids home: the public school isn’t working. It’s not working for what we want for our children.

Aby Rinella:                       So, it says you’re recreating a public school at home. I would say that the worst thing you can do, as a homeschool mom, is to try to make your home look like a public school. Don’t do it! Throw that out, get rid of that. It’s really hard for some of us that were raised in public school because we’ve been programmed to think that way. But listen to this podcast, go back and listen to old ones because we talk about how it shouldn’t look like that. You were created to train and teach your children up in the Lord. And nowhere in the Bible does it say it takes a degree to do that. It says it takes a love for your child, and a reverence for God, and pointing your children to Him. You are fully equipped to do this job because God equipped you to do this job.

Aby Rinella:                       I remember I said this on another episode; when we bring a baby home from the hospital, and we’ve never had one, and the hospital hands us that blue nose sucker thing. And we’re like, “I’m not equipped to keep this baby alive. And you’re handing me a blue nose sucker and I’m supposed to …,” and we felt so ill-equipped, but we weren’t. God gave us what we need. And he’s going to give you what you need as a homeschool mom. Just don’t think that it needs to look like school. It doesn’t. It needs to look like your family teaching and training your children.

Listen to this whole conversation on The Schoolhouse Rocked Podcast. During this conversation Aby and Yvette answer several more important questions about homeschooling.

Aby Rinella:                       So, I mean, it would take us hours to sit and talk about how exactly that would look. But the first step is to get rid of it. And I’ve heard people even say that you take a year, or a semester, or even a month just to decompress, and set up your home life again. And reconnect with one another, and dump the school system ideal that is not an ideal. And take some time to just come back home, and be with your kids, and then start into what school looks like. You need to get rid of the old before you can start the new.

Yvette Hampton:              Yeah, I agree completely. And everybody’s homeschool looks different. It depends on so many things. And kind of back to the last question, find people who can walk alongside you, who have done this before, who can mentor you, and help you figure out how it can work best for your family. The first year is going to be a mess. And the second year is going to be a mess, but it’ll be a little bit less of a mess. And the third year is going to be less of a mess than the second year. So, take baby steps here.

Yvette Hampton:              Let me just explain one thing, don’t start everything all at the same time. Don’t jump into day one, or week one, and try to do every single subject, and think you’re going to do it well. Do one thing at a time. I highly recommend starting with a morning basket. We’ve talked quite extensively about that. We did a podcast quite some time ago with Pam Barnhill. And, as a matter of fact, for Homegrown Generation, we talked about morning basket as well. So, you can go back. For only $10, you can have the entire 2020 Homegrown Generation family expo at your fingertips. But you can go and listen to Pam’s session on that.

Yvette Hampton:              And morning basket, basically, is we literally in our family have a basket, and we have just different books in there. We always have a book that we’re reading. Right now, we’re reading Anne of Green Gables. Have you read that before Aby?

Aby Rinella:                       Yes.

Yvette Hampton:              I have never ever in my whole life read Anne of Green Gables. I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I’ve been living under a rock.

Aby Rinella:                       But you probably watched the movie they ruined.

Yvette Hampton:              No, I never have even watched the movie. But I am loving this book. And so, are my girls. I mean, we get to the end of a chapter, they’re like, “One more.” And we have the whole series, I’ve seriously had this series for probably six years.

Aby Rinella:                       Wow.

Yvette Hampton:              And I just now picked it. I mean, we have a lot of books, but for whatever reason. Anyway, rabbit trail. So, we always have a book that we’re reading. We have a Heroes: Then and Now biography. We just got a new one that we’re going to start reading. And we have our Classical Conversations timeline cards, and we read one or two timeline cards a day. We have maps in there, so my girls can trace maps while I’m reading to them. We have other little kinds of brain games and things like that that they can do while I’m reading. We do our sword drills, which we talked about in the first part of our Q&A episode on Monday. So, we do sword drills and Bible study.

“I’m in my 10th year of homeschooling and we’re still taking kind of baby steps…”

Yvette Hampton

Yvette Hampton:              I mean, it can be anything you want it to be. But start with that. It just starts our day off on the right foot.

Aby Rinella:                       It brings you all together.

Yvette Hampton:              It does, and it’s not, “go to the table and let’s do math, and let’s do science and history.” Those things come into our day, of course, but it’s just such a refreshing way to start our time. And, I mean, I’m in my 10th year of homeschooling and we’re still taking kind of baby steps, and things. We’re just now next week going to start introducing some famous artists, and famous composers. And it doesn’t have to be a big study on it. We’re not going to make lap books about it. If you don’t know what a lap book is, just type it into Pinterest. I’ve never in my 10 years of homeschooling ever made a single lap book and we’ve survived all these years. But some people love lap books, and that’s great.

Trying to recreate the classroom in your home? Long-time public school teacher, Caleb Shroeder, shares the truth about the classroom and explains why he and his wife have chosen to homeschool.

Aby Rinella:                       And that’s the thing that sets you apart from what the school looks like. You do what works for you. In public school, you are trying to fit every kid into a box. In homeschool, you are teaching to your unique child that God gave you, which means you’re teaching at their pace. Not at the pace that’s in the box. You’re teaching to their gifts, to their talents, you’re teaching to their interests. You might have a kid who every year for the rest of his life bucks you on learning about a composer. And guess what? They don’t really have to. My guess is that child is not going to become a famous composer, and they’ll be just fine not learning about them.

Aby Rinella:                       So, just remember that you are not fitting your kid into a box like the public school. And that’s the difference; you’re teaching to a unique individual that God created on purpose for a purpose and gave to you. So, you’re already equipped.

Aby Rinella:                      There’s an amazing book that I get every new homeschool mom called Teaching from Rest by Sarah Mackenzie. And every mom should read it every fall. It just puts you back in that mindset of “we don’t need to be frantic about this.” We don’t need to be stressed. We don’t need to be overwhelmed.

Yvette Hampton:              Yeah, Teaching from Rest. That’s a great book. My favorite is The Unhurried Homeschooler by Durenda Wilson, which is very similar. And it’s a small book, an easy read. These are not books that you need to sit and stew over for hours and days. You can read these in a couple of hours.

Aby Rinella:                       Both of them, yeah. That’s what’s amazing.

Yvette Hampton:              And Teaching from Rest, I actually have the audiobook. I don’t even have the book, I just have the audiobook. So, I’ve only ever listened to it. But yes, it’s fantastic. So, just get those books because it will encourage you to know that you don’t have to do it all. Take baby steps.

Need more encouragement for your homeschool journey?

Check out our Homeschool Answers playlist on YouTube for other homeschool Q&A discussions.

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. FULL ACCESS to the 2020 Convention is now just $10!

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.

It’s Time to Take Action!

Join the Revolution!

We all want to be part of something BIG. We want to make a difference in the world and impact the lives of others. That’s why we see masses of people linking arms to make their voices heard about the things they believe in – both good and bad. And YOU have an opportunity to be part of something big (and good), too!

Four years ago, our family set out to produce a documentary called Schoolhouse Rocked: The Homeschool Revolution – a documentary that will show the world that homeschooling is good for families and vital to saving our great nation. It will debunk many of the misconceptions and negative stereotypes of homeschooling, as well as bring much-needed encouragement to the homeschool community.

We have worked tirelessly during this time and through much prayer and our commitment to serving the Lord, He has sustained us and built up the ministry greater than we ever could have imagined. The Schoolhouse Rocked Podcast just aired episode 189, people continue to be engaged and encouraged through the Homegrown Generation Family Expo, our social media outlets and newsletters and, most importantly, the movie is ALMOST DONE! We cannot wait for you to see it! As you know, the ministry of Schoolhouse Rocked is funded by donations from people like you, along with the help of a few faithful sponsors. But 2020 has been an incredibly difficult year. Like so many of you, we have faced serious financial hardships this year and have been operating with a large budget deficit.

We are constantly asked, “When is the movie going to be done?” and though it’s very close to completion, there are still a few important steps to take and a good sum of money to raise {about $50k} in order to get it into your hands. The call to action at the end of the movie is “Join the Revolution!”  because as parents, we are in an all-out war for the hearts and minds of our children.

YOU can Join the Revolution and be part of something BIG! You can be part of opening the eyes of parents all across the world and helping them to see the blessing and importance of home education. It’s no secret that our nation, actually the whole world, is at a critical crossroads in the fight for morality and freedom, and that fight begins at home, through educating of our children with Biblical truth.

As you think about your end-of-year giving, please pray about and consider supporting the Schoolhouse Rocked ministry through a tax-deductible donation and help us finish this important and timely film.

Thank you to those of you who continue to reach out to us with words of encouragement and financial support. It’s truly humbling and incredible to see the hand of God at work in the Schoolhouse Rocked ministry. We were never meant to do this alone and we are grateful for you! 

Soli Deo gloria!

Photo by Kid Circus on Unsplash

Coronavirus and Common Core: The Future (and Past) of Public Education

2020 has been a year of critical changes in education. Will virtual school and social distancing be the new normal? Will the millions of students who have begun homeschooling due to the COVID-19 pandemic continue as classroom learning returns to normal? Should they?

One of the major effects of millions of students doing public school at home is that the heart of public school education is being revealed to parents who are paying attention to their children’s Zoom lessons. At the same time, our culture has been in a state of upheaval, in near civil war, and the roots of this culture war have been nourished in the public schools. Now the truly radical nature of the indoctrination our public school students are receiving is coming to light.

Alex Newman recently talked with Yvette Hampton and Aby Rinella on The Schoolhouse Rocked about the true nature of what is being taught at public schools. Common Core, Marxism, statism, nihilism, atheism, evolution, the LGBT agenda: these are the philosophies that are central to public school indoctrination, and if we want to see our culture and our Constitutional Republic saved, we must reclaim the education of our children. Education is truly the key to saving our nation!

Alex, talk about the reality … and I’m not talking just about Common Core. Talk about the reality of the indoctrination that’s happening in the public school system right now. We have many friends back who are public school educators. These are people that we love, people that we’ve gone to church with, and they say, “No, our kids need to be salt and light in the public school. We need to have these Christian kids in there. They’re doing okay.” And for whatever reason, a lot of these parents are still not really seeing the full picture of the indoctrination that’s happening.

Can you talk about that and just bring it? I mean, I really want these parents to know the reality of what is happening to the minds of their children and why so many children … even if their children aren’t walking away from the faith … why it’s dangerous for kids, not just physically. I mean, of course we see that. My niece goes to a public school in Saugus, California and several months ago they had a school shooting. So physically, it’s not safe. But spiritually and emotionally, what is the damage that’s being done in these schools?

Alex Newman:              This is, I think, the most important question, and the data now is very clear. Dan Smithwick at the Nehemiah Institute has been studying this for quite some time, and what he’s found is that the overwhelming majority of Christian children from good Christian homes who spend 12 years in a government indoctrination center masquerading as a school are going to leave the faith. I mean, it’s up there in the 80% range. And that’s the kids who come from good Christian homes with two Christian parents whose parents take them to church. I mean, the data now is very clear. For my generation, millennials, a poll just came out late last year and 70% of millennials now describe themselves as socialists. This would have been unthinkable to earlier generations of Americans, that we would give up all our freedom, that we would give up our understanding of God and trade it in for this cheap fraud that is socialism, that always and everywhere results in death and misery and shortages and tyranny. I mean, it would have been unthinkable.

The reason this is happening is because of the indoctrination going on in the schools. Nowadays, it’s gotten so extreme, especially in California, but this is now a nationwide issue, in kindergarten, they’re telling children they might have been born in the wrong body and, “We won’t tell your parents if you want to wear a dress to school.” I mean, that’s the level we’re at. In California, now, they’ve got gender support plan and individual transition plan where they’ll start giving your kid hormones and puberty blockers to prepare them for genital mutilation. I mean, I can’t even believe I’m saying this, and yet this is the reality of what our children are going through now at the youngest possible ages in government schools. They’re being just saturated in this race mongering and the hatred of America and the hatred of Christianity.

Our kids are not safe in the public schools, folks. It’s that simple. We’ve got to get them out. And so, for people who really want the condensed version, we have produced a special issue of The New American all about education. You can get it in PDF for like 75 cents. If you want a physical copy, we have to mail you one. I think it costs like three bucks, and you can get 100 if you want to give it to your pastor and your neighbors. It’s an excellent tool, because we have Duke and Israel and great Americans who’ve worked on these things showing the problem and then the solution. So that’ll give you a really comprehensive overview of what’s happening and where this is going and how you can free yourself and protect your children.

“The idea that we would send our children into battle, alone, without us, where our enemy holds all the power, where the enemy holds all the commanding heights, and they’re the ones who are going to teach your children, I mean, it’s just unfathomable to me.”

Alex Newman

But I’ll just wrap it up by saying … People tell me all these different excuses. “Oh, I can’t afford to get my kids out.” You can’t afford not to get your kids out. When they come home, and they want to mutilate themselves and they’re suicidal and they’re taking heroin … I mean, I’ve seen this in my own family, in my own community. This is ubiquitous now. You can’t afford not to get your children out. And then the salt and light thing, “My kids are going to be salt and light.” Would you send your children into a war? Would you send your children off to go fight in Iraq or whatever? Of course, you wouldn’t. We know better than to send our children into armed conflict. And yet God tells us crystal clear … Go to Ephesians 6:12. We are in a spiritual war.

Yvette Hampton:           That’s right.

Alex Newman:              And if you don’t recognize that you’re in a spiritual war, you might be on the wrong side, so you probably better get up to speed. But we’re in a spiritual war right now. The idea that we would send our children into battle, alone, without us, where our enemy holds all the power, where the enemy holds all the commanding heights, and they’re the ones who are going to teach your children, I mean, it’s just unfathomable to me. I know a lot of Christians, they don’t want to think about it this way because, “Hey, we both have to work and we don’t have enough money.”

I tell people, “I would live in a cardboard box before I would send my children to a public school.” And I don’t mean that in a condescending way at all. Mom and Dad who you’ve got your kids in a public school, I’m not judging you. It’s just you don’t know these things because your pastor hasn’t told you and the fake media hasn’t told you. So now I’m telling you because I love you and because I love your kids and I don’t want them to be destroyed. I don’t want them to be brainwashed. I don’t want them to turn against you and turn against your church and turn against our country.

I think, frankly, the only solution … If you go with the title of this show … the only way we’re going to be able to save our freedoms, our nation, our families, our churches, absent just straight divine intervention and God just comes down and fixes it all for us, is going to be to get our children out of the public schools and to make sure they’re getting a good, godly, Christ-centered education either in our homeschools or in a good Christian school if for whatever reason you absolutely can’t homeschool. But parents, you have no higher responsibility to your children than to make sure they’re getting a good education in the things of God, and that’s on you, folks. That’s on you.

Recommended Resources:

Alex Newman – Rescuing our Children Video

Rescuing our Children Special Report

https://www.theepochtimes.com/author-alex-newman

libertysentinel.org

Crimes of the Educators: How Utopians Are Using Government Schools to Destroy America’s Children, by Samuel L. Blumenfeld and Alex Newman

Why Johnny Still Can’t Read: A New Look at the Scandal of Our Schools, by Rudolf Franz Flesch 

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.

Not homeschooling yet, but considering it? Read about why we homeschool here.

Photo by kyo azuma on Unsplash

How Do I Make Sure my Advanced Reader is Really Learning?

It’s time for the next installment of our homeschool Q&A discussion with Yvette Hampton and Aby Rinella! Today’s conversation discusses what is important for your child’s reading development and offers some helpful resources for those who are trying to find age-appropriate material for their advanced reader.

Yvette Hampton: We are back, and we have a mom asking for advanced reading help. She says, “My now-second-grader is reading chapters and I want to continue to make sure she’s deciphering the words properly. She’s comprehending what she is reading, so I’m thankful for that.” You want to jump on this one, Aby?

Aby Rinella: As long as she’s comprehending what she reads, you’re good to go there. As far as deciphering words, let me just tell you a story. I mispronounced the word argue until two years ago because I only ever read it. In my mind, the G was silent. And nobody in my entire life was kind and loving enough to say, “The G is not silent.” Like, why would someone not tell you that?

Yvette Hampton: Oh, my goodness. [chuckle] Oh, I love it.

Aby Rinella: I don’t even understand why everyone was silent. It’s like, are we so afraid of offending people?

Yvette Hampton: Did you have a lot of arguments?

Aby Rinella: I “arue” a lot. And now I argue. Anyway.

Yvette Hampton: Oh, dear. But we need to just need to move on because that’s way too funny, Aby.

Resources for Advanced Readers

Aby Rinella: Okay, sorry, so she may stumble, but she’ll get it eventually. Additionally, I would say get audio books, she can listen and follow along as she reads. Also, have her read aloud to you, so you can actually hear. Reading out loud to her constantly would be helpful, too. Read-alouds are really great to help her get those words. 

Yvette Hampton: Yeah, love it. And if you’re looking for good books for her to read or to listen to, check out Honey For A Child’s Heart and Books Children Love.

Aby Rinella: Those are really good; often with advanced readers, parents get into a place where the content that is advanced enough for their children is too mature. So even though they can read it, and even if they can comprehend it, if the content is beyond what you want them to be reading, that isn’t healthy. So with these resources that we gave you, you can feel safe knowing that all of those books are safe for your child to read.

Yvette Hampton: Yes. And I want to say one more thing on this, don’t always assume that because a child is advanced now, that they’re always going to be advanced. Sometimes we get that in our minds thinking, “Well, she’s in second grade and she’s reading at a fifth-grade level. So, when she’s in third grade, she’s… ” I think that’s setting yourself and her up for disappointment. And it could be, she could soar and always be way ahead of her grade level, but that doesn’t always happen. She may just pause where she is for a while, and that’s perfectly fine; just let her go with it. She’ll grow naturally into her ability to read.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels

How Can I Get a Homeschooling Mentor?

Older and younger woman cooking together

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

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

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

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

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

Aby Rinella: Absolutely.

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

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

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

Aby Rinella: Okay, okay.

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

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

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

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

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

Aby Rinella: Right.

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

Aby Rinella: Right.

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

Aby Rinella: Exactly.

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

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

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

Aby Rinella: Yes.

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

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

Yvette Hampton: Yes.

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

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.

COVID-19 – Homeschooling during Coronavirus School Closures

With schools across the country closing due to the Coronavirus pandemic, many families are finding themselves unexpectedly and unwillingly homeschooling for the first time. While this turn of events may have come as a surprise to you, we (the homeschool community) would like to welcome you, no matter how long you are with us. We would also like to put your minds at ease. You really can teach your children at home and no, you won’t actually go crazy spending the whole day with them! Hopefully, during this unexpected period of homeschool exploration, you will find that you actually enjoy the time with your children and that it can be really beneficial to have them at home with you. We also want you to know that many (maybe most) of us were once reluctant homeschoolers too.

As for my family, we said we would NEVER homeschool our children, yet here we are in our ninth year of formal homeschooling. Not only are we homeschooling, but we LOVE it and now, we would have it no other way. In fact, we have dedicated every minute of our professional lives and most of our personal efforts, over the past three years, to spreading the message that homeschooling is good for students, good for families, and good for culture (this is true whether you are in Wuhan, China; Spain, Germany, France, Ireland, Britain, or the United States).

As you dip your feet into the homeschooling waters, if even just to occupy your kids while they’re home, I want to give you some encouragement and advice, and provide you with some helpful resources.

There’s a Revolution Transforming Education and it’s NOT Happening in the Classroom!

First things first, you don’t have to be a formally trained teacher to homeschool your children and yes, homeschooling is legal in your state. If you are considering keeping your children home after the Coronavirus scare has passed, the first thing you should do is check our “Homeschooling in Your State” resources. If you have specific questions about how to get started, what the homeschooling laws are in your state, how to formally withdraw your children from school, or what the requirements are to homeschool legally in your state, you should contact HSLDA (the Home School Legal Defense Association) and get in touch with your state homeschool organization. They will point you in the right direction, and HSLDA can help if you get any pushback from the school when you declare your intent to homeschool your children. Because we know that citizens are on lockdown in several countries, if you are outside of the United States, please visit this link to learn about homeschooling in your country.

Next, there are great resources available for educating your children at home! Because home education has become so common, there are several excellent curriculum choices for every subject. At Schoolhouse Rocked, we work with some of the very best homeschool curriculum providers, co-ops, and support organizations. Please take a minute to check out the companies represented hereherehere, and here. Within those links you will find everything you need to provide your children with a top-notch academic experience at home. Just remember, home education isn’t just about academics. It’s about relationship, about training the hearts of our children, about allowing our children to explore the world and enjoy the outdoors, and about preparing our children for success as adults and into eternity. It’s also about nurturing a love of learning in our children that will last throughout their lives.

Because we all hope this trial will end as quickly as it began, I would like you to consider a few things before you send your children back to school and go on as if the coronavirus pandemic never happened. 

First, there are great reasons to homeschool, especially if you start with the end in mind. Realize that home education is about so much more than teaching our children, it is about growing healthy, well-prepared adults. While homeschooling won’t be easy, it will be oh so worth it! Not only does homeschooling allow us to nurture beautiful relationships with our children, and between siblings, and to transfer our values to them, but homeschooling also produces excellent academic results and colleges and employers are actively recruiting homeschooled students because they have proven to be ahead of their public-schooled peers.

Next, realize that homeschooling won’t (and shouldn’t) look like school at home. Homeschooling gives you the opportunity to custom fit academics, virtue training, worldview training, discipleship, and work and business training to the individual needs and gifts of your children. Homeschooling gives you the freedom to make school work for YOUR family. Homeschooling gives you the freedom to integrate school into every aspect of life!

Finally, understand that education isn’t neutral. All education is worldview training. All education is discipleship. All education is indoctrination. The only questions are “what worldview are students being indoctrinated into?” “who is discipling our children?” and “to what end?” While many want to believe that public schools are neutral, or that purely secular schools are not religious, you must realize that public schools are the most effective religious organizations in the world. Parents send their children to public schools to be discipled in the religion of secular humanism for 13 or more years (kindergarten to 12th grade), and schools are very effective at making dedicated disciples of this worldview. Some of the markers of this worldview are a committed belief in evolution and a dedication to multiculturalism. 

As public schools advance this secular humanist worldview, we are seeing an increasing push for radical Comprehensive Sex Education (CSE) and pro-LGBT instruction, and opting out of CSE isn’t an optionPlanned parenthood and national pro-LGBT organizations are taking the lead in in advancing this instruction in schools and districts across the country – and yes, it’s in your state right now.

If the secular humanism and radical Sex Ed weren’t enough, we have come to a place in our history where we have an openly Socialist candidate for president. This would have been unthinkable just a few years ago, yet here we are. But we shouldn’t be surprised. In addition to the secular humanism (a cornerstone of communism) and radical and dangerous sexuality being taught for several decades now, the public schools have distorted history and taught students to reject the Constitution, denounce American exceptionalism, demand “democracy” while ignoring that we have a representative republican form of government, and now openly embrace socialism as “fair.” We are getting exactly what we ordered. The original aims of the founders of modern public education, John Dewey and Horace Mann, have come to pass.

If you are going to send your children off to around 16,000 hours of indoctrination in the religion of secular humanism (otherwise known as atheism, materialism, or irreligion), in anti-family, pro-LGBT philosophy, and in socialism, don’t be surprised when your children embrace and endorse all of these ideals when they graduate. When you drop your children off at school and entrust their training to the “experts” there, you give up your ability to direct their education and to train their hearts. You also turn over your parental authority and significant legal rights (see In Loco Parentis). At the very least, if you have no choice but to send your children to public school, please KNOW what they are being taught, then actively work to teach them the TRUTH. In practice, this will look a lot like homeschooling, so you may just want to keep at it.

If you are interested in why our family homeschools, please take a few minutes to read this article. This is why we homeschool.

If you want to learn more about homeschooling, please join us for the Homegrown Generation Family Expo. Registration gives you immediate access to over 35 hours of practical homeschooling instruction and encouragement, and a wealth of free home education resources. Additionally, new sessions are added regularly and attendees have the opportunity to interact live with the speakers and post questions in the private Homegrown Generation Facebook Group. This is a great way to get all of your homeschool questions answered.

Want to learn more about homeschooling? Watch this full session from the Homegrown Generation Family Expo. Register for lifetime access to all of the content from this online homeschool conference at HomegrownGeneration.com

Recommended Resources:

Free Language Arts Lessons from IEW (Institute for Excellence in Writing)

Getting Started in Homeschooling – With Israel Wayne

The Benefits of Homeschooling – Aby Rinella

Why Homeschool? – Aby Rinella

Answers for Homeschool Critics, Why Homeschool – Israel Wayne

The Who, Why, and How of Homeschooling, with Aby Rinella, Karen DeBeus, and Yvette Hampton

The Benefits of Homeschooling – Aby Rinella

 

Photo by Ani Kolleshi on Unsplash

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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A Solid Foundation

“You talked about math. Where do these invisible laws of mathematics come from and why don’t they randomly change? They come from the mind of God, and they don’t change because God doesn’t change. Laws of nature. The whole reason we can do science to begin with is we have laws of nature that are, they’re not tangible, but they don’t change. They’re consistent every time and that’s why you can do an experiment today and tomorrow and get the same results if you do it the same way. Well that’s only possible because God made not only the tangible world, but the non-tangible world. He made the laws of nature. He holds them together so they don’t randomly change. They reflect Him. And so the only reason you can do science to begin with is because God is real and the Bible’s true. And you can point out all of that when you’re teaching it from a Biblical perspective.” – Bryan Osborne, Answers in Genesis

Listen to Bryan Osborne on The Schoolhouse Rocked Podcast

Bryan Osborne is a well-respected speaker, author, and curriculum specialist for Answers in Genesis. He holds a master’s degree in education and taught Bible history in a public school for 13 years. He has been teaching Christians to defend their faith for nearly 20 years.We had the privilege of interviewing Bryan for Schoolhouse Rocked, at the Creation Museum, and that interview was one that dramatically shaped the direction of the rest of the film. We can’t wait for you to see his contribution when the film is released, but in the meantime we were able to interview him for The Schoolhouse Rocked Podcast and we know you will be encouraged by his insights into education, Biblical worldview, and discipleship.

Yvette Hampton:           Brian, welcome to The Schoolhouse Rocked Podcast.

Bryan Osborne:             It’s really good to be here with you. It’s so good to catch with you and hear what God is doing with Schoolhouse Rocked.

As you mentioned, God has blessed me to be a part of Answers in Genesis. For about the last five years I’ve traveled over the US speaking at multiple churches, a lot of different conferences, equipping Christians to defend the faith, to defend Biblical authority where it’s being attacked today at a real level, and then to proclaim the Gospel. That’s really the heartbeat of AIG. We are not about winning an argument or debate, but about defending Biblical authority and to proclaim the Gospel. That’s our heartbeat. And so I’ve got a chance, a great privilege to travel a lot across the US and actually to different places as well outside the US and to see what’s happening over there in places like New Zealand or Africa or Malaysia or Japan and the fellowship of believers over there to see how God is working, to see how God’s Word’s being attacked in different ways in different places, and how really literally Christians all over the world need to be ready to stand on God’s Word, to defend the faith, and to proclaim the Gospel.

Backstage Pass Members can watch Bryan Osborne’s full interview for Schoolhouse Rocked on the Backstage Pass website.

And so that’s what we like to do. That’s what our ministry focus is. So, whether it’s speaking, whether it’s writing books or curriculum for homeschooling, which we love homeschoolers, we love equipping them to do a what is so needed in our day and age. And we’ll talk about this more later on, but homeschooling is such a powerful mechanism to really equip your kids to defend their faith. And God’s doing great things here at AIG.

Yvette Hampton:           Yeah, he is doing great things there. I was talking to a friend the other day who is planning to go to The Creation Museum and The Ark Encounter for her anniversary in May. And they’re really excited about it. And I told her, “You know, there’s no way that anyone can walk through there and not see the power of a divine creator.” I mean, it is just absolutely amazing when you go there and you just see so much of God’s creation all in one place. And you guys have done such an excellent job of displaying and portraying the awesomeness of God. “The heavens declare the glory of God.” And I don’t know how anyone can walk through there and just say, “Yeah, Nope. It all just happened by chance.”

Bryan:                          Praise God for that. We hear that so often. And as people come through, and not only do they see the glory of God’s creation, but also they realize there are answers to a lot of questions that for many people, Christians and non-Christians alike think the Bible has been really disproved by certain ideas, like “millions of years”, like the so-called “fossil record of millions of years” or evolution or distant star light or the age of the earth or modern day science. And you start to realize that no, there are actually really good answers to all of those issues. If you’ll stand on the Bible and use a Biblical worldview, there are  some great answers for those questions. We use all those answers to point them back to the Gospel, to proclaim the creator of creation, and to give them the Truth.

And I like to compare the quality of the attractions here at The Ark Encounter and The Creation Museum, they’re so well done –  Ken Ham likes to say “equal to Hollywood if not better.” We’ll have real wood in our attractions! The ark is made of real wood.

But you know, if you look in the old Testament when God had the Israelites build the tabernacle and he had brought people with different skill sets who were good at different things to come and build a different part of the tabernacle. I think of that here at the ministry of AIG. There are so many talented people who God has brought to do different things to make this ministry flourish and to be done at such a top notch level. All of the attractions, all of the sculptures, all the clothing, all of that stuff you see in the attractions, that’s done in house. The paintings are by our own artists. The writing for the signage is done by our guys. We write the curriculum in house, because God has brought some incredibly talented people in different areas to do all these things. And so we just praise God for that and definitely give him all the glory.

Watch the video of this conversation on the Schoolhouse Rocked Backstage Pass website.

Yvette:                         Yeah, that’s so awesome. It’s the body of Christ working together just as it should.

Bryan:                          It really is. And then you mentioned that, I’ve got to say this, one of the things I love about working in the office, when I’m actually here, is that there are so many different denominations represented in this office, and we all fly under the banner of Christ and under the authority of God’s Word. And that’s our heartbeat as a ministry – Multiple denominations of Christians standing on the the authority of God’s Word. It’s just an awesome thing.

Yvette:                         So cool. I love it. I want to talk with you about a couple of different things today. So you had mentioned briefly that you used to be a teacher, and you taught in the public school system for 13 years.

Bryan:                          I did.

Yvette:                         And you know, we interviewed you for Schoolhouse Rocked, and yours is by far one of the most powerful interviews, and we have a lot of good interviews. But yours was so powerful because you were able to just talk about your experience of being in the public school and how even just in your 13 years there, and this was a few years ago, it’s been a few years since you stopped teaching, how you saw the transition of our culture in the kids and just the things that you were experiencing as a teacher and that they were experiencing as students. Can you talk a little bit about your time as a public school teacher, and just what you saw going on?

Bryan:                          Yeah, no, absolutely. As you mentioned, I taught for 13 years. I mentioned that too. Also, my wife was a teacher for 13 years in a public school, so both my wife and I have that real boots on the ground experience of teaching in the public schools. And of course, I’ll say up front there, we have some really wonderful memories and so many great friends who are still in that system. And we taught many wonderful kids. And so there’s some highlights, no doubt about that.

But if you’re just looking at the trend of where the schools are headed and the philosophy that’s driving education today, it has drastically changed. I think I mentioned last time when we were talking about, when I first saw… I taught an interesting subject. I told Bible history in a public school. People need to understand that. It was in Tennessee, a very unique thing, a great opportunity. But I taught Bible history in a public school setting. I started back in the year 2000.

And when I started in the year 2000 teaching that particular subject, most my kids, and I was teaching the buckle of the bible-belt. They had a general foundational understanding of many Biblical things. They understood some of the basic lingo. They could speak some of the Christian lingo. They understood those words because they grew up in a church setting. And then here’s what I found in my classroom, that year by year as I taught my students, each coming generation knew less and less about the Bible. They knew less and less. And these are kids who grew up and the buckle of the Bible belt and they’re like we said earlier, maybe the shiny part of the buckle of the Bible belt, and each year they knew less and less about the Bible. And so what I had to do with my curriculum is start at a more foundational level each year.

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Eventually it got to a point by year 13 when kids came into my classroom, my first lessons were on how to understand a Biblical reference. You know, what does Genesis 8:22-23 mean? A lot of my kids didn’t even know what that meant because they weren’t used to reading their Bibles. They didn’t have that foundational understanding. You know, easy things from a Biblical understanding. What’s the Bible say about marriage or sexuality or different things? They didn’t understand clear, easy Biblical teachings because even though they grew up in a very churchized area, they did not have that foundation. And so I saw that in my own classroom.

And then with what you saw in the culture of the school was also changing. More and more a secularly influence was dominating the thinking of the system.

And I tell people all the time there were and still are many good godly people in the system. There are some great Christians who are in the public school systems and they are doing their best to be light in a dark place, and we praise God for them and we pray that God uses him in a great way. There are many great in the system. But what people really need to understand is that the system itself is inherently atheistic, and has increased in a secular philosophy over the years while I was there and since I’ve left. And so even though there are good people in the system, the system itself starts from the basic premise that you can explain all of life, all of morality, all of sexuality, you can explain all of reality without God, without the Bible. And that by definition is a religion of secular humanism also called atheism.

So that’s the undercurrent of much of our educational system today in America, throughout the West. And more and more the undercurrent has pulled the kids along with it. So what you see is with the kids in the classrooms, they’re thinking is that becoming more and more secular, more and more aligned with the secular persuasion, less and less Biblical. And generation by generation that they get less in terms of a Biblical framework and more in terms of a secular framework. And of course as we know, that has real world repercussions in how they live and how they act and what they do and what we see happening in our schools today. So lots of change happening for sure.

Yvette:                         Yeah. One of the things I remember you talking about in your interview for the movie was that if Christian parents are putting their kids in a public school system, they need to be ready to undo all that’s being taught to them when they come home. And I actually just recently, I talked to a mom who they feel very strongly that God has their kids. They have a very, very strong solid Christian family. And they have their kids in a public school system intentionally. And she said when they come home from school at night, I have to undo all that they’ve been taught. She said, “But my kids are making a difference. And they’re holding Bible clubs and they’re doing all sorts of things, which I think is fantastic. And, and like you said, you know it, there are so many great people in the public school system. There are teachers who love Jesus, there are administrators who really it is their ministry, their mission that God has called them to, to be in this role because they’re really making a difference.

But I know it’s a very difficult position to be in. And there are kids. There certainly are kids who love the Lord, who come out of public schools loving God. You know, we’ve said it many times. Our listeners have heard us say it a million times. Homeschooling is not the Gospel. Homeschooling is not what saves our kids. And Jesus is what saves them. And there are plenty of kids who come out of Homeschool families who go off on their own way and they, they choose not to follow Christ. And then there are lots of kids who come out of the public school system or private schools and they go on to have an enormous impact in our world. And so I love that dynamic of it. But I think sometimes today, parents don’t really know what’s going on behind those doors. Or they choose to maybe ignore it. Not all, but some.

“Dear Christian, please recognize that God’s Word is being attacked at a foundational level, and that’s why so many of your kids and grandkids are walking away from the faith. We’ve got to give them the right foundation, which is based on the idea that the truth that God’s Word is the absolute authority, and all things will go from there.” – Bryan Osborne

Bryan:                          What I think a lot of times in our ministry, we talk about this so often in Answers in Genesis, what so many I think Christians are missing in the culture at large, including in the schooling arena, is that they don’t recognize that what’s really happening is a foundational attack on the authority of God’s Word and the foundation of Christianity itself. And so I think for many, they think, “I’ll send my kids off to a public school and they’ll learn some ideas that are Biblical, but that’s okay. I’ll still give them some Biblical teaching and they’ll be fine.” What they’re missing is what they’re actually learning from the secular institutions of our age, including the school system, is they’re learning a different foundation. They’re learning that man’s word ultimately as the authority and that God’s Word is not. They’re getting a different foundation from these different places. And so in a sense, what we allowed to happen quite often is we’ve allowed the secularist, ultimately the enemy who’s driving those secularists, whether they recognize it or not, we allowed them to get a new foundation put into their lives.

We try to stack up Christian doctrines as a framework on that foundation, and eventually that framework’s going to fall because they’ve got the wrong foundation. It’s not based on God’s Word. They put their house on sand, not on the rock. And so it looks good for a while. Oh, they got some of these Christian doctrines. They seem to be fine. But when later off they leave, and according to multiple studies, over two thirds are walking away from the faith by the time they reach college age. Why? Because they’ve been given a different foundation. It wasn’t built on God’s Word at all. They’re falling away because of that wrong foundation.

And so if you’re going to do those, we talked about before putting your kid in that particular setting, if God’s called you to that though, that can be a thing and you can do that, but we must recognize, be sure your kid has that right foundation truly in God’s Word that they are indeed saved, they are His. His word is their rock. They’re going into this environment recognizing the attack that they are engaging with, they’re coming home and decompressing all of these ideas and engaging with your parents to understand, “Okay, how do I deal with the fact that a drag queen spoke to a bunch of fifth graders at a public library? How do I understand that from a Christian perspective?” I mean, these are ideas I couldn’t even think about engaging when I was a teacher just five years ago before I left. A drag queen speaks to kids in America. And so we got to recognize that all of these things are not just peripheral attacks on Biblical ideas about marriage. Ultimately these things are attacks on a Biblical foundation of how we understand all of reality. And if we allow the secularist to give our kids their foundation, don’t be surprised when the kids embraces that entire worldview ultimately. And so we’ve got to be really careful.

And for my money and for what I’ve seen, my wife and I both as we’ve gone through teaching for a while, recognizing what’s happening, we’ve recognized that the best way from our perspective to give our kids a good foundation on God’s Word to equip them with a Biblical worldview is through homeschooling because we have control of the content. We can teach every subject to the glory of God. And from that Biblical perspective we can still talk about what’s happening in the culture, but do it through a Biblical lens so they understand it from a Biblical perspective. And we’ll present them with the secular arguments, but in the right context and how we can probably break it down over time, and then we can do that. And then after years and years from now when our kids get older, if they’ve got a great foundation and God calls them to that, we’ll work through that then as well.

But what better way to give a Biblical foundation than through homeschooling? And there’s so many practical benefits to that. I’m sure you guys talk about it all the time and the homeschooling setting as far as your classroom size and the student teacher relationship and love for students, it doesn’t get any better than the homeschooling setting. But just recognizing that foundational attack. And so often that’s what we’re trying to as a ministry, bring awareness to it with Christians. Dear Christian, please recognize that God’s Word is being attacked at a foundational level, and that’s why so many of your kids and grandkids are walking away from the faith. We’ve got to give them the right foundation, which is based on the idea that the truth that God’s Word is the absolute authority, and all things will go from there.

Yvette:                         Yeah, that’s awesome. Let’s continue talking about this idea of setting a Biblical foundation, because you know, you said homeschooling is the best way to do that. But then you’ve got parents who kind of say, “Okay, well how? How do we do that? How as Homeschool parents is the best way? How do we do that? How do we set that foundation for our kids and say this is truth, and integrate that into every part of our teaching in a day to day setting with our kids at home?

Bryan:                          Sure. I mean I think there’s a lot of ways to do that when you, especially in a homeschooling setting, there’s a lot of flexibility. It’s one of the things we love about homeschooling is you do have flexibility to do this in different ways. I would say overall getting the resources you need to help you to teach yourself and your kids to think Biblically.

Of course, from our perspective as we as a ministry, we deal more with history, origins, scientific issues, getting resources into the hands of believers that they can use to equip themselves and their kids and their grandkids or their homeschooling kids to think with a Biblical perspective. Whether it’s the answers, Bible answers books one through four. I wrote a book called Quick Answers to Tough Questions. It’s actually kind of cool thing. I talked to a guy the other day at a Christian school who uses my book as his curriculum for his Bible class. It’s really kind of neat to hear that to hear that.

So, whether it’s one of the books or the DVDs or in the curriculums, the ABC Curriculum is a great Bible curriculum, whether it’s some of the homeschooling curriculums we have on chemistry or science or mathematics. And there are other good ministries out there as well. But finding curriculums that’ll help you teach that subject from a Biblical perspective, to recognize that the goal of that curriculum is to honor the savior, to honor our creator, honor our god. And that we don’t learn and we don’t gain intellect just to lift up ourselves. It’s not about that at all. We learn to glorify our creator. And I might use this in a great way for his glory.

And so, I think there are lots of ways to do that within that setting. I’ll say also with that, we recognize the Biblical encouragement that at all times whether we sit down, rise up, eat, that we are teaching our kids to think through a Biblical lens. We’re teaching them God’s Word, connecting the real world to God’s real word and connecting those things for them to help had that Biblical worldview. And again, homeschooling has that wonderful benefit of as you live together and there’s more engagement, there are more opportunities to have those really good teachable moments where you can talk about an issue or something you saw or a trip that you took or whatever, and filter that through that Biblical lens to equip them with that Biblical worldview.

And so, I think all those things of course, I think a consistent Bible study within the family, which is rurally something we want to encourage families to do, especially have fathers lead in that, to recognize the importance of that with their families. All those sayings, you can just do them step by step, moment by moment, year by year, not all at one time, but as do life together and do those things and teach them from that perspective, it’s going to give them that foundation brick by brick by brick on the word of God. That foundation will need to have good structure that’ll lead to hopefully a life that glorifies him in that setting. So yeah, I think you can do it a lot of different ways, but there are some ideas.

Yvette:                         I love it. Well, I’ve said this so many times on the podcast, so for listeners who’ve heard me say it, I’m just going to say it again. As we started homeschooling our girls, the Lord really opened our eyes to the fact that it’s not just about the academics, it’s about teaching everything from that Biblical perspective because it always points them to Jesus. And you know, the one I think that really surprised me the most is math because people will say, “Well, how do you teach math from a Biblical perspective?” And it’s not that we teach, you know, two plus two is four. Jesus loves you. That is true.

Bryan:                          I might steal that for later.

Yvette:                         Maybe you should do one plus one is two, Jesus loves you. That would make more sense that rhymes. But in teaching it that God is a god of order, he is not a god of chaos. So math makes sense because God created it to make sense. Man didn’t create math. God created math. And teaching science. I mean that’s the whole ministry of AIG is science and history. And so you teach science from a Biblical worldview because it helps us to understand our creator. If you can understand Psalm 24, “The heavens declare the glory of God.” You look at the heavens, you look at the universe that God has created, and how do you look at that and say there’s no creator? And when you teach that aside from apart from a Biblical worldview, then you’re not really teaching science. And history is the same way. History is the story of God’s world, and of God’s plan for mankind. And so when you don’t start history in the beginning, you know answers in Genesis, if you don’t start in the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth, then you’re not teaching history as it’s meant to be understood. And so we, we see it as such a great opportunity.

And it doesn’t have to be taught perfectly. I think that as Homeschool moms especially, we feel like we have to know everything. Like we have to have mastered all of these topics and in order to teach them to our kids. And I’ve learned, I’m just learning right along with them. There’s so much that I don’t know. And Garritt always reminds me, “You just have to stay one step ahead of them. That’s all you have to do.” And if that means reading the page 10 minutes before I read it to them, or even sometimes just reading it for the first time when I’m reading it with them and if there’s something I don’t understand, we pause and we look it up, or we ask Garritt and he answers the questions for us.

Bryan:                          Is that a new sort of ask Siri?

Yvette:                         Yeah, yeah. It’s like Wikipedia, but it’s Garrittpedia. That’s what we have in our house.

But you know, there just are so many opportunities, like you said, to teach our kids from a Biblical worldview. And it’s not all about academics, it’s so much about character as well and just taking that time to teach our kids who they are in Christ, why God made them on purpose and for a purpose, and what God’s purpose is for them in this world.

Bryan:                          Yeah. That’s good. I like that purpose. The trilogy of purposes you just used was good.

Yvette:                         You can use that too.

Bryan:                          That’s great.

Yvette:                         I should trademark that.

Bryan:                          But even as teachers, my wife and I would often comment, especially your first couple of years as a teacher, you’re always one step ahead. And that’s it. That’s how it kind of rolls. That’s not uncommon. And you’re not going to know everything, especially as you advance the subjects. But that’s one of the blessings of doing homeschooling now in our current age, there are so many good resources to help you do even the difficult subjects, and you can tell there’s enough to choose from. We can find some that are still going to be Christ honoring, and you can help filter through those and that’s part of the process. And so you have such a plethora of resources to choose from to do so in a good way. And I loved what you were saying until my other favorite topics to talk about, is that not only does creation show our creator, but also the invisible attributes of our world show the invisible attributes of our God.

So, you look, and you talked about math. Where do these invisible laws of mathematics come from and why don’t they randomly change? They come from the mind of God, and they don’t change because God doesn’t change. Laws of nature. The whole reason we can do science to begin with is we have laws of nature that are, they’re not tangible, but they don’t change. They’re consistent every time and that’s why you can do an experiment today and tomorrow and get the same results if you do it the same way. Well that’s only possible because God made not only the tangible world, but the non-tangible world. He made the laws of nature. He holds them together so they don’t randomly change. They reflect Him. And so the only reason you can do science to begin with is because God is real and the Bible’s true. And you can point out all of that when you’re teaching it from a Biblical perspective. I love that stuff.

Yvette:                         Yeah, that is awesome. You touched really quickly on it, and we have just a couple minutes left, but I’d love for you to talk to the dads out there who you touched on the topic of dads leading their family spiritually, talk to those dads. How would you encourage them to do that?

Bryan:                          You know, my kids are younger right now, five and one. As I think about my kids and being a father, the weight of being a father, the weight the responsibility Biblically we’ve been given by God as the head of the household, that weighs on me more and more. So I think about my kids and raising them correctly. And it’s interesting. I think in our culture that’s so secular in its nature, it’s easy to get wrapped up in that secular thinking, so we tend to think, “Okay, if I’m meet their physical needs, if I bring home the bacon, which Peter says we can’t say anymore, but if I put a roof over their heads, if I’m giving them clothing, if I’m giving them opportunities and I’ve done my job, and I would say to myself and anyone who’s thinking that way, ‘If that’s all you’ve done, you’ve missed the whole thing entirely.'”

I say that to myself first and then to other dads as well because our primary responsibility is to raise our children in the fear and admonition of the Lord that their focus will be on Him. And the only way to do that is to build our thinking on the word of God, where we see God on display, his attributes clearly portrayed for us, reaching on through that grid to give them a Biblical worldview by standing on that right foundation.

And God has called fathers to lead our families in that endeavor. It’s not the mom’s job. Now, praise God if he’s giving you a wonderful wife that can come alongside you and be an incredible help mate and can do some wonderful teaching in a homeschooling setting and do some great things. That’s a blessing and that’s a gift from the Lord and we praise God for all those incredible homeschooling going parents or moms out there doing a great job.

But ultimately when we stand before heavenly father, God looks at us men, dads, did you lead your home in such a way that I was the center of attention, that you showed my kids how to know me and love me and pursue me from my word? That’ll come directly to us as head of household. And so it is our responsibility to be sure a home is being run in such a way that our kids are getting that. So I know the situations will vary in households. Fathers may work in different ways, different capacities. They may not be home as much as the mom. That makes sense, right? But still are you engaged when you are home? And then are you adding to what your wife is doing within the curriculum with teaching a Biblical framework? Are you doing what’s really needed? And in those devotions. Spending time together as a family consistently around the word of God, that you show your kids that you know what God’s Word is preeminent and my heart is preeminent in our founding because it’s worthy of all honor praise because it’s from the creator. Is that on display?

I managed to convict into myself even as I speak it. But is that you’re clear joy to your kids and your clear passion to your kids so they see that from you, not only what you speak, but how you spend your time with them, that you’re not just merely bringing home the bacon, but you’re bringing home the word of God to them they may feast on that and know that God’s Word is true? And for me the more I think about it, the more I grow in this role that God has put me in, the more I speak to people, the more that responsibility weighs clear and heavy on me. It’s a precious responsibility. And it’s also a privilege to have that, but it does bear weight and we need to take it seriously that again, if we’re not equipping our kids with the right foundation with a Biblical worldview or give them all the other things I need, but not the spiritual truth based on the word of God, we’ve missed it entirely and we are accountable.

But on the flip side, if we’re obedient for helping our wives and helping our families to stand on God’s Word and we’re equipping them with the truth of God’s Word, we see God work through that, and then when we stand before God, you get those words well done by good and faithful servant, and what a beautiful thing that is, and so it’s serious. God counts it as serious. We see those commands in God’s Word over and over and over again to be sure we’re building our thinking and thinking of our families on God’s Word, and we need to take it as such. But when we do so, we’ll see God work in an amazing way.

I think as you mentioned too, you mentioned that sometimes the homeschooling moms, whoever’s doing the homeschooling will feel inadequate. You know, “I’m not up to tasks. It’s Too much to know.” Well, dads are going to feel the exact same way, right? They’re going to feel inadequate quite often. “I don’t know enough. My theology isn’t robust enough. I don’t have these understandings I should that teach my kids.” But dear Father, study God’s Word, put it in the work, do your best, and then watch the Holy spirit of God work in an amazing way to his glory. Because honestly, our call is not perfection, but our call is obedience. Do what God has called us to do, and then watch him work and do great things to his glory through your family.

Yvette:                         Yeah. Oh, I love that so much. You know, God’s Word does not return void.

Bryan:                          He does not.

Yvette:                         And I think it was Scott LaPierre, I can’t remember who said if you can read, you can lead your family spiritually. All it takes is just opening up The Word. And quite honestly, even if you can’t read, there are, how many apps are there that you just open it up on your phone and it will read the Bible to you?

Bryan:                          I might steal all that from you later on, by the way.

Yvette:                         You got it.

Bryan:                          I’ve got some great stuff from this interview!

Yvette:                         Yeah, well you’re welcome. Oh, well, Bryan, I am so grateful for you and for the ministry that you have there at Answers in Genesis, for Ken Ham and the whole team there. I know you guys really work tirelessly to just help parents and families to set that foundation of Biblical truth. Where can people find you? You were talking about curriculum and parents being able to just set that foundation by using some of the Biblical curriculum that you have. Where can people go to find that?

Bryan:                          So, the easiest way to get there is to go to AnswersInGenesis.org. Go to the website there, plug in in the search bar, “homeschool” or “homeschool curriculum”. And we have a whole store set up online that has so many different resources on so many different subjects for different age groups for a homeschooling setting. And so, there we have many dedicated curriculums to homeschooling and you can find those on the website at Answersingenesis.org. There are also many things you can add to your curriculum. We have many books and DVDs that are good supplements to what you’re already doing, and it can help make it more robust in what you’re teaching from a Biblical perspective. Also, they can follow us on Facebook or Twitter. I’m there personally. Also the ministry is there. You can find those pages. Just look up Answers in Genesis or look up Bryan Osborne, you’ll find us on those particular platforms. And you can follow us there. And then as you know, as time goes, we are putting stuff on those places, useful tools for teaching, whether in a homeschooling setting or a church setting to equip Christians to defend the faith. And so typical media platforms that people use, but they’re so handy. And they’re on there, so I encouraged people to check those out and look those up.

And of course, if they are in the area, and by that, I mean in the US, they should probably visit the Creation Museum and The Ark Encounter. I even mentioned it earlier. I know I’m biased. I work here, I get. But it is incredible.

Yvette:                         It is incredible.

Bryan:                          It’s amazing what God has done. It’s all his and Ken was saying this the other day, “it’s God’s ministry” and God’s done wonderful things, and it’s so unique in what it is. And it’s such an encouragement to the Christian’s faith and a challenge to a nonbeliever. And so if you’ve got unbelieving family or friends, it’s a great place to come and to look at these things together and to talk about these things. And it opens up great conversations. You’ll hear the Gospel numerous times. It’s really powerful in multiple ways.

Yvette:                         So okay, really quickly, for those who are not familiar with the Creation Museum or The Ark Encounter, give like a one-minute brief overview of what that is.

Bryan:                          Okay. So we’re located in Northern Kentucky, right below Cincinnati. And the Creation Museum is a, there are two separate attractions, the museum and The Ark Encounter. The Creation Museum is a 75,000 foot walk through Biblical history. And we use the seven CS to walk through Biblical history. Creation, corruption, catastrophe, confusion, Christ, cross, consummation. And as we go through that Biblical history, we are answering the skeptical questions of this age and showing how the Bible really does have answers and actually the Biblical worldview is confirmed as true time and time again by real science.

And then in the midst of all that, we’re giving the Gospel in numerous ways, numerous times. And there are multiple lectures, there are workshops you can go to. There’s a special effects theater. It’s a 4D theater. It’s now 3D with added affects their like wind blowing, all new change in temperature of water. Really cool stuff. We’re adding a [base] [phonetic 00:35:03] right now to the Creation Museum, phenomenal. And then The Ark Encounter, that’s also Northern Kentucky about 40 minutes South of The Creation Museum. Same ministry, two different attractions. It’s a life size replica of Noah’s Ark. Over 500 feet long, 85 feet wide, 50 feet tall, three different levels. There are over 130 exhibit bays as you walk through The Ark Encounter. And again, in that context we’re answering multiple questions defending the faith.

And really The Ark Encounter, it’s an attraction within an attraction within an attraction. And what I mean is you walk up to it at first, the size of it would blow your mind.

Yvette:                         It’s massive.

Bryan:                          So immense. It just gives you a whole new perspective that you can get about Noah’s Ark unless you see it like you do there. And then once you go inside, the architecture of The Ark Encounter is incredible. It’s the largest timber framed structure and the world. And so just looking at the woodwork, it’s so well done. And then all the exhibits, all the answers you get, they are… The artists God has brought to the ministry to put those things together, they’re phenomenal and they do a fantastic job. And so it’s so good on multiple levels. We’ve got Emzara’s, a buffet by The Ark Encounter, which I know I’m biased again, but it is a great buffet. We have a whole east village and west village by them, by The Ark Encounter.

The answer center’s opening up soon. There’s a zoo behind The Ark Encounter. And I really encourage people if you’re coming this way to the Northern Kentucky area, you want to get just the get the pass to both the museum and The Ark Encounter, it’s cheaper, it’s multiple days, it gives you good time to see everything there is to see. And you can spend easily two days at the Creation Museum. I mean sincerely, in addition to the museum there is the botanical garden outside. And then The Ark Encounter takes a good day or two. So the people hopefully can make plans accordingly. But again, I’m biased, but it is incredible and it’s amazing watch God work.

And I will say this to wrap up, we’ve had over a million people come up for each of the last two years to The Ark Encounter, and so it’s been amazing to see that. And we’re averaging around 500,000 a year now at the Creation Museum since the Ark has been open. So it’s just been awesome to watch God work through all that.

Yvette:                         So cool. While you guys are having a great impact for God’s kingdom, and we are so grateful for what you’re doing and all that God is doing through the ministry there at AIG and through you personally through the books that you’re writing. And I did want to mention one book really quickly that this just came to my mind. I thought about it when you were talking earlier about setting a foundation and children walking away from faith. Already Gone written by Ken Ham. That is a fantastic book. We’ll link to that in the show notes, but Garritt and I read that years ago and that was actually pretty instrumental and in part of our decision to start homeschooling. It is a fantastic book. It talks about why children are walking away from the faith once they get into those college years, because it’s not really in those college years or young adult years. Oftentimes it’s earlier than that.

Bryan:                          Their foundation was shaken a long time ago.

Well, praise God for what you’re doing. I’ve known you guys for a couple of years now, and just to see your heart and to watch God bringing this all together, I’m excited for you guys. I’m so thankful for what you’re doing, how God is using you, and it’s so cool to partner with you in ministry. It’s a blessing.

Yvette:                         Thank you.

You can find Bryan Osborne online at the Answers in Genesis website and on his Facebook page.

Get Already Gone, by Ken Ham and Britt Beamer and Quick Answers to Tough Questions, By Brian Osborne

 


We couldn’t be more excited to announce that WE ARE DONE FILMING for Schoolhouse Rocked!!

BUT WE NEED YOUR HELP! 

In order to complete this film with excellence, we need the help of the homeschooling community… we need YOU! The post-production budget for the film is $198,157. The majority of that budget still needs to be funded, so we are asking you to pledge monthly for the next 12 months to help us reach this goal. As a community we can finish this movie! Will you please join us?

Schoolhouse Rocked is not our movie. It’s a project by and for the homeschool community, and it’s all for God’s glory. We are confident that He will use this important resource to grow the homeschooling community and impact families around the world. However, if we are not able to raise the necessary funds to get through post-production, all progress on the movie will stop.

Here’s how YOU can help..

1} PRAY! Pray for the Lord’s continued protection over our family, wisdom as we move forward, and for Schoolhouse Rocked to be fully funded. Pray also that this film will have a huge impact in God’s kingdom. Our greatest desire is not to simply make a movie about homeschooling, but to impact families and culture for Christ.

2} PLEDGE MONTHLY for the next 12 months. Any amount helps and it adds up quickly. Whether you can afford $10/month or $100/month or more, it’s all the same in God’s economy and will be a huge step towards finishing the movie and getting it into theaters.

TO MAKE A MONTHLY, TAX-DEDUCTIBLE DONATION
of any amount, CLICK HERE.
Select the amount you would like to donate, then hit donate.
On the next page it will allow you to make this a monthly donation.

OR

TO MAKE A ONE-TIME TAX-DEDUCTIBLE DONATION
of any amount, CLICK HERE.

3} SHARE THE NEED with anyone you know who believes in homeschooling. If you know someone who you think would be interested in supporting this project, please share this important work with them or put them in touch with us. We need the support of the homeschool community, sponsors, and donors both big and small.

There is a real need to pull together as a community and support the important ministry of Schoolhouse Rocked!

“For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.”
Romans 12:4-5

Photo by Jonathan Borba on Unsplash

Biblical Parenting

Ginger Hubbard is an encouragement to me and thousands of other homeschool moms as she speaks at conventions all across the country on the topic of biblical parenting. She is the author of several books including Don’t Make Me Count to Three, Wise Words for Moms, and I Can’t Believe You Just Said That!

Yvette Hampton:           To some of you, she needs no introduction, but some of you, especially some of you younger mamas, may not have heard of Ginger Hubbard. Years ago, Ginger wrote a book that was a life-changer for me, called Don’t Make Me Count To Three! I started reading that book when my oldest daughter was a baby, and it was such a powerful book and had a huge impact in my life and in my parenting. So, ever since then, I’ve been kind of stalking Ginger. And God saw fit to introduce the two of us and we became fast friends. God has just been so faithful to develop this friendship. And I have loved getting to know Ginger and her family. Ginger, introduce yourself and your family to us.

Listen to Ginger Hubbard on the Schoolhouse Rocked Podcast.

Ginger Hubbard:           Well, my claim to fame is, I’m married to Ronnie Hubbard, who is the absolute greatest guy in the world. We’ve been married for seven years, and got married on April 23rd, which was Easter weekend. And it was just such a sweet, sweet weekend. And Ronnie came as a package deal with two stepsons, Hudson and Jackson. And so, between the two of us, we have four kids.

Yvette:                         That’s awesome. And your kids are pretty amazing. And they’re now all adults, right?

Ginger:                         They are. They are. Wesley is 25, Alex is 22 and then my stepsons, Hudson is 21, and Jackson, our youngest, is 18. He just graduated high school.

Yvette:                         So, you’ve been around, you’ve done the parenting thing, you’re one who can actually speak from experience. It’s not just, “I’m testing this out and let’s see how it works.”

Ginger:                         Yeah, but I still would say I didn’t always get it right. And looking back, I can certainly share some of the mistakes I made to help those moms out there not make some of the same ones that I did.

Yvette:                         Sure. I love that. And one of the things I love about you is that you’re so transparent and so honest just about where you’ve been and about what God has done in your life through your desire to follow him through parenting and through marriage and through family. Like I said, you wrote Don’t Make Me Count to Three. You have Wise Words for Moms, that’s a pamphlet that I had up in my kitchen for many, many years. And we’ll link back to those things in the podcast notes. But we also are so excited about your new book that you have, it just came out in April, correct?

Ginger:                         Right.

Yvette:                         And this book is calledI Can’t Believe You Just Said That, Biblical Wisdom for Taming Your Child’s Tongue. And I love this book so, so much. God has given you a gift. He has given you the gift of wisdom and the gift of being able to just be that Titus 2 woman. And this is why I stalked you so many years, is, without you even knowing me, you were one of those Titus 2 women to me, where I just felt like God had just blessed you with the wisdom of training the heart of your child, because it’s not, and we’ll talk about this, but it’s not just about obedience. It’s not just about teaching your kids to do or say the right thing. It’s really about getting to the heart of your child.

 

So, tell me a little bit about your new book, I Can’t Believe You Just Said That, what led you to write that book? And give me kind of the premise of it.

Backstage Pass Members can watch the full video of this episode.

Ginger:                         Well, as a national speaker, Yvette, I have listened to parents all over the country express their heartache over their inability to tame the tongues of their children. And they’ve read the books, they’ve tried the advice, but they just still remained frustrated because nothing seemed to work. And so what I wanted to do with this new book, I Can’t Believe You Just Said That, is I wanted to just expose some of those faulty child training methods which fail to reach the heart and equip parents with biblical principles, and then provide them with a toolbox full of illustrations and examples for implementing those principles in a very practical way.

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And, don’t get me wrong, you and I, before we started recording, we were talking about Shepherding A Child’s Heart, and there’s some really, really great parenting books out there. That was actually my personal favorite as well out of all the ones that I read, just so thankful for Tedd Tripp and the wisdom that he shares.

I’ve read lots of parenting books and plenty of books are out there that focus on what the Bible says about parenting. And that’s great, but … And they’re just full of scripture that are helpful for parenting. But what I found is that few offer the information that parents need most, which is how to actually practically apply those Scriptures to those tongue-related struggles that their children are facing in everyday life.

Yvette:                         I love that. And yes, you give such practical things for parents to do. One of the things that you talk about in Don’t Make Me Count To Three, and we have used this with our kids for their whole lives basically, is do-overs where maybe my daughter speaks to me disrespectfully, and instead of just saying, “Don’t talk to me like that,” I will say, “Honey, that is not the correct way to speak to me. How should you have spoken to me?” But before, I would even say, “How should you have spoken to me,” for the past 12 years, I’ve taught her, “When you respond to me, you need to respond this way.” And I teach her, “This is how you’re to respond.” And it’s with … I mean, it can be with anything. If your two-year-old is throwing a tantrum because their toy isn’t being put together the right way, you can take the time to say, “Okay, honey, let’s do this the right way. Let mommy show you how to put the toy together so that you don’t throw a tantrum.” And then the next time they throw a tantrum, you can say, “Okay, how did mommy teach you to do this last time? What is the correct response?”.

And teaching kids and training them to do things over the right way. Because I think, as parents, we assume that kids are going to just know the right way to do things. And I love that I learned that from you early on of don’t just assume that they know how to do it the right way, or that they know how to respond the right way the first time. You have to teach them first, and then train them by teaching them to do it over, and over, and over again until, hopefully, at some point they actually get it.

Ginger:                         Right. And that’s what I refer to as the practice principle. And imagine, Yvette, trying to teach your child how to tie his shoes without the practice principle. Just verbally walking him through that process, that’s not going to be enough. At some point, you would have to physically demonstrate how to do it, and then not only that, then require him to practice it on his own. And so, the way that I look at it is if the practice principal is vital for teaching such a morally neutral task as tying shoes, how much more important is it for training children in Christ-like character? Right?

Yvette:                         Right.

Ginger:                         That’s what we want to do. We always want to require them to practice that biblical alternative to the wrong behavior, because it is never enough to just verbally instruct our children in what not to do. We have to instruct them in what to do. We have to teach them how to replace wrong behavior with right behavior. And then, most important, we want to require them to actually go back and do it.

So, you brought up the thing about children speaking disrespectfully. That’s pretty much across the board with younger kids, and certainly as they grow a little older. And so many parents, when their children speak disrespectfully, they’ll say something like, “That was disrespectful. You shouldn’t speak to me like that. Now go to your room.” But you and I know that is ineffective child training, because that most important part is left out. We shouldn’t just rebuke and discipline the child who was speaking disrespectfully. We need to have him come back and practice the biblical alternative by communicating the right way, using the appropriate words, and the appropriate tone of voice, and for many kids, particularly mine as the grew into their teen years, the appropriate facial expressions.

Yvette:                         Oh, yes. Oh, the faces.

Ginger:                         The face, yes.

Yvette:                         The rolling of the eyes.

Ginger:                         Right. But when we train our children in what’s right and require them to practice what is right, we’re teaching them how to grow in wisdom. And we’re preparing them to govern their own actions in the future.

Yvette:                         Yeah, I love that. And as you think through Scripture, all throughout Scripture, God does that with us. He doesn’t just say to us, “Obey me,” he doesn’t just say, “Don’t sin,” he gives us very specific instructions on, “This is what I expect of you. This is how you will be wise. This is how you will have blessings in your life. And when you choose to obey me, you will have blessings.” And he doesn’t just expect us to know exactly. I mean, of course we have a God consciousness and we get that, but God is not void in his word of teaching us what he expects of us. It’s very clear in Scripture. And so I love, love that we get to do that, in turn, to our kids and show them, “This is what God expects of you.”

Ginger:                         Right. He has provided us with everything that we need for life and godliness. We just need to go to his word, and there it is. And that’s one thing that I would tell my kids is … You just said that it goes well with us when we obey God. Now, that doesn’t mean that there’s not going to be trials and tribulations. But certainly, when our children choose to obey us, ultimately, they are obeying God, because God has called children to obey their parents. And he says that when they do, that it will go well with them. It doesn’t mean that they’re not going to have trials, but it means that they are under that protective covering of being in the will of God when they obey their parents. And so it’s important that we help them understand that.

Yvette:                         Absolutely. Ephesians 6, it talks about that. And God is a faithful God. We tell our girls all the time, “Sin causes pain, but obedience brings blessings. Sin causes pain, but obedience brings blessings.”.

Ginger:                         That’s right.

Yvette:                         We desperately want our girls to grow up and having a life of blessings. But like you said, that doesn’t mean that they’re going to not have pain in their life, but it is a different kind of pain. If you have pain in your life because you’ve made poor choices and you have not sought God’s wisdom, that’s a different kind of pain than the pain that just comes because we live in a sinful fallen world.

Ginger:                         Right. So, those are the things that we want to show them, that no matter … And even when we do blow it and there are consequences for our sin, there’s blessing in being able to go to God and ask for forgiveness, and repent, and turn away from that. And God can even use those times to show us new things that he’s doing in our life, and equip us to share those things with other people.

Yvette:                         In the book, in I Can’t Believe You Just Said That, your new book, each chapter talks about a different verbal offense. Walk me through a few of those. And you also, in there you offer a simple three-step plan for dealing with each one. Tell me a little bit about those verbal offenses, and then your plan to help parents learn how to deal with that.

Ginger:                         What I did in the book is I have broken just common tongue-related struggles down into chapters that all kids are going to struggle with at some time or another. And just some of those different chapters and topics are, like whining, and lying, and tattling, defying, manipulating, interrupting, complaining, blame shifting, teasing, aggravating, bragging, arguing, yelling, gossiping, bickering. It’s everything that I could think of as far as those tongue-related offenses. And certainly, you know, kids are not going to struggle with every one of those. But at some time or another, they may struggle with several. And so, what I wanted to do is to take each one of those tongue-related offenses and then break down each chapter into a three-step plan that would help parents deal with those issues from a heart-oriented biblical standpoint. Rather than just that outward behavior, really learning how to get to the heart of the matter. And then when we do that, we’re able to address it in biblical ways.

And so, each chapter opens with a very common relatable scenario in accordance with that particular struggle. I’ve had so many parents at my conferences and through emails come up and say, “Oh, that chapter that you did on wining, that opening scenario, you were totally in my house last week.” And so it’s just very relatable scenarios.

And then the three-step plan, step one is heart-probing questions. If you think about it, in all the stories in Scripture, when someone did something wrong, Jesus, what he did not do is wave his finger in their face and say, “This is what you did wrong. And this is what you should’ve done instead.” In all those stories, Jesus often used heart-probing questions. And in order for the people to answer those questions, they had to evaluate themselves, because Jesus knew how to ask those questions in such a way that the people would have to take their focus off of the circumstances and the situations around them, and onto that sin in their own heart.

So, for each verbal offense, I offer two or three very simple questions just to help parents get going in the right direction and help them to reach past that outward behavior and really pull out what is going on in the heart. Because we know if we can get to the heart, well, then the behavior is going to take care of itself.

So, that step-one is the heart-probing questions. And then step two and step three are based on the Ephesians verse that says that we are to put off our old self and put on our new self. And so, step two is what to put off, what God’s word says about that particular behavior, and what it can lead to if it is continued. And then step three is what to put on, how to replace what is wrong with what is right.

Yvette:                         Okay. So let’s take it one step further. Could I give you one of these situations, and can you walk me through what it would look like for a child who is struggling with this specific thing? As I’m looking through the chapters, interrupting keeps coming up, because, though my girls deal with some of these other things, I have a seven-year-old who loves to talk. God has given her the gift of gab, and she loves to be the center of attention. And she is super cute, and so people always think she’s cute and funny. But she is an interrupter. And we’ve really been trying to work on this with her.

So, you and I are having a conversation and she walks up, and she says to me, “Mommy, did you see blah, blah, blah?” Tell me then, what do I do?

Ginger:                         Well, first, we ourselves want to understand what is at the heart of that. Before we get into how to instruct them, we need to understand what is at the heart of it and help them understand too what’s at the heart. So we know that that children … first, let me just say, Yvette, that that was my pet peeve. You just really grabbed something with me, because that was my … we all have our things that get under our skin, and that with me was really the one that got under my skin is that when I would be talking to another adult and one of my kids would interrupt our conversation.

But if you think about it, children have a natural bent towards selfishness and pride because, like us, they are born sinners. And so, children automatically place a higher priority on themselves than on others. And so they look at what they have to say as being more important than respecting that conversation of others. And so, what happens is they all of a sudden have this thought, and then they have this sense of urgency that they want to express it immediately, which is the most important thing to them. And that leads to impatience, which leads to interrupting.

So, from the heart, it all boils down to really selfishly placing their wants and needs above the wants and needs of others. And so, say that they come up and … you and I are talking, and your daughter comes up and she interrupts. We want to ask some heart-probing questions. It could just be like, “Sweetheart, do you think it is kind or rude for you to interrupt while I’m talking to someone else?” And, “Are you thinking about others or yourself when you interrupt?”.

And then, as far as the biblical teaching there, we might say something from First Corinthians 13:4 or Philippians 2:3. And instead of just directly quoting Scripture, we can do that, but we could also talk about it just in a comfortable and conversational manner, and say something like, “Sweetheart, the Bible explains that love is patient, love is kind, love is not rude. And God instructs us to do things, not that are selfish, but instead, that we’re supposed to consider other people and their feelings as being more important than our own.” And so that’s the direction that we want to get them going.

And then, you and I talked about that we always need to provide our children with a means of escape. And we want our children to know that we value their thoughts and their feelings, and we want to hear what they have to say. So it’s going to exasperate a child just to tell them to never interrupt, because especially when two mommies are talking, it can seem like an eternity before there’s a pause in that conversation. We want to always provide them with a means of escape. And I think about First Corinthians 10:13 that says that when we, as God’s children, that when we are tempted, God always provides us a way out. He always gives us a means of escape. And that goes back also to not just teaching our children what is wrong, but also training them in what is right. So we want to provide that means of escape.

So what I did with my children when they would interrupt is I taught them to, when they wanted to say something to me and I’m engaged in a conversation with someone else, I taught them just to place their hand on my arm, and to wait silently for me to give them permission to speak. And as soon as there was a pause in that conversation, I would give them permission to speak. That way, usually when they would put their hand on me, they knew that what that communicates is, “Mom, I need to say something, but I don’t want to be rude.” And while I would be talking, I would put my hand on top of theirs to let them know that I’m acknowledging that they have something they want to say, and that I want to hear what they have to say, but we all want to do that in a way that shows respect for everyone.

So, as soon as there would be a pause in that conversation, then I would give them permission to speak. And so that’s not, it’s not a biblical mandate- that we have our children place their hand on our arm. It’s just a tool, it’s a way to prevent exasperation. It’s a way to show respect for them the same way that we’re wanting them to show respect for us.

Yvette:                         That’s so powerful, because I know you encourage that the Bible is the best instruction manual for parenting, but it doesn’t specifically address interrupting. The Bible doesn’t say anywhere, “Thou shalt not interrupt. These are the rules for children. Thou shalt not whine.” But, like you said, I mean, there’s always a root cause for those things. Whether it’s lack of self-control, or selfishness, or pride, or greed, whatever it is, there’s always something that’s causing them to react that way.

Ginger:                         Right. And that’s our job as parents. We need to understand that all behavior is linked to a particular attitude of the heart. So, as parents that want to train our children in what is right and use biblical wisdom from God’s word, we have to learn how to reach past that outward behavior and pull out what is going on in the heart. And then, you better believe God’s word addresses it, because God is concerned with the issues of the heart.

Yvette:                         Absolutely, he is. One of the things that you write in the book that I love is, you write about, why do they act like that? Our kids do something, and oftentimes parents will say, “Why? Why do they act like that? Why did they give me that look? Why did they just roll their eyes at me?” And you say, “That’s the wrong question to ask when our children misbehave.” What do you mean by that? Why is that the wrong question to ask?

Ginger:                         Well, I first, I can relate to that question, because when my kids were little, I used to be constantly shocked by some of the things that would come out of their mouths, whether it was whining, or lying, or talking back, or whatever. I would typically, like most parents, I would look at them and ask that question, “Why do you act like that?” But after a closer look at the word of God, I realized that I was asking the wrong question. In Matthew 12:34 Jesus explained, “For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.” In other words, yeah, in other words, there’s merit to that old saying we’ve heard a million times, “What’s down in the well comes up in the bucket.”

And so, our sin does not begin with our mouth. It begins with our hearts. The sin that shows up in our words comes from inside us. And it starts sooner than we might think. King David proclaimed, “Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.” So when parents really grasp the origin of sin and just the overall total depravity of the human race, we no longer question why our children sin.

I slowly began to learn that I was asking the wrong question. I slowly began to learn to stop asking, “Why does my child sin?” And instead, I began to ask myself, “When my child sins, how might I point him to the fact that he is a sinner, just like me, in need of a savior? How might I help him understand and live in the transformational power of Christ?”

Yvette:                         Yeah. I have a really good friend, she’s probably my longest childhood friend. We’ve been friends since kindergarten I think, or first grade, and have remained friends all our lives. And she has two daughters who are now, the grown one’s already in college, and then two little ones. But I remember when Brooklyn was probably around three years old maybe, we had gone to her house, and she was kind of in the tantrum phase, and I was trying to work through that and trying to just rein her in and trying to train her heart.

And my friend Robin said to me, she goes, “When you are talking with her and correcting her,” she said, “You need to pray with her.” And she said, “Say this,” tell her, “Dear God, please help me to obey, because I cannot obey without you.” And we still do that with both of our girls. Oftentimes when we pray with them, we just lead them in that prayer of, “God, I can’t do this without you. I am sinful, and I am incapable of making the right choice without your power and without you.” And so-

Ginger:                         That’s great. That is such a powerful, powerful prayer. And they need to see us praying the same thing.

Yvette:                         Oh, absolutely.

Ginger:                         That God would help us, you know? That we would obey him in training them in what is right. I can’t tell you how many times that I would go through ruts where I would just not be consistent in training my children the way that I should. I would find myself just ignoring things, letting things slide, or even just administering consequences instead of really taking the time to train them up.

And in some of those times, God would even use … when I would blow it in those times. So I would go weeks without being consistent, and then God would convict me, and I would sit down with my kids, and say, “You know what? I need to ask your forgiveness, because I have not been consistent in training you to obey and training you to do what’s right. And you know, honey, I just love you too much to allow you to disobey and to live foolishly. And so will you forgive me?”

And then we would go back over the standard, go back over what’s expected. And then we would just start following through, and I would step back up. But my kids … Instead of just doing that without helping them understand that I failed too, and that I have to go and I have to confess, and I have to ask God to help me and empower me to live in a way that is pleasing to him. Even in the times that we fail, Yvette, those could be powerful teaching opportunities for us to demonstrate our personal relationship with Christ. And what repentance, and turning from sin, and starting fresh looks like in our relationships with God.

Yvette:                         Yeah, I love it. So you homeschooled your kids, right? Did you homeschool all the way, kindergarten through 12th grade?

Ginger:                         I did.

Yvette:                         One of the things that I love about your books and about just your wisdom and parenting is that, through homeschooling, we have the opportunity to practice these things and to speak truth into the hearts of our children all day long. We don’t have to undo the damage that may have been done to them in school. If they’re in school and maybe being taught things that are contrary to God’s word, instead of spending time undoing those, we get to spend our time speaking into their hearts.

What did that look like for you in your homeschool environment with your kids? And how has that turned out? I often wonder, parents write books on parenting, or marriage, or something like that, especially parenting books when their kids are young. And then their kids grow up, and oftentimes I’m like, “Okay, did it work out for you? How are things going?”

Ginger:                         Right. Well, that is the great thing about homeschooling is that we really do get to grab all of those opportunities. Because we are with them all day long, and so, as sin creeps up, we are able to address it and to deal with it in that moment instead of having to wait until they get home from school or finding out what happened at school. That’s one of the most powerful things, that we have the opportunity to train our children in the context of the moment.

And that is when they really learn how to apply God’s word to daily life, because teaching them in the context of the moment, that’s when they’re really going to learn how to apply God’s word to daily life. And so, as we can grab those opportunities, it’s kind of like on-the-job-training, you know?

You learn better. You could learn from textbooks, but you really don’t learn something well until you’re actually doing it and putting it into practice. And so it’s sort of like on-the-job training all day long. And when they put that knowledge gained into practice at that very moment, it’s really going to stick better because they’re learning how it applies in that moment to their life in that particular situation.

So that is one of the great things about homeschooling is that we’re provided with those opportunities. But at the same time, we don’t really get a break. And so, we could become weary in having to train them all day, every day. And we can quickly view it as a burden or a trial. But we’re told to consider it pure joy whenever we face trials of many kinds because we know that the testing of our faith develops perseverance, and perseverance must finish its work so that we may be but sure and complete, not lacking anything.

Yvette:                         Yes. I have often thought about how many opportunities I would miss out on with training my kids and just being able to spend time with them, if they were in a traditional school all day long. And like you said, it can get tiresome sometimes. And there are days when I’m like, “I need to go for a drive. I need to get out. I need to breathe. I need to just have some mommy time,” if that means just going for a walk around the park, or whatever that looks like. But, gosh, I’m so thankful for the time that I get.

And when they’re away from you, and this could be at church, or sporting events. Or whatever, when they’re away from us, we usually don’t know what’s going on. It’s not like they’re going to come home and say, “Hey mom, this is the sin I dealt with today. Can you please train my heart?” You know?

Yvette:                         We’re going to miss so many opportunities. And with being able to homeschool, I love that most of those opportunities are not missed. And we get to help them, first hand, experience truth and the love of God through our parenting.

Thank you so much, Ginger. I love you. I am so grateful for our friendship, and just for what God continues to do through you. We are excited we actually got to interview you for Schoolhouse Rocked. And so we’re super excited to have you as part of that. And I appreciate your support and encouragement with the movie and all that God is doing through the ministry of Schoolhouse Rocked, because you have been such a blessing to me. And you have very much helped shape me into the parent that I am. And I shouldn’t say just me, I do co-parent. I do have a husband, and he parents with me. But he’s always very good about, when I say, “You know, well, what about this? I read this in Ginger’s book. I read this in Scripture. And what do you think about this parenting method?”

And, like you said, ultimately, the Bible is the instruction manual for parenting. There is not a book on the planet that is more important than God’s word. But it certainly is helpful to have excellent books that God has provided us with that can help shape us and encourage us as parents. So thank you for your ministry and for all that you do.

Ginger:                         Oh, thank you Yvette. And I’ll tell you, I have such a tremendous respect for the ministry that you guys have and what you’re doing with Schoolhouse Rocked. And it’s just such a blessing and a huge privilege to get to be even just a tiny, small part of that. And I, too, am just so thankful for the friendship that God has given us. You were just one of those people that, I meet so many people, but you were just one of those people that I just immediately clicked with, and we were kindred spirits and just knew that we were destined to be friends. You’ve been such a blessing and encouragement in my life too. And I’m very thankful for that.

Yvette:                         Aw, thank you so much. So, all right, well, love you, friend. Thanks for talking with me today.

 

You can find Ginger online at www.GingerHubbard.com.

 

Read Ginger Hubbard’s Books:

I Can’t Believe You Just Said That!

Don’t Make Me Count to Three: A Mom’s Look at Heart-Oriented Discipline

Don’t Make Me Count to Three: Six-Week Study Guide

Wise Words for Moms

Ginger and Yvette also recommend Shepherding a Child’s Heart, by Tedd Tripp.

The Schoolhouse Rocked Podcast brings you the homeschooling conversations to encourage and equip you to start strong and finish well. On this weekly show, Yvette Hampton speaks with today’s homeschooling leaders – speakers, authors, activists, curriculum publishers – and homeschooling families just like yours. These conversations will build you up and give you important resources to help you homeschool your children with success – from pre-school to graduation!

We want to hear from you! Click here If you have a question for the host or would like to suggest a topic or guest for The Schoolhouse Rocked Podcast.

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Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash