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.

“The Eighth Wonder Of the World”

For a few thousand years, the apprentice/journeyman system was responsible for many of the most impressive minds and creative works in human history. Under this system, young men and women would sit at the feet of, and work alongside their parents, teachers, rabbis, and mentors. This system was sufficient to breed the great philosophers, mathematicians, astronomers, physicists, poets, authors, playwrights, architects, composers, musicians, painters, sculptors, clockmakers, and mechanical engineers of antiquity. Under this system we got the Sistine Chapel, Romeo and Juliet, The Roman Aqueducts, the Antikathyra mechanism, Girl with a Pearl Earring, Solomon’s Temple, and Beethoven’s “9th Symphony.”

Some of these great works have endured for millennia, but my iPhone 7 Plus has stopped working after 9 months. Every few days it tells me that there is no SIM card in it, and I now have to look for the little lightning bolt when I plug it in or I will wake up with a dead battery.


100 Year Old Self-Playing Violin – “The Eighth Wonder Of the World”

The Hupfeld Phonoliszt Violina Orchestrion was built in 1914. At the time it was built, it was such an impressive technological feat it was called “The Eighth Wonder of the World”. It is a completely mechanical player piano with three self-playing Violins. Not only is it a mechanical marvel, but it is a beautiful piece of art, which still functions today. While it would be a great stretch for any man or company to build one of these today, what makes this machine even more impressive is that it is one of many. The Hupfeld company built several of these, and many other companies were building incredibly complex orchestrions at the same time. Many of these machines played dozens of instruments and could play any number of songs by simply changing their paper rolls, and many of these still function. They were designed and built by men who had studied and labored under masters for many years.

Over the past several generations we have increasingly abandoned an education model that works. Apprenticeship has been relabeled as “child labor”, and now there are laws and international task forces to squash it. Please don’t scold me about children sewing soccer balls or mining heavy metals. Humans have found ways to pervert and abuse every good thing since the fall of man. I am not campaigning for the rise of sweatshops or human slavery, just calling for a return to mentorship. Life and work as education. We have traded a proven model of education in favor of industrialized, standardized, state-run, one-size-fits-all schooling, and the experiment has failed.

As we film Schoolhouse Rocked I become more and more excited about the revolution we see in education. I am excited about the renaissance of classical education, the rediscovered value of family business and family economy, the rise of lifeschooling and mentorship, an emphasis on truth, goodness, and beauty, a valuing of living books, scholé, morning time, and family worship. While I am excited about each of these ideas for their own merits, I am more excited that in every case, the failed model of industrialize education is being challenged and invalidated, and families are taking back the responsibility of training up their children in methods that work. Long live the apprentice!