How Can I Find 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.

Biblical Principles for a Healthy Nation: an interview with Kirk Cameron

“The Kingdom of God is going to be built or comprised of all the nations. And I think that those nations can be blessed and experience the fruit of the Holy Spirit when we line our principals up. There’s lots to say in the Scriptures about government and about the economy and about family and church and marriage. Our forefathers understood that. They don’t get into the “D” and the “R,” they don’t get into the “liberal,” “conservative.” They get into principles that all of us can understand. They’re universal and they’re rooted in the Bible. And that helps me to understand where I sit on these kinds of issues and policies.”

Kirk Cameron

There are few people who are better encouragers than Kirk Cameron. In March, Kirk joined us for a live discussion on Biblical Principles for a Healthy Nation. As we have seen so many things change in our nation since then, we wanted to bring you that discussion. We hope that it will be a great encouragement to you in these uncertain times.

Yvette Hampton:

I want to talk about Monumental, not so much about the movie. I mean the movie is fantastic for those who have seen it, it’s just a fantastic movie, Kirk, where you kind of take us on this journey along with you as you kind of bring us back to the founding of our country. And eventually in the movie you end up at this monument called The Matrix of Liberty. And it’s funny because I’ve asked a few people who have not yet seen the movie. “Have you heard of The Matrix of Liberty.” And they are like, “The what, the matrix of what?” And people have not heard of this monument and it’s so important to our nation.

Kirk Cameron:

Yeah. They’re probably thinking it’s the sequel to the matrix and it’s some sort of freedom fighter who’s trying to figure out which world he’s in.

Yvette Hampton:

Right. Yeah.

Kirk Cameron:

So the monument is actually referred to as The Matrix of Liberty. It’s sort of the recipe, the matrix, the code that unlocks freedom. But the official name for it is The National Monument to the Forefathers. And there’s actually quite a few monuments to the pilgrims throughout the country, but that’s the one that really impressed me and that’s why we made that the centerpiece hero of the documentary.

Yvette Hampton:

Yeah. How did you find out about it?

Kirk Cameron:

So I had never heard of it. I mean, has anybody ever heard of this thing before? I’ve talked with politicians, congressmen, congresswomen, I’ve talked with people like Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity and others who you’d think would know about such a monument because of what it says, and most people have never heard of it.

Kirk Cameron:

In fact, if you try to find it you’ll have a hard time. I know people who live in Massachusetts and have never heard of it, even though it’s maybe a mile away from Plymouth Rock, and it is the largest solid granite monument in America. But the problem is it was built on top of a hill. So imagine if my head is a hill in your neighborhood and there’s a little monument that’s sitting on top. But the problem is there were trees that grew up all around it and are now taller than the monument. So you can’t see, especially if you’re down here below looking up and it’s concealed and hidden within this residential neighborhood.

Kirk Cameron:

And honestly, most people don’t go see it. Since the documentary (Monumental), they’ve had more traffic, which I’m thankful for. But I think it’s the most important monument in the nation because of what it says. And it spells out the biblical worldview and the recipe that our fore-fathers and fore-mothers used to launch a nation that would later become the freest, the most prosperous, the strongest, healthiest and generous nation sending the Gospel out to more countries than any other. And it’s all wrapped up in this matrix of liberty, like you called it.

Yvette Hampton:

I happen to know that you have a replica of it sitting right next to you. So I would love for you to take it and just kind of take us for a tour of it.

Kirk Cameron:

Sure. I would love to. Before I show it to you let me just speak directly to some of our viewers who are watching right now. As you watch the news, as you’re having conversations with your kids or your spouse or your friends, you’re texting, you’re emailing, and you’re just wondering what in the world is going on in our country, even beyond the coronavirus. Just look at politics in the way that they’re being handled. It’s amazing. I mean, it seems like gone are the days where we’re able to have respectful disagreements with each other. If you’re on the right and your friends are on the left or if you’re a conservative or if you’re a liberal or you’re a libertarian or you’re an atheist or a Christian, it seems like fighting is the name of the game. And just smashing and crushing anyone who disagrees with you is sort of the way things work now. And with social media, all of that just sort of gets applauded and people are just trying to slam each other. And we look at our economy and we wonder what’s the right way to do that? We’re talking about “democratic socialism” with Bernie Sanders. We’re talking about more of a moderate type of socialism. Is that better? I mean, after all, shouldn’t the government be generous and helping the poor? And shouldn’t the government be taking care of education all the way through to college? Is there financial inequality that should not exist in the country? Or is capitalism a good thing or a bad thing? All of these things have to be answered somehow in the scriptures. And I believe that the Gospel, the Good News that Jesus came to solve the sin problem couples with the Word of God and the Law of God to help not just make healthy individuals and healthy marriages and families, but healthy nations. And the Kingdom of God is going to be built or comprised of all the nations. And I think that those nations can be blessed and experience the fruit of the Holy Spirit when we line our principals up. And there’s lots to say in the scriptures about government and about the economy and about family and church and marriage and all of that stuff.

Our forefathers understood that. And so what I love about this monument is that they don’t get into the “D” and the “R,” they don’t get into the “liberal,” “conservative.” They get into principles that all of us can understand. They’re universal and they’re rooted in the Bible. And that helps me to understand where I sit on these kinds of issues and policies. So let’s jump in.

For those who are seeing this for the very first time, this might remind you a little bit of the Statue of Liberty, but it’s not, in fact, many people think that this was actually the inspiration for the Statue of Liberty because they were raising funds for this in France before the Statue of Liberty was built with little models of what it was going to be.

In fact, this was before the Civil War that this was made. And Abraham Lincoln was one of the very first financial contributors to the building of this monument. So here it is. It’s called The National Monument to the Forefathers.

It says, “The National Monument to the Forefathers erected by a grateful people in remembrance of their labors sacrifices and sufferings for the cause of civil and religious liberty.” So this is a monument that is all about liberty or freedom, but two kinds. It’s in remembrance of both civil and religious liberty. Civil liberty is a government liberty, right? This is our religious freedom. This is our freedom of speech. This is our freedom to assemble all these things.

And then there’s internal religious liberty. And that is the freedom to worship God, to be able to have the Word of God and to practice our faith without government interference. And this is what they were all about.

So first of all, this monument is the largest granite monument in America. It is 88 feet tall. It’s in Plymouth, Massachusetts. And this was established in 1889. It took them 50 years to build it because the project got interrupted by this little thing we like to call the Civil War. And it was going to be twice this height, but the budget got cut in half due to the war. And that’s why actually the reason why the
“Faith” figure is twice as tall as any of these smaller statues.

FAITH

So Faith was going to be as big as everything else, but it got cut in half. But it’s still, today, the largest granite monument in America. So it’s pretty important.

So let’s go through these. The tallest statue, her name is Faith. Below Faith are other figures. There are Morality, Law, Education, and finally Liberty. Each one of them have smaller reliefs on the sides, which are all really significant.

On the front is the names of the passengers of the Mayflower. And then you also have a quote from the governor of the pilgrims, Governor William Bradford.

You can see that faith is at the top, not morality, not education, not liberty. Faith is really the capstone. This is the key. This is the core that holds everything else together, faith. And if you notice she’s pointing to heaven. She’s got one finger pointed to heaven, and she has a star on her forehead and she’s holding a book in her hand, and the pages of that book are being blown open.

It’s not a closed book. It’s open. And she’s standing on this rock. And all those things are pretty significant. The book is the Bible. In fact, it’s not just any Bible, it’s the Geneva Bible. Now, the Geneva Bible was a very unique Bible. In fact, it was a hated by King James. It came out after the King James Bible. Now we all love the King James Bible. It’s a beautiful Bible, and it was the authorized Bible and it’s written so poetically and many, many people quote from the King James Bible. So King James made a great Bible, but he made a terrible King. He was like a tyrant on steroids. And so he hated the Geneva Bible because it was not authorized.

“So this was something that the parents would teach their kids, just like the Bible says. The book in faith’s hand says that, that parents are to train up their children in the way they should go.”

“So if you educate your kids to the second and third generations, as the Jewish people believed, then you can pass on your faith. You could pass on your values, your worldview, and it would result in what everybody wants, right? And what does everybody want? They want freedom. They want liberty. And that’s what the world has never had outside of this strategy, outside of this recipe. Because freedom has to start internally with the heart.”

Kirk Cameron

What made the Geneva Bible so unique was that it had study notes from theologians of the day, and inside the study notes of this Bible, they used phrases and words like tyrants. Now, tyrants referred to government authorities that were bad authorities. But see, King James considered himself to be practically God’s representative on earth. And so there was the mixture of the church and the government together, and he coined the phrase, “the divine right of Kings.” “In essence if God made me King, well, then I’m in charge of you. I’m God’s representative here and you need to do what I say.” Well, that’s a great recipe for becoming a really great tyrant. And so when they use the word tyrant in this Bible and that tyrants need to be opposed, well, of course that’s was against the King.

Photo byRogers, C. H., – Source, New York Public Library, Public Domain

And this Geneva Bible was also the first English translated Bible that had chapters and verses in the text. So the first time for God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son was John 3:16 was in this Bible, the Geneva Bible. And it was translated and small enough for a family to have one in their house and study it for themselves, rather than having it locked up in a church in a language they couldn’t understand. They were able to read it for themselves rather than having it read to them and explained to them. And that really changed the game in the whole world. And you get to the effects of the reformation and everything else, which is really what launched the pilgrims out of England to the New World.

Yvette Hampton:

Isn’t it amazing to think of how we just take it for granted? Of course we have a Bible, we’ve got 20 of them. Which color would you like and or which version would you like? We’ve got so many in our homes and that we just take for granted what we have. We haven’t always had that.

Kirk Cameron:

You’re absolutely right. It’s amazing. One of the features of this Bible is you’ll see the pages are being blown open there. It’s not shut. And most that I have talked to, the historians in the area, people who understand that and knew who the architect was, say that that is blown open as if by the wind of the Holy Spirit. It’s being opened and God is opening the scriptures the way that Jesus would open the scriptures to his disciples.

Also on her forehead, you’ll see there is a little star and that star represented wisdom. Our forefathers believed that faith was not just this goosebumps feeling that you had, it wasn’t just this hopeful, trusting in God that you didn’t ask questions. They believed that wisdom was something that you received from God. They also knew we should worship him with our mind, not just with our heart and soul, and that they would reason from the scriptures to all areas of life. So these were thinkers. These were people who really reasoned from the scriptures.

And then of course, she’s pointing to the one true God of heaven. This is not just any deity. This isn’t just some random God that it was okay to have faith in. This was a Christian worldview. This wasn’t just a bunch of agnostics and deists or people of other faiths. It was the Christian faith that they believed was absolutely essential, because that was the true and living faith that could transform the heart of man. And without faith in God and faith in God’s word, none of these principles work.

Yvette Hampton:

Right, that is still true today.

Kirk Cameron:

And she’s got her foot on a rock, which is Plymouth rock. The real Plymouth Rock is just a short distance away from where this statute sits in Plymouth. So that’s faith. She’s the center and core and capstone of it all.

Yvette Hampton:

So we start with Faith. Where do we move from there?

MORALITY

Kirk Cameron:

So they would believe that faith would then be expressed through these four different aspects in your society. And first we can go to Morality and she’s seated on her chair. And if you look closely, you’ll see that Morality’s eyes are closed. Some of the other statues have their eyes open, but morality’s is closed. She’s looking inward. It’s suggesting that morality is an inner quality. Morality is not just an external standard that is forced on you by the government. It’s an internal virtue or set of virtues. And if you look in her hands, she’s holding the 10 Commandments in her left hand and the scroll of Revelation in her right hand. On the Ten Commandments, on that touchstone tablet, it says Exodus 20. These are the words that God spoke to Moses.

If you look below Morality, she’s got another little carving here and it says “Prophet.” and on the other side it says “Evangelist.” There’s an evangelist who’s actually preaching the Gospel to lost souls. How’s all that tied into morality? Well, they believe that morality must first start with a transformation of the heart, which is coming from the power of God when the Gospel is preached. So once the heart is transformed, you then begin to love what God loves and hate what God hates by the power of his Spirit. And now you need a standard, which was given to us by the prophet Moses when he came down from Mount Sinai with those Ten Commandments, those two tablets. And there she’s holding it as well as the scroll of Revelation indicating that our morality is founded on both the morality found in the Old Testament and in the New Testament.

I look around in our culture today and our morality has shifted a little bit from this standard. Right?

Yvette Hampton:

It’s so interesting that she’s holding the 10 Commandments, which is also known as the moral law.

Kirk Cameron:

That’s right.

Yvette Hampton:

When we look at the moral law and how we as humans have broken God’s moral law, it has separated us from him.

Kirk Cameron:

That’s right. That’s how we know that we’ve sinned. When we look at the Ten Commandments it’s just like a mirror. In fact, Scripture calls God’s moral law a mirror. And if we look into it, we can see what we look like from God’s perfect perspective, and that we’re broken and dirty and that we need his healing and his cleansing.

LAW

So the reason that this morality is so important is that not only do we please God personally when we are moral people, but it allows us to make good laws in our nation. And that’s the next figure, “Law” and laws are morals.

Now, some people will say, “Well, you can’t legislate morality. You just can’t be imposing your morals on other people.” Well, if you think about it all laws are legislating somebody’s morality. I mean, if someone says, “Well, you need to go 55 miles an hour because you’re going to be endangering other people’s lives and you shouldn’t be doing that.” That’s legislating morals. That’s what laws are. They’re there to protect the people and to minimize evil. And that’s the government’s job. Government exists to restrain evil. So good laws are portrayed by the man of law who’s seated in his judge’s chair.

And he’s holding the Book of Law in his hand. His other hand is outstretched in mercy. And if you notice the book in his hand, of law, is directly beneath the book in Faith’s hand. And this is indicating that the laws of man must always line up under God’s laws. And so God’s laws are always superior. If they don’t line up and agree with God’s laws in the Bible, they’re not good laws. And those good laws are characterized on the right side by Justice.

Lady Justice is holding the scales of justice in one hand and a sword in her other hand. There’s an inference there that laws must be just, and that justice is always to be served and dealt out when laws are broken. That’s why the government does not bear the sword in vain.

On the other side is Mercy, and Mercy is there to balance out injustice. And that’s what we see in the scriptures. We see justice and mercy, justice and mercy. And the judge is able to either sentence someone to a just punishment or to extend mercy because he’s a man of morality and faith himself.

Yvette Hampton:

What a beautiful representation of God, our savior who is just, but he also is merciful at the same time. I mean, it’s hard to combine those two things. But wow, what a beautiful picture of our savior that is!

Kirk Cameron:

That’s right. Our kids try to catch us on that, right? “You’re always going with justice, where’s the mercy? Give me mercy.”

Yvette Hampton:

 All the time. My daughter asks for grace all the time. “Mom can you please do show me grace just this one time.”

Kirk Cameron:

So that’s law. You must have good laws in your nation, in your society, in your culture. I think it’s important to remember too, that this idea that government can solve our problems if we just elect the right person or we just have the right laws in place is incorrect. Our forefathers understood that a big powerful government that took care of everything was really a bad idea. That’s why they came out of England, right? I mean, King James, he did everything. He owned everything. He had all the power. You lived and died based on what the good King said was best for you. That wasn’t their idea of a good way to live.

So they understood that the first kind of law that needs to be adopted are personal laws. – that I’m going to love God with all of my heart, mind, soul, and strength, and I’m going to love my neighbor as myself. So the government, in their mind started, with self-government, without self-government and people running around and taking advantage of each other you’re going to need to find a police officer. Now, you’re going to need to find somebody to help you protect yourself against all these thieves and people killing each other and doing all this stuff because they’re not self-governing under God’s laws.

But if you do self-govern, then you don’t need… Look, if kids would govern themselves, they wouldn’t need parents to discipline them, right? And if parents would govern themselves, we wouldn’t need police officers to come and take care of domestic problems. And if the police could take care of local problems, we wouldn’t need the national guard to show up in a city because locally we’re taking care of things and that’s what they understood. So personal self-government, obeying God’s laws on a personal level takes care of so much that there should not be much need for big authoritarian government from the top down.

Yvette Hampton:

Right. It’s interesting, the Bible says “foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child.” And I would say it’s not just bound up in the heart of a child, it’s bound up in the heart of man. We, as humans, are foolish, rebellious people, which is why we need God’s law. We need God’s moral law to tell us how to live. It’s why we need God’s Word to direct us and guide us in the ways of the Lord.

MORALITY

Kirk Cameron:

So once you have some good laws in your nation and people are governing themselves with good morality, and that morality is built on a transformation of the heart by the Word of God, and you’re trusting in the true God of heaven, our provider, our protector. Then you can begin to do the… I want to say the finer things in life, but it’s not just the finer things. These are essential things in life. But if you’re constantly fighting and just trying to survive and protect against internal strife in your society, you’re not going to have the opportunity to teach your kids math and to teach them history and to teach them all these other things. But if you have good laws and good morality and trusting in the Lord, and you’re receiving his blessing, now you can teach your kids about architecture. You can teach them about warfare. You can teach them all about charity and all of the things that make life worth living.

EDUCATION

So here we have Education and Education is a woman seated in a chair. This woman is representing a parent figure. And I know that the pilgrims did not see education as any less than a parent-led privilege and responsibility. They would never go along with the idea of a government funded, government run school. Why? Well, think of it. They just came out of England and if King James or queen Elizabeth was funding a school system, the first thing that would be out of the school, it’d be the Bible. And it would be, “Do whatever the King or the queen says.” And so this was something that the parents would teach their kids, just like the Bible says. The book in Faith’s hand says that parents are to “train up their children in the way they should go.” And so she’s holding the books of knowledge.

She has a wreath of victory around her head. She can do this this, this woman, this mom has gotten what is required for her to educate her children. On her right it says “youth” and there’s a picture of a mom training her child in the way they should go so that when they become old, and there’s an old man right here, his name is Wisdom and he’s holding a globe and he’s holding a Bible indicating that he has a Biblical worldview.

So if you educate your kids to the second and third generations, as the Jewish people believed, then you can pass on your faith. You could pass on your values, your worldview, and it would result in what everybody wants, right? And what does everybody want? They want freedom. They want liberty. And that’s what the world has never had outside of this strategy, outside of this recipe. Because freedom has to start internally with the heart.

LIBERTY

And that’s what we read in the very beginning for both civil and religious liberty. As we continue, we see liberty man. He’s strong. He’s ready to fight. He’s got a sword in his hand, he’s got a helmet on his head, and he has a breast plate. He’s got all of the things that he needs for battle.

In fact, you can see the entire armor of God that we see in Ephesians 6 represented right here, the helmet of salvation, the breastplate of righteousness, the belt of truth, the sandals of the Gospel of peace, the sword of the Spirit.

The chains on his wrists and on his ankles are broken. He has been liberated and set free. He’s been set free internally from the power of sin by the Gospel. And he’s been set free externally from the power of tyrants. And if you look on his shoulder, you’ll see there’s a lion’s claw. There is a lion draped over his back. That lion represents tyranny. Tyranny has been overthrown, the lion represented England. And he Liberty has overthrown the tyrant.

Kirk Cameron:

And on his side is a picture of his wife and her name is Peace. She’s holding a basket full of gifts for her family and for her friends.

Liberty is ready to defend his faith. He’s ready to defend his morals, the laws of his country. And also the ability to educate his children in a biblical worldview. This is the liberty man. And this is the result of The Matrix of Liberty. You don’t start with that guy. You finish with that guy after you have Faith, Morality, Law, Education, and generations of those virtues produce men and women of liberty.

Kirk Cameron – 2020 Homegrown Generation Family Expo Speaker

Join Kirk Cameron for Some Fun and Practical Family Encouragement

We are very excited to announce that the Schoolhouse Rocked team is working to put together another encouraging resource for homeschool families. The Homegrown Generation Online Family Expo is a one-of-a-kind event. Live and fully interactive, the conference will feature some of today’s most popular speakers addressing the most important issues that homeschool families face.
Kirk Cameron will be speaking on Marriage and Family, Wednesday, February 19th, at 12:00 p.m. (EST). 
Kirk and his wife, Chelsea, are homeschool parents and advocates who met on the set of “Growing Pains” and have been married for over 27 years. Together they have six children. Kirk currently tours the country speaking live in 30 cities a year as part of the “Living Room Reset” marriage and parenting conference. We were blessed to hear Kirk speak at a Living Room Reset event last January and it was a blast. We know he will be a huge encouragement to you and your family.
Kirk is just one of the amazing speakers we already have lined up for this event. Please click here to check out some of the other speakers who have already confirmed. The event will feature several Schoolhouse Rocked cast members and Schoolhouse Rocked Podcast guests, and will bring practical advice, valuable resources, and heartfelt encouragement on several topics, including marriage, family, parenting, getting started and keeping on track in homeschooling, homeschooling methods and styles, and more. Each day will end with a roundtable Q&A session where you will be able to interact with the speakers.
Because we want to make this event available to as many families as possible, we have set a very low price of just $20 for lifetime access, but if you act quickly you can take advantage of early-bird pricing of just $15!
The conference will be held Monday, February 17th to Friday, February 21, 2020. Live workshops will be held between 12 PM and 7:30 PM EST (9 AM and 4:30 PM PST).
Please join us for this exciting event! The Homegrown Generation Family Expo is a ministry of Schoolhouse Rocked and proceeds from this event will go directly to help fund post-production on this important film.
If you would like to make a tax-deductible donation to support Schoolhouse Rocked, please click here.
Thank you for letting us walk with you through your homeschooling journey!
Kirk Cameron Bio:

Kirk Cameron has been a part of the national landscape since starring as “Mike Seaver” in the ABC hit sitcom, “Growing Pains.” That role turned him into a cultural icon in the 80’s, with his mullet hairstyle, cool sunglasses, and wisecracking comebacks. Since then, he’s appeared in numerous television and movie productions, including the “Left Behind” series, “Monumental,” and “Fireproof”- the marriage-centered film that became the #1 grossing inspirational movie of 2008. His newest film, Connect, offers “real help for parenting teens in a social media world.”

Kirk’s exclusive online community of faith and family is called “The Campfire.” He’s been featured on Fox News, the Today Show, and CNN and currently tours the country speaking live in 30 cities a year as part of the “Living Room Reset” marriage and parenting conference.

In the fall of 2016 and 2017, he hosted live Fathom theater events called “Revive Us” — a “national family meeting” urging the family of faith to return to the principles that will bring blessing and protection to America. The live events took place in over 750 theaters across the U.S. Kirk also currently released his new talk show, One on One with Kirk Cameron, on the Trinity Broadcast Network.

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

q?_encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B01L0E48HA&Format=q?_encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B00UFZNGW4&Format=q?_encoding=UTF8&ASIN=0985365153&Format=q?_encoding=UTF8&ASIN=0983350566&Format=

 

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

Photo by Jude Beck on Unsplash

The Benefits of Homeschooling, Part 2

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Aby:                 Everything, yes!

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

Aby:                 It’s universal.

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

Aby:                 Reality.

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

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

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

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

Yvette:             Right?

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

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

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

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

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

Aby:                 Yes.

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

Aby:                 She’ll handle newborns well.

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

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

Yvette:             They do, yep.

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

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

Yvette:             Sure, they couldn’t fully recover.

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

Yvette:             Yeah, that’s great.

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

Yvette:             Yes, I love it.

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

Yvette:             Right.

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

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

Yvette:             That’s right.

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

Yvette:             Oh, they’re just babies.

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

Yvette:             No.

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

Yvette:             Wow.

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

Yvette:             That’s huge.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Aby:                 It’s part of our nature.

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

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

Yvette:             Yep, that’s right.

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

Yvette:             That’s right.

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

Yvette:             Oh, socialization for sure.

Aby:                 Socialization. What about socialization?

Yvette:             Awkward unsocialized homeschoolers.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yvette:             And his righteousness.

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

Yvette:             Yes.

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

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

Aby:                 Exactly.

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

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

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

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

Aby:                 Yeah. Just be cautious and discerning.

Yvette:             Yeah, that’s right.

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

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

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

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

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

Photo by Mike Scheid on Unsplash

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.

This transcript is generously provided by MakeCrate. MakeCrate provides your homeschooler with the STEM skills they need for the future! Fun, hands-on electronics kits paired with an online learning platform teach your middle or high schooler engineering and coding fundamentals right at home! No technical expertise is required. Order your MakeCrate today at MakeCrate.Club/SR.    

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.

Do you believe in homeschooling? Here’s your chance to help spread the word that homeschooling is good for students, good for families, good for culture!  Go to SchoolhouseRocked.com/support and join the movement to spread the word about homeschooling through movie theaters nationwide.

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

Becoming an Eternally Minded Mama

Yvette Hampton:               Hey everyone. This is Yvette Hampton. Welcome back to The Schoolhouse Rocked Podcast. I have a really exciting guest on with me today. Her name is Katie LaPierre, and you are going to be super encouraged by her. She is a mama of seven. I’m going to let her tell you a little bit about her family and … She’s a homeschool mom, who is in the thick of it right now, and just has some really neat advice and stories to share with us. She has a new devotional that just came out recently. So we are going to talk about those things today. So, Katie, welcome to the Podcast.

Katie LaPierre:                   Thank you so much for having me, Yvette.

Yvette Hampton:               Yeah. Yeah, I’m so glad to have you on. We got to meet you and your husband Scott when we were back in California still. But we went to Washington to film you guys for Schoolhouse Rocked, and you were a couple of our very first interviews that we got to do and I got to meet your amazing family. So, tell our listeners about your awesome family that you have.

Katie:                                        We are in Washington, and my husband is the senior teaching pastor at a church, and we have seven children ages 11 and under. That’s about it.

Yvette:                                      Well, you’ve got a sweet, sweet family. We have really enjoyed getting to know you over the last couple of years. We were just talking about social media and how amazing it is. Because you and I, we’ve only met one time in person. But it seems like we’ve been friends for a really long time. And like we actually kind of … do life together, like we know one another.

Katie:                                        Yeah.

Yvette:                                      That is much due to social media.

Katie:                                        Yes.

Listen to Katie LaPierre on the Schoolhouse Rocked Podcast.

Yvette:                                      So, I am excited about this conversation today. We have some fun things to talk about. Two things that I want to … kind of go down two separate roads with you, but I think they’re going to kind of bring it all back together is … We have asked our listeners, and we often get questions that come in from our listeners. One of the questions that we get, hands down more than any other question is, “How do you home school with multiple kids? How do you deal with younger siblings when the older siblings are doing school? How do you homeschool in a large family?” Just … organizing and trying to figure out how to to subjects with all the different kids. And so I know you are in the middle of that. You’ve been homeschooling for sometime now. Your oldest is 11. How old is your youngest?

Katie:                                        She’s eight months old.

Yvette:                                      Wow! I can’t believe she’s eight months already. That’s amazing.

And so you’re there. You are in the midst of that very thing right now. So, I would love to start by you sharing with us how you just kind of balance your day out, and then the second half of the Podcast let’s talk about this new devotional journal that you have that came out.

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

Katie:                                        First, I would say it’s not balanced. I don’t … I cannot find balance to save my life. So, one thing I do though that I recommend every wife does is that she asks her husband, “Honey, what is important to you? What would you have done?” Because aside from homeschooling we’re also keeping the home, meal planning, there’s a whole bunch of things. I cannot believe all the things a mother has to do. I mean keeping track of everything is crazy and I consider myself a multitasker but this is like a new level of multitasking.

Yvette:                                      Yeah.

Katie:                                        So first, you go to your husband and say, “Honey, what is important to you? What do you want done first?” And as wives we’re called to adapt to our husbands. So, my husband does not care about food. He will eat popcorn for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I will slave away making lasagna or something and homemade bread and he goes, “Can I have popcorn?”, you no, are you joking? So he doesn’t care about food. So, I’m like okay well one less thing. I can push that off to help me find balance, right? So then what’s left? Well we’ve got homemaking and homeschooling.

Katie:                                        Now homemaking’s super important to my husband, so that’s part of our homeschooling. We do jurisdictions and chores throughout the day, and I … at this point the seventh child has really thrown me for a loop. It’s been probably the hardest. This is my first time having four kids five and under, and so it’s a lot harder. So, to keep the house clean we have to incorporate that into our schedule. I think you’ve done a Podcast with Durenda Wilson.

Yvette:                                      I did.

Katie:                                        I love her, and I love listening to her, and she just talks a lot about how important it is in our homeschooling that we are teaching work ethic. That should be a class all on its own, and so I incorporate that into schooling. We have a 30-minute schedule that starts at 8:30 actually. We don’t start breakfast until 8:30, because my husband’s a senior pastor at a primarily homeschooling church, these people stay up forever! So we’ve had schedule to stay up later and then sleep in later. So we don’t start breakfast ’til 8:30, and at 8:30 everyone sits down, we pray, eat breakfast and that’s when I do some kind of Bible thing with the kids. Right now we’re going through Wisdom with the Millers, and that’s like, my idle time with the children. After that, I have a 30-minute schedule that’s up on the fridge. We set the timer, and every time the timer goes off each kid knows what they need to be doing. I sound off, “Okay. Ricky has piano, Rhea needs to be doing creative literature and writing, Johnny’s doing Bible” … and that’s one way we do that. Another thing is, I actually started doing online videos for my five year old.

I will never do anything with kindergarten. You just need to throw some letters at them and some cards, have them look at colors. She is excelling, and I feel like I’m kind of shoving her in the corner because I’m trying to focus with my other kid that needs more help, and then she’s losing out.

This transcript is provided by MakeCrate. MakeCrate provides your homeschooler with the STEM skills they need for the future! Fun, hands-on electronics kits paired with an online learning platform teach your middle or high schooler engineering and coding fundamentals right at home! No technical expertise is required. Order your MakeCrate today at MakeCrate.Club/SR. 

Katie:                                        So I have one child that’s doing video learning, I have one child that needs a lot of one on one. Two children that are doing ACE curriculum, and they’re very … like totally good on their own. They know what they need to be doing. While they’re working, I have … He’s just turned four, two and eight month old. So I might be nursing the baby while the kid that needs work is sitting with me reading to me, and the other two we have what’s called pattern tiles … And so, they can be making patterns with their tiles, the two year old and the four year old. They play together really well. So I’ll often have some kind of activity for them, Duplos, race car tracks … Just as a side note, it’s really important when you have a bunch of kids that you have toys organized. You can’t just expect to send your children downstairs, or wherever the toys are … go play with toys. It just doesn’t work for big families.

So I have been sorting out my toys by category, and I am finding they are playing so much better. So I recommend that for moms with big families. Get your toys organized; categorized together and say, okay today you’re going to go play with the Hot Wheels. Sometimes they just need simple direction.

And they do have screen time sometimes. I don’t want to give this impression like my kids never look at a screen. They can do screens, but it’s purposeful. It’s often learning. My two year old now can count to 14 or 15 and that had nothing to do with me. That’s from a lot of these wonderful learning videos that are out there. And so they do that too. But it’s very parent directed and overseen. Does that kind of answer the question?

Yvette:                                      Yeah it does. That’s helpful, and I like that gave very specific things. So when they’re playing with toys, I like that you give a specific like, go play with this toy today. Now do you keep some of your toys and activities set aside so that you can bring them out, you know, every couple of months so that it’s kind of a new toy. Because I’ve heard of moms doing that too, and I think that’s a fantastic idea. Then it’s like a brand new thing, instead of having all of their toys out.

Katie:                                        Yeah that is a great idea. What I have done is I’ve organized them and labeled them in totes, and so I don’t go hide them. But like, right now we have like … I forget the word, a variety of toys in this tub. Random I guess … Miscellaneous. The Hot Wheels stacked on top of that, and then we have the Duplos. And so, right now the one that’s on top is the one they’re playing with the most.

And then I’ll switch them and move them around in that way. But we eliminated our toys down to Legos, Hot Wheels and puzzles. That’s pretty much it. Because I … What are my kids actually playing with? I don’t have time, energy or personality to go with organizing all this stuff all the time, keeping up with it. So that’s what we’re down to right now, and I find eliminating tons of choices, like little random toy over here … little random toy. The kids just get like distracted, overstimulated. They don’t know what to play with. So Scott would rather have us invest in one category of toy and spend a lot of money in that category, and so you should see our Lego collection, and now we’ve color-coded them. So all the red ones are in a tub, all the white ones, and then they can take them and build, and the boys will completely organize this Lego section that looks like … out of a store.

But that really helps, and I’m a huge proponent of if just because you have a shelf, or just because you have a closet or cabinet does not mean you need to fill it. I think we feel that way, like ugh, there’s this empty space I need to put something there. We don’t have to do that.

And so, books of course. I mean, books to me kind of fit in the toy category ’cause they’re fun. So books are a huge investment too that we love to have, and I just say go grab two books and sit on the couch. Nobody talk. Like three times a day, and that is a great way to gather everybody. If someone’s screaming they got hurt … Go grab two books and sit on the couch.

It’s a very easy go to. So, toys should be for our convenience and help. They should never be a burden like many other things in our home. But they become a burden. You know, I love that God says in James, “Pray and ask me for wisdom and I’ll answer.” There are not many prayers God says that about. I don’t know many other ones where He says ask me for this and I will answer.

And so, even as moms so we can say, “Okay Lord I need wisdom, even with toys. What do I do with these things?” Or I need, especially since we’re talking about homeschooling, “I need wisdom with homeschooling. This child’s falling behind. What do I do?” And I feel like God answered that. And always go to your husband. Seek his counsel too.

Yvette:                                      Yes. I am right with you in regards to simplifying because we have … I remember when Brooklyn was born, you know your first kid, and we had so many things. I mean clothes, her closet. So I had three baby showers for her.

Katie:                                        Oh wow!

Yvette:                                      Her closet was ridiculously full of everything pink, because she was the first girl who had, we had … I mean we were married 11 years before she was born. So we had waited a long time. There was a big celebration of course.

And then as she grew into where she could play with toys, she had so many toys, and it was so overwhelming, and we got to the point where we started just getting rid of things that were not necessary, and I realized she’s not … she’s never played with this one thing. So, what I started doing with her from a very young age was I would say you know, honey … I know a lot of parents will … Well, and I will say I have done this before. But a lot of parents will try to kind of sneak those toys out of their home, and their kids pretty much never notice that they’re gone because they don’t play with them anyway.

But oftentimes I would say, you know let’s see what other child we can bless with these toys. And then it became an exciting thing for her, like oh there might be another kid who doesn’t have as many toys as me and we can go bless them, and so what a great way for them to learn from a really young age that it’s not all about them, and they can serve other people, and other children by providing them with their toys that they don’t play with.

And then, of course, we sold all of our stuff. For those who don’t know our story, about two and a half years ago we sold our house, all of our stuff in it, had to basically get rid of everything, and we loaded up in an RV and started traveling across the country, kind of road schooling and filming the documentary.

But we had to get rid of pretty much everything, and so we really had to decide, like what is really important. And we kept the Legos. We have lots of Lego still, and there are a few other things that we held on to. But honestly my girls haven’t needed a whole lot. You know, they’ve got dolls and Barbies. I mean Brooklyn’s 13 now. So she doesn’t play with those as much anymore. Except for with her little sister. But it seems to just kind of clutter your life when you have so many things and it just makes more work. It creates more of a burden for the whole family.

I want to ask you because you talk about, how well you know, you’ll say well this child is to go do Bible, this child is supposed to go do piano, this child is supposed to go do math or whatever. I imagine that with a family of seven kids that doesn’t always fall perfectly in line, and they all go their beautiful way without fussing and complaining and they’re completely compliant and say, “Yes, mommy,” and they all go do exactly what they’re supposed to do. Because I know kids are kids. How do you deal with making sure that they’re all doing what they’re supposed to be doing and trying to just keep from it being completely chaotic?

Katie:                                        I would say that actually they do pretty well with schoolwork at this point. Going and doing the stuff that they’re supposed to do. That has not been much of an issue. My husband was a public school teacher for eight years before he became a pastor and that’s why he wanted me to homeschool is because he’s a public school teacher. And he said, “Routines and procedures. Routines and procedures”. I know I’ve heard that from him so many times, and often we expect our kids just to like fall in line.

Just do what I said. They have to practice it. So he will literally do things like, if a child forgets their plate at the table, you have to pick the plate up ten times, go to the kitchen put it in the sink. Pick it back up. Go back to the table. Because we are all like that, we all need … So we practice things. But this schedule at this point, it’s probably been about a year that I’ve been doing it, and they are on it. Now, at the beginning, yeah it’s messy and you just have to expect that. But I … if you have a personality like me that’s just kind of scatterbrained and all over the place, you need a schedule.

No matter how much you want to fight it, and set a timer. And no matter what that person’s doing at that point, they go to the next thing; even if they didn’t finish piano we go to Bible. And something really important, like there’s been a few times with math where they just are not getting it, and I’m like alright we have to stay on this subject. You’re going to skip creative literature and writing and do math for the next half hour. And we’re actually looking at doing more reading and writing. We’re considering changing our schedule to hour increments instead of 30 minute.

It makes a huge difference, and children want to know what to do. They’re looking to us to tell them what to do even if it seems like they’re fighting it and I’ve found there’s so much more peace in my home when we just do exactly what the schedule says and they want that ultimately. So I actually haven’t had that much resistance. It’s when chores come along and I say go get your chore, and they’re like flailing around in the kitchen and you’re not sure … what are you doing? That part gets a little bit messier.

Yvette:                                      Yeah. Well the Bible says, “Train up a child in the way he should go.” And we’ve talked about this on the Podcast before, and I love that you and Scott do that with your kids, that you train them to: “Okay you didn’t put your plate away. Go do it ten times”, because it’s training them in how to do it the right way. It’s not a punishment for them. It’s training them.

Katie:                                        Yes, exactly. “Train them up the way they should go.” They don’t know which way to go. We have to train them.

Yvette:                                      We do, and so often I think as parents we think that they know what is expected of them because we’ve maybe told them a couple of times … and we have to remember they’re children. They don’t always remember or naturally think, okay what is the most logical next step, is to put my plate in the sink, or put it in the dishwasher … and so they do need to be trained to do those things and that’s our job as their parents, to train them that-

Katie:                                        Yeah, I’ve actually … in my devotional I have one where I talk about how our kids are new here, to planet earth, and we forget that, and so I tell parents, or mothers, look at this as if they’re on a new job site. You’re not going to like scorn some employee ’cause they forgot something and they’re brand new. Our children are new.

And then, like if we look at things in five-year increments, compare that to a month on a job. You know, so you’re training them. They’re new. You’ve got to expect that. You have to expect them to forget, you have to expect them to probably do [inaudible 00:17:00] them out. And if you are expecting these things, you’re not as offended, you’re not taking it so personally and you can have like, a more like work mindset. Okay, picture they’re your employee. You’re not going to get all fired up and emotional ’cause you’re the mother.

Sometimes it helps to separate ourselves like that. So that’s something else I’ve done.

Yvette:                                      Yeah. Oh, that’s fantastic, because it’s not an offense against you personally. Though I think we take it that way sometimes.

Katie:                                        Yes. We can see why we’re in charge. But ultimately they belong to the Lord. And they’re ultimately not working as unto Him. They’re not called the workers unto mommy. Although they do work for mommy, we try to tell them this. They’re working for the Lord. But it’s always unto Him.

Yvette:                                      So Katie, you actually have a new devotional and journal that came out. It’s called Eternally Minded Mamas. Talk to us about that.

Katie:                                        Okay, great yeah. First on the title: why I chose that title. Colossians 3:1-2 calls us to set our mind on things that are above where Christ is. And as moms, I don’t know about you but I find that harder to do than any other season in my life because we’re doing dishes. We’re getting up or … for me right now I’m getting up for the baby still at night, and I’m like, Lord how am I going to set my mind on things that are above?

I think sometimes we have to remind ourselves when we’re reading the Word, is this a command? Is this a suggestion? No. It’s … God’s commanding that, set your mind on things that are above, where I am. Don’t forget, and so, okay Lord I’ve got to continually do that. So my heart behind Eternally Minded Mamas was Lord, I want to help moms. Mother in the midst of the temporal mundane while keeping their minds set on You, on spiritual things. So, that’s where the heart was born out of was Colossians 3.

Katie:                                        And then so I just have 31 daily devotionals that I tried to filter out any junk, and just make it a meaty, good thing for them to be able to sit down and be able to chew on all day. But it not take 40 minutes, and then I left a spot where they could write notes and gave some suggestions for questions on how they can apply what they read.

Yvette:                                      One of the things that I’ve heard you talk about is that you don’t feel totally adequate as a mom, as a homeschool mom and we have seen that over and over as we’ve talked to moms, as we’ve interviewed moms for the Podcast and for the movie, is that none of us feel like we’re perfectly equipped to raise these children. We feel like we’re just … somehow we’re messing it up, and we can’t always put our finger on why we feel that way. But we feel like we’re just not enough, and I think sometimes it’s society telling us that. I think often times it’s social media. You know, we see the things on Facebook and Instagram and these perfect families that it seems that everyone else has. So it makes us feel like, “well we’re not doing this right. We’re not doing it as well as so and so.” And so, talk to that mama who’s just feeling … ’cause I know you’re in this place yourself, where God is really teaching you a whole lot of things about … You’re not enough. He is enough. You know, none of us are enough. None of us are big enough to do this. But with the grace and mercy of our savior we are enough to do this through Him. So talk about, just the season that you’re in and encourage that mama who’s feeling that way.

Katie:                                        Oh it’s so good. I feel like I could talk about this for five hours. I think being in ministry too, everyone is so messed up. I don’t know if … I cannot tell you, even when I go to the grocery store, if I’m anywhere I’m like what’s their problem? They got a big mess. I don’t know what their name is but I’ll tell you they’ve got a big mess at home, and it’s just … Everyone is such a mess but we’re all so busy trying to make it look like that’s not the case.

So my husband and I are known in our church body in particular, for being very transparent about the mess we are. In fact, he just did a marriage conference like three hours east of here, and we talked in the Q and A about a big fight we had right before we came … and I think that’s just so important, and the more we’re putting on this façade of, you just need to discipline your kids right like I do. And so it ruins moms. It makes them feel like, ugh … like you said, “I’m never going to be like so and so. I’m never going to measure up.” So I’m just very transparent about how I tell Scott I feel like I’m in the wrong calling. I feel like a fish out of water. I had a woman come to me the other day. She’s a single young lady, she’s in her late twenties and she’s not married and she said, “Sometimes I wonder if I want to get married and have kids because I want to be in control.” And I’m like, “ugh it’s a nightmare being in control.” I just … I want to be their friend. I’m like, “can we hang out and play together?” I … just, nothing fits for me in being a mom … is what it feels like. But that’s why I’m so comforted when God says in your weakness I am strong. I’m so glad He never said, in your strength Katie, I’ll show myself strong. He says your weakness. You feel pathetic. Perfect, that’s exactly where I want you!

Katie:                                        And I’m crying out to him constantly. I feel like I’m unorganized, I am inconsistent, I am all over the place, these different things that people say you can’t be that way and be a good mom. But I’m called to be their mom. I am Rhea’s mom. That is the position that God has put me in, and so I have to trust like David did, or Moses. All these men that felt like, Lord you’ve got the wrong guy.

You know, he’s called you to mother your two girls and He’s like, designed that. As messy as it may feel sometimes, or, is that inadequate? And I would say that to any mom, Yeah you’re a total mess just like everybody else. But God’s called you to this. He’s going to equip you and be like, don’t be like Moses and say, “Lord please send somebody else.” I don’t want to do it. And just embrace the messiness.

I tell people that. If you embrace the messiness and stop fighting it so much, it gets a lot easier.

Yvette:                                      Oh, I love that. I was thinking this morning actually that I have days sometimes … I don’t have days where I feel like I don’t want to be a mom. I love being a mom. I waited a long time to be a mom, and I genuinely love being a mom. But I have some days where I feel like I just don’t want to do this adult thing today. Like, I don’t want to do … It’s not that I don’t want to do anything. It’s not like I want to sleep all day. But I just don’t want any responsibility for anybody or anything. I don’t to want to homeschool, I don’t want to have to train my kids, I don’t want to have to podcast. And I love everything that I do. I love my life. But I just want to check out for a few days sometimes. And so sometimes I have to be brought back to the reality of, “this is where God has me.” He has me exactly where He wants me to be. I have the perfect family that God has put in my life, and I’m so grateful for that, and I think so much of it is keeping perspective of how God can use us and will use us if we will allow Him to. And … But it’s not always easy. Sometimes it’s really hard, and like you said, we’re all a mess in our own different ways and that’s hard to admit sometimes for people. I just did a podcast with Karen DeBeus and we talked about getting real, and we were just talking about this very thing-

Where we feel like we need to put on this pretty show for everybody and always you know, just look a certain way and act a certain way and that’s hard. It’s hard to show your mess to people. But I think there’s so much freedom in it when people see that we’re not perfect. We’re … you know. There are so many days where every single one of us because we’re humans, are just kind of falling apart. And then we have days when we’re not. You know… Hopefully this is not an everyday thing.

Katie                                          But I think this is so important that our kids see this too.

Katie:                                        I’m not saying our children’s salvation depends on us. I think they have free will. I know God’s sovereign. But I have seen a common theme especially in homeschooling families where kids are walking away ’cause they’re sick and tired of putting on a show. I don’t want to be that. So we’re a mess with our kids. We talk with how mommy just messed up again. We actually … I don’t know if any other family does … we go round the table and talk about our weaknesses. About how so and so’s controlling and needs to work on that, and it’s not a question of if you’re messed up. It’s just a question of what they are. So getting our kids used to talking about that stuff early on. Our kids have a large voice in our lives. Some people think that we border maybe on disrespect. But we really want them to be able to talk to us. And sometimes you’ll see in the homeschooling circle, it’s like, you act like this when we go in public, and you look like this. So and so’s going to be there. They’re going to be watching us. That stuff ruins our kids. So we let them talk to us. We let them confront us. Hey, daddy I didn’t like how you said this. I wish you wouldn’t have done that.

And it is so important that that transparency goes into the home. So that our kids, when they’re struggling with their faith, when they’re struggling with whatever … purity that they can come to us.

Yvette:                                      Yeah, absolutely and being willing to apologize to our kids when we’re struggling with things, and they have you know, unfortunately been the victims of a hard day. You know, going to them and just saying you know, “Honey, we were wrong in our attitude. Please forgive us,” because then they learn to do that in return.

Katie:                                        It’s so beautiful when you hear your kids saying that to each other, because they’ve heard you do it.

The other day I’d snapped at one of my boys, and I asked him, “Please forgive me. I’m sorry I did that,” and the other boy said, “Good job, mama.” Like, you know we call it spiritual weightlifting in our house. When you apologize and your flesh is like, no! You know, you picture your like flesh shriveling up and like getting stronger and we call it spiritual weightlifting. When you apologize saying I’m sorry and then the next step saying, will you forgive me? That’s like an extra five pounds.

Yvette:                                      I love it. Really quickly, we’re almost out of time. But I want to ask you from your devotional that you just put out, do you have a favorite entry in there that you would like to share with us?

Katie:                                        Yes, I’d love to. This one is on Day 18, it’s called, “Small Things Mothering.” And I start from a few verses in Zechariah … and God says, “Do not despise the day of small things.” And I love this, especially because I’m a stay at home mom, and sometimes it just seems like our day is filled with small things. And the Lord was encouraging Zerubbabel though the prophet Zechariah here, and he was actually laying the foundation for the temple where people would worship God. And so we look back at that and we say, oh that is not a small thing. That’s the big thing. But guess what mama, you’re doing a huge thing.

You’re laying a foundation, but it takes small things, daily being faithful, and even the beginning of great things like building the temple for the Lord can be despised. And we can despise these things. And I’m just thankful God knows that, and God has called us mamas to build a mighty thing, which is our home, and we are laying a mighty foundation daily even though it seems small. Moses wrote, “Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us, and establish the work of our hands upon us. Yes, establish the work of our hands,” and this should be our prayer too. And so in the journaling entry I said, I consider what it is that makes us despise the day of small things.

So I want moms to analyze, why do I despise this? And often it’s a root of pride. Is there a sense that you’re above it? And then I ask the simple question, “do you enjoy small things?” Maybe there are some small things you enjoy. Why do you think you enjoy those, and write down your thoughts and search your heart. Pray for the Lord to give you a heart to enjoy even the smallest things today. And then I close with Colossians 3:23-24, Whatever you do, work heartily as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as a reward.

You are serving the Lord Christ. So when you’re doing the dishes, when you’re changing a poopy diaper, when you’re separating siblings squabbling again, you are serving the Lord Jesus Christ and that is no small thing.

Yvette:                                      Yes, oh Amen, I love it. That is the absolute perfect way to end this. Our job is not a small job. It seems like it is sometimes, and it seems like it’s just the mundane, everyday … changing diapers, doing dishes, you know, homeschooling, teaching spelling once again, having your kids sound out C A T, you know? But it is no small thing because we are raising up these children to be ambassadors for Christ, and to be the future of this country, and we’re raising adults. We’re not raising children, and it is a very big job, and it is a very important job.

Thank you Katie. You have been such an encouragement to me. Where can people find you?

Katie:                                        You can find me at KatieLaPierre.org. It’s my name, and the book is on Amazon.

Yvette:                                      Okay, and we will link back to both of those things in the show notes. If you guys have a chance to pick up this devotional, I would highly recommend it. It is really encouraging. I love the journal part in there. I’m a journaler, and so I love to … I’ve got my journal. Every day I sit and write in it, and so I love that you’ve got the devotional on one side and then the journal on the other side. So you can really write down what you’re feeling for that day, and just how the Lord is moving in your heart with each of those devotionals, and I do want to say … I think Scott had said it took you two years to write this devotional, right?

Katie:                                        Yes, yes.

Yvette:                                      I mean, this was a process. Because … and I want to say that because I don’t want moms to think, well she’s got seven kids. Her house is run perfectly and she wrote a devotional. Like how is that even possible?

Katie:                                        Yeah.

Yvette:                                      Because again that’s one of those things that will make moms feel like they’re inadequate. This is something that has been a part project for you for quite sometime.

Katie:                                        Yeah, just to give you an idea, my husband wrote a book. It was 80,000 words. This is 9000 words total. And this was just, you know what, I would write about stuff, and when women would react like positively, like, “Oh that’s me,” that’s the stuff I would write about. So I just wanted to write what would speak to women’s hearts.

Yvette:                                      Well, thank you for sharing your heart with us. You are a great encouragement and a blessing, and thank you guys for listening to the Podcast today. We love having you with us. Please continue praying for us and sending us notes of encouragement. We always like to know how we can encourage you, and how we are encouraging you. So that we know that we’re doing the right thing here. Let us know what other topics we can tackle on the Podcast. If you have any suggestions for Podcast guests or anything like that, let us know. You can send us an email at podcast@schoolhouserocked.com and just let us know how we can serve you. And Katie, again thank you for your time today. You are a huge blessing and I appreciate you being with me.

Katie:                                        Thank you, Yvette.

 

Photo by Liana Mikah on Unsplash

Photo by Xavier Mouton Photographie on Unsplash

Photo by Henrikke Due on Unsplash

What is Schoolhouse Rocked? An Interview with Director, Garritt Hampton

“The mission of Schoolhouse Rocked is to encourage and equip homeschool families to start strong and finish well. And so everything we’ve done has been guided by that goal. Our primary goal is to glorify God in all we do, but we want to do that by building up homeschool families. We know that it can be difficult, but it’s super rewarding. So we want to be a part of the process of making homeschooling great for your family. That’s what we’re doing with the film. That’s what we’re doing with the podcast.” – Garritt Hampton

Yvette Hampton:           Welcome to The Schoolhouse Rocked Podcast. I’m Yvette Hampton, producer and host of the upcoming documentary Schoolhouse Rocked: The Homeschool Revolution. On this podcast we bring you the very best from today’s homeschool leaders to help you start strong and finish well. This podcast is for you. If you have a guest or topic suggestion, email podcast@schoolhouserocked.com.

Listen to this episode of The Schoolhouse Rocked Podcast.

We are so excited to have you here. This is the first official episode of The Schoolhouse Rocked Podcast and I have an amazing guest with me today. I can say hands down that my guest today is my absolute favorite guests that I have had on and that I will ever have on the podcast. My guest today is Garritt Hampton, director of Schoolhouse Rocked: The Homeschool Revolution and he also happens to be my wonderful, faithful, loving husband of 23 years, and the father of my two amazing, beautiful daughters.

Garritt Hampton:                        Proudly.

Yvette:                        Welcome to the podcast.

Garritt Hampton:                        Thank you. It’s exciting to be here. Yeah, I’m really excited about this podcast. We’ve been talking about doing this for over a year and kind of, it’s been kind of in the back of our planning process as we’ve been working on so many other different things. And you know, God’s just put us in a great position where over the past two years as we’ve been recording for the movie and filming, we have had a chance to meet so many amazing people and it just made sense to be able to reach out to those people again and say, Hey, will you be part of the podcast? And so, we’re excited to do that. I mean, do you want to tell them what the purpose of the podcast?

Garritt Hampton:          Well, the purpose of the podcast is very much the same as the purpose of Schoolhouse Rocked, the movie, which is to encourage and equip homeschool families. We set out when we, when we started production, when we started pre-production, one of the first things we did was write out our mission statement. And it’s very simple. The mission of Schoolhouse Rocked is to encourage and equip homeschool families to start strong and finish well. And so, everything we’ve done has been guided by that goal. Our primary goal is to glorify God in all we do, but we want to do that by building up homeschool families. We know that it can be difficult, but it’s super rewarding. So, we want to be a part of the process of making homeschooling great for your family. That’s what we’re doing with the film. That’s what we’re doing with the podcast.

Yvette:             Yeah. So maybe we could give him a little bit of an idea of kind of where this podcast is going. We have actually, this is podcast number one, but we have actually recorded five already and we have several more already scheduled to record. So, I’m really, really excited about who, who we have. so far have recorded interviews with, Israel, Wayne, Ginger Hubbard, Connie Alberts, Carol Swain, and Scott Lob here.

Garritt:             All of them. Excellent. I’ve, I’ve heard them also.

Yvette:             all of them. Excellent. And all of them. Part of the cast. Right. And then we’ve got Pam Barnhill coming up. We’ve got Dr. Christopher Perrin, we have Andrew Kern and we have several others that were still actually just trying to work out dates with, but it’s actually not going to be all the expert types as people would know. It will also be regular just homeschool moms like me who are just in the thick of it right now who are working through this great thing that we call homeschooling. And um, and so we have several moms who just have different stories maybe. I know we’ve got one mom who’s going to be on, and she dealt with cancer a few years ago and so she’s got just a great testimony about her journey of dealing with cancer and homeschooling at the same time and how God brought her and her family through that. We’ve got calling Kessler. We’ll be on talking about kids who are twice exceptional and gifted. And we, we’ve got just a great lineup of people who will be on the podcast and just some great moms and dads who will come on and just share their experiences and wisdom so that we can encourage and equip people to be able to homeschool. So, we’re very excited about that.

Garritt:             Now can I ask you a question about that? Sure. You say moms and Dads, and already we’ve recorded five episodes and two of them have been homeschooled dads. How does listening to homeschool dads build up encourage quip homeschool moms?

Yvette:             Well, I actually, my hope and prayer is that with the podcast that it won’t be a podcast that just moms will listen to. I’m really hoping that with the dads who will be on that they will be able to encourage the other dads because dads have such a very important role in homeschooling. And we actually talk a lot about that in the movie. And we’ll talk about the movie in a few minutes. But in the movie, we talk a lot about the important role of dads to lead their families to encourage and support their wives and how they can do that. And so that if anyone ever asked me what my favorite part of the movie is done, hands down my, my absolute favorite part because I think many dads don’t realize how, just how important that is in their day to day family life and how much their wives need. That.

Garritt:             It’s definitely been a fun part. Um, as we’ve interviewed just great Christian men who are leading their families well and going through this journey and being spiritual leaders, we’ve always taken a minute to step out of the homeschool part of the movie and just ask them what it’s like to be the spiritual leader in their home. How do they do that? What does it look like? What are they trying to get? Um, get into their kids and get out of the, out from their kids. And it’s always been a huge encouragement. We’ve had some great discussions and I will tell you there may be another movie in that. Um, we have not talked about this, but there’s so much good stuff there. You will see it on the backstage past site for sure. Um, but there may be something else in the works.

Yvette:             Yeah, I think so too. Um, I want to back up a little bit and talk a little bit about Schoolhouse Rocked too because some people listening to this podcast may not know that Schoolhouse Rocked is actually a movie. It’s a full-length movie that we are currently in production on. And so, let’s, let’s tell them a little bit about the movie, kind of our story, what we’ve done and how we’ve come to this place of doing this podcast. Do you want to go?

Garritt:             I think you’re wanting me to go there.

Well, I kind of want to start from the, not the very beginning of time, but um, start a little bit.

Garritt:             God created the heavens and the air. Yes, he did. The earth was without form and void in the spirit of God was hovering over the face of the year 2016. That’s a big jump. And that is a big jam. K 2016. So, we’ll go back to the very inception of the movie. I was teaching film at a private school in Lancaster, California. And in that year, I got asked to help out with a student film. Um, the crew, the girl doing the film was a friend of a teacher that I was working with and it was a short film on homeschooling that really was the beginning of this project. And I saw the short film that she did and thought, wow, what a great opportunity to just build up homeschooling families to show that homeschooling is a great option for families and really to legitimize the movement. And so, but this film was short. It was seven minutes long, I think. And even in that seven minutes, it was really powerful. So, I actually asked her if she wanted to do a feature and she said no, she was done with that project. So, I said, you know, that would be an awesome movie. And we started thinking about it at that point. Um,

Yvette:             and I think you should mention previous to that, you had worked in the Hollywood film industry for many years, right? That was part of your background and then you’d worked in the music industry before that.

Garritt:             Right. My, my background is really entertainment. Um, and I’ve had a varied background, but the, the last 10 years I’ve really spent doing movies and prior to that I had done music. Um, and so it wasn’t like I was just jumping into this movie thing cause a man, it would be a hard thing to jump into. But I had taken a year where I was teaching film at a school really because the movie industry had just become such a crazy mass for our family. I was, there was a lot of travel, a lot of time away from the girls in it. It needed to slow down a little bit. So, I had an awesome opportunity to teach film to junior high and high school students for a year. And it was a great time. Um, but it was also only a year. And so, we knew something was coming after that year. We knew we’d have to make a decision about where we’d be because it was going to end.

Yvette:             Can I interject here in, in, on, on my end of it I was the homeschool mom. I was the homeschool mom who said I would never, ever, ever, ever, ever homeschooled my kids. We said that for many years. We had been married for about 11 years before we had our first child. And so, for this whole 11 years, we were adamant about it. We said we would never homeschool. And the reason for that was because we had so many misconceptions about homeschooling and what it was and all the negative stereotypes of, you know, what, how we saw homeschooling as kids because it was very different when we were growing up in the eighties and nineties

Garritt:             yeah. It was different and we just didn’t get it too.

Yvette:             Right, right. It’s not, it wasn’t bad. We just didn’t get it. That’s exactly right. Yeah.

Garritt:             Right. It has changed though. It’s ironic because even, even though it was different, we still just didn’t get it and it was still a great movement, but we just saw all the negative things that people from the outside see. So, we really, I mean, we were, we had so many discussions about this saying how we would never homeschool our kids and so we didn’t want them to be socially awkward. Yes. The obnoxious. How will you socialize your kids? Argument came out of our mouth as many times and we’re ashamed of it.

Yvette:             Well, I wouldn’t say that we’re ashamed of it. I’m actually glad that we were on that side of the fence because I think it has given us, I mentioned better understanding of people now who are on that side of the fence that they just simply don’t get it, which is why we’re making this movie.

Garritt:             Yeah, absolutely. We wanted to answer so many of those questions because we had all those questions and when, when it came time to decide what we were going to do with our daughter for school, we had to work through all those issues. And it was by God’s grace that he changed our hearts about homeschooling. Um, I’m sure we could get into that, but it might take the whole show. But God changed our hearts. But to do that, he had a breakdown, a lot of misconceptions in our minds. And so, part of the reason we’re making this movie is so that we can show what homeschooling really looks like and that so many of those things aren’t true. And homeschooling can be really, really good for your family.

Yvette:             So, yeah. Yeah. I agree. Okay. So, so we started our, we, I guess you stopped at that you were teaching film at a private school. And this was in, this was into the summer of 2016 so two years ago,

Garritt:             right. So, two years ago, I knew that my time at the school was going to end at the end of the school year, and we didn’t know quite what we were going to do. And yet we had felt God just prompting us to make this movie. And it was in little ways. He never spoke from heaven. We never heard the audible voice of God. I wish we would have. Right. Maybe it would have been, it would’ve been helpful, but we were also feeling that it was time to get out of California. Um, for many reasons. We Love California. Our family is, there are churches there, our friends are there. Um, but we were feeling like it may be time to leave. And so the, the break from the school job and the, and what I was doing was a good opportunity to determine if it was time to go which over the, over the months as I, as it lead up to the end of the school year, God just made it more and more clear that it was time to leave and that it was a good idea to do this film.

Um, and he would just confirm it in great ways. It’s funny, this weekend actually, we, we got to see some friends and it was great just seeing friends from California and getting that fellowship, but I was reminded of how God confirmed things for us. One day after church, we went out to lunch with some friends who we loved, some friends for our homes from our homeschool co-op and they had another friend with them who we didn’t know. And we were just at the point where we were ready to tell people we were going to do this crazy thing, which was make a movie. And we’re sitting at lunch and, and you know, somebody asked, so what are you guys going to do? And I said, well, we’re, we’re going to make a homeschool movie. We didn’t have a title for the, for it at this point.

We didn’t even really know what it was going to look like. But we said, we’re going to show homeschooling. Like it really is. We’re going to show that it’s a great option for families and we’re really excited about it. I think that’s about all we knew. Right. And the friend who we didn’t know at the table said, “Oh man, you’ve got to meet our friend Scott LaPierre.” And we said, okay, great. Tell us about Scott. And they, you know, told us about Scott, you’re going to get to meet Scott in an upcoming episode. We have already recorded his episode and it’s fantastic. But within a few weeks of that meeting, we were on a plane up to woodland Washington to meet Scott and Katie, his wife and to interview him and several people from his church. We actually ended up doing a day in Portland where we did street interviews and then all day at a church from, well just after lunch because we did go to church in the morning.

We had lunch with the congregation and then started recording interviews and we got done at like as like 10 or 11 o’clock at night. It was a long day, but we had great stuff in the movie, was off to a great start. So, God just kept confirming in such interesting ways and definitely made it clear that we were supposed to do that. So, we set off on this journey. Long Story Short we sold everything we had. We sold our house, we sold our cars, we sold our furniture, we sold everything and bought a travel trailer and a truck and headed off across the country to make this move knowing where we were going. Right. We

Yvette:             literally go, we, we knew that we were just going to head to Georgia because we had family in Georgia. And so, we said, well, well we’ll head there because it was December. We left on December 16th. And we said, we just need to make it to Georgia by Christmas. Cause we had promised the girls that we would be with family on Christmas Day.

Garritt:             And so, we drove away from California really not knowing what God had in store. And up until that point, we had recorded interviews on three different sub sessions, three different occasions. We had done the interviews in Washington and Oregon, which were great. We had done a day of interviewing at our Classical Conversations group, which was really fun. And then we had interviewed Andrew Poodle. Ah.

Yvette:             Oh, that was, that was a neat story too. You want me to tell that one? Sure. Yeah. Okay. So that was really cool. We had kind of made our list of people that we are wanting to kind of start the movie with. And Andrew Pudewa was one at the very top of that list. And so, we, we worked for melting. We were doing IEW curriculum with our daughter and stuff. And so, I was very familiar with him and I thought, you know, he would just be great. He’s just got such a great personality and hang, there’d be a great one to start with. And so Garritt sent him an email I think, and just said, hey, we’re making this movie again. I don’t think at the time we even had a title yet for the movie. And we said, we’re filming this documentary on homeschooling.

We would love to have you be part of it. And our thought was, we’re going to be traveling across the country from west coast to east coast and we can just kind of hit, oh, we knew he was in Oklahoma. We can hit Oklahoma on the way if we need to and interview him. We would be willing to do that. And so, you sent him an email, Garritt, and he responded within like a few hours and he said, yes, I’d love to be part of this documentary. You know, how do we work out the details of it? And, and then anyway, long story short, it turned out that he was heading out to California. He was going to be just a couple of hours from where we, where we lived and he said, I’ll, I’ll be happy to come to you because he was going out there to visit his family and it was going to be a personal trip.

And I remember he said, if I go out there and we filmed this and it can turn my personal trip into a business trip and I can write it off, you’re like, you’re welcome. And he was so gracious. He actually drove I think about two hours to where we actually were. And he spent the day with us. We got to interview him, we got to take him out to dinner that night and just got to spend some great time getting to know him. And, and he said, you know, here’s all the, a list of people that you, you know, you should get in this movie and if you have any problems getting in touch with them, let me know, I’d be happy to help you. And he was just so gracious and his name alone really, really kind of brought, you know, credibility. Right. Credibility. That’s the word I’m thinking of to the movie because as soon as we said to so many people, oh, you know, we’ve interviewed Andrew Pudewa while they would say, Oh, we love Andrew, he’s wonderful and well if he’s in it, it must be a real movie. And um, and it was just so great. And so that got the whole thing rolling and God just opened up that great door and we were able to connect with so many people because of that. And that was nothing but God’s doing.

Garritt:             Yeah. And that was how he worked and has worked since. Um, we had also done Master’s College too. Oh yes. We knew that we were, we were going to need the college perspective for the movie. And so, one day we got to drive down to master’s college and we had done some others at the house where we did Andrew put a while, but we didn’t have much of an idea still what we were doing and we headed out across the country. And how long have we filmed? I mean we, we filmed for about a year and a half.

Yvette:             Well, it’s been almost two because I think our very, very first interviews that we did, we’re in August. Right. I want to say they were in August because it was when we were still on our house. Sure. The test was in August, right. August, September. So, but, but our first interviews that we did, official interviews were in December of 2016 so, right. So, it’s been little more than a year and a half since we filmed those first interviews.

Garritt:             Yeah. And it’s been great. God has provided the, just the best people. Um, we, we go into every interview not really knowing what to expect and event has kind of some questions in line just to get things started and make sure the interview moves in a certain direction. But it always goes somewhere better. I think in every case. And we’ll be, we’ll be watching together as the interviews going on and thinking about how interviews will work together with others that we’ve done in the past. And it is just such a friend. Fun Process. We finished interviewing

Yvette:             in Nashville, right. And Nashville, which was just a few months ago in March of 2018 and over the past year and a half or so we’ve traveled ally, we’ve been to, I think we’ve traveled to, I think we filmed in 20 states. Have we, something like that. Yeah, it’s been a lot. Um, or at least had that many states represented cause some people have come from other states and, but we’ve taught, we’ve, I think we have traveled to about 20 different states and it’s been so great just to get her perspective of homeschooling across the country. And part of it has been that people have just opened up their homes to, as we’ve traveled and said, hey, you know, come stay with us. We have made friends. I mean across the whole country; it has been the most amazing thing. You know, we were kind of part of our little bubble in California, which we love.

We love our California bubble; we love our friends and family there. And it was really hard to move out outside of that. But it has been such a blessing meeting people in all different parts of the country and getting to see all these different parts of the country and interviewing. So, it’s not like we just stayed in one place and got just, okay. Here’s perspective of people homeschooling in California. I mean we have people from New York, the Carolinas, Georgia, Florida, California, of course, Alabama, Alabama, Tennessee, Virginia, Ohio. I mean a lot. And it’s been a really exciting to see and it’s been neat to see the homeschool community just rally around us and come together and really people, people are people. And there is just a real great community of people in the homeschool movement who love each other and work together. And you know,

Garritt:             and we found so many similarities too. You would think that things would be different, and they are different from community to community. But really the homeschool community is very similar. I’m very, very open, very family oriented of course, because it’s, it’s really a movement of families. Um, and we have been so blessed by getting to know them. I, I, yeah. It’s,

Yvette:             and the struggles are all the same for everybody. You know, it seems like every mom we talk to has, you know, more or less the same fears about, you know, am I doing it right? Am I messing up my kids? Am I teaching them enough? Um, you know, am I making it fun? Am I doing this the right way? And so, it’s been neat to just be able to just come alongside those people and say, you’re the same as everyone else. We all are in that same boat. And then you have those older moms like Doretta Wilson and Heidi St John and Connie Alberts who have been through it. They’ve done it. They’ve graduated their kids and their kids are thriving as adults. And those are the moms and dads who are coming alongside Zane. You’re doing a great job. Just keep doing what you’re doing. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Garritt:             What a great encouragement they are to them.

Yvette:             It really has been. It has been. Yeah.

Garritt:             One of my favorite things we’ve done to, I don’t mean to keep going on this, but I was thinking about as you say, Heidi and Connie and these people is um, it’s been a blessing to be at homeschool conventions where these people speak because you see the homeschool community come together and there’s nothing more encouraging than being in a room with 4,000 homeschool families and all knowing that everyone is going through basically the same things and dealing with similar issues. But having these people on stage say, you’re okay. This is what you need to do to move forward. And it’s going to be all right. Your kids are going to be great. We have been blessed. We’ve been able to be at several conventions across the country. And to me, I always leave energized. I leave energized as a homeschool dad, as a husband, you know, encouraged to do my job.

I leave energized as a filmmaker because I know that that stuff is just so impactful and we’re going to be able to incorporate that into the film, but so much more highly selfishly encouraged. Um, it really is a blessing. The other thing that’s a blessing is seeing how many families are together at these things. Homeschooling. Um, it, it’s always encouraging to me to see the movement of families who are intentional about raising their kids up in the right way. Um, we believe that that right way is in the, in the fear and admonition of the Lord. And you see so many families together walking hand in hand through these conventions who are all walking in the same direction. It really is. It’s encouraging.

Yvette:             It is. And you know, as you were talking about conventions, one of the things that we have realized is that almost across the board, every curriculum company that’s out there, I won’t say every single one, but most of them were homeschooled families who saw a need and met that need and they created their curriculum, Classical Conversations, apology, a not cross history. Um, I just, I mean there are so, so many of them that are, we’re just, there are families that, you know, mom or dad saw a need and just said, hey, you know, let’s create this curriculum. Oftentimes it was for their own kids and then it just turned into something bigger. And so, most of the curriculum you see out there nowadays is created by homeschool families and often still being run by those families themselves. Right. Which is really exciting because actually in the movie we talk a lot about family business and entrepreneurship and things like that.

And so that plays perfectly into homeschooling. And how and why homeschooling is so powerful for families because it allows families to be together and work together and learn together and teaches kids work ethic. And you know, our girls work with us. That’s been a really exciting part of filming this movie is that we, you know, we went from gear up being gone pretty much all the time when he was working in, in the Hollywood film industry. He was just, I mean, he’d be gone for days at a time and it was really hard on our family and now we’re together 24 hours a day, seven days a week and, and we love it. And you know, sometimes we need to get out and breathe a little bit, but we really enjoy being together and, and it has brought such a different element to our family and to our girls lives that they get to be part of this amazing thing that God has called us to, of making this documentary.

Garritt:             Yeah. So back to the podcast, we, we have been talking about this for a year and we’re, we try to keep them around 30 minutes. So, we’re at 26 minutes right now and I want to get back to what people can expect. But one of the reasons we did the podcast was because we had such a wealth of great stuff to share with people. When you make a movie like ours, you go out and you film a lot of stuff and it can’t all make it into the movie. And we didn’t want to just let it down and go into a hole and disappear. We wanted to really build up homeschool families. So, an outgrowth of that was the podcast because we had forged relationships with great people who just had so much good wisdom to share. So, we wanted to bring those to you. Um, another aspect of that though is that we went out to our news newsletter subscribers early on and said, what do you want to hear in the podcast? What can we answer for you? And we’ve already started answering some of those questions you’ve had, do you want to share some of those?

Yvette:             That was so much fun. We, we didn’t know how many responses we would get from that. And we got well over 80 responses and they were such good suggestions for topics and guests to have on. I mean the interesting thing is so many people asked the same questions in different ways. A lot of people are, you know, just wanting to know how I balance my homeschool day or how do I balance my homeschool day with little ones. You know, I’ve got an infant and a two-year-old who are running around like crazy and I’m trying to homeschool my seven and nine-year-old or you know, whatever your family dynamics still look like. And so, we have Pam Barnhill is going to be on, she’s going to talk a little bit about some of that stuff and um, we’ve got some other guests actually that are coming on as well that will help address some of these questions.

We have people who’ve asked about children with learning disabilities and how you homeschooled those kids. And so, we’ve got people who are going to come on and talk about that. We’ve got a, one of the questions we were asked, which Scott Lob here does such a beautiful job of answering is what do, what do your moms do when their husbands are not on board with homeschooling? And so, I talked with Scott about that and he just, he addresses it so perfectly and biblically and I’m just gives a great answer to that question. And um, you know, how do I make homeschool fun? So, Trish Corlew from hip homeschool moms is going to come on and talk about how to make homeschool fun. She’s a fun one. She is really fun because it doesn’t have to it, you know, the thing that we’ve realized is that with homeschooling, so many moms think that when you homeschool, you have in your brain the school room as we know in, into your home.

And it’s really hard to replicate what school looks like at a traditional school. And that’s not what homeschooling is. And so, we can encouragement from moms again, you know like Durenda Wilson who’ve been through it and who, who have walked that road and can give encouragement of just relax, just relaxed and have fun with your kids. I’m gender hybrid, talks about parenting. We had some questions about parenting and how do you deal with discipline issues because obviously that’s part of homeschool and that’s part of raising our kids. So Ginger Hubbard addresses that beautifully and she talks about just training the hearts of your children. And so many of these questions are getting answered and then we had a whole list of guest suggestions and we’ve already been able to connect with some of those people and they’ve agreed to come on the show. And some of them we’ve actually already recorded podcast interviews with. So that’s been really exciting.

Garritt:             I see a couple here that are really fun to me and they’re the one-word ones. We have one, somebody just said encouragement. And I would really honestly say that as the heart of what we do is encourage homeschool families. We want to equip you by giving you great resources and great, you know, pouring wisdom into you and instructing you. But really, we want to build you up and encourage you so that you can make it through. So, we will do that in spades. That is our highest goal. The other one is road schooling. And on our journey, we’ve gotten to try that out and we have now almost a year and a half, well actually a more than a year and a half of roadschooling under our belt. So, we’ll get to that. Um, maybe we can have on another guest who’s done it and talk about the joys of traveling.

It’s awesome that homeschooling allows you the freedom to get out and travel and you can still do school on the road. So, it’s fine. We get to say that our girls get to actually drive the map and said, I just look at it on a piece of paper. And so that’s been a big blasting. So, we’re almost to 30 minutes and I want to tie up this episode, but really quickly I want to talk about the two other things that we have that we can offer to people, which is the website and then our backstage pass membership site. Cause those are great resources as well. Um, the websites – go to SchoolhouseRocked.com. We have some guest bloggers who are just wonderful and they, they post such encouraging things and all kinds of different topics that you can find on there. So, you can find guest blog posts on there and we actually will have a whole lot of more guest posts coming up in the near future.

There’s already a wealth on there though. There’s stuff on special needs. Homeschooling was special needs or stuff on family business. Um, there’s just general encouragement for homeschooling. It’s a wealth of information. Then the backstage past membership. Um, the backstage pass site is where you get an inside look at the making of the movie and you get the value of all this video that we’ve done. We’re going to release basically everything over time. Um, in addition to the movie, you’re going to see the uncut interviews with our guests and you’ll find that at the backstage pass site there’s a free subscription that gets you access to clips that you can search by topic and, and they’re going to answer your questions and build you up quick. But if you really want to dig down deep, we have a paid membership and it’s the Co cost of a cup of coffee, coffee a month for four 99 a month you can get access to complete interviews and there’s already several hours up there. We have a Heidi St John, Sarah McKinsey and her, Andrew Kern, Connie Albers is up there. Josh Tolley. His is amazing. That was Brooklyn’s favorite. Do we have Sam up yet?

Garritt:     Her whole interview isn’t up yet, but there’s a few minutes there and it’s great. And I want to just elaborate a little bit on what that is. So, as we’ve filmed interviews for the movie, each interview has been, I mean I would say the average time that it taken for an interview is probably close to an hour and we have a ton of them. I mean our cast list is, is massive. If you go on the website, you can actually see who several of our cast members are and then families as well. And so obviously, you know, we can’t put an hour of Heidi St John in the movie because that would take up, it would be a good movie, it would be fantastic. But we’ve got so much great content in, so, you know, we can’t, we want to do something with the remainder of the footage that’s not going to make it into the movie.

That’s just so powerful that we really want people to be encouraged by it. And so, well that’s what’s going to be on the backstage pass membership site is you’ll get some behind the scenes stuff and then you’ll also get the full exclusive interviews from the cast members and you get to see us record this podcast live in color.

Garritt:             Just to go on that for just one more second. Our first big interview, like we said was Andrew Pudewa and his interview was almost two hours long and there’s not one minute that’s not excellent. I don’t know how I’m going to cut that interview. It was so good. We were sitting there just dying because it was two hours of great stuff. So that’s coming to the Backstage Pass site, and just so much more if you want to be built up, if you want to be encouraged and equipped check out Members.SchoolhouseRocked.com and it’s a great way to support the movie.

Yvette:             All of the paid memberships that come in actually goes to support production out of Schoolhouse Rocked. And so that’s a great way to support the movie and get something for yourself in return. Yep, absolutely. Why support the movie? Well we, we actually, right now the plan is that the movie is going to be in theaters and early summer of 2019, but we have a huge budget that we still need to meet in order to get it in theaters by next year. Um, we’re working with fathom events, which some of you may be familiar with them. They’re the company that does a lot of Kirk Cameron’s documentaries and, and live events and stuff like that. And so as of now, the plan is that the movie will be in theaters across the country, probably 850 plus theaters. And we’re really excited about that, but that is going to take an army of people to get it done. We have to hire, and we’ve already had to have all these people in place, but we have to pay for a composer and a colorist and a second editor. And I mean there’s just an, a marketing angel in a marketing budget, right? The marketing budget is huge. And so, we need to raise the rest of our budget to get it in theaters. And it’s a whole lot of money. And so, every year

Garritt:             thing that, you know, whenever people pay for the backstage pass membership, that goes to help support that, right? Yeah. Every, every membership goes straight to production on the movie. And you can also donate to support. If you believe in what we’re doing, come beside us and help make a movie. You will be doing a great thing. Um, and you will be building up the homeschool community just like you’ve been built up.

Thank you so much for listening today. We are very excited to be here with you. We hope that it’s been an encouragement to you and we really hope that this podcast will encourage and equip you in many, many ways on this homeschool journey for great homeschooling videos, articles, giveaways, and more. Check out Members.SchoolhouseRocked.com and use the coupon code “PODCAST10” to save 10% on any paid Backstage Pass membership backstage pass members get exclusive access to full interviews from the cast of Schoolhouse Rocked and so much more. Also, don’t forget to subscribe to this podcast on iTunes and leave a review. Until next time. I’m Yvette Hampton. Wish she knew the joys of community and the wisdom to teach and learn.