Coronavirus “Back to School” Plans and a Can of Worms

As I read the newest announcement of back to school plans in light of the COVID-19 situation, I realized every one of these plans opens several cans of worms. Iowa has announced that the state will not require masks or social distancing when children return to the public schools in the fall. While this may or may not be welcome news to Iowa families, there are several very nuanced points that need to be considered in this announcement. 

1) Any way you slice it, the COVID thing is going to have a big effect on homeschooling in the coming year. “Jill Pennington Swanson is considering home-schooling her children this fall if students and teachers are not required to wear face coverings in the classroom.

The Waukee mother of six said she is disappointed that Iowa is not taking more stringent safety precautions to prevent the spread of coronavirus in schools.”

2) Iowa has 327 school districts and 119 additional accredited non-public schools?!?! REALLY? Iowa? “Instead, the state will leave those decisions in the hands of local school boards, which could lead to a variety of approaches across Iowa’s 327 school districts and 119 accredited nonpublic schools.”

3) This is going to lead to more CHAOS and arbitrariness, with every district deciding on its own requirements. “Officials at Des Moines Public Schools said this week that they would require students and teachers to wear face masks in buildings. Ankeny, on the other hand, will not require face masks or temperature checks when school resumes.” This will only lead to more parent, teacher, and student frustration – and ultimately, more people leaving the public schools.

4) Parents won’t actually know what to expect until just before kids are supposed to go back to school – and then, things will likely change when the predicted “next wave” comes. “The majority of Des Moines-area school district officials that spoke with the Register said those decisions are still being worked out and it could be weeks before parents know what will happen when school starts.” Again, this will lead to more frustration and confusion. “‘It would just be nice to know what they are thinking,’ Pennington Swanson said. “I know August is a ways off, but for planning it would be nice to know what direction they are leaning.”

Late Friday afternoon, the Department of Education released a statement saying further clarification of the guidelines is needed. It promised to ‘release additional information in the near future.'”

5) People have no concept of the difference between a guideline, an order, and a law – and consequently, too many people are living under unnecessary, arbitrar restrictions, which have endangered peoples health, undermined the economy, and trampled on the constitution and the God-given rights of the people. “Jean Hessburg, a spokeswoman for the Iowa State Education Association (ISEA), the state’s teacher’s union, said the state’s plan doesn’t comply with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines for public places.” A plan doesn’t have to “comply” with guidelines. It can meet them, exceed them, or ignore them. They are guidelines, not laws, and not orders (which are normally applied to agencies, not individuals).

6) The media repeats outright lies in their fearmongering effort. They don’t bother to fact check them if they fit with their agenda, even if they are completely illogical. “The recommendations come as states across the country grapple with how to reopen schools during the largest pandemic to hit the United States in a generation.” Sorry, not even close. Many flu seasons have had higher rates of infection and death in this generation.

7) Teacher’s Unions use bully tactics to promote their progressive agenda. “‘It is a gamble and obscene that the governor and the Department of Education are gambling on the health and safety of our students, our staff and school employees,’ Hessburg said. ‘This virus has demonstrated that it knows no bounds and students can bring the virus home to families and ravage a family.'” Note the attack on the governor and state Department of Education officials in their attempt to influence statewide health policy (hint: the union should be supporting teachers and students, and should confine their interests to educational matters, not health policy. Also, recognize the very subtle anthropomorphisation of the virus, “This virus knows has demonstrated that it knows no bounds…” – the union is casting the virus as a sentient enemy to reinforce the fear that we should all be feeling.

8) I wonder how many of the 50,000 Iowa Teacher’s Union members agree with the position of the union and its president. “ISEA President Mike Beranek released a statement Thursday urging school districts to create their own guidelines mandating face coverings, physical distancing and other safety protocols. The union represents more than 50,000 public school teachers and other education professionals.

‘I simply don’t understand why the state of Iowa is not taking a cue from what is happening in our country and implementing guidelines that are scientifically proven and recommended by our health specialists all throughout our country,’ he said. There they go again, with the “scientifically proven” stuff. I will save my rant on the religion of Scientism for another post, but just remember how inaccurate the projections, death counts, early test results, consensus on masks, and treatment protocols (eg. respirators causing more harm than good, and housing infected people in nursing homes) have been throughout this circus.

9) Finally, REALLY, 50,000 members!?! How many of you hear that number – 50,000 unionized teachers in IOWA alone – and get a cold chill as you realize just how big this behemoth of public education is, how much money is spent, and how much influence is bought by these unions (many times, with the money of unwilling members). 

For more perspective on this important issue I highly recommend Standing Up to Goliath, by Rebecca Friedrichs. In this EXCELLENT and terrifying book, Rebecca Friedrichs discusses the incredible influence and dangerous agenda that the national and statewide teachers unions wield. She shares firsthand accounts of the abuses of students and teachers that were overlooked and covered up by unions in an effort to protect bad, tenured teachers and their own bottom lines, as massive money making machines. Finally, she recounts her historic court battle against the unions to stop them from coercing teachers and stealing dues from unwilling members (and non-members). This is a must-read if you care about education, labor, or or the founding principles of our nation.

There is a better way! Bring your kids home! If you are considering homeschooling in the coming year, please read COVID-19 – Homeschooling during Coronavirus School Closures to get started. We have a ton of free resources available at SchoolhouseRocked.com, on the Schoolhouse Rocked Podcast, and at HomegrownGeneration.com, where we host a live, interactive, online homeschool conference.

You can do this!

Free homeschooling course to help you get started. Over 9 hours of free videos to help you learn to educate your children at home!

Photo by sippakorn yamkasikorn on Unsplash – Worms

Photo by Miikka Luotio on Unsplash – Child in mask on a bus

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash – Child in mask

True Faith and Strong Families – with Sam Sorbo

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

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

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

Sam Sorbo:                   Yeah.

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

Sam Sorbo:                   Yep.

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

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

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

Yvette Hampton:           He’s a real Hercules.

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

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

Yvette Hampton:           Yeah.

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

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

Yvette Hampton:           Oh, gosh.

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

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

Yvette Hampton:           Sure.

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

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

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

Yvette Hampton:           Yeah.

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

Yvette Hampton:           Right.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yvette Hampton:           Sure.

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

Yvette Hampton:           Sure. Right.

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

Yvette Hampton:           Right.

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

Yvette Hampton:           Right.

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

Yvette Hampton:           Right.

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

Yvette Hampton:           Yeah.

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

Yvette Hampton:           Yeah.

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

Yvette Hampton:           Right.

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

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

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

Yvette Hampton:           Right.

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

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

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

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

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

Aby Rinella:                  Oh, yeah. The birth control.

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

Yvette Hampton:           Oh.

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

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

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

Yvette Hampton:           Right.

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

Yvette Hampton:           Right.

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

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

Aby Rinella:                  Unbelievable.

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

Yvette Hampton:           Right.

Aby Rinella:                  Yeah. Yeah.

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

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

Sam Sorbo:                   That’s right.

Yvette Hampton:           Yeah.

Aby Rinella:                  Wow.

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

Sam Sorbo:                   Oh. Oh.

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

Aby Rinella:                  Yeah.

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

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

Yvette Hampton:           Right.

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

Yvette Hampton:           Yeah.

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

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

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

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

Yvette Hampton:           Yeah.

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

Yvette Hampton:           Yeah.

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

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

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

Yvette Hampton:           Yeah.

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

Yvette Hampton:           Yeah.

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

Yvette Hampton:           Yeah.

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

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

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

Yvette Hampton:           Right.

Aby Rinella:                  Right.

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

Yvette Hampton:           Okay.

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

Yvette Hampton:           Yeah, that’s right.

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

Aby Rinella:                  Yes.

Sam Sorbo:                   We should be teaching self-sufficiency.

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

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

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

Sam Sorbo:                   Yeah. That’s right.

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

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

Yvette Hampton:           No.

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

Yvette Hampton:           Right.

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

Yvette Hampton:           Yes.

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

Aby Rinella:                  Right.

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

Yvette Hampton:           Yes.

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

Aby Rinella:                  Yes. Amen.

Sam Sorbo:                   Marriage is an act of huge faith.

Yvette Hampton:           That’s right.

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

Yvette Hampton:           Yes.

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

Yvette Hampton:           Yes.

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

Yvette Hampton:           Yeah, that’s right.

Aby Rinella:                  Absolutely.

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

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

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

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

Aby Rinella:                  With me again!

Sam Sorbo:                   Great.

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

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

Sam Sorbo:                   Yeah.

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

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

Yvette Hampton:           Yes.

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

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

Aby Rinella:                  Thank you.

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

Take Back Your Kids! Interview with Sam Sorbo

Sam Sorbo is passionate about faith and families. We had the chance to sit down for an interview with Sam for The Schoolhouse Rocked Podcast, in which Sam shared her story of going taking her own kids back from the schools and how that decision has blessed her family. Please enjoy this transcript of their heart-felt and encouraging conversation.

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

Yvette Hampton:           Hey everyone, this is Yvette Hampton. Welcome back to The Schoolhouse Rocked Podcast. I am so excited that you are with us today because you are likely listening to this podcast because you likely saw the guest that I have on today. Her name is Sam Sorbo. Many of you are very familiar with her as a homeschool mom, as an actress, as the wife of Kevin Sorbo. She is just an amazing mom, an amazing wife, and she is such a blessing to me. Sam, welcome to the podcast.

Sam Sorbo:                   Thank you so much for having me.

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

Sam Sorbo:                   Hi, Aby.

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

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

Aby Rinella:                  Yes.

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

Aby Rinella:                  I know.

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

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

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

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

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

Sam Sorbo:                   Can I be perfectly Frank?

Yvette Hampton:           … yes.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Aby Rinella:                  You were in the trenches.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Connect with Sam Sorbo:

SamSorbo.com

Facebook.com/SamSorbo

Twitter.com/TheSamSorboShow

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

Photo by Jude Beck on Unsplash

Homegrown Generation Online Family Expo

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

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

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

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

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

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