It isn’t every day you get a letter from Dr. James Dobson, but by the grace of God, recently we received a really encouraging letter from him congratulating us on the release of Schoolhouse Rocked: The Homeschool Revolution. You see, Dr. Dobson is a huge fan of home education and was very excited to see a powerful new tool to encourage parents to take back their children and train their hearts at home.
“Schoolhouse Rocked is excellent and a wonderful testimony to the growing popularity of home schooling and the superior education that it provides young people.”
Dr. James C. Dobson
Here’s a short quote from the letter: “I’ve been concerned for decades with the effect the public education system is having on our nation’s youth. And it has only gotten worse in recent years. Our precious children (and grandchildren) are much too important to entrust to a system that seeks to indoctrinate them with the radical ideology of the Left. Schoolhouse Rocked is excellent and a wonderful testimony to the growing popularity of home schooling and the superior education that it provides young people.”
We couldn’t be more grateful for the encouragement and endorsement from Dr. Dobson, but in everything we want to turn all the attention and glory back to the one who actually deserves it. God has been good to allow us to make this movie and he has been good to use it to impact families around the world. Even more, God has been good to use people like Dr. Dobson and families like ours to serve him, to grow his kingdom, to demonstrate his goodness to the people he loves. To him be all glory and honor forever!
Join Yvette Hampton as she tells Israel Wayne the story of how she and Garritt began homeschooling their daughters and why they went out to make Schoolhouse Rocked. In this episode Israel also discusses the rise of public education and home education and contrasts the story of Schoolhouse Rocked and Indoctrination, which he was also involved with. Israel is a great friend of the Schoolhouse Rocked team and has been an important part of the movie, the Schoolhouse Rocked Podcast, and the Homegrown Generation Family Expo.
“My friends, Garritt & Yvette Hampton, are creating what I believe will be one of
the most important projects to expand the message of homeschooling
that we have seen in the past decade.” – Israel Wayne
There is a serious war raging all around us for the hearts and minds of our children. As early as preschool, a secular ungodly foundation is being set for them in schools all across our nation. Children are being indoctrinated with a worldview that undermines the value of life and teaches them that they have no purpose. They are also being taught that their parents are not the authority in their lives. This agenda is robbing our children of who God made them to be. Desperate parents are crying out and they don’t know what to do.
But there is hope! As parents, we have the freedom to remove our children from these government institutions and teach them at home the values and morals set before us in God’s Word. However, many parents don’t home educate because they don’t realize this option is available to them, or because they don’t feel like they are equipped to do it. Schoolhouse Rocked will help to open the eyes of these parents and show them that they can be successful in homeschooling.
As many of you know, by the grace of God, this past summer we finished filming Schoolhouse Rocked in Vancouver, Washington with Heidi St. John and her family. Filming is done! This was the first monumental step. Now we are pulling it all together into one excellent, engaging, and life-changing film. And that costs money.
You can change lives!YOUR help is needed to finish Schoolhouse Rocked. Since post-production has now begun, full funding is critical and needed immediately in order to complete this film with excellence. The post-production budget for the film is $198,157 and that budget still needs to be funded. Following post-production, the P&A budget (marketing) will need to be raised in order to get Schoolhouse Rocked into theaters nationwide through Fathom Events.
We were never meant to do this alone. And we haven’t. Whether you have been a cast member in the film, a guest on the podcast, a prayer warrior, or a previous donor, THANK YOU. The role you have played in the ministry of Schoolhouse Rocked is vital. But we have a great financial hurdle to overcome and once again, your help is needed. We need you…the body of Christ to rally around us and help us finish this important film.
“Thank you” doesn’t quite express how very grateful we are for your support of Schoolhouse Rocked. Your financial pledges to the Kickstarter campaign, notes of encouragement, and phone calls over the past month have been a constant reminder of God’s faithfulness.
If you’ve watched the campaign, you’ve seen that it doesn’t look like we are going make the Kickstarter goal. However, there is still a bit of time (plenty of time for God to work, if it’s His will). If we don’t reach the goal, you won’t be charged and we won’t receive any of the money pledged. However, we have total peace about this! God has been faithful to take us through production and we are certain that He will see this project through to the end. We’ve prayed and trusted that He would provide however He best sees fit. So we are continuing to pray and trust!
That said, we still have a great financial need to get us through the next several months of post-production. If you feel led to do so, here is how you can still support Schoolhouse Rocked:
2) Please subscribe to our mailing list. If we don’t meet our Kickstarter goal, we don’t receive any contact information for our backers. Even if you are already subscribed to the Schoolhouse Rocked newsletter, please take a minute to update your contact information. Kickstarter supporters who fill out this form will receive a special gift in the next few weeks.
Again, THANK YOU, for being an important part of the making of Schoolhouse Rocked. We believe that homeschooling is good for families and culture and that the Lord will use this film will impact the lives of many.
Finally, please continue to pray with us and for us. And please let us know if there is anything we can be praying about for you and your family.
Lately, it seems like all of my effort is going into just keeping up, and quite honestly it can be exhausting! I am relieved to know that this is just a season, and that we are working toward a big goal for God’s glory – and I am constantly encouraged by the wonderful support and encouragement we receive from you – our amazing tribe of fellow homeschoolers, prayer partners, Facebook commenters, subscribers, donors and Backstage Pass members, video viewers, podcast listeners, and patient waiters for the film (keep reading to find out what’s going on with production).
We really believe that God is doing great things through Schoolhouse Rocked, and we really believe in this whole homeschooling thing. We see God using homeschooling to build up families and to prepare the next generation of leaders to reclaim culture for TRUTH. We are totally committed to what we know God has called us to – to making this big ‘ole crazy homeschooling documentary and to creating and gathering resources to encourage and equip families to homeschool with excellence, to the end, and not lose their minds doing it, all for His glory!
So what’s up with the film?
It seems like every newsletter I send, I get emails from people wondering where the film is, with really good cause. I have been too slow in sending actual production updates! Here’s the (really short) story. Much has been done, but there is still much to do. We have finished filming all of the primary content for the film, and we have been blessed with a ton of great interviews! Next comes editing all this great content into a film – a single cohesive, engaging, beautiful story of what makes homeschooling great and why we, and around 2.3 million other families in the U.S. do it.
In the mean time, we have also worked to give these homeschooling families the tools and encouragement they need to keep going, and to give new families the gentle push they need to get started. We have been blessed with a team of great homeschool bloggers, who are writing excellent, super-practical, uber-encourgaging, another-great-adjective-inspiring, and shortish articles (the perfect length for the busy homeschool mom – unlike my super-wordy newsletters). We have put literally hours of great homeschooling videos on the Schoolhouse Rocked Backstage Pass site and we just launched the weekly, 30-minute Schoolhouse Rocked Podcast (again, just the right length, according to an expert panel of busy homeschool moms).
Upon filming our last interview in May-ish, we shifted gears to fundraising and post-production (with a heavy emphasis on fundraising). You see, to finish the film and get it in theaters we still need to raise a pretty big chunk of change. You can see the budget here. Production on Schoolhouse Rocked has been funded through a few different sources – corporate sponsors, donors, premium content memberships – and coming soon, a gigantic crowdfunding campaign. We hope to launch the crowdfunding campaign September 10th, and will be trying to raise all of the money we need to finish post-production (editing, sound, music, etc.). This is going to to require the help of a big part of the homeschooling community.
To that end, we have been gathering a group of awesome marketing partners to help get the word out. God has blessed us with an amazing group of like-minded companies, bloggers, podcasters, authors, speakers, and homeschool boosters to help us reach the big goal of funding the rest of the production through this campaign. Check out a few of our marketing partners here, and head over to their websites to say thanks. They really are awesome!
Garritt and Yvette Hampton, director and producer/host of Schoolhouse Rocked were recent guests on Israel Wayne’s excellent Family Renewal podcast, where they got to talk about homeschooling and the production of this important homeschooling documentary. Listen to the show here.
On December 15th, 2016 our family left California in a truck and travel trailer and set out across America to make a homeschool documentary. The irony of this situation wouldn’t be lost on anyone who knew our family just a few years before. You see, like so many other homeschool families, we were NEVER going to homeschool!
Prior to having children we bought into nearly every homeschooling misconception. Our limited exposure to homeschooling enforced the notion of socially maladjusted, poorly educated kids, taught by ill-equipped and under-qualified moms. We believed that missing out on the classroom dynamic and structure of school would lead to poor academic outcomes, and that without a “real” diploma, college acceptance was a gamble. Not to mention, why would we want to spend all day with our kids? We said many times we would never do that to our kids or our ourselves, but God laughs in the face of “Never”!
After 11 years of marriage we had our first daughter and our perspective began to change. We wanted to do what was best for our kids and for our family. Parenting was a great responsibility that we accepted whole-heartedly.
As our oldest daughter approached school age we began to carefully consider our options for her education. The public schools in our area weren’t even a consideration. We knew that we could not allow our daughter to be subjected to the indoctrination that she would experience there. We didn’t believe that our short time with her at night and on the weekends would be sufficient to uncover and undo the anti-Biblical teaching she would undoubtedly receive during the week. Additionally, we were in an area where the public schools weren’t even safe. At the time, we would have preferred to put her in a Christian school, but we just couldn’t afford this option. As a last resort, we thought that maybe we would give homeschooling a try for a year, and see how it went.
Thankfully, God changed our hearts. Before we even began homeschooling, we met with a pastor and his wife who homeschooled their kids. They began to encourage us and tried to unravel many of the misconceptions we believed. They also encouraged us to attend a homeschool convention; an experience that was both eye-opening and extremely encouraging, as we saw how many “normal” people homeschooled. It was then that we began to learn about the very real benefits of homeschooling.
Six years into our one-year experiment we were huge fans of homeschooling! We were blessed to have participated in great co-ops and a fantastic Classical Conversations community, experienced support and encouragement from most of our family and friends, and our children had benefitted from the excellent academic and social opportunities that were available to them. We were enjoying the freedom to travel and to tailor school to the strengths of our children and to the needs of our family. We savored the blessing and privilege of integrating God’s Word into every subject and weaving a Christian worldview into every aspect of “school.” While we experienced many of the challenges faced by other homeschool families, we were extremely privileged to see the benefits as well, and we desired to share these benefits with others.
Time For Change – BIG CHANGE!
After many years of working in Hollywood, I knew it was time for a change. Heavy travel and long hours on set had cost me precious time with my wife and young daughters, an my health and family were suffering. I loved my job and the people I worked with, but I could see that a continued career in Hollywood would have grave costs. It was not worth trading my family and health for my job, so without a back-up plan, with only the conviction that something had to change, I quit. When I called Yvette to tell her the news, she could only respond, “Praise God”!
In the months that followed, God showed his great power. He provided a perfect new job for me and began to lay the foundation for Schoolhouse Rocked. I would teach film at a local Christian school and produce short documentary content for our church. While it was only a one-year commitment, we knew that this was exactly where God wanted us. He had met our immediate needs, but He was also preparing us for what was to come.
Toward the end of the school year, God provided another opportunity that set the wheels in motion for Schoolhouse Rocked. A well-loved fellow teacher asked if I would film some b-roll for his sister’s student film. As her final project for her film degree at Biola University, she was making a short documentary on homeschooling and needed a few shots of this teacher, himself a homeschool graduate, teaching his AP History class. I gladly agreed, and when I saw the finished film I became excited about the opportunity to encourage prospective homeschoolers through a feature film. I was reminded of what an impact the documentary, Indoctrination had had on Yvette and me in our own decision to homeschool. This young film school graduate had no intention of making a feature-length documentary, but this experience had birthed a desire in me to see this film become a reality.
At the end of the year my contract with the school and church ended and it was time to seek God’s guidance on the next chapter of our lives. Our family had long felt prompted to leave California and believed that this period of transition provided the perfect opportunity. Reluctant to pursue a new job in California, and feeling increasingly convinced that we needed to make a documentary on homeschooling, we laid a fleece before the Lord. We prayed and asked that if it was God’s will that our family make this film He would make it abundantly clear. We knew that we would have to travel to film the movie and we knew we didn’t have the money to travel – let alone make a movie – so we asked for God to answer clearly. If He wanted us to make Schoolhouse Rocked we would need to sell our house. We listed the house and put it in God’s hands. The next day we had a nearly-full-price offer. We took that as confirmation! While that first deal didn’t go through, the house sold quickly and God continued to work. We started pre-production on Schoolhouse Rocked: The Homeschool Revolution.
Next, we would have to sell everything in our house. We had a house full of furniture and possessions that certainly wouldn’t fit in an RV. Right away, friends began to call and ask if we were selling things. One family bought most of our furniture. Our cars quickly sold as well. To get rid of the little stuff – dishes, decorations, books – we held an estate sale. We advertised that the sale would start at 7:00 am on a Friday, and by 6:30 there were people lined up on the sidewalk. We opened up our house and moved a few items onto the lawn. By 2:00 almost everything was gone. The next day we had a few tables of odds and ends on the front lawn, and at the end of the day there was nothing left.
With no home and no stuff it would be easy to travel to film the documentary, but now we needed an RV. We had been looking at travel trailers, 5th wheels, and motorhomes for weeks to determine what would suit our family best. Again, God provided perfectly. One day we got a phone call from some friends who asked if we were still looking for a trailer. It turned out that just a few miles away a family had the perfect trailer for us, and a truck to go with it! We had been looking all over Southern California and the perfect truck and trailer were just across town.
Making a Homeschool Movie
Honestly, had God not confirmed his call in so many ways I don’t know if we would have done this. We left family and friends and a church we loved in California. We left our home and a lifetime of stuff accumulated in our 22 years of marriage. We went out not knowing how God would provide, but certain that He would, because he had given so many clear confirmations. He has proven Himself over and over again. Not only has He provided for our family in miraculous ways, He has provided for the movie in miraculous ways.
When we set out to film Schoolhouse Rocked we had a wish list of people we wanted to interview, but almost no connections and no idea how we were going to get in touch with these people. God opened doors! It was only by His amazing power that we were able to get interviews with such an amazing cast. He provided exactly who we needed to tell a great story and to make a strong case for homeschooling.
Filming for the movie has taken place all over the country. This has provided a very broad view of homeschooling across the United States and has allowed us to build a base of support in several different regions. We have also been blessed to have made great friends in several states.
In March we finished filming the last of the interviews for the movie. Now the real fun begins. While we will still shoot a bit more b-roll (shots of kids and families living life and doing school), most of our time over the next several months will be spent editing and fundraising for post-production and marketing. We are planning for a nationwide theatrical release with Fathom Events in 2019, and a release like this takes a substantial budget and network of marketing partners. We are extremely thankful for our great sponsors, generous donors, and the marketing partners who have already provided excellent support.
We are thankful that God has called us to this important task. It has been a privilege for our family to work on this important project, but more importantly, we know He will be glorified by the film and many families will be blessed and strengthened through Schoolhouse Rocked.
Schoolhouse Rocked will encourage new families to homeschool and equip homeschooling families to start strong and finish well. It will break down common myths and misconceptions and answer important questions about homeschooling. We need your help to advance the homeschooling movement through this important film!
Donate –Your donation goes directly to production on the film.
We are very pleased to announce that HSLDA is now a Gold Sponsor of Schoolhouse Rocked!
As long-time members of HSLDA we know how valuable their service is. We are thankful that they faithfully fight for the rights of parents to homeschool their children, and have been since 1983.
If you aren’t already a member, visit https://hslda.org and sign up today.