School Choice: Unmasking the Euphemism

“It’s a beautiful thing, the destruction of words.”

George Orwell, 1984

As is so often the case in politics, pundits and activists give friendly sounding names to hot-button political movements to mask the true character of these matters. Abortion advocates are labeled “pro-choice.” Genital mutilation becomes “gender affirming care.” Illegal aliens become “undocumented workers.” Women become “birthing persons.” 

This is certainly the case with theschool choice” issue. At the most basic level, the term “school choice” substitutes the concept of choice (options, opportunity) for the true focus of the movement, government education funding. School choice programs take on many forms – public charter school programs and virtual charter programs, magnet schools, intra-district transfer programs, school vouchers, education savings accounts and tax-credit education savings accounts (ESAs), tax-credit scholarships, individual tuition tax credits and deductions. The unifying thread that ties all of these programs together is the “public money” that is being distributed under each program. 

A mouse approaches a mousetrap baited with money. The trap is under a sign that reads "free."

It is important to note that homeschooling and private schools are usually included in the school choice conversation, but the references to homeschooling and private schools always devolve to a discussion of how these programs will include or exclude homeschooled and private schooled students in the distribution of these funds. 

School choice advocates, who are actually advocating that our tax dollars should be given to individuals for the funding of private and (sometimes) home education, want taxpayers and voters to believe that these measures increase choice (educational opportunities) for families. While it is a subtle distinction, it is critical to understand that government funding has no bearing on actual educational choice. 

I recently had an exchange with school choice lobbyist, Corey DeAngelis, on Facebook and I was, once again, convinced I needed to explain why I am so strongly opposed to the school choice movement and believe it is an existential danger to homeschool — in spite of pleasant sounding catchphrases like “fund students instead of systems” and “money follows the student,” all of which, like the “school choice” moniker, are used to lull parents into supporting big-government programs that will ultimately hurt every student. 

Following our Facebook exchange, I will share an extensive breakdown of the problems with school choice measures. While it should be noted that most of the arguments against school choice that I present in this article apply equally to private schools (both secular and religious) and to homeschools, because the Schoolhouse Rocked ministry specifically serves homeschool families, for the most part, I will only address homeschooling here.

Corey DeAngelis, May 19 at 4:06 PM


“BREAKING: Oklahoma legislature sent Governor Kevin Stitt a bill to fund students instead of systems.

All families will be eligible.

Oklahoma will soon become a national leader on education freedom.

This is the way.”

My response:

“’Fund students instead of systems’ is just a euphemism for redistribution of wealth. Government money doesn’t make education free. Oklahoma already has some of the most family and student-friendly education laws on the books, with homeschooling written into the state constitution. We don’t need or want government handouts or oversight. Corey DeAngelis, stop selling soft socialism as a conservative value. Parents, don’t fall for the “school choice” Trojan horse. 

Government money ALWAYS comes with strings attached. The cheese in the mousetrap is free for a reason.”

For the first time, after trying to engage Mr. DeAngelis on this topic for years, I was able to get a response from him. His response to my concern; Schoolhouse Rocked no one is forcing you to take the money.

While this is true now, I felt it was important to continue the conversation, so here was my response: 

Corey DeAngelis… yet. 

This is the camel’s nose in the tent. As more and more families take the money, inevitably there will be calls for accountability measures (testing, safety checks, teacher qualifications, etc.) and curriculum and course of study requirements. These will absolutely be pushed across the board, whether homeschool families take the money or not. We’ve already seen these battles play out in other states and countries. 

Coming from California, we understand how enticing the “free money” is. We watched as homeschooling went from mostly privately funded and parent-led to mostly government controlled with the majority of “homeschool” families participating in public charter schools.

“I also appreciate that you didn’t dispute the “soft socialism” and “redistribution of wealth” claims.

The role of government should be extremely limited. There are very few instances of governments taking or spending more money that result in freer or safer societies. This isn’t going to be the first socialist program to succeed. They fail because they are based on faulty premises. 

True conservative values are smaller government, lower taxes, more freedom, open markets – with the government’s role being limited to defense, law giving and enforcement for the public good, and upholding the laws of nature and nature’s God. These principles always work.”

“[F]or he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer.

Romans 13:4

““Romans 13 is the heart of the civil government’s jurisdiction. The civil government is to set the stage for the family government, church government, and others acting outside those two governments, to fulfill their duties owed to God. That is, the civil government is to facilitate duties owed to God, not interfere with them.”   (Kevin Novak, 2016, Abolition: Overcoming the Christian Establishment on Education)

I was happy to see that in this thread Corey shared a link to the referenced Oklahoma bill he was referencing: Oklahoma House Bill 1934: “Oklahoma Parental Choice Tax Credit Act.” Thankfully, I was already familiar with the bill, and as an Oklahoma resident, I had already had an in-depth conversation with one of our (very conservative) state senators on the subject of school choice. Unfortunately, like so many other conservative politicians, he was partially under the school choice spell and was a supporter of this bill – in spite of being homeschooled himself.

What we need to understand is that government programs grow over time. It’s what they do. What starts today as a voluntary “tax credit” in Oklahoma will always have the lurking threat of ubiquity behind it. Someone will always be pushing to make these programs mandatory – for the sake of the children. And when all school options are government funded, we really have NO school choice, because all school is public school. 

While the bill is labeled as a “tax credit,” this is another euphemism, as the bill actually provides government funding for parents regardless of the taxes they pay, and at a graduated level based on household income. 

Here was my response to Mr. DeAngelis:

Corey DeAngelis this is labeled as a tax credit, but most families with school-aged children will get more than they pay, and the “credit” amount is based on household income. This is a welfare program, not a tax credit.”

It should be noted that while Mr. DeAngelis bills himself as a “school choice evangelist” and “educational freedom advocate,” he is actually a professional lobbyist with ties to UNESCO and other large NGO’s and think tanks, including the American Federation for Children, Educational Freedom Institute, Cato Institute, Reason Foundation, and Liberty Justice Center, though it appears that his UNESCO ties have been recently sanitized from the World Wide Web. Thankfully, the Internet has a long memory.

Corey DeAngelis - UNESCO Public Profile Expert. UNESCO Inclusive Policy Lab.

(Lisa Logan, 2022, UNESCO’s Vision for School Choice)

The Truth about School Choice:

“Euphemisms are fallacious because they are intentionally used to conceal the truth and obscure any real meaning; they are soft language used to mask or downplay warranted emotional force.”

(Kimberly Baltzer-Jaray, 2018, Bad Arguments: 100 of the Most Important Fallacies in Western Philosophy)

By analyzing the term “school choice” within this framework, we can unravel the deceptive nature and danger of these programs.

The Illusion of Choice: 

At its core, the term “school choice” replaces the focus on education funding with the concept of “choice,” painting a false picture of increased options, freedom, and opportunity. Advocates of school choice argue that government funds should be allocated to individuals for private and home education, under the guise of increasing educational opportunities for families. However, it is essential to grasp the subtle yet critical distinction: government funding has no real impact on genuine educational choice.

The Illusion of Expanded Options:

One of the primary arguments put forth by proponents of school choice is that it expands educational options for families. However, upon closer examination, these programs often result in a reduction of options rather than an expansion. As governments institute control and accountability measures – which should be demanded every time the government spends money – inevitably, the broad educational freedoms experienced by homeschoolers and private schools are diminished. 

Our family witnessed this first-hand. As a flood California homeschool families joined the school choice bandwagon provided by the state’s public charter schools, they found themselves dealing with curriculum restrictions (no religious curriculum), curriculum and lesson plan approval, regular check-ins with charter school “teachers,” testing requirements, attendance reporting and specified minimum attendance rules, and requirements to keep “normal school hours.” It is not a far stretch from these “reasonable” controls to mandated teacher certification and in-home safety and wellness checks – and the slope is very slippery. In states like Georgia and California we have already seen these measures proposed by state legislators (usually in response to highly-publicized abuse cases).

While it would seem that each of these control measures should result in better outcomes for students, in practice we find that none of them result in higher achievement among students. In fact, while I am no fan of no-holds-barred unschooling because I understand that God calls parents to train up their children, multiple studies have shown that unschooled kids – not bound by any of these restrictions or regulations – have extraordinarily positive socialacademic, and professional outcomes

It should be noted that many families choose to homeschool specifically because they want to teach their children from a Biblical worldview. In our case, the primary reason we homeschool is so that we can integrate God’s Word into every subject. One of the first steps each state takes when implementing school choice programs is to require funded materials and curriculum to be secular, thereby undermining the primary reason many Christian families homeschool.

“Article IX, Section 8, of the California Constitution addresses religious instruction within public schools. The wording is straightforward and is available at any public library. A review of this section may be helpful: ‘No public money shall ever be appropriated for the support of any sectarian or denominational school…’ Government funding cannot be used to support a religious school.”

(, An Updated Look at Charter Schools)

What our family saw first-hand in California illustrated why this requirement alone should be a primary concern for homeschool families. Instead, we saw that the lure of “free money” was enough to cause many families to ransom their values and jump on the school choice bandwagon.

Among the many families we knew who participated in government homeschool charter programs, two main tactics – and a third, less common tactic –  were employed to deal with the secular curriculum requirement. Most commonly, families would use two sets of curricula for any subject that they wanted to teach from a Biblical worldview – one approved (and purchased) by the charter and one that they wouldn’t submit for approval. This meant that, in many cases, students were doing extra work to submit worksheets and projects from the approved curriculum before they would do the “real” Science, History, or Bible work from the unapproved Christian curriculum. At best, this represented a massive waste of time, but in reality, it also served to frustrate students and make homeschooling more difficult than it needed to be.  

Sadly, what we also saw was that in many cases Christian families would just lie about what curriculum they were using, justifying the omission by saying that what they were teaching their children was no business of the government. While I agree that the government should have no place in the education of our children, this fact doesn’t justify intentional, low-level fraud. American parents are not currently forced to participate in ANY charter schools or school choice programs, so they are not forced to lie when they chose to participate, take the handout, and then ignore the rules of these programs.

Tactic #3 – The ”After Hours” Compromise:

At least in California, there was a technicality that allowed for students participating in charter schools and charter homeschool programs to receive religious instruction: the “after hours” loophole. State law and the charters of these schools stated that religious instruction couldn’t be administered during “normal school hours.” While I’ll save the rant about “normal school hours” for a future article, this meant that Christian homeschool families who abided by this rule could do “regular” school, using “neutral” “secular” resources during the day and then do religious instruction in the evening or on weekends.

This compromise has a few major holes. First, it fails to acknowledge that ALL instruction is religious by nature. Education is DISCIPLESHIP. Education is WORLDVIEW TRAINING. What we teach our children about creation, the LOGOS behind reason, logic, and language, the perfect order of mathematics, God’s work throughout history, who we are as people, and our purpose in the world is explicitly religious. The only question is which religion is being taught.

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.”

Proverbs 1:7

More subtly, to relegate “religious” teaching to after-hours teaches our children that religion and work (“real life”) are separate. What a shame it is to teach our children that it’s perfectly acceptable to compartmentalize our Christianity and only take it out only when appropriate (or approved). As Christian parents our principal desire in teaching our children should be to pass our faith on to them, to teach them the truth of God’s Word, and to train them to live boldly for the glory of Christ “in season and out of season” – in spite of the approval of man or government. 

Not Private, Not Independent, Not Parent Led – Not Homeschooling:

On the topic of public virtual charters schools, it should be noted that, technically, while much of the instruction under these programs occurs in the home, these are actually considered public schools. CHEA (Christian Home Educators Association of California) states: “When enrolling in a school-at-home charter school, it’s important to recognize that it is a public school. Your children are independent study public school students and you are subject to the laws that govern public charter schools. You sign an Independent Study “master agreement” with the charter school for each student enrolled (Educ. Code § 51747(c)(8)(A)). The funds that these schools offer you are public tax dollars. In exchange for these funds, there is government oversight across several areas of your home school.” And “When a student is enrolled in a charter school, they are assigned a teacher. The title of this “teacher” varies–teacher facilitator, educational advisor, educational specialist, educational coach–but they are all California credentialed teachers who become the teacher of record in your student’s cumulative file. (Educ. Code § 47605(l))” (Katie Julius, 2019, Homeschooling 101: Public School at Home (How Charters Allow Government Oversight of Your Children’s Education)

Additionally, it should be noted that while these programs mimic traditional home education their methods and reliance on state-approved materials results in poor academic outcomes. 

“[I]n January of 2010, the Idaho Department of Education published a study that compared the academic achievement of students in the virtual charter schools with that of students in the rest of the public school system. To that point the general expectation was that students in the virtual charter schools would show academic excellence both because they are being taught at home and because they are enrolled in public charter schools. After all, how could a program with similarities to two such outstanding educational options produce anything but strong academic achievement?

Contrary to what most had expected, the 2010 report showed the opposite. Pages five through seven of that report demonstrated that:

1.  While students in Idaho’s brick-and-mortar charter schools scored significantly higher on the state assessment tests than did students in the regular public schools,

2.  Students in the virtual charter schools scored significantly lower on the same tests than did the students in the regular public schools.Under the federal No Child Left Behind Act, public schools are required by law to meet certain benchmarks on student assessment tests. If one digs deeply enough, one will find that 38% of Idaho’s public schools failed to make the adequate yearly progress in 2010. But among the virtual charter schools — including both IDVA and IDEA — the percentage of such schools that failed to make adequate yearly progress in 2010 was a whopping 67%.”

(, 2014, MYTH #1: Virtual Charter Schools Produce Academic Excellence, 2014)

It is for these reasons homeschool support organizations often remind parents that real homeschooling means privately-funded, parent-led, home-based education.

The Illusion of Increased Spending: Lack of Academic Improvement

In spite of the inevitable drawbacks that school choice programs bring, if it were as simple as “more money=better performance,” a decent case might be made for them. In reality, what we find is quite the opposite. When faced with the steady decline of academic outcomes demonstrated in government schools, homeschool families should be very wary of inviting the same government, which has so desperately failed public school students, into their homes.

Over the years, per-student public school spending has consistently increased across the country. Currently, U.S. public schools spend an average $13,185 per pupil annually, with several eastern states spending well in excess of $20,000 per student. (Melanie Hanson, 2022, Education Data Initiative, U.S. Public Education Spending Statistics) Despite the substantial growth in funding, academic outcomes have not been marked by a corresponding improvement, refuting the assumption that increased spending directly translates to better educational results. Standardized test scores, graduation rates, and other academic indicators have not shown consistent advancements aligning with the increasing financial investments made in public schools.

(Andrew J. Coulson, 2012, CATO Institute, Public School Spending. There’s a Chart for That!)

The Need for Fiscal Responsibility:

Given the lack of a direct correlation between increased spending and academic achievement, it should remind us how vital it is to exercise fiscal responsibility when allocating any public funds, let alone when considering applying tax dollars to education. Ironically, it is in this area – and only this area – where I agree with school choice advocates. If public dollars are spent on education fiscal accountability should be demanded. 

Since I have no desire to answer to Uncle Sam about how I spend our household’s money I will continue to refuse any school choice handouts or “tax credits.” In theory, I would have no problem with a tax exemption or direct tax deduction for families who homeschool or choose to pay for private school. I would never be opposed to the government taking less of my money to pay for programs I don’t support. However, any scheme that requires homeschool families to register or report to any government agency is going to be a non-starter.

Ultimately though, this just serves as a hypothetical thought experiment, as this option is never seriously promoted by school choice advocates. In the end, all of these schemes boil down to new ways to tax, skim, and spend – repackaged redistribution of wealth with all of the normal bureaucratic fraud, waste, and abuse.

Financial Implications:

Contrary to the narrative that school choice programs save money, they often result in higher costs for education, both for individuals and the public as a whole. Just as we have seen with colleges and universities, as government funding for higher education has increased through grants, scholarships, and government guaranteed loan programs, college tuition has skyrocketed along with student loan debt. This is the nearly inescapable cycle of inflation. As “free” money is dumped into a system, prices inevitably rise. And as school choice programs increase the cost of education across the board, these increased costs will put an unequal strain on families who don’t qualify for these programs, live in areas where they are not available, or choose not to take the funds.

Administrative Bloat and Expensive Amenities:

We don’t have to guess about what the outcome will be as school choice programs gain ground and the government takes an ever-expanding role in the funding of K-12 education. All we have to do is look at the colleges. The infusion of government funds into colleges led to an increase in administrative staff and the growth of bureaucratic structures within institutions. As colleges expanded their administrative departments, costs associated with salaries, benefits, and administrative operations soared. Moreover, colleges started investing in expensive amenities and non-academic facilities to attract students, further driving up costs.

Additionally, increased college funding discouraged price competition among colleges. When students rely heavily on financial aid and grants, they become less sensitive to the actual cost of education. As a result, colleges have less market pressure to control costs and provide value for money. This lack of price competition and market discipline has enabled colleges to continue increasing tuition without significant accountability, and consequently the real cost for a college education has skyrocketed. The same will be true of private K-12 education costs if school choice programs proliferate.

The Student Debt Crisis – Coming to a Homeschool Near You:

Though we have to venture a bit into slippery slope territory, I think it is important to consider the student debt crisis as a cautionary tale. The escalation of college costs fueled by expanded government funding has contributed to our current student debt crisis – currently a $1.78 billion dollar burden on American families. (Matt Schulz, 2023,, Student Loan Debt Statistics)  As tuition prices have skyrocketed, students (and their parents) have increasingly relied on loans to finance their education. Consequently, students graduate burdened with substantial debt, affecting their financial well-being and future opportunities. It is not much of a stretch to expect a similar situation to arise as homeschool families increasingly rely on government funds – and soon government loans – to be able to afford ever-increasing education costs associated with increased government funding of (formerly private) K-12 education options.

Obscuring Wealth Redistribution: 

Behind the euphemistic facade of school choice lies a broader agenda – the redistribution of wealth through socialist policies. While proponents of these programs may argue that they empower families to make educational decisions, the reality is that they divert taxpayer money – extracted by force or threat of force – to a select group of individuals, regardless of the consent of the taxpayers. While the details of every school choice proposal vary, necessarily, the recipient group (parents of school-aged children) is smaller than the contributing group (all taxpayers). Fundamentally, these programs represent the government forcefully taking money from one group to “give” it to another group, bearing the basic hallmarks of any socialist redistribution of wealth or welfare program. 

School Choice as a Welfare Program:

When viewed through a critical lens, School Choice programs can be understood as a form of welfare. These programs involve the redistribution of taxpayer funds to individuals to pay for services that they desire but may not be able to afford – though the true issue of affordability is a subject for another article (we have addressed this topic here). Additionally, in many cases, the amounts distributed are based on the recipient’s reported income. This is the definition of welfare.

While school choice proponents argue that these programs empower families with educational options, just like other welfare programs, they also create reliance on government handouts for education. Instead of empowering families to make choices based on their own means and preferences, such programs will inevitably create a sense of entitlement and diminish personal responsibility.


“We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it.” 

George Orwell, 1984

Homeschool families need to remember that the battle to legalize independent, privately funded, parent-led, home-based education was long, hard fought, and not without casualties. And it was more recent than we might care to remember. Homeschooling has only been legal in all fifty states since 1993.

Over the years we have heard the stories of many families who faced jail time, fines, and the threat of losing their children simply for educating them at home. We had the privilege of sharing Zan Tyler’s story in Schoolhouse Rocked: The Homeschool Revolution. Zan fought for years to make homeschooling legal in South Carolina and through that battle she was threatened with arrest and had to spend a fortune in legal costs, but because of her efforts, and the efforts of many more courageous families like hers, we now have the freedom to home educate in every state. We should be very wary of giving back any of the freedom we had to fight so hard to win.

As we peel back the layers of the school choice argument it becomes clear that no amount of friendly euphemism can cover up the danger of these programs. As enticing as the idea of “free money” is, the real consequences of these programs: diminished options, declining academic outcomes, increasing government oversight, increased costs, and increased dependence mean that every family should oppose school choice, with homeschooling families leading the battle to preserve truly private education.

Recommended Resources:

If you are ready to experience TRUE school choice we have a few free resources to help you on your homeschooling journey.

Schoolhouse Rocked: The Homeschool Revolution is now available for FREE streaming. Dove Approved for All Ages, the film follows the Hampton family on a three year journey as they travel the country to shine a light on the movement that is reshaping education – and may just be the key to saving our nation.

You’ll hear from Christian leaders, education experts, and families just like yours as host, Yvette Hampton, grows from a staunch homeschooling opponent to an enthusiastic homeschool evangelist.

Watch the movie tonight and you’ll also receive a free copy of the Homeschool Survival Kit, a 72-page eBook packed with great resources and encouragement for families at every stage in their homeschooling journey.


“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 Dobson

“This is not an exaggeration to say, this is the movement that is needed to save this country. Incredibly, incredibly well done.” – Rick Green, Wallbuilders

“This phenomenal movie is a must-see for every parent and every American. I can’t recommend it highly enough.” – Alex Newman, Liberty Sentinel

Once you’ve joined the homeschool revolution you’ll need regular encouragement and resources to finish strong. Be sure to follow the Schoolhouse Rocked Podcast on your favorite podcast app for new episodes every Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday.

Only have a few minutes? Check out the Homeschool Insights Podcast where you’ll find  practical, Biblical, home education and parenting encouragement and resources in under ten minutes a day.

All Bible references are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Alex Newman

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

Yvette Hampton:           That’s right.

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

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

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

Recommended Resources:

Alex Newman – Rescuing our Children Video

Rescuing our Children Special Report

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

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

If you are considering homeschooling or just need some great homeschooling encouragement, please check out for over 9 hours of FREE homeschool videos from the 2020 Homegrown Generation Family Expo.

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

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Homeschooling in Russia!

“I grew up in this country where, in a socialist country, communist country, which really tried to teach us not to think with their own heads. The government wants to make decisions for us. The doctors made decisions for us. In a country like ours, basically everything; your body, your soul, belongs to the government. You were not supposed to be asking questions or think outside the box.” – Andre Furmanov

In this episode of the Schoolhouse Rocked Podcast, Yvette Hampton speaks with Russian pastor and homeschool dad, Andre Furmanov, about how and why he and his wife began homeschooling and what homeschooling looks like in Russia.

Andre Furmanov came to Christ while still living in Communist Russia. He is a graduate of Leningrad State University, with an English philology, literature and translation major. Considers himself a pastor by default, since his ministry started after his high school class accepted Christ almost in its entirety through his witness as a teacher.

Andre is a graduate of the pastoral training center at the International Church of St. Petersburg and has been pastoring his flock for the past 29 years. Andre is a major advocate of Parenting ministry in Russia and the initiator of the Christian homeschooling movement in his hometown of Vyborg. He and his wife, Nadya, have been married for 21 years. They have three daughters – Emily (18), Erika (17) and Elsie (16), who they have been raising according biblical principles and homeschooled for the past 6 years.

You can support Andre and his family at Select “VCC- Andre Furmanov” in the designation drop-down list. (once in the list you can search, rather than scrolling).

Join us on the Schoolhouse Rocked Backstage Pass membership site for the full unedited video of this interview. Save 10% on any paid Backstage Pass Membership by using the coupon code “Podcast10”.

Yvette Hampton:  Hey everyone, this is Yvette. Welcome back to The Schoolhouse Rocked Podcast. I am so glad that you’ve joined us again today. We have a really, really exciting guest on today. His name is Andre Furmanov and he is a Homeschool dad and pastor in Russia. You guys, Homeschooling is growing around the globe. It’s not just in America. He has a really exciting story about how Homeschooling is affecting his family and how they got into it. So let me introduce you to Andre. Andre, welcome to the podcast.

Andre Furmanov:  Thank you so much. I’m excited to be here.

Yvette:  Yeah, I’m so glad to have you. We got to meet you at a conference about a year and a half ago. We got to hear you speak. Your story was so moving and inspiring. So I would love for you to introduce your family to our listeners and then tell us your story of Homeschooling, how you got started.

Andre:  I’m Andre Furmanov. I’m a pastor as already was mentioned. I became a Christian way back in the ’80s, still under communism. I always called myself a pastor by default because my church was started when I was still a school teacher, under communism is not being allowed to do that. I shared Christ with my 24 students who accepted the Lord. I ended up with the flock without even being trained to be a pastor, but somebody had to take care of these kids. So at this point, I’ve been a pastor for almost 30 years. It’s 29 this year. I’m a father of three daughters and a husband of one wife. My daughters are Emily, Erika and Elsie. At this point they are 18, 17 and 16. All are working with the Lord and excited about ministry. Our family is basically a team that does ministry together. We are very much, we believe in family discipleship and I just feel my wife and my daughters in the first place as my primary disciples. My wife is my coworker, a very faithful partner, and the love of my life. So this is my family.

Yvette:  I love that. I love it. Your family is so beautiful and so sweet.

Andre:  Thank you.

Yvette:  Very gifted as well. Your girls are incredibly gifted in so many areas. Tell us your story about how you got started Homeschooling.

Andre:  Well, that’s, how much time do we have? Anyway, we began Homeschooling only about six years ago. Prior to that, I grew up in this country where, in a socialist country, communist country, which really tried to teach us not to think with their own heads. The government wants to make decisions for us. The doctors made decisions for us. In a country like ours, basically everything; your body, your soul, belongs to the government. You were not supposed to be asking questions or think outside the box.

Andre:  But I just remember even when I was growing up, I had a lot of questions about a lot of things. I guess this is the good thing about the way I turned out to be. I like asking questions and I need answers for those questions. With my wife and I having three daughters, we decided to make a very, very serious step of faith and not send them to daycare. Everybody send their kids to daycare. Everybody’s supposed to work. Wives are supposed to work. Everybody talks about how important it is to make more money and stuff like that.

A working wife, a working mother is considered to be such a wonderful, wonderful thing. People forget that mothers work at home so much that if a man, a husband tries to do what a woman does at home, at the end of the day, he feels like, “Okay, I’d rather go to work than do what you’re doing.” A lot of men testify to that.

We didn’t send our kids to the daycare center. Many people thought we were crazy. Then there was a time for us to send our kids to school. Everybody does it. I’d never heard of anything like Homeschooling in my country. I heard that Americans did that. But in this country we kind of think that things come easy for Americans. It’s a bunch of baloney of course. But people have that view.

I remember I was taking my oldest daughter to school. I was walking behind her and she had these beautiful pony tails and I walked behind her carrying her bag and a bouquet of flowers. I was in tears. I think I was the only man in the face of this earth who was like bawling when he was taking his daughter to school. I felt I was doing something incredibly wrong. I didn’t know what was wrong. I didn’t know that there was something else that could be done.

So anyhow, she went to school and there was one less person at the breakfast table. Then the second daughter went to school and then the third one and my wife and I felt like empty nesters without our kids having grown up. I remember what happened to our kids, we always try to raise them in the Lord, but what happened to them, they just became different. They became distant and alienated from us. At some point I just realized that we only spent about 30 minutes a day with our girls because they went to school, they went to music school, they did all of their little routines, sports and everything.

By the time they were done, they were just dog tired and wanted to go to bed. They needed to make their home assignments and all that kind of stuff. I felt like, so why have a family if you can’t raise your children the way you know you should be raising them? I was a very strong believer in raising my girls or kids God’s way based on the biblical principles.

That was the time when God brought us to America. I’ve visited America at this point about 14 times and there was one of those times. Every time when God takes us to America, I know that he wants to tell us something. I didn’t know what he wanted to tell us at that time. So we came to visit our friends in Colorado and it was interesting when we came to see them they just said, “Oh, we mixed up the dates of your arrival and that’s why we’re going to go to Homeschooling conference tomorrow. You can take our car, drive around, and do whatever. We want to give you some money to have fun or you could join us at the Homeschooling conference.”

I’m the kind of person, I really would like to see things and experience things, especially things that are so different from what I’m used to. So I said, “Well, we’ll definitely go to the conference.” So we went to the conference and the first person we meet is a person that was going to Saint Petersburg, Russia, which is where we’re from, along with his entire family. Eight children, one of whom was, had just been born. I was like, “Whoa, that’s crazy. I’ve been traveling to Russia and why are you going there?” He said, “Well, I would like to teach Russian people about Homeschooling.” I was like, “Wow, you must believe in it very strongly.”

Anyway, I heard Kevin Swanson, I heard Ken Ham and I saw a lot of people there. What really struck me was the discovery that at some point a time Americans were actually put to jail for trying to Homeschool their children. I was like, “Oh, so things don’t come easy to Americans too. That’s interesting.” I thought, “Gosh, America’s a free country. Everybody can do whatever they think is right.” But it’s like, no. It wasn’t like that. People had to actually fight for their right. I was like, “Uh-huh (affirmative).”

Anyway, so I experienced three days of Homeschooling conference. A lot of great things, heard a lot of testimonies, talked to a lot of people. I was asking questions at the speed of light. Then three days later our friends took us to the famous park, the Garden of the Gods. I remember we drove up there and we stood there looking at the mountains and the beautiful rock formations and all that. It just struck me, dawned on me, I thought, goodness. I know from history that sometime not too long ago, people who were fathers, were taking their families west going across this wilderness with no beautiful roads that brought me here by car, with nothing, just wild animals. They just really needed to go west. They needed to explore and conquer that land there was wild.

I thought, what drove them so firmly and so strongly? Then I thought, just some kind of crazy dream that they were passionate about. I just realized, oh my goodness, that’s what actually made America great. That spirit of discovery, pioneering, and daring spirit not to be afraid to try something new that you think is right.

I felt so ashamed. I thought, if some people came from Europe and settled this land and they were just so brave. Here I am knowing that I need to Homeschool my daughters, that I need to raise them in the Lord and I’m losing them to the system. I’m afraid to do that because of what? I turned to my wife and said, “Nadya, we’re coming home and we’re starting to Homeschool.” I didn’t know how, I didn’t know what we need to do in our country in order to actually escape jail, but I’ll do that.

Then as we came home, I started to explore things. I realized that Homeschooling had been allowed since 1992. Since the very beginning. Since communism fell. But nobody really knew about it because we’re just too careless to figure it out. So, anyway, a long story short, we took our girls away from school, started to teach them at home. 15 families that attended the same school, families from my church said, “We’re going with you.” I was like, “Guys, I want to make sure that you’re not just following us, that you’re following the will of God, because it’s like, we might even be in trouble for that.” But they said, “You know what? We think we should do it.”

Then that family from Colorado came and shared their experience. I remember as they came to Russia with eight of their children, we were thinking, “Okay, now this is a family with eight children and they’re Homeschooling them all. This is a family that was not afraid to come to Russia to teach us about Homeschooling. Why are we afraid to Homeschool our three girls or two kids, whatever?” However many kids was in each family.

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So anyway, there was like a huge exodus from public school system. But I’m going to tell you, the whole point was just not leaving school but going somewhere we wanted to go. For me, my passion was to really raise my girls for the Lord because I always knew that I was never raising them for my pleasure. I knew that the kids were a gift from God and they didn’t belong to me. I was their daddy, but they already had a father. But I wasn’t able to really teach them how to fall in love with Jesus because I didn’t have time. The fact that we took them out of school and started to really explore how to involve God in every subject, it really changed our lives.

Our girls were just growing apart from us and all of a sudden we started to read the Bible. But for the whole year I spent every day just teaching them about Christ and their identity in Jesus. That changed their lives because they just realized that they didn’t need to … I mean, they almost became invincible. That they know that their identity is not in what they do and not the achievements they make, but in Christ already accepted them.

It’s amazing. We taught our girls not to live for acceptance so that others would accept them for their good grades or whatever, but from acceptance because they already know that the Lord loves them dearly and will never leave nor forsake them. They don’t need to really live for anyone’s pleasure. They just live out of the fullness of their lives.

We could see that they started to get involved in ministry. They started to read the Bible. They started to talk about God. We have these amazing family times when everybody shares their hearts. I can see that their knowledge about God became their knowledge of Him and also turned into practical steps of manifesting that amazing love. I can see that, when in Galatians 2, Paul says, “It’s not me who is living with the Lord who lives through me.” I can see that in my girls’ lives and I’m so grateful.

I know that it’s not the magic of Homeschooling, but this is freedom we got in order to do what is right. We also figured that, I remember I told you that our girls, children are not, they’re not a bucket to be filled, but they’re a gift to be unwrapped. I realized that our children already were designed by God a certain way and we allow them, in the context of Homeschooling, to explore who they truly were, how they were designed by God. I could mention that they’re extremely talented and I think every kid is, but we allowed the Lord to actually help them develop their special giftings.

With the Erika, my middle daughter, she’s so gifted in music. She plays the piano, she plays the harp, she plays the whistle, and she plays the Ukulele. Elsie plays violin. Emily plays guitar and the piano. But again, Erika decided that she wants to be a musician, but again, she doesn’t need to become someone. But she is a musician at heart, but she’s a child of God. That’s her primary identity. But she uses music to glorify Jesus.

I see Emily is excited about technical things. She’s reading a lot about business, but she would like to actually free herself up from having to go to a secular job so that she could do counseling. She really is passionate about that. Elsie is still searching what she wants to do, but she already knows who she is and that most important thing. So anyway, that’s in a nutshell. Maybe too long.

Yvette:  No, I love it. That is an amazing story.

Want to hear more about how homeschooling is growing around the world? Listen to Mike Donnelly, HSLDA Director of Global Outreach, on the Schoolhouse Rocked Podcast.

So you were talking about how there were about 15 families from your church who came along with you into Homeschooling when you got back. You went back and he said, “Okay family, okay girls, we’re going to do this Homeschool thing.” What was your, what was the response from your family to doing this? Were they excited and did having those 15 families make it easier for them?

Andre:  It was interesting. Everybody, there was not even one exception, everybody thought we were crazy. Grandparents were just upset with us. They thought we were destroying our children. Actually those 15 families came to us and they said they were leaving with us. But prior to that for about a week, they had thought we were crazy. We had to actually talk to a lot of people and give account of what we truly believed in.

There was really, for some time, there was no support. My wife’s sister and her husband actually became our best enemies. They really ostracize ourselves, I mean us, from their family. They just really were upset with us. Nadya’s mother came to us almost on a daily basis and called us all kinds of names and yelled at us for being so brutally horrible towards our children and depriving them of their rights that were constitutional for education. We had to actually … God really taught us a lot through that because, I kind of tended to get into all defensive mode and almost become just like those people that yelled at us.

But later on I’m like, “No, you can’t really change anybody through yelling. Think of Jesus and His example.” I learned a lot about what it means to give account in Godly way. So anyway, after about a week, those 15 families left school. It’s interesting that Nadya’s sister at this point is Homeschooling her children. My parents, they say this was the wisest decision we could ever make and they’re totally supporting that. Nadya’s mother is still undecided, but since her other daughter is doing the same thing, she had to quiet down.

But it was interesting because there was a lot of pressure and there was a lot of gossip spread around. You heard that story that one day the friend of my daughters comes to us and says, “Have you heard about this horrifying family that’s doing this horrible thing to their children. We heard that they not only had they left school but they also took a bunch of people with them.” It was really crazy. We said, “We are that family.”

You should have seen the look on her eyes in her eyes. It was really like a paradigm shift for people because people … it was interesting in our town, we were kind of well-known because I taught my girls English since they were babies. Even though I have an accent, they don’t have any accent. They speak totally like Americans. So we have been known in this town like the family that speaks English or something like that because my girls speak English to each other.

Anyway, so they kind of think we’re so smart and whatever. All of a sudden it’s like, “The smart people did this stupid thing.” But it was interesting because when this happens, when people ask you questions, when people … when that paradigm shift occurs, you have a lot of opportunities to share your faith and to give account of what you believe. So, it’s interesting because at this point people call me from time to time and people who are non-Christians and have different reasons for taking their kids out of school, but nobody’s happy with school system anymore for different reasons, like I said.

As a friend of mine, Chris Davis, you might have heard of them. I read his books. He’s an amazing Homeschooling dad. He’s in his seventies. He’s raised three sons and a daughter Homeschooling them. But anyway, he wrote a book in which he said that there’re pioneers and then there are followers. Then there are people that are kind of lagging behind. Pioneers are the ones that just go and make way and cut through the path.

Then there are followers who feel like, “ I’m afraid to become a pioneer but now that the road has been cleared, I can follow.” Then there are those who just rush from one side to another thinking like, “Okay, maybe I can Homeschool just in case so that I wouldn’t miss anything out.” Then when things get tough, they go back to the school system and stuff.

So anyway, I can see that a lot of non-Christians really don’t have the good foundation for why they’re doing what they’re doing, but nobody is really happy with the system anymore because the system is just killing creativity. To tell you the truth, in our country, it is becoming the tool of horrifying propaganda and nationalism. I just, I would never want my girls to be a part of that. I actually think it’s very unhealthy for any child to be there because it’s all about, we used to hail communism and hail Lenin, now we hail Putin. So it’s just the same old stuff. We’re just coming back with a very different, even more cruel and evil flavor.

So anyway, we don’t want to be a part of that. Funny as it is, or strange as it is, even non-Christians feel like something is wrong with that. So, people, parents sense that they’re losing their children. Some don’t. Some really are going along with the system. But there’re some that called me up and asked me lots of questions. In a way, I’m sort of viewed like some kind of Homeschooling guru, which I don’t really think I am because I have very little experience. Well, more than most people.

Yvette:  You have a whole lot more than most do.

Andre:  But anyway, it’s really exciting to be able to help them. This gives me an opportunity to talk about my faith, not only about school, but about the true reason why I’m doing that. It really opens the way for a lot of incredible conversations. So we’ll see. We will see what happens.

Yvette:  That’s amazing. How many families are there in your hometown about who are Homeschooling now?

Andre:  More than I know I bet. But I know at least 30.

Yvette:  Okay, so it’s growing still?

Andre:  Yeah. We have a very small town by Russian standards. People in Russia basically are very afraid of change. They are very fatalistic. So I mean, so people that are not are considered to be very crazy like myself.

Yvette:  So how, okay, of those 30 families and looking at those 15, 16 families, including yourself who started six years ago or so, how have you seen that change the culture of these families individually? Have you seen the kids change, the families changed as a result of Homeschooling?

Andre:  Well, it’s interesting. I realize that the problem that occurs a lot of times that people take their kids out of school, but they don’t take school out of their system which has been a problem. It was actually a problem for us the first year. It took me going to a conference, a Homeschooling conference and meeting some radically amazing people. Some of them are very well known in America. I’m not going to mention their names, but because some people think they’re great, others think they’re horrible.

But I just love people that are different. I don’t have to necessarily agree with all of them or about every little thing, but I just like people who think outside the box. Anyway those people help me see that under it, you’re still thinking like the system. So I repented of that and I said, “Okay, now I need to have a biblical worldview.” So anyway, those families who realize that, that they need to get the system out of their household, they really changed radically.

Because it seems like it’s really, it allowed parents to focus on God more in their personal walk. It allowed the children … I mean the children are really focused on what is true, what is right, and what is worthwhile. It’s interesting because those kids do not really strive for getting a degree, but they’re striving after pleasing the Lord. If a degree is something, is a step towards that, they would do it.

It’s amazing because a typical Russian person just goes through all these hoops. Just you’re born, you go to kindergarten, you go to school, you go to college, then you get a job and that’s that. Well, one of the conferences, one of the craziest and very controversial peers came to the conference, which was Rhea Perry. I mean, you meet this woman once you’re changed forever. It’s just amazing.

So when she came and she shared with us her philosophy in life, I just realized, oh my gosh, I still had that in me. That my girls are being raised and we’re doing all these Christian things. But then they grew up and they figure out a way to get a job. So you raise a kid to get a job and all of a sudden it’s like, “No, we need to raise them to be able to be free.” So I would say that those people that really got that, they are raising their kids differently.

We don’t live for today, we live for eternity. We live today but not for today, we live for eternity. They’re trying to make eternal difference. Then the methods they choose and the way, even they schedule their time is just so different from a typical Homeschooler that has not figured what it is truly about. Do I make sense?

Yvette:That makes absolute sense. I mean, it’s the same way here in America; in that most people when they start Homeschooling, they think they’re bringing the classroom into their home and they try to make it, they try to just replicate what the classroom looks like. Pretty quickly, I think most start to realize that you can’t do that. Now, certainly you can have structure and you can have your different subjects and all, but it’s not just about the academics. It’s about their character and about growing them as people.

I love that you talk about success and the idea of going to college and things. We’re certainly not anti-college, but we’re also not of the belief that every kid must go to college in order to be what some would consider successful. God has called everybody to do something different with the gifts he’s given them. So, no, I completely understand it and agree with that. I think that’s a very exciting thing. Really, a great thing.

Talk about your family and what you’re doing in ministry because I know that you have, you’re a pastor and you’ve got a ministry that your family is involved with. What do you do as a family for ministry?

Andre:  It’s amazing how much scope for Christian work there is for us as a family. Well, of course I’m a pastor and I do a lot of teaching, training, counseling and that kind of stuff. It’s amazing because as I trained my girls, they actually doing the same thing. Meaning teaching, training and counseling their peers. We’ve gone through a lot of amazing, well, one of the most amazing courses I’ve ever gone through and apply in my life is called Victorious Christian living.

Basically, I mean, it’s nothing but the Bible and it just shows to you how to solve any issue. Just going through, going to the Lord with it. I’ve taken my girls three times through this and they’re so eager to pass it on to others. They’ve been able, I mean the oldest two are just really walking in this freedom in the Lord and they’re really able to share it with others.

My girls do a lot of things. Like they would, they work a lot with children. They serve families. They can see that those young families, young couples that have children have babies, kind of fall away from everyday church life. One of my girls, Emily said, “I just really feel like I would like to make it my ministry and not a job, but a ministry. I would like to help those families.”

My girls would go and babysit for the families that would like to attend a small group or go to a ministry team meeting. It’s not just like, “Oh, I’d like to go to the store and go shopping.” No, my girls don’t do that. But it’s like, “Okay, if you want to attend the church, if you really need to go to a meeting in the church, or would like to have a getaway together to build the relationship between the husband and wife.” They would just be there like, “I’m willing to babysit.”

It’s amazing because in our church, because of people like my kids, there is never a lack for babysitters. When I, a lot of times I come to America and some of my friends go like, “We would like to go out, but we can’t because there’s nobody to babysit and we have eight kids. We don’t have enough money to hire a person.” I was like, “Well, I wish my girls were there.” Because they would totally tell us, “Well, every Wednesday I’m yours. Just invite me over I’ll take care of your children.”

So they do that. They do a lot of music work. My daughters, they all play musical instruments and Erika arranges different pieces for different groups of instruments. So they do a lot of stuff for Christmas, for Easter. They used to go, when we had this mission in a small village close to Vyborg, they used to go there and bring musical education to kids and adults in that really dark little village. We’re not allowed to go there anymore because it was … anyway, it’s the government involvement that actually prevents us from going there at this point.

But they do a lot of music work with children in my church and they prepare worship for children’s Sunday school. They do a lot of music for youth ministry, teenage ministry. It’s just amazing. It’s like they feel the music is not their goal, it’s a tool that they use to teach people how to worship and they do that.

They also do a lot of cooking for different projects like orphanage project that we have. My girls really love to take some tough assignments. For example, in an orphanage, the kids never have pancakes because it’s too complicated to make pancakes for so many children. So it’s like every time our team goes there and there is a need to make pancakes, because kids really love those, so they would just spend the whole evening baking, making pancakes, frying pancakes for those kids.

It’s like, every day there is something. There is always every opportunity to minister, every opportunity to share with kids the Bible, to lead a small group. I mean, my girls are doing, it’s just amazing. I feel like I would never be able to do the job that I’m doing without them there.

It’s like my wife, she does a lot of the first Christians Living Counseling with women. She also does a lot of children’s work. It’s just basically everything I do, they do. On a different scale but-

Yvette:  Yeah. You have more opportunity to do that because your Homeschooling them. You had said before that when they were in school, you felt like you only had about 30 minutes a day with your girls.

Andre:  Exactly. Right on.

Yvette:  Now that they’re home, you get to serve together as a family, which is incredible.

Andre:  Exactly. We just, we can cancel some of our plans and just say, “Okay, instead of that, this is the need.”

Yvette:  Yeah, that’s great. Really quickly, what is it like to Homeschool in Russia in regards to government laws and stuff? Do you, are you just free? Because you said as of 1992, I think that it has been legal. How does that work with the government there and the system? Do you have to report back to your public school system or do they have to do testing? I know that’s one of those questions that here it’s different in every state. So everyone is always wondering, well, how is it even possible for you to Homeschool there?

Andre:  It is important for us to have certain tests, to pass certain tests and ensure that the government get the results. After the ninth grade and the 11th grade, we have 11 grades here all together, we have to pass the governmental test. That’s what my youngest is doing right now. That’s what my second daughter is doing at the same time for the 11th grade.

But anyway, the thing is that it’s all doable. It’s possible. It’s all legal on paper. But depending upon where you live and depending upon who is running the school you’re sort of officially attached to, connected to, they can either make your life living hell or it can be a piece of cake.

So in our case, the principal of the school we’re connected with, she’s just in love with us and basically we as a family get green lights always. She was like, she actually goes like, “You know what? I know that you know you don’t even have to pass some of the tests that are offered.” She’s like, “You don’t have to pass that. Only the ones that the governments require.” She’s just so amazing to us. But it’s a very rare situation. The problem with Russia though is that Russians are trying to brainwash their people right now.

The relationship between Russia and America is getting worse. I think it’s as bad as it was during the Cold War. So in order to brainwash people and continue pouring kind of supporting and building up that attitude, negative attitude, to America, you have to have a system for doing that. The school system is doing it really well. So in a way, even though it’s legal, it looks like the government is really not happy with the fact that a lot of people walk away from that system and teach their kids differently.

For example, when the Crimea was conquered by Putin, I shared with my family biblical principles of why it was wrong. My girls were not ashamed to say it. We were called pro Americans, traiters of our country, people that need to be crucified, people that need to be cast out forever and that kind of stuff. We really are notorious for just thinking differently.

When I was raised in this country, I was lied to so much that I decided I’m never going to lie to my daughter. Even if that’s what people call a white lie, no. I want them to really know what’s going on. For us, the Bible is the guiding force, the guiding light, and it’s Jesus. So it’s I will share with them the biblical principles. So they think freely and they think biblically and that’s what the government is not happy about.

Yvette:Yeah. Well, it sounds like God is really showing you much favor where you are and giving you great opportunities and opening big doors for you to be able to impact the lives of many people in your area. I think it’s amazing what you’re doing. We’re about out of time, but I have one more question for you that I would love for you to answer. You’re in Russia. Talk to the American parent right now who’s listening to this. Obviously most of our listeners are American.

What message would you have for us Americans and about American culture? Why should we Homeschool? I know why you Homeschool and I understand. Obviously, you do it for the same reason that many of us do it. But looking at it culturally, why should Americans Homeschool? Looking on it from the outside.

Andre:  I used to come to America way back in the beginning of the 90s and every time I came to America I had this amazing experience every time without fail. Sort of like some load was lifted from my shoulders each time I landed in the states. That lasted until I guess 2011. For some reason during my visit in 2011, I just came there and I felt that oppression as much as I feel it here. I was like, “Where is my America that I love so much?” Spiritually, I just felt it was gone. I talked to my friends, I said, “Is it just me or maybe there is a reason for that?” They go like, “There is a reason for that.”

As I see what’s going on in America, it’s still my favorite country. I have to be honest, I still love it so much. But I can see that people there are losing the sight of why they live, how much they have, and how much they need to be appreciative of everything that the Lord gave them. Not proud, but grateful. When you’re proud, you just think you deserve it. When you’re grateful you go like, “Wow God, you gave me so much, I want to use it for others.” It seems the government in America is no better than ours really.

Andre:  I mean, and the schools there, basically are also a tool for teaching kids the way of thinking.

Yvette:  Indoctrination. That’s right.

Andre:  If you truly want to change this world, we really need to teach our kids to be free. Free, I don’t mean do whatever they want, but the truth will set you free. Honestly, how much time do American parents invest in their children? How much time to fathers invest in their children personally so that they would stand strong on the Bible? On the foundation of God’s and make it a part of who they are?

I talk to a lot of American kids and it really saddens my heart to see that a lot of kids that grew up in American family, when you ask them, “What is your passion?” They just go, “Graduate from college. Get a job.” I’m like, “Really? That’s all?” The thing is a lot of my friend’s daughters who are a little older than mine, have been getting married lately and I talk to their fiancés, “Well, what would you like to do in life?” They just giving me a bunch of stuff that’s not even worth living for.

I had my girls hear that, I said, “Girls, never marry a guy who leads you nowhere because that’s exactly where he’s going to lead you.” I feel like it’s us fathers in the context of home and family, and family discipleship that need to instill this passion for the truth, for Christ, and for the ministry in our sons’ and daughters’ hearts. I don’t think school will ever be able to do it. Even Christian school. I would say that.

Yvette:  I love it. Well, Andre, thank you so much for your time today. I love your story. I love what God is doing with you and through you and your family. You have such an incredible testimony. I’m so grateful for the way that He’s using you.

Andre:  Thank you.

Yvette:  Not just in Russia, but here. I know, we know many people who know you and who have met you. You are such an inspiration and encouragement to so many including our family.

Andre:  We might be back this summer.

Yvette:  Yeah. Come back. Come back for sure. We would love to see you again. But thank you for allowing the Lord to use you and blessings to you. How can people support you and your ministry there?

Andre:  Well, pray for us because every time we want to do something in this country, it’s always a struggle. It’s always a struggle. Actually something that I love in America still, even in America after 2011, in America you can do, you still have so much freedom. You have no idea. Unless you lose it, you’ll never understand how much. Just trust me that you have it. In Russia, the simplest things is a struggle, is a fight. We feel like anything we do, it’s like there’s a threat. There’s a physical threat and spiritual threat.

So please pray for us and any time you guys are able to come here and minister, bring us some fresh ideas about Homeschooling, about making business, about thinking freely, please do that. People like Rhea Perry came here and did that. It’s like she changed lives of many people just by being a testimony, by teaching us the right things. So if that’s what your question was about.

Yvette:  Yeah, no, that’s great. Is there a way that we can support you financially?

Andre:  Yes, I’m actually on staff with CRM Nodal Ministry. I can send you information about what we’re doing and our accounts with CRM that you could send finances to.

Yvette:  Okay. We’ll put those links in the show notes sent, so people know how to do that. But we will certainly be glad to pray for you, encourage you, and support you in any way that we can.

Andre:  Thank you.

Yvette:  So thank you so much for your time today, Andre. You are a huge blessing. Thank you for listening to The Schoolhouse Rocked Podcast today. If you want to know more about Schoolhouse Rocked, if you are trying to figure out what we are all about. We’re actually in production on a Homeschool documentary right now, called Schoolhouse Rocked.

Yvette:  Then of course we’ve got the podcast and all sorts of other things to encourage and equip you in your Homeschool journey. So, go to It’s R-O-C-K-E-D You can learn a whole lot more about what we’re doing. So thank you guys for joining us. Have a great rest of your day. Thank you Andre. Enjoy the rest of your day and please give hugs to all your girls for us.

Andre:  I will. Thank you so much.

Yvette:  All right. Thank you.






Photo by Tom Grimbert (@tomgrimbert) on Unsplash

Photo by Nikolay Vorobyev on Unsplash

Rocking the Foundations of “Traditional” Education

Have you ever wondered why we chose the title, Schoolhouse Rocked, for a documentary on homeschooling? The “rocked” in the title refers to the impact that we see homeschooling having on “traditional” education models.

Rocked – intransitive verb
1: to become moved backward and forward under often violent impact
2. To cause to shake or sway violently.
3a. To disturb the mental or emotional equilibrium of; upset: “News of the scandal rocked the town.”

We are really excited about the revolution currently going on in education and we want Schoolhouse Rocked to literally shake the foundations of education and culture: to completely undermine the notion that public school is the primary way we should be educating our nation’s children.

While homeschooling has been the standard educational model throughout history, in the last 150 years public schooling has taken over the education of our children. In that time the vast majority of parents have become convinced that it is normal and right to send your 5-year-olds off to a government institution to be taught by “experts” for the next 13 years (at least) of their lives. Many parents willfully ignore that this modern model of public schooling is based on socialism and secular humanism, and that the intent of its founders (men like John Dewey and Horace Mann) was to separate families to allow for the indoctrination of children. For too long, parents haven’t believed that there was a viable alternative to public schools or expensive private schools (many of which use the same industrial educational model as public schools, but sometimes wrap this instruction in a layer of Bible), so they have sent their kids off to the threat of violence, to negative social influences and peer pressure, and to indoctrination in progressivism, socialism, perverse sexuality, evolution, and the religion of secular humanism. To top it off, while violence and godlessness is on the rise in public schools, academic performance is declining. This massive social experiment has failed!

While homeschooling has existed throughout the rise of public education, until recently (1993), it wasn’t even legal in all 50 states. In the past few decades, homeschooling has seen incredible growth and it is finally being seen as a viable, dare we say mainstream option. There is a wealth of excellent materials available for homeschooling families, from curriculum, to co-ops, conventions, podcasts, blogs, and much more. Now, around 2.3 million students are being homeschooled in the United States, and the movement is growing around the world. This is “the Homeschool Revolution!”

We want Schoolhouse Rocked to fuel explosive growth in homeschooling. Our mission with the film is to encourage and equip homeschool families to start strong and finish well, so let’s talk about what that actually means. The film will, first, call parents to their responsibility to train up their children. The Bible tells us, “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6), and “…bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. (Ephesians 6:4). In fact, while there are scores of Bible verses and passages instructing parents to teach their children, there are none excusing them of this responsibility or instructing them to turn them over to the civil authorities for discipline and instruction. Following this call, Schoolhouse Rocked will provide the encouragement and resources to help these parents make a strong start in homeschooling. Next, the movie will show examples of what homeschooling looks like in real families, over the long haul. It will show what homeschooled students are doing after high school. The intent will be to validate parents’ decisions to homeschool and to encourage them that while it won’t be easy, the results will warrant the effort and sacrifice. It is our hope that this will have the effect of not only encouraging homeschooling families, but of breaking down the resistance of family and friends who oppose a families decision to homeschool.

Read what the Bible has to say about education in this excellent article from Schoolhouse Rocked cast member, Israel Wayne.

Christian Education: A Manifesto – Israel Wayne

We want the naysayers to become advocates. We want the next wave of homeschooling families to have the resources and conviction to train their children with excellence and to arm them to become leaders and world-changers. While this may sound like hyperbole, we have seen so many examples of homeschooled kids graduating as well-prepared, morally and spiritually grounded, logical, intelligent, well-spoken leaders that we know it is no fluke. We believe these kids have the ultimate competitive advantage in the workplace, in culture, and in marketplace of ideas.

Ultimately, we feel like the time is right for this important film. There is growing displeasure and disapproval of public schools among a large portion of society. Stories of school shootings, teacher misconduct, pushes for blatantly anti-Christian instruction, gender and sexual insanity, and failing academics have even sympathetic, secular, progressive parents questioning whether it is profitable to send their kids to public schools. This is evidenced in the growing percentage of secular and non-christian (mormon, jewish, muslim, etc) families homeschooling, when for the past several decades the vast majority of homeschool families have been Christian. Now, taking your children to the grocery store in the middle of a school day doesn’t even raise eyebrows. Now, telling people that your kids are homeschooled usually elicits a positive response, where it used to spark a stream of probing questions and confused looks. We want to capitalize on this momentum and use Schoolhouse Rocked to pour fuel on this growing fire of excitement for homeschooling. We want to follow the film with a call-to-action and then provide them with the resources and encouragement they need to actually DO what we are asking of them – Bring their children home and teach them well.

We have made a big effort to provide excellent resources to follow the film. The Schoolhouse Rocked blog and podcast will offer excellent content for free, for many years. the Backstage Pass website will continue to offer in-depth training, encouragement, and perspective from homeschooling experts for the price of a cup of coffee a month (I would love to make these resources available for free as well, but they are very expensive to produce and Backstage Pass memberships help pay for the free resources on the podcast and blog).

One last note: we didn’t set out to make an anti-public school movie with Schoolhouse Rocked. We want Schoolhouse Rocked to show what is great about homeschooling! While I know that there are good public school teachers and administrators who work hard to teach well and love their students, they are working in an environment that is built from the ground up to provide a very specific outcome. A few good teachers and administrators in the giant machine of public schooling simply can’t change what public schools are doing. I highly recommend watching Indoctrination to get a great idea of where public schools are coming from and what they are producing. Between Indoctrination and the nightly news, I don’t feel like we need to make a case against public schools, but we can do much good by showing the benefits and joys (and challenges) of homeschooling. I really believe that homeschooling is the BEST option for educating our kids, and I am strongly convicted that public school is a very bad option.

That said, there are parents who really have no choice but to send their kids to public school. In this case, parents have an obligation to know what their kids are being taught in school and to actively engage in training the hearts and minds of these kids: undoing harmful instruction and pouring truth into their minds and hearts. This is no easy task, but to neglect it is to sacrifice these children to the whims and philosophy of the state: whims and philosophy that undoubtedly contradict yours and your family’s.

Photo by Ali Morshedlou on Unsplash

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