The School of Life

It usually doesn’t take new homeschooling parents long to realize that homeschooling doesn’t – and shouldn’t – look like traditional school. It is one of the greatest blessings of homeschooling that we are able to integrate education, training, discipleship, and even academics into every aspect of life.

Yvette Hampton and Danielle Papageorgiou recently sat down to talk about the freedom and effectiveness of Lifeschooling. In this conversation for The Schoolhouse Rocked Podcast, Yvette talks with Danielle about her passion for integrating education into every aspect of life, and about discovering our children’s gifts, so that they can thrive in the lives God has called them to.

This leads to an important discussion about the blessing of lifeschooling allowing us to continue to train our children even when we encounter unforeseen circumstances. Whether illness, a move to a new city, or a new baby in the home, lifeschooling allows us to continue to train our children while experiencing all aspects, challenges, changes, and blessings, of REAL LIFE.

Listen to Danielle on The Schoolhouse Rocked Podcast (2/17 and 2/19/2020 episodes)

Yvette Hampton:           Hey, everyone, this is Yvette Hampton. Welcome back to The Schoolhouse Rocked Podcast. I have one of my favorite homeschool people in all the world on with me today. She has been on the podcast before, so you may have heard her in the past. If not, you are in for a treat. Her name is Danielle Papageorgiou. Isn’t that a fun name to say? That’s why I’m friends with you, Danielle, because your name is just fun to say. Papageorgiou.

Danielle Papageorgiou: In high school, every girl wanted to marry my husband because they just wanted his last name.

Yvette:                         Probably not the best reason to find a husband.

Danielle:                       Probably not. Yeah, probably not.

Yvette:                         But you lucked out. God blessed you and you ended up with a really good guy. And you have a really great family. We love you guys. So tell us really quickly about your family.

Danielle:                       Okay. I have my husband John. We’ve been married for 20 years now, which I can’t believe. My oldest is 18, Connor. And then I have a girl who is almost 16, and then a little boy who is just a crazy whirlwind and he is eight. So that’s us.

Yvette:                         Yeah. You’ve been homeschooling for how many years?

Danielle:                       Well, I say right from the beginning because I think birth is day one of homeschooling, because we’re always teaching our kids, you know?

Yvette:                         That’s right.

Danielle:                       Right from the womb. And before the… I can’t talk tonight. Before the womb, people read to their kids in their wombs. So, I mean, I say 18 years.

Yvette:                         Yes. Yep. Well, you’ve done a great job of it and it’s always fun to be able to talk to moms who are really committed to discipling the hearts of their children and just pouring into them. We met you a couple of years ago when we attended your Lifeschooling Conference, and that was a new term to us. It was something that we really had done as a family. We just didn’t actually have a name for what we were doing. And so, you’ve got this conference. It’s called the Lifeschooling Conference. And your home ministry really is about how we incorporate schooling into life and life into schooling.

                                    And it’s all about bringing it together and making it just kind of one great big part of our family, because it’s not separate. It’s not like sending your kids to school.

Danielle:                       Exactly.

We are very grateful to have Danielle Papageorgiou as a speaker for the 2020 Homegrown Generation Family Expo. Register for this live, interactive, online homeschool conference today at HomegrownGenerhttps://homegrowngeneration.conation.com.

Yvette:                         Talk to us about lifeschooling a little bit, and then I actually want to get into talking a little bit about some unforeseen circumstances that might come into our homeschool, because I know you’ve dealt with some of those things. We’ve dealt with some of those things. And so, that will bring some encouragement to families who maybe things just aren’t going smoothly and their whole world is getting shaken up and they’re not exactly sure what to do. So, first, let’s talk about the lifeschooling thing.

Danielle:                       Right. It’s funny that you say you just didn’t have that term for it, because I hear that a lot. People are like, “Oh, well, I guess we’ve been life schoolers.” That was really my heart, is just to, I guess, rebrand the idea of homeschooling because I feel like over the years, it’s really become more and more schooly. And certainly you’ve always had that element because we do what we know. And so, that’s all people have known. They grew up going to school and having the different grade levels and everything’s sort of segmented like that.

                                    But it’s really not the best way, in my opinion. You really have to integrate all of education. I really think there’s a biblical basis for this because when you look at Deuteronomy, I think it’s Deuteronomy 6, and I always mix up if it’s 4 or 6. But anyway, you look at the verses there in that passage, which is very familiar to a lot of us as homeschoolers, and it talks about teaching our children as we walk, by the way, as we sit, and as we just go through life.

                                    And so, if that’s good enough for spiritual things, then why not the academics as well? It just should be this life-integrated approach. So lifeschooling, the official definition is the individualized process of discovering your child’s God-given gifts and talents that happen primarily within the context of your family’s unique situations and missions. And that’s all about our little tagline is emerging life with homeschooling. Because I really want moms to understand, and dads, that it’s okay when things don’t go the way you’ve planned because, typically, life doesn’t.

                                    I mean, in all other areas, how often does life go the way we plan it? It just doesn’t. And that is because God wants to stretch us. He wants to test our faith and he wants us really to rely on him and not on our own plans. A man plans his ways, but the Lord directs his steps, it says in Proverbs. And so, we need to be open to the Lord’s direction and His leading in our homeschooling. And so, that’s just really my heart, is to help parents just really relax and understand that all of these circumstances that happen are ordained by God and He uses them. And we just need to figure out how that learning can integrate with that, and how we can just make it all work.

Yvette:                         Yes. Yes. I love that you have a whole definition for it, which is really cool because you’ve really thought through this process. I know that you’ve really encouraged me along our homeschool journey over the past few years in that God really does have a purpose and a plan, and has gifted each one of our children in a specific way. I look at your family and your kids, you’re not one who sits down and “We’re going to do math from 7:00 to 7:30, and then we’re going to do science from 8:00 to 8:30, and then we’re going to do grammar. You don’t have your homeschool structured like that.

                                    But knowing your family and knowing your kids, God has really developed in them some incredible gifts. They’re artistic. I mean, your daughter is quite possibly the most amazing artist I’ve ever known of in my life. I’m just stunned by the things that she is capable of doing. They’ve written books. They’ve made movies. They’ve done all of these things. And what’s so cool about your homeschool style and parenting style that I think ties in well with what we really try to do with our girls, is trying to direct our kids to using those gifts and talents and abilities in a way that glorifies their creator because God created them to be able to use those things for His glory, not for ours, but for His glory. And so, lifeschooling allows you to do that.

                                    Then there’s just the practical side of lifeschooling as well. That’s just life. It’s grocery shopping. It’s doctor’s appointments. It’s house cleaning. It’s organization of our home and of our day and trying to just navigate through this life because it doesn’t really come… I mean, some things come easily, but not all of it does. And so, what a privilege we have as homeschool parents to be able to come alongside our kids and help them navigate through the murky waters of life, and at the same time be able to depend on the Lord to help them figure that out.

Danielle:                       Exactly. Well, and it’s funny because we could think all these things are going to just kind of come naturally to our kids, like how to clean the toilet or cooking and all of these things. But they don’t. I remember when I got to where I was about to graduate college and my mom’s like, “Okay, it’s time to learn how to cook.” And I’m like, “I can cook.” I always laugh because my poor husband, when we got married, I didn’t know how to cook. I mean, I made chicken and I’m thinking, “Well, if you just turn the heat up really high, it’ll get done faster.” So he cuts into this chicken that’s burned on the outside and it’s a raw in the middle.

Yvette:                         Oh no.

Danielle:                       And he’s like, “Next time just put it in the trash.” Oh, it was bad. It was bad. And so, all these things are very practical. They’re a part of life and they’re just as important. If not, I think sometimes more important than some of the academics that we think our kids have to know. Like they have to take physics and they have to take chemistry in high school. Well, maybe not. I mean, if that’s not their gifting, God put into them gifts and things that they’re passionate about. And so, we need to really let them do that.

                                    And all the academics… I think of the verse, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Oh, I mean, that’s a promise. And so, I just believe that as you’re seeking God’s kingdom and you’re teaching your kids to seek God’s kingdom and His glory, with the gifts that He has put in them, particularly for them, then all these things are going to be added, and all the academics come in so naturally.

Danielle:                       Studies have shown that when you learn things in this way, they stick much better through this real life, practical type of learning. And so, it’s just very practical. It just makes things a lot easier. Like I said before, when life doesn’t go according to the plan because we know that it doesn’t.

Yvette:                         Yeah, Nope. It almost never does. 

                                    We are talking about lifeschooling and how to integrate that into our homeschooling. And so, we were talking about God-given gifts and how we have the opportunity as homeschoolers and as life schoolers to be able to take notice of those things in our kids. I would love to know just how practically you have done that with your children. How have you recognized and discovered those gifts in them? And then, how have you gone about fostering those gifts in them in order for them to be able to use those for God’s glory?

Danielle:                       Well, it’s a funny thing because a lot of moms will say that to me, like, “How do I find my kid’s gifts?” Or, “I don’t know what they are.” They don’t seem to have any gifts or they just want to play computer games all day long. First of all, and this might be a bit of a tangent, but get rid of the computer games or at least cut them way back. You’ve got to have limits on that because it really stifles their imagination and it really prevents them from being creative and figuring out who it is God created them to be. But besides that, I think it’s really a funny thing because they will just sort of come to the surface. There’s no real magic formula as with anything in life really.

                                    There’s no magic formula that, okay, step one, you do this. Step two. And again, that’s because it’s a faith walk and the Lord wants us to trust in Him. And so, you just have to pay attention to your kids. One of the things that I recently created, that I really love, I use it myself, is a Who Is This Child journal. And so, every day I can write down the little things that I notice, the questions that… Right now, it’s Corbin. He’s my youngest. My older two, they’ve kind of got their path and their direction. And I see gifts in my youngest one already, but it’s been really fun to write down the different questions he’ll ask during the day.

                                    Then there’s another section for what I call sparks, so anything that I notice that really captures his attention. I’ll just write that down and that, this is something that maybe we need to explore a little more. So that’s been a lot of fun in that the bottom, I just have a place where you can write a prayer. So every day you just write out this prayer of just, I don’t know, just whatever comes to your heart as a mom and as you’re watching your child develop. And so, it’s just been a really fun resource for me to learn more about my son because I think a lot of it does go back to simple observation.

                                    Sometimes we’re so caught up in the busy-ness of every day and checking off the boxes and doing all the things that we have to get done as moms and homeschooling moms and wives. And so, we can just forget to pay attention. And so, I just think it’s important to be intentional. And I know that’s a really popular word, but sometimes we really do have to just try to be more intentional about that. It is amazing. I remember my friend, Barbara, I don’t know, maybe four or five years ago was like, “I just don’t know what’s going to happen with my kids, what direction God’s really leading them, or how they’re going to use these guests, what He’s going to do with them.”

                                    And I’m like, “Barbara, it’s amazing because the Lord will just bring people into your path, and he’ll just open these doors that you never would have expected. And then, here we are, and her son, Matthew just finished up a movie, a short film that my kids were involved with. My son’s actually the lead in it, and it was accepted into the Christian worldview film festival as a contestant. And so, it’s just so cool to see that. And then, how the Lord used her daughter’s gift of sewing, because she was like, “I don’t know how that’s going to be used.” And so, she sewed all the costumes for it.

                                    When we just, again, just trust in Him and trust in the process, and don’t get so worried, because really, it’s not up to us. I think we carry that weight and it’s so needless because we’re not the homeschool teacher. God is. We’re just the teacher’s assistant. So we need to just trust that process and trust in Him because if we’re doing our best, how is He going to be unfaithful to that? He’s a faithful God and all He asks for is our best. And it’s usually very imperfect.

                                    I will be the first to tell you, I am the world’s worst at scheduling. And it’s always been a struggle for me. But the Lord still works through that somehow. And so, it always amazes me to see that.

Yvette:                         Yeah. I love that. And I love that you do talk about being intentional. And like you said, that’s a word that we kind of throw around

Danielle:                       Kind of a buzzword.

Yvette:                         Yeah. But it really is an issue of being intentional with our kids, and also being flexible in that when they’re not fitting into our idea of what we think that they should be, or how we think they should act, or what career they want to pursue, whatever that is, it’s not up to us. It is, what has God called them to do, not what do we want them to do. And so, I think it’s one of the great blessings of being a homeschool parent, is that we know our kids better than anyone else knows them.

                                    There are teachers all over the world who genuinely love their students. They really do. Most of them don’t teach because they make a ton of money. They teach because they love kids and they want to have some kind of influence in their lives. Unfortunately, many of them have a really terrible influence, but there are many who have a fantastic influence and who genuinely love the kids. But when you’ve got a classroom full of 20, 30, 40 kids, you cannot individually take each one of those children under your wing and nurture their talents and their abilities and their gifts that God has blessed them with and help them develop those things.

                                    And as homeschool parents and as lifeschooling parents, we have such a great opportunity to do that. And it’s not easy. It’s not easy. Sometimes it’s incredibly inconvenient. When my daughter wants to take out the glue gun and cardboard boxes and fabric and paints and make a big mess, I’m looking at that I’m like, “Okay, what are you going to do here?” Then she comes up with something amazing and beautiful. My oldest is very artistic, and she loves to paint. She loves to draw. But she also likes to create things. And so, she got these boxes for Christmas. She made for her little sister, as a Christmas gift, she made these little kind of… It’s hard to explain, but she made dollhouses out of them.

Danielle:                       How cute.

Yvette:                         But they open and close, and so they can travel with them. It was so cool and it was just such a special gift that she gave to her sister. And she worked for days and days, weeks, actually, on these two portable dollhouses. What a privilege. And so, she would go into her little craft area and she would listen to an audio book and she would make these creations, and what a joy. How fun it was for her to be able to do that. Danielle, we are out of time for this part of the podcast, but let’s come back on Wednesday and let’s talk more, because I want to talk about just how to deal with some of those unforeseen circumstances. We talked about that in the very beginning, and I want to jump on that bandwagon and talk a little bit about that.

Danielle:                       Absolutely. Sounds great.

Yvette:                         Yeah. Thank you, guys, for listening. Join us again on Wednesday. And I forgot to say this at the beginning, but Danielle, she is a special part of the Homegrown Generation Family Expo. And so, if you have not yet participated in that or signed up for that, you can watch it live, or you’ll be able to go back and watch replays of that. So she will be speaking about lifeschooling for that event. It’s going to be awesome. Thanks. We’ll see you guys back on Wednesday.

Danielle:                       Bye.

Yvette:                         I just said that and then I realized this is probably not going to air until after the expo.

Danielle:                       Oh, well, do you need to re-record a little snippet or…

Yvette:                         I’ll do it at the end.

Danielle:                       Okay.

Yvette:                         Okay. Where are we on time? All right. Let’s go another 20 minutes. You good?

Danielle:                       Yep. Let’s do it.

Yvette:                         I want to talk about something that not a lot of people really discuss in the homeschool world, but pretty much everybody that I know who homeschools deals with this in one way or another. And that’s how to deal with unforeseen circumstances. There are so many things. Danielle and I were talking about this earlier, and how there are so many things that disrupt our homeschooling.

                                    It could be illness. It could be just a short stint of illnesses, the flu making its way through your family. It could be chronic illness that you have to deal with day in and day out. It could be a move. It could be having a new baby. It could be having a mother or father-in-law, or grandparent, or somebody move in with you that you now have to care for. There are so many things that can derail us. And so, I want to talk about how to handle some of those things.

                                    Danielle, I would love for you to talk a little bit. Tell us a little bit about your family in the sense of this, because I know that there have been some really difficult things that your family has dealt with, but you and your husband, you’ve stayed the course. You have been faithful to what God has called you to do even through the really, really hard times, and you have trusted Him for the outcome. So talk with us a little bit about your story.

Danielle:                       Yeah. Well, first of all, I want to make the point, before I forget, that we have to always remember that at the heart of our homeschooling needs to be relationships. So, first of all, is the relationship that we have to the Lord, and that our children have to the Lord. And then, secondly, is our interpersonal family relationships. I think that if you really keep the main thing, the main thing, and focus on the fact that the relationships have to be the priority, everything else kind of falls into place.

                                    We have dealt with chronic illness in our family for just about our entire marriage. My husband got sick with Lyme disease. It was about two years after we were married. And so, that’s always been a struggle in our family. I’m thankful that he works from home and works in IT, which is something he could do in his sleep. I don’t know how. But God’s just really gifted him in that area. And so, that’s been a blessing that he could be home.

                                    And, of course, me being the homeschooling mom, it didn’t really affect our homeschooling all that much, really. It affected our family in the sense that we just really did not do a lot of family things. And still don’t. Going out to the grocery store is like a family event. If my husband goes and my daughter will be like, “Oh, I want to go.” And so, I think just cherishing those things too is important.

                                    One thing we have always done is had family movie night, and that’s almost sacred to my children. We can’t do anything outside the home on family movie night because that just doesn’t happen. So it’s special time with our family that the kids really treasure. So I think it’s important to have those types of things. But recently, really it was a steady decline for both my children. But first we noticed in my daughter, she would complain about not sleeping very well. And this went on for a number of years. But sometimes you just don’t really know how to help your kids. It’s like, well, take more calcium and magnesium and do this and that.

                                    It was just hard to figure out what was going on. And eventually, through series of circumstances, the Lord led me to do a little more research. She really had like a crash. I enrolled her in this camp and she’s like, “I just don’t think I can do it.” I’m like, “Well, just try to go for one day because we paid for it.” And by the end of the day, I literally almost had to carry her out to the car. She was just so exhausted, and I’m like, “Lord, what do I do?”

                                    And so, we got home and He just really led me to, I don’t even know why, but to research adrenal fatigue. And it turned out she checked off all of the boxes for adrenal fatigue. 

                                    So she’s been struggling with this for probably going on a year now, that we knew about. But it’s been much longer. And just thinking, it’s just really, really hard for her right now. Reading, huge challenge, even audio books, but she does a ton of artwork. And you’ve seen her art.

Yvette:                         Amazing.

Danielle:                       Just the things that the Lord is teaching her through this. And I just want to say something here too. It’s okay if your kids get behind, okay? Like maybe she won’t graduate on time, but what is that? That’s, that’s something that is imposed on us. And so, again, we just have to protect our children and if they can’t do something, we have to protect their health. If I force her to do things that she literally cannot do, the stress level goes up. The cortisol levels increase and it’s just this cycle. And she will literally have an adrenal burnout.

                                    Again, this is her health we’re talking about. What is more important? We have to protect our children. So it’s okay if they get behind. There is no behind in homeschooling. I just want to stress that. She does the things that she can do, and we’re okay with that.

Yvette:                         And you’re also talking about a girl who she does well on her state testing.

Danielle:                       Right. Right.

Yvette:                         The girl has written a book. I mean, she literally-

Danielle:                       She wrote a book, yes.

Yvette:                         … authored a book.

Danielle:                       She started at age nine.

Yvette:                         Which is incredible.

Danielle:                       So if you think of it in that sense, she was ahead and now she’s not as ahead. And she’ll catch up, because that mental capacity, it’s still there. Once she heals, she is going to skyrocket ahead to where she was, and I truly believe that. And so, it does not stress me. We just can’t let it stress us. We have to protect our children and their health.

                                    My son recently, you never expect to deal with these kinds of issues in your kids. But he’s sleeping more and more, and I’m thinking, “Well, he’s a teenage boy. He’s growing.” But then it was like all day long, he’s sleeping and he’s missing meals. So I’m like, “Something is wrong,” And praise the Lord, He led us to a wonderful natural doctor. He’s been helping both my kids now and my husband. But she did testing on him and his cells were not taking in nutrition. He’s really bad off.

                                    He’s graduated. And so, we don’t have that pressure. But it’s hard for a young 18-year-old guy who really wants to just jump into his IT career and really start doing life to be slowed down. But, again, I just see the lessons that the Lord is teaching him through this, and that he has to be patient and wait on the Lord and just learn to trust in Him, because my son is a planner. He when he was young, I mean, you can imagine two people like me and my son. I’m total not planner at all, and my son is super scheduled.

                                    So every night when I would tuck him in, from like three or four or five years old, he’s like, “Okay, what are we doing tomorrow? What’s the schedule?” And it used to drive me crazy. I’m like, “I don’t know. We’ll figure it out tomorrow.” And so, this has been good for him because he said, “I had learned to let go of all the details, but I still wanted God to give me this general direction of where I’m headed. And now, the Lord is just saying, “Nope, you’ve just got to trust me completely, and you don’t know what tomorrow brings, and you don’t know how you’re going to feel, and you just have to trust me.” Yeah. So it’s been an interesting journey for both of them.

Yvette:                         Yeah, it has. I want to just put this disclaimer in there for you, in that you are one of the most healthy people I know, in regards to how you prepare food for your family. And so, you talked about his cells not being able to take in nutrients. It’s not because of lack of them. It’s not that you’re not providing those for him. It’s just that his body is going through something difficult right now and you’re helping to try to figure out how to help him overcome that.

Danielle:                       Yeah. Right, right. And it’s just a testament that no matter how healthy you try to be, we can’t do everything perfectly in this fallen world no matter how hard we try.

Yvette:                         Yeah, oh, sure. I mean-

Danielle:                       Better trust in the Lord.

Yvette:                         We all know people who eat donuts and drink Pepsi all day long and they’re like the healthiest people we know.

Danielle:                       I know, or seem to be anyway.

Yvette:                         We were talking about how to deal with unforeseen circumstances in our lives. And she’s talking about how her family has dealt with some just different chronic illnesses. And we often, as homeschool parents, come face to face with things that are just hard, whether it’s a move or the loss of a job or a new baby. So in this last half, Danielle, I would love for you to really just offer some encouragement to parents who are dealing with that, who are on that side of it and they’re just like, “I don’t know what to do. I’m ready to put my kids back in school.” Not because they think that’s the best option for them, but because they feel like their whole life is just unraveling and their foundation has been shaken up so badly that they don’t know what to do. They don’t know what to cling to. So can you offer some advice and just hope and encouragement for those parents?

Danielle:                       Yeah. Well, there’s so many things that you can do. Again, I think it’s more the way you look at things and your perspective. We have to, first of all, like I’ve been saying, we have to have that perspective really of an eternal perspective, and what is truly most important. When your kids graduate someday, who is it that you want them to be? Not necessarily what is it you want them to learn. That’s important, but who is it that you want them to be because character has to come first.

                                    And so, how can you get them from point A to point B to be that person that you want them to be? I believe that God has equipped every parent to be the best person to instill that character and training into their child to help them develop into who God wants them to be. Then just, I would say, from a practical standpoint in this idea of learning to change your perspective, it’s great if… And this is another resource that I have is a lifeschooling vision planner. And one of the things in there that I really love is this backwards method of planning.

                                    It’s going through your day after the fact and writing down in all the different subject areas and categories, what your child learned that day and what they did. Because it’s very surprising. When you start to document those things, there’s a lot of academics that happens just in your day-to-day routine and going about life. It’s always surprising to me when my children will throw out all these science facts and I’m like, “Where did you learn that?” “Oh, Jonathan Park.” I don’t know if you’re familiar with that series.

Yvette:                         Oh yes.

Danielle:                       But yeah, they grew up on that, and we have all of the CDs and they listened to those and absorbed it. And they recall that stuff later. And so, I think audio books are excellent because it stimulates the imagination. You can pop them in any time. If you’ve just had a baby, just give your kids audio books, give them lots of audio books and lots of real books too because they’re going to absorb all of that stuff and they don’t need you hovering over them all the time to instill the information into them.

                                    We feel like we have to spoon feed our kids, and they’re natural learners. We just have to encourage that, encourage that natural learning and finding that spark and what excites them, and letting them run with it and learn all about that. Because, again, more academics come in to those different things they’re interested in. You’ll find that just all the different subject areas, how they naturally come in when they find something that they really love to do. So, from a practical standpoint, that’s one thing that we’ve really found beneficial.

Yvette:                         Yeah. Yeah. And I think just, we’ve talked a lot about this already, is just trusting the Lord, allowing Him to lead you to lead your families. When we read James chapter 1, it talks about asking for wisdom and it says if you ask for wisdom, the Lord will give it to you. And I think oftentimes we forget that. We forget to ask, Lord, what do you want me to do with this? How do you want me to proceed? How do you want us to move forward with this child who maybe they’re struggling with an illness or, again, maybe we’ve just had a big move and my child is having a really, really difficult time adjusting.

                                    In those times, it’s okay to step back and just say, “You know what? We just moved.” We have some good friends who are just going through a move right now and they’ve got six kids.

Danielle:                       Oh wow.

Yvette:                         That’s a huge, huge deal. And not all of their kids are going to handle it well. And so, you know what? It’s okay to just step back, take a break and just say, you know what? This is one of the reasons why we homeschool, because we have the freedom to be able to do what works best for our family. And in situations like that, they’re still learning. Like you said, they’re learning now how to organize a home. How do you move into a new home? How do you lay everything out? How do you put everything away and figure out where things are going to go in the kitchen, and in the bathroom, and you decorate the walls.

                                    I mean, there are so many life lessons and that’s why I love so much of your ministry, Danielle, because it’s all about lifeschooling. I’ve said this on the podcast many times before. We are raising adults. We are not raising children. We are raising them to become functional, responsible, Jesus-loving adults. It’s not about the academics. The academics are fantastic. They’re important because those are what point them to Jesus, but we’re really raising our kids to be able to go out into the world and function and have some sort of an impact in God’s kingdom. That’s what it’s all about.

                                    It’s not about, did they become valedictorian and get to give an amazing speech in front of 5,000 people at the end of the year? Who really cares about that staff? Honestly. When they come face to face with their savior, he’s not going to say, “Well, how was that speech you gave?” He’s going to say, “What did you do with the talents and abilities and gifts and the hardships that I put before you?” And we realize over and over again, we are so incapable of doing the things that God has called us to do without Him. And when we get to accomplish a thing, He gets all the glory for it. And so it ends up being-

Danielle:                       Exactly. Exactly.

Yvette:                         … such a beautiful thing.

Danielle:                       That’s one of the things that really has always bothered me because our culture does put such an emphasis on academics and intelligence and all of these things. And as Christians, that’s just not what we should be doing. It’s okay to learn a lot and to use those gifts if you’re academically inclined. I think that’s wonderful. But we have to be careful as parents that we don’t let that go to our heads and get prideful about valedictorian, all these things because really, in eternity, that’s not what really matters. God really doesn’t care about that. He cares about what we do with the gifts and the talents that he gives us and how we give glory to Him.

Yvette:                         Right. Right. And He wants us to do our best. We always tell our kids, “Work as unto the Lord. In everything we do, we should do for His glory.” And so, we should always do our best. You talked earlier actually about some kids are inclined to learn chemistry and physiology, but not every kid is. Some are created to be historians and some are created to be scientists. Some are created to be mathematicians. Some are created to be moms. Some are created to be pastors and truck drivers. I mean, there are a million business owners. There are a million different things that God can use us for. So, we have the opportunity to be able to foster that in our kids and encourage them in the way that God created them, even through the hardships and bumps that are thrown at us through life.

                                    We are out of time for the podcast. But Danielle, I appreciate you so much. I love your heart for families. I love your heart for homeschooling. And I am so grateful that you took the time to sit and chat with me today. Thank you so much.

Danielle:                       Thanks, Yvette. I love you guys too. It’s always good to talk with you.

Yvette:                         Thank you. Yeah. Where can people find out a little bit more about you?

Danielle:                       Well, you can go to lifeschoolingconference.com, and I’m actually rebranding, so lifeasalifeschooler.comwill also take you there. We’ve got a blog and lots of information on there and encouragement.

Yvette:                         Okay, sounds great. Well, thank you, guys, for listening. Have a great rest of your week and we will see you back next week. Bye.

Danielle:                       Bye.

Photo by Rowan S on Unsplash – Child with Chickens

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash – Girl Running in Field

Photo by Jordan Rowland on Unsplash – Girl in Grapevines

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash – Boy with Dumptruck in Sand

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Photo by Artem Beliaikin on Unsplash – Girl in Field of Flowers

A Public School Teacher’s Perspective of Homeschooling

Caleb Schroeder is a public school teacher and adjunct college professor, and brings his wisdom and insight from his experiences in the public school system to this important interview for the Schoolhouse Rocked Podcast.

Yvette Hampton:               Hey everyone. This is Yvette Hampton. Welcome back to the Schoolhouse RockedPodcast. I am really glad you’ve joined us today. I have a really exciting guest on today, and you are going to be so encouraged by him. He is actually … Well, he and his whole family are good friends of ours. We’ve known them for well over 20 years, and I think you’re going to enjoy what he’s going to talk about. He’s going to talk about being a teacher in the public school system in California, and whey he homeschools his kids. So his name is Caleb Schroeder, and I’m excited for you to get to know him. So hi, Caleb!

Listen to Caleb on the Schoolhouse Rocked Podcast. (Airing April 15, 2019)

Caleb:                                       Hey. How are you doing?

Yvette:                                      I’m good. I’m so glad to have you on the podcast today. We actually interviewed you for Schoolhouse Rocked, the movie a little over two years ago, right?

Caleb:                                       Yeah.

Yvette:                                      Yeah. And so for those of you who are on … Actually, I want to say who are on the Backstage Pass membership site, but I actually think that your video has been seen by people who are not Backstage Pass members. I think we made that available to people for free. And we will actually do that again. We can talk about that at the end of the show, but people can go to the show notes for this podcast and see your video. But you had a great interview, talked about spiritual leadership in your home, and just about how you come alongside of your wife and encourage her. And so that’s a great video that you guys definitely are going to want to see.

But today we’re going to talk about something a little bit different with you, on kind of the other side of homeschooling, and that is public schools. So before we get rolling on that topic, tell us about you and your family a little bit.

Backstage Pass Members can watch the bonus video from this episode, which includes an additional 30 minutes of content! Not a member, keep reading to find out how you can get a free 3-month Backstage Pass Membership!

Caleb:                                       So I’m the father of six kids, and all six of my kids are homeschooled. My oldest is 14. She just started high school, just finished up first semester of her freshman year. And then I have a 12-year-old daughter who is in 7th grade. I have twin boys who are nine years old. I have a daughter who’s seven, and then the youngest is four and a half. We use a classical model for education. We love Classical Conversations, and we’ve been doing that for, I think, four years, now.

I’m a practicum speaker. I usually speak at different practicums over the summer. I love encouraging homeschool parents. My wife and I are actually both homeschool graduates. We were homeschooled K through 12, in the ’80s and ’90s, when you had to do that with your curtains closed and the phones turned off.

Yvette:                                      Yep.

Caleb:                                       … in California. And we love what we’re able to do with our kids with homeschooling. I’m a public school teacher. I’m really involved in ministry at my church, both in my kids’ ministries, and then I direct the college ministry in my church.

Yvette:                                      Yeah, well you guys are busy. You’re a busy, busy bunch. We love your family dearly. We are good friends with you guys, and as a matter of fact, your wife Leah and I are really good friends. And her parents, the first time we met, I think Leah was 12, and her parents were my and Garritt’s pre-marriage counselors.

Caleb:                                       Yeah.

Yvette:                                      And that was 24 years ago. That was actually a little over 24 years ago, because we are just celebrating our 24th anniversary so we’ve-

Caleb:                                       Oh, congratulations.

Yvette:                                      Yeah, thank you. Only by the grace of God. So it’s been really neat to see your family grow. I know I got to be kind of a little part of helping with your wedding and so we’ve seen your family grow from the very beginning.

I love your story of having been homeschooled to where God has brought you today. And I was talking to somebody recently, and she said, “I don’t see that a lot of homeschool graduates are doing a lot of things and being really successful in life.” Now, this is someone who does not come from a background of homeschooling.

And I said, “Well, you know, the reason that you may not see that quite yet is because that whole first big generation of homeschool graduates are just now really into their adulthood. You know? They’re in their maybe late 20s to mid 30s, and really starting to shine as adults. And so you’re one of those, where God has done amazing things with you. Talk a little bit, first, about what your homeschool journey was like growing up, because I know you were … I don’t want to say … I mean you might say unschooled, but I won’t say that you were unschooled, but I know you had kind of a loose school structure growing up, and then to where you are today and what God has done with you.

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Caleb:                                       So I don’t know if I mentioned this, but my dad was a public school teacher for 37 years. He was teaching high school. And that’s what sort of motivated him to make the decision to homeschool. It wasn’t necessarily because he wanted to protect us from indoctrination, he just saw the system was broken. Educationally, students were not learning; they were not being taught. And so he realized, “I could do this better on my own,” and he did. I just finished my second Master’s degree. Most of my siblings have Master’s degrees. A lot of us are very successful working professionals. But because his response wasn’t to try to maybe pull us out and protect us from the system, it was very educationally focused, he had some radical ideas about how he was going to educate us. And some people might describe it as unschooling, but it wasn’t, because our mathematics was very structured. So mathematics was something that we did everyday. We had to put in time, we had to work systematically through … He wrote our curriculum for mathematics. For reading, that was very structured. Reading was very structured. And he sort of designed it like those are they keys. If you have your math, you have your reading, you can do anything.

And so outside of that, it was more whatever our passion was. So I remember one year when I was in high school, instead of doing US history, I just spent the entire year doing research on George Washington. He just fascinated me, and so I just did all this research on him, and I learned US history by studying the life of George Washington.

Yvette:                                      Right.

Caleb:                                       And so that was sort of the unschooling bit, is it was a little bit passion-driven. But the math and the English portion were very structured. My dad is a strict grammarian. Even in my Master’s graduate programs, I would send my research papers to him and say, “Hey, can you check my grammar?” And he would always, inevitably, find something. I was hoping after my second Master’s degree I’d finally arrive where he wouldn’t be able to find any errors, but he could always see them.

Want more from Caleb? Watch his interview for Schoolhouse Rocked on our Backstage Pass membership website. Visit this page for a FREE 3-Month membership!

Yvette:                                      Yeah.

Caleb:                                       So our experience … Because he really structured the math and the reading, we’re able to excel in anything we wanted to. And we’re also able to keep our passion. So I’m still somebody who’s extremely passionate about learning.

Yvette:                                      Yeah. You learned to love learning.

Caleb:                                       Yeah.

Yvette:                                      Which is really the purpose of education. It’s not just to put a bunch of facts into our kids’ heads so that they forget them after the test, and then move onto the next subject. It’s really to teach our kids how to love learning.

Caleb:                                       Exactly.

Yvette:                                      So how did he do that with you? What was the key that you found that caused you to love learning? And how are you doing that with your kids?

Caleb:                                       So I would say the key was having enough structure so that we could acquire the tools necessary to be successful. Let me illustrate it this way: When I was taking a … I was taking a PE class when I was in college, on teaching PE to students. My degree was in education. And our professor was explaining to us … She was like, “This is the most important class you’re going to take,” and a lot of people laughed that off, “Well, this is a PE class. This is not important.” And she explained that people’s quality of life is tied towards how active they are. And she said, “People aren’t active if they’re not skilled enough to enjoy activity.” And so when you teach a child how to throw a ball correctly, when you teach them how to jump correctly, when you teach them how to run correctly, they can then enjoy those activities.

In the same way, with education, is your mind is equipped where you understand the inner workings of mathematics, so you have … Your brain automatically sees the logic in systems, looks for the logics, understands how to put it together, and then you can read, you can do anything.

So the first key was having that structure in place, there. But the second key was my dad and my mom were passionate learners themselves. So their passion was caught by us. They were excited. My dad was a biologist. So everywhere we went, he was just pointing out the wonder of what he saw. And it wasn’t faked at all. It was just like he was in awe of God’s creation everywhere we’d go. We’d spend a lot of our summers up at Mount Whitney here in California, and we’d spend a lot of time on the trails and hiking around, and he’d just be showing us all these things as we’re hiking, and we’d be looking at the stars at night, and he’d be teaching us. So the world was our classroom.

And because of that, everywhere I go, I want to learn. I was going on a run this morning with this lady who was … There’s a local running store, and they do a run there every single Saturday morning. And I was running with this lady who is a … She has a PhD in nuclear fission, and I was like, “Wow. This is amazing. She can answer all these questions that I have.” And so I was just grilling her while I was running. And that’s not something that I’m researching, but it’s fascinating to me. I want to know about it.

So everywhere I go, I’m asking people questions, trying to learn about the world that’s around me. So I just have … We’re born with an innate curiosity, and the school system destroys that. And I’ve been able to preserve that. So I have the same curiosity I did as a five-year-old. I never lost it.

Yvette:                                      Yeah. Yeah, and you’re passing that along to your kids, now, just like your dad passed that onto you.

So Caleb, you are a public school teacher. You teach math. Do you only teach math, or do you teach other subjects, as well?

Caleb:                                       Yeah, primarily math. This year I’m doing a study hall. I teach a lot of dual-enrolled students, so I work for a local community college, and I work for the high school. And so I have a lot of students who are enrolled in the community college classes and the high school classes, so I run a study hall for them to come in and get help with their homework, and just sort of stay on top of them. I make sure they’re getting work done. So it’s not math, per se, but I end up helping them with a lot of mathematics.

Yvette:                                      Okay, so here’s the question: You are a public school teacher, and many would ask the question, then why would you not have your kids in public school? If you own a business, maybe creating … Who knows, I don’t know. T-shirts. You would obviously want your kids to wear that t-shirt that you create, because that’s your thing. That’s your family business. That’s what feeds your family. And so everyday, you go into the public school system, and you have decided that that’s not what right for your kids. Why is that?

Caleb:                                       You know, I guess it might seem strange from the outside, but because that’s how I was raised, that was sort of assumed. It wasn’t assumed that I would become a teacher, but it was assumed that I would homeschool my kids. The system’s broken, and it’s broken beyond repair. Education is a … There’s so much political activism in education now, that the working professionals who actually know what’s best for students and what’s going to help them cognitively, we can’t even do that. We can’t teach students where they’re at; because we’re working with 30 or more students at a time, we have to force everybody to fit into the same cookie cutter mold. And so it becomes indoctrination.

Public school flowed out of the industrial revolution. And in the industrial revolution, it actually made sense for what they were trying to do. In the industrial revolution, they needed a good factory worker. They needed somebody who would clock in, do the same mundane tasks without asking any questions, and then clock out. We don’t have those jobs anymore. We don’t have any careers … Yeah, there are some factory workers, but if you look at it, the majority of what factory workers are doing now, is they’re troubleshooting. They’re working on the equipment because the equipment does the work that a worker used to do.

Our education system is the same as it was 100 years ago. And because of that, we’re still preparing students to go into a job where they don’t think about what they’re doing, they don’t know how to troubleshoot, they’re just really good at, what I call, regurgitating on demand. So the teacher tells ’em, “Okay, here’s everything you need to know. Come back tomorrow and recite it to me.” That’s useless. There’s no value in that at all, in our culture anymore. So no matter what your religious background, but just cognitively, looking at what the brain needs to be effective, for a worker to be able to be successful, those skills aren’t given at all anymore.

And so I made the decisions to educate my kids primarily because I saw how broken the system was. Why I’m in the system, it’s not that I necessarily think that I can change it. I felt like I could. I’m teaching at a small, rural high school. And I have a principal who gave me a lot of freedom, and we were able, for about five years to be extremely innovative. Drastically change, within the confines of what California restricts us to, drastically change how we set up math instruction. And we were really, really successful. I have a student right now at Harvard Medical, who graduated from my program. He’s going to be a medical doctor. And I have students who are at UCLA. And so I was able to create an atmosphere where I was able to sort of salvage the students’ education in their last three years. The school is small enough that I had students for three years, and I could get them to that point where they became autonomous learners and I sort of shocked that curiosity back inside of them. But that’s an anomaly.

Usually, you don’t have a principal who will give you that freedom. And that whole system was dependent upon the administration I had, and that administration just shifted, and my new administration will not work with me at all. And so they’re coming in and they’re dictating, and they’re destroying everything I’ve built, which is sort of … That’s standard fare in California public schools. Education is determined by the politicians.

A big thing for mathematics, every single incoming freshman that I have, I’m required to put them in an algebra I class. I’ll give them an entrance test, and they can’t add a fraction, they can’t multiply single digits, they never got through … If you guys are familiar with the classical method, they never got through those grammar stages. They never mastered that grammar stage. They were never taught to mastery, and they need that. You can’t go on if you don’t understand how the brain works. You can’t go on to that dialectic or rhetoric stage until you have the grammar of a subject down, but I’m required to put them in an algebra class, which is-

Yvette:                                      Wow. It’s like building the roof first on a house before you’ve built a foundation.

Caleb:                                       Exactly. Yeah, it’d be like putting a student in their third year Spanish class when they haven’t had Spanish I or II.

Yvette:                                      Yeah.

Caleb:                                       And so that’s just because the government requires us to do that, and it’s because algebra is a social justice issue. Instead of being a math issue, it’s a social justice issue. And there are social justice components there, for sure. There’s pockets of racism, where people will put students in a class just to hold them down. But as a rule, that’s really not happening in California, and it really shouldn’t be how you determine what class students are put in.

So really, the reason that I’m there is I never felt called to be a school teacher. I felt called to be a missionary. And that’s how I see it. I think that the public schools are the front line of the culture war in our nation today. So if you want to be making a difference, the biggest difference that you can make is to be right there in the thick of it. So California public schools … I’m on the front line. And how I shine my light in that is not by going out and lecturing my students about their immoral lifestyles. I love kids. I love kids. And students are attracted to the love of Christ. And so what happens is, is I’m able to develop relationships with them. They know that my classroom is a safe space, and they come in there and they share their hearts with me. They share their struggles, and I’m able to share Jesus with them.

Caleb:                                       And you know, one of the young guys I got to share Jesus with. And now he’s a pastor at your home church.

Yvette:                                      Yeah.

Caleb:                                       So that’s why I’m there. I’m there because … I’ve described it this way: The public schools are the cesspool of our society. If you look around and you think, “Wow, the media’s bad and this is bad,” well imagine the next generation that’s raised by that generation with those lack of respect and any moral compass whatsoever. Those children, their lifestyles, their moral compass, it’s despicable. And to go into that, it’s almost my … I’m passionate about missions. I love to read missionary stories and that’s sort of how I’ve always envisioned it. I’m sort of an anthropologist. I’m studying how these students work, how their minds work. How do I communicate to them, how do I get through to them, so I can communication the gospel to them.

Yvette:                                      Yeah, well you do a good job of doing that. You know, you talk about being on the front lines, and I did a podcast a few weeks ago with a homeschool mom named Misty Bailey and we talked about being salt and light in the public schools, and how often times, that is the argument that Christian parents will say, “We want to put our kids in the public school system because God calls us to be salt and light.” But God does not call the student to be salt and light. He doesn’t call a student who’s not old enough to really understand what they believe yet. I mean, sure, they might believe in Jesus. Hopefully they do. But they’re not really quite solid enough in their foundation as a child to be able to go out and stand against the forces of evil that are taking place in the public school system.

Caleb:                                       Yeah.

Yvette:                                      And so how do you answer that? I mean, if a parent says to you, “Well, I don’t want to homeschool my kids because I think God has called us to be salt and light, and so I want to put my kid in the public school system so that they can be the salt and light.” What would you say to that parent?

Caleb:                                       I would ask them what they’re doing to have such amazing kids who can go out there and be doing what I’m doing that’s exhausting me, that’s really, really difficult. But at the same time, I do know Christian parents in my school who are very involved. You know, they’re on campus and that’s what I would say is, “Okay, I know that some parents can’t homeschool their kids.” Just, their life situation doesn’t allow them to do that for whatever reason. My wife and I, we just make it happen. California’s pretty expensive to live here, so living on low income, I’ve got to work a couple jobs. But God is good, he provides for us. And so I know … I’ve talked to people, sometimes, where they feel like that’s a necessity and I say, “Well, you need to understand with that, that the responsibility for discipleship still lands squarely on your shoulders.”

And one of the problems is when you start entrusting the education of your children to somebody else, you can begin to think, “Well, maybe because I’m not educating them, I don’t need to be as active in what’s happening in their mind. And part of discipleship, it’s for sure spiritual, but you’re also discipling your children’s minds. And you need to be learning how they’re thinking. And if you can do that as a non-homeschool parent, then more power to you. But for myself, I can’t. I need to be teaching my children at home.

But one of the things that I saw as a homeschool graduate, in the ’80s and ’90s, a lot of my contemporaries, a lot of my peers, their parents were making that decision because they feared the culture. And what happened is they completely removed their children from that culture, and then those children, once they graduated, they weren’t able to engage with that culture. And we have a mandate from our Lord to make disciples, which means we have to be interfacing with people who aren’t yet disciples. We need to be fishers of men, which means we need to have venues where we’re interacting with people who are in the world.

And so I actively pursue that for my children. That’s something my parents actively pursued for me. So my kids, they interact with people outside of just our home, and our homeschool community. My daughter was on my cross country team at my public high school this last year. I think within the first two weeks, she’d shared the gospel with all the other freshman girls on the team. You know?

Wow.

And I mean, that’s my heart. And she sort of knows, “Hey, that’s why I’m here.”

Yvette:                                      Yeah.

Caleb:                                       Another untapped venue that I think a lot of homeschool parents don’t recognize is youth groups in the church. Often times, in a youth group, you’re going to have unchurched kids coming in and visiting and homeschooled kids, that can be in a place that they learn to be salt and light.

And so I think that parents who make that argument, there’s something valid there, and we need to own that and recognize that, and think how are we helping our children right now prepare to engage in the culture? We’re training up a child, but part of training up a child is, we need to be teaching them how to make disciples. You know? So to be their friend across the street that they play with.

Yvette:                                      Right.

Caleb:                                       “Hey, let me challenge you to invite them to come to church with you. Let me challenge you to tell them what it means to believe in Jesus, to share your faith with him.” I can remember as a little kid doing that, and making a mess of it with my next-door neighbor. You know, I didn’t know what I was doing. I was trying to … I asked him if he was a Christian, and he said yes, and then I didn’t know what to do, ’cause I knew he wasn’t, and I didn’t want to argue with him. But that was something my parents did for me. They put me on the public parks and rec basketball teams, and I would do swim teams. And so I was interacting with the world constantly, and then learning how to be a witness, but my dad was my coach.

Yvette:                                      Right.

Caleb:                                       So he was right there watching me, encouraging me, but also giving me enough space so that I could learn to do those things.

Yvette:                                      Yeah.

Caleb:                                       We can’t just bring our children up to the place of being 18 years old, they graduate from high school, and then they go out there and they’re ready to engage in the world. If the first time they ever hear somebody use profanity is after they graduate from high school, that’s a problem.

Yvette:                                      Right.

Caleb:                                       You know? And so … I mean, yeah. My daughter probably learned some new works this last year as a … She’s actually 13, as a freshman in the public school system. And she doesn’t like that, but also I’m not worried about that affecting her, because I know that her light is stronger than those bad morals. And I know that she can stand up on her own two feet. And that’s really a decision you make child by child, year by year; how much you’re engaging them with the culture and how much you’re not.

Yvette:                                      Right.

Caleb:                                       I talked to a mom recently … Not recently. Probably eight years ago, who was … She was really struggling with the decision of whether she should put her son in public high school or in a private school. And what I told her is, the public high school’s the cesspool of our culture. And your son, maybe he’ll learn to stand up for himself, and he’ll learn to share the gospel, but it’s going to be vexing to his soul. It’s like Lot when he was in Sodom. Remember what Peter says in his epistle, he says, “Every day his righteous soul was vexed.” So if your children love Jesus and they’re in public school, everyday their righteous soul’s going to be vexed.

Yvette:                                      Right.

Caleb:                                       And so you need to be figuring out a way to be bringing massive support to them because their soul is just going to be attacked day after day after day. This mom put her son in the public school, and within two months, she pulled him out, and she called me up and she’s like, “Oh my gosh, you were right. It is just a cesspool. His friends are constantly just trying to push stuff on him and challenging him to do all these things that he knows he shouldn’t do,” and she pulled him out and she put him in a private school.

Yvette:                                      Yeah, yeah. It’s tough to put kids in a situation like that where … Often times I think they feel like they’re standing alone, or then, they’re the ones who get labeled as the bully, because now you’re telling this kid that what they’re doing is wrong. Or, whatever the situation might be, and that’s a really hard place for kids to be. And so-

Caleb:                                       Yeah.

Yvette:                                      I love that. And we’re like that with our kids, we’re very intentional. We travel a lot, we do a whole lot of things that are not homeschool-related, but we get to spend the days and hours with our girls, training their hearts, and training them up in righteousness, teaching them God’s word so that when they go out into the culture, they can recognize good from bad, truth from lies, and I agree completely. I mean, I’ve known kids who were homeschooled their whole lives, and they came out and they were like, “Nope. Not for me.” And did not even know how to interact with culture because their parents kept them so isolated and so protected. And you can’t do that.

Yvette:                                      But it is our job to protect our kids. And so you have to find that balance, and that’s what it is, is a balance. But I think sending them into that cesspool for 35 to 40 hours a week, and then expecting them to come home and be able to undo everything that they’ve been taught and seen, seems nearly impossible to do, ’cause you can’t undo what’s already been done to them.

Caleb:                                       This last year, Leah and I both read a book called The Gospel Comes With a House Key by Rosaria Butterfield.

Yvette:                                      Okay.

Caleb:                                       We really enjoyed that book. And she’s a homeschool mom, and how she creates that space for her kids to learn to reach out, is by having a home that’s constantly open. And so her kids are learning to make disciples because she’s having unsaved people in her home all the time, and she’s making disciples. And so they’re seeing that. What happens often times when somebody comes to Christ, within about three years, they don’t have any more non-Christina friends. I mean, either their non-Christian friends have stopped being friends with that, or they’ve just stopped engaging with the world. And it’s important for … One of the reasons I’m part of a local running club is that gives me a space where I can interface with people in the world. My public school lets me do that. My college students … I run a college ministry for my church, and I have them in my home. And they’re constantly going out and bringing other people, and those people are in my home and part of my ministry is, I do it with my kids. My ministry on the context of family, I think that family makes you more effective in your ministry. And kids are learning it.

If I go out and I’m sharing the gospel, I take my sons with me. You know?

Yvette:                                      Yeah.

Caleb:                                       And they hear people reject us, and they get to see how to share their faith. And so we just need to be making sure as parents that we’re engaging with the world, that we’re letting the world into our home; inviting strangers. That’s what hospitality means.

Yvette:                                      That’s right.

Caleb:                                       It means loving strangers. Also, we’re inviting strangers into our home. That’s how our kids are going to learn to make disciples. Sending them off away from us where they can’t be learning from us and seeing us model it, and knowing how to do it? Not really effective.

Yvette:                                      Yeah, yeah. Oh, I agree completely.

Caleb:                                       Yeah.

Yvette:                                      Unfortunately we are out of time for the podcast, but if you can stay on with me, I would love to continue this conversation, ’cause I want to keep talking about this. So for those who are Backstage Pass members, this video, of course, will be on, and you guys can view the rest of this interview.

For those who are listening on the podcast, thank you guys for listening today. We are so grateful for you. We’re grateful for the encouragement that you continue to bring to us. Continuing praying for us. God is doing some big things with Schoolhouse Rocked, and with the podcast and with our family, so we would love your continued prayers as we move forward in post-production with the movie and just continue doing what God has called us to do.

So thank you guys, for your encouragement. Thank you for listening. And please, please share this with your friends. It’s always exciting to hear when someone says, “Oh, I had a friend who told me about this podcast.” I got to talk to a dad the other day, and the mom actually said, “Oh, my husband Ryan always listens to the podcast, and he’s always the one telling me, ‘You’ve got to listen to this one! You’ve got to listen to this one!'” And I was like, “That is awesome!” I love that dads are listening as well, so hi to the dads listening, and hello Ryan. I’m glad you’re listening.

But thank you guys for being with us today and we will have a new podcast for you next Monday. And for those of you on the Backstage Pass membership site, stick with us, and we’re going to continue this conversation with Caleb.

So Caleb, thank you for being on the podcast with me today.

Caleb:                                       Oh, for sure. Thank you for having me.

Book Recommendation:

The Gospel Comes with a House Key: Practicing Radically Ordinary Hospitality in Our Post-Christian WorldBy Rosaria Champagne Butterfield

Links:

Child Evangelism Fellowship(CEF)

Young Life

Campus Life

Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash