Reading, Writing, & ‘Rithmetic Revolution

Schoolhouse Rocked Presents an Inspiring Window into the Homeschool Movement in America

Garritt and Yvette Hampton never planned to be homeschool parents. They came by it reluctantly. But once they got into the groove of it, they discovered there was great joy and blessing in serving as their children’s primary teachers, influencers, and disciplers. So, in 2016, they sold their California home and most everything in it, bought a fifth-wheel trailer camper, and set out with their two daughters Lacey and Brooklyn to travel across America. They would do school on the road and tell the stories of the millions of families taking part in the homeschool revolution.

They ended up spending three years on the road, and now they've put it all into Schoolhouse Rocked: The Homeschool Revolution. It's an inspiring and super-encouraing overview of the quiet, non-violent revolution in education that has been taking place in America since about the 1970s.

Early on, homeschoolers were virtually alone in the endeavor. They had no packaged curricula and little to no support. In fact, many had to work against opposition from family, friends, and in some cases a hostile government. Some even faced threats of fines or jail time. Today, there are homeschool coops, support groups, and large conventions where homeschoolers can connect with like-minded families and choose from a wealth of curricula and resources. There’s also the Homeschool Legal Defense Association, which advocates for everyone’s freedom to homeschool in all fifty states.

Yvette and Garritt interviewed veteran and current homeschool parents, homeschool entrepreneurs, and homeschool attorneys from all parts of the country. Here are a few themes that came out of the grand project:

Homeschool families are not weird. Like Garritt and Yvette, many parents became “accidental homeschoolers,” each for their own family’s reasons. “We moved to really good public schools,” said one mom, “and they let me down.” Others said they were better able to accommodate the needs of each of their children as individuals. In more recent years, many have left to escape school violence or harmful ideologies. “It’s not about reading, writing, and arithmetic anymore. It’s about social engineering and fifteen genders and teaching that there’s no God and that their parents aren’t the final authority,” said another mom - which does raise the question as to who’s on the side of “weird,” now. Anyway, Yvette used to think homeschool parents were crazy. Then she became one and found out that homeschool parents are in many ways just like every good parent – they want the best for their children and they’re willing to step up to the plate and work to provide it.

Homeschooling is possible. “You feel inadequate because you’ve been taught by our school system that you’re inadequate, “said Sam Sorbo. While no one said homeschooling has been easy, many said that once they got into it, it wasn’t as hard as they’d feared it would be. And more important, they found rich benefits they had not anticipated. They didn’t have to construct a mock “classroom” in the home. They found that learning can comfortably take place at the kitchen table, on the sofa in the family room, and in the outdoors – all within the context of doing life in relationship with their children and chosen communities

Education is the responsibility of parents, not the state. “It’s easy to become hostage to the world’s idea of what education should be,” said another parent, but biblically, God explicitly places responsibility for the raising of children with the children’s parents. This does not mean that public schooling is inherently unbiblical; it just means that the state is not the first line of authority – and certainly not the “owner” – in the life of the child. No child is the creature of the state. We do well to begin this discussion with a very foundational question: Who created the child? While not all homeschooling parents identify as Christian, it’s still a stretch to say that the government has a claim on a child that is prior to the child’s mother and father.

A large swath of the homeschool movement are Christians, though, and Homeschool Rocked is super-encouraging for those parents who look to God for their help. He is the one who, in his sovereign wisdom and love, has given your children to you. That means you are enough – or at least, you and he together are enough. He will be with you to carry out the calling of raising up your children with the goal that they become wise and virtuous - as well as educated - adults for the next generation.

Garritt and Yvette are travelling the country this summer, showing the film, speaking at conventions, and spreading the good news about the joy of this positive revolution. The film is also now available on DVD and for streaming at home. Watch the trailer below, and click here for more information.

 is Deputy Editor of Salvo and writes on apologetics and matters of faith.

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