Teach from Love: Part 1

Rhonda RobinsonBy Rhonda Robinson10 Minutes

Sam Sorbo, wife of actor Kevin Sorbo, teacher, and homeschool advocate sat down with Rhonda Robinson to talk about her book Teach from Love and to encourage parents who are now in the role of teacher during the pandemic.

RR: How do you see the school systems trying to adapt to the home environment? Do you feel like this is a winning combination, having the schools and home meshed together?

Sam Sorbo: Well, schools don’t have the winning secret. They, in fact, they’ve been failing for so long that we’ve just become accustomed to their failure rather than asking them to perform better.

I was faced with that when my son finished second grade. And this idea came across, came upon me, getting the job done, and they weren’t doing a good job. And even if I failed, I could probably do better than they were doing, which is what finally convinced me to just homeschool entirely.

So you’re asking me whether now with COVID and the additional challenges that, that poses for them if they are going to be successful?

I’m exceedingly doubtful, frankly.

When you take a class and you move it to an online class and online classes are completely different than a classroom class. They’re asking teachers to just step up and do something for which they haven’t been trained. Hey, I’m all for entrepreneurial spirit and diving in and trying to get the job done.

But no, I don’t, I’m not terribly optimistic.

Mainly because their track record is abysmal. You know, our numbers are going down. We spend more per capita than almost every other country per student. Every student costs us more. More than most other countries. And we’re about 27th in a world where the United States of America we’re the land of innovators.

And yet we can’t teach our children basic things.

Those basic things like civics. Why don’t we teach our children civics?

Well, I’ll tell you why. It’s a conflict of interest for the federal government to teach children civics. They don’t have any vested interest in a child learning that the power resides in him or her, as opposed to the power being inside the government. And, you know, we failed to recognize that. The founders would be turning over in their graves if they knew that we had federalized education.

RR: What do you see for the future of homeschooling, as the public schools have stepped in the way they have.

Sam Sorbo: I’m exceedingly optimistic.

It presents its own challenges for the parents and especially parents who have been raised inside the system like I was, and I recognize that, when you step outside the system, and you start to try to get it done yourself, you’re met with all kinds of challenges. But the biggest one is a challenge to your ability. A challenge for you as an individual. And the reason I say that is because in our schools, we are teaching people (and we have been teaching people for decades now) what they are incapable of.

You see, every time that you give a child a test and then give him a gold star for performance, the message is, you don’t know how to do anything else. And you need that gold star in order to prove that you are capable. And so we graduate school and we are incapable of everything that we haven’t studied.

And the weird thing is it used to be the biggest thing that parents would say to me is I can’t homeschool. I wouldn’t even know how to homeschool.

You don’t have to know-how.

You simply have to be willing to learn how. But because of our school system, we think education is somehow knowledge.

Education should be the process of opening the student’s mind so that they can know how to teach themselves anything. And that’s not what we’re getting. We’re getting people who are graduating with specific ideas about exactly how things are supposed to be, and they are rigid and cannot change those ideas.

That’s why we have safe spaces in colleges and children saying that they can’t hear an opposing position. Because they have no way of dealing with any kind of opposing position because they haven’t been given the tools with which to learn. And an opposing position presents one of two choices: listen to it and evaluate it or reject it.

You’re not just going to accept it because accepting means changing you, and changing the way you are. Right? And typically we don’t want to do that. So we’re not just going to accept things unless they’ve been somehow accredited to us.

And that’s the other thing that the school teaches us is to obey your master.

Obey authority.

We’re in a predicament now because we’ve got some authorities telling us one thing and other authorities saying the complete opposite. And if you do your research, then you can figure out who you want to trust. But unless you’re doing research, it gets very confusing.

We’re a frightened population right now.

I’m getting back to the homeschool question. I’m quite optimistic.

First of all, I know that it’s exploded because I see it. So there are, there are a ton of families who have finally said, “You know what? Enough’s enough. I’m done with that. I gotta see if there’s a better way.”

Which, was me. That was me when I started on this journey. And then there are the families who are still sort of wishy-washy. They’re just not quite sure that they’re going to give it a try. Those are the ones I worry about because it does take a commitment.

Your ability is challenged from day one. I’ve done a series of videos that I’ve posted on my YouTube page, my website for parents to empower them. To make the decision to home educate. To empower them in methodology, right? Because we go into this thinking that we have to recreate what happens at school. But again, the schools are failing. Why would you want to recreate a failed program?

So don’t do that. Don’t recreate what’s happening in schools.

The other thing that parents are seeing is that the children are challenging their authority, especially if you’re bringing home a teenager, right from school. The teenager has been taught to challenge the parents’ authority. Why? Because the moment the parent drops the child off at school, the passive message that is sent is, I am incapable —trust the school.

When the school challenges the parent’s authority, by saying, your parents shouldn’t put things in plastic bags because plastic bags kill dolphins. The child thinks not, well, maybe the school’s wrong. Maybe, maybe mommy knows better. And she thinks plastic bags are really healthy for whatever, right?

The child thinks, Oh, mommy kills dolphins. That’s terrible. Mommy is dumb, right? When the child comes home with a permission slip, mommy has to sign. This teacher said you have to sign them. And mom says, okay, just give it to me. I’ll sign it. Oops. She lost her authority for authority is now completely undermined by the school. If not completely, then at least it’s been tainted.

And so the child is trained that way. And it just happens organically.

I’m not saying that it’s on purpose or anything. This isn’t a conspiracy. I’m just saying it’s the system. So now the kids are coming home and they’re challenging their parents’ authority. And the parents are thinking, wow, this homeschooling thing is hard.

No, no, no, no, no. You misunderstand. Parenting is hard. Homeschooling is easy compared to parenting.

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