“The child is not the mere creature of the State.” Did you know that this from a ruling from the Supreme Court? It is—and yet the hard left in this nation is moving rapidly to make sure parents feel that their kids belong to the State. Homeschool pioneer Zan Tyler joins me today to encourage parents to get off the bench and on the battlefield of the fight for freedom in the United States. We throw our freedom away when we refuse to defend it. Freedom is precious! Let’s defend it!
Transcribed version of the podcast is below.
Today’s Scripture Writing Challenge Verse
- John 12:44-47
Resources Mentioned in Podcast
Scripture Mentioned in Podcast
- Malachi 4:6
All Things Heidi
Join us at MomStrong International for our newest Bible Study and Scripture Writing!
“My story is about the greatness and faithfulness of the Lord—and how He uses ordinary people to accomplish His extraordinary plans.”
Zan’s homeschool journey began in 1984 when homeschooling was illegal. The State Superintendent of Education threatened Zan with jail for insisting on homeschooling her son. For the next eight years, she and other homeschool families battled for homeschool freedom and the establishment of landmark homeschool legislation in South Carolina. To this day, her legislative success in South Carolina has spearheaded legislation to ensure homeschool freedom in other states. In 1990, she founded the South Carolina Association of Independent Home Schools and served as its president for ten years. Her fight for homeschool freedom has led her to serve as the National Grassroots Director for ParentalRights.org, to advocate for homeschooling in the media (appearing on NBC’s Today Show) and at the nation’s capital, and to write profusely about the benefits of homeschooling.
Zan’s deepest desire is to encourage parents to raise children who love the Lord, understand their callings in life, and become active citizens who understand the freedom principles undergirding our great American heritage. She is an inspirational speaker and author, a consultant for BJU Press and the Home School Legal Defense Association, and the founder of the South Carolina Association of Independent Home Schools (SCAIHS). For sixteen years, Zan worked with Christian publishers to develop homeschool curriculum and resources. In 2015 she was presented with the Chris Klicka Award for her dedication and commitment to home education worldwide. She considers the twenty-one-years she and her husband, Joe, spent homeschooling their own three children from kindergarten through high school to be one of the greatest privileges of her life.
As a prolific author, Zan is best known for her classic homeschool book, 7 Tools For Cultivating Your Child’s Potential. She is currently authoring a new book to be released by BJU Press in the spring of 2019. Zan’s website, zantyler.com offers weekly inspiration through her blog ministry, lists events where homeschoolers can connect with Zan personally, and provides information on Zan’s and Joe’s speaking topics.
Awards and Recognition
- Chris Klicka Award (honoring courage, dedication, and commitment to home education), presented by Home School Legal Defense Association
- Robert Dreyfus Courageous Christian Leadership Award
- Order of the Palmetto, awarded by Governor David Beasley (the highest honor a civilian in South Carolina can receive)
- South Carolina Homemaker of the Year, chosen by Phyllis Schlafly and Eagle Forum
Hey everybody, this is Heidi St. John. Welcome to the Heidi St. John podcast. Today is Friday, September 6th. This is episode number 815 and it is Meet-My-Friend-Friday. As always I like to have folks on the show who are making a difference in the culture for the Lord and for the gospel. You guys are going to be so encouraged! My friend Zan Tyler is here with me today, and we’re going to be talking about fanning the flames of liberty.
Stick around, I think you’re going to be encouraged.
Before we get going today, I want to remind you next weekend, I’m going to be in Fredericksburg, Virginia. There is still time to get your tickets—you guys are going to love it! If you’re anywhere in the Washington, DC/Richmond, Virginia/Baltimore, Charlottesville area—come on out for a weekend that’s going to change your life.
So, it’s the 6th of September, which means y’all should be in school mode right now. Moment of silence. You got this, you can do it! There’s a lot of things coming up here at MomStrong International. If you haven’t joined us yet for the Bible study, I want to encourage you to do that. We’ve just started a brand new series and it will go all the way through the 30th of this month. This is a great time of year to make a commitment to studying the Word of God. We want to encourage you to join us in It. We’ve also launched the Scripture Writing Challenge— which you guys can get at anytime, it’s free. Tens of thousands of people over there doing that with me each month.
The Word of God changes us. It’s God’s Word that gives us strength for the day. It helps us to discern truth from lies in the culture. God’s Word does not change. This is a very simple way for you to study the Word, to get to know it with your children, and with your spouse. So join me!
I will be in Virginia on the 14th of September for my women’s events. If you haven’t registered for that, it’s not too late to do it. You can also register at the door, but it’s going to cost you a little bit more money and it’s gonna make it harder for me. So if you guys can register in advance, that will be wonderful. On October 12th, I will be doing my women’s conference, which happens one time every year here in Vancouver, Washington. Registration is open for that event right now. A few days after that, on the 19th, I will be speaking in Lincoln, Nebraska.
I’m so thrilled today because my friend Zan Tyler is in the studio with me here in Vancouver. Zahn has an incredible story. She is a lover of freedom and she’s been at the forefront of making sure that homeschoolers have freedom here in the United States. Zan Tyler was threatened with jail when she began homeschooling in 1984. For the next eight years she fought for homeschool freedom and for good legislation—because you know we need that in South Carolina. In 1990, she founded the South Carolina Association of Independent Homeschools, and has served as its president for 10 years.
Her fight for homeschool freedom led her to serve as the National Grassroots Director for parentalrights.org— which you guys have heard me talk about many times on the show—in order to advocate for homeschooling in the media, and at the nation’s capital, and to write profusely about the benefits of homeschooling. Zan is also the author of 7 Tools for Cultivating Your Child’s Potential and speaks around the country and the globe to encourage families. I am so thrilled she’s here. She’s now working for BJU Press and does some work for the HSLDA. When she’s not doing all that stuff she is moonlighting as my friend. So Zan Tyler, welcome to the podcast.
[Zan] Thank you, Heidi. It is great to be here.
[Heidi] I’m so excited that you’re actually here in studio because it’s a lot different than being on the phone and this is exciting for me. You and I have been talking for years because we’ve been friends for a long time. I’ve watched you over the years refuse really to be sidelined. You have always been at the forefront of the conversation of what’s happening in culture wherever we’re talking about freedom. You are very concerned about freedom for homeschooling families. I thought— let’s take a few minutes and just give listeners a chance to hear your story because we don’t often hear it. We take it for granted now—in 2019, I don’t hear very many parents who are worried that they might go to jail because of their homeschooling. I’m not talking to parents who are thinking— oh, homeschool freedom, we might or might not have it. You remember a time when your freedom was not readily available to you for homeschooling. So tell us a little bit about how you started homeschooling and where that journey is taking you to get you to at this point.
[Zan] Well, in 1984, a friend of mine gave me a book on homeschooling— Homegrown Kids— because my six year old was in kindergarten at the time. Very, very bright, very gifted, but not reading. So another friend, with her masters had said—Zan, you just need to hold Ty back a year. This friend said— oh, Zan, you need to homeschool him. Now this is 1984 and we knew no one in the world who homeschooled, not one person. I felt like when she mentioned that to me— they were preparing for the mission field, getting their masters, and in their little mobile home at CIU—I just felt like that scene from Star Wars where the trash pack compactor is closing in and I’m thinking— okay Lord, I cannot do this.
[Heidi] Had you heard of homeschooling before?
[Zan] I had heard of homeschooling once. It was a group back in the back woods in Mississippi. Well they refuse to use money. They bargained for everything— they bartered and they homeschool. So this was the only time I’d heard it.
[Heidi] So, you didn’t have a good impression.
[Zan] Yea, this was the only time I had heard of it. I just tell the Lord— I cannot do this. I will not do this. I started reading this book. It was like the Holy Spirit just wooing my heart and calling me to homeschool. I was so fascinated and I knew it was the answers to Ty’s problem— and not even a problem because he did not have a problem, he was gifted. But it wasn’t showing on test scores yet.
[Heidi] That’s the case across the board. I talk to parents all the time, and I know you do too, whose kids are doing great in real life, but they don’t test well. Since when did the test become the gold standard…
[Zan] of how you do in life.
[Heidi] It really has nothing to do with it. Maybe your kid’s a great test taker but I’ve known a lot of kids who are amazing test takers and can’t keep a job…
[Zan] because there’s no perseverance, or no character qualities.
I really felt the Lord calling me to homeschool and I just remember telling Him one morning, I used to walk for an hour in the morning and listen to the Word on my walkman. I just remember the Lord saying to me on these, one of these early morning walks— I want you to homeschool. And me saying—God, I’m sorry I cannot do this. I cannot do this. In my mind, I heard this big iron door shut in heaven and God’s saying to me— Oh yes, you will. So I did the noble thing. I ran home, I got my kids dressed, we went to the local public school district. I explained that I wanted to put him first grade. That was the end of that. For six weeks, I like to say my life was incredibly peaceful—for the last time in my life. Then I got to notice— all the people in the neighborhood were getting notices for this kindergarten orientation except for me. So I called the principal. He said— you can’t put your six year old in my K5 program. I put him in first grade. Well, I had the testing results at this time that that was not good for Ty. Andy and I said — private schools are filled, so what am I going to do? He said— well, I don’t know. That’s not my problem. You know, very concerned public school personnel.
So, I called a friend of mine who was actually Associate Superintendent of schools then in our district and had been my high school principal, so he knew me. We knew each other well, and I said— Dr Hudgins, I just need you to write a note holding Ty back. He said— Zan, I can’t do that. Let me just say they did this all the time. It was the period of time where it was really avant-garde to hold your boys back.
[Heidi] It was almost like the Lord’s hand was against you.
[Zan] Yes, yes. He was obviously hardening hearts. So I said— well, I guess I’ll just have to homeschool. It was my Trump card. I knew he would just roll over and play dead. He said— Oh, well, we’ve gotten lenient with that kind of thing. I later found out that he had approved one person for one year, in the history of the district, who homeschooled—and she was a certified teacher. I was an economics major headed to law school and I had said there are two things I’ll never do in life: one was teach, the other was to have kids. Obviously had no educational background.
[Heidi] We learn later in life not to say we’ll never do things.
[Zan] When I’m speaking, I always tell young moms— learn from my life, let me instruct you on a lot of levels and one is just don’t tell God what you will and won’t do. But I would’ve been so bored. If you had a career, you got up, you got dressed everyday, you were in control of your life. That would just be so boring.
[Heidi] having little people barfing on is just so much better!
[Zan] Yes, I know now. It was so stimulating and you never know what’s coming next. So we had to, because the school district was so lenient, Joe and I actually had to call an attorney to find out the law because the school, the local school office would not give it to us. The state school board would not give us the information. So we had to hire an ally. There is no internet, no Mr Google. No HLSDA. Nobody to talk to. So we had to hire an attorney. He told us what to do. To make a long story short, the local school board turned us down, our application to homeschool, which ended up being about five inches thick with all the information they wanted from me. I called our attorney back. What do we do? He said— you appeal to the state board, who by the way are going to corroborate everything the local school board said. So, what do I do? And then you’ll end up in family court. And I remember telling the Lord— okay, I told you this was not a good idea. So I did have one more brainstorm and that was the call the state Superintendent of Education, who was actually a friend of my mother. Mom, had been a public school teacher and when he got his PHD, she observed her public school classroom and I was in the same school so I saw him every afternoon for several months.
So I called Dr. Williamson. I said— Dr. Williams, this is Zan Tyler, Civil Peter’s daughter. I have a real problem. Can I come see you? He said— oh honey, I will clear my calendar. Come on up. So I go through this—it makes so much sense to me. Look, I want to do the best thing for my son. I settled in district two when we moved back from Boston because there’s a good school district. So all I wanted to do is hold him back a year. I’ve got the testing from a school district that shows that this is educationally a good move. And then the school, the school district said, yes, I can hold him back. Then they said no. Private schools were filled. The local school board turned me down for homeschooling, and here I am. I just want to do what’s best for my child.
He was a friend and I knew he was going to say— let me help you. Instead he looks at me and he says— well Zan, if you continue down this homeschool track and you know, I can have you put in jail for truancy.
[Heidi] This is your friend?
[Zan] This is my friend. That was just one my defining moments. I heard myself saying— well, Dr. Williams, you’ll just have to put me in jail then. I’m wondering who just said that? It was like this out of body experience. But then it was like the line was drawn in the sand and I knew this was where we were headed. So, being the brave noble person with great vision that I was at the time— we had not told either sets of parents that we were going to homeschool and they each lived within three miles of us. My parents were very involved in the community. Dad was a lawyer and a salesman. For his pronono gift to the community, he was the chairman of the board of the Baptist Hospital System in South Carolina. So I knew the newspaper would not say— Zan Tyler goes to jail. It would say— John Peter’s daughter goes to jail. So I’m thinking, I better go tell my parents I’m going to jail.
[Heidi] That’s a good book title: John Peter’s daughter goes to jail.
[Zan] I went by to tell the. I thought I should tell them in person before they read it in the newspaper. You know, get ahead of it.
[Heidi] Yes, great move. That’s perfect.
[Zan]So I went by and I told mom and dad— mom and dad, I’m going to Homeschool Ty, Dad, you’re a lawyer here are all my legal briefs. Mom, you’re an educator, here’s like the itty-bitty two paragraphs of research that had been done on homeschooling at that point in time. I said—and by the way, Dr. Williams just told me he’s going to put me in jail next week and I didn’t want you to read about it in the newspaper. I had held it together at this point. I’m hysterical and I leave. My dad doesn’t know anything about homeschooling. I mean, frankly, I know very little about homeschooling except for God had called me to do this, but in God’s very kind providence, he was speaking the next night with Nancy Thurman who was Senator Thurman’s wife.
I had worked for Senator Thurman when I was in high school. It was the first year of the 18 year old vote and I was female. So I did television commercials and spoke around the state with him at fundraising events. I had been governor of girl state, so I was very politically active for a teenager. So Dad says to Nancy— I need to know what the senator’s going to do to help Zan, she is in real trouble. So she went and called the chief of staff who said— we’ll overnight a letter to the state superintendent and tell him to leave Zan alone. The next day, Senator Thurman’s office called and said the senator is going to fly down and meet personally with Dr. Williams. So, senator Thurman flew down, walked into Charlie William’s office and said— Charlie, her program’s legal, get off her back and approve it.
[Heidi] Everybody needs a senator in their pocket. I’m looking at my husband through the window like— baby, do we know a senator? He’s saying — no we don’t.
[Zan] So we start getting calls. I started getting calls from the State Department of Education— Mrs. Tyler, this is so and so from the State Department of Education. You come on down and we will get this application filled out properly. And then the chairman of the curriculum and instructional material committee called and said—Mrs. Zan, I’ll be in charge if you’re hearing on Tuesday, I think you went to college with my son. We want to meet you. You will have no problems, you’ll be approved, but we just want to meet you and joe. So it was quite a difference. The Lord did spare us from jail then, but it thrust us once again into the political thing and through a lot of different things that happened over the course of the next eight years. We were either in court or the legislature manning grassroots campaigns for the next eight years.
[Heidi] As a result of that, South Carolina has a very strong homeschool law.
[Zan]Yes, it does. It has very good laws.
[Heidi] At the end of the day, that’s the point. God used this very unlikely situation with a mom who didn’t really want to be in it. I mean, it wasn’t like you were like —I’m gonna fight the state of South Carolina, we’re going to be a trailblazer. I don’t think you went into homeschooling your son thinking— I want to be a trailblazer. You saw what was happening around you. You made a decision to get off the bench and onto the battlefield, to engage. Here you are, a young mother—how old were your kids at the time?
[Zan]They were six and four. Lizzie wasn’t born yet.
[Heidi] All the moms are listening right now who are like— oh, I can’t actually get off the bench i’ve got a six and a four year old— meet my friend Zan. This is about liberty. It is about freedom. You have a passion to see this generation engage in what’s happening around us. You and I were talking about this the other day— there’s so much happening in the culture right now. We are rapidly moving towards socialism and we have laid down the foundational principles that have made our nation the nation that it is, the freedoms that we have come from the constitution. Many people don’t understand that. You have a passion to see that begin to turn the tide. Where do you see the most help that’s needed right now?
[Zan] Well, the thing we have to do first is to educate ourselves. I have had a few defining moments that the Lord used to say— here are the problems. One was that I was speaking at a leadership forum for young upcoming leaders in South Carolina, sponsored by Climpson University. So there was an educational panel. There was somebody from homeschooling, private schooling, and a local superintendent. After I spoke on homeschooling, this one woman raised her hand and she said— I have a question for you, Mrs. Tyler. Don’t you feel guilty for homeschooling? I said— well, I felt a lot of emotions over homeschooling. Guilt wasn’t one of them. Why do you ask? She said—because you’re robbing the school district of all that money the state would give them for your kids.
[Heidi] Was she serious?
[Zan] Oh, it gets better. She said— you’re robbing the school district of kids who would probably score well, because you’re also robbing the district of parents who would be involved. So there’s dead silence in the room. I’m shocked. I looked at her and I said— who do you think my kids belong to anyway? And she had no answer. And I said— well, let me read you something. So this tells you what my life was like at the time. I used to keep this in my purse, so I wasn’t prepared to talk about this.
The fundamental theory of liberty upon which all governments in this Union repose excludes any general power of the State to standardize its children by forcing them to accept instruction from public teachers only. The child is not the mere creature of the State; those who nurture him and direct his destiny have the right, coupled with the high duty, to recognize and prepare him for additional obligations.(source: https://www.law.cornell.edu/supremecourt/text/268/510)
So she gets real quiet. She said— well, where did you get that? It was like this right wing Christian propaganda that I had just read had no place in this room. And I said— well, I actually got that from the United States Supreme Court, Pierce vs Society of Sisters, 1925. You could’ve heard a pin drop. That’s when it dawned on me is while you and I know and most homeschoolers know that our kids don’t belong to the state, they really belong to God, but for legal purposes they belong to us, but we live in a society who no longer believes that. That’s dangerous. It could be people on the church pew sitting with you, relatives, neighbors, your kids play with every day— they do not understand that your kids do not belong to the state and that’s dangerous. We have got to start educating people on these basic premises.
If we don’t fan that flame of freedom, if we don’t teach them simple things like that… I mean you talk about one of the basics of socialism or communism— your kids don’t belong to you. Joe and I just got back from Russia and we saw all the high rises were, under Stalin the people used to have to take their babies to the daycare center. And they would work in the factories and they would get their kids at leave, drop off their kids at six in the morning and get them again at dinner time. Those kids belonged to the state. We have this freedom to direct the upbringing of our kids and we are treating it lightly. We are throwing it away and we’ve got to preserve that.
[Heidi] That’s exactly right. So many parents, because we see what’s happening in the culture, they feel overwhelmed and they feel powerless. It’s that feeling of powerlessness that makes you just want to go— you know what? Forget it. I don’t know anybody in my state legislature. I don’t know anybody on the Supreme Court. I don’t have access to the White House. No one’s going to listen to me. I’m just an ordinary parent. But the truth of the matter is that the progressive left— the hard left in this country has got the biggest voice right now, but there aren’t that many of them.
So we know that when we drop our kid off at the door of a public school, you just gave up your voice as a mother because they’re going to teach your kid whatever they’re going to teach your kid regardless of whether or not you want it to be taught.
[Zan] And you can’t observe the classrooms anymore. And they get mad when you ask about the curriculum. T
[Heidi] That’s exactly right. Parents need to understand that what they need in order to succeed, is for the rest of us to be quiet.
[Zan] Absolutely. And the thing we forget is that freedom can die in one generation. We’ve got this legacy of freedom that I wish we just had hours to talk about. If we don’t pass on that legacy to our children and stand firm on it now, it only takes, as Ronald Reagan said: a generation for freedom to die.
[Heidi] That’s exactly right. And really in the schools, they’re taking away parental rights by the moment, they’re not teaching our kids how precious freedom is. They’re being indoctrinated. They’re revising history in United States. I don’t know if I was talking to to you about this, but one of my favorite places to visit is Williamsburg. It’s dying.
[Zan] This is like one of my third defining moments on this journey of mourning our freedom. Joe and I we’re speaking at a leadership forum at HEAV for Virginia. Joe went to buy our passes to historic Williamsburg while I was speaking, because it’s our favorite place. When Joe got to the visitor center— you know how it’s usually hot and packed—he said there was nobody in there. It was just crickets. He asked the docent like— yes, in a few weeks this place will be jam packed? And she said— not so much. Our attendance is down over 30% since the public schools quit teaching American History and Government.
We are not teaching. We are actively and aggressively not teaching the principles of freedom in American public schools.
[Heidi] And we’re teaching our kids that the founding fathers were racists and bigots and it’s terrible. And so of course they’re not interested in going. We took our kids for the first time, it’s probably been 10 years ago now, to Williamsburg and I almost cried when I first saw it. Jay and I walked around, Jamestown, Yorktown, Williamsburg and talking to our kids about the fact that these guys are actually bringing history to life. Our kids loved it because they’ve studied the history of the United States and they know how precious it is and they know how unique it is. What we have in the United States is unique to any other place in the world in the freedom that we have and yet we’re losing it.
You and I were talking a few minutes ago about four defining moments that you have experienced in terms of a freedom and how precious it is. Walk us through those in the next few minutes because there’s a couple other things I want get onto you, but I really want listeners to hear what those are.
[Zan] Okay. The first was when I was threatened with jail because you can’t appreciate your rights fully until you’re threatened with losing them.
[Heidi] The vaccine, people are figuring that out right now.
[Zan] That’s right. The second one was because my freedom was threatened so violently, it threw me into this quest of studying the founding fathers and I came on, I came upon a quote from Harvard that really just changed my life and so I’d just like to read it for you. It’s from their Harvard’s rules and precepts when they were founded in 1636: Let every Student be plainly instructed, and earnestly pressed to consider well, the maine end of his life and studies is, to know God and Jesus Christ which is eternal life (John 17:3) and therefore to lay Christ in the bottome, as the only foundation of all sound knowledge and Learning. (source: http://www.hcs.harvard.edu/~gsascf/shield-and-veritas-history/)
This put me on this quest to really study Christian, biblically based education, which is what our founding fathers taught their kids. We know every founding father was not a Christian, but they understood biblical language. They understood biblical thought, and that was the basis of our whole system of accountability and checks and balances and all that.
[Heidi] And poor Harvad. It’s a shadow of what they used to be.
[Zan] Yea. So this is a great philosophy of education for anybody who needs it today.
Number three was the situation with who your kids belong to. Number four was Williamsburg and realizing that this is a wholesale, death of freedom in our country. And the fifth was during the legislative process. We had many, many lawsuits filed in South Carolina. One attorney told me at one point that more loss suits were filed it in South Carolina than the other 49th nine states combined. So we were working with the chairman of the House Education and Public Works Committee to try to solve that problem and introduce a simple amendment to the homeschooling legislation— to just get rid of it. So he said— Zan, call Mike Ferris Down, get your legislative committee, let’s meet.
So we meet together and we had this great meeting how we could do it, which meant another legislative grassroots six months,
[Heidi] And you’re still raising kids at this point.
[Zan] I’m still raising kids and homeschooling all three of them. So we walk out of his door and Mike Farris, who is my good friend and I admire him with all my heart and soul, looked at me and he said— Zan, that was a great meeting. And I burst into tears. I just couldn’t. I said— Mike, I know it was a great meeting. He said— well, what’s wrong? And I said—I don’t have the shoulders to carry this anymore. I am tired. It is too big a burden for me. And Mike looked at me and he said— Zan, sounds to me like you need a new set of shoulders. And he ran off to catch his plane.
I went and got in the car. You can understand this in Oregon, it was pouring down rain, 33 degrees. It was bleak. It matched my mood. I got in the car and turned it on at failed to turn off the radio, it was Christmas… and over my speakers blared someone reading this verse “and the Government shall be upon his shoulders”. It still makes me weep because the Lord said to me then— yes, your shoulders have never been big enough. The shoulders of the Lord Jesus were for this purpose, to bear the government of the world. He wins. He always wins. It doesn’t mean we won’t fight and we won’t suffer. Will share in his sufferings, but at the end of the day, He wins and we need to be part of that freedom fighting movement. I mean freedom was His idea. It was no man’s idea, it was HIS idea.
[Heidi] I had Dr Pest on the show a couple of months ago and he’s saying what you’re saying in a lot of ways, his experience is really in the universities right now. And he is saying the same thing. He said, freedom dies in a generation.
We have become so complacent and so used to our freedom that we are allowing people, public platforms, to get up and basically take it away from us.
[Zan] Because we think it’s going to always be there and it will not.
[Heidi] He was saying parents cannot afford it. One of the reasons I love your story so much is because one of the biggest arguments I get against parents who don’t….. this is why, I mean this is how we’ve allowed abortion to get to the point where it is. It’s infantacide. We’re openly discussing infanticide in the culture right now. Where are God’s people? Where are we? You know—well, we’re at home doing our laundry, we’re doing our thing.
I’m telling parents to get off the bench, get onto the battlefield. We are losing our freedoms one small court decision at a time, one socialist that gets elected to government, one person who does not believe in the constitution or wants to follow Sharia law and we elect them in Michigan for goodness sake. How is this even happening? And yet, we feel overwhelmed. What you’re saying is you don’t need to feel overwhelmed. You got the Lord of Heaven’s armies, He’s going to help you do it. If you, if in your spirit you’re going, this is wrong, then God will give you something to do about it. Show up. You can show up to school board meetings, you can run for your local school board.
[Zan] Meet your representative, meet your senator. It sounds so intimidating. It’s not.
[Heidi] They’re just people
[Zan] They want to know their constituents. Most of them do. If they don’t want to know you, they need to know.
[Heidi] Yeah. Yeah. And if they don’t want to know you, then that’s a good reason to vote them out.
[Zan] That’s exactly right.
[Heidi] You have said you obviously been in the homeschool movement for a long time. I haven’t been in it nearly as long as you, only 22 years. I loved what you said, that homeschooling is a revival movement.
[Zan] It really is.
[Heidi] You say it’s revival on four-fronts. What are those four-front forefronts?
[Zan] I would say it’s a spiritual revival movement.
[Heidi] Now, why do you say that?
[Zan] I believe that this is an opportunity. When we see where education started with the founding fathers and we trace the regression of education where it’s totally secularly humanistic…
[Heidi] Which is a religion. People say our nation is a secular nation. I’m like—secularity is a religion. Secularism is not benign. It’s not neutral.
[Zan] That’s right. And so I believe that homeschooling gives us the opportunity to have this Harvard, bible-based education in the 21st century. So we can still give our kids a fabulous education with this same biblical worldview and foundation.
[Heidi] So important. And the next one you said is education. It’s a revival of education.
[Zan] It is. And all we have to do is look at a few statistics. One is we’ve moved the bell curve over a quarter mile.
[Heidi] You know, that’s what Dr Pesto was saying—college graduates now are doing what high school graduates were doing in 1977.
[Zan] Well, if you look at standardized test scores by definition, public school’s score at the 50th percentile. You look at homeschool test scores, we’re at the 76 and above. People should be standing on the rooftop saying— how did you move the bell curve over a quarter mile? I mean that is cutting edge stuff and college and universities are going after our kids hot and heavy. And then the third one is family renewal.
[Heidi] So important we need it.
[Zan] Yes, I was, we’re running out of time. Elisbeth Smith had asked me to work on a project about homeschooling and revival with her. So I asked a man who is the vice president, he spoke at our Church of evangelism explosion, and had studied revivals and awakenings all over the world—If he thought homeschooling was a revival movement? He said— yes. Do you know what the Puritan verse for revival is? I said, no. Malachi 4:6 And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the land with a curse. He said that was the puritan verse for revival and I see it happening in homeschooling.
[Heidi] When we say family renewal, and women don’t like to hear this— but women, we need to be home with our kids. When did it become this— women we’re going to have it all. You can’t have it all. And in, in our effort to have it all, we’re losing the things that really matter. And I talked to moms all the time. I mean Zan, I’m sure you’ve had this experience too. It’s heartbreaking. We were giving our best years to our careers. Then we go back and we want to start a family and we can’t, or we’ve given our best years of your career while we were trying to raise our children and our children are floundering. It is not sexist. It is not a misogynist who says women should be home with their children. It is the Lord of Heaven’s armies who has created the family the way that it functions the best. I am always telling Moms, listen, you have a very short window of time in which to influence your children. Spend time with your children. Don’t waste it. And for goodness sake, if you can help it, don’t give it to the workforce.
[Zan]Yes. The fourth thing is a freedom revival movement because we are some of the last people teaching the foundations and the principles of liberty, American Government, and American History.
[Heidi] Well you have encouraged me, I’m already off the bench, but now I think I’m going to see how much closer to the front eye in front of my can go. You have just encouraged me so much.
For more information, people can find you at zantyler.com, and you are available for speaking. I know that you and I were friends because of the speaking circuits. We were friends for a long time. And you won’t toot your own horn. So I will. Zan is a wonderful speaker and you have a passion that I think is rarely seen for liberty in this country that’s coupled with homeschooling—and makes you a fantastic speaker. So, they can find out how to book you and get you to their event at santyler.com. Is that right?
[Zan] That’s right.
[Heidi] Zan. You’re a lovely human being. I like Joe too. You can tell him I said hello.
[Heidi] Your husband’s okay too. Thanks for coming. I’ve enjoyed it.
[Zan] It’s been my pleasure. Thanks so much.
[Heidi] For more information on ZanTyler, you can go to the show notes Please do not forget to leave a review for the podcast. We love to read them and are and so encouraged by what you guys are doing and sharing this podcast with your friends and family. Thanks for listening to everybody and I appreciate you so much.
Write to Heidi:
Heidi St. John
c/o Firmly Planted Family
11100 NE 34th Cir, Vancouver, WA 98682
Support this ministry by donating through E-giving. You can also send donations to: 1100 NE34th Cir, Vancouver, WA 98682