Hooligan Zoo

Two Zookeepers… many Hooligans… It's always feeding time at this zoo!

Home again, Home again, Jiggedy Jig

on April 28, 2010

We aren’t really a traveling family.  I like to be at home, even amidst laundry mountain, and we’re generally too cheap to travel far from home.  Also?  I don’t sleep well in beds that are not my own.  It’s a quirk of mine… ((I like to think it’s endearing…))

So, for us to do a trip, moderate for most families, where we were away for four days was a pretty big deal.

We, Ja and I, pawned the children off on my lovely sisters, and went to OCHEC.  I can’t even say how uplifted I was, how challenged I was, how amazing it was.  To be in a building with 1000 other like minded people, to be able to talk to perfect strangers about the joys and challenges of attempting to educate your children at home…  it was just… it was awe inspiring.  I’m not sure that I have the words to say how great it was.

Sadly, I don’t have a lot of pictures to regale you with… suffice it to say, hooligan number three did not make it all the way to Kitchener…

She didn't make it

Also? I am alllllllll turned around on the TVs in the car thing. Whew, it sure was a quiet trip up!! And, for 12 total hours of driving over the weekend?? The only mistake I made was not packing enough movies!

OCHEC was in Hamilton, and there were several of our friends from here in Peterborough that we met up with.  We stayed with two of my sisters in Kitchener, and drove to Hamilton each day.

We hit the seminars, trying to split up so that we could do as much as possible with as little overlap as possible.  The highlight seminar for me??  Oh my, it was without a doubt John Stonestreet from Summit Ministries.  I could not possibly write fast enough to keep up with all that he was saying.

His subtitle to the talk was For What are We Responsible as Christians?  Oddly enough something that a few of us have been discussing in our own groups of late.

Mr. Stonestreet talked about culture, about the effects of culture on Christians, and the effects of Christians on culture.  He talked about how the point of our faith should be that it becomes the lens through which we see the world more clearly.  He talked about knowing the gospel first, then knowing the culture and translating it in terms of gospel.  He talked about preparing our children to know the gospel so that they can influence culture.

He made this “radical” statement,

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Any educational endeavor that

seeks to hide kids from the world

is not a Christian one.

Wow.  The conundrum with sheltering versus having our children be a light to the world has been one where I have struggled, where Ja and I have both struggled very much of late.  I don’t think anyone can argue that culture in North America is where you want your children to be immersed whole heartedly… but, Mr. Stonestreet said they have to KNOW about culture and cultural norms in order to be able to be a part of it, and yet still be grounded in the truth.

Mr. Stonestreet grounded us in reality.  He took us out of our little happy Christian utopia, and plunked us right down into Nazi Germany, quoting Hans Scholl, a young man fighting against the war.

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Isn’t Seclusion a form of treachery? Of

desertion? I’m weak and puny, but I

want to do what is right.

What we need, according to John Stonestreet, is a generation of Christian students who know the world better than the culture does.  Who know evolution better than the evolutionists.  Who are biblically grounded, but culturally literate.  Our children need to internalize culture without being deceived.

And those few notes?  Those are just a very very brief nutshell of the multitudes of examples he gave, biblical verses, cultural snapshots, you name it.  My head was spinning and I was so EXCITED after that ONE seminar!

Another great speaker was from the National Center for Biblical Parenting.  He was oh my gosh, so freaking funny!  Had us in stitches, AND gave us some great tips for dealing with any typical parenting issues.  In our family, we have already discussed with the hooligans how we are going to do “breaks” instead of time outs.  How our family rules are very simple,


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Obey, Be Respectful, Be Nice

Really simple things, but with the whole purpose of changing the parents default setting of anger… The idea is to help the child to learn to take responsibility for their own actions.  Allowing them to figure out what’s wrong.  Is it going to take time on the part of the parent?  Absolutely, but really, isn’t that why we’re all doing this in the first place?

I like to say that we’re not raising children, we’re raising adults.  Our whole entire purpose as parents is to raise these little people into big people, and send them out prepared into the world.

And those are just TWO of the multitude of seminars we sat in on!  There were definitely surprises, like the seminar on Family Worship… I thought that that was going to be a formula, of sorts, you know, “at this time, call everyone together, do this, then pray this prayer…”  Instead it was about every moment being a worshipful moment.  About going for a walk and talking about how the Lord made the flowers.  About how awesome and awe inspiring God is.  It was about making the Lord the centre, and having all things revolve around the knowledge of his sovereignty.  Definitely another challenging message.

Those were just the messages!  Then there was the vendor room!  It was so great to be able to see, to be able to pick up and flip through all of the curricula I’ve heard about and read bits and pieces.  ((I’ll do another post soonish about what we bought, why we bought it, the list I took with me, and how this year is shaping up…))

It was a really great trip.  I feel absolutely renewed, full of anticipation, ready to jump in, and most of all?  I am rejoicing in where the Lord has brought us.  I am rejoicing in the new thoughts He opened up in our minds.  In the reinforcing of thoughts and thought processes that were already established.

Ja and I walked away from that conference knowing and feeling secure that we were making the right choice for our own hooligans with homeschooling.  We walked away feeling more united as a couple, feeling more unified as parents and as teachers.

The only thing lacking?  A seminar on how to conquer laundry mountain.

Ah well.  Maybe next year.

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2 responses to “Home again, Home again, Jiggedy Jig

  1. Gwen Carter says:

    You are a gifted writer. I am always uplifted when I read your stuff. Don’t ever think it is insignificant!!!

  2. Katie says:

    I have to agree that sheltering your children from life in the “real world” as they say can be harmful.

    I was highly sheltered as a child and young teen. When I went to work at age 16, I was subjected to things I never heard or saw before and ultimately, I went astray (my own evil desires to blame). Had my parents incorporated a bit more information on what things were like outside our home…I probably wouldn’t have been quite so culture shocked.

    I agree with Gwen too – you have a wonderful skill in writing!

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