Sunday, July 15, 2012

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Hey! Y'all Come!!

FREE Workshops and FREE Exhibit Hall

1) FREE Getting Started Workshops 2:30pm to 5:30pm
2:30pm  How to Homeschool in Oklahoma
3:30pm  Education: Thinking Outside the Box
4:30pm  How to Choose Curriculum that Fits Your Child

2) FREE Exhibit Hall
6:00pm to 9:00pm
Over 80 Exhibitors
See below for a complete list!



All American Martial Arts, LLC
American Elite Mixed Martial Arts
American Heritage Girls
Apex Driving School
BJU Press/HomeWorks by Precept
Boy Scout Troop 11 & Cub Scout Pack 1
Central Oklahoma Homeschool Choirs
Character Tales
Cheer 4 Christ
Child Evangelism Fellowship of Greater Oklahoma City Area
Christian Fellowship Martial Arts
Christian Improv
Classical Conversations
Classy Linens Fundraisers
Connie Rish Fine Art - Fundraiser
Cornerstone Curriculum
Discovery Toys - Rose Brunette
Dove Dance School
Edmond Composite Squadron, Civil Air Patrol
Edmond Speech and Debate Club
Eiyo Seishin Dojo-Edmond School of Aikido
Evolution Martial Arts OKC
Francis Tuttle Technology Center
Gaylord-Pickens Oklahoma Heritage Museum
Girl Scouts Western Oklahoma Homeschool Troop 418
Good Things Company
Gospel for Asia
Grace & Truth Books
Harn Homestead Museum
Homeschool Camerata String Orchestra
Homeschool Winter Summit
HOPE Homeschool Support Group
Institute for Excellence in Writing
Janet's School of Music
Liao Robotics Club
Lifelong Learners
LIGHT Homeschool Group
Lindsay Sayre Piano Studio
Lodestar Ministries/EFL
Lopez Vocal & Piano Studio
Mardel Christian & Education
Martin Park Nature Center
Master's Commission, OKC
Metro Gymnastics
MetroFamily Magazine
New Life Trails Ministry
Nutrition 101
OKC Knights
OKC Lady Broncos
OKC Legion Football
Oklahoma Christian University
Oklahoma Christian University Homeschool Co-op
Oklahoma City Boathouse Foundation/RIVERSPORT
Oklahoma City Storm Athletics
Oklahoma Home School Bands
Oklahoma Homeschool Science Fair
Oklahoma Patriots Homeschool Football
Pamela Owens,ND, CNC, CNHP Naturopath, Clinical Nutrition
PEACE Co-op (Purposeful Enrichment Activities for Christian Education)
Physical Education for Children Schooled at Home
Real Ark Ministries
Rodan & Fields Dermatologist
Sew Biz
Sonrise Wholegrains
Sooner Bowling Center
The First Tee of OKC
The Hugs Project
The Master's Brush  L.L.C.
TRISMS Curriculum
Understanding the Times Worldview Class
Uptown Grocery Co
Usborne Books and More
Veritas Debate Club
Vogelstein Academy
Worldview Academy
Worldview Christian Academy.__,_._,___

Ask A Veteran: The Answer Edition

I invited our Facebook folks to pose their questions and promised to answer today. Here goes:

Dear Homeschool Veteran,

How do I save my last nerve? And my final marble?

Valerie, mom of 7

Well Valerie, your last nerve can be preserved if you carefully encase it in bubble wrap, cover it in duct tape, and hide it behind the crisper drawer in the fridge. You know, where you keep the emergency chocolate. Let that final marble loose in the dryer. You know that's where it's going to end up anyway. Thanks for writing!

Seriously though, what mom hasn't felt like Valerie? One kid or a dozen, home schooling or not, being a mom ain't fer sissies! So how do we preserve that precious last nerve? How can we safeguard what must surely be the very last marble? How do we say sane, to say nothing of joyful on this journey? Here are my suggestions, forged over 20+ years of mothering (what? I was a child bride).

Memorize a verse or passage of Scripture or an insightful quote to return to as often as needed to keep your vision and purpose clear.

One of my favorite non-Bible quotes is this one from Elisabeth Elliot:
“This job has been given to me to do. Therefore, it is a gift. Therefore, it is a privilege. Therefore, it is an offering I may make to God. Therefore, it is to be done gladly, if it is done for Him. Here, not somewhere else, I may learn God’s way. In this job, not in some other, God looks for faithfulness.” 
This brings my vision into sharp focus when the eye twitch threatens to make me blind from exhaustion or exasperation. I can choose to be faithful in the seeming small things of home keeping and home schooling, and I can decide to form my words, actions, attitudes, thoughts and motives around the unchanging truth of God's Word rather than my ever-changing feelings of the moment.

Do the work of finding a way to get into the Word every day.

You can't pour anything out of an empty cup. You DO have time to study God's Word. Keep one of these by the stove and read it while you're waiting for the water to boil for the thousandth batch of mac and cheese. It's all Scripture, arranged topically and portioned into morning and evening readings. And it takes a whopping 3 minutes at most. Read it more than once a day. Read it out loud over lunch (it's the only time they're all quiet ).

Consider making 20 minutes of your homeschool day "Bible Time". In our house, we use this for our daily Scripture reading. Since I'm not doing the reading, I can be training little ones to sit still or play quietly. We listen to 4 chapters each day, which is about 20 minutes most days. The older kids can read along in inexpensive, large print (for younger readers) Bibles. We start in Genesis and go straight through, and then we start again.

Lastly, for personal Bible study, may I suggest the very simple practice of reading one book of the Bible, in its entirety, every day for a month? I figured out a long time ago that I would learn more, sin less and be more firmly convicted of Truth if I just read the Bible, over and over, until its words were folded into the deepest places in my heart and were branded into the very center of my mind. I came to view tepid, hand-holdy Bible study books, with their fill-in-the-blank spoon feeding, with the same aversion I had for the notion of eating food someone else had chewed first. Give me the fresh meat of God's Word, and give me lots of it. For more on this approach to studying the bible, read this.

Ground yourself

Make time for that one thing that will "reset" you. Take a bath. Take a walk. Pull your husband or wife to you for a toe-curling, soul-healing, loin-stirring kiss (a personal favorite). Now. Doesn't everything look a bit better?

Do you have a question for the Homeschool Veteran? Send it to wilson(at)ochec(dot)com.

Yours in Christ,

Dana Wilson

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Ask a Veteran

This is an open invitation for anyone who has questions related to home education. So, tell me, what is YOUR burning question? Do you wonder how to withdraw your children from public school? Are you curious about Oklahoma laws pertaining to home education? Would you like a few book recommendations on homeschool philosophies? Ask anything you like!

Remember, if there aren't any questions from you, our reading audience, then I'll have to solicit them from the 3 kids, age 3 and under who live in my house. What their questions lack in substance, they more than make up for in quantity. So, unless you're just itching to know whose turn it is to hold the bubble gun, you'll want to come up with a homeschooling question or 10.

Send your questions to wilson(at)ochec(dot)com and I'll be back tomorrow with some answers, Lord willing.

~Dana Wilson
OCHEC Trustee

Friday, April 27, 2012

Support Your State Organization

by Mbuyi and Mong-Tham Khuzadi
I wanted to take a moment to talk with you about some activities in the homeschooling world that may affect your long-term ability to homeschool.

Homeschooling Growing

U.S. Map
As you know, homeschooling is a growing phenomenon throughout the United States. Parents everywhere are turning to the option they have to home educate and disciple their children in safety, love, and with the values they believe in. This is good for us as a community and each of the children individually.
What you may not know is that this right was something that was paid for at a high price for families that homeschooled in America in the 70's, 80's, and 90's. Some families were torn apart, other parents were jailed, and still others were harassed, maligned and vilified. But they persevered and the fruit is the freedom we enjoy in safety today.

State Groups Protect Your Rights

Over those years, in every state I have reviewed, support groups formed whose objective was to protect the right to homeschool. These groups lobby at the state houses, perform on-the-ground support, and provide legal support for challenges within the state. Traditionally, they have been supported by other national groups that also will get involved when they can (such as Home School Legal Defense Association).
Around the country, there are state organizations to support you and your right to teach your children at home. These groups do a whole lot to monitor the political winds, lobby, and work with other organizations to protect your liberty to homeschool. They do this, in part, by providing events that help homeschoolers to learn about the process, provide support in the journey, and connect us with materials and their vendors that we can use to home educate our children. 

What Convention to Support?

Recently, some for-profit groups have begun putting on regional conventions of their own. They have good speakers and may be putting on good conventions. But the bigger picture is that outside groups come in, have a convention, and leave. As a result, many of those who would otherwise attend the local convention may opt instead to go to the outside-coordinated convention. Because of that, the local convention will be significantly impacted and revenue losses can cause them to significantly curtail their operations accordingly.
The issue is this: If these state organizations do not have attendance at the conventions, you may not have the advocate at the state level that you need to when a legal case or legislation that infringes on the right to privately homeschool our children arises. The intervention of local state organizations, HSLDA, and others resolve many of these cases and our right to homeschool was preserved. Without state organizations, there are fewer or no direct advocates for our rights. 
If you are only going to one convention this year let me suggest that you go to the one sponsored by your local state organization. They fought for your right to homeschool in the first place and are still operating and protecting you now. It's more than a convention. It's an advocacy group and a personal advocate. That's what we've done in the past and what we intend to do going forward. Would you please join us in supporting your state advocacy group?
Copyright 2012. Mbuyi and Mong-Tham Khuzadi. Oringinally published in Exploring Homeschooling Newsletter. Used by permission.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Back to the Real World

As we're packing up to depart this lovely, lakeside setting, I find myself very excited to see what lies ahead for homeschooling families in Oklahoma. It has been a great few days of making new friends, sharing struggles and triumphs, and hearing over and over again about what God is doing across North America in this little movement we call Homeschooling.

It makes me grateful for the people that make up my own circle of homeschooling compatriots: the ones that walk the path with me, hold me up when I'm weak, and fill my freezer when I'm completely laid out (thank you Tracy, Tina and Susan); the ones who play with my toddlers so I can teach the older ones (thank you Valerie, Hannah, Aunt Karen). Isn't it kind of God to call us to this mission, and then, through His own precious children, meet the needs we have along the way? Who meets YOUR needs along the way? Stick a note of thanks in the mail today.

So, as we leave this conference, we move forward in God's grace and with His guidance to answer His call to reach, equip, encourage, sustain and defend Oklahoma's current and prospective home educating families. And also, to do a small truckload of laundry.

Abiding in Christ,

Dana Wilson, Trustee

Monday, September 19, 2011

LIVE from Roach, Missouri

9 OCHEC Trustees have traveled to the beautiful Lake of the Ozarks for the National Alliance of Christian Home Education Leadership annual conference. We are here with the leaders of state homeschool organizations from across the country, Mexico and Canada. It's been a great time to connect, refocus and cast vision for our organization and for homeschooling in Oklahoma.

One of the things that has stood out so far is how blessed we are in Oklahoma to have the parental and educational liberties that we have, and now important it is to be proactive in preserving those liberties.

Another area of interest is that our quarterly magazine, The OCHEC Informer, is a standout among state publications. This makes me wonder two things: first, do YOU get the magazine? If not, go to the website and sign up now. It's provided free of charge and it is a great resource for your homeschool. Second, would your business benefit from advertising in the Informer? Advertising information is available here. Ad revenue covers much of the cost of producing the magazine (we would like to see it cover the entire cost), and we are always on the lookout for likeminded businesses to advertise.

And then, there's the inspiration for this post to our dusty old blog...electronic communication with local homeschoolers is being encouraged over and over again. I hope to begin posting here more regularly. Time will tell, my friends. :-)

Abiding in Christ,

Dana Wilson