I really do not attend a lot of conferences through the year, but it just so happens that this past week I attended two back to back. First, last Friday-Saturday (June 9-10) I was at the Home Educators Association of Virginia (HEAV) meeting in Richmond and then the SBC meeting Sunday-Wednesday (June 11-14) in Greensboro, NC.
First, some HEAV reflections (I’ll do a separate SBC posting). Llewellyn and I went to this one together. Her Mom and Dad came up and kept the kids, so in addition to this being a conference it was also a good occasion for us to spend time together.
This was our second year at HEAV. It provides numerous seminars on homeschooling and a large exhibition area with curriculum providers, book-sellers, and conservative Christian ministries. Mostly, it is just encouraging to be with others who are doing homeschooling.
It is very interesting to see the people who are there. They are a counter-cultural group. There are people who are choosing to live separately from modern culture by varying degrees, from the conservative Mennonites and Brethren to more mainstream evangelicals. All are passionate about homeschooling. There is also a great love evident for good literature, for history that takes into account America’s Christian roots, and a passion for godly families.
The keynote session on Friday (June 9) morning was by Richard "Little Bear" Wheeler of Mantle Ministries on "George Washington: First in His Class." He retold some stories of George Washington’s providential escapes from death in battle during the French-Indian War. His point: homeschool education allows parents to teach children a providential view of history.
I next went to the session by Jeff Myers titled, "What Happened When We Kissed Dating Goodbye" in which he told how he courted and married his wife, foregoing the modern dating ritual.
I also attended the session titled "Making Brothers and Sisters Best Friends" by the Mally family of Marion, Iowa.
At the exhibit hall, I got to meet and talk with PCA minister Eric Wallace. He signed my copy of his book Uniting Church and Home, which I am now reading.
Saturday (June 10) the keynote was Jeff Myers again on "Generations of Influence: How to Start a Legacy of Four Generations." I also attended a session presented by Memoria Press (the publisher of the Latin curriculum we use with our kids).
In the afternoon Llewellyn went to a session on teaching writing with Susan Wise Bauer. We are using her "History of the World" material with our children.
We went together to hear Rick Boyer’s session "Some things we’ve learned: lessons from 22 years of homeschooling." Boyer’s presentation was the most engaging. He and his wife live in Lynchburg and have 14 children, from ages 31 to 7. He said he loves to go out with c. 6 of his children and have someone ask, "Are they all yours?" "No," he answers to their temporary relief, "I have eight more at home!" The Boyer family were homeschool pioneers in Virginia. Rick is awfully proud of the fact that his son, Rick, Jr, is now a member of the Board of Supervisors in Campbell County, the same local government that took him to court for truancy in the early 1980s!
The final session I went to was Richard Wheeler’s "Martin Luther had a Wife: Making the Decision of No Return" on guiding your children into good marriages.
We got home late on Saturday and I was up Sunday to teach Kairos class and preach a doctrinal message on 2 Corinthians 13:14 ("Why does the doctrine of the Trinity matter?"), bringing to a close the 2 Corinthians series we began in September 2005. After church we had a farewell lunch for the Browns and then we were off to the SBC. More later.
Dear Brother Jeff,
What is your opinion of the education resolution passed at the SBC? What are you saying to your church about education?
Love in Christ,
Yes, the 2006 SBC resolution 10 "on engaging the direction of the public school system" was hardly the call for an "exit strategy" that some have hoped for. In my church we have families who do public, private, and homeschool. In fact, now that I think about it, we have one family with three children with one child in each (public, private, home). I see education choice as a liberty of conscience issue for Christians, though my people often hear me sharing favorably about homeschooling.
I look forward to talking at some point with my friend T.C. Pinkney here in VA to see how he feels about this latest end-run by the resolutions committee.
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