• 2015 Leaders Conference

    Sunday July 26 2015

    Next Year’s Dates: July 2016.

    You probably know all about OCHEC Capitol Day and the OCHEC Homeschool Convention, but let us explain about the OCHEC Leadership Conference.

    The OCHEC Mission Statement is:

    To promote home education in the state of Oklahoma through events, communications and resources; to protect the God-given right of parents to direct the education of their children to the glory of God.

    Some of the ways that we are working to achieve these goals are through the Homeschool Convention and Capitol Day. But because we can’t reach every individual homeschool family in Oklahoma, our primary contacts are the support groups. One way that OCHEC can help the support groups is by keeping their leaders informed of legislative news to pass on to their members. The OCHEC Leadership Conference is an event designed to build relationships with the support groups and to provide training and encouragement to the support group leaders.

    Encouraging. Refreshing. Inspiring. Helpful. These are words that came up again and again in the follow-up survey for the OCHEC Leadership Conference held in Newcastle, OK on July 24-25, 2015. Approximately sixty leaders from around the state met for a time of fellowship, teaching, and fun. Yes, it was an effort and expense to attend, but these leaders left with a renewed conviction and understanding of why they personally homeschool and why they serve as support group leaders. They came away with door prizes and practical spiritual information that could be implemented in their personal lives as well as in their roles as leaders. They met new friends and interacted with the OCHEC trustees. They shared their successes and challenges. And they had an opportunity to enjoy being served instead of always having to be the ones who serve.

    The highlight of the conference was the guest speaker, Norm Wakefield. Norm humbly offered the group what God has been showing him in scripture about what it means for God to be with us. Our confidence is not in ourselves (in our experience, wonderful abilities, or knowledge) but it is in God, who will teach us and show us all the things we need to know in our roles as parents and leaders. He reminded us that the Apostle Paul had some who opposed his leadership, and, using Paul’s example, Norm showed us how to deal with difficulties in a humble and biblical manner. Finally, Norm reminded us of the importance of having God’s vision for our own lives and for our groups. (If you are interested in hearing some of Norm’s teaching for yourself, check out spiritofelijah.com)

    It takes a lot of people to make an event like this happen, and we would like to especially thank the FICHE Support Group and their leader, Michelle Dugas, for blessing us with beautiful decorations (including live goldfish on the tables), serving and securing the delicious food, and cleaning up afterwards. We appreciate the use of the Woodland Hills Baptist Church and their desire to be available to the needs of the body of Christ. And as always, thank you to the OCHEC Trustees for this and all they do to promote homeschooling in Oklahoma.

  • A Hymn for the Lord's Day

    Sunday July 15 2012

  • Ask A Veteran: The Answer Edition

    Saturday July 14 2012

    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
  • Hey! Y'all Come!!

    Saturday July 14 2012

     
     
     
    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!
     
    REGISTER FOR FREE AT www.OCHEC.com
     
    EXHIBITORS
     
    A.R.T.S.
    All American Martial Arts, LLC
    American Elite Mixed Martial Arts
    American Heritage Girls
    Apex Driving School LLC.com
    Ayusa
    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
    HealthTeacher
    HFTEACHERS
    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
    TeenPact
    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

    Thursday July 12 2012

    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
  • Back to the Real World

    Wednesday September 21 2011

    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
  • Good Morning, Class!

    Wednesday August 19 2009

    Today's word is haitus. As in: The OCHEC blog has been on haitus. Again. :-)

    Please don't mistake the lack of activity here for a lack of activity in OCHEC. It's been a busy summer, and we're looking forward to the activities of the next school year. Three Trustee couples traveled to Denver, CO, in June to attend the Christian Home Educators of Colorado Family Conference. We heard some wonderful speakers, met some exciting exhibitors and received much encouragement from our co-laborers in the CHEC organization. It really got our wheels turning, so to speak, and gave us some new perspectives for the OCHEC Convention.

    One of the Trustees traveled to Germany in July and had the opportunity to meet with an attorney there who defends homeschooling families. The stories she came home with made me grateful to be in Oklahoma, U.S.A, while my heart broke for the parents who are passionate about training their children at home. Look for an article on the subject in an upcoming issue of The OCHEC Informer. Get out your prayer list and your tissues.

    As we all are getting back into the swing of schooling and sports and lessons and drama and choir and and and...please allow me to encourage you to keep the "home" in "homeschooling". Make sure that the things you and your children do away from home are worth the time, money and energy and that they are bearing much fruit as you disciple those whom God has entrusted to your care. Sometimes we have to let go of the "good" in order to take hold of the "best".

    And now, go serve your King.
  • Happy Spring Time!

    Wednesday March 25 2009

    I hope you're all enjoying this fine spring weather, because the girl at the Braum's drive through told me it's supposed to snow by Friday. I'm not sure why I trust her, but I'm inclined to believe her prediction, and not just because she's my source for caramel sundaes. Okay, mostly because of the sundaes. But this IS Oklahoma, so snow by Friday is ALWAYS possible.

    I hope you've checked out the new and improved OCHEC website. If not, why not click on over now? I'll wait here. While you're there, why not just go ahead and register to attend the convention? Come on, you know you want to!

    In an obvious ploy to get a comment or two, I'd like to know what you're most looking forward to at the Convention. Is there a booth you're needing to visit? A speaker you're anxious to hear? A cinnamon-flavored, glaze-covered pastry you're hoping to consume? On the flip side, if you're NOT coming to the convention, why not?

    Dana Wilson, Trustee
  • Convention Q & A

    Sunday March 22 2009

    This is an Encore Presentation of a post that originally appeared on March 15, 2008.

    It's time for the Convention again, and I thought this would be a good time to do two things:

    1) Write another blog post, now that I've had 5 months to rest up from the last one. :-)

    2) Answer some of the most frequently asked questions regarding the annual Convention.

    And now, I'll reach into the hopper and pull out a question from last year's comment forms.

    Q: Why are the aisles in the Exhibit Hall so narrow?

    A: The Exhibit Hall layout takes many things into consideration. Primarily, we are bound by the Fire Marshall regulations, so the layout has to first be approved by the Fire Marshall. Next, in order to offer premium value to our exhibitors and optimum shopping space for our attendees, the booth spaces are made as deep as possible, while keeping the walkways open enough for people to pass comfortably. While wider aisles would be nice, it seems that our purposes are better served with the wide variety and maximum space for our outstanding exhibitors to display their wares.

    Q: It was too hot! Can we turn up the air?
    and, alternately:
    Q: It was so cold! Can we turn up the heat?

    A: Our Convention Director is in constant contact with the Cox Business Center's facilities management throughout the event, and every effort is made to keep the environment comfortable for everyone. When the outside temperatures are significantly warmer or cooler than expected, it affects our inside temperatures. While adjustments are made, keeping the entire area at a strict 70º is simply not possible. Personally, I make sure to wear short sleeves and bring a sweater, that way I can be comfortable no matter the temperature. If, for some reason, I end up being overly warm or uncomfortably cool, I choose to be grateful for being indoors, and having access to so many outstanding resources.

    Now, go to HERE and get your family registered for the Convention!
  • A Question for You

    Friday July 11 2008

    My friend Jeana is a frugal, homeschooling mom. She has been thinking along the lines of fiscal responsibility. She commented that, as income has shrunk somewhat and as expenses have increased, their family has had to make some very necessary adjustments in spending. (Can I get an AMEN?) She then brought up an idea which is such sheer brilliance that I had to share it with you and get your thoughts on it. She asks: "What is the next thing I would give up or do differently if I had to lower costs?" And then she tries to do that next thing now to put their family one step ahead of the next big squeeze.

    In these days of high gas and grocery prices, what has your family done to lower expenses or increase income? C'mon! Inspire us all!

    Oh, and if you enjoy well-written blogs, go see Jeana.
  • How Do You Do It?

    Monday April 21 2008

    Tonight the kids and I tackled this pit of despair that we call our home. We gave it 2.5 hours and it is considerably better, but by no means completely clean. I've come to the conclusion that I can either homeschool or keep the house clean, but I don't seem to be able to do both on a consistent basis. I'm wondering how YOU manage housekeeping and homeschooling.

    Now, we do manage to basics of keeping the rooms picked up and the dishes done. Each child has daily household duties in addition to school work and music practice. We hardly ever get behind on laundry and usually manage to get three squares on the table. But getting to the real cleaning on anything like a regular basis just seems to elude us. Tonight I scrubbed the shower, tub, sinks and floors in the master bathroom. That master bath is now the cleanest room in the house. If you drop by tomorrow for a glass of tea, I can assure you that we'll be drinking it in the master bathroom. The rest of the house still needs a lot of TLC.
  • Are You a Revolutionary Parent?

    Saturday April 05 2008

    Research Shows Parenting Approach Determines Whether Children Become Devoted Christians.

    That is the headline of an Update from the Barna Research Group, dated April, 2007. Click on the title above to read the article. I'm not much of a fad-watcher or even a self-help-book reader, for that matter. I've found that the answers to my questions can be reliably found in Scripture. This one got my attention though. It really got me to thinking about how, particularly, we parent our children and, specifically, toward what end.

    I have said before that if I send my children into the world able to factor quadratic equations but wearing paper armor, that I will have failed. They will not only be defenseless, but useless. The challenge for us, my homeschooling friends, is to direct our efforts purposefully and specifically, with the end in sight. Trust in God's timing, His provision, and His ability to speak to the hearts of our children. Then look critically at the different aspects of our parenting, and hold them up to the light of Scripture and determine to implement whatever changes are necessary to encourage our children to step out into adulthood as growing, devoted followers of Christ.

    A prayer I often pray for our children comes from Ephesians 3:14-19

    For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
    That, and, "Lord, please keep me out of Your way." I pray that one a lot.
  • Calling All Graduates!

    Wednesday April 02 2008

     

    At the convention on Saturday morning, OCHEC would like to recognize and honor homeschool graduates. ALL homeschool graduates. We would like to have a current photo and a brief description of what each graduate is currently doing (occupation, marital status, children), and we'd like to go as far back as possible.

    Would you help us get the word out?

    If you are, or have, or know a homeschool grad, and if they'd be willing to come to the convention on Saturday, May 3, please have them contact Dana Wilson at: WilsonDana@aol.com
  • Help Us Get the Word Out!

    Tuesday March 25 2008

    I know that for those of us on the Convention Committee, it's hard to imagine that there's anyone in the state who doesn't know about it. The fact of the matter is, all of us know someone (maybe many people) who are considering home education and don't have a clue that there's a two-day convention with vendors and workshops and seasoned home educators to answer their questions. I KNOW! Amazing, isn't it?

    Many young parents at least thinkabout homeschooling as they begin visualizing putting their precious babies on that big, yellow bus and being separated from them for the majority of the child's waking hours. Folks who move to Oklahoma from a state that is less friendly to homeschooling might consider training their children at home in a climate as hospitable as our wonderful state. What about the child in your church who has been struggling socially or academically at school this year? Might that child's parents be grateful to know that there is an alternative to government schooling?

    Won't you begin to pray about people you know who might be interested in attending the convention? Ask the Lord for an opportunity to share your family's homeschooling story and let Him use you to encourage some mom or dad to consider training their children at home. We all know that homeschooling is not something to jump into willy nilly, but it is a decision which should be made prayerfully, counting the cost and weighing the benefits of all educational options. Most people find the courage to homeschool because they know someone who's already doing it.

    See if there's someone in your daily path who doesn't yet know about the homeschool convention, and invite them to come and check it out for themselves.

    Question of the Day: What did you think of YOUR first convention experience?
  • And now, the RAVES!

    Thursday March 20 2008

    One of the nicest things about the Convention Evaluation Forms is all of the wonderful things that you all say every year. The Convention Committee works year 'round on all of the little things that have to happen in order for the convention to take place. We don't do it for the money (HA!) or the fame and glory (HA! and HA!). We do it because we believe strongly in the purpose of the convention and we all remember being new to homeschooling and how important the convention was in giving us the "shot in the arm" we needed to keep going.

    Well, our "shot in the arm" comes in the form of the wonderful, encouraging words so many of you write on your evaluation forms. Here are a few from Convention 2007:

    Excellent Vendors! We need more!

    The temperature was JUST right.

    The volunteers are so nice and helpful.

    I love the variety.

    Great job on sound.

    Roomy booths and aisles!

    So clean and well organized.

    Easy to get around.

    Large and spacious, great layout.


    And, by far, we got the most positive comments about our wonderful Nursing Mothers' Area. All credit is due to Anna Martin who took a small, curtained-off area and turned it into a haven by soliciting donations and sponsorships and using her own creativity to make it really special. If you have an infant, you'll want to spy out this little oasis for tending to your little one. If you don't have an infant, you might want to see if you can get one. It's really that good.

    Thanks so much to each and every one of you who take the time to leave your comments and suggestions every year. This is YOUR convention, and while we can't cater to your every wish (much as we'd like to supply you with valet parking, vanilla lattes on demand and moist towelettes in the ladies' room, Mrs. R.!) we do care about what you think. Our goal is to serve and bless every person who attends the convention. We don't always achieve that goal but we ARE always trying, and we depend on your input to help us do better every year.
  • Ask and You Shall Receive

    Wednesday March 19 2008

    Today, I'm going to tell you about some of the suggestions we've implemented for this year's convention. See if yours is here:

    Suggestion: Could we have a bulletin board for networking?

    Response: What a great idea! This year, look for the Support Groups booth on the Exhibit Hall floor. There you will find a large state map with Support Group locations, brochures and handouts for several groups, and sign up sheets for more information about groups in your area. The booth will be staffed by support group leaders and will be a great place to network and find other homeschooling families in your area.

    Suggestion: Build a Lunch Break into the Schedule.

    Response: You got it! There are no workshops scheduled between 11:00am and 1:00pm. Enjoy!

    Suggestion: I think the nametags should give the city the person lives in, so we can meet people from our area.

    Response: Sounds good! Look for the city on the name tags this year and make a new friend!

    And now, your midweek chuckle:

  • Even More Convention Qs

    Tuesday March 18 2008

    Today's questions:

    Q: Can't we have more/cheaper/healthier food vendors?
    A: The food vendors have contracts with the Cox Center, not with OCHEC. We have no control or influence over the variety, price or healthfulness of the food vendors. Suggestions and complaints about food vendors should be directed to the Cox Center.

    I do have some good news, though. Jersey Mike's Subs, whose Oklahoma City franchises are owned by a homeschool family, has jumped through the Cox Center's hoops in order to provide delicious sub sandwich boxed lunches for convention attendees this year! Go to the OCHEC website to print the mail-in order form to pre-order your lunches from Jersey Mike's.

    Q: I go to all the workshops, and I don't have time to shop!

    A: It can be tough to get all the workshop time AND shopping time you need! A few strategies, planned in advance, may be helpful.

    First, divide and conquer! Get together with your spouse or a friend and look over the Workshop Schedule. One of you go to the workshop and get handouts for both of you while the other spends the hour shopping in the less-crowded exhibit hall.

    Second, rate the workshops according to how important it is to you to be there in person. For the less important workshops, place an order at the Rhino Technologies booth for a tape or CD to listen to later. An extra benefit of this is that you can "go back" to that workshop as often as needed!

    Third, pray! Seek direction from the Lord on how to best use your time at the convention. Be flexible enough to make time for some "divine appointments" you don't know about yet, like that couple you haven't seen since high school who will want to talk to you for an hour about starting the homeschooling journey. Come expecting to be blessed, and to be a blessing! Trust that you will see, hear, and learn exactly what God has for you that weekend. Your Convention Committee has been praying this for you all year long.

    Today's link is to Rhino Technologies. These incredible folks have workshop and keynote presentations from homeschool conventions all across the nation. Browse their selections and find a few nuggets of gold! Search by location, speaker or topic.
  • Convention Secrets REVEALED

    Monday March 17 2008

    Q: Can you open the exhibits earlier and/or stay open later?

    A: We want all of our attendees to have maximum shopping time. There are a few considerations, however. First, we have to accommodate our vendors who may need an hour or more to ready their booths for you. The earlier the hall opens, the earlier they have to be there. As it is, many arrive betweeen 7 and 7:30 am to be open for business by 9. Most of them were setting up for several hours on Thursday after driving who-knows-how-long to get to Oklahoma City, so 9am seems to be the earliest we can ask them to be ready.

    As to staying later, remember, the wonderful, informative folks staffing the booths have been there since the early morning, with maybe one or two breaks that day. When the hall closes at 6:30 pm on Friday, they spend another hour closing up shop, then eat and rest and come back at the same early hour on Saturday to do it all again. On Saturday evening, it takes up to 4 hours for some of the vendors to pack up and load out their booths, and then they're back out on the road again.

    All this to say that, while we appreciate our attendees wishing for more shopping time, we have to be aware of the needs of our vendors and create an event that they look forward to coming to year after year. They really do give you all the time they have for two very long days. If you think of it, why don't you just give 'em a big ol' hug when you see 'em this year?

    Q: Why aren't the vendors in the same place every year?

    A: At the close of the conference every year, all of the vendors have the opportunity to register for the next year. The booths are sold on a first-come, first-served basis, and the vendors themselves choose, and sometimes opt to change, their locations. While we have many of the same outstanding vendors year after year, there are also those change from year to year, so the layout never looks the same twice.

    And now, here's my favorite question. It comes up many times every year, and it cracks me up every time:

    Q: Why do the bathrooms have to be so far away?

    A: Well, that would be because they were built that way. And, since your Convention Committee is made up of homeschooling parents, we simply don't have time to remodel the Cox Center. Sad but true. We could ask if they'd mind if we brought in a row of Port-a-Johns, I suppose.

    Today's great link is to the New York Times article about the National Christian Homeschool Basketball Championships. Go read it! You'll be glad you did.
  • Convention Q & A

    Saturday March 15 2008

    It's time for the Convention again, and I thought this would be a good time to do two things:

    1) Write another blog post, now that I've had 5 months to rest up from the last one. :-)

    2) Answer some of the most frequently asked questions regarding the annual Convention.

    And now, I'll reach into the hopper and pull out a question from last year's comment forms.

    Q: Why are the aisles in the Exhibit Hall so narrow?

    A: The Exhibit Hall layout takes many things into consideration. Primarily, we are bound by the Fire Marshall regulations, so the layout has to first be approved by the Fire Marshall. Next, in order to offer premium value to our exhibitors and optimum shopping space for our attendees, the booth spaces are made as deep as possible, while keeping the walkways open enough for people to pass comfortably. While wider aisles would be nice, it seems that our purposes are better served with the wide variety and maximum space for our outstanding exhibitors to display their wares.

    Q: It was too hot! Can we turn up the air?
    and, alternately:
    Q: It was so cold! Can we turn up the heat?

    A: Our Convention Director is in constant contact with the Cox Business Center's facilities management throughout the event, and every effort is made to keep the environment comfortable for everyone. When the outside temperatures are significantly warmer or cooler than expected, it affects our inside temperatures. While adjustments are made, keeping the entire area at a strict 70º is simply not possible. Personally, I make sure to wear short sleeves and bring a sweater, that way I can be comfortable no matter the temperature. If, for some reason, I end up being overly warm or uncomfortably cool, I choose to be grateful for being indoors, and having access to so many outstanding resources.

    Now, go to HERE and get your family registered for the Convention!
  • Did You Know?

    Monday October 15 2007

    Did you know that your support group can host a "Homeschool How-To" meeting in your area?

    If you're like me, when you mention to a new acquaintance that you teach your children at home you occasionally get a response of "Oh! I WISH I could homeschool! I just don't think I could do it." Well, you and I both know that, in many cases, he or she most certainly COULD do it. All that's lacking is accurate information and confidence. That's where your OCHEC Trustees come in! If you will secure a meeting place and invite people from your community who have questions about home education, one or two of us will bring a presentation explaining home education, Oklahoma laws, philosophies of education and record keeping. We end with a question and answer session. Does this sound like something that would be helpful where you live? Contact the OCHEC office (staff@ochec.com), tell us where you live and request a "Homeschool How-To" seminar. You will be contacted by a Trustee and the wheels will be in motion.

    At OCHEC, we firmly believe that home-based, Biblical child training is one of the ways that we will see revival in our country and in the world. We are committed not just to serving Oklahoma's current home educating families, but to encouraging all families in our state (particularly Christian families) to give prayerful consideration to discipling their children in their own homes. One of our goals is to do all that we can do to remove real and perceived barriers to homeschooling. Won't you help us?