You might be at a homeschool conference if. . .
You realize you're not nearly as conservative as you think you are.
A very large minority of the women and girls have on long, flowing skirts.
You see stairstep processions of sisters in matching homemade jumpers.
A lot of long hair and braids are present - on the women, that is. The men sport clean-cut haircuts.
The vast majority of the men (including the boys) have on tucked-in, buttoned-down shirts, though there is no dress code.
You do not see a single pair of baggy jeans.
The few "renegades" who are wearing rumpled t-shirts and sporting shaggy haircuts look downright out of place.
The one youth group that is present is segregated by sex.
You know without a doubt that the Coastal Chamber Musicians listed in the schedule will be a sibling group.
Though the lectures are definitely aimed for adults, a large percentage of the audience is not yet in middle school.
There are many pregnant and nursing mothers present, and no one seems to notice the occasional crying baby.
The public schools are standardly referred to as "government schools" and "The Schools of Pharoah."
A speaker shows a clip from Star Wars, and you wonder how many people will be offended by it.
A speaker mentions that he and his wife have 15 biological children, and the room errupts into an applause.
There are many families with three generations present.
The conversations you overhear between middle school girls are not about boys, movies, or make-up, but about theology, constitutionalism, and dominionism.
So, I survived the conference, and have begun to recover from my lack of sleep :). The conference ran from 8:30 a.m. until 10:30 p.m. each day, and we had a 1 hour, 15 minute drive at the beginning and end of each day, so needless to say I took a lengthy nap on Saturday afternoon.
I'm very thankful for the opportunity to attend the conference, and I learned quite a lot. The conference was put on by American Vision, and the theme was on developing a Christian Worldview. The topics included evolution, apologetics, evangelism, Christian education, liberty, constitutionalism, judicial activism, dispensationalism, postmillenianism, relativism, materialism, atheism, journalism, and Christian themes in film, just as a quick summary. It was definitely a lot of information to pack into only 3 days. My hand was so stiff from writing notes, but it was well-worth the effort! Now I have pages and pages to look back over for reflection and for blog post writing :).
What did I take away from the conference? Well, way more than I could write about, that's for sure. I didn't agree with all the views presented, but overall it was a very positive experience. Mainly, it was a refreshing time to retrain my mind to think first and foremost through the lenses of scripture. It was a reminder that Christianity is not a religion, but a lifestyle; the Bible applies to every area of life. It was a reminder that Christians today have a responsibility to understand the times and train their senses to see good and evil. But that is not enough, of course; we then have a responsibility to take action based on our Biblical training, realizing that God has called us ambassadors to a lost world.
I will be posting a few highlights of the conference over the next few days, categorized by a few of my favorite topics like evangelism, depravity of man, and engaging the culture. I'm working on making my posts a moderate length - long enough to be pithy, but short enough so that they're readable. We'll see how that goes :).