Have you ever been someone who had to “stand out in a crowd,” or be a nontraditionalist, or not conformed to the world’s standard (Rom. 12:1-2) or mold? I would assume most all of us have at one time or another. If we are members of the Lord’s church, then we are Christians and that is what the apostle Paul says we are suppose to do! Those who home school their children do such on a daily basis. It is true that the popularity of home schooling has increased dramatically over the last 10 – 15 years but for many years that was not the case. There are several reasons for this increased popularity of home schooling, but this is a rather recent phenomenon.
Almost thirty years ago, those who home schooled their children were looked upon as radicals, parents unconcerned about their child’s well being, both educationally and socially. I should know, because I was one of those who felt just that way! After all, children have to go to school, public or private, in order to receive an adequate education. Right? Fortunately, my wife was curious about this “new” phenomenon and encouraged me to read some of the material she had found concerning home schooling and it’s advantages. Of course, home schooling wasn’t really a new thing because several of our country’s founding fathers were home educated. Anyway, I read the materials and continued to think about the prospects of home schooling until finally I agreed that we would try it for one year, Kindergarten. Surely, we wouldn’t do irreparable damage to our five year old son, our oldest of three sons, simply by trying it for only one year. After a year of home schooling and my experience of driving a school bus for the local public school for a couple of years, which allowed me to observe the children’s conduct and hear the language they used, I was convinced!
A couple of years later, in July of 1989, two home schooling, non-traditionalist, sets of parents happened to meet at the Apologetics Press Seminar in Montgomery, AL. Little did Mark / Teah McWhorter and Keith / Cheryl Cozort know that the meeting would end in the friendship of a lifetime and the beginning of an effort to help other members of the church who home schooled their children. Mark and I knew a handful of members of the Lord’s church who home schooled but no more. It was determined that an encampment of some sort, for members of the churches of Christ only, would be beneficial since these brethren lived in several different states across the country. So, we contacted the brethren we knew and invited them to Pell City, AL for a retreat lasting a few days.
We hoped these few days would help home schooling families to get together and encourage one another in their efforts. So, in October of 1990 RoundHouse (RH) began with 11 families totaling 50 people in attendance, coming from five different states. It is with a profound sense of gratitude that we acknowledge the major amount of the work necessary to putting on an activity like RH over the first 14 years was largely accomplished by Mark and Teah McWhorter, to whom we are greatly indebted. Interestingly enough, of those first 11 families, representatives from five of those families still attend RH. We have had attendees from many of the states in the USA, even as far away as California and Alaska. Also, attendees through the years have included missionary families working in Africa, Ukraine, American Samoa, South Pacific islands, and the West Indies.
In 2004, we started meeting at the Bonclarken Conference Center in Flat Rock, NC and this year’s 28th Annual RoundHouse dates are September 24 – 29. Registration begins at midnight on June 1. Registration can be completed electronically or you can download the registration forms and send them in “the old fashioned way,” via snail mail. You are encouraged to check out our website www.RoundHouse.us for more details.