When we moved to Orillia many years ago, we were homeschooling our oldest two children. Over time we faced the demands of five children and realized that homeschooling was becoming more difficult. The decision to come to OCS was our only option as we wanted to continue to provide all of our children with a Christ-centered education. OCS has been a great blessing to our WHOLE family. There have been many great memories made. What a wonderful place to send our children---we know love is extended each day through caring teachers who pray and live out their faith in the classroom. Values that we teach at home are emphasized and reinforced at school. Community and family are truly felt. It is nice to know that no matter what denomination we are, we can lift each other up in prayer to our Great God! We are thankful for His provision to us to be able to make this opportunity a reality for our family. Where the Lord guides--the Lord provides.Kevin and Andrea,
Orillia Christian school has been a blessing in all of our lives for the past three years. We immediately felt welcomed into the school community. The quality of education is outstanding, and the dedication of the teachers to their students and to Christian education is obvious. We love knowing that our children are being nurtured and taught in a caring Christian environment.
Here is what our kids want to say about their time at Orillia Christian School.
Megan: I like Orillia Christian School because I know I have Christian friends. I like Orillia Christian School because I can grow firmly in Christ. I love going to a school that teaches about Christ in more subjects then Bible. I also know that I can trust everyone there.`
Kurtis: In my old school, we had about 400 students and I didn't even know the names of the kids in the grade above me. At OCS, I know everybody.
Josh: At Orillia Christian School I am making amazing friends, I am learning lots, and I am definitely having a great time as well! The teachers here are really great to be around and to learn from. They are patient with everyone and know how to have fun! I am very blessed to go to a Christian school such as this!
Tina: Everyone knows each other. All of your friends are Christian. You are in an environment with Christian teachers, teaching according to what we believe.Gerry and Janet and family,
OCS: Where Jesus is celebrated and God is at the centre of it all.
It was a new venture when we began kindergarten at the Orillia Christian School (OCS) with our oldest child, Jasmine (grade 4). Rob and I did not go to Christian schools ourselves growing up. So, to be honest, it was a bit of an experiment that we agreed to “try” for a year. Here we are five years later with Levi (grade 2) and Jack attending kindergarten too!
At times, the financial commitment of tuition has been daunting. This past year has been especially challenging as Jack began junior kindergarten and needed an educational assistant with him in the classroom. All the more reason to reflect on why Christian education is important to our family. Decidedly, with each passing year it has become clear that OCS is where we want to be. The teachers, the community of families, and especially the presence of God at OCS are invaluable elements that are forming our children's character, knowledge base, and love for God.
What we have also discovered is that raising up our children in God's truth must also be important to God as He keeps on providing for us in amazing ways from cheques arriving at the exact time needed to funding coming through for Jack's educational assistance not to mention how responsive the teachers and community is at OCS to help each of our children learn and thrive according to their individual needs.
Rob and I have also taught and teach in the public school system. When we consider public education for our children, it ultimately comes down to this: God is the most important person in our lives and we want our children to be able to learn about the world in an environment where God is not only allowed to be included but is at the centre of it all. We want to be at a school where Jesus is celebrated and students are free to learn about God, the Bible and experience His love and grace in an unapologetic way. It is not about protecting them from the bad but allowing space for God's goodness to grow in them.
The bonus of being at OCS is having very hard-working, creative, and Godly teachers and staff who love, teach, support, and pray for our children every day. It is also good to be a part of a group of God-fearing families who rally for one another. We are grateful to be a part of the community at OCS and draw strength from knowing that we are all in this together!
“Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds” Hebrew 10:23
Rob & Jenn,
Levi: Christian school helps me learn how to follow God.
Jasmine: I love being part of Compassion club where we learn about the Holy Spirit and helping others know God's love.
Jenn: I like volunteering at the school and helping students use their creative gifts for the Lord with special art projects and experiences.
Rob: I like the small class sizes. Our kids are getting lots of time with their teachers.
Jack: Has enjoyed being a loved and valued part of the school community as a student with special needs.
Joshua 24:15 "But if serving the Lord
seems undesirable to you, then
choose for yourselves this day whom
you will serve....But as for me and my
house we will serve the Lord."
I remember as a young man boldly proclaiming the sentiment that for me and my house "we will serve the Lord.” Serving the Lord seemed so desirable yet so hard. I wanted so much to raise children to know and fear the Lord and yet, as Joshua's cohort, I need to choose this day whom I would serve. It is a conscious decision, a daily choice. The things I love are easily shown by the time, energy and effort I put into things. It was easy to love the things around. It was easy to find other gods: the god of power, the love of money, the love of my wife and the love of my children. Loving God first is hard. It's captured so nicely in Joshua's declaration "BUT". It's a declaration that I am choosing to be different. Thankfully, I met and married a Christian woman. This is a choice. Thankfully I am surrounded by people that keep me accountable to put the best things first. This is what it is to choose. Some of these choices are the choices of intention and others are the choices of inattention.
One of our conscious choices was the education of our children. Sandy and I knew that we could not educate our children in the service of the Lord alone. We knew that we needed a community. Christian education is not an accident; it is a choice, one that we make daily. We have seen the wonderful fruit of these choices in the lives of our children. We currently have a daughter who is a graduate of Orillia Christian School (OCS) and two children that are active students. Sandy and I are grateful for the community of OCS and for its influence in our children's lives…. We knew that for our children to be all that they are created to be we needed a community of like-minded people, a tribe, to pour into them. We wanted that for all our children. We wanted our children to be salt (a preservative) and light (illumination) and in order to do that they needed to grow under the guidance of Christian instruction. They needed to develop in their hearts and minds a Christ-centered worldview. How blessed they are to receive instruction at school that values them as God's children and teaches them to be all that God has created them to be. Our children need to learn to love good things and choose to love the best things. We wanted Scripture to be written into their hearts and minds to inform their daily choices.
We see the fruit of these choices now. Proverbs 6:21 talks about remembering the teaching of one's parents and to bind them on our hearts. It talks about the guidance of good instruction in guiding and watching over us at all times. We see that pattern in the choices of our children. They have received from their parents and teachers guidance and instruction which influence their character and the way they see and interact with the world.
This Christmas we were driving in the car. I don't remember the exact reason but my son Ryan started quoting Isaiah 53, a passage that his class had been working on memorizing. He quoted the whole thing from start to finish. I don't expect that he knew exactly what it was about. I do know those words are being written onto his heart and that knowing those words will become for him a blessing. It's certainly a blessing to me to see our children love Scripture and love God.Tim,