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2017 West Conference Lectures for Parents

Transcripts & Audios are coming to this page soon!

"Have Courage"

Keynote/Plenary Lectures:

HAVE COURAGE

FR. JOSIAH TRENHAM

TECHNOLOGY AND IT'S EFFECT ON THE INTELLECTUAL, PSYCHOLOGICAL, AND SPIRITUAL DEVELOPMENT OF CHILDREN

FR. JOSIAH TRENHAM

Lectures intended for Elementary or Beginners:

HOMESCHOOLING 101: ADDRESSING THE MOST FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT GETTING STARTED

CHRISTINE HALL

HOMESCHOOLING: A SURVIVAL GUIDE FOR THE FAMILY

FR. NOAH BUSHELLI

CO-OPS AND OTHER RESOURCES FOR MEETING THE ACADEMIC, SOCIAL, AND SPIRITUAL NEEDS OF YOUR CHILD

FR. NINOS & PRESV. TINA OSHAANA

CLASSICAL EDUCATION WITH AN ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN WORLDVIEW

PRESV. ANA COMAN

Lectures intended for Veterans or High School

RE-EVALUATING THE NOTION OF SUCCESS

FR. NOAH BUSHELLI

DISPELLING THE MYTHS ABOUT HOMESCHOOLING HIGH SCHOOL

PRESV. ANA COMAN

RAISING TEENS AND PASSING ON THE FAITH

FR. PAUL VOLMENSKY

HIGH SCHOOL PANEL: WHAT DID HIGH SCHOOL LOOK LIKE IN YOUR HOME?

GINNY SILVA, CHristine Hall, Marie Eliades, and Despina & Anna Makrozahopolous


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Demographics for the 2017 West Conference:

220 people attended the 2017 WEST Conference:  100 adults and 120 children!  This was the largest group at the St. Nicholas Ranch for the entire year of 2017, and the largest St. Emmelia Conference.

There were approximately 70 families represented at the 2017 West Conference.

Fifteen families at the 2017 West Conference traveled from out-of-state to attend the conference in California. Those fifteen families represented eight states:  Washington, Oregon, Arizona, Texas, Georgia, Colorado, Kansas, Pennsylvania, and North Carolina.

Two families at the 2017 West Conference live outside of the United States and crossed international borders to attend. One of these families traveled from Canada and the other traveled from Mexico.

Speakers for the 2017 West Conference represented three jurisdictions:  Antiochian, Greek, and ROCOR

Attendees of the 2017 West Conference represented seven jurisdictions:  35% affiliate with the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese, 30% affiliate with the Antiochian Archdiocese, 15% affiliate with OCA, 10% Romanian, 4% ROCOR, 3% Serbian, and 3% Jerusalem Patriarchate.

40% of families who attended had one adult member of the family with a parent or grandparent born in an Orthodox country.

Three families who attended were catechumens.

50% of attendees had never visited the Monastery of the Theotokos, the Life-Giving Spring prior to the 2017 West conference.

60% of the families came a day early for the 'Pre-Conference Visit', which included a visit to the Kings Canyon National Park and the Monastery of the Theotokos, the Life-Giving Spring.

40% of the families homeschool independently of the state, 30% homeschool through a public charter, 15% homeschool through an 'umbrella school' not associated with the government, and 15% have not yet started homeschooling.


Introduction Letter in the 2017 West Conference

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, 

Welcome to the first St. Emmelia Orthodox Homeschool West Conference! When this project began just six months ago, we could not have anticipated the overwhelming response it would receive. We knew there was a need for a west coast conference, but the sheer size and excitement of your response greatly astonished us. Just as you have exceeded our expectations in attendance and enthusiasm, we hope that this west conference will exceed your expectations as well. This year we feature seasoned Orthodox homeschooling speakers from several jurisdictions, a first class children’s program, and 17 vendors of homeschool resources from around the world. Our hope is that through this event, Orthodox homeschoolers on the west coast will receive support, encouragement, and an opportunity to meet like-minded friends. Thank you for attending! 

Many thanks are due for all those who helped prepare this event. First, we would like to thank our many generous sponsors; without their financial support and encouragement, we could not have offered such an extensive program. Whether they donated their time, money, or housing, we are grateful for each and every one of these gracious sponsors. We would also like to thank the St. Kosmas Orthodox Homeschool Community. This local group staffed over 90% of the conference and without them we could not have offered the children’s program. These local families have volunteered to help with the children’s program, thereby missing some lectures, so that other parents may attend the conference. May God reward their love. Finally, we must thank Father Noah Bushelli, Director of the Antiochian Archdiocese, Department of Homeschooling. It was Fr. Noah who initiated the idea for a west coast conference and who encouraged us to take that leap of faith, book a date, and start planning. Fr. Noah has been most gracious and forbearing throughout the challenging process of planning this conference. Thank you, Father, for your guidance and prayers. While St. Kosmas Community brought the manpower to this conference, the St. Emmelia Homeschool Community and the Antiochian Department of Homeschooling brought the model and hierarchal blessing. We are very pleased with the result of this collaboration and hope that it continues for many years to come. 

This November, we were blessed by a visit from His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph, primate of the Antiochian Archdiocese of North America, at the Monastery of the Theotokos, Life-Giving Spring. One of our planning team members approached His Eminence and thanked him for his blessing for this conference. He challenged us by saying, “As Orthodox Christians we can’t just start something; we have to see it through and we have to finish it.” That inspired exhortation reinforced our commitment to provide, with God's help, support to Orthodox homeschool families, and prompted us to set a date for an April 2018 West Conference, in addition to our already confirmed November 2018 West Conference. 

It is our earnest hope that this conference may refresh those who are thirsty for sound Orthodox resources, homeschooling support, and Christian fellowship. May it be blessed! 

Asking for your prayers and support,

The St. Emmelia West Conference Planning Team and the St. Kosmas Homeschool Community

November 30, 2017