2018 South Conference

Lectures & Workshops for Parents

Keynote Address

Parenting Toward Success -(friday Evening)

PARENTING TOWARD the Kingdom -(Saturday morning)

Dr. Philip Mamalakis

How do we connect the daily struggles in the home with the timeless truths of the Orthodox Church? The challenges of parenting, combined with the real goals of homeschooling, can make us wonder why we chose to do either! There is hope! We’ll discuss how keeping first things first is the path to parenting toward the kingdom and raising kids who succeed.

Saturday Session 1:00-2:00 p.m.


Fr. Seraphim Gisetti

Pornography is the fastest growing addiction in the U.S., and — similar to other process addictions such as gambling — is characterized by brain chemistry, behaviors, and treatment needs similar to those of substance dependence and abuse.  Fr. Seraphim, will discuss how to recognize it and deal with it.


Dr. Philip Mamalakis

Opening a can of worms:  Join Dr. Mamalakis as he shares he thoughts on how to have open, honest conversations with our children on those tough topics we sometimes wish we could avoid, like sex, gender, death, or gun violence.


Hope Reynolds

So you've decided to homeschool or maybe you're just thinking about it...this workshop will offer advice on getting started, choosing curriculum and finding rhythm.

Relational Reading

Jennifer Dow

Have you ever wanted to get at all the truth, goodness, and beauty in a great book, but were not sure how or where to start? Then this discussion is for you. In this session, you will learn how to build relationships with big ideas and great books. In addition, we will take a look at where the practices of highlighting, note taking, commonplacing, writing, and discussion fit into the larger reading practice.


Saturday Session 2:00-3:00 p.m.

Parenting in Difficult Times

Elissa Bjeletich

What is the meaning of crisis, and what is its role in the spiritual life? How does crisis in the family become an opportunity to encounter Jesus Christ and to deepen our faith?

Graduation and Beyond:  How to Help Prepare Your Children for Life after High School

Dr. John Mark Reynolds

Parents need to be involved in helping their children plan and prepare for life after graduation.  This can be a challenge for a multitude of reasons.  The landscape of higher education faced by young adults has changed dramatically since their parents were in college. Political and economic changes have added additional pressure to these decisions.   Dr. John Mark Reynolds will shed some light on the landscape of college admissions and help parents understand their crucial role in providing guidance during this important time of transition.


Elizabeth Johnson, Camille Goldston & Hope Reynolds

These veterans will briefly share their homeschool journeys and then field questions from the audience.

Recovering the Heart of Moral Education

Matt Bianco

Sometimes we and our children give in to desires, to passions, that we ought not. How can education help us to help ourselves and our children to overcome those desires? It is not as simple as do not do this because it is wrong, but what is missing in the equation so that we can say no when we know the thing we desire is wrong for us? In this talk, Matt Bianco will help us to explore what that missing thing might be by comparing the traditions of the Church Fathers with the practices found in a tradition of education going back to the ancient Greeks.


Saturday Session 3:00-4:00 p.m.

Strong Marriages = Strong Families

Fr. Noah Bushelli

As Orthodox, we value the home and the family very highly:  the fruit of our sacramental marriage, the primary arena of the spiritual struggle, and the springboard for raising our children.  However, with the stressors of finances, nourishment, activities, liturgical life, ministry, education, and co-ops, we can easily lose sight of the most important human relationship: our marriages.  Fr. Noah will be sharing from his experience and the witness of the Saints and Scriptures an inspiring and entertaining yet realistic view on building up our marriages to Glory's glory, to our children's success, and our salvation.

Seeing Eye to Eye with a Child

Elizabeth Johnson

As parents, one of our greatest challenges is how to communicate effectively with our children throughout their various stages of growth and development. It all starts with learning to see them as God sees them, and developing within ourselves the discipline and ability to meet them where they are. Elizabeth will explore with the participants the ways in which these crucial principles are embodied in one essential act: taking the time to see eye-to-eye with our children.

Creating Fruitful Academic Communities

Jennifer Dow & Julie Dreher

How to craft structures and cultivate relationships that lead to a nourishing and fruitful homeschool community, whether Orthodox or ecumenical in nature.

Epistles Before Essays: Rhetoric and the Art of the Personal Letter

Adam Lockridge

Although rhetoric is often taught as a high school subject, the principles of persuasion can be found in writing and speaking at every level.  This workshop will present the essential tools of rhetoric by applying them to the art of the personal letter, a building block on the road to more advanced compositions.  This simple and intuitive exercise can serve as a paradigm for using the tools of rhetoric in any type of composition.


Saturday Evening:  Final Address


Fr. Noah Bushelli

"Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong.  Let all that you do be done with love."  1 Corinthians 16:13-14.  Putting this in practice as we live our daily lives.