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Homeschool Conference this weekend

By Staff | Mar 27, 2015

The 7th annual Eastern Panhandle Home School Conference will be held Saturday, March 28 at Covenant Church in Shepherdstown. On one-day conference, the event begins with a continental breakfast at 8 a.m. and runs throughout the day, ending at 6 p.m.

The conference follows this mission statement. “To support and encourage high quality Christian home education in the Eastern Panhandle and surrounding areas by providing educational and informational sessions and an opportunity to review and discuss resources and materials developed for the purpose of home education and strengthening families. The EPHSC will bridge the gap that Christian home educators in this area have by providing the sessions and resources in a location convenient to this region.

With that mission in mind, this year, the theme of convention is “Grounded in Christ.” Some of the sessions are described to allow those interested in attending to get a feel for the conference materials. Also included are the presenters for each session.

“Breaking the Shackles-Why Parents Should Trust Themselves, Not Schools” will be led by Rick Boyer. His description of the session includes:

“To those who understand history, the hand of God is unmistakable in the story of America. Our Founders built on the soil of the New World a nation organized on the principles of Scripture. The result was that early America astounded the world with its freedom, genius and productivity. But when the training of children shifted from the realm of the family and moved into the realm of government, it took only a few generations to bring about the social, spiritual, moral and intellectual decay that permeates our society today. Now, home educating parents are taking back their children and raising up a generation of bright, godly, competent Americans who understand their heritage and are determined to reclaim it for the glory of God. God the designed the family, not the school to be the primary training ground for His champions.”

Other sessions include “Choosing the Right Pace” to be led by Imran and Tami Ravzi. How do you determine the pace your child should take through academics? Is the public school method of changing grades with chronological age the best method? Are there any other options? The Razvis are uniquely qualified to answer this question, having children on both ends of the spectrum. They adopted children with learning disabilities who were years “behind” academically. Yet they also have a son who had completed his bachelor’s degree and enrolled in a Master’s of Divinity program by the time he was 17 years old, and began law school at 18. Come and hear the Razvis share how and why the pace of schooling should be uniquely tailored to each child.

Another session will include “The Amazing Year 1776” as Dr. Michael George transports attendees back in time to the first four days of July 1776 as the Founding Fathers prepare to sign the Declaration of Independence. Experience John Adams give his impassioned speech before the delegates proclaiming Independence now and Independence Forever!

Rick Boyer will also lead “Boys Will Be Men” a session sharing that eighty percent of the children labeled “Learning Disabled” in school are boys. That’s why wise parents understand that the confinement, boredom and regimentation of school are things to be avoided if boys are to thrive. The key to understanding and cooperating with the drives God has built into boys is in recognizing that boyhood is preparation for the roles of family protector, provider and leader that naturally and Biblically fall upon men. We must understand that we are not raising boys, but training future men if we are to make boyhood the exciting and profitable season of life that God intended it to be.

“Character is the Key” will be led by Marilyn Boyer. The most important part of an education is the teaching of worthy character. Otherwise, we are only training more competent rebels! We sometimes fail to recognize that annoying traits such as whining, arguing, disobedience and tattling are not so much behavior issues as character needs. Character is the key that opens the door to successful adult living. It is the first thing that wise people examine when evaluating a prospective employee, spouse or friend. That’s why character is the most important subject you will ever teach your children! Come hear Marilyn Boyer, mother of 14 homeschooled kids and learn as she shares how to intentionally teach this most important of all subjects!

For those with questions regarding teaching their older children, Faith Berens will present “Tackling Tricky High School Issues: Practical Help and Guidance for Homeschooling High School Students with Special Needs.” This workshop addresses some of the challenges associated with homeschooling struggling or atypical learners in the high school years. Do you have questions such as, “How do I award my child with special needs a diploma?” or “What do I do since my child with dyslexia can’t read typical high school level material?” Faith discusses alternative course work, specialized curricula and learning materials, assistive technology, transcript options, possible graduation guidelines/high school programs for special learners, post-high school options, as well as offer tips for navigating the process of applying for testing accommodations for the college boards.

These and many more sessions will take place during the conference hours.

Registration fees for the conference are $30 for participants, $15 for spouse and $25 for WVHEA members. The fee covers breakfast, lunch, snacks, admission to all sessions, the vendor hall and entry to the used curriculum sale.

Forms can be found to register at www.ephsc.org.