By SUZANNE HAUGH, Special To The Bulletin | Published July 19, 2007
Catholic home educators in the Southeast will find plenty of camaraderie, curriculum materials and inspiration at the 2007 North Georgia Catholic Homeschooling Conference to be held Saturday, July 28, at St. Andrew Church, located at 675 Riverside Drive along the Chattahoochee River.
“We trade stories, see how people are doing,” said Jennie Prater, one of the conference organizers. “It’s wonderful to hear the speakers. You get a lot of new ideas and confirmation of what you’re doing, and also discover new avenues to pursue.”
The conference, which is dedicated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and is sponsored by the Catholic Home Alliance of North Georgia Educators, begins with registration at 8:30 a.m. followed by a special Mass at 9 a.m. that will include an opportunity for enrollment in the Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, or the Brown Scapular.
Participants will enjoy a slate of dynamic speakers beginning at 10 a.m. that include Father Frank Papa, SOLT, of Human Life International, speaking on “Preserving the Innocence of Your Children”; mother-of-12 Virginia Seuffert discussing how to raise Catholic leaders; Father Thomas Hennessy, pastor of St. Patrick Church in Norcross, on character formation; and a talk by Dr. Joseph Pearce, biographer and professor at Ave Maria University, entitled “A Matter of Life and Death: The Battle for a True Education.”
Those attending may also participate in a used book sale. The sacrament of reconciliation will be available from noon to 1:15 p.m.
The ticket price will go up July 20 to $20 per person and $30 per couple. Lunch is included in the ticket price until July 23. After that date, the ticket will not include a bag lunch. Childcare will not be available. However, nursing and lap babies are welcome.
Representatives of colleges and universities, bookstores and educational opportunities, as well as vendors of Catholic home-schooling materials, will be present throughout the conference, which finishes with a vigil Mass at 5:30 p.m.
Being able to thumb through publishers’ newest Catholic home study books is exciting, said home educator Michelle Grunkemeyer, a mother of eight.
“They’re coming up with more and more new materials,” she said. “It’s not just religious education, but it’s the curriculum, too, like studying Catholic history in creative ways—not with a 1950s-style textbook.”
Grunkemeyer is one of the conference organizers and is involved in the home-schooling group CHANGE. She also offers art and writing classes to other home-schooled children.
“Part of (the conference) is to bring metro Atlanta home-schoolers together, to see the bigger face of the whole thing.”
To register or view the entire conference schedule, or for more information on Catholic home-schooling in North Georgia, visit www.changega.org or call (770) 745-5994.