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November 22, 2010

Second Romanian Home School Conference a Success

In the Eastern European country of Romania, conferences have helped to bring visibility and cohesion to the homeschool movement. The Romanian Home Schooling Association (RHSA) held its very first homeschool conference in April of this year, drawing 80 participants. The organization’s second conference, held in Bucharest on November 6, attracted more than 200 adult participants and 70 children from across the nation, more than doubling the attendance at the previous conference. In addition, 12 families viewed the conference online, a new capability discovered just before the start of the event.

Families browse curriculum at the second national homeschooling conference in Romania.
Romanian homeschool students provide a musical interlude between conference sessions . Above: Parents browse textbooks in English. Left: Homeschool students provide a musical interlude.

“The conference was a great success!” concludes Gabriel Curcubet, president of RHSA. “It was a great opportunity to share biblical teachings to people from many denominations: Adventist, Baptists, Brethren Church, Orthodox, and Presbyterian ... I was impressed to see that even Orthodox attendants were talking later on a web forum about the biblical basis of homeschooling and continuing to discuss conference topics.”

The daylong conference boasted a full schedule, intended to provide as much encouragement and resources to families as possible. Comprehensive sessions addressed the basics of homeschooling, the legal foundation, and biblical reasons for homeschooling. Gabriel Curcubet gave four lectures and HSLDA’s Director of International Relations Mike Donnelly recorded a speech specifically for the conference about the failure of the public school system. Other presenters included Romanian homeschoolers Nelu Istrate and Cristi Ouatu. The conference featured testimonials from current homeschool parents and a question-and-answer session.

Curcubet notes, “The testimonials were very important, because the new parents heard how to start homeschooling and how to deal with hard [situations] from Romanian homeschoolers themselves.”

The popular book Homeschooling: The Right Choice, written by the late Christopher J. Klicka, continues to be a timely resource for parents who are considering homeschooling. Copies of The Right Choice, translated into the Romanian language in April 2010 with the support of HSLDA’s Home School Foundation, sold quickly.

The Romanian homeschool community continues to gain strength as the number of families attracted by this educational option increases. Since homeschooling is not explicitly recognized by the Romanian government, families educate their children through “umbrella” schools. In recent months, RHSA has worked to foster relationships with key Romanian officials. Through this and other developments, such as the conferences and the translation of Klicka’s book, the organization is hopeful that homeschooling will be legalized in the near future.

In addition to bringing families together for encouragement and support, the conference achieved four short-term goals:

  • A number of Christian parents made the decision to begin homeschooling (virtually all attendants decided to practice—or help their relatives to start to practice—homeschooling);
  • Parents made a renewed commitment to help RHSA legalize homeschooling in Romania;
  • The formation of a new, local homeschool association; and
  • RHSA purposed to organize its next homeschool conference in February 2011.

Donnelly expresses support for Romanian homeschoolers: “It is a privilege to work with RHSA and the Romanian homeschooling movement. HSLDA is excited to see the conference attended by so many denominations and the increasing number of parents who are interested in homeschooling.”