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August 31, 2015

Irish Families Lay Firm Foundations

By ICHEA representatives

HSLDA's Mike Donnelly

We are delighted to report that the ICHEA Conference, held on Friday 10th July and Saturday 11th July was, by all accounts, a great success.

The Prince of Wales Hotel, Athlone was the venue for the event which saw 68 parents and 35 children enjoy all that was on offer, from book stands to children's workshops. There was lots of time to enjoy each other’s company, learn each other’s stories and just enjoy being with like-minded families as we learned more about the foundation of homeschooling and why we do what we do.

Our guest speakers included Answer in Genesis's Professor Robert Beckett who looked at the topics of “Monkey's don't pray” and the Genesis Foundation. Arthur Roderick spoke on the importance of Christian Education and Mark Smith spoke on the all-important topic of “What about Dads.” Our keynote speaker, Mike Donnelly, Director of Global Outreach at HSLDA, began his talks on Friday with the “Compelling Case for Home Education,” followed on Saturday with “Grades and Graduation,” “Avoiding Burnout” and finally “Go Home and Love your Family.”

We are delighted that so many people have expressed how encouraged they were by the event in general, how great it was to meet other homeschoolers and learn from their experiences and, we believe, plans are already in place for some meet-ups in the next few months.

Our silent auction had a total of 158 book lots included in it. These books were all kindly donated by homeschooling families in the Virginia, USA. Of these, only two books came home with us. This shows the thirst we have here for good curriculum, and we are delighted that it was able to fill a definite need within the homeschool community.

Many thanks to everyone who attended, and we would also like to thank those veteran homeschoolers who were able to share with people what homeschool looks like for them. If you are a veteran homeschooler who did not attend this year’s conference, please consider attending our next one. Your experience and expertise can be such an encouragement to the young families starting out on their homeschool journey.

Many thanks also goes to our keynote speaker, Mike Donnelly from HSLDA, without whose support we could not have held this conference. Thanks also to Arthur Roderick from CEE, Mark Smith and Dr. Robert Beckett from Answers in Genesis for your insights and encouragement. You have been such a blessing to us and we are very grateful.

The Irish Christian Home Education Association provides support, practical encouragement, and resources to homeschooling families in Ireland.

 Other Resources

Learn more by visiting HSLDA’s Ireland page.