About the Conference
This is a one day Catholic Home Education Conference for parents currently home educating, interested in home educating, looking to start home educating, or just curious about home educating (babes in arms are welcome)
- Two International Speakers -- Laura Berquist and Mary-Mark Haggard
- Keynote topics; 'Eternal Reasons to Homeschool', 'Homeschooling Practicalities''
- Two Panel discussions
- Meet experienced Irish and American home educating parents to answer your homeschooling questions
- Meet Irish and American homeschool graduates to answer your questions from a student's point of view
- Catalogs to examine from various vendors basd in the US, Ireland, and UK (catalogs can be taken at the end of the conference if available)
Catered lunch will be provided for attendees
If you would like to attend the conference, but price is an obstacle, please contact Jacki at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Can I bring my school aged children? No, this conference is geared for parents only. Babes in arms are welcome.
- Will baby sitting be provided? No, baby sitting is not provided.
- Do I need to bring any food? Lunch will be provided. Coffee, tea and breakfast snacks will also be available.
- Will I be able to talk to other homeschooling parents? Yes, there will be experienced home schooling parents along with student graduates from both Ireland and the US.
- Will there be a Mass? The conference will start with Mass at 9:00am
- What time should I arrive? Check-in starts an 8:30am and the conference starts at 9:00 with Mass. Doors close at 6:00 PM.
- What is the cost to register? Early-bird pricing until January 25 is €45 for single and €65 for a couple. After January 25, the price is €55 for single and €75 for a couple. Concession price avaliable upon request for those who need it.
- I don’t currently homeschool, can I still come? Yes.
Mrs. Laura M. Berquist is founder and director of Mother of Divine Grace School, a distance learning school currently serving 4700 students. Mrs. Berquist is the author of Designing Your Own Classical Curriculum and editor of The Harp and Laurel Wreath: Poetry and Dictation for the Classical Curriculum. Based on an understanding of classical education, she developed a modern classical curriculum for grades K-12 (full primary and secondary school levels) that strengthens character and intellect, and reinforces virtue.
Mrs. Berquist is a graduate of Thomas Aquinas College in Santa Paula, CA. All of her children used the curriculum she designed, and all of them graduated from Thomas Aquinas College. Four of the six continued on in school, and earned further academic degrees. Additionally, five of the six are now married, one is a Dominican brother, and Mrs. Berquist has 12 grandchildren. She also happily reports that most of her children work with her in MODG in one capacity or another.
Mary-Mark Haggard is a founding consultant of Mother of Divine Grace School. She has been working with Laura Berquist since before 1995. She has been public speaking on home schooling and other topics (such as the Federal Reserve and inflation) for almost 25 years. She has a degree in Economics from UCLA and studied the Protestant Reformation on her own after graduating from college. Mary-Mark has six children, whom she taught from pre-school all the way through high school over a period of thirty years. All of her children have graduated from Thomas Aquinas College except the youngest, who is a junior there now. She currently has 18 grandchildren, some of whom are being home schooled. Her passions are family, teaching and speaking - and of course our beautiful Catholic Faith.
Homeschool Graduates’ Biographies:
Katie Ascough: Katie was homeschooled using the Mother of Divine Grace curriculum for all of primary and secondary school. An Irish resident, she took the SAT’s, SAT Subject Tests, and Advanced Placement Tests to get into science in UCD, from which she will graduate in 2018 with a degree in medicinal chemistry. Last summer Katie interned for Vatican Radio in Rome and for Congressman Chris Smith in the U.S. House of Representatives, and she hopes to intern for a major news company in the U.S. this summer.
Robyn Conroy (20) is studying Animation at IADT Dun Laoghaire. She went straight from home education to an Art and Design FETAC level 5 course in Stillorgan College which she gained admission to on the strength of a home prepared portfolio and her performance at interview. Her FETAC award on completion of this year-long course secured her the choice of a wide range of third level options.
Julia Hemman: Throughout high school, Julia’s curriculum involved a mix of Kolbe Academy, Thomas Aquinas Academy, and Advanced Placement (AP) classes. She graduated from Benedictine College with a Bachelor’s of Science in Biology and a minor in Chemistry in December 2016. She will be attending Kansas University School of Medicine in July 2017.
Jamie Strong: Jamie was homeschooled with a mix of materials. In high school, she began homeschooling with Mother of Divine Grace School. She will be graduating with a Psychology degree and English and Business Administration minors from Benedictine College in May, 2017. She plans to pursue an advanced degree in Industrial/Organizational Psychology.
Bronagh Dunne: Bronagh has been home-schooled from the age of four using Mother of Divine Grace curriculum from mid primary school onwards. She graduated from Mother of Divine grace in 2012 after completing an accelerated high school program. She then entered the Irish secondary school system for fifth and sixth year and sat the Leaving Certificate. She is studying social science in UCD and is currently in the Development Studies program majoring in Politics and Sociology with a specialisation in philosophy.
Experienced Homeschooling Parents’ Biographies:
Jacki Ascough: A mother of ten (three in heaven), Jacki is married to Tom. They've been home educating for 17 years. Jacki is originally from Texas and has been living in Ireland for 23 years. She has a degree from the University of North Texas in Radio/TV/Film. Jacki presents a talk show on Spirit Radio and is a speaker for Catholic Comment. She has spoken on Irish and American radio and TV on many topics including home education.
Brendan Conroy has been Home Educating for over 12 years. A father of four and married to Breda O'Brien, Brendan's academic background is in the sciences, graduating from University College Galway and the then Regional Technical College Galway in science and aquatic biology. He has worked in a range of. youth ministry programmes at both parish and diocesan level. Their eldest two children are undergraduates in Oxford University and IADT Dun Laoghaire respectively. Their two youngest children continue to be home schooled. One of them is currently preparing to sit the Leaving Cert from home in 2018.
Clodagh Dunne, married to Neill, is a mother of seven children and has been homeschooling for the past eighteen years. Her eldest two children are in university, three children are now in the Irish education system and she is currently homeschooling her youngest two. Born in Omagh,Co.Tyrone,she studied at the University of Ulster from which she graduated with a Degree in Home Economics and Education. She worked as a grammar school teacher in Northern Ireland before she moved to Dublin were she worked with people with learning difficulties and later in third level education.
Renee Strong: A mother of six, Renee has been homeschooling for 19 years. She has been married to Mike for 30 years. Prior to homeschooling, Renee graduated from the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology with a math degree and worked as a computer programmer for McDonald Douglas Corp. in California and at NASA in Houston, TX.
Andrew Kuenstle: I was home schooled from first grade until my high school graduation using the Mother of Divine Grace curriculum. My education with Mother of Divine Grace School prepared me for Thomas Aquinas College, where I graduated in 2015. After graduating from college I decided to pursue Literature at the University of Dallas. I am currently finishing my Master’s of Arts in English there, and am in the process of applying to Ph.D. programs in English, where I hope to continue my academic career.
Paul Grimes: Mr Grimes was home educated from K-12th, he then went on to graduate from Thomas Aquinas College with the degree of Bachelor of Arts. He is currently employed at Mother of Divine Grace School as an enrollment counselor and teacher. Home education also allowed Mr. Grimes to pursue his interests in the fine arts; serving as a church organist for two parishes through high school and accompanying the Thomas Aquinas College Choir to the present day.
Catholic Home Education Conference Agenda
Sunday February 19th 2017
8:30 am Registration
9:00 am Mass
10:15 am Tea & Coffee
10:30 am Introduction & Welcome
10:45 am Parents Panel Q&A
11:30 am Homeschooling for Eternity: Laura Berquist
12:15 am Q&A
12:45 am Lunch
1:30 pm Students Panel Q&A
2:00 pm Excellence in Education: Laura Berquist
2:45 pm Q&A
3:15 pm Tea & Coffee
3:30 pm Testimonies
4:00 pm Practicalities of Homeschooling: Mary-Mark Haggard
4:45 pm Q&A
5:15 pm Grant Aid Announcement & Wrap-up
6:00 pm Mingle & Materials Review
Location Google Maps Link: