Sunday, June 07, 2009

NECHC

Well, we survived the First Annual(hopefully)NECHC.
If you had asked me a month ago if I thought this conference would be successful, I would have scratched my head and and mumbled "ummmmm...." as a vague kind of "I really don't think so, and I think we have been absolutely crazy to undertake this!" After yesterday, though, I am pleased to say that the conference was a success. We had a beautiful day, a great turnout, and happy vendors.
Our lovely Challenge Club girls (with a lot of help from Mrs. Seaver and Mrs. Hill) put together and manned a "food court" to raise money to help defray the costs of the Challenge Summer Convention for the girls who would like to attend this year. Attendees raved about the food.
Dr. William Fahey, President of Thomas More College in NH presented a talk about homeschool fathers. He was very well received by the mixed audience of moms, dads, grandparents and religious who attended. He was at turns witty and serious, and touched on the disconnect that can occur if fathers are "divorced" from the homeschool situation.

Cynthia Montanaro spoke of her years as a homeschool mom and all the lessons she learned along the way. Dr. Jean Golden-Tevald shared her faith journey as a doctor, wife and mother of natural born and adopted children.

There was a music workshop done by Making Music, Praying Twice which seemed geared toward younger children and the importance of surrounding our children with all different types of music from an early age. Nick Morganelli rounded out the afternoon with some fun science experiments that can be done at home. He also demonstrated a "here comes the rain" rhythm with clapping, snapping, stomping that he has used in co-op classes. I am certain that children in a class would love this so much we might have a hard time returning to quiet.

The Daughters of St. Paul presented a lovely hour of Eucharistic Adoration for the hour before Mass. The readings and music brought great peace to the room and very nicely helped to lead everyone into the close of the day. The two sisters also manned a table for Pauline Books and Media.

I think my favorite part of the day, however, was the attendees. People came from as far away as Quebec, Canada, and as near as right here in Chicopee, MA. We had a large turnout of Catholic homeschoolers from CT, RI, and NH. One family came in from Boston very close to the end of the day, having only just heard about the conference on Friday June 5th.

There were several Catholic support groups represented from different areas including this one and this one. It was wonderful to meet so many people dedicated to teaching their children at home. Many people seemed excited about having a Catholic Homeschooling conference.
I know that the Holy Spirit led those of us involved in planning this conference. He laid on our hearts an ache for something that we miss at other homeschool conferences. Our Catholic identity makes us yearn for the presence of the Lord in a way that only Catholics truly appreciate: Our Lord in the Eucharist.

Having both Adoration and the Holy Mass available fulfills in us something that other forms of prayer simply don't give us. It brings the Lord more fully into our hearts and souls.

Dear Lord,
Thank you for Your guiding hand in the NECHC. I am truly awed by the spirit of joy that surrounded all who volunteered and attended the conference. You have blessed us with children who not only help out when "forced," but who also cheerfully offer their assistance where ever they see a need. Please help us to continue to lead them to have servant's hearts. Thank you, Lord, for all those who volunteered at the conference. There were so many who arrived and pitched in. I am humbled by their generous spirits, Lord.

Amen.

2 comments:

Cheryl said...

This is an awesome post Christine. I thought the conference was a huge success. Thank you for all of the work that you did for it.

Patrice Fagnant-MacArthur said...

Thanks for all you did to make the conference a success! It was great!