Homeschool Conference in Ireland
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On February 19, 2017, the first ever Catholic Homeschooling Conference in Ireland was held. It was hosted and organized by Jacki and Tom Ascough.
“Homeschooling in Ireland is very small and is relatively new,” explained Hope Ascough, the daughter of the hosts, “so the main purpose of the conference was to bring people who were homeschooling and thinking of homeschooling, so that they could meet each other and learn more about homeschooling; also, we intended to bring homeschooling people from America to Ireland to share about their experience and help give them a vision, answer some questions they might have, and ultimately to share with Irish people the true beauty of homeschooling.”
Of the 120 people who were at the conference, Hope estimates that perhaps a quarter of them were not as of yet homeschooling. All, however, definitely seemed interested in possibly doing so. MODG was well represented, with the presence of, among others, director Laura Berquist, and Andrew Kuenstle, Paul Grimes, and Mary-Mark Haggard. Additionally, nine Irish MODG families, including the Ascoughs, were present.
The conference was certainly important for homeschooling in Ireland, and the Ascoughs do not intend on making it a one time event. “We hope to have a yearly conference,” Hope said, “and to maybe set up meetings during the year for support and to organize some family days. In the future we also hope to make it easier for people to purchase curriculum in Ireland.”