Session #1
Friday Morning Workshops (Adult)

“Be Not Afraid of Failure – It Can Be Redeemed” – Fr. Alban & Kh. Helen Waggener

          Don’t be afraid to:
                       Make mistakes
                       Be creative with curriculum
                       Keep going in spite of discouragements
                       Maintain a healthy “couple consciousness”/ united front
                       Pay attention to other children who are not demanding attention
                       Keep close ties with Church/Calendar

The family is the best therapeutic place to deal with “failure” through forgiveness. Each child is a person with a will and he will be reached in a different way from the others – there is no A+B+C= assurance of a mature Christian.

The Waggeners homeschooled their four sons from about 1985 until 2004. Part of that time they both taught their 4 sons in a Christian School.  They used varying curricula, including Rod & Staff, ABeka, the Great Books, and the public library.  This was done in 4 different states and 3 different Church homes.  They entered the Orthodox Church in 2006 after a long “romance” with Orthodoxy. They have been married for 45 years.  Fr. Alban is the pastor of Holy Trinity parish in Lynchburg, Va.  Kh. Helen has taught art classes at homeschool co-ops for 20 years.

"Modern Saints on Educating our Children in the Home" - Fr. Daniel Meyer

Our children have set out on the path toward Christ. As parents and educators our hope is to bring them up in wisdom and virtue, and so we set before them a feast of truth, beauty, and goodness. The atmosphere and discipline, the life in our home matters. How can we welcome in and make space for the true Potter in the education and life of our children? We will discuss some of what St. Paisios the Athonite and St. Porphyrios of Kavsokalyvia have to say on these matters.

Fr. Daniel is the priest and pastor of Holy Ascension Orthodox Church in West Chester, PA since 2011. For the last three years, Fr. Daniel has taught high school and middle school catechism and church history for St. Raphael School: an Orthodox Christian school for classical education. He is a founder of Crown Them with Glory, a project toward educating the faithful in the Church's teachings on traditional marriage and sexuality. He also serves as a clergy adviser for Orthodox college student groups at both West Chester University and Eastern University.

Fr. Daniel is married to Presbytera Elizabeth, and together, they have six children. They have homeschooled their children for the past six years.

Fearlessly Making Use of Protestant Curricula - Caleb Shoemaker

The world of homeschooling curriculum is always growing and expanding, and it can be confusing enough for the average family to pick the right program, book, series, or publisher for their home school. Add to this challenge, the desire to create an Orthodox ethos around your home school, and the majority of these curricula are Protestant. As there is not yet a fully Orthodox homeschool curriculum, we as parents need to be able to discern, compare, and select the best program for our families--modify where necessary--without being fearful or intimidated. Together we'll explore popular homeschool curricula, talk about strengths and weaknesses, and discuss ways for modifying them for an Orthodox home without fear!


Caleb Shoemaker is a homeschooling dad of 4. He has been homeschooling his children for the past 3 years, and prior to that was the chair of the Latin department at Augustine Classical Academy in upstate New York. Caleb blogs about being an Orthodox homeschooling parent in a Protestant world at, and is the co-author of Blueprints for the Little Church, available from Ancient Faith Press.

Homeschooling Relationally - Elizabeth Crispina Johnson

As homeschool parents, one of our goals (and greatest challenge) is how to keep our homeschooling a positive, productive, and peaceful experience (not only for our children, but for ourselves as well.) This workshop will provide how-to ideas as well as “be not afraid” encouragement as we work toward those goals, learning to homeschool relationally, seeing eye to eye with our children.

Elizabeth Crispina Johnson began homeschooling the oldest of her three children in 1982, and continues to homeschool, now teaching three of her ten grandchildren. In addition to being an online teacher for St. Raphael School, she is also the author of four Orthodox children’s books, her most recent being In the Candle’s Glow.Elizabeth attends St. John the Baptist Orthodox Church in Rochester, NY.