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Volume 9 Issue 1-2
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Volume 3 Issue 6

Editorial

by Mary Leppert

As you can see from the front-page photos, a great time was had by all at our 2nd "kid comfortable" Homeschool Conference, at the Westlake Hyatt Hotel.

It was very rewarding to share the idea of homeschooling with people who never thought they were capable of it. One example: A mother of two, who happened to be in the hotel for other reasons, began questioning me about homeschooling and relating how she could never do it herself. She subsequently stayed for the entire conference and after two days of talking with other parents and attending workshops, she decided to keep both of her kids home this next school year. On that note, a very special thanks to the California Homeschool Network for their Homeschooling Your Family Seminar. Our new-to-homeschooling attendees loved this presentation. A warm thanks to Martin & Carolyn Forte at Excellence In Education for their continuous support and help in making our Conference successful. Thank you to Karen Yee for all of her clear-headed organization. Without her we couldn't have kept things straight! Thanks to Robin Wooten and all of her friends for their fantastic assistance when 200 kids showed up instead of 40 for the first day! I don't know how we could have done the conference without you and all of the other mothers & teenagers who stayed and pitched in, in the true sense of homeschooling -- going the extra mile. Thanks to all the speakers -- John Gatto, The Colfaxes, Pat Farenga, Richard Prystowsky, Sam Blumenfeld, Mariaemma Pelullo-Willis, Cafi Cohen, Jackie Orsi and her daughters who traveled all the way from Ohio to contribute to our conference, and all the other speakers. We received much positive feedback about all of our workshops.

Dr. Pat Montgomery, a new speaker to us this year, was a smashing success. She brought 30 years' homeschooling experience to the conference in a most warm and loving way. We must have had 50 people say they could listen to her speak about anything! Dr. Pat will open the conference next year. Science Adventures and the Stained Glass workshops were tremendously popular with the children! We quickly ran out of seating for both. Next year, more room will be provided for these and our other childrens' activities.

Another new speaker this year was Dr. Oliver DeMille. His workshops "The Education of Thomas Jefferson" and "Preparing for Careers of the Future, Pts 1 & 2" enlightened everyone about mentorship and the classics. For those who did not attend the conference, I would like to introduce him to the readers of The Link in this issue. Dr. DeMille has brought the concept of mentorship, as it was practiced in the Founders' generation, to us.

As I listened to his tapes the sense of it all seemed very familiar to me. When we first began our "homeschooling" journey and I read about all of the different philosophies from unschooling to the traditional school-at-home approach, I always felt that there was something more to homeschooling than either of these points of view addressed. However, I could never articulate this missing element. At times I would envision that I would possess the missing element if I were involved in a family-owned business -- store, deli, whatever -- where parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles worked alongside the kids who were being mentored by their relatives in the business and in Life in general. What my husband and I realized after listening to Dr. DeMille's tapes, is that even if we don't live that old-fashioned life of the past, we need to give to our children the best of who we are -- not the best of the government schools or consumerist society's idea of "socialization". Our children should be trained to be the next generation of our families, with our moral, ethnic, religious values, and looking back over the generations, one should be able to see a thread of continuity, that each family generation is an outgrowth of the preceding one. Mentoring our children first and then finding the mentors for them to learn from at the appropriate age, is the way to build this family continuity. Dr. DeMille mentions how we must be the first example of good character, morality and strength our children have. This is a call to all of us to think about who we are, what we do, and the example we set, and then change what needs to be changed in order to give the best of ourselves to our children. Please see Part 1 of Dr. DeMille's four- part article "Homeschooling: Hope for America" in this issue. We are very proud to have Dr. DeMille be part of The Link and our future conferences. Lastly, thank you to everyone who attended our conference, and took the time to write us comment notes! And thanks for reading The Link!

[In our view, all of the positive comments and experiences coming from the Conference are not a result of The Link's endeavors -- these occurrences are the direct result of the chemistry between the attendees and the presenters. The Link simply introduces the two parties to each other.]

Dear Mary:
My husband and I found The Link Conference a highly intellectual experience. The workshops I attended were excellent in information, inspiration and impact. We are still talking about the quality of speakers and their knowledge. We particularly enjoyed John Taylor Gatto and Samuel Blumenfeld.

Compared to other homeschool conventions I haveattended, I'd say this was the most intellectual. It was not dumbed down. It was pure, raw information -- take it or leave it. The Link left us with a lot of food for thought, which we are still chewing on. We will probably be chewing on it for years to come. We came away with valuable information. Thank you.
Sherrald McMurray, Northern California.

Dear Leppert Family:
You are providing such a valuable service with positive ramifications that go way beyond homeschooling. You are providing a format for the evolution and preservation of the ideals that were the guiding principles of our Founding Fathers. Please know that your diligence and selfless service to this cause have not gone unnoticed. I am indebted to you and would like to assist you in doing this next year.
Margaret Frank, Washington State

Dear Mary:
Thank you for such an affordable and very informative experience. It was wonderful to meet & become inspired by the participants and speakers! We are not yet homeschooling but are seriously considering this lifestyle.
Pam Ludlow, Southern California

See you at next year’s conference!

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