Our program was founded by Fr. Ninos and Presbytera Tina Oshaana, an Orthodox clergy family and homeschoolers since 2013. Seeing a lack of support and community for other Orthodox homeschooling families in the Bay Area, they were inspired to start the “Orthodox Homeschool Co-op” in the Summer of 2022 as the first-ever homeschool co-op for Orthodox in the Bay Area. The goal was to foster community, offer support and provide families with enriching experiences in education, spirituality, fellowship and recreational activities. When it was launched, the co-op was welcomed enthusiastically by many families and their children. Its success would not have been possible without the support and dedication of the moms who responded to the vision and joined us with such openness, creativity, energy, excitement and willingness to help.
In our first year, the meetings were held monthly. Seeing how much the program benefited the families and children, an unanimous decision was made to meet weekly for the next school year. At the start of the 2023 Academic year, we also decided to choose a new official name: Holy Cross Homeschool Academy. The name was inspired by several things. Our meeting place is at Sts. Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church. It was St. Constantine who saw a bright cross in the sky before a battle and then saw Christ in a vision who told him “In this sign conquer.” And it was his mother, St. Helen, who is venerated for her godly devotion in finding the true cross that Christ was crucified upon. Finally, our meeting day has always been on Fridays, a day that the Orthodox Church honors and remembers Christ’s passion and crucifixion upon the Cross.
For Orthodox Christians, the Holy Cross is our emblem of faith, a bestower of divine blessings and protection, a sign of devotion to Jesus Christ and a symbol of power and victory over evil and death.
We sing the Troparion to the Holy Cross during our prayer service every week:
Save O Lord your people, and bless your inheritance.
Grant victory to the faithful, against the adversaries of the Faith.
And protect your people, by the power of your Cross.