30 Years Later: What I Would Do Differently

Pat Wesolowski

Homeschooling nine children over the past 30 years has been a joy-filled experience, but not an experience void of frustration, confusion, and regret. Learn from my mistakes and the mistakes of a few of my friends, and be encouraged to make changes in your homeschooling journey so that you can complete the course without major …

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Pat Wesolowski is an author, speaker, and homeschooling mother of 9 who is now the Homeschool Specialist at Bryan College in Dayton, TN. Pat is the host of the podcast Homeschooling Co-op Style. She has homeschooled her nine children for the past 30+ years (with one left to graduate high school). Pat has a heart for helping parents prepare their teens for life after high school and, for that reason, loves teaching workshops in order to encourage and equip homeschooling parents and students for a fun and successful homeschool experience.

Attention: Why It Comes First and How to Cultivate It

Andrew Kern

Our culture and the environment we have created relentlessly assaults our children’s senses and their minds. The result is nothing less than a cultural attention deficit. This workshop claims that what we pay attention to and how we pay attention to it are the most formative (and therefore important) thing about us. Why so important? …

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Andrew Kern is founder and president of the CiRCE Institute, the founding author of The Lost Tools of Writing, a co-author of the best-selling book Classical Education: The Movement Sweeping America, which he wrote with Dr. Gene Edward Veith, and is on the board of The Society For Classical Learning (SCL). Since establishing CiRCE as a research and consulting service to classical educators, Andrew has trained teachers, led board retreats, and assisted with institutional development and start-up in over 100 schools since 1996. He has been directing the CiRCE Institute full time since the summer of 2000. Andrew helped start Providence Academy in Green Bay, WI, in 1993, where he served as “Lead Teacher”; Foundations Academy (now Ambrose School) in Boise, ID, where he served as Director of Classical Instruction from 1996–2000; The Great Ideas Academy in Charlotte, NC, where he served as Headmaster from 2001-2003; and The Regent Schools of the Carolinas, where he served as Dean of Academics from 2006–2008. He and his family live in North Carolina.

Blood and Morality

Martin Cothran

What early-twentieth century writer made a bet with a friend that he could write a book more famous than Treasure Island (and won)? Martin Cothran tells this story and many others about the writers who produced many of the great adventure books for boys, books that invoked a vision of masculinity that at once taught …

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Martin Cothran is director of the Classical Latin School Association and is the father of four homeschooled adult children. He is the editor of Memoria Press’s “Classical Teacher” magazine and the author of several books for private and home schools, including Memoria Press’ Traditional Logic, Material Logic, and Classical Rhetoric programs, as well as Lingua Biblica: Old Testament Stories in Latin.

He is past Latin, Logic, and Rhetoric Instructor at Highlands Latin School in Louisville, Kentucky. He holds a B.A. in philosophy and economics from the University of California at Santa Barbara and an M.A. in Christian Apologetics from the Simon Greenleaf School (now part of Trinity University). He is widely quoted on education and other public policy issues in Reuters News Service, USA Today, the New York Times, the Washington Post and numerous other state and national news sources. The Lexington Herald-Leader called him “the master of the thirty-second sound bite,” and the Associated Press has described him as “articulate and relentless.” His expertise on education and public policy and made him the most frequent guest on Kentucky Educational Television’s “Kentucky Tonight,” a statewide weekly public affairs program. He is also the only person to have publicly debated a federal judge on a case that was still before the court.

Build an Amazing Homeschool Transcript

Jean Burk

There is only one secret ingredient to giving credibility to a homeschool transcript. If you don’t know it, author Jean Burk will share the answer in this incredible lecture. Discover the insider criteria that Harvard uses to judge applicants and why summer break needs to be more than just a vacation. Learn the differences between …

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Author Jean Burk is a homeschooling mother and creator of the revolutionary and award-winning College Prep Genius curriculum, which has helped thousands of high school students prepare for the SAT and PSAT/NMSQT. Her expertise has been featured on FOX, CBS, NBC, ABC, Forbes Living TV, UShopTV, and The Homeschool Channel. She has been a keynote and featured speaker at numerous homeschool conferences, schools, clubs, college nights, etc. Jean currently travels across the United States speaking about how to go to college for free!

As a homeschooling mom, Jean did not have the financial resources to send her children to college. When she discovered that the SAT and PSAT were the keys to getting huge scholarships, she began to research the tests to understand how to prepare her children for them. She discovered that these tests could be taught—they aren’t IQ tests, but rather critical thinking exams. After both her children received full-ride scholarships (her daughter and son have since earned free grad school and law school, respectively), Jean began teaching these techniques to other homeschool, public, private, and charter school students. Her program, College Prep Genius, is the culmination of more than a decade of research, classroom experience, and SAT expertise.

Could It Be a Learning Disability?

Kristen Eckenwiler

When a homeschooled child seems to flounder for no easily-identified reason, parents often exhaust themselves in their search for answers. At some point, a parent may wonder if there might be a learning disability at the root of their child’s struggle. Kristen and her husband have designed this workshop to help parents sort out the …

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Kristen Eckenwiler graduated with honors from the University of Central Florida, where she earned a Masters degree in Reading. She has taught first-, second-, and fourth-graders in the public schools, as well as a variety of courses in elementary education at the collegiate level. Additionally, she has taught writing and literature classes for the homeschool community.

For the last 11 years, she has stayed home to homeschool her two sons, while also staying very busy testing, tutoring, and collaborating with her husband, Dr. William Eckenwiler, as they provide a variety of products and services through their educational business, The Struggling Reader, Inc. Kristen brings both a wealth of knowledge and a visible passion to all of her workshops.

Dyslexia, AD(H)D, Processing Disorders: Overcoming the Obstacles and Embracing the Gifts

Dr. Angela Gonzales

What are the common characteristics shared by individuals with dyslexia, AD(H)D, and other processing disorders? How can they be so smart, yet struggle to read, learn, and focus? This presentation will give you new insight, understanding, and techniques to help your children find their potential and overcome their obstacles. It is time for a paradigm …

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Dr. Angela L. Gonzales (Dr. Angie) is a Pediatrician, Licensed Davis® Facilitator, Licensed Davis® Autism Approach Facilitator/Coach, parenting specialist, transformational speaker, and mother of three.

Currently, Dr. Angie owns and runs Dr. Angie’s Place in Norco, CA. Dr. Angie’s Place is a learning and wellness facility where Dr. Angie uses her Davis® Facilitator License, medical expertise and life experience.

Through Dr. Angie’s Place, she is able to empower clients, educators, and parents with skills and techniques that help overcome the obstacles of learning and social interaction that can accompany the unique thinking styles of those with dyslexia, ADD/ADHD and Autism Spectrum Disorder, to mention a few.

Dr. Angie’s Place programs utilize multiple non-pharmaceutical techniques that are tactile, fun, and unique to each client. The programs also include help with focusing, comprehension, math skills, reading and handwriting skills, social intelligence, and foundational life concepts.

As a motivational and instructional speaker and educator, Dr. Angie has dedicated herself to helping others of all ages to find joy and peace in their lives…especially parents. Through Dr. Angie’s Place, she offers multiple educational courses and workshops that aid individuals on their path to total wellness of mind, body, and soul.

Background

Prior to running Dr. Angie’s Place, Dr. Angie received her B.A. in Physiology from the University of California at San Diego and then went on to obtain a doctorate in medicine from Drew/UCLA School of Medicine. She completed her pediatric residency at Martin Luther King Hospital and then spent an additional year as Chief Resident to aid in teaching pediatric residents.

Following her medical training she worked in Downey, CA, as a general pediatrician for ten years. During this time, she served on multiple committees both at the clinic and hospital.

Dr. Angie was born and raised in Los Angeles and currently resides in Riverside, CA, with her husband of 28 years, her three children, and four dogs.

The Turning Point

As Dr. Angie’s family grew, she transitioned her time from the clinic to time with her children, trading her full-time practice for part-time work covering other physicians’ practices when necessary. As her youngest child’s school experience increased in difficulty, she left medicine to aid in his education.

Despite her efforts at homeschooling, her son continued to have learning challenges. It wasn’t until she found a Davis® Facilitator that her son began to have success in school.

She saw the success in her son defined by increasing reading ability, appropriate coping mechanisms, and improving self-esteem and confidence. Her son’s success was her inspiration to go back to work, but as a Davis® Facilitator rather than as a physician.

As she began her journey providing answers for those with learning differences, she realized that the sum total of the individual was far more than just their ability to learn.

Dr. Angie began to provide programs, workshops, and lecture series for parents, sharing the concepts and principles of how she learned to live her days in joy and happiness while parenting her amazing boys.

She continues to expand her purpose by igniting empowerment within individuals through understanding, knowledge, and wisdom.

She is a contributor to the online parenting website Kids in the House and can be seen in the short film documentary Exploding The Reading Paradigm.

She is also the creator and author of the workbook series entitled The Everyday Parent Fix-it Manual: Finding Joy and Balance in Life.

She is the author of the e-book entitled 3 Simple Secrets Moms and Dads of Children with Dyslexia, AD(H)D, or Autism Know that Keep Them from Worrying About Their Child’s Future.

Fitting Mom Back Into Motherhood

Wendy Speake

You take care of all those little people, and that big guy too, but sometimes mom gets lost. We call these seasons, “The Dark Ages.” But you know from your children’s history lessons that the literal Dark Ages always preceded a Renaissance! This session walks you through simple self-care to deep soul care, that we …

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As a trained actress and heartfelt Bible teacher, Wendy ministers to women’s hearts through storytelling and Biblical life application. She utilizes drama, comedy, poetry, and the study of God’s Word. During her career in Hollywood on shows such as JAG, Melrose Place, Star Trek Voyager, and Roswell, Wendy found herself longing to tell stories that edify and encourage women. She now writes and performs dramatic Bible studies that move her audiences closer to Jesus.

She is the author of Triggers: Exchanging Parents’ Angry Reactions for Gentle Biblical Responses and Life Creative: Inspiration for Today’s Renaissance Mom.

Wendy resides in Southern California with her husband and their 3 ruddy boys. Follow her homeschooling adventures and faith journey at WendySpeake.com.

Five Keys for Creating a Strong Family in a Selfish World

Nicholeen Peck

Families are more stressed than ever before. Tantrums abound. Children’s hearts are turning away from their parents and parents are struggling to stay calm. There is a way to create a strong united family in this entitled world. In this class, Nicholeen will share her proven parenting principles and skills for creating a home where …

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When it comes to parenting, Nicholeen Peck is a worldwide phenomenon and leader—and for good reason! Her proven system based on four simple skills transforms even the most out-of-control teenagers and homes from chaos to calm within days. Though she’s an international speaker, author, mentor, former foster parent of many difficult and troubled teens, and even President of the Worldwide Organization for Women (an approved consultant for the United Nations), Nicholeen spends most of her time at home with her husband and four children, whom she knows will be her greatest impact and legacy. The fact that she has such an international influence while still being a stay-at-home mom is evidence of the effectiveness of her teachings. Learn more about her mission and methods at www.teachingselfgovernment.com.

Nicholeen Peck is the mother of four and previous foster parent of many difficult and troubled teens. The Peck family’s success with these difficult children was based upon calmness, the principles of self-government, and good communication. She has been teaching people around the world the principles of Self-Government since 1999.  In 2009, Nicholeen and her family were featured in a one-hour BBC documentary about parenting. She has appeared on various news shows and radio programs to discuss effective parenting. She is a popular public speaker, author of the international book Parenting a House United and many other books including Londyn LaRae Says Okay, Porter Earns A Quarter, Big Win For Quin, Paije Takes the StageRoles, Popular Parenting Methods, and more. She has also written many magazine articles and articles for this website.

Nicholeen’s books have been translated into Spanish, Chinese, and Japanese, and she has taught audiences throughout North America, as well as in Europe, Asia, and Africa. It is Nicholeen’s mission to heal families around the world from emotional bondage by teaching them the principles of self-government that have set her and her family free.

Help Your Nonstandard Learner

Esther Wilkison

Find out what is happening in the brain of a struggling student—not in technical labels but in compassion and clarity. Discover hope from Esther, who knows from her own nonstandard learning experience what it is like to struggle in learning—and then succeed. Learn ways to help your nonstandard learner thrive in learning and life! Listen …

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Esther Wilkison is no ordinary speaker because she is no ordinary learner. Struggle and failure played a big part in her learning, but the dominant theme of Esther’s life has more to do with God’s grace enabling her to persist, succeed, and help others.

No one who knew her struggles in school expected Esther to become a teacher, author, or international speaker—but God loves to do the unexpected. Esther has put her BS in Education and her MA in Biblical Counseling to work for decades in a variety of classroom, homeschool, church, and camp settings.

For the last decade, homeschoolers from Los Angeles to New York, from Mexico to Manilla have found Esther a speaker who connects with the heart as she provides hope for learning and living.

Esther blogs at EstherWilkison.com and works independently as a speaker, author, and learning coach. Her goal is to exalt Christ as she empowers those who are reaching the next generation for Jesus Christ.

Homeschooling and Mental Health: Dealing with Depression, Anxiety, and Other Concerns Your Family Faces

Jerusha Clark

​Statistics indicate that the majority of American families deal with some form of mental health concern.  Whether it’s you, your child, your spouse, or an extended family member who struggles with anxiety, depression, or another mental health issue, this encouraging and informative seminar will equip you with information that can transform your experience.  Mental health …

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Jerusha Clark is the author or co-author of eleven books, including Your Teenager Is Not Crazy: Understanding Your Teen’s Brain Can Make You A Better Parent (co-written with her husband, Dr. Jeramy Clark). Jerusha’s writing and speaking ministry focuses on helping others glorify and enjoy God, one thought at a time. On quiet days, you can find Jerusha body-boarding, reading, or singing around a bonfire at the beach—her absolute favorite place. Jeramy and Jerusha have two amazing teenage daughters and love ministering together at churches, retreats, schools, and conferences.

Homeschooling and the Dangers of Federalized Education

Dr. Duke Pesta

How did we get here? Recent educational overreaches—from Common Core to the radical expansion of meaningless high-stakes testing—have finally awakened parents across the county to the ongoing transformation of education that has occurred right under our noses. We have rapidly moved from an educational system emphasizing knowledge-based mastery of subject matter to an ideological and …

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Dr. Duke Pesta serves as the Academic Director of FreedomProject Academy, a live online school that is faithfully educating America. FPA is Common Core-free, offering individual classes and complete curricula for students in kindergarten through high school. Dr. Pesta is also a tenured university professor and author.

He received his Masters degree in Renaissance literature from John Carroll University and his Ph.D. in Shakespeare and Renaissance literature from Purdue University.

Dr. Pesta has spent the last few years delivering more than 500 talks around the country, discussing educational reform and Common Core. He is one of the nation’s foremost experts on the federal takeover of public education, testifying before a number of state legislatures. Dr. Pesta’s videos and presentations top more than a million views online collectively, and much of his work is available at FPEUSA.org.

How to Cultivate Habits of Lifelong Learning

Janice Campbell

If education is an “atmosphere, a discipline, and a life” as Charlotte Mason suggested, it is much more than just a few hours of school each day. What are the qualities of a lifelong learner, and how can you help your student become one? We’ll look at ways to create a learning-friendly atmosphere and life, …

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Janice Campbell and her husband Donald homeschooled their sons from preschool into early college using a lifestyle-of-learning approach influenced by Charlotte Mason, classical learning, and the Thomas Jefferson method. Her books and resources reflect Janice’s focus on twaddle-free, literature-based active learning (she did have boys, after all!).

Janice speaks at conferences nationwide on subjects including literature and writing, high school and early college, teacher training for a learning lifestyle, microbusiness, and multiple streams of income for homeschool families. She is the author of the Excellence in Literature curriculum for grades 8–12, Transcripts Made Easy, and Get a Jump Start on College, among other things. She is also Director of the National Association of Independent Writers and Editors.

Whether teaching high school students to love literature or teaching writers and entrepreneurs how to create multiple streams of income, Janice’s focus is on lighting lamps so that others can more easily find their way. Her website, www.Everyday-Education.com, offers inspiration, resources, and a free e-newsletter.

How to Make Language Arts Fun, Whatever Your Curriculum

Dr. Melanie Wilson

You want your children to be good readers and writers, but they don’t seem to share your goal. In this session, you’ll learn the secrets to motivating reluctant readers and writers. Forget grammar groans and the “eww”s that English gets you now. Your kids will learn to love language arts! Listen Now About Dr. Melanie …

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Dr. Melanie Wilson is a Christian psychologist turned homeschooling mother of six. Two of her sons are now attending college, leaving her with children ranging from a 5th-grader through a high school junior that she is still homeschooling. She credits God and her husband of 24 years for the time to write, speak, and homeschool too. While she doesn’t practice anymore, she does share sanity-saving ideas at her blog, PsychoWith6.com.

Melanie is the author of So You’re Not Wonder Woman, detailing the failure of psychology to change her own life; The Organized Homeschool Life: A Week-By-Week Guide to Homeschool Sanity; and Grammar Galaxy: Adventures in Language Arts, an elementary language arts curriculum.
She also hosts a podcast for homeschoolers, The Homeschool Sanity Show, and regularly broadcasts on Periscope and Facebook. She enjoys leading the Facebook group, HomeschoolScopes, for homeschoolers who enjoy live broadcasts.

Melanie is passionate about encouraging mothers in their homeschooling, family life, and faith. She loves scrapbooking and tennis, and has discovered a new hobby in Bible journaling.

My Child Can Read, So Why Can’t He Spell?

Karen Holinga

Did you know that 47% of high-frequency words in English are NOT phonetic?  And did you know that no matter how well you read, research says you still have to “go through” spelling stages to get those tough words into long term memory? We will explain the five spelling stages and then discuss the most efficient way …

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Dr. Karen Holinga is a reading specialist and has a doctorate from The Ohio State University in Developmental Reading, Curriculum, and Professional Development. Reading Recovery-trained, she is the author of the new Spelling You See program recently published by Demme Learning.

She currently owns and operates her own business called The Reading Doctor, Inc., where she works full time tutoring children with reading disabilities and counseling homeschool families in curriculum development.

Karen successfully homeschooled her own three children for twelve years and has been doing narrative assessments since 1992. After struggling to teach one of her own children to read, Karen determined that she was going to help others with the same problem. Now she performs over 700 assessments each year, focusing primarily on solving reading problems among homeschoolers. In August of 2003 and again in 2005, Karen was featured for a week on the www.homeschoolheartbeat.com radio program with Attorney Michael Farris of the Home School Legal Defense Association.

Dr. Holinga has taught classes at Ohio Wesleyan University and at The University of Dayton. She is frequently invited to present workshops and seminars throughout Ohio. Dr. Karen has also done many workshops at the state Christian Home Educators of Ohio convention.

Nerf Guns and Shaving Cream: Teaching Reading and Spelling to Kids Who Can’t Sit Still

Christy Jones

Engage your active learners through movement, and let the fun begin! In this workshop, Christy Jones will reveal the natural kinesthetic components to reading and spelling and teach parents how to tap into them to enhance learning for all students. As she shares stories of teaching her active crew, you will discover the God-given gifs …

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Christy Jones is a doctoral candidate in Reading and Literacy at Capella University. She has provided consulting to homeschool families using Logic of English since 2015. In addition, Christy has worked with children from first grade through high school in developing their literacy skills. Her passion for reading and literacy led to her being a co-author of literacy curriculum with The Logic of English; she is dedicated to improving literacy instruction for all students.

Seven Lessons We Learned from the First Four Years

Michael Somerville

Michael and Jessica Somerville are entering their fifth year of homeschooling their three daughters. In this session, Michael reflects on some of the lessons that they learned along the way. As second-generation homeschoolers, Michael and Jessica thought that their learning curve would not be all that steep. Wrong! Listen in as Michael shares what we …

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Michael Somerville serves as the vice president of Lampstand Press, which publishes the well-known humanities and worldview curriculum, Tapestry of Grace.

Home-educated through high school by Scott and Marcia Somerville, authors of Tapestry of Grace, Michael went on to academic success, graduating at the top of his class from the University of Maryland’s Smith School of Business before going on to complete his Master’s in Science in Systems Engineering from the Johns Hopkins University with a 4.0 GPA.

Michael’s professional career in systems engineering and project management encompassed seven years working for defense contractor Lockheed Martin, as well as several years as an independent contractor, and as a project manager for a small business. Michael’s home education prepared him well, equipping him with the tools to understand people, communicate effectively, write clearly, build effective teams, and creatively solve problems in the real world.

As an actively homeschooling father of three daughters, Michael and his wife Jessica are second-generation users of Tapestry of Grace, and worked together to develop Tapestry Primer, which adapts the principles and practices of Tapestry for families that are just starting their homeschooling journey. Together, they love raising their daughters to love the Lord with all their heart, soul, strength, and mind.

In his role with Lampstand Press, Michael leads the company’s development of new products, and efforts to tell homeschoolers about the joys of a story-driven, whole-family worldview education built around an authentically Christ-centered study of the humanities and the Great Conversation. Michael is passionate about sharing his perspective as a second-generation homeschooler with others, and about encouraging families in their pursuit of home-based education.

Seven Traits of an Imperfectly Effective Parent

Daniel Huerta

This session will cover seven traits identified through clinical experience, literature, and research of effective, connected, and thriving parents. The reality is that each parent also brings imperfections from their history, experiences, perceptions, and overall humanity. Parenting can be difficult, fun, stressful, amazing, and humbling all at the same time. Learn how to grow as …

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Daniel Huerta is the vice president of the Parenting and Youth department at Focus on the Family. In this role, he oversees Focus’ initiatives that equip parents to disciple and mentor the next generation, so that they can thrive in Christ.

Huerta is a bilingual licensed clinical social worker. For many years, he has provided families with practical parenting advice. He specializes as a counselor and spokesperson in the treatment of disruptive behavior disorders, conflict resolution, self-esteem issues, and anxiety and depression in adolescents, children, and their families. He can also discuss how to talk with kids about trauma and healthy sexuality.

Born in Mexico City, Huerta also understands firsthand how intercultural differences affect relationships and can help families learn how to navigate challenges in this area well.

Huerta’s heart for counseling took root in college when he taught youth sports with a special needs individual at a YMCA. Despite severe disabilities, the young man’s joy and skills inspired Huerta to help people become the best they can be and live the best they can.

After the shooting tragedies in Aurora, CO, and Newtown, CT, Huerta took on dozens of radio and TV interviews, giving advice to parents on how to talk through the tragedies with their kids and teens. He’s also been a guest on the “Focus on the Family Daily Broadcast,” “Focus on the Family Weekend,” and “Focus on the Family Minute” radio features.

Before joining Focus on the Family in 2004, Huerta worked as a social worker for the Harrison School District in Colorado Springs. He also supervised a mentoring program for at-risk youth and served as an adjunct faculty member at Pikes Peak Community College.

Huerta was a contributing author for The First Five Years of Marriage, The Smart Groom’s Answer Guide to the First Year of Marriage, and The Savvy Bride’s Answer Guide to the First Year of Marriage.

Huerta earned a master’s degree in social work from the University of Denver Graduate School of Social Work and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Colorado in Colorado Springs. He’s currently working on his doctorate in clinical psychology at California Southern University.

He maintains a private practice in Colorado Springs and served as a board member on the El Paso County Mental Health Association for almost four years. He is also a Certified Cognitive Behavioral Therapist.

He and his wife, Heather, have been married since 1998 and have two children, Alex and Lexi.

Teaching Elementary Science Using History as a Guide

Dr. Jay Wile

There are two main ways that science is taught today. The first method, called the spiral approach, teaches a wide range of topics every year, and students spend a little time on each topic. However, every few years, the topics are revisited, and students learn them in more depth. This method produces a high level …

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Dr. Jay Wile learned about his love for chemistry when his dedicated parents bought him his first chemistry set. Many stink bombs and a few explosions later, he was hooked! Although he loved chemistry, he also had many other interests. For a while, he thought about becoming a concert pianist, but unfortunately, his fingers were not long enough (no kidding!). As he was finishing up his high school years, he became extremely interested in the theater and began to pursue a career in acting. Partly because he learned the science behind some of the special effects of the plays in which he performed, he eventually went back to his first love: chemistry.

He went to the University of Rochester in upstate New York to study chemistry, and while he was there, he began working on nuclear chemistry experiments. He became so fascinated with nuclear chemistry that he stayed at the University of Rochester and got a Ph.D. in that field. For several years, he did research in the field under the auspices of the Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation. This research led to several grants and many publications. While doing research, Dr. Wile was also an assistant professor of chemistry.

Dr. Wile’s love of science is demonstrated by the many awards he has won for excellence in teaching and research. He has also presented numerous lectures on the topics of Nuclear Chemistry, Christian Apologetics, Homeschooling, and Creation vs. Evolution. He has published 30 articles on these subjects in nationally-recognized, peer-reviewed journals, and has 9 books to his credit, most of which belong to the award-winning “Exploring Creation with” series of junior-high and high-school science courses.

Teaching the Classics from Seuss to Socrates: Literary Analysis for Everyone

Adam Andrews

Does the subject of literature seem like a mystery? Are you a loss about how to understand it yourself, much less teach it to your kids? This inspiring lecture demonstrates that everything you need to know about understanding and teaching literature is present in your second grader’s bedtime story. Adam reads a classics children’s story …

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Adam Andrews received his B.A. in Political Economy and Christian Studies from Hillsdale College in 1991. He earned his M.A. in History from the University of Washington in 1994, and is currently a candidate for the Ph.D. in History. He is writing his doctoral dissertation on the history of American higher education. Adam is a Henry Salvatori Fellow of the Intercollegiate Studies Institute, and was a founding board member of Westover Academy, a Classical Christian school in Colville, Washington. He is the assistant director of the American Council for Accredited Certification, a non-profit professional certifying body.

Missy Andrews received her B.A. in English Literature and Christian Studies from Hillsdale College in 1991. She and Adam have six children, ages nine to eighteen. Now in her fourteenth year of homeschooling, Missy’s class has grown to include all six kids, as well as several students from neighboring families who participate in a local home school cooperative. The family attends Christ Reformed Church in Colville, where Adam does most of the preaching.

Both Adam and Missy have long felt a calling to serve the homeschooling community, and have constantly been on the lookout for ways to make high-quality education accessible to committed parents and teachers. Inveterate bookworms, they have spent the past twelve years making booklists of great literature for students of all ages, and trying to find a literature curriculum that is both accessible and substantial. Teaching the Classics is the result of their conviction that the best curriculum is one that involves both teacher and student in a discussion of great ideas.

Our Mission

Adam and Missy founded the Center for Literary Education in 2003 to help parents and teachers provide high-quality instruction in the important disciplines of the mind.

Many of these disciplines have been lacking in American education for decades, and a return to greatness in the next generation requires that we reclaim them. The Center for Literary Education exists to help parents and teachers give their students facility with ideas, making it possible for them to rise to positions of influence and authority in their society.

We believe that influence and leadership opportunities will eventually go to those who know how to handle ideas, and that education, if is to be rightly so called, must deal with ideas first and foremost.

Since the beginning of human civilization, men of influence—leaders—have always concerned themselves with ideas; they have been familiar with the eternal questions, familiar with the usual answers, conversant with the long-running debates. The record of their intellectual journey remains for us to contemplate, written down in the literature of the western world. The ability to read and understand this literature is a necessary and crucial part of a sound education.

In the American literature of last 150 years, we find one of the most chilling portraits of the crisis of modernity ever recorded. Some of the greatest writers of this period, from Stephen Crane and Jack London to F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway, provide in their works a window into the plight of the modern soul. Having denied the relevance, authority, and very existence of God, many such modern authors floundered in their search for someone to replace Him. Their works thus powerfully demonstrate the consequence of such a denial: the destruction of certainty in all its forms.

To a great extent, we 21st century Americans live in a world bequeathed to us by the thinkers of our recent past: a world devoid of certainty. We must look to a new generation of leaders to help us restore the philosophical and spiritual foundations of our culture. Leaders of this new generation will depend upon a sound literary education: the ability to interact with the arguments of history’s most thoughtful men.

The Center for Literary Education strives to help produce such leaders by equipping parents and teachers to understand, analyze, and interpret great literature, so that they can pass these critical skills on to their students. To this end, it provides seminars and curriculum materials designed to make the basic techniques of literary analysis clear and accessible to teachers and students alike.

Teens Overcoming Learning Challenges

Kathy Kuhl

Teens who struggle with reading, writing, focusing, or organizing can make great progress when homeschooled. Veteran homeschooler Kathy Kuhl gives strategies for teaching teens who don’t get on with textbooks, or struggle with time management, attention, handwriting, and other issues. She discusses life skills and social skills, as well as helping your teen get accommodations …

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Kathy Kuhl helps parents help children with challenges. After homeschooling her son with learning disabilities, she wrote Homeschooling Your Struggling Learner, a handbook for helping children with challenges including learning disabilities, attention deficit, autism, and giftedness. This book is based on interviews with 64 families homeschooling children with learning challenges, and on her own research and personal experience. She also wrote Staying Sane as You Homeschool and Encouraging Your Child, articles for many magazines, and her weekly blog.

Kathy speaks at homeschool conferences internationally. She individually advises families, providing resources, encouragement, and insight.

Kathy graduated from William and Mary, where she earned teaching certificates in English and mathematics. She helps lead two homeschool groups: one offering classes for teens, the other supporting homeschoolers with children with special needs. She has two adult children and one grandchild and lives with her husband in northern Virginia. She loves reading and hiking.

The Minds of Boys: Teaching Boys Effectively

Dr. Michael Gurian

The male brain is a wonderful and challenging learning tool that benefits from our deep understanding of how it works.  From that understanding come boy-specific strategies and techniques than help boys successfully learn the whole curriculum. Dr. Gurian’s book, Boys and Girls Learn Differently, was the first major international resource to call for gender-specific teaching and …

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Dr. Michael Gurian is a marriage and family counselor in private practice and the New York Times bestselling author of twenty-eight books published in twenty-two languages. The Gurian Institute, which he co-founded, conducts research internationally, launches pilot programs, and trains professionals. As a social philosopher, Dr. Gurian has pioneered efforts to bring neuro-biology and brain research into homes, schools, corporations, and public policy. A number of his books have sparked national debate, including The Wonder of Boys, The Wonder of Girls, Boys and Girls Learn Differently!and Lessons of Lifelong Intimacy. Raising Boys by Design (with Gregory Jantz and Ann McMurray), reveals insights and strategies from both the Bible and brain science. His latest book, Saving Our Sons, provides a healthy new path for motivating our boys, protecting our children from neurotoxins, and guiding their technology and media use.

Dr. Gurian is a dynamic, warm, and humorous presenter. He provides keynotes and consulting throughout the world, and his work has been featured in nearly all professional journals and major media, including the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, Christian Science Monitor, Catholic Magazine, Forbes Magazine, Time, Newsweek, Educational Leadership, Psychology Today, Family Therapy, The Today Show, The 700 Club, Good Morning America, CNN, PBS, and Fox News. He has been called “the people’s philosopher” for his ability to bring together scientific principles and people’s everyday lives. He lives in Spokane, WA, with his wife, Gail, and they have two grown daughters.

Turning Your Preschoolers into Life-Long Learners

Kathy Lee

Is my child behind if they are not reading by four? Will my child be okay if they prefer to play in the mud instead of write their letters? How can I make sure that my child will be successful in school? Join me for a fun and creative presentation that will answer these and …

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Kathy Lee Eggers has been dedicated to the well-being of young children for over 25 years. As a former teacher and a​​​ ​​administrator​,​ Kathy has extensive experience in the field of early childhood education. Kathy is the mother of ten kids, both biological and adopted. She enjoys sharing her journey of imperfect motherhood, inspiring others to parent intentionally and authentically. A sought-after speaker worldwide, Kathy is most often described as a passionate, experienced, and humorous presenter. Kathy is the co-owner of The Homegrown Preschooler.

The Homegrown Preschooler is dedicated to providing books, curriculum, and educational tools for young learners. The latest brain research continues to confirm that beginning with a hands-on approach enables children to progress easily to more complex subject matter. We give you the tools to ensure that your child has a rich and enjoyable childhood while growing in knowledge and character.

Uncaging the Cheetah: Homeschooling Your Gifted Child

Dr. Tom Kemnitz

Highly-gifted children aren’t just good memorizers; they are decidedly different learners who require a different approach to education.  Learn the basics of instructing highly gifted children in a session that will puncture common myths and emphasize effective strategies. Listen Now About Thomas Milton Kemnitz founded Royal Fireworks Press in 1977 to develop curricula for gifted and talented children. …

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Thomas Milton Kemnitz founded Royal Fireworks Press in 1977 to develop curricula for gifted and talented children. He was a university professor with a specialty in Victorian England, but he was profoundly dissatisfied with how ill-prepared for higher education his students were. It seemed to him that students knew far too little about far too few subjects, and he sought to offer broader and deeper curricula choices. He has consistently tried to shape curriculum that is child-centered, demanding, creative, and filled with art, humor, and joy. Often that curriculum does not look like what he experienced as a child or what is offered in most classrooms.

When homeschooling became a viable option, Dr. Kemnitz quickly embraced it because he thought that what you could do only with gifted children in classrooms you can do with any child in the homeschool setting. He also has been impressed by the focus on pedagogy that homeschool parents share. Dr Kemnitz is the author of many books for children and parents/teachers. In the past year, he has concentrated on writing about the worlds of ancient Greece and Rome for students of the Royal Fireworks language arts curriculum by Michael Clay Thompson.

Using the Socratic Method: Teaching Your Kids to Think

Attorney Judy Sarden

I use the Socratic method (a carryover from law school) extensively in my homeschool.  The Socratic method teaches kids how to think, how to analyze and synthesize information, how to organize their thoughts, and how to clearly articulate them.  You can do this with young kids as well. In this presentation, I’ll discuss what it …

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Judy Sarden has been a corporate attorney and entrepreneur for over twenty years. After feeling the need to home educate her children, Judy left her corporate legal job and began working for herself at home as a contract attorney, business advisor, writer, and career coach. She is passionate about helping families develop an entrepreneurial spirit and teaching kids to think entrepreneurially. An avid supporter of home education, Judy encourages all families—and especially African American families—to consider educating their children at home. Recognizing that many families need two incomes, Judy works with parents to help them discover how best to use their talents to generate income.

Judy is a wife and mother of 2, who have been homeschooled since the oldest began kindergarten. Currently beginning her 5th year of homeschooling, she has changed homeschool styles and curriculum several times, but after a couple of years, has discovered what works best for her family and loves the adventure. Judy enjoys running, traveling, reading, and photography. She and her daughter have recently started learning to sew together.

What Your Kids Will Hear About Christianity: Understanding the Five Big Challenges Posed by a Secular World

Natasha Crain

There is no God. All religions are basically the same. Miracles are impossible. The Bible is hopelessly ancient and unreliable. Science disproves God. These messages (and many more) are constantly being promoted by a secular world and are likely to challenge your kids’ faith eventually…especially if you haven’t prepared them first. This session will address …

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Natasha Crain is a popular blogger, author, and speaker who is passionate about equipping Christian parents to raise their kids with an understanding of how to make a case for and defend their faith in an increasingly secular world. Her first book, Keeping Your Kids on God’s Side: 40 Conversations to Help Them Build a Lasting Faith, was released by Harvest House in March 2016.

 

Natasha discovered the importance of apologetics after starting the blog Christian Mom Thoughts in 2011 to share ideas for building a Christ-centered home with other parents. As her blog grew in popularity, she started receiving a constant stream of comments from skeptics challenging the truth of Christianity—challenges she realized she couldn’t answer. Natasha set off on an intense reading journey, earned a certificate in Christian apologetics from Biola University, and shifted her blog’s focus to equipping other Christian parents with the same knowledge. Today, her blog attracts more than 25,000 readers each month.

Natasha has an MBA in Marketing and Statistics from the Anderson School at UCLA. She was a marketing executive before leaving the corporate world to focus on writing and speaking about apologetics for parents. Natasha, her husband, and three young children live in Southern California.

What’s a Mom to Do with Teenage Sons?

Norm Wakefield

Blossoming young men can be very challenging to a mother. What’s a mom to do with her son’s seeming disrespect? How should she correct him? Does there come a time when a mom can no longer tell her son what to do? Wives have similar questions about relating to their husbands. What’s a mom or …

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Norm is the founder and executive director of The Spirit of Elijah Ministries, International. He and his wife, Alma, live in Bulverde, TX, and have four children (three married), who are walking with Jesus, and seventeen grandchildren. They began homeschooling in 1984 and are still involved in the homeschooling of their grandchildren.

Norm has been a keynote and conference speaker at state and international homeschool conventions since 1992. God has given him a pastor/teacher’s heart to teach how the gospel applies to all relationships and circumstances in life. His knowledge of Jesus Christ and the Scriptures coupled with his homeschool experience enables him to specifically speak to the many challenges that homeschool parents, children, and young adults face on a daily basis. What makes Norm unique is that he speaks from his heart to the hearts of his listeners with a reliance upon the Spirit and presence of Jesus Christ. You’ll find his messages biblical, practical, inspirational, and encouraging.

Who Gets to Decide What’s Normal? Finding Success for All Kinds of Learners

Cynthia Tobias

What if how well you do in the formal school classroom doesn’t turn out to be what makes you successful in life? Here’s an entertaining and informative look at how individual learning styles in the homeschool setting can provide amazing opportunities for all kinds of students to love learning for the rest of their lives. …

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Best-selling author and popular speaker Cynthia Tobias offers practical and encouraging strategies for understanding the way we learn and work, and bringing out the best in almost anyone. She is the author of Focus on the Family’s best-selling book The Way They Learn and was listed in their Best of Broadcast for 4 years in a row.

You gave me so much insight into the way my almost-14-year-old strong-willed daughter thinks. I’ve applied some of the strategies you spoke of, and there is peace. I can’t thank the Lord enough for using you…

Cynthia Tobias has a successful background that includes over 30 years of private practice, 8 years of teaching high school, and 6 years in law enforcement. She has authored 13 books and is a featured guest on radio and television and is a popular presenter for business, government agencies, churches, and schools throughout the U.S. and the world. She is the mother of twin sons—now young adults—and she and her husband Jack live in the Seattle area.

Cynthia’s educational clients have included a large number of public and private schools across the country and around the world. She has taken her educational expertise to many international schools and organizations, including those in South Africa, Bolivia, Trinidad, South Korea, Australia, and more. Her skills and experience have allowed her unique teaching opportunities for Loma Linda Medical School, Washington State Criminal Justice Training Center, the Marine Corp Civilian Law Enforcement Command School, Eastside Fire and Rescue, and other similar organizations.

Cynthia’s corporate clients have included Seattle Police Department, Los Angeles Police Department, International Association of Women Police (IAWP), General Motors, Walt Disney, Merrill Lynch, and BNSF Railroads, as well as numerous government agencies, law enforcement, and fire & rescue services.

Cynthia received her B.A. at Northwest Nazarene University, her Master’s Degree at Seattle Pacific University, and an Honorary Doctorate from Northwest Nazarene University in 2015. She is currently serving on the Advisory Board of the Washington State Chaplains Foundation Advisory Board (primarily serving the Washington State Patrol & Fish and Wildlife Chaplains) and is a Trustee at Northwest Nazarene University.

Why Children Must Play to Learn

Christopher Perrin

We can all plainly see that children love to play. If you are honest with yourself, don’t you like to play too? In previous centuries, parents were content to let their children romp and play for hours every day, and no doubt some of the most deeply-retained lessons of life were derived from play, adventure, …

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Christopher Perrin, a former homeschooling father, is the CEO and publisher at Classical Academic Press. He is a recognized national leader, author, and speaker for the classical education movement. Christopher serves as a consultant to classical Christian schools and homeschool co-ops in the United States and overseas. He is the director at the Alcuin Fellowship and is the vice chair of the Society for Classical Learning. His countless articles and lectures are also widely used throughout America and the English-speaking world.

Christopher received his Ph.D. in Apologetics from Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, his M.Div. from Westminster Theological Seminary in California, and a BA in history from the University of South Carolina. He was also a special student in literature at St. Johns College in Annapolis. He has taught at Messiah College and Chesapeake Theological Seminary.

Christopher is the author of the books An Introduction to Classical Education: A Guide for Parents, The Greek Alphabet Code Cracker, and Greek for Children, and co-author of the Latin for Children series available from Classical Academic Press.

Classical Academic Press brings to market across the globe classical, creatively-taught textbooks and media such including Latin, Spanish, French, logic, writing & rhetoric, poetry, and Bible curricula (among other subjects), as well as classical education resources and teacher training for homeschools and schools. Christopher has a passion for classical Christian education and a love for truth, goodness, and beauty wherever it may be found.

Why Dads Resist Teaching Kids Spiritual Truth…and How You Can Help

Timothy Shoemaker

Many women want their husband to pick up the ball when it comes to teaching their kids about God and the principles he’s given us to live by—but some men seem to avoid it. Tim will help you understand why, and how to help your man over some of the hurdles that are holding him …

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By God’s grace, Tim is the author of ten books and speaks at conferences for parents, men, pastors, children’s pastors, and writers across the country. Tim is a regular speaker at Focus on the Family in Colorado Springs, Iron Sharpens Iron Men’s Conferences, and the International Network of Children’s Ministry annual Children’s Pastors Conferences.

Happily married for over 33 years, Tim has three grown sons. He is active in leadership in his home church, and has worked as a volunteer with junior high and senior high youth combined for over 20 years.

Worldviews in Literature

Daniel Schwabauer

If analyzing literature makes your head swim, check out this poolside floatie. We’ll learn to take apart great books using a concept any high school student can grasp: the four layers of meaning. Students and teachers alike will benefit from this simple but profound approach to interpreting literature. Once the four layers are explained, you will wonder …

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Daniel Schwabauer has an MA in creative writing from the University of Kansas. He is editor of Crosswind Comics and creator of The One Year Adventure Novel and Cover Story, writing programs for homeschool students. His professional work includes stage plays, radio scripts, short stories, newspaper columns, comic books, and scripting for the PBS animated series Auto-B-Good. Runt the Brave, Runt the Hunted, and The Curse of the Seer, his young adult novels from AMG Publishers, have received numerous awards, including the 2005 Ben Franklin Award for Best New Voice in Children’s Literature and the 2008 Eric Hoffer Award. He and his family make their home in Olathe, Kansas.