Kirk Martin is laugh-out-loud funny, practical, and his message is life-changing. That is how over 600,000 parents at over 1,500 live workshops have described this Celebrate Calm founder and homeschooling father. Based on work with 1,500 of the most challenging children right in his own home, Kirk’s strategies will eliminate the power struggles, yelling and arguing that characterize many homes. Parents leave his workshops changed and grateful. What makes his workshops unique? Kirk’s presentations, featuring interactions with his son, Casey, make the strategies concrete, challenging and funny. His gut-wrenchingly honest approach inspires transformation. The workshops spend a lot of time helping parents change. After all, the best discipline is modeling, as well as teaching self-discipline to your child.
Josh D. McDowell is a trailblazer for truth and relationships and has been at the forefront of cultural trends and ground-breaking ministry for over five decades. Josh shares the essentials of the Christian faith in everyday language so that youth, families, churches, leaders and individuals of all ages are prepared for the life of faith. Josh has delivered more than 27,000 talks to over 25,000,000 people in 125 countries. He has written or co-authored 148 books, including More Than a Carpenter and New Evidence That Demands a Verdict, recognized by World Magazine as one of the top 40 books of the twentieth century. Josh’s books have been translated into 128 different languages. Josh and his wife, Dottie, are quick to acknowledge that after their love for the Lord, family is their greatest joy and top priority. They have four wonderful children and ten beloved grandchildren.
Andrew Pudewa is the founder and director of the Institute for Excellence in Writing. Presenting throughout North America, he addresses issues relating to teaching, writing, thinking, spelling and music with clarity, insight, practical experience and humor. His seminars for parents, students and teachers have helped transform many a reluctant writer and have equipped educators with powerful tools to dramatically improve students’ skills. Although he is a graduate of the Talent Education Institute in Japan (Suzuki Method) and holds a Certificate of Child Brain Development, his best endorsement is from a young Alaskan boy who called him “the funny man with the wonderful words.” He and his wonderful, heroic wife, Robin, have homeschooled their seven children and are now proud grandparents of eight, making their home in Northeastern Oklahoma’s beautiful green country.
Sonya Shafer is a popular homeschool speaker and writer, specializing in the Charlotte Mason Method. She has been on an adventure for more than 20 years studying, researching, practicing, and teaching Charlotte’s gentle and effective methods of education. Her passion for homeschooling her own four daughters grew into helping others and then into Simply Charlotte Mason, which publishes her many books and provides a place of practical encouragement to homeschoolers at simplycharlottemason.com. To minister to younger mothers and those dealing with special needs, Sonya shares her heart through IntentionalParents.com and her book This Anguishing Blessed Journey: A Mother’s Faith Journal through Autism.
Sam Sorbo studied biomedical engineering at Duke University before pursuing a career in entertainment. An award-winning actress, author, radio host, international model and homeschooling mom to three children with Kevin Sorbo, Sam Sorbo writes to inspire parents to home educate. They’re YOUR Kids: An Inspirational Journey from Self-Doubter to Home School Advocate and Teach from Love: A School Year Devotional for Families (Broadstreet Publishing), are available at SamSorbo.com. Sam co-wrote, produced and co-starred in the 2017 feature film Let There Be Light (Executive producer, Sean Hannity; director, Kevin Sorbo.) She and Kevin are currently in production on East Texas Oil. www.SamSorbo.com
Diane Allen currently works as an educational consultant, speaker and writer after homeschooling for 23 years, serving the homeschool community and serving as a past director of the DNPE (2016-2018). Having been a classroom science teacher, a homeschool mom, support group leader, test administrator and director of a government agency, she has a broad view of educational issues. She and her husband graduated three children from homeschool, serve at their church and generally enjoy the benefits of being grandparents.
9 PT What if Your Child Doesn’t Want to Go to College?
11 G Record Keeping from Grade 1 through Graduation
Francie Black has over 15 years of corporate technology experience where she managed word-wide software development projects for a Fortune 500 company in Los Angeles and later for automotive companies and Internet startups. She brings her technology and presentation skills to the masses through her syndicated technology segments that air weekly on ABC, NBC and FOX TV stations across the country. In addition, she has filmed over 150 live segments for ABC WLOS News. Francie started her summer Home Hacker Camps four years ago where kids learn skills in programming, coding robots, soldering and building Arduino based projects in a super fun, hands on environment. Her undergraduate degree is from UNC Charlotte and her MBA is from Pepperdine University in Malibu, CA. She has 4 awesome children
2 GT The Technology Job Market
Beth Crossmon homeschooled for 19 years. Her 3 boys are now grown. She worked for Davidson College and now works at Patrick Henry College as a recruiter for the Office of Admissions. Outside of her work at Patrick Henry, she leads seminars and counsels families in how to best navigate through the college decision process to find the school that is the best fit and then find the most profitable scholarships and creative sources of income for tuition.
11 TP The College Decision: Why It Is Important and the One Key Factor You Want to Take into Consideration
Shawn Curtis is from Rochester, NY, and married his best friend, Sara, when they were 19 years old. They now have a “small” family of seven children whom they home educate together. The Curtis family have been members at Antioch Community Church in Elon since 2013. Shawn joined the US Navy shortly after his 18th birthday. After graduating from Auburn University with a BS degree in Chemistry, he commissioned and served as a Submarine Warfare Officer. The best and most challenging days of his 12-year naval career were spent underway onboard the USS Nevada. Shawn values and practices the spiritual disciplines of memorizing and praying through scripture and tries to daily live by a treasured maxim of his own father: “Steward each day with your eyes on that Day.” (see 1 Peter 1:13).
10 DYO You Can Lead Them: Building a Habit of Family Discipleship
Andrea Daley has been married to Chris, her knight in shining armor, for 27 years. They have been blessed with ten children, ranging from 11-26 years of age and have been homeschooling for 16 years. Originally from Canada, she graduated from university with a degree in psychology and plans to work full-time. Her professional career lasted only nine months before the Lord blessed her with a bouncing baby boy, and she knew immediately that she would be a stay-at-home mom. Andrea is actively involved in her church, their youth group and the deaf community. Fostering (the oldest) and disabilities (Usher Syndrome) have both stretched and blessed her family over the years. With four children still in homeschool, other in university, grad school and independent and working, Andrea has gleaned much wisdom and experience over the years in many areas. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
2 P High School Smorgasbord
6 G Smorgasbord of Traditions
Bryan Davis is a best-selling author of several series for youth, including Dragons in our Midst. His books have sold more than a million copies worldwide. As a homeschooling father of seven children, he writes action/adventure stories that are appropriate for all ages and that honor the Christian faith.
1 PT Writing Workshop—How to Start a Hero’s Journey Story
Katie Dugdale is a child of God, lover of Christ, wife to an amazing man, mom to four beautiful kids. She has been homeschooling from the beginning and has just finished her tenth year. It is a constant journey. Her kids were all born in different states. She has many chapters in her story and several years of teaching experience through the public school system, homeschooling, working with her church youth group and teaching in her local homeschool association. She holds a degree in early childhood education from Presbyterian College in Clinton, SC. Katie has been on the board of directors of the Henderson County Homeschool Association for five years. Check out her blog at www.thedelightdirectedhomeschooler.com.
2 G You Don’t Need All The Things: Minimalist Homeschooling
5 GB How Unschooling Saved Our Homeschool
Dr. Tisha Duncan is an associate professor of education at Meredith College in Raleigh. She is also a homeschooling mother who serves as an Essentials tutor in her local Classical Conversations community. Her areas of specialty at both the undergraduate and graduate levels are pre-service teacher education, literacy instruction and academically and/or intellectually gifted children. Recent research interests include learner-centered instruction, collaboration and technology in the classroom. In addition, she has begun exploring more in-depth the learning styles and traits of emerging adults and how they respond to more constructivist approaches to learning in the college classroom. As a teacher of students of all ages and levels, she is passionate about learning and always desires to know more!
5 G Schooling Outside of the Box: Balancing Careers and Homeschooling
Kristen Eckenwiler graduated with honors from the University of Central Florida where she earned a master’s 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 16 years, she has stayed home to homeschool her two sons, while also staying very busy testing, tutoring and providing a variety of products and services through her educational business, The Struggling Reader. Kristen has been speaking at conferences all over the United States for over a decade. She brings both a wealth of knowledge and a visible passion to all of her workshops.
2 YOL All You Need to Teach Reading—Even a Struggling Reader
5 YOL Does My Child Have Dyslexia? What Does That Even Mean
8 YOL Teaching Children That Struggle
9 YOL Multi-sensory Teaching: A Game Changer Everyone Should Understand
Jolene Erlacher had the privilege of growing up as a homeschooled kid. She and her five younger siblings were all raised and homeschooled by their missionary parents in Mexico. Jolene went on to get degrees in education and English and a doctorate in educational leadership. Jolene has taught at the college level for over 15 years. She is currently a speaker and consultant, specializing in generational and cultural trends. Jolene has written two books, Millennials in Ministry and Daniel Generation: Godly Leadership in an Ungodly Culture. Jolene and her husband live in central NC where they manage their consulting and training business, Leading Tomorrow (www.leadingtomorrow.org) and homeschool their two daughters.
6 PT Raising Godly Leaders to Serve in an Ungodly Culture
Jeff Ertzberger currently serves as a faculty member and director of technology in the Watson College of Education at UNC Wilmington where he teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in instructional design and instructional technology. A former public school teacher, Jeff has been a featured speaker at regional, national and international conferences. His unique experiences and personality allow him to present sometimes complex technologies in ways that are understandable and fun! As an elder at New Hanover Church and a homeschool father of three, Ertzberger sees the needs of parents in the homeschool and is able to take his knowledge of technology to find ways to make teaching any subject easier and more effective.
11 G To Code or Not to Code
J. Mark Fox has pastored Antioch Community Church since 1987 and has taught at Elon University since 1990. Mark received an MDiv from Luther Rice Seminary and a BA and MA from UNC, where he met his wife, Cindy. They have been married for 38 years and have 7 children and 5 grandchildren (so far!). Mark is the author of Age Integrated Church, published in 2015, that tells the story of how God changed Antioch’s vision. He is also the author of A Faithful Man: Equipped to Lead as Prophet, Priest, Protector and Provider (2012), Real Life Moments: a Dad’s Devotional (2008), and others. His weekly column for the Times-News in Burlington has won 5 Amy Awards. Mark loves to travel, run and spend time with his family.
4 DT Boys to Men
8 G Are You Teaching Them about Sex?
Amanda Garner is a seasoned homeschool mom and author. Amanda and her family live, love and learn together in Franklinton, NC. Married for 25 years, she and her husband, Wes, have home educated their 4 children for the past 15. With 1 graduate, 2 high schoolers and 1 elementary student, she can attest to the fact that you can homeschool and live to tell about it! In addition to voracious reading, freelance writing and teaching, Amanda also enjoys encouraging other homeschool moms via her blog: www.dropsofdelight.weebly.com.
8 BY 10 Truths and 1 Lie
LeAnn Gregory is a homeschooling mother of 3 who has spent the last 25 years mentoring college students in the US and abroad with CRU. She is passionate about helping students prepare for their next steps after high school, whether it be college, a gap year, entrepreneurship or other pursuits. Her 5 Major Steps curriculum and workshops encourage students to investigate their strengths, interests and aptitudes and create a career plan based on exploration and informed choice. She recently helped CRU launch their 1st gap year program for high school students and authored The Gap Year Guide to help parents determine if a gap year could be a good choice for their teen.
6 P The Impact of Christian Gap Year Programs
8 P On the Right Track?
Debra Haagen is a homeschooling mother to 4 wonderful children. She and her husband, Perry, a recently-retired Navy chaplain, live in the mountains of western NC. She loves homeschooling, music, scrapbooking, reading, writing, beagles and American Eskimo dogs. Debra won a Blue Ribbon for Best Children’s Book from The Old Schoolhouse Review Crew for her children’s book, Amazing Animals by Design.
3 G Using Historical Fiction to Teach History
Eve Hullette was inspired with a love for mathematics by her father from the time she was small. To him, math was a puzzle to solve or a game to play. His curiosity was contagious. After earning a BS in applied mathematics from North Carolina State University, her passion for solving logical and mathematical problems led her to a computer-programming career. One very kind husband and 3 children later, she has focused her love for learning on homeschooling her own children; her first entering university this fall. She loves to encourage other homeschooling families on their journey—and especially to share practical ways to ignite a love for math in students that find it impossible or boring. In her free time, Eve enjoys spending time doing whatever her family happens to be into at the moment.
1 G You Can Be a Great Math Teacher
Melanie LeDoux has homeschooled for over 20 years. She brings experience from many challenges and loves to life coach and encourage others. She homeschooled her 3 biological sons. (She was told medically she would be childless). She was also a therapeutic foster parent to many foster children, including MR/DD twins who are now thriving adults. Her experience with learning disorders, ADHD, emotional/behavioral disorders, forms of dyslexia, dysgraphia, chronic illness, prodigality, loss and success leads her to share wisdom from a “real life” perspective, as well as to give some “don’t do what I’ve done” suggestions. Melanie lives with her husband, Kirk, in Davidson, along with their youngest son who is attending college.
4 GBL Homeschooling That Child
Mike & Ronda Marshall are the homeschooling parents of 6 (ages 16-33) and have graduated 5 children from their homeschool in Asheville. They are in their twenty-fourth year of homeschooling. They have served on the board of NCHE since 2003 where Mike has served as president and regional director, and Ronda has served as the homeschool helps director and currently is an advisor. Together they have established and coordinated local homeschool support groups, email groups, co-ops, enrichment classes and conferences in their area. Ronda is presently serving as the director of Biltmore Church Homeschool Ministry that serves families in western NC. Over the past few years, they have had the privilege of speaking at various support groups and state conferences where they loved having the opportunity to encourage fellow families in this wonderful, yet sometimes challenging homeschooling journey.
1 B Still Undecided?
8 B Learning and Teaching Styles
Debbie Mason and husband, Spencer, have 4 adult children who were homeschooled from birth. Alexa graduated from UNCC and is a homeschooling mother. Scott graduated from Grove City College and Regent School of Law and is a lawyer in the Army. Levi has his master’s and bachelor’s from NC State and is a computer engineer. Mereda graduated from UNC Chapel Hill and is a mother and fiction writer. An NCHE board member since 1988, Debbie is the NCHE events director and has coordinated the NCHE conference speakers/workshops since 1990. She was the editor of the GREENHOUSE from 1995-2015. She directed a large homeschool support group for over 22 years. Debbie has a BS in secondary education, mathematics and a M.Ed. in counseling.
4 P Homeschooling High School
7 GB Why Homeschooling Works
Matthew McDill and his wife, Dana, homeschool their nine children in Creston, NC. Matthew is the new executive director for North Carolinians for Home Education and continues to serve as president of the board. Through his ministry, Truth to Freedom (truthtofreedom.org), he teaches and writes about discipleship, marriage, family, parenting, home education and church. Matthew holds a bachelor’s degree in communication along with two master’s degrees and a doctorate in biblical studies.
Leaders Leading Homeschoolers in North Carolina
7 G How to Stop the Fighting in Your Home
9 G How to Plan for Your Best Homeschool Year Ever
Marji McIlvaine & husband Rick homeschooled for 26 years in 4 states and are now officially retired from homeschooling. All 6 of their children have graduated from homeschooling, 3 are college graduates, the other 3 are in college students or working. Marji’s heart is to encourage other parents in the homeschool journey. She served on the board of Henderson County Homeschool Association for 20 years, administers the Woodcock-Johnson test in WNC, teaches homeschoolers online and in person with The Academy at Bright Ideas Press, Luma Learn, BBC tutorials and Classical Scholars. She has a passion for foreign languages, science, writing, history and, oh, the whole of God’s incredible creation and for sharing the joy in those subjects with her own children and others in our homeschooling community.
4 B Navigating the Curriculum Jungle with Confidence and Joy
7 PT Online Instruction: The New Frontier
Dr. Brett Miller is the director of Vision Therapy Services at Triangle Visions Optometry. She leads clinics located in Cary, Raleigh, Chapel Hill, Lexington and Kernersville. Dr. Miller is an optometrist specializing in vision therapy, post-concussion rehabilitation and sport vision training services. She received her Fellowship from the College of Optometrists in Vision Development in 2017. Over 450 patients have graduated her vision therapy program and now experience the benefit of a more effective visual system. She enjoys sharing her passion with parents, educators and other medical professionals.
10 L Vision: More than 20/20, Signs Your Child May Have a Learning-Related Vision Problem
Joann Nabb has been married for 40 years to Paul. They have 6 children who were homeschooled from birth through high school. They began their journey in 1985 and have enjoyed the trip. Back then, there were few resources and many critics. Joann learned creativity. From her experience as a private school teacher and years growing up in Holland and Switzerland, she pieced together her children’s education, making it hands-on and fun whenever possible. Taking advantage of the less stringent homeschooling schedule, they were able to take trips, a few even to Europe for several 3-6 month stays on a shoestring. Many of her French students have won national gold or silver medals for French. Currently, she has a son who is a marine JAG, a son who is a police detective, a daughter who is a teacher, a son who is a nurse, a daughter in exercise science and a son at NC State in industrial design.
3 BY Creating a Love of Learning in the Early Years
10 G Opening Doors with Foreign Language
Julia Nalle is passionate about Christ, her family, adoption and classical home education. Julia and her husband, Rob, live in a book-filled little house in the woods of central Virginia with their children. Julia has a BS in early childhood education and a master’s in religion with emphasis in Old Testament studies, counseling and pastoral ministries. Julia and Rob spend much of their days writing and producing BiblioPlan, a Christian, classical history and literature curriculum. In 2010, they adopted their youngest son from a mental institute in a backwoods village in Eastern Europe. Since that experience, Julia and Rob spend many of their spare hours passionately advocating for orphans, especially for special needs orphans. Their blog is Micah Six Eight.
10 G 50 + Creative and Practical Ways to Breathe Life Back into History
Danielle Papageorgiou has been married to her amazing husband, Jon, for 19 years, and they have 3 children on earth, Konur (17), Elleina (14) and Korban (7), as well as a baby girl, Myla Grace (born at 14 weeks) in heaven. Danielle has been homeschooling, or “lifeschooling,” for 17 years and has run the WINGS homeschool group in Charlotte for the past 10. She started the Lifeschooling Conference in 2016 with a desire to see more families set free from the world’s expectations of what education is as they discover that God has made each family unique and has also placed in each of their children special gifts and desires that He wants to use. The verse that guides the Papageorgious in their pursuit of lifeschooling is Matthew 6:33, “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” (Emphasis Danielle’s).
4 G 5 Lifeschooling Hacks (+ 1 Big Secret) to Conquoring Homeschool Burnout
Margaret Roberton is associate vice president of Workforce Continuing Education at the North Carolina Community College System with more than 15 years of experience collaborating with colleges and employers to impact workforce education opportunities. Her current role includes responsibilities to connect colleges, students and employers to address workforce needs in high demand, high wage positions within the state. Additional experience includes providing operations management within the telecommunications industry. She is focused on education, effective processes and workforce development.
10 TP Workforce Readiness—Opportunities to Leverage Community Colleges for In-Demand Credentials and Credit
Gretchen Roe has 21 years of home education experience with her 6 children, 4 of whom are now college graduates. With a degree in psychology and child development, she has spent the last 19 years in positions of homeschool advocacy, having a special bond with families of children who have to work harder to learn. A former business owner, she has served on a variety of nonprofit boards. A consultative sales representative with Demme Learning since 2014, Gretchen loves the outdoors, all things furry and is in the process of perfecting backyard chicken raising, beekeeping and gardening skills.
3 OP Time Out to Time In—Teaching Effective Time Management Skills
Elizabeth Urbanowicz is a follower of Jesus Christ who is passionate about knowing Jesus and making Him known. Elizabeth holds a BS in elementary education from Gordon College, an MA in literacy education from Northern Illinois University and an MA in Christian apologetics from Biola University. Elizabeth spent the past ten years teaching elementary students at a Christian school and designed Foundation Comparative Worldview Curriculum to meet a need she found in the classroom—the need to prepare children, at an early age to recognize, evaluate and reject the hollow and deceptive philosophies they encounter in our culture. Elizabeth now works fulltime on developing comparative worldview and apologetics resources for children. Her goal is to prepare the next generation to be lifelong critical thinkers and, most importantly, lifelong disciples of Jesus Christ.
5 YO Preparing Our Children to Encounter Competing Worldviews
7 YO God’s Image, the Soul and Gender Identity—Developing a Biblical View of Man in the Elementary Years
Amanda Wares is thrilled to be a speaker at Thrive! She is married to Michael, and has 4 children: Susannah, 22, Killian, 18, Katrielle, 15, and Deacon, 10. This is their 14th year homeschooling and her 9th year on the NCHE board, where she currently serves as homeschool helps director. In addition to her roles as wife and stay-at-home mom/teacher, Amanda also serves on the board of her local homeschool group and teaches sign language at a co-op. In all her spare time, she loves to read, plan field trips and encourage new homeschoolers!
2 DB “You Want to Do What?” A Dad’s Perspective on This Crazy Thing Called Homeschooling (with Michael)
6 B Help! I’m New! Now What Do I Do?
Patricia Wesolowski is an author, speaker and homeschooling mother of 9 who is now the homeschool specialist at Bryan College in Dayton, TN. After homeschooling her 9 children for the past 32 years, she is finally finished! Pat has a heart for helping parents find joy in their homeschooling experience and, for that reason, loves teaching workshops in order to encourage and equip parents for a fun and successful homeschool experience. Pat is the host of a podcast entitled “Homeschooling Co-op Style,” writes a blog and has authored numerous unit studies for homeschooled students. Pat has also written a free e-resource to help parents plan for a successful high school experience: www.bryan.edu/ebook.
1 G Gifts, Talents and Entrepreneurship
3 G Laid Back, Joy Filled and No Guilt
Dr. Jay Wile holds an earned PhD in nuclear chemistry and a BS in chemistry from the University of Rochester. He has won several awards for excellence in teaching and is an internationally-known speaker and has presented lectures on the topics of nuclear chemistry, Christian apologetics, homeschooling and creation vs. evolution in several countries. He is best known for his award-winning K-12 science textbooks designed specifically for the homeschool. Dr. Wile and his wife of more than 30 years, Kathleen, homeschooled their daughter, Dawn, from the time they adopted her until she graduated high school. Dawn is a Butler University graduate and owns a speciality shipping company (Paws Logistics) with her husband, James. You can learn about Dr. Wile’s curriculum at http://www.bereanbuilders.com.
1 T The Most Exciting Science Related to Creation
7 P Why Homeschool through High School?
10 G Ten Tips to Improve Your Homeschool Year
Durenda Wilson has been homeschooling for over 23 years and is a mom of 8 (born 1991-2004). She has graduated 5, and 3 are still at home. She’s been married to Darryl for 29 years, and they have 6 grandkids. Durenda is convinced that home educating is an incredible blessing but only if we don’t let it hold us hostage to unnecessary expectations and notions of what it “should” look like. The heart of her message is to encourage families to think outside the box and take time to enjoy this amazing journey. She firmly believes that children are naturally curious, and if parents keep things simple and unhurried, their kids will become lifelong learners. Durenda has written The Unhurried Homeschooler, a simple, mercifully short book on homeschooling and Unhurried Grace for a Mom’s Heart-31 days in God’s Word. She is the owner/host on her podcast (Durenda Wilson) and blog, durendawilson.
7 Y Unhurried Homeschooling: Babies, Toddlers & Preschoolers
9 YB Unhurried Homeschooling: K-2nd Grade
11 G Chores: Why They Are Essential in Homeschooling
Hal & Melanie Young homeschooled their 8 children from the beginning. They are the authors of several award-winning books including Raising Real Men, My Beloved and My Friend and the Amazon best seller Love, Honor, and Virtue. Hal and Melanie are the hosts of the podcast “Making Biblical Family Life Practical,” which describes their focus—helping families find grace-filled applications of God’s Word to the 21st century home. They live in noisy family bliss in eastern NC.
3 LP Struggling Learners in High School & College
5 OP Middle School Madness
9 G Giving Gift