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Convention 2017

Keynote Speakers

Todd WilsonTodd Wilson

Todd Wilson is a dad, writer, conference speaker, and former pastor. Todd’s humor and down to earth realness have made him a favorite speaker at homeschool conventions across the country and a guest on Focus on the Family. As founder of Familyman Ministries, his passion and mission are to remind dads and moms of what’s most important through a weekly e-mail for dads, seminars, and books that encourage parents. Todd, and his wife Debbie, homeschool six of their eight children (two have graduated) in northern Indiana and travel America in the Familyman Mobile. Todd is the author of popular homeschool cartoons and many books. You can read more at

Sam Sorbo

Sam Sorbo Note: Sam Sorbo will not be at the Convention after 12:30 p.m. Saturday, July 15, so be sure to attend her workshops Friday and Saturday.
Sam Sorbo hosts nationally syndicated The Sam Sorbo Show, weekdays. After high school in Pittsburgh, PA, Sam (Jenkins) Sorbo studied biomedical engineering at Duke University before pursuing a career in modeling. Sam moved to Los Angeles for acting, where she appeared in several films, including Bonfire of the Vanities and Twenty Bucks, and TV shows, including Chicago Hope and Hercules: The Legendary Journeys. As a guest star on Hercules she met Kevin Sorbo, who swept her off her feet. They married in 1998 and she moved to New Zealand. Her third book, out in 2016, is called They're YOUR Kids: An Inspirational Journey from Self-Doubter to Homeschool Advocate. The Sorbos homeschool their three children. Most recently, Sam co-wrote, produced, and co-starred in a faith-based feature, Let There Be Light, due out Christmas, 2017.


Workshop Speakers

Susan Beatty

Susan Beatty and her husband Larry began homeschooling their three children in 1982. They graduated all three children from high school at home. Susan is the co-founder of CHEA of California, a member of its Board of Directors, its communications director and the author of An Introduction to Home Education manual. Susan is a professional writer/journalist with a BA degree (1971) from Cal State University Los Angeles, and a graduate of CLASS seminars.

Tammy Cameron

Tammy Cameron is a homeschool veteran of 24 years. She and her husband, Allan, live in Orange County and have homeschooled their five children from kindergarten through high school. Their youngest child is going in to his senior year this fall. Besides being a full time homeschooling mom, Tammy works for her private school satellite program (PSP) overseeing high school recordkeeping and making transcripts. In her spare time she volunteers for some of the club sports teams her children have participated in over the past 24 years.

Thomas Clark

Thomas Clark is a life-long teacher of mathematics with experience at all levels, and is convinced that everyone can understand mathematics. He has focused on developing programs that challenge traditional instruction, by concentrating on the “why” of mathematics. He has helped homeschooling parents become more effective instructors, and is a popular presenter at homeschool conferences. He is the author of Algebra: A Complete Course, and Geometry: A Complete Course, both available in hard copy and online. He is the president of VideoText Interactive, a company that specializes in bringing textbooks to life through technology. (

Kristi Clover

Kristi is a lover of God, wife to her high school crush, and mom to five blessings ranging from middle school to diapers. Aside from her family, she is also passionate about homeschooling, creating family traditions, and finding new ways to run a more efficient home and school. She offers advice that goes beyond your typical “how-to’s” for getting started and organizing. Her tips are creative, practical, and help bring back some simplicity in the chaos of life and homeschooling. Kristi blogs about her adventures in wifehood and mommyhood at

Marilee Coots

 width= Marilee and her husband Calvin homeschooled their daughters for 11 years. She and her husband began working with families of children with learning, attention, and special needs challenges in 1995. Marilee is certified at the master level by ICAN, the International Christian Association of Neurodevelopmentalists. Some of her additional training includes several forms of sound therapy, oral motor therapy, rhythmic movement training, structure of intellect, and other trainings in development, movement, and reflexes. Marilee consults with parents to help children and adults reach more of their full God-given potential.

Carolyn Forte

Carolyn Forte is Principal of EIE Academy and owner, with her husband Martin, of Excellence In Education Resource Center in Monrovia, California. She earned a BA in music history from Whittier College. From 1982-1994, she directed elementary Sunday school music at the Crystal Cathedral. For five of those years, she was also co-director of the elementary Sunday school. She holds a life teaching credential for California and has taught grades K, 1, 2 and 6 in public and private day schools. For 14 years, she homeschooled her two daughters, now age 33 and 35. Over the last 20 years, she has spoken at numerous conventions and homeschool groups throughout California.

Martin Forte

Martin Forte, with his wife Carolyn, is the owner of Excellence In Education Resource Center as well as the administrator for their PSP, Excellence In Education Academy. Martin has been very involved with the homeschool community in many capacities including writing articles for various publications, speaking at homeschool conventions, and appearing as a guest on several radio and TV shows including the Glen Beck Show. Martin and Carolyn are considered to be pioneers of the modern homeschool movement.

Chuck and Pam Geib

Chuck and Pam Geib began researching home education in 1982. They began teaching their two youngest sons in 1985. Both sons have since graduated from homeschooling. Over the years they have served on several homeschooling support group leadership boards. They currently serve on CHEA’s Regional Advisory Board.

Janelle Knutson

Janelle Knutson is a wife and homeschooling mother to seven children ranging in age from infant to adult. She is the owner of Janelle Knutson Consulting, a homeschool consulting business dedicated to encouraging and equipping homeschool parents. She has written articles for various homeschool websites and magazines, including The Old Schoolhouse magazine. She enjoys speaking at homeschool events, MOPS groups and women’s events when she isn’t busy caring for her family. You can find her blogging at

Nathan Pierce

Nathan is now in his twelfth year working full time at Family Protection Ministries to protect private homeschooling in California. He was himself homeschooled kindergarten through high school and received a BA in political studies from The Master's College. Currently he serves as the FPM California Director, Legislative Liaison, and conference speaker to homeschool leaders, parents and teens. He and his wife Betsy were married in 2004 and have five children, ages 9 to baby. They are involved in their church, and homeschool their own children.

Andrew Pudewa

Andrew Pudewa is the founder, principal speaker, and director of the Institute for Excellence in Writing (IEW). 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 wife Robin are parents of seven, grandparents of five, and educators of their two youngest children in Oklahoma.

Mike Riggs

Mike and his wife Carolyn graduated their two children from homeschool and have seven grandchildren who are being homeschooled. Mike and Carolyn are co-founders of Lamp & Quill International, a six-year devotional Bible curriculum for all ages, and are co-authors of The Trojan Horse in Christian Education. His focus is based on years of service in a military ministry and to children and their families through a college discipleship ministry, Sunday schools, and as the church Director of Christian Education. Both Mike and Carolyn have focused on helping individuals grow in the Lord and teaching families how to pass on a godly inheritance to their children.

Julia Schmidt

Julia Schmidt has homeschooled her four children throughout their academic careers, graduating the oldest two from high school, which would leave her with only two to teach, except that the neighbors found out what she is doing and started sending their kids to her for tutoring and piano lessons. As a Challenge II Director for her local Classical Conversations campus in Redondo Beach, she enjoys encouraging and tutoring teens through their multi-subject 10th grade curriculum. She also teaches high school literature classes to homeschoolers through Hope Chapel Academy in Hermosa Beach, grabbing the attention of even the most recalcitrant students with her unique teaching style. She and her husband Alan and children live in Gardena, California.

J. Michael Smith

Mike Smith is the President of Home School Legal Defense Association, an organization which he has been involved with since its beginning. HSLDA was established to protect the right of parents to teach their children at home. HSLDA now represents over 80,000 member families. Mike became involved in defending homeschoolers after he and his wife, Elizabeth, decided to homeschool their children. Three of their four children have been homeschooled and have all graduated from college. Mike has been doing keynote speaking to homeschool conferences for more than 30 years. His desire is to communicate in every message the benefits of home education and his overriding belief that God has raised up this movement for a special purpose at this time in history. Mike communicates that the benefits of homeschooling far exceed the burdens, with special an emphasis on encouragement.

Marie Stout

Marie, married to Don for 32 years, made the decision to homeschool prior to having their first child in 1986. They have five children, all of whom were homeschooled from kindergarten through high school, ranging in age from 19-30, with four having graduated from college. They have been active in the homeschooling community in various activities, including serving together on the board of a PSP for the last 26 years. Additionally, Marie was a founding board member for Stoa, a national homeschooling speech and debate league.

Marianne Sunderland

Marianne has been married to her husband, Laurence, since 1991. She is a homeschooling mother of eight children ages 5 to 24, including adventurous and homeschooled sailors, Zac and Abby Sunderland, known for their world-record setting around the world sailing campaigns. Marianne is passionate about encouraging families to discover and nurture their children’s God-given gifts and talents, in and outside of the classroom. She also encourages women to joyfully love and serve their families. Her varied experiences homeschooling through difficult times and with kids who learn differently has taught her much about stepping outside the box in her own homeschool. Marianne’s website, Homeschooling With Dyslexia, provides weekly articles on homeschooling kids with ADD, ADHD and Dyslexia that will bless and encourage you:

Zan Tyler

Zan was threatened with jail when she began homeschooling in 1984. For the next eight years she fought for homeschool freedom and good legislation in South Carolina. In 1990 she founded the South Carolina Association of Independent Home Schools and served as its president for ten years. Her fight for homeschool freedom has led her to serve as the National Grassroots Director for, to advocate for homeschooling in the media (appearing on NBC’s Today Show) and at the nation’s capitol, and to write profusely about the benefits of homeschooling. She is the author of 7 Tools for Cultivating Your Child’s Potential. Zan currently serves as the Director of Language Arts, Bible, and Press for Apologia Educational Ministries. She homeschooled for 21 years.

Roger Wheelock

Roger Wheelock is the President of Greater Than I Ministries, a non-profit corporation established for the purpose of providing creative biblical worldview teaching materials to Christian churches and homeschools in America. Roger is an ordained pastor, worship leader and songwriter with over 30 years of intimate experience in Christian leadership. His burning passion is to help Christian families not only survive in our increasingly secular society, but to thrive in the midst of it.

Scott and Mary York

Scott and Mary York have been married for 38 years and are the parents of 7 children ranging in ages from 13 to 29, the proud grandparents of 2, and are in their 22nd year of homeschooling. They have successfully graduated five children from their homeschool program and have two to go. Scott is a sales representative for an industrial chemical/equipment supply company. He was one of the original founders of STOA, a national Christian homeschool speech and debate league. In addition to homeschooling her children, Mary has been involved in various leadership roles with a PSP. Scott and Mary also serve the Christian homeschool community as CHEA’s Southern California Regional Advisory Board members.

Rachel Zwayne

Rachel Zwayne was born and raised in New Zealand. At the age of 14, her father's ministry (Ray Comfort/ Living Waters) relocated to southern California, where she eventually met her husband and became the mother of five children. Rachel has been homeschooling for the past 15 years and finds great delight in encouraging other women in their role as mothers, wives, and homeschoolers. She has done this in her capacity as a leader and teacher of multiple women's groups. Rachel has been married to Emeal ("E.Z.") for 21 years and they live in Riverside, California with their three daughters and two sons.

Teen Convention Speakers

Eric Hovind

Eric Hovind grew up immersed in the world of apologetics and following college graduation in Eric Hovind1999, he began full-time ministry. President and Founder of Pensacola-based organization, Creation Today, Eric’s passion to reach people with the life-changing message of the Gospel has driven him to speak in five foreign countries and all fifty states. He lives in Pensacola, Florida with his wife Tanya and three children and remains excited about the tremendous opportunity to lead an apologetics ministry in the war against evolution and humanism. Much like a 21st-century Apostle Paul on Mars Hill, in June of 2013, Eric stood on the first monument to atheism in America to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the atheist community.

Emeal “E.Z.” Zwayne

Emeal “E.Z.” Zwayne is the President of Living Waters Publications. After his radical conversion to Christ in 1991, he enrolled at Biola University as a Biblical Studies and Theology major. Having received his pastoral ordination in 1995, he served for almost six years as a full-time associate pastor and vice president of his church’s board. E.Z. is the executive producer of “The Atheist Delusion,” “180,” and “Evolution vs. God” movies, as well as “The Way of the Master” television program, featuring Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron. He is the co-host of the television program the “National Bible Bee Gameshow,” as well as the Bible Bee’s spokesman. E.Z. resides in Southern California with his wife Rachel and their five children.


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