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Convention 2017

Workshop Descriptions

Whether you are a new or veteran homeschooler, we have a workshop for you, for all ages and stages. A complete workshop grid for the entire Convention will be available soon.

Keynote Speaker Workshops

Sam Sorbo

Feel Empowered to Teach Your Kids
Author of They’re YOUR Kids, Sam Sorbo, takes you on a journey of survival–in your own home. How can you thrive as an educator when the system insists you’ll fail? Have fun learning about how to avoid the disastrous “home-made” pitfalls and traps, and getting the best out of the great gift of parent/teacher-ing your offspring, as Sam offers up her personal recipes to help you embark on the greatest love story ever written: that between parent and child.

From English to Latin and Back Again
What’s the point in learning English Grammar? Organization! That is strangely similar to the reason for learning the “dead” language of Latin. Sam Sorbo, author of They’re YOUR Kids, discusses the importance of teaching both English and Latin Grammar to your children, the benefits for both students and parents, and some pretty surprising things you yourself may learn along the way.

Put Logic to the Test
Have you ever lost an argument with your child? Sam Sorbo, author of They’re YOUR Kids, believes you should try it sometime! Join Sam for an entertaining and enlightening trip of discovery–finding logic in all the wrong places! Why teach your kids logic? The better they can argue with you (and become independent servants of truth and its author.)

Tips and Tricks to Make Home Education Fun
And we don’t mean just for the kids … we mean fun for everyone. Join Sam Sorbo, author of They’re YOUR Kids, as she explores creative ways to engage your children without boring yourself and even address the pushback from reluctant kids (who may not want Mom or Dad to be the teacher). Sam’s mission is to encourage you in enjoying the most precious time you will have with your children. Home education is about family–learn some tips for how not to lose sight of that God-breathed message.

Todd Wilson

Answers for the Homeschool Critics in Your Life...Even When It’s You
Do you have a child who doesn’t want to be homeschooled, in-laws who don’t understand your reasons for homeschooling, a spouse who isn’t sold on the idea, or a guilt complex reminding you that you have no business homeschooling your children? Those nagging, sometimes-silent disapprovals can crush a person under the weight of guilt and despair. You sometimes feel like a wave tossed to and fro because in your heart of hearts you feel God would have you homeschool. . .but then again, the arguments against it are almost drowning you. Join Todd, as he goes face to face with the naysayers and shows you how to address their concerns.

This, We Believe!
Dads and moms, in all the busyness of life and swell of expert advice, we've forgotten the fundamental truths of homeschooling and family. In short, we’ve forgotten why we do what we do. We have plenty of “how tos” but have forgotten the “why tos” and it evidences itself in our lack of joy of homeschooling, family, and parenting. Join funny guy and Familyman, Todd Wilson, as he sets the stage for a great homeschool convention and the best year ever as he brings us back to the basics of what we believe about family and homeschooling. You're not going to want to miss this for the world.

Taming the Techno-Beast--Parenting in the Internet Age
X-Boxes, Game-Cubes, the Internet, Facebook, and iPhones have changed the way we live, have fun, and interact. Children quietly glued to game monitors for hours have replaced laughter and creativity. They beg to play, whine when they can’t, and even lie about the time they’ve spent on “the gadget.” Teens and pre-teens spend most of their waking hours texting, chatting on Facebook, or ‘tweeting’ on Twitter. Today’s latest-breaking technology becomes tomorrow’s obsession, demanding more time, attention, and sacrifices. Technology has become a powerful tool and ‘everyone is doing it’. . .but maybe you feel like you’ve lost control in your own home. Does the chill down your spine tell you that something is terribly wrong? Do you feel like a beast has invaded your home, but you don’t know how to handle it? If so, then join me as we talk together about the timely topic of taming the Techno-Beast.

An Unbeatable Team (for Husbands and Wives)
In the sometimes bleak and harsh world of homeschooling, we need each other to make it through. So, if you've homeschooled for more than 10 years, are new to the game, or are about to toss in the towel, you need to join us. And in case you are a dad and think you're off the hook, you're not! You're needed most of all. We promise that you'll laugh, be encouraged, and be challenged in your distinct role on the Homeschool Team.

Lies Homeschoolers Believe
Your house is a disaster, your kids seem out of control, and you wonder how you'll ever make it through another day of school. Your "get up and go" has "gotten up and went." You used to think homeschooling was the best thing since sliced bread, but now you’re feeling like burnt toast. Take heart--you're not alone. No one homeschools because it's easy. You do it because you believe it is best. But there are times when you need to be reminded once again why it's best. Join me as we do just that. You'll laugh and be encouraged in the toughest job you'll ever love.

Life after Graduation--Helping Your Children Choose the Best Route
For the last twelve years, you’ve probably felt the tension of “what’s next?” for your children. You hoped the dilemma would solve itself, but it didn’t. In fact, there are all sorts of homeschool graduates who are stuck in the “what now zone” or were discouraged from traveling a particular path. It’s time to put your fears aside, look the cap and gown in the eye, and take an honest look at life after graduation. There is not a one-size-fits-all solution and the pressure from family members, peers, and experts can seem dizzying. Should they go to college or try a college alternative, do a gap year, start their own business, stay at home, get a job, travel the world…join a monastery? Don’t be afraid. God has a plan for your child, and part of that plan is that He’s given them you to help guide them into their next phase of life. We’ll look at the options, discuss the pros and cons, and take the FEAR out of graduation.

General Speaker Workshops

Susan Beatty & Kristi Clover

Getting Started
Beginning home education can be bewildering. Whether you are on the fence about homeschooling, just starting off, or need to get a refresher about the basics, this workshop will take you step-by-step through the process of getting off to a good start homeschooling. Susan and Kristi will provide a basic explanation of the “homeschool-ese” you are struggling to understand, practical “how-to’s” for getting your school established, and a brief overview of all you need to know to start your adventure in homeschooling.

Tammy Cameron

Homeschooling High School: Academics and Beyond
Download Syllabus Does the thought of homeschooling high school intimidate you? Are you afraid you might overlook something? In this workshop Tammy will go over the state requirements for awarding your child a high school diploma and cover topics that homeschoolers need to do for themselves or perhaps just need to do a little differently. Electives and extra-curricular activities, drivers’ education and training, jobs and work permits, internships and apprenticeships, how to be recruited for college sports, and how to apply for the CAL Grant will be covered as well as the importance of high school recordkeeping.

Tom Clark

Is Math Straining your Relationship with Your Children? (Let's Identify the Trouble Spots)
Join Tom Clark, founder of VideoText Interactive, and author of Algebra: A Complete Course, and Geometry: A Complete Course, as he offers an entertaining and educational session designed to help you discover the reasons behind the difficulty, on several of the traditional trouble spots in math. Topics discussed will be determined by the audience, and may include division of fractions and multiplication of decimals (using those mindless rules), long-division, story-problems, positive and negative numbers, and numerous others, all of which seem to indicate that mathematics is just naturally “difficult.”.

Simplifying Algebra for the Hesitant Learner (When are we going to need this stuff anyway?)
Algebra is the study of relations (equations and inequalities). It is therefore essential that students completely and conceptually understand the basic concepts necessary to solve them. In this workshop, Tom Clark, founder of VideoText Interactive, and author of Algebra: A Complete Course, and Geometry: A Complete Course, will help you to develop an inquiry approach which is applicable to all basic relations. You will discover the analytical questions students need to ask, in order to “undo” all of the complications they may encounter, when solving equations and inequalities.

Kristi Clover

Homeschool Organization: How to Organize Your Homeschool Curriculum & Space
When I first started homeschooling, my brain was spinning with information overload of all the things I thought I needed to get done before we started. I searched endlessly for ways to organize, not only my school room, but our work. I wanted simple straight forward answers, but couldn’t seem to find that “perfect fit” for my family. This workshop outlines some tried and true techniques to take back your homeschool day. By creating a little bit of routine and order, you can get more done in your day–and better yet, finish school early. Whether you are a veteran looking for some fresh ideas or totally new to homeschooling, this workshop will give you tips and tricks to set up your homeschool for a successful, more streamlined day.

Marilee Coots

Improving Auditory Processing for Homeschool Success
Auditory processing is an essential skill for social understanding and maturity, maintaining attention, and cognition. Without adequate auditory processing, children will struggle with phonics, word problems in math, reading comprehension, social understanding, and thinking skills. The good news is that auditory processing can be improved. Ideas and methods for improving auditory processing at home will be shared in this workshop.

Overcoming Reversals in Reading and Writing Skills
Reversals in reading, writing, and spelling have developmental and functional root causes that parents can remediate at home. Practical ideas and methods to overcome reversals will be presented. You’ll learn some unique methods to boost brain efficiency to improve reading and writing skills.

Hope for Your Child: Unlocking Your Child’s Learning Potential
Does your child struggle to learn and then forget what she has been taught? Is she a slow learner, “stuck” with even the basics, not comprehending your instruction or curriculum? In this workshop, you will learn specific ideas and methods to help your child overcome learning inefficiencies by addressing developmental root causes, and teaching the way the brain learns.

Your Distractible, Unfocused, Hyperactive, Easily Frustrated Child: What’s a Mom to Do?
Challenges with attention and activity levels, often labeled ADD or ADHD can seriously take your child and your entire homeschool off track. But when you improve his or her metabolism, sensory processing, and brain organization, lasting changes can be made in focus, attention, and behavior. In this workshop, you will learn to use non-drug methods to help your child.

Carolyn Forte

Teaching Reading and Spelling with Phonics
Phonics is the only path to fluent reading and spelling. Learn why phonics is so important and how you can teach any child to read well without stress and undue expense. Remedies and strategies to help a struggling reader and those with special needs will also be discussed. English spelling is tricky but can be mastered with the right tools. Discover how to evaluate spelling programs to find one that is best suited to your child and take home effective techniques to help your child remember those weird words that don’t follow any rules.

Developing Reading Proficiency
Learn how to guide and encourage your child to develop into a proficient reader. Whether you have a voracious reader or one who runs when you pull out the book, you will gain valuable tools to help your child advance in skill and understanding. Some of the topics covered are as follows: choosing appropriate materials/curriculum to fit your child’s needs and learning style, comprehension, vocabulary, helping the “reluctant” reader, satisfying your bookworm, special needs and testing. Carolyn will also discuss when to consider looking for outside help. This workshop is for all grade levels.

Why History is Your Most Important Study
Most people remember history as their most boring and hated subject, but real history, studied effectively, is the most fascinating and vital study you could undertake. God repeatedly admonished the Israelites to remember His mighty deeds with monuments and holy days. When the people forgot their history, they fell into folly and destruction. We must remember history (His Story) for the same reason. Learn how to make history, which actually encompasses every other subject, your family’s favorite study with widely varied resources for every learning style and budget.

Martin Forte

How to Determine Your Child’s Learning Styles
Explore the various learning styles and how they really affect your child’s ability to master subject matter. We will investigate the five essential aspects of learning styles including dispositions, talents, modalities, interests and environment. Based on the research and teachings of the Learning Success Institute of Ventura, CA and the book How to Determine Your Child’s Learning Styles by Mariaemma Willis and Victoria Hodson, this workshop will give you tools to enhance both learning and retention for all your children. With a deeper understanding of your child’s unique, God-given learning style, you can have a more successful teaching experience and save hundreds of dollars on wrong curriculum choices.

Curriculum Choices, Choices, Choices!
As every child is unique, the curriculum that suits one may not work for another. This workshop walks you through the often confusing smorgasbord of teaching styles and curriculum choices ranging from “relaxed” homeschooling to a formal textbook approach. Veteran homeschool dad and homeschool leader, Martin Forte, will discuss the pros and cons of each and provide current resources for each style. He will also discuss which curriculums are most appropriate for various learning styles. This workshop provides a great overview for the new homeschooler as well as the veteran who is shopping for something more workable.

Chuck and Pam Geib

Developing Your Own Philosophy of Education
Download Syllabus An educational philosophy is a lofty sounding term. What it actually means is thinking what our life-long goal is for educating our children ourselves. If raising a rocket scientist is our goal for our child, then our philosophy must reflect this specific goal. If our goal is simpler such as to train up godly children, then our philosophy must reflect this. Our basic philosophy will guide and motivate annual decisions regarding curriculum choices and personal goals for the year. It should be the foundation of why we home educate. In this workshop we will share our own personal philosophy and help you formulate your own.

Janelle Knutson

Recordkeeping for Private Homeschool Families in California
Download Syllabus Private home education provides the most freedom to homeschooling families in California but many families are nervous about filing the affidavit and keeping their own records. Worry no more! This workshop will walk you through what records are required by law, what records are optional, and answer many of your questions regarding private home education in California.

Homeschooling Multiple Grades: How Do I Fit It All In?
Download Syllabus How do you find the time to teach every subject to every child when you have multiple children to homeschool? Come hear a mom of seven share practical tips for homeschooling multiple grades.

Homeschooling the Preschooler
Download Syllabus Are you trying to decide what to do with your child during the preschool years? This workshop will cover the benefits of keeping your preschooler at home, things to think about before purchasing preschool curriculum, what your child really needs to learn during the preschool years, and ideas for learning through play and life experiences.

Help! My Toddler Makes It Hard to Homeschool
Download Syllabus How do you homeschool your older kids when you have little ones running around? Be encouraged and gain practical tips as a mom of seven shares how homeschooling is not only possible but beneficial for the whole family when you have babies, toddlers and preschoolers to care for.

Nathan Pierce & Mike Smith

Legal/Legislative Update
This workshop will address the current legislative issues in California that affect homeschoolers and parental rights; and how to homeschool legally in California. CHEA recommends this as a must attend workshop for any new homeschoolers in California. Mike Smith will present the legal information in the workshop; he has been representing families in California for 34 years, and will provide his wisdom gained over all these years to tell you how to stay out of trouble in California while homeschooling. Nathan Pierce from Family Protection Ministries will share the current legislation which impacts home education and parental rights so that you can be prepared to help preserve the freedom to homeschool for you and your children in the future.

Andrew Pudewa

Paper and Pen: What the Research Says
Recent years have seen an enormous increase in the use of technology in education for even the youngest students. But is technology really the cure—all that many believe it to be? While traditional skills such as cursive penmanship are seen as unnecessary in the modern world, the actual research tells a different story. Learn the compelling reasons to choose paper books instead of electronic devices for reading, to handwrite instead of type when note-taking, to teach cursive instead of printing for penmanship, and to grab a pen instead of pencil for composition. Discover how to unleash creativity that goes beyond technology.

The Four Deadly Errors of Teaching Writing
We’ve all suffered it at one time or another: frustration about writing assignments. Either on the receiving end, or perhaps now on the giving end, there can be a few distinctly discouraging aspects to teaching and being taught writing. The tough questions include: What to correct and how to give a grade? How much help is too much? Isn’t the assignment clear enough? Why don’t students find their own errors? Learn and avoid four teaching mistakes that contribute to this frustration.

Teaching Boys & Other Children Who Would Rather Make Forts All Day 
Children like to do what they can do, they want to do what they think they can do, and they hate to do what they think they cannot do. If you want excited and enthusiastic children who learn well, you must understand these key laws of motivation and focus on the essential requirement of relevancy. If it matters, children will learn it, and if it doesn’t, they won’t. This session will enlighten you with specific ways to find and create relevancy for children, even when they have no apparent interest.

Mike Riggs

The Spiritual Instruction of Children
Download Syllabus A recent survey revealed that an alarming number of young people leave the church after graduation. Of those surveyed, 86% questioned the Bible by their high school years. Could current spiritual training be a contributing factor? This workshop will help you discover signs of losing the hearts of your children and show practical ways of passing on a hunger for the truths and principles of God's Word.

Julia Schmidt

Establishing a Lifelong Love for Literature
Does the thought of teaching literature to children give you pause? Do you wonder where to go once the basics of spelling, grammar, and reading are mastered? This workshop gives a brief overview of English classes from K-12, touching on lively literature (and where to find it), reading aloud, literary analysis, and teaching (and grading) compositions and oral presentations.

Founding a Biblical Worldview through Classical Education
What exactly IS a Classical Education and how does it lend itself to instilling a biblical worldview in students? This workshop covers the basic ideas behind the classical model of learning as well as techniques you can use to encourage your students to think more deeply, make connections and express their thoughts clearly, while at the same time laying the foundation for a biblical worldview that will undergird their lives now and in the future.

J. Michael Smith

Law for the New Homeschooler
Mike will address the homeschool law in California and the latest challenges to homeschooling. He will provide a general summary of the constitutional basis for asserting that home education is legal in every state and share some interesting court cases.

Marie Stout

I Have a STEM Kid. Now What?
Tinkers in your home? Learn to create your own “maker space,” acquire the tools they need, put together a science fair project in a week, find “those” activities that encourage them to complete projects, and then let go to let them create. We will also have a free flow of discussion about leading your children to the projects they might want to make, test, or do.

Marianne Sunderland

Homeschooling with Dyslexia
Dyslexia affects 20% of our kids. Research shows that dyslexic kids become dyslexic adults. Early intervention with researched-based teaching methods can help your child avoid many of the school struggles caused by poor reading skills. This session will help parents understand what dyslexia is and what it isn't, provide practical help to understand learning styles and how to choose teaching methods that are more effective. The session will also include encouragement for the day-to-day struggles, both academic and emotional, and conclude with learning the advantages to the dyslexic way of thinking.

Getting Started Teaching Kids with Learning Difficulties

  • Making the decision to homeschool, including how to answer any critics that insist that the schools are the educational experts.
  • The truth about the state of special education in our public schools
  • Common emotional issues for parents and kids and how to overcome them.
  • How to get started homeschooling; including legalities and finding local support.
  • Tips on finding and modifying homeschool curriculum for the dyslexic student.
  • Teaching methods, including how to balance accommodations and remediations.
  • When to get help in the form of diagnostic testing and educational therapy.
  • Strategies for getting it all done.


Thriving, Not Surviving: Homeschooling Through the Teen Years
If you're new to the teen scene (or at least homeschooling teens) come learn from a mom of eight, five of whom either have been or currently are teenagers. We'll take a look what teen behaviors are normal and awesome as well as behaviors that are normal and not so awesome. We will also take an honest look at prodigal children--what to do and what not to do. Most importantly, we are going to talk about how to thrive and not just survive during what can be a turbulent time. Caution:  there will be no sugar-coating of the teen years in this talk.

Continued List


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The 36th Annual CHEA Convention Menu

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Bloggers Night Out
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