The Leadership Conference is designed to help equip and encourage those interested in and currently leading private home education groups, such as PSPs, co-ops, support groups, or more. We hope you can join us!
Register Now

“Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths,
but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion,
that it may give grace to those who hear.”

Ephesians 4:29 (ESV)

Sponsored by Family Protection Ministries


8:00 a.m. Registration
8:30 – 9:45 a.m.

Opening Session

  • Town Hall Meeting
10:00 – 10:45 a.m.

Workshop Session #1

  • Conflict Resolution
  • Remembering Why – Hope for the Weary Leader
  • How to Start & Build a Homeschool Community Practicum – Part 1
11:00 – 11:45 a.m.

Workshop Session #2

  • Legal and Legislative Update
12:00 – 1:45 p.m.


  • Keynote: However Imperfectly
2:00 – 2:45 p.m.

Workshop Session #3

  • Preparing for Persecution
  • Effective Communication with your Group & Community
  • How to Start & Build a Homeschool Community Practicum – Part 2
3:00 – 4:00 p.m.

Closing Session

  • Interview and Q & A Session with James Mason
  • Choose Joy


Embassy Suites Downey
8425 Firestone Blvd, Downey, CA 90241

All rooms are two-room suites and include a full, hot breakfast each day. Overnight parking is available at a discounted rate of just $7 per night; daytime parking is free of charge.

Special convention rates start at $175 per night.

There may be a few rooms remaining at our discounted rate, but you will need to call the hotel and let them know you’re attending CHEA’s Parenting & Homeschool Conference.

Meet Our Speakers

James Mason

James Mason

Jim Mason joined HSLDA’s litigation team in 2001, and after serving as vice president of litigation and development for seven years, he became president of HSLDA in 2022. He has represented homeschooling families in a range of situations. Jim was instrumental in litigating the 2008 California case Jonathan L., in which a state appellate court reversed its previous ruling that homeschooling was illegal. This put an end to years of controversy over the legal status of homeschooling. Jim and his wife Debbie homeschooled their children through high school and currently live in Virginia.

Andrew Pudewa

Andrew Pudewa

Andrew Pudewa is the founder and director of the Institute for Excellence in Writing. Traveling and speaking around the world, he addresses issues related to teaching, writing, thinking, spelling, and music with clarity, insight, practical experience, and humor. His seminars have helped transform many a reluctant writer and have equipped educators with powerful tools to improve students’ skills. He and his wife, Robin, have homeschooled their seven children and are now grandparents of fifteen, making their home in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Katie Julius

Katie Julius

Katie is wife to husband John, and homeschool mom to one energetic, full-of-life, pedal-to-the-metal, insanely creative sixth grader, Sarah. She holds degrees in Art and Education and somehow strikes the fine balance of organization, planning, and paperwork with her right-brained creativity, which serves her well in her part-time position as CHEA’s Communications Manager & Editor. Katie also serves on the Board and Leadership Team of her homeschool support group in Southern California, playing an integral role in the process to incorporate and establish tax-exempt status in 2022.

John McGowan

John McGowan

John is an attorney with a litigation practice in Los Angeles and is also an allied attorney with Alliance Defending Freedom, the world’s largest legal organization committed to protecting religious freedom and parental rights. He and his wife, Juleene, are homeschooling their two boys, ages 15 and 16. Juleene, likewise, was homeschooled from a young age and became a Registered Nurse after graduating from Biola University. John is especially passionate about CHEA’s mission to protect the God-given right of parents to direct the education and training of their children.

Nathan Pierce

Nathan Pierce

Nathan began working at Family Protection Ministries (FPM) in 2002 to protect private homeschooling in California. He was homeschooled himself from kindergarten through high school and received a B.A. in Political Studies from The Master’s University. Currently he serves as Executive Director and Legislative Liaison for FPM. He works behind the scenes at the State Capitol, meeting with legislators to advocate on behalf of homeschoolers. He and his wife Betsy are actively involved in their church and homeschool their own 8 children.

Michaela Roekle

Michaela Roekle

Michaela is a homeschool graduate and has been homeschooling her own children for the past 15 years. Ten years ago, Michaela and her husband Brad founded a nonprofit homeschool organization called Grace and Glory Academy in Southern California. When their family is not out adventuring, Michaela enjoys sharing at conferences, teaching workshops, filming YouTube videos and is in the process of writing homeschool eCourses.

Jenny Vandever

Jenny Vandever

Jenny Vandever, a second-generation homeschooler, has led in an array of homeschool-focused ministries over the past decade, with a focus toward building Christ-centered community.

Jenny is married to Andrew Vandever (CHEA Board of Directors), who is her ideal Amazing Race partner and main cheerleader as she teaches their girls to write persuasive essays, multiply exponents, and locate Paraguay on a map.



Conflict Resolution
James Mason
Conflict is inevitable as we are all flawed, fallen human beings, but it doesn’t have to destroy your group. James Mason has had experience in resolving conflict in many shapes and venues. Join him as he shares his top principles for peacefully resolving conflicts within your group.

Remembering Why – Hope for the Weary Leader
Nathan Pierce
So often, we can feel exhausted with leadership because of its own demands or because the rest of life drains us of our energy. As we learn from the stories of Noah, Moses, Joshua, and Paul, let us remember the hope that God promises to provide as we follow what he calls us to do. We aren’t leaders because we have the time, or because we are the brightest minds in the neighborhood, and we certainly don’t do it for the pay. We do it because we need the community to be there for us and we want it to be there for others.

How to Start & Build a Homeschool Community Practicum – Part 1
Katie Julius & Michaela Roekle
Are you thinking about starting a homeschool community, but not sure how to actually do it? Join Katie and Michaela as they help walk you through the steps to get your community started. We will be discussing types of communities, options for how to structure your group, and other important considerations for new leaders.


Legislative/Legal Update
Nathan Pierce with John McGowan

Nathan & John will update you on major current legislative battles threatening our private home education and parental rights. You will learn how God has been working “behind the lines” through FPM & CHEA this year and see the necessity of maintaining vigilance for battles that are on the horizon. As time permits, this perspective will broaden to the underlying worldviews and trends of our culture’s war against the God-ordained family.


However Imperfectly: Lessons Learned from Thirty Years of Teaching
Andrew Pudewa
Andrew will share many humorous experiences (and painful lessons) he has learned over thirty years of teaching and homeschooling, including: It’s hard not to do to your kids what was done to you; process over product; all kids are different; “progressive” education doesn’t mean progress; what real “college and career readiness” is; and two secret keys to successful teaching. You will be challenged or reassured (or both!) but sure to leave with an expanded vision of your calling as a home educator.


Preparing for Persecution: A Curriculum Proposal
Andrew Pudewa
At some time in our future, is it imaginable that freedom of speech and freedom of religion could be suppressed where we live? History would indicate so. How do we prepare ourselves and our families for such a contingency? What curriculum might best prepare us for persecution, even martyrdom? How do we cultivate necessary virtues without sparking burdensome fears? This may not be a pleasant subject to contemplate, but perhaps it will be an important one.

Tools for Communicating in a Digital Age
Jenny Vandever
Ever wonder about the different apps and methods for communicating with your group about events and deadlines? Or how to publicize info about your group to those in your community? Wonder what others use and have found effective? Since administration is not Jenny’s gifting, she has learned to rely on excellent tools to keep everyone on the same page. Join Jenny for a look at some of the top methods and a discussion of what might work best for you.

How to Start & Build a Homeschool Community Practicum – Part 2
Katie Julius & Michaela Roekle
Continuing from the morning session, bring your computer and be ready to roll up your sleeves. You’ll be well on your way to having things in place to start your community at the end of this session.


Q & A with James Mason of HSLDA
James Mason
Here’s your chance to submit questions (please email to [email protected]) and hear some of the leadership wisdom he has gleaned during his many years of serving in a variety of different leadership roles.

Choose Joy
John McGowan
John will encourage us to rejoice in all circumstances, developing a thankful, joyful, and hopeful spirit, especially in today’s battle for the culture.

Conference Rates

Regular Rate CHEA Members
(includes luncheon if registered by July 10)
$70 $60
Exhibit Hall Only Pass
Leadership Conference guests who are not attending the Convention may purchase an Exhibit Hall Pass in order to attend the Thursday evening Exhibit Hall Grand Opening
$10 $10


Parking is available free at Calvary Chapel Downey.

At-the-door registration will be available. However, luncheon is not included as catering requirements dictate that we have a final count for lunch prior to the event. We occasionally have a few spaces available, so if you miss the online registration deadline, feel free to call to see if there are seats available.

The Leadership Conference (including luncheon) is designed to help encourage and equip those interested in or currently leading private home education groups, including PSPs, co-ops, support groups, and more. We are excited to offer a special practicum for those considering starting a homeschool group this year. Leaders do not need to be part of CHEA’s Support Network to attend Leadership Conference.

250 and 450 Support Network Members receive entrance to the Exhibit Hall Grand Opening, including the Premium Members Preview, as well as admission for two to the Annual Leadership Conference.

The Leadership Conference is for adults only, please. No childcare will be provided. Nursing infants whose parents are considerate of others are welcome.

CHEA’s Parenting & Homeschool Conference opens Thursday, July 13, 2023 at 4:15 p.m. Separate registration and admission fees (if applicable) are required for entrance to any part of the Parenting & Homeschool Conference.