We have a great line-up of speakers with workshops covering a wide variety of topics. We have invited speakers who have a message of hope and encouragement with plenty of practical ideas and insight to help you as you nurture, develop, teach, disciple, and unfold the gifts in your child. We pray that you come away refreshed, re-energized, strengthened, inspired, and full of fresh ideas for the year ahead.
Eric Ludy, Ellerslie Training
Eric and Leslie Ludy are the best-selling authors of twenty-one books with well over a million copies in print. Their widely known classic, When God Writes Your Love Story remains one of the top-selling Christian relationship books of all time. The Ludys present a clarion call to return to triumphant, Bible-centered, Christ-empowered Christianity. His recent works include Wrestling Prayer, and The Bravehearted Gospel. Eric is the president of Ellerslie Training – a discipleship program that builds future world-changers. Eric lives with his wife and their six children in Colorado.
Rachael Carman, Apologia Educational Ministries
Rachael Carman had it going on—or so she thought. After surviving sixty-three months of pregnancy, countless sleepless nights, and 35,000+ diapers, this one-time control freak encountered God’s grace. And she encourages you to do the same!
In her books How Many Times Do I Have to Tell You? and How to Have a HEART for Your Kids, Rachael challenges mothers to surrender their will and draw closer to their heavenly Father. She invites moms to join her in loving God passionately and worshiping him fully while sweeping up Cheerios, doing laundry, and planning dinner. You will be affirmed in your role as a mother as Rachael speaks of her struggles with perfectionism and impatience and shares her challenges, failures, and victories amid the ever-changing seasons of life. Her honesty will surprise you, and her humor will put you at ease.
Rachael is not only a respected author but is also a sought-after speaker. She has spoken across the United States as well as in Europe, Asia, and Africa. She has been married to her husband, Davis, since 1986. Together, their life has been a roller-coaster ride, with God at the controls. They have seven kids with whom they love to laugh. Rachael enjoys playing in the dirt, eating dark chocolate, and walking on the beach. She and Davis are the owners of Apologia Educational Ministries.
Meryln Beard & Paul Case, Youth Arts Coalition
Merlyn Beard has been a music educator for twenty-five years and with his wife, Cherub, founded Oakland Homeschool Music, thirteen years ago. Paul Case founded Home School Music Association more than twenty years ago. Both Merlyn and Paul are the fathers of homeschooled children, and have been in the forefront of working to provide music education and opportunity for home educated students.
Angela is a married, homeschool mother with 3 children and 1 foster daughter. She has a BS in Bible and Elementary Education from Baptist Bible College. She holds state teaching certification in Missouri and gifted licensure in Indiana. She also holds a Masters Degree in Educational Psychology/Gifted Education from Purdue University.
Angela directs the Central Illinois Music Camp, Focus Camp Summer Program for Youth, Dunlap Educational Enrichment Co-op, and Leaders in Education. Teaching also includes Purdue University’s Gifted Education Resource Institute, Bradley University’s World of Wonder and various educational community programs and co-ops. She is director of ladies’ ministry at Cedar Hills Baptist Church in Dunlap, Illinois and has taught in missions work in Nicaragua, Honduras and Hungary. She speaks at conventions, ladies’ conferences, retreats, and banquets. Lastly she teaches piano and gives private tutoring.
Gary Bower, Bower Family Books
Gary Bower is a father of 12, a grandfather of 19, and a Christian author of fourteen children’s books. His titles include The Person I Marry, There’s a Party in Heaven!, and I’m a Michigan Kid! He loves telling stories, reading stories, creating stories, and hearing stories. Gary especially likes stories that appeal to a very broad age range, and creating such stories is often his goal when writing. He believes books that intrigue both young and old can make a profound impact, because these are books that parents read with their children, and therefore experience together and discuss. Gary also wrote the Lesson Book for Drawing Success, a DVD course that his wife, artist Jan Bower, created.
Gary enjoys speaking to groups of all ages about issues that strengthen family relationships and nurture a personal faith in God. Gary and Jan have been married nearly 37 years and have homeschooled their twelve children since 1984. They blend their talents together in their home studios in Traverse City, Michigan.
Carol Brown, Equipping Minds
Carol is the executive director of Equipping Minds Brain Development Center and the author of Equipping Minds Cognitive Development Curriculum used for students and adults across the US and in 15 countries. Carol has over 30 years of experience as a principal, teacher, cognitive developmental therapist, social worker, reading and learning specialist, speaker, HSLDA special needs consultant, and mother. She will complete her Doctor of Education ( Ed.D) in 2016 from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. She received her M.A. in Social Services from Southwestern Seminary and B.A. in Rehabilitation Counseling from Marshall University. She is a certified school counselor, special education specialist, teacher,and principal and served classical Christian schools in North Carolina, Georgia, Northern Virginia, and Lyon, France. In 2012, Carol was licensed and certified as an FIE Mediator by the Feuerstein Institute: International Institute for the Enhancement of Learning Potential.She has trained public, private and homeschool educators, Toyota, UK College of Medicine, KY Vocational Rehabilitation, psychologist, occupational therapist,speech and language therapist, and higher education institutions. She is trained in Feuerstein’s Instrumental Enrichment, cognitive developmental therapy, primitive reflex therapy, vision therapy, sound therapy, vestibular therapy, and mediated learning.
Carol and Kyle have been married 27 years, live in Danville, Kentucky and have three adult children.
Jonathan Brush, CollegePlus
I grew up in a family that cared a lot about being a family. My parents ended up being some of the early pioneers in the modern homeschooling movement, effectively ruining my chances of being satisfied with any kind of “normal” life, and giving me a deep background in nontraditional education. I was the first homeschooled student admitted to Bridgewater College, which worked out splendidly in many different ways, with the most splendid part being that the second homeschool student Bridgewater admitted was so beautiful and intelligent that I did the only logical thing and married her as soon as we graduated. As far as I was concerned college was a smashing success.
After I graduated I worked for almost eleven years in higher education admissions, including nine years as a Director of Admissions for a private, liberal arts college, where I gained a deep understanding of traditional secondary and higher education. During this time I also worked part-time as a junior high, youth, and young adult pastor for two different churches.
Today, I am the Executive Director of Student Life for CollegePlus. In that role I have the privilege of meeting and speaking to groups of prospective and current students and their families all over the country. I also have the very exciting opportunity to work with our amazing CP student leadership teams and the incredible Student Life staff in developing, building, and guiding all aspects of a very fast growing and unique national and international student community.
My professional experience has allowed me to work with literally thousands of students and hundreds of families. I draw from that background to teach and speak around the country about family and education, but it is my family life and experience that makes that teaching and speaking real, and keeps me humble. My wife and I have six children, and it is the day to day living with them that is my biggest responsibility, most important accomplishment, and biggest reality check. All that I have learned and the little I have accomplished has been by the Grace of God, and I value every opportunity to share what I have been blessed to learn. I live with my family in the Shenandoah Valley, where we try our best to live the adventures we are in, and properly train for the ones that will come.
Dr. Lainna Callentine, Master Books
Dr. Lainna Callentine is a physician and former ER doctor, homeschool mom, instructor, author, speaker, coach and creator/founder of Sciexperience. She received her B.A. from Northwestern University and earned a full athletic scholarship in basketball. She is a former classroom teacher with a Master’s in education and completed her M.D. at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine and residency at Christ Hospital in Oak Lawn, IL. She is a trained pediatrician. Dr. Callentine continues to have wonderment for the beauty of God’s creation in the human body. She still practices her hobby of medicine as a missionary doctor volunteering at a Christian Clinic in the Chicago suburbs that cares for the uninsured. She is passionate about the biological sciences, children, education, families, and the God who created all things. With great excitement, in collaboration with Master Books, she announces a new hands-on series on the human body called God’s Wondrous Machine.
Davis Carman got started on his homeschool adventure with a providential two-by-four on the side of his head. Nineteen years and three graduates later, he hopes to share some of the lessons he’s learned along the way to help other families enjoy the most successful, satisfying, and Christ-centered home school possible. His mission is to help homeschooling families learn, live, and defend the Christian faith. This is accomplished in part through his work as president of Apologia Educational Ministries, the #1 publisher of Creation-based science and Bible curriculum with more than fifty #1 awards from homeschool organizations and media.
Davis is passionate about his family. He married Rachael in 1986, and God has blessed them with seven children. So far, three children have graduated from their home school. Davis and his family live in Waxhaw, North Carolina, where they enjoy the homeschooling adventure of a lifetime, complete with roller-coaster twists and turns and the occasional lazy river ride. Davis isn’t a perfect husband or father, but he loves being with his wife throughout the day and immediately available to handle disciplinary matters or to experience an extraordinary Deuteronomy 6 moment in the course of an ordinary day.
He is an international speaker and advocate for home education, having served twelve years on the board of North Carolinians for Home Education (NCHE) as well as being the North Carolina Ambassador for the Home School Foundation. He is also a founding board member of Homeschool Now USA.
Davis is also the author of three illustrated children’s books designed to instill a biblical worldview. Good Morning, God is based on Deuteronomy 6, and A Light for My Path is an ABC book based on Psalm 119. His latest, In the Beginning, is based on the Creation account in Genesis. He believes that if there was ever a time to homeschool, it is now! Davis blogs at www.HomeschoolCastles.com.
Sara Carothers, Rainbow Resource
Sara Carothers has been working with homeschoolers for 4 years. Her background is as a high school French teacher in the public schools where she taught both the International Baccalaureate program and AP courses. Sara has a B.A. from Illinois State University and a M.A. in Curriculum from St. Xavier University. Although she came late to the homeschooling arena, she appreciates the ability to customize your child’s education to their talents and abilities. Sara has two sons. Nick attends the University of Illinois and Adam is a junior in high school. She loves giving parents creative options to try in their homeschooling, including using their materials in new ways to better suit their students.
Jennifer (“Jeni”) Chase, MSW, grew up in Topeka, Kansas. She and her husband David have been married for over 22 years and live in Apalachin, New York where they home educate their four daughters. Jeni served as the Executive Director of the Pregnancy Crisis Center in Wichita, Kansas, and worked as a professional Christian counselor for the Christian Counseling Center in Johnson City, New York. She currently serves as the Director for the Braided Cord Cooperative in the Binghamton, New York area which provides educational opportunities and community for over 40 home school families. Jeni also works on the Board of Trustees at Davis College in Johnson City, New York. Jeni holds a Bachelor of Science in Social Work from Kansas State University and a Masters Degree in Social Work and Administration from the University.
Jeni is more than just a dynamic speaker. Her presentation is energized by her authentic passion for sharing the message God has given her. Drawing from her experience as a Christian counselor, ministry leader, home school educator, wife, and mother, Jeni artfully combines her ready wit with touching, real-life stories to illuminate what she’s learned about boldly facing the everyday challenges of living on this side of heaven. Her contagious energy welcomes you and her articulate ability to speak the truth engages you. Her message is sparked by her enthusiasm and love for people and laughter. Jeni believes that one of the greatest blessings in life is LAUGHING…really laughing. She hopes her audience’s hearts are revived by laughter and encouragement to be the very best God calls them to be!
Jeni travels nationally to speak at home school conventions, women’s gatherings, MOPS groups, marriage retreats, Christian Colleges and churches. She is listed with the “The National Alliance Speakers Bureau.”
Tom Clark, VideoText Interactive
Thomas Clark is a life-long teacher of Mathematics and Science with more than 49 years of classroom and tutoring experience at all levels, from elementary through adult. He began his career with twelve years of classroom teaching, including a full year of graduate study, and then served for five years as the State Mathematics Supervisor for the Indiana Department of Education. While there, he was responsible for curriculum development, statewide in-service, textbook adoption, and consultation for all public and private schools in the state. Those opportunities and the valuable knowledge he gained, enabled him to join the Indianapolis Public Schools as the Supervisor of Mathematics, K-12, overseeing staff development efforts and supervising the implementation of curriculum. Seven years later, Mr. Clark was promoted to the position of Director of Curriculum Development for all areas, utilizing his rich background in mathematics, science, art, music, language, and athletics. In subsequent years, he was commissioned to author several Mathematics resources for the Houghton-Mifflin Publishing Co., and for the Addison Wesley Publishing Co.
His unique awareness of the needs of both teachers and students is an attribute that helped him win the IUPUI Chancellor’s Award, and the Purdue School of Science Faculty Teaching Award. As a result of all of his experience, he is convinced that everyone has the ability to understand Mathematics. Consequently, in the last twenty years, he has focused on the development of multimedia programs that challenge traditional methods of instruction, and which help with both individualized and group learning. In addition, seventeen years ago, he founded VideoText Interactive, a company that specializes in bringing the textbook to life through technology. He then began directing his attention toward helping homeschooling parents become more effective instructors, especially in the area of Mathematics. Because of his success, he has been a featured speaker at many major homeschool conferences across the country, and has been asked to write articles on the subject for several homeschool publications. The company’s two major programs, “Algebra: A Complete Course”, and :Geometry: A Complete Course, have been acclaimed nationwide, as comprehensive, college-preparatory Mathematics courses, and are now available in two formats. The Classic versions, with books and DVDs are still very strongly received, and the new Online versions are gaining in popularity.
Steve Demme, Building Faith Families/Demme Learning
Steve and his wife Sandra have been married since 1979. They have been blessed with four sons, three lovely daughters-in-law, and three grandchildren. Their fourth son John has Down Syndrome and lives with them in PA. Steve addresses a variety of topics at conferences and churches to encourage parents as they seek to build families of faith. His messages are rooted in scripture, illustrated from personal experience, and filled with practical application.
He has served in full or part time pastoral ministry for many years after graduating from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and has served on the board of Joni and Friends, Eastern PA. A former math teacher who has taught at all levels of math in public, private, and Christian schools, Steve is the author of Math-U-See and the founder of Building Faith Families.
Cheri Frame, Credits Before College
Cheri Frame founded Credits Before College in 2006 to help families with students in middle and high school understand how purposeful planning now can help students define their post-high school goals, graduate with valued marketplace skills, and avoid college debt.
She and her husband homeschooled their three children from kindergarten through high school. Two have now graduated college debt free, not from receiving financial aid or scholarships, but from utilizing opportunities available to all students regardless of need-based and merit-based awards.
For 15 years Cheri has provided resources to the homeschool community through academic testing services, personal consulting, and public presentations. She speaks to homeschool co-ops, in classrooms, and at state conventions where her focus is on helping students and their parents develop a comprehensive high school plan that includes CLEP and DSST testing, dual enrollment options, and college and career-readiness strategies. Her printed resources include an information-packed website, an in-depth high school-to-college planning guide, and two curriculum guides.
Cheri and her family live in Ramsey, Minnesota. Besides teaching her own children, Cheri has taught at local homeschool co-ops for many years and served as a substitute teacher at a school in Indonesia while on a one-year mission’s trip with her family. Her goal is to help those within her circle of influence to live up to their calling and realize the dreams God gives each one of them. She firmly believes that college loans severely limit future opportunities, closing doors to options that students would otherwise explore. She remains dedicated to helping other families achieve their goal of an affordable college education for their children. Credits Before College LLC was born out of that passion.
Luke Gilkerson, Intoxicated By Life
Luke worked as the Educational Resource Manager at Covenant Eyes for over 8 years. He received his Masters degree in Religion from Reformed Theological Seminary.
Luke, along with his wife Trisha, has written numerous books on homeschool, parenting, and Bible studies for families—including his best-selling book The Talk: 7 Lessons to Introduce Your Child to Biblical Sexuality. Luke is also the teacher of the popular and exciting online science course for homeschoolers, Experience Astronomy.
Dennis Gundersen, Grace & Truth Books
Dennis Gundersen is President and owner of Grace & Truth Books, a Christian publisher of 60 books, most of which are reprints of 19th-century children’s books on character-building themes. He and his wife Naomi have four adult sons, all of whom were homeschooled all twelve years of their education before going on to college.
Dennis and Naomi relish ministering together in a wide range of settings, whether in teaching, discipleship and counseling at their church, to missions trips to Mexico, India, Mozambique and other nations.
Peter Heck is an author, speaker and teacher. In 2011, Peter published his first book, 78: How Christians Can Save America, followed by Believe: A Confrontation with Christianity’s Biggest Challenges in 2012, ME: America’s Deadly Obsession in 2014, and FAMILY in 2015. Peter is also a contributing opinion columnist for the Indianapolis Star and The American Thinker, whose work also appears sporadically in The Washington Times, FrontPageMag, OneNewsNow, and WorldNetDaily. Between 2004 and 2015, The Peter Heck Radio Program was heard on over 200 radio stations across the United States in cooperation with the American Family Radio network.
Tom Houck is the author of Parenting for Purity, and Being Faithful to Your Future Spouse. As a single’s pastor for 14 years, from 1985 to 1999, and has been teaching on relationships for over 28 years to singles, youth, parents, homeschoolers. Tom believes that a 50% divorce rate in the church is not acceptable. Teaching biblical singleness can help prevent divorce. He has seen great fruit in the lives under his ministry, great marriages. He has a passion for wanting to see people set free from the world’s way of dating relationships along with the destruction and heartbreak it brings. He has been married for 28 years and has three daughters.
Monica Irvine, The Etiquette Factory
Monica Irvine is a certified Etiquette Instructor who currently owns and operates The Etiquette Factory. Monica Irvine is a master motivator and dedicated instructor, who loves to help children see the benefits and rewards of having good manners. As a Certified Etiquette Instructor, Mrs. Irvine specializes in etiquette instruction for children, ages preschool through high school. She is the creator of The Etiquette Factory, a unique 3 phase etiquette learning system designed to change the world, one child at a time. She also authors a monthly column in The Homeschool Handbook, The Homeschool Magazine and Everything Knoxville focusing on helping parents teach their children manners. Through years of experience working with children of all ages and being a home school mom herself, Mrs. Irvine is passionate about giving parents the tools they need to successfully teach proper etiquette in the home. She feels strongly about the need to educate children in the art of etiquette to help ensure their future success both personally and professionally. Mrs. Irvine also operates Etiquette Summer Camps.
Jordan Jachim, Through All Ages
Jordan Jachim is a homeschool graduate who has been homeschooled since 2nd grade. He has loved history since he was 4 years old. Steeped in the writings of excellent historical authors, he desires to make history come alive to others with beautiful artwork and thorough research. To that end, he blogs at Defending the Legacy (www.defendingthelegacy.blogspot.com) and runs Through All Ages LLC (www.ThroughAllAges.com), a company which creates historical paper soldiers, posters and postcards. He is currently working on a Bachelor’s Degree in History from Liberty University. He volunteers as a tour guide for his local historical museum (where this picture was taken) and has worked for the Christian historical-fiction movie Beyond the Mask. In his spare time, he enjoys painting American Revolution military miniatures (also known as toy soldiers).
Les Johnson, Teen Bible Challenge
My name is Les Johnson, the founder of Teen Bible Challenge Inc. (TBC). I’m married and have two
adult children and four beautiful grandchildren. I live in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and worked full time for Amway Corporation from 1987 to 2012. From 1992 to 1995, I also worked as a part–time youth director for Sunshine Community Church and observed how little scripture this generation of youth had committed to memory. Realizing this, I felt God’s Spirit prompting me to do something different through His strength and leading. As a result, in October 1995, I stepped out in faith and asked five junior high students from Sunshine Church to participate on a Bible quiz team. Two years later, a handful of teams from area churches began competing together on a monthly basis throughout the school year. After seeing how the lives of these teens changed for His glory, God placed on my heart the need to develop a board and incorporate Teen Bible Challenge (TBC) to preserve the ministry that God had raised up.
My personal desire from the beginning has always been for students to plant God’s Word in their hearts through the memorization of scripture. My hope was that the scripture would make them wise for salvation and help them to be able to discern between good and evil in our world today. The one regret I have is that I didn’t provide programming like TBC in my early years of youth ministry. I say this because I saw more visible fruit in the lives of the students that participated in TBC than in the lives of those who just attended other youth programs.
Patrick & Elizabeth Johnston, Johnston Family Ministry
Patrick and Elizabeth Johnston reside in central Ohio with their ten home-schooled children. Patrick Johnston is a family practice physician, the founder of the Association of Pro-life Physicians (www.ProLifePhysicians.org), and the director of Personhood Ohio (www.PersonhoodOhio.com). Dr. Johnston is a popular conference speaker and author of nine novels and one non-fiction workbook that serves as a Civics curricula for homeschoolers. He speaks to frequently hostile audiences in public high schools and in formally moderated debate forums on subjects related to Christianity, the traditional family, and the biblical life ethic. He and his wife, Elizabeth, have a passion for strong families, restored marriages, Christian education, revival in the church, and a return to biblical thinking and practice.
Elizabeth Johnston is the wife of Dr. Patrick Johnston, homeschooling mother of 10 children, pro-life ministry leader, Christian counselor, and conference speaker. You can contact the Johnston family through their website at www.JohnstonFamilyMinistry.com.
David Kallman, Kallman Legal Group
David A. Kallman started his general practice law firm, now known as Kallman Legal Group, PLLC, in 1982 and has built a successful litigation practice in many areas, including: church/state, constitutional, homeschooling, education law, family law, and criminal law, and administrative law. He has handled cases at every level of the Michigan Court System and has appeared before the Federal District Court and the United States Court of Appeals. He has been the primary attorney utilized by the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) to represent their members in Michigan. He has handled hundreds of home school cases and was the trial attorney in the DeJonge case, which resulted in a Michigan Supreme Court decision in favor of home educators teaching their children without excessive government regulation.
In 2008, he was appointed unanimously by the Michigan Supreme Court to serve a three-year term as a commissioner for the State Bar of Michigan. He was also an adjunct law professor for five years at Thomas M. Cooley Law School in Lansing, Michigan, teaching sports law. He is currently an adjunct law professor at Baker College, at the Jackson, Michigan campus, teaching torts and business law classes. He is also actively involved in his church and served for many years as president of the board of a local adoption agency.
David received his B.A. in Business Management from Northwood University in 1979 and his J.D. from Thomas M. Cooley Law School in 1982. David and his wife, Beth, a Registered Nurse, were married in 1983 and have two children, Stephen and Rachel. As a testament to their belief in home education, he and his wife homeschooled their two children through high school graduation.
Stephen Kallman, Kallman Legal Group
Stephen P. Kallman was admitted to the Michigan State Bar as an attorney in November of 2011. He is following in his grandfather and father’s footsteps as a third generation attorney at Kallman Legal Group, PLLC.
Stephen graduated from the home education program of Noah Webster Academy in 2003. After playing Division I basketball at Maryland Eastern Shore University and Cleveland State University, he finished his undergraduate studies at Michigan State University receiving his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Pre-Law/Business Administration in 2008. He then received his Juris Doctor Degree from Thomas M. Cooley Law School in 2011. He graduated Cum Laude and made the Dean’s List and Honor Roll every term while in law school.
In February of 2012, Stephen testified in front of the Michigan House of Representatives in support of House Concurrent Resolution 11 which would support the Parental Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Stephen is coauthor of a law review article published in the Liberty University School of Law, Law Review entitled, ” SUICIDE KILLING OF HUMAN LIFE AS A HUMAN RIGHT — The Continuing Devolution of Assisted Suicide Law in the United Kingdom” (6 LIBULR 27 (2011)). In 2001 Stephen received a scholarship to attend the Freedoms Foundation’s American Leaders Youth Summit in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He also attended the two week Summit Ministries Worldview Conference in Manitou Springs, Colorado that same year. Stephen married his wife, Paige, in 2010. Stephen and Paige’s son, Tyler, was born in the summer of 2014. Paige is a Registered Nurse and they live in the Lansing area.
Andrea Larsen is a second-generation homeschool mom and a college writing instructor who is currently taking an indefinite sabbatical to educate her own children and to encourage and equip young families within the homeschool community. She enjoys using her 13 years of firs-hand homeschool experience and 8 years teaching experience to help her facilitate a homeschool group of nearly 200 families – The Emerging Homeschoolers Group. This group focuses on creating community and support for homeschool families with children ages 0-6 in the Lansing Area.
Andrea grew up in Washington State, exploring the great outdoors with her homeschool family of 8 and experiencing an eclectic home education. She started college her senior year of high school, and graduated with honors while obtaining a degree in Written Communications with an Emphases in Teaching Writing. Andrea currently lives in East Lansing, Michigan with her husband Zach, an attorney for the State of Michigan, and her four children – Gideon age 6, Titus age 4, Ariadne age 3, and Judah age 7 months.
My name is Heather Laurie. My husband, Christopher and I have been married for 18 wonderful years. We have been blessed with 5 children, and 3 angels awaiting us in Heaven.
We began our homeschooling journey over 13 years ago. My oldest was 5 and kindergarten was not ready for her. Too much go- go- go and too much ADHD showing to fit nicely into the classroom. My husband and I thought we would just homeschool for a year or so…. 5 children later and 13 years of homeschooling under our belt. We love it!
I started Special Needs Homeschooling because 4 of my 5 children were diagnosed with autism. Our homeschooling was filled with therapy, doctor’s appointments, and behavioral issues that others just didn’t understand. Later we found out that I and my children also have mitochondrial disease.
Our homeschooling is unique and this journey had taken us to many unexpected places. We have homeschooled in the hospital, doctor’s offices, and therapy parking lots. The wide variety of problems the children are dealing with have left Chris and I uniquely positioned to cover first hand a large variety of problems.
I have spoken for years at homeschooling conventions all across the United States. From workshops, support groups, to key-note talks all sharing our experience and encouragement to other families. I also speak to medical professionals about mitochondrial disease, helping to advocate for complicated patients and better care.
I have written several articles for The Old Schoolhouse, Crosswalk.com, several ezines, and several group blogs. Special Needs Homeschooling is also listed as a resource with Home School Legal Defense Agency and Autism Speaks!
My husband and I have been praying for years that our trials could be put to the Lord’s glory.
If we stand together encouraging and supporting one another we are stronger! You can homeschool your child no matter the limitation or special need they have!
Todd Laubenthal, Family Vision Resources
Home school father of 5, ages 26-13. Husband of Deena (27 yrs). Business owner of Narrow Way Truck Repair for 18 yrs in Columbus, Ohio. Reformed/Reforming home discipler, desperate to lead his family in Christ, through the land mines and quicksand of 21st century America.
Beth Mora, Here to Help Learning
Meet Beth Mora, wife to one, mother to eight, nana to one, and a Homeschool Purple Heart Recipient for multiple moments where she thought she wasn’t making a difference in her children’s lives. Beth is indebted and salutes the homeschooling vets in her life that carried her through and simply desires to return the blessing.
This former city girl, wannabe homesteader, basset hound co-owner, who drinks way too much coffee, will bring you to tears one moment and laughter the next. Her New York moxie communicates with enthusiasm, you can do it! And her zeal for your family’s success will fill your heart and charge you up to face the next year of homeschooling with confidence and passion.
Beth pulls from her past experiences as a Certified Rehabilitation RN, homeschool mom, co-op leader and teacher, Marriage Ministry Director, Women’s Ministry Programmer, Children’s Ministry Leader, Drama Team Member, creator and author of Here to Help Learning’s Writing Program for grades 1-6, and most presently, “Mrs. Mora”, the on-camera teacher for Here to Help Learning’s filmed instruction where she lives out her dream of becoming Mrs. Frizzle from the Magic School Bus. She loves blogging at Home to Home, and Peak Performance, HTHL’s blogs for moms and homeschool businesses. She also writes for HTHL’s Newsletter that includes her Writing Tip of the Week. Occasionally, you can find her blog hopping or writing for homeschool magazines.
Everything she does, whether laughable or heart gripping, is done to honor One, without apology. God’s grace is the salve that has healed her own life, and God’s grace is what she offers liberally to others.
Kerry Lee Morgan
Kerry Lee Morgan is an Attorney admitted to practice in Michigan, Virginia, the District of Columbia as well as the U.S. District Courts for the Eastern and Western Districts of Michigan, U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit and the U.S. Supreme Court. He formerly served as an Attorney-Advisor with the United States Commission on Civil Rights in Washington D.C. In addition to practicing law, since 1980, Mr. Morgan has also written a number of thought-provoking articles in the areas of natural law and unalienable rights. He completed an extensive legal review of religious liberty principles and Supreme Court cases titled, Unalienable Rights, Equality and The Free Exercise of Religion. In 1997, University Press of America published his book, Real Choice, Real Freedom in American Education, a scholarly work that articulates the legal and Constitutional case for parental rights and against governmental control of American Education.
Kathie Morrissey, The Character Corner
Kathie Morrissey is the mother of 8 children, wife to Alan for 35 years, and a committed homeschooling mom of 30 years. She is the founder of The Character Corner, where she loves to blog about parenting, family life, homeschooling, and life in general. Kathie is a popular speaker at homeschool conventions and support groups, family seminars, and ladies retreats. Her heart’s desire is to help and encourage parents to be purposeful in raising Godly children with strong Christian character, who walk in purity, and have a heart for God. Seven of Kathie’s children have graduated from their homeschool, and she continues to teach the youngest one, who is now beginning his senior year.
Wayne Musson, Accelerated Christian Education
Wayne Musson has served as an Associate Pastor for thirty-eight of the last forty years. He has been involved in Christian Education ministries as a principal and supervisor/ teacher for much of that time. For the last three years he has been representing Accelerated Christian Education across the country, talking with hundreds of homeschool parents about the importance of an individualized, mastery-based Christian education for their children. Mr. Musson has experience in teaching students with differing learning types and from the gifted to the challenged. His strengths are his patience and gentle spirit which enable him to help students to master whatever task they face.
Dennis J. Niles, Lake Superior State University
Dennis holds Undergraduate Degrees from Lake Superior State and Spring Arbor University as well as a Masters Degree from Michigan State University’s Graduate School of Education. Professionally, Dennis holds a State of Michigan Secondary Teaching Certificate and is certified as a K-12 School Administrator. Dennis served twenty-one years as a High School Administrator, also serving as a classroom teacher and private education consultant, retiring from education in 2014. Dennis now works for his Alma mater, LSSU in the admissions office and is responsible for students residing in Southwest Michigan. Dennis is a life-long learner, artisan, sportsman, and conservationist who lives in Grass Lake, MI with his wife of 18 years Elizabeth and their two “fur-kids” Sinjin and Izzy.
Steve & Janet Raeburn, Big Blast Ministries
Pastors Steve and Janet Raeburn have been working with children for over twenty years. In 2000, the Lord called them into full-time children/family evangelism and Big Blast Ministries began. As they continue to serve the Lord, they find themselves in churches all over the United States and Canada using balloon sculptures, illusions, and a lot of fun and excitement to tell everyone about Jesus Christ. They present the gospel and share the love of Jesus to young and old alike. As a family ministry, their children help them a lot too – David, Adam, and Kathryn – performing illusions, puppets, skits, running the sound and taking most of the pictures for their website.
Pastor Steve and Pastor Janet are both ordained elders and full-time tenured evangelists in the Church of the Nazarene. They have taught Sunday School classes, been Children’s Ministry Directors, Children’s Pastor, directed Vacation Bible Schools, have attended and led many workshops and conferences and now lead and direct their own ministry. Under their ministry, many children, teens and adults have come to know Christ as their Savior, have learned more about Jesus and have grown closer to Him.
Reuben A Rubio II, PhD, Spring Arbor
Reuben and his wife Kathleen are the parents of seven children (you can throw in two sons-in-law, two grandsons, more bedrooms currently unoccupied than occupied, two dogs and a cat, five cars, six guitars, two keyboards, a drum kit, lots of bible quizzing trophies that a few somebodies decided not to take with them when they left home, and enough unused band instruments to make Glen Miller drool), and have been homeschooling for over twenty years. They were even once crazy enough to help lead a 200+ member homeschool support group for seven years.
Chawna Schroeder, Imagination Investigation
Chawna Schroeder is a former-homeschooler-turned-novelist who loves fabricating fantastical tales designed to stretch both imagination and faith. She has spent the past sixteen years learning the craft of writing and exploring the boundaries of fiction, often calling upon her training in biblical Greek and Hebrew to understand how to use her imagination in a godly way.
Realizing she isn’t the only person for whom discernment does not come naturally, Chawna began to teach and vend at home-educator conference as Imagination Investigation. Providing written resources for others soon followed in order to better help them understand what discernment is, why we need it, and how to build discernment in our own lives. Included among these resources is Bearing the Sword: Developing Discernment through Scripture and Story, a curriculum to teach high school students the basic principles of discernment and to help build in them the habit ofmeasuring the world by the plumb line of Scripture. Her debut novel, an allegorical fantasy entitled Beast, also releases in July 2016.
Ben VanderKodde, Grace Adventures
Ben Vander Kodde has worked the last 16 years at Grace Adventures in Silver Lake, MI. As program director for 10 of those years, he ran youth camps, family camps, men’s retreats and youth retreats. Now he speaks, trains and coaches both on Grace’s campus and wherever God leads. Because of his love of being with people outdoors, he has been accused of the best office view for the least amount of office time! He loves to learn from God’s Word and share with others. He and his wife Laura have 4 kids.
Kevin and Abbey Waterman
Married for 29 years (this May), Kevin and Abbey have 8 children and have been Home Schooling for the past 25 years. Kristan, 28, is a graduate of Wayne State University with a biology degree and she is currently serving on a long term missions trip with H.O.P.E. Dominican Republic; Kaylan, 27, is a graduate of the University of Detroit Mercy with a biology degree who has taken a brief hiatus from the mission field and is currently working with Detroit Experience Factory in Detroit; Kendall, 25, is a graduate of Oakland University with a degree in Cinema Studies and is currently climbing a cooperate ladder to squirrel funds away for her next missions project or trip; Kevin, 24, is currently serving with the US Army, stationed at Fort Bliss in El Paso, Texas; Kelsey, 21, is a junior at Calvin College. She has just returned from the Peru study abroad program and she has two semesters to go; Kaleb, 19, is taking classes at Schoolcraft College in the sound recording program while preparing to transfer this fall to university; Klark, 16, is a Home School High School junior and Kole, 10, is a Home School fourth grader.
Kevin and Abbey attend Evangel Ministries in Detroit and serve in the Family Ministries Depatment. Family Ministries at Evangel has provided the privilege to fulfill their strong calling to family-led discipleship, helping to lead Passionate Parenting (teaching parenting classes), Redeeming 2 Generations (Home School and parenting support group) and Covenant Couples (married couples) ministries and provide support to Single Moms, and men’s and women’s small groups, and Fishermens Ministry (homeless care). Abbey is a graduate of Wayne State University with a biology degree and an excellent Home School teacher and homemaker. Kevin is a Financial Print Manager/Site Supervisor for Global Investment Management at R.R. Donnelley in Detroit and has over 35 years of experience in commercial, newspaper and financial printing. The Waterman’s love family, baseball and seeing God’s families grow.
Brook Wayne speaks to moms from the vantage point of both a homeschool mother of eight and a homeschool graduate herself. Combining vision for living deep and meaningful relationships with God and family with the day to day “pressure cooker” realities of the homeschool lifestyle, Brook’s goal is to encourage and support moms. Brook serves alongside her husband, Israel Wayne, reaching the homeschooling and church community through the ministry of Family Renewal. Israel and Brook were joined in marriage without dating and share their testimony of God’s faithfulness on an audiobook titled, What God Has Joined Together. Book is co-author, with her husband, of the book, Pitchin’ A Fit! Overcoming Angry & Stressed-Out Parenting. Israel and Brook, both homeschool graduates themselves, are home educating their nine young children in SW Michigan.
Israel Wayne is an author and conference speaker who is the Director of Family Renewal. Israel is committed to defending the Christian faith and promoting a Biblical worldview. He is the author of the books Homeschooling from a Biblical Worldview, Full-Time Parenting: A Guide to Family-Based Discipleship, Questions God Asks and Questions Jesus Asks. He is a former regular columnist for Home School Digest and the Old Schoolhouse magazines and a current columnist for Homeschool Enrichment. He is also the site editor for ChristianWorldview.net.
Since 1995, Israel has traveled the nation speaking on family, homeschooling, revival, discipleship, and cultural issues.
He is a frequent guest on national radio and television programs. Israel’s family began home educating in 1978 and has been featured in national and international publications including TIME Magazine, The Arizona Republic, WORLD Magazine, Court Report, and the Wall Street Journal. Israel has been featured as the keynote speaker at various conferences, with over 5,000 in attendance.
Mike Winter, INCH
Mike has been married to his wife Kim for 28 years. They are the parents of ten children, ages 6 to 23, all homeschooled, with four graduates so far. Mike and Kim also have one granddaughter and another on the way. Mike and Kim met while attending Hope College, where he received his BA in Religion. Since college, Mike has worked as an associate pastor, insurance agent, and insurance company manager, but has served in full time ministry for the past 18 years with CBMC—Connecting Business Men to Christ, as a spiritual coach for business and professional men. Mike’s weekly coaching blog can be accessed at knowgodcoach.com. In 2008, he also became the Executive Director of INCH, the Information Network for Christian Homes, when he and Kim assumed responsibilities for coordinating Michigan’s statewide homeschool network.