The following mentors have either spoken for us or are on our panel to speak in the current year:
MEET THE MENTORS
(Click on their photos to learn more)
Check back often as we add more amazing mentors throughout the year!
Alesia, along with husband Matthew, founded UnLock Math, a cloud-based math program designed to take stress and frustration out of the math equation for homeschool families like their own. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Math and Computer Science and a Bachelor of Education. Alesia has been married for over 13 years to the love of her life and has 4 beautiful children. She and husband Matthew were both homeschooled and chose the same path for their children.
You can connect with Alesia at Unlock Math: http://www.unlockmath.com/
Andrew is the founder, principal speaker, and director of the Institute for Excellence in Writing. Presenting throughout North America, he addresses issues relating to teaching, writing, thinking, spelling, and music with clarity, insight, practical experience, and humor. His seminars for parents, students, and teachers have helped transform many a reluctant writer and have equipped educators with powerful tools to dramatically improve students’ skills. Although he is a graduate of the Talent Education Institute in Japan (Suzuki Method) and holds a Certificate of Child Brain Development, his best endorsement is from a young Alaskan boy who called him “the funny man with the wonderful words.” He and his beautiful, heroic wife Robin are parents of seven, grandparents of five, and educators of their two youngest children at home in Oklahoma’s Green Country.
Audrey Rindlisbacher is a mother of 6 who is passionate about motherhood, principles, self-education and life mission. Her path has led her through hundreds of the greatest works ever written, onto stages all over the country and into dozens of classrooms where she has shared the tools for principle-centered lifelong learning which lead to the discovery of life mission. Audrey has a classical liberal arts Bachelor's Degree and is currently completing a Master's of Arts in Education from Harrison Middleton University. Find her book blog, courses and new book The Mission Driven Life at AudreyRindlisbacher.com and her current project for moms at TheMissionDrivenMom.com.
Blaine and Audrey Rindlisbacher
Since rescuing their own marriage from the brink of divorce, Blaine and Audrey Rindlisbacher have become intensely passionate about what makes successful marriages work. Their commitment to experiencing the BEST marriage possible has driven them to spend the last 12 years studying what makes marriages work. Because Blaine wanted permanent answers, he spared no time or expense - while providing for and raising a family of 6 children, he paid the price to go through both a lengthy Liberal Arts Bachelor's Program and an intensive marriage and Family Therapy Master's Degree program at Liberty University. Then he went on to combine these degrees with his previous study, his personal experience and his couple's coaching practice, and was able to uncover the GREATEST SECRET to obtaining and maintaining a happy marriage - the 12 PRINCIPLES! Blaine and Audrey have worked together to found "Adore Your Spouse" and have made these 12 principles available to every couple through their ground-breaking free class: 3 Steps to a Happy Marriage.
Brook Wayne is a homeschooled graduate and homeschooling mother of nine. She is a co-author of the new book "Pitchin' a Fit! Overcoming Stressed out and Angry Parenting."
Brook encourages moms to love their children, and connect deeply with their families, even in the midst of busy family life. She is a co-founder of Family Renewal Ministries, inspiring families to become "a people prepared for the Lord."
Carol Gary has been married to her husband, Grant Gary, for twenty-five years. They have ardently homeschooled their sons in Phoenix, Arizona since the fall of 2000; two of whom they continue to homeschool through high school and two of whom have gone home to be with the Lord. She served in the leadership of a large, local support group for twelve years and has personally mentored over seventy-five moms since 2010 through her comprehensive program that she developed titled, "The Balanced Homeschooler." Carol has also served as the AZ State Ambassador for the Home School Foundation since 2013; helping dozens of homeschooling families persevere through hard times while earning the HSF's top National Service Award four years running. Graduating with honors, she earned both her B.S. ('90) and M.B.A. ('98) degrees from Grand Canyon University. As an active alumni, she along with her family devote many additional hours in support of fundraisers and events that benefit GCU as well as their various non-profit foundations.
To learn more about joining a virtual mentoring session with Carol, contact her at email@example.com or www.thebalancedhomeschooler.com. For HSF inquiries, contact her at AZStateAmbsdr@cox.net
Carrie Andrews is a mother and mentor who has helped many people for nearly a decade in homeschooling children on the Autism Spectrum, particularly those who are high functioning and who are dealing with a variety of diagnoses. Her experience and wisdom is encouraging and her tips and techniques are like no other. What Carrie shares is from the heart, and from real life, down-to-earth experiences that you won't find in a therapist's office. She knows what it is like to have a child who is high functioning, and her techniques worked to help her child transition into a successful, independent adult.
Carrie loves to garden and train service dogs and often gives presentations in these areas as well.
Chris Yust is a 17-year veteran of the software industry and a father of two homeschooled boys. Chris and his wife Andrea are co-authors of eight computer programming textbooks for kids and teens. They believe today’s students deserve fun, engaging opportunities to learn cutting-edge technical subjects – even if their parents aren’t comfortable teaching the material on their own! Chris frequently speaks at homeschool conventions, motivating students to consider a Computer Science career. You can learn more about computer programming courses at www.HomeschoolProgramming.com
Christopher Hurtado is an Adjunct Instructor of Liberal Arts and Natural Law at Monticello College, Adjunct Instructor of Composition and Rhetoric at Salt Lake Community College, Adjunct Instructor of Philosophy and Political Science at Utah Valley University, and President and CEO of Linguistic Solutions, the developer of the Learn Latin via Aesop's Fables method used at Monticello College, and a polyglot with varying degrees of fluency in English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Arabic, Greek, Latin, German, and Hebrew.
How to contact Christopher:
Dianne has been homeschooling since 2003. She has worked with thousands of homeschoolers and hundreds of homeschool groups to pioneer social activities, help form group policies with leaders, and participated in issues which affect the homeschool community as a whole. Her approach is always practical and effective. She also specializes in working with middle to high school level groups to help prepare for college entry and is familiar with the latest developments of Common Core and how it is affecting future college students. She founded a national support organization, Home Education Council of America; and has developed numerous other websites to help home educators in their efforts. Dianne has been leading online seminars, webinars, and classes online in an innovative online setting to offer live interaction no matter where you live in the world. You can connect with her at Home Education Council of America.
"My husband, Roger, and I are parents of seven children (four sons and three daughters). We are also grandparents to thirteen grandchildren (three granddaughters and ten grandsons)! We have home educated our children since 1983 and we are still in the trenches." Donna loves to be a wife, mother, and grandmother. She also loves frugality, learning, creativity, living providently, gardening, hiking, creating stained glass murals, oil painting, writing poetry, research, and sharing! BA Art '80. MA Ed. ‘08.
Donna is owner and The Homeschool Mommy Mentor at MentoringOurOwn.com She has presented at dozens of home school conferences in California, Oregon, Nevada, Utah, Washington, Nebraska, and Virginia, since 1995. She created the Mentoring Our Own Yahoo Group in 2002. Donna founded a private cyber-school and cottage school / home education hybrid in 2002. In 2009, Donna and her daughters Julia Groves and Jennifer Walton co-founded Princess Academies, which became Royal Academe 2013, and finally Mentoring Our Own.
Connect with Donna at: http://mentoringourown.com/
Donna’s been home educating her 6 children now for 20 years. With the older children now moving onto higher education, the younger ones are still at home, and she continues helping parents around the world achieve success in their home education through her writing, speaking, workshops and private consults.
Donna has been featured on Voice America and is a regular contributor for the Homeschool Handbook Magazine, Dr. Shefali Tsabary, Conscious Living, Conscious Parenting Summit and Dr. Mommy Online as well as other media outlets for her expertise in education, parenting and personal development.
Donna lives with her husband, Julian and five of their six children, three boys and three girls ages 7-24, in Plano, Texas.
Donna Vail is the founder of An Inspired Education, a company devoted to home educating families inspiring them to live extraordinary lives and empowering their children through a self-education system utilizing a customized approach tailored to meet the needs of the family and complimenting natural talents of each individual.
Connect with Donna at: http://www.lovelivelearnmore.com
As a homeschool consultant, Edna helps families begin their homeschool journey, decide if home education is for them or consult on programs of study for seasoned homeschoolers. She has had the joy of working with teens to create their own individual plans and plan for their next steps in education. Edna lives in Norwood, Ontario with her husband, John, and their 3 sons.
How to contact Edna:
On Facebook at Ontario Homeschoolers and Homeschool Canada Free Market.
Ethan Demme is the President and CEO of Demme Learning and is passionate about finding the best ways to build lifelong learners. Ethan is an elected member of the board of supervisors in East Lampeter Township and is an active member of his local community. Ethan is a homeschool graduate and holds a B.A. in Communication Arts from Bryan College. Ethan has been married to his lovely wife Anna for over 8 years and they live in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania where they enjoy running, biking, swimming, canoeing, hiking, and exploring new places.
Greg and Rachel Denning
Greg Denning was out on his own at the age of sixteen. The following years were tough, with hard life lessons about what matters and what doesn't, and how to create a life worth living. With grit and a clear vision of the life he wanted to build, Greg was able to graduate college, serve a mission for his church and marry the woman of his dreams. Together they have six incredible children, whom they homeschool and have traveled with to seventeen countries (and counting); worked with leprosy affected in India; started a non-profit organization teaching self-reliance principles in Guatemala; explored beaches and ruins in Mexico and Central America; and driven overland from Alaska to Panama. The Dennings are always on the lookout for a new escapade, are incredibly passionate about education and believe raising a family is the greatest adventure in the world. They currently live in Germany, and are enroute to Morroco. http://gregdenning.com
Connect with the Dennings: http://gregdenning.com
Heather Laurie and her husband Christopher have been homeschooling for over 13 years. She began the very popular website, Special Needs Homeschooling because 4 of her 5 children were diagnosed with autism. Their homeschooling was filled with therapy, doctor’s appointments, and behavioral issues that others just didn’t understand. Later the Laurie's discovered Heather and the children also have mitochondrial disease. She shares joyful encouragement for homeschooling through very tough times, always giving glory to God.
Heidi Totten is the owner of Heidi Totten Consulting and a serial entrepreneur, but her main role is homeschooling her two children, ages 8 and 11. She first felt the pull to homeschool when her son was born, but in 2007 helped start a charter school where her children attended for a couple of years until the pull was too strong. They began their homeschool journey in early 2012 and haven't looked back.
About Ian Cox
Ian Cox is at the Leader rank in the Life Leadership company (LifeLeadership.com), and he teaches Leadership, Classics, and Innovative Thinking for high school students at Colesville Academy in Cedar City, Utah. Ian is a featured speaker for Thomas Jefferson Education (TJEd.org) and runs a one-on-one Mentoring Service by phone and online for youth and adults seeking a quality, classical leadership education.
Ian mentors students and business men and women of all ages and levels. He has mentored, both individually and in classes, book discussions, speech and debate, simulations, writing, economics, history, classical math, personal mission discovery, and classics—all mixed together with whatever fascinating tangential topics come along.
Ian is a popular keynote speaker at educational and business events. He loves reading, basketball, and discussing deep ideas on history and political science. Ian and his wife Emma have one child.
Connect with Ian at: http://ianditchrider.blogspot.com/
Israel Wayne is a homeschool graduate and father of nine who is passionate about defending the Christian faith and developing 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", "Questions Jesus Asks", and co-author of "Pitchin' a Fit!: Overcoming Angry and Stressed-Out Parenting"
Dr. Jay Wile
Jay Wile learned about his love for chemistry when his dedicated parents bought him his first chemistry set. Many stink bombs and a few explosions later, he was hooked! Although he loved chemistry, he also had many other interests. For a while, he thought about becoming a concert pianist, but unfortunately, his fingers were not long enough (no kidding!). As he was finishing up his high school years, he became extremely interested in the theater and began to pursue a career in acting. Partly because he learned the science behind some of the special effects of the plays in which he performed, he eventually went back to his first love: chemistry. He went to the University of Rochester in upstate New York to study chemistry, and his fascination with nuclear chemistry earned him a Ph.D. in that field. For several years, he did research in the field under the auspices of the Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation. This research led to several grants and many publications. Dr. Wile's love of science is demonstrated by the many awards he has won for excellence in teaching and research. He has also presented numerous lectures on the topics of Nuclear Chemistry, Christian Apologetics, Homeschooling, and Creation vs. Evolution. He has published more than 30 articles on these subjects in nationally-recognized, peer-reviewed journals, and has 9 books to his credit, most of which belong to the award-winning “Exploring Creation with” series of junior-high and high-school science courses.
You can visit Dr. Wile at: http://www.drwile.com
Author Jean Burk is a veteran homeschooling mother and creator of the revolutionary and award-winning College Prep Genius curriculum which has helped thousands of high school students prepare for the SAT & PSAT/NMSQT. Her expertise has been featured on FOX, CBS, NBC, ABC, Forbes Living TV, UShopTV, and The Homeschool Channel. Jean currently travels across the United States speaking about how to go to college for FREE! After both her children received full-ride scholarships, Jean began teaching these secrets to other homeschool, public, private and charter school students. Her daughter also received free grad school and her son received free law school! You can learn more about her curriculum at: www.CollegePrepGenius.com
Founder, Wholehearted Ministries
CEO, The Cookie Boys
Educational Writer, Freelance
In 2008 at just 8 & 10 years old Jeffrey and Joseph Heilman began baking and selling for their business, The Cookie Boys. Jeffrey Heilman is Chief Baker and Co-Founder along with Joseph, and their mother Jessica Heilman who acts as the companies current advisor and CEO.
Through Jessica's leadership TCB have been featured on The Food Network, in Content Magazine - Silicon Valley's Premiere Entrepreneurial Magazine, The Mercury News, at LA Cookie Con, in The Mom Life Box, and Urthbox monthly subscription food service boxes.
Jessica authors the "Homeschooled and Handmade Blog" as well as is administrator for the Homeschooled & Handmade Business Owners group on Facebook.
Jessica's current writing projects are: Unschooling in America, Wholehearted: How I Received Healing From the Inside Out and You Can Too! The In's and Out's of Wholehearted Leadership, The ABC'S of Raising Wholehearted Kids, and The Whole Life Experience: Your Heart, Your Health, Your Harvest.
Jenny Layton is the creator of the blog The Happy Gal, and the author of the newly released cookbook Healthy Eating The Happy Gal Way. As an author, speaker, blogger and coach, Jenny draws upon her background of professional organizing, personal coaching, and her own life experiences to inspire other women to create a life they love, full of peace and purpose. Jenny has appeared on numerous lifestyle shows such as Studio 5 and Good Things Utah, and is a regular contributor on the Matt Townsend radio show. She lives in Kaysville, Utah with her husband and five children.
Connect with Jenny: http://www.thehappygal.com/
Jill graduated from California State University, Fullerton with a Masters degree in learning handicaps. After several years as a public school special education teacher, she opened Stowell Learning Center because she knew there was more that could be done for smart but struggling students than schools were providing.
Over the last 33 years she and her staff have helped over 5000 children and adults solve their learning problems.
Jill is the #1 bestselling author of the book At Wit’s End - A Parent’s Guide to Ending the Struggle, Tears, and Turmoil of Learning Disabilities. She is the executive director of Stowell Learning Centers, Inc. in Chino and Irvine, CA and she conducts workshops to teach practitioners from around the world a complete system for correcting learning and attention challenges, including Dyslexia.
Jim Weiss and his wife Randy founded Greathall Productions in 1989. Raised by parents who valued literature and history and with the additional influence of grandfathers who loved to tell stories to their grandsons, Jim grew up in the presence of literary and real-life characters in the tradition of oral language. Jim is a masterful and thoughtful storyteller of whom to date has produced over 50 Greathall recordings featuring classical literature and history, enjoyed by people all over the world. He is the recipient of more than 100 national awards from prestigious sources, and travels extensively across the United States and Canada presenting at library, school, store and community events; teacher workshops; and his favorite - educational conferences! Jim and Randy reside in Charlottesville, Virginia and are the ever-proud parents of their daughter and son-in-law.
John Notgrass is a disciple of Christ, husband, father, and businessman. Since 2003 he has encouraged people through story and song to make a difference in the world for God’s kingdom. John and his wife Audra, both homeschool graduates, live in the St. Louis area with their son Henry. Henry has three siblings who are with Jesus, which makes his parents long for heaven even more.
Connect at: www.notgrass.com
Joseph Hoffman fulfilled his dream of starting a music academy in 2007, two years after graduating with a master's degree in music from Brigham Young University. What began as private piano lessons taught in his living room has since grown to become Hoffman Academy, with a staff of fifteen music teachers who provide piano, voice, and guitar lessons to over 300 students in the Portland, Oregon area. In 2010, Joseph saw a need for affordable, accessible music education and began creating free online video piano lessons, available at hoffmanacademy.com , which have garnered millions of views. Through these video lessons, Joseph's own piano method, which combines comprehensive music education, engaging teaching techniques, and emphasis on solid practicing habits, has helped thousands of children and adults all over the world realize their dream of learning to play the piano. Today, his online lessons are used by many homeschoolers as well as part of a comprehensive music education.
JoQueta Handy, PhD, CCC-SLP, is an Integrative Medicine Doctor and Pediatric Speech Language Pathologist with twenty three years of experience working with children who have learning challenges. She has worked with and advocated for homeschooling for 24 years.
Her philosophy is that every child is a brilliant learner in their own unique and beautiful way. It is Dr. Handy's goal to help each child to effectively learn in any environment no matter the level of learning challenge. She spends her time teaching children and coaching parents and educators how to see a child's gifts, his capacity to prosper and how to foster the best environment to succeed. While she loves one-to-one training, she really would like more people to learn these simple, effective teaching methods.
She has also designed and built 2 schools around one on one teaching based on her strong belief in the homeschool model for children with language processing issue.
You can connect with Dr. Handy at: www.brilliantlearningonline.com
Jube Dankworth is a Homeschool Mom to 4 fabulous adult children who all graduated from homeschool and went to college. Married to the greatest guy in the world for over 40 years. Now field trip grandma to 5 fabulous grandkids.
She is a popular National Speaker, former Director of Homeschooling Family to Family, the voice of The Homeschooler Next Door podcast, which was in the top 100 on iTunes in 2006, founder of Texas Home Educators, a statewide service organization in Texas. Blogger and Writer of many articles, and was even featured in a TV documentary about homeschool.
Julia Collier is the Dean of the Well-Trained Mind Academy. She has her PhD in American Studies from the College of William & Mary. She earned her BA and MA at New York University, concentrating on English and American Literature, Creative Writing, and Art History. Julia has held teaching positions at the College of William & Mary, Christopher Newport University, and Thomas Nelson Community College. Julia was a professor of writing at Virginia Commonwealth University before joining the Academy full-time in 2016.
Julie Bogart is the creator of the innovative Brave Writer Writing and Language Arts Curriculum. For 15 years, Brave Writer instructional manuals and online classes have enriched the homeschooling lives of over 16,000 families. Brave Writer exists to foster a nurturing relationship between homeschooling parent and child while creating a safe environment for writing growth. The Brave Writer program brings a fresh point of view to the writing process. Rather than emphasizing format writing as the key to success, Brave Writer's materials and instructors facilitate the emergence of authentic writing voice in your children. Once children have access to the language, insights, and ideas locked within, they easily learn a variety of writing genres, including the rigorous academic formats of high school and college. Julie's professional background includes freelance writing, magazine and book editing, and ghost-writing. She's authored and supervised the development of all original Brave Writer materials, as well as having homeschooled her five children for 17 years. She lives in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Connect with Julie here: http://www.bravewriter.com/
Kathleen Cotter Lawler is the daughter of Dr. Joan A. Cotter, author and creator of the RightStart™ Mathematics program. She was one of the first children to grow up under the Activities for Learning principles. Kathleen has a degree in Home Economics from the University of Minnesota and has two Masters Degrees from the University of Mary in Bismarck, North Dakota. Kathleen is the mother of four children ages 18 to 23. Two of the Lawler children have graduated from North Dakota State University and the younger two are attending college.
Kathleen is currently responsible for marketing, sales, and management. She travels all across the US and Canada, sharing the RightStart mission of helping children understand, apply, and enjoy mathematics. In her spare time, Kathleen designs and sews quilts, and is re-learning how to unicycle.
Karen Campbell is a graduate of Judson University with a B.S. in Human Relations and Secondary Education. She and her husband, Clay, have been married for 40 years and live in Illinois where they spent nearly three decades homeschooling their six children and now enjoy their 14 grandchildren who are also being homeschooled. She is the author of The Joy of Relationship Homeschooling ~ when the one anothers come home and her articles have been published in Searching Together, Midwest Christian Outreach Journal, Breakpoint, Crosswalk, and on the Home Educating Family Blog. She is also a regular contributor to Home Educating Family Magazine and Dear Magazine. Karen is actively involved in Toastmaster’s International where she won 1st place in the District Humorous Speaking competition with the story of a homeschooling mom who mummified a chicken! She blogs and podcasts mom encouragement at www.thatmom.com
Kathy Kuhl helps parents help children with challenges. After homeschooling her son with learning disabilities, she wrote Homeschooling Your Struggling Learner, a handbook for helping children with challenges, including learning disabilities, attention deficit, autism, and giftedness. This book is based on interviews with 64 families homeschooling children with learning challenges, and on her own research and personal experience. Kathy speaks at homeschool conferences internationally and advises families through her blog, magazine articles, and additional books she has written.
Kevin Strong is a personal development expert, business innovator, and author of Being Wise. He uses humor and illustrations with business insight to show individuals and organizations on how they can unleash their inherent potential. He is a relative of Steven Covey and has built 2 businesses and worked in sales and management for several years in a Fortune 500 Company. He delivers easy to implement steps to self-improvement and business success, using humor and memorable stories.
Kim Hoyer is a strategic thinker and implementer. He is in the business of helping entrepreneurs accomplish anything they set their minds to. He has been a start-up, turnaround and sales and marketing specialist with Factor X Solutions Inc. since 1999. In that role, he has a history of producing strong results for a number of clients including: Cirque du Soliel, Leviton, Panorama Mountain Village, The Calgary Flames, RBC Royal Bank, Castle Mountain Resort, Manulife Bank, The Calgary Exhibition & Stampede, Grand Pacific Resorts, Farm Credit Canada, TRAK Kayaks, The Brick, Medican Construction, and Lufkin. Kim’s approach combines fun, flexibility, attention to details, and an entrepreneurial style. He and his team are committed to providing unique and innovative educational programs and hands on solutions based on solid strategic thinking and meticulous attention to detail. Kim knows what it takes to motivate people and lead teams to victory and knows that you can accomplish anything…with the right planning, people, performance, and promotion. Kim lives with his wife Carmel and their four homeschooled kids in either Calgary, Canada or San Ramon, Costa Rica (depending on how cold it is in Canada).
You can connect with Kim at any of the following outlets:
Website 1: www.factorxsolutions.com
Website 2: www.wpdoneforyou.com
About Linda Lacour Hobar:
Linda Lacour Hobar, author of The Mystery of History, is a self-proclaimed “people-person”, a fan of comfortable high-heels, and a passionate follower of Jesus Christ. Through homeschooling her children, and service as a missionary, she discovered a genuine love for world history where famous and not-so-famous people have shaped time itself by the mighty hand of God. In the year 2000, Linda sensed a clear call to writeThe Mystery of History series for her children, grandchildren, and generations to come.
In its 13th year of circulation, The Mystery of History has been well received by all ages! While fact-filled and thought provoking, Linda’s writing style is warm and personable. Through masterful storytelling on a wide variety of world history events, Linda Hobar's workshops are designed to prepare, equip, and inspire parents to better understand and teach world history through the lens of a Christian worldview from Creation to present time.
Lynn Dean is a veteran homeschool mother of two successful, godly young adults and taught a couple of hundred others over a dozen years as a co-op teacher. She and her husband led their city's support group for three years. She started her own residential design business and is also a published author and illustrator. Sixteen years ago she created Discover Texas, a hands-on history program designed to appeal to all ages and learning styles. As an experienced homeschool conference speaker, she enjoys meeting new homeschool parents and showing them how to encourage their children to become enthusiastic lifestyle learners.
Dr. Maria Droujkova
Dr. Maria Droujkova creates beautiful, meaningful, and joyful ways to teach and learn mathematics. She works with diverse learners and situations, such as early algebra and calculus with family groups, mathematical circles, and online courses. Maria is the founder of several online educational communities, including the Natural Math network and Math Future interest group.
Marlene Peterson has raised eight daughters and one son with her husband, Brent and is thoroughly enjoying being a grandma. She is founder and president of Libraries of Hope which is all about stories and educating the heart. In addition to bringing many of the forgotten treasures of children's literature back into print, Libraries of Hope is also working to restore the ageless and beautiful art of storytelling to our culture. Marlene has compiled a manual for beginning storytellers, 'Restoring the Art of Storytelling in the Home'. She graduated from BYU where she studied Child Development and Family Relations. She and her husband reside in Appomattox, VA, blissfully surrounded by the stories of history.
Mary Ann Johnson
Mary Ann Johnson is passionate about families. She is a speaker, trainer, workshop leader and writer for parents who have chosen to home or public educate their children. She has seven grown children, a dozen grandchildren, is the founder of four businesses and is the creator of The Spark Station and Rockin’ Spark Station Packets. Mary Ann teaches parents how to order themselves so they can order their families, to experience more fun, inspired learning, connection and joy.
Mary Ann is currently the CEO of Home School Coach LLC and Family Connection Mentoring. Mary Ann has her masters degree in education, and has worked with thousands of children over a 40 year span and hundreds of home and public school families. You can connect with Mary Ann at: http://home-school-coach.com
Matthew Blackwood has been involved in Homeschooling since 1981 when his mother saw John Holt, a pioneer of the modern homeschooling/unschooling movement, on the Phil Donahue show. Matthew brings the unique perspective of being both a homeschool graduate and also a homeschool parent. He and wife Alesia (fellow homeschool alum) homeschool their 3 children and expect number 4 to make it's arrival Jan 2016. Matthew & Alesia are also the founders of UnLock Math, Inc. Founded in 2013 UnLock Math serves a growing community of students around the globe with an interactive online math curriculum for middle & high school that "Brings the Math Teacher right into your home".
Nancy Fileccia is a fifteen-year homeschooling veteran and co-owner of A JourneyThrough Learning lapbooks with her best friend, Paula Winget. They create fun, hands- on learning products for ALL homeschooling families. Nancy loves helping parents enjoy their daily lives with their special kids! Nancy’s oldest daughter, now 21, and in medical school, has Tourette Syndrome and OCD. Her daughter Candace was blind. Instead of dwelling on the things her kids had, her and her husband chose to raise their children to know they could do EVERYTHING! Her motto is, “we do it differently, but we WILL do it!” Nancy and her husband, Rusty, make their home in Shreveport, Louisiana, with their three children.
Connect with Nancy: www.ajourneythroughlearning.com
When it comes to parenting, Nicholeen Peck is a worldwide phenomenon and leader — and for good reason! Her proven system based on Four Simple Skills transforms even the most out-of-control teenagers and homes from chaos to calm within days. Though she's an international speaker, author, mentor, former foster parent of many difficult and troubled teens, and even President of the Worldwide Organization for Women (an approved consultant for the United Nations), Nicholeen spends most of her time at home with her husband and four children, which she knows will be her greatest impact and legacy. The fact that she has such an international influence while still being a stay-at-home mom is evidence of the effectiveness of her teachings.
Learn more about her mission and methods at: www.teachingselfgovernment.com
Rachel and Oliver DeMille
Oliver and Rachel DeMille are the founders of the highly acclaimed Thomas Jefferson Education ("TJEd") model of learning. They are the parents of five daughters and three sons. The DeMilles’ insights are informed not only by dealing with the unique needs, learning styles and gifts in their own home, but through their experience in mentoring and consulting with schools and families on virtually every level, and around the world. Oliver is a New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today Bestselling Author and a popular keynote speaker at corporate and educational events. He is also the presenter of the online educational series Mentoring in the Classics. Rachel is on a mission to heal families, inspire others to detect, refine and unleash their genius and anxiously awaiting more grandbabies. Rachel is the creator and editor of the 2013 Best Curriculum award-winning "This Week in History".
Connect with the DeMille's: http://www.tjed.org
Pat Hade’s business works with youth sports and educational organizations to form their presence in the digital world, so her team sees hundreds of thousands of posts, tweets, searches and images from students every month. In addition to writing and presenting about using and abusing Social Media and the Internet she collaborates with Virtual Safety Monitoring entities to develop educational content for parents and students.
Her book, Social Media for the High School Athlete, has become a staple in the youth sports community and both Teaching Social Media and a new educational series on Social Media are slated for publication in the spring of 2016. Hade’s work has been featured in numerous publications, media and blogs including USAToday
Patrick Nurre was in the second grade when he made his first big find – a large dinosaur bone in the alley behind his house! That was the beginning of a life-long love with geology. Raised in beautiful Montana, he spent many days rockhounding near the Big Horn River. This early interest led him to a lifelong study of the world of geology. Patrick has done field study in the Pacific Northwest, the Midwest and Plains states, the Southwestern U.S., and Israel. He conducts geology classes and seminars in the Seattle area, and speaks at numerous home school events on geology, the Genesis Flood, and our young earth. He also leads a variety of geology field trips every year, including Mt. St. Helens and Mt. Rainier, and an annual trip for families to Yellowstone National Park, where he helps folks discover the Biblical geology of the park. Patrick is the vision behind Northwest Treasures, a 501(c)3 corporation, devoted to creating excellent geology kits, curricula and education for all ages. To help in this endeavor, Patrick has written several textbooks on geology (preK-12), and a rock identification field guide. In the fall of 2012, he opened the Geology Learning Center, a museum/educational center in the Seattle area. Patrick and his wife, Vicki, have three wonderful children and one grandson, and live in Bothell, Washington.
Rachel Keppner is the mother of thirteen children, and has been homeschooling her own since 1998. She's also been teaching youth in her homeschool community since 2006. Two of her children have high-functioning autism and that has provided unique blessings, as well as struggles. She is active in her homeschool community and enjoys public speaking, writing curriculum, teaching teen Shakespeare classes, directing plays and choirs, designing and sewing Renaissance costumes, building her home business, singing with her community choir, and reading aloud with her family. After teaching Shakespeare classes in several homeschool groups, and directing Shakespeare plays with these same groups, she started offering training and products for other Shakespeare co-op teachers with her "Youth Experiencing Shakespeare" curricula at: http://www.yeshakespeare.com/
Dr. Rebecca W. Keller
Dr. Keller has been a homeschool mom for over 15 years, is the author of Real Science-4-Kids and CEO/founder of Gravitas Publications Inc. She earned a PhD in biophysical chemistry from the University of New Mexico and pursued postdoctoral work at the University of New Mexico and the University of California, Berkeley in molecular biology and neuroscience. Dr. Keller began writing science books for kids when she started homeschooling her own children and through her books, and hopes to bring science to homeschool families that this fun, engaging, and easy for parents to teach.
Connect with Dr. Keller at: http://www.gravitaspublications.com
Dr. Shanon Brooks
Dr. Shanon Brooks is a co-founder and president of Monticello College. He has over twenty years experience in teaching and the administration of entrepreneurial higher education organizations. He is the former president of George Wythe University and a founder of the Center for Social Leadership. Dr. Brooks is the co-author of A Thomas Jefferson Education for Teens. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in business administration, a Master’s degree in education, and a PhD in constitutional law. He lives in Monticello, Utah with his wife Julia and their children. He loves hiking and the great outdoors. His favorite toy is a backhoe. He is passionate about liberty, liberal arts education and the organic concept of Georgics.
Shelby Smith is a homeschooling mom, trainer, mentor, actress and play enthusiast! She desires to influence others for good through love, laughter and learning. She has had several body language trainings, has graduated from several courses in mentoring and presenting, and has acted in several full length films (two Christian films she played lead roles in!), commercials, music videos and ad campaigns and is an active and founding member of the premier SE Idaho improvisation performing comedy group called ImprovUnderground, where she gets to tap into her inner child and continually practice and enjoy the value and healing powers of play. “Just like your body diminishes without exercise, the spirit diminishes without play.” Shelby was born in Pocatello, ID and lived there until she met her handsome hubby and moved away with him to Oregon while he attended Optometry school. Golden and Shelby now live with their 6 children in a country home on 5 acres in Rigby, ID. On this little “farm” they have had sheep, goats, cows, a horse, chickens, cats, dogs, fish and a turtle – those are just the tame animals.
Thom and Tresta Neil are happy parents of eight wonderful children. We met while working at a nursing home in Provo, Utah. Thom is from New Hampshire and served a mission for his church in Italy. Tresta is from New Mexico and served her mission in the Netherlands. Thom waited for Tresta as she served and were married shortly after her return. After they had their first four children, in 4 1/2 years, Thom brought up his desire to homeschool. Tresta thought he was mad! After much persuading she decided to try it and has never looked back! Together they are the owners of Keystone Education and the directors of a popular Homeschool Conference in Utah. They are sought after presenters. They both have a unique resumes: Thom delivered half a dozen sets of twins as a teenager and Tresta sat on a cactus and was involved in grand theft auto.
Tina Hollenbeck has referred to herself as a homeschooling mom since the day her older child was born, and considers it pure joy to devote her energy to her two amazing daughters, ages 13 and 14. Before they were born, she spent nine years in the public/government school system teaching English to immigrant children and teens. She made a conscious daily choice to view her job as her mission field for that season of life, but her experience within the system convinced her husband and her that they would not subject their own children to it.
Tina has been involved in homeschool organizations for over 10 years and in recent years, she has become an advocate herself, endeavoring to promote homeschooling whenever she’s given the opportunity. She mentors and speaks on various topics related to homeschooling and healthy parenting.
In 2013, Tina launched an on-going research project in conjunction with her extensive knowledge of Common Core, to provide a database of detailed information about more than 2,000 homeschool resources and their connection to Common Core. She serves in various ministries as a writer, developer, mentor and speaker for homeschool and parent-related subjects.
Tresta Kay Neil
Tresta was raised under the New Mexican sunsets and loves Mexican and Navajo food. She learned about the miracle of the body in nursing school at Weber State. After living in four different states she calls Utah her home. She is becoming well educated while homeschooling her eight children. She remains hungry for knowledge about symbols, rituals and patterns within the scriptures and the ancient Hebrew and Persian cultures. She is the author of “God Saw That It Was Good”, “The Theology Tree” and co-directs a popular Homeschool Conference in Utah with her husband, Thom. Her passion is teaching and writing. If she had to choose only one subject to study she would study the stars. If you ask her about her most embarrassing moment she will tell you a story about sitting on a cactus.
Dr. William B. Spivey
Dr. William Spivey developed Writing Express over his forty years of teaching elementary school, middle school and high school English. He currently serves as a Language Arts consultant, Homeschool tutor, presenter and keynote speaker across the United States and Canada. Dr. Spivey authored several books and articles including "Strengthening Student Writing Through Focus" and the "Strengthening Your Writing Workbook" Series (K-12), which includes the Spivey Method and his groundbreaking yet proven Sentence Expansion Approach.
For more information: www.writingexpress.net