Welcome to the 13th Annual
NOT Back to School Summit
Online Homeschool Conference - FREE - September 6-20, 2017
This session has ended. Visit our events tab for upcoming events.
MEET THE MENTORS who are speaking this year and check out the AGENDA:
Click on the speaker's photo to learn more about them.
NOTE: ALL TIMES NOTED ARE PACIFIC STANDARD TIME – you will need to adjust for your time zone!
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.
With a degree in criminal justice, a background in musical theatre, and experience in filmmaking, Jen's interests cover a wide variety of topics. She devoted herself to pursuing home education when she was pregnant with her first child. It took her 3 years of gentle discussions and pep talks to convince her husband to support homeschool; and now he loves it and is an active participant in unschooling their children. "We recognize that each child has unique gifts and abilities. With personalized and loving guidance, they are capable of making inspiring achievements and pursuing their dreams." Jen is now the director of Home Education Council of America, while she and her husband have three young children and they live fulltime in an Airstream travel trailer, making their dream a reality to create cherished family memories and "roadschool." They have been across the country several times and document their experiences on Instagram @inspiredfamilyof5
Kelly pursues adventure and she and her husband are always looking for new food, and fun things to do with their toddler. She was homeschooled through high school, graduated with honors and early college credits, and went on to receive a degree in digital photography. While she would love for her future children to be able to speak multiple languages, she is presently engaged in homeschooling their busy son with essential soft skills and setting the example in always learning something new. Kelly has been an active member of the team at Home Education Council of America since 2003, and has served in multiple leadership roles behind the scenes to help make the events memorable for homeschooling families around the world.
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/
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
Kathleen Cotter Lawler
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or www.thebalancedhomeschooler.com. For HSF inquiries, contact her at AZStateAmbsdr@cox.net
Tresta and Thom Neil
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.
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 Downs Syndrome and lives with them in Lititz, PA.
Steve 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. He is the author of Math-U-See and the founder of Building Faith Families
Albert Einstein said, "Creativity is intelligence having fun." Suzanne Hanks has been an artist since she was a little child, much like your children. She has applied creativity in her life as a homeschool parent, as an artist and small business owner, realizing that creativity is simply problem solving. As an artist, she was mentored by artists in northern California, Italy and Wyoming. She has taught art privately, in schools and various organization. Currently, she is working on her artwork, video art curriculum at BringArtHome.com and her project, Preserving Indigenous Arts Project, where she interviews artists who are practicing the art of their cultural heritage and artists who use traditional techniques.Suzanne and her husband, Dave have homeschooled their 4 children for the past 11 years and currently live in very sunny, Gilbert, Arizona
Ellen Gerwitz has been a homeschooler since 1989, has served as a homeschool leader, speaker, and mentor for more than 20 years in New York, and is passionate about helping others to homeschool successfully. Always obedient to God's promptings, Ellen started her own homeschool support company, Honour of Kings, which offers highly acclaimed Spanish courses for homeschoolers, and a comprehensive and biblically-based history curriculum. She has published four books, with two more in the works, teaches ESL for a French company in her spare time, and she and her husband Matthew joyfully participate in the homeschooling of their four grandchildren.
SJ is a CMA (Consultant, Mentor, & Advisor), as well as the founder + C.E.O. (Chief Encouragement Officer) of SBSL, an Educational Solutions Provider.
At 41 years old, he has been an entrepreneur in the education field for 5 years as of the Fall of 2016.
His business model includes designing and/or implementing customizable business solutions for families, individuals, faith institutions, and business owners to help address three deep, fundamental problems with the traditional approach in the K-12, college/university,, and also gradaute tracks of education in our world today.
He is presently involved (or has been actively involved) in the following mentorship and/or advising programs/organizations:
He is a National Steering Committee member
SJ serves his alma mater, Ohio Wesleyan (OWU) on the Central Ohio Alumni Leadership Board and is also an active member of a non profit board (ChefVet)
His favorite past-times are: traveling, reading (220+ paper and audio books in the past six+ years); listening and watching inspirational content; connecting people who may not otherwise have met in the course of time; and being a futurist/visionary when it comes to organically transforming the education system for the Gig Economy age/era in which we now find ourselves.
Connect with SJ: http://www.servicebeforeselfleadership.com/
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.
A pioneer in homeschooling, Diana Waring cares about how and what people learn. Not only is she an international speaker (4 continents and counting!), she is the author of the Experience History Through Music series and the History Revealed curriculum series. Follow her witty and practical blog at dianawaring.com/blog, check out her fast-paced, God-honoring, sit-on-the-edge-of-your-seat-in-suspense world history products http://www.dianawaring.com/store/history-curriculum , and discover America’s fascinating history as seen through folk music http://www.dianawaring.com/store/experience-history-through-music Learning has NEVER been this fun!
Connect with Diana at: http://www.dianawaring.com
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
Lori Dunlap, MBA, worked for almost 20 years in the corporate arena, first as a management consultant and then as a university program director and adjunct faculty member at the University of Arizona. In 2010 she left the university to begin homeschooling her two sons, and to pursue her interests in research and writing, with a specific focus on non-traditional education and higher education. She has recently completed a two-year research project focusing on the transition from homeschooling to college, which culminated in her first book, " From Home Education to Higher Education."
You can connect with Lori here: https://teachyourown.org/
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".
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/
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
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
"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/
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
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.
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:
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.
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.
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
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
Jeanie Cisco-Meth wrote the book, "Bully Proofing You: Improving Confidence and Personal Value from the Inside Out."
She was a high school teacher for over 15 years and saw the devastation that can be caused by bullies. One simply has to look at news headlines to find evidence of the troubling problem which is affecting the lives of many people. Bullying is a global problem but the solution is individual. Her program is an engaging, step-by-step system to preventing and dealing with bullying, and is a powerful solution to this insidious problem.