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2024 Workshops & Presenters

This year's convention offers the classes & workshops you need to have your best year ever! We've assembled an incredible panel of workshop leaders who'll deliver basic information and many topics that are new to you. Attend all the presentations for the best experience. 

Dr. Marie-Claire Moreau
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Sandra Jones-Keller
Danielle Calhoun
Meg Grooms
Melissa Packwood
LM Preston
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Florida Homeschooling 101: Everything you need to know

Dr. Marie-Claire Moreau, Florida Homeschool Association

Learn what it's like to be a Florida homeschooler. In this comprehensive workshop, you'll learn the legal requirements all independent home educators must follow. Participants will leave with an understanding of: the Notice of Intent; the Homeschool Portfolio; the Annual Evaluation; and, the Notice of Termination. Workshop also includes everyday information about resources, programs and options available to Florida homeschoolers, knowing what to teach, answers to common questions and misunderstandings, and how to find a private, umbrella or other program to help with homeschooling. This fundamental class is what all new/prospective families need to know to legally homeschool in the State of Florida. Guests will be equipped with the tools and confidence to get started.

Military Enlistment for Homeschooled Graduates

Natalie Mack

Natalie Mack is an author, TEDx speaker, and twenty-three years veteran military home educator with over twenty-two years of service to military homeschooling families and military homeschool support group leadership. Do you have a student who is interested in enlistment? Are you trying to understand the process to support your student? Join Natalie to discuss the path forward.

A Homeschooler's Introduction to Conscious Parenting

Sandra Jones-Keller, SandraJonesKeller.com

In this workshop, parents and caregivers will discover:

what conscious parenting is and how it differs from traditional approaches; how homeschooling offers the perfect opportunity to practice conscious parenting; the benefits of conscious parenting, how to start where you are; and, how to quickly reduce power-struggles, stress, and anxiety. By the end of the workshop, guests will feel empowered to begin implementing conscious parenting practices into their daily lives and routines with ease and effortlessness.

Redefining Learning: Homeschooling After Public School

Danielle Calhoun, Nevernaught Learning

Making the pivot to homeschooling can be the best (and scariest) decision you ever made, and the learning curve is steep when coming out of a public school. Danielle’s kids left public school defeated; but, thankfully, homeschooling offered time and freedom to heal their hearts and reconnect with their innate brilliance. In this presentation, Danielle takes you on a rollercoaster ride through her shift from public school to at-home learning, sharing her family’s homeschool wins, epic failures, and everything in between. You'll walk away hopeful and equipped to enter this frontier with a renewed spirit, making a loose plan together, investigating your children’s hearts (and hurts) and build a spaces for them to flourish in their own time.

Why You Should Add Gameschooling to Your Homeschool

Meg Grooms, Gameschooling Academy

In this workshop, you'll meet Meg Grooms, who will introduce the idea and concepts behind "gameschooling", a modern movement whose mission it is to revolutionize learning through the power of games. From personal experience and what she has witnessed in other households, Meg will discuss the WHYs and HOWs of bringing this simple yet deceptively beneficial practice into your home. Meg shares how to to measure progress, including using gameschooling as an alternative to tests. A pioneer in gameschooling, Meg describes the results she has witnessed in her own home and anecdotal stories from the homeschool community, too.

First Building Blocks to Reading

Melissa Packwood, The Florida Reading Coach

In this practical workshop, you'll learn from Melissa Packwood, reading specialist and advocate for the understanding of children’s rights and needs. Melissa will introduce the first building block of reading, and explain how to teach phonemic awareness to parents first learning to teach reading to their children. Participants in this class will learn to define phonemic awareness, the types of phonemic awareness, learn activities to teach phonemic awareness to their own students, and other valuable tips and strategies for early reading instruction for home education students.

Homeschooling While Working...And Raising Amazing Learners

LM Preston, Empowering Steps

LM Preston is no stranger to working while homeschooling. As an engineer, an author, a mother of four and a wife, she has learned through experience the habits and mindset shifts required to "do it all".  In this workshop, LM will talk about the specific shifts in mindset, childcare strategies, work & school scheduling, and other methods to actually make it all work. You'll also learn how to raise independent learners and select resources that work best when creating a working-while-homeschooling relationship with your students.

Equip Your Students Using Virtual Education Options

Jimminda Thompson, Florida Virtual School

This workshop will cover the variety of online learning options available at Florida Virtual School, including the Flex option, to help families find the best one to meet their family’s needs. In this workshop, parents will also learn about virtual options for Advanced Placement, World Languages, and Elementary courses.  FLVS is a fully accredited, online school offering more than 190 online classes to Florida residents! This workshop will cover various online options and you will also hear about new courses along with the opportunity to earn Career and Technical Education (CTE) certifications. Join us and learn how to help your child succeed utilizing Florida Virtual School solutions!

History is Boring! (and Other School Myths)

Heather Gonzales

Heather is a wife and mom of 5. As a former classroom teacher turned homeschooler, she sees first-hand the pitfalls of traditional history education versus what is possible using living books. Heather has a passion for helping families learn to explore new ways of learning, and in this workshop, she compares the unfortunate way history has been taught versus looking at history in an exciting and contextual way. Ditch the traditional mindset and open a world of possibility by teaching history meaningfully and contextually. Heather makes specific book recommendations that foster learning and that your whole family will love!

Embracing Freedoms and Choices - A Legislative Update Florida Home Education Foundation

Jason Crawford and Brenda Dickinson

Join Florida's own Home Education Foundation to receive a summary and learn the history of HEF and School Choice in Florida. Home Education was the first and original school choice freedom for parents, and in this session, you'll receive an overview of changes to legislation in past years, plus a review of some of the potential and new threats in our state. Included will be a discussion of the origins of PEP, personalized education programs, and built-in safeguards. Lastly, guests will gain a preview of what's on the horizon for school choice expansion, ways HEF empowers parents, and how freedoms will be protected. You won't want to miss this exclusive content, and maybe even some special announcements, too!

Special Needs Homeschooling: How to succeed with your students in academics, in life, and in meeting the home education evaluation requirements

Penny Rogers

 

In this session, you'll hear from special needs parent and home education expert, and the leader of one of the largest special needs communities in the country, Penny Rogers of Special Needs Homeschooling. Penny will review teaching and learning with students who have unique abilities. Specific focus in this session will be placed on meeting Florida legal home education requirements, including annual evaluation measures for unique abilities students. Parents will leave this session with relief, new  inspiration, and completely equipped to perform the annual Florida home education evaluation using existing tests, tools or resources appropriate for their students. Join us to enter homeschooling your special needs learner with confidence, and how to continue knowing that student needs are being met within legal compliance, and that progress commensurate with ability is being recognized annually.

NCAA Eligibility for Homeschooled Athletes: Navigating the NCAA Homeschool Toolkit

Natalie Mack

So, you have a student athlete who wants to play D1 or D1 in college, but you aren't sure of the process. Best known for her
words of encouragement and advocacy for homeschooling, particularly during the journey from high school to college, Natalie will walk you thru the process and understanding the NCAA requirements. As a mom of five, three college graduates, one college senior at George Mason University Honors College and an 11th grader still being homeschooled, Natalie is newly retired Navy chaplain’s spouse after serving alongside her husband for 34 years of military service. 

How to Teach Homeschool Science Your Kids will Love

Scott Burns

This dynamic workshop will inspire families to cultivate a lifelong love for science in their homeschool journey.  In this session, you'll hear practical strategies and learn about resources to confidently teach science whether you are a seasoned homeschooler or just starting out. Scott Burns, who for over 20 years has been a noteworthy leader in the education and EdTech industry, will provide valuable insights for selecting science topics, choosing the right curriculum, understanding scope and sequence, and implementing hands-on teaching methods. Passionately driven to provide science education solutions to learners at all phases of their journey. Scott's session will delve into building lifelong connections with students and finding solutions that help students achieve higher-quality academic experiences.

Beyond the Books: Preparing Your Student for Real World Careers

Ashley Chelberg

Discover how to ignite your child's passion for 21st-century careers. Join us on an inspiring journey with Ashley Chelberg, founder of Stella Maris Environmental Research, as she shares her story of transforming a childhood love of sea turtles and manta rays into a thriving career as a Marine Biologist and Researcher. Ashley's experiences will not only inspire but also provide valuable guidance on integrating real-world perspectives into your homeschool journey. Dive into the transformative power of marine biology and discover how it can captivate students and parents alike, reshaping the landscape of homeschool education -- beyond the books!

Help Your Children Change the World Through Critical Thinking

Cathleen Drake Nelson

Critical thinking is ultimately an act of creativity, and by practicing the skills it requires, our children develop habits of mind that will serve all areas of their lives. We'll discuss how to recognize teachable moments when they arise, and how to intentionally incorporate more opportunities to practice critical thinking. As we support our children to analyze information and appreciate multiple perspectives, we empower them to create meaningful solutions to real problems. 

Step Up for Students Programs for Homeschoolers for 2024 

Stephanie Love

Virtual information session and training addressing eligibility, the applications process, deadlines, and navigating the different program options available to families through Step Up for Students. Also addressed will be making qualifying purchases and the process of reimbursement. Recent information for 2024 families applying now for the upcoming year.

Don't Fear the High School Years

Dr. Marie-Claire Moreau

This session provides a glance at some of the major programs and opportunities available to teens in Florida home education programs. Parents and educational facilitators will enjoy learning where to get ideas, how to begin forming a high school plan, and some of the context that is required to begin home education for a Florida high schooler. This must-have information is appropriate for new families just starting out, those with existing high schoolers, and for students themselves. Teens are invited to view this session alongside their parents and caregivers, and to take notes that will help them create a high school plan that is in alignment with their interests, talents and post-secondary goals. Bring a notebook, because this information-filled talk comes with many links and names of resources packed into one short session.

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