Parrish Mort homeschooled for sixteen years. She began volunteering for VaHomeschoolers in 1999 and served as lobbyist for 13 years, a government affairs member for 16 years, chaired 4 conferences, is a regular conference speaker and served on the Board of Directors for 9 years, as President for 8 years.. She has two children who were both homeschooled K-12. Parrish has taught science, history, geography and government for co-operatives. She is a frequent speaker on Virginia homeschooling laws, homeschooling in general, as well as many specialty topics.
Beginning Homeschooling, Part 1: Navigating Virginia Paperwork and Legalities — 1 hour
Thinking about homeschooling but feeling a bit overwhelmed? New to homeschooling and wondering what you got yourself into? This session helps you understand the home education statutes and addresses your concerns about filing a notice of intent, showing evidence of progress and finding support.
Beginning Homeschooling, Part 2: But What Do I Do Monday? — 1 – 1 ½ hours
This overview of “how to homeschool” includes time for your questions and concerns about how home education can work in your family. Explore options for the day-to-day aspects of homeschooling such as finding resources, knowing what to teach, different homeschool approaches, structuring your day, and finding local groups. While no one can tell you what will work best for your family, Parrish will provide you with resources for figuring it all out. Gain the knowledge and the confidence you need to get started on your homeschooling journey.
Refining Your Homeschool: New Ideas, New Energy and New Strength for Homeschooling — 1 hour
When your approach to homeschooling doesn’t seem to be working, homeschooling can overwhelm and feel like a chore. This session explores how to evaluate your homeschooling program and consider changes to make your homeschooling more effective and enjoyable. Ideas will be shared for spicing up your homeschooling days and discuss the importance of social time and support for the kids and for the homeschooling parent.
Fidgets, Doodles and Distractions: Working with Them to Improve Comprehension – 1 hour
Many children wiggle while listening to a lecture or doodle in their margins. This does not mean they’re not paying attention; it may even increase comprehension. This session discusses ways to help children stay on task, keep their focus and increase learning. Much of the discussion will focus on active learners but will also include strategies for supporting dyslexia, dysgraphia and auditory processing delays. Parrish emphasizes practical suggestions for working with different learning styles, not “fixes.”
Homeschooling the Tween Years – 1 hour
Ideas for homeschooling, engaging and nurturing your eight to thirteen year olds, as they move from childhood and dependence toward potential to be more independent learners.
Geography Day – A Special Event – 45 minutes
This session will share ideas for hosting a Geography Day event with activities, themes and how-tos. It will also include curriculum ideas for teaching geography in your personal homeschool.
The How Tos and Value of Starting a Writing Group — 1 hour
This session presents various formats for the organization of a writing group. Participants will come away with specific ideas for writing prompts and various styles of writing that might be encouraged.
Building Big — 45 minutes or 1 ½ hours with lab
This session discusses the implementation of the science-based multi-session activity project, Building Big. The Building Big science project is based on the PBS series by the same name, created in conjunction with author, David McCauley. It involves exploring the concepts behind the construction of bridges, dams, tunnels, domes, and skyscrapers. Students get to design their own version of each building and test the scientific principles that make them possible to be built.
Teaching Responsible Finance – 45 minutes
This session focuses on teaching children practical economic skills, an understanding of general economic terms, financial principles and the stock market. Ideas presented can be adapted for elementary children through high school.
Beyond High School – 1 – 1 ½ hour
Homeschooling is a great way to prepare kids for life beyond high school, whether they plan to attend college or work in a trade, as an entrepreneur, or in a non-college vocation. Join Parrish for some perspective on educating kids who are preparing for life without college, or who aren’t sure that college will be right for them. How can you help your children gain the skills and preparation they need to succeed in the world of work as a homeschool high school grad? Parrish will discuss ways you can provide support and shape education and life prep for kids who are most likely headed directly toward a vocation.
Learning for All Ages through Play, Games and Frivolity — 1 hour
Fun is the key to holding interest and interest is the key to learning. No matter whether your child is a kindergartner or a high schooler you can use play as a way to both introduce and reinforce concepts. We will explore different types of games you can purchase or create, as well as resources for other types of frivolity that enhance learning.
Virginia Community College Connection — 1 hour
Explore how the opportunities at Virginia’s community colleges can benefit homeschoolers and homeschool grads. Learn about the options for dual enrollment during high school, early college credit, vocational training, SAT prep, or an Associate’s Degree and transfer to university. The session will include an overview of common Virginia community college policies and practices in working with homeschoolers, paperwork homeschoolers need for community college, and things to consider when deciding how community college attendance fits with your homeschooling.
Homeschool Socialization: An Opportunity, Not a Problem — 1 hour
You often hear people express concern over homeschooled children’s socialization, when in reality homeschooling affords abundant and unique opportunities to socialize and interact with people of all ages. This session will include information about how to meet the social needs of the homeschooled child and homeschooling parent. We will also specifically discuss athletics, support groups and forming your own clubs.
Highlighting History – 1 hour
From Pocohantas to Post-Modernism, explore ideas to bring history alive and of interest to multiple ages of children. Discover strategies for making history relevant and instruction dynamic through the use of movies, webquests, re-enactments, student-held special events, literature, and more. Concepts and ideas can be used independently or to supplement your history curriculum.
In Search of Science – 1 hour
Give your family’s study of science an infusion of fresh ideas and engage your kids. There are interesting ways to learn science facts — from magnetism to mitochondria — and there are compelling activities to increase your children’s interest in science. Whether you fear science or already have a successful science curriculum, explore innovative but practical ideas and valuable resources that are useful from preschool through high school years.
Creating and Maintaining Successful Co-ops – 1 hour
Looking to create a cooperative learning experience for children? Hoping to share the burden of teaching? Or are you dying to teach others about your passion? Whatever the case, forming a successful cooperative takes some forethought and effort. Learn factors to be considered, tips for forming and maintaining a successful cooperative, and suggestions for handling challenges that arise. Consider ideas for forming co-ops to help children learn a variety of academic subjects– geography, writing, history, science, economics, art and more.