Friday Session Information

F1.1 Free to Believe (or Not) by Joy Hakim: An Interactive Workshop
Joy Hakim and Susannah Conrad

“This book tells how the profound liberty, freedom of religion, found its way into our Constitution’s First Amendment, before any other nation offered it to its citizens.” The First Amendment was based on difficult-to-read original documentation that Joy easily deciphers with her narrative style. Have you used this book in your homeschooling journey? Do you want to? Join us while we discuss how our hard-fought religious freedom came to be and share thoughts on how to tackle a variety of original sources.

F1.2 Encouraging Independent Learning
Liesl Main

One goal of homeschooling is to foster independent learning in our kids. We want our students to take charge of their learning, right? How do we do this? Independent learning is a skill that needs to be fostered and encouraged over time. Even as kids move into upper elementary, middle school, and high school, we have to create routines and habits and provide opportunities for them to do deep, thoughtful work. This session will look at strategies that help our kids build the skills that lead to independent, lifelong learning!

F1.3 Navigating the 2e Homeschooling Journey
Sherry Wolfe

Giftedness, learning differences, and asynchronous development, oh my! It can definitely be an adventure. There is no doubt about it, parenting and homeschooling twice-exceptional kids is challenging. Come learn some tips and tricks for homeschooling these unique children, gather resources, and meet other parents on this same journey.

F1.4 They Don’t Have to Like It, But They Need to Be Good at It
Eva Goldstein-Meola, M.Ed.

“The worst thing you write is better than the best thing you didn’t write,” (Sol Saks). The world is changing. Business is conducted on a larger and more global scale than ever before. Education today doesn’t resemble what we remember from our days in (or out of) school. What still has not changed, however, is our need to communicate. It is imperative that your child has the skills needed to communicate in writing and communicate well. In today’s world of email, text messaging, and social media apps, writing is brief, laconic, and to the point. Individuals must get their point across in written words more than ever before. As parents, it is our job to prepare our children for this world; learning to write well is imperative. Come join us for ideas, hints, and tricks that will help to jump-start your children into the world of writing and prepare them for college and beyond!

F1.5 Beginning Homeschooling (Free)
Cindy Staats

Thinking about homeschooling but feeling overwhelmed? New to homeschooling and wondering what you have gotten yourself into? Join us for this free session by VaHomeschoolers vice president Cindy Staats. Cindy gives an overview of the law and answers your questions and concerns about how homeschooling can work for your family. Gain the knowledge and confidence you need to get started on your homeschooling journey. This session does not count toward the number of sessions allowed in limited registrations.

F1.6 Without a Timeline: Strategies to Nurture a Love of History in Littles to Bigs
Sarah Blunkosky

Utilizing research-based theories and techniques in memory making, we will explore studying history from a holistic and somatic approach. Rather than approach the study of history from a chronological approach, we will examine ways to build working memory connections in the youngest to oldest of children, constructing history by filling in a “puzzle map.” We will explore tips, techniques, and resources to add to your history and social studies home learning toolbox. Questions welcome!

F1.7 How to Be Your High School Student’s Guidance Counselor
Catryna Jackson

This session will guide parents in the task of being their student’s guidance counselor. Topics discussed will be how to develop a high school plan, how to choose classes and curricula that suit your student’s future goals, how you can plan for and use dual enrollment, Advanced Placement (AP) tests, and/or subject tests to show college readiness, and the importance of having working transcripts and resumes. If you have a high school student, this is the session for you!

Featured Presentation—“Creativity Is a Practice”
Noah Scalin

Artist Noah Scalin introduces The Big Seven keys to generating creative energy that anyone can employ. Through an engaging presentation of his jaw-dropping artwork, Noah pulls back the curtain and shares the processes and practices that he developed to generate creative momentum and consistently bring new, unique approaches to his work. He explains how anyone can grow their creative muscles through simple practices that will help them become a better creative problem solver in every aspect of their life. This highly motivational presentation provides practical tools for getting unstuck any time, any place.

F3.1 Write With Joy
Joy Hakim

Join Joy Hakim in an interactive writing workshop and learn how to write like a storyteller. With Joy’s fun prompts and the power of your own pen, you will quickly have stories of your own to share. Use your new skills at home and turn your children into the next generation of writers.

F3.2 Creativity Workshop
Noah Scalin

Learn how to bring the “Creativity Is a Practice” mindset home with you. This high-energy, hands-on experience gives participants the opportunity to try out The Big Seven practices Noah Scalin introduced in his first session. Explore strategies for sustaining creative problem solving and innovative thinking in yourself and others. The workshop closes with a facilitated discussion to determine insights and applications related to immediate challenges.

F3.3 Relationships First!
Kara Anderson

Homeschoolers take on so much responsibility it can feel overwhelming. But if we remember to keep relationships at the forefront, we can cover a lot of ground. There are always options for teaching math differently, or helping a struggling reader, but a broken connection with your child is so much harder to fix. Speaking from her years of experience homeschooling her children, and her time as a blogger and podcaster, Kara will inspire parents with real-life examples and practical tips.

F3.4 One Size Doesn’t Fit All: Understanding the Various Nuances of Online Education
Eva Goldstein-Meola, M.Ed.

We all know it’s growing. We must all face it. We need to embrace it. Homeschooling parents are increasing their reliance on virtual technologies in order to educate their children. Enter online classes. In this session, we’ll explore new ways of meeting the needs of the next generation of homeschool families. This workshop will provide you with an overview of what to look for in online classes, the different type of virtual classes, how to evaluate if each is a good match for your child, a look at the levels of support for homeschooling families, and more. Join us as we provide you with a process for understanding, assessing, and comparing online homeschooling classes and programs so that you can choose the opportunities that meet the specific needs of your children and family. Homeschoolers can truly benefit from the many opportunities now available, allowing us to provide the best education for our children!

F3.5 You Can Be a Great Math Teacher
Kathleen Lawler

Maybe you struggled with math, so how do you choose a curriculum to avoid the same fate for your child? Maybe you are really good in math but are unsure how to teach it now. Should you include manipulatives or not? What does it take to be the best teacher for your child? Find out the science and the art of teaching math. It is a science because much research has been done on how children learn, especially in math. It is an art because each child is different and lessons need to be tweaked. Come learn and be encouraged to become a great math teacher.

F3.6 Research-Based Strategies for Best Learning Outcomes
Sarah Blunkosky

Movement, balance, and everyday gravity can assist and improve learning outcomes. Sarah will discuss and demonstrate research-based movement strategies for improving learning outcomes that can be done anywhere, at any time. Resources that discuss the primal reflexes and current therapeutic practices will be shared so folks can add movement solutions to their home-learning toolbox. We will touch on topics such as attention, sensory integration, behavioral challenges, and reading and learning disabilities, such as dyslexia. Bring your questions.

F3.7 Mapping Out Your Elementary-Aged Child’s Spanish Language Journey
Karim Morato

Learn and understand the benefits of starting early. Create a roadmap for success and learn how to plan your child’s Spanish language journey wisely. Learn the why, when, what, and how of the journey!