2018 Session 1


Melanie Glassford & Sonya Sommerville

Making Sense of Various Educational Styles and Curricula

What is the difference between unschooling, unit studies, traditional and classical philosophies? Who was Charlotte Mason? The wide variety of educational philosophies can be intimidating to both new and experienced home educators. Melanie and Sonya will address the underlying ideas behind each of these and discuss how various teaching and learning styles are more or less effective, depending on the approach used.

They will also itemize a range of curricula that fit under these various styles and discuss how you can blend different styles together, finding something that works for your family.  This seminar is meant to give you an overall 'lay of the land', so that you are able to more knowledgeably find the style(s) that work for your family.

Melanie has two children with very different learning styles and each of the past six years of home schooling has meant adapting her teaching methods to fit their needs. Sonya has encountered a variety of educational issues over the past fourteen years of home educating her three.  She is convinced that every child can learn successfully, but finding the right combination of teaching style, philosophy and curricula is what makes things 'click'.


Diane Geerlinks

Transforming Stuggling Students into Lifelong Learners

There is help and hope for our struggling students. By retraining the brain to think more clearly, NILD Educational Therapy maximizes an individual's potential and transforms students into lifelong learners. In this workshop, you will learn about the exciting benefits of this therapy programme, which definitely complements homeschooling.  We will highlight some of the new research on the brain, give tips on how to unlock the learning potential, creativity and critical thinking skills of your struggling students.

Diane is a director of NILD Canada and operates GeerLINKS Learning Centre.  She has 25 years of homeschooling experience.


Lisa Schiedel

Nature Study in Real Life

Whether you live in a forest or a highrise apartment, there are many ways to interact with nature and instill in your children a love of God's creation.  Our children need to learn to protect the environment with which we have been entrusted. This hands on session will equip you to incorporate nature studies into your everyday curriculum.  

Lisa, mother of five, currently homeschools two of her children. She and her husband, Bob, strive to teach in a way that the love of learning becomes tantamount to the act of learning.


Cori Dean

Single Income Living In A Double Income Culture

Choosing to homeschool makes your family countercultural for many reasons. Living by a different economy is one of those reasons. As homeschoolers, we have to learn to live more on less. This seminar looks at how it is that we can not only survive on less, but thrive on one income. We will look at ways to save money in our homeschools and how to invest what we do spend wisely. Cori will also share about ways that their family has turned their home educating efforts into opportunities to earn money for the kids and for small business income that has helped the family's bottom line by paying for homeschool costs.

Cori is the proprietor of Maple Tree Publications as well as a veteran homeschool mom.


Andrea Gale

Understanding the Sensory World Around Us

Andrea Gale is a pediatric Occupational Therapist from Kid's Ability, which supports children and their families living in the Regions of Wellington and Waterloo.  In this seminar, Andrea will define her role as an OT and discuss the sensory needs of children.  She will teach the what, how and why of the Seven Senses and discuss the kind of behaviours we see as a result of sensory difficulties.  She will also look at case studies to help parents better understand the sensory world of their children.


Cory McKenna

Basics of Biblical Evangelism

In this practical session, we will open the Bible to learn the basics of Biblical evangelism.  Together, we'll explore how teaching the story of Scripture with your family will activate a need for salvation so real that you can't help but share the good new of Jesus with them and with others.  Participants will also be equipped with simple, field tested quick tips to help normalize sharing Christ at home and beyond.

Cory is an experienced speaker, specializing in equipping Christians and their churches to be Christ's witnesses together. Cory and his wife Dawn, live in London where they homeschool their two sons.


Karen Gaul

How Do I Get Through One More Day?

Women are very often overwhelmed with the long list of duties that need to be completed every day from taking care of the home, the children, their schooling, their personal growth, helping out in the community and much more.  In this session, Karen will look at how and why we get out of balance.  She will discuss who determines the 'to do list', as well as how to redefine what is most important.  She will unpack where God fits into our overwhelmedness, and through Him find peace in the midst of the busyness.

Karen has worked as a Biblical Christian counsellor for over 20 years.


Bob & Helga Edwards

Practical Parenting Strategies for Children

In this seminar, parents will learn to help their children develop emotional intelligence through age-appropriate strategies: healthy communication, role-modeling, limit-setting and reinforcement.

Helga works with her husband, Bob using their gifts and training to help people experience freedom, forgiveness, love and wholeness in their lives and relationships.  Together they have two young adult children.  


Laurie Pruim & Bonny Getty

Homeschooling High School and Beyond

You CAN homeschool through high school!  Learn more about the various options available to support your child through high school at home. Find out how even you can tackle difficult subjects through a variety of resources.  Discover how homeschooling through high school can successfully prepare your child for post-secondary education. Gain additional insight into open universities and other opportunities for home educated students.

Bonnie Getty and Laurie Pruim both work with HSLDA and have each successfully graduated highschool students from home - collectively having experience developing individualized plans for six students. They have a vast knowledge on this topic and will be a great resource for parents at any stage in the journey.  


Carroll Smith

The Child as a Person

Charlotte Mason studied the whole child: the physical, emotional, spiritual and intellectual and then designed her methods and curriculum to match what she believed God had created in mankind.  Come and join us as we look at Mason's principle "the child is a born person' which she sees as foundational to all else.

Dr. Carroll Smith has worked as a teacher, school principal, professor of education and a university dean.  He is founder and director of the educational nonprofit, The Charlotte Mason Institute.


Scott Stein

A Christian Response to Gender Identity

Our culture's re-conception of gender has become a living reality within a single generation, in most cases catching Christians off guard and uncertain as to how to respond. This seminar will help you develop an informed and compassionate response to those who struggle with gender identification issues by answering questions like: What does it mean to be 'transgendered'? What causes transgenderism? What pressures and concerns does the transgendered person face? What does the Bible have to say about it?

As Christians, how do we help the transgendered person place their experience in an appropriate context of meaning? Come and learn to be more confident in responding to gender identity issues with truth and compassion.  Scott Stein is a father and a local apologist with Prepared to Answer.


Tracy Lalonde

You're Going to Want to Quit -- Don't!

Yes, it's true, you'll want to quit! After 18 years of homeschooling, I can say with confidence that we all have days we want to throw in the towel.  It might not be today or tomorrow, but trust me, it comes!  However you are feeling right now, you are welcome to join me for a candid conversation about the choices we make and how they affect our individual lives, our families and our homeschool journey. One of my life mentors once told me that life is filled with its joys and sorrows. You choose the joy, or you choose the sorrow.  What choices are you facing today? Maybe, I can help.

Tracy is passionate about words, faith and helping others find their own voice, so they can value the story they have to tell.


Bianca Azzoparde

Fostering Our Children's Passions

As we train up our children in the way that they should go, how do we support them in their uniquely God-given gifts and abilities? In this seminar, we will discuss fostering rich, meaningful and personal educations for our children by celebrating the passions that they hold and encouraging them to deeply explore their interests.  There will be practical resources and applications applying to the early years, the teen years and everything in between. Please come with your questions.

Bianca and her husband have been life-learning, alongside their three children for fifteen years.  She is grateful for the successes, surprises and even struggles that have come with home learning. Inspired by witnessing the innate desires that children have to gather knowledge through the freedom of exploring, discovering and creating, she continually feels compelled to further her own education.


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