2018 Convention Topics


Becoming MomStrong

Keynote Session - Heidi St. John

Today’s mothers are living in challenging times. We’re facing things that our mothers could never have imagined. From Internet predators to the rise of domestic terrorism to the discovery GMO’s BPA’s and STD’s… our lives are vastly different than the generation before us. Many moms are struggling with fear of the future and worry about raising children in today's culture—but God says loud and clear, "Do not be afraid! Be strong and courageous!" Mom, you have a mission. Your mission (should you choose to accept it) is to raise the next generation of teachers, doctors, judges, police officers, grocery store clerks, attorneys, nurses—and parents. Yes! You are raising the next generation of parents. Look around. It doesn’t take very long for one generation to hand the baton to the next, and as mothers, we've got to be ready to prepare our children for whatever they may face as followers of Jesus Christ. Heidi will challenge as she talks about what it will take to "Become MomStrong" —drawing on truths from God's Word to answer the tough questions this generation of kids is asking and prepare moms to meet the challenges head-on.

Bill 24: What it is and why homeschoolers should care

James Kitchen

Bill 24, which became law in December 2017, is a legislative attack on parental rights, religious freedom, and school choice, but there is no direct impact on home schoolers. So, why should home schoolers care? Freedom is a seamless garment; if even one thread is unravelled, the whole garment can come undone. A violation of one person’s fundamental freedoms threatens everyone’s freedom. The ability of Alberta parents to home educate their children depends on the government’s continued respect for parental rights in education. As evidenced by Bill 24, the current NDP government will not hesitate to violate parental rights to achieve their social agenda. If home schooling parents are to keep their freedoms, they must be informed about and resist any attack on these freedoms, even when those attacks are directed at other parents.

Building A Solid Math Foundation

Leana Kratko

Who is going to build a house by starting with the walls? Without a solid foundation, those walls may hold up for a bit but eventually will come crashing down. Math is a lot like building a house. We need to start with a strong foundation and build up from there. It doesn’t have to be hard! Come and see how easy it is to teach math.

Communicating the Gospel in Today’s Secularized Culture

Keynote Session - Ken Ham

Most evangelistic programs today—and most missionaries and evangelists—do not see the Book of Genesis as a key part in reaching people with the Gospel. In these times, however, an understanding of the history in Genesis (e.g. the origin of sin) is foundational to a full understanding of the Gospel message. Realizing how our culture’s thinking has changed in relation to earth history is a key to knowing how to effectively approach people in presenting the Gospel!

Cultivating Political Awareness in Your Homeschool

Megen Zelinka

Cultivating political awareness in your homeschool is not only achievable, but it’s also a critical part of your child’s development. Find out how you can play a vital role in engaging your children in politics and help them to make a positive difference. Discover how to build upon your family values while helping your children understand the importance of the political process.

Creative Teaching Methods

Al Mertes

In this workshop you will learn some keys to motivate learning; increase retention; discover the different styles of learning and how that affects you son or daughters ability to retain information. Come and discover how learning can be fun.

Defending the Christian Faith in Today’s Culture

Keynote Session - Ken Ham

1 Peter 3:15 says that we must always be ready to defend the truth of the Bible. But does the idea of being “ready” make your heart beat fast with fear? In this keynote session, Ken Ham shares proven ideas and the basics of apologetics to affirm the truth of the Bible in our modern age. This presentation will embolden you to share your faith with others!

Documenting High School

Paul van den Bosch

Fearless Homeschooling: How to Ignore the Critics and Do What’s Best for Your Child

Keynote Session - Heidi St. John

“I’m not strong enough.”
“My kids are going to have gaps in their education.”
“Everything depends on me.”
“I’ve failed too many times.”
“I can’t do this right.”
“I’m screwing up my kids.”
“Everyone else’s kids are doing better than mine.”

Have you heard the lies, too? Join Heidi as she talks about her own experience of homeschooling out of fear and into faith. You’ll want to bring a friend to this one!

Form the Mind, Form the Child - The Classic Way (How to use the Socratic model of reading and discussion in the home)

Thérèse McDonald

Join Thérèse McDonald as she takes explains how powerful and life-changing a classical model of learning can be! Learn how to lead an excellent discussion that takes learning deeper and develops the mind and nourishes the soul! This is the kind of learning that lasts over a lifetime and never becomes obsolete. Therese will address how to ask the right kinds of questions and teach all your children at once.

Genesis and the State of the Culture

Keynote Session - Ken Ham

Millions of Christians have decided that the Bible is out of date. They’ve determined that the words of Jesus aren’t always true. More than ever, a culture detached from God, willingly ignorant of His hand in creation and world events, needs Jesus. Unfortunately, the church is not nearly as effective in reaching the lost as it was only a generation ago. There is a foundational reason. In this hard-hitting keynote, Ken Ham uses modern events as the backdrop to revealing the alarming state of Christianity today, and the solution: a renewed commitment to the authority of Scripture!

Homeschooling Held Hostage

Keynote Session - Heidi St. John

In the past fifteen years, we’ve seen a lot of changes in the homeschool community. There is much more pressure being put on homeschoolers to excel academically. We’ve gone from a few brave moms who, without access to mainstream “curriculum”, managed to give their children an excellent education—but we’ve forgotten what made it excellent. It was excellent because these moms had a vision for homeschooling—they weren’t trying to re-create school at home. They were simply being obedient to the One who had called them to be different. They knew that if He had called them, He would equip them. And they were right.

If you’re struggling to find joy in your calling as a homeschooling parent, if you’re looking for more LIFE in your homeschool, this is one workshop you won’t want to miss. join Heidi as she talks about her journey away from curriculum-driven, workbook based homeschooling and into delight-directed learning. What she learned will bless and inspire you. Bring a notebook

Homeschooling Your Special Needs Child Through High School? YES YOU CAN!

Michelle McLay

Are you concerned about how, or if, you can or should home educate your special needs student through high school? Michelle will speak about the reasons parents likely have to do so, and why high school is an especially important time to home educate our “out-of- the-box learners”. She’ll offer new perspective, encouragement, and some different ways to make plans, define goals, and choose resources to enrich this journey.

Integrating Drama (Games/ Movement/ Music/ Play) Into Your Home

Miranda Hamer

If you are interested in learning how to integrate drama, games, movement, music and play into your home immediately (with no need to purchase any resources) this session is for you! You will learn a variety of games that will insist you in many of your core subjects. In this session you will learn games and helpful hints on how to successfully build confidence and public speaking ability (with any age) in the comforts of your own home!

Spirit Led Schooling

Suzette Tanasiuk

Parenting our children is like the original game of "Hide and Seek". It is the glory of God to conceal a matter. . . that being what He has put into each of our children. AND, it is the honour of kings (parents/teachers/ leaders) to search these things out. Like everything else in our lives God has no intention of us going it alone. He is constantly giving us "hotter" and "colder" clues as we live/ work/ and BE with our children. His intention is always that we might WIN THE GAME, being victorious in this parenting adventure!! Our job is to search out the clues. My goal in this session is to give you a few ideas on how to proceed in your search.

Lies Homeschoolers Believe

Keynote Session - Todd Wilson

Your house is a disaster, your kids seem out of control, and you wonder how you'll ever make it through another day of school. Your "get up and go" has "gotten up and went". You used to think homeschooling was the best thing since sliced bread, but now you’re feeling like burnt toast. Take heart - you're not alone! No one homeschools because it's easy. You do it because you believe it is best. But there are times when you need to be reminded once again why it's best. Join me as we do just that. You'll laugh and be encouraged in the toughest job you'll ever...love.

Life After Graduation - Helping Your Children Choose the Best Route

Keynote Session - Todd Wilson

For the last twelve years, you’ve probably felt the tension of “what’s next?” for your children. You hoped the dilemma would solve itself, but it didn’t. In fact, there are all sorts of homeschool graduates who are stuck in the “what now zone” or were discouraged from traveling a particular path. It’s time to put your fears aside, look the cap and gown in the eye, and take an honest look at life after graduation. There is NOT a one-size-fits-all solution and the pressure from family members, peers, and experts can seem dizzying. Should they go to college or try a college alternative, do a gap year, start their own business, stay at home, get a job, travel the world…join a monastery??!! Don’t be afraid. God has a plan for your child, and part of that plan is that He’s given them YOU to help guide them into their next phase of life. Join Todd Wilson as he takes a bold and straightforward look at “Life after Graduation.” We’ll look at the options, discuss the pros and cons, and take the FEAR out of graduation...remembering along the way that every child's path is different.

Multi-Level Teaching

Keynote Session - Heidi St. John

Toddlers, Tweens and Teens, OH MY! Do you have a houseful? Are you planning on having a houseful? If so, then this is a great workshop for YOU! Heidi and Jay St. John are the homeschooling parents of seven perfect, never messy, always obedient very sweet, usually tidy, generally obedient, always energetic, very curious, children. They have homeschooled all the way through high school.

One of the most challenging aspects of homeschooling a houseful is figuring out how to teach them all while finding time to manage the rest of your day! Moms are always wondering if they are “doing enough” and finding the time to teach individual subjects, well, individually… can be overwhelming.

In this workshop, Heidi will share seven secrets of multi-level teaching that will empower, encourage and enlighten you! If you’ve got a houseful, then you’ve got your hands full! Let’s laugh together, and rediscover the JOY of homeschooling with a full heart AND a full house!

Q & A Session For New Homeschoolers

Terry Yaceyko

Raising Dangerous Sons in a Safe and Mediocre World

Keynote Session - Todd Wilson

Let’s face it! Most men today are yellow-bellied, Lilly-livered weenies. They may wear tall Stetsons, drive fast cars, bungee jump from bridges, collect souped-up power tools, and carry big black Bibles, but they’re weenies. They flex their biceps and proclaim their faith, but when the economy collapses, the newest pandemic hits the scene, a family crisis arises, or the going gets tough…they play it safe.

Truth is: God wants your sons to leave the heavily-populated, safe waters and live dangerously. He wants your sons to trust dangerously, work dangerously, and love dangerously. But, that doesn’t come naturally. Everyone around them, from the talking heads in the media to pastors in the pulpit, keep repeating, “Play it safe.” Here’s a secret: dangerous living leads to joy, family happiness, and real success while safe living results in worry, family failure, and heartache. So join Todd as he encourages you and your sons to GET DANGEROUS.

Relationships in the Home-educating Family

Marianne van der Ahé

In this session, we will explore the relationships that exist within and surrounding the home-schooling family. We’ll cover a lot of different relationships, from husband and wife, to you and your neighbours. How does the quality of these relationships affect our home-schooling journey? What are some of the challenges that homeschoolers face? What do healthy relationships look like? Marianne will share from her own experience and what she has learned over her years of homeschooling and since she has finished.

Science Confirms the Bible

Keynote Session - Ken Ham

In this popular keynote session, Ken Ham tackles the biggest creation/evolution questions that he's constantly asked by teens and adults. Over a dozen “hot topics” are answered with the humor and intensity. In this fast, exciting presentation, Ken Ham shows again and again that real science truly does confirm the Bible. Learn about DNA as evidence for the infinite God, the basics of genetics and natural selection as they relate to biblical “kinds,” the origin of so-called “races,” the truth about Cain's wife, evidence for the worldwide Flood, the actual time of the Ice Age, literal vs. figurative creation days, the origin of death, dating methods, and more.

Should My Spouse Work?

Lorne Robinson

Financial choices are more important than most couples realize because these choices have spiritual impact. Should both spouses work while raising a young family? In this session, Lorne Robinson will share the importance of keeping an eternal perspective when considering lifestyle options. As a fnancial advisor, he will explore the true costs that come with a second income and reveal some tax saving opportunities for families.

Single Parents Support Group

Chelsea Strom

We will discuss the importance of taking care of ourselves and being diligent about things such as getting enough rest, striving for proper nutrition, sufficient exercise, and a good balance of togetherness, alone time and fellowship with others. This will help give us the energy needed to homeschool and parent our children to the best of our ability, especially when parenting and homeschooling alone.

Support Group Leaders Luncheon

Tracy McNichol

This session is designed specifically for Home School Support Group Leaders (OR those who would like to start a Home School Support Group in their area). Come prepared to share what is working for your group and to encourage other Home School Support Group Leaders. HSLDA’s lawyer, Megen Zelinka, will also explain the personal liability insurance that HSLDA offers for homeschool events.

10 Things You Need to Teach Your Daughter Before She Graduates

Keynote Session - Todd Wilson

When you’re choosing what to teach your daughter it really boils down to what matters and what doesn’t. . . or what your daughter needs to know to live happily ever after. The only problem is that everyone seems to have a different answer. Experts stand on every street corner shouting something different, “They need to know state history. . . master advanced algebra. . . and speak a foreign language.” It’s enough to give a well-meaning parent a headache and an ulcer. After all, what if you forget to teach her something important, dooming your daughter to a life of misery and failure?

Problem solved. During this hour, Todd will cut away the tall grass and share with you the top 10 Things You Need to Teach Your Daughter before She Graduates that guarantees happiness and success.

Teaching A “Living” Bible At Home

John Loge

When we say that the Bible is ‘living and active,’ is that how we teach it? John believes that teaching the Word of God, whether in the home or behind the pulpit, needs to contain Life while teaching the Way and the Truth. His desire is to demonstrate and share one perspective in doing so. This is to encourage each home-educating parent to teach a “living Bible” at home.

The Bible and Dinosaurs

Keynote Session - Calvin Smith

Most Christians cannot answer questions about dinosaurs in relation to a plain reading of God’s Word (When were dinosaurs created? When did they go extinct? Did they go on Noah’s Ark? Do we see dinosaurs mentioned in the Bible?) And this is unfortunate because dinosaurs are often used by the secular scientific community to try to convince young people that the Bible isn’t true. If dinosaurs really did evolve over millions of years, died out 65 million years ago and eventually turned into birds, then obviously the creation account in the Bible is false. So the real issue about the subject then is the authority of Scripture! Come and see how the facts scientists are finding confirm what the Bible says about a perfect creation marred by sin and the cataclysmic flood God sent to judge the world described in Genesis 6-9. Learn how dinosaurs are in fact a great way to show people the truth of the historicity of the Bible.

The Busy Homeschool Mom’s Guide™ to Daylight: How to Fit Your Size 16 Day Into a Size 10

Keynote Session - Heidi St. John

Tick Tock. Have you ever experienced a series of days, weeks or even months when you felt like you just could NOT get on top of all that you had to do? Have you just decided that it’s either school or dinner? Or maybe you just gave up school and now everyone has matching socks again! Most moms struggle with finding a balance when it comes to homeschooling and staying on top of the rest of your day.

Have you ever read 2 Corinthians 12:9? You probably have… it says, “My strength is made perfect in weakness”. Homeschooling reveals weakness … it’s true! And that’s a good thing, because it means you get to give even more glory to the Lord when you graduate your kids see that they are walking with the Lord.

Homeschool mom, if you’re struggling with trying to do it all, you will enjoy hearing some of Heidi’s favorite tips for managing homeschooling and homemaking…and still finding time to fit in “other things” (like alone time with your husband!)

This is an opportunity GET SET FREE from the expectations of others, laugh out loud learn how two words: BE INTENTIONAL can make a huge difference in your ability to manage your home and your homeschool well. Heidi really loves to use acrostics and this is one of her favorites! Bring a friend and leave your preconceived ideas at the door because real moms sometimes serve Cheerios for dinner!

The First Three Years: A Workshop for Homeschool Rookies

Keynote Session - Heidi St. John

If homeschooling up til now feels more like drudgery than delight, or if the thought of homeschooling makes your knees shake and your palms sweat, this is the workshop for you! Perhaps you’ve been hearing from “experts” that view homeschooling as just another form of education, like any other. Public schools think that way, but homeschooling is nothing like the school system. It’s just the opposite. Learning at home is an adventure, a journey, a new lifestyle. Join veteran homeschool mom of seven (including one homeschool graduate!) Heidi St.John as she talks about the three things you’ve got to know as a new homeschooler that will set you on a track for success and enjoyment with your children.

Because, although you’re nervous now, it’ll all be okay. Homeschooling is worth it. So sit back, relax. You’ll soon discover that homeschooling is a journey like no other. Take it in stride that you will bumble and stumble, stick your foot in it, take wrong turns, backtrack, start again, and again . . . . and your child will be just fine. Come and bring a friend for a dose of information and encouragement. You can do it!

The High School Adventure: Q & A Session

Kristine Buchholtz

This, We Believe!

Keynote Session - Todd Wilson

Dads and moms, in all the busyness of life and swell of expert advice, we've forgotten the fundamental truths of homeschooling and family. In short, we’ve forgotten why we do what we do. We have plenty of “how tos” but have forgotten the “why tos” and it evidences itself in our lack of joy of homeschooling, family, and parenting. Join funny guy and familyman, Todd Wilson, as he sets the stage for a great homeschool convention and the best year ever as he brings us back to the basics of what we believe about family and homeschooling. You're not going to want to miss this for the world.

What to do When Your Plan Doesn’t Go According to Plan

Keynote Session - Todd Wilson

We like things nice and neat, orderly, and with a predictable outcome, but most of the time OUR plans don’t ‘come together’ as we hoped. Instead, our plans often fall apart, disintegrate right before our eyes, and leave us dumbfounded and stunned. I’ve talked to plenty of homeschooling parents who were sold a plan. They followed the plan and then later stood before me with tears in their eyes because the plan “didn’t come together.” “We did everything THEY said to do,” they say. “We didn’t have TV…we homeschooled…we ate organic…we only wore dresses…we sheltered and protected….we practiced courtship…they played the violin…we emphasized the classics…we never missed family devotions…we emphasized purity…we birthed our children at home…we had a home business” and on and on the list goes. They feel betrayed, angry, and lost….and their children are starting ‘tell all’ websites!!! I have to admit that several years ago when I heard their sob stories I inwardly wondered what they had done wrong. I believed that they must have gotten the WRONG plan…or didn’t carry the plan out according to the instructions. And while some of that may be true, I know NOW that sometimes our plans don’t come together because God has a DIFFERENT PLAN. Join me as we take an honest and humorous look at plans, why they fall apart and what to do when they have.

Speakers & schedule subject to change without notice.