Workshops from keynote speaker Steve Demme

The Family that Stays Together Stays Together

In this encouraging workshop, Steve relates the positive experiences that he and his wife have experienced raising their four sons. With plenty of humorous illustrations, Steve shares tried and proven suggestions that have enhanced their family life. With God’s help he is convinced there is hope for the family in the 21st century.

Being a Disciple and Training Disciples in the Home

God calls us to teach and disciple our children while we are still being discipled ourselves. This unique dynamic was designed by God to develop teacher and student alike. Steve shares his successes and failures of 30+ years training his 4 sons from young boys to grown men.

Biblical View of Education

Since the word of God is inspired, authoritative, and “profitable for teaching we will explore and study what scripture has to say about teaching our children. Who is called to teach? Where should instruction take place? What should the makeup of our classroom be? How does scripture impact every subject area in our curriculum?

God’s Good News for Parents, Grace, Grace, and More Grace

When we are rooted and grounded in Jesus, we are equipped to lay down our lives for each other and have our heart turned towards our children. God is full of mercy and grace. In this session we will explore the gospel and it’s impact on our view of God, ourselves, and our children.

Learning with Jesus

According to Matthew 11:28-30 Jesus has a burden which is light and yoke that is easy. He encourages us to learn of Him. In light of this scripture, are our education plans for our families being driven by the well-meaning world which emphasizes external achievements, transcripts, and degrees, or the Son of God; who is meek and lowly of heart?

Finding Hope and Redemption in the Valleys of Life

This workshop is Steve’s testimony of the last twenty-five years as the father of a child with special needs. He shares what his family has learned as a result of Johnny’s disability, and the special, rewarding, and joyful role he has played in their lives. Even in the difficult experiences of life, God proved faithful. His grace sustained them and brought good out of their struggles and disappointments.


Workshops from featured speaker Dara Halydier

Kids and Emotions – Emotions!  We all have them.  But how can we train our children to handle their emotions biblically and constructively?  From anger to elation, from sadness to joy there needs to be boundaries and acceptable behavior taught for each emotion.  When kids have words to express their feelings, then they are less likely to act out.  Come and learn some new ideas about training your children (and maybe yourself) when it comes to emotions.             

Raising Exceptional Children from Geniuses to those with Learning Disabilities – God has a purpose and a plan for each of your children.  He didn’t make any mistakes and He delights in each one of us and our differences, our strengths, and our weaknesses.  You can homeschool effectively and with great joy even when your children struggle.  Dara will share her story as she raised 5 boys with learning disabilities and some with high IQ’s.  God taught her many lessons along the way and her boys (one of them literally) did bow down and call her blessed!

Taking Care of Mom:  Avoiding Burnout – “When Mama ain’t happy, nobody’s happy.” So how can you keep Mommy happy?  By making sure that her needs are met!  What are those needs and how can she take the time to meet those needs without feeling guilty or leaving something else undone? Dara will give helpful ideas to meeting the needs of Mom so that she is filled up and able to meet the needs of her family.

Raising Godly Children vs. Perfect Children – What is God’s mandate for raising children?  Are they to be perfect?  What happens when we expect perfection from our children?  How do we raise godly children, and what does that look like anyway?  Dara will look to God’s word for an example of raising godly children.  Clear expectations and consequences were given to the Hebrew nation.  Then came grace.  Learn how to implement law, and then how to move your children into a grace relationship as they grow.

Experiencing Joy in the Midst – Homeschooling is such a joy!  We get to spend time with our kids, see the light come on when they learn a new skill, experience life with them from a child’s perspective, and rejoice in the victories!  There is also laundry, and dishes, and dust, and extended family, and sickness, and moving, and unemployment, etc.  How does a homeschooling family keep moving forward in the midst?  Can they experience joy when life’s circumstances are anything but joyful?  YES!  Come hear Dara give personal and Biblical advice on finding Joy in the Midst.

Gracefully Letting Go – You've raised them to know right from wrong.  You've schooled them through history, math, reading, and science.  You've driven them to practices and games, competitions and reward ceremonies.  You've fed them, wiped their tears, and showed them the way.  You have introduced them to Jesus and encouraged them to have a relationship with their Lord.  Now it is time for them to fly on their own.  How do you let them go?  Are they ready? Are you ready?  Dara will address concerns of teens and their parents as they enter the next phase of life called adulthood.  There is a way to prepare your teen for what is to come and to prepare your heart for this different relationship with your child. Dara and her husband have homeschooled 5 boys who are successfully launched but continue to be great friends and a real joy to their parents.


Workshops from featured speakers Robin Finley and Erin Karl

The Three Pillars of Western Lit: Without Them … We Just Don’t “Get” Literature (Robin)

Almost every great book ever written is supported by at least one of three great works from which all other authors pull.  Sometimes its intentional … sometimes it’s not.  This workshop will aquaint you in detail with these three mainstays of literature study and explain why familiarity with all three of them is crucial to fully understanding what we read.  Knowledge of the three pillars is mandatory for substative high school literature study.

Why Do We Read These Old Dead Guys – Really? (Robin)

So a student reads a book, maybe takes a quiz or two, perhaps writes a book report. Is that it?  Do we just check that box and move on? If so, why? What’s the point? How do you “teach” literature, anyway? Robin has lectured and written on this subject for more than three decades. Her belief that Western literature is really one big, long argument, which she calls “the eternal argument,” goes a long way toward answering these questions. With a lot of humor and many excellent examples from literature, she’ll explain this framework which will make reading, learning, and teaching literature a much more meaningful endeavor.  Come away from this talk with the feeling you’ve just earned a mini bachelor’s degree in Western Culture … and enjoyed every minute of it!

Middle School English: How to Cover it All and Still Have Time to Breathe! (Erin)

Learn what it means to schedule in seasons so you’re not trying to teach everything all at once and all the time.  Middle School Language Arts is an important time in the development of your writers and readers.  This is when you fill their tool belts with all the information they need to be fully prepared for high school literature study.  This workshop will show you how it can all be covered (literature fundamentals, grammar, writing responses, vocab, drama, poetry, journalism, public speaking, etc.) in about an hour a day.  Let the combined 36+ years of teaching experience the ladies of Analytical Grammar have help you make it all doable!

Inoculate, Don’t Quarantine: Why it’s Important to Know What the Other Side is Saying (Robin)

We live in a very polarized and contentious world.  The arguments that rage in educational, political, and social circles really boil down to two totally opposite sides that have little understanding of each other.  In fact these arguments have been raging for centuries.  No matter what side of the argument your family is on, your children will one day leave the nest and be confronted with ideas from the opposing side.  See how these long-raging arguments boil down to an “eternal argument,” and apply that knowledge to help you inoculate your children to deal with the other side … quarantining never lasts.

From Dragons to Dickens and Little House to Little Women: Engaging your Children with the Classics (Erin)

For many kids, unfortunately, their first reaction to “let’s read a classic,” is “Classics are BORING!!”  Now, not only does that make no sense … it’s not true!  During this workshop Erin will show practical ways of engaging your children in these stories that are so entertaining, they’ve stood the test of time!

Do I Really Need to Teach THAT Book?? (Robin)

During this workshop we’ll use three books (To Kill A Mockingbird, Lord of the Flies, and The Hunger Games) and study them through the lens of Robin’s framework.  Many are scared or reluctant to attack these books, but the framework gives teachers a way to do it without compromising their family's values.  We’ll discuss HOW to teach a book!  You’ll come away with a complete understanding of how the Eternal Argument works and how to make your literature study at home or in class more meaningful!


Workshops from featured speaker Don Brown

The Unmasked Historical Truth About Islam and Sharia Law  (And Various Other Things)

Prior to the September 11, 2001 attacks, most Americans probably never gave a second thought about Islam. After those attacks, the U.S. government went to painstaking measures to portray Islam as a religion of Peace. Indeed, the Bush administration emphasized tolerance for Islam and made it clear that the War on Terror was not a War on Islam. Later, the Obama administration went even further, with President Obama quoting verses from the Quran, bowing to the King of Saudi Arabia – something no American President has ever done – and now, according to Egypt’s long-standing Rose El-Youssef magazine, has invited Islamic Brotherhood Operatives into the White House. Meanwhile, Islamic terror struck America at Fort Hood, in Boston, and struck the British in London with the brutal murder of a British soldier on the streets in 2013.

In light of all this, is Islam really a religion of Peace?

In this lecture, Don will examine not only the historically violent roots of Islam, but also the violent roots of Muhammed himself, the founder of the religion, who personally ordered the murder and execution of non-believers in present day Saudi Arabia. This is in stark contrast to the earthly life of Jesus, who not only preached peace, but also practiced it. Additionally, the lecture will briefly survey Sharia Law, the brutal Islamic legal system which some are attempting to install in the United States today.

A Survey of the Fundamental Rights in the U.S. Bill of Rights (And Various Other Things)

In the first Ten Amendments of the Constitution, known as the “Bill of Rights,” the founders set forth absolute rights held by individuals to protect citizens against the powers of an out-of-control federal government. But because the Bill of Rights have not been taught adequately in the public school, and not even in most homeschools and Christian schools, most students have a poor grasp or understanding of them.

For Example, some people, when thinking of the First Amendment, think of Freedom of Speech. Others think of Freedom of Religion. Still others think of a Free press. Actually, all responses are right. But neither the First Amendment nor any other amendments have been taught in proper context.

The fact is that five fundamental rights are contained in the First Amendment alone, including the three mentioned above. Another eight fundamental rights are found in the Fifth Amendment, including the Right against Self-incrimination and the Right to Due Process. Ten more fundamental rights are found in the Sixth Amendment, including the Right to Trial by Jury and the Right to a Speedy Trial, among others.

While each and every one of these fundamental rights could be subject to a lecture in and of itself, because of a deficiency in teaching the Bill of Rights, Don will in this lecture speak on the Bill of Rights generally, with an emphasis on a number of the fundamental rights contained therein, and where those rights can be found.

Fiction as a Weapon in the Culture Wars How Hollywood has used Fiction to Undermine Societal Values (And How to Write Back and Fight Back)

In many circles, academic and otherwise, greater emphasis is placed on nonfiction, such as biographies, historical accounts, and works of self-help as the body of literature which is most relevant to society and is most relevant as an agent of change in the culture.

In reality, however, great works of fiction, such as Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin and Solzhenitsyn’s One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, had considerable more influence on society than contemporary works of nonfiction in their day.

As a nationally best-selling author, Don Brown uses this lecture as an opportunity to discuss the power of fiction as an agent of positive change in our society, and fields your student’s questions about the mechanics of novel-writing and the publishing process.