Keynote Speakers

Bill Jack

Bill Jack: Worldview Academy

Bill is an educator with ten years of experience in secular schools and 14 years with The Caleb Campaign, a creationist youth ministry. He is the faculty advisor for Worldview Academy and a full time faculty member with Worldview at the Abbey, an academic bridge year program that seeks to fully equip students to be salt and light on the college campus.

Appearing on several radio and television programs, Bill’s passion is to raise up a generation of students who have the vision to reach their culture with the gospel, the valor to engage their culture with the truth, and a firm reliance on the virtue of the Word of God. Bill and his wife, Tabby, have three children and live in Castle Rock, Colorado.

 

Friday, March 27 Keynote 9 a.m.

Tearing Up Tracks Leading to Destruction

The Nazis used language to redefine Jews out of the human race. Once that was accomplished, atrocities and death camps followed. Language is important, for it lays the tracks that are the ideas that carry the consequences — boxcars filled with people’s lives. Christians are on a search and destroy mission; we are destroying ideas but not people. Learn 4 Killer Questions that will empower you to derail faulty thinking and challenge others to think God’s thoughts after Him.

Bill's Workshops:

  • Taking What is Common to the Culture and Turning it into a Pulpit - Friday 1 p.m.

    From peach baskets to pitching mounds, from movies to museums, from... well, come discover what tools and opportunities you might be overlooking to use in reaching this culture. Practical strategies and insights! (Acts 17:22)

  • Torn Between Two Worldviews - Friday 3 p.m.

    Train your students to discern worldviews and to understand their impact on every aspect of our culture. Together, Bill and listeners will analyze the impact of world views on our culture through interviews with those who hold opposing world views. This talk is a great opportunity to learn practical tools to learn how to reach non-Christians and to confront the culture with the Truth. (Colossians 2:8)

  • WHATEVER! - Saturday 10:30 a.m.

    “Whatever is the meaning of life?”, “Whatever happens when one dies?” and “Whatever is your highest value?” are questions that demand more than a “Whatever!” answer. The “Whatever!” answer of Secular thinking dampens and even squelches serious thought and attempts at engaged conversation in our culture. The “Whatever!” of Secularism even invades the church. Rather than be discouraged, take heart in God’s command in Deuteronomy 12:32.

  • “What Were They Thinking? - What are You Thinking?” - Saturday 1 p.m.

    Many Christians have never learned how to share their faith effectively with non-Christians in a short conversation. This session will give the students and parents practical tools with which they can confidently engage others in a conversation that leads them to a knowledge of Christ.

  • The Resolute - Saturday 3 p.m.

    The search for British Arctic explorer Sir John Franklin and his missing crew of 128 men resulted in one of the more unique set of stories in history. Although men were lost and ships were abandoned, a third war between the U.S. and England was averted and the timbers of a ghost ship serve now as a reminder that Christians are to remain resolute in their mission. (I Corinthians 15:58)


Rachael Carman

Rachael Carman: Apologia

Rachael Carman had it going on—or so she thought. After surviving sixty-three months of pregnancy, countless sleepless nights, and 35,000+ diapers, this one-time control freak encountered God’s grace. And she encourages you to do the same!

In her books How Many Times Do I Have to Tell You? and How to Have a HEART for Your Kids, Rachael challenges mothers to surrender their will and draw closer to their heavenly Father. She invites moms to join her in loving God passionately and worshiping him fully while sweeping up Cheerios, doing laundry, and planning dinner. You will be affirmed in your role as a mother as Rachael speaks of her struggles with perfectionism and impatience and shares her challenges, failures, and victories amid the ever-changing seasons of life. Her honesty will surprise you, and her humor will put you at ease.

Rachael is not only a respected author but is also a sought-after speaker. She has spoken across the United States as well as in Europe, Asia, and Africa. She has been married to her husband, Davis, since 1986. Together, their life has been a roller-coaster ride, with God at the controls. They have seven kids with whom they love to laugh. Rachael enjoys playing in the dirt, eating dark chocolate, and walking on the beach. She and Davis are the owners of Apologia Educational Ministries.

 

Saturday, March 28 Keynote 9 a.m.

Soaring Beyond Survival

Homeschooling is not easy. As a matter of fact, it can be downright overwhelming, tempting us to slip into survival mode. Homeschooling is the adventure of a lifetime, and God will be your strength. It is not His will that you just survive — He wants you to thrive. Come hear Rachael discuss what it takes to soar like an eagle.

Rachael's Workshops:

  • Two Parents, One Purpose (with husband Davis) - Friday 10:30 a.m.

    Husband and wife bring different gifts, styles, methods, and perspectives to the parenting and homeschooling process. Davis and Rachael give a visual model for how two parents can work together with one purpose. The results can bless the marriage and the children when done in harmony and love.

  • What About THAT Child? - Friday 3 p.m.

    What face comes to mind when you hear “that child”? Do you smile or scowl when you see that face? Do you struggle to like that child? That child is a world changer. God has a plan for that child. All of that energy, all those questions, all that strength, all THAT, is God-given for His glory. Come learn strategies for learning to enjoy that child, to embrace that child, and to train that child for God’s purposes.

  • SPECIAL EVENT: Evening of Real Refreshment for Moms - Friday 6 to 8 p.m.

    We live in a noisy, confusing culture. Women, in particular, are bombarded with conflicting messages that point every which way but to the cross. We’re told, “Use this magic formula to do more, be more, have more…” and when the first formula doesn’t meet the need, there’s plenty more big ideas ready to steal and destroy our faith and our focus on what truly matters. Rachael is passionate about bringing a better message to today’s women. While our feel-good pop culture wants to console with its message of “you’re good enough just the way you are,” She wants to encourage and inspire women to hold on to the only One who is truly good. When we intentionally cultivate a relationship with our Father, and when we build around us a community of like-minded, Christ-following women, we are able to filter the racket and focus on our faith. She would love to encourage and inspire your community with the message our Father has placed on her heart.

  • 7 Simple Steps to Sanity - Saturday 3 p.m.

    Ever feel like you are about to lose your mind as a stay-at-home mom. There’s so much to do and so little time. How do you balance it all? How do you know what to do and what not to do? Laugh along with Rachael as you see how insane our culture is and how peaceful walking with God can be.

Workshop Speakers

Nancy BjorkmanNancy Bjorkman

Nancy has 20 years of homeschool experience, and her enthusiastic encouragement in many educational and practical topics make her a popular speaker with homeschoolers. She and her husband own Heppner's Legacy, a homeschool store in Elk River, MN, where they delight in ministering to the unique needs of families year round.

Nancy's Workshops:

  • Homeschooling High School, Part 1 - Friday 10:30 a.m.

    This very popular, interactive workshop will help to answer frequently asked questions about homeschooling through the high school years. We will consider course requirements, transcripts, record keeping, curriculum choices, dual enrollment opportunities, co-ops, CLEP and other testing options, resumes, career assessments, and more. Attendees will leave with the tools necessary and the confidence needed to homeschool through high school.

  • Homeschooling High School, Part 2 - Friday 1 p.m.

    Continued from last session.


Rebecca Buel YoungRebecca Buel Young

Rebecca grew up in Southern California where she was homeschooled from elementary school through high school. She graduated from UCLA with her Bachelor’s in English in 2006 and then from the University of Northern Iowa with a Master’s in Communication Studies in 2008. Rebecca then taught Communication courses and coached competitive speech and debate on the college level for over a decade. Now she serves as the Illinois Homeschool Admissions Counselor for Grand Canyon University, a private, Christian university in the heart of Phoenix, Arizona. Rebecca loves helping students through the transition from homeschool to college, and works with homeschool families to provide resources on dual enrollment, transcript evaluation, and scholarships/financial aid. Outside of work, Rebecca is a foodie, an avid-reader, and loves spending time exploring the Peoria area with her hubby and two kids.

Rebecca's Workshop:

  • From Homeschool to College - Friday 3 p.m.

    This workshop will explore the process of transitioning from homeschool to college, with focus on ways to jumpstart your student’s college career with dual enrollment, how to navigate the admissions process, and tips for searching for scholarships and applying for financial aid.


Davis CarmanDavis Carman

Davis got started on his homeschool adventure with a providential two-by-four on the side of his head. Twenty-three years, seven kids, and five graduates later, he hopes to share some of the lessons he’s learned along the way to help other families enjoy the most successful, satisfying, and Christ-centered home school possible. He is the president of Apologia Educational Ministries, the #1 publisher of Creation-based science and Bible curriculum. He is an international speaker, founding board member of Homeschool Now USA, and advocate for home education. He is also the author of five illustrated children’s books, co-host (along with his wife Rachael) of the Let’s Talk Homeschool podcast, and blog contributor at Homeschool-101.com and www.DavisCarman.com. He believes that if there was ever a time to homeschool, it is now!

Davis' Workshops:

  • Two Parents, One Purpose (with wife Rachael) - Friday 10:30 a.m.

    Husband and wife bring different gifts, styles, methods, and perspectives to the parenting and homeschooling process. Davis and Rachael give a visual model for how two parents can work together with one purpose. The results can bless the marriage and the children when done in harmony and love.

  • The First 5 Years of Homeschooling (I Mean Parenting) - Friday 1 p.m.

    The first five years of parenting are crucial times of development for young children. Foundations are set that give them a perspective of God, themselves, and others. During these early years, children gain an understanding of love, obedience, and responsibility. Their worldview will be shaped by the books you read to them (including the Bible) and the freedom they are given to sing, dance, play, and explore the great outdoors of God’s wonderful Creation. Is this parenting, homeschooling, or both? In this workshop, you will discover ten lessons your young children should learn and experience that can make a big difference in the first five years of their life.

  • Radically Intentional Parenting - Saturday 1 p.m.

    Parents love their kids more than anyone on the planet. They want the best for their children, especially when it comes to education, character development, and relationships. Then why do so many parents take the lazy-man’s approach and “wing it” in many important areas of child training? It could be that parenting is hard work—really hard work. You could even say, it’s just not for wimps. The issues facing parents are many, critical, and looming. What direction will you take your family when it comes to discipline, sports, sleepovers, cell phones, video games, movies, dating, and more? Young kids need courageous leadership from their mom and dad, and you will choose to be passive or proactive, spontaneous or intentional. Davis has three decades worth of parenting experience with seven kids. In this presentation, he shares some of the best and worst decisions a parent can make.


Alcha CorbanAlcha Corban

Alcha is the 4-H Youth Development Educator for Livingston and Woodford Counties and also oversees programming at the Unity Community Center in Normal, IL. Alcha started with University of Illinois Extension in 2014 serving McLean County as the Metro 4-H Program Coordinator working with our Youth Development team to sustain and build 4-H Programming with a focus on Bloomington-Normal. In late 2015, she started her new position as 4-H Educator, a role in which she strives to continue serving our 4-H youth by promoting the 4-H program in clubs, schools and through local community programs. Her overall mission is to empower youth to discover their passions and life goals through programs that promote personal growth, team building skills, leadership and community service opportunities to name a few, as well as providing programming that aligns with STEM and STEAM initiatives.

Alcha's Workshop:

  • 4H STEAM Camp - Friday 9 a.m. to noon

    This 4-H STEAM camp session will be to expose youth to technology that is fun, easy to operate and educational. Ages 8+, $10/student

    1. Paper Circuits: With this lesson youth will be introduced to the basics of electricity and how circuits work using copper tape, watch batteries, coloring pages and LED lights and create a bright and colorful piece of art!

    2. 3D Construction: Utilizing 3D pens, youth will learn the basics of 3D building while designing and constructing their own 3D objects.

    3. Robotic Programming: Great for all ages, Ozobots are a small robotic device that can be programed with or without the internet. In fact, these bots can be programed with just everyday markers! Different color codes tell the robot to perform different tasks. In our STEAM camp, students will have the opportunity to plant a garden, create a fairy tale, plan a mission to Mars and much more.




Daniel CurrierDaniel Currier

Is your family prepared for society’s secular pressure? Daniel Currier is one of the university "ground guys,” helping lead a campus apologetics group. He also speaks and writes on issues that challenge your family’s faith. He also administers various apologetic social media pages and groups.

Daniel's Workshops:

  • 3 Nuclear Strength Reasons Biology Confirms the Creator - Saturday 10:30 a.m.

    Do you want the absolute best response to Darwinism? This always popular presentation gives three nuclear strength reasons why biology points to the Designer, not Darwinism. These include origin of information, origin of life and origin of molecular machines in the cell.

  • The Christian & the Socialism vs. Capitalism Debate - Saturday 1 p.m.

    Strangely, Marxism is making a big comeback in today’s youth. No wonder, superficially it sounds so good. However, is Marxism even moral? Looking at the origins and assumptions of Marxism and the free market system, we find one fits a materialistic worldview and the other is based upon the biblical worldview.


Lisa DettingerLisa Dettinger

With an Education degree that spans PK-12, Lisa Dettinger has over 25 years of professional experience working with children, teens, college students, and adults, and homeschooled her own children for almost two decades. After equipping nearly 1,000 students in grades 4-12 with simple strategies for writing, Lisa designed online classes to make PowerHouse Educational Resources available to more students. Her work has been published for university classes, teaching journals, virtual charter schools, and homeschools. Her book Fully Whelmed: Shifting from Overwhelm to Overflow is being published early 2020, and in 2018 she released Our Secret Journal Revealed (co-authored with her then tween, now adult daughter). In addition, Lisa is a Certified Christian Life Coach, serving individuals and families. She has provided manifold classes, workshops, and presentations for adults and children in schools, churches, camps, conventions, and homeschool support groups. During the summer of 2019, Lisa helped create a Christian school on a mission base in Ghana, Africa by choosing curriculum, supplying and setting up classrooms, and training teachers and staff.

Lisa's Workshop:

  • Easy as 1-2-3, Essays for the Middle Schooler - Friday 10:30 a.m.

    Got a reluctant or rambling writer? Learn the simple numerical formula for writing essays that will transform your middle schooler’s attitude about writing from “No way!” to “Hooray!” Organized thinking translates into an organized essay. No purchase, program, or commitment necessary! Sound too good to be true? See it to believe it. Invite your 4th-8th graders to this session as well!


Mark DuggerMark Dugger

Originally from Atlanta, GA, Mark grew up with an affinity for Chick-fil-A and founder Truett Cathy’s story of perseverance through poverty, generosity, and amazing food! He went to Georgia Tech to study Industrial Engineering and began his career as a business consultant with IBM. He never dreamed he would ever work in a restaurant (much less own one)! After traveling every week for four years and then starting to pursue his wife, Laura, he knew that a career spent traveling would not lead him toward the family life he desired. When the economy took a downturn in 2009 he took the plunge (with the nudge of some Chick-fil-A friends) and started as a team member at a local Chick-fil-A restaurant to learn the business in hopes of future restaurant ownership. After three years at the age of 30, Mark was selected to own his first franchise in South Bend, Indiana. After two years in Indiana, he applied for a new store that would be opening in East Peoria in early 2016. It would be the closest restaurant to his wife’s family in Roanoke, IL. He and his wife Laura now have three children (Selah - 6, Shiloh - 5, Isla 3, and Kessler – 10 mos.) and live in Morton.

Mark's Workshop:

  • Land Your First Job before the Interview - Friday 1 p.m.

    What does an employer look for in potential employees? How can I set myself apart from other candidates? What if I don’t have any experience? What should I put on my application or resume? Now that I have the interview, how do I make a great impression? We will answer these questions and more in our time together.


Carla EstellCarla Estell

Carla is a 1987 graduate of Liberty University in Lynchburg, VA. She has been involved in Christian education since 1988 both in the home and classroom setting. In 1998 she and her husband, Brian, began a part-time creation ministry called “The Stones’ True Story” which focuses on the truth of God’s Word, especially in the area of the creation week and the world wide flood. While Carla homeschooled their 6 children, Brian continued teaching for a total of 17 years before going fulltime with the creation ministry in 2009. While full-time, they traveled through 48 states visiting many geological and historical sites, collecting fossils and sharing at camps, schools and churches. In 2016 they relocated to Illinois where Brian now works full time for Samaritan Ministries, and Carla continues to homeschool their youngest and tutor. They are still available for local seminars, VBS, and part-time travels.

Carla's Workshops:

  • Creation to the Cross – Worldview for Kids - Friday 1 to 4 p.m.

    His Story from Creation to the Cross - In this fast paced workshop kids will learn about God’s power, goodness and mercy while studying the 6 days of creation, the fall, redemption, worldwide flood, fossils, dinosaurs, Tower of Babel, cavemen and Mount St. Helens - all on an entertaining kid’s level. The three 30 minute lessons will be full of songs, hand motions and hands on fossils. Each lesson will be followed by a time of games or crafts. We will end with a creation based, kid friendly DVD. Ages 6-12, $15/student, 30 student max

  • Back Yard Evangelism - Saturday 10:30 a.m.

    For 11 years the Estell family lived in a small neighborhood in the foot hills of Georgia. While their family grew from 3 to 6 children, their backyard became the neighborhood playground. Through the years they began several outreach traditions such as St. Patrick Day parties and bonfires, Christmas musicals with caroling, and Sunrise Easter hikes. Come be inspired by learning how to use holidays as outreach opportunities while also building family traditions and making memories.

  • Creation to the Cross – Worldview for Kids - Saturday 1 to 4 p.m.

    For those who couldn't make it, this is a repeat of Friday's session. Ages 6-12, $15/student, 30 student max


Given HoffmannGiven Hoffmann

Given is an author and encourager. She enjoys bringing the stories God has given her to life. She loves to inspire those around her, especially teens, to embrace the paths God has for them. She’s a homeschool graduate, a Worldview Academy alumni, a Jerry B. Jenkins Christian Writers Guild Craftsman graduate, and an alumni of Ellerslie Discipleship Training. Given is the compiler of the book The Voices of the Pioneers: Homeschooling in Minnesota. She is an international blogger on practical Christianity and Biblical theology, and as an author to the young adult realm, she is best-known for her suspense novel The Eighth Ransom.

Given's Workshops:

  • Fiction Writing Workshop, Part 1 of 3 - Friday 10:30 a.m.

    Learn about the most powerful influencer of our day! Story telling is far more than just entertainment. Sourced from all over the world, stories come in all shapes and sizes. And in one way or another, we are all story consumers and story tellers. We absorb story messages in books, movies, gaming, videos, podcasts, and so much more. Stories teach us all kinds of things. Why is story telling so powerful? Come to this three-part teen track and find out! Fiction Writing Goals: What if I told you, every story you read or watch and every story you write changes the way you think? Ages 12+

  • Fiction Writing Workshop, Part 2 of 3 - Friday 1 p.m.

    Continued from last session. Fiction Writing Basics: What if I told you, there’s an easy way to pursue story telling? Ages 12+

  • Fiction Writing Workshop, Part 3 of 3 - Friday 3 p.m.

    Continued from last session. Fiction Writing Techniques: What if I told you, there are universal secrets used in the making of every good story? Ages 12+

  • Growing Your Child’s Communication Skills - Saturday 1 p.m.

    Looking for ways to teach communication in the midst of a busy homeschool life? In this talk, Given shares a number of practical steps for training your child in communication no matter what age they are. Be empowered to take the time to enjoy your children while growing their ability to communicate in the process.

  • How to Make Writing Fun Using Flash Fiction - Saturday 3 p.m.

    Looking for solutions to get your reluctant writers writing? In this talk about flash fiction, Given presents a fun, creative, and easy way to get your student past “I don’t know what to write” and into writing short stories that will teach them not just how to put together sentences but also how to craft clear and concise messages for all areas of life.


Chris KallalChris Kallal

Chris is the Executive Director at Camp Good News in Washington, IL. He loves animals and teaching children about them and their Creator.

Chris' Workshops:

  • Critter Connection - Friday 10:30 a.m.

    This hands-on class gets you up close with the animals. Learn how God made each animal unique in its own way and hear some of the awesome super-powers He gave to each one! Several of our more popular animals come with us and you get a chance to learn all about them while holding or petting them. From Hissing Cockroaches to Leopard Geckos, Snakes to Slugs, and even Axolotls to Skunks, you'll get the rare opportunity to see God's creation in your very own hands! FREE for kids!

  • Critter Connection - Saturday 10:30 a.m.

    For those who couldn't make it, this is a repeat of Friday's session. FREE for kids!


Kurtz's Tae Kwon DoKurtz's Tae Kwon Do

Kurtz's Tae Kwon Do is a family oriented martial arts academy in Germantown Hills owned by Howard and Rhonda Kurtz, who have been training and teaching over 30 years. Their martial arts program focuses on character development through achievement motivation. It is a non-competitive program that centers around cooperation! All philosophies are comparable to Christian beliefs. Call (309) 370-1723 to talked to Rhonda about our program.

Kurtz's Tae Kwon Do Workshops:

  • Intro to Tae Kwon Do - Friday 1 p.m.

    Jump, run, balance and kick in a fun and safe atmosphere. FREE for kids and parents! (please attend only once)

  • Intro to Tae Kwon Do - Friday 3 p.m.

    For those who couldn't make it, this is a repeat of the last session. FREE for kids and parents! (please attend only once)

  • Intro to Tae Kwon Do - Saturday 1 p.m.

    For those who couldn't make it, this is a repeat of the last session. FREE for kids and parents! (please attend only once)

  • Intro to Tae Kwon Do - Saturday 3 p.m.

    For those who couldn't make it, this is a repeat of the last session. FREE for kids and parents! (please attend only once)


Julie PolancoJulie Polanco

Julie is a trained Master Herbalist and a 17-year veteran homeschooling mom of four challenging, creative kids. Early on, the Lord called her to abandon lock-step, curriculum-driven homeschooling methods. Over the next few years, he revealed why as each of her children were diagnosed with special needs. This compelled her to fully rely on the Lord as she pursued more relaxed, interest-led homeschooling. Now, after successfully graduating two of her children, she sees a need to share with the next generation what the Lord has taught her. Through her books, courses, online and live workshops she encourages and teaches other homeschooling moms who feel burned out, stressed, and frustrated, gently showing them the way of the homeschooling pioneers.

Julie's Workshops:

  • Laying Success for Special Needs Kids - Friday 10:30 a.m.

    Teaching a special needs child requires a different set of tools. Find out how to avoid pitfalls, sift through the mountains of advice, and set yourself up to successfully homeschool your special child. Come learn from a 17-year veteran homeschooler of 4 special needs children how to have peace and joy in the journey.

  • Unschooling Isn’t Unparenting! - Friday 1 p.m.

    Feeling burned out, stressed out, and ready to quit? Wondering if a more relaxed, unschoolish approach might be for you but you’re afraid it’s unbiblical? Get the facts! This interactive workshop will discuss: What is Christian unschooling? Is it Biblical? What about the 3 Rs and core knowledge? What about college?

  • 7+ Essential Self-Care Tips for Sick and Tired Moms - Saturday 10:30 a.m.

    Are you sick and tired of feeling sick and tired while you’re trying to do this homeschooling thing? Join Julie Polanco of Julie Naturally as she shares essential self-care tips she’s learned from her journey with multiple chronic health issues, including fibromyalgia. You’ll walk away with tips you can implement immediately and feel better today!

  • When Bribes and Punishments Stop Working… - Saturday 1 p.m.

    Come to this workshop to learn practical, fun, proven ways to motivate your kids to learn without using candy, money, privileges, grounding, threats, or other traditional methods. Through personal stories and some fun exercises, Julie will equip you with new strategies that will rekindle that fire of curiosity in your kids.


Susan SmarjesseSusan Smarjesse

Susan is the founder of Reading Solution of Central Illinois and Director of Autism and A.D.D. Center of Illinois, both using successful, world-wide methods under the Davis Dyslexia Association International and Davis Autism Approach umbrella. Retiring after 32 years of teaching creatively classroom music, drama, and dance, she discovered that helping others is just in a teacher’s bones! She has been working since 2006, one on one, with many clients while providing seminars at schools, churches, colleges, and conferences. She is on the executive board of Garden Clubs of Illinois, Dist. III and loves her garden — other activities include church organist, traveling, snorkeling, reading, and supporting her family and church.

Susan's Workshops:

  • To Read or Not to Read? That is the Question - Saturday 10:30 a.m.

    Dyslexia is one of the most misunderstood learning difficulties in schools and workplaces. Many people are struggling to find the best help for themselves and/or their child—who are often described as bright, hardworking, inconsistent, and “mysteries.” Come discover the ‘root cause’ of reading, spelling, and comprehension difficulties — why they occur and how to correct them. You will be surprised!

  • “I Am Me!”, Coming out of Autism - Saturday 1 p.m.

    While the cause and rise of autism is not understood, a new approach — created by an engineer who experienced autism on its lowest spectrum — creates a map toward truly and fully participating in life — just as he now does. This newest of approaches is successful at all levels of ASD. We will be discussing new ways of:
    1. Bringing one into full awareness, including accurate sensory perception
    2. Providing the missing pieces needed to understand self/the world/the workings of the mind/the workings of emotion, want, and responsibility
    3. Navigating social relationships
    Also discussed will be a new assistive technological device which has been bringing non-verbal persons on the spectrum more fully into our world with increased language and social participation, fewer stims and self injury, and less sensory misperception.


Kirk & Joely SmithKirk & Joely Smith

Kirk and Joely have been married for 27 years and have 11 children. Although they both were trained as public educators, they committed to homeschooling before their children were school age. Kirk pastored for twenty-five years and now serves as the Executive Director for Illinois Christian Home Educators. Joely has mentored many young women over three decades but now focuses on her six daughters in her own home.

Kirk & Joely's Workshops:

  • The Mighty Impact of the Family Meal Table - Kirk - Friday 10:30 a.m.

    The family table is a powerful tool in discipling our children. Learn the biblical richness and the practical ways to maximize its benefits. Bon appetite!

  • The Role of a Biblical Wife - Joely - Friday 1 p.m.

    What do Mrs. Olsen, a praying mantis, and Job’s wife have in common? Come explore a fresh perspective of what it means to be a wife as we compare different examples of women in scripture.

  • Large Families: Never a Dull Moment... Even When You Want One! - Kirk & Joely - Friday 10:30 a.m.

    Take a humorous and honest look with Kirk and Joely at the good, the bad, and the ugly of handling a large family.

  • The Art of Storytelling - Joely - Saturday 10:30 a.m.

    Storytelling is one of the oldest forms of communication in mankind’s history, employed often by Christ in His earthly ministry. Learn of its relevance in both the homeschool experience and in teaching life lessons as well.

  • Back to the Future - Kirk - Saturday 3 p.m.

    As the homeschool movement becomes more mainstream, commercialized and secularized, has the tail begun to wag the dog? The way forward is back... back to the centrality of Christ in a discipleship model of home education.


Hope WareHope Ware

I’m Hope, wife to Larry, Mom to four boys (age 23-12), and home educator for 19 years. We have raised four sons, debt free, paying cash for everything – from our cars to our home. We did it all on an income, which averaged 30% under the national median! I am passionate about teaching you how to live with a spirit of joy and abundance on a shoestring budget. I give you tips and encouragement at underthemedian.com

Hope's Workshops:

  • New to Homeschooling - Friday 10:30 a.m.

    Designed for new or first year homeschoolers, in this session will cover teaching and learning styles, Illinois law, methods of record keeping, how to keep up with housework and educate your children at the same time, and much more!

  • Free or Nearly Free Enrichment Activities - Friday 3 p.m.

    Music and art. They are known as enrichment and they are important in the education of your children. However, they can also be quite expensive! I'll give you tips, strategies, and ideas for exposing your kids to great art and music for free or nearly free!

  • Kids & Money - Saturday 3 p.m.

    Let’s talk about chores, allowances, cars, college and everything else related to raising kids on a budget! What do you pay for and what do you expect them to pay for? I explain why my kids don’t graduate from high school until they have handled our family finances for six months! From toddlers to young adults, I give you my best tips for raising happy, helpful kids, while teaching them fiscal responsibility.


James WareJames Ware

James is a homeschool graduate, college senior, and psychology major at Lincoln Christian University. After graduation in May, he plans to pursue ministry in the Anglican Church in North America. He lives in Peoria with his wonderful parents, three brothers, and overwhelming collection of books. In his spare time, James enjoys reading, writing about liturgy and prayer, and playing tabletop role-playing games.

James' Workshops:

  • Navigating the Information Jungle - Saturday 10:30 a.m.

    With the advent of the internet, we have more access to information than ever before. Within this deluge of data, there are a lot of bad sources. Misleading memes, fake news, half-baked speculation, and just plain lies abound. How can we sift through it all? In this seminar, we will explore the tools you need to evaluate information online, critique some memes, and locate authoritative sources. We will learn how to find the perfect source for that college essay and how to fact-check that dubious meme your uncle shared. The information jungle isn’t quite so perilous when you know where the safe trails are.

  • 10 Things I Wish I had Known Before I Started College - Saturday 1 p.m.

    College is a brave new world for the homeschooled students. Strange new experiences like syllabi, professors, and finals abound. It can all seem very overwhelming! Fret not. College is a wonderful place to learn and grow. In this seminar, college senior James W. Ware will share the lessons he learned as a student at a community college and a private Christian university. There will be tears and laughter, triumphs and failures. We’ll discover something about ourselves, something about God, and a learn few life lessons along the way.


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