Kara Anderson

Keynote: How Do You Want Your Homeschool to Feel

We are so busy as homeschoolers. Sometimes, it can feel a little like stepping on a treadmill and just holding on for the next 13-15 years. So have you stopped lately to consider how you want your homeschool to feel? Have you reflected on what called you to this vocation in the first place? If we want to create warm memories with our children, it’s so important to consider what our days together look like – because our days make up the years, and the years go by really, really fast. With practical tips and tons of heart, Kara will remind parents why we need to regularly pause, breathe and reset when we’re homeschooling.

You Can’t Do It All (and you shouldn’t even try)

This sounds kind of negative when you first hear it – I shouldn’t even try? Wait a minute, I hear you saying, these are my kids. My most precious gifts. And you’re saying that I shouldn’t even TRY to give them everything? But here’s the thing: Our goal is to keep homeschooling sustainable, right? We’re in this for years, not weeks. And I promise you, if we try to do it all, we will burn out. So in this session, we’ll talk about expectations for ourselves and our children, and how to prioritize when we want to give our kids all we can.

Kara S. Anderson is a writer, podcaster and speaker, with a BIG goal of helping homeschool parents find joy and magic in their days with their kids.

In 2013, she began blogging at what is now karasanderson.com. There she shares real-life encouragement from the trenches.

Along with Cait Curley, Kara started The Homeschool Sisters Podcast in 2017, and since that time, the show has reached more than 750,000 downloads around the world. 

Kara lives in Illinois with her husband and two awesome homeschooled children. She enjoys yoga, tea, chocolate, cats and books. Connect with her at karasanderson.com or on Instagram or Facebook.

You can also download her FREE homeschool ebook, 7 Secrets the Happiest Homeschool Moms Know here.

Jennifer Cook-DeRosa

Homeschooling for College Credit in North Carolina

High school can be the most productive years of your teen’s homeschooling career. Resourceful high school planning injects college credit
opportunities into your homeschool program, allowing you to shave time and money off of your teen’s degree. Over 95% of our members report earning college credit in high school.

Jennifer Cook-DeRosa is the founder and executive director of Homeschooling for College Credit. Each year, her organization helps thousands of homeschooling families learn how to inject college credit into their homeschool program. Jennifer’s newest book, Homeschooling for College Credit, debuted on Amazon.com as the #1 New Release in Homeschooling and received praise from the Homeschool Legal Defense Association as a “Recommended Resource” for high school families.

Over 95% of the 15,000 families in Jennifer’s groups will earn college credit in high school.

The U.S. Department of Education reports that about half of the students who start college will never finish. Jennifer’s experience as a former college administrator and practical approach to homeschooling is often called “Ramsey-esque” in reviews, redirecting parents to focus on their real assignment, which is not getting their kids into college- it’s getting them out.

Jennifer believes that parents make the best guidance counselors, even when they’ve never been to college. Her inspirational teaching style encourages parents to reconsider the wisdom of popular college propaganda and make the best decisions for their family.

Jennifer and her husband have been married for 25 years and have 4 sons, all homeschooled since Day 1. All of their sons have earned college credit in high school, and collectively her family has 9 degrees from 7 different colleges.

LeAnn Gregory

The Undeniable Benefits of Taking a Gap Year Between High School and College

According to the American Gap Association students who participate in a gap year are more likely than peers to attend and excel in college. Research shows that these students have a better sense of their own abilities, strengths, and areas of weakness and appreciate how a college “fits” these abilities. But, gap years are only effective if they are intentional, strategic and well planned. In this workshop you will learn about the benefits of a gap year, the elements of an effective gap year, the variety of gap year programs available and you will have the opportunity to ask questions.

LeAnn Gregory spent the last 25 years mentoring college students in the US and abroad with the campus ministry CRU. Through her work at Auburn University, Appalachian State University and The University of Zagreb, Croatia, she walked alongside hundreds of students as they made life changing decisions about their futures. She realized that many could have benefited from making more informed decisions before investing thousands of dollars in a college education.
 As a result, she is passionate about helping students prepare for their next steps after high school – whether it be college, a gap year, entrepreneurship, or other pursuits. Her 5 Major Steps curriculum and workshops encourage students to investigate their strengths, interests and aptitudes so that they can create a career plan based on broad exploration and informed choice.

Two of LeAnn’s 3 teenagers have participated in gap year programs, with the third planning to do a gap year when she graduates from high school.  In 2018 she helped CRU launch their 1st gap year program which gives students training and ministry experience on 3 continents. She has counseled many families about gap year options and wrote The Gap Year Guide to help even more families understand the benefits of faith-based gap year programs.  

LeAnn is available to speak at conferences and events on the topics of high school planning, career guidance, and the benefits of faith-based gap year programs for teens. You can learn more about her 5 Major Steps Curriculum at www.5majorsteps.com and order The Gap Year Guide on
Amazon in both Kindle and print versions. Follow her on Facebook @5MajorSteps

Laina Yeisley

Getting Started Homeschooling in North Carolina

North Carolina is a very homeschool-friendly state! We have a wide range of freedom, but to be successful, and stay legal, you must know exactly what your boundaries are. In this session, you’ll be given the 3 keys to running your homeschool within the law of North Carolina so that you can put any worries of those requirements aside and focus on the most important parts of your homeschool: your children!

Laina Yeisley and her husband are natives of Pennsylvania who have called the Triangle home since 2010. When their third child was born 10 years after the second, they realized that within a few years they would be homeschooling a senior, a sophomore and a Kindergartener!  

Laina knew she wanted to do more to contribute to the amazing homeschooling community that her youngest would be growing into.

She founded The Triangle Homeschool Resource Center, a website with services aimed at helping homeschoolers in the Raleigh-Durham area of North Carolina achieve their homeschooling goals. There she hosts the Triangle Homeschool Resource Village, a combination of online and meetup programs aimed at the personal and professional development of homeschool parents.

Laina is passionate about helping families who have a heart for homeschooling focus on the long-term vision for their children. She wants to help them feel comfortable with the laws and resources in North Carolina so that within the wide freedoms they have, they can make choices with an eye toward those things that benefit their children for life, not just for a test. Her motto is “Don’t give up until you’ve tried it all – and there’s always more to try!”

Vanessa Wright

Middle School Mania: How we’re tackling this homeschool season

Does homeschooling middle school seem daunting? Are you worried about teaching upper level subjects or keeping your older kids engaged? Are hormones taking over your home and homeschool and you’re running out of chocolate daily?

Welcome to middle school homeschool. Let’s take a deep breath and unpack our worries and figure out how to make this season of homeschooling tweens and teens one that works for your kids AND you. One that builds relationships (both in the family and with friends), allows kids to explore their interests, gain independence and get connected.

Vanessa will share how she’s tackling middle school with THREE middle schoolers and what’s working and what’s not. She will keep it real and keep it fun. Bring your questions and concerns and let’s chat!

Vanessa is a homeschooling mama to three inquisitive, creative and often loud kids ages 14, 12, and 12. She is married to Jason and they live in the Raleigh, North Carolina area. Vanessa is a self-professed eco-beauty junkie, avid reader, yogi-wannabe, tea drinker and chocolate snob. You can find her on Instagram at @Wrightathomeschool and on Facebook at Wright at Homeschool where she’s keeping the REAL in homeschool reality.

Jennifer Knick

Delight Little Learners with a Play-Based Education

Do you ever worry that your little ones spend too much time playing and not enough time ‘doing school’?  Let me put your mind at ease!  Learning through play is a fantastic option for preschool and elementary children.  I will share all of the educational benefits of play while also offering practical tips for combining play and academic subjects.  

Jennifer was a classroom kindergarten teacher before her two children were born.  She originally intended to return to the classroom, but fell in love with homeschooling instead.   She embraces unit studies, good books, hands-on activities, and field trips in her homeschool.  She shares all of her best ideas on her website, Organized Homeschooler, and on Instagram.  

Mary Wilson

Mary will be joining us for the Q & A session.

Mary is a writer and mother to four kids ranging from elementary to high school. She believes that creativity, laughter, and fun are the backbone to engaging and inspiring homeschools. You can find encouragement and tips on her blog, Maryhannahwilson.com (formerly Notbefore7.com). She is an enneagram 7 and an extrovert. She enjoys traveling, tea (iced or hot), good conversations, and books. You can connect with her on Instagram and Facebook.

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