Breakout Sessions

Sustainable Homeschooling

We all begin our homeschool journey with high hopes, but it often doesn’t take long before we realize that some things simply are not working. We find ourselves and/or our kids in burnout mode. At the same time, we are confronted with the fear that we may somehow fail our children if we let go of something. Learn the importance of creating a sustainable homeschooling life unique to your family, bring joy back into your homeschool days, and help equip you to go the distance! 

Durenda Wilson – With more than twenty-seven years of home education experience, Durenda Wilson is a trusted voice and resource at homeschooling conventions and on The Durenda Wilson Podcast.

Durenda and her husband, Darryl, have eight kids (7 graduated) and nine grandchildren. As an author, speaker, and podcaster her greatest joy is reminding parents how doable and effective homeschooling is and that they are, in fact, qualified for the job! Her books include The Four Hour School Day, The Unhurried Homeschooler, and Unhurried Grace for a Mom’s Heart.

The F.E.A.S.T. Charlotte Mason Method

“We spread an abundant and delicate feast in the programmes and each small guest assimilates what he can.” (Charlotte Mason, Vol. 6, p. 183) Charlotte Mason states that a child’s mind must be fed a consistent diet of living ideas in order to grow intellectually in the same way a child’s body needs nourishing food for proper development.  She proposed that the role of the educator is to consistently prepare this abundant and rich feast.  In this 101 workshop, you will be given an overview of Charlotte Mason’s foundational principles, leaving you inspired to create an educational feast for your family.  Come whet your appetite and see how this Victorian educational pioneer can transform your home school!

Julie Ross – Creator of A Gentle Feast and Homeschooling mom of 5. Julie H Ross believes that every child needs a feast of living ideas to grow intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually. As a former school teacher, Curriculum Coordinator, and Assistant Director of a Homeschool Academy, Julie Ross has worked with hundreds of students and parents over the past 20 years. She has also been homeschooling her own five children for over fifteen years. Julie Ross developed the Charlotte Mason curriculum, A Gentle Feast, to provide parents with the tools and resources needed to provide a rich and abundant educational feast full of books, beauty, and Biblical truth. Julie lives in South Carolina with her five children. When she’s not busy homeschooling, reading children’s books, hiking, or writing curriculum, you can find her taking a nap.

Charlotte Mason and Unschooling

Charlotte Mason said that education is “an atmosphere, a discipline, a life.” Unschooling pioneer John Holt claimed that education was most effective when it was simply thought of as the child’s life and atmosphere. Can you embrace child-led, organic learning while also embracing the CM call to living books, nature, art, and narration?  Yes, you absolutely can. Learn the connection between the Charlotte Mason philosophy and unschooling and how to have the best of both worlds in your home. 

Exploring Nature

Children need fresh air. They need to run and play. They need to experience the natural world. And so do we. Learn why we need to explore nature with our children as a part of their education, as well as their emotional and mental health. Learn how to get out and explore every single week. 

Amy Hughes – Amy is a writer and speaker from the central coast. She has 9 kids and has been homeschooling/unschooling for 16 years. Amy is a contributor to Wild + Free, a homeschooling and parent coach, and the queen of awkward silences. 

Creating an Effective Learning Environment at Home

This breakout session is on creating an effective learning environment at home for homeschool parents. We will discuss some tips and strategies to help you establish a conducive learning environment for your children. We will touch on Pedagogy, lesson planning, establishing a daily schedule and boundaries as well and hands-on and experiential learning (field trips and vendors) and flexibility

Nathan Herzog, Ph.D., Dean of School of Education at Jessup University – Nathan believes that the purpose of education should be to equip graduates to reach with compassion, teach with excellence, and learn for a lifetime. He has expertise in Faculty Development and Educational Leadership; Faculty Satisfaction and Retention; Math and Science Curriculum and Instruction; Multicultural Education and Structurally Designed Academic Instruction in English (SDAIE); State of California Teaching Performance Assessments; State and Federal laws pertaining to Education; and Character and Leadership Development for Teachers.

Defeating the Enemies of an Encouraging Family

Whether times are difficult or things are strong, we can all learn how to grow in encouragement. And there are always enemies to your encouragement. Defeat the enemies that are causing you and your family to become discouraged and disconnected. 

James Rogers – James is a graduate of Jessup University and an Associate Marriage and Family Therapist who has worked with youth and families for the last 10 years in a variety of settings, ranging from schools, community organizations, and mental health services. James is passionate about his work with families and is ready to come alongside you as you take your next step toward healing and growth.
       Through working with resilient people from all walks of life James has developed a greater appreciation for everyone’s therapeutic journey. Whether your teen is experiencing big changes in their lives such as divorce, major transitions or emotional and behavioral difficulties, James has the tools and skills to help them thrive. In addition, he also works with parents on improving parenting and decreasing conflict to stay connected.

Teaching Homesteading for Lifelong Self-Sufficiency

With so many people embracing a self-sufficient lifestyle, we are looking for ways to include our children. Join Kody Hanner in an informative and inspiring talk on how to teach your kids to homestead for lifelong self-sufficiency. Don’t miss out on ways to approach every hands-on learning opportunity through the scientific method using advanced problem-solving skills.

Kody Hanner – Kody is a wife of a veteran, mother of 6, homesteader, and homeschooler, that has devoted her life to agriculture and embracing rural living. As a Northern California native and Chico State Alum, she is excited to be a part of NCHC 2023 event.

Let’s Read!

Understanding the Five Key Elements Necessary to Effectively Teach Young Children How to Read (TK – 2nd Grade)

Join master educator, Chandra, as she shares a simplified version of five key components necessary to effectively teach young children to read. No matter what curriculum you choose we’ll explore, discuss and learn about what matters and what works in early literacy instruction. Learn researched-based practices in teaching young children how to read and activities you can incorporate at home to accelerate reading proficiency.

Chandra Rounghton – Luminous Minds was founded and created by (Mr. Chandra), a passionate educator/teacher and life long learner for over 24 years. Ms. Chandra has been inspiring, educating, and effectively teaching children throughout her entire career. Many know her as being a change agent and advocate for what is best for kids. Early on, she began her career as a classroom teacher, proudly serving Title 1 schools, consistently supporting the notion that in education one size doesn’t fit all, promoting differentiated instruction based on her students’ individual needs. Chandra was the first teacher to show up to work, and the last one to leave. Her scholars consistently produced some of the highest academic scores in the district/schools that she served. More importantly, her students adored her. She made learning fun and seemed to understand that all children learn in unique and different ways.

Chandra became a lifelong learner herself, fascinated by the neuroscience and research on how the human brain learns. Using this knowledge throughout her career, she evolved into a variety of leadership, coaching, and curriculum development positions centered around best practices to teach children.

Chandra graduated from Fresno State with a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership and Administration. She continues to lead teacher development training’s and parent workshop’s to help other educators and parents improve their practice and learn about evidence based practices incorporating the elements and findings in the Science of Reading. She has worked tirelessly to close the existing achievement gaps in our educational system, all for the benefit of ensuring all children receive the high-quality education they deserve.

All senses: engage! 

Let’s discover what happens when learning escapes the boundaries of “school time,” and becomes part of how we interact with the world and each other. We’ll explore a not-so-typical Typical Day, bringing math to life in stories and games, and how rest and play are essential components of a lifelong love of learning. 

Shannon Herrick – is an artist and adventurer in southern VT, holding a BA in Photography from Cal State East Bay. She has enjoyed teaching photography and fiber arts to students from ages 5-85 over the last two decades. Her most rewarding and magical time in education, however, was probably her son’s early learning when they homeschooled with the Oak Meadow curriculum, and it’s what drew her to become part of the OM admissions team in 2018. When she’s not at Oak Meadow supporting families in finding the best fit to meet their homeschooling goals, you can probably find her communing with her pack of loveable, ornery goats, or finding her way through the woods on skis, wheels, or her own two feet. 

What does it mean to be “Gentle AND Classical?”

Have you felt trapped between educational worlds, “academically homeless” and somehow judged for not being completely devoted to one paradigm? Maybe feeling like you aren’t “Charlotte Mason enough” or “classical enough…” You aren’t alone my friend! There are more eclectic homeschooling moms than you might think – those who love to “taste and see” all there is available so they can curate a genuinely unique and personalized home education environment for their family. Come see how one homeschool mom of four brings the best that Charlotte Mason, classical education, and unit studies have to offer together for her own family.  

Erin Cox – Erin is a joy-chasing homeschool mama to 4 babies, ages young adult down to elementary. She married her grade-school sweetheart over 20 years ago, and lives to love him well. Erin writes about homeschooling, taking hard moments captive for Christ, and loving her family well at Life, Abundantly. She is the author of multiple early-years Charlotte Mason and Classically-inspired programs at The Gentle + Classical Press and is the Founding Editor in Chief of On Mission, a quarterly culture-focused geography magazine. You can find her on Instagram @lifeabundantly_blog and @gentle_classical_press

Let’s Get Loopy: Morning Time

Do you have a “When we have time, we will get to that” pile? In all honesty, do you ever really have time to get that pile? It is time to finally get to that pile without overloading your already busy schedule! Adding a few loops to your schedule will make you loopy with joy!

In this session, Carrie shares how to use a looping schedule to easily get to that “When we have time” pile. Using a loop schedule will help you finally include in your studies the beautiful things that feed your child’s mind and soul, whatever those subjects might be.

Homeschool Hacks & Hindsight

If given the opportunity, Carrie would sit down with her younger self and give her some advice! In this session, Carrie shares several homeschool hacks and four important lessons she has learned after 20+ years of homeschooling. She shares advice and hindsight that she wished she would have known before starting this homeschooling journey and what she has learned along the way.

Carrie De Francisco – Carrie is the host of the popular podcast Coffee with Carrie Homeschool help, speaker, author of several books including, Just Breathe (and Take a Sip of Coffee): Homeschool in Step with God, and a Wild + Free contributor.

Carrie believes if God is calling you to homeschool, you can do it! Through her consulting services, books and podcast she helps moms to simplify their homeschooling one step at a time, one day at a time, and one cup of coffee at a time. After 20 years of homeschooling, Carrie appreciates the gift of laughter (and her quiet time with her Bible and favorite cup of coffee).

Originally from New Orleans, Louisiana, Carrie now lives and learns in Southern California with her husband, her two homeschool graduates, and their introverted dog. Connect with Carrier at or by email at

“Truth, beauty, and the trivium”

“God has woven truth, beauty, and goodness into every subject. As parents, we have the privilege of coming alongside our children and drawing out those qualities and discovering more about our Creator together. The ancient model of classical education has made a comeback and is bringing with it a new wave of home educators yearning to find a better way to come alongside their children in their natural stage of learning. Classical education is a timeless way of immersing ourselves in the arts of learning and walking through the stages of the trivium. Come learn more about classical education, the trivium, and how you can implement this in your home or community.

Amanda Weaver – Amanda has been educating her four children classically, with a side of Charlotte Mason’s philosophies, for over six years. She has found richness and beauty in learning as a family, and during each season grows alongside them. She has a passion for Jesus, her family, spending time in God’s creation, and sharing her love of home education with others.  

Career Exploration for Students: A Parent’s Roadmap

Will your kids be prepared for life after graduation? As a parent educator, you are their career guidance navigator. Students of all ages, including littles and middles, can engage in proactive (and fun!) career exploration that begins early and is seamlessly embedded in any academic curriculum. In this presentation, career coach Dr. Kerin Groves discusses common but avoidable mistakes in future planning, and provides attendees with positive and practical tips, dos and don’ts, savvy strategies, and relevant resources. Parent educators will learn to identify and build on a student’s natural gifts, think beyond high school, and intentionally weave career guidance into K-12 education and everyday home life.

Kerin Groves, PhD – Kerin is a career coach, consultant, and educator. Her coaching clients include young adults, entrepreneurs, small business owners, mid-life career changers, and restless wanderers. She teaches career development classes and workshops and is the author of “Career Exploration for K-12 Students.” 

Ideas are Genius

This question is key to cultivating genius: ” What’s your big Idea?” When students care about their ideas, then the pencil will reflect this fact. The act of writing will not be boring. The simple truth is that, once a student develops the confidence to write an idea, the work of writing becomes an intrinsically valuable exercise.

Picture coming soon..

Clare Bonn – Clare graduated from Cal State Long Beach with a BA in Sociology. She has worked for 22 years with school age children in childcare, recreational classes and classroom learning. She taught at Waterhouse Guild for 3 years utilizing Blackbird & Company materials. She believes every child’s voice should be heard, unique gifts valued, and learning differences embraced. Clare has three differently-abled children who all learned to tap into their giftedness through writing using Blackbird & Company curriculum. You can find Clare most of the time in her garden or reading a good book.

Homeschool High school YES YOU CAN!

High school is different, but very doable!  We’ll talk about the basics you need to know, including setting graduation requirements, designing a plan that’s right for your student, naming your courses and creating descriptions, and determining the number of credits to award.  Come be encouraged that you can do it!

Tips and Tricks for Homeschooling on a Budget

We often get asked if it’s possible to privately homeschool in California, with it being such an expensive state. The short answer is “Yes!” We’ll go over some ideas and helps of how to make home educating work, even on a small budget. We’ll also touch on some strategies for talking to your students about money and training them to handle it wisely.

Dena Bless – Dena has been married for over 25 years and homeschooled both their daughters all the way through high school graduation. Dena hopes that her experiences can be used to encourage and support others. When her first daughter was born, people began immediately asking if they were going to homeschool. Dena likes to say that her reply was always, “Well, it depends on who you ask. My husband or the one who will have to actually do it!” Before long, however, they were both convinced that this was the plan God had for their family, and what started as a year-to-year commitment soon became a lifelong journey. Now, their older daughter has graduated from college and their younger one is a junior at Grand Canyon University. In addition, Dena serves as the Events Manager with CHEA (Christian Home Educators Association) of CA; she and her husband, Ed, are the Bay Area/Nor Cal RABs; and Dena is the leader of the PSP she belonged to for several years as the previous leader recently retired. Having a heart for
families and being sold out to the benefits of private, Christian home education, she is excited to support and mentor others in any way possible.

Homeschool with a Charter

Charter Schools offer many opportunities for families of TK-High School students who want to homeschool.  Learn about the benefits of homeschooling with these schools and how to weigh the pros and cons of joining these types of programs.

Sara Greco – Sara is a homeschool parent of six kids. She and her husband have been married for almost 19 years and have graduated one student so far. All of their kids have experienced a variety of schooling methods over the years, from local neighborhood schools to private homeschooling. Sara has worked for a homeschool charter school for the past six years and is very grateful for the many options available to students and families in the greater Sacramento area. Education is not a one size fits all system and is happy to help families brainstorm and find a good fit for their students’ needs.

Understanding the Benefits of Arts for the Student:

Drawing, Painting, Clay Modeling, Recorder Flute, and Singing

This breakout session will explore the benefits of various artistic forms that can be woven into any homeschooling curriculum. Participants will hear about the “why-when-and-how” to best include these artistic processes in the daily and/or weekly rhythms for the student. Each artistic process has its own unique benefits for the student (and for the parent-teacher!); so the more we understand these, the more we can find the best ways to incorporate any or all of them. This session is presented by

Rev Bowen – Before co-founding Homeschool Learning Solutions, Rev worked as a private school teacher for 22 years, teaching students in grades 1-8, as well as leading workshops and classes for adult parents and teachers.

Starting Your Homeschool Year on Strong Footing

Betsy Pierce, wife of FPM’s Nathan, is a seasoned homeschooling mother of eight children. Come and listen as she shares her valuable insights into getting your school year started off right. She will provide practical help on record keeping, organizing your school year, and even ideas for teaching older and younger students in the same house with a baby underfoot. Whether you are brand new to home education or have been on the journey for many years, Betsy will provide you with tried and true tips for laying a strong foundation that you can build on throughout your school year.

Betsy Pierce – Betsy is a second generation homeschool mom. She shares eight children with her husband, Nathan, all of whom they have homeschooled since birth. They met while at The Master’s College and moved to Placer County in 2004 when Nathan began his work at Family Protection Ministries. The whole family works toward the calling of protecting homeschooling. Betsy has been involved in many levels and types of leadership in the homeschool community over the years.

Private Home Education

(How It Works And What We Must Do To Keep Our Freedoms)

In this session you will gain a foundational understanding of the legalities of private home education. What is a private school affidavit and how do you file it?  What is the difference between public and private education programs, anyway? He will provide the pros and cons of each to help you make an informed decision about which is best for your family. Nathan will also let you know about some of the ways you can advocate to keep the homeschool freedoms we enjoy in California including writing a letter, making phone calls or scheduling a personal face-to-face meeting with your legislator. This session will also include an update on current legislation that may impact parental rights and private home education.

Nathan Pierce – Nathan began working at Family Protection Ministries (FPM) in 2002 and currently serves as the Executive Director. With over 20 years of experience, Nathan screens the hundreds of bills that pour into the California Legislature each year, closely watching for any that could harm our God-given freedoms as parents, and alerting parents to contact their legislators. He works behind the scenes at the State Capitol, meeting with legislators and staff as well as testifying in committees on behalf of homeschoolers. Nathan values the importance of evaluating all things from a biblical worldview and works every day to maintain that freedom. Nathan was homeschooled through high school and received a B.A. in Political Studies from The Master’s College. Nathan and his wife Betsy were married in 2004 and homeschool their 8 children.

Let’s play!

As homeschooling parents, our lives are full and many of us have lost our ability to pause, and just play, especially with our children. We arrange playdates and activities, but often what our children want is our time and simply to engage with us.  Play is not only vital to our relationship with our kids, it is an important ingredient in the learning process. Studies show that play promotes healthy brain development and can even be an effective tool in minimizing poor behavior.  This session will provide context for the importance of play and offer some simple ways to incorporate play into your school day.

Amy Sachs – Amy never dreamt she’d be a homeschool mom, at least not until the 2010 housing market crash that took her husband’s job, their home, forced them to downsize, and meant a change in schools for their daughter. It was then that the idea of homeschooling became a compelling option. She teamed up with her husband and took the leap, becoming her daughter’s primary educator, and fully invested in their local homeschooling community, as both a participant and a teacher. Today, Amy is so thankful for that market crash that changed the trajectory of her family’s life and has been teaching homeschoolers every since.  

Amy is co-founder and teacher at The Cottage, a homeschool enrichment program in Rocklin, for ages 4 to 12 years. She has a degree in Child Development from California State University, Sacramento, and has been teaching young children for over 30 years. She is crazy about kids and passionate about their healthy social and emotional growth!

Karen Murray – Karen loves to learn and discover new things! She has been involved in education in various ways throughout her adult life. She has taught students in private schools from preschool through high school, as well as a homeschool mom of two sons. While her sons were growing up and being homeschooled, she moved into part-time involvement in church preschool programs. With her sons now productive adults, she is enjoying being back in the classroom teaching homeschool enrichment classes to TK aged students. 

Gameschooling – Using Games to Learn

Join SLAMBANGO! Math as we explore the idea of gameschooling and how games can be used to engage and excite kids in all areas of education. 

Norm and David Frankenberger – Norm and David are a father and son team who love math. Norm is a retired elementary school teacher and a current adult math teacher. David is the Director of Operational Analytics at a local health system. In the late 90’s, Norm started making a math game called SLAMBANGO! to help his students master their math facts. As he shared the game with his students and fellow teachers, the feedback was always overwhelmingly positive. Over the years, Norm made (by hand) and distributed 1000’s of these games. In early 2022, David and Norm launched their first two professionally printed decks of SLAMBANGO! and are excited to share them with the homeschooling community. 

Teaching Outside the Traditional BOX
Incorporating wholistic hands-on instruction

Whether you are new to homeschooling or a veteran, you as the parent know your child the best! Learn tools to guide your child’s interests and strengths to help them blossom into a more intentional and motivated learner. Join Hands in Motion for an informative talk on how to teach to your child’s strengths. We will share practical ways to utilize all of their senses, (tactile, visual, auditory, and emotional) and impart learning on a more personal and tangible level. For the older student, get concrete ways to incorporate various life skills and trades in order to hone in on your child’s interests and help direct them in the best educational path forward; whether that is going to a 4-year College, Jr. College, Skill/Trade School, or directly into the work force.

Chris and Jennifier Androkitis – As a married couple of over 30 years, we’ve always felt led towards teaching children, even before being blessed with four boys of our own. We finished college together focusing on teaching. As our boys reached school age, we faced the decision of whether to enroll our children in public school or to homeschool. After experiencing public education, through a college credential program, our decision was simple. But where and how to start was difficult. Desiring to have community for our family and to come along side other families in their educational journey, we set out to be a resource and a place of encouragement for not only the student, but for the family altogether. Hands in Motion was born. We have been involved in the homeschool community going on 20 years. Our focus is to empower, encourage, and strengthen parents and to provide interactive, hands-on academic and enrichment opportunities that encourage students to learn outside of the traditional box of learning and to recognize their full potential.

Purchase with a Purpose 

Corporate America is Actively working to destroy the values we hold dear. The values that have made our country so special.  From vaxx mandates, cancel culture, censoring speech, indoctrination, social justice movement, paying for employees to leave their state to have an abortion….the list goes on. So what can 10s of millions of Americans do to make a difference?  Stop giving them our money. If a business does not respect your values and your God given freedoms, it’s time you take your money elsewhere.  PublicSq. is ready to equip you and show you how to “vote with your wallet.” We want to help the local businesses that are Pro-Life, Pro-Family, & Pro-Freedom in your community so they not only feel supported but they thrive!

Christina Werner – Christina was born and raised in Sonoma County, is the proud wife & mother of 2, loves her family & community, lives by Faith, and is fighting back against big tech, woke corporations and cancel-culture with an App and Website called  Public Square started where she lives now, in San Diego, CA and is now the Nation’s largest list of Patriotic businesses our country has ever seen. The app aims to connect Freedom-loving Americans with the like-minded businesses in their community.  She believes to change our country, we need to start in our own backyard.

Homeschooling in the Gaps

“Life” is God’s number one curriculum for both children and adults. In that life, formal education is part of the agenda. But sometimes life can get bumpy. Juggling schedules, new little additions, work schedules all add to the challenges to home education. In addition, unexpected tragedies and heavier difficulties can happen in any family without notice. How do we keep on keeping on when both the small and larger issues of life cause us to feel overwhelmed? This class will discuss how to weave the curriculum of life into homeschooling. How does a working mom homeschool? What about a post-
partum depression or even the death of a spouse. The speaker has dealt with these and other issues and can testify to how God has “worked in the gaps” and the hopeful promise in Romans that, “all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose,” will fill in the gaps in all our circumstances.

Margie Hartung – Margie began her homeschooling mom career in 1984. She has homeschooled all of her five children and is now lending a hand with 15 beautiful grandchildren. She remembers deciding to homeschool when her first daughter drew a coloring page and she Knew at that moment she wanted to be a part of it all. At that time there was not a lot of help for parents and when the charters began in 1994 she was one of the first board members of Horizon Charter School. Charters have come a long way since then and now there are a plethora of both private homeschoolers and Charter school students creating an amazing generation of leaders. In addition to homeschooling, Margie Hartung is the Artistic Director of the Placer County Youth Orchestras and owner of 5 th Street Academy (Margie Hartung Music). 5 th Street teaches many classes in the area including Band, Strings, Theater, Musical History Drama, Choir, Dance, General Music, Art, Guitar, Rock Band, Learning through Music for Young Children, piano classes, history and private music lessons. For more information: http://www.5thstreetacademy or

Raising a BRAVE Generation 

This workshop will equip parents to raise their children to be BRAVE. That is to be Bold, Reliable, Above and Beyond, Vigilant, and Excellent.

Speaker and Picture coming soon..

More Breakout Sessions will be announced soon!


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