Thank you all for a wonderful Conference. See you again next year!



2024 Homeschool Conference Speakers

Bonnie Landry

Bonnie Landry

Bonnie Landry is a Catholic convert and mama who lives in the little hamlet of Cobble Hill on Vancouver Island, British Columbia with her family. She and her husband Albert have been raising and homeschooling their seven children since 1987. They’ve reached the age of their children marrying and grandbabies coming in quick succession. Bonnie hosts the podcast Make Joy Normal: cozy homeschooling, where she covers a range of topics that lend themselves to her mission: JOY.


Living simply, discipline with dignity, fostering community, seeking to be present and encouraging families are all central to her life.


Years of homeschoolers confirms for Bonnie that strong relationships are fundamental for success in education. And the rest of life. Life is kind of a bust if you can’t get along with people.


She strives to make joy normal.



9:00am: Opening Keynote:

Why Education Matters

If the most important work we do as parents is to raise good and thoughtful children, then why does education matter at all? Education matters because to truly reach our full potential as humans we need to expand the mind to its full capacity. Education's proper place is to develop people to their fullest potential without worshipping education. The primary goals we want to achieve to in education is to aid our children in critical thinking, problem solving, and expressing ourselves with clarity and charity.



10:30am:

Shortcuts to Joy: homeschooling the way you thought it would be

We all learn best in an environment of joy. Joy is a means to reach our full potential. Our relationships (with God, self, family and friends) have the biggest impact on our experience of joy. How do we find joy and keep joy? By employing these two tools: simplicity and surrender.The "tyranny of the urgent" should not be the state in which our families run. In our spiritual life and our family life, simplicity and surrender allow us greater capacity for joy.



1:00pm:

Homeschooling Simplified: what matters most

Parents are primarily concerned with what kind of people they will raise. People of integrity, faith, honesty, empathy, diligence. It’s easy to lose sit of the big picture. Recognize and avoid the pitfalls that create discord, clutter and chaos (emotional, spiritual and temporal) into a more joyful, ordered environment. How do we create an environment that helps us to homeschool and discipline our children more effectively. How do we get it done, and make it meaningful?



2:30PM

Families Become What You Are: intimate communities of life and love

Defining "what really matters" in family life helps us stay focused on the big reasons we teach our own. Parents are primarily concerned with what kind of people they will raise. People of integrity, faith, honesty, empathy, diligence. What can we do, as parents, to mitigate the stress we experience when we fail, and how do we grow as people so that we can live more resilient lives?



Seminars

Homeschooling 101

Stress free homeschooling - Getting it all done and enjoying it , Robin Gilman

Drawing from her experience of homeschooling ten children, Robin Gilman will encourage parents in their own homeschooling journey. She will provide practical tips to help in the daily walking out of this glorious, but sometimes challenging, task. Not only can we homeschool successfully, we can also enjoy it! Robin will address common stresses, practical running of our households, the academic aspect,scheduling, cultivating a spirit of thankfulness, and so much more.
Robin has been married to Bible teacher Alan Gilman for 44 years. They have home educated their ten children who are now adults who love God and others and have contributed to society in a variety of ways, such as missionary, director of anti-porn ministry, pastor, business owner, and many other interesting jobs/ministries. Robin loves encouraging moms to “not grow weary in well doing, testifying that this calling is extremely worth it!  She is the author of "Stress-Free Homeschooling: Getting It All Done and Enjoying It" , as well as two picture books: “Daniel’s Dilemma”, and “On the Way to the Park”, and a children’s novel, “Two Sisters.”


Preparing for and Navigating Transition , Donna Harper-Hinton

Life is a series of transitions from one age, stage or place to the next. Transitions are challenging whether moving, saying goodbye to old friends, making new friends, moving from one learning environment to another, or through the ages and stages of schooling or even navigating through grieving the loss of a loved one or pet. How can parent educators model, support and empower their children in preparing for and navigating through some of the transitions that may be a part of their journey to successful adulthood?
Donna Harper-Hinton is a Counsellor and Coach. She was an International Educator and School Counsellor for 25 years, is married to an educator and the mother of 2 young adults. Donna is a Canadian Certified Counsellor (CCPA) and a Certified Solution Focused Therapist (CCPC Global). She holds a Bachelor of Religious Education, a PG Cert in Elementary Education and a M.Ed in Counselling. She is a certified Advanced Solution-Focused Coach with IASTI, and is certified with the SFU in the SFBT Diamond 3 and Solution Building Couples Therapy 3. You can contact her through hopeimagined.ca




General Homeschooling

Self Regulation and Emotional Regulation , Donna Harper-Hinton

Self regulation in a complex world of challenges and often intense emotions is not easy. How can parent educators model, support and empower their children in identifying their emotions, and the testing of their comfort zones along with building their internal resources, strategies and tools to maintain self regulation and emotional regulation, whatever their setting or circumstances? How can we teach our children to move from a state of dysregulation to a place where they can be the version of themselves they want to be and can navigate their world successfully and do their best learning?
Donna Harper-Hinton is a Counsellor and Coach. She was an International Educator and School Counsellor for 25 years, is married to an educator and the mother of 2 young adults. Donna is a Canadian Certified Counsellor (CCPA) and a Certified Solution Focused Therapist (CCPC Global). She holds a Bachelor of Religious Education, a PG Cert in Elementary Education and a M.Ed in Counselling. She is a certified Advanced Solution-Focused Coach with IASTI, and is certified with the SFU in the SFBT Diamond 3 and Solution Building Couples Therapy 3. You can contact her through hopeimagined.ca



Protecting your homeschool, plus Q&A , Ivan Cyr - HSLDA

Get equipped with crucial knowledge and become aware of some of the challenges homeschooling families face so you can protect your family from interfering agencies and individuals. With a focus on prevention and early intervention, HSLDA Canada has the legal experience and expertise to equip you to protect your family’s home education choice. You’ll learn about the two broad categories that concern homeschooling families and the prevention tips to avoid or deal with these legal challenges.
Ivan Cyr and his wife Angela, homeschooled their two children who went on to earn respective University degrees and are living fruitfully as God's children. Homeschooling was God's calling in raising their children. With that calling came a passion to be involved in their homeschooling culture in Alberta and then for the last 19 years, in Quebec. Ivan sits on the board for HSLDA Canada and is an Air Canada pilot and a business owner. With a new calling to encourage and equip future generations of homeschooling, Ivan and Angela remain present and active in the homeschooling culture of Canada.



HSLDA UPDATE (15 minutes)

A Canada-wide look at developments and how they may affect you.



Ottawa as you homeschool classroom , Christine Pollex

Did you know that Ottawa has a UNESCO world heritage site, 35 major festivals, 14 national museums, an underground Cold War-era bunker, a Whispering Wall behind the Parliament Buildings, over 980 Km of multi-use pathways, a bog (or two or three), sand dunes, Canadian Shield Rock plus St. Lawrence Lowlands? With two major universities and several colleges, all falling over each other to educate people of all ages in almost every subject, there is no need to keep the "home" in "homeschool" (unless you want to). In this seminar, we'll share ideas and gems and novel educational experiences you may not have known existed.
Christine Pollex is a bibliophile and retired homeschool mom of three kids. She loves exploring Ottawa - mostly by hiking and skiing; and especially spending time, usually over a cup of tea, with friends.



Creating Group Learning Experiences/ co-ops , Christine Pollex

To organize or not to organize? To be involved or to take a quiet pass? That is the question. Whether it is nobler in the mind to over-schedule our kids or to keep them always at home. Join Christine Pollex for a potentially riotous discussion on the how-to's (and some how-not's), the why's and the wherefore's (and some why not's) on organizing homeschool activities, joining homeschool activities, ignoring homeschool activities; as well as sharing some insights and opinions on finding your family's own unique balance.



Choosing Curriculum , Cori Dean

Choosing curriculum doesn’t start with the right books but with acknowledging your family’s uniqueness. Until you know what you are working towards how can you choose the right tools? When you are ready to assemble your tool kit, you will need both standard tools that are similar to everyone else’s (language arts and math) and those that meet the needs of your particular situation. (Gaelic anyone?) There is no magic bullet for getting homeschool right but there is a way to optimize the plan for your family. This workshop will be full of both big picture planning and ground level preparation tools for getting the right resources to serve you as you travel along on your homeschooling journey.
Cori Dean is an author and speaker and the owner of The Learning House and Maple Tree Publications. With over 20 years of homeschool experience, she has traveled the country bringing support and encouragement to thousands of homeschoolers. Having graduated three daughters, she and her husband Mark continue to learn along side of their youngest at home and in their learning nook at their store in Bradford, Ontario. Cori loves long days of bicycling as well as camping and boating with the family and thinks there’s nothing better than a good book, some dark chocolate, and a cup of tea.



Trivium in the age of Chat GPT - , Todd Anderson

This seminar explores the Grammar, Logic, and Rhetoric stages of learning in the context of a world trained up by artificial intelligence and algorithms. Do the old methods of learning offer us any hope of competing? As homeschoolers, what are the essential pedagogical strategies of reading that will prepare our children for a world mediated by AI?
Todd Anderson is Principal of Augustine College, serves on the board of Elders at Calvary Baptist church, and lives with his wife Heather and their six homeschooled children in Kanata.



Elementary

Keeping your sanity , Robin Gilman

While Robin considers homeschooling to be one of the most worthwhile things one can do, she knows that it’s not always an immaculate house filled with classical music in the background and children all sitting in a row eagerly acquiring knowledge. Real life is a whole lot more chaotic than that! She will share how to keep your sanity by providing practical tips, including making priorities and essential foundations for your personal, marital, family, and educational life.
Robin has been married to Bible teacher Alan Gilman for 44 years. They have home educated their ten children who are now adults who love God and others and have contributed to society in a variety of ways, such as missionary, director of anti-porn ministry, pastor, business owner, and many other interesting jobs/ministries. Robin loves encouraging moms to “not grow weary in well doing, testifying that this calling is extremely worth it!  She is the author of "Stress-Free Homeschooling: Getting It All Done and Enjoying It" , as well as two picture books: “Daniel’s Dilemma”, and “On the Way to the Park”, and a children’s novel, “Two Sisters.”



High-School

Transcript Creation , Stephanie Sewell

Homeschool or Self-Directed Learning transcripts are useful documents for home/unschooled teens who plan to enter a conventional high school, or apply to college or university. This session will look at some samples, and discuss how to approach this exciting, though sometimes stressful process!
Stephanie Sewell is an Alternative Education Consultant and Mentor who works with families seeking wellbeing-focused guidance and support with their child or teen’s education journey. Stephanie works with the whole family to create education paths that enable teens and children to reclaim their healthy sense of self, and step into owning their learning, be it in a school or homeschool context. In addition to her work with families, Stephanie shares her unique perspective and expertise by speaking at conferences, facilitating workshops, appearing on podcasts and consulting with government education departments.



How to Financially Disciple Your Children , Lorne Robinson

Money Talks
Many parents want to provide their children with the tools they need to succeed financially, but how do we teach financial wisdom effectively? In this session, discover the five uses of money and five foundational principles that can be practically applied in everyday living. Learn the importance of good stewardship and how to view money and possessions with an eternal perspective. Join us to prepare your children for a secure future.
Lorne has more than 35 years of progressive experience which includes pastoral ministry and serving clients as a financial advisor. Lorne serves as National Director for Kingdom Advisors Canada (a network of Christian financial professionals providing advice based on Biblical financial principles) and Executive Director - Canada for Compass - well-versed in finances. His qualifications include a Bachelor of Theology, CFP® (Certified Financial Planner), CLU (Chartered Life Underwriter), and CKA® (Certified Kingdom Advisor), equipping him to communicate stewardship more effectively. His passion is to help people find a deeper purpose in their financial dealings and contentment with their lifestyle.



Post-Secondary

Panel - College, University entrance: Algonquin College, Carleton U

Algonquin College
A brief overview of programs offered at Algonquin College, as well as an introduction to Home School admissions policies and a Q&A.
Jon is Algonquin College's Student Recruitment Team Lead and has been with the school since 2010. Since then, Jon has been the main contact for Home school students looking to attend College in Ottawa.


Carleton U
Institutional introduction, including the application process for home-educated students followed by Q&A from interested parents.
Anshul Singh serves as the Assistant Director of Admissions Services at Carleton University, bringing over 15 years of expertise in education management to his role. Anshul is also an integral member of the Admissions Committee that reviews applications from homeschooled candidates and students whose profiles do not align with the standard admissions criteria, highlighting Carleton University's commitment to inclusivity and educational opportunities for a diverse array of students.

Augustine College
Todd Anderson is Principal of Augustine College, serves on the board of Elders at Calvary Baptist church, and lives with his wife Heather and their six homeschooled children in Kanata.



Youth Seminars:

Financial Discipleship for Teens , Lorne Robinson

In this workshop for teens, you will discover the five uses of money and how to incorporate foundational principles in your life that will guide you successfully into the future.
Lorne has more than 35 years of progressive experience which includes pastoral ministry and serving clients as a financial advisor. Lorne serves as National Director for Kingdom Advisors Canada (a network of Christian financial professionals providing advice based on Biblical financial principles) and Executive Director - Canada for Compass - well-versed in finances. His qualifications include a Bachelor of Theology, CFP® (Certified Financial Planner), CLU (Chartered Life Underwriter), and CKA® (Certified Kingdom Advisor), equipping him to communicate stewardship more effectively. His passion is to help people find a deeper purpose in their financial dealings and contentment with their lifestyle.



Trivium in the age of Chat GPT for Teens - , Todd Anderson

This seminar explores the Grammar, Logic, and Rhetoric stages of learning in the context of a world trained up by artificial intelligence and algorithms. Do the old methods of learning offer us any hope of competing? In exploring this topic, we will engage in some interactive training of methods of reading and interpretation.
Todd Anderson is Principal of Augustine College, serves on the board of Elders at Calvary Baptist church, and lives with his wife Heather and their six homeschooled children in Kanata.



How to make the Bible relevant now in my life - , Alan Gilman

Alan and his wife Robin homeschooled their ten children over a course of 36 years. Alan is an itinerant Bible teacher, writer, and podcaster. They live in Kanata. For more information: www.alangilman.ca



Dad

The Role of the Homeschool Dad , Alan Gilman

Are you a homeschool dad? Figured out your job description yet? Does the Bible have anything to say about it? Your wife and kids probably do. Long-time homeschool dad and Bible teacher Alan Gilman will help you clarify your role as well as how to juggle home education with everything else you have to do.
Alan and his wife Robin homeschooled their ten children over a course of 36 years. Alan is an itinerant Bible teacher, writer, and podcaster. They live in Kanata. For more information: www.alangilman.ca



Panel - Jason Braden, Alan Gilman, Ovidiu Dumitriade and Clark Young

Spend an hour with four Dads. As fathers, we have a limited amount of time to invest, so how can we make it the most efficient and rewarding that it can be? Gain a clearer vision and a handful of practical ways with which you can use your own gifts, talents and passions to be involved in your family’s home education. This session includes a Q & A open discussion time.

Jason Braden - Has worked for National Defence in Army vehicle projects for over 15 years after serving for 13 years in the Army. Has two boys currently in engineering programs at U of O and a high-school aged daughter. A conservative Christian who has been home-schooling for over twelve years and have been grateful to God for it more and more as each year goes by.
Alan Gilman - Alan and his wife Robin homeschooled their ten children over a course of 36 years. Alan is an itinerant Bible teacher, writer, and podcaster. They live in Kanata. For more information: www.alangilman.ca
Ovidiu Dumitriade - Father of two, started the homeschooling journey out of necessity, continued for the freedom it offers my kids. On a professional level, I worked in 5 different fields, every time starting from the bottom and pushing myself as high as I could go. This way I gained a wealth of knowledge and I am grateful for the opportunity to share it all with my kids. Having the chance to go on field trips, or to sit down with them any time we feel like it is truly liberating.



Special Needs

Laziness, Late Bloomer or Learning Disability , Diana Rolston - NILD

The age-old questions - Is this child just being lazy? Is this child maturing at a slower rate? Or does this child have a learning disability? In this workshop, Diana will help de-mystify these questions and share strategies to help launch your struggling learner to the road to success. There is HOPE!
Diana is a homeschool veteran, educating her three sons at home through to graduation. She describes her home education environment as relaxed, though purposeful, while exploring her children’s passions and delving deeply in these areas. As an Educational Therapist with National Institute for Learning Development, Diana offers hope with research-based techniques to children who struggle.