IDEA Curriculum Fair 2013: Workshop Descriptions

Attendee Welcome Page ~ Anchorage ~ Fairbanks ~ Juneau ~ Soldotna

Click on the links above for workshop schedule at each location.

Key for workshop location:

“Adjectives, Verbs, and Prepositions OH MY!!! Using Grammar Instruction & Diagramming to Build Comprehension Skills” (Patricia Padgett)

For many students and teachers “diagramming” sentences is a dreaded part of language arts. What’s the point? When diagramming is approached from the perspective “what is the function of language in sentences” we can use grammar concepts to build writing and comprehension skills. Using simplified language and a meta-cognitive process, students and teachers discover the parts of speech and patterns within sentences. Participants collect lesson plans, “code” cards and student samples to guide their assimilation of this process. Learning Workshop (A,F)

“Anchorage Museum: Traveling Kits” (Nicole Espaillat)

With the museum’s traveling artifact kits, students can touch historical objects while learning about Alaska’s past. The artifact kits are free to all Alaska educators and are available for pick-up and return at the museum’s Education Department. Artifact kits can be shipped to schools outside the Anchorage area for the cost of shipping. Learn more at or (907) 929-9276. Learning Workshop (A)

“The Astounding History of the Holy Temple” (Jim Weiss Performance)

There have been two holy temples in Jerusalem, each sitting upon the high Temple Mount. King Solomon built the first, the most beautiful edifice on earth in its day. But Solomon gave it more than just beauty. Jim Weiss will show you how a building could demonstrate Solomon’s famous wisdom and kindness. The Second Temple, built a thousand years later, was that to which Jesus came to pray. Built by a murderer, destroyed by a man who did all he could to save it, this Temple sat at the crossroads of the Roman, Jewish and early Christian worlds. Hear the strange story of how it came to be, learn its role for Judaism, hear the dramatic story of its fall at the hands of a future Roman emperor, learn about what remains of it, and understand how its destruction changed Christianity, Judaism and Islam forever. Jim Weiss brings to this presentation all his storytelling skills and his ability to tell a complex story in a way that is clear and emotionally profound. You will envision kings, prophets, wise men—and a certain boy sitting in a courtyard and astounding the wise teachers with his understanding. Learning Workshop (F)

“Basics for a Strong Education” (Debbie Strayer)

What makes learning last? Motivation, methods that work and memorable material! Come learn about tools that equip you to teach and your child to learn in a way that increases success and develops individual interests and skills. As homeschoolers, we have the perfect setting for preparing our children to love to learn and see themselves as capable and creative, and it begins with you! Product Workshop, Atelier by Arts Attack (S)

“The Best Kept Secret to Free College: The PSAT” (Jean Burk)

Imagine throwing away seven trash bags full of college offers! It happened to my family and it could happen to yours. How? The PSAT. Contrary to popular belief, “P” does not stand for practice. In reality the PSAT is a scholarship qualifying test, and it can write you a ticket to just about any college. Discover the 3 little-known secrets about the PSAT and 11 steps to success! Learn how to get colleges begging you to enroll and pick up the tab at the same time. Learning Workshop (A)

“Chart Your Course For High School Success and Beyond” (Jean Burk)

This seminar is a God-send to any parent struggling with preparing a child for high school as well as college. Learn foundations for Personal, Academic and Future Success that will carry on into the college years. Discover how to train your teenagers to be independent and responsible citizens who will have a strong belief system that will follow them after they leave the safety of homeschooling. Don’t fear the high school years but be encouraged and equipped! Learning Workshop (A,F)

“Confessions of a Reformed Grammar Legalist” (Brian Wasko)

Are you a stickler for correct grammar? Are your bothered by people who confuse their, there and they’re? To, too, and two? Its and it’s? Do you cringe when people misuse literally, confuse less and fewer, or say irregardless? Or are you on the other side – still trying to figure out how this crazy language works? In this workshop, grammar aficionado Brian Wasko will help the sticklers cope with a world of grammatical incompetence, while helping the rest of us avoid the biggest blunders. Brian will also talk about graciously instructing children in the basics grammar and usage. Learning Workshop (A,J)

“A Creative Visual Art Workshop for Students Ages 5-8” (Marcia Osterink)

Meet Marcia Osterink, author and creator of the Atelier Homeschool Art curriculum, as she leads you in an art project. Have fun creating whimsical animals while focusing on patterns and contrasting colors in a mixed media lesson. (Limited to 30 students) Learning Workshop (A,F,J)

“A Creative Visual Art Workshop for Students Ages 9-15” (Marcia Osterink)

Meet Marcia Osterink, author and creator of the Atelier Homeschool Art curriculum, as she leads you in an art project. Have fun creating whimsical animals while focusing on patterns and contrasting colors in a mixed media lesson. (Limited to 30 students) Learning Workshop (S,A,F,J)

"A Different Approach to Grammar" (Erin Karl)

Are you tired of spending a huge amount of time on grammar and repeating the same concepts for years? Do you feel nervous that your kids still really don't "get it"? Erin will show you a way to teach grammar, punctuation, and usage - all the "mechanical" aspects of good writing - in MUCH less time and with MUCH less repetition. Your child will achieve a deep level of understanding of the structure of our language and how to punctuate it correctly. You will come away from this workshop with an awareness of grammar that you probably never had before - after one hour! Product Workshop, Analytical Grammar (A,F)

“Effective Teaching through Integration” (Debbie Strayer)

Make the most of your homeschooling time by integrating topics! Teaching subjects separately sends the wrong message about thinking and learning, while connecting related topics aids memory and understanding in an enjoyable, effective way. Language arts, literature, history, science and geography reinforce each other in natural ways that make learning fun. Come to hear how you and your students can use your time most efficiently and memorably! Learning Workshop (S,A,F)

“Effectively Teaching Writing” (Brian Wasko)

Everyone knows how important writing skills are, yet students continue to lag in this vital area. This workshop will look at some reasons for this conundrum and give practical guidelines for effectively teaching writing to your children. The focus will be on writing skills for middle and high school students, but parents of elementary school aged children will benefit as well. Learning Workshop (J)

“Free College at Your Fingertips” (Jean Burk)

Are you ready to make $500 an hour? Although it sounds too good to be true, it’s possible to earn this much in scholarships for college. Author, Jean Burk, will teach you two important concepts: how to get into the college of your choice and how to find the scholarships to pay for it. You will learn methods of receiving substantial scholarships that go beyond tuition and may include room and board, graduate school, and money to study abroad! Unlock the keys to finding free college at your fingertips! Product Workshop, IEW (S,A,F,J)

“Free College Can Happen to You” (Jean Burk)

Do you have $80,000 saved up to pay for college? If you don’t, you can’t miss this lecture! “Free College Can Happen To You” is an inspirational, informational seminar that teaches the best and easiest ways to get scholarships for a university education through standardized test-taking. Come hear test-prep Guru, Jean Burk, share the secrets of SAT success that have helped not only her own homeschooled children but also hundreds of students raise their test scores as much as 600 points and receive free college! Learning Workshop (A)

“Funding Your Future” (S,A: Jessica Kronen), (F,J: Conor Williamson)

It is never too early to plan for your student's educational options after high school! A College and Career Specialist from the Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education will present an overview of financial aid for post-secondary education, including what is available and how to apply. The presentation will include a thorough overview of the Alaska Performance Scholarship, a great option for all Alaska students. Learning Workshop (S,A,F,J)

“Gone West! The Early Exploration of America” (Jim Weiss Workshop)

Storyteller and author, Jim Weiss presents a compelling and poignant session on how to teach American history with a focus on the early missions and values that set the impetus to stretch the boundaries of our country. From Lewis and Clark and Sacagawea to Robert Fulton’s fantastic new steamboat to the Trail of Tears and the Continental Railroad, America was built through the efforts of dedicated, courageous Americans. Much of Jim’s references will be directly from the journals of these amazing people. This session is sure to invoke inspiration to learn more about these powerful figures and events. Learning Workshop (S,A)

“Historical Conquest” (Loren Bettridge & Zack Edwards)

Learn how history can be fun for all ages. In this workshop we will use Historical Conquest: The Game, to introduce new people, events, and places in history and show the extraordinary stories that surround these subjects. Answer a history question and receive a prize. You will leave this workshop with a better understanding of history and how to make it fun in your life. Product Workshop, Historical Conquest (S,A,F)

“How Any Mom Can Teach Creativity Through Art” (Larry Osterink)

This presentation will review the important role that visual art plays in developing right-brain skills, such as creativity and problem solving. An overview of the Atelier Homeschool Art curriculum, including a sample lesson and a slide show of student artwork, will convince you that YOU CAN SUCCESSFULLY TEACH ART. Product Workshop, Atelier by Arts Attack (J)

“How to Ace the SAT” (Jean Burk)

Test-prep Guru, Jean Burk, will share her secrets of SAT success that have helped hundreds of students raise their test scores as much as 600 points! Learn how to find shortcuts in test patterns and save time on all types of questions. Math, Writing, and Verbal sections are all covered in this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. If you have kids in high school, you can’t miss this seminar about preparing them for the SAT! Learning Workshop (S,A,J)

“How to Teach Kids the ABCs of Science While ‘Playing’ Like Einstein” (Rebecca Keller)

Learning content is important. Kids need to know about atoms and the difference between force, energy, and work. But learning content covers only one aspect of doing real science. Dr. Keller will discuss the difference between explicit and tacit education and will show you how to help your kids have fun learning the ABCs of science while learning to think and “play” like Einstein. Learning Workshop (A,J)

“Incorporating Nook in Your Curriculum” (Renee Sands & Trevor Council)

Our Nook experts will take participants on a short tour of the Nook family, explaining the differences between the various Nook models. We will then show you some of the exciting features and new content that will help enhance Nook's versatility in your classroom. Our Nook experts will also be available for additional support in setting up any newly purchased devices, so your students are ready to explore their new learning opportunities as soon as you get home from the Fair. Product Workshop, Barnes & Noble (A)

“The Internet: Resource or Distraction or Both?” (Rebecca Keller)

Using the internet has become an integral part of learning for many homeschool families. Today, students can take online classes, read online books, and watch online videos all as part of their educational experience. However, do these activities really help students learn or do they simply distract students making it difficult to focus? Dr. Keller will show you the latest findings on how the internet affects learning and how to help your family get the most from the internet and ways to help your kids learn without being distracted. Learning Workshop (S,A,F,J)

“Investigate the Scientific Method with Incredibly Fun, Hands-on Experiments” (John Grunder)

Bring your kids! This incredibly fun and informative workshop presented by Exploration Education Science will introduce kids and parents to the Scientific Method by going through five different experiments. We will also look into some astounding scientific discoveries and how they came about. Best if parents attend along with children. Come DISCOVER, INVESTIGATE, EXPERIMENT, and TAKE HOME science. Learning Workshop (S,A,F,J)

“Language Arts Tips and Products that WORK!” (Lissa Schroder)

Please join me for a workshop on several practical, doable ways to raise test scores in reading and writing. Materials covered will include a variety of curriculum, kinetic hands-on learning items, and media that most effectively cover and review ALL the material presented on the yearly state testing, while also being the most teacher friendly. Included will be many clear examples, demos, and teaching tips. Hopefully you'll laugh, discover new products, and glean a few tips that may work as well for your family as they have for mine. Learning Workshop (F)

"Laying the Foundations for Reading: Early Childhood Reading Games and Activities" (Denise Eide)

Literacy is the foundation of all education. By providing preschool children with language learning opportunities that prepare them for reading, we can smooth their transition into the printed word. This workshop will present language learning games, ideas on teaching the phonograms to young students, and present the latest literacy research on early childhood and reading. Each participant will be provided a handout with ideas they can use with their children at home. Learning Workshop (A)

“Learn to Read and Write with PAL” (Janet Beckett)

Announcing IEW’s Primary Arts of Language (PAL), a beginning reading and writing program based on Anna Ingham’s 70-year legacy. Designed to provide everything you need to start your K-2 students reading and writing, these multisensory, interactive materials will give your children a foundation for excellence in writing as they take delight in learning. Product Workshop, IEW (A,F)

“Limited Language – Limited Mind” (Jean Burk)

The English language is dying! We are losing our vocabulary skills at an alarming rate, and with it, our ability to communicate effectively. The loss of lexicon creates an oversimplification of critical thought because the nuances of words allow us to bring colors and shading to thoughts and emotions. “Limited Language, Limited Mind” will teach both parents and students alike the 3 keys to learning, understanding and remembering words that increase effectiveness! Learn how to amass an arsenal of fifty-cent words to articulate efficiently and accurately. Speak with eloquence, read with perspicacity, and write with erudition—all by mastering an advanced vocabulary! Learning Workshop (F)

"The Logic of English: A New Way to See Words" (Denise Eide)

Have you always believed English is illogical and inconsistent? In this workshop your understanding of English will be transformed! Award-winning author Denise Eide will reveal phonograms and spelling rules which explain 98% of English words. No longer will you need to tell your children “that is an exception” when they misread or misspell a word. We will learn:
-- The rule which explains the two sounds for C in accent and describes more than 6,000 words!
-- Three of the nine reasons for a Silent Final E.
-- How English words are built with roots and affixes.
-- Why we drop the Silent Final E in servicing but not in serviceable, and much more!
-- Why many math and science minded kids struggle with reading and spelling.
Do not miss this revolutionary workshop. You will leave wondering why someone didn’t tell you this in kindergarten. Learning Workshop (A,F)

“Making Literature Meaningful” (Robin Finley)

So a student reads a book, maybe takes a quiz or two, perhaps writes a book report. Is that it? Do we just check that box and move on? If so, why? What's the point? How do you "teach" literature, anyway? Robin Finley has lectured and written on this subject for more than three decades. Her belief that Western literature is really one big, long argument, which she calls “the eternal argument," goes a long way toward answering these questions. With a lot of humor and many excellent examples from literature, she'll explain this framework which will make reading, learning, and teaching literature a much more meaningful endeavor. Learning Workshop (A)

"Math: Build a Solid Foundation" (Kathleen Cotter Lawler)

The foundation of mathematics is patterns and relationships. Build on your children’s natural ability to visualize. Enhance their learning by using guided discovery. Help them master the facts and solve problems while understanding concepts and the relationships. All these are essential for building a strong foundation. Learning Workshop (A,J)

"Math Puzzles and Brain Teasers" (Kathleen Cotter Lawler)

Encourage your child to learn higher-level mathematical thinking. In Asian cultures, families play with numbers the way Americans play with words. This may help explain why they succeed in math. Let’s explore some math puzzles and brain teasers! Learning Workshop (S,J)

"Mathematics: Kindergarten to College the RightStart™ Way" (Kathleen Cotter Lawler)

Teach your child how to think mathematically from pre-school to college. Hear how RightStart™ lays an amazing foundation with the basics, building and applying knowledge, step-by-step. The middle school curriculum shows the student where and how to apply mathematics. Then finish strong with VideoText’s high school algebra and geometry curriculum. Standardized testing and the new Common Core standards will also be discussed. Product Workshop, RightStart (A,F,J)

“Mystery and Intrigue with Sherlock Holmes and Other Sleuths” (Jim Weiss)

Sherlock Holmes is amidst the greatest literary characters of all time. Along with Holmes, Jim Weiss will make the genre of mystery come alive in this entertaining session. Sit back, relax and marvel at these fabulous stories that have become an integral part of world literature. Learning Workshop (A)

"Nerf Guns and Shaving Cream: Teaching Reading and Spelling to Kids Who Can’t Sit Still" (Denise Eide)

Learn how to engage your active learners through movement. Denise Eide will share her experiences teaching and parenting active children. She will also reveal the natural kinesthetic components to reading and spelling and teach parents how to tap into those to enhance learning for all students. In this workshop we will:
-- Learn active learning games.
-- Develop an appreciation of the gifts of kinesthetic learners.
-- Learn how to utilize the kinesthetic gift while strengthening areas of weakness.
Though this workshop will focus on reading and spelling, the concepts are easily applied to other subjects. Each participant will receive a handout of games and ideas that can be used on Monday! Learning Workshop (S,A,F)

“Overcoming Learning Difficulties Together” (Debbie Strayer and Ashley Wiggers)

Children love being successful, so when they aren't, how can you help? Come and listen to the personal homeschooling experiences of mother (a lifelong educator) and daughter when faced with obstacles to learning. This workshop tells how to overcome obstacles that may limit your ability to teach, and your children’s ability to understand. Shared with humor and honesty, Debbie and her daughter Ashley will provide tips, and insight from the student’s perspective that can help your children achieve their greatest learning success. Learning Workshop (A,F)

“Reach and Teach Each Child” (Kim A. Howe, M.S.)

Every child is different. Even within families children have their own unique strengths, weaknesses, and preferences. Learn about the psychology of learning and how you can reach and teach each child in your home. We will discuss various tools such as multiple intelligences, learning styles, personality types, and more. In this very practical presentation you will learn what to look for and how you can engage your kids in real and authentic learning. Learning Workshop (A,F,J)

"Real Life Heroes: Fascinating Stories of Great People" (Jim Weiss)

History has blessed us with countless heroic, extraordinary men and women from all over this world, who are real-life role models for today’s adults and children. In this workshop, Jim Weiss presents riveting, time-honored, true stories that provide character, history and life lessons. Jim’s stories will make these people come to life and offer perspective between the times in which they lived and today’s world. Learning Workshop (J)

"RightStart™ Mathematics: Visual-Based Success!" (Kathleen Cotter Lawler)

People are visual thinkers and children are especially visual. Approaching math from a visual perspective is a sure-fire path to success! RightStart™ Mathematics uses manipulatives: the AL Abacus, math balance, place value cards, card games, linear fraction chart, and other items. These visual tools allow children to understand, apply, and enjoy math. Product Workshop, RightStart (J)

“The Seven Laws of Teaching at Home” (Tom Clark)

Are we, as parents, sufficiently equipped to teach our own children? Admittedly, we have had little, if any, “formal training”, or “certification”. How can we be confident that our children are going to be well-educated? This informative and entertaining session is based on, and adapted from, the respected work of John Milton Gregory, and will focus on effective strategies of instruction which are understandably simple, educationally sound, and ethically founded. Veteran homeschoolers, and newcomers alike, will discover some new ideas, reinforce existing practices, and be encouraged to continue the homeschooling commitment. (This workshop is especially helpful for beginning homeschooling parents.) Learning Workshop (A)

"Soaring not Struggling: Preventing and Teaching Struggling Readers and Spellers" (Denise Eide)

Reading and spelling are complex skills that involve the mind, muscle memory, learning styles, and the heart. Join award-winning author Denise Eide as she opens your understanding to why many students struggle. Practical information will be interwoven with stories from her own experiences. She will also share NIHCD research that demonstrates the power of systematic, multi-sensory teaching for all students. In this workshop we will learn:
-- Why oversimplifications, such as teaching S says /s/, discourage math and science minded students.* -- How to correct reversals.
-- Ways to teach to the strengths of visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learners while strengthening their weaknesses.
This workshop will lay the foundations for teaching reading and spelling, aid teachers in selecting curriculum, and help teachers heal and guard their students’ hearts from discouragement. *Did you know? S says /z/ 70% of the time, including simple words like “is.” Learning Workshop (A)

“Stories of Virtues & Values: A Family’s Quest for Conscientious Living via Literature and History” (Jim Weiss)

Storyteller/Author/Recording Artist, Jim Weiss explores a prominent driving issue for all conscientious parents – how to teach character and values in a world full of appalling examples of morals gone amuck. Choosing rich literary models and historical leaders is one way to contrast good and evil; right from wrong, and navigate a path toward a rich, healthy and conscientious lifestyle. Jim’s lifetime work in authoring and publishing over 50 family recordings is a legacy to the promotion of solid values and lifelong learning of fact, fiction and personal and spiritual growth. Learning Workshop (A,F)

"Storytelling Up Close and Personal: A Teen Workshop" (Jim Weiss)

An exciting and interactive workshop for children and adults from master storyteller, and award-winning recording artist, Jim Weiss. Participants will learn about the art of storytelling and oral language. This workshop will focus on: setting the scene, characterization, voice technique, shaping the story, building confidence and developing one’s own style. The tenor is casual and the goal is to have fun with literature. Participants should be prepared to play, laugh and discover how literature can truly come alive in the midst of a storyteller. Learning Workshop (S,J)

"Still Puzzled?" (Carol Habeger, Carol Simpson, Traci Heaton, & Susanna Graves)

So… perhaps you are new to this homeschooling concept and you have attended workshops all day, looked at products in the exhibit hall and your head is swimming with questions. Or maybe you are not so new, but are thinking of trying a new approach and you have more questions than answers. We can help! We have been there ourselves! If you have a question during the day there is a jar on the registration table where you can write it down and we will try our best to address it during this session. We are homeschoolers who love to help those new to homeschooling because our families love homeschooling so much! Learning Workshop (J)

“Teaching History with G.A. Henty and Other Great Works” (Jim Weiss)

Master Storyteller and Recording Artist, Jim Weiss brings the works of the prolific G.A.Henty to life as he demonstrates how to best utilize the remarkable canon of Henty's historical classics in teaching history and language arts. Having recorded several of the Henty novels, Jim will share storytelling and critical thinking techniques that parents can immediately employ in making the Henty books a beloved family experience. In addition to Henty, Jim will reference several other authors and historical/literary pieces. Learning Workshop (A)

“Teaching Mathematics as a Language - What Gets Lost in the Translation?” (Tom Clark)

Did you know that Mathematics has parts of speech and sentence structure, just as does any spoken language? Did you know that understanding the “grammar” of Mathematics greatly helps student understanding of problem-solving and applications? In this workshop, Tom Clark, founder of VideoText Interactive, and author of “Algebra: A Complete Course”, and “Geometry: A Complete Course”, clearly and humorously demonstrates this quality of mathematical language. At last, you will truly understand the roles of all types of mathematical symbols, and you will see how easy it is to translate between Mathematics and English, enabling you to improve your understanding, and teaching, of “story problems”, at all levels. Learning Workshop (A)

“Teaching Mathematics with Art! (or is it Teaching Art with Mathematics?)” (Tom Clark)

Can your child's future really be boiled down to something as simplistic as whether they are right-brained, or left-brained? Surely, as homeschooling parents, we want our children to believe that they are capable of using “both sides” of their brains. In this educational and entertaining workshop, we will explore the natural and logical connections between Mathematics and Art. We will investigate mathematical principles, and see how they are related to, and illustrated by, artistic applications. Likewise, we will explore several artistic concepts, and see how they are based on mathematical ideas. Of course, throughout, the importance of language and communication will be stressed, as it must play a key role in the understanding of both areas. Learning Workshop (A,F)

“Teaching Math Without a Plan? You’ve Got to Be Kidding!” (Tom Clark)

This workshop is designed to help parent-educators understand the scope, the sequence, and the logic of mathematics instruction from pre-school through adult. Join Tom Clark, founder of VideoText Interactive, and author of “Algebra: A Complete Course”, and “Geometry: A Complete Course”, as he takes you on a sometimes humorous journey, describing all levels of arithmetic and all mathematics courses encountered in high school and college. In addition, considerable attention will be given to identifying the “why” of the study of mathematics with an emphasis on the development of concepts, instead of rote memorization. (This workshop is especially helpful for beginning homeschooling parents.) Learning Workshop (A,F)

“Teaching Reading in Six Easy Steps” (Amanda Burnette & Carrie Roberts)

Learn how to teach a child to read using The Sonday System, a multisensory approach using a six step process in less than 45 minutes a day. You will learn what a Sonday System lesson looks like and how well children and adults respond to instruction which is supportive at every turn. When children are successful, motivation soars and progress is evident. Often used to assist struggling readers, Sonday System materials can be used with children spanning academic levels from preschool to high school. Product Workshop, Winsor Learning (S,A,F,J)

“Teaching Writing Across the Curriculum” (Janet Beckett)

You know you need to have your children learn to write well, but how can you do that and get all your other subjects done? Easy: make writing part of science, history and literature. Come learn how to easily make writing part of your school day in a way your kids will enjoy. Learning Workshop (A)

“Teaching Your Child Time Management Skills” (Gretchen Roe)

How do you manage to get your children to complete their tasks on time and to be responsible for completing them well? Teaching children a practical tool for time management and task completion, Gretchen Roe takes you through the process of helping your child become self-sufficient in their academics, using a quantifiable task completion chart that includes incentive and reward. Time management is a learned skill, and this workshop will provide you the tools to impart it to your child. Learning Workshop (A,F)

“Throwing Light on the Dark Side: Good vs. Evil in Contemporary Youth Literature” (for teens and adults) (Jim Weiss)

Storyteller/Author/Recording Artist, Jim Weiss explores the current fascination with the Dark side in the Narnia, Harry Potter, Twilight Series, etc.; provides perspective using historical precedents from the Bible and classic literature; explains why we find villains so fascinating; and offers ways to use moral conflicts in literature and films to guide our children in their real life ethical decisions. Learning Workshop (A,F)

“Top Ten Myths about Homeschooling Math” (Tom Clark)

Most homeschooling parents feel uneasy when planning math courses for their children. "We learned our math a long time ago", or "We learned it a different way", or maybe we learned it not at all. How can we know if the methods we are using will achieve the desired results in our students? In this workshop, Tom Clark, founder of VideoText Interactive, and author of "Algebra: A Complete Course", and "Geometry: A Complete Course", will expose ten common myths about teaching math, and then counter those myths with solid, practical help for parents. You will also leave with a checklist of items which can be used to determine the best math course for your students. (This workshop is especially helpful for beginning homeschooling parents.) Learning Workshop (F)

"Tricksters in Literature" (Jim Weiss)

Jim Weiss’ stories are always inspirational, heartwarming and always unmistakably relevant to his audience. You will be up close and personal with Jim as he presents stories that feature literary "tricksters" from ancient times and cultures. The values, humor, and character traits portrayed in these stories will tickle the funny bone and warm the heart. Master storyteller and award-winning recording artist, Jim Weiss, will spin his classical yarns, and answer questions from the audience. Learning Workshop (J)

“What Is Critical Thinking and Can Anyone Do It?” (Tom Clark)

Are your students learning passively, or are they personally involved in concept development? Are they figuring things out for themselves, or are they just learning tricks and shortcuts? In this workshop, Tom Clark, founder of VideoText Interactive, will lead an exploration of the various reasons why instruction can be difficult, hopefully arriving at a set of benchmark strategies, which will help students "think". In the process, we will discover many of the student response indicators which clearly evidence the presence of critical thinking. Then, after developing a list of such "qualities of critical thinking", we will look for specific reasons why we perceive critical thinking to be difficult. Participants should leave the workshop with the understanding that everyone is capable of "thinking" critically. Learning Workshop (F)

“Women in Gray and Blue and Their Contributions in the American Civil War” (Jim Weiss)

Storyteller/Author/Recording Artist, Jim Weiss reveals thrilling stories of remarkable women playing central roles on both sides of America’s greatest conflict. You’ll meet an adviser to President Lincoln whose strategic proposal turns the tide of the war; share danger and intrigue with cunning spies; accompany Harriet Tubman as she whisks slaves to freedom and leads a Union military expedition; meet America’s only female Medal of Honor winner; and watch two Southern sisters risk everything to oppose slavery. Learning Workshop (F)

“Yes! Teach Kids Chemistry and Physics in First Grade!” (Rebecca Keller)

Most elementary and middle school science books give kids a sampling of random topics. Kids learn a little about the solar system, how a plant grows, and the human body but they never learn the basic building blocks of science: chemistry and physics. Without some knowledge of chemistry and physics, kids simply cannot understand real science and will struggle with upper level science classes. Dr. Keller will show you just how easy it is to teach kids chemistry and physics to your first grader and how this helps build the foundation they need for advanced science classes. Learning Workshop (F)