IDEA Curriculum Fair 2014: Workshop Descriptions

Attendee Welcome Page ~ Anchorage ~ Fairbanks ~ Juneau ~ Soldotna

Click on the links above for the general information about each location, and the links in the key below to go directly to the workshop schedules.

Key for workshop location:

“21st Century Homeschooling” (Debra Bell)

Welcome to the digital age. What does the future of education look like, and how can the homeschool community take advantage of this? Here's a look at free tools and free content sites online that can make your homeschool more efficient, more economical and more powerful. Harness the educational advantage of online learning and give your kids a jumpstart on their future. We will look at how Web 2.0 applications are changing the definition of education - blogs, wikis, Google applications, Skype, VoiceThreads, open courseware, YouTube, Facebook and even Twitter, when used appropriately can really help kids learn. Learning Workshop, Debra Bell's Aim Academy (A,F,J)

“Active Child? ADHD? Laying the Groundwork for Solutions Part 1: Understanding The Diagnosis, Your Child, Your Home—And Your Options” (Stephen Guffanti M.D.)

Behind the label is a child you love deeply, no matter what. And no matter how frustrating your child is, he or she really does love you. Gain a light-hearted but heart-felt understanding of issues that can weigh a family down. Laugh and cry as you learn solutions that will bless you for having the courage and love to homeschool your challenging kids—solutions that result in less frustrating and more cooperative home. Learning Workshop, Rocket Phonics (A,F,J)

“Active Child? ADHD? In the Trenches Part 2: Discipline, Learning, Relationships Making Friends, Staying Alive & Getting Educated” (Stephen Guffanti M.D.)

Is your child impulsive…inattentive…angry…just plain difficult—or all of these? Start healing and reconciliation in your family’s relationships. Gain new hope and insight into your children. make the discoveries that can transform your home—and your challenging child. Understand the issues that create these behaviors and go from chaos to clarity and from friction to fun. Learning Workshop, Rocket Phonics (A,F,J)

“Art – It’s Essential!” (Mark Osterink)

The capacity of human beings to think creatively, to create and appreciate art is indispensable in developing the “whole” person. This presentation will review the important role art plays in developing right brain skills (creativity, imagination, visualization, etc.) and in enabling children to develop their full potential as students. It will also review the Atelier art program; and discuss the essential elements of a successful program while viewing slides of children’s artwork. Product Workshop, Atelier by Arts Attack (A,F,J)

Build an Amazing Homeschool Transcript” (Jean Burk)

There is only ONE secret ingredient to giving credibility to a homeschool transcript. If you don't know it, author Jean Burk will share the answer in this incredible lecture. Discover the insider criteria that Harvard uses to judge applicants and why summer break needs to be more than just a vacation. Learn the differences between AP, Dual Enrollment, and CLEP courses and the pros and cons of adding them to your schedule. Find out about the 3-Tier credit plan, so you can correctly build a portfolio that will impress any admissions counselor. If your kids are planning to go to college, you cannot afford to miss this engagement. Learning Workshop, College Prep Genius (A)

“Can Mom or Dad Really 'Teach' Story-Problems? (And Why Would You Want to Anyway?)"

In this entertaining and instructional workshop with Tom Clark, founder of VideoText Interactive, and author of “Algebra: A Complete Course”, and “Geometry: A Complete Course”, you will develop, and learn how to use, the five analysis questions that must be asked to solve all story problems, whether in simple arithmetic or in Algebra. The correct answers to these questions are guaranteed to lead students to the relation (equation or inequality) they must solve in order to find the answer to the problem. You will definitely leave this session with a new-found confidence about your ability to solve these problems and teach them to your students. Learning Workshop, VideoText Interactive Math (A)

“Come and Listen, if You Dare! Etiquette for Teens” (Monica Irvine)

Why do you need to know etiquette to succeed? Do you want to find a Wife??? Or a Job??? Proper Etiquette could very well change your life! Etiquette is so much more than which fork to use? It affects every single aspect of your life. Did you know that proper etiquette and being well educated are in direct proportion to each other? How comfortable would you be in a room full of Senators, a room full of Doctors...wait what about a room full of girls? Have you ever gotten that “sick” feeling in your belly when you feel a little unsure of yourself, or uncomfortable in a certain situation. When you master “social etiquette,” you won’t have to fear unfamiliar situations anymore. You can go anywhere, be with anyone and be perfectly comfortable, confident and at peace. Must attend for Parents and Teens. Learning Workshop, The Etiquette Factory (S,A,F)

“Critical Thinking in Mathematics” (Debbie Oberste )

We want our children to become critical thinkers. Teach mathematics so that you emphasize thinking, not just memorizing. Help your child’s brain develop real analytical, problem-solving skills. Understand the teacher's role of asking questions, encouraging the child toward deeper thinking." Learning Workshop, RightStart Math (S,A,J)

“Dealing With Dyslexia - and Other Reading Issues” (Stephen Guffanti M.D.)

Having difficulty teaching your child to read? Come to this workshop to talk about your challenges and their solutions. Here you’ll learn tools to guide your child to reading success. Learning Workshop, Rocket Phonics (F,J)

“Developing Creative and Critical Thinking Skills” (Debra Bell)

What are thinking skills and why all the fuss? This seminar challenges traditional teaching methods head on by outlining the best way to teach so your child can remember and use what he has learned-- even when he is an adult. Analysis, synthesis and evaluation explained; samples of creative and critical thinking. And lots of suggested resources and activities that are uncomplicated, time-saving, inexpensive and effective. Learning Workshop, Debra Bell’s Aim Academy (A,F)

“Developing Motivation and Interest in Kids of All Ages” (Debra Bell)

This seminar covers the importance of intrinsic motivation and interest in learning. Research shows motivation to be an inherent characteristic of young children, but in a traditional setting, studies indicate most students show a steady loss in academic motivation the longer they are in school; however, homeschooling is an antidote to this decline. Learn practical ways to help your children and teens develop and retain motivation and enjoyment in academic pursuits. Learning Workshop, Debra Bell’s Aim Academy (S,A,F,J)

“Evaluating Student Writing” (Brian Wasko)

Spelling, creativity, coherence, diction, grammar, punctuation, content, tone, structure, voice…How does a writing instructor take into consideration the varied subjective and objective criteria by which a paper might be judged? Is it possible to fairly assess a creative work? This workshop looks at a handful of options, landing on my favorite: scoring rubrics. Learning Workshop, WriteAtHome (A)

“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, College Prep Genius (F)

“Get a RightStart™ (or ReStart) in Fractions!" (Debbie Oberste)

Explore the simplicity and beauty of fractions by approaching them with a linear model, rather than pie slices. Learn how to ask the right questions to guide your child to a solid understanding. We’ll demonstrate activities and games to learn fractions and build confidence. Product Workshop, RightStart Math (A,F)

“Grammar Sleuth: Uncovering the Secret Codes of Sentences!” (Patricia Padgett)

For many, “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 written expression 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 implementation of this process. Learning Workshop, Create! Press (F)

“Hands-on Teaching Tips for Hands-on Learners, and More!” (Stephen Guffanti M.D.)

How do you teach a child who never sits still? Learn solutions you can begin using today in this entertaining, encouraging talk. You will leave confident and ready to teach not only your active children of all ages, in all subjects – but all your children. Fun and practical! Learning Workshop, Rocket Phonics (A)

“Help! The Way I Teach, The Way He Learns Don’t Match” (Vicki Dincher)

It can be tempting to believe you aren’t your child’s best teacher on days you repeatedly clash. But here’s why those situations can be powerful learning opportunities for your child and for you as well. This session covers multiple reasons that may contribute to your child’s difficulties or resistance, and we’ll offer proven strategies to help you diagnosis the problem and make the most of the opportunity. Learning Workshop, Debra Bell’s Aim Academy (A,J)

“Hitting the Mark” (Keith A. Howe, M.B.A.)

We all want to be the best teachers possible for our children. It is normal to question whether we are hitting the mark? Am I getting through to my kids? Are my kids actually remembering what I am teaching them? Will my kids develop a lifelong love of learning? It is important to understand what the current research says about how kids learn and how to teach effectively. Armed with this powerful information you will be able to bring in some practical teaching tools and strategies that will make you a winning teacher and give your kids the best education possible. Learn when to allow your kids to struggle and when to step in, understand the importance of how to measure success, and evaluate the use of technology in your teaching. These are just a few of the topics we will explore. Learning Workshop, Moving Beyond the Page (S,A,F,J)

"Homeschooling Teens" (Debra Bell)

From the perspective of a mom who raised four teens, long time high school level teacher and evaluator of numerous high school homeschool programs. The high school years are your child's resume for the future. Here's how to maximize his time, prepare him for a changing job market, get doors to open, and facilitate non-traditional learning experiences. Learning Workshop, Debra Bell’s Aim Academy (S)

“How to Mark Up a Student Paper Like a Pro (Only Better)” (Brian Wasko)

Nothing is more important in helping students improve their writing than a coach’s written notes. This workshop will show you how to provide encouraging, constructive feedback on student papers. We’ll even work through a sample paper or two. Learning Workshop, WriteAtHome (S,A)

“Is It Time to Stop Educating and Start Thinking and Creating?” (Candy Matheny and Linda Thornhill)

Guide your students to learn the facts and details but also to form opinions. Enable them to recognize how their learning affects their lives and prepares them to be effective leaders in their culture and their world. Taking the information and being creative in application creates a well-rounded man or woman. So how important is it for your student to think critically, communicate verbally, socially and in writing? Will a student that is responsible, self-motived and organized be more successful? The answer is YES! Learning Workshop, TRISMS (S,A,F)

“Is that Lunch Affecting Your Kids’ Learning?” (Stephen Guffanti M.D.)

Kids zooming? In a fog? Nutrition affects learning in many ways. We were designed to eat healthfully. Take a humorous look at the maze of nutrition myths, find your way out, and experience for you and your family improved health, ability to concentrate and recall, and more. Learning Workshop, Rocket Phonics (S,A,F)

“A Journey of a Thousand Miles: The Writing Process” (Brian Wasko)

Writing is hard. A key to helping students cope with competing brain-halves, writer’s block, and mental exhaustion is attacking writing one step at a time. This workshop walks parents and students through the five steps in the writing process: pre-writing, drafting, revising, proofreading, and publishing. Learning Workshop, WriteAtHome (F)

“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, College Prep Genius (A)

"Manners Matter & Mean Success" (Monica Irvine)

Don’t we as parents want to give our children the tools they need to succeed? Do we want our children to grow up to be great fathers, compassionate husbands, dedicated mothers and giving wives? It doesn’t just happen. Children don’t always just “pick-up” on things like integrity, compassion, empathy, table manners, work ethic, etc. These are skills that must be taught. Come and learn how to help your children become the individuals that they were designed to be. You will be so grateful you attended this workshop. It is a MUST ATTEND for parents with children ages preschool through 5th grade. Learning Workshop, The Etiquette Factory (A,F)

“Mastering Math Facts with Card Games” (Debbie Oberste)

Memorizing 390 math facts is exhausting. Sadly, whatever is learned by rote needs frequent review to stay learned. On the other hand, games are fun and exciting, games provide practice for the facts, and games become an application for the information! Children of various abilities can play together. Join us for some FUN as we view addition, money, clock, multiplication, and fraction games. Product Workshop, RightStart Math (F,J)

"Math and Science, Math and Science, Go Together like a Horse and Carriage" (Vicki Dincher)

With apologies to Frank Sinatra, this session explains why it is important for your high school math and sciences to be in sync and, more importantly, how lining them up will save you time and frustration! We’ll cover the best sequence of math and sciences for different types of students (e.g. non-science majors, engineers, etc.) and mention some of the programs that work well together. Plus, we’ll cover multiple ways to trouble-shoot the situation when a student is struggling in either category. Learning Workshop, Debra Bell’s Aim Academy (S,A)

“Mind Numbing to Mind Blowing: How to Write an Essay that Someone Might Actually Want to Read” (Brian Wasko)

Believe it or not, there are people who write essays without being commanded to. And people actually exist who read them – get this – because they want to! I know what you’re thinking:  Sure. Weirdoes maybe from Planet Nerdtron, but no normal person likes to read or write essays. Essays are the modern equivalent of Chinese water torture. This workshop will debunk the myth that essays are unavoidably painful experiences for both writer and reader. Students will learn some secrets to writing well with form and structure but without having to follow a bland, prefabricated template. We’ll talk about how to write about interesting things in a way that prods the intellect without stifling the imagination. Learning Workshop, WriteAtHome (J)

"Motivating the Reluctant Learner" (Debra Bell)

Ten proven strategies that kindle a love for learning in a child and help him master areas of difficulty; at the same time, reduce conflict and frustration for mom and kid. Learning Workshop, Debra Bell’s Aim Academy (A)

"Multi-Sensory Strategies for All Students" (Amanda Burnette)

Is your child struggling learning to read, write and spell? Is your child one or more grade levels behind in reading, writing, and spelling? Do you have a pre K or kindergartner who needs an introduction letters, numbers, colors, and shapes? Come learn multi-sensory strategies that activate all of your child's senses to teach these concepts. Great ideas for teaching "restless learners", "wiggle worms", and students who are reluctant or frustrated! We offer easy to use lessons that rescue exasperated parents and only take 35 minutes to teach start to finish! You will learn how to make the battles over learning to read disappear. Product Workshop, Winsor Learning (A,F,J)

“Putting Thoughts on Paper with Success!” (Patricia Padgett)

Written expression remains a persistent problem for students of all ages. Students demonstrate difficulty generating and organizing language for written tasks. In this workshop, we will explore the Writing Task Analysis to identify the specific skills that support writing. Then, we will discover and practice writing activities that emphasize the function and organization of language in sentences and paragraphs. These activities can be applied to all subject areas for organizing detail and writing summaries. Participants will receive student samples, masters, and plans to implement these exercises and practice for mastery. Learning Workshop, Create! Press (S)

“Raising a Critical Thinker" (Cindy Wiggers)

Thinking skills are buzzwords in education today – everyone wants to include them in their curriculum plans! In this seminar, Cindy will explain what thinking skills are and how to incorporate strategies into daily life that will bring great results in your child’s ability to think. Include these ideas to add critical thinking to any curriculum! For Christian homeschoolers, this is a great way to prepare your children to give an account for the hope that is in them. Learning Workshop, GeoMatters (A)

“Raising an Independent Learner” (Debra Bell)

Do you want a lifelong learner who initiates studies on his own? Then let go of the wheel and start giving your kids responsibility for their education. Here are practical, inexpensive steps that will encourage children to pursue their own learning, and prevent parent burnout as well. Learning Workshop, Debra Bell’s Aim Academy (A,F)

"Ring of Fire’s Hand-on Science Workshop" (Myrna Martin)

Myrna, the author, will talk about the materials sold by Ring of Fire Science. You will learn about the three levels of science materials sold by the company for Prek-12th grade. The Earth Science materials are designed for students of all ages and abilities. She will explain how you can use the materials with talented and gifted students as well as those with learning disabilities. Myrna will be glad to answer your questions about working with children with a variety of learning styles and abilities. Product Workshop, Ring of Fire (S,A)

"Roots Have Fruits" (Cindy Wiggers)

Trees can only bear the fruits of their roots, so teaching approaches have roots from their history and philosophy and certain fruits will appear. Come to learn about approaches to teaching, their natural outcomes and how to cultivate good soil for learning. Be prepared to remove any unwanted fruit that may be heading your way! This workshop is great for beginners as well as veterans who want to check their roots! Learning Workshop, GeoMatters (S,A,F)

“The Scientific Method for Dummies OR How to Be a Scientist” (Vicki Dincher)

Teaching science may seem like a daunting task, but “Doing Science” in your K-12 program can be a fun and fulfilling endeavor with the scientific method. In this session we’ll cover why the scientific method is important, and how to integrate this into your science program at all stages. Not all hands-on science programs are equal, but there is a way to “do” science that will help your kids learn to think critically and develop their scientific understanding that will lay a foundation for the rigorous coursework of high school. Learning Workshop, Debra Bell’s Aim Academy (A,F,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, VideoText Interactive Math (F)

"Solid Strategies for Slaying the SAT Essay" (Brian Wasko)

Not long ago, someone had a great idea: Let’s make the tortuous SAT test even longer by adding an essay section! That way we can test student writing ability by springing an arbitrary topic on them and then giving them only twenty-five minutes to complete a brilliant, persuasive, and error-free paper! The SAT essay isn’t new anymore. In fact, it’s been around long enough for us to discover the keys not only to surviving it, but to impressing the readers and scoring high. In this workshop, we’ll provide everything your prospective graduate will need to achieve a high essay score. Learning Workshop, WriteAtHome (S,A)

“The Successful Online Classroom in Your Home Classroom” (Janet Beckett)

Are you considering an online class for your student? More and more educational opportunities are in the online format. Colleges expect students to have the skills required to succeed in the realm of online learning. Do you wonder how you can make this a successful and positive experience for your student? We will look at choosing courses that will work with your student's learning style, planning the work, keeping your student on track, getting the most out of a course, and using the online experience to lead your student to taking ownership of their learning and in their academic success. Learning Workshop, Greenways Academy (S,A,F,J)

“Teaching Boys, Teaching Girls: What to Do—What’s Really True?” (Stephen Guffanti M.D.)

An unmotivated child is unteachable. And boys are motivated totally different than girls. With the latest research findings on gender, you’ll learn how to best reach each of your children. Gain tips that will inspire, motivate, encourage and entertain. Be prepared for heartwarming fun—and many “a-ha!” moments. Learning Workshop, Rocket Phonics (S,A)

“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, IEW (A)

“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, VideoText Interactive Math (A)

“Understanding Giftedness” (Keith A. Howe, M.B.A.)

Teaching gifted children at home can be a rewarding experience for you and your child. Gifted children have special needs and characteristics that we must understand in order to develop their potential. We will explore these characteristics, discuss current theories of giftedness, and discover strategies for teaching our gifted children at home. In this session you will come to appreciate your child’s giftedness and learn effective ways to motivate and engage your child. Learning Workshop, Moving Beyond the Page (A,F,J)

“What's a Lab?” (Vicki Dincher)

If you answer, “a puppy?” then this session’s for you. College bound teens are expected to complete three science courses with labs. Here’s how to meet that standard while expanding both yours and your teens’ awe and wonder in God’s grand design. Find out how to do science labs at home, why they are important, where to find cool tools online to help you get the job done. Learning Workshop, Debra Bell’s Aim Academy (A,F)

“What’s in a Story?” (Patricia Padgett)

Many students enjoy reading and listening to stories, however writing stories may not be so enjoyable. The combination of specific elements creates the narrative. Before writing our own stories, exploring these elements within favorite and known stories can prepare students for writing their own stories. This workshop “deconstructs” a well-known story to guide the discovery of the narrative elements. Participants will record the elements on the “Story Outline” sheet from Create-A-Story®: The Creative Writing Game. Master Story Outlines and plans will be provided to connect this “deconstruction” process across the curriculum. Learning Workshop, Create! Press (A,J)

“When Worlds Collide! (You’re Visual—Or Auditory—And They’re Not)” (Stephen Guffanti M.D.)

You’re a visual or auditory learner. Your child (and maybe your spouse!) is hands-on or active. Sometimes our differences richly sweeten our lives…and sometimes they’re plain aggravating, or worse. Gain understanding and practical tools as Stephen Guffanti MD and wife Maureen offer proven solutions for communication, discipline, closer relationships and more. Learning Workshop, Rocket Phonics (F)

“Why Does Homeschooling Math Often Strain Our Relationship with Our Children? (Let’s find the trouble spots!)” (Tom Clark)

Join Tom Clark, founder of VideoText Interactive, and author of “Algebra: A Complete Course”, and “Geometry: A Complete Course”, as he offers an entertaining and educational session designed to help you discover the reasons behind the perceived difficulty, on several of the traditional trouble spots in math. Topics discussed will be determined by the audience, and may include division of fractions and multiplication of decimals (using those mindless rules), long-division, story-problems, positive and negative numbers, and numerous others, all of which seem to indicate that Mathematics is just naturally “difficult.” Learning Workshop, VideoText Interactive Homeschool Math (A,F)

“Words Are Awesome!” (Brian Wasko)

Would a choice between writing and root canal pose a dilemma for your student? This workshop is guaranteed to make English more fun than trampolines and roller coasters. We’ll take a look at several ways to sprinkle some spice into your English curriculum. It’s not just about fun and games either--students who discover the pleasure of puns and the allure of alliteration tend to do much better on SATs and standardized tests. Learning Workshop, WriteAtHome (F)

“Writing Across the Curriculum” (Michelle Smith)

Join us to learn hands on writing strategies to support students of all ages write across the curriculum. These color-coded, manipulative-based strategies will engage students of all ages and levels. Product Workshop, Voyager Sopris Learning (A,F)

“Your Children May Never Be Normal—But They Can Be Extraordinary!” (Stephen Guffanti M.D.)

Your child has a passion that brings him or her joy. Find and feed that joy and watch the extraordinary unfold. Come with Dr. Guffanti on the adventure of your life as you explore discipline, curriculum and more in this beautiful and inspiring talk. Learning Workshop, Rocket Phonics (A)