IDEA Curriculum Fair 2020: Speakers with Learning Workshops

Keynote speaker: Adam Andrews

Click here for more info about Adam and his workshops. Other speakers below. Click on company name and workshop titles for more details.

Adam Hailstone

Representing Williamsburg Learning

Learning workshops in Anchorage and Fairbanks
Finding the Energy to Homeschool
The Science of Motivation

Adam is Chief Marketing Officer and Director of Innovative Learning Centers at Williamsburg Learning. Adam is passionate about building a vibrant and expanding community to support your students in their adventure through learning. In his words, “I love inspiring parents and students to get a great education and overcome the barriers in their way. My role directly aligns with my life’s mission, so it’s as much a calling as it is a career.” Adam joined Williamsburg in 2010 as a mentor, and has designed and taught much of The Williamsburg Curriculum. He has presented talks on alternative education throughout the U.S. and Canada and loves finding creative ways to expand and enhance the Williamsburg tribe.

Adam holds a B.A. in Liberal Arts from George Wythe University. He lives with his wife, Laura, of thirteen years and their son Emmet in Salt Lake City, Utah. Adam loves wrestling with his son, hiking, reading, discussing, CrossFit, cinema, and making delicious food for family and friends.

Angela D’Antonio

Representing Moving Beyond the Page

Learning workshop in all locations
Minimalist Homeschooling: How Minimalism Can Bring Clarity, Calm, and Purpose to Your Homeschool

Angela Marie D’Antonio has been homeschooling her two daughters for seven years in various locations nationally and internationally. She is a minimalist at heart and is constantly evaluating her home, possessions, and schedule to “create more space”. Married to an academic and a certified book nerd, she is constantly reading and learning about education and how to “live deep and suck out all the marrow of life”.

Beth Herrild

Representing Outside the Box Creation

Learning workshop in Soldotna, Anchorage, & Fairbanks
Gaining Confidence & Getting Creative – Tips for Doing Art with Your Child

Beth Herrild is a mom of three who was dismayed at the lack of quality visual arts education in the public schools when her kids entered school. So, she became an art docent in elementary schools for over 13 years, also in a juvenile detention center, working with teens, and trained and coordinated the docents for the Issaquah WA school district as well as teaching art to her own children at home before starting her own company focused on kids’ art education, Outside the Box Creation. She also volunteered doing art with homeless youth in the University District in Seattle. She holds a BS in Fine Arts from the University of Wisconsin and an MA in Whole Systems Design from Antioch University.

Brian Wasko


Learning workshop in all locations
To be selected

Brian Wasko has been a popular homeschool convention speaker since the early 2000s, entertaining and educating audiences at dozens of conventions across the country. He has been a keynote and a featured speaker.

Brian’s background is in English education. He has taught high school English for many years in public and private Christian schools. In 2001, he founded WriteAtHome, an online service offering tutorial writing courses to homeschoolers. He also teaches online literature courses through Wasko Lit, where he can share with young people his love for the great books of Western Civilization.

Brian and his family live in Virginia Beach, Virginia. He and his wife, Melanie, homeschooled their four daughters from kindergarten to college.

Damon Evans

Representing Film School 4 Teens

Learning workshops in Soldotna, Anchorage, & Fairbanks
Generation YouTube: The opportunities and threats of unlimited access
Proper Care and Feeding of the Artistic Child (filmmaking, theater, music, dance, art)

Damon Evans is a filmmaker who has spent his 25+ year career creating documentaries, TV commercials and narrative films. His work has taken him to over 40 countries promoting third world development. As a father of four, he began creating short films as a way to entertain his kids which led to the creation of Cabin Fever Films, a production company specializing in entertaining, family-friendly films. After years teaching film to youth he was compelled to create “Film School for Teens” in order to expose young people to the art of filmmaking and enable them to use the technology they already have to inspire, entertain and share their viewpoint with the world.

Deb Mackie

Representing IDEA Homeschool (High School Specialist)

Learning workshops to be selected

I am a past homeschool mother of two grown daughters. I homeschooled K-12 for both girls and worked for many years as a regional field rep for IDEA. During those years I researched and learned a lot about how to prepare my own children for life beyond high school. After they graduated and went on to college I went back to school myself and earned my Bachelors in Education. I am now a contact teacher for IDEA as well as the High School Specialist. A portion of my work day is dedicated to learning about and sharing with our IDEA families about high school opportunities and how to be prepared for the many options beyond high school. I have over twenty years in homeschool education and love helping families navigate high school and the preparation for the next steps beyond.

Elyce Tate

Representing GeoMatters

Learning workshops in Anchorage
To be selected

Elyce is a veteran homeschool mom of four who lives in Tampa, Florida where she continues to homeschool her two youngest children. She has used the Trail Guide to Learning series two different times and was mentored by the late Debbie Strayer, who has been a tremendous influence on her homeschool journey. At this season of her life, Elyce has a passion to tutor children as well as mentor and encourage other homeschool moms. In her free time she can be found exercising or cooking up a new creative gluten free meal or dessert.

Henderson Riley

Representing Mr. D Math

Learning workshops in Soldotna, Anchorage, and Fairbanks
How to Think and Talk Math
Prime Numbers – The Gateway to Algebra and Beyond!
SAT Math – It’s Not the Math, it’s the Question that is Confusing!

Henderson Riley is known affectionately by Mr. D Math students as Mr. H. He was been working with the Mr. D Math for the past 5 years and is a former public school teacher. Mr. H is in charge of the math program for 2 Florida co-ops and teaches over 50% of the live online class sessions offered by Mr. D Math. Mr. H is a consultant for his former school district now providing best practices for technology in the classroom and learning strategies for students.

Young people always enjoy being with him as he shares his talents with his fun and unique style of teaching.

Leslie Daniels

Representing Oak Meadow Independent Learning

Learning workshop in Soldotna and Anchorage
Tips & Techniques for Supplementing Curriculum

Leslie graduated from Indiana University with a BS in Environmental Education and General Science. She also received a Teaching Certificate through the School of Education for Grades K-8, and took graduate courses in Alternative Education at the Waldorf Institute of Southern California and at Antioch College in Keene, NH. In addition to working as an Oak Meadow teacher since 1986, Leslie homeschooled her children with Oak Meadow’s K-8 curricula. She is currently the founder, director and head teacher of the “Little Tree Education” program, which offers educational activities to groups of homeschooled students.

Maren Ehley

Representing RightStart Mathematics

Learning workshop in all locations
Workshops to be selected

Maren has a Bachelor’s Degree in design and art from North Dakota State University. She is responsible for marketing, convention support, along with other general office functions. She travels to conventions within the US and Canada to help children benefit from using RightStart Math and is co-teaching the online class for middle-school students.

She has 25 years of accounting and customer service experience. Maren is married with three children ranging from elementary to adult. Maren uses RightStart Math with her youngest daughter, who has excelled in math for this very reason. She enjoys painting, reading, camping, home improvements, and landscaping.

Matt Kirby

Representing MoxieBox Art Inc.

Learning workshop in all locations
Creativity – The Tool of Life

Matt Kirby has been involved in creative pursuits from an early age. After a B.S Degree in Engineering Science he started his Greeting Card Company Kirby Kardz. While still employed as a Mechanical Engineer Kirby conceived and created the hit party game Apples to Apples with to-dates sales of over 20 million units. Future game titles invented include Shipwrecked and Picaroon. Kirby has also made a feature length documentary of the bay area artist Fred Holle. Other pursuits include the websites Entropynation and the history learning site decadesmatrix. Kirby (along with his wife Karen) is the home-school dad of three children and has been speaking on the the importance of the role that creativity plays in children’s and adults lives through his seminars to schools. Kirby has now joined MoxieBox Art heading up product development. MoxieBox makes K-12 complete art box projects whose goal is the nurturing of creativity in all children.

Monica Irvine

Representing The Etiquette Factory

Learning workshop in Anchorage, Fairbanks, and Juneau
Workshops to be selected

Monica Irvine, President and creator of The Etiquette Factory, LLC, is a master motivator and dedicated instructor who loves to help children and adults see the benefits and rewards of having proper etiquette, mastering professionalism and excelling in social skills. As a Certified Etiquette Instructor and Life Coach and working in the hospitality industry for 29 years, Mrs. Irvine specializes in etiquette and professional instruction to help ensure the success of each individual both personally and professionally.

Mrs. Irvine is the published author of five books on etiquette including Etiquette for Beginners, Etiquette Intermediate, Etiquette Masters, A Dating Guide for Ladies & Gentlemen and Raising a Generation of Ladies and Gentlemen as well as The Etiquette Factory Storybook Series including 15 storybooks for children. She is also the author of A Schedule Makes for a Happy Family. Mrs. Irvine is a national speaker, speaking to thousands of parents, educators and children every year.

Residing in Knoxville, TN, with her husband, this retired homeschool teacher spends her free time playing tennis, running and enjoying her family of three boys and two granddaughters. You may contact Mrs. Irvine at

Nicholeen Peck

Representing Teaching Self-Government

Learning workshop in all locations
The Not-So-Known Secret to Homeschool Success
Overcoming the Expectation Trap to Save Your Homeschool Day and Your Relationships
The Power of Calm: Parenting Strong-willed Children

When it comes to parenting, Nicholeen Peck is a worldwide phenomenon and leader — and for good reason! Her proven system based upon calmness, the principles of self-government, and good communication transforms even the most out-of-control teenagers and homes from chaos to calm within days. The world witnessed this in 2009 when the Peck family was featured on a one hour BBC documentary about parenting where 2 troubled British teens came to say in their home for 8 days. After 2 days the teens stopped rebelling, and by the end of the program begged not to leave the Peck family. She has appeared on various news shows and radio programs to discuss effective parenting. She’s a popular public speaker, columnist, author of the international book, Parenting a House United, and many other books including Roles, Londyn LaRae Says Okay, Porter Earns A Quarter, Big Win For Quin, Paije Takes the Stage, Popular Parenting Methods, and more. Nicholeen has also homeschooled all 4 of her children K-12.

Nicholeen’s Books have been translated into Spanish, Chinese, and Japanese and she has taught audiences throughout North America, and in Europe, Asia and Africa. It’s Nicholeen’s mission to heal families around the world from emotional bondage by teaching them the principles of self-government — the same principles that have set her and her family free. Though she’s an international speaker, author, mentor, former foster parent of many difficult and troubled teens, and even President of the Worldwide Organization for Women (an approved consultant for the United Nations), Nicholeen spends most of her time at home with her husband and four children, which she knows will be her greatest impact and legacy. The fact that she has such an international influence while still being a stay-at-home mom is evidence of the effectiveness of her teachings. Learn more about her mission and methods at

Nicole Thomas

Representing Nicole the Math Lady

Learning workshop in all locations
Yes, Yes…You Can Have a Blast Teaching Math!

Ask a homeschool parent to list their biggest obstacles, and “teaching math” will probably appear close to the top of that list. In response to this concern, Nicole Thomas created Nicole the Math Lady – online video lessons for Saxon Math students that make math approachable and enjoyable for kids and parents. Under Nicole’s direction, what began as a website serving 100 students has grown to serve thousands each day. Nicole has not only created an educational website, but a family environment where children and parents share the common belief that when education is fun, there are no limits to what a child can learn.

Before launching Nicole the Math Lady, Nicole was actively engaged in leadership training and curriculum development for Fortune 50 companies including PwC, Johnson & Johnson and Verizon. Nicole helped develop Monster’s Diversity Leadership Program, preparing students to obtain positions in Fortune 100 companies. She is also the author of two books: the “Icebreaker Cookbook” and “Let’s Rock the Test”, a test taking strategies curriculum used by hundreds of teachers across the country. Nicole holds Bachelors’ Degrees in Economics and Psychology from Stanford University and resides in Orlando, Florida with her family.

Trish Padgett

Representing Create! Press, Inc.

Learning workshop in Anchorage & Fairbanks
Sounds First

Trish Padgett has specialized in the process of learning for 30 years. She is a Certified Educational Therapist and provides language-based, multi-sensory instruction to students in all grade levels and educational settings. Trish is currently the Clinical Director of Banyan Tree Educational Services and author of Writing Adventures® and Sounds First®. Trish’s passion is the language of learning. She strives to build confidence and success with the learning process for all students. Her expertise has been applied to home schoolers and educators working in one-to-one, small group, and classroom settings. Trish has spent the last fifteen years training and coaching educators, paraprofessionals, and home school families in the application of research and process-based reading, spelling, and writing principles. As many homeschoolers feel overwhelmed with teaching reading and writing, the primary objective of the coaching is to empower homeschoolers with the skills to be taught as well as how to teach the skills. Home schoolers all over the world use Writing Adventures to supplement their Language Arts curriculum. Trish provides support via phone calls and emails to assist parents with integrating more writing experiences throughout the day.

Trish is also currently the President of Create! Press, Inc., the publisher of Writing Adventures and Sounds First. She has presented several workshops at national and international conferences. As Clinical Director of Banyan Tree Educational Services, Trish identifies learning strengths and weaknesses in youths and adults through assessment and develops and administers individualized cognitive therapy plans. She also consults with home schoolers, schools, and learning centers across the country in the areas of reading, spelling, language comprehension, writing, and arithmetic.

Valerie Humphrey

Representing Lucky 13 Education

Learning workshop in Soldotna & Anchorage
Gameschooling 101: Learning the FUN way

As a child, I was homeschooled from K-12 in the great state of Alaska. I was blessed with a great education that excellently prepared me for college and allowed me to attend the school of my dreams. After high school, I pursued further education at Baylor University where I got my BA in Business. I later continued my education and got my MBA in Business Administration.

I now have two littles of my own that I homeschool through IDEA. They are in 2nd grade and Kindergarten. My husband and I have found gameschooling and non-traditional curriculum to not only be fun but a great way to bring school to life for our children. Because of this, we have added an educational division to our business that provides excellent educational games, kits, and materials to our local homeschool community.