General Sessions

KEYNOTE SESSIONS  |  FEATURED SESSIONS  |  GENERAL SESSIONS

Workshops are listed alphabetically by the speaker’s last name. Click on a speaker name to find out more about them through their photo and brief bio.

Carrie De Francisco

Homeschool Hacks – 15 Lessons Learned in 15+ Years of Homeschooling
If I could sit down with my younger self, I would share with her these fifteen “Homeschooling Hacks” that I have learned over the past 15+ years! The advice, tips, and “hacks” will help make your homeschooling journey more Christ-centered, age-appropriate, and family-oriented. You will leave with ideas on how to pray over, for, and with your students, how to manage your time to “get it all done” and fit in the important things, how to start strong and finish even stronger, and so much more!

Homeschool Pre-K – 4th Grade 4 Free (or at least almost free!)
This session will help you keep the WONDER years WONDERFUL, full of awe, and fun–all on a budget! For moms with kids in PreK through fourth grade, Carrie will cover how to keep God and His Word at the center of your studies, teaching all subjects on a budget, simplifying schedules, using “morning baskets” and loop scheduling, paying for outside classes, and more.

S.I.M.P.L.I.F.Y. How to Keep Home in Homeschooling
Are you are feeling overwhelmed and overburdened? Join us in this session to learn how to OVERCOME instead! If find your yoke is “chaffing” or you are feeling weary and stressed, perhaps you need to lighten your “load,” truly trust Jesus with your children’s education, and simplify your homeschooling! Carrie will use the acronym S.I.M.P.L.I.F.Y to share how to just that and put the HOME back in your HOMEschool.

Lenny Esposito

Building a Bullet-Proof Faith in a Backwards World
The stats are clear. Once they leave home, Christian kids are leaving the church in alarming numbers. How can we help young believers stand up to the continual onslaught of peer-pressure, professors, and pop culture pushing them away from the faith? In this session, noted apologist Lenny Esposito provides parents and young people with specific tools to solidify their faith and help them see why Christianity makes the most sense of our world.

Damon Evans

Being a TRUE Super Hero Dad
After being healed of a life-threatening illness, and being struck by lightning, filmmaker Damon Evans shares his new perspective on what it means to be a TRUE hero and a warrior for one’s family.

Generation YouTube
Filmmaker Damon Evans shares his strategy for cautiously navigating YouTube and other social channels.

Parenting with Pop Culture
Many of us fear the influence of pop culture on our kids. We all want our kids to have a strong biblical foundation and worldview. Join Christian filmmaker Damon Evans as he shares his strategies for stacking up biblical truth against secular trends. Damon shares hilarious stories and profound insights about using cultural trends to support, rather than undermine, the discipleship of our children.

Carolyn Forte

College Hacks and Alternatives
There are many ways to gain a college education that are not well known. It doesn’t have to be long or expensive to get a college degree and sometimes a degree isn’t the best path to a rewarding career. Learn how to save many thousands of dollars and graduate debt free by using well established pathways to a college diploma.

How to Simplify and De-Stress Your Homeschool
Homeschooling shouldn’t be any more difficult or stressful than your daily home life. If you and/or your children are stressed, something needs to change. Learn what several generations of successful homeschoolers have done by using simple principles of learning to customize your curriculum and lifestyle to de-stress your homeschool.

The Power of Field Trips
Are you stuck in the “classroom” all day sacrificing the value of alternative activities? Join us for a delightful presentation on the importance of field trips. Discover the variety of field trips available in Southern California as well as the potentially life changing influences of field trips. Many of our students have actually discovered their life career choice as a result of attending a field trip!

Martin Forte

Dr. Homeschool
Listen in as Dr. Homeschool discusses various “homeschool ailments.” Laugh and learn as we discuss the symptoms of: inflammation of the in-laws, edema of the curriculum, and many other common symptoms. For every case we provide the symptoms, identification of the illness, and of course, the prescription to cure the problem. The audience is guaranteed a good time while learning and laughing. Audience participation encouraged.

Grandparents Roundtable
Grandparents have unique concerns and questions. This roundtable, facilitated by Martin Forte, will give grandparents the opportunity to discuss what it’s like to have a child who chooses to homeschool, and talk about struggles, concerns, and joys.

How to Determine Your Child’s Learning Styles
Based on the research and teachings of the Learning Success Institute of Ventura, CA and the book How to Determine Your Child’s Learning Styles by Mariaemma Willis and Victoria Hodson, this workshop will give you tools to enhance both learning and retention for all your children. With a deeper understanding of your child’s unique, God-given learning style, you can have a more successful teaching experience and save hundreds of dollars on wrong curriculum choices.

Daniel Johnson

College Life: Challenges and Changes for the Homeschooler
Choosing a college (or even whether to go) is just the beginning. Attending college can bring with it a variety of changes: more independence with more responsibility, new learning and testing modalities, changes in how you manage your time and routine, new relationships and adjustments to existing ones, and even changes to how your faith is practiced. For some, it can be overwhelming. Knowing what to expect and planning accordingly can make all the difference.

Katie Julius

Adding Arts & Crafts to Your Lessons
Do you have a learner who loves to create? Does anything artsy scare you? Offering creative activities as part of your student’s curriculum will not only have them more engaged, but more likely to retain what they are learning. Learn where you can find ideas and how to implement them with as little mess and stress as possible.

Working Moms Roundtable
The number of moms who have to balance homeschooling and working is on the rise. Come meet other moms you are in your shoes and share ideas and tips that have worked for you. Whether you work from home or in an office, part-time or full-time, paid or volunteer, this workshop is for you!

Rebecca Kocsis

Finishing Strong: High School
Why do we sometimes run out of steam before we run out of school days? In this workshop we will learn how to recognize what robs us of our energy and passion. We will also learn what it takes to consistently stoke the fire that makes the steam that propels us to the end of the school year and beyond. Geared towards parents with middle/high school age children.

Keeping First Things First
Homeschoolers are the busiest people I know. With so many good opportunities to take advantage of, it’s easy to get side tracked. When you do, you find yourself expending precious time and energy on the wrong things. Your sense of purpose wanes, your passion fades, and your pursuit of excellence is compromised. Learn practical ways to keep your priorities in order.

This Is Not the Way It Was Supposed to Be
Preconceived notions – we all have them even if we aren’t aware of it. There comes a time in every home educator’s life when our preconceived notions of the way homeschool life should be are shattered by some cold hard realities. The distance between the way it is and the way we thought it would be seems as deep and far and wide as the Grand Canyon. Now what? This workshop is for the disillusioned, disappointed, discouraged, and downright disgusted.

Nathan Pierce

Busy Dads – Ten Tips to Engage
As a homeschooling dad who is just as busy as the next guy, Nathan understands the struggle of balancing work and family life. Dads are often at a loss as to how to be more involved with their wife and kids when it comes to homeschooling. He shares his top ten tips, drawn from his own failures and victories, for dads to be more effective in leading their families in their homeschool journey.

How to Write Letters and Position Papers to Your Legislature
Do you have an opinion on a piece of proposed legislation? Rather than emailing your legislator, mailing them a letter will get their attention. This workshop will give you clear steps in crafting your letter to your legislator to get your point across effectively. The opinions of citizens in their own districts are important to legislators, as many believe that your one letter represents the view of 100 others who did not take the time to express their position.

Legislative Update
with Mike Smith
Fresh from the battlefront, Nathan & Mike will update you on major current legislative battles to protect our private home education and parental rights! You will learn how vigilance is maintained despite the many threats against our precious freedoms, and hear how God has been working “behind the lines” through FPM this year to build relationships with legislators and staff inside the Capitol. The perspective will broaden to an even larger battlefront of the underlying worldviews and trends of our culture’s war against the God-ordained family.

Raising Our Children to be Discerning in a World of Error
With seven young children in our home, we do a lot of explaining about what is going on in the world around us. It can be tempting to give short answers but doing so shirks our responsibility to train our children in discernment. Studying and growing in discernment is something that we as parents need to model for our children as well as mentor them in it. How can we do this in a world that is so confusing and full of people that teach that lies are truth and truth doesn’t exist?

Penny Ross

Lesson Planning
In a traditional school setting, the curriculum determines the pace. But in homeschooling, we can emphasize an appropriate pace and load for each particular student. With that goal in mind, how do I plan? And what are some of the many ways I can present a lesson?

Managing Your School Day
How do I add in homeschooling to a day already full with laundry, housework, errands, and more? Does it matter when I teach and in what order we tackle our subjects? This workshop includes scheduling tools, time management tips, and organizational pointers to help you manage your day more effectively. This is Penny’s most popular workshop!

Middle School: Is It Any Different?
What do you need to cover now as the bridge between the academic foundations of elementary school and the more advanced coursework of high school? And how do the startling physical, mental, and emotional changes of puberty impact your homeschooling?

You Can Teach Preschool at Home
In today’s world, parents of three- and four-year-olds often feel pressured to send their children OUT to preschool. But academic readiness skills can very easily be taught within the realm of real-life experiences at home. Come find out how!

Mike Smith

Legislative Update
with Nathan Pierce
Fresh from the battlefront, Nathan & Mike will update you on major current legislative battles to protect our private home education and parental rights! You will learn how vigilance is maintained despite the many threats against our precious freedoms, and hear how God has been working “behind the lines” through FPM this year to build relationships with legislators and staff inside the Capitol. The perspective will broaden to an even larger battlefront of the underlying worldviews and trends of our culture’s war against the God-ordained family.

Preparing Your Young People to Engage the Culture
Young people today, even homeschooled, are engaging the culture every day. The internet has thrust us all into the good, bad, and ugly of society. We must admit, earlier and earlier, that our children are engaging the culture–one that is turning against the Judeo-Christian culture many parents were raised in. Mike will address how you can prepare your children to be winners rather than losers in the cultural battle they will engage in their whole lives.

The Power of the Tongue
Life and death is in the power of tongue. Negative, condemning words or withholding praise and affirmation can leave deep scars. Using James 3:1–10 as a model for how we use words to edify and build up rather than to tear down, Mike shares how we can ensure that our children do not grow up feeling rejection from us as parents because of poor communication. He also explores some ways that we might use our tongue to injure our children—and how we can instead use our tongue as an instrument of blessing.

Jill Stowell

Stop the School Work Battle and Get Your Confident Child Back
Offering hope and real solutions, join Jill as she shares about the seven myths that stand in the way of help for struggling students and the truth behind learning and attention challenges.

Take a Walk in Their Shoes: Dyslexia, Learning and Attention Challenges Simulation
During this simulation workshop, experience for yourself what it might feel like to have an attention deficit, live in a world of language when you have an auditory processing disorder, or decipher a page of text through the eyes of a student with dyslexia. These experiences can be eye opening and transformational for parents of children who struggle with these and other learning challenges.

Dr. Iris Thot-Johnson

Si, Ja, Oui, Yes! You CAN Teach Foreign Languages in your Home School
Far from being the scary subjects some of us used to dread in high school, Dr. Thot-Johnson shows how easy, and far from intimidating foreign languages can be. In this hands-on workshop, learn why teaching your child(ren) a foreign language early on can be a huge advantage, how to implement foreign language study as a subject, and how to add foreign language tidbits throughout your child’s day, regardless of the subject at hand.

Andrew Vandever

Spark Your Child’s Interest in Technology
In this session, we’ll talk about the impact of technology on the world’s economy and ways that our kids can benefit from it. We’ll cover a variety of useful modern technological skills, how they can be used to provide for a family and advance God’s kingdom, and how you can foster a productive interest in these technologies in your family.

Jenny Vandever

Your School Needs a Budget!
This session is all about how to get the most out of your family’s dollar while laying a strong, biblical foundation for your kids to manage their finances. We will cover the basics of financial theology along with the nuts and bolts of putting these principles into practice with a budget. Then, we’ll talk about some strategies for talking to your students about money and training them to handle it wisely.

Andrew and Jenny Vandever

Second Generation Homeschoolers Panel
Join a second generation homeschooling couple as they facilitate this panel of homeschooling moms and dads who were homeschooled themselves. Hear stories and advice from those who have experienced both sides of home education. Panelists to be announced soon.

Stopping for Gas – Keeping your Teaching Tank Filled Up
Conventions are a great tool for kicking your teacher mode into gear and starting off a new year running. But how do you stay excited in the cold of December or when starting back up after Easter break? We’ll talk through the ways that we stay connected and fired up to teach, from involvement in local groups to road trip playlists.

The Power of Play
Organized instruction can be a great way to impart new skills or correct mislearned ones. But play provides a context to practice and understand those skills in relation to goals and without the pressure that sometimes comes with formal lessons. We’ll explore some ways to ignite your students’ imagination and help them learn through fun!

Julie Walker

Discipling your Teens and Other Dangerous Endeavors
To disciple or to discipline: what do your teens need? While they are very close in meaning, discipling is about spiritual formation and coaching than doling out consequences to misbehaving teens. Although they need both, homeschooling provides unique opportunities for parents to be more intentional about the former so that the latter may not be as severe. Learn from a homeschool mom graduate strategies you can use (or avoid!) to help your preteens and teens become the leaders of tomorrow.

Four Deadly Errors of Teaching Writing… And Anything Else
As the chief marketing officer for IEW, Julie Walker has plenty of opportunities to engage in conversations with founder and director, Andrew Pudewa. As it turns out, his popular conference talk “The Four Deadly Errors of Teaching Writing” can actually be applied to many areas of life. Chores? Meal planning? Math? Parenting? Running a small business? Find out what those deadly errors are and what you can do to avoid them!

Memorizing to Think
In homeschooling circles, there is a general understanding that “memorizing stuff is good.” But do you know why? Children who are taught how and what to memorize will be more prepared to be excellent communicators and thinkers. This workshop will provide ideas for what to memorize, how to use motivational strategies, and other best practices to retain information so that your students will be more equipped for better creativity and learning in future years.

Dr. Laseanda Wesson

Creating A Personal Rule of Life
Do you find yourself at the end of the day, utterly exhausted and unprepared for the challenges of tomorrow? A Personal Rule of Life is an agreement that you make with yourself to honor the purpose(s) God has for you. If you are tired, stressed out, and burned out, this workshop provides practical strategies for “doing it all.” You will learn how to set healthy boundaries and make personal agreements that help you avoid burnout.

Lord Redeem the Time!
Our time is not our own. It belongs to God. When we let go of our schedules and allow God to instruct us in “time management,” we will feel less stress and resentment. This workshop will help you learn how to spend time as a family asking God how to allot your time. You will learn practical strategies on how to invite Him into your day planner. You will be amazed at how much more time you have when God is in the midst.

Barbara Witt

Building Godly Character
Got character issues? Come be encouraged and equipped to integrate Scripture-centered character building into your Bible time. You will learn powerful tools, tips, and techniques for using God’s Word to transform your family!

Raising Children Who Know Their Identity in Christ
Do your children know that they are magnificent creations of the Most High God, fearfully and wonderfully made in His image? This workshop provides practical and powerful tools to teach children that their identity is in Christ rather than in the world. Each attendee will create a “make and take” personalized scrapbooking Scripture acrostic that they can replicate with their children at home.

Reaching and Teaching ALL Learners
In this hands-on workshop, discover the fun of using games and playful teaching strategies to reach and teach every child. Learn how to help your children flourish by identifying and accommodating the different ways they learn – everyone will love it!

Jeanna Young

A Message from my Husband
Written at the request of my husband 11 years ago when I first started speaking, this has now become my most popular talk. Sharing from personal experiences, learn how to harmonize loving both your children and your husband.

Huggies, Highchairs, and Hospitality
Hospitality is probably the last thing on a busy homeschool mom’s mind. In this session, Jeanna shares how to discover the lost art of hospitality in the 21st century with a hubby and kids two, changing the world one conversation at a time.

Thrive Right Here
We live in world that is flying by at breakneck speed as we shuttle kids from one activity to the next while managing a school and home. In this session, Jeanna encourages moms to stop, listen, and see what God is doing around you, in the midst of the busyness of mommyhood. She shares small tasks that led to GOD sized stories which means only God can do it!

Additional Workshops Coming Soon