Those new to homeschooling are invited to join us for a FREE pre-convention mini-conference Thursday, July 14, 2016, 2:30-5:30 PM, at the Phoenix Convention Center, South Building.

In addition, we are offering two additional tracks ... one for Homeschooling High School and the other on Homeschooling a Child with Special Needs. Each of these additional tracks is just $10 per person (adult) to attend. If you aren't able to attend the whole convention, this is a great way to get a little sampling of some of the great workshops that will be presented during the convention by HSLDA High School Consultants and HSLDA Special Needs Consultants. Details are below. Registration for these two tracks opens March 15.

All three tracks include door prize drawings.

Please see additional information about parking, convention registration, and more at the bottom of this page.

This year's "Considering Homeschooling" Mini-Conference is being sponsored by the following three sponsors. We are grateful for their support and participation. Each of these sponsors will be giving a 3-minute presentation during the Thursday mini-conference and they will have a table in the hallway outside the "Considering Homeschooling" mini-conference room. Be sure to stop by and talk to them to learn more.





















This is a great opportunity for those new to homeschooling or those considering homeschooling. If you know someone who is thinking about homeschooling or is new to homeschooling, please share this opportunity with them. We'd love to have them join us! We will present three sessions designed specifically for those who are considering educating their children at home.

The "Considering Homeschooling" pre-convention mini-conference is free of charge. No registration required. Just come on down to the Convention Center and check in at the welcome table in the South Building main lobby.

Homeschooling: The Great Adventure - Linda Patchin
Homeschooling can be a lot of things, but most assuredly it is the adventure of a lifetime. This workshop will begin by helping you to build a road map for your homeschool journey, and concludes with practical suggestions on how to follow that course.


Getting Started Homeschooling - Linda Crosby
So, you’ve decided to homeschool your children. Now what? If you are at this jumping-in point and need direction navigating your homeschool journey, this workshop is for you! Homeschool mom-survivor since 2001, Linda Crosby is equipped to answer your questions: How do I teach several kids at different levels? Where do I find curriculum? What about report cards? Should I start when my kid is 5? Do I need an American flag in the kitchen? Do I need a teaching certificate? Can video games count as something? Do I report to anyone? How much does this cost? Are pajamas a homeschool uniform? Where is the teacher’s lounge? Plus many, many more.


Choosing Curriculum and Teaching Methods - Linda Patchin
This highly practical workshop will compare and contrast the many different teaching methods and styles commonly employed by home educating parents. Linda seeks to share advantages and disadvantages within each method without endorsing any one in particular. Hopefully she can help you to choose the one that will work effectively for you and your children. Bring your questions.



Linda Patchin has been married to her college sweetheart, Paul, since 1980. They have four children who were homeschooled from birth through high school, and who have since graduated from college. Linda is a founding and current board member of Christian Homeschoolers of Idaho State. She is a regular columnist for the CHOIS Connection magazine, and her articles have appeared in many other state homeschool magazines. She lives in Boise, Idaho where she loves to offer encouragement to homeschool parents.


Linda Crosby is gifted at transforming the daily God-moments from her life into unforgettable, hilarious, practical lessons that people can relate to. She has a heart for God and a desire to encourage other mothers to laugh in the center of the chaos and noise that children create. She considers motherhood the most important calling on earth. Linda is a writer and speaker for women’s events, mom’s clubs, and homeschool groups. She has written two books: Laughing in the Midst of Mothering and Laughing in the Midst of Marriage. Linda and her husband Rick have four children they have been homeschooling since 2001. Rick and Linda joined the AFHE board in 2011, and they are happy and humbled to be able to give back to the homeschool community.





HSLDA High School Consultant, Carol Becker, and graduated homeschool mom and AFHE Convention speaker, Colene Lewis, will present a 3-hour mini-conference to encourage and equip you for homeschooling your teens. We'll wrap up with a Q&A panel discussion.



HSLDA Special Needs Consultants, Krisa Winn and Joyce Blankenship, will present a 3-hour mini-conference to encourage and equip you for homeschooling a child with special needs. We'll wrap up with a Special Needs Panel discussion.




Why Homeschool through High School - Carol Becker
Tips for Success in Homeschooling Teens - Colene Lewis
Overcoming the Fear of Teaching High School Subjects - Carol Becker
Do Homeschoolers Miss Out? - Colene Lewis


Carol Becker and her husband Jim have homeschooled two children from K-12th, and both have graduated college. With a BS in Engineering and MS in System Science, Carol directed both a multiple-age co-op and science co-op. She taught Composition, American Literature, British Literature, Algebra I & 2, and Geometry courses for homeschooled teens. She coached teens to succeed on the SAT Timed essay and tutored writing students from middle school through community college. As an HSLDA High School Consultant, Carol writes articles, newsletters, and blogs to encourage and equip homeschool parents because they are raising the next generation of leaders.


Colene Lewis, with her husband Tom, homeschooled their daughters through high school in a home where learning was a joy and a way of life. Colene served on the AFHE Board with Tom for over 13 years. She is a sought-after speaker, speaking at numerous conferences. She is the co-author of Russia: The Land of Endurance, published by KONOS. After homeschooling her children, Colene worked for Alliance Defending Freedom for 13 years ministering to over 1500 Christian law students helping them professionally and spiritually to be able to impact the world for Christ. Colene is now turning her energies to ministering to parents by working with Heather Haupt at Cultivated Lives.



Teaching Struggling Learners:
Nuts & Bolts for Success Part 1 - Joyce Blankenship

This workshop offers practical resources, lists of materials, and curricula in order to help equip you as you homeschool your struggling learner. Ideas for designing a unique home instruction program tailored to your child's specific challenges will be presented.

Teaching Struggling Learners:
Nuts & Bolts for Success Part 2 - Krisa Winn

In part two of Nuts and Bolts for Success, Krisa addresses homeschooling and working, teaching multiple ages, scheduling the day, and practical teaching strategies to use regardless of your curriculum program. Multi-sensory teaching methods, direct instruction, modeled teaching, and "scaffolding" instruction will be shared.



Joyce Blankenship earned her bachelor of arts degree in liberal studies at California State University Long Beach and her elementary teaching credential at California State University Chico. She has worked in the field of education for the past 30 years, as an educational therapist, tutor, enrichment class teacher, and home educator. She has graduated four of her five children and continues to homeschool her youngest daughter. Two of her children are college graduates, while two are currently in college. Having homeschooled a struggling learner, Joyce finds great enjoyment in encouraging parents in their homeschooling journey. She joined HSLDA’s special needs consultants team in spring of 2013.


Krisa Winn is a former public school teacher-turned homeschooling mom. Throughout her career as an educator, she had many opportunities to work with children with special needs. Students with attention deficit disorder, developmental delays, auditory processing disorder, sensory processing disorders and autism have filled her class rosters and her heart. As a special needs consultant with HSLDA, she now uses those past experiences to offer resources, support and guidance to parents who are homeschooling children with special needs. She and her husband Byron are raising their two young daughters in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley of Virginia.





Convention Registration

Attendance at this pre-convention mini-conference does not include admission to the Arizona Home Education Convention Friday, July 15 and Saturday, July 16, 2016. On-site registration will be open from 4:00-6:00 PM for those who wish to register for the convention Thursday or for those who did pre-register for the convention to pick up your name badges, goody bag (one per family), and convention program, and avoid the check-in lines Friday morning.

NOTE: This mini-conference takes place during exhibitor move-in and set-up so the exhibit hall will not be open for shopping on Thursday. You will need to register for the convention in order to enter the exhibit hall Friday and Saturday.

We do have an exhibit-hall-only pass option on Saturday from 3:30-6:30 PM and will be available for purchase starting at 3:15 PM Saturday.



Parking is plentiful near the Phoenix Convention Center. Parking downtown costs approximately $10-$15 per day.

Oversized vehicles can be parked in several places:
1) City Garage on 5th street and Washington is very large and almost always has oversize spaces available.
2) Collier Center on Washington and 3rd street. They have just over 8’ clearance.
3) Jefferson Street garage if you enter on 4th street just north of Jefferson Street.
4.) You can park at any open lot like the one on 2nd street and Washington, directly across from Chase Field.

Downtown Phoenix Website

Visit for an interactive map with parking, restaurants, and road construction updates.


The Jefferson Street Garage has generously offered discount parking for AFHE Convention attendees again in 2016 for just $5 Friday and Saturday before noon and Thursday all day. (No in and out privileges.) No coupon or flier needed to get the $5 rate. This discount will be the posted rate Thursday and before noon Friday/Saturday.


Childcare is not provided. This pre-convention mini-conference is geared for adults and takes place during exhibitor set-up for the AFHE Home Education Convention. There is no place available for children to play or hang out during the mini-conference sessions. Nursing infants are welcome as always. For your children's safety and to allow you to glean all that you can from these mini-conference sessions, we encourage you to make childcare arrangements early. If you bring your child with you, he or she must remain with you at all times, and out of courtesy for other attendees, we ask that you step out of the workshop room if your child becomes noisy or a distraction to those around you.