2017 Speakers & Workshop Information
Each year we offer a great line-up of speakers with workshops covering a wide variety of topics and 2017 is no exception. We think you’ll enjoy the delightful assortment of speakers and workshop topics scheduled for this year’s AFHE Convention!
AFHE invites speakers who have a message of hope and encouragement with plenty of practical ideas and insight to help you as you teach, nurture, develop, and unfold the gifts in your child. We pray that you come away refreshed, re-energized, strengthened, inspired, and full of fresh ideas for the year ahead.
You’ll find it helpful to review the workshop schedule ahead of time to get an idea of what’s being offered and to help plan which sessions you’d like to attend.
Scroll down to learn more about this year’s speakers.
Workshop Schedules & Descriptions
Featured speaker workshop schedule and workshop descriptions are linked below. Exhibitor workshop schedule and descriptions are also available.
Purchase workshop recordings from Resounding Voice in the Lobby or online following the AFHE Convention. There will be an on-site convention special for the full set MP3.
Print out handouts for workshops you plan to attend and bring them with you.
Todd Wilson is a dad, writer, conference speaker, and former pastor. Todd’s humor and down to earth realness have made him a favorite speaker at homeschool conventions across the country and a guest on Focus on the Family. As founder of Familyman Ministries, his passion and mission are to remind dads and moms of what’s most important through a weekly e-mail for dads, seminars, and books that encourage parents. Todd and his wife Debbie homeschool six of their eight children (two have graduated) in northern Indiana and travel America in the Familyman Mobile.
Rick Green and his family bring history to life as they empower other families to live their freedom and restore the bedrock principles of American Exceptionalism. Rick is an attorney, author, former Texas Legislator, host of David Barton’s WallBuilders Live! radio program, founder of Patriot Academy (elite training for our nation’s future leaders), and creator of the television series Chasing American Legends. Rick and Kara have homeschooled for 16 years. Their oldest graduated college at 17 with a B.S. in Economics from Liberty University. Rick and Kara believe no impact is more important than that which we have on our own children and grandchildren.
Tara Bentley is a veteran homeschool mom of two daughters. During 13 years of homeschooling, she and her husband Mark served in leadership for 12. They currently serve together on the Board of Directors for Indiana Association of Home Educators (IAHE), where Tara also serves as the Executive Director. Always juggling work, family, and multiple responsibilities, Tara loves encouraging moms who often feel like they just aren’t enough.
Lee Binz, The HomeScholar is a dynamic homeschool speaker and author. She is an expert on how to craft a winning homeschool transcript and get the big scholarships. A firm believer that homeschooling provides the best possible learning environment for children, Lee’s mission is to encourage and equip parents to homeschool through high school. Lee understands what it takes to graduate homeschool students fully prepared for college and for life. Her practical advice and organized presentations have helped thousands of homeschool parents muster up the courage to complete their homeschooling journey with confidence!
Jean Burk is the author of the award-winning College Prep Genius program and is a frequent Fox News contributor who has been featured on numerous television networks and radio shows and has been published in various magazines. Both her children were homeschooled and earned incredible scholarships that included free tuition, room and board, study-abroad stipends, free grad school, and free law school because of their standardized test scores. She has taught students how to ace these tests all over the USA and other countries. She is a sought-after speaker who equips and educates families on how to navigate the waters of college prep.
Kathleen Cotter Lawler
Kathleen Cotter Lawler is the daughter of Dr. Joan A. Cotter, author and creator of the RightStart™ Mathematics program. Kathleen has a degree in Home Economics and two Masters degrees. Kathleen is the mother of four children ages 21 to 25; three have graduated from college and the youngest is a junior in college. Kathleen is responsible for curriculum development, marketing, sales, and office management. She travels all across the US and Canada sharing the mission of helping children understand, apply, and enjoy mathematics. In her spare time, Kathleen designs and creates quilts, travels, and is re-learning how to unicycle.
Deanne Crawford began her homeschool journey in 1997, graduating her youngest in 2013. Blessed with children on both sides of the learning spectrum, she adapted her homeschool to best meet their individual needs in light of their future aspirations. Today, Amanda is a Critical Care Nurse and Jackson attends community college and works for a Christian talk radio channel. Believing that homeschooling was a tremendous blessing for her family, Deanne confesses it was also the most challenging thing she has ever done. She joined Rainbow in 2011, and is passionate about encouraging and equipping the next generation of homeschoolers.
Seth Dunham is the Sales Director of Demme Learning. He resides in South Dakota with his wife Angel of over 25 years and three daughters: Amber, 23; Amanda, 23; and Ashley, 18. He and his wife homeschooled their daughters for 8 years, and he has over 19 years of sales and leadership experience. He has enjoyed working with homeschooling families and Christian schools to assist them in making wise curriculum choices. Seth and his family enjoy hiking and spending time together whenever possible.
Will Estrada, a homeschool graduate from Pennsylvania, began working for HSLDA in 2004 as a legal assistant. He now directs the Federal Relations department and is HSLDA’s federal lobbyist, using his passion for homeschooling to influence Congress, the White House, and federal departments. From 2007 to 2012, Will served as the director of Generation Joshua, working nationwide with young people who are making a difference in their communities and our nation through politics. Recently, Will served on the Transition Team for President Donald J. Trump as an adviser on education policy issues that affect homeschool freedom. Will and his wife Rachel, who is a homeschool graduate and professional artist, live in northern Virginia with their son Dominic.
Carol S. Fitzpatrick has a passion for helping struggling readers. When her own children were forced to deal with the frustration and humiliation of dyslexia, she went back to school to learn how to teach them to read. The same methods she used to homeschool both of her sons have worked for many more struggling readers over 25+ years. When she isn’t tutoring, Carol travels throughout the country speaking on successful intervention in reading instruction. She has a master’s degree in education (reading) and is is trained in Orton-Gillingham methods for helping dyslexics, Slingerland, Barton Reading and Spelling, and Lindamond-Bell Phoneme Sequencing (LiPS). She is the author of the book Help, I Can’t Read!
Greg Gudorf is the CEO of PureFlix.com, a subsidiary of Pure Flix Entertainment, the worldwide leader in faith and family based entertainment based in Scottsdale. In his new role, Greg is leading Pure Flix’s charge into the OTT space with the launch of the company’s subscription video-on-demand service. The goal of the service is to provide homeschool families the ability to stream family friendly documentaries, educational series, movies, kids’ programming, and more as an alternative to typical Hollywood content. A published author, speaker, and aviation enthusiast, Greg resides in San Diego, CA.
Heather Haupt is the mother of three knights-in-training and a spunky little princess. She wants to be intentional during these years of parenting and raise children who will make a difference in this world. Recognizing the brevity of childhood and the power of a parent’s influence, Heather both inspires and equips families toward intentional parenting, pursuing God, and delighting in the adventure of learning. She is the author of the book Knights-in-Training: Ten Principles for Raising Honorable, Courageous and Compassionate Boys (Summer 2017, Penguin-Random House) as well as The Ultimate Guide to Brain Breaks.
Monica Irvine, President and creator of The Etiquette Factory, is a master motivator and dedicated instructor who loves to help children and adults across the country see the benefits of having proper etiquette, mastering professionalism, and excelling in social skills. Mrs. Irvine is the author of four books on etiquette including Etiquette for Beginners and Raising a Generation of Ladies and Gentlemen, as well as A Schedule Makes for a Happy Family. As a retired homeschool teacher, she resides with her husband in Knoxville, TN, and spends her free time playing tennis, running, and enjoying her family of three boys and a granddaughter.
Kim Kautzer has a heart to inspire and equip homeschoolers—and can help you feel more confident about teaching writing. She demonstrates how teaching writing is more objective than you think, and that with the right tools, you can guide and motivate your struggling writer. Kim and Jim homeschooled for 15 years, graduating their youngest in 2003. Though their kids are scattered around the globe, the Kautzers have deep roots in Southern California. Kim enjoys the Sunday crossword, hot tea, and traveling the world with grandkids in tow. Award-winning WriteShop, her unique, successful writing program, has been honored as one of Cathy Duffy’s Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum.
Colene Lewis homeschooled her daughters through high school in a home where learning was a joy and a way of life. Earning scholarships, each girl excelled at college in biology, engineering, English, and law. More importantly, all three women are walking with the Lord and now raising their own families. Alongside her husband, Tom, Colene served on the board of AFHE for over 13 years. She has been a sought-after speaker across the country. Colene is currently developing with her daughter, Heather Haupt, an easy-to-implement geography curriculum based on living books, hand-on activities, and cross-cultural exploration geared for 5-7 year olds.
Jonathan Lewis is a Christian, husband, father of three, and a grateful homeschool graduate. Taught at home from the last nine weeks of his first grade year through his completion of high school, Jonathan has experienced both public school and home education, and says that homeschooling wins hands down as the best approach to life and learning. “It’s not just an academic alternative,” he says. “It’s a way of life.” Jonathan is one of the founders of Home School Enrichment Magazine and enjoys writing and speaking from his perspective as a homeschool grad, encouraging parents that homeschooling really does work!
Sherry McKown has been serving on the AFHE Board with her husband, Scott, since 2012. The McKowns have four children, two homeschool graduates and two homeschooling high school. Sherry is passionate about navigating the homeschooling journey with heavy doses of encouragement and practical guidance along the way. She has served in leadership roles within homeschooling communities since 1997 including former president and board member of Eastside Explorers, and as a founding member family of West Valley Christian Home Educators. The McKowns enjoy sharing their homeschooling journey with others as they learn to be purposeful in their calling, stay the course, and finish well.
Beth Mora is the creator and teacher-on-camera for Here To Help Learning. She is an author, blogger, wife to Forrest, mom of eight, nana of one, and homeschool mom. This former city girl and wannabe homesteader, who drinks way too much coffee, will bring you to tears one moment and laughter the next. Her zeal for your family’s success will charge you up! Everything she does, whether laughable or heart gripping, is done to honor One, without apology. God’s grace is the salve that has healed her own life, and God’s grace is what she offers liberally to others.
Shelley Noonan is a conference speaker for church and homeschool groups on topics such as Mentoring Your Children, Manners for Kids, and Selah Bible study method. Shelley’s passion is for creating resources that encourage vibrant, healthy parent-child relationships. Through the publishing company, Pumpkin Seed Press, Shelley and her husband Robert bring Scripture and classic Christian literature together, creating ways for parents to mentor their children while learning as a family. After homeschooling their three children for thirteen years, Shelley understands the value of homeschooling and preparing children to live in a society that does not always reflect Christian perspective and values.
Sharon Patten is a wife, mother of two, and grandmother of three. She was a preschool teacher, an elementary education teacher, a reading specialist, and she taught continuing education classes. In 1993, Sharon was introduced to a movement program that helped the brain to develop for learning. As she implemented activities, students who were struggling started to succeed. Sharon started her own business implementing the movement program with reading strategies she has developed.
Mike Snavely, the son of missionaries, was reared in South Africa. He and his wife, Carrie, were also missionaries there and home educated their three children. In 1995, Mike founded Mission Imperative, a creation-oriented ministry. He authored the curriculum Creation or Evolution and has produced many DVDs. An inductee into the Creation Science Hall of Fame, his prime ministry is speaking and he has produced many seminars related to biblical origins. The Snavelys also host two fascinating excursions. The Southwest Safari is a 10-day, flood-oriented trip to the Utah/Arizona region, while the African Wildlife Safari is a 16-day creation-oriented tour to South Africa.
Joshua Sugata has been married to his best friend and beautiful wife, Stacey, for over 11 years. They are striving to create a Christ-centered family legacy through their daughters. Joshua has been an educator for about 15 years, from the junior high classroom up through high school administration, and now within higher education where he serves a vital role within adult education. He currently serves as the Senior Learning Technology Integration Specialist and Team Lead within the Faculty Training and Development Department at Grand Canyon University.
Marie Tynan was blessed to homeschool her only child all the way from birth through graduation. With her son now away at college, Marie desires to share her passion and encouragement with the next generation of homeschool parents. She resides in Maricopa, Arizona with her hardworking and patient husband of 31 years, with whom she enjoys many outdoor adventures.
Crystal Wagner and her husband, Jason, have two daughters whom they have home educated since birth. Crystal believes it is important to create an atmosphere where children thrive, enabling them to fulfill their God-given potential. She writes articles and publishes resources that equip homeschool parents to foster such an atmosphere in their home.
Dana Wilson’s homeschool journey began in the late ’90s because her oldest daughter’s academic needs could not be met and her physical abilities accommodated in the private and public schools in their town. Declaring, “Well, I did pass first grade on the first try,” Dana checked out books on home education in her small town’s library, attended a homeschool conference, and the family’s course was changed. Already a speaker at women’s retreats and events, she began to share knowledge as she gained it about homeschooling and children with disabilities. Dana particularly enjoys speaking with parents who are just beginning their homeschool journey.
Register Online March 7 – June 16, 2017
After June 16, registration will be available for full price at the door
Speaking at the AFHE Convention is by invitation only. Speakers at the AFHE Convention are carefully selected who fit AFHE’s philosophy, vision, and mission, and do not conflict with the AFHE Board of Directors’ biblical worldview.
As part of the speaker selection process, we will review speaker packets that are sent to us.
Speaker packets are reviewed in August for the following year’s convention and selections are finalized in the fall. Speaker packets should include biographical information, workshop titles and descriptions, and a recording or two of the speaker teaching for our review. If we are interested in having you speak, we would contact you in October or November.
Attn: Speaker Coordinator
P.O. Box 2035
Chandler, AZ 85244-2035
Because of the high volume of speaker inquiries we receive, we are only able to follow up with those we are inviting to speak.