Each year we offer a great line-up of speakers with workshops covering a wide variety of topics … and 2021 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.
2021 Workshop Schedule and complete Workshop Descriptions below.
2021 Schedule is here!
(note: updated 5/19/21)
DOWNLOAD THE UPDATED WORKSHOP SCHEDULE (updated 6/9/21)
DOWNLOAD COMPLETE WORKSHOP DESCRIPTIONS (updated 6/9/21)
Download the Workshop Descriptions
- Keynote sessions
- Featured speaker workshops
- Exhibitor workshops
- Sponsor workshops
Workshop descriptions are published in order by starting time.
Resounding Voice – Workshop Recordings
ONSITE CONVENTION SPECIAL: $69 FULL SET MP3
Enjoy the AFHE Convention all year long! Purchase a full-set MP3 of the workshop recordings on-site July 16-17 for just $69.
THREE DAY POST-CONVENTION SPECIAL ONLINE (7/19 Update: Sale extended to 7/22!)
Monday, July 19 – Thursday, July 22, 2021
Purchase the full-set MP3 recordings for just $75
Note: Workshops taught by a few speakers will be available for purchase on-site only. A list will be published prior to Convention. All others can be purchased following the Convention on the Resounding Voice website.
EXHIBITOR WORKSHOPS: The full-set MP3 recording includes exhibitor workshops from those vendors who have granted permission. This includes many, but not all of the exhibitor workshops. Also available for individual purchase on-site and following.
Dr. Steve Scheibner – Keynote Speaker
Dr. Steve Scheibner, the President of Characterhealth Corporation, has dedicated his life to equipping parents to train a new generation of courageous, Christ-like, and Characterhealthy leaders. Using his background as a naval aviator, church-planting pastor, and airline pilot, Steve co-authored and teaches Parenting Matters: The Nine Practices of the Pro-Active Parent. Steve captivates audiences worldwide as he shares “In My Seat: A Pilot’s Story from September 10th-11th.” His testimony of God’s provision has been used to reach millions for Christ through the YouTube video of the same name. Dr. Scheibner has been married to his wife, Megan, for 30 years, and together they have homeschooled their eight children for 23 years.
Dr. Kathy Koch – Keynote Speaker
Dr. Kathy Koch has a passion to influence and help build strong and healthy families. With a PhD earned from Purdue University in reading and educational psychology, Dr. Kathy has taught second graders, coached middle schoolers, was an associate professor of education at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, and served as a school board member. Now, as the founder of Celebrate Kids, she writes and speaks on a wide range of current topics. Her humor, engaging speaking style, and foundational wisdom will empower listeners with strategies for navigating the challenges of raising and teaching children. Her messages are beautifully woven with Biblical truth and hope.
Zan Tyler – Special Guest
Zan Tyler and her husband, Joe, homeschooled for 21 years, teaching all of their children from kindergarten through high school. When she began homeschooling, the state superintendent of education threatened her with jail. Zan is a prolific author, an inspirational speaker, a tireless advocate for homeschool freedom, and partners with BJU Press. She worked in Christian publishing and curriculum development for 16 years. In 2015 she was presented with the Chris Klicka Award by HSLDA for her dedication and commitment to home education worldwide.
Michael Abbott is a banking professional, published author, freelance writer, husband, and proud father of two young boys. He has been a featured guest on over a dozen radio programs, and his articles have appeared on The Daily Caller, The Christian Post, World Net Daily, and Crosswalk. His first book, Entitled to Slavery: A Blueprint for Breaking the Chains that Threaten American Exceptionalism, was published in 2017. Michael serves as the Board Treasurer for Arizona Families for Home Education (AFHE), and he is very passionate about inspiring parents to moderate their children’s screen media exposure. He teaches the Pre-K class and leads a weekly life group for his local church.
Kathy A. Becker is no stranger to home education. She and her husband entered the homeschool arena in the 80s at the beginning of the movement when many wondered if it was even legal. During the years of teaching their six children she saw many changes in what was available for curriculum. Kathy is a proponent of classical education and writes and speaks as an educational consultant for Memoria Press, a major homeschool curriculum provider. As the Western Representative, she works with classical educators from Texas to the west coast. When not criss-crossing the states Ms. Becker lives on a 150,000 acre cattle ranch near Flagstaff where she and her husband enjoy all that is true and good and beautiful.
Dr. Paul Beljan
Dr. Paul Beljan is a pediatric neuropsychologist practicing in Scottsdale, Arizona. He is a past president of the American Board of Pediatric Neuropsychology (ADPdN) and holds an adult board qualification with the American Board of Professional Neuropsychology (ABN). In 2016 Dr. Beljan completed a post-doctoral master’s degree in psychopharmacology from New Mexico State University. Dr. Beljan co-authored Misdiagnosis and Dual Diagnosis of Gifted Children and Adults: ADHD, BiPolar, OCD, Depression, and Other Disorders. He also co-authored Large Scale Brain Systems and Neuropsychological Assessment: An Effort to Move Forward. Dr. Beljan is a nationally retained forensic expert and lectures nationally and internationally.
Kathleen Cotter Clayton
Kathleen Cotter Clayton is the daughter of Dr. Joan A. Cotter, author and developer of the RightStart™ Mathematics program. Kathleen is involved with curriculum development and has written or co-authored 16 manuals. She travels and speaks across the US and Canada, sharing the mission to help children understand, apply, and enjoy mathematics, and she teaches online middle-school classes. Kathleen has a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Minnesota and has two Master’s Degrees from the University of Mary in Bismarck, North Dakota. In her spare time, Kathleen designs and creates mathematical quilts and loves to travel all around the world.
Steve Demme and his wife Sandra have been married since 1979. They have been blessed with four sons, three lovely daughters-in-law, and two special grandchildren. Their fourth son has Down Syndrome and lives with them in Lititz, PA. Steve has served in full or part time pastoral ministry for many years after graduating from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. He is the creator of Math-U-See and the founder of Building Faith Families.
Sharon Fisher is a wife, mother, and grandmother who has a passion for encouraging homeschool parents and Christian educators to teach children with excellence from a biblical worldview. She holds a B.S. and an M.A. in Elementary Education. She has many years of full-time teaching experience in the elementary classroom, served as Curriculum Coordinator for Bob Jones Academy and as an author for BJU Press. She has contributed to elementary educational materials and has presented workshops both nationally and internationally on many topics and teaching methods. She serves in multiple capacities for Homeworks by Precept, a provider of excellent homeschool materials.
Laura Gadbery, with the great support of her husband David, homeschooled their three daughters, Haley, Emma, and Peyton, through high school. After 20 years in the best job ever as a stay-at-home(school) mom, Laura is so fortunate to be able to continue encouraging parents from all walks of life in their parenting and homeschooling journeys.
Carol Gary, a homeschooler since 2000, recently completed her home education journey with her sons, both Honors College students in their respective programs at GCU. Mentoring hundreds of families, she is the author of The Balanced Homeschooler and The Balanced High Schooler programs. She has served in leadership for various nonprofit organizations, including the Homeschool Ministry @ CCV (now CFHM), HSLDA Compassion, and MoezArt Productions. Carol and her husband are active with Children’s Cancer Network and sponsor the Evan C. Gary Memorial Scholarship via the GCU Scholarship Foundation. She is a GCU alumna and recently joined GCE as a Curriculum Developer.
Allison Gentala has been in the homeschool community for 36 years and is a second generation homeschool mom. She is daily in the trenches with her struggling learners whose needs range from ASD and MERLD to Dyslexia and ADHD. For 14 years, she has created individualized learning plans for her eight children who range from exceptionally gifted to profound special needs. Allison holds a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education. She has been married to Peter for 23 years. They serve on the AFHE Board as the Directors of Government Affairs and on the board of The Center for Arizona Policy.
Heather Haupt is the homeschool mother of three knights-in-training and two lovely ladies. 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, The Ultimate Guide to Brain Breaks, as well as GO GLOBAL: A Literature-Heavy, Movement-Rich Learning Adventure. She writes at heatherhaupt.com and cultivatedlearning.org
Kim Kautzer, founder and author at WriteShop, loves to encourage and equip parents who have a tough time teaching writing. From personal experience, she can identify with the feelings of failure that follow when blank paper, insecure parent, and reluctant child share the same space. Her inspiring workshops reveal that teaching writing is more objective than you think, and with the right tools, you can guide and motivate struggling writers. Kim and Jim make their home in Southern California. They homeschooled for 15 years, graduating their youngest in 2003. Kim thrives on reading, gardening, Sunday crosswords, and her nine awesome grandkids.
Antoinette LaGrossa is a veteran homeschool mom of five children. Having experienced her son’s frustration with multiple math programs, she knows firsthand the struggle that can come with teaching math. Everything changed when her family tried ShillerMath Kit I. Amazed by the success and enjoyment the Montessori-based, multi-sensory teaching brings to students of all abilities, Antoinette joined the ShillerLearning team. She is passionate about helping home educators – sharing hands-on learning tips, encouragement, and her practical experience with her five very different children (no cookie-cutter molds here). Antoinette speaks at conventions across the country and is the host of ShillerLearning’s Tuesdays@2.
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 and Heather Haupt developed Go Global, an easy-to-implement, literature rich, and movement heavy curriculum that encourages cross cultural exploration and covers history, science, geography, and more.
Sherry McKown and her husband Scott have been married for 30 years and they have lived, worked, and homeschooled in Arizona for more than 25 years. Sherry and Scott served on the AFHE Board of Directors for eight years, as well as in a variety of leadership positions in the homeschool community throughout the Phoenix area. She and Scott are certified Relational Wealth Advisors and are passionate about healthy marriages, family relationships, and giving lots of encouragement on the homeschooling journey.
Patrick Nurre grew up in the beautiful state of Montana. As a second grader, he found his first big dinosaur bone in the alley behind his home. This led to a lifelong study of geology. Today, Patrick is a popular speaker and teacher on geology and worldview. In addition, he conducts summer geology camps and leads field trips, including his Yellowstone Creation Adventure for families. He is the author of seventeen geology textbooks. Patrick’s non-profit ministry, Northwest Treasures, creates geology kits and curricula from a young-Earth perspective. He is a long-standing participant in the International Association of Creation Professional Development Program.
Peggy Ployhar, SPED Homeschool Founder & CEO, is a leader in the special education homeschooling community and a frequent writer and speaker on specialized education homeschooling issues. After working as a special needs consultant for both the Minnesota Association of Christian Home Educators (MACHE) and the Texas Home School Coalition (THSC), Peggy founded SPED Homeschool in 2017, an organization that empowers families across the globe to homeschool children with specialized educational needs. Peggy also hosts the popular live broadcast and podcast, Empowering Homeschool Conversations, a weekly talk show where her guests address relevant issues related to homeschooling for unique learners.
Adam Rasmussen is blessed to be married to Lynnette and proud daddy of four beautiful daughters ages twelve to twenty-two. All Rasmussen homeschooling adventures are cataloged as either fun failures or valuable victories. Through it all one constant remains: love. Adam joyfully serves as professor of humanities at Arizona Christian University. He guides students to flourish under the Lordship of Christ in all life as they make connections between faith, reason, and culture. They develop their own moral philosophy, so they are inspired to implement significant change in their sphere of influence. Students are equipped to “transform culture with truth.”
Megan Scheibner is a writer, blogger, popular conference speaker, and most importantly, the wife of Steve Scheibner and homeschooling mother of their eight children. A trained Christian counselor, she counsels and teaches women of all ages. Megan is the co-author of Parenting Matters: The Nine Practices of the Proactive Parent, and she travels extensively equipping parents with the tools they need to confidently train the next generation. Megan has authored thirteen books, including In My Seat: A Pilot’s Story from September 10th-11th, the companion book to her husband Steve’s 9/11 testimony. Megan’s heart is focused on discipleship and she blogs practical words of encouragement at Meganscheibner.com. When she’s not writing, Megan enjoys feeding teens and cuddling her grandchildren.
Tj Schmidt was homeschooled starting in the second grade for nearly every year through high school graduation. For much of that time, his family served in Haiti as missionaries. He earned his juris doctor from Oak Brook College of Law and began working as a legal assistant at HSLDA. Now, having served as an HSLDA Staff Attorney for over 17 years, Tj assists members across the country with legal questions and challenges to their homeschool freedom. Tj and his wife, Susan, homeschool their seven children: Josiah, Suzanna, Ella, Makenna, Jonah, Annika, and Ezra.
Sherri Seligson and her husband David homeschooled their four children through high school. Before being promoted to motherhood, Sherri worked as a degreed marine biologist at Walt Disney World’s Living Seas, publishing shark behavior research. Holding a M.Ed. in curriculum design and science instruction, Sherri has authored Apologia’s Exploring Creation with General Science, Marine Biology, and Internships for High School Credit, instructional video courses for Apologia’s science curricula, and companion curricula for feature films (Dolphin Tale, War Horse). Using transparency, truth, and humor, Sherri encourages moms on the homeschool journey and teaches families and students the importance of studying God’s creation.
John Sowash is a nationally recognized speaker and author on the use of technology to enhance instruction. John provides simple, clear ideas that families can use to enhance their homeschool curriculum, the same strategies that John and his wife Nellie use in their homeschool program with their five children. When used with intention, technology will enhance your existing homeschool curriculum and help students develop important skills for future success as learners and leaders. A second-generation homeschooler, John is a full-time presenter, author, and blogger with an annual audience of 50,000+.
Joe Tyler is the president of Followers in Fellowship, a 501(c)(3) organization committed to preserving and advancing Christian education through support of Christian education groups and programs. Prior to this role, Joe was the operations director for Apologia and spent thirty years in the corporate world as an information systems project manager with Computer Sciences Corporation and BlueCross/BlueShield of SC. He and his wife, Zan, have three children. Their son John is a lawyer, Ty is a salesman, and their daughter Elizabeth is an executive director with a major network in Los Angeles. Joe serves as an elder at Grace ARP Church in Columbia, South Carolina.
Jim Weiss has been an author, lecturer, storyteller and presenter since June, 1989, when he and his wife Randy formed their production company, Greathall Productions (now Jim Weiss LLC). Jim has produced a line of 75+ family storytelling recordings featuring classical literature and history. Jim’s line of recordings has received over 100 national awards. Jim’s trademarked motto “Intelligent entertainment for the thinking family” is exemplified in his recordings, workshops, and live performances. Jim’s masterful, thoughtful presentations reflect a dynamic model of oral language that will entertain and inspire all members of the family. The Well-Trained Mind Press is the official publisher of Jim’s recordings.
Durenda Wilson is a homeschooling mom of eight, six of whom have graduated. She has been married to Darryl for 30 years and they have six grandkids. She firmly believes that children are naturally curious and if parents keep things simple and unhurried, their kids will become lifelong learners. Durenda has written The Unhurried Homeschooler (a simple, mercifully short book on homeschooling) and Unhurried Grace for a Mom’s Heart. Her new book, The Four-Hour School Day, will release June 29, 2021. She is the owner/writer/host of her blog and podcast, Durenda Wilson, and she enjoys speaking at events where she can encourage homeschooling parents to experience freedom in their homeschooling journey!
Jonathan Brush – Christian Teen Program speaker
Jonathan Brush is a first generation homeschool graduate, the President and CEO of Unbound, and homeschool dad of six. Jonathan has spoken for over a decade to parents, students, and groups across the country about effectively preparing young adults for life, the excitement and adventure of raising a family, maximizing higher education options, and how to be extraordinary at ordinary things. With a fresh, enthusiastic speaking approach, he consistently provides new perspective, practical advice, and honest hope to audiences of varied ages and backgrounds. Jonathan worked for nine years as a Director of Admissions for a private liberal arts college and has since worked in non-traditional higher education for over a decade. Jonathan and his family make their home in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia.
Victoria Grant – Christian Teen Program speaker
Victoria Grant, the Director of Content and Coaching for Unbound, is a first generation homeschool graduate, college graduate, and graduate student. As the oldest of six in an internationally adoptive, military, and law enforcement family, she brings a unique perspective on strength and family ties amidst stress, separation, crazy schedules, and hardships such as cancer. Victoria is passionate about equipping young adults to recognize their potential, to form a biblical sense of identity, and to know God and make Him known in daily life. She offers several sessions on parent-child communication, surrender, identity, and navigating post-high school life.
We want to hear from you!
Please take a moment to fill out a brief survey regarding your experience at this year’s 37th Annual AFHE Convention!
Speaking at the AFHE Convention is by invitation. 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 and September for the following year’s AFHE Convention and selections are finalized before the end of the year. If we are interested in having you speak, we would contact you most likely in October or November.
Speaker packets should include biographical information, workshop titles and descriptions, and a recording or two of the speaker teaching for our review.
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.