New this year, OCHEC Member benefit. All OCHEC members who attend the convention will receive Full Convention MP3 Set. A value of $15. This will replace the $5 member discount at time of registration in years past. Pre-ordering is not necessary for OCHEC Members attending the Convention.
God Fills in the Gaps – Come and laugh with author, speaker, and homeschool mom Linda Crosby as she takes us on an entertaining journey through her many years of homeschooling. You will be refreshed, rejuvenated, and revived. With four children, four different learning styles, a late reader, an international adoption (read: English as a second language!), and a child with special needs, Linda gives hope to a variety of homeschooling parents. You will be encouraged to enjoy each day with your children, to never lose sight of why you do what you do, and most importantly to never forget that it is God who fills in the gaps.
Sanctifying Our Children’s Tongues – Set in the context of what James says about our tongues, this address gives four ways we use our tongues wrongly, then four ways we can use them rightly, before zeroing in on how to help our children control their tongues. It then addresses three case studies: being disrespectful to Mom; telling lies; and cruel teasing of siblings. It concludes with a call to use our tongues to serve Jesus Christ.
Curriculum, How do I Choose? – When embarking upon this exciting journey of home education, figuring out which curriculum to choose for your child can seem daunting. In this very practical workshop, Linda will give an objective overview of the different learning styles and help you understand the most common teaching approaches including textbook, living books, unit studies, classical, Charlotte Mason, eclectic, unschooling, and more. Let Linda help you narrow down your choices and take the guesswork out of choosing curriculum. This workshop will boost your confidence in making educational decisions for success in your homeschool.
Cory McKenna Youth
Founded on the Rock (part 1 of 3) – Do you desire to more faithfully follow Christ through this crazy world and influence others to do the same? In this fundamental first session, we open Scripture to lift high the Lordship of Christ together and develop a solid, biblical framework for discerning and walking wisely through the most demanding decisions of life. Students will be equipped toward biblically building and sharing faith founded on the Rock.
Stacey Weeks MOMS
The Good and Better Portion – When you open Luke 10:38-42 and read about Mary and Martha do you expect to learn about personality types? Do you expect to learn that you need to be THIS person and not THAT person? Do you expect a session based on this passage of Scripture to be about how to prioritize spiritual disciplines over physical needs? Luke 10:38-42 teaches a surprising truth that will free you from the unnecessary burdens we carry as homeschool moms. Come and learn practical ways to discern between your concerns and responsibilities. Curriculum choices and to-do lists will not overwhelm once you learn how to chose the good and better portion.
The Device: Help or Hindrance? Creating a Framework for the Homeschool Family – Smartphones & laptops & tablets, oh my! All, nothing, or somewhere in between. Is there a way to handle “the device” with intelligence and wisdom? Can it even bear positive fruit? Is there a way to have peace in the home, and have face-to-face conversations with our children? How can a parent who has not grown up with Facebook, internet gaming, Instagram and iPhones teach and train their children in their use? Join Linda, a technology non-expert and everyday homeschool mom, as she shares some mistakes, some lessons learned, and a developing framework for approaching parenting in the age of “the device.”
Working Together – Working together as a family is an essential learning goal of every homeschool both for growing students and for the sanity of the mom who wants to conquer the laundry mountain. In this workshop we first look at the biblical basis for teaching our children to work together then discuss the basics of working together in order to develop self care skills, hospitality skills and a servant’s heart. Because Working Together is framed around acquiring practical life skills this seminar also includes how to set up a routine that will get the whole family involved in the essentials of running a Christian household.
ADHD: What’s Myth, What’s Real? – Matthew Turton, Director of Breakthroughs In Learning, shares from his personal experience of growing up with ADHD and then becoming a successful learner both in college and University. He will discuss common myths and provide factual and helpful information about this all-too-common yet misunderstood learning challenge.
Discipling Ourselves to Disciple Our Children – This address focuses on how we are to use the spiritual disciplines to disciple ourselves, and then how we are to teach our children to use those same spiritual disciplines to disciple themselves. The spiritual disciplines covered are divided into four categories: private disciplines, family disciplines, church disciplines, neighbourly disciplines.
Joanne Kress New Homeschoolers
You Can Do This! – This workshop will include: socialization vs friendships, helping your kids tell others that they’re homeschooled, awareness of your “public school brain”, the comparison game some parents play, where learning can & does happen, considerations when choosing learning methods & curriculum, learning styles (theirs and yours), Dad’s role, realistic expectations of yourself and your children, what makes a good day, building your community, and most importantly, knowing your top priorities and keeping the end goal in sight. Joanne hopes that no matter how old your kids are, you will be more confident, have answers for the questions that others have been asking you, and be empowered with more resources. Let’s do more than just ‘stay afloat’ in homeschool waters, lets get our feet underneath us, realize we can touch the bottom and have fun in the pool!
To Homeschool or Not to Homeschool High School – You’ve homeschooled for years and it has been a blessing to your family, but the teen years arrive and suddenly homeschooling takes on a new intensity—high school! Most of the voices around us sound like this: “Will you be smart enough to teach Algebra?” “What about University?” “They’ll miss out on sports!“ In this talk we will to look to the Source of all wisdom for help and perspective in making this important decision. In addition to being encouraged by personal testimony, you will hear some practical ideas to meet the needs of your soon-to-be adult children, whether they stay home or not. Audience participation is encouraged during Q & A time.
Greg Bylsma Youth
Do You Stand for Jesus? The Call to Fight Cultural Idols – The Gospel calls us to take, “Every thought captive,” for Christ (2 Cor. 10:5). As Christians, we rightly fight and are on guard in some of the more obvious cultural battles: abortion, changing definitions of marriage and gender, and the like. But what does it truly mean to have the Gospel shape all of our thinking? In this workshop we’ll look at some of the challenges of living in this world and how we can be renewed in our minds to be faithful to Christ even when we aren’t sure where the next attack will come from.
Paula Maretzki WIVES ONLY
Five Lessons My Husband is Glad I Learned…and Your’s Will Be Too! – Homeschooling is such a great opportunity to model what a great marriage can look like. The children can observe how mom and dad positively interact and then they can develop these future godly patterns in their own life….OR…it can be the other way around, too. Our children can observe ungodly patterns in our marriages and then repeat these same awful patterns in their future marriages. Perhaps it is complacency, spiritual attack, or even ignorance, but homeschooling marriages are being attacked more than ever, threatening the future generations of godly marriages yet to come. Paula will share some key strategies that will help us invest in our marriages. She will discuss the importance of understanding our husband’s leadership style, understanding what submission truly looks like, understanding the impact of prayer and fasting for our marriages, as well as the importance of a sizzling bedroom!
Let’s Talk Primary Language Arts – Does language arts confuse you? Do you ever wonder what is included in language arts? Do you feel lost when you think about teaching reading and the various methods available? Why not come and join Louise as she will try and take away some of the mystery of language arts. She will cover what language arts might look like for various styles of learners and provide you with information on how to build a meaningful language arts program for your K-Grade 3 student.
Dual Income Discussion Group – Christine Pyle, Moderator
When a family decides to homeschool and both parents are working, either part-time or full-time, there are unique challenges! Come and connect with other families, share the struggles and opportunities, and know you’re not “the only one!”
Laughing in the Midst of Mothering – Linda’s heart is to build up moms and help them find humour and God’s purpose in the most important calling on earth – motherhood. Linda vividly shares her amusing struggles and triumphs as a busy homeschooling mom. Homeschooling can be a lonely time for moms, but it doesn’t need to be! From the baby stage through high school, learn to find the true source of joy and how to choose joy! Following examples from God’s Word, Linda prepares mothers to face their daily tasks with peace and joy in their hearts and homes.
Laurel Núñez of HSLDA
Homeschool Freedom Around the World – There are significant threats to homeschooling around the world, and even in Canada. Although we enjoy relative freedom in Canada, we are not immune to the threats faced by homeschoolers in various countries. Find out what is being done to advance homeschooling rights and what you can do to help the cause in Canada and around the world. In this session, learn more about the status of parental freedoms around the world and what it means for Canadians.
Cory McKenna Youth
Evangelism Founded on the Rock (Part 2 of 3) – How would it impact your faith if sharing Christ were much more than just a church checkbox, but a pattern of life testifying to the reality of His resurrection and mission? In this practical second session, we again open the Bible to learn the basics of teaching Christ and His Gospel to others. Students will be equipped with simple, field-tested quick tips to normalize a life of evangelism founded on the Rock.
Assisting Pastors who are Resistant to Homeschooling Get On-Board the Ship – What are the theological foundations for Christian Homeschoolers? Why do pastors often overlook homeschooling as a strategy to develop children’s ministry in the church? How do homeschooling families become an encouragement to their local church, rather than a resounding gong? What steps can we take to change our pastor’s approach? Rev. Dr. Michael Thiessen will address this very important issue as a pastor with over 20 years of experience, as a coach of new church planters, and as one who was a skeptic of homeschooling but has become an advocate for it.
Charlotte Mason for Young Children – The Charlotte Mason approach to education is rigorous yet gentle. The early years are so important for setting a strong foundation in terms of good habits and establishing helpful routines for life and education. Being deliberate in the early years is a great investment in the relationship with your child and their start to education. In this seminar, we will talk about how the general principles of a CM education apply specifically to teaching younger children. Homeschooling can be a part of a beautiful rich childhood. I’d like to encourage you to enjoy these younger years AND provide a solid education, without the anxiety or fear that you’re doing the wrong thing but confidence that you are doing the things that matter. There will be book lists, samples of school work, suggestions for routines, some do’s and don’ts, resource materials and time for Q&A.
Co-oping for the Fun of It – Is your homeschooling feeling a little bit routine and possibly boring? Are you or your kids feeling isolated? Wouldn’t it be nice to share the teaching responsibilities with others? Co-oping might just be the solution for you. In this workshop, Sherine will share with you the various co-ops that she was involved in with her own children. She will also share strategies for successfully co-oping with others, and some pitfalls to avoid.
Extreme Parenting: Homeschooling When Learning is Difficult! – Homeschooling takes time and energy. Homeschooling a child who struggles to learn takes more! Linda has wrestled with many of the same frustrations and concerns as most other moms – What curriculum is best for my child? What should my expectations be? Can I really teach my child as well as the Special Education “experts” in school? What will my child’s future look like? How do I give the siblings the attention they need? Join Linda in this interactive session as she opens the floor for your questions, and also shares research, resources, ideas and hope. Her experience is gleaned from over twenty years of homeschooling her daughter with multiple special needs, as well as from her many connections with other families who are homeschooling their own children with special needs.
Discipling Through Family Worship – Looks at four aspects of family worship: its duty, its implementation (the practical “how tos”—this point covers half of the entire talk), its objections, and its encouragements (this last point gives four powerful reasons to persevere in doing family worship). I close with the powerful example of John Paton’s father doing family worship….
Bringing the Gospel to Our Children – 1) Understanding the need. 2) Teaching your children the content of the gospel… how to talk to your children about eight different major doctrines: who God is and what He is like; the seriousness of sin—especially unrepentant sin; the need to be born again; the moral law and its uses; the necessity of Christ’s atoning blood and exercising faith alone in Him; the Person and work of Christ as a whole; the last things (death, judgment, heaven, hell). Many practical illustrations are supplied as aids for teaching these truths. 3) Using the means. 4) Practical concluding applications.
Welcome Home: Your Homeschool is Still Your Home – Your home is your castle … or does it feel more like a dungeon? Linda will help you gain control where you spend most of your days … in your house. Find the freedom to express yourself and create a peaceful resting place while maintaining a sense of order. Topics covered include: personal and family devotions, sharing and teaching chores, meal planning and cooking, school organization, time management, plus more! Laugh with Linda while you learn to make your home an extension of yourself, a gathering place for your family and a blessing to be shared.
Stephen Priddle DADS
Straight Talk for Christian Homeschooling Dads – Stephen, a father who went from “you can try it if you want” to “I believe this is the way we must go”, will share about his homeschooling journey including the ups and downs, and will provide lessons for others. This will include what convinced him about homeschooling and an important discussion of the family, marriage and father leadership dynamics, because homeschooling is part of Christian parenting. He will provide useful tips for other dads and will also discuss related biblical guidance. Ladies, encourage your husband to attend this session!
Cory McKenna YOUTH
Apologetics Founded on the Rock (Part 3 of 3) – Do you feel disqualified and tongue-tied in your witness when trying to answer the questions of skeptics? In this informative and surprising third session, we again open the Bible together to learn the basics of giving a holy and hopeful defense of King Jesus. Students will be equipped with a simple conversational structure patterned after Paul the Apostle to activate absolute apologetics founded on the Rock.
Jacki Knight NEW HOMESCHOOLERS
I am Deciding to Homeschool – Now What? – Are you new to homeschooling or just trying to get a better understanding of the process and choices you have? Maybe you are becoming stressed and wondering where the balance is? Jacki will share candidly a simple step-by-step guide to help you begin with confidence and keep the balance!
Distracted or Prepared? – We sing, “Like a mighty army, moves the church of God,” but if only one out of four in our churches is using his weapons, our attitude gives lie to our profession. This session will look at how to model and motivate our children to pick up their spiritual weapons and live with purpose the life God intended for them.
Greg Monette – Logos Bible Software
Dealing with the Biblical Illiteracy Epidemic at Home – What can be done to stop the biblical illiteracy epidemic from spreading throughout Canada and North America? This workshop will show how Logos Bible Software is helping families to get excited about reading and studying the Bible. The world has gone digital. The best of technology is now being applied to Bible study. There has never been a better time in history to read and study the Bible because of the tools that are now available. Come and discover how Logos Bible Software is helping more than 5 million people around the world to get excited about reading and studying scripture!
Single Parents’ Discussion Group – Heather Zwart, Moderator
Being a single parent brings unique challenges and adding homeschooling can make life seem overwhelming at times. Come connect with others walking a similar path. Discuss what has worked for others, how to homeschool while supporting a family, and your other challenges, joys and needs.
Homeschooling Through High School – Whether you already have a child in high school you are homeschooling or this is in your future, you won’t want to miss this discussion with veteran homeschool mom, Linda. You will hear about her unique journey and her experience working co-operatively with several other families who have survived homeschooling through high school. Linda will share on a variety of topics and you’ll find ideas you can use with your child, and even more importantly, you will see there are several avenues you can choose. Find the freedom to create a high school program that meets the individual needs of your child, even if it’s not what everyone else is doing! Topics covered will include curriculum options, scheduling, avoiding burnout, co-operative classes, pitfalls to avoid, balancing extracurricular activities, and much more.
Discipling Our Children at Church – This talk covers two areas: First: focuses on teaching them how to worship—how to prepare for worship, how to listen to sermons in worship, and how to retain and apply the message heard after worship. Second: focuses on prayer meetings—their history and value, and how to teach your children to get the most out of them.
Let’s Be Real – The picture perfect homeschooling family only exists on magazine covers. Comparisons cause stress and anxiety. Robin (homeschooling mother of ten) will share what are realistic expectations in educating our children, the tidiness level of our homes, and our family life. She will encourage parents to find the balance between accepting and even enjoying our “green pasture” with its “brown patches”, and knowing when and what to do about some of those “brown patches”.
Stephen Priddle YOUTH
Honour Your Parents – Honour your parents is a fundamental command in both the Old and New Testaments, with profound implications for all who have parents. This session will examine the topic in relation to other scriptures, and related commands, and look at others who need to be honoured. There will be examples and illustrations and even case studies to discuss. Send your teens along – parents are also welcome.
Ron & Robin Herman
What About Sports? Discover the ‘Home Field’ Advantage! – Are you tempted to quit homeschooling because of worries about meeting the athletic needs of your children? If you need encouragement and practical ideas of how to incorporate sports into your homeschool and family life, at whatever level you are at, this talk is for you. Discussion will include: age appropriate organized sports, physical activity for health plus sports opportunities for homeschoolers — including scholarships for the athletically gifted. Tips on how to write the SAT and meet NCAA criteria can be included as interest dictates. Exchange of ideas during Q & A is encouraged.
Leaders in the Local Homeschooling Community – Are you a homeschool mentor, local support or homeschool group leader, Chapter Leader or OCHEC Area Representative? Healthy leadership allows our groups to provide the best support and community to homeschoolers. Join us for refreshments and a round table discussion that will help you, as leadership, raise up strong future leaders and maintain a healthy group. We will discuss: 1) How to create an environment that encourages new leaders to rise up while nourishing current ones. 2) How to overcome homeschool group challenges and continue to thrive, and provide the community and support homeschoolers need. Let’s take this opportunity to learn from each other so we can create and maintain thriving homeschool groups.
Picture This: Dyslexia as a Gift – In a world constructed for verbal thinkers, visual thinkers are often labeled as having difficulty learning. Dyslexia is one of the most commonly misunderstood learning disabilities. With a host of symptoms affecting everything from math to spelling, reading and even body movement and control, dyslexia is often seen as a disability, instead of a gift. Visual thinkers (dyslexics) think in pictures and this process happens more quickly than verbal thinkers process. Very often it is our verbal system of education that hobbles these gifted thinkers. Learn how dyslexics think and practical resources for giving them the tools they need. With over 25 years of educational experience both in the school system and homeschooling her own children, Samantha strives to break the stigma surrounding the wonderful gift of dyslexia and present it to the world as the beautiful gift it truly is.
Bob and Gwen Bramhill MARRIAGE
Relationships are Heart Work – Relationship is either carried out on a head level or on a heart level. In this workshop we want to explain the difference between the two. We were created to have and need relationship. By understanding and resolving the emotional and spiritual issues in our lives that block relationship we can have a meaningful and fulfilling marriage. Working on the heart has huge rewards.
Greg Bylsma YOUTH
Christ’s Power Over Addictive Sin: Help for Yourself and Others – From Fortnite to exercise to more obvious struggles like porn or substance abuse, addictions lock in their hooks and can be tough to untangle. The only remedy begins with repentance and turning to Christ, but where do we go from there? This workshop delves in to the descent into addiction and how God, in His grace, can draw us out again.
Post Secondary Options for Homeschool Graduates – Homeschooling through high school is becoming a more viable option for the growing homeschool community. Post-secondary institutions are taking note of this and are working to make sure that homeschoolers have access to their programming. This seminar looks at ways to help our kids figure out what they want to do after they graduate and find out what is available to our kids. In this seminar we will look at the application process for colleges, universities, apprenticeships, and the job market and what kind of information, accreditations, and records they are looking for and how to provide that.
Raising our Children in a Pro-Life Home – Homeschool families have a unique opportunity to teach strong, biblical, pro-life values. But what does it mean to raise our children in a culture that devalues and destroys human lives? When (and how) do we tell them (age-appropriately) about the ways that image-bearers of God are being threatened all around us? What can we do to create a vibrant culture of life in our homes? And… do abortions happen amongst Christians? This workshop will inform and equip you through heartbreaking and uplifting stories from Maaike’s experience on the street, from speaking to Christian youth, and from raising children in today’s culture while being a public pro-life advocate.
Movement and the Brain – Move More, Learn More – Research is showing that in order for our students’ brains to function at their peak, their bodies need to move! Dr. Ratey and others teach us that movement is integral for improving attention, warding off anxiety, controlling ADHD symptoms and stimulating general cognitive function. Dr. Blomberg and others teach us how unintegrated primitive reflexes can affect student’s academic and emotional skills. In this workshop, we will discuss this research and share ideas on how we can promote and incorporate movement in our daily lessons.
Homeschooling: God’s Design – Beginning with a history of education in the United States, Linda takes her audience through the effects and outcomes of following, or turning away from, God’s plan for schooling. The Scriptures are rich with wisdom and support for the duty of educating your children at home. Come and discover your real purpose for doing what you’re doing. Learn where your strength must come from and be reassured that you can stand on God’s promises for your children. God will never give you more than you can handle with His help!