2017 AFHE Convention speaker information will be posted to the website in January. We have left 2016 speaker information here for your reference until next year's details are available.


2016 AFHE Convention Speakers
and Workshop Information

We have a great line-up of speakers with workshops covering a wide variety of topics. We have invited speakers who have a message of hope and encouragement with plenty of practical ideas and insight to help you as you nurture, develop, teach, disciple, 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.


We encourage you to review the schedule ahead of time to get an idea of what's being offered and to help plan which sessions you'd like to attend. The following are general session workshops taught by our featured speakers. You'll find their bios and photos father down this page. Workshop descriptions are listed in the order in which they will take place Friday and Saturday.

Join us for worship in the ballroom at 8:45 AM Friday and Saturday before the keynote sessions begin.



From 12:15-1:15 PM each day, we will have a 2 or 3 sponsor workshops or special presentations. Grab your lunch and sit in on one of these informative sessions.




We are pleased to offer the opportunity for registered exhibitors to present exhibitor workshops during the convention weekend. Exhibitor workshops can be product demonstrations, introduction to services, or general interest sessions that may be of interest to your family. We encourage you to attend exhibitor workshops in addition to the general session workshops hosted by AFHE.

Exhibitor workshops take place in 4 curtained areas in the exhibit hall. They run for 45 minutes and start at the top of each hour between 11:00 AM and 5:00 PM. This is different than the general session workshop schedule for featured speakers outlined above. NOTE: We have increased the size of the curtained areas this year and we've added microphones, screens, and projectors for an even better exhibitor workshop experience.




Please join us in thanking our 2016 Convention Sponsors! Be sure to visit their websites and learn more about these generous folks that have supported the work of AFHE and convention attendees as well.



Workshop handouts will be posted prior to the convention. Please check back here about a week before the convention and print handouts for the sessions you plan to attend and bring them with you. Copies of handouts will not be available at the convention.


Teaching Options - Thursday
Building on a Sure Foundation - Thursday
Developing a Plan for High School - Friday 11:00 AM
Essential Skills for Teens - Friday 3:00 PM
High School Transcript Clinic - Friday 1:30 PM
The College Admissions Process- Saturday 1:30 PM
Record Keeping for High School - Saturday 3:00 PM


Teaching Struggling Learners at Home: Nuts & Bolts for Success Part 1 - Thursday afternoon and Friday 11:00 AM
Teaching Struggling Learners at Home: Nuts & Bolts for Success Part 1 Slides
Tackling Tricky High School Issues - Saturday 11:00 AM
Tackling Tricky High School Issues Transcript Sample 1
Tackling Tricky High School Issues Transcript Sample 2
Tackling Tricky High School Issues Transition Resources


Avoiding Debt Like the Devil - Friday 11:00 AM


Ideas for Lesson Planning and Scheduling - Saturday 1:30 PM


Could It Be Dyslexia - Friday 3:00 PM - 3 handouts
Warning Signs of Dyslexia
Excellent Resources for Dyslexia
Rainbow Cards Set 1


Getting to Know Your Children - Saturday 11:00 AM


Homeschooling: The Great Adventure - Thursday afternoon and Friday 11:00 AM
Choosing Curriculum and Teaching Methods - Thursday afternoon and Friday 3:00 PM
Raising Writers - Saturday 1:30 PM


Teaching Struggling Learners at Home: Nuts & Bolts for Success Part 2 - Thursday afternoon and Friday 1:30 PM
Teaching Struggling Learners at Home: Nuts & Bolts for Success Part 2 - Slides
Developing and Drafting an SEP Slides - Friday 4:30 PM - 3 handouts below
SEP Example Hensley
SEP Example Miller
SEP Template
Teaching Math to Struggling Learners Slides - Saturday 3:00 PM
Teaching Math to Struggling Learners Handout


Zan Tyler
Zan Tyler and her husband, Joe, homeschooled their three children from kindergarten through high school. When she began homeschooling in 1984, she was threatened with jail by the South Carolina State Superintendent of Education. After prolonged legal battles for the rights of her family and homeschoolers in her state, Zan founded the South Carolina Association of Independent Home Schools (SCAIHS) in 1990 and served as its president for ten years. Zan is the director of Apologia Press, where her goal is to support homeschooling parents by bringing them the very best authors and biblically sound resources. A longtime speaker, writer, and homeschooling advocate, she derives deep joy from speaking to and encouraging homeschooling parents across the country and around the globe.
J. Michael Smith
Mike Smith and his wife Elizabeth, along with Michael Farris and his wife, Vickie, founded Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) in 1983. In 1972, Mike was admitted to the bar in California and also has been admitted to the Supreme Court of the United States. Mike and his family began homeschooling because their 5-year-old flunked kindergarten. This was quite a disappointment to Mike in light of the fact that he was preparing this child to be President of the United States by starting his education as early as possible.
 His family’s life changed drastically when he heard a radio program in 1981, which introduced him to the idea of homeschooling. After spending lots of time around people like Mike Farris, he became convinced he had been called to use his gifts and talents in the legal profession to assist homeschoolers.
Mike came to HSLDA full-time in 1987 and has served as president of the organization since the year 2001. All of Mike’s children are now grown and three of the four were homeschooled. The most enjoyable part of Mike’s job is when he is able to go to homeschool conferences and meet what he calls America’s greatest heroes — homeschooling moms.


Joe Tyler
Joe Tyler has worked in the information systems industry for more than 30 years and is the ID Director for Apologia Educational Ministries. He and his wife, Zan have been married for 38 years and have three adult children, who were all homeschooled through high school, have graduated from college, and are married. Joe was a founding board member of the South Carolina Association of Independent Home Schools (SCHAIS). He currently serves as the chairman of the SCHAIS board and is also on the board for Excelsior Academy, a large weekly homeschool co-op.
Elizabeth Smith
Elizabeth Smith is a veteran homeschooling mother who taught three of her four children at home and has seen them successfully graduate from college. She is the wife of Michael Smith, President of Home School Legal Defense Association. Elizabeth writes and speaks at homeschool conferences, symposiums, and women’s retreats throughout the United States. Michael and Elizabeth have appeared several times on Focus on the Family's radio program. Elizabeth has lobbied on pro-family issues in her state capitol and in Washington D.C. for the National Center for Home Education since 1993. She is on the board of directors of The Madison Project, Breakthrough Intercessory Prayer Ministry, and is the Director of the Area Nine Gideon International Auxiliary Ministry in her county. She serves as a women’s Bible study teacher in her local church.
Rachael Carman
Rachael Carman, author of How Many Times Do I Have to Tell You? and How to Have a HEART for Your Kids, challenges women to surrender their will and draw closer to their heavenly Father, loving God passionately and worshiping Him fully while sweeping up Cheerios, doing laundry, and planning dinner. Be affirmed as Rachael speaks of her struggles with perfectionism and impatience and shares her challenges, failures, and victories amid the ever-changing seasons of life. Her honesty will surprise you, and her humor will put you at ease. Rachael is a homeschool mom of seven kids and is married to Davis Carman. Together they own Apologia Educational Ministries.
Davis Carman
Davis Carman got started on his homeschool adventure with a providential two-by-four on the side of his head. Twenty years and four graduates later, he hopes to share some of the lessons he’s learned along the way to help other families enjoy the most successful, satisfying, and Christ-centered homeschool possible. He is the president of Apologia Educational Ministries, the #1 publisher of Creation-based science and Bible curriculum. He is also an international speaker and advocate for home education, founding board member of Homeschool Now USA, and author of four illustrated children’s books. He blogs at HomeschoolCastles.com.
Hal and Melanie Young
Hal & Melanie Young are the award-winning authors of Raising Real Men and My Beloved and My Friend: How to Be Married to Your Best Friend Without Changing Spouses. They are publishers, writers, bloggers, and popular conference speakers internationally, known for their Christ-centered focus and practical, real-life stories. They are the parents of six real boys (four grown!) and two real girls and live in noisy, messy happiness in North Carolina.
Krisa Winn
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.
Joyce Blankenship
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.
Carol Becker
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 a 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.
Kathy H. Lee
Kathy H. Lee, is an award winning author that has been dedicated to the well-being of young children for over 25 years. As a former teacher and administrator, Kathy has extensive experience in the field of early childhood education. She is the mother of ten children, both adopted and biological, and enjoys sharing her journey of imperfect motherhood.A sought-after speaker worldwide, Kathy is most often described as a passionate, experienced, and humorous presenter.
Lesli Richards
Lesli Richards is a humorous and engaging author and speaker with a decade of experience in homeschooling. Together with Kathy Lee, she has written the book The Homegrown Preschooler and A Year of Playing Skillfully, a full preschool curriculum. She is currently Director of Challenge B for Classical Conversations of Cumming, Georgia. She enjoys teaching her five children at home and she is passionate about encouraging other moms to cultivate wonder in their homes and to learn right along with their kids, redeeming two generations of people at the same time.
Linda Lacour Hobar
Linda Lacour Hobar, author of The Mystery of History, is a passionate follower of Christ, a genuine people-person, and a fan of comfortable high heels. Through homeschooling and missionary service, she discovered a deep love for world history and a clear call to write. In its 13th year of worldwide circulation, The Mystery of History has been well received by all ages for its warmth and readability. A native-born Texan, Linda holds a bachelor’s degree from Baylor University, where she first fell in love with world history. She resides in Tennessee where she continues to obsess over matters big and small.
Linda Crosby
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.
Colene Lewis
Colene, 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.
Linda Patchin
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.
Copper Webb
Copper Webb’s childhood career goal was to become “a homeschooling mommy.” Until reaching that season of life, Copper taught in schools, churches, and on ski hills. Now, married for twelve years and with four beautiful children, Copper is thrilled to have landed her dream job as a second-generation homeschooler. She occasionally blogs with a toddler on her lap at earlylearninghome.com, and her articles have been published in numerous home education magazines. Copper and her husband, Mike, are board members for Christian Homeschoolers of Idaho State (CHOIS).
Carol S. Fitzpatrick
Carol S. Fitzpatrick has a passion for helping struggling readers. When her own children were forced to deal with the frustration of dyslexia, she went back to school to learn how to teach them to read. She has a masters degree in education (reading). The same methods she used to homeschool both of her sons have worked for many more struggling readers for 25+ years. When Carol isn't tutoring, she travels throughout the country speaking on successful intervention in reading instruction. Carol is the author of the book Help, I Can't Read! She is trained in Orton-Gillingham methods (Slingerland, Barton Reading and Spelling, and Lindamood-Bell Phoneme Sequencing).
David and Shirley Quine
David and Shirley Quine began home educating their nine children in 1975. They believe that home education plays a vital part in Christian discipleship. They have written or edited approximately 45 books or curriculum. Most of the curriculum they have written was for their own children. In addition to discipling their own children, the Quines are committed to encouraging and leading other families to this high calling. The very first curriculum they wrote was Making Math Meaningful.
Jim Hodges
Jim Hodges is a committed Christian, husband to Monica for 33 years, father of three grown homeschooled children, and Navy retiree. Monica once asked what his dream job would be. He answered, "I'd record books." And so began Jim Hodges Audio Books, producing unabridged recordings of the G. A. Henty historical novels, children’s books, overtly Christian titles, and classic literature. Jim has exhibited at hundreds of homeschool conventions around the country and speaks on "How Henty Helps With History, Geography, Language, and Character" and "You Can Be Self-Employed."
Beth Mora
Beth Mora, author and blogger, is the creater and teacher-on-camera for Here To Help Learning, where is is affectionately known as Mrs. Mora. Her New York moxie communicates with enthusiasm, "You can do it!" And her zeal for your family's success will charge you up. She has served in leadership in children's, marriage, and women's ministry. Everything she does, whether laughable or heart gripping, is done to honor the One. His grace is the salve that has healed her own life, and God's grace is what she offers liberally to others.
Gene Walter
Gene is a homeschooling father of seventeen years who has been actively involved in preparing his children for the ACT and SAT tests and the college search process. He represents John Baylor Prep, an online ACT and SAT test prep course designed to boost test scores and open the door to the college of your choice. Gene and his wife, Becky, and their four children live in Norfolk, Nebraska. He is president of Big Red Printing.
Bob Blayter
Bob Blayter was an associate pastor at Word of Grace Church in Mesa (now Hillsong Phoenix), for over nine years. He recently retired from pastoral ministry as the Associate Pastor at Wonderful Mercy Church in Gilbert. Bob does seminars (financial, marital, and personal prayer retreats) for churches as well as personal financial counseling. He also writes a monthly column for the Arizona Republic and AZ Central called Stretch Your Dollar. Bob has a Bachelor of Arts degree in religion from Grand Canyon University in Phoenix and a certificate of graduate studies from Fuller Theological Seminary.
Sharon Patten
Sharon Patten is married and has two children and three grandchildren. She was a preschool teacher, an elementary education teacher, a reading specialist, and taught continuing education classes for her district and preschools. In 1993, Sharon was introduced to a movement program that helped the brain to develop for learning. She homeschooled her son 3rd-8th grades using the movement program along with academics. He graduated with a 3.8 GPA and received a college athletic scholarship. Sharon retired from teaching and started her own business implementing the movement program along with reading strategies she has developed. She is able to see students who once struggled become successful.
Joshua Sugata
Joshua has been married to his beautiful wife, Stacey, for 10 years. They are striving to create a Christ-centered family legacy through their daughters Anastasia (7) and Arabella (5). Joshua has been an educator for about 15 years; and his experiences range from the junior high classroom, up through high school administration, and now within higher education where he continues to serve a vital role within adult education. He currently serves as a Faculty Training and Development Specialist at Grand Canyon University.