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2013 Conference Schedule

  • 8am Doors open. Pick up your packet!
  • 8-9am Exhibitor Hall OPEN
  • 9-10am Session 1
  • 10-12am Exhibitor Hall OPEN and Drop in programs in meeting rooms
  • 12-1pm Lunch
  • 1-2pm Session 2
  • 2:15-3:30pm Session 3
  • 3:30-3:45 Beverage Break
  • 3:45-5pm Session 4

Click workshop title to view description.
Download printable pdf of workshops here.

Session 1 ~ 9-10am

Homeschool 101

You’ve decided to homeschool your children. Now what? This workshop is chockfull of information for families just beginning their homeschool journey. Topics will include the legal requirements to homeschool in Minnesota (qualifications, reporting requirements, etc.) curriculum and testing options, participating in school sports, and many more. There will be plenty of time for questions so you can get the answers you need to successfully begin your homeschool journey.

Diamonds In The Rough: Helping Struggling Readers

Is your son or daughter struggling to learn how to read? Come to this workshop and explore proven research strategies to help them succeed in reading. Discover the strengths that dyslexic learners are often gifted with and learn how to utilize these skills to help them flourish in both reading and beyond.

4-H: No Animals Required

If you think 4-H is all about agriculture, have we got news for you! 4-H is so much more…including an excellent way to homeschool your children. In this workshop, learn about the wealth of curriculum 4-H has to offer as well as the numerous ways your kids can be actively involved in 4-H programming. Do your kids love robotics? Join a 4-H sponsored F.I.R.S.T. Lego Robotics group. Is your kid gearing up to be the next contestant on Project Runway? Find out how to participate in Fashion Revue! Does your homeschooler want to ride horses? Discover how to “borrow” one and participate in 4-H Horse project. From ages 5 to 19, there is something for everyone in 4-H.

Making Connections: How to Build Your Own Homeschool Community

Homeschooling can be a lonely road without friends! It can be hard reaching out to others and finding people you have things in common with. How do you find and make friends, both for yourself and for you kids? More importantly, how do you grow those friendships into a supportive community that can last for years? Come hear how to find, connect with and grow relationships with other homeschoolers. We’ll give you resources on some great ways to find where all the homeschoolers are hiding, tips on how to get over your fears of approaching other parents and an action plan to get you on the road to building your own community!

Using the Scientific Method

Are you bored with your science curriculum? Maybe you can’t find one you like at all? Too often, we teach science by either having kids memorize facts or by conducting “experiments” that are little more than following a recipe (and even then they don’t always work). Would you like to incorporate real scientific experimentation in your homeschool? Are you interested in possibly participating in MHA’s Science Fair in February? In this workshop, you will learn how to create experiments at home using the scientific method to spice up the way kids of all ages learn science (often with materials you already own). We’ll show you how to turn questions into experiments, how to design an experiment so you can trust your results, and how to document your experiments so they are suitable for entry in the science fair. We’ll also discuss the benefits of participating in science fairs.


Session 2 ~ 1-2pm

Online Spanish for Homeschoolers

Hola! Are you looking for the opportunity to teach your homeschooler Spanish from the comfort of your own home? This workshop will explore how you can teach your children Spanish online. Learn how to use Web 2.0 tools for free as well as how to Skype with native Spanish speakers in a secured setting.

Project Preschool

Presentation of at least two different approaches to homeschooling preschoolers by homeschooler moms who have “been there and done that.” Ideas, favorite supplies, activities and more. Erin is just awesome and Valerie will bring a craft project to try to compete with Erin’s awesomeness.

Homeschooling Moms: Secrets to Achieving Balance

Whether you own a business or supplement your family’s income with a part-time job, balancing work while homeschooling can be a daunting task. But it can be done! Learn how to manage homeschooling, work and home life to create a wonderful, rewarding lifestyle! Jen Hinckle, owner of Signature Music Studios, will share her real-life experiences with homeschooling four kids while owning and operating her own company for the last 13 years. Participants will learn practical tips to organize life, home, and school in an engaging, fun workshop! Bonus: Learn how to give your kids practical, real-life experience by involving them <strongin your business!

Understanding Autism

How to effectively help persons within the PDD Spectrum overcome challenges and exceed expectations. We share our story of raising Monica from the experienced point of view of mother, grandmother, teacher, therapist and advocate. We explain various teaching methods, therapies and ideas for helping children who are challenged with PDD, Sensory, ADHD/ADD, Behavior, Stemming and Communication issues. Everyone will walk away from this informative workshop with a deeper understanding of a PDD affected mind and receive practical, applicable teaching, therapeutic and communication methods that can be implemented immediately. The best yet, they only require time, effort and patience delivered with love.

Minecraft As An Educational Tool

Take advantage of a crazy obsession sweeping the world by learning how to use the forces of MINECRAFT, the enormously popular sandbox video game, to educate! We will cover things like MINECRAFT EDU (the educational resource by Mojang), explain why Minecraft is now an official teaching resource in certain countries, talk on programming, and more! View the workshop slides


Session 3 ~ 2:15-3:30pm

Do Re Mi: The Value of Music Education

Does the thought of adding music lessons to an already busy schedule make you shudder? Come learn why music education is an important component to a well-rounded homeschool education! Whether your child is itching to play the guitar or longing to learn piano, discover tips and tools to teach them music and help them learn how to channel their inner Mozart.

Facetime With Mother Earth

Did you know that the biggest classroom is right outside your window? In this workshop, learn how to combat “Nature Deficit Disorder” and get your kids outdoors, studying nature throughout the year. Discover how to engage your homeschoolers with animal tracking, wetland ecology, bee biology and more! Numerous handouts will be available to participants.

Crack the Case: How to Become A Mystery Shopper

What is Mystery Shopping? This workshop will provide a brief overview of what mystery shopping is,including how flexible it is and how it can be worked into any type of schedule. Learn tips and tricks on how to get started, discover information on navigating the mystery shopping forums and find out how to join support groups to help make your mystery shopping business successful.


Psst! Wanna know a secret? Minnesota has one of the best dual enrollment options available for homeschoolers in the entire country! Post-Secondary Enrollment Option (PSEO) may seem intimidating but trust us — you can do it! Join Jennifer King, the founder of ECHO-MN, as she explains the PSEO experience. You’ll learn about the application process and programs homeschoolers can expect…and how to start gathering (and keeping) records for that all-important homeschool transcript.

Discovering Your Child's Learning Style

Do you know your child’s learning style? This workshop will explain the three most common learning styles: auditory, visual and kinesthetic. Discover how to identify your child’s unique learning style and learn why knowing this information can be such an important component to your homeschool journey.


Session 4 ~ 3:45-5pm

For the Love of Reading

The co-founders of the National Homeschool Book Award share the joy of reading. Learn what is SO important about reading aloud with kids of all ages, how to fit it into your busy homeschool life, and ultimately how to create shared experiences with your kids. Learn how to take amazing juvenile fiction books and expand them into homeschool curriculum in every subject area. Whether reading is the biggest part of your day already or you are struggling to fit it in, this workshop will leave you feeling invigorated. Our goal is to encourage homeschool families to take advantage of the unique learning and family bonding that result from reading!

Book Invasion: Organizing for your Homeschool Life

Keeping your life organized is difficult enough without adding an entire educational system to the mix! If your basement or school room is one step away from being featured on Hoarders, or if you just want to become better organized, this is the workshop for you! Attendees will discover practical advice and tips, as well as have the opportunity to ask questions and get ideas from other participants, ideas which can easily be adapted, regardless of your homeschooling method. Darcy Schatz owns a business as a professional organizer, has been homeschooling for 10 years and has incurred minimal library fines in the process.

More Than A Field Trip: Connecting Students with Live Performances

“Wow, what a great show!” But now what? If you’re like a lot of other homeschoolers, you often wonder how to extend the learning opportunity live performances provides for your children. In this interactive workshop, participants will learn how to guide their children’s discussions about live performances and connect these experiences back to both their curriculum and real life. Discover a proven, structured way to help engage students in meaningful discussion about the performances they see, allowing them to connect these events to the world around them.

Reaching Into the Mind of Gifted and Learning Disabled

Are you homeschooling a Gifted or Learning Disabled child? Come to this workshop to learn the inner workings of the G/LD child and how different is absolutely not a bad thing. We’ll explore the challenges parents face teaching their G/LD child but we’ll also look at just how important it is to think outside the box—or better yet, throw the box away — with these wonderfully unique children.

Detour Ahead! Navigating the Homeschool Highway

Just when you think you’ve got this homeschool thing figured out…BAM! Be it a detour on the homeschool road map or a little bit of ‘flat-tire curriculum,’ we’ve all experience our own bumps along the Homeschool Highway. Amy Dingmann, local homeschooler and author of the popular book, The Homeschool Highway, will share the potholes she’s experienced — and survived — and will offer humorous, practical advice for you to get back on track in your own homeschool journey.


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