Convention 2017

2017 Convention Topics


Battles for Homeschooling Freedom

Paul Faris

Homeschooling is a legal right everywhere in Canada but this happy state of affairs did not happen by chance. HSLDA, in partnership with homeschooling groups and leaders across the country, has been fighting for this right for decades. Join Paul Faris as he shares the major issues that have arisen in your province and across Canada.

Being Salt & Light Families

Keynote Session - Israel Wayne

As homeschoolers, we are often accused of retreating from society instead of impacting it. What is the balance between sheltering our children and reaching out to a lost world around us? In this session, Israel explains how you can equip your children for the ‘real world’ by developing a family ministry.

Be Open-Minded, but Don’t Let Your Brain Fall Out!

Dr. Jay Wile

One of the most important steps in critical thinking is to look at all sides of an issue. It is very easy to get trapped by false ideas if you continue to look at an issue from only one side. At the same time, however, it can be uncomfortable (and sometimes dangerous) to read the viewpoints of those with whom we disagree. How does a Christian deal with this tension? Dr. Wile first discusses why it is so important to look at an issue from many different sides, and then he explains how to avoid the pitfalls that could result. Those who are interested in serious investigations of theological, scientific, or political issues should definitely hear this talk.

The Disguise Is Off

Ted Byfield

Ted will discuss  the implications he envisions from the government's proposed "sweeping" curriculum and policy changes.  He will also provide his sense of optimism with the possible upcoming new political party.  

Foundations in Character: Your Child's 1st Purpose Before He Finds His Life Purpose

Keynote Session - Kelly Crawford

As our children grow older, they will be (rightly) searching for their purpose in life. However, if basics in character have not been formed, success will be hard to come by, no matter what they choose to do. Here I'll offer a practical way parents can walk their children daily through the building of traits that will help them succeed in life.

From Egypt to Eternity: Is There a Moses in the House?

Craig Funston

Are these days the most difficult times in world history for raising a family? Are these, in fact, the “worst of times” (and not “the best of times”) for raising kids? There are some factors that suggest that possibility. However, I wonder if this point in time (during the Egyptian Empire) was one of the worst times for parenting. We will see some uncanny parallels between the times of Moses and the times of today. Not only parallels in pain, though, but parallels in principles, and how to respond effectively and biblically. This will not be a “one-size-fits-all” or some facile solution. However, with God’s help, there will be a biblical perspective, with biblical examples. We will attempt to see that, despite the context of a “post-Joseph” era despite the unrelenting attack on the families in general and male children in particular (Exodus 1.8-22), God was still very much in control. And by extension, He still is today. He worked through families then, and He still does today. Moses’ parents were called to train and equip their “beautiful” baby boy in a very special way (Exodus 2.1-10). The fruit of their labours is seen when he became a “grown” man (Hebrews 11.23-27).

God's Heart Toward Children

Kelly Crawford

A look at the privilege and power of raising children for God's glory in the midst of a culture that treats children like a burden.

Homeschooling: Preference or Conviction?

Israel Wayne

Why do you homeschool? When your children are grown, what will define success for you? What is a Biblical philosophy of education? This workshop will help you to focus on what is really important. Israel will share with you what has helped his family avoid burnout and frustration in the many years of homeschooling.

Homeschool: The Best Environment for Learning Science

Dr. Jay Wile

Many homeschooling parents feel inadequate when it comes to helping their children learn science. As a result, they think that the their students should eventually go to school to learn it. In this talk, Dr. Wile draws on various sources to demonstrate that in fact, homeschool is the ideal environment for learning science. He discusses studies that indicate homeschool graduates excel in science, shares his own personal experiences with homeschool graduates who are studying science at the university level, and gives some case studies that illustrate his point. He also surveys the various options homeschoolers have at their disposal for teaching science, especially at the junior high and high school levels.

Homeschooling In A Pickle?! CAN IT!!

Gary & Patricia Bergen

A personal journey and testimony of preserving joy, peace and stability amidst life’s trials that can easily put us in a pickle. Consider “Canned Curriculum” What is it? Three Positive Aspects and how they might be a benefit to you and your family. How to use Canned Curriculum effectively and avoid the common negative pitfalls. Be encouraged in your homeschool journey wherever you are at.

How to Turn Opposition Into Cooperation

Thérèse McDonald

Are you butting heads with your child? Are you and your child frustrated with aspects of your home schooling? Are you seeing in your child blocking behaviour, experiencing a pattern of avoidance, exhausted by melt-downs, or tired of all the arguing? This talk will help you move beyond opposition, look at ways of healing damage and building cooperation. Don’t stay stuck; change is always possible. Join Thérèse McDonald for this talk and make a fresh start.

How To Start Home Educating

Free Session

Free. No registration required.

Overwhelmed by friendly advice and tons of information? Or perhaps you sense home education is right for you but you are lacking reasons for doing it or continuing with it. This informative workshop will help you weed through all the things you’ve heard and help you focus on what you really need to know for a successful and rewarding home education journey. Some questions we hope to answer include: Am I qualified? How do I prepare? Where can I go for help? What are some secrets of success? And more! Don’t miss this opportunity to get off to the right start.

I'm an (Overwhelmed) New Homeschooler. Where Do I Start?

Keynote Session - Kelly Crawford

Helping first-time homeschoolers relax among the overwhelming options they have, mapping out the fundamentals of a good education so they build their strategies around that.

Inside the Brain of a Hyperactive Homeschooler

Israel Wayne

If you have a hyperactive or easily distractible child, you won’t want to miss this informative and sometimes humorous message that shares the perspective of a homeschooling father who was once a hyperactive homeschooled child. You will receive practical and Biblical insights into ADD/ADHD and will be encouraged that there is hope for your child!

Is Homeschooling Just for Women?

Israel Wayne

For many men, homeschooling has been looked at largely as something their wife does. Many believe that if they pay the bills, that is really all that God expects of them. Biblically speaking, what is the proper role for men in the process of home education?

Is Homeschooling Stressing You Out? A Closer Look at "School" vs. "Education"

Kelly Crawford

Deprogramming from "schooling" and helping parents see a better way to educate than to replicate the standard classroom approach.

Knowing Where You're Going

Lisa Dau

You wouldn’t hop into a car and go on a trip without first planning your route. In the same way it is necessary to map out the educational journey you are about to take your child on. Come learn how to effectively plan as we discuss different learning styles, teaching styles, how to create a vision statement and how to set goals.

Morning Time

Karla Canon

Do you struggle with fitting it all in? How do you find time for things like memorization, poetry, Bible verses, books, games, and nature study when you're struggling to get the basics done? Join Karla Canon, a homeschool graduate and mom to three kids, and learn how adding the practice of Morning Time transformed their homeschool. Morning Time is a way to gather the kids, connect, and fit in those things you never have time for. Learn how to create your own Morning Time routine, and infuse your homeschool with fun while studying the things that matter the most. This session is geared for parents with kids between birth and approximately grade 6.

New to Home Education? Let's Help You On Your Journey

Patty Marler

Overwhelmed by friendly advice and tons of information? Or perhaps you sense home education is right for you but you are lacking reasons for doing it or continuing with it. This informative workshop will help you weed through all the things you’ve heard and help you focus on what you really need to know for a successful and rewarding home education journey. Some questions we hope to answer include: Am I qualified? How do I prepare? Where can I go for help? What are some secrets of success? And more! Don’t miss this opportunity to get off to the right start.

Panel: Homeschooling & Adoption

Joanne Berger  |  Julie Berger  |  Elizabeth King

Homeschooling and adoption: a seamless symbiotic combination or a homeschool nightmare on steroids? Come hear three moms share snapshots from their journeys through the challenges and blessings as homeschooling adoptive families. Can homeschooling facilitate attachment? How can we foster realistic expectations? Ponder these questions (and more) with us.

Panel: What's for Supper? Meal Planning for Large Families

Natalie Tonne  |  Rochelle Nickerson  |  Laurie Pearson  |  Kimberly Walker

Better a dry crust with peace and quiet than a house full of feasting, with strife. (Prov. 17:1) Come and hear three moms of 5+ kids each, share how they walk the fine line between crusts and feasting, while attempting to retain their sanity and love their children. Topics covered include: special dietary needs and how to incorporate them into family meals, getting the kids to help (or not), tips for nutritious snacks, and picky eaters. Come with questions of your own as well!

Panel: What's a Homeschool Dad to Do?

Randy Kopp  |  David Rand  |  Jeff Rozendaal  |  Greg Lammiman

Iron sharpens iron. This session features three dads, Jeff Rozendaal, Dave Rand and Greg Lammiman, who will share their thoughts and experiences as fathers and husbands in their home school environments. Some of the questions they will be responding to are: how they lead their family, how they support their wives and how they balance their work with family and the Lord. This is an opportunity to gain some gold nuggets of insight, purpose and sharpening as a dad. See you there!

Parental Responsibilities Seasoned with Limits & Grace

Jennie van Hooft

As home educating parents, we take the responsibility for educating our children. With that responsibility comes a sometimes overwhelming list of "shoulda, woulda, coulda" intents and regrets. So many great goals but so limited time and energy. How can Christian parents manage the maze of good goals bombarding us from the Bible, Alberta Education, spouses, society, neighbours, grandparents, etc.? Come explore this topic to gain direction and tools.

Practical Help Living on One Income

Kelly Crawford

Our amazing story of digging out of debt and living on one income with a growing family. Lots of practical application.

Reading - The Heartbeat of Homeschooling!

Kathy & Daryl Snider

As the heart pumps life into all parts of our body, so we believe that reading, similarly pumps life into all areas of learning and delight in our homeschooling! Come and hear practical ways of implementing the most basic and yet most enjoyable part of learning. You will find your children more engaged and less stressful and relating all kinds of interesting things to those who will listen! We will discuss such things as: Read Alouds, 2D and 3D ‘reading’, Dad’s special contributions to reading, book lists that you won’t want to miss, children reading to siblings and to themselves. We are looking forward to sharing one of our favorite parts of homeschooling our four children. We may even read you something exciting!

Single Parents Support Group: Why the Sacrifice?

Korien Sampson

Here Korien will be facilitating discussion surrounding the question everyone seems to ask - Why the sacrifice? Come share an hour with us as we talk about how, as single parents, we can be a hand and foot to each other. How to increase our support network and to go back to our Why!

Support Group Leaders Encouragement Luncheon

Tracy McNichol

This session is designed specifically for Home School Support Group Leaders (OR those who would like to start a Home School Support Group in their area). Come prepared to share what is working for your group and to encourage other Home School Support Group Leaders.

Teaching Critical Thinking

Dr. Jay Wile

One of the biggest failures of our public and private school systems is that they do not teach students how to think critically. In this seminar, Dr. Wile gives you specific suggestions as to how you can teach your child to think critically, regardless of the subject matter. You will learn how to help your student evaluate statements, look for hidden assumptions, find political/social agendas, and discover faulty logic. Although Dr. Wile’s area of interest is science, he will show you how critical thinking applies to all academic areas, as well as all facets of your life.

“Teaching” the Junior High & High School Sciences at Home

Dr. Jay Wile

In this seminar, Dr. Jay L. Wile explains how any parent can help his or her children learn science at the upper levels. As a former University teacher and a former high school teacher, Dr. Wile is a staunch advocate of homeschooling a student all the way through the high school years. He agrees that most parents do not have the ability to teach the high school sciences at home, but he also contends that this is not a problem. By the time a homeschooled student reaches high school, he or she should have the ability to learn independently or with the help of another. Thus, Dr. Wile admonishes the parent to learn the subject right along with the student. With both the parent and the student helping each other learn, an upper level science experience can be equally rewarding for both! In order to help the homeschooling parent plan his or her science curriculum, Dr. Wile provides study timelines for both the science-oriented and the non-science-oriented student. In addition, he discusses the mathematical skills needed in order to maintain the proposed timeline.

Ten Tips to Improve Your Homeschool Year

Dr. Jay Wile

Dr. Wile has been working with homeschoolers for more than 20 years. As a result, he has been able to learn from the pros. He also homeschooled his daughter from the time she was adopted until she graduated high school. Blending his personal experience with the things he has learned from veteran homeschoolers, Dr. Wile discusses ten things you can do to make your homeschool year more enjoyable and effective. Whether you are a new homeschooler or an experienced one, this talk will help you make the most of your homeschool year!

Things to Consider Before Starting a Home-Business

Israel Wayne

Many Christian families are looking for ways to start a home-based business to promote family unity and to supplement or generate a full-time income. While there are many advantages to this decision, there are many pitfalls as well. This workshop helps you to look before you leap, and to succeed once you jump.

Transform Learning through the Art of Questions

Israel Wayne

Whether you are a parent, seeking to motivate your reluctant learner, or you desire to break through your own limitations, you will make more progress if you learn to listen better and ask the right questions (the right way!). Learn how you can help yourself (and others) recognize hidden assumptions, and overcome obstacles, through learning the art of asking questions.

Unit Studies – One Solution To Teach Multiple Ages

Diane Geerlinks

How do I teach ALL these subjects to ALL these children? As a homeschool mom, you are stretched in many directions. Why not dive into a Unit Study with your whole family? Imagine the buzz in your home as all of your children learn the same topic, exploring and creating stuff together... and loving it! Diane will share practical tips on how this method of homeschooling worked for teaching her 5 children for 23 years! Come and be inspired to take the plunge!

What Is Home Education All About? (Free Session)

Paul Faris

Paul Faris, President of HSLDA Canada, defines homeschooling, speaks to common misconceptions about the practice, and explains why so many families are choosing this lifestyle. If you have questions about homeschooling, or if you hardly know what questions to ask, let this session demystify and clarify homeschooling for you.

When Motherhood Feels Too Hard

Kelly Crawford

Offering hope and practical encouragement for moms in the trenches who feel like life is too hard.

Why Homeschool THROUGH High School

Dr. Jay Wile

Homeschooling parents are often faced with a difficult decision when their children reach high school age. Typically, the parents feel they are just not able to teach the more demanding courses that are required at the high school level. As a result, many parents feel that they must send their children to school for a proper high school education. In this seminar, Dr. Jay L. Wile, a former teacher at both the university and high school levels, will explain why such a decision is not in the best interest of the student. Using data gathered from many different sources, including his own experiences, Dr. Wile demonstrates that homeschooled students are better academically prepared and better socialized than their publicly- or privately-schooled counterparts. These facts allow Dr. Wile to make a compelling case that the best thing for a homeschooled student is to stay in homeschool, regardless of the parent’s academic abilities.


Speakers & schedule subject to change without notice.