Canadian Homeschool Symposium 2021

Although the live event is over you can still access 25 online workshop recordings with some of North America’s top homeschool experts.

Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.‚ÄĚ
Proverbs 22:6

Check Out Our Speakers & Topics

20+ live workshops with some of North America’s top homeschool experts.

Cori Dean

Homeschooling for Newbies

Cori Dean is an author and speaker and the owner of The Learning House and Maple Tree Publications. With nearly 20 years of homeschool experience she has traveled the country bringing support and encouragement to thousands of homeschoolers for more than a decade. Having graduated their older two children, she and her husband Mark continue to work with their younger two both at home and in their learning nook at the store in Bradford, Ontario. Cori loves long days of bicycling as well as camping and boating with the family and thinks there’s nothing better than a good book, some dark chocolate, and a cup of tea.

Louise House

Choosing Curriculum? & If I Had it All to do Again

Louise and her husband Harold reside in scenic Goderich Ontario. In 1994 they founded The Learning House, a homeschool supply company. They home educated their four children from preschool through high school. Three of their children had learning struggles. Since the sale of the company in 2020, to Mark and Cori Dean, Louise has continued working with The Learning House. She counts it a privilege to minster to homeschooling families through curriculum counseling, speaking, blogging, (From House to Home), and encouragement on a one-to-one basis.

Brigette VanHuisstede

How to Pursue Gospel Hope in a Pandemic

Brigette VanHuisstede tries to live each day fully and abundantly. She hails from Hamilton, Ontario and lives in a home of beautiful chaos with her family and pets. She is married to the most encouraging man she knows and is the mother of four rapidly growing and energetic kids. Brigette has her honours degree in English Literature, and has studied Biblical exposition with Simeon Trust. She taught Grade 8 in a local Christian school, has been involved in many Children‚Äôs and Women‚Äôs ministries and is currently homeschooling her children. A typical homeschool day finds Brigette explaining new concepts using hockey imagery or weeping over the ending of “Charlotte’s Web”.

Diane Geerlinks

Better Late than Early or Early than Late?

Diane Geerlinks is a professionally certified Educational Therapist, Director of GeerLINKS Educational Therapy & Consulting and is Marketing Director for NILD Canada (National Institute for Learning Development). She is a motivational speaker and brings her 25 years of homeschool experience to each workshop presentation. In 2009, Diane trained as an NILD Educational Therapist and has since continued to pursue her passion for learning with particular focus on the neuroplasticity of the brain and how we can improve our capacity for learning at any age. Diane is a lively and passionate speaker and presents at educators’ conferences across Canada.

Michael Zietsma

History and the Need for a Saviour

Christian High School Teacher of 17 years. BA in History, Political Science, and Kinesiology. B. Ed. Founder and owner of “Creating History.” Develops innovative and creative homeschool courses for the social sciences. “While creation confirms the existence of God, history reveals the need for a Saviour.”

Nicole McCloud

Homeschool the Early Years

Nicole McCloud was homeschooled from K- Grade 12. Daughter of Diane Geerlinks, she was surrounded by Unit Studies from a young age. Her favourite was always studying the human body… which made sense as she then went on to become a midwife, working oversees as well as in Ontario as a midwife. Once having her own children, homeschooling was something she knew they would want to do with their kids. Nicole now runs the facebook group Homeschool the Early Years in Canada and Raising Book-Loving Kids. Both active communities for homeschoolers that are looking for inspiration and encouragement.

Lisa Marie Fletcher

Planning Your Homeschool Year

Lisa Marie Fletcher is a homeschooling mom of 5 kids ranging from preschool to high school. When her homeschooling journey began, she searched for Canadian homeschooling resources and started to share them online. That was the beginning of The Canadian Homeschooler – whose mission today is to connect homeschoolers across Canada with each other and with resources to help them on their journey.

Mary-Lou Maclean

Back to Basics: Teaching the 3 R's

Mary-Lou’s passion is helping struggling learners reach their full potential. For over twenty-five years, she has worked in the field of education, teaching high school, college and working as an educational therapist. After training to become an educational therapist through NILD Canada, Mary-Lou continued on to work with many students for over fourteen years in the school setting as well as a private therapist. Her second passion is training educators and parents to work with LD children and she became an instructor with NILD Canada working in their summer graduate program. She is now Executive Director for NILD Canada (National Institute for Learning Development-Canada) She continues to teach, instruct and travels to conferences across Canada.

Stacey Weeks

Homeschool Hardships and Humble Hearts

Stacey is a ministry wife, mother of three teenagers, and a sipper of hot tea with honey. She loves to open the Word of God and share the hope of Christ with women. She is a multi-award-winning author, the primary home-educator of her children, and a frequent conference speaker. Her messages have been described as rich in the truths of Scripture, gospel-infused, and life-changing. Stacey has a graduate certificate in Women’s Ministry with Heritage College and Seminary, and she begins a graduate certificate in Biblical Counselling with Heritage College and Seminary in the fall of 2021.

Jessica Holder

Weaving Scripture and Prayer into Imperfect Days

Jessica began working with home educating families fifteen years ago as a support teacher at a small private school in British Columbia. Along the way, she has learned how to be a home educating mama a bit herself. She has four daughters who she gets to do life with, along with a multi-faceted husband who balances them all out. She has spent the last decade reading the words and ideas of Charlotte Mason, acquiring a master degree in educational technology, and piecing together a small children’s devotional entitled, Practicing the Habit of Prayer: 31 Days of Prayer and Scripture. Through work and life, Jessica seeks to support families who have answered the call of home education as a part of their lives, encouraging them to build wholesome rhythms within their hearts and homes.

Peter Stock

HSLDA Canada Legal Update

Peter Stock is the President of the Home School Legal Defence Association of Canada. He and his wife Tarah have homeschooled their four children.

Renton Rathbun

Is the Bible a Textbook? How Scripture Makes Every Subject Possible & Biblical Worldview & Critical Thinking

Renton was a classroom teacher for 22 years. His teaching experience includes both secular and Christian institutions ranging from high school to college. He and his wife homeschooled their son, Daniel, who is now in college. Renton has spoken for homeschool venues such as the Foundations Summit as well as He holds a variety of degrees, including English, speech, philosophy, and Bible. Renton is currently a Biblical Worldview Specialist for BJU Press.

Ana Willis

The Riches of A Home Education

Ana is a wife and homeschool mom of 3 turned into homeschool blogger. She is also, a women’s pastor, entrepreneur, and a passionate Bible and Hebrew teacher. She loves helping homeschool moms to find joy and fulfillment in their homeschool calling. Her goal is to help moms go from stressed to blessed, nurturing a restful homeschooling through a living education, and living a beyond blessed life. Ana studied Theology at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and has a double Bachelor’s degree in Biblical and Jewish Studies from Israel College of the Bible. She is the founder of Hebrew for Homeschoolers, a course that teaches homeschool families to read, write and speak Hebrew in only 4 to 10 weeks. For the past 5 years, Ana has been mentoring thousands of homeschool moms through They Call Me Blessed, The Homeschool Sisterhood, and co-hosting the Charlotte Mason Inspired Online Conference attended by 3236 moms. Ana loves bringing God’s people together and above all, she loves bringing people closer to God!

Sue Wright

Evolution vs Creation: teaching our children to think critically

Sue Wright has been married for 47 years to her high school sweetheart, Bill. They have 4 grown married children. A good share of her ‚Äúpost-secondary‚ÄĚ education came from homeschooling her children for 10 years during the pioneer days of homeschooling in Canada. They attended the first regional homeschool conferences! Sue has been an Event Planner with Creation Ministries International-Canada since 2012. She has spoken with pastors across the country on the topic of biblical origins, organized hundreds of CMI events, attended several of them, and conducted her own research on the subject of creation vs evolution. She is passionate about parents equipping their children to defend their faith against the onslaught of evolutionary dogma being promoted as ‚Äúscience.‚ÄĚ

Thomas Bailey

Questions? There are Answers!

Thomas works full-time at CMI as a speaker and event planner. He is also one of the co-hosts of the weekly TV show Creation Magazine Live! Thomas has been a communicator most of his life and since becoming a Christian in his early teens, he has had a desire to use whatever gifts God has given him to preach the gospel. He first pursued a career in theatre as an actor, with an eye toward directing and playwriting. His intention was ultimately to use theatre as a means of evangelism. Years later, he left professional theatre and worked at a variety of other jobs. Sensing the call to preach, he pastored a local church for two years. While attending a CMI event, Thomas was impacted by the need for creation apologetics in order to uphold Biblical authority and advance the gospel. This led to him becoming a CMI speaker in 2014. Thomas lives in Exeter, Ontario with his wife Gail, who is also a CMI event planner. They have two married adult children and two grandchildren. Thomas has a B.Ed, a BA in Drama, and a Diploma in Ministry.

Hester VanBraeden

Classical Education: Back to Basics

Hester is a second generation home educating parent who is keenly aware that her own education is not complete, and comfortable that it probably never will be. She has many years of experience with children, books, and curriculum. She loves to travel to worlds and times beyond the present with her children through stories. Hester and her husband have four children and live in the lower mainland of BC.

Carroll Smith

Charlotte Mason for 21st Century Parents and Children

Dr. Carroll Smith was introduced to Charlotte Mason many years ago through Mason’s book An Essay Towards a Philosophy of Education.  From there the seeds of ideas given by Mason in her various books have slowly taken hold and have grown year by year as Carroll worked as a middle school teacher, a principal and a college professor.  He founded the educational nonprofit, The Charlotte Mason Institute, to promote the educational philosophy of Charlotte Mason and cherishes the relationships that have gown over the years through a collective camaraderie with people interested in seeing education from a very different paradigm.  He enjoys reading, gardening and discussing ideas with friends.  He and his wife, Andra live in Roanoke, VA.

Peter Lindsay

Dads in Homeschooling

Peter Lindsay is a teacher, local/online tutor, and the high school administrator with Tree of Life School. He has taught and served young people (including his own three children) from elementary to university-level in science, math, Great Books, English, writing, and Bible. Peter gained his ‚Äúteaching credentials‚ÄĚ for government schooling fifteen years ago, but soon realized that he had a lot to learn about education. After discovering Christian classical education, he migrated towards other avenues in the learning field, and became committed to homeschooling. He has been working with Tree of Life for ten years, and is also doing part-time studies in theology. Peter and his wife live in Nova Scotia and homeschool their three children.

Tarah Stock

Media Matters & What to Know Before Logging On

Tarah Stock has been homeschooling her children and working part time with digital media for almost two decades.¬† She earned a BS in Communications and an MA in International Public Policy before spending a number of years working in political institutions of both Washington, DC and Ottawa. However, after the arrival of her first child, most of her work has been from home as a marketing consultant to small businesses and non-profits.¬† Tarah recently taught a course on Media Studies to the students of GLO London (Group Learning Opportunities)‚ÄĒthe co-op she helped start for homeschooling high school students. Her husband, Peter Stock, is president of HSLDA and CCHE.

Matthew Stephens

Creating a Balanced Language Arts Program

Matthew Stephens is the author and teacher of Essentials in Writing and Essentials in Literature. He received his Bachelor of Science in Education from Missouri State University with emphasis in Middle School and High School English. Matthew taught in public education before founding Essentials in Writing and is a certified teacher. He enjoys teaching students of all ages and is known for his animated and energetic teaching style.  Stephens also earned a Master of Education (Administration) at William Woods University and a Master of Music in Choral Conducting at Texas State University. He is the founder and director of South Austin Academy of Vocal Arts in Austin, Texas conducting three choirs for all ages. Stephens and his wife, Jenny, have three children ages 23, 20, and 17.

Joan A. Cotter, Ph.D. & Kathleen Cotter Lawler

You CAN Be a Great Math Teacher

Kathleen Cotter Lawler is the daughter of Dr. Joan A. Cotter, author and creator of the RightStart‚ĄĘ Mathematics program. She is one of the first children to grow up under the RightStart principles. Kathleen has a degree in Home Economics and a minor in Business from the University of Minnesota and has two Masters Degrees from the University of Mary in Bismarck, North Dakota. Kathleen is the mother of four children ages 25 to 29 and one delightful grandson.¬†

Dr. Joan A. Cotter holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, an AMI Montessori diploma for ages 3-6, a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from College of St. Thomas, Minnesota, (now University of St. Thomas) and an earned Ph.D. in mathematics education from the University of Minnesota.  Dr. Cotter designed the double-sided AL Abacus and wrote RightStart Mathematics, a comprehensive elementary and middle-school mathematics program that incorporates visualization, the AL Abacus, math card games, and drawing board tools. The RightStart curriculum is an outgrowth of her doctoral research. Dr. Cotter speaks at conferences across the US and worldwide.

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