Convention Workshop Descriptions


Be sure to check back often, as we're currently in the process of updating the site, with this years presenters!

General Session Descriptions

General Session I (Friday, 10:30am - 11:30am)

Homeschooling: Capturing the Vision - Kevin Swanson

What is it about home education that has profoundly re-energized education and produced such outstanding academic results?  Incredibly, the average homeschool 8th grader without teacher-credentialed parents tests 4 grade levels above the national average on nationally standardized tests.  And it is not because we have taken a public school system complete with desks and bolted them to the floor of our living rooms.  In this visionary, ground-breaking presentation on the homeschool vision, Kevin Swanson presents the basic elements that make up an outstanding homeschooling experience for your child.  This message will give the first-time homeschooler confidence and vision, and will provide encouragement and a reality check for the experienced home educator.  

Special Session with Our Event Sponsor (Friday, 12:15pm - 1:15pm) 

The Art of Asking Questions - Classical Conversations (Vendor Workshop)

As children mature, they learn by asking questions. This presentation will help parents learn how to ask questions that generate discussion, spark creativity and curiosity, and build strong parent-child relationships. Grab some lunch and join Maria Chamberlain to learn more about Classical Conversations.

 General Session II (Friday, 3:00pm - 4:00pm)

The Blessing of America:  A Vision for the Future - Kevin Swanson

As author of The Second Mayflower (just released in its 3rd edition), Kevin Swanson speaks from the heart on the beautiful vision that formed America.  No other nation on earth has been so blessed with liberty and prosperity as America.  In this rousing and inspiring presentation, Kevin encourages home educators to study America's godly heritage, be grateful for it and to live the principles that beat in the heart of the founders of the nation.  Has the vision faded, and have the blessings departed?  How is God going to use the homeschool movement to revive this blessing?  God may very well be preparing to use homeschooling in a powerful way to transform our families and our nation.

Evening Concert (Friday, 6:00pm - 7:15pm)

The Boy Singers of Maine in Concert 

The Boy Singers of Maine, a Maine nonprofit organization with a history of over 30 years, celebrates the male voice in all stages of development through its three choirs: the Lyric (training), Concert (treble) and Lower Octave (mature voice) Choirs. The mission of The Boy Singers of Maine (BSM) is to provide an exemplary music education and performance training for boys from second grade through high school in an atmosphere that fosters sensitivity, character development, discipline and self-confidence. The concert performance will feature the choirs singing a variety of music from various styles and traditions. 

General Session III (Saturday, 8:30am - 10:00am)

Heart of Homeschooling - Kevin Swanson 

Eventually every homeschooling parent realizes that the heart of the child is the heart of the homeschool.  In this transparent and powerful presentation, Kevin traces a developing relationship between himself and his own son.  Kevin drills into the heart of what happens in a home when parents begin to walk with their children.  Parenting and home education boils down to one issue - the heart of a parent connecting to with the heart of a child.

General Session IV (Saturday, 1:00pm - 2:00pm)

Why Will Homeschooling Change the World - Kevin Swanson

Is it saying too much that homeschooling will change the world?  It already has.  This presentation will draw from history, real research data, and the Bible to illustrate the power of relationship-based, parent-guided learning.  The real reason why homeschooling will change the world is found where it is least expected.

Movie Gallery (Live Presentation!)

Convention of the States: A Project of Citizens for Self-Governance (Friday, 7:30pm) - Rockport Room

The federal government is broken and incapable of  fixing itself. Washington D.C. has bankrupted us, seized state power, and stolen our liberty. Even good politicians are handcuffed by the burdens of bureaucracy. What can be done? 

Now is the time for all Americans — from the coasts, to the farms, to the Beltway — to lock arms and decide our nation is worth a fight. A Convention of States is not only our best hope to save our Republic, it might be our last hope. Join Maine's Convention of the Sates Coalition Director, Ken Quinn, during this session for a fasinating history lesson, as we learn:  

  • What is an Article V Convention?
  • What does history teach us about these types of conventions?
  • How and why were amendments ratified in the past.
  • Facts not Fiction:  Was the 1787 Constitutional Convention a "runaway", Is this a Con-Con? 
  • Potential Amendments to fix our problems.

Workshop Descriptions

Special Session (Thursday, 1:00pm - 2:00pm)

How to Raise Authentic, Heart-Deep, God-Loving Kids - Kevin Swanson, Rockport Room

Child-training methodologies are important.  The permissive methods, the behavior-modification methods, and the externalist, recipe-driven methods have all had fruit over the years.  But what is there for parents who desire authentic, heart-deep, God-loving kids?  Based on the experience of generations of godly child-rearing, and the wisdom of God's Word, Kevin Swanson carves out a biblical balance to this difficult subject in this presentation.

Creation Exploration:  Nature Study Across the Curriculum - Raylene M. Hunt, Rockland Room (Family Track)

Homeschooling mother of two and nature study homeschool group leader, Raylene Hunt was doing nature study before she had a name for it.  This workshop will not only show how you can integrate nature study in all the required curriculum areas, but will take you outside the building to explore creation around the convention site to demonstrate that it doesn't matter where you are. Creation is just outside the nearest door!

Building on a Sure Foundation:  Staying the Course through High School - Diane Kummer, Camden Room

As your child grows older, you may be considering high school at home - but you've got your doubts!  Why is homeschooling high school a crucial decision for your teen?  How is it possible?  What help is available?  We will answer your questions: but more importantly, we'll encourage and challenge you to explore the steps you should take as you weigh the possibility of teaching high school at home.

iCommand:  Presidential Crisis Situation - Joel Grewe, Penobscot Room (Teen Track)

One of Generation Joshua's newest teen tracks!  Designed as an intense foreign policy crisis simulation with students acting as members of the executive branch of government.  The students take on the roles in the State Department, Department of Defense, and national security organizations. They must respond to a variety of developing foreign crises and attempt to discern wise and true courses of action. iCommand provides an intense look at the powers of the presidency in action and U.S. foreign policy.  The program also provides students with an opportunity to test their own idea of how the U.S. should act on the world stage, and see the consequences in real time. 

Lapbooking 101 - Carol Robb, Schooner Room
School can be fun! Lapbooking is one way to open up learning for children while they are having fun.  This is a hands-on session for parents who are new to lapbooking.  Carol will explain the basics of lapbooking, the reasons for lapbooking, and provide some examples of lapbooks done by her children.  During this workshop you will create a sample lapbook to use as a reference for the future.

Transform Your Home Education into Real Life Impact -  (Vendor Workshop) - Janice Rockwell, Monhegan Room
Implement Jesus' heart into your curriculum, and watch Him impact many lives through your family.  Here how families around the world are genuinely imparting eternity.

Special Session (Thursday, 2:30pm - 4:00pm)

Entertainment and Your Family - Kevin Swanson, Rockport Room

In the words of one cultural commentator, are we entertaining our families to death?  As a father of five, Kevin Swanson is engaging a multi-generational attempt to find the right balance of entertainment, work and serving in life.  What role should entertainment play in our children's life?  Kevin measures the relative benefits or drawbacks of the cotton-candy novel (i. e. . Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew), historical adventures (i.e... G. A.. Henty), the classic novels of the 19th century Victorian Fare, the fantasy genre, Walt Disney motion pictures, television (from Andy Griffith to 24), recorded music, and drama radio.  This very practical presentation will provide some helpful suggestions for bringing biblical principles to bear as you seek maximum edification for your family.

Record Keeping for High School:  Simplifying the Process - Diane Kummer, Schooner Room

Why is documentation of high school course work important?  Keeping good records does not need to be time consuming or burdensome; it will actually save you time and effort in the long run.  Learn what, when and how to track your student's progress through high school.

Getting Started in Homeschooling - Carolyn Simonds, Rockland Room

Are you just beginning to homeschool? Are you researching the option for your family? Plan to attend this workshop! The following topics will be covered:

• Maine’s homeschooling law
• Record keeping
• Curriculum planning
• Helpful resources
• Portfolios and evaluations
• Support groups
• Special needs
• And much more!

iCommand - Joel Grewe, Penobscot Room

 iCommand continued.

Modern Square Dancing for Fun and Fitness - Four Corners Association Members, Camden Room (Family Track)
Exercise the body and stimulate the mind.  Modern Square Dancing is an excellent alternative to traditional physical education programs.  As an exercise, it is low-impact. Dancers average 2000 steps per hour of dancing and up to 5 miles of walking in a typical 2 1/2 hour dance.  Additionally, square dancing can bring communities together in a social atmosphere.  The activity breaks down barriers, builds trust and is great fun.  Presented by Al Hipkins, Walt Bull and Grace Tudan of Four Corners Association.

What is Dyslexia? ADD? Are They Related? - (Vendor Workshop) - Michele Siegmann, Monhegan Room

Dyslexia is an umbrella term for over eighty learning disabilities. Learn what these are, how they have a common root cause and what you can do to help your child correct his dyslexia.

Special Session (Thursday, 7:00pm)

HOME Leadership Networking and Meeting the Changing Face of Home Education - Kevin Swanson, Schooner Room

While other homeschool organizations are shrinking in their influence, Christian Home Educators of Colorado continues to grow.  CHEC has seen 25% growth over the last year even through the problems of recession, increased competition from stat-funded programs and other challenges.  As Executive Director of one of the fastest growing home education ministries in the country, Kevin will show what they have done as an organization to meet the changing face of home education.  He will cover fund raising, public policy efforts, family events, etc.  Lively discussion opportunity will uncover what works and what doesn't.  If you are a leader in the homeschool community, or have in interest in serving homeschoolers in Maine, please join us!


Session I (Friday, 9:00am - 10:00am)

Developing a Plan for High School: Sample 4-Year Plans - Diane Kummer, Camden Room

How do you plan a program for your high school homeschooler? What subjects do you teach and when? Do you follow a basic high school plan, a general college prep plan, or a rigorous college prep plan? How do you evaluate credits? Determine grades for a course? What about the need for a transcript and diploma? If you are just beginning to think about homeschooling during the high school years, this seminar will help you organize your thoughts and begin laying the groundwork for a viable four-year plan.

Learning through Living Books - Carolyn Simonds & Panel of HOME Representatives,  Rockland Room  

Come and join HOME Reps in a discussion on "living books" or "whole books." Topics will include the definition of a living book, the many different teaching methods that use living books as a curriculum base, programs and  resources, and lists of living books. Reps will share their favorite living books, how they use them in their homeschool programs. Learn how to add these wonderful books to any curriculum and create a love for learning. 

 Of Whom This World is Not Worthy-The Greatest Mothers the World Has Ever Known - Kevin Swanson, Rockport Room 

This powerful and passionate presentation brings out the greatest role models from Biblical and Christian history of mothers that literally changed the world.  This encouraging message will bless the heart of every mother, especially during the tough times and dark days.

iCommand -  Joel Grewe, Penobscot Room

iCommand continued.

Drums Alive (Vendor Workshop) - Carol Richards, Schooner Room

Drums Alive Academic Beats - learning through rhythm and movement. Academic Beats provides a brain and body workout! Bursts of high intensity movement interspersed with periods of recovery cognition exercises, create an interval training experience that is fun and engaging. This unique course actively increased each participant's learning and creative approach to rhythm, movement and cognitive connections. Homeschoolers, heath professionals and parents will get a sampling of the knowledge and skills needed to implement Academic Beats activities in math, language arts, social studies, science and other content areas.  

 Fresh Air Fund (Vendor Workshop) - Dawn Hansen, Monhegan Room

Have you heard about the Fresh Air Fund, but never really knew what it was about?  Join us for an hour of information and interaction about this important nonprofit organization!  The Fresh Air Fund has been serving the children of New York City since 1877 by providing summer vacation opportunities with volunteer host families from 13 states and Canada!  Presenters will share their personal hosting experience, and provide information on what it takes to become a host family in a fun and interactive format.

Session II (Friday, 1:30pm - 2:30pm)

High School Transcript Clinic - Dane Kummer, Camden Room

Creating a high school transcript is an easy yet vital part of your child’s high school records. In this interactive and practical seminar, you will create a transcript that can be used as a pattern when designing your own. Diane will guide you through transcript essentials, evaluation of credit, grading guidelines and scales, and calculation of grade point averages (GPA’s). In addition, you will receive sample transcripts depicting other formats for you to consider.

Primary Sources:  What Do They Tell Us? - Mayra Donnell,  Rockland Room (Family Track)

Mayra Donnell's book, 1816: The Summer That Never Came, is considered juvenile historical fiction.  Only the characters and village are fictional, however.  The weather is as it was on the days mentioned.  The political activities are as they occurred on the stated dates.  The family's activities are those a family in 1816 would participate in, and are accurately depicted.  In this workshop, the author will discuss the primary and secondary sources used in the book, and answer the where, how and why of primary and secondary sources.  It is never too early to start using primary sources when doing research!  Students and families will learn:  What a primary source is; Where to find them; How to use them; Why use them; and How to create their own primary sources.

God's Curriculum-Teaching Proverbs to Your Children - Kevin Swanson, Rockport Room

Of all of the curriculum available for our children, the most important is still the material that God gave us around 1000 B.C.. The author of a three-volume study guide to the Proverbs, Kevin Swanson summarizes the entire book in one quick hour. Equip yourself to teach the important stuff on epistemology, metaphysics, ethics, sociology, anthropology, economics, character, leadership, education, and parenting.

iCommand  - Joel Grewe, Penobscot Room

iCommand continued.

Splash Into Writing (Vendor Workshop) - Yvonne Blake, Schooner Room

Put some excitement and energy into your children's writing!  They will learn how to go beyond a simple, stagnant story to discover the joy of diving into the world of words!  This workshop is for children (and accompanying parents)!

Special Session (Friday 3:00pm-4:15pm)

Singing Workshop with The Boy Singers of Maine - Rick Dustin, Schooner Room

This will be a fun-filled hour of exploring our singing voices, working with others and learning songs together under the direction of conductors from The Boy Singers of Maine.  At 4:00pm, there will be a brief demonstration of the music learned.  After the demonstration, The Boy Singers of Maine conductors will be available to answer parent questions, and will be happy to audition any boys interested in singing in The Boy Singers!

** Please note: Unlike most HOME workshops, this one is a drop off session especially for the children, while parents are attending the Friday afternoon general session.  

Session III (Saturday, 10:15am - 11:15am)


Important Pit Stops during High School - Diane Kummer, Camden Room

For preventative maintenance during the high school years, learn what important “to—dos” and deadlines to keep in mind. Major pit stops will include information about various tests, benefits and sources of outside classes, college search and application tips, alternatives to traditional college, and career and post high school paths.

Researching Homesteading and Homemaking Skills - June O'Donal, Rockland Room (Family Track)

How did our forefathers (and mothers) survive?  They grew their own food, built their own homes, made their clothing, beverages, medicines, dyes and paints.  This power point presentation discusses how the author of The Fryeburg Chronicles learned about cooking on a hearth, timber framing, building a birch bark canoe, making candles and soap, spinning and weaving and other survival skills.

How to Ride the Rapids Without Falling Out of the Boat - Kevin Swanson, Rockport Room

A humorous and encouraging presentation for the homeschool mom who feels like she's going down a #5 rapid spinning like a top.  When you emerge at the end of the run, you discover that God was doing something marvelous, despite your own inadequacies and the confusion of the ride.

iCommand - Joel Grewe, Penobscot Room 

iCommand continued.

From Homeschool to College:  The Student Journey - (Vendor Workshop) - John McLaughlin, Schooner Room

What are the key steps in the college admissions and enrollment journey? What’s the transition from homeschool to a public university like? This workshop will explore University of Maine at Augusta’s admissions steps, as well as present a homeschooled UMA student’s perspective on the transition between homeschool and college. Information regarding tuition free UMA college courses for homeschoolers and the week-long 1 credit YoUMA Summer Scholar Program will also be presented.


Creation Science: God in Nature - (Vendor Workshop) - AJ Guerrette, Monhegan Room

Learn more about the biblical truths evident in science, nature and outdoor adventure with Maine Guide, AJ Guerrette. 

Session IV (Saturday, 3:00pm - 4:00pm)

You Can Homeschool High School…If You Can Make It through Tomorrow! - Diane Kummer, Camden Room

As a parent homeschooling a teen (or thinking about homeschooling high school in the future), you may have your doubts about your ability…and your sanity. Are you weighed down by the seriousness of high school? Is it too hard and no fun? Come for a lighthearted approach to homeschooling the high school years. Find out how it can be filled with much hope and help…and joy.

Homeschooling and Common Core - Heidi Sampson, Rockport Room

Yes, Common Core will (and in many cases already has begun to) impact homeschooling. This session will discuss the impact, and illustrate the ways that this federal overreach and its tentacles affect you. No Common Core Maine co-founder and fellow homeschooler, Heidi Sampson, will reveal the finer points of this broad reaching educational reform. 


Plants Impacting New England History - June O'Donal,  Rockland Room ( Family Track)

This is not a botany lesson on plants native to New England.  This is a history lesson on some plants which impacted New England history.  What is the relationship of potatoes and cotton and the Catholic population in New England?  Why didn't the colonist eat blueberry pancakes and maple syrup?  What would have happened if early New Englanders did not drink tea?  Where did the paper upon which The Declaration of Independence is written come from?  The author of The Fryeburg Chronicles discusses some interesting facts about plants all over the world.

iCommand - Joel Grewe, Penobscot Room

iCommand continued.

Unschooling and the Christian Family - Kathi Kearney, Schooner Room

What is unschooling?  What are the pros and cons?  Why is it controversial?  How do you evaluate progress?  Can Christians Unschool?  So many questions surround this often misunderstood method of learning at home.  Moms, dads, grandparents and homeschool leaders are encouraged to attend and learn more!

Work at Home as a Medical Transcriptionist  - (Vendor Workshop) - Deborah Burns, Monhegan Room

Discover a step-by step guide to what medical transcription is; medical transcription verses medical billing and coding; learning medical transcription simply and cost effectively, and avoiding common mistakes. You will learn about how to work for a national service as a scribe, editor or transcriptionist. Topics include earning potential, computers and software, transcription equipment, electronic files, business taxes, how to get hands-on work experience, and more.

Deborah Burns has been a medical transcriptionist for more than 30 years, and teaches at many colleges. You will enjoy her warmth, humor and practical advice.