We are excited about all our incredible speakers who will be joining us this year. They are the heart of our convention, sharing an abundance of knowledge and experience from a variety of backgrounds to better assist us in planning and prepare for a successful school year. If you would like to speak at an upcoming event, please fill out the Speaker Application.
REBECCA SPOONER – Rebecca is a second generation homeschool mom to 5 beautiful kids. She is married to an RCMP officer and lives in Northern BC, surviving on an ample supply of coffee and Jesus. She is the creator of Gather ‘Round Homeschool and blogs over at Homeschool On where she shares not Pinterest perfect, but real life chaos. She passionately believes that God is raising up a generation of families who are connected and following Him, and that she (and many others) are called to this path they are on. Her sessions have a simple underlying message: life and life abundantly, no more settling for mere survival, and you can find joy in the journey! You are not here by accident, come and hear the imperfect testimony of a mom in the trenches with you and be encouraged to persevere!
JENNIFER CABREA is the humorous writer at HifalutinHomeschooler.com, a homeschool blog offering comedic relief for homeschool parents. She often pokes fun of life as a homeschooler to bring laughter and inspiration to get through the hard days. She is the author of “Socialize Like a Homeschooler; A Humorous Homeschool Handbook” and the hilarious writing curriculum designed to excite reluctant writers, “Revolting Writing!” Jennifer is also a licensed PA/MPH. She lives and learns alongside her husband and 3 sons deep in the heart of Texas
BRYNN BURGER -With honest hilarity and raw vulnerability, Brynn uses her 15+ years experience working with at risk kids and youth with disabilities combined with her years teaching both incarcerated young adults and hands-on learning in a STEM academy to develop a new approach to teaching strategies for parenting extreme children and differentiating for the difficult learner. Her real life relevant approach to meeting youth where they are is life-changing for the child, the parent, and the educator. Brynn and her husband have lived tiny, in 300 square feet on wheels, for three years after selling their 15 acre Her real life relevant approach to farm to afford to Roadschool their own extreme child to provide equitable opportunities for his behavioral and academic needs on one income. Reaching children with invisible disabilities, their families, friends, and the communities and professionals that serve them is Brynn’s passion. She has openly advocated for her own son for years and for the hundreds of students she’s loved through her classrooms. Laughing with her mouth wide open is only one way Brynn captivates her audiences as she speaks nation-wide about inclusion in the workplace, managing meltdowns in stores and other public places, differentiating for the difficult learner, and parenting strategies to remain calm and end the isolation of extreme parenting. You can read more about Brynn Burger on her blog The Momma on the Rocks.
TERESA MOON -When Teresa Moon was a university student, public speaking made her physically ill. Now she is an internationally recognized seminar speaker, education consultant, author, and leadership coach. Teresa is founding President and CEO of the Institute for Cultural Communicators, where ordinary students become extraordinary leaders. Each year, she travels globally leading conferences to train students, teachers, and parents to become “cultural communicators” who can impact culture through relevant communication and authentic leadership. Her Tennessee home doubles as the Institute’s Training Center, accommodating dozens of high school and college students at a time in leadership residencies. Teresa’s students have been invited to speak on tens of thousands of platforms to influence audiences for Christ – including the White House, Congress, the G8 Summit, the United Nations and churches, schools, and heads of state in more than twenty nations.
REB AND BEVERLY BRADLEY -In more than 40 years of ministry Reb Bradley has served as a pastor, church-planter, pastoral instructor, radio counselor and talkshow host. Drawing from his mistakes as well as his successes, he works diligently as a writer and conference speaker to strengthen the Christian family, conducting seminars internationally on issues related to marriage, child training, and manhood. He is most noted for his best-selling book “CHILD TRAINING TIPS: What I wish I knew when my children were young.” Reb and his wife, Beverly, have six grown children and increasing numbers of grandchildren.
Beverly, Reb’s wife and mother of 6 grown children, devotes herself to discipling wives and mothers according to Titus 2:4-5. She is a powerful communicator, and a popular keynote speaker at women’s gatherings. Committed to teaching the Word of God without compromise, she speaks with sensitivity, humor, and biblical wisdom in addressing issues related to motherhood, marriage, and homeschooling. Her frank, transparent style leaves her listeners challenged, yet hopeful in their walks with Christ. Many, in fact, have described Bev’s ministry as “absolutely life-changing.”
KATHLEEN COTTER CLAYTON -Kathleen Cotter Clayton is the daughter of Dr. Joan A. Cotter, author, and creator of the RightStart™ 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. She has two Masters Degrees from the University of Mary in Bismarck, North Dakota. Kathleen and her husband Steve, have six adult children and four delightful grandchildren.
Kathleen is currently responsible for curriculum development, marketing, and sales. She travels all across the US and Canada, sharing the RightStart mission of helping children understand, apply, and enjoy mathematics. In her spare time, Kathleen designs and creates quilts and is re-learning how to unicycle.
MAJOR JON DOMKE, CAP – (picture and bio coming soon)
MANDI FROST -Mandi grew up on a farm in South Africa, and then moved to Zimbabwe to go farming with her husband. During this time, Mandi home schooled their 3 sons and completed a remedial teacher training certification for special needs (dyslexia, ADHD, ADD) and supported children in the community with learning challenges. Mandi believes that children learn best through real life experiences as they delight in their learning and explore their interests. Their family moved to the United States in 2013. After home schooling for 15 years, Mandi has successfully launched her sons (19, 21, 23 yrs.) and two of them have their own online businesses. Mandi continues to serve home school families and as a certified academic life coach and career coach, she offers life coaching to parents, teens and young adults. Mandi designed the GO PROGRAM – a personal development and life prep high school group coaching curriculum, equivalent to 5 elective credits. Mandi understands the challenges parents face with regards to preparing their teens for adulthood and this program supports parents in their homeschooling high school journey. “This is not a “normal” high school course. It’s a revolutionary program that will change your students` thinking. I invite your students to fly with me, get out of their comfort zone, think deeper-bigger-harder-smarter and join me on this journey to realize their dreams and become excited about their possibilities. Allow me to be your teen`s personal mentor for 16 weeks. I walk with my students every step of the way with weekly accountability, challenging them to think better, be better and do better.”
DANIEL E. JOHNSON -Daniel E. Johnson has devoted much of his adult life to thinking about—and researching—a topic at the intersection of faith, reason, and culture that has always fascinated him: how men and women relate to each other. He found that culture to be based on selfishness, in contrast to God’s call to love our neighbor, which should involve friendship, as he describes it in his recent book Disposable: When Dating Is Not Loving Your Neighbor.
He is a scientist by profession (PhD, physics) and a philosopher at heart. For him, faith and reason are complementary, not contradictory. He believes they allow us to think about things from different perspectives, to explore the world of ideas, and to arrive at deeper understanding, thereby impacting the culture. He currently works in Silicon Valley (California), where he is the happy husband of one wife and the proud father of their son. Visit www.dangoodbooks.com to learn more.
TONYA KUBO -Tonya Kubo knows firsthand what it’s like to be trying your best and yet feeling like a failure on every front. She learned the secret to satisfaction in life — as a wife, mother, Christian and friend — wasn’t doing more or being more, but accepting who she was made to be.She now works to strengthen families by encouraging and equipping women to be the best versions of themselves in every role they hold. She is the founder of Kathi Lipp’s Clutter Free Academy Facebook group and Clutter Free for Life membership program, where she helps others find free freedom from clutter and the lies it tells. Her practical approach to parenting and marriage has led her to be featured on several podcasts and blogs, including A Practical Family, A Wife Like Me, MOPS Connections and Biz Mavens. She lives in the heart of California with Brian, co-captain of Team Kubo, two spirited daughters and one very tolerant cat.
JULIEBETH LAMB – JulieBeth Lamb and her husband Rex live in rural Oakdale, CA and are celebrating 35 years of marriage. They homeschooled their five children for 20 years, graduating the youngest from their family high school in 2013. She is blessed to have opportunities to encourage families in their homeschooling and parenting adventures, and enjoys teaching classes, planning field trips, and coordinating activities. She desires only to impart the Lord’s perspective and hopes everyone will hold all she shares up to God’s Word. JulieBeth loves spending time with her six grandchildren, is active in her church, and is also a Christian childbirth educator/doula/lactation specialist, and volunteers with the Alzheimer Dementia Support Center and MOPS.
SANDI OLSON – Sandi is a Ranch wife and mom of 6, ages 20 down to 9-year-old twins. As a former government school teacher, she has homeschooled her own children from the beginning. As an accidental activist for medical freedom & other parental rights issues, she is co-founder of Central Valley Advocates for Parental Rights.
WENDY ORTH – The happy mom of six adult children who were all homeschooled from birth on is now the delighted grandma to four grandchildren, too! She lives with her husband of 37 years in a 180-year-old farmhouse in Massachusetts. Her business, Ability Based Learning, encompasses many products for teaching special needs children, and most work equally well for “typical” learners. All her products were authored by Joyce Herzog, a long-time friend of, and advocate for, home education. She also owns and runs a conference recording business (Manna Recording), which is recording the VHE conference! In her spare time, she loves to scrapbook, cook, and collect things like dust bunnies and mountains of paperwork.
NATHAN PIERCE -Nathan began his work at Family Protection Ministries (FPM) to protect private homeschooling in California in 2002. He currently serves as Director of Operations and Legislative Liaison. FPM’s purpose is to defend our freedom as parents to train, educate and care for our children privately, without governmental interference. His role at FPM includes screening the hundreds of bills that pour into the California Legislature each year, closely watching for any that could harm our freedoms as parents and alerting parents to contact their legislators. He works behind the scenes at the State Capitol, meeting with legislators to advocate on behalf of homeschoolers.
Nathan was homeschooled himself from kindergarten through high school and received a B.A. in Political Studies from The Master’s College. He and his wife Betsy were married in 2004 and homeschool their seven children (ages newborn to 12 years old) and plan to do so until graduation. They love serving in their local church body and co-leading a local homeschooling support group. Nathan is passionate about protecting the right of parents to teach each of their children in the way that God calls them to. What is the foremost thing we should be teaching our children? Scripture says (I Corinthians 15:3-4) that the gospel is of “first importance.” Nathan values the importance of teaching all things from an intentionally biblical worldview and works every day to maintain our freedom to do so.
NATHAN PIERCE AND BEAU de GRAAF– (picture of Beau coming soon) Nathan and Beau, alongside their wives, have been leading the Auburn chat group together in SCOPE (Sacramento Christian Organization of Parent Educators) for the last 4 years. Nathan is the Director of Operations and Senior Legislative Liaison for Family Protection Ministries and Beau is the IT manager for Bayside Church. Nathan has seven children and Beau has six. They both believe parents have the responsibility and privilege to disciple their children and guide their education.
HELEN PRINCE – (picture of Helen coming soon) Helen, a homeschool mom of three, desires to provide an education which includes God in every facet of learning. Homeschooling allows her to create an environment where siblings can be best friends and where each child could experientially know that God created them unique and special.
CARA SHELTON – “Miss Cara” has been teaching language development and literature courses for over twenty years, ever since she realized that teaching literature can be as much fun as reading it! She taught composition and literature classes in public and private homeschool groups, and she is also the co-ringmaster of that wild three-ring circus known as the Shelton Family! A homeschooling mom for 25 years, now “graduated,” Cara now purposes to help and equip other parents as they home educate their children! Both Cara and her husband Steve desire to plant seeds of encouragement in the lives of parents as they seek to be the spiritual leaders of their homes!
IRIS THOT-JOHNSON -Iris, homeschool mom and part-time college professor, has always been in love with foreign languages. Raised by immigrant parents, her first language was German. She studied Spanish and German in school and college, and attained fluency in Portuguese while visiting relatives in Brazil. Her fascination with history has also propelled her into learning classical languages (Latin and Biblical Greek) with her homeschooled son, Samuel, as well as French. Her college course surveys The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank, and this has also prompted Iris to learn Dutch and read the diary in the original. Iris sees language and culture as being linked, and revels in the richness which language study brings both to her homeschool and her personal life. A passionate linguist and follower of Christ, she hopes to spread her enthusiasm for language study into the homeschool community.