The information below is from the May 2015 WPA Conference.

Plan now to attend the next WPA Conference on May 6-7, 2016. Details will be posted in early March, 2016.


B Workshops (Saturday, 10:15-11:25 am)

B-1 Happy to Homeschool

Rachel Wolf–How one homeschooling family has found joy in the flexibility of child-led learning. Celebrating children learning at their own pace. Freedom from popular culture. Focus on a lifetime love of learning as opposed to tracking with traditional assignments and tests. Enjoying time as a family and creating a homeschool environment that revolves around each family member’s interests.

B-2 How to Choose a Style of Homeschooling That Works for You

Lori Guilliams and Janet Ozsvath Confused by all the different styles of homeschooling that are available? Basic information about five different styles: purchased curriculum, Charlotte Mason, unit studies, eclectic, and unschooling. How you can choose a style that works well for you and your family. Making changes when necessary. For both new and experienced homeschoolers.

B-3 Homeschooling 3, 4, and 5 Year Olds

Pamela Roland Why and how children learn best through homeschooling. Helping children learn from daily life and carefully selected resources and activities. The importance of play. Meeting kids’ and parents’ social needs. Disadvantages to formal preschool. Risks of preschool screening and how you can avoid it.

B-4 Perpetual Motion: Why Some Children Learn Best When Moving

Juli Hacker–Recognizing and creating a meaningful environment for children who need to move as part of their learning process. Ways to include movement in just about all the activities you plan. When and how to set limits and handle safety issues. The obvious and hidden benefits of all this motion.

B-5 Following Your Passion

Emily Gilbert–Be inspired by a grown homeschooler who, as a teenager, fell in love with author Jane Austen and her era as she shares where that passionate interest led her. In addition to researching the times, she sewed her own Regency gowns, attended the Jane Austen Society of North America conference, and got a Jane Austen knitting pattern published. Where could your passion lead you?

B-6 Exhibitor Workshop: Exciting Ways to Learn About Nature

Jackie Scharfenberg, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources–Through this fast-paced workshop, gain tips and tricks for engaging children of all ages in learning about nature and spending time exploring in the great outdoors. A wide variety of resources will be shared. Note: This is a presentation for parents. Children are welcome, but there will not be hands-on activities for them.

B-7 Exhibitor Workshop–Allowances for Kids

Lynne Finch–How much allowance should I give my child? Parents will learn 1) why kids need an allowance, 2) how to decide on the amount, 3) why allowances grow with kids, 4) how to fit allowances in the family budget, and 5) an easy method for paying allowances.

B-8 Exhibitor Workshop: Practical Activities to Improve Reading, Writing, and Thinking

Mitch Maguire–Explore numerous proven strategies that challenge learners in exciting ways. The objective is to have participants leave with a variety of new activities and ideas to help children develop fluency in reading, writing, and critical and creative thinking. Successful teaching and parenting techniques will be shared, including many reading, writing, and critical thinking exercises. This is an engaging, interactive presentation, so bring your thinking caps and your funny bones!

B-9 What’s a Smart Woman Like You Doing At Home?

Jenina Mella–Why being a homeschooling parent is one of the most challenging and satisfying jobs possible. Learning with our children. Pursuing our own special interests without neglecting our family’s homeschooling. Finding respect and support in a society that does not value parenting.

B-10 Introverts and Extroverts: Learning to Relax and Enjoy Our Differences

Marty Deming–Paying attention to our own and our children’s personality types can help us understand and accept differences and make us happier, more effective homeschoolers. How needs and preferences of introverts and extroverts differ. Ideas and perspectives that make it easier to relax and enjoy differences.

B-11 Record Keeping Made Manageable and Meaningful

Sarah Gilbert An overview of the purpose and benefits of documenting your homeschooling experiences and activities. Finding a method that suits you and meets your needs. Ideas for simple records that save time yet are meaningful and retrievable for portfolios, credentials, college applications, etc.

B-12 Time With Dad: A Discussion for Fathers

Uli Henes, Moderator How do you find time to spend with your children? What do you enjoy doing with them? How do you prepare (to increase the likelihood that things will go smoothly)? What do you find most challenging? How do you share responsibility for homeschooling with your spouse?

B-13 Single Parents Can and Do Homeschool: A Discussion

Joys and challenges of homeschooling as a single parent. What has surprised you? What are the biggest challenges? Where do you find support? How do you deal with your doubts and the criticism of others? How does homeschooling affect your relationship with your child(ren)? What resources have you accessed to make this a successful journey? For beginning and experienced single parent homeschoolers and single parents considering homeschooling.

B-14 Earn College Credit (and a Degree) Your Way and Inexpensively

Megan Roman–During high school and after, learn on your own and earn college credit (and a degree) for what you know by taking CLEP and other exams and completing online courses. Resources to prepare for tests. Test taking strategies. Presenter earned her bachelor’s degree this way.

B-15 Dramatizing Fairy Tales

Josh, Katie, and Naomi Guilliams–Join the fun! Participants will be divided into groups of 6 or 7. Each group will draw the name of a fairy tale and an attribute (like use British accents, include singing, etc.) and be given 20 minutes to plan a performance. Then the whole group will watch each performance. Workshop designed for teens but younger children and parents also welcome.

B-16 Outdoor Activities for Teens

Meet in lobby of Gruenhagen Conference Center. Weather permitting, walk to a nearby athletic field to play soccer, Frisbee, and other games participants bring. If the weather is unsuitable, go to Connections for games and conversation.

B-17 Build WPA’s Second LEGO® City

See A-16. Also C-13, D-13.

B-18 Chess & Checkers Challenge

John and AJ Mutchie Bring your game boards and pieces, meet other homeschoolers, and make new friends while playing these old favorites just for fun. Or join the friendly tournament during the workshop. No presentation or instruction. All ages and skill levels welcome.

B-19 Introduction to Taekwondo, a Korean Martial Art

Kim, Mark, and Dylan Regnitz–Have FUN and increase flexibility, balance, and focused awareness by learning Taekwondo. Warm up safely and learn basic kicks and punches on shield bags and a few Korean words. See a demonstration of board breaking, sparring, and basic self defense moves applicable to kids and adults. For the whole family (ages 6+) and every fitness level. Wear loose fitting clothes and plan to be barefoot. Also D-15.