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.


A Workshops (Saturday, 8:45-9:55 am)

A-1 Where Do I Get the Books? Purchasing Homeschool Materials From A Variety of Sources

Tomi Fay Forbes–Explore some of the many materials that homeschoolers can purchase and use to teach academic subjects (instead of purchasing a complete curriculum from one publisher). How to decide which materials fit with your beliefs and approach to homeschooling. For both new homeschoolers and veterans looking to expand the range of materials they use.

A-2 Discovering the Joy in Math

Roy Underhill–Enrich your life and your understanding of math and prevent or overcome the “I hate math” mentality by exploring ways math is as interesting, varied, and beautiful as art, music, and literature. Resources and activities that focus on the joy and beauty of math and delightful mathematicians including books, games, and activities for all ages, covering topics from basic computation to current research.

A-3 How to Unschool the “Right” Way

Erich Moraine–Time to look under the hood of unschooling. What makes it go? What makes it stop? What are the concepts at the personal level which make it a successful homeschooling modality? What do you pay attention to? What do you ignore? When do you step in? When do you step back? Is it true anything goes when you unschool?

A-4 Exhibitor Workshop: Thinking Like A Historian

Kurt Griesemer, Wisconsin Historical Society, Director of Education–How do we tell the story of the past? What is history? Why are turning points important? What is a primary source? Help your kids learn to think like historians, who ask questions, formulate hypotheses, track down evidence, research documents to verify answers, and then tell a story.

A-5 Exhibitor Workshop: Learning Rx

Jacci Knutsen and Dena Martin, Learning Rx Appleton/Green Bay–Informational workshop on how weak cognitive skills affect how you process information, and how brain training can strengthen these skills. Presenter will cover how this can affect all areas of your life, what to watch for, who Learning Rx can help, and how the program works.

A-6 Exhibitor Workshop: The Dual Lives of Amphibians

Jackie Scharfenberg, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources–Amphibians are truly amazing creatures that split their lives between land and water. Through hands-on activities, learn about unique life cycles of Wisconsin’s frogs, toads, and salamanders. All ages.

A-7 Homeschooling 101

Pamela Roland–Wondering whether homeschooling would be a good choice for your family and how to get started? Different approaches that you may choose, including purchasing a complete curriculum, project-based homeschooling, eclectic homeschooling, and unschooling. Where to find learning resources. How to connect with other homeschoolers. Giving yourself permission to make mistakes and changes. Ways homeschools differ from conventional schools.

A-8 The Realities of Living With Kids 24 Hours a Day

Susan Kaseman–Accepting and embracing the realities of the time we homeschoolers spend with our kids. Active listening and other skills that strengthen communication. Meeting both our needs and our kids needs at the same time. Living a healthy lifestyle. Creative ways to find time for ourselves and with our spouse.

A-9 Integrating Your Christian Faith Into Your Homeschool: A Discussion

Janet Ozsvath, Moderator–Come and share ways of practicing your beliefs in your daily homeschooling. Choosing curriculum that supports your beliefs. Ideas for daily devotions, Bible study, service projects, character development, and other aspects of your faith.

A-10 Perspectives of Homeschooling Fathers: A Panel

Uli Henes, Moderator–Hear homeschooling dads describe the different approaches to homeschooling they have chosen and discuss topics such as why they decided to start homeschooling, how they are involved in their family’s day-to-day homeschooling activities, what they especially like about homeschooling, what they have been concerned about and how they have resolved some of these concerns, and what they say when people ask them about homeschooling.

A-11 Exhibitor Workshop: Motivating Kids Through Adventure!

Rob Snavely, Moti-Venture–Do you sometimes feel like you’re living in chaos–in a home of nagging, messiness and disrespect? Can you imagine your family willingly cooperating with you–doing their chores and schoolwork without being reminded? Join many other families who’ve discovered a fun, easy way to motivate kids through imaginative adventures that unite the whole family.

A-12 Homeschooling During the High School Years: An Academics-Focused Approach

Landi Martinez and Angie Penzkover–Explore your changing role from teacher to coordinator as your students enter high school. Topics will include self-teaching and self-monitoring; providing access to private online schooling, tutors, and lessons; guiding your students’ preparation for college/employment; navigating college admissions; customizing and staying flexible.

A-13 Preparing for Adult Life in Today’s Economy

Larry Kaseman–Given current economic realities and uncertainties, what character traits and experiences prepare young people for adult life? Why are a support structure, a social life, and a sense of oneself that are not dependent on a career or how much money one makes so important and how can they be developed? Is a college degree worth the cost and, if not, what can replace it?

A-14 Teen Icebreakers, Games, and Conversation

Abbie Holter, Olivia Landowski, and Cassidy Rodencal–Join a group of homeschooling teens for icebreakers and other games and informal conversation.

A-15 Harry Houdini and the Science of Illusion

Emily Rock, Curator, History Museum at the Castle–Learn about Houdini and his connection to Appleton. Discover how the magic tricks that he and other magicians did (and still do) often rely on scientific principles, such as the use of magnets to levitate objects. Then try your hand at several simple magic tricks, using materials provided by the presenter, and learn about the science behind the tricks.

A-16 Build WPA’s Second LEGO® City

John and Sylvia Peine–Construct buildings and vehicles for a huge city. Watch it grow during the conference. Learn about architecture, geometry, spatial relations, city planning, and more. Separate area where younger children can build with larger DUPLOs. All materials provided. Children younger than 12 must be accompanied by a responsible older person. Repeated as B-17, C-13, D-13. Register for one or more.

A-17 Make Artists’ Trading Cards (ATC) and Exchange Them

Dawn Petersen–Connect and share your pocket sized works of art with others! Craft ATCs, flat works of art sized 2.5” by 3.5” to trade with others. We will also make cooperative “Jam” cards together as a group. For artists of all ages; young artists must come with a helper.

A-18 Yoga for the Whole Family

Amy Colwell Bluhm–Join other families for some relaxing yoga for the whole family. All ages welcome. No experience or equipment necessary. Wear loose fitting clothes and be prepared to be barefoot.