2016_0220_0981

The HomeLife Academy (HLA) Workshop Weekend was highly anticipated and did not disappoint the nearly 100 people who came out for a day full of homeschool information and encouragement on Saturday, February 20. This was the third year the weekend event was held in Jackson, Tennessee and HLA has seen growth over the years in the number of people attending. There were workshops covering a number of topics, local vendors sharing information on extracurricular opportunities for homeschoolers and keynote speaker Brian Housman, who kicked off the event.

Keynote speaker Brian Housman, a homeschool father of two teenagers and the director of 360 Family, spoke from the heart and experience. Photo by Jennifer Smeltser.

Key note speaker Brian Housman, a homeschool father of two teenagers and the director of 360 Family, spoke from the heart and experience. Photo by Jennifer Smeltser.

Housman, a homeschool father of two teenagers and the director of 360 Family, spoke from the heart and experience. His keynote message, “Touching Your Child’s Heart,” set the tone for the day capturing the essence of why so many parents choose to homeschool; so they can train-up their child “according to the way God made them” or according to their “bent.” Housman presented four different personality types that typically define children (adults too) and noted they usually strongly lean towards two of the personalities he shared. It is Housman’s opinion that having an understanding of a child’s shape, love language and learning style, parents will be able to learn how to love their child the way they need to be loved and lead them the way God intends for them to go.

Housman returned later in the afternoon with the workshop “Becoming a Tech Savvy Parent.” He discussed some positive aspects of technology, but also addressed the need for parents to gain a handle on the “highly-visual and fast-paced” environment that can capture and potentially damage a child. Housman’s engaging and sometimes humorous demeanor made a sensitive subject more comfortable in conversation, as he spoke in a manner of one parent to another.

Amanda Chenault encouraged parents in her workshop "Pressing on Towards the Greater Vision". She showed how to be creative in the learning process while still keeping in stride with your goal. She made manipulatives out of leftover crown molding.

Amanda Chenault encouraged parents in her workshop “Pressing on Towards the Greater Vision”. She showed how to be creative in the learning process while still keeping in stride with your goal. Chenault is holding a manipulative she made out of leftover crown molding.

Some of the other workshop presenters were Amanda Chenault of Fellowship Bible Church who encouraged parents to keep focused on the goal of educating their children in her workshop “Pressing on Towards the Greater Vision.” Realizing parents may lose motivation along the way, Chenault reminded them to not fear deviating from the path to keep their school fresh and exciting for them and their children. Jackson State Community College Admissions Counselor David Clark discussed how to prepare and navigate through the dual enrollment process.

“I really enjoyed the Workshop Weekend. It was a great time to connect with other moms, some of whom I hadn’t seen in a while,” said HLA parent Beth Jamison, who took home what she learned and implemented. “I learned a lot about dual enrollment and went home and discussed some options with my husband, and we set out a plan for our son’s junior and senior years. It feels great to have a plan!”

HLA High School Guidance Counselor Lani Carey presented two workshops, High School Homeschool 411 and Navigating Your Way Through High School.

HLA High School Guidance Counselor Lani Carey presented two workshops, High School Homeschool 411 and Navigating Your Way Through High School.

HLA staff members, like Karen Johnson, also led workshops. Johnson presented “High School Goal-Based Planning” giving parents the tools to create an academic plan that satisfies their child’s goals. She also shared some creative tips and ideas in “Teaching Reluctant Reader & Writers” on how to inspire elementary and middle school students in both skills.

Billie Jo Little of Mathnasium, which was also a vendor on hand to meet with workshop attendees, shared ideas on how to incorporate math through chores and using everyday items found in the home.

“Workshop Weekend was a breath of fresh air for me. As moms, sometimes we just feel like we aren’t doing enough or we aren’t always doing things “right”, but I walked away feeling encouraged,” said Kelsien Stikkelman, HLA homeschool mother of three children. “I gained great advice from fellow homeschool moms on staying encouraged, how to switch up our days to keep things fun and practical and tips to keep my kids excited to learn! I was amazed by all of the practical ways to teach math with stuff we have lying around the house. I also learned about many ways to get involved in the local homeschool community!”

American Heritage Girls Troop 0139/Jackson Area served lunch and were on hand to share information about their organization. Pictured on the front row (l-r): Hunter Zwahlen and Rayna Bennett. On the back row (l-r): Sarah Joyner, Kimberly Boots (treasurer), Denise Barbour (Assistant Pioneer/Patriot Leader), Rachel Adams (Pioneer/Patriot Leader and Rachel Bennett.

American Heritage Girls Troop 0139/Jackson Area served lunch and were on hand to share information about their organization. Pictured kneeling (l-r): Hunter Zwahlen and Rayna Bennett. Pictured standing (l-r): Sarah Joyner, Treasurer Kimberly Boots, Assistant Pioneer/Patriot Leader Denise Barbour, Pioneer/Patriot Leader Rachel Adams and Rachel Bennett.

HLA would like to thank all of the workshop presenters, vendors and sponsors.

Workshop Presenters
Brian Housman, 360 Family
Linda Bullock, Free to Learn
Amanda Chenault, Fellowship Bible Church
Robin Graves, Union University
Billy Jo Little, Mathnasium
Richard Mann, High School and College English Instructor
Sharon Tubbs, Madison County 4-H Agent

HomeLife Academy
• Margie Abbott
• Phyllis Boradus
• Lani Carey
• Mona Housman
• Karen Johnson

Sponsors
360 Family
Chick-fil-A
Hali Halligan’s Café and Cakery
HomeLife Academy
Jackson Escape Rooms
One On One Total Fitness
West Tennessee Home Education Association (WTHEA)
Woodstock Bakeshop

Mathnasium was one of the sponsors of Workshop Weekend. Pictured (l-r): Billy Jo Little, who presented the workshop "Using Household Items to Teach Math" and Benton Hurt. Photo by Jennifer Smeltser.

Mathnasium was one of the sponsors of Workshop Weekend. Pictured (l-r): Billy Jo Little, who presented the workshop “Using Household Items to Teach Math”, and Benton Hurt. Photo by Jennifer Smeltser.


Don’t miss a thing! Subscribe to the HomeLife Academy blog and get our articles in your inbox!

©2016 HomeLife Academy. Article by Jennifer Smeltser. All rights reserved. All text, photographs, artwork and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the publisher http://homelifeacademy.com/.