SPEAKERS & WORKSHOPS
The Homeschool Iowa Conference offers an exceptional line-up of speakers with workshops covering a wide variety of topics.
NICHE invites speakers who present messages of hope and encouragement along with plenty of practical ideas and insight to help you as you teach, nurture, and develop the gifts in your child.
We pray that you come away refreshed, re-energized, strengthened, inspired, and full of fresh ideas for the year ahead.
You’ll find it helpful to review the workshop schedule ahead of time to get an idea of what is offered and to help plan which sessions you’d like to attend.
Scroll down to learn more about this year’s speakers.
- Education: Does God Have an Option?
- The History of the Homeschooling Movement
- Homeschooling from a Biblical Worldview
- The difference Between Schooling and Education
- The Power of Affirmation
- Marriage, Communication, and Friendship (with Steve)
- Homeschooling with Simplicity and Sincerity
- The A to Z of Character Health Homeschooling
- The Wise Wife (Moms & Muffins Breakfast)
- Marriage, Communication, and Friendship (with Megan)
- Living on Borrowed Time: The Nine Practices of the Proactive Parent
- Second Mile Leadership for Men (Dads & Donuts Breakfast)
- Battling with Behavior
Scott Woodruff, a follower of Christ since his conversion in 1971, earned his juris doctor degree from the University of Virginia in 1980. He's worked for HSLDA since 1998, assisting thousands of home educating families in dealings with social workers, police officers, truant officers, principals, superintendents, and prosecuting attorneys.
Scott has represented HSLDA members in court and has appeared before many state legislatures to fight against repressive homeschool legislation. He is a frequent speaker at homeschool conferences and on radio programs across the country. Scott and his wife, Jane, homeschooled all three of their children.
- Homeschooling with Confidence: Understanding Iowa's Homeschool Law
(offered at Homeschooling 101 Mini-Conference and again on Friday at the full conference)
- Keeping Your Family Safe
- Don't Judge Me: A Lesson from the Front Line of Parenting
For more than 27 years Connie Albers has been devoted to helping make homeschooling work for thousands of children and families.
Always engaging and encouraging, Connie has a practical point of view and an ability to empathize with audiences by illustrating truths from her own experience.
Connie has become a sought-after speaker and social media advisor in the homeschooling and business community. The desire to connect with homeschoolers also drives Connie to go beyond the microphone and work directly with moms and media.
Connie shares her experience to equip homeschooling moms in their calling and discover how to build a family that enjoys living life together. Her passion is to strengthen families, especially through the challenging teen years.
She considers it a blessing to share the lessons and hope, hard-earned through decades of homeschooling, with the next generation of moms.
- Homeschooling Is a Family Affair
- How to Manage a Bad Day
- Resilient and Resourceful: Keys to Affording the Homeschool Lifestyle
- Help for Modern Day Mompreneurs
At Our Journey Westward, Cindy has written for more than twelve years about creative homeschooling.
She's also authored and published the popular NaturExplorers series, Homeschooling Gifted Kids: A Practical Guide to Educate and Motivate Advanced Learners, a grammar curriculum for third and fourth graders based on living literature, a how-to book for living math, and a step-by-step book for homeschooling in the Charlotte Mason style, among other books.
Additionally, Cindy is an educational consultant who presents professional development workshops for the Center for Economics Education program at Eastern Kentucky University.
- Nature Study Is Real Science
- Homeschooling Gifted Kids - You CAN Do It Successfully
- Start Your Day Beautifully with a Morning Time
- Creative Homeschooling
Cheri and her husband Tim live in Ramsey, Minnesota, where they homeschooled their three children K – 12. During that time, they took a year to serve with Mission Aviation Fellowship in Papua, Indonesia. This transformative year inspired the mission behind Credits Before College.
Through her research and planning, all three of their children were able to avoid college debt, earning their four-year degrees before age 20.
As a speaker, author, and consultant, Cheri specializes in advising parents and students on how to earn affordable college credits in high school, choose a career, and graduate college debt-free.
- You Can Homeschool Through High School
- Transcripts & Record-Keeping
- Jump-Start College with CLEP
- Career Exploration
Krisa Winn holds a bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood and Elementary Education and an associate’s degree in Practical Theology.
For more than 20 years, she has been a classroom teacher in both the private Christian school and public school settings. Throughout her career, she has had many opportunities to work with children with various special needs.
In 2012, Krisa joined Home School Legal Defense Association as a special needs consultant. In that capacity, she offers resources, support, and guidance to parents who are homeschooling children with special needs.
After almost 23 years of marriage, Krisa and her husband Byron were blessed with the birth of their first child, Grace. Three years later, their second miracle baby, Karis Joy, was born.
Krisa, Byron, Gracie, and Karis make their home in Winchester, VA.
- Keeping Perspective on Progress
- Teaching Struggling Learners at Home: Part 1 & Part 2
(offered at Special Learners Mini-Conference and again on Friday at the full conference)
Nancy began as the ultimate homeschool skeptic. But now, after 20+ years teaching her own four children, she has become the “go-to lady” for many and a champion of the cause.
She's a certified teacher and has spoken at homeschool conferences in over 10 states where she is known for her enthusiasm, energy, and encouragement.
Having graduated all of her children, Nancy finds it exciting to have graduated herself to being a mentor for other homeschool families. Though she stays busy as a bookstore owner, mentor, and speaker, her favorite times are spent with her growing family (grandkids - yeah!).
She and her husband own HEPPNER’S LEGACY, a homeschool store in Elk River, MN, where they delight in ministering to the unique needs of families year round, and where parents say, “Come for the books. Stay for the therapy.™”
- Time & Home Management
- Meal Management in an Age of Fast Food
- Where Do I Begin?: A Workshop for New and Prospective Homeschoolers (offered at Thursday Homeschooling 101 Mini-Conference)
Jan loves to read and is the author of two volumes of reference books about good authors: Who Should We Then Read?
Jan earned a degree in Physics and Math from the University of Minnesota and taught in a public school before life with children.
Jan and Gary began their homeschooling adventure in 1982 and homeschooled their three children through high school.
The Blooms travel about five months a year selling great vintage, out-of-print, and secondhand books at homeschool conventions.
They also enjoy visiting their eight grandchildren who live in Colorado, Virginia, and Minnesota.
- Keepers of the Books: The Vital Importance of a Home Library
- Tally Ho!: Hunting for the Great Books
Dennis Gundersen is President of Grace and Truth Books, a Christian publisher of children's stories from the 1800s with a character building emphasis.
Dennis served as Senior Pastor at two Tulsa churches (1984-2009) and is now devoted to writing, publishing and conference speaking.
He is the author of several books, including: Your Child's Profession of Faith and Courtship or Dating: So What’s the Difference?
Dennis is a frequent speaker at church conferences, men's retreats and home education conventions.
He and his wife Naomi have been married 42 years and they have four adult sons.
- Serving with Love and Loving to Serve
- Kindling a Passion for Missions in a Child's Heart
New This Year!
Hands-On, Limited-Attendance Workshops with Extra Registration Fees
Leave these workshops with your hands and heart full!
REGISTER EARLY BEFORE OPENINGS ARE FILLED!
Make & Take Workshop Presenters
Lori Heschke has been an artist at heart for as long as she can remember, a wife for 34 years and counting, and is a grateful momma of six. She heard the Lord’s grace-filled invitation to homeschool more than 30 years ago and has been learning along the way ever since.
She weaves Scripture, prayer, and art together to tell the story of God’s goodness in her life and never tires of seeing glimpses of His glory right in the midst of the everyday.
She serves at her church in creative arts ministry for all ages and resides with her family on an acreage south of Pella.
Lori's Make & Take Workshop
- Drawing Near to God
Terrica Jones is a mom of two girls, Emily, 11 and Remington, 4. She loves spending time with her family at their home on Lake Winnebago in Missouri.
After owning a successful preschool, Terrica took time off to focus solely on pursuing her childhood dream job, “Mom,” and soon after she felt led to homeschool.
The flexibility of homeschooling has allowed her and the girls to travel alongside her husband as he travels for work and has enriched their family by allowing time that would have otherwise been impossible for them.
With all their time on the road, Terrica started creating busy bag activities to keep her youngest busy while she instructed her oldest.
After realizing this is a challenge for other homeschoolers, she started Busy B's, and began curating monthly boxes with busy bag activities for other families.
Terrica's Make & Take Workshop
- Busting Boredom
& Playing with Intent
(Busy Bags for Toddlers)
Bethany Glosser is a homeschool mom of six loud-and-crazies, ages 10 years to 10 months, and wife to the most wonderful man who she has known since she was ten.
For her, Morning Time all started with reading Psalms aloud with her three year-old daughter at the breakfast table, but it has grown and evolved over the last 7 years, bending and flexing through pregnancies, nursing babies, and busy toddlers.
The course of their days pivoted when she read For the Children’s Sake five years ago which began her personal study of Charlotte Mason’s principles of education.
However, the one constant has always been reading great books aloud together.
Bethany has a passion for discipleship and mentoring, and though she’ll be the first to admit she doesn’t have it all together, she loves learning alongside her kids.
Beth's Make & Take Workshop
- Morning Time
and Poetry Tea Time
Erin Peterman is a mother to five children – three she homeschools and two who are in college and/or working.
She lives in Dubuque with her kids and Rob, loving husband of 25 years.
An avid reader who delights in new knowledge, her favorite thing about homeschooling is how much she learns in return while teaching her children.
While not lapbooking, chasing down kids to start their lessons, or driving them to piano or cross-country or gymnastics, she spends her rare moments of relaxation at the “spa” (a bubble bath with the door locked).
Erin's Make & Take Workshop
- For the Love of Lapbooking
Speaking at the Homeschool Iowa Conference is by invitation only. Speakers are carefully selected to fit NICHE philosophy, vision, and mission, and to not conflict with the NICHE Board of Directors’ biblical worldview. Because of the high volume of speaker inquiries we receive, we are only able to follow up with those we are inviting to speak. If we are interested in having you speak, we will contact you before the year end preceding the scheduled conference date.
Speaker packets should include:
- Contact information, including email address, phone number, mailing address, company name, and website
- A list of all proposed workshop titles and descriptions
- Speaker biography
- A high-resolution (300dpi) digital photo
- Any requirements or accommodations you request for your speaking
- References or listings of previous speaking engagements
- At least two hour-long recordings of your recently presented workshops
Submit your packet to:
Conference Speakers ℅ NICHE
PO Box 158
Dexter, IA 50070
or to: speakers @homeschooliowa.org
By sending your audio recordings, you are consenting to allow NICHE to upload them to a secure site for the speaker committee to access during the review process. Please Note: Submitted items, Including workshop recordings, will not be returned.