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Speakers chosen for Home School Conference

By Staff | Feb 24, 2012

The Eastern Panhandle Home School Conference (EPHSC) has lined up a slate of homeschooling experts for the upcoming conference to be held on Saturday, March 24, at Covenant Church. Vicki Bentley, Bernie and Linda Beall, and Diane Kummer will share their experience in various workshops during the day-long conference.

Mother of eight and foster-mom to 50 children, Vicki Bentley has homeschooled 17 children, led a support group serving over 250 families and served on the executive board of the Home Educators Association of Virginia. Author of Home Education 101: A Mentoring Program for New Homeschoolers and High school 101: A Blueprint for Success, Bentley serves as program coordinator for “Toddlers to Teens” and “Group Services” for Home-School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA).

Bentley will bring her down-to-earth personality to the three workshops she’s presenting, including When Life Broadsides Your Home School. She remarked, “You have a wonderful plan at the beginning of the school year with visions of academic excellence and character development for your children. And then,” she smiles and makes the quote signs with her fingers, “-life happens! How do you find normal again?”

Bernie and Linda Beall, founders of family ministry Great Commission Families, began homeschooling their four (now grown) children in 1989. Their ministry focuses on creating family-friendly evangelistic, Christian heritage tours at prominent tourist sites in the history-rich four-state area including Gettysburg, Pa. and locations all over Washington, D.C. Prior to starting Great Commission Families, the Bealls served with Campus Crusade for Christ for 23 years.

The Bealls will present several classes at the EPHSC including one about the spiritual lessons of Harpers Ferry and the C&O Canal and a second class on Gettysburg and Antietam. Mr. Beall points out, “Understanding two of the greatest battles of the Civil War can lead us to many lessons in our own lives today, like faith, freedom, commitment and obedience.” Mr. Beall was keynote speaker at last year’s EPHSC and received many accolades for his presentations.

As an HSLDA high school consultant, Diane Kummer assisted with development of HSLDA’s “Homeschooling Through High School” program and website and advises members on planning or curriculum options. She regularly speaks at conferences and symposiums sharing her experiences with homeschooling her two children from kindergarten through 12th grade. Kummer writes a column for Homeschool Enrichment Magazine, reviews new resources, and also developed a program to evaluate credits, diplomas and transcripts for high schoolers in her church’s 190 homeschooling families. She also participated in the production of two FunnyMom videos created to encourage and uplift homeschooling mothers. Kummer teaches high school-level math classes for homeschooled students.

Kummer will share her expertise with conference attendees in several sessions including “Developing a Plan for High School.” She says, “If you’re thinking about homeschooling during the high school years, this class will help you organize your thoughts and in laying the ground work for a four-year plan.” Another session called, “Important Pit Stops During High School,” will focus on testing options, college search, alternatives and post-high school paths.

EPHSC Session Coordinator and also a local veteran homeschool mother, Denise Beaty, has been working to schedule a variety of speakers who will appeal to a wide range of conference attendees. “I’m really happy that we’ve managed to get these four speakers to join us. Anyone attending will really benefit from the expertise these speakers will share.”

The EPHSC is open to all new and veteran homeschooling parents in the four-state area. Registration is online at www.ephsc.org and fees cover a keynote address, a full-day of class sessions, a used curriculum book sale as well as the vendor hall with an array of curriculum from national and local businesses.

The theme of this year’s conference is “Hidden Treasures” which is based on a Bible passage from Proverbs 24 which says “By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established, through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures.”