Speakers

Workshop Speakers for the 2024 OCHEC Convention.

Rowan Atkinson

Rowan Atkinson studied History at Wilfrid Laurier University and is the author of the Canadian curriculum Headphone History . She has also created a Canadian geography course for high schoolers. Rowan spent two decades homeschooling her four children and is now the host of the Canada Homeschools Podcast. She and her husband live in the beautiful Georgian Bay region and in her spare time Rowan loves to garden and laugh at the antics of her laying hens. 

Talks: 

The Importance of Teaching the Delightful Subject of History

Lisa Adamson

Lisa is a homeschool mom, Pastor’s wife, and recent homesteader residing in the serene landscapes of rural Ontario with her husband, four children, two cats and one dog. With a heart for storytelling and a deep love for sharing the gospel, Lisa weaves her words with thoughtfulness and purpose. She is also the author of Cultivating: Patience, Experience & Hope a devotional for women. Her writing reflects her experiences as a mother, wife, and follower of Christ, captivating readers with her heartfelt narratives.

Talks:

Equipped to Conquer the Storm

Pamela Beal

Pamela is a dynamic educator and homeschooling advocate. With over 11 years of homeschooling experience, she has not only homeschooled her 15-year-old daughter but has also left an indelible mark on the homeschooling community. Passionate about experiential learning, she created an innovative ancient board game curriculum that seamlessly blends history, math, and art. Pamela is co-founder of a homeschool co-op catering to grades 4-12 that has been instrumental in offering unique classes. The co-op serves as a hub where students are not just educated but inspired by their passions. Pamela is also an accomplished director, having led eight successful plays. She looks forward to sharing their insights and experiences at the workshop, inspiring others to make education an adventure.

Talks:

Theatre & Drama

Gameschooling 

Vanessa Brobbel

Vanessa Brobbel, a veteran homeschool mom & artist, works developing events and special projects alongside her husband Floyd (CEO) for a ministry called The Voice of the Martyrs. For the past 23 years she has spoken at conferences & women’s retreats across Canada in this capacity. This ministry purposes to create an awareness of the persecution leveled against Christians around the world, while actively providing tools to mentor the Body of Christ both domestically and internationally to grow through adversity. 

Talks:

Guiding with Grace

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Dr. Katherine Clayton

Katherine adheres to CS Lewis’ quote, “You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.” Except it would be coffee. When not chuckling endlessly over the antics in Shakespeare plays, or wishing to repeat the experience of reading Anne of Green Gables for the first time; she can be found teaching French, the classics or homeschooling her four bookish children. Katherine is passionate about homeschooling her children, and teaching her students at Peaceful Pines, using Charlotte Mason’s philosophy.  She has a bilingual honours degree in Health and Environmental Sciences from York and attended CMCC in Toronto for her D.C.

Information about Peaceful Pines, a Charlotte Mason Coop in Caledon can be found here, https://peacefulpinesschool.wixsite.com/peaceful-pines.

Talks:

Charlotte Mason Panel

Odelia Chan

Homeschool graduate Odelia Chan finished her BA in Communications at age 18. Now 22, she teaches AP English and creative writing; when not teaching, she actualizes a never-ending flood of ideas, inspirations, and interests. She lives in the GTA with her family and Rags, her canine friend, on a hobby farm. Website: odeliachan.com 

Talks:

Life After Homeschool (Teens Welcome)

Rachael DeBruin

Rachael has been involved with her children’s ministry program for over 20 years in various areas; including special needs support and teaching. A leader in her homeschooling community, she currently holds the area representative title for the organization OCHEC and helps coordinate two local area support groups. An avid nature lover, she has been teaching online Nature Study co-op classes in “The Homeschool Sisterhood” membership for the past two years. She has also spoken on 100 Huntley Street before sharing her powerful testimony of what Christ has done in her life, as well as worked there for a season as a prayer minister. She has a passion for prayer and currently is involved in a worldwide mother mentoring ministry called “Life-giving Motherhood” on their prayer team, as well as involved with her church’s prayer intercessory team. Her love for prayer has increased while walking through numerous challenging life circumstances over the past few years: including the diagnosis of various special needs of several of her children, and a traumatic joint injury accident. She is a mom to three adult children, and four younger ones, and is now proudly a grandma. 

Talks:

The Underrated Importance of Prayer

Cori Dean

Cori Dean is a wife, a mom, a teacher, a writer and publisher, and book addict. She and her husband, Mark, have graduated three students from their exclusive all-girls school and have one teenager left at home. Cori enjoys speaking to homeschoolers coast to coast and is the author or editor of several publications including, Working Together: Teamwork Starts at Home Base. The Deans live in Bradford, Ontario where they own and run The Learning House, Canada’s premier homeschool resource provider and publishing house. They are also in full-time ministry with The Shop Vehicle Donation Program, a program of Youth for Christ. Cori loves long days of bicycling as well as camping and boating with the family or mucking in the garden and thinks there’s nothing better than a good book, some dark chocolate, and a cup of tea. .

Talks:

Transcripts, Grades, and Reports; Oh My!

(Not Just) Surviving the Teen Years

Wesley DeVries

For 27 years, I’ve been pastoring Sweets Church in Selkirk, Ontario, leading a community centred around loving God and loving people. My journey has been shared with my beautiful wife, Angela, our four children—two boys and two girls—and my three beautiful grandchildren. A passionate advocate for scripture memory, this practice has enriched my faith and given me great joy. I look forward to discussing the transformative power of scripture memory and its impact on education at this homeschool convention.

Talks:

The Joy of Scripture Memory: An Ancient Path to Lifelong Learning

Christine Dittmann

Christine Dittmann is blessed with 10 children and has been homeschooling for over 25 years. She has served homeschoolers in Simcoe County since 2016 with the monthly SCHIL newsletter. When she is not busy teaching her children or running her online business, she enjoys playing piano, running, skiing, reading, or playing games at the table with her family. 

Talks:

Large Family Homeschooling

Stephanie Dixon

Stephanie Dixon has spent her professional life educating others in various fields. She initially spent time in the private education system teaching and tutoring children with different learning styles. Then later, she empowered people around their overall health and well-being as a Holistic Nutritionist. Through workshops, one on one coaching, and discussion panels, she encouraged people to look at their health from a holistic perspective. More recently, she shifted her focus to assisting people with their financial well-being, and how budgeting for health contributes to overall wealth. Although her work experiences have been intriguing, her journey has not come without its challenges. Throughout her life, Stephanie has been battling with various chronic pain conditions. A few years ago, her health issues became quite severe, rendering her unable to work. During this time, she chose to focus on being the primary educator for her children. Stephanie is a 46-year old, single mother of three children ages 12, 16 and 20, who lives with multiple chronic, invisible disabilities. She is here to share and engage in a conversation about how homeschooling is affected by invisible disabilities; and, how her walk with our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ helps her to fulfill her calling of motherhood.

Talks:

Living with Invisible Disablities

Chelsea Dyan

Chelsea Dyan is a wife and homeschooling Mom of 4 from Ontario Canada. She also works in Children’s Ministry at her local church and is an entrepreneur and content creator on social media. What started as a hobby social media page has turned into a popular repository of resources to save you time, energy and money in day-to-day Mom life. “Mom Hacks” may be her name, but faithfully serving the Lord through stewarding what He has given her is her game. She started her page as a means to pass on some useful tips and tricks that she has learned over the years and she is excited to share those resources with the OCHEC family this year.  

Talks:

From Chaos to Calm (Organization)

Diane Geerlinks

Diane Geerlinks is a Professionally Certified Educational Therapist, Marketing Director of NILD Canada (National Institute for Learning Development) and operates GeerLINKS Educational Therapy. She is a motivational speaker and brings her 25 years of homeschool experience to each workshop presentation. She pursues her passion for learning with particular focus on the neuroplasticity of the brain and how we can improve our capacity for learning at any age. Diane is a lively and passionate speaker and presents at educators’ conferences across Canada.

Talks:

Homeschooling Unique Learners

Better Late Than Early or Early Than Late?

NILD Canada – (Vendor Session)

Dr. Henry Ho

Henry was born in Taiwan and grew up an atheist and evolutionist.  After moving to Costa Rica at the age of 12 and to Toronto at the age of 15, he heard the gospel.  As his many doubts and questions were answered one by one, the truth dawned on him- there is a God, and He is the God of the Bible.  Contrary to other worldviews, Christianity is based on solid scientific, historical, and archaeological evidence.  Henry graduated from the University of Toronto Medical School and works as a family doctor.   He regularly preaches and teaches apologetics topics at churches, fellowships, schools, and conferences.  He is looking forward to meeting you and answering your questions!

Talks:

Facing the Challenge of Evolution (TEENS)

The Origin of Man

Sarah Hornblower

It’s wonderful that you’re taking the time to read this bio. I’m Sarah Hornblower, and for the last 21 years, I have been homeschooling our seven children from preschool to high school. I have been a speaker at conferences in both Canada and the USA addressing special needs, unschooling, and autism. I have had the privilege of being a guest on TVO “ The Agenda,” addressing the challenges of homeschooling and changes since COVID-19. For the last four years, I have added owning and running a trenchless construction company and our hobby farm that focuses on pasture and grass-fed animals directly to consumers. A lifelong introvert, I enjoy taking drives by myself and listening to podcasts or a mishmash of music. I sincerely appreciate the extrovert friends who have adopted me and make sure I interact with people at least once a month, bribing me with food. When I have time for hobbies, I am an avid reader, a reluctant exerciser, and a youth soccer referee. I am a member of our municipality’s accessibility committee, advocating for changes to ensure accessibility for all. I greatly enjoy a good cup of coffee in my comfy recliner at the end of the day. I deeply value the quiet in the morning before the chaos begins, curling up with our multitude of dogs, listening to the coffee maker, and enjoying time in God’s Word. My life has been anything but boring, and my goal is to have you leave encouraged and recharged to tackle another year of homeschooling the next generation.

Talks:

Surviving the Marathon

Mental Health and Homeschooling

 

Alice Horrocks

My interest has always been in both mathematics and education. After earning a BMath and BEd, I taught high school for 7 years, then returned to the University of Waterloo for a PhD in mathematics. This was followed by three years at Redeemer College (University) and then marriage, four children and homeschooling. In 1996, we made a move to PEI, where we still live.

I have over 40 years of experience teaching math, whether in the classroom, at home, or in private tutoring, and at every level from preschool through university. 

My passion is to help students gain confidence in learning math. I believe it is from my years homeschooling that I have learned the most about teaching and learning math.

Talks:

Math is…

Janice Kaikkonen 

Janice Kaikkonen’s passion is faith, education and community outreach. Academically, Janice has an M.A., B.A. and Public Administration diploma. Janice is currently completing a Ph.D in Theology and Discipleship. Janice recently served on the National Citizens Inquiry, was a researcher for the PEI Task Force for Student Achievement, a Community Coordinator for Canadian Blood Services, and a contributing member to the National Supply Chain Management Sector Council. Currently, Janice is an elected trustee for Bluewater District School Board. Married to Reima, they have 7 children and 24 grandchildren. They live on a farm in Southgate, Ontario. 

Heather Laakso

Heather Laakso grew up in Northern Ontario, but settled in the Niagara Region over 20 years ago. She and her husband Ben, who works from home in the tech industry, have four girls whom they have homeschooled from the beginning. They were introduced to Charlotte Mason’s ideas at their first OCHEC convention and have used them as the basis for their homeschool. Heather has helped lead a Charlotte Mason study group for moms, taught high school literature classes at a local homeschool co-op, and led book clubs in her home. She enjoys finding living book treasures at used bookstores to add to her home library, and is currently trying to improve her violin playing and brush up her Japanese (in hopes of one day returning to visit).

Talks: 

Charlotte Mason Panel

 

Chandra Jagt

Chandra lives with her husband Dave and their four children in the Niagara Region.  They moved from the city to the country in 2017, the same year that their oldest was supposed to enter kindergarten.  By the grace of God, and after many seemingly “random” encounters with homeschooling (via friends, blog posts and podcasts), they decided to give it a chance and they haven’t looked back.  Chandra was first introduced to Charlotte Mason by reading Susan Schaeffer Macaulay’s book, “For The Children’s Sake”.  She has been “spreading the feast” for her children using the free curriculum by AmblesideOnline.org since their homeschool journey began.  Chandra co-hosts a weekly co-op with two other CM families, and enjoys the fellowship of a monthly CM Mothers’ Book Group where they work through one of Charlotte’s books each year.  Home educating via the Charlotte Mason philosophy has been an incredible blessing and joy.  Chandra is passionate about encouraging other families to embrace the godly wisdom that Charlotte Mason shares in her six volumes.  It truly is a rich and rewarding way of life.  

Talks:

Introduction to Charlotte Mason

Karen Knor

Karen Knor has been married to Andrew for 37 years. She is a mother of 8 children, grandmother to 20 beautiful grandchildren with 2 more on the way and has homeschooled for over 33 years. She homeschooled all her children from kindergarten all the way through high school. She loves to garden and is actively involved in her church community. 

Talks: 

Embracing the Homeschooling Lifestyle

Jil Koller

Jil completed her Bachelor of Arts and Education and went on to complete her Masters of Education at York University. Jil completed her PhD coursework in Literacy Education and was certified as a Reading Specialist. She owned and operated her own reading clinic in Edmonton, conducting Diagnostic Reading Assessments for the local school board, and delivering reading remediation tutoring. She has four children (thanks be to God) and has been homeschooling for over ten years. Jil is on staff as the Director of Children’s Ministry at Redeemer City Church, Orillia. Jil is also an avid snowboarder, ski instructor, mountain biker, kayaker, hiker, and swimmer. She loves the outdoors and takes every opportunity to be outside. She has recently written a Young Adult Christian Fantasy trilogy and has a great passion for literacy. She is committed to equipping and encouraging homeschool families to share in that joy. She shares helpful activities, teaching tips, and strategies for free on her Instagram page @jil.koller. More than anything else, Jil loves the Lord. It is her greatest desire to teach her children (and all the kids at Redeemer) to love the Lord faithfully, every day of their lives. 

Talks:

Let’s Get Outside

Klaske Kroesbergen

Klaske Kroesbergen, a mother of six children, has been involved in the homeschooling community for over 31 years. She brings with her years of experience in teaching, and in mentoring moms. Klaske has a heart for encouraging moms and loves to lend a listening ear to those who may be struggling in their homeschooling journey. With one more child to teach at home, Klaske continues to be actively involved in TEACH, the homeschool support group in Brantford, ON. 

Klaske is actively involved in her local church and once a week, she finds time to mentor moms by volunteering at Hope Pregnancy and Family Support Center in Brantford, ON.

Gardening, food preservation, working with kids and crafts are some of her hobbies. With five married children, and soon to have fourteen grandchildren, she loves to spend time with her family. She lives with her husband Bill and one teenage son, at their home in Lynden, ON.

Talks: 

Burn Out! You Can’t Do it All!

The Big Picture of Homeschooling

Paula Maretzki

Paula and her husband, Gord, have been married for nearly 30 years and have 8 children ages 11-26, with one married and one grandchild.  They live on a farm in Niagara and run a family business together where God has used everything from the business to homeschooling to puppies to marriage and kids to continue the work of sanctification, in not just her life, but her whole family’s. Her favourite thing is to meet with younger moms and encourage them in their spiritual journey. She’s often joked she has her degree in “Having Coffee”. 

Talks: 

Investing in Your Marriage while Homeschooling

Andrea McEvoy

Andrea McEvoy is a dynamic workshop leader and proud owner of a highly infectious laugh. She has years of experience leading training sessions on best practices for effective use of curriculum and fostering real learning. The last 8 years she has honed her skills as an Educational Therapist and Client Support Coordinator at Breakthroughs in Learning where she helps to lead a dynamic team each week as they support children, youth and adults who are looking to develop their cognitive abilities.

Talks:

Teaching & Learning Styles

How hard Can It Be? (Interactive)

Mary-Ann Meyer

Mary-Ann Meyer is a part-time Nature Educator and full-time homeschool mom. In 2020, she completed the Ontario Master Naturalist Program, a community program at Lakehead University. From teaching nature education workshops and classes to volunteering with conservation initiatives, she loves finding ways to foster healthy relationships with creation. One of her greatest passions is sharing the wonders of nature with the next generation.

Talks:

Cultivating Curiosity Through Nature Study

Anthony & Cheryl Nelson

Anthony & Cheryl Nelson have been married for 38 faith-filled, adventurous years, have three adult children, and are happy grandparents. They home-educated their children for 18 years from 1995 to 2013, and have stayed connected to homeschool parents and the community ever since. Anthony served as past OCHEC vice-chair, and Cheryl served the homeschool community avidly in the capacity of OCHEC area 4E representative and OCHEC volunteer coordinator. She’s also served as the Canadian representative for the National Black Home Educators (NBHE) for three years. Mr. & Mrs. Nelson are ordained ministers of the gospel with Ministers Network Canada, formerly Open Bible Faith Fellowship of Canada. They co-founded Faith Five Fellowship of Ministries based in Oshawa, Ont., to equip, train and release leaders. They presently shepherd the local church fellowship of Faith Five, co-host a weekly podcast, provide oversight to the ministry’s day camp and offer premarital and marital counselling services. Together, Anthony & Cheryl Nelson are a fun-loving, caring, and practical couple that love to serve their community and fight for couples and families to take and maintain their place.

Talks:

Homeschooling for the Long Haul

Homeschooling As a Minority

Laura Page

Laura Page lives in Tapleytown, Stoney Creek. She and her husband have recently renovated a church building built in 1879 and use the site for home church, homeschool programs and as a residence. 

Their family has been homeschooling since 2006 using a variety of homeschooling methods. In the last 10 years Laura has discovered the joy of the classical homeschool method inspired by Dorothy Sayers essay titled The Lost Tools of Learning. Exploring the lost tools of learning together parents can see the ebb and flow of learning in tune with the way children naturally learn. 

Her session hopes to offer parents assurance that these time tested tools will enable them to homeschool with confidence. 

Talks: 

Introduction to Classical Education

David Redekop

David is married, with 5 young sons with high expectations to change the world for the better. Speaking 5 languages, he has also chosen to speak computereze. From mission work in Carachipampa, software development, to sales, co-founding Nerds-On-Site and finally building an internet security gateway through his company Adam Networks Inc., a resource available to anyone to guard their internet usage

Talks: 

Guarding Your Home (Cyber Security)

Andrea Reid

I am a homeschooling mom of two quirky, energetic boys (currently ages seven and nine). I began our homeschooling journey when my oldest son was three years old.  

Charlotte Mason’s principles really were one of the first things I read through reading “For the Children’s Sake.”  As I contemplated the idea of getting to spend extra time with my kiddos all while cultivating an atmosphere of learning, curiosity, and critical thinking in our home, I was hooked. While I would not say I fully subscribe to any one philosophy, I have been heavily influenced by Charlotte’s Mason’s ideals and by the group of Charlotte Mason-inspired ladies I have the privilege of meeting with each month. I particularly love the concept of the feast, and have so enjoyed learning with my children about art, nature, poetry, and history. My goal is to honour my children as ‘born persons’ and to grow and learn together through living books, through partaking in the feast, and through finding time to help each of my kiddos explore their own particular interests.   

When I have a minute to myself you will find me reading one of the fifteen books I have going, writing poetry, or taking a walk in the woods.

Talks:

Charlotte Mason Panel 

Nicole Richards

Nicole Richards is a Bestselling Author, Podcast Host, and Business Strategist. She helps leaders connect their business and personal relationships with their faith and God-given purpose. 

After ending a successful 22-year career as an entrepreneur in the beauty and wedding industry, Nicole now uses her business expertise as a coach and mentor to help believers find fulfilment in their business growth and faith-based journeys. Her podcast, “Minding His Business,” explores the intersection between business, life, and faith. Nicole hosts exciting conversations about aligning your business with God’s word through engaging discussions and thought-provoking interviews. Listeners are taken on a journey of self-discovery and given the tools and inspiration needed to thrive in their professional lives while walking with God. Nicole homeschools both of her children in Ancaster, Ontario. 

Talks: 

Homeschooling Through Entrepreneurship (Parents and Teens)

Richard & Shelley Saunders

Rich is a Pastor at Stone Ridge Bible Chapel in Hamilton; God in His mercy and wisdom has given him a Wife to cover over his myriad of failings and 5 kids to make sure he never grows up too much; he’s got a bunch of degrees in Greek and Hebrew and loves the Bible; He’s passionate to see everyone of all ages grow in their faith and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ; Finally he loves every sport known to man (with the exception of bowling because that’s a hack sport he’s terrible at).

Shelley Saunders is a co-founder or VelosCity Homeschoolers, has five amazing children, one huge dog, one husband and a gazillion loads of laundry. She thrives off learning alongside her crew, cooking from scratch, and encouraging other mamas. Her favourite thing in the world is cuddling on the couch (preferably in front of a fire) and nurturing herself and her children through beautiful books.

Talks:

Richard – Teenaged Mutant Ninja Disciple (TEENS)

Shelley – Nurturing Readers

Peter Stock

Peter Stock is the President of the Home School Legal Defence Association of Canada. For 30 years, Peter has been a successful pro-family leader and strategist in government, media, and public relations. His experience with public policy, from conception to implementation, naturally progressed into protecting and promoting home education. For over 16 years, Peter and his wife, Tarah, have homeschooled their four children. Peter shares the teaching responsibilities with his wife and understands the needs of homeschooling families.  

Talks:

A Working Dad’s Vital Role in a Sucessful Homeschool

Ken Stouffer

Ken is the National Development Director of the CHP (Christian Heritage Party) and has been in that role since March 2022. For over 30 years he worked as a recruiter (a.k.a. head hunter), recruiting people for businesses and some Christian organizations. Ken and his wife Ursula live in Alliston, Ontario and have 5 grown children and 28 grandchildren. His wife did some home schooling and many of his grandchildren are homeschooled. Many Canadians inside the church and most Canadians outside the church are unaware of the spectacular contributions of Christianity to the quality of life on earth. This needs to change if our country is ever going to regain its status as a Christian country. Ken is looking forward to sharing some highlights of Christianity’s accomplishments in the workshop he’ll be giving.

Talks:

What Christians Have Done For The World

Lindsay Tadros

Lindsay Tadros is a homeschooling mom of four children aged 11, 9, 6, and 4. With over 10 years of experience in the classroom and a Bachelor of Education, she discovered Classical Education – an encounter akin to falling down the rabbit hole, or following the robin to the secret garden. She shares her insights in her blog (mrstshoneybees.wordpress.com) and is an educational consultant and mentor to homeschoolers in her area. She has a vision for connecting educators with good resources and has a passion for children and their learning.

Talks:

Writing 101 Workshop

Crash Course on Phonics

Mark Vanderwier

Mark serves as the lead pastor at Kingsway Church and has a heart to help people find Christ and Community. He and his wife, Beth, were both homeschooled as children and are continuing that legacy with their four children. They recently helped launch Kingsway Christian Academy (a Charlotte Mason education) as a support for parents wishing to dive into homeschooling themselves. Life has provided a rich environment for learning including the reading of great books, growing food on the family homestead, repairing dirt bikes, serving in the church and caring for their fold of Scottish Highland cattle.

Talks:

 

Brigette VanHuisstede

Brigette VanHuisstede is passionate about using her words to encourage and point people to Jesus. She is married to Paul, mom to four amazing kids, a home educator, and cancer-survivor who loves hiking, reading, writing, and sipping Bengal Spice tea. Brigette has her honours degree in English Literature, has studied Biblical exposition with Simeon Trust, and is actively involved with the Mercy Christian Church plant in downtown Hamilton, ON.

Talks: 

Plans, Problems & Purpose

Supporting a Crushed Spirit

Stacey Weeks

Stacey is a ministry wife, mother of three, and a sipper of hot tea with honey. She loves to open the Word of God and share the hope of Christ with women. She is a multi-award-winning author, a home educator, and a frequent conference speaker. Stacey has a Graduate Certificate in Women’s Ministry and a Graduate Certificate in Biblical Counselling from Heritage College and Seminary.

Talks:

Why Do We Fight? (Walking in Hope)

Gena Wiersma

Gena Wiersma is a physical education teacher who has homeschooled her children over the last 10 years. She takes great pleasure in creating active opportunities for students to grow and learn. When she isn’t involved with activities related to homeschooling, you may find her on her mountain bike, coaching with Special Olympics, or piecing scrap fabric into something practical.

Talks:

Charlotte Mason Panel

Megen Zelinka

Megen Zelinka is a child protection and family law expert who provides legal counsel to HSLDA members and monitors provincial legislation affecting homeschoolers. 

Talks:

Homeschool Freedoms in Ontario & Canada

Jake & Heather Zwart

Heather comes from a broken family that did not know the Lord, but was brought into relationship with Jesus through the consistent and sacrificial mentoring of a math teacher who reached out to all his students. Thanks be to God, in time, all her siblings became reconciled to the Lord through various other witnesses. Jake came from a strong church background with a loving family.   

Jake & Heather met at university, and even prior to marriage, made a conscious decision to live a Christian life, and to make every effort to raise any children in the fear and knowledge of the Lord. They began their homeschool journey when their pastor asked them to scope out a homeschooling conference. Their oldest was 6 months old! That 1 day was sufficient to convince them of the value of home-based, parent led, child discipleship. They are now graduated homeschool parents – all 4 sons were educated at home from start to finish. 3 sons completed engineering degrees at U of Waterloo, the 4th is a self taught timber framer – 3 have had or have businesses of their own – and they all are faithful Christians, serving within their churches and families.  

The earthly rewards of family fellowship, respect, peaceful home, scholarly & life achievements have however been far outweighed by the heavenly reward of lasting deep fellowship with God.  

As leaders in the Christian homeschooling community for Ontario for the past 27 years, they have seen many forms of home education, heard of many trials, and seen the resources available for homeschool families grow exponentially. This next generation of home educators has a great foundation to step out on – and many supporting families to be there with them. They praise God and entreat Him to retain this freedom in Ontario to raise your children. 

Talks:

Interview with the Zwarts 

Yana Zyska

Hi, I am Yana, a homeschooling parent like you, who believes that education goes beyond textbooks, reaching into the spheres of child uniqueness, character development and spiritual growth. I am a wife and life long partner of Daniel with whom we practice parenting and homeschool our five children in Barrie, Ontario.  As parents, we are entrusted with a sacred task. We get to co-author with God in the shaping of who our children become, leaving a lasting impact on their lives. Having experienced my own childhood struggles, I sought tools to empower my kids and spare them similar challenges. Now a certified kids and youth life coach, I share professional expertise and personal insights with a Christian heart. In my work with children and parents I share practical strategies for growth in confidence, integrity, positive mindset and resilience. In my free time, I cherish family moments, search for treasures in the Word of God, and express my creativity through painting. I am excited to connect with like-minded individuals for coaching, collaboration, or simply to share the joy of parenting and ministry.

Talks:

Goal Setting for Teens