Featured Speaker

Jen Mackintosh

Jen Mackintosh has been a homeschool parent for over 20 years, graduating and launching three children with two still homeschooling. Her planning and organizing skills grew out of necessity as a mom to five, homeschooler, speaker, and writer. Jen is now a solo parent of two after the loss of her husband two years ago, works full time, homeschools, loves traveling and new adventures, and enjoys speaking and writing. She has a little more grit and a resolve to fight forward, knowing just how precious the gift of time is! You can usually find her on Instagram at @jenmackintosh, or her blog, which is an archive of articles and resources wildflowersandmarbles.com, or her shop for digital printables for planning jenmackintosh.com.

Let Them Wonder!

For many home educators, days are filled with the very practical – our plans, our booklists, surviving the toddler’s needs and the teen’s opinions, assessing students, grading tests. We can get caught in the movement of our day and forget that wisdom begins in wonder, and our days must have space for it! Wonder may be the most important thing you cultivate this upcoming year!

Wholeheartedly Homeschooling

In an age of social media and insta-everything coupled with the natural pace of life, it’s easy to lose our way – in the home, in the family, and in homeschooling. We may feel lost in diapers, dishes, teens, and time commitments, to say nothing of the curveball of suffering that we all inevitably face. Instead of picking up the cross, we might pick up a screen and seek answers from the little squares on the internet only to find ideas too shallow to help us in the deep end where we find ourselves. St. John Bosch admonishes us to work wholeheartedly – I’ll show you how to homeschool wholeheartedly!

Brandi Matovina

Brandi Matovina’s love for beauty runs deep, and so does her passion for showing people how easy it can be to make beautiful things! Brandi taught art in the public school system for several years directly out of college, and has spent the last ten year teaching art classes for various co-ops and private schools around the Denver Metro. When she does find the time create her own art, Brandi love working with a medium called encaustic: a hot wax method of textural painting that dates back to at least 800 B.C. However, with four busy, amazing kids to raise and enjoy, Brandi spends most of her free time experimenting in the kitchen, chatting with her husband, or reading a few pages of a good book!

Beauty Will Save the World

Fyodor Dostoevsky certainly believed in the power of beauty. Beauty is something we seek in so many facets of our lives- in our relationships, in the food we use to nourish our bodies, in the things we feast our eyes on! During this session, we will spend time exploring and creating beauty together with a materials like watercolor, ink, fun paper, and even magazine pages. Our discussion will focus on how we can provide such a powerful tool to our growing children- how we can differentiate a project to make it accessible to each of our learners, how we can make art more approachable, and how we can encourage the perfectionist student to submit to the process!

Maria Biros

Maria Biros is a wife of 22 years and mother to 8 children (ages 21 down to 2). She has been homeschooling for 16 years and has graduated her two oldest from her homeschool, but still has 16 more years before she has graduated herself from her homeschool. As a second gen homeschooler she understands both sides of the homeschool dynamic and wants to share those insights with others to help their journeys. Maria is passionate about helping new homeschoolers and being a sounding board to all mothers so they can grow better together. 

Igniting Your Homeschool

Build confidence through years of learned strategies from a mentor mom. Leave feeling empowered and ignited with a new passion for your homeschool and practical tips to keep that fire going all year. 

Allison Auth

Allison Auth is a writer and mother of 5. She has a degree in Catechetics and has worked in ministry her whole adult life. She has homeschooled for the last 8 years, is the author of Baby and Beyond: Overcoming Those Post-Childbirth Woes, a postpartum book for women, and a contributor to Catholicmom.com. 

Homeschooling as a Garden of Human Flourishing

Are you worried about getting enough done, finishing that curriculum, or sticking to that schedule? What if we asked Jesus what HE thought about it all? In this talk, Allison will guide you through some considerations based on our faith to evaluate your homeschooling as a garden in which you can give each child what they need to truly flourish. At the same time you will  find encouragement and peace in becoming the mom that God wants you to be. 

Mattie Nelson

Mattie Nelson is a Catholic mom of 7 ranging from 20 down to 4, whom she homeschools, and has homeschooled, 2 have now graduated, surrounded by the beauty of the Colorado plains. She is also grandma to one feisty little boy. Leaning towards a Charlotte Mason Education, with added sprinkles of Montessori and classical education would best define her homeschooling style, and dare I say, with a frequent twist of unschooling. For the last 17 years, using the liturgical year, living books, and picture books, she does her best to bring daily Truth, Goodness, and Beauty to her children. She has a passion for books, LIVING PICTURE books in particular. She has been heard to say that having an excuse to collect books is her real reason for homeschooling.

A Daily Picture Book

Picture books are not just for toddlers! On the contrary, anyone, yes, highschoolers included, benefit from picture books. Come explore picture books, which ones to read, how to use them in your homeschool, and how to delight in them. You will leave equipped to identify a living picture book when you see one, as well as how to ignite a love for learning for yourself and your family. This will be a fun, hands-on workshop.

Karma Langer

During a backpacking trip in high school, Karma realized her vocation to create awe and respect for God’s creation in others. She received a BS in natural resources, became a park ranger, and then received a BA in middle school science. Though she then taught in a traditional classroom for nine years, Karma still created field trips and mentored Envirothon teams to get students outdoors. To bolster her outdoor educator knowledge, she trained for over 250 hours and received an Environmental Education Certification via the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources. Karma journeyed through four states (North Carolina to Alaska to Hawaii to Colorado) and homeschooled three children, merging myriad teaching styles, even training as a catechist for all three levels of the Montessori-method, Catechesis of the Good Shepherd. She works in a once-a-week school teaching science to homeschoolers and continues to inspire children by leading outdoor education field trips.

Science is Fun, Seriously!

Science is joyful! God created Nature. The scientific method helps us unravel, explore, and enjoy it! Using multiple learning styles and disciplines, science leads you to a fun day of real-life learning. But how? Attend and fall in love with this method of teaching.

Jessica McMaken

After completing a master’s degree in early childhood education and obtaining a license in early childhood special education, Jessica briefly enjoyed working in the Douglas County public schools before having her first baby. When it came time to put that baby into kindergarten, she wondered why there was such a mismatch between what research says about how children learn and the way children are taught in the majority of schools. So she took on the task of educating her child(ren) at home. Thirteen homeschooling years later, that baby has completed his first year of college. Jessica also has a rising 11th grader, 8th grader, and 4nd grader. She has a passion for sharing with other moms how simple – and how much fun – educating your kids at home can be. 

Nature Journaling Made Easy - and Fruitful

Nature journaling isn’t about pretty pictures. And it’s not about finding amazing outdoor spaces. It’s about using the power of observation to make discoveries wherever you are and then recording those observations so you can recall the experiences later. This workshop will guide you through using John Muir Laws’ free nature journaling resources to develop skills and techniques to begin a rewarding journaling habit or to take your current practice to the next level. You will also see and hear examples of how this practice has benefited the writing, observing, speaking, creativity, and confidence of local homeschoolers.