CAROL'S SAMPLE SPEAKING TOPICS
If you would like to invite Carol to speak at your next home education event, please submit your basic contact information with a brief request description at the contact form provided to the left.
Unless the engagement is related to launching a new mentoring group, the fees are similar to what Carol charges for private consultation. See link for more information.
Carol has developed a number of topics based on material in the manual but is also able to customize presentations based on your vision. Below are samples of her most popular presentations.
Sample presentation topics:
Creating Your Family’s Best Learning Environment - (~ 1.5 hours)
What exactly is a “learning environment” and how do we really make our homeschooling efforts work? We can have the best motivation, a sensible blueprint, and the content of our materials determined within our homeschools and still fall short of what we want to see happen when the reality of the day hits. Accepting the fact that no homeschool is perfect and every family has a teaching approach that is uniquely theirs, we can implement some universal strategies to obtain results that are fruitful for both the parents and the children. So come and learn what it means to “environ” your family and get ready to really “see” your child; recognizing outside influences, internal dynamics, heart issues, learning styles, and their developmental seasons so that you can respond with appropriate teaching tools and planning methods that will serve to both encourage your children and to simplify your homeschooling experience.
Evaluating Curriculum Choices - (~ 1 hour)
Choosing curriculum can sometimes be so daunting that families give up the idea of homeschooling before they even begin. Don’t let this happen to you! Instead, come and receive an overview of several common teaching approaches and solid curriculum options that relate to each of them. Carol will also share her “Four C’s” plan to help jump start your list of criteria for selecting and evaluating your curriculum choices.
Going the Distance: Preparing Your Homeschooled Teen for the College Experience - (~ 6 hours)
This workshop can be covered in one day or over a series of three different two-hour meetings. It covers a myriad of topics that helps parents prepare their homeschooled teen (and themselves!) for the college experience.
• Establish the Foundation (2 hours): Overcome your anxiety of homeschooling your teen by intentionally developing a shared family vision and co-developing your teen’s personal vision statement. Understand the characteristics of this unique season, adapt to your new role, and employ targeted assessment tools to map out the basis of a personalized, cooperative plan.
• Develop the Plan (2 hours): Put your evaluation results and planning work into action by articulating your teen’s priorities for the next four to six years, covering spiritual development, relational intentions, life management training, academic goals, and special-interest experiences.
• Finalize the Details (2 hours): Decide upon your methods for delivering the plan while identifying transitionary skills, documentation requirements, and institutional research tasks that will ensure your student’s successful launch into their post-high school season of life.
Homeschooling the Whole Teen - (~ 1 hour)
Trepidation sets into the hearts of even the bravest homeschooling parents when subjects such as chemistry, geometry, and economics loom on the horizon. Yet, while an academic plan is essential to understand and map, it is not the only area of focus to consider when preparing your teen for life after high school. Join Carol to not only unpack specific academic planning considerations for the high school years but to also identify your teen’s relational styles, communication preferences, vocational aspirations, spiritual development, life-skill needs, and production goals that converge to shape a concrete vision for their future plan. Regardless of whether your teen is in junior high, just starting high school, or well into their high school years, you will leave with a concrete understanding of steps you can take together to assimilate all of these areas into multi-year plan that is both cohesive and adaptable. While this presentation is primarily geared towards the college-bound student, all homeschooling families with teens can benefit from the wholistic perspective of life planning and the universal power of intentionality that is emphasized in this workshop. This workshop is based on Carol's book called The Balanced High Schooler: Getting Parents and Homeschooled Teens "On the Grid" for College and Beyond.
Homeschooling Through Hard Times - (~ 1 hour)
Mark Twain once said, "I never let my schooling interfere with my education." While he never realized it, he is speaking to us: homeschooling families who believe we are at the limit of our stress threshold. Sometimes when difficult times come, we direct angry energy towards the "problem" since it has derailed our curriculum deployment and scheduled plans. However, given that most of us will homeschool over the span of many years or even decades, hard times and crisis are a matter of "when" and not "if". So what's a mom to do to boost her hope and encouragement in what's lurking around the next corner? Come and learn how to embrace what "education" really means and learn four life principles that can help homeschooling families persevere through even the most devastating circumstances.
How Do I Teach This Kid? - (~ 1 hour)
Everywhere a homeschooling mom turns, there seems to be one more book about some flavor of four learning styles. But these existing assessments never seemed to fully help in the Gary household, so Carol developed a list of her own! Is your child one who learns "outside the box" or "inside the box"? Perhaps your student learns while "staring at the box" or even "talking to the box". In Carol's home, all four of these learners (Moving, Structured, Analytical, and Community) are represented as either primary or secondary learning styles, so she has seen it all! Come and learn how you don't need to purchase a separate curriculum for every possible learning style combination. You can employ strategies that will work for each student while keeping your sanity and learning more about your child's uniqueness and areas for development along the way.
Mentoring the Mentors - (~ 3 hour interactive workshop)
Do you have a heart for helping other moms find success in their homeschooling journey? Are you interested in mentoring a small group of homeschooling moms yourself but don't know where to start? Join us for this interactive and informative workshop especially designed for moms in a leadership role within their homeschooling community or moms who simply want to encourage others throughout the process of home education. Those wishing to utilize The Balanced Homeschooler program as their facilitation spine will receive additional tools, training, and support necessary to make a successful difference in their homeschooling community.
No-Regrets Education for the Full-Time Family - (~ 1 hour)
Looking at the heart of education, we must wade past the “three – R’s” and realize that providing our children instruction in all manners of life issues and behavioral expectations is a 7x24 responsibility. Yes, some days it seems like we are attempting to do the impossible and find ourselves just treading water; especially when crisis comes. Yet realizing that the fullness of your child’s education is only partly met by the curriculum you choose, you will find that living a “no-regrets” life starts with a family vision that directs the tone of your home, embodies uncompromising strategies, and extends through all of your family’s experiences. Learn how to keep perspective and focus on the big picture of your home education journey as Carol shares their family’s personal journey towards a “no-regrets” education for their children; particularly in light of their oldest son’s 2010 diagnosis with leukemia and their subsequent journey with him.
Scheduling for Life - (~ 1 hour)
Most homeschoolers who struggle to “get it done” don’t need to choose a different math curriculum, rethink their teaching approach, or bail out of homeschooling altogether. Instead, moms who feel derailed are often struggling to connect their family’s homeschooling priorities with their home life realities! So today is the day to nail down your scheduling style, build in margin, and identify your “one other” activities. Learn how to seek out time savers across a spectrum of your priorities while creating your family calendar in tandem with detailed homeschool schedules. Take steps to “begin with the end in mind” and experience the freedom and confidence that comes with a well-executed schedule!
Support Groups: Are You Shopping or Shaping? - (~ 1 hour)
Opinions on the best way to participate in or run a homeschool support group are as varied as the families who are comprise them. Yet trends in characteristics and cautions do exist that are helpful to understand before connecting yourself and your family with others who are walking this journey of home education. In addition, for those who are leadership-minded, learn about four considerations when building your team as well as three key principles essential to building a strong foundational structure.
Taming the Paper Beast - (~ 1 ½ hours)
Opinions on creating records about your student's progress vary on a number of levels including what, how, and when to keep them. Couple that with a wide range of state-specific expectations, and this is a topic about which moms are unlikely to reach consensus. Who does a mom listen to, what will the records be used for, and how formal does it all really have to be? Demystify the decisions behind portfolios, book lists, samples, organizational tools, rubrics, grades, and transcripts by joining Carol in this ultra-practical peek at the realities of recordkeeping.
The Power of Generational Love - (~ 45 min. - 1 hour)
We all have a story. Understanding and sharing our beginnings, struggles, and encouragements, helps us to “pay it forward” to our children, family, neighbors, and friends who we know will benefit from our experiences and observations. Yet when do we stop to think about who “paid it forward” to us? Who were the key individuals and what were the pivotal moments that shaped us to be who we eventually became as adults? What about those essential people and significant experiences that resonated with us and how do we appreciate these gifts, both the wonderful and the challenging? In this era of digital overload that can lead to relational isolation, learn how to constructively weave the key individuals and moments of the past into your personal legacy tapestry in a way that will positively minister not only to your children and grandchildren but also to other important people in your sphere of influence as well as future generations.
Visions and Variables - (~ 1 hour condensed lecture or ~ 3 hour interactive workshop)
Often times families who want to take the homeschooling plunge or are facing a new season in their homeschooling experience are tempted to jump right into the details of choosing curriculum, designing their new learning space, or figuring our other logistics and details. However, while these tasks are important, most parents benefit from FIRST looking at the "big picture" points and considerations BEFORE making these kinds of strategic decisions or changes. Join Carol as she helps parents develop their own family vision statement, unpack homeschooling myths, and tackle several big questions that most homeschoolers face at the beginning or during other critical points of their home education journey. This three-hour interactive workshop is the first of the nine sessions of The Balanced Homeschooler Program.