CHAP 2014 – Incredible Speakers

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about going to the CHAP conference all alone - how I actually did NOT like being there alone - and the things I purchased for next year's homeschool year.  I mentioned that I would post about the speakers I heard at a later date so I figured it's about time I keep true to that!

Every year CHAP has a number of wonderful speakers.  Now that I am more sure of the curriculum I like to use I don't have to spend as much time shopping and now have more time to sit, relax and listen to the knowledge, wisdom and great ideas of these inspirational homeschoolers share their own experiences. There were several speakers I heard in person this year: Blogger and author Heidi St. John, Travis Zimmerman, Andrew Pudewa and Sonja Shafer of Simply Charlotte Mason.  All of these speakers were amazing!!!

Heidi was the first speaker that I heard.  Heidi is also known as The Busy Mom over at

The Busy Homeschool Mom (Heidi St. John)  The link will take you to her author page but you can also find her bog through the link as well (She's also on Facebook as The Busy Mom). Heidi spoke on romance during homeschooling in addition to the distracted mom and other topics.  I think her talk on romance/marriage was the best.  She emphasized that we must put our marriage as first priority only after God and yes, BEFORE the kids.  So many of us forget to do that.  I bought her book and finished it in less than two days.  It's full of good information - nothing necessarily mind-blowing - but a really well-organized gathering of information that while is mostly common sense, reminds us of essentials married couples often forget.

Travis Zimmerman of Speak My Word Ministries also spoke on marriage and homeschooling.  It blew my mind away how devoted and highly he spoke of his wife.  Every man and woman should be able to talk about their spouse that way and it makes me want to make more of an effort in my marriage to get us back on track and speaking words of encouragement and praise of one another as much as we did early on in our relationship.

The best book, in my opinion, on habit training. I like the companion books that go with this as well thus far!

Sonja Shafer of Simply Charlotte Mason spoke on habit training and the Charlotte Mason method. Sonja is the person speaking in the videos that I mentioned in my "Catching Up" post a few weeks ago. It was great to see her in person.  Sonja really made habit training come alive for me as something of high importance and made the concept much clearer on how to go about the training and which ones were of highest significance.

I also enjoyed listening to Andrew Pudewa from IEW speak on language arts.  Andrew shared some of his own experiences with his son who was not a 'reader'. He totally convinced me that when I allow my son to do some of his reading through the use of Audio Books or  read aloud with me, this is most definitely a GOOD thing!

In addition to the speakers I saw in person, I also bought several of the talks on CD.  Well, okay, a LOT of them.  We do this every year.  I tell myself I'm only buying a few and I walk out with over 20.  Yes, seriously - over 20.  But I really do listen to them.  Sometimes more than once.  Of course now, after 8 years of attendance, I have a really big stack of CHAP conference CDs that I have no idea what to do with!

I'm still listening to the ones I bought this year.  The one that I have been most impressed with is Carol Barnier. Carol spoke on "A Prodigal Speaks Out".  She had some amazing insight to children who doubt their faith or simply are the 'rebellious' type. She has published a book on this very topic.  Carol spoke on quite a number of other homeschool topics including learning styles.  I don't believe I am done listening to them all just yet!

If you live in Pennsylvania and haven't been to a CHAP conference yet, I would strongly recommend it. What I have commented on here about the conference and speakers is just a tip of the iceberg!  I know there are some people from the surrounding states that come as well.  The number of hands on resources through speakers and vendors is absolutely amazing and worth the money to support the CHAP mission.