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Home School Conventions

AVAILABLE TOPICS

      1.  Building World-Changing Leaders for Christ Through Homeschooling  (Plenary)

I address practical and biblical approaches to training our children to have the confidence to stand alone as ambassadors for Christ, to be godly leaders, and to be men and women who will be able to influence, lead, and disciple other leaders.  This session focuses on the keys to building leaders.

2.  Dad’s Irreplaceable Role  (for moms and dads)

This is a practical and biblical session on the father's role in training the homeschool family and leading the home. Dad needs to be engaged in instructing, but also in building strong character and strong relationships. He is called to be a strong leader and yet gentle and humble. He is not just a coach, but God’s player-coach.  And one of the most powerful secrets of how Dad can be all these things is to start by being a three letter word: fun!

3.  Supporting and Encouraging the Homeschool Mom  (for moms and dads)

This workshop offers encouragement for moms on the challenges of homeschool family life along with tips for how dads can be a vital support to her on issues of sibling conflict, character development, and discipline. Mom needs to take a breather from trying to do everything and find the keys to enjoying deeper relationships with her children. She will hear insights on how to see and seize the opportunities in the problems of homeschool family life.

4.  Resolving Family Conflicts in Truth and Love  (for the whole family)

Learn the do’s and don’ts of how to bring up and deal with the smoldering issues, keep difficult discussions from escalating, work through the toughest issues, and change negative patterns of interaction to positive ones. It is imperative that we not merely teach our children but work through and resolve old hurts and resentments that can undermine our efforts to grow them into godly leaders. This powerful workshop is designed to help you build relationships that are closer than ever before.

5.  Developing a Plan for Sexual Purity in your Homeschool Family (for 13 and up)

This workshop focuses on the practical and biblical steps we can take to overcome the destruction of sexual immorality in the family and Christian community today. It offers positive ways to walk in righteousness, which will build confidence, strength, and leadership into your children. Topics discussed include: standards, guarding the heart, conquering destructive habits, making no provision for the flesh, establishing a two-way conversation with your children early, erasing destructive memories, building accountability, beginning afresh, and the role of grace and forgiveness.

6.  Building Relationships with Peers and Parents  (for the whole family)

This session addresses conflicting relationships and the pressure of peers to conform. We provide solid teaching and examples of building biblical views of grace-filled, growing relationships with parents and godly peers. This session also includes a focus on introducing unchurched friends to the love of Christ.

7.  Giving Teens a Vision to Change the World   (for the whole family)

In this session we will be confronting complacency, mediocrity and the sense of entitlement. The workshop provides building blocks for mentoring young people in preparation for great service with an expanding vision to serve their heavenly Father as kingdom builders. Discover the steps to channeling the energy, creativity, and imagination of young people into the greater service of the Lord.

8.  Purity and Accountability for Fathers-Sons   (for fathers and sons, 13 and up)

This men-only talk is given by Phil and his 26-year-old son, Paul. It is a direct, no-holds-barred discussion of the need for godly character and sexual purity, based on biblical principles and with practical applications.

9.  Essential Elements of Building Teamwork and Vision    (for the whole family)

This is a discussion of how to equip and send your children into the world as leaders and ambassadors for Christ. Our homes are laboratories from which the Lord will call them to life-changing positions of ministry and leadership, and basic training for this call starts today!

10.  The Homeschool Marriage—From Surviving to Thriving    (for parents)

Every day, the homeschool marriage experiences high levels of stress, a frantic pace of life, and competing priorities which work to pull it apart at the seams. If all these forces are carefully dealt with, however, the result can be a marriage and family that is not only surviving, but truly thriving. This workshop deals with planning, communication, teamwork, and the primary obstacles that threaten to rob your marriage and family of relational harmony, peace of mind, and fruitfulness.

11.  Healing Wounds in a Family Between Generations     (for the whole family)

All too many homeschool families struggle along, alone and discouraged with the hurt and wounds that come from anger, controlling relationships, rejection, fear, insecurity, and relational brokenness.  That’s our family’s story as well.  This session attacks these issues head-on.  We share from our experiences, struggles, and failures how God wants to equip each of us to engage and heal the brokenness of our lives between generations, which will enable our children to break free of the negative multi-generational patterns of belief and behavior that were passed down to us.

12.  Leaving a Godly Legacy: Discipling Your Children    (for moms and dads)

It is the passion and prayer of every loving parent’s heart, but what does it take to build the authentic relationships with our children necessary for them to become a lasting, living legacy?  This session is dedicated to exactly that question, and to sending you away with a toolbox packed-full with the everyday ideas, strategies, activities, and methods for being a fun parent, building strong relationships with your kids, and raising them to faithfully live their lives for the glory of God and the good of others.

13.  The Keys to Godly Discipline   (for the whole family)

Every one of our children presented unique discipline challenges—and some of them were masters at turning our home into World War III!  This session is packed with life stories, practical advice, problem-solving skills for your most difficult discipline problems, and most importantly, how to shape the behavior of your child without losing your child’s heart.

14.  Teaching Your children How to Work with Godly Diligence  (for families)

More than ever, children are coming of age without the basic training necessary to be men and women of diligence, determination, follow-through, and excellence.  This session is packed with practical stories, ideas, methods, and strategies for raising up your children to beat the curve, counter the culture, and do all things as unto the Lord.

WORKSHOPS BY Paul (son, 30 years old) or PHIL & PAUL (father and son)

       15.  Homeschooling the Strong-willed Child – I Am One!   (for the whole family)

Between the ages of 8 and 13, I (Paul) was a terror!  I was a liar, a thief, lazy, self-centered, and had a fiery temper that caused constant problems for my siblings and family.  But my parents didn’t give up on me.  They applied some very specific biblical principles of discipleship which God used to reach my heart, change my direction, and transform my life. Come hear not only my story, but what they did that made the difference by God’s grace.

       16.  Resolving Conflicts & Building Strong Parent-Teen Relationships   (for families)

This session addresses the vital topics of resolving conflicts with your teenager, opening lines of communication, understanding the barriers that he or she is putting between you, becoming your teenager’s favorite life-coach, addressing negative influences in your teenager’s life without getting pushed away, understanding what your teenager wants most (despite appearances), balancing the growth of freedom and responsibility in your teenager's life, maintaining consequences without being controlling, and helping your teenager live for the favor and pleasure of God rather than man.

       17.  Top Challenges of a Homeschool Graduate   (for the whole family)

Having graduated from college and now working toward a seminary degree while still in full time ministry, in this session I address the challenges of plotting a path toward educational and career opportunities after the homeschool high school experience. This workshop deals with discerning God’s design for one’s life and tailoring the direction one chooses to each individual homeschool graduate. Learn how to overcome the pitfalls and enjoy the possibilities.

       18.  What is it like to be a Homeschool Student?   (for the whole family)

For those interested in homeschooling or for those whose homeschooled children are still young, I describe how my five siblings and I experienced the challenges and opportunities unique to homeschooled students. This seminar will help you understand the differences, benefits, and challenges to successfully homeschooling your children through their most crucial seasons of life in your effort to build world-changing leaders.

       19.  Media & Entertainment – Monitoring What Influences Your Family (for families)

This session will confront head-on such questions as these:  How can families avoid the opposite extremes of license and legalism?  How can children become equipped and committed to standing alone?  How can families engage their world without becoming conformed to its values?  How can parents remain involved in their children’s decisions without becoming controlling or invasive?  What is the right approach to making family rules and standards?  What is the key to fostering character, virtue, and uncommon leadership in your children?

 20.  Living Counter-Culturally in an Entertainment-Saturated Society   (for the whole family)

Did you know that entertainment in our culture is not merely a type of activity, but in fact a subtle, powerful, and holistic life philosophy?  It is a philosophy that has persuaded each of us in countless ways (both with and without our knowledge) to buy into a specific belief system regarding every aspect of our culture and lives. Come find out how these forces impact our thoughts and (and actions!) regarding ourselves, relationships, the purpose of life, the activity schedule in heaven, the role of pleasure, God’s opinion of technology, the purpose of work, what we can expect out of life, who we should become, and even who we should marry.  God has more good news for you on these subjects than you can imagine.  Come prepared to be surprised!

WORKSHOPS BY ANNA DOWNER YOUNGS (Daughter, 26 yrs. old)

21. What Your Daughter Wants & Needs From You Most  (for parents)

This session was not easy to come by. Truly, for Anna, it is the product of 22 years of pain, love, struggle, joy, woundedness, friendship, conflict, and reconciliation. Anna will share from the depths and the heights of her personal story a hand-picked collection of the most life-changing things God has taught her about the parent-daughter relationship. For Anna and her parents, the journey to a vibrant and strong relationship was both difficult and profoundly fruitful. Parents who attend this session will walk away with many new insights and practical application steps on how to truly reach, befriend, and impact the heart of a daughter.

22. Perfectionism & Grace in the Christian Family (for the whole family)

This subject has become one of Anna’s greatest areas of passion and insight. There is a common, strong, and dangerous tendency for those who are raised in faith in the local church and in Christian families to be so surrounded by messages on the importance of character, obedience, correct beliefs, loving actions, sacrifice, generosity, service, etc, that the gut-level summary of the Christianity they begin to live out is nothing more than a graceless perfectionism. Perfectionism is a prison of performance, a cage of conditional love. It is a wasteland for the heart, which desires above all to be accepted, embraced, and cherished in and of itself. This is not a depressing presentation!  It takes a close look at refreshing truths and the witness of Scripture and the Person of Jesus to discover that a heart-liberating and life-transforming freedom and grace both should and CAN be alive and well in the heart of any person or family who desires to walk in the company and teachings of Jesus.

23. What A Girl Needs to Know Most About Guys  (for parents and teen girls)

We live in a world where movies, books, TV shows, and music artists send mostly superficial and false messages to girls about what guys are supposed to bring to their lives, what guys need most, how girls should relate to them, and what the single years should be all about. Anna dismantles many of the most common and most destructive fallacies that girls believe about guys, and she shares from personal experience, from Scripture, and even from the canon of pop-culture what a true vision of guy-girl relationships looks like. She addresses such subjects as dating, destructive teenaged social dynamics, the building blocks of unshakable security and value, modesty, the girl’s role in a guy’s quest for purity, and a guy’s battle for identity, strength and calling. Any girl or parent who attends this session will come away with a fresh and clear picture of what it can look like for a girl to live vibrantly and beautifully for the very purposes for which she was created.

24. What A Guy Needs to Know Most About Girls   (for parents and teen guys)

The companion talk to the session above, this presentation focuses in on the central ideas that every guy needs to understand, accept, and live in light of, if he is to truly be a brother to his sisters in Christ. So many guys waste years of their lives posturing, bragging, strutting, and playing games--all in hopes of finding in a relationship with a girl something that his soul was never meant to find there. Many of these typical practices are not only a waste of time, but they are also counterproductive and hurtful to the girls in question. This session gives a rare inside look at the heart, design, purpose, hopes, fears, and story of the girls that teenage guys live around every day. It’s a clarion call for guys to step up, seek the Lord like real men, protect their sisters like trustworthy brothers, and pursue their callings like faithful sons of the Living God.

25. God's Design & A Girl's Fractured Identity (for the whole family)

We Have the Story Wrong! Girls today are bombarded by false and destructive messages from every direction. Even girls who are being raised in strong Christian families often buy into these cultural messages. Girls learn that their worth and beauty are found in being sexually enticing, their strength is found in being manipulative, their safety is found in being in control, and their confidence is found in perfection, productivity, and high performance. In this session, these and other lies that are poisoning the hearts of girls today are uncovered and debunked for the sham that they are. This session is the opening salvo of Anna’s teaching on God’s design and heart for His beloved daughters.

26. The Truths, Secrets, and Choices that Make a Girl's Heart Come Alive!  

(for parents and teen girls)

All too often, the idea of identity in Christ is described to teenage girls with vague clichés. In this powerful and vulnerable session, Anna shares the core identity discoveries that God has brought her in her journey with Him. She shares the specific truths and treasures from Scripture and the heart of God that every girl most longs to hear and embrace. But she doesn’t merely share the content of those truths. She explains what it looks like to actually receive them for yourself, to let them sink in, and to begin to truly believe that, yes, this is God’s heart for you personally! Anna also shares detailed strategies for what a girl can do to take her heart more fully to the heart of God.

27. How To Discover & Draw Near To the Heart of God As A Teenager  

(For parents and teens)

This session is a pragmatic, nuts-and-bolts description of what it takes to build a real relationship with Jesus—the Friend that sticks closer than a brother. Anna will address some of the top challenges that teenagers encounter as they endeavor to draw close to the Person of Christ as a matter of daily life. Anna shares how to let Scripture sink into your mind and heart, how to bring the deep hurts, disappointments, hopes, and dreams of your soul to the heart of Christ in the Word. She will share her struggles with making daily fellowship with Christ a treasured reality, and the steps that God led her to take which helped her move closer to Him. Those who attend will come away equipped and encouraged, confident that their walks with Christ truly can go deeper than they currently are.

LEADERSHIP TOPICS BY PHIL DOWNER 

28.  Becoming A World-Changing Leader for Christ  (for homeschool leaders)

Each of us is a leader with unique gifts, weaknesses, abilities and challenges. This session focuses on how to overcome the major challenges to being a world-changing leader for Christ, including the lack of a clear vision, relational tensions, being overwhelmed with your workload, differences in co-workers’ temperaments, and organizational obstacles.

29.  Effective Leadership Teams in Homeschool Communities  (for homeschool leaders)

Effective leadership in the homeschool arena can be extremely challenging. The need for interdependence often competes with the need for independent structure and can result in an oppressive top-down organization. This workshop deals with how to overcome the most troublesome pitfalls, distractions, conflicts, and struggles that leaders encounter in local, regional, and statewide homeschool communities.