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You can register at the door for PHAA's High School at Home Conference on Friday (July 11)
Howard Richman, 7/9/2014

In order to register, please arrive by 8:45am. The cost (which includes the buffet lunch and snacks) is $39.95 for the first person in the family and $34.95 for each additional person.

This will be PHAA's (Pennsylvania Homeschoolers Accreditation Agency) nineteenth annual High School at Home Conference. It will take place on Friday, July 11, 2014, from 9AM to 5PM at the Hotel Carlisle (1700 Harrisburg Pike, Carlisle, PA 17015) on Route 11 just North of Turnpike and I81. There are sessions especially designed for parents, homeschooled students, and evaluators. 

New to High School Parents: Find out how the PHAA high school diploma works, lab science and foreign languages at home, and get tips on making the transition to high school from a panel of experienced homeschooling parents who’ve been there.

Experienced Parents: Help your kids make the transition to college through college scholarships, preparing for the college interview, and writing the college application essay. Improve your program with new ideas for AP courses, honors courses, lab science and foreign language courses.

Students: Find out about joining the Excelsior staff, volunteering to make a difference or starting a business that actually makes money. Look forward to college or employment with sessions about preparing for the college interview, military service or writing the college application essay.

Evaluators: There will be sessions outlining how to award credits for the PHAA diploma and a chance for evaluators to discuss the tricky situations that they have encountered. Many sessions will help you to be a better guidance counselor for your evaluees.

Here's the conference schedule:

8:45-9:00 Registration and snacks in main ballroom then visit college and vendor tables which will be open until 3:30.

9:00-9:45 Welcome & Keynote Talk in main ballroom: What You Do Matters! Laszlo Pasztor, PHAA Board Member, homeschool father of four.

First  Breakout Session 10-10:50 AM

  1. The Excelsior! PHAA’s student newsletterBecome a Part of It! Learn about one of the best ways to extend your homeschool friendships and hone your writing skills— by working on the staff of The Excelsior. Led by Hannah Frankman, Editor for 2014-2015 
  2. Lab Science at Home – Cheryl Shoemaker
  3. Honors Courses: Going the Extra Mile – moderated by Natalie Bishop

 Second  Breakout Session 11-11:50 AM 

  1. Roll Playing the Interview: For College, for Scholarships, for Jobs -- Bonnie Gonzalez & Laszlo Pasztor, PHAA Board members. Bonnie is a family counselor and AP Psychology online teacher. Laszlo is an experienced interviewer.
  2. High School at Home: An Introduction to the PHAA Diploma ProgramEspecially for families and evaluators new to PHAA. Find out how the program works and how to comply with its requirements— Howard Richman, PHAA Executive Director
  3. College Scholarships for Homeschooled Students: Go for it, You might just win one! Susan Richman, PHAA Board, PHAA evaluator. 

Noon - 1 PM Buffet Lunch in main ballroom (included with registration fee)

Third  Breakout Session 1-1:50 PM 

  1. Making the Transition to High School – Panel of Parents who’ve done it! Margaret Pasztor,  moderator with Linda Abel, Linda Blocker, Kelly Czyzewski, Anne Hawthorn and Anne McKnight.
  2. Be a Volunteer: Make a Difference – Natalie Bishop
  3. AP Online Test Prep Classes from PA Homeschoolers: Learn about the AP exams from this year’s online teachers, and how online learning can help you be well prepared—panel of AP Online teachers, Susan Richman (AP US History), Bonnie Gonzalez (AP Psychology), Lisa Hawkins (AP US History), Howard Richman (AP Macro-Economics), Julia Reed (AP Comparative Government // AP US Government) 

Fourth  Breakout Session 2-2:50 PM 

  1. Be an Entrepreneur: Student Businesses that Actually Make Money, and Give Great Life lessons! – Panel of students. Don Hill, moderator, with John Hill, Sarah Keckler, Malachi Kimbro, Adorae Monroy, Amanda Shoemaker and Jennifer Shoemaker.
  2. Foreign Languages at Home – Making it Meaningful – Susan Richman, PHAA Board
  3. PHAA Evaluator’s MeetingDiscuss concerns and questions about working as a PHAA evaluator. Clear up any confusions on procedures and goals—Howard Richman, Natalie Bishop, and Bonnie Gonzalez (evaluators only).

3:00 -3:20 PM Afternoon break in main ballroom.  Free snacks during time to visit tables and visit with friends old and new 

Fifth  Breakout Session 3:20-4:10 PM

  1. Writing the College Application Essay—Putting Yourself on Paper! Helps for that daunting task almost all students will face—Ruth Green, AP English Literature
  2. Thinking about the Military Academies and Military Service—Learn about the how and why and what it’s like. Julia Reed, AP Comparative Government online teacher, homeschool parent, retired Lt. Col. in Air Force, and Air Force Academy liaison in the state of PA.
  3. PHAA Annual Membership MeetingElect a Board Member, discuss any needed changes in by-laws,  possibly put such changes on a written ballot, and more (for PHAA members only) — led by Howard Richman. (PHAA members only – parents and evaluators)

4:20-5:00 Square Dance and Swing Dance in main ballroom (We will teach!)— Swing dancing taught by John Hill. Square dancing called and taught by Howard Richman.

What attendees said after past conferences:

  • Karen Brown (homeschool mom): This year I brought my husband & son to the conference. It helped them get a better picture of homeschooling and meeting others of like mind... Debra Bell's session on online resources should have been attended by everyone. Though slightly overwhelming, it was EXCELLENT -- worth the price of the whole conference."
  • Shelly Wilson (homeschool mom): We learned a great amount about college requirements... I really feel prepared to start the college and financial aid process! Thanks for all your hard work!
  • Suszanne Troll (homeschool mom): Honestly, I wish I would have come years ago because I like to be prepared. This preparation give me time to adjust to curriculum needs. Thank you for one of the best conferences I've attended. (I loved, also, the teen panels and adult panels -- very informative.)
  • Nancy Lanigan (homeschool mom): We came looking for help and alternatives for our high school years. We already have 5 high school graduates (three more to go!) and are very sorry we did not attend before. All sessions attended were very helpful!
  • Nanette Blank (homeschool evaluator): Informative sessions.... Meeting other evaluators was very helpful.
  • Mary Hill (homeschool student): I thought it was great that high schoolers could interact and share their experiences with each other.
  • Cheryl Hanratty (homeschool student): It really gave me an idea of all the choices and possibilities I have to choose from and what to expect after high school.
  • Spencer Kondak (homeschool student): I enjoyed meeting new people who are going through the same things as me.
  • Hope Adele Pasztor (homeschool student): I always LOVE going to this annual conference. It's a great time of food and fellowship, but most importantly of all, it revs me up for the next year of highschool! I won't begin to tell you how many wonderful academic opportunities have been unearthed here.
  • Charis Luna (homeschool student): I liked being able to discuss homeschool education in a group with other kids-- and there was good food!
  • Kyle DeMaria (homeschool student): I really enjoyed the layout of the day-- there were nicely spaced breaks. Another thing I liked was the name tags-- they were easy to read and made it a lot easier to socialize. Finally I made a new friend. In the past, I have not met a lot of people my age who homeschool. The bottom line is I really enjoyed this experience and look forward to the next conference.
  • Megan Dutill (homeschool student): I really had a wonderful time this year... I especially loved the opportunity to connect with students my age.

Enjoy the Professionalism: Why should other educators go to hotels for their conferences while homeschoolers bring bag lunches and sit on hard chairs. This conference treats you right. Enjoy the free buffet lunch, the free snacks during breaks, the sessions that are small enough for you to get answers to your questions, the positive atmosphere, and the professionalism of the day and location.


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