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LEAP Homeschool Conference
February 17-18, 2023

Innovations Academy in Kearny Mesa
5454 Ruffin Road, San Diego CA  92123

Presenters & Workshops

Check back soon!

KEYNOTE ADDRESS:  Strengths or Weaknesses:  Which Do You Focus On?


Monica Cochran

Monica has worked with children, parents, and other adults in a wide variety of educational, hospital, and business settings for over 40 years. She has been active in alternative education since 1978, including home educating two of her own children. More recently, Monica worked with other home learning families at Clonlara School of Ann Arbor, Michigan, for 10 years. After that, she worked online with SelfDesign Learning Foundation of Vancouver, British Columbia for more than 10 years in a variety of roles, including director of SelfDesign Global, working with learners and families outside of BC.

In private practice now at Learning Without Borders, both virtually and locally, Monica combines personalized approaches to learning and educational therapy with parent education and coaching, along with transition planning.   She is also an advanced DIR practitioner (Developmental, Individual Differences and Relationship) and a Safe and Sound Protocol provider. Monica has vast experience in helping learners from all over the world and of all ages enjoy learning. She especially enjoys helping learners who have unique talents and challenges develop their strengths and learn in ways that work for them.

You can find her blog at

Workshop:  Homeschooling from a Point of Strength

Many of us know how important it is to work with our strengths; however, putting this idea into practice flies in the face of how our brains are wired. Unfortunately, our negativity bias often overrides this and we revert to thinking “if we could only improve a weaker area for ourselves and our learners. then how much better things would be.” We will explore how to turn that notion around, through a series of interactive activities in which we explore our own strengths and work in small groups on a case study of how I use the strengths-based approach with a learner. 


Jill Pearson-Keltner

I love education and learning. It is what I do and who I am. I love exploring the world, sharing knowledge, learning from others, making connections, co-designing activities, creating, experimenting, and playing. In our learning communities, we discover more about ourselves and our world.  My favorite educational experience was homeschooling my two boys in K-12th grades. They are now young men, one a graduate from UC Berkeley and one working in the film industry in San Diego and LA.  I’ve been an educator for 30 years, learning with young kids to adults and working in tradition and very untraditional settings. I teach Iyengar yoga classes and workshops at the San Diego Yoga Studio.  Together with my partners, Jennifer Mercer and Teresa Draguicevich, I helped create Learning Journeys Forum, a community space that supports homeschooling parents and students in San Diego through parent professional development and high school homeschool classes.  Through all these experiences, I have learned that when learners are given agency over their learning journeys, they find they are able to effect positive and powerful change in the world; this is a goal I have for all learners of all ages.  

When not teaching, I love to do yoga, read, travel, kayak, hike, and play with my dog and my kids.

Workshop:  Crafting a Trail Guide for your Learning Journey

This workshop will offer hands-on activities and tools to guide you in creating a Learning Journey for your family.  It is easy to simply survive each chaotic day as a homeschooling adult.  However, when we take time to create an intentional plan for our family's education and reflect regularly on that plan, we empower our children to participate in their learning in new, exciting ways.  Learning becomes more intentional, powerful, and joyful


Jennifer Mercer

I am incredibly blessed to have always been able to do the work of my heart -teaching, leading, facilitating, supporting, nurturing – and I’ve been doing this with the HLC program for the last 12 years! I’ve spent the past 30 years developing and growing those skills in many different ways as a classroom teacher, special education teacher, lead teacher, college instructor, tutor, mother, partner, Girl Scout leader, mentor, and learning consultant.  I homeschooled my two amazing daughters who are now adults I love to hang out with. My oldest is a senior at UCSB and my youngest is a junior at UC Davis. Our learning journey grew with us over the years. We’ve done it all, from “school-at-home” to radical Unschooling, to learner-centered co-designing. I hold a B.A. in Elementary Education and an M.A. Ed in Special Education from American University in Washington, D.C. I’m passionate about supporting homeschooling families to grow together! In addition to my work in the HLC,  with my partners Jill Pearson Keltner and Teresa Draguicevich,  I run Learning Journeys Forum- a community space that supports parents and students in San Diego through consulting, tutoring, Positive Discipline parenting classes and high school classes for  homeschoolers.  To relax, I am most often found at the table playing whatever game is my newest obsession (seriously, hit me up if you want suggestions), reading, Zentangling, tie-dying and spending time with my family (human and kitty!). 

Workshop:  The Brain Science of Homeschooling

What we thought we knew about learning ten, twenty, or thirty years ago is being turned on its head as study after study currently shows how our brains actually approach tasks. Using contemporary research by leaders in neuroscience, psychology and education, we’ll dispel some common misconceptions about the brain and consider ways, as home educators, that we can apply this knowledge to enhance our own family’s learning journeys.

Panel Discussion:  Dads Talk About Their Experiences as Homeschooling Parents
Fathers and Male Caregivers take on many roles as homeschooling parent:  primary educator to supplementary educator to financier and more.    Listen to a moderated panel discussion and ask questions to hear male caregivers with different experiences describing their successes, challenges, and helpful tips.
 Participants:  TBA

Panel Discussion:  Graduates Talk about Their Life After Homeschooling
As homeschooling parents, we regularly worry that our children won't make in the world.  Worried friends, family members, and strangers may express their concern about "socializing our children" and "preparing them for the real world."  Come listen to Homeschooled Graduates as they share their experiences as homeschoolers and how they moved into the world beyond homeschooling.
 Participants:  TBA

Additional WorkshopsMore Information Coming Soon!

  • Homeschooling 101:  The Basics of Homeschooling

  • Unschooling:  Learning in Life

  • Thomas Jefferson Education:  What is this all about?

  • Positive Discipline:  Parenting with Respect

  • Decolonizing Parenting:  Reclaiming Gentle Parenting Practices

  • College Preparation:  Building a Porfolio and Transcript

  • Gameschooling:  Games for Learning

  • Field Trips:  Joyful Learning

  • Homeschooling Kids with Learning Differences

  • Learning Styles:  Parents and Kids

LEAP is a San Diego Homeschool Conference with an appreciation for our ability to Learn, Explore, Advocate, and Play together. Our mission is to facilitate and create space for open, respectful dialogue in our diverse homeschooling community while supporting parents, students, and the San Diego homeschooling community.