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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.

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Presenters & Workshops

Amy Edwards

Keynote Address:  Joyful Learning 

Amy is passionate about individualized education. She homeschooled her own 3 children and has taught homeschool classes for hundreds more over the past 15 years. She currently works for an independent study charter school, guiding parents, students, and teachers in personalized journeys of learning. She is a certified teacher for grades K-12. She has earned 2 MEds, one focused on the history & philosophy of education, and the other focused on curriculum and engaging teaching strategies. She authored the book For the Love of Learning (LOLIPOP) and has traveled the U.S. providing seminars to homeschool parents and teachers in the principles of implementing individualized education that fosters love of learning, builds confidence, teaches cross-curricular learning strategies, develops critical thinking, and produces life long learners.  Check out her website at https://lolipoplearning.com/

Workshop:  Building a Foundation for College, Career, and Life

Education and thinking develop in steps, each building on the previous knowledge, learning, and skills. Jump right into this workshop to learn about foundational learning, transitioning to higher thinking learning, and preparing students to identify their purpose and set educational, training, and life goals that keep them on their desired path. Find out why your younger students may seem uninterested in anything. Find out why your teen appears to be disconnected and unmotivated. Discover how to identify holes in learning and fill them, at any age, to keep moving forward in a personal journey.

Meg Grooms

Meg Grooms (she/her) is a decades-long secular homeschooler, mother of many, writer, Florida ex-pat, and all-around swell gal. Meg & her partner have raised their kids all over the USA & currently call Southern California home. For now, anyhow. Meg realized long ago that her children learned best when they were involved and having fun, and that is how she came to start gameschooling. Meg blogs about Gameschooling, tabletop gaming, and the gaming community at HomeschoolGameschool.com.

Workshop:  Gameschooling:  Play More, Teach Less

Gameschooling allows children to take learning into their own hands, literally. The skills learned through gameschooling range from the basics like math & reading, to "soft" skills such as mobility, patience, sensory processing, and concentration. Come learn how to make and adapt games to match your child's needs

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 https://learningwithoutborders.com/blog/

Workshop:  Strengths or Weaknesses:  Which Do You Focus On?

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. 

Victoria May Khaze

Victoria's passion for business and children lead her to create Money Munchkids; a children’s financial education company. She has been an entrepreneur since she was in elementary school when she started her first business making and selling jewelry. She utilized both her own experience as a homeschooler, extensive research into children’s learning and education and the expertise of multiple national and international child education professionals to create the products and services that focus on financial education for children. Victoria is a four-time published poet and has been featured in several local and national publications.  You can find her at MoneyMunchKids.com

Workshop:  How to Teach Financial Education at Home (DIY for Parents)

This talk focuses on why teaching financial literacy is important and a few easy ways you can start teaching your kids about money at home with nothing but your wits.

Christine Kuglen

Christine Klugen is an opinionated person who tells it like she see it. She considers herself an advocate for children. She comes from a big family, then became a teacher and finally a mother to four incredible children. She homeschooled her children for 16 years, each for a different length of time and in different ways. Twelve years ago she founded Innovations Academy K-8 Charter School and currently attempts to maintain a life while she directs the school. In her next career she may be a midwife, lactation consultant, parent educator or internship developer.

Workshop:  Learning Through Internships, Volunteering and Shadowing

Helping a young person on their journey towards knowing "what they want to do" can be challenging. One way is to help them interact with adults who are already engaged in similar endeavors. This can be through shadows, internships, volunteering and simply connecting for a conversation. In this presentation, we will share ideas about where to start and how to connect with a variety of possibilities out in the world

Flo Gascon

Flo Gascon is raising two always-unschooled daughters, who are now 14 and 18 and wouldn’t have it any other way. Her belief in how well unschooling works has only solidified over the past fifteen years of leading events, learning from her unschooling peers, and living with her radically unschooling family. Flo is the creator of the popular Good Vibrations and Wide Sky Days unschooling conferences and has also organized HSC’s homeschooling conference. Using her attachment parenting and unschooling experience, she authored Keep Your Cool- How to Stop Yelling, Spanking and Punishing and offers coaching. It is her mission to help parents become partners as their kids learn from life, for life. Alongside romping with her girls on sandy beaches, she plays with words and a camera, drinks tea, and makes dreamy plans as if she has many lifetimes yet to live. You can read her blog at flogascon.com

Workshop:  Unschooling All the Way

What does an unschooling life look like? Not just dipping in a toe. Not just unschooling until high school. Not unschooling everything but math. Not unschooling academics only. Full-on, immersive learning from life, for life; partnering with our kids to help them hear their own voice, trust their own needs, and follow their hearts. Unschooling is not a top-down approach but a side-by-side one and I’ll share a simple way to get started or get moving again if you've let things slide. Come get inspired to build a life of curiosity and joy while being open to not having a plan for what comes next. Ditch the standards for good and relax into trust that your kids are exactly where they need to be and that everything will be okay

Abby Reynolds

Abby Reynolds homeschooled her 3 kids, ages 20 (now in college), 17, and 14.  Along the way she has learned so much about herself, her husband and her kids and experienced every myriad of feelings ranging from “I love this”,  “I can’t take it anymore”, “I’m doing too much”, ‘I’m not doing enough.” etc. She has delved into many different philosophies along the way, such as Waldorf, Montessori, Classical Education, Unschooling finally realizing that it’s not about creating the most perfect homeschool environment, but about respect, acceptance and embracing the mistakes.  Over the years, Abby has led learning co-ops, hosted park day, led a Girl Scout troop, taught Spanish and leadership to teens, raised chickens, volunteered as a historical reenactor at Old Town State Park and organized numerous Community Service projects. She’s currently on the Executive Board of a local non-profit youth theater company and spends most of her time driving her 2 youngest to rehearsals and performances.

Workshop:  Homeschooling 101

Abby will give an informative talk on the 4 ways you can homeschool your child legally in the state of California and using anecdotal personal stories, how to do so without losing your mind.

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:  Rob Caringella, Tony Davis, Daryn Mercer, Colt Stevens