Pennsylvania Homeschoolers Accreditation Agency

High School at Home

17th Annual Conference

Friday July 13, 2012

Hotel Carlisle, Carlisle PA

(schedule as of July 11, 2012, subject to change)


THEME: Taking Stock and Taking Initiative—Creating a Positive Homeschooling Atmosphere


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:

Bonnie Gonzalez, AP Psychology online teacher, Family Counselor

Family Dynamics: Helping it Work for you in High School at Home


First  Breakout Session 10-10:50 AM

1.      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.

2.      Your Career Path: Combining Aptitude, Personality, and Passion -- Gain insights from one man's career journey from Certified Public Accountant to Civil War Historian.  Also learn about Civil War soldier life, as the presenter concludes in full Union uniform and equipment -- Chris Rebmann, Gettysburg Licensed Battlefield Guide.

3.      What Makes for Good Writing? – Guidelines to help parents – and teens—realize what to aim for in a strong high school writing program, across the curriculum—Kathryn Walker, AP English Language

4.      College presentations—get your questions answered! panel of admissions officers from Messiah College, Harrisburg Area Community College, and Shippensburg University


Second  Breakout Session 11-11:50 AM

1.      Foreign Languages at Home: resources and approaches—Susan Richman, PHAA evaluator and Peter Cahill, PHAA and University of Pittsburgh grad

2.      Merit Scholarships for College: Positioning Yourself to Succeed—Debra Bell, AP English online teacher, author, homeschool parent, and more!

3.      Me? Use Statistics in real life? – find out all the ways a familiarity with basic statistics will help you understand your world. Includes hands-on activities with M&M’s! For both teens and parents – Carole Matheny, AP Statistics teacher

4.      The Excelsior! PHAA’s student newsletterBecome a Part of It! And Learn about Creative Non-Fiction, too! 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!—new Excelsior! editor Joshua Johnson and Liliana Serbicki (a past Excelsior! editor).


Noon - 1 PM Buffet Lunch in main ballroom (free)


Key: 1=Franklin, 2=Cumberland, 3=Carlisle, 4=Penn

Third  Breakout Session 1-1:50 PM 

1.      What’s life like after Homeschooling? Are we really preparing our kids for their future? (for parents) Ways to help our teens and ourselves be ready to transition to the ‘post-homeschooling’ years, and encouragement and concrete ideas to help you look ahead with hope-- Natalie Bishop, PHAA Board, PHAA evaluator.

2.      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 teachers including Susan Richman (AP History), Bonnie Gonzalez (AP Psychology), Debra Bell (AP English Language and AP English Literature), Lisa Hawkins (AP US History), Lilianna Serbicki (AP English Literature & Language), Dianne Settino (AP Studio Art), Carole Matheny (AP Statistics), Ruth Green (AP English Literature), Kathryn Walker (AP Engliish Language) Howard Richman (AP Macroeconomics).

3.      Making Room for Travel Abroad—making a difference, broadening your vision—hear from a PHAA grad about ways to incorporate travel into your homeschooling years—and why it matters. For both teens and parents – Peter Cahill, PHAA and University of Pittsburgh Honors College graduate.

4.      High Tech Careers: Your Ticket to the Future—panel of admissions officers technical and career colleges: Penn College of Technology, Pittsburgh Technical Institute, and South Hills School of Business and Technology.


Fourth  Breakout Session 2-2:50 PM

1.      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).

2.      Writing the College Application Essay—Putting Yourself on Paper! Helps for that daunting task almost all students will face—Ruth Green, AP English Literature

3.      Making Sense of Testing in High SchoolWhat’s required and what’s not, how to prepare, how not to go nuts! — Susan Richman, PHAA evaluator, PHAA Board

4.      Finding and using a full range of outside classes and teachers to enrich the high school at home years—things to consider, including quality, cost, time commitment, student strengths, parent weaknesses, and more. – Joy Varner, homeschool parent.


3:00 -3:30 PM Afternoon break in main ballroom.  Free snacks during time to visit tables and watch the AP Studio Art slide show in the ballroom.


Fifth  Breakout Session 3:30-4:20 PM


1.      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)

2.      How Teens Learn-- Insights into Cognitive Development During Adolescence and How You Can Support Your Teenager's Motivation and Achievement – Debra Bell, AP English online teacher, administrator of AIM distance courses

3.      Hands-on History—ways to make history come alive! – Meghan Paher, AP European History teacher, living history interpreter.


4:30-5:00 PM Homeschool Graduates Panel in main ballroom (General Session)—Peter Cahill (moderator) and a panel of homeschool graduates. Hear from a full range of PHAA grads who’ve made many different types of choices in their lives A chance to ask all of your questions.

Key: 1=Franklin, 2=Cumberland, 3=Carlisle, 4=Penn