Pennsylvania Homeschoolers Accreditation Agency


High School at Home

13th Annual Conference

Friday July 18, 2008

Hotel Carlisle

(Schedule as of 7/16/08 – Subject to Change)


THEME: Taking Risks –

Breaking Out of our Homeschooling Comfort Zones


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

College and Career Planning and for Homeschoolers—Michael Robinson (Assistant Regional Director with Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency)


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.       What About Socialization (for students)— Teen leaders Jillian Strayhorn, Peter Cahill, Kelsey Ireland and student panel

3.       Foreign Language at Home—Susan Richman.

4.       Computer Science: How to get started in the profession of the present and future – Derek Otieno

5.       Writing for Thinking – Karen Boyd


Second  Breakout Session 11-11:50 AM

1.       Writing Your College Application Essay-- Help for getting YOU down on paper! -- Ruth Green

2.       Community Service: Giving Back in Meaningful Ways, Gaining Leadership and Organizing Skills—Teen leaders Eric Goldfischer, Megan Laughlin, Abraham DeHart, Kelsey Ireland, and Sarah Keckler.

3.       Me? Homeschooling Through High School? – Natalie Bishop and Bertina Smelser (for parents)

4.       Opportunities available at Public, Private, & Catholic Colleges—by a panel of admissions officers from Arcadia U, Bloomsburg U., Harrisburg Area CC, Montgomery County Community College, Neumann College, Penn State U.,  Point Park U., Seton Hill U., and Shippensburg U.

5.       Using Free Internet Resources:,,, and other great sites – Susan Richman


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


Third  Breakout Session 1-1:50 PM 

1.       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 (US History), Howard Richman (Economics), Jeanette Geary (European History), Ruth Green (English Lit), Bonnie Gonzalez (Psychology), and Derek Otieno (Computer Science).

2.       Winning the College Admissions Game: Strategies for Parents and Students – Peter Van Buskirk (

3.       How to Get Started in Your Own Business—Bill Geise, Don Hill & Abraham DeHart.

4.       Opportunities Available at Christian Colleges (other than Catholic)— by a panel of admissions officers from Elim Bible Institute, Houghton College, Lancaster Bible College, Messiah College, and Patrick Henry College.

5.       Financial Accounting for Teens—Mike Licata (Professor in a Box LLC)


Fourth  Breakout Session 2-2:50 PM

1.       Using Media for Math: Teaching Textbook, Chalkdust, Carnegie Learning, DIVE CDs, and more — Panel of parents and students including Brita Kilgore, Esther Bruland, Judith Ayers, Andrew Hill, and Cathy Laughlin.

2.       A Guide to AP Classes (by & for students)—Megan Dutill, Peter Cahill, Jillian Strayhon, and Kelsey Ireland, a panel of students who have taken online AP test-preparation classes

3.       PHAA Evaluator’s Meeting Discuss concerns and questions about working as a PHAA evaluator. Clear up any confusions on procedures and goals — Howard Richman, Karen Boyd , and Natalie Bishop (evaluators only).

4.       Get Motivated with Student Contests: Congressional Award Program, Writing Contests, Speech Competitions, Science Fairs—Susan Richman and Louise Keckler.

5.       Computer Science for the Homeschooler: A Survey of Careers in Computer Science— Derek Otieno


3:00 -3:30 PM Afternoon break in main ballroom.  Free snacks during time to visit tables.


Fifth  Breakout Session 3:30-4:20 PM

1.       The Excelsior: PHAA’s student newsletter-- Become 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!—Anna Rockower (2008-2009 editor), Peter Cahill (2008-2009 online editor) and staff.

2.       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)

3.       High Tech Careers: A Two Year Degree and your Ticket to the Future—Bill Geise moderator & panel from Goldey-Beacom College, ITT Technical Institute, Johnson & Wales U., Lincoln Technical Institute,  PA College of Technology, Pittsburgh Technical Institute, Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology, and Triangle Tech.

4.       Ed Planner/Financial Aid—Millie Ortiz and Michael Robinson, PHEAA.

5.       Dual Crediting and the CLEP exam. How to turn your High School course into an Honors Course and get College credit at the same timeMaribeth Spangenberg.


4:30-5:00 PM Homeschool Graduates Panel in main ballroom. (General Session)—Katelyn Dutill (moderator) and a panel of homeschool graduates Sarah Keckler, Martha Keckler, Adam Smelser, Amy Shaulis, Tiffany Thompson. Hear from a full range of PHAA grads who’ve made many different types of choices in their lives and see how they are doing since moving beyond homeschooling A chance to ask all of your questions.


Key: 1=Cumberland, 2=Carlisle, 3=Penn, 4=Dickinson, 5=Oak