Each year, CHEC speakers inspire parents to excellence in their home education journey.
Our speakers cover a wide range of topics from curriculum choices to special education and worldview.
We are two homeschool moms, one with children in the early elementary years and the other at the tail end of graduating all four of her children (homeschooled all the way through). We both have multiple years of experience teaching multi-age groups in a variety of formal and informal settings, including the DL setting. We both chose to homeschool first and foremost because we value the opportunity to teach our children to love and respect God, and secondly to nurture lasting family bonds. Giving our children an excellent education and having fun while we are doing it are great side benefits!
I am Laurie Beesting and live on Bowen Island, BC. I immigrated (with my husband Andy) to Canada in 2011 from UK, where I was a mainstream school teacher for 20 years.
I graduated back in 1990 (B Ed hons) and worked in primary education teaching all subjects- but specializing in math, English and music. I am also a pianist and Early Music recorder player, and sometimes perform.
My perfect evening is for my husband and me to gather with a group of friends to play Queen, Beatles and Elton John!Here on Bowen, I teach math, piano, recorder and English, but my passion for math took an exciting new direction when I started to write my book Bridge the Gap Math™.
I work with both mainstream and homeschooled students …and love my job to bits!
These days, I am finding that ‘Intermediate math education’ and all that surrounds it, is the new heart of my work; I have found something which sets me alight- both to talk about and teach!
Shannon is a Google Certified Educator (Levels 1 and 2) and teaches Virtual Worlds 8, SE VW 8/9 with April McLeod, as well as middle school science courses for HCOS. She has a passion for embracing the use of technology in meaningful, relevant, authentic and immersive ways and mentoring students and teachers alike to join this journey of life-long learning in the 21st Century. Shannon loves to try new things and encourages students, teachers and families to have a growth mindset with new technologies, tools and methods in learning and life. Google provides many tools that allow student’s personal strengths to surpass their challenges and build bridges to share their ideas and learning in the 21st Century. Shannon’s teaching moto: “I teach in beta” – I try new things with a growth mindset.
Dr. Paul Chamberlain is the director of the Institute for Christian Apologetics at Trinity Western University (ACTS division) and has taught ethics, philosophy of religion and Christian Apologetics at TWU since 1990. He has also worked with Ravi Zacharias International Ministries during part of that time. He is an effective communicator both in and out of the classroom. His humorous, down-to-earth manner appeals to a wide variety of people. Drawing from the media and using a professional powerpoint presentation, his seminars are both interesting and relevant. Dr. Chamberlain has appeared on numerous radio and television talk shows, debated on university campuses, and is a frequent guest speaker at public functions. He is the author of four books: Can We be Good Without God, Final Wishes, How To Talk About Good and Bad Without Getting Ugly: A Guide to Moral Persuasion, and Why People Don’t Believe: Confronting Seven Challenges to Christian Faith as well as a number of articles addressing current social and moral issues.
Pippa Davies is the Director of HCOS Learning Commons. She has a masters degree in Library and Information Science, graduating from the University of Cape Town, South Africa. Pippa is blessed to have served at HCOS both as teacher librarian, and as an individualized teacher for the past 14 years. She has over thirty years of teaching and library work experience, and homeschooled her son who is now at the University of Simon Fraser. She also has two adult daughters, and two amazing grandchildren! Married to John for over 34 years Pippa loves nothing more than hanging with her family and grandkids, reading awesome books, learning new technologies, and hiking and cooking. Pippa has a passion for all things literacy and Christian education, and enjoys creating voice and inquiry-based learning for students and staff.
Cynthia Duncalfe is the HCOS Curriculum Consultant, drawing on her experience as founder/owner/operator of Cornerstone Learning Resources, Ltd. (2005 - 2016), a home education and classroom resources retail store, where she provided curriculum support to teachers and parents for eleven years. She is currently teaching ADST (Applied Design Skills and Technologies) at Chilliwack Community Connections where she is also a Coordinator. Cynthia has a passion for educational technologies and serves HCOS as a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math) Mentor by providing workshops and training to students and teachers. She has a strong passion for education, particularly in the areas of discipleship and technology. She met her husband Darren while studying for her Bachelor of Religious Education degree, and God has blessed them with five incredible children. They have been a home educating family since 2002 and currently live on site at Charis Camp & Conference Centre in Chilliwack, BC where Darren is Executive Director.
My wife and I have been married for nearly twelve years and together we are raising four children ages nine, seven, five, and three. My wife home educates three of the four children while maintaining order and sanity in the house.
Until recently, I served as a police officer with the RCMP for over eighteen years. During that time I worked in various units including uniformed general duties, property crime, drugs, covert technical investigations, general investigations, and serious crime. Seven of my eighteen years were spent investigating homicides while working at the Kelowna RCMP Detachment. In 2011, I developed an interest in technological crime and, in addition to my primary duties, began working alongside the BC RCMP's Integrated Technological Crime Unit performing the triage and analysis of electronic evidence in support of criminal code investigations such as assaults, thefts, firearms offences, bullying and harassment cases, fraud, child pornography and exploitation, drug trafficking, and murders. I examined hundreds of technological exhibits and gained unique insight on how people use technology and the danger that technology presents to our families. In November of 2018 I transitioned from the RCMP and joined the Organized Crime Agency of British Columbia as a Sergeant in charge of a Technological Crime Unit based in Kelowna. My primary responsibilities include the full forensic analysis of technological devices including computers, smartphones, vehicles, and other digital devices supporting organized crime investigations across British Columbia. Additionally, I sit on multiple provincial and federal cyber crime committees across Canada.
It is my hope and goal to use my policing experience and technical aptitude to help families understand trends in technology and the dangers that lurk in our homes through what is becoming an increasingly more challenging area to navigate as parents.
Marie Filion (affectionately known as "Miss Marie") has a Master of Science in Psychology and will be finishing her PhD in Psychology in 2019. She has been working with challenging children for over twenty years. She added horses to her practice in 2007. As a teenager she found her horse helped her get through a lot of the difficult times that came with being raise in a single-parent family. She now uses the struggles of her childhood to connect with children and youth who have suffered from trauma or who are struggling with their peers.
Marie is certified by Dr. Bruce Perry of Child Trauma Academy in order to complete NMT (Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics) Assessments. These assessments provide a map of brain, so that clinicians can choose which therapies a child is ready for. So often it is not that a type of therapy is wrong or ineffective, it is that it is done at the wrong time for that child with that brain. Putting the therapies in order, so the brain can fully develop is a big key in healing.
Marie has also studied with Dr. Daniel Hughes in learning Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy. DDP combines play therapy, empathy, child-centered parenting and psychotherapy in order to help a child work through some of the reasons for their behavior. DDP has helped many children make sense of their trauma and allow them to connect with their parent(s).
Sherri Funk has been involved with music, lyrics, stories, story telling and performing for most of her life. She has had the privilege of working as a touring and recording singer/songwriter for many years. Sherri is now a Music teacher, teaching children (preschool to high school) music and songwriting. She has spent time in the school library as a reading specialist and is the Music Director for the drama department. In the last couple years Sherri has taken up the adventure of Author. She has written 12 Children’s books. Along with Dave Watland, a local Artist, they have created FunkLand World Books.
She lives in Kelowna British Columbia with her husband Derek, and their three children, Boaz, Silas and Zoe.
Bonnie Landry is an ordinary mom, living in the little hamlet of Cobble Hill on Vancouver Island, British Columbia with her family. She and her husband Albert, have raised and homeschooled seven children who range in age from 12-31. None of her children ever attended school. The four adult children have all pursued post-secondary studies. Three are now married, and the avalanche of grandbabies has begun!
Twenty seven years homeschooling her kids has taught her how vital is it to get along with them. Actually, life is kind of a bust if you can’t get along with people.
The Landry’s mission is joy. Living simply, discipline with dignity, fostering community and encouraging others are all central to their lives. In their home, beautiful literature and discussion is foundational to education. Bonnie’s methods are without clutter and centre on the relationships in the home.
Allison Miles has been with HCOS for over 12 years in various support roles including individualized teacher, special education teacher, course writer, and LS/SE Grad Administrator. She has been married to Stephen for over 18 years and has two children, Andrew, 16 and Olivia, 15. After her son was diagnosed with 9 labels, Allison's transition to special education at HCOS was a natural next step as she was often supporting families in her local community and church. With a passion to help others support their children and find success through grad, Allison committed to working with our grade 10-12 families and teachers at HCOS to help find solutions in learning and help create plans for both graduation and post-graduation.
Philippa has been a teacher for over 20 years now, and the majority of those have been with children with learning differences. It has always been her passion to find ways to encourage the love of learning in all children and to find ways to help them develop their passions and strengths. Ross Greene really spoke to her about how to partner with children to attain these goals.
Michelle has been homeschooling her four children for the last eight years. She has been an HCOS teacher for seven years and is currently a Learning Service Regional Administrator. Her three passions in education are meeting the learning needs of exceptional students, innovative pedagogy and the integration of technology in education.
Linda and her husband, Paul, have been happily married for 31 years. They have homeschooled their 7 children, aged 8-25 years, from the beginning. "It is hardly ever easy but we are fully persuaded that it has been the best we can give our children". Linda and Paul live in Vernon, BC. They have 6 children still at home and one married daughter. The youngest member of the family is baby Jasmine, their first grandchild. The Queiros household stays busy with homeschooling, chores on their hobby farm, keeping hens, selling eggs, raising sheep, riding horses, and constantly working on projects.
I am a parent of four fantastic people and have educated my children at home on and off for over 14 years. Midway through our home-school journey, I went back to university and completed my Bachelor of Education and now work as an HCOS teacher, supporting individualized and special education students on Vancouver Island.
Karen is a Google Certified Trainer and holds a Master of Arts in Educational Leadership, focusing on digital literacy and technology integration in 21st century learning. Over the past 12 years, she has served as an educator in public, independent and distributed learning environments and has learned from many incredible leaders and mentors along the way. Karen is passionate about partnering with families to create a plan personalized to meet each student's unique strengths, needs, loves and goals.
Natalie Sing is a 20 year veteran homeschooler and a current Educational Assistant working with a variety of Special Education Students from Grades 3 through 11. Natalie has experience as a past curriculum consultant and has a passion for finding practical and easy to apply learning activities for students. Natalie loves using technology, project based learning and collaboration in her work with students and families. Natalie is married, has 4 adult children and lives on Vancouver Island.
We are in our 6th year of being a homeschooling family. I have Diplomas in both Early Childhood and Special Needs Education. I have had the privilege of working in public and private schools supporting children for 20 years and have also co-owned a preschool. Until recently, our family called Lake Country home. Last year our family moved to a farm in northern Alberta with a very supportive husband, 2 creative sons, 15 cats and 1 dog!
With over 25 years experience in working with youth, and a Masters Degree in Education majoring in Counselling, Darlene Unrau brings her passion to equipping men and women to make life-giving relational and sexual choices. Presently, her role is one of developer, presenter and trainer of the True To You workshops offered in custom-made formats to students from elementary to university and youth influencers in public and private schools and organizations. Topics can range from avoiding relational abuse, understanding human bonding, to media influences, including effects of pornography and sexting. A mother of three wonderful sons, and two brand new daughters in law, she resides in Kelowna with Kim, her amazing husband of over 39 years.
Hester is a second generation home educating parent who is keenly aware that her own education is not complete, and comfortable that it probably never will be. She has many years of experience with children, books, and curriculum. She loves to travel to worlds and times beyond the present with her children through many books. Hester and her husband have four children and live in the lower mainland of BC.
Jake has been a high school teacher in a Christian School for many years. The underlying goal of his many student missions trips was to help young people develop roots for their faith. The fact that so many leave the faith after leaving the protective environment of our homes, youth groups, and Christian Schools consumed his reading and journaling for many years. The result has been his first book that seeks to provide answers to this pandemic of faltering faiths. The book is a grand appeal to rethink “religion”, this most neglected and much maligned Big Idea concept that is nevertheless at the core of our broken humanity. The book presents the Christian faith in the context of this universal and seemingly never ending search for truth.
I homeschooled for 16 years, dealing with children who have dyslexia, allergies, and chronic illness along the way. While on this journey I have tried many different curricula and methods, eventually finding what works for each child. The joy of learning alongside my children has been an incredible privilege. In 2007, I started working as the HCOS Librarian. Today, the school has grown considerably and so has the library! We are now part of the Heritage Christian Schools Learning Commons - an integrated library for both the campus and online schools. The purpose of the Learning Commons is to meet the needs of both homeschooling and campus families by offering quality resources from a Christian perspective. I enjoy serving the moms and dads who e-mail, call, or drop in looking for information and helping them find the books and kits that will inspire them and their children. Be sure to "drop-in" and browse in person or browse the Learning Commons Search Portal for a plethora of resources!
Megen Zelinka, lawyer for HSLDA, is both knowledgeable and passionate about homeschooling and the law. Not only is Megen an Osgoode Hall Law School graduate, she is also a homeschool graduate. She is experienced in family law and child protection. HSLDA members can feel secure as she safely guides them through high-conflict situations, and finds satisfying solutions. She also keeps an eye on changes in laws affecting homeschooling and families. Megen is also a homeschooling mom of five and is equally comfortable relating to the 4 o’clock meltdown hour and the intricacies of legislation.