IDEA Curriculum Fair 2018: Workshop Descriptions

Attendee Welcome Page ~ Anchorage ~ Fairbanks ~ Juneau ~ Soldotna

Click on the links above for the general information about each location, and the links in the key below to go directly to the workshop schedules. (Links will be active once the workshop schedules are completed and posted.)

Key for workshop location:

"The 13 Most Important Soft Skills to Teach Your Children" (Jean Burk)

Employment experts agree that technical skills get your foot in the door, but it’s the soft skills that get you the job -- and help you keep it. Your work ethic, your attitude, your communication skills, your emotional intelligence and a whole host of other personal attributes are the soft skills crucial for career success. During this workshop we’ll explore the soft skills employers covet today and uncover simple ways you can instill these skills in your teen before he/she leaves the nest. Learning Workshop, College Prep Genius (S)

"Best (Free) Online & Print Resources Available at Your Library!" (Elizabeth Nicolai)

Learn about great resources to use for research and learning expansion available online and in print at Anchorage Public Library and libraries statewide. Learning Workshop, Anchorage Public Library (A)

"The Brain Needs PRADA" (Jessica Parnell)

Recent discoveries about the brain reveal its amazing workings and unbelievable capabilities. But how do we as parents leverage the incredible power of the brain to help our children tap into that incredible potential? In this jam-packed workshop, we cover four essential components of teaching and learning and how they tie directly into the parts of our brain that drive memory and understanding and lead to student achievement. PRADA: PRAD=Achievement. Learning Workshop, Bridgeway Academy (A)

"Bringing Down the Walls of Learning" (Adam Hailstone)

When we are young, there can be what seem to be high walls between us and learning. The task of getting started, following through, and retaining information seems insurmountable at times, especially when you are young and less self-aware. In this presentation, Adam Hailstone of Williamsburg Learning will show you the three most common roadblocks to learning young people experience and how to help them conquer these obstacles. Learning Workshop, Williamsburg Academy (S,A,F)

"Can Learning Really Be This Fun?" (Grant Funk)

Aviation gives great hands on activity opportunities for students to learn to understand charts, accomplish math problems in a real world environment, grasp the importance of history, discover weather, and much, much more, all in the context of hands on aviation. In this workshop, we will discuss Av-STEM Alaska's online course for 7th-12th graders. I will give a rapid overview of the course as well as allow time for questions and answers. This is a great workshop for you to bring your student to. Product Workshop, Av-STEM (S,A,F,J)

"Dating for Ladies & Gentlemen" (Monica Irvine)

Parents, I know you're scared and I know that the thought of our children dating is something that makes us very nervous and uncomfortable. Yes, these are different times. Yes, we should be protective. However, come and listen to ideas that give you and your children great balance. Actually, as we teach our children what being a lady and a gentleman is and looks like, especially during the teen years, dating (going to a scheduled event with someone of the opposite sex) can be great learning opportunities, can lead to self-discovery and can give our children the confidence they need to make wise choices when choosing their future spouse. It's a family affair. Come and see. You and your children will be so grateful. Learning Workshop, The Etiquette Factory (J)

"Discipline with Love so We Don't Break Our Children's Spirit" (Monica Irvine)

This is a topic I get the most questions about and a topic that so many parents are struggling to find balance with: what is effective, age appropriate punishment? When is talking about it enough? What age is too old or too young for certain discipline?…and the list goes on. Come and join me as we discuss essential principles that we must understand before discipline can be effective. Parents, if we're not careful, even with the best of intentions, we can absolutely damage our children's precious spirits. If you have been feeling lately that you are not correcting your children as effectively as you would like, come…listen…You will be so grateful that you attended. Learning Workshop, The Etiquette Factory (F,J)

"Discovering and Creating Powerful Paragraphs!" (Trish Padgett)

Writing a strong paragraph is a challenging task for all ages. In this workshop we will first discover the parts of a strong paragraph, then we will create a powerful paragraph. Brainstorming skills, organization, transition words, and the editing process are discussed and practiced. We will also explore using the same process for summarizing and note taking. Families receive lesson plans, graphic organizers, and transition words for implementing these writing skills. With confidence in the paragraph process and structure, students experience success with written expression. Learning Workshop, Create! Press (A)

"Don't Learn a Foreign Language; Actually Talk in One!" (Adelaide Olguin)

You could just meet a foreign language requirement, or you could actually talk in a foreign language, changing your future opportunities forever. Shift from learning grammar and vocabulary to easily using the language in your day-to-day life. With this one workshop with Adelaide, the creator of TalkBox.Mom, you'll move years ahead of others learning a foreign language or yourself if you've been trying! Whether you know something or nothing, have small children, teenagers, or a sweet mix, you'll know exactly how to talk in a foreign language in your homeschool the same day you start and move all the way to fluency without tears or frustration. Learning Workshop, TalkBox.Mom (S,A,F,J)

"Experience Excellence in Writing" (Janet Beckett)

Come and discover award-winning Excellence in Writing, a method of teaching composition that really works. Using this program, students of all ages will learn to write stories, reports and essays with style. Best of all, parents and students alike find it easy to use and effective in all their writing endeavors. This workshop will give you an overview of the program and show you how you can get started with even the most reluctant writing student so you can give it a try at home. Product Workshop, IEW (A)

"Free College at Your Fingertips" (Jean Burk)

Are you ready to make $500 an hour? Although it sounds too good to be true, it's possible to earn this much in scholarships for college. Author, Jean Burk, will teach you two important concepts: how to get into the college of your choice and how to find the scholarships to pay for it. You will learn methods of receiving substantial scholarships that go beyond tuition and may include room and board, graduate school, and money to study abroad! Unlock the keys to finding free college at your fingertips! Learning Workshop, College Prep Genius (A)

"Free to Succeed: Looking at Math from a Maturational Viewpoint" (Carlita Boyles)

Does your child struggle with math, no matter how patiently or creatively you present the concepts? Perhaps the issue isn’t intelligence, but maturation. Very intelligent children can become frustrated with math when their rate of maturity doesn’t match the “typical” pace. But what if your child is just being lazy? What if learning disability issues are involved? How can you tell the difference between maturation, motivation, character issues, and developmental problems? Join Carlita Boyles, whose education and experience in Special Education classroom instruction, combined with her experience as a homeschool mom, give her a unique perspective and understanding. Enjoy this workshop and leave with ideas and motivation to help your children replace discouragement with success. Learning Workshop, Math on the Level (A)

"Get Crafty with Math!" (Carlita Boyles)

For many homeschool families, arts and crafts get phased out and eventually ignored as children move beyond kindergarten. But most children love creative arts and crafts, even if they find learning math to be not-so-motivating. Why not combine the two? Math time can be so much more than writing the solutions to problems. Join author and veteran homeschool mom Carlita Boyles as she unpacks creative, exciting ways to mix math and fun. Combining the techniques acquired during years of teaching Special Education together with experiences of homeschooling her own children, Carlita’s talk includes demonstrations, take-away craft ideas, and even a chance to make a project yourself.  Let her provide you with engaging ways to integrate math with arts and crafts focused at a variety of interest and skill levels… and come away with a new practical way of looking at teaching math. Your kids won’t want you to miss this workshop! Learning Workshop, Math on the Level (A,F)

"Goal Setting - A Family Event!" (Dennis DiNoia, M.A.Ed)

Goal setting is often thought of as a great idea and something everyone needs to do but we rarely do it and when we do, we usually lose track of the goal along the way. In this workshop, goals are brought to life through creation and conversation. Everyone participating will create a goal and a visual display for that goal during the workshop. This process can be done with family members over and over again as well as with other homeschool groups as activities. The process is created in a fun and fast paced style with everyone having an opportunity to create and share their goal that will leave each participant inspired by their goal and by the goals of others. Learning Workshop, Mr. D Math (S)

"Hands-on Robotics Workshop to Build and Learn About a Light Following Robot" (Jack Pien)

From R2D2 to WALL-E to Rosie from the Jetsons, kids love robots. Join Jack Pien, curriculum and project designer from in this hands-on workshop where your family can volunteer to come up on stage to help build a light following 3 wheeled robot. In between build steps, Jack will teach your family how the assembled circuit and robot components work. Learning Workshop, (S,A)

"High Tech Homeschooling in the Digital Age" (Jessica Parnell)

Multimedia access has changed the way students interact with their environment. With information at their fingertips and constant stimuli designed to grab their attention, today's kids have a whole new set of challenges. By using strategies that are designed for how the brain works, you can engage these digital brains to see incredible results. Learning Workshop, Bridgeway Academy (A)

"Homeschooling Multiple Grades and Why Unit Studies Work!" (Lisa Weber)

Lisa Weber will share tips on how to incorporate unit studies into the family to keep mom sane. She will discuss available curriculum and what unit studies look like as you transition children into the more rigorous high school requirements. Learning Workshop, TRISMS Curriculum (A)

"How To Do Literary Analysis that Doesn't Ruin the Book" (Brian Wasko)

There's nothing worse than dissecting and over-analyzing a book you might have otherwise enjoyed. (Okay, there's probably several things worse, but it's still bad, isn't it? Literary people are so…literal.) This workshop will show you how to do literary analysis so that students end up loving literature more rather than less. Learning Workshop, (A,J)

"How to Speak and Talk Math" (Dennis DiNoia, M.A.Ed)

What if math was its own language? Learn to speak math similar to the way you learn to speak other new languages. Learn the basic foundations on which the math language is created and how to see Algebra skills in basic math. This workshop will give participants wanting to expand their thinking to higher levels of math using basic operations they already know. Learn how the "secrets" of mental math and how to apply them in everyday situations. Participants access a common math language that can be used at any grade level. Learning Workshop, Mr. D Math (A,F,J)

"How to Turn Your Kitchen into a Classroom" (Lindsey Wenzel)

The kitchen classroom is the tastiest place to learn! This fun workshop will inspire homeschoolers to find easy and delicious ways to incorporate math, science, nutrition, culture, geography, and more into their homeschool lessons.  Using tools and resources you already have, we'll provide tips and teaching methods to make learning delicious for homeschoolers of all ages. We'll even provide strategies for parents to address common hesitations in the kitchen classroom: pickiness, mess, safety, and time. Learning Workshop, Raddish (A)

"How To Watch Television" (Brian Wasko)

No, this workshop isn't going to encourage more television watching. Well, not necessarily. It's going to encourage thinking more about what you watch on television. Look, we all know there's a lot of garbage on TV and in the movies. But TV watching doesn't have to be a mindless waste of time. Let's talk about TV and film as art forms. The stories told by video are not all that different from the stories told in novels and short stories. Analyzing a movie or a TV series is not much different from basic literary analysis. Learning to analyze and think critically about what they watch may even help your children when it's time to analyze what they read. Learning Workshop, (A,F)

"Hungry Minds: 3 Ways to Inspire Curiosity and Feed Young Minds" (Jessica Parnell)

Students are naturally curious. But as parents and teachers, we can often squash that curiosity simply by approaching teaching and learning in ways that are widely accepted in education circles. Sadly, that loss of curiosity often leads to a lack of enthusiasm for learning. In this fun and personal talk, Jessica gives 3 rules to spark imagination and discovery and get students excited about how the world works. Learning Workshop, Bridgeway Academy (A,J)

"Learning Styles and RightStart™ Math" (Maren Ehley)

What if your first-born is a visual learner and your youngest is a kinesthetic learner, never mind the other children? Do you have a different math program for each child? What if you aren't sure what style fits best? Do you keep skipping around, hoping to find one that fits? RightStart™ Math addresses all learning styles. Come get an overview of this award-winning and highly recommended math program! Product Workshop, RightStart Math (A)

"Let's Play Games with RightStart™ Math!" (Maren Ehley)

Are you tired of flashcards? Does your child cry when you give another timed math fact test? Are you beating your head against the wall because your child can't seem to remember the multiples of 7? This workshop will show you fabulous and effective alternatives to worksheets and flashcards by playing easy and fun math card games from the RightStart™ Math curriculum. Imagine your kids asking to practice their math facts more! Come and discover games to help your child learn their math facts! Product Workshop, RightStart Math (F)

"Making Geography Memorable" (Cindy Wiggers)

Teaching geography can be overwhelming for teachers and sometimes boring for students. In this workshop, Cindy will offer helpful tips on making geography a memorable, and even fun experience. She will share how to incorporate geography into everyday life and your other schooling subjects. With hands on activities and practical ideas, your children will start enjoying geography, and learning about the world we live in! Learning Workshop, GeoMatters (A)

"Making the Most of Moving Beyond the Page" (Keith Howe)

Moving Beyond the Page is a unique curriculum. From the integrated literature and engaging projects to the challenging writing assignments and hands-on science experiments, you won't find anything like it. If you are using or considering Moving Beyond the Page, you should attend this workshop. You will learn how to take full advantage of the educational strategies that we incorporate into each lesson and learn how to structure your day and year with Moving Beyond the Page. As a special bonus, you will also get the first sneak peek into our new math program. It is unlike any math program you have ever seen – including hands-on projects, integrated literature, and an online review tool that automatically focuses on areas of weakness for each student. You won't want to miss it! Learning Workshop, RightStart Math (S,A,F,J)

"Math Is More Than Just Numbers with RightStart™ Math" (Maren Ehley)

Poetry is beautiful because it has rhyme, reason, and pattern. Poetry paints a picture. It is so much more than letters, just as math is so much more than numbers. Math becomes poetry when it's explored and understood. Do you see the patterns in math? Does math paint a picture? If you said no to these questions, you need to come and discover the beauty of math. Product Workshop, RightStart Math (S)

"The Maturity System" (Adam Hailstone)

Parenting often feels, to borrow a phrase from J.K Rowling, like a "subtle science and exact art." Add homeschooling to the mix and things can get chaotic. Well, the folks at Williamsburg Learning have developed a solution: it's called The Maturity System, and it makes privileges, consequences and (dare we say) parenting easier. Learning Workshop, Williamsburg Academy (F)

"Memorizing Math Facts without Tears" (Maren Ehley)

People, especially children, are visual learners. Approaching math from a visual perspective using an abacus is a sure-fire path to success! Learn how an abacus fosters quantity recognition and develops addition strategies. Investigate place value in a crystal clear format. Explain "borrowing and carrying" when adding and subtracting numbers. Discover the simplicity of multiplication. Come to this workshop and find the easy way to learn the math facts. Learning Workshop, RightStart Math (A)

"My kids BEG me to let them do homework!" (Tanner Bowman)

How are you helping your children pursue their passions around technology? Are they learning to think like entrepreneurs and create innovative solutions to do good in the world? Come hear stories about how parents have turned schoolwork into a fun, rewarding experience for their kids, and how you can too! Learning Workshop, (S,A,F,J)

"Parents, Planning, and Postsecondary Planning" (Julia Renfro)

Parents can impact their student’s life by...
• Connecting with their child about important decisions for education and career choices.
• Modeling a positive attitude about school, work, education, and career goals.
• Engaging in education and career exploration to prepare their child to be successful in the workforce.
• Nurturing dreams and self-confidence.
• Helping identify their student's interests, abilities, and lifestyle goals and paying attention to how these evolve during middle school and high school
• Encouraging discussions about career plans and education. provides PLCP resources to help parents stay involved.  Learn how AKCIS can help parents stay engaged in student planning. Learning Workshop, ACPE - Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education (A)

"Prime Numbers – The Gateway to Algebra and Beyond!" (Dennis DiNoia, M.A.Ed)

This hands-on workshop will show how to use prime numbers to simplify both numerical and algebraic fractions, greatest common factors, least common multiples, simplifying roots and determining patterns in sequences. This workshop is for anyone who is pre-algebra to pre-calculus. The workshop is fast paced and fun whether you are a middle school student, high school student or parent. This is a must for parents of younger children preparing for pre-algebra! Learning Workshop, Mr. D Math (A,J)

"Raising a Critical Thinker!" (Cindy Wiggers)

Thinking skills are buzzwords in education today – everyone wants to include them in their curriculum plans! In this seminar, Cindy will explain what thinking skills are and how to incorporate strategies into daily life that will bring great results in your child's ability to think. Include these ideas to add critical thinking to any curriculum! Learning Workshop, GeoMatters (A)

"Rest for the Weary – Ideas for Dealing with Special Needs" (Carlita Boyles)

Homeschooling a child who struggles with learning can be a very frustrating and emotional experience both for you and for your child, but there are ways to bring more joy into the journey.  In this workshop, author and experienced special needs educator Carlita Boyles provides gentle reassurance as well as practical suggestions for creating a delightful environment for all of your children, even those with learning challenges.  Drawing from her extensive experience working with and developing programs for special needs children, Carlita will help equip parents with ways to make teaching less of a battle and more of an exciting passage to success.   Learning Workshop, Math on the Level (S,J)

"The Right Fit: Finding the Perfect Curriculum for Your Child's Learning Style" (Jessica Parnell)

Every parent wants to find a curriculum that captures their child’s interest and encourages a love for learning. But, how do you know that what works for one student will work for another? How can you find the perfect fit without starting over year after year? In “The Right Fit,” our expert discusses your child’s unique brain and how to choose a curriculum in light of his or her specific interests, needs, and learning style. Learning Workshop, Bridgeway Academy (A)

"RightStart™ Math: Why It Works!" (Maren Ehley)

Have you heard the buzz about RightStart™ Math? Hear about our philosophy and what sets us apart from other curriculum. We will teach children that a real mathematical problem is like a puzzle, that math is more than memorization, and that math is fun. Come and learn what’s special about our math program!  Product Workshop, RightStart Math (A)

"SAT Math – It's Not the Math, it's the Question that is Confusing!" (Dennis DiNoia, M.A.Ed)

This workshop will focus on math, the language behind the questions and show participants what they really need to know before taking the math section of the SAT. Find out the words on the test that give tips for how to solve the questions as well learning what formulas you really need to know before the taking the SAT. Students and parents alike will learn how to unravel the questions being asked into something they can solve quickly and easily. These techniques can be used for other testing situations and subject areas as well. Learning Workshop, Mr. D Math (A)

"Schedules...Helping Our Children to be Happy" (Monica Irvine)

One of the absolute greatest gifts we can give our children is a schedule. Studies show that keeping our children on a schedule & creating routines produces stability, calm, trust, discipline and most importantly, happiness. Yes, we're busy. Yes, we don't want to be burdened down with trying to stay on schedule. But've got to come and see and hear why scheduling gives us the freedom to have fun and to accomplish great things. You will walk away from this workshop with wonderful ideas to implement into your family schedule. Learning Workshop, The Etiquette Factory (S,A)

"The Science of Happy Kids and Happy Parenting" (Adam Hailstone)

Did you know that children with a certain type of mother have a 10% larger hippocampus, the part of the brain that manages stress and memory? In this presentation, Adam Hailstone, will teach you some surprising, shocking, and confirming truths about raising happy kids. You won’t want to miss this entertaining and inspiring presentation! Learning Workshop, Williamsburg Academy (A)

"Science of Motivation" (Adam Hailstone)

Consistent and strong motivation is not always easy to come by. Motivating others, especially youth, can be even harder. But so often parents, teachers, and employers use methods to motivate others that work in the short term but do not last; or even worse, have long-lasting adverse effects. In this workshop, Adam Hailstone of Williamsburg Learning will share with you the science of motivation and how to nurture deep intrinsic motivation in your children. Learning Workshop, Williamsburg Academy (S,A,F,J)

"Table Manners' Essentials for the Whole Family" (Monica Irvine)

OK people!! It's TIME! It's past time. We've got to do better for the sake of humanity! Come, bring the whole family and let's review dining etiquette essentials that even our young children can learn. Our future depends on it!! You and your whole family will love this and it will change forever how you look at the precious time you have around the table with your children. Learning Workshop, The Etiquette Factory (A)

"Teaching Students How to Think, Not What to Think" (Adam Hailstone)

We have all heard the phrase, “teach them how to think, not what to think.” This phrase resonates with us because we want to raise children who are problem solvers and entrepreneurs that will create change. But how do we actually teach them to think? In this presentation, Adam Hailstone will teach you the three key principles of great thinking. Learning Workshop, Williamsburg Academy (S,A,J)

"Teens, Technology, and the Truth!" (Jean Burk)

If your kids are awake, they are probably online. Now more than ever, parents need to be vigilant and protective of a new generation of technology that is seeking to sabotage our children and stifle their creativity. Learn secrets of the dangers that lurk in today's devices that will lure your children away from truth and into bondage. How parents/schools can be proactive in the battle for the hearts and minds of the next generation. Learning Workshop, College Prep Genius (A)

"Ten Mistakes Teen Writers Make and How to Avoid Them (the mistakes, not the teens)" (Brian Wasko)

This workshop focuses on the most common errors young writers make. We dip our toes into some grammatical issues, but the workshop focuses on simple principles of good writing. We examine common problems like redundancy, telling instead of showing, and modifier dependence. Learning Workshop, (A,J)

"Treasures Online at No Cost to You!" (Darrell Thompson)

IDEA provides access to World Book databases online at no cost to IDEA families! Have you used it? Do you know what offerings it includes? Did you know that World Book products can help your kids prepare for the state testing? Come learn more about World Book and how to use it, including an introduction to the new "eBook Collection" of non-fiction and Classic Literature titles. Learning Workshop, World Book (A,F,J)

"Why Schools Are the Worst Places to Learn Stuff" (Brian Wasko)

fter a recent return to full-time teaching following a sixteen-year hiatus, I am convinced that schools, ironically, are lousy places to learn. We'll talk about compulsory attendance, the grade game, the design of facilities, the emphasis on conformity and other historic concerns for an educational approach that we have somehow accepted as normal. Most importantly, we'll talk about what this means for our homeschools and how to avoid some of the same mistakes. Learning Workshop, (A,F)

"Will Power vs. IQ" (Adam Hailstone)

Dr. Walter Mischel proved that willpower, measured by his famous marshmallow test, is a better predictor of future success than the IQ test. Willpower is incredibly important to reaching our potential. Yet after the original marshmallow experiment, many were left wondering, can it be learned, or are some born with it while others are not? In this presentation, Adam Hailstone of Williamsburg Learning will show you the inspiring truth about willpower and how to help your children develop their own. Learning Workshop, Williamsburg Academy (A)

"The WriteAtHome Approach: How to Effectively Coach Young Writers" (Brian Wasko)

Unlike most content-oriented subjects, writing is a craft that students develop over time through practice. A key element in this development is effective coaching. Just like a musician or an athlete, a novice writer needs a coach to instruct, inspire, and guide him. This is the key to WriteAtHome’s success. In this workshop, Brian will share some of the principles used by our writing coaches as they train students to become effective written communicators. Learning Workshop, (S)

"Writing Adventures®: How to use the "Scope & Sequence" and "Lessons" to build and apply writing skills" (Trish Padgett)

Writing is a complex skill to teach and learn. Writing curricula are just as complex! Writing should be a positive adventure filled with discovery. Writing Adventures is designed to build writing skills in a structured and systematic manner while providing the flexibility required to meet different types of learning AND types of writing assignments across the subject areas. Writing Adventures is skill based-not grade based-and is used with different age and skill levels simultaneously. This presentation walks participants through each piece of the system, explores our unique Scope & Sequence, and models applying the lessons to literature, science, and social studies. Product Workshop, Create! Press (A,F,J)