MHA Convention Speakers & Workshops

Monday, February 26, 2018
9:00 am – 4:30 pm

Radisson Blu Mall of America

2100 Killebrew Dr
Bloomington, MN 55425

Description: Connect with fellow homeschoolers in the Lakes Ballroom at Radisson Blu Mall of America and get tips on how to make the most of your homeschool experience.

The keynote will be the amazing Brave Writer, Julie Bogart.

Julie Bogart is the popular voice of common sense and compassion in the homeschool community. She's the creator of the innovative writing program called Brave Writer and the popular fast-growing practice called Poetry Teatime. She home educated her 5 children for 17 years who are now globe-trotting adults. Julie draws from her work with tens of thousands of homeschool families over the last 20+ years and her own homeschool journey to enrich the homeschool and parenting experience. Her writing program includes award-winning online writing classes and paradigm-shifting writing manuals that allow parents and kids to become allies in the writing process.

Credentials: Professional writing, ghost-writing, editing. International homeschool speaker. Author of over 200 pieces of homeschool curricula, selling over 100,000 copies, including her core instruction manual and manifesto, The Writer's Jungle. BA UCLA; MA Xavier University.

Speakers and workshops delve into everything from the secrets to breakthroughs in writing, homeschool 101, homeschooling high school, partnership writing: the missing link in writing, using math games, making writing fun, and homeschooling students with special needs.

Take advantage of Homeschool Week deals at Mall of America from Feb 26–Mar 2. Visit Sea Life Mall of America Aquarium for a great price! Add a Behind-the-Scenes tour to make your day even more educational and memorable. Head over to Nickelodeon Universe and enjoy discounts on three-hour and five-hour unlimited ride wristbands, Moose Mountain Adventure Golf, Dutchman’s Deck Adventure Course and SMAAASH USA. Take flight with FlyOver America. AND MORE!

Cost per adult/educator: free

Registration: Attendees are encouraged to pre-register for these free workshops online. Registered attendees will receive priority seating at workshops.

Speakers & Workshops

9:00 am   The Lakes Ballroom, Radisson Blu, opens
9:30 am–10:30 am  


The Enchanted Education

Julie Bogart
Brave Writer

The fantasy homeschool that lives in your imagination is a good one. It’s haunted by an invisible spirit called “The Ghost of Public School Past.” Her name is Mrs. Cox, she holds a red pen, she whispers in your left ear: “By this age in school, your child would already be…” Make it stop! That voice leads you to do all kinds of schoolish activities in the name of taking education seriously. It also leads to all kinds of unhappiness, tedium, and feelings of failure. What would happen if you could brush her off your shoulder? What if you could follow the fragile, bright vision you have of how life at home could be? Inspire an enchanted learning journey in your home!

10:30 am–11:00 am  

Book signing

Julie Bogart
Brave Writer

Julie Bogart will be available in the foyer to sign your books. Bring a copy you already own or purchase a new one.

11:15 am–12:30 pm  

Round 1 Workshop Sessions


Partnership Writing: The Missing Link in Writing Instruction

Julie Bogart
Brave Writer

Your child struggles to get words on the page, yet you feel guilty about offering help. Is it cheating to do the handwriting for him? When your child revises a draft, is it okay for you, the parent, to make suggestions or contribute sentences and ideas? Partnering with your child in writing means to model, support, and guide the writing process by supplying the appropriate amount of help to the evident level of need. Julie shares concrete steps you can take to partner with your child from kindergarten all the way through high school. Partnering with your child protects your relationship while growing the writer. Partnership Writing is the most overlooked stage of development in writing. Learn to be the partner your child needs and deserves.


Homeschool 101

Ellen Crain
Minnesota Homeschoolers’ Alliance Board Member

Erin Souster
former Minnesota Homeschoolers’ Alliance Board Member

12:30 pm–2:00 pm  

Lunch on your own

2:00 pm–3:00 pm  

Round 2 Workshop Sessions


The Secret to Breakthroughs in Writing

Julie Bogart
Brave Writer

Programs, curriculum, homeschool gurus—they all miss it. Yet it’s so simple! Find out what professional writers know about writing instruction that educators often miss. You’ll walk away from this seminar knowing exactly what to do to change the dynamic around writing in your family…for good. In fact, you can turn your writing program around in one step, once you know what it is and follow through. The good news is: anyone can apply this principle to writing (you don’t have to be an expert writer yourself). By the end of the session, you’ll have an 8-week writing plan to use right away—no purchase necessary! End the hand-wringing and tears for good.


How to Homeschool High School

3:15 pm–4:30 pm  

Round 3 Workshop Sessions


Don’t Let High School Writing Scare You
8th–12th grades

Julie Bogart
Brave Writer

If you and I had dinner together, I could teach you the essay format on the back of a napkin! What’s missing in most writing programs for high school is teaching insight generation. This session will focus on how to grow your teen’s rhetorical imagination so that your student has something of worth to put in all those essays. Julie will share tools and strategies for expanding your teen’s world through research, risky thinking, and writing. We’ll also look at the unique and delicate dynamics of parenting teens while teaching them at the same time.


Special Needs Homeschooling Panel

Aza Donnelly

For more information, visit


Information subject to change. Please check with Minnesota Homeschoolers' Alliance (MHA) for the most current information.