By CHRISTOPHER TOWNE
Saturday, August 14, homeschool parents, leaders and educators will meet at Timpview High School to teach LDS parents how to educate their children.
At the “How Firm A Foundation” convention, experts show how a growing number of American families are providing their children a firm foundation in their values and faith, while giving them an exceptional education.
Rick Hopkins of Latter-day Family Resources said, “This is to help those parents who want to take the quality of their children’s education back into their own hands. We want to reach out to those who are thinking of homeschool for whatever reason they may be dissatisfied with public schools.”
The event will feature a total of 14 homeschool expert guest speakers, including Gayle Ruzicka who will give the keynote address. Ruzicka, president of The Utah Eagle Forum is an experienced homeschool mother of 12.
Dr. Oliver DeMille will be another featured guest. DeMille is the founder of George Wythe University in Cedar City, an author and a speaker. DeMille will teach parents how to give their children a “Thomas Jefferson” approach to education by using the classics.
Family Life professor Reed Benson will be the convention’s concluding speaker. Benson will talk about experiences of homeschooling his large family while serving in the church and at BYU.
Other speakers will include former “Mother of the Year” LaDawn Jacob; BYU Language professor Robert Blair; LDS homeschool graduates Kendra Ruzicka, Blaine Hunsaker and Annabeth Goss; parenting specialist and popular Education Week speaker Jim Jones; author and historian Jack Monnett; musicians Roger and Melanie Hoffman; portrait artist Derek Hegsted; BYU professor Shane Schulthies and veteran homeschooling mothers Betty Pearson and Diane Hopkins.
Between speakers, the convention will feature performances from homeschool students. Talents will include a string quartet, ballet dance, a bluegrass band, a solo pianist, a poetry recital and a memorized recital of the entire Family Proclamation. Homeschool students will also model some home-created articles during a “Handcrafted Clothing Fashion Show.”
During the event, youth 13 through 24 years old are invited to socialize at the adjoining Youth Convention. Popular “Professor Fun,” (Alma Heaton) will host games and activities, such as gymnasium skiing. Classes will include a hands-on wilderness survival course from Allen South, author of Sense of Survival, and Folk Dancing From Around The World with homeschool mother Satu Hansen.
Dr. Blair and Dr. DeMille will also address the youth. Dr. Blair will host a “linguathon,” teaching youth key words from several foreign countries. Dr. DeMille will then conclude the Youth Convention, teaching “How to Think, Not What to Think.”
“We want to help out homeschool parents and give them some encouragement,” said Hopkins. “The day of reckoning then, for these kids, is when they become adults and have the skills, and are strong LDS citizens as well.”
The Convention will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., during which time an LDS Products and Educational Resources Fair will also be open to the public. Timpview High School is located at 3570 North 650 East in Provo.