Andrew Pudewa is the founder and director of the Institute for Excellence in Writing and a father of seven. Traveling and speaking around the world, he addresses issues related to teaching, writing, thinking, spelling, and music with clarity, insight, practical experience, and humor. His seminars for parents, students, and teachers have helped transform many a reluctant writer and have equipped educators with powerful tools to dramatically improve students’ skills.
Although he is a graduate of the Talent Education Institute in Japan and holds a Certificate of Child Brain Development from the Institutes for the Achievement of Human Potential in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, his best endorsement is from a young Alaskan boy who called him “the funny man with the wonderful words.” He and his wonderful, heroic wife, Robin, have homeschooled their seven children and are now proud grandparents of fourteen, making their home in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Barbara West is the Christ-following, sweet-tea-addicted wife to one unbelievably supportive husband, Bruce, a retired United States Air Force pilot. With their military nomadic lifestyle, they have set up house 22 times as the Lord financed their missionary journey around the world. They have homeschooled since 1988 throughout the US plus four overseas assignments – Stuttgart, GE, Manila, RP, Bucharest, RO, and Garmish-Partenkirchen, GE. She is the classically eclectic, slightly Charlotte Mason mom to five – two homeschool grads who are now honors graduates from university, and three high schoolers. She is also a grandmother to 5 little ones. Her greatest challenge is maintaining balance in her daily life as many competing interests vie for priority.
Cori Dean is the proprietress of Maple Tree Publications and has had the privilege of both writing on her own and editing other fabulous resources by Cyndy Regeling and others. Maple Tree Publications produces fine quality Canadian and Charlotte Mason educational materials that are enjoyed by thousands of families from coast to coast.
Debra Bell is a pioneer for Homeschooling. Author, speaker and founder of Aim Academy, Debra has a passion for encouraging homeschool families and helping them discover and achieve their potential. As well as supporting local Pennsylvania homeschoolers, Debra is also on the Board of the the Global Home Education Exchange; joining homeschool leaders from around the world, in an effort to make homeschooling possible for everyone.
Diane Geerlinks is a Professionally Certified Educational Therapist, Director of NILD Canada (National Institute for Learning Development) and operates GeerLINKS Learning Centre. She is a motivational speaker and brings her 25 years of homeschool experience to each workshop presentation. In 2009, Diane trained as an NILD Educational Therapist and has since continued to pursue her passion for learning with particular focus on the neuroplasticity of the brain and how we can improve our capacity for learning at any age. Diane is a lively and passionate speaker and presents at educators’ conferences across Canada.
Hannah is the founder of Pics 4 Passion. An organization created to raise awareness and continue education and practical conversations surrounding mental health. Pics 4 Passion focuses mainly in the arts, photography, writing, painting, drawing as a means to express yourself when words can’t and use these as tools for coping.
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 stories. Hester and her husband have four children and live in the lower mainland of BC.
Dr. Jay L. Wile holds an earned PhD from the University of Rochester in Nuclear Chemistry. He is best known for the “Exploring Creation with…” series of textbooks written for junior high and high school students who are being educated at home.
Dr. Jay’s warm and edifying approach draws learners in and is a huge part of the success of his multi-level science curriculum.
We are a Christian homeschooling family living in rural Maine. It is our desire to produce God-honoring, family-friendly materials. We are so pleased that you have taken time to visit our website. May you be encouraged on your journey!
Josée Gervais is a Classical Conversations Support Representative for the Ottawa Area & Eastern Canada. She has a heart to see families strengthened in Christ and for generations to come together to tell of the mighty things God has done. This extends to seeing families encouraged in their education journey, across Canada from Sea to Sea. Homeschooling mother of two girls, she and her husband Stéphane live just east of the Ottawa Area where she also is Director of one of Ottawa’s Classical Conversations Homeschool Communities.
Kathleen is a stay at home, homeschool mom of four children. Homeschooling for the last five years has been a journey that has strengthened her family unit due to the unique challenges and blessings that homeschooling brings.
Kathleen has a heart for building community and focuses her free time in finding ways to build community for her family and for others. Seeing a need for a homeschooling group, in the Colchester County area of Nova Scotia, she created The Learning Centre for Home Educators (TLCHE.) With this group she has found ways to bring together the homeschool community while creating a space for children of all learning styles to blossom, grow and excel in their education.
Merriam is a homeschooling parent of 12 years. She has employed formal and informal methods in her “gym class”, and considers personal fitness important so she can always be game for any adventure- family, solo, or otherwise.
Peter Stock is an experienced pro-family leader and strategist with nearly a quarter century of success in government, media and public relations. However, his journey to homeschooling began long before marriage and children. Despite a promising career in the mining industry, Peter answered the call to Ottawa to serve in the area of public policy.
As a Legislative Assistant to a Member of Parliament, Peter was involved in speech writing, media relations, research and committee strategy. Later, he co-founded the Canada Family Action Coalition. As the National Affairs Director, Peter successfully influenced public policy on various child protection issues. Peter also utilized his writing skills as a Parliament Hill Correspondent reporting for a national newsmagazine. He has worked for a number of MPs and cabinet ministers, and developed expertise in several areas of policy, but his primary focus remained on family issues. He has played a significant role in legislative and judicial battles including, the age of consent; child pornography; definition of marriage; and, family taxation, to name just a few.
It did not take long for Peter to see that the homeschooling movement was a positive response to the culture-induced challenges that families are faced with. His career continued to be focussed on making or improving the law, and usually with legislation designed to protect children and families. Peter has successfully led the drafting of complex legislation and strategizing its passage through Parliament and into law. His experience with public policy, from conception to implementation, naturally progressed into protecting and promoting home education. Peter was selected as President of the Home School Legal Defence Association of Canada in 2017 succeeding Paul Faris.
For over 13 years Peter and his wife, Tarah, have homeschooled their four children. Peter’s deep appreciation for homeschooling also comes from sharing the teaching responsibilities with his wife.
As President of HSLDA Canada, Peter continues to culminate his expertise and passion to serve homeschooling families across the country.
“I count it a privilege to minister alongside you as a speaker and encourager to the families who attend your convention. As a veteran homeschooler of more than twenty years, my heart’s desire is to encourage and equip others who are on the journey. We have graduated three and continue to educate our special needs child. In addition, I have studied and used the Charlotte Mason method for many years and have been able to help thousands of families through simplycharlottemason.com. Conventions that feature my presentations draw in many homeschoolers who are exploring that approach. I look forward to hearing how I might best serve you and your homeschool families.”—Sonya
Stephanie and her husband Jeff reside in Lake Echo, Nova Scotia. Their family has been homeschooling since the early 90s, and now that her children are grown, she is enjoying time with her grandchildren. Stephanie has always developed an eclectic curriculum and is excited to watch as it grows and changes to meet the needs of each of her children. Stephanie is the Executive Director of HEMS:helping, encouraging, mentoring, serving, and has had several opportunities to share at homeschool conferences across Canada and in Eastern Europe. Her passion is to help and encourage families in both education and building relationships.
There are many adventures in life, but few compare to parenthood! Stephen Michels resides in Dartmouth, NS, (his hometown) where he lives this great adventure with his wife Samantha and their three children – Andrew, Jonathan and Hannah. Trained as an English and history teacher, Stephen has had the privilege to teach in schools, university, churches, conferences, and at the kitchen table. A homeschool parent himself, Stephen is firm believer in the value of homeschool education. Currently, Stephen teaches English and Bible at the Halifax Christian Academy, engages in a pulpit supply ministry, teaches adult Bible classes to groups and online, and serves as a chaplain with the Canadian army primary reserves.
Steve and his wife Sandra have been married since 1979. They have been blessed with four sons, three lovely daughters-in-law, and two special grandchildren. Their fourth son has Downs Syndrome and lives with them in Lititz, PA. Steve has served in full or part time pastoral ministry for many years after graduating from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. He is the creator of Math-U-See and the founder of Building Faith Families.
TODD WILSON, author of Help! I’m Married to a Homeschooling Mom and The Official Book of Homeschooling Cartoons, is a dad, writer, conference speaker, and former pastor. Todd’s humor and gut-honest realness have made him a favorite speaker at homeschool conventions across the country and a guest on Focus on the Family.
His articles have appeared in various magazines. Christianity Today also posts his weekly column (The Familyman Weekly) on their website.
Todd and his wife Debbie, along with their eight children spend several months of the year traveling the country encouraging moms and dads. His humor, realness, and straight talk to men (& women) have become his trademark.
We believe that homeschooling is an outworking or an application of Deuteronomy 6:6-7, “And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.”
One of our hopes in founding Roots by the River is that the Lord might work through us to encourage and enable other parents to faithfully train their children to follow Him.