Speakers – SEA Homeschoolers’ 2017 Online Conference

Spramani Elaun

Session Title

What a quality visual art education is for kids

Please upload your photo and/or CV as well as any session materials for review.

Spramani Elaun is an homeschool mom art teacher and author of several art education books for children. Spramani Elaun has nurtured visual art lessons for thousands of children. She is founder of Nature of Art For Kids® Art School and Art Supply company. Spramani host homeschool art workshops and conferences Internationally. Spramani teacher trains her art method Internationally. Spramani lives in San Diego with her two home educated kids Laurun 18, and Spencer 16.

Thomas Morrow

Session Title

How to Teach Spelling

Please upload your photo and/or CV as well as any session materials for review.

Thomas Morrow is the President of Wave 3 Learning, Inc., the publishers of Sequential Spelling. He is also the creator of Sequential Spelling Online. He has been involved with the home education community for 18 years as a parent and the business of home education for 12 years.

David Salch

Session Title

Building the Foundation: How Things Work

Please upload your photo and/or CV as well as any session materials for review.

Dave Salch has been a high tech engineer and executive for decades, building new innovative products and technologies across several industries. Now semi retired, still father of 11 and dedicated homeschooler, author, teacher on outschool, Dave uses these decades of experience with both technology and teams to bring that deep understanding to the next generation.



Bobbi Powell

Session Title

Basic HTML

I have been creating web pages and developing applications since 1996. I write 6 different code languages.

Believe it or not, when I have spare time, I create web sites. My other interests include, creating picture books for children, editing books, reading books, making my daughter laugh and brain storming with my husband for the next wild hair project. I created a web site for that too. These ideas get so crazy, I just had to document the growth process.

When you love your work, the line between work and play is blurry.

Mari Beth Buckroth

Session Title

Using Literature & Living Books to provide a Liberal Arts, College-Preparatory Program of Study for High School

Mari has been secularly homeschooling her daughter since 2009. She has a B.A. in Criminal Justice and an M.A. in Public Administration. She has worked in the juvenile justice system as well as a mental health advocate. She is a freelance writer who volunteers at her local co-op. Living in the deep south, where religion rules, Mari was not homeschooling for religious reasons nor would she use religious materials/curriculum. As the high school years approached, Mari began to consider what type of high school curricula would best meet her standards of education as well as meeting the needs of Punky to develop her interest in a college preparatory program with a liberal arts focus. Mari blogs as The Inappropriate Homeschooler and is the co-founder of The National Alliance for Secular Homeschoolers.



Caleb Page

Session Title

How to Make Sense of the Overwhelm and Create a Custom Homeschool Education

Caleb Page is a homeschool father who helps parents to deliver a world-class homeschool education to their children in less than three hours per day.

Samantha Cook

Session Title

Learning through Making

Samantha Matalone Cook has over two decades of experience in education, program development, and the arts, and is a dedicated mentor and lifelong learner. Most recently, she was founder and former ED for Curiosity Hacked, a non-profit hackerspace for kids and families, where she built learning communities and pushed the boundaries of what learner-centered, alternative STEAM education could look like.

Samantha writes about feminism, parenting, art, technology, education reform, and home/unschooling. She is an active member, featured speaker, and advocate of the hacker/maker and home/unschooling communities. Currently, Samantha is consulting and leading educator workshops, as well as continuing to experiment with ​learning through classes and workshops in her new Berkeley space, Rose Hill Studio. She also finds new adventures and manages mischief every day with her three unschooling kids.

The Wildflower Explorers

Session Title

Take a Walk with the Wildflowers: Building Your Tribe

Carissa, Shauna, and Belinda are homeschooling moms and admins of a unique group, The Wildflower Explorers!
The Wildflower Explorers is a secular homeschooling group committed to building relationships and community all while educating through experiences!

Aaron Eden

Session Title

Facilitating Self-Directed Education

Please upload your photo and/or CV as well as any session materials for review.

Aaron is a seasoned facilitator of self-directed education, and a sought-after trainer of school and parent educators. He works with teachers and parents around the world to build a deep understanding of the principles that support self-directed learning, and a comfort with acting on them consistently.

Aaron and his family returned to Monterey, CA just over a year ago after "ed-sploring" the world for seven months and spending 18 months resident in Bali, Indonesia. In Bali, Aaron served as Director of Entrepreneurial and Enterprise Programmes at the Green School, where his three children explored their world as part of the school and broader community.

The creator of innovative education programs such as iLead+Design and LEAP Academy, Aaron is also co-founder of the education transformation consulting firm Eliad Group.

Nadine Dyer

Session Title

Narration Not Regurgitation: Using the Art of Narration to Foster BIG Conversations with our Children

Nadine is a homeschool blogger, homeschooler, coffee addict, and obsessive lover of books. Nadine is mama to two great kids and the lucky wife to one amazing guy. While her homeschool is deeply inspired by Charlotte Mason's writings, she is above all a passionate advocate for making our homeschools unique and individualized. Her blog, Up Above The Rowan Tree is a safe space for secular homeschoolers - where she focuses on sharing great products, encouragement, and little tidbits of her own journey as a secular home educator.

Blair Lee

Session Title

How to Create a Science Lab at Home

Blair Lee M.S. is the founder of SEA Homeschoolers and author for the critically acclaimed R.E.A.L. Science Odyssey Series. Blair has been handcrafting the education of her non-linear thinker for over 11 years. During that time, she has learned as much about how learning happens from him as he has learned from her. Blair is a passionate advocate of innovative academics using secular materials. Through her speaking and writing, her goal is to empower homeschoolers to dare to be innovative and create something unique and academically-rich when handcrafting their child’s journey through learning. You can follow her at SEAHomeschoolers.com. You can learn more about Blair Lee’s “Evolution in Homeschooling” here.

Emily Cook

Session Title

The Read Aloud Lifestyle: How To Get the Most Out of Living Books

Please upload your photo and/or CV as well as any session materials for review.

Emily Cook is the author and creator of the secular homeschool curriculum Build Your Library, a literature-based K-10 program infused with the teachings of Charlotte Mason. She writes full year lesson plans as well as shorter topical unit studies. Emily has been homeschooling her four children in Southern NH for 15 years. She is passionate about reading aloud to children of all ages and loves to share her love of literature with others. She is also the author of the book A Literary Education: Adapting Charlotte Mason for Modern Secular Homeschooling.

Valerie Grosso

Session Title

Teaching Scientific Concepts to Younger Kids

Please upload your photo and/or CV as well as any session materials for review.

Valerie Grosso is a microbiologist who is curious about all the microscopic things that make up our world. She holds BS and PhD degrees from Yale and Harvard, respectively, and is a former college professor who is passionate about making higher-level scientific concepts part of every kid’s life tool kit. She lives in New York City with her husband and two young daughters (who try out all the mini-courses) and spends her free time knitting and roaming around the American Museum of Natural History (not necessarily at the same time).

Lisa Hawkins

Session Title

Building a More Powerful History Curriculum with Primary Documents: The Study of the Past as Window, Mirror, and Lamp

Please upload your photo and/or CV as well as any session materials for review.

Lisa Hawkins was born and raised in New York City, although she also lived for some time in Miami, Puerto Rico, and on a commune in San Diego. Presently she lives right outside Philadelphia. She majored in history at Swarthmore College, where she also earned her high-school teaching certification. In addition, she completed graduate work at Widener University with a focus on English and education. Lisa worked for four years at an inner-city classical high school, where she taught American History and American Literature and served as Dean of Students.
In 1997, she earned her Masters in History at Temple University, and soon began teaching college courses for Drexel University and Peirce College for adults returning to school. In 2005, she started teaching online as well, and to date has independently created more than a dozen different college courses, ranging from survey American History courses, to the History of American Business, Colonial History, Revolutionary History, and Western Humanities surveys. She has been awarded “Outstanding Adjunct Faculty” by one of the universities she currently teaches for. Lisa also teaches history courses online for homeschooled high school students, both AP and non-AP level and is a writer of homeschool curricula for Pandia Press. Despite all her experiences at the high school and college level, and despite her appreciation for the more profound academic and cultural expressions, she nevertheless is a shameless fan of The Simpsons, Napoleon Dynamite, and MST3K. She has also joined the rest of the world with her love of the 'beautiful game' and has been recorded by her own children frenetically celebrating the goals scored by her favorite English Premier League soccer team.

Kathleen Cotter Lawler

Session Title

Mom, Don’t Make Me Think – Just Tell Me The Answer

Please upload your photo and/or CV as well as any session materials for review.

Kathleen Cotter Lawler is the daughter of Dr. Joan A. Cotter, author and creator of the RightStart™ Mathematics program. She is one of the first children to grow up under the RightStart principles. Kathleen has a degree in Home Economics from the University of Minnesota and has two Masters Degrees from the University of Mary in Bismarck, North Dakota. Kathleen is the mother of four children ages 21 to 25. Three of the Lawler children have graduated from North Dakota State University and the youngest is a senior at the University of Minnesota.

Kathleen is currently responsible for curriculum development, marketing, sales, and office management. She travels all across the US and Canada, sharing the RightStart mission of helping children understand, apply, and enjoy mathematics. In her spare time, Kathleen designs and creates quilts and is re-learning how to unicycle.

Laura Kazan

Session Title

Preparing for College - Homeschool Style

Laura Kazan has been in the education field since 1996 when she moved to Istanbul to teach English. Since then she has worked as an ESL instructor, a technical trainer, a college professor, and an educational researcher. While working on her PhD in education she added homeschool parent to her list of achievements. Even though she had to take a break from her graduate work to educate her son she still is fiercely dedicated to her research specialty, college access.

As a member of the homeschool community, she is dedicated to helping homeschool students access colleges that are both a personal and financial fit. Today she does workshops aimed at helping families understand the vast opportunities in higher education.

Kate Laird

Session Title

Homeschooling 101

Please upload your photo and/or CV as well as any session materials for review.

Kate Laird is the author of Homeschool Teacher: A Practical Guide to Inspiring Academic Excellence.

She graduated from Harvard with a degree in history, a good set of study skills, and a 100-ton captain's license.

Her first teaching job began seven days after graduation, tutoring three children on a sailboat crossing the Pacific. That "year off" turned into twenty-five, as she worked on boats around the world, sometimes pausing to write about it.

In the middle, she taught for another two years at the University of New Hampshire, while earning an MA in English, but then didn't think much more about education until it came time to teach her two daughters.

She’s been homeschooling for twelve years (and counting), as the family worked and traveled on the edges of civilization from Greenland to Antarctica, Tierra del Fuego to New Zealand, through the South Pacific to Japan and now in Alaska.

You can find her online at www.katelairdbooks.com

Ellen Crain

Session Title

The busy homeschool parent's guide to starting a co-op

Ellen is the founder of Affordable Homeschool Testing Services LLC and a homeschooling mother of three. Throughout her homeschooling career, Ellen has sought out opportunities to support homeschool families in their quest to provide their children with the best education possible.

Ellen was the executive director of Planet Homeschool, a well-regarded homeschool co-op in Minneapolis, for three years and guided it through a reorganization designed to simplify its administration and finances. Ellen is currently a board member for Minnesota Secular Homeschool Enrichment (Planet Homeschool's sponsoring organization) and Minnesota Homeschoolers' Alliance.