Massachusetts Homeschool Organization of Parent Educators
"Promoting and safeguarding home education to the glory of God"


2017 Speakers

Mike Smith

Michael Smith and his wife Elizabeth, along with Michael Farris and his wife, Vickie, incorporated Home School Legal Defense Association in 1983 and were the original board members. Mike grew up in Arkansas, graduated from the University of Arkansas where he played basketball, majoring in business administration. Upon graduation, he entered the U.S. Navy and served three years before attending law school at the University of San Diego.

In 1972, he was admitted to the bar in California and also has been admitted to the Supreme Court of the United States. He is licensed in Virginia, California, and Washington, D.C.

Mike and his family began homeschooling because their 5-year-old flunked kindergarten. This was quite a disappointment to Mike in light of the fact that he was preparing this child to be President of the United States by starting his education as early as possible.

His family's life changed drastically when he heard a radio program in 1981 which introduced him to the idea of homeschooling. When they started homeschooling, they began homeschooling one year at a time to meet the academic and social needs of their children. After spending lots of time around people like Mike Farris, he became convinced he had been called to use his gifts and talents in the legal profession to assist homeschoolers who were being prosecuted because they didn't hold a teacher's certificate or satisfy the school district that they could competently teach their children.

Mike came to HSLDA full-time in 1987 and has served as president of the organization since the year 2001. In addition to serving as president, he also is a contact lawyer for California, Nevada and Puerto Rico. All of Mikeís children are now grown, and three of the four were homeschooled. The most enjoyable part of Mikeís job is when he is able to go to homeschool conferences and meet what he calls Americaís greatest heroes, homeschooling moms.


  • The Greatest Deterrent to Homeschooling - Fear and Inadequacy
  • The Angry Child: What Ticks Johnny Off?
  • How Do We Measure Success in Homeschooling? (General Session)
  • What Can Dads Do to Make Mom Successful in Homeschooling?
  • Homeschooling and Parental Rights - Freedom Under Fire

Steve Demme
Demme Learning

Steve and his wife Sandra have been married for 36 years. They have been blessed with four sons: Isaac, 36; Ethan, 34; Joseph, 31; and Johnny, 28. With Godís help, they have all been home educated.

Steve addresses a variety of topics at homeschool conferences to encourage parents in their God-given responsibilities of raising and training their children for His glory.As a former math teacher who has taught at all levels of math in public, private, and Christian schools, Steve is also the author and founder of Math-U-See. He has served in full or part time pastoral ministry for many years after graduating from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and has served on the boards of Joni and Friends, Christian Freedom International, and Lifework Forum.


  • The Divine Blueprint for Building a Family of Faith (General Session)
  • Five Strategies to Build Up and Encourage Our Wives
  • Biblical Principles of Communication for the Family
  • Celebrating Hope and Redemption in the Valleys of Life

Brian Ray

Brian D. Ray, Ph.D. founded the National Home Education Research Institute in 1990 as a 501(c)3 non-profit research organization, and is the president of the institute. He holds his Ph.D. in science education from Oregon State University, his M.S. in zoology from Ohio University, and his B.S. in biology from the University of Puget Sound. Dr. Ray has been a middle school and high school classroom teacher in both public and private schools, an undergraduate college professor, and a university professor at the graduate level. He is a leading international expert with regard to homeschool research. Dr. Ray executes and publishes research, speaks to the public, testifies before legislators, and serves as an expert witness in courts.


  • Ensuring Scientific Literacy
  • Common Challenges to and Succeeding in Home-Based Education (for parents who think or feel they are new to homeschooling)
  • Swimming Upstream: The Water Gets Clearer (or, Why You Should [Continue to] Homeschool [at Any Age])
  • Whatever! Why Not Be Part of the 87%? (General Session)
  • High Test Scores: Is That Why We Homeschool?
  • Isolationism or Teaching Them When They Lie, Sit, Rise, and Walk

Sam Black
Covenant Eyes Internet

Sam Black is an Internet Safety Consultant, partnerships director at Covenant Eyes Internet Accountability, and the author of "The Porn Circuit: Understand Your Brain and Break Porn Habits in 90 Days."  He joined the Covenant Eyes team in 2007 after 18 years as a journalist, and has edited 16 books on the impact of pornography, how to protect our families, and how Godís grace brings restoration. He has been married for 21 years and is a father of two.


  • Raising Courageous Kids to Confront a Sexualized Culture
  • The Brain on Porn

Rob Caprera

Attorney Robert G. Caprera and his wife Julie have homeschooled their three children for all their K-12 years of education. Rob and Julie have served on the MassHOPE board since 1994.  After graduating from Duke University in 1976 and Nova University Law School in 1979, Rob entered the general practice of law in Southbridge, Massachusetts where he has worked continuously through the present date. His practice has included all forms of representation excluding divorce and bankruptcy.  Rob has also served continuously as professor of Torts and Evidence in the Oak Brook College of Law since 1995.


  • Keeping Your Homeschool Legal House in Order

Tom Clark

Thomas Clark is an award-winning teacher and Mathematics author, with 50 years of teaching experience at all levels. As a result of all of his work, he is convinced that everyone has the ability to understand mathematics, and is now known as the "why" guy, speaking throughout the country on concept development, specifically specializing in Mathematics instruction for homeschooling families. In the last 24 years, he has focused on the development of multimedia programs that have successfully challenged traditional methods of instruction, specifically directing his attention toward helping all parents to become more effective homeschool instructors. He is the author of "Algebra: A Complete Course", and "Geometry: A Complete Course", and is president of VideoText Interactive, a company that specializes in bringing the textbook to life through technology.  Currently, his materials are available in print and DVD form, in online form, and can now be accessed on iPads, and iPhones.


  • Top Ten Myths About Homeschooling Math
  • Simplifying Algebra for the Hesitant Learner (When are we going to need this stuff anyway?)
  • The Seven Laws of Teaching at Home
  • Is Math Straining Your Relationship with Your Children? (Let's identify the trouble spots)

Kathy Dunfee

Kathy Dunfee began her homeschooling journey 20 years ago. Inspired by Charlotte Mason's gentle art of learning, she immersed her children in scripture, nature, story, poetry, music, and art. Kathy acquired a deep reverence for the wonder and beauty of nature from spending her childhood "in the woods."  She is passionate about engaging children in nature so they may experience its life-long source of refreshment. Kathy is a Mass Audubon naturalist and teaches nature study at Plumfield Academy (a Charlotte Mason school in Danvers, MA) and within the homeschool community.


  • Nature's Secrets
  • Serenity's Laugh

Jenna Elliott

Jenna Elliott is the founder of The Naked Flower, a professional organizing company.  She has been an organizer and re-designer for 14 years and works with a variety of clients.  Prior to starting The Naked Flower, she was a master floral designer and a project manager of a fortune 500 company.  Jenna homeschools and is active in her church.  She knows that juggling it all can be a challenge, so she encourages progress, not perfection.  Leave perfection to the Creator and live in the freedom He gives!


  • Simple Steps to Getting Organized
  • Categorical Organization for Homeschooling Families

Walt & Glenda Grayum

Walt and Glenda Grayum have completed 29 years of homeschooling! They have five adult children, three of whom are college graduates,  and their youngest graduated last June - all of them were homeschooled from the beginning. They have been teaching families how to get started for over twenty years and bring a wealth of practical experience to their workshop.


  • Homeschooling: Seven Steps to a Great Start

Linda Lacour Hobar
The Mystery of History

Linda Lacour Hobar, author of The Mystery of History, is a passionate follower of Jesus Christ, a genuine "people-person", and a fan of comfortable high-heels. Through homeschooling her children, and service as a missionary, she discovered a deep love for world history where famous and infamous men and women have left their marks on time through the sovereignty of God. In the year 2000, Linda sensed a clear call to write The Mystery of History series for her children, grandchildren, and generations to come that they might know "the mystery of God . . . in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge." (Col 2:3)

In its 14th year of worldwide circulation, The Mystery of History has been well received by all ages. While fact-filled and historically accurate, Lindaís writing style remains warm, personable, and thought provoking. The "Chronological, Christian, Complete" program is user-friendly and includes activities for multiple ages, timeline work, mapping exercises, quizzes, literature recommendations, audio books, and much more to fully engage students of all learning styles.  The Mystery of History series has been awarded "Best Homeschool History Resource", Cathy Duffyís "100 Top Picks", Mary Prideís "Practical Homeschooling Reader Award", The Old Schoolhouse "Excellence Award", and "A Top Back to Homeschool Resource."

A native-born Texan, Linda holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Baylor University, where she first fell in love with world history.  She presently resides in Tennessee where she continues to study, teach, write, and obsess over matters big and small.


  • When Bible History and World History Meet Face to Face
  • A Crash Course from Creation to Christ (Teen track)
  • What Tweens and Teens Should Know About World War I (Teen Track)
  • To Grade or Not to Grade: A Practical Workshop on How, When, and Why to Keep Grades in Homeschool
  • Bad Boys of the 20th Century! (Teen Track)
  • Modern History that Shook the World! (Teen Track)

Kim Kautzer

Kim is WriteShopís creative director and co-author of WriteShop I and II. More than anything, Kim loves to encourage and equip homeschool moms who have a tough time teaching writing. Practically, that means overseeing product development and marketing, speaking at homeschool conferences, answering customer emails, and creating content for our blog.

Kim and her husband Jim make their home in Southern California where, beginning in 1988, they homeschooled for 15 years. They have three fabulous adult children and eight busy grandchildren. With their kidsí families living as far away as England, the Kautzers do quite a bit of traveling each year. Kim also enjoys a good book, the Sunday crossword puzzle, tea with milk, and dark chocolate. To feed her creative side, she has recently taken up art journaling.


  • Help! I Have a Reluctant Writer!
  • Writing Strategies for Special Needs Kids
  • Inspiring Successful Writers (Grades 7-12)
  • College Prep: Is Writing on Track?
  • Help! How Do I Grade My Kids' Writing?
  • When I Am Weak: Homeschooling Through Crisis or Depression

Peter Miller
Applied Inspirations

Peter T. Miller is an experimental physicist/inventor and CEO of Applied Inspirations, LLC. He is a homeschool dad and still a "science kid" at heart. He has taken the wealth of technical resources and background his dad provided him along with his formal education and self-taught knowledge, and turned learning science/electronics into fun. Peter has created kits that are learn by doing experiences/courses to give back to others the joy of discovery he has received. He takes seriously what he believes - get students inspired in a subject by having them do the "fun" stuff first.

He and his wife homeschooled their daughter from birth through high school and she easily entered college graduating magna cum laude.


  • Learn to Solder

Betsy Ray

Betsy is a warm, compassionate, and fun-hearted teacher. She and Brian have been married 33 years and have 8 children, ages married to 14, and four grandchildren. All were/are homeschooled through their secondary years. Betsy home educates her children, helps manage a six-acre farm, grows and preserves large amounts of food, is a part of local and statewide homeschool leadership, and is active in her community exercising her gifts of hospitality, teaching, and counseling other women. Betsy earned her B.S. in elementary education. Betsy is also a key support to her husband, Dr. Brian Ray, in his international work as president of the National Home Education Research Institute.


  • Life Is a Bowl of Cherries
  • Fruitful Preparation
  • Parents: Ignite the Fire of Your Mind
  • On Your Toes - Homeschooling with Toddlers Underfoot

Sonya Shafer
Simply Charlotte Mason

Sonya Shafer is a popular homeschool speaker and writer, specializing in the Charlotte Mason Method. She has been on a fifteen-year adventure studying, researching, practicing, and teaching Charlotte's gentle and effective methods of education. Her passion for homeschooling her own four daughters grew into helping others and then into Simply Charlotte Mason, which publishes her many books and hosts the website, a place of practical encouragement to homeschoolers.

To minister to younger mothers and those dealing with special needs, Sonya shares her heart through and her book This Anguishing Blessed Journey: A Mother's Faith Journal through Autism.


  • Charlotte Mason and Her Methods
  • Fine Arts the Charlotte Mason Way
  • The Early Years - Homeschooling Your Preschoolers
  • Learning with Living Books
  • Laying Down the Rails - the Power of Good Habits in Your Home School

Bill Siegler


  • Home-Based Discipleship: A Hebraic Perspective

Mike Snavely
Mission: Imperative!

Mike Snavely, the son of missionaries, was reared in South Africa in an area that teemed with remarkable creatures, and he had a wide variety of fascinating experiences which helped to mold his future. After graduating from Oak Hills Christian College in Minnesota, he returned to South Africa to work in Kruger National Park.

In 1986, he and his wife, Carrie, went to South Africa as missionaries and served at Durban Bible College. Since returning to the U.S., they founded Mission: Imperative - a ministry of teaching creation-oriented issues through a series of seminars. Mike and Carrie home-educated their three children.

Mike is the author of Creation or Evolution (curriculum) and has produced eight DVDs that cover various topics relative to creation issues.


  • The Return to Genesis (Teen Track)
  • The Horror of the Flood! (Teen Track)
  • The Mystery of the Dinosaurs (Teen Track)
  • Grand Canyon - The Puzzle on the Plateau
  • The Pillars of Evolution (Teen Track)
  • Aunt Lucy? (Teen Track)
  • Lost Secrets of the Ancient Civilizations (Teen Track)

Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller
National Center for Biblical Parenting

Dr. Scott Turansky holds two masters degrees from Western Conservative Baptist Seminary in Portland Oregon. He also has a doctorate in organizational management and strategic planning from Fuller Theological Seminary. He's married to Carrie and has five children and four grandchildren. Scott has been a pastor for over 30 years. Learn more about Scott Turansky here.

Joanne Miller holds her Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing from William Paterson College in New Jersey. She has served as a pediatric nurse for over 25 years. Joanne is married to Ed and they have two grown sons. Learn more about Joanne Miller here.


  • Homeschooling Is Heart Work
  • How to Build Internal Motivation in Your Kids
  • Sibling Conflict Is a Child's First Class in Relationship School
  • Teaching Children to Respond Well to Correction
  • Dealing with ADHD: A Heart-Based Approach
  • Helping Children Deal with Anger

Jay Wile

Jay Wile learned about his love for chemistry when his dedicated parents bought him his first chemistry set. Many stink bombs and a few explosions later, he was hooked! Although he loved chemistry, he also had many other interests. For a while, he thought about becoming a concert pianist, but unfortunately, his fingers were not long enough (no kidding!). As he was finishing up his high school years, he became extremely interested in the theater and began to pursue a career in acting. Partly because he learned the science behind some of the special effects of the plays in which he performed, he eventually went back to his first love: chemistry.

He went to the University of Rochester in upstate New York to study chemistry, and while he was there, he began working on nuclear chemistry experiments. He became so fascinated with nuclear chemistry that he stayed at the University of Rochester and got a Ph.D. in that field. For several years, he did research in the field under the auspices of the Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation. This research led to several grants and many publications. While doing research, Dr. Wile was also an assistant professor of chemistry.

Dr. Wile's love of science is demonstrated by the many awards he has won for excellence in teaching and research. He has also presented numerous lectures on the topics of Nuclear Chemistry, Christian Apologetics, Homeschooling, and Creation vs. Evolution. He has published 30 articles on these subjects in nationally-recognized, peer-reviewed journals, and has 9 books to his credit, most of which belong to the award-winning "Exploring Creation with" series of junior-high and high-school science courses.


  • What I Have Learned About Homeschooling Over the Past 22 Years (Thur evening)
  • Homeschool: The Best Environment for Learning Science
  • Do I Really Have to Do Experiments?
  • Teaching Science at Home
  • Why Homeschool Through High School
  • Teaching High School at Home

Esther Wilkison

Esther Wilkison is no ordinary speaker because she is no ordinary learner. Struggle and failure played a big part in her learning, but the dominant theme of Estherís life has more to do with Godís grace enabling her to persist, succeed, and help others. No one who knew her struggles in school expected Esther to become a teacher, author, or international speakeróbut God loves to do the unexpected. Esther put her BS in Education and her MA in Biblical Counseling to work for decades in a variety of classroom, homeschool, church, and camp settings.

For the last decade, homeschoolers from Los Angeles to New York, from Mexico to Manila, have found Esther a speaker who connects with the heart as she provides hope for learning and living.

Esther blogs at and works independently as a speaker, author, and learning coach. Estherís goal is to exalt Christ as she empowers those who are reaching the next generation for Jesus Christ.


  • Help Your Non-Standard Learner
  • How the Brain Reads
  • Help for Your Struggling Speller
  • Brain Development and Handwriting
  • Don't Give Up on the Disorganized!


Coming Events

October 28, 2017
Special Learners Conference

April 26 - 28, 2018
Annual Convention

2018 tbd
Formal Graduation

2018 tbd
Used Curriculum Sale

Important Links

Neighboring State Christian Homeschool Organizations

CT   ME   NH   NY


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