Note: This is a long "page" Keep scrolling down to the very bottom to see everything!
...you will find information on how to invite Mary Hood to be a speaker at your curriculum fair or support group workshop.
For your convenience, there is also a bio and two downloadable pictures to choose from for your marketing. There are also lists of some of her workshops, as well as a list of some of the fairs where she has spoken.
If you have any questions, please feel free to ask. If you are considering asking Mary to be a speaker at a curriculum fair, you may request up to three free downloadable MP3s from the list provided. Simply identify yourself, your group, and the date of your curriculum fair, and tell us which three talks you would like to preview, and you will be sent the links via email within a couple of days.
You may reach Mary through the Contact Link on the website, or email her directly through the link below:
Email: Contact Mary
Mary Hood, Ph.D., along with her husband, Roy, homeschooled their five children all the way from kindergarten through college entrance. All of them are now adults, and have made a successful transition to college and beyond.
Beginning in the 1980s, she has spoken and written widely on a variety of topics concerning home education throughout the United States and overseas. She has a Ph.D. in education, and is the director of The Association of Relaxed Christian Home Educators, aka, "ARCHERS for the Lord" (Reference Psalm 127), which is a non-profit, 501(c)3 organization. She has also been a regular columnist for "The Old Schoolhouse Magazine".
Mary is the author of such books as "The Relaxed Home School", "The Joyful Home Schooler", and "The Enthusiastic Home Schooler".
Now in her sixties, Mary continues to write and speak widely on issues pertaining to homeschooling, as well as the wider field of education. Her organization has just re-opened The Relaxed Home Schooler's Resource Center in Cherokee County, GA, where she will serve as director and teach several classes for teens.
All monies raised through Mary's speaking engagements and books are paid to ARCHERS for the Lord, Inc., and go directly towards the goals of the organization in promoting, supporting, and encouraging home educating families. This is a non-profit ministry.
Specifics are subject to negotiation.
1. Expense money, consisting of airfare and airline fees and hotel fees. (ARCHERS will cover the cost of meals and incidentals.)
2. Honorarium, with a minimum of $250 if not requesting permission to record and sell the talks; minimum of $500 with permission to record and sell talks.
3. Speaker's table for showing Mary's materials and having a place to interface with parents between talks. No sales will be conducted at the table. Table will be unmanned during Mary's talks unless fair wishes to provide a volunteer.
Specifics are subject to negotiation. However, Mary will still need expense money, although for smaller fairs and workshops, she will consider staying with a family in lieu of a hotel, provided she has a private area with a private bathroom that no one else will be using during her stay.
For places within driving distance of Atlanta, her home base, the expenses will include any additional hotel nights that are required, plus the cost of gas. For places where airfare is required, the expenses will naturally include airfare and incidental airfare fees. ARCHERS will expect to also make a sum of money in addition to expenses to justify the time and effort spent to have Mary come speak.
Workshops generally charge a per/person fee of somewhere between $15-$25 (spouses are always free). There is then a pre-set minimum number of registrations to ensure expense money and compensation for ARCHERS. Some groups prefer to set a fee and pay out of the group treasury. In the case of smaller groups, please contact Mary directly. Sometimes a few workshops can be set up in such a manner that groups can share the expense money.
The ones marked with an * are available as an MP3. Note that Mary does not speak from a script, therefore the exact content may vary slightly. If there are specific things you do or do not want Mary to discuss, she is open to making slight variations to suit your group. Mary has spoken to both Christian and secular groups, and can vary her message slightly depending on the composition of your group. However, her own Christian beliefs are an important part of her overall message and she will not agree to remove them completely from her presentation.
How to Loosen Up Without Losing Control
This is often used as an opening talk when Mary is the keynote speaker, or as a general first session when she is a supportive educational speaker. It discusses the importance of parents being in control of their children's education, paying less attention to the dictates of outside forces, (such as accreditation and/or Common Core objectives) and making their own decisions concerning the overall direction of their home school . It will include a discussion on goal setting.
How to Look More Like a Family, Less Like a School*
This is another general talk, useful as an opening address, or as a one-hour stand-alone workshop. It contrasts families and schools in the areas of learning environment and disciplinary environment, and compares fathers/principals and mothers/teachers. Note: Mary understands that the area of discipline is one where certain topics can be divisive, and is willing to modify this talk to suit the needs of your group.
Homeschooling Mothers: Soldiers in a Spiritual War*
This talk is intended for mature Christians and is not appropriate for a secular fair. It is also not recommended for situations where there are likely to be children in the audience. It can be used either as a keynote address or a one hour workshop. ARCHERS for the Lord, Inc., is partly an acronym for The Association of Relaxed Christian Home Educators, but it is also based on Psalm 127, and Mary believes that homeschooling mothers are warriors. For that reason, they need to recognize the possibility of spiritual attack on their home, and be prepared with the spiritual armor discussed in Ephesians.
Understanding Common Core: A Homeschooler's Perspective
This talk is based on the current issues of the day, currently "Common Core" and the push towards accreditation, and stresses the importance of parents staying abreast of current educational situations that could threaten their freedoms.
The Relaxed Homeschooling Lifestyle: Is it for You?*
This is an introductory workshop, which can be used as an introductory keynote if there are likely to be people in the audience who are still considering homeschooling. It addresses some of the issues that people are concerned with when they first start thinking about making this decision. It is also very good for those who are just starting out, or for those who have been highly structured and are considering becoming a little more relaxed.
God Free School Zones: The Reason We Teach our Children at Home
This talk is based on Mary's e-book with the same title. If you are considering using it, you may request a free copy. (At this time, it is a pdf.) It discusses the problems with the public schools since God has been removed, and talks about the reasons we made the decision to teach our children at home. The book and workshop both discuss some of the experiences Mary had when working as a substitute teacher in the public school.
* available as an MP3
Homeschooling Mothers: Soldiers in a Spiritual War*
Mary discusses spiritual warfare as it relates to the day-to-day struggle against the forces of depression, discouragement, and inadequacy.
How to Look More Like a Family, Less like a School*
Mary talks about the differences between the school environment and the home environment, in several areas, including the learning environment and the disciplinary environment, and discusses the basic differences between a teacher and a mother, and a principal and a father.
How to Avoid Being a Mommy Martyr*
Mary talks about mother's own needs and how to be fulfilled as a person without sacrificing your family's happiness.
Regaining the Spirit of the Pioneers*
Mary talks about the early days of the movement, discusses some of the dangers of current trends, and makes suggestions for how to get back the spirit of the early homeschoolers.
Burned out vs. On Fire*
Mary talks about how to create and maintain motivation for learning, and how to avoid burn out as a homeschooling mother.
The Relaxed Homeschooling Lifestyle: Is it for You?*
This is an introductory workshop, designed for those who are either still considering homeschooling, or those who have begun in a more structured manner, and are considering loosening up a bit.
Relaxed Record Keeping
Mary discusses a simplified system of setting goals and keeping records for those who have a more family-based, relaxed approach to education.
Using the Public Library and other Free Resources as Your Main Curriculum
Mary discusses the use of the public library and other community resources to plan a curriculum without the purchase of expensive materials.
Establishing a Relaxed, Effective Disciplinary Structure in Your Home
Mary discusses the importance of raising children who are both well-behaved AND still have their individuality respected. She emphasizes the need to establish an atmosphere of trust, respect, and consistency, and how to use natural consequences as an effective disciplinary tool.
How to Set Up and Run a Homeschooling Resource Center*
Mary talks about the resource center she ran for nine years in the Atlanta area; contains lots of practical suggestions for those interested in starting up something in their own area.
Reading and Writing the Natural Way*
This is one of Mary's most popular workshops. In it, she discusses a natural way to help children learn to read and write. She emphasizes the importance of reading to children daily, and discusses the role of such things as motivation, learning styles, and readiness.
Taking the Frustration out of Math*
Mary discusses the various stages children go through in their cognitive development as it relates to math, and give practical suggestions for each age group, from preschool through the development of abstract reasoning at approximately age 13. (Most helpful for parents with elementary aged students or younger.)
Relaxed Unit Studies in Social Studies & Science*
Mary talks about the use of relaxed unit studies in the areas of science and social studies, including a discussion of specific units to incorporate at various ages, and the materials and methods to be used.
Incorporating the Arts into Your Home School*
Mary's own family had art, music, and drama experiences during their educational experience. She talks about how to incorporate these areas into your curriculum, and the use of community resources to supplement.
How to Set up Learning Centers
Based on Mary's popular booklet with this title, this workshop discusses the set-up of learning centers in your house, including practical aspects such as selection of themes and materials, how to attract the students to use the learning centers, and how to incorporate them into the rest of your curriculum.
Children's Literature: The Use of Living Books*(Part of CD/MP3 called "Reading & Writing the Natural Way/Using Children's Literature)
This is a mini-workshop on children's literature. Various styles, authors, and specific books will be discussed, along with recommendations for weaving these books into the rest of your curriculum.
Helping Children Learn to Use the Public Library
Mary will talk about how to help your children become more familiar with the public library, in order to select some of their own materials. It will include an introduction to the Dewey Decimal System. Based on her booklet with this title.
Helping Children Learn to Write
Mary discusses several different types of writing, including fiction and non-fiction, and how to encourage children to develop their creativity while also gradually improving the mechanics of their writing.
Beat the Middle School Blahs* (Part of CD/MP3 called "Working with Middle Schoolers)
Mary discusses the developmental needs of middle schoolers in areas such as physical, cognitive, social/emotional development, and talks about some of the issues parents of this age group will face. Note: Mary prefers no children below the age of high school be in the audience for this talk.
Tailoring High School to the Individual* (Part of cd/MP3 called Working With High Schoolers)
Mary discusses how to develop and execute a high school curriculum which is based on the individual needs and goals of the students, with an eye towards the future. This will include a discussion of transcripts and how to maintain records. Older teenagers and/or middle schoolers who desire to take a larger hand in the planning process are strongly encouraged to attend with their parents.
How to Set Goals and Manage Your High School Studies with College or Careers in Mind
This is Mary's basic goal setting workshop. She has done it for middle school children, high school students and adults. It stresses the importance of thinking through long-term goals, and then breaking them down into mid-range goals and "to-do lists".
Making a Successful Transition to College* (Part of cd/MP3 called "Mary Talks to Teens)
Mary has taught college, and was a college student herself all the way through two master's degrees and a Ph.D. In this workshop, she discusses a myriad of minor details that will help a beginning college student make the transition successfully. Some of the topics she will talk about are time management, successful classroom strategies, and even where to sit to get the professor to notice you in a positive light! The talk is intended for upper level high school students, new college students, and their parents.
How to Prepare for the SAT
Mary has taught a six-week SAT class many times, and also has a two-day version that she sometimes does "on the road". In the one hour version, Mary will talk to high school students and parents and give them as many tips as can be crammed into such a short period of time! (Note: This is the Scholastic Aptitude Test, for college entrance, not the Stanford Achievement Test). If your curriculum fair or workshop would prefer, Mary can also do a stand alone 2 day SAT preparation class for high schoolers. If you are interested in this, contact Mary for a discussion of specifics.)
This workshop is usually given on a Saturday, from approximately 9-3, and covers all aspects of Relaxed Home Schooling. The 8 cd Relaxed Home Schooling Workshop covers the same topics, although the cds go into a little more detail than can be accomplished in one day.
Note that frequently, groups will ask Mary to give a separate Friday night workshop that is geared towards parents and teens, to cover the high school years and college entrance thoroughly, and then make Saturday more geared to parents of the younger children.
Another possibility is to have a Friday night session which is geared to the larger community, with a discussion of the 'why's' of homeschooling, and a general discussion of the concept of relaxed homeschooling, and then a Saturday which focuses primarily on the specific practical applications.
Link: Order the CDs
Countdown to Consistency is an all-day workshop which begins with a discussion of the history of the homeschooling movement and an explanation of the various philosophies found within it. It then has a hands-on (writing) component, where the parents gather in small groups to think through their educational ideas, set goals, and discuss various methods. This workshop is the favorite of Mary's husband, and many other men have found it extremely helpful to attend along with their wives to begin to understand the similarities and differences they have with their wives' educational ideas.
Mary has 4 cds (or MP3s) entitled "Working with Babies and Toddlers", "Working with Preschoolers", "Working with Primary Grades", and "Working with Elementary Grades". These can be used as individual workshops at fairs, or presented as a one all-day stand-alone workshop. The emphasis is on understanding child development . However, it also covers many practical topics concerning working with the various age groups.
Mary has a two day SAT prep class for upper level high schoolers which could be presented as a Friday-Saturday class, which covers preparation for both the math and writing/verbal sections of the SAT.
This is usually done as a part of a middle school retreat. For more information, contact Mary directly.
March, 2016, Special guest speaker at The Whole Child Conference, Nashville, TN
October, 2014 Relaxed Home Schooling Workshop, Detroit, MI
May, 2014 Special guest speaker on "Common Core", MTHEA, Nashville, TN
March, 2014 Keynote speaker, South Florida Home School Convention, Ft. Lauderdale, FL
January, 2014, Featured Speaker, Family Education for Christ, Savannah, GA
November, 2013, Featured Speaker, "Wilderness at the Smokies", sponsored by The Old Schoolhouse Magazine
January 2012, Featured Speaker, HOME, Northridge, CA
October, 2011, LaCrosse, WI, Relaxed Home Schooling Workshop
Feb 11-12, 2011Trust in Learning Conference, Featured Speaker, Austin TX
February, 2010, Relaxed Home Schooling Workshop, Gadsden, AL
Jan, 2010 Relaxed Home Schooling Workshop, Lawrenceville, GA
June, 2009, Featured Speaker, SEARCH of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
May, 2009, Featured Speaker, MTHEA, Nashville, TN
April, 2009, Featured Speaker, Midwest Home School Convention, Cincinnati, OH
August, 2008, Featured Speaker, MTHEA, Nashville, TN
June, 2008, Keynote Speaker, North Georgia Educator's Association, Blairsville, GA
May, 2008, Keynote Speaker, Montana Home Educator's Convention
April, 2008, Featured Speaker, LINK Conference, Los Angeles, CA
January, 2008, Relaxed Home School Workshop, Christ-Led Educators, Lawrenceville, GA
October, 2007, Relaxed Home Schooling Conference Keynote Speaker, KCHA, Seoul, South Korea
June, 2007, Featured Speaker, Home Educators Association of Virginia
January, 2007, Keynote Speaker, East Africa Home Educator's Conference, Nairobi, Kenya
June, 2006, LINK conference, Los Angeles, CA
January, 2006, Featured Speaker, UNIFOUR Home Educator's Conference, North Carolina
June, 2004, Featured Speaker, LINK Conference, Los Angeles, CA
2003, New England Home School and Family Learning Conference, Boston, MA
June, 2002, LINK conference, Los Angeles, CA
May, 2002, Florida Parent Educator's Conference, Orlando, FL
June, 2001 Relaxed Home Schooling Conference, San Antonio, TX
May, 2000, Speaker, FPEA, Orlando, FL
April, 2000, Speaker, APACHE Conference, Peoria, IL
October, 1998, Main Speaker, Sea World, Orlando, FL
June, 1998, Speaker, Kansas City Missouri Curriculum Fair
June, 1998, Speaker, Christian Home Educators of OHIO
September 1996, Six Flags over Atlanta, Homeschool Speaker