Workshop Titles

Suitable for one hour supplemental workshops

* available as an MP3

General Topics, primarily aimed at mothers:

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.

Topics for mothers of young (preschool through elementary) aged children:

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.

For mothers of middle school children:

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.

For mothers of high schoolers:

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.

For teens and/or parents of teens:

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.)

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