Deb’s Session: Following God Through Life’s Twists, Turns, and Miracles
Deb Chitwood grew up on a farm 40 miles from Little Town on the Prairie, went to a country church as a child, and was raised by loving parents who recently celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary. Deb attributes God’s help and the positive family values she was raised with as primarily responsible for two of her proudest accomplishments: a happy marriage of 37 years and homeschooling two children through high school. She and her husband, Terry, have focused their lives on following God’s direction and have passed that same focus on to their children. Their 22- and 27-year-old children were both international figure-skating medalists and received bachelor’s degrees with straight A’s. They are now happily married and successful in their own careers.
Rachael’s Session: How to Die to Yourself and Live to Tell About It
Rachael Carman is a wife and mother, and she is passionate about both roles. She and Davis have been married twenty-five years, and have been blessed with seven children ranging in age from 9 to 22. Her journey into homeschooling included a bumpy start, but she is grateful that God brought her to this place. She is thankful for the daily experience of His faithfulness and grace in this adventure of a lifetime.
Since 2002, Rachael has been on the board of North Carolinians for Home Education. A year later, she started Real Refreshment Retreats for homeschool moms. In 2005, she had the privilege of authoring a book for Focus on the Family entitled Soundbites from Heaven—What God Wants Us to Hear When We Talk to Our Kids.
The most recent step in her journey has been to enter the world of homeschool curriculum publishing. In June 2008, Rachael and Davis became the new owners of Apologia Educational Ministries. God has given them a vision to expand the ministry of Apologia by bringing the moms’ retreat under its umbrella. Apologia held its first Real Refreshment Retreat in Baltimore in 2009; and the retreat has expanded to other locations, including Chicago, Austin, Atlanta, and Big Lake, Alaska. Her ultimate goal, and the Apologia mission, is to help homeschool families learn, live, and defend the Christian faith.
Rachael’s latest book, How to Have A H.E.A.R.T. for Your Kids, is published by Apologia. She has enjoyed speaking and encouraging homeschool groups for over fifteen years. It is her heart’s desire to become all God has planned for her to be for His glory. She loves challenging others to dare living in reckless, obedient faith. Rachael is quick to admit her many imperfections and share stories that highlight her shortcomings and the redemptive hand of Jesus Christ. Her humor will put you at ease; her honesty will surprise you; and her heart will inspire you to go deeper, stand firm, and be strong!
Scot and Rebecca Keliher are the founders of Home Educating Family Publishing, but more importantly, parents to five unique, humorous, and fun-to-hang-with kids. With three girls in the lead and two boys following close behind, life in the Keliherd is never boring. As a graduate of homeschooling and daughter of homeschooling pioneers Ron Scarlata and Robin Scarlata Sampson, Rebecca transitioned with ease from mother of preschoolers to official title of Homeschool Mom, roughly ten years ago. Today she teaches her crew, in grades ranging from 3rd – 10th, with a mix of Charlotte Mason and Classical books. When polled, her children unanimously choose Mom-Reading-Out-Loud as their favorite school subject.
Zan’s session: Raising Children to be Intentional Christians in a “Whatever” World
Zan Tyler and her husband, Joe, homeschooled each of their three children from kindergarten through high school, for a total of twenty-one years. When she began homeschooling in 1984, she was threatened with jail by the South Carolina State Superintendent of Education. After prolonged legal battles for the rights of her family and homeschoolers in her state, Zan founded the South Carolina Association of Independent Home Schools (SCAIHS) in 1990 and served as its president for ten years. She has been honored as the South Carolina Homemaker of the Year, and in 1998 the governor awarded her the Order of the Palmetto, the highest South Carolina honor a civilian can receive. She has appeared on NBC’s Today Show with Katie Couric.