SHAPE 2024!

Experience an enriching day on your homeschooling journey at The Summit Environmental Education Center at Haw River State Park in North Carolina. Join us on July 21st 2024 for a conference uniquely designed for secular homeschooling families like yours, offering a wealth of resources and support.

About

SHAPE (Secular Homeschoolers Association for Progressive Education) is dedicated to fostering an inclusive and supportive community for homeschoolers. Our mission is to bring together like-minded homeschooling families, providing a platform to share resources, experiences, and ideas. Through collaboration and mutual support, we strive to empower each other in creating a diverse and enriching educational environment where our children feel safe and encouraged to express themselves fully.

Our 2024 Conference incorporates our mission and includes the following:

  • Secular Focus: SHAPE ensures an inclusive environment where diverse perspectives are celebrated, making this conference ideal for families who value a secular approach to education.

  • Resource Expo: Explore a diverse array of high-quality secular resources curated to enhance your homeschooling experience.

  • Dynamic Presenters: Engage with thought-provoking and experienced presenters who bring valuable insights to the secular homeschooling community.

  • Network Opportunities: Connect with like-minded homeschoolers, where a community of support and shared experiences will be fostered.

  • Breakout Sessions: Attend interactive workshops where you can collaborate, share ideas, and refine your homeschooling approach.

2024 Presenters

Our panel of experts brings a wealth of knowledge in homeschooling, from curriculum to socialization and beyond. Each presenter is a passionate advocate in their homeschooling communities, offering invaluable insights and perspectives to enrich your experience.


If you're interested in presenting at SHAPE 2024, please get in touch with us below:

Registration

Adult Admission Ticket:

Join us for a day of support and inspiration for secular homeschooling families at The Summit Environmental Education Center in the beautiful Haw River State Park.What's Included:
- Access to a range of on site and virtual workshops as well as seminars led by seasoned educators and homeschooling experts
- Opportunities to connect with like-minded families, share experiences, and build a supportive community.
- Access to resources, curriculum materials, and educational vendors.
- Enjoyment of the beautiful natural surroundings of Haw River State Park
- Catered Lunch
- Welcome bags with secular homeschool goodies
- The chance to win awesome door prizes

Children's Admission:

Join Piedmont Forest School (PFS) for a day of nature-filled adventure in collaboration with SHAPE at the 2024 Conference!What’s Included:Ages 3-6:
Unstructured play in nature.
Making friends and memories.
Messy play, swinging, climbing, crafting, and more.
Pizza Lunch.
KONA Shaved Ice.
Kelly Kettle tea, hot cocoa, and marshmallow roasting.
Ages 7-13:
Engaging activities tailored to older children.
Nature exploration, birdwatching, bushcraft, and more.
Pizza Lunch.
KONA Ice Icee.
The chance to make a wild-edible salad.
Bushcraft activities like shelter building.
Marshmallow roasting.
Free play, a hike, and creek fun.
Sign your child up for a day of forest fun, friendship, and discovery while you enjoy the SHAPE Conference!


Keep up with our updates and exclusive announcements as we approach SHAPE 2024! Sign up below!

Schedule

The day of schedule is currently under construction. We will update as we approach the conference. Please click each presenter for a detailed description of their presentation/workshop.

PresenterTopicLocationTime
Julie Bogart*Growing Wise Kids (live stream)TBDTBD
Blair Lee*Handcrafted Education (live stream)TBDTBD
Amy SharonyStrategies for Decolonizing Your Homeschool History CurriculumTBDTBD
Erica MaierSocialization: Finding a Group or Starting Your OwnTBDTBD
Erica MaierNew to the Bible Belt: Secular TransplantsTBDTBD
Meagan TauberTranslating Your Unique Homeschooling Experience into the Language of TranscriptsTBDTBD
Danielle CalhounMake Space for Limitless LearningTBDTBD
Vivian MeyersBeyond Heroes and Villains: How to Teach Authentic HistoryTBDTBD
Neily BoydMath Moments: Extending Math Beyond a Lesson and Into Real LifeTBDTBD
Julie SoulWhimsical Doodling for You AND Your Kids (live stream)TBDTBD
Amy BodkinSpecial Needs Kids Are People Too: Why It MattersTBDTBD
Amy BodkinPlanning, Organizing, and Documenting Your Homeschool: The Neurodivergent WayTBDTBD
Shari KellerProject-Based Learning: A Hands-On Approach to HomeschoolingTBDTBD
Laura ShumateHave Fun With It!: Play Based Strategies for Speech, Language, and LiteracyTBDTBD
Brandon Hendrickson*The lost tools of science: How to help your kids learn a LOT of science (and enjoy the heck out of the experience)TBDTBD
Tamyra TellesLiteracy and MusicTBDTBD
Liz PrattHomeschooling Through Difficult Life TransitionsTBDTBD

*Live Streaming

Partnerships

Interested in a partnership with us? Would your company like to be a vendor in the resource hall? We have several options and benefits for all of our partners. Please fill out the form below and we'll send you an email to discuss which best fit your needs.


Current Partners

Thanks to our 2024 partners!

Julie Bogart is known for her common sense approach to writing, parenting, critical thinking, and education. She’s the creator of the award-winning program called Brave Writer. In 2000, Julie brought innovation to the education market by providing the first online writing classes in the homeschooling space. Julie is also the author of the books The Brave Learner and Raising Critical Thinkers which have sold over 110,000 copies. Julie’s a popular international speaker and hosts the much-loved Brave Writer podcast. Julie homeschooled her five children who are now adults. She lives in Cincinnati, Ohio.Virtual Presentation: Growing Wise Kids: How can parents create a culture of thinking well at home? Should they teach their children their own beliefs? Should they protect their kids from the “wrong” ideas? How can parents help their kids sift through the firehose of information coming at them wherever they spend time—with friends, at school, at home, and streaming from their televisions and computers? In this session, Julie will give you practical activities and helpful insights that will enable your kids to be discerning thinkers no matter where they are or who they meet."

Blair Lee, MS, is the founder of SEA Homeschoolers. She is a passionate advocate of innovative academics, where the focus is on how subjects are best learned. Through her speaking and writing, her goal is to empower home educators to dare to be innovative and create learning that is unique, academically-rich, and profound when handcrafting their students’ education.
Through SEA Publishing, Blair has authored Microbiology, The Science of Climate Change: A Hands-On Course, and co-authored Project-Based Learning: Creating a Modern Education of Curiosity, Innovation, and Impact. She is the primary author of the critically acclaimed REAL Science Odyssey Series from Pandia Press. She has been involved in science education for over two decades, first as a community college professor and then as a curriculum developer. Blair writes concept-rich, hands-on courses that include mainstream science, presenting the accepted facts, theories, and models as would be recommended by the majority of practicing experts in each field of science.
Blair also co-hosts the podcast Secular Homeschooling with Blair and Amy with her friend and colleague, Amy Sharony.
Presentation: Handcrafted Education: "A homeschool education is one that is handcrafted to meet the unique strengths, challenges, and passions of the individual learner. This learner-centered journey focused on the individual leads to a profoundly impactful education. It connects the learner with how they really learn. It engages the learner’s thinking in a way that brings meaning to their life. In this way, a handcrafted education creates lifelong learners. Join SEA Homeschoolers founder Blair Lee for this talk focused on the How and the Why for creating a Handcrafted Education as a part of your homeschool journey.Included in this talk are strategies and tips for:
How to get to know your learner.
Choosing curriculum that is the best fit for your learner.
Weaving in learning skills that strengthen executive functioning, metacognition, and the four primary learning modalities.
Providing evaluations that nurture for growth.
How your mindset effects your homeschooling
The talk is followed by a Q&A session moderated by Amy Sharony.

Liz Pratt is a veteran homeschooling mom to two vibrant and thriving kids. She also works as the Assistant Director of Southeast Nashville Homeschool Enrichment, a secular and inclusive 501c3 educational nonprofit with a huge heart, dedicated to enriching the lives of homeschooling families in the Nashville area through in person events, classes, and parent support groups. She also runs the website, www.nashvillesecularhomeschoolers.com, as a means of strengthening and supporting the diverse and wonderful secular homeschool community in Nashville by highlighting all manner of secular resources for homeschooling families. When she's not working, she can usually be found reading, hiking with her dog, enjoying live music, or spending time with her family and friends.Presentation: Homeschooling Through Difficult Life Transitions: What happens in the homeschooling journey when life throws you a curve ball? How do you continue on and navigate the addition of a new baby, the hospitalization of one of the homeschooling parents, or the difficult road of a divorce, among any number of other potential road bumps? Liz Pratt is a veteran homeschool mom and community organizer with years of experience dealing with exactly these sorts of tricky circumstances while continuing to homeschool her two thriving children. She will share some tips, wisdom, and a dose of comforting reality to hopefully help you walk away feeling inspired to continue meeting the needs of everyone in your household during some of the harder moments in life.

Danielle Calhoun is an unschooling mom, blogger, and creative entrepreneur that lives (and learns) alongside her two neurodivergent teens in Tampa, FL.After grappling with the public school system, and then implementing various homeschooling styles, Danielle discovered the power of interest-led learning, which became the cornerstone of her family's educational journey. Through this method, she witnessed not only academic progress but also profound personal growth and restoration within her family.Drawing from her own experiences, Danielle recently launched Nevernaut Learning, a platform dedicated to sharing insights and resources for families navigating the same journey into the unknown. With her background in public speaking and training, she's on a mission to empower discouraged parents in the messy middle of educational pivots to explore their untraditional approach to learning.Join Danielle as she continues to advocate for struggling learners that might need something out-of-the-box entirely in order to thrive, one that prioritizes individual passions and strengths.Presentation: Make Space for Limitless Learning: Raising neuro-spicy/neurodivergent kiddos in a homeschooling environment can be the best decision you ever made, but sometimes the learning curve is steep when coming out of a traditional schooling framework. In this presentation, we're going to explore all the ways that interest-led learning (a.k.a. unschooling) has the potential to help heal, empower, and reconnect your child (and yourself) to their innate brilliance and ever-expanding universe of learning possibilities. Be prepared to dive deep into all about the myths and misconceptions of interest-led learning, investigate limiting mindsets that might hold you back, learn how to foster and harness all of the interests that bring your kiddo to life and more.

Sheri Keller is an educator, former academic with a doctorate in cultural anthropology (UT Austin 2000), lifelong learner, and world traveler. She homeschooled her three kids for over fifteen years, from K-12.She started Quest Schooling to help other homeschooling parents use engagement-centered learning and project based learning effectively. She offers courses and coaching for parents and digital projects and game-based learning resources.Presentation: Project-Based Learning: A Hands-On Approach to Homeschooling: This presentation gives parents an understanding of the key elements (a driving, open-ended question, project planning, feedback and reflection) in PBL, how to turn ‘projects’ into project based learning and how to use it effectively in homeschooling. Topics include how to do PBL with siblings or multiple kids, how to integrate it with mastery learning and how to come up with ‘good’ project ideas.

Amy Bodkin is a Consultant and Public Speaker serving homeschooling families with needs that fall outside the norm. She is uniquely qualified to help homeschool families with a wide variety of special needs. Amy is an Autistic Adult, has an Educational Specialist degree in Educational Psychology with an emphasis in Neuropsychology, a Master's degree in Educational Psychology, and homeschools her two Autistic kiddos. Amy takes a Developmental Approach paired with Charlotte Mason’s Philosophy that “children are born persons” and are worthy of the respect due to persons. You can check out all that Amy does to advocate for the better treatment of children at her website, AmyBodkin.com. It's as easy as ABC: Ally, Boost, and Connect! Ally with Amy through her podcast, “Special Needs Kids Are People Too!” Get a Boost with her Educational Resources. And Connect through her Membership Group and Private Consultations!Presentation #1- Special Needs Kids Are People Too: Why It Matters: "Humans, by nature, are driven to rank and categorize our world to make sense of the confusion we see around us. We are inclined to lift some on a pedestal so high in the clouds that we cannot reach them while trampling others below our feet in the muck and mire of human refuse. Neither of these extremes leads to relationships that bring true belonging and acceptance, and changing the words we use will only change the outward dressings.
To see genuine acceptance and true belonging, we must invest instead in eye-to-eye relationships. Join Amy as she shares how we can mobilize our homeschools to push for true acceptance for all... those that identify as neurodivergent, those that have a physical disability, those with chronic health conditions, and those suffering the effects of trauma."
Presentation #2- Planning, Organizing, and Documenting Your Homeschool: The Neurodivergent Way: Do you feel overwhelmed trying to figure out how to organize your homeschool when you feel like you have no executive functioning skills left? Perhaps you feel that you never developed these important life skills in the first place. Or maybe you can't seem to find a way to homeschool your neurodivergent children. Join me as I share the system I created to allow me, as an AuDHD mom, to homeschool my AuDHD children!

Meagan Tauber is a veteran homeschool mom to 3 neurodivergent children and 1 very diligent service dog. She has homeschooled in 4 states as a result of her husband’s hectic transfer schedule and currently lives in Summerville, SC. Meagan has taught over 2,000 learners on Outschool since 2018 and founded the Hub of Curiosity online, secular homeschool co-op. She runs homeschool groups both locally and globally to connect homeschoolers and build community. Meagan vividly recalls feeling like she was “jumping off a cliff without a parachute” at the start of her homeschool journey and focuses on sharing the knowledge she’s gained over the years to support other homeschool parents on their journey.Presentation: Translating Your Unique Homeschooling Experience into the Language of Transcripts: Does the word transcript strike fear in your heart or keep you awake at night? If so, you’re not alone and, in fact, I used to be right there with you! However, transcript preparation likely isn’t as scary as the scenario you’ve imagined. In this session, we’ll explore graduation requirements, credits, and grades. If you’re wondering how to record your everyday learning, family vacations, and interest-based fun on your transcript, this session has you covered! We’ll review different transcript format options and the pros and cons of each. Plus, I’ll share some tips on how tools like ChatGPT can assist in your transcript preparation!
As a group, we’ll complete an interactive activity working together to break down mental barriers about what “counts” for a transcript.

Vivian Meyers is the writer of Curiosity Chronicles, a secular world history curriculum. Vivian has a master’s degree in Comparative Studies, an interdisciplinary humanities degree, with an emphasis in Classics. She is also a homeschool mom of four children.Presentation: Beyond Heroes and Villains: How to Teach Authentic History: Vivian Meyers will explore how to teach authentic, non-whitewashed history by examining different theories of history, provide tips of what to look for when selecting history materials, and how to approach difficult conversations with your learners.

Erica draws from her experiences as a former PTA Mom turned Homeschool Educator and Community Leader to inform and guide parents who are new to homeschooling. This will be her fifth year homeschooling her three children ages 7-13. Erica recently created a Beginners Guide for those considering homeschool as an option, uses her podcast, So You Think You Want to Homeschool as well as her Social Media platform and continued support services as Your Homeschool Bestie to communicate the realities of homeschool, ease common fears, and build confidence in parents who are new to the idea or just starting out! She has successfully built up a local, in person Secular Homeschool Group and is excited to share how YOU can do the same!Presentation #1:New to the Bible Belt: Secular Transplants : As Secular Homeschoolers who started off in the North and ended up in the South, there was a level of culture shock I was unprepared for. North Carolina being such a homeschool friendly state, me and my rose colored glasses thought we would have ENDLESS OPTIONS, co-ops as far as the eyes could see, conferences every day of the week- and yes there are MANY secular options once you know how to look for them or determine how important that term is to you- but I was admittedly NOT prepared for required statements of faith for co-op, unexpected prayer circles in an advertised “Hiking Group,” the local horseback riding lessons which integrate Bible Study. We bounced around a lot and experienced some disappointment, frustration, and loneliness. I’d love to lead a respectful discussion highlighting some of these things, what to look out for, how to handle unexpected religious situations, problems that could arise etc… We’re all on a spectrum when it comes to our comfort level, and I realize that there are many secular homeschoolers who hold Christian beliefs themselves- but not being from around these parts, I was thrown for a LOOP and I’d love to provide some comfort and comradery to the newcomers in the crowd.Presentation #2: Socialization: Finding a Group or Starting Your Own: Socialization will always be a hot topic in our community, as Secular Homeschoolers in the South, finding an “group” that aligns with your families beliefs can often be a challenge. I will define what socialization ACTUALLY is to put fears at ease, go over a multitude of secular options and suggestions for social opportunities, as well as map out exactly we started our OWN local secular community, events we’ve successfully executed, some of our biggest “hits and misses,” as well as some tips for getting started, gaining exposure, and building momentum!

Neily Boyd is the founder of Counting With Kids and author of the Math Companion program. Neily has worked in math education for 15 years, and most recently, served as the Director of Math for six elementary and middle schools in Nashville, TN. During her tenure, she implemented hands-on mathematics instruction designed to engage students in academic discourse and conceptual thinking. As a result, the schools showed some of the highest math growth in Tennessee, according to both state and national assessments.As the parent of two young children, Neily became passionate about the role that early childhood math plays in setting students up for long-term success in mathematics. She now works with thousands of parents of young children all over the country to help them incorporate math conversation and play into their children’s daily lives.Presentation: Math Moments: Extending Math Beyond a Lesson and Into Real Life: Math is so much bigger than a worksheet or a lesson from a scripted curriculum. Math is the language of the universe around us, and because of this, our world is full of opportunities to explore and discover math. In this session, you'll learn about the importance and impact of real-world math moments on a child's mathematics proficiency.

Julie Soul is the founder and co-owner of Soul Sparklettes Art and the Glitterbombers Membership, with kid-tested, kid-approved art projects and resources for homeschoolers and art teachers. She homeschools her two girls 9 and 12, is an avid espresso-drinker, board game enthusiast, and shenanigan enthusiast.Presentation: Whimsical Doodling for You AND Your Kids: In this presentation, I'll guide you through a drawing of a Castle in the Sky complete with a whimsical castle, clouds, birds, and more. We'll talk about how doing art WITH your kids is a fun way to connect, infuse joy into your homeschool, and help with your own self-care. When you're done, you'll walk away with a fun way to create a doodle, as well as a fun art project that you can easily teach to your own kids.

Brandon’s the founder of Science is WEIRD, where he teaches online classes about the beautiful basics of all the sciences.Brandon’s a teacher, through and through. Before starting Science is WEIRD, he taught all sorts of odd things — test prep to ADHD teens, analytical reading to college students, philosophy to gifted middle schoolers… He’s helped people start schools, shaping and leading a full upper elementary curriculum for a start-up school in the Seattle area. He’s led Socratic seminars for homeschoolers on such topics as moral economics, world religions, the philosophy of happiness, and the psychology of evil.His goal is to help families raise Renaissance people — adults who can bring together amazing insights from across the world to help mend the world.Brandon has a master’s in educational leadership from the University of Washington, as well as bachelor’s degrees in history and religious studies. Curiously, he credits his unique approach to science education to his humanities background.Presentation: The lost tools of science: How to help your kids learn a LOT of science (and enjoy the heck out of the experience): In this workshop, you’ll learn —
* a new way to see the big picture of education
* a handful of overlooked tools that can do the heavy lifting
* the world’s best resources for falling in love with physics, chemistry, biology, and more"

Laura is a speech therapist and private practice owner of Stars Align Therapy. She has experience supporting clients between the ages of birth to early 20s in a variety of settings (public school system, daycares, homes, and in private practice). Laura feels strongly about providing compassionate, personalized care to her clients. She is constantly learning from Disabled and Autistic voices to guide her neurodiversity affirming, strength based approach to speech therapy. She studied at UNC-Greensboro and Western Carolina.Presentation: Have Fun With It!: Play Based Strategies for Speech, Language, and Literacy: Play has an often overlooked, but meaningful purpose. Join us as we explore the foundations of how to take a play-based approach to support your students and their individual strengths and needs. Using play-based strategies fosters a love of learning that lasts a lifetime!

Tamyra Telles is honored to be part of this event. She has been an educator in various capacities for over 30 years and loves to share her experiences and learning with others. She has taught various age groups from 1 to 100 and helps educators around the world. She is an international speaker , a researcher, an entrepreneur, a musician, an artist, a reading specialist, and a lifelong learner. She is the founder and CEO of Infinite Learning Academy that allows families to choose the learning they need while matching them with an educator that matches those needs. Her newest adventure is HELLO Homeschool that combines virtual learning with in person hands-on lessons with family meet ups that lends itself to assisting neurodiverse learners in a positive and natural way. ILA is on a mission to ensure everyone is allowed to learn in an environment that feels safe and welcoming every day. She is happy to be of assistance when it comes to providing choice for education. She firmly believes that it is only “Together we succeed”.Presentation: Literacy and Music: How we can use simple music to help us provide engaging lessons to read and write! We will discuss sound and listening development practices as well as how to create listening journals. This is a hands on and interactive presentation. It is not a typical sit and get. Prepare to get involved and have fun! (But if that is not your thing you can also just watch and learn).

Amy Sharony is the founder of home/school/life and the author of The Ultimate Homeschool Calendar, The A+ Homeschool Planner, The Homeschool Recharge Workbook, and The Happier Homeschool Day Book. She launched home/school/life in 2014, a couple of years after she started homeschooling her then-in-2nd-grade daughter and became fascinated (some might say obsessed) with all the places where home, school, and life intersect. She believes in secular homeschooling, decolonizing the curriculum, the Oxford comma, and changing her mind.Presentation: Strategies for Decolonizing Your Homeschool History Curriculum: Secular, decolonized history has never felt more important, but it's not really something you can go out and purchase -- it's a continuous process that requires active effort and consideration in your homeschool. You can't go out and buy a perfectly decolonized history program, but you can use these strategies to make any history program you decide to use more intersectional.

There are many sites around Greensboro that can accomodate your stay while you visit the area. Our team compiled a small list of their recommendations below.

HotelPhoneRatesDistance
Onsite LodgingContact SHAPE~$1750 Miles
Hotel Denim336-272-4737~$15013 Miles
The Biltmore Greensboro Hotel336-272-3474~$16514 Miles
Proximity Hotel336-379-8200~$32514 Miles

Contact

Feel free to contact us anytime on Facebook or email. You can also submit a question below for a prompt response.