Vicki Bentley, speaker
Vicki Bentley is the mother of eight daughters, foster mom of over fifty, and grandma to 23 wonderful grandbabies so far (and great-grandma to four!). Vicki has homeschooled 17 children alongside her husband Jim, and has been in support group leadership since 1991. She has served on the executive board and convention committee of the Home Educators Association of Virginia and has addressed state and national conventions, university teacher organizations, and many mothers’ groups. She is the author of My Homeschool Planner, Everyday Cooking, The Everyday Family Chore System, Home Education 101: A Mentoring Program for New Homeschoolers, High School 101: Blueprint for Success, and other homeschool and homemaking helps, and coordinates Home School Legal Defense Association’s Toddlers to Tweens program (Homeschooling Toddlers to Tweens) as well as their Group Services. Vicki has a heart for parents–especially moms–with practical wisdom and encouraging words.
“Jump-Start” to Joyful Motherhood (Psalm 113:9) What comes to mind when you hear, “Joyful mother of children”? If you aren’t sure this describes your perspective on motherhood right now, come learn six steps to guide you to the joyful path! We will also discuss practical strategies to help us stay “tuned up.”
A Mom’s Sentimental Journey – Twenty-plus years and 17 kids later, what a veteran homeschool mom would repeat and what she would do differently on this homeschooling journey! [Suitable for keynote; may be re-titled A Parent’s Sentimental Journey.]
Getting Kids to Help at Home – Training in Diligence and Thoroughness – You know you need to let the children be more involved in helping at home, for training them in character and in practical skills, AND for your sanity! But where do you begin? This foster mom to almost 50 children will share tips and practical helps that have enabled her to homeschool 17 children and still be able to open the front door to guests.
Getting Started – Are you overwhelmed by the options? Not sure where to begin? Good planning is the key to any successful road trip, so Vicki will walk you through a planning checklist to help you prepare for this homeschool journey! Topics include research, goal setting, supplies, schedules, and more, plus Six Tips for Success. Appropriate for any grade level.
Starting in the Middle – Maybe you haven’t always homeschooled. . . you’re starting a few years in, or even mid-year. Can you really start mid-stream? What does homeschooling look like? Where do you begin? What should you expect? How can you ease the transition for all of you? We’ll cover these topics and more. Q&A time included, so bring your questions.
Exploring Curriculum Options – Mom of 17 homeschooled students and curriculum counselor for a statewide homeschool organization, Vicki shares the secrets to mapping out a successful course of study for your children. This workshop helps beginners to get a solid start in home education, and encourages veterans to re-examine goals and priorities. Includes a basic overview of different teaching approaches.
Homeschooling on a Shoestring Budget – Homeschooling doesn’t have to cost hundreds of dollars per child. Vicki homeschooled seven at a time while their family was without a full-time income for four years, sometimes spending less than $100 per year.
The Word for Wee Ones (Surrounding Your Little Ones with God’s Word) – Practical, hands-on ideas for surrounding your preschoolers with God’s Word as you sit in your house, walk by the way, when you lie down and rise up (Deuteronomy 6:5-9).
Organized (Well, Almost!) – Time Management for Busy Moms – As a busy mom, do you sometimes struggle with lesson planning, keeping the house somewhat presentable, teaching, keeping up with the laundry, AND getting dinner on the table the same day you homeschool? Come hear practical tips and encouragement from a fellow homeschool mom of many. Your husband and children will thank you, and you will have hope for another day of science and language arts!
Organizing Your Home – Creating a Lifestyle Learning Environment – Vicki will help you decide what is important to your family, where you need to begin, and will discuss organizational challenges unique to homeschoolers. Vicki Bentley, fellow busy homeschool mom, shares practical ideas that have helped her manage her household of ten.
[Note to planners: There is some content overlap in the two organization talks above, since some concepts are the same for “stuff” and “time.” If you anticipate having primarily the same audience for both, you can (1) select just one or (2) select one of the workshops below (with very abbreviated info). In a typical convention setting, I will leave them “as is” – with overlap – because the audience may vary significantly.] Combined talks are below (“Hope” and “Juggling”)—will be very much a brief overview of many topics….
Hope for the Organizationally Challenged – A recurring theme among homeschoolers is: Help! I’m committed to homeschooling, but I’m feeling overwhelmed just by everyday life! For many of us, standard organizing suggestions don’t “stick,” and we wonder what’s wrong with us. In this workshop, Vicki shares some tools that have helped her (and other busy moms) to homeschool and get dinner on the table. . . on the same day. (If you were “born organized,” you may find yourself in this workshop anyway, to possibly pick up one more idea!) or….
Juggling Life and Lesson Plans – As a busy mom, do you sometimes struggle with lesson planning, keeping the house somewhat presentable, teaching, keeping up with the laundry, AND getting dinner on the table the same day you homeschool? Learn to apply seven truths of juggling skills, to take your homeschool household from sanity-defying circus act to a more joyful journey!
Multi-level Teaching – When you had one child, it seemed easy, but adding more children sometimes makes homeschooling feel like a zany plate-spinning act. Vicki shares ideas for keeping the homeschooling “plates” from crashing to the floor! Practical tips for teaching multiple ages—from a mom of 17 homeschooled students (seven school-age at a time).
When Life Broadsides Your Homeschool—You had a wonderful plan at the beginning of the school year for a well-rounded education, envisioning academic excellence and character development in your smiling, well-adjusted offspring. But then . . . life happened. How do you find “normal” again? In this workshop, Vicki helps you focus on the essentials when you’re on the frontlines, especially in a crisis situation. (There is some focus on specific life crises.) Also available with leader focus
Holidays as Homeschool Curriculum—Do you ever feel stuck in the day-to-day sameness of your school routine? If you circle the holidays on your calendar, you can have not just instant mini-units, but family fun and fond memories. Celebrate!
Lessons Learned –Participants will walk through What I Will Do Again Next Year, and What I Will Definitely Change! Works best with Vicki facilitating discussion among participants divided into small groups. Interactive session, good for end of year; better for a local group than for a convention workshop.
For support group leaders:
Four Needs of Homeschool Families –In this interactive session, Vicki discusses four basic needs of homeschool families and shares practical ways for groups to meet those needs. Includes tips on involving the dads. (This can be an abbreviated 20-minute version for lunch or brunch, a regular 50-to-60–minute workshop, or a 1-hour condensed workshop including basic mentoring group information.)
Mentoring Groups in Action – Learn how to meet the needs of your newer families without losing the veterans. What is a mentoring group? Hear how some groups have mobilized their veteran homeschoolers to help pass the baton to the new families. Vicki discusses various types of mentoring programs available, practical ideas for success, and the benefits to your support group. Sample materials will be available.
Mentoring 2.0—High-speed, interactive opportunity for this fast-paced generation of homeschoolers! Join us for a fun, hands-on demonstration of an activity to take back to your groups. (Room set-up help needed)
L.E.A.D. with JOY – Vicki Bentley, HSLDA Group Services director and veteran state and local group leader, shares four steps to joyful support group leadership.
When Life Broadsides Your Homeschool (leadership version)—You had a wonderful plan at the beginning of the school year for a well-rounded education, envisioning academic excellence and character development in your smiling, well-adjusted offspring. But then . . . life happened. How does leadership affect your homeschooling? How do you find “normal” again? In this workshop, Vicki helps you focus on the essentials when you’re on the frontlines, especially in a crisis situation. (There is some focus on specific life crises.)
Most workshops available on cd. Please contact Vicki for more information.