Convention Speakers

Convention Speakers

June 2-3, 2017

Keynote Speakers

Jessica Hulcy

Jessica Hulcy is blessed to be wife to Wade, mother to four married sons and Grandear to 13 grand-children.  Jessica started her homeschooling career in 1981, way before home education was cool!  Soon, she and her friend, Carole Thaxton, were using hands-on teaching methods in their homeschool which bloomed into the first-ever homeschool curriculum, KONOS, in 1984.  Since that time, Jessica has been an eloquent spokesperson and ambassador for homeschooling.  She is a master teacher, encourager, and motivator to the homeschool faculty because she is open and transparent with a unique blend of wit and wisdom.  It has been said that she can make you laugh and cry at the same time!

Barry Peters, Esq.

In Idaho, home-schooling, as we know it, would not exist if it were not for the diligent servant leadership of Mr. Barry Peters. Twenty-five years ago, he charted a course of wise and winsome statesmanship that has placed Idaho at the pinnacle of homeschool freedom not only in our nation, but the entire world. Join us in welcoming Barry to the main stage as he shares the history of Idaho homeschooling, as it can only be told by someone who lived it, and fought valiantly to advance it. Please do not miss this opportunity to hear his address live, and to join us in honoring the man most responsible for our freedom. Barry serves on the board of legal advisers for the Idaho Coalition of Home Educators and CHOIS. His regular legal updates inform Idaho homeschoolers of challenges to their right to home educate. Mr. Peters’ law practice, in Eagle, Idaho, specializes in the areas of real estate, estate planning and business law. He and his wife, Res, have successfully completed home educating their two daughters.

J. Michael Smith, Esq.

Michael Smith and his wife Elizabeth, along with Michael Farris and his wife, Vicki, founded Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) in 1983. Mike and his family began homeschooling because their 5-year-old flunked kindergarten. This was quite a disappointment to Mike in light of the fact that he was preparing this child to be president of the United States by starting his education as early as possible. His family’s life changed drastically when he heard a radio program in 1981 which introduced him to the idea of homeschooling. After spending lots of time around people like Mike Farris, he became convinced that he had been called to use his gifts and talents in the legal profession to assist homeschoolers. Mike came to HSLDA full-time in 1987 and has served as president of the organization since the year 2001. All of Mike’s children are now grown, and three of the four were homeschooled. The most enjoyable part of Mike’s job is when he is able to go to homeschool conferences and meet what he calls America’s greatest heroes, homeschooling moms.

Workshop Speakers

Elizabeth Smith

Elizabeth Smith, wife of Home School Legal Defense Association President Mike Smith, taught three of her four children at home from 1981 to 1996, when the youngest entered college. For over 30 years, Elizabeth’s practical wisdom has encouraged audiences at homeschool conferences, symposiums, and women’s retreats throughout the United States.  Michael and Elizabeth have appeared several times on Focus on the Family’s radio program.

Julie Bogart

Julie Bogart is the popular voice of common sense and compassion in the home-school community. She raised and home educated her five children who are now adults. She’s the creator of the innovative writing program called Brave Writer and the popular fast-growing practice called Poetry Teatime.  Her books include a series of non-sectarian daily readings for home educators, and an anthology of poems to read aloud (with author Nancy Graham), in addition to more than 200 pieces of curriculum for literature and writing.  Julie draws from her work with tens of thousands of homeschool families over the last 20+ years and her own homeschool journey to enrich the homeschool and parenting experience.

Pamela Gates

Pamela Gates is a Certified Learning Specialist in Dianne Craft’s Learning System.  She has 16 years’ experience working with bright, hard-working, but struggling students. She is a popular speaker at homeschool conferences, bringing hope to families with children who struggle with learning.  Pam’s workshops are filled with practical teaching strategies that parents find are easy to implement the next day.  Kids will love them and begin to feel as smart as they really are! Parents find Pam’s workshops to be lighthearted and life-changing. She is also an Educational Consultant, conducting Personal Consultations with homeschool families across the nation. As a homeschooling mother of six, Pam had an 8 year old daughter with dyslexia who was unable to remember letter sounds or spell her name.  Using unique, alternative teaching methods, her daughter overcame her dyslexia.  She recently graduated summa cum laude from college and is now attending graduate school in Denver.

Linda Lacour Hobar

Linda Lacour Hobar, author of The Mystery of History, is a passionate follower of Jesus Christ, a genuine “people-person,” and a fan of comfortable high-heels. Through homeschooling her children and service as a missionary, she discovered a deep love for world history where famous and infamous men and women have left their mark on time through the sovereignty of God. In the year 2000, Linda sensed a clear call to write The Mystery of History series for her children, grandchildren, and generations to come that they might know “the mystery of God . . . in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” (Col 2:3)  A native-born Texan, Linda holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Baylor University, where she first fell in love with world history.  She presently resides in Tennessee where she continues to study, teach, write, and obsess over matters big and small. 

Linda Patchin

Linda is a founding board member of Christian Home-schoolers of Idaho State, where she has been serving as President and Convention Director since 1999. She and her husband, Paul, have four adult children whom they homeschooled through high school. A popular conference speaker, Linda has over twenty-two years experience as a home educator. She is the editor of the CHOIS Connection Magazine, and has been a contributing columnist since 2003.

Mike Riddle

Mike is the president of Creation Training Initiative. He is a former captain in the United States Marine Corps and a national champion in track and field. Mike has traveled to all 50 states and six continents speaking and training Christians about God’s creation, apologetics, and Christian education. Mike and his wife Lesley live in Meridian, Idaho.

Jeralynne Bobinski

Jeralynne Bobinski, an active home-schooler for 10 years, came to Christ in college while trying to determine which religion was true. After studying every major holy book, Jeralynne realized that Christianity was unique because it is the only religion in which God did all the work to arrange salvation – it is a gift offered in love that cannot be earned. Today, as co-director of Family Experience Ministries and co-leader of a speech & debate club for homeschooled Christian teens, Jeralynne believes it’s not only important for us to teach our children what Christians believe, but also why we believe it. Jeralynne holds a degree in psychology, and is also co-author of the award-winning book, Become a Student of Your Students..

Copper Webb

When asked as a little girl what she wanted to be when she grew up, Copper would answer, “A homeschooling mommy.” Until she reached that season of life, Copper used her love for teaching in schools, churches, and on ski slopes. Now, with a fabulous husband, Mike, of 13 years, and four beautiful children, Copper is thrilled to have landed her dream job as a second-generation homeschooler. Copper is the Bright Beginnings columnist for the CHOIS Connection, and her articles on teaching preschool at home have appeared in numerous publications. She occasionally blogs with a baby on her lap at Mike and Copper Webb are CHOIS Board members, endeavoring to encourage and equip young families who are establishing their own homeschools.


Committed to helping parents fulfill their God-given right and responsibility to educate their own children.