This year we will hold PHAA's (Pennsylvania Homeschoolers Accreditation Agency) 24th annual High School at Home Conference. It will take place on Monday, April 15, 2019, from 9AM to 5PM at the Bongiorno Conference Center (430 Union Hall Rd., Carlisle PA 17013; Click here for directions). There are sessions especially designed for parents, homeschooled students, and evaluators.
If you pay before April, the cost is $34.95 for the first person in your family ($39.95 if you pay at the conference), plus an additional $19.95 for each additional member of the family who will come. The cost includes a buffet lunch and snacks during the breaks.
Who is Invited?
During each of the five break-out session time slots during the day, you will have your choice between three different options. Some are especially designed to appeal to PHAA evaluators, some to PHAA students, and some to parents:
- New-to-High-School Parents: Find out how the PHAA high school diploma works, get advice from experienced parents about making the transition to high school at home, learn how to help your students through the research paper writing process, and start looking ahead to your children’s post-high-school future.
- Experienced Parents: Find out about the getting into college without going into dangerous levels of debt, preparing students for the work world, Advanced Placement courses, debt and more and more. Also, you can volunteer to participate on a panel for new-to-high-school parents, and ethical decision-making such as dealing with plagiarism, reflecting on the recent scandal over bribery and college admissions. Also you can volunteer to be on a panel for new-to-high-school parents.
- Students: There will be helpful sessions and fun contests throughout the day. Some sessions can help you prepare you for the future, including sessions about Advanced Placement courses, getting prepared for the work world, and role-playing the college interview.
- Evaluators: There will be a session that takes you step-by-step through the evaluation process, find out how other evaluators do it. Also there will be many sessions that help you be a better guidance counselor for your families. You will get a free year added to your PHAA membership for coming.
Students: You are invited to compete in one or more of the three contests. Each has a $50 prize for 1st place, a $25 prize for 2nd, and a $10 prize for 3rd. All are judged by professionals who are also homeschooling parents that will give you feedback. All contestants will present at the conference and the first place winners will present again to the entire conference. This year we are having three student contests at the conference:
- Student Speech Contest. Are you looking for an audience for your annual speech? This year you can give a PHED Talk (similar to a TED Talk…PHED = Pennsylvania Homeschoolers Educational Discovery!) at our student speech session at PHAA High School at Home Conference. Click here, here and here to watch last year's winning speeches.
- Student Photography Contest. Do you have a photography portfolio (10 digital photos) that you would like to share with your fellow students? One of the student sessions at the conference will be a Photography Contest.
- Student Talent Show. Do you have a talent that you would like to share. Give a 3 to 5 minute musical performance; recite a poem or monologue; do magic tricks or a pantomime; dance or demonstrate juggling or martial arts; or more!
What attendees said after our 2018 conference:
- Annette Bannister (grandmother): I attended this conference with my rising 7th grade granddaughter and we both loved the workshops geared to us. I feel more prepared than ever to launch her joyfully into her high school years. Fantastic conference that everyone with a homeschooled highschooler (or soon-to-be one!) should attend!
- Shay Jones (evaluator): The PHAA High School at Home Conference has been a favorite of mine for many years. First I attended as a homeschool mom, then as a presenter, and now as an evaluator! There's always so much to learn and old and new friends to spend time with! I highl recommend this conference to all homeschooling families as well as PHAA evaluators and homeschoolers who wish to share their talents as presenters.
- Sarah Richman (student): I found the student speeches most interesting.
- Katherine Corbeill (mother): Very helpful. The teachers are all very friendly and the environment is welcoming.
- Abby Frailey (student): I liked the Excelsior session because I got to meet a couple staff members, so that was cool.
- Natalie Bishop (evaluator): Excelllent sessions which were helpful and encouraging... I appreciate the encouragement to relax and enjoy the journey so you get to know our children -- their uniqueness as people, their loves, their faces.
- Steven Trettle, Sr. (dad): Excellent conference.
- Steven Trettle, Jr. (student): I found this was much more helpful than in years past. It was interesting and helpful.
- Aldrea Reese-Brown (mother): PHAA's High School at Home conference is a great way to spend a day investing in your student's future. Meeting other homeschooling parents, students and specialists provides the kind of support that would take years to cultivate independently. And it's extremely affordable.
Enjoy the Professionalism
Why should other educators go to conference centers for their conferences while homeschoolers bring bag lunches and sit on hard chairs. This conference treats you right. Enjoy the free buffet lunch, the free snacks during breaks, the sessions that are small enough for you to get answers to your questions, the positive atmosphere, and the professionalism of the day and location.