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Join us for an invigorating 2 day conference exploring, learning, and being inspired in your home education journey. Workshops, vendors, lunches, community, and more!

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KeyNote Speaker

Dr. Brian D. Ray is an internationally recognized researcher and educator and president of the National Home Education Research Institute (NHERI) and founding editor of the refereed academic journal Home School Researcher (est. 1985). He has published numerous journal articles and books, been repeatedly interviewed by major media, served as an expert witness in court cases on homeschooling, testified to legislatures regarding educational issues, and consulted both private and government groups. Dr. Ray is a leading international expert in research on homeschooling.

Dr. Ray has presented his work in academic publications such as Educational Leadership and Peabody Journal of Education, in popular magazines, and books such as Worldwide Guide to Homeschooling and Strengths of Their Own--Home Schoolers Across America. He has made numerous presentations at professional meetings and to the general public in places such as the United States, Brazil, Canada, Europe, the United Kingdom, China, and South Korea. Dr. Ray has been quoted many times by the media and appeared twice on television’s NBC Today Show.

Brian earned his Ph.D. in science education from Oregon State University, his M.S. in zoology from Ohio University, and his B.S. in biology from the University of Puget Sound. He is a former certified classroom teacher in public and private schools and university professor in the fields of science and education at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

Brian and his wife Betsy have been married 38 years and have eight children and eight grandchildren, and they home educated all of their children. Brian is an elder in his local church. The Ray family lives on a small farm in western Oregon, U.S.A.

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El Paso, TX

Centro Vida Life Center has graciously let us use their building to host the 2 day FREE TO LEARN conference. The building has ample space for an amazing number of vendors, workshops. They also have a nursery available to our attendees that need child care. More details to come.


Featured workshops

Free to Learn will feature numerous workshops. Below is a selection of our featured workshops.

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Homeschool—The life of a lateral thinker + Creating health at home



“My parent’s decision to educate their children at home was possibly the most important decision of my life! I owe so much of my success to my unique childhood experience.” 

Dr. Morrissey is a native El Pasoan who was homeschooled from 2nd—12th grade.  His fascination with natural medicine began in a Chiropractor's office.  After receiving a Bachelor's Degree in Animal Science from Texas Tech he began working for a large agricultural production company. While he enjoyed his work and his co-workers, Dr. Morrissey sensed he was being called to a higher purpose. He left his corporate job and enrolled at Palmer College of Chiropractic Florida Campus. 

Dr. Morrissey is immensely proud to serve the people of his hometown of El Paso. He is continually studying in order to expand his knowledge and stay on the cutting edge of natural healthcare.

Dr. Morrissey loves to encourage and inspire homeschool families.  He is thrilled to have an opportunity to give back to the homeschool community!  

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Taller de Español

Como Empezar la Escuela en el Hogar

Lorena Maddox

Lorena Maddox is a native of Juárez, Mexico and the youngest of six children.  When Lorena was 12 years old, her mother moved the family to El Paso, Texas to give her children better educational opportunities. In school, Lorena worked hard to master the material in her classes while simultaneously learning English from the ground up.  Eventually, Lorena went from being an ESL student in middle school to being a certified ESL teacher, receiving her Bachelor’s Degree in Bilingual Education, with honors and with a minor in ESL, from the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP).  At her graduation, she also received the special honor of carrying the banner for the School of Education.

But Lorena didn’t just receive a degree at UTEP.  It was at UTEP, through InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, that she also met both her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and her future husband, Bobby.  It was through Bobby that Lorena first learned about home schooling, as Bobby was home schooled during his high school years.  It was at that point that Lorena’s dream of home schooling her future children began.

Lorena taught in both the Virginia Beach and Santa Teresa public school systems before finally taking the leap to home school her three boys, Ben, Sam and Weston on a full-time basis since 2009.  She is passionate about home schooling and has a strong burden to help the Spanish-speaking community to know their rights and opportunities to home school their children and to encourage them to take the leap as she did.  


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Special Needs

Peggy Ployhar, Texas Homeschool Coalition

Peggy Ployhar, as the Texas Home School Coalition’s Special Needs Team Lead, leads the special needs department for THSC. The work of the THSC Special Needs department includes consultations, online training and applications, an online support group, special needs articles in the THSC Review Magazine and online blog, as THSC Conventions special needs programs.

Peggy is the former MACHE (Minnesota Association of Christian Home Educators) Special Needs Coordinator whose homeschool journey started when her oldest child was diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome.

Peggy, her husband Doug, live in Conroe, TX, where they still home school the youngest of their three children (20, 18, and 12).

For a Complete listing + description of conference workshops,
click the link below:

Schedule of events


Friday, June 2, 2017

11:00 am–12:00 pm
12:00 pm
1:00—1:50 pm
2:00—2:50 pm
3:00—3:50 pm
4:00—4:50 pm
5:00–6:00 pm
6:00–8 pm

Saturday, June 3, 2017

8:00 am
9:00–9:50 am
10:00–10:50 am
11:00–11:50 am
12:00–1:00 pm
1:00–1:50 pm
2:00–3:00 pm
3:00–4:30 pm


Vendor Set-up
Doors Open for Registration and Exhibit Hall

Opening General Session: Dr. Brian D. Ray, Keynote Speaker


Doors Open for Registration and Exhibit Hall
General Session

Closing General Session
Exhibit Hall Open