Featured Workshops

The 2018 Beyond the Box Conference will feature many amazing speakers. The complete list will be posted by May 1. Here is a selection of featured topics and speakers.


 William D. Morrissey, D.C.

Self-Care Strategies for Homeschool Parents

 Dr. Will addresses a vital yet often overlooked aspect of being a successful homeschool Mom or Dad: Taking Care of YOU! In this interactive class, Dr. Will elicits feedback from the group regarding the many “hats” a homeschool parent wears day to day. He then gives feedback with tips and tools specific to the different roles, so Mom and Dad may take care of themselves. Example: A mom reports she wears the “Doctor hat” taking care of sick kiddos. Dr. Will gives self-care strategies to boost Mom’s immune system so she does not become sick as well.

A Beginner’s Guide to Fermenting Foods at Home*

 Dr. Will brings his dear friend and fermentation expert Jackie Cordova from The Green Ingredient to give An Introduction to Fermentation. This class is interactive and participants will be able to take home the fermented veggies they prepare during the workshop. Dr. Will starts by giving a brief overview regarding the health benefits of fermented foods (homemade probiotics) and then we get to work making some! This class will be kid friendly and open to children 6 and older. 

*This workshop is limited to 20 participants. You must select the workshop box during registration. First come, first serve.

 William D. Morrissey, D.C. “Dr. Will” is a Chiropractor and native El Pasoan. Dr. Will was homeschooled by his Mom from 2ndgrade through 12th grade. Upon graduation from high school, Dr. Will enrolled at Texas Tech University where he received his B.S. in Animal Science in four years. After graduation, Dr. Will was hired as a management trainee at a cattle feed lot as part of the maintenance department. After one year he felt he was being called to a higher purpose and decided to pursue his dream of being a Chiropractor. Dr. Will graduated from Palmer College of Chiropractic in Port Orange, Florida and returned to his hometown of El Paso to begin practicing. He is the owner of Mesa Hills Chiropractic on El Paso’s westside.

He operates the clinic with the help of his wife and office manager, Marissa. Together they provide care to individuals and families with a focus on wellness, lifestyle, and prevention. In his spare time, Dr. Will enjoys cooking, camping, and quietly communing with nature.

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Julia Novoa, M.Ed.

Curriculum+ Community

Misunderstanding of what curriculum is can cause unnecessary overwhelm and frustration to homeschooling parents, especially when it impacts how we interact with our community. In this session, we will learn how curriculum falls along a spectrum of two schools of thought and how this guides the direction for your homeschool. Also being discussed is how we can help, uplift, and be part of a community of homeschoolers, even if we all look at curriculum in vastly different ways.

Lesson Planning as a Homeschool Educator

As a homeschooler, are lesson plans truly necessary? What is a lesson plan, and how does it work? Exploring the mechanics of what lesson plans consist of may surprise you. In this session, we will discuss how accountability for your children and your self as an educator are the heart of a lesson plan. We will explore many lesson plan formats, along with how to implement them in a way that best suits your homeschool.

Julia Novoa M.Ed., is a homeschooling mom of four in El Paso, Texas. She began her education career in 2006, certified as an English Language Arts teacher grades 8-12. She has taught special education inclusion courses as well as general English Language Arts ninth-eleventh grades and Specialized ELA electives to twelfth grade. The decision to homeschool presented her with new challenges in Early Childhood education. She is dedicated to using her credentials for more than just a job, and finds homeschooling an excellent way to put her degrees and experience to use. Instagram

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Jeremy Newman

Home Schooling and the Law: What Every Texas Home Schooler Needs to Know

Topics Presented:

  • The Background of Home School Freedom in Texas
  • The Basic Steps For Home Schooling Today
  • The Battle for Freedom Now and in the Future

THSC explains the laws concerning homeschooling in Texas. Homeschooling parents attending learn how to avoid problems with school authorities and feel prepared if a truant officer or social worker knocks on your door. Audience members will leave informed of current legislative victories and challenges for home school families. This informative workshop will give you the tools to Keep Texas Families Free!

Jeremy Newman became Director of Public Policy for Texas Homeschool Coalition in Fall 2013 after serving as a policy analyst on the 2013 Watchmen team. Jeremy is a home school graduate and has been involved in home schooling from an early age when he moved to Texas from California. The third of six children, Jeremy now lives with his wife Addi in Dallas, where he teaches Lincoln-Douglas debates in the NCFCA, a national home school speech and debate league.

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Jaime Knoedler

Our Other Language: Visual Literacy

Visual Literacy is about learning, understanding and evaluating a given message or simply learning how to read a picture whether it is a photograph, map, political cartoon or a painting.  Today more than ever we need to master this skill. This workshop will introduce to you what visual literacy is, why it is important and how to use it in your group.

Jaime Knoedler has received a Bachelors of Arts in Biology and a Masters of Arts in Museum Studies with a concentration in museum education and registration.  She has more than fourteen years’ experience in museum education, working and volunteering in a myriad of organizations most recently the Barnum Museum, Palm Coast Public Library and currently, the El Paso Museum of History as Community Engagement Coordinator.  Here she fosters the love of the history of El Paso, Texas and its surrounding region concentrating on not only learning history but also the skills that it teaches one. 


Terri Barnes

Introduction to Homeschooling

Are you considering homeschooling, or have you made the decision but unsure how to start? Maybe you’ve started, but you have some concerns. Here we’ll discuss how to begin and answer any questions on topics such as curriculum, co-ops, and social interaction, to give you the confidence about moving forward on this exciting new journey of homeschooling.

Terri Barnes just graduated her second son. She started El Paso Liberty Homeschool Network as a way to connect with other homeschool families. Last year she released her first book—My Kids Made Me Do It: Lessons in Creating a Unique and Joyful Homeschool which you can find here.


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Peggy Ployhar

Overcoming Doubt—Your Greatest Homeschool Enemy

Doubt is the number one enemy of all homeschoolers.  So, it stands to reason that overcoming doubt is the key to homeschool success.  Peggy Ployhar, the CEO of SPED Homeschool, has 14 years’ experience battling doubt in her own homeschooling endeavors. But, instead of letting those doubts creep in and destroy her homeschool, she learned with each battle just how much God’s grace and truth provided strategies for conquering her doubts.  This talk is filled with biblical fighting strategies to equip every homeschooling parent to do battle head on with their own doubts so they can overcome them and homeschool victoriously.

Be Angry...And Train Your Kids

Parental anger and the character training process happen to be the two largest struggles of any parent, but rarely are the development of the two undertakings ever considered to be interrelated.  After many struggles with parenting anger, which stemmed from anger issues she carried with her from her upbringing, Peggy found herself seeking scriptural answers to her outbursts.  Peggy Ployhar, in this talked titled “Be Angry...And Train Your Kids”, shares what God has taught her about how the anger provoking instances that child training brings are tools meant to enrich the character training process. You will walk away from this talk comforted regarding any past struggles regarding parenting anger and equipped for the character training process that still lays ahead for you and your children.

The Essential of Special Education Homeschooling

Home schooling is the ultimate individualized education plan, so it’s not a wonder why parents of special needs children consider this educational choice.  In this talk, Peggy Ployhar, the CEO of SPED Homeschool covers what it takes to get started homeschooling, avoiding and conquering common pitfalls, and how to homeschool special education through high school. This talk is filled with practical advice from the trenches of homeschooling for 14 years and working a decade as a special needs homeschooling consultant.

Peggy Ployhar, SPED Homeschool Founder & CEO, is a frequent writer, speaker, and blogger on special education homeschooling issues.

Peggy is the former THSC (Texas Home School Coalition) Special Needs Team Lead, MACHE (Minnesota Association of Christian Home Educators) Special Needs Coordinator and MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) Area Coordinator for MN, ND and SD. She is certified by the American Association of Christian Counselors and trained as a Precept Bible Study leader.  

Peggy's home school journey started when her oldest child was diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome.  Now with 14 years of homeschooling under her belt, she thanks God for all the experiences He has given her so she can use them to encourage other special needs homeschooling parents.

Peggy and her husband Doug live in Conroe, TX, where they still home school the youngest of their three children (21, 19, and 13).


Mike and Cheryl Kolesar


 An examination of the growing influence of technology on our families, the powerful neuroscience that makes games and social media addictive, practical guidelines to implement and products we can use to protect our children, a commonsense approach to integrating tech into our families and ways to turn the tide of tech addiction.


Discipline is much more than modifying behavior it's discipleship. Discipleship in it's truest and most practical form. In this session we discuss the ultimate goal of discipline, common mistakes of well intentioned parents, the power in seeing yourself as a "coach", practical guidelines for "what, when, where and how" to discipline, balancing discipline and grace, the tension between "our part" and "God's part" and important considerations for parenting teens.


Based on data gleaned from 10,000 interviews conducted by The Barna Group, this seminar discusses the current crisis in youth leaving the church, how extraordinary parents think, what matters and what doesn't, the one word used to define their role as a parent, why "Osmosis" doesn't work, what we should be aiming for in our children, and the one devastating thing missing from most of today's childraising.

 Mike and Cheryl Kolesar are homeschooling parents with a heart for helping families in their daily lives, parenting, spiritual development and household systems. They focus on simple solutions to common parenting, marriage and child raising issues based on the promise of the Gospel.

They are the owners of FrictionLess Families and are available for speaking engagements and their six session parenting seminar "Parenting on Purpose".

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Lindsay Kronmiller

the early years
(preschool-early elementary)

A talk from a mama in the trenches of homeschooling the early years. Lindsay will talk about mistakes made, lessons learned and resources used as she discovered how to homeschool her littles, which style fit her family, and how to overcome the fear of messing up. 

Lindsay Kronmiller is a homeschool mama to two (age 4 and 7) from El Paso Texas.  She has traveled the messiness of deciding to homeschool and then figuring out what that even means. The owner of Dwell In Hope by Lindsay Kronmiller, she has helped small businesses, homeschool families, and non profits around the world tell their brand story through traditional graphic design and web design. She also makes woven fiber art and teaches workshops.  You can follow her homeschool adventures on here.

Griselda P. Oaxaca


Children with dyslexia have trouble reading and spelling. But their reading and spelling challenges aren’t all the same. Some may not be able to match sounds with letters. Others find it hard to recognize sight words.

  • We’ll discuss the types of dyslexia and levels of severity

  • Characteristics of dyslexia

  • Early signs and throughout school

  • What teachers might say about the student

  • Consequences of dyslexia

  • Dyslexia Institutes of America – Program for Success

Griselda Provencio-Oaxaca is an El Paso-based entrepreneur and owner of El Paso’s first-ever Dyslexia Institutes of America. With over 30 years experience managing and designing marketing campaigns for some of the biggest brands in country, she is now focused on following her dream to help diagnose children, teens and adults with dyslexia and providing learning solutions that can help them to excel in their education and personal growth.

Born in El Paso, Texas, Griselda is a proud graduate of the University of Texas at El Paso where she earned Bachelors of Arts degree in Mass Communications. Also, she’s certified by Dyslexia Institutes of America to administer the diagnostic assessments and to give therapy to the dyslexic client.

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J. Aaron Gruben

Christian Chivalry and Why Your Child Should Learn It"

A lost art today, true chivalry was invented to teach sacrificial love. Examine the historical roots of chivalry, learn about Leon Gautier’s “10 commandments,” how they still apply today, and find some practical ways to teach them to homeschool students.

The Crusades

The crusades are a fascinating historical topic and a vital apologetics topic for your student. Unfortunately, this period of history is often overlooked and generally misrepresented. Increase your knowledge by learning a general outline of the crusades, hear a discussion on the motivations of crusaders in the First Crusade in particular, and find answers for common arguments and fallacies brought against Christians regarding the crusades.

 J. Aaron Gruben grew up in Texas and New Mexico and currently lives in Las Cruces with his wife and children. He works full time as a veterinarian. Aaron was homeschooled and enjoys helping homeschool his own five children. A veritable Renaissance man, he is the author of works of varied genres including humorous fantasy, alternate history, historical fiction, and Christian living. In his spare time, Aaron loves to read, write, hike, play music, and wrangle toddlers. Christ brought Aaron into his camp at the age of 9, and his relationship with his beloved Savior has been the center of his life ever since. Website

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Marco Antonio Rodriguez, OTR CEO

Unlock Your Brain’s Potential

  • How brainwave dysregulation affects behavior associated with symptoms that manifest in person’s with ADD/ADHD, Autism Spectrum, Sensory Processing Disorder, Developmental Delay, Anxiety (including PTSD), Dyslexia, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, Stroke, Brain injury, Chronic Pain, Sleep disturbances, Somatosensory and other Motor disorders as well as Speech and other language disorders. 
  • We will discuss how Neurofeedback can be utilized to retrain the brain to improve overall self-regulation of the various brain waves thus impacting behaviors. 
  • The power of our words in shaping a child’s behavior and how to develop long-term strategies for programing the child’s brain to think more positively / optimistically in areas that include (but not limited to) self esteem, cooperation, courage as well as a host of other behavior issues/concerns. 

Marco Antonio Rodriguez, OTR CEO is an occupational therapist and the CEO of Transformation Rehabilitation Services in El Paso, Texas where they offer both traditional Occupational Therapy services and Neurofeedback in the same HOUSE OF CHAMPIONS training style he used with his own son Patrick.


Holly Massie

Help! I’m homeschooling a high schooler!

Homeschooling in high school doesn’t have to be frightening, stressful, dry, or a return to “traditional methods”. You can homeschool successfully, meet academic standards for college or
vocational school, whilst still enjoying the journey! High school should be a time for discovery and learning together.

Holly Massie is a fan of Charlotte Mason methods and a self-described “eclectic homeschooler” Holly brings a wealth of experience. She has home educated since 1997, and graduated 4 children whilst living in 7 different states and overseas. Holly is a Jane Austen fan, history buff, and avid reader, who enjoys a rousing debate, learning new things, chocolate chip cookies, and dancing. She has been married to her soldier boy Timothy for 29 years and is looking forward to their next adventure.

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Sandra Watson

Who Am I?

Some people identify you as homeschoolers.  Some identify you as the “wife” of this person.  Some people might identify you as a member of a certain church.  Others might know you from their past and you might think of yourself as being in a certain role in your family of origin.  What does our God, the one that made us, say about us and how does it affect the way I live my life and how I we seek help.

Sandra Watson is experienced in counseling and ministry. She has counseled at Del Sol Church since 2000 and been a staff member since 2001.  She founded MOPS at Del Sol Church and has been a mentor Mentor Mom for the last 15 years.  She has been involved in Woman’s Ministry and  led women’s Bible studies at different times since 1988.  She is a Precepts trained Bible study leader, member of American Association of Christian Counselors, and taught Basic Beliefs class for Children since 1994.  She has been employed by husband as a bookkeeper for 36 years.

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Dove Cranson

Building Empathy in our Families

God’s call to be a parent is a high calling and includes being a role model, an authority, a teacher, a gentle lover, a strong provider, a trainer, and a safe place for our kids’ hearts.  This workshop looks briefly at the Biblical role of parents, defines and discusses the power of empathy in relationships, and explores a few ways that empathy can be developed in our families. 

Dove Cranson is a pastor at the Rio Church in El Paso. He worked as a high school science teacher for 12 years before becoming a pastor. He is married to Holly, the wife he only dreamed about, and together have 6 children aged 14 to 1. His role as a homeschooling dad has been an interesting mix of oversight, suggesting wacky ideas, and trying to help his wife work with her personal style and the individuality of each kid.  They continue to adapt.  Sometimes they freak out. Realizing the importance of prayer, and they keep moving forward. Dove loves developing a connection with each kid, but sometimes feel stretched. The years go by so fast. His prayer is to help parents build a powerful connection of love with each of their kids.


Dual Credit at EL Paso Community COllege

Join Dr. Lachica-Chavez and Tonie Badillo to learn about free tuition for Texas homeschoolers at EPCC and the advantage of taking college courses for your high school student.