Paul Gerrard

"Neutral Is Not Enough"
The reality is that Mom will do most of the heavy lifting of homeschooling and day-to-day raising of children.  So where does that leave Dad?  Can he sit on the sideline or should he jump in too?  The evidence is in.  Dads, come learn why you are essential to the success of homeschooling, and learn how to make a difference in the spiritual future of your children.

Paul Gerrard and his wife Robin met at The University of San Diego School of Law, and have been married twenty-nine years.  They have seven children, and have been homeschooling for twenty years.  From kindergarten through high school, they’ve done it all.  Paul is very active in his children's academic and spiritual development – leading book clubs, conducting father/son and father/daughter weekend retreats, as well as organizing many liturgical celebrations for his local homeschooling community.  He is a Master Catechist in the Diocese of Orange, and is currently earning his Master of Arts Degree in Catechesis and Evangelization from Franciscan University of Steubenville.

Linda and Gerard Jensen
"Homeschooling Your Child With Special Needs: Unique Challenges, Tremendous Blessings" 
Homeschooling a child with special needs is made even more challenging by trying to fit their unique needs in between the business of living. Come hear what Linda and Gerard have learned in their 10+ years of homeschooling their special needs (Down Syndrome) child.

Linda and Gerard Jensen are homeschooling parents of three daughters. They have homeschooled for 18 years.  Their oldest graduated from Concordia University Irvine this June and their middle daughter is currently attending Occidental College.  Their youngest, Sarah, 16 years old, is homeschooled using Seton Home Study special needs program.  She has Down Syndrome.  In addition to her studies at home, Sarah also takes classes at Down Syndrome Association Orange County (DSAOC), which offers classes like speech, Tae Kwon Do and fitness as well as parental guidance. Linda and Gerard are very active with DSAOC and Gerard is currently Treasurer.  The Jensen family have also been very active in Orange County 4H, Orange County Musical Arts, ballet, Irish Dance and Clogging.  Sarah recently competed in a clogging competition in Saint George, Utah.  Linda says, “Sarah teaches me more than I teach her.”

Laura Arkfeld

"Homeschooling High School"

Thinking about homeschooling high school?  Wondering if you should?  Wondering if you are able?  This talk will discuss the why and the how of homeschooling high school.

"Jesus I Trust in You"

Easy to say more difficult to do. How do we teach our children to trust in God when we may struggle with this ourselves?  We’ll look at some practical tips and habits to practice so that we may grow in trust and experience God’s peace in our lives.

Laura Arkfeld homeschooled her five children from kindergarten through high school, beginning in 1992. Three have now graduated college and her youngest two are pursing degrees at local universities. She has a BS in Business and was a successful manager in the electronics industry before coming home to homeschool her family.   She is a founder of Southern California Catholic Home Educators, The Chino Hills Catholic Home School Support group and the St. Thomas Aquinas Dumb-Ox Club co-op. 

Inspiring Catholic Speakers

Fr. Alan Benander, O.Praem.

"Trust in God: The Sign of True Manhood"
Now, more than ever, families need a Dad with masculine virtue.  But, what is true manhood, and how can a husband and father grow in it?  All throughout the Scriptures, we are given examples of holy men who did just that by relying on Almighty God.  Dads, come hear about some of these men, and learn what practical lessons from them can be applied to your own families.

 Fr. Alan Benander, O. Praem., is a Norbertine priest from St. Michael's Abbey in Silverado, CA.  Born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, he quit his job as a software developer in order to enter St. Michael's Abbey in 2003, being ordained a priest on June 22, 2013 (feast of Ss. Thomas More and John Fischer).  Fr. Alan’s primary external apostolic work is with St. Michael's Prep, an all-boys high school, where he works as a teacher (mathematics), coach (baseball and basketball), and athletic director.  This gives him a unique perspective on manhood and masculine role models that is sure to benefit your home school.

Especially for Dads

Laura Loroña-Kays
“Homeschool Legislation in California”

Laura will summarize for us the recent legislative victories in Sacramento concerning homeschooling and speak to the future--continuing the fight to preserve our right to homeschool in California and the role Catholics can play.

Laura is honored to be the fourth director to serve Regina Caeli Academy families in its 25-year history. She and her husband are life-long homeschoolers to their three sons, having graduated the eldest last year. Religious and homeschooling freedoms and parental rights go hand-in-hand with our faith and she is active in preserving these rights.

Rimini Esser

"Multi-Grade Homeschooling: The Charlotte Mason Method"
Is there not enough time to teach all the subjects to your children?  This one hour workshop will demonstrate how to efficiently and effectively teach multiple subjects to children from kindergarten to high school immersing in the Charlotte Mason method. Parents attending the workshop will take the role of the student. We will cover 4 subjects in this one hour workshop. Those with large and small families, with both younger and older children will discover that teaching several subjects together as a family can be a joyous blessing to all. 

"Introduction to Homeschooling"
​“Is it legal?” “How do you do it?” “What about socialization?”  Rimini will navigate through the ins and outs of homeschooling in the state of California. She will discuss the importance of knowing your own reasons for educating your children at home.

Rimini Esser is a mother of seven children ages 3-21 years old and has been homeschooling for 17 years. Her eldest son is a recent graduate of Thomas Aquinas College. Her second son attends St. Michael 's Preparatory School. The youngest five children are all currently homeschooling. There have been many ups and downs in her personal homeschool journey. Through God's mercy, Rimini has found a homeschool path which enables her and her children to delight in this calling to homeschool. She is excited  to share this path with others!

Virginia Seuffert

"Timeless Principles of Successful Homeschooling"

Feel overwhelmed or suffering from major burnout? Are you asking if homeschooling is really for you, and wondering how other parents keep going year after year? Ginny Seuffert will provide practical, down-to-earth advice drawn from her thirty years of successful homeschooling to put some peace and joy back in your homeschool day.

"What 30 Years of Homeschooling Has Taught Me About Discipline"
Why do some Catholic homeschool moms seem to have it all together, while others run around putting out fires? Ginny Seuffert will discuss how discipline, in its many forms, is the key to unlock calm, confident Catholic family life.

​​Virginia Seuffert lectured, debated, and authored articles on behalf of the pro-life movement in her native New York State. After moving to the Chicago area, she switched her focus to strengthening Catholic family life, especially through home schooling.  Ginny has appeared on EWTN, is a regular guest on Relevant Radio, lectures at Catholic family conferences all over the United States, and writes topical articles for both print and electronic media.   She received a first place award from the Illinois Press Association for a newspaper column she wrote defending traditional family values.  The Modern Catholic Parents Guide to Homeschooling: Why You Should and How You Can is her fifth book published by Seton Press.  She and her husband Ed are the parents of twelve children and grandchild 24 is due in May 2018.

Laurie Shepardson

"I'm Just Getting Started"

Are you new to homeschooling? Or, do you need a new fresh start? Come listen to eighteen year veteran mom, Laurie Shepardson, talk about how to get started, how to motivate your kids, why you can’t fail at homeschooling, the best way to get work done, and the single, most important thing you can do for (and with) your kids every day.

Laurie Shepardson is a homeschooling, rosary praying, grace seeking, wanna be saint. She tries and sometimes succeeds to do small things with great love and strives every day to thank God for ALL things. She and her husband, Ken, are presently homeschooling five of their eleven children. She is an expert diaper changer, booboo kisser, and story time reader. She enjoys watching movies, writing, and connecting with friends on social media.Laurie is a wife, mother, writer, blogger, and speaker. She and her husband Ken have been blessed with 11 children and live in Laguna Hills, where they attend St. Nicholas Parish. With 18 years of homeschooling under her belt she is excited about sharing her successes and failures with you today.

Matthew Arnold

"Catholic Homeschooling: A Call to Chivalry"

Drawing upon the medieval institution of Chivalry and Pope Francis’ new Apostolic Exhortation Gaudete et Exsultate, Matthew Arnold offers encouragement and inspiration for living out the universal call to holiness in the homeschooling family.

Matthew Arnold is a lay Roman Catholic speaker and the author of the book Confessions of a Traditional Catholic (Ignatius Press, 2017). Matthew has hosted radio programs for EWTN and the Radio Maria Network and his “no nonsense” approach to Catholicism has inspired and informed audiences on four continents for twenty years. 

A husband and father of six, Matthew holds a Certificate of Lay Ecclesial Ministry for the Diocese of Orange.  His informative CDs, DVDs and brochures on the Catholic Faith are currently available in over six thousand parishes around the country through the Augustine Institute’s Lighthouse program.  In March of 2017, Matthew was honored with a “Catholic Man of the Year” award presented by Bishop Timothy Freyer of the Diocese of Orange.

Supporting Catholic Home Education

Vendor/Workshops (patio)

Sandy Sutherland

"Working and Homeschooling"

Do finances dictate that you must work and you wonder how you will be able to do that AND homeschool effectively and still manage your home?  Come hear tips and techniques for homeschooling while working (including recruiting help from family and friends) from a mom who has juggled it all. 

Sandy and her husband, Todd, have been homeschooling their four children since 1999. Two children have graduated from college and one currently attends a local college. Sandy continues to homeschool the youngest (who is in high school) while working as a Mother of Divine Grace consultant and running Sutherland Bookkeeping Service. She is a founding member of the St. Thomas Aquinas Dumb-Ox Club (aka Chino Hills co-op) and has been involved in Southern California Catholic Home Educators since its inception.