Building Community, Empowering Parents

HCOS Connect aims to equip and support our home education community. Through meaningful and relevant home learning workshops we provide opportunities for parents to grow their home learning practices. HCOS Connect also provides a space for parents to connect with their regional administration, grad advisors and teachers to grow relationships, ask questions and plan for their children's education.

Virtual HCOS Connect via Zoom

Friday, April 30, 2021

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Connect 2021 Schedule

1:00 - 1:05 Welcome
1:05 - 2:35 Session #1

Jeremy Sample - Growing Independent Learners Through Executive Functioning

Jeff Laird - Good Education In Home Learning

Phil Hills - The Narrowing of the Public Mind and a Courageous Christian Response

3:00 - 4:30 Session #2

Dan Duncan - ADHD: It's Not What It Looks Like

Grant Wardle - Middle School: The Secret of My High School Success

Andy Stieger - Apologetics at Home: 5 Best Practices

7:00 - 8:30 Session #3

Katy Kwon - Understanding Anxiety and Depression in Youth and Children

Chelsea Bitgood - The Graduation Program at HCOS

Greta Eskridge - Parenting in the Age of Pornography

8:30 Closing

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Session #1

Growing Independent Learners Through Executive Functioning

What does it look like when children and youth struggle with Executive Functioning? What strategies are there for supporting youth to develop Executive Functioning and what are some practical solutions you as parents, teachers or caregivers can implement at home or in the school environment to help develop these core functions:

  • Impulse Control
  • Emotional Control
  • Flexible Thinking
  • Working Memory
  • Self-Monitoring
  • Planning and Prioritizing
  • Task Initiation
  • Organization

Jeremy Sample

Jeremy Sample is a Certified Behaviour Interventionist who has been working in Rehabilitation Therapy for over 20 years. He specializes in adaptive therapies for children with Cognitive Impairments as well as Effective Functional Behaviour Intervention. Jeremy has an innate talent for connecting with young learners and creating a space for cognitive, emotional and social learning. His practice is a strength-based learning approach, utilizing gross motor neural programming and evidence-based Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA). Currently, Jeremy is a private consultant, Adaptive Therapist and Behaviour Interventionist for families in the Comox Valley on Vancouver Island. He is a registered service provider for the Ministry of Children and Families in British Columbia and works as a Special Education Consultant with multiple home learning agencies. In his free time, Jeremy volunteers his weekends to assist and support youth in experiencing the thrill of skiing & snowboarding as an instructor for the Vancouver Island Society for Adaptive Snowsports.

Good Education In Home Learning

This workshop will take a look at what good education looks like in a home learning program with a focus on Kindergarten to grade Six. The focus will be on why parents choose home learning, balancing community events with getting course work done, the need to move deeper as kids get older, and what keeps you going as a homeschooling parent. Takeaways include goal setting processes, a framework for short and long term scheduling, and strategies to help transition to older grades.

Jeff Laird

Jeff is a homeschooling dad. He and his wife Aleece are long time homeschooling parents of their two boys, Mac (17) and Cal (14). They take their home learning with their boys one year at a time, with some long term planning, and Jeff has headed up their home school program since it started many years ago. His experience as a homeschooling parent has taught him as much as it’s taught their boys, some of it he enjoyed learning and some of it was tough! It’s a journey they wouldn’t trade as a family and one that needs to have purposeful thought and a good dose of fun in the mix. Balance these off and you will do well! Jeff has also worked at HCOS since it began in 2004 and has been a K-9 Support Teacher, K-9 Regional Administrator, and is currently the Director of the K-9 program.

The Narrowing of the Public Mind and a Courageous Christian Response

Christians believe that they are people who are committed to loving God and their neighbours and who seek to bring the joy of the gospel to their communities. Their desire is to bring hope, healing, forgiveness and peace into people's lives through introducing them to Jesus Christ. But increasingly they are being characterized as not only irrelevant to the needs of people today, but actually harmful to human flourishing. The riot in Washington in January is being used as an example of our true nature and therefore justification for increased restrictions over our ideas and activities. How should we both understand the direction the world is going in and, more importantly, how we prepare our children for this new era of suspicion and growing oppression. Preparing our children to flourish as the western world continues to flounder is the focus of Phil’s workshop.

Phil Hills

Philip Hills has served as the Regional Director of the Association of Christian Schools international Western Canada (ACSIWC) over the last 15 year. He serves Christian Schools and post secondary institutions from Manitoba to BC, In addition, he collaborates with Christian Educational leaders around the world on global educational projects.

Session #2

ADHD: It's Not What It Looks Like

There are two critical problems in the world of ADHD:

  1. ADHD looks like something it isn’t
  2. People respond to ADHD based on what it looks like (rather than what it is)

The vast majority of people respond to ADHD from the “outside in” perspective, which is focus on reducing those pesky ADHD Symptoms like inattention, forgetfulness, fidgeting, procrastination, etc. This approach won’t work; actually, it can’t work. It only ends up frustrating the individual with ADHD, as well as those who are trying to help.

This presentation will shift mindsets away from an “outside in” perspective and response to ADHD, and toward the “Inside Out” perspective and response. When ADHD is understood from the Inside Out, it is much easier to develop helpful communication about tools and strategies that will leverage the individual’s strengths while also filling in those potholes that keep showing up on their pathway.

Dan Duncan

Dan Duncan is an ADHD Coach/Consultant associated with the BC Interior ADHD Clinic in Kelowna, BC, and the designated Academic Strategist for students diagnosed with ADHD who attend UBC Okanagan. His private practice offers coaching and consulting for individuals with ADHD, as well as their parents, spouses, and educators.

Dan lives successfully with ADHD, and together, he and his wife raised two sons; one with ADHD, and one without. This unique perspective provides Dan’s with an understanding of ADHD from the Inside Out; his presentations reflect this knowledge.

Middle School: The Secret of My High School Success

Join me for an informative workshop on “everything Middle School”.....okay, maybe “some things Middle School.” Middle schoolers are very complex creatures so my goal will be to share some insights into the way middle school students think and operate and then to explore some practical ways that you can help your middle schoolers get the most out of their Middle School years and enter the Grad Program as prepared as possible. We will take a tour of an online course and find out why starting online courses early is an important ingredient to high school success.

Grant Wardle

Grant has been a teacher for 31 years and an administrator for 22 of those. Grant joined Heritage 2 years ago and currently serves as Middle School Administrator and Science/Math teacher. One of his most rewarding endeavours was to take his family overseas to Taiwan for two years where he taught science at Morrison Academy. Grant has a M. Ed. in Curriculum and Leadership.

Grant has been married for 37 years and has 2 children and one five month old grandchild. He likes to spend time outdoors hiking and paddling and spends an inordinate amount of time playing his ukuleles .

Apologetics at Home: 5 Best Practices

As a parent my desire is to teach my children in the way of Jesus and to see them follow Him all their days. If this is your desire and prayer, then like me you have probably asked: What is the best way to do that? As you're hopefully aware, your child is not a robot. Helping your child develop a love for God and people is not something that can just be programmed into them. However, the Bible does teach what is best for imparting our faith and building their faith. In this session, we will discuss five best practices to incorporate into your teaching that will support and encourage your child’s relationship with God. Research continues to attest to these practices and my 20 years of ministry experience has confirmed the effectiveness of incorporating these strategies into your teaching and parenting.

Andy Stieger

Andy Steiger is the founder and president of Apologetics Canada, an organization dedicated to helping churches across Canada better understand and engage today’s culture. Most recently, he wrote the book Reclaimed: How Jesus Restores Our Humanity in a Dehumanized World. This book was preceded by The Human Project video series. In 2018, The Human Project debuted at film festivals around the world and won a number of awards including Best Short Film and People's Choice. He also created and hosted The Thinking Series and is the author of Thinking? Answering Life’s Five Biggest Questions. Andy speaks on these topics internationally at universities, conferences, churches, prisons and coffee shops. He is currently a PhD candidate at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland. Andy is originally from Portland, Oregon and currently lives in Abbotsford, British Columbia with his wife, Nancy, and their boys.

Session #3

Understanding Anxiety and Depression in Youth and Children

This session will explore two of the most prevalent mental health challenges for children and youth: anxiety and depression. We’ll discuss this from a Christ-centered and practical approach. While these emotions are part of our everyday lives, we will explore what can we as caregivers do to support and build empathy for those in our family for whom this has become life-influencing. Along with a thorough understanding, practical home learning tools and next steps will be shared.

Katy Kwon

Katy Kwon has her Masters of Counselling Psychology from Trinity Western University. It is her privilege to work alongside individuals and organizations in the work of life transformation and mental health education. She lives in the Lower Mainland with her husband, John, and 3 boys (the greatest adventure of all).

The Graduation Program at HCOS

Come join our director of grad in learning a bit about graduation requirements, program specifics, HCOS unique offerings and how to support transitioning students from Grade 9 to grad! We will take some time to answer questions you might have, introduce your Grad Advisors and support team, and ensure you know who to turn to for questions!

Chelsea Bitgood

Chelsea has been with HCOS since it’s very beginning in various roles over the years, including office support, teacher, curriculum development and now as the Director of the Grad Program. She has her MEd in curriculum and leadership and BSc in Mathematics. She’s a mom of five who range in age from grade 2 to 7, and are homeschooling this year. She loves to camp with her family, enjoys outdoor sports and activities, loves to snuggle her nephews and is praying for a time when we can all gather together again!

Parenting in the Age of Pornography

In her talks, Greta shares how years of research and personal interactions with parents have led her to the conclusion that, in this era of unparalleled access to pornography, parents are in a battle for their children's bodies, minds, hearts and very souls. Greta helps parents learn the facts about pornography. Then she equips and empowers them to fight it!

Greta also discusses how she and her husband approach the topic of sex with their own kids, helping them to see their bodies and their sexuality as something God-given and God designed. Cultivating a healthy sexual culture in our homes is incredibly important as we are living in a time where sexuality can be so easily warped by pornography. Greta’s goal is to help parents feel both comfortable and equipped to help their children develop a healthy view of sexuality.

Greta Eskridge

Greta Eskridge is a nature lover, book reader, and coffee drinker. She craves relationship and loves having adventures. Her faith in God is the lens through which she sees life. Greta is a second generation homeschooling mom of 4, a wife of 22 years to Aaron, and an author and speaker.

Greta is passionate about educating parents of the devastating effects of pornography on children and then equipping and empowering families to fight porn. She loves to travel the country sharing her message of joyful, connected parenting. Greta’s first book, Adventuring Together, released July of 2020 with Thomas Nelson.

Greta would love to connect with you on her blog at She also loves hanging out on Instagram and would love to connect with you there too. You’ll find her @maandpamodern

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