APRIL 27, 2023

Generations Church, 1300 Princess Royal Ave, Nanaimo, BC

Detailed Schedule

1:30 - 2:15 pm

Worship & Welcome

2:15 - 2:20 pm


2:20 - 3:20 pm

  • The Power of Story – Sigmund Brouwer
  • Home Based Learning at HCOS: The Year, The Tips, and Your Values – Jeff Laird

3:20 - 3:35 pm


3:35 - 4:35 pm

  • Escape Grad Discontent with Planning and Supports – Ryan Titley
  • Executive Functioning Skills: What are they, and how can we develop them in ourselves and our children? – Catherine Lisimaque & Nola Morgan
  • Learning Commons Show and Tell: Finding Learning Commons Treasures – Cynthia Duncalfe

4:35-4:50 pm

Door Prizes and Closing of Afternoon

Dinner Break


A Precious Good: A Conversation on Friendship - Regional Admin Team & Teachers

Conference Starts In...


Because humans are wired for stories, it is one of the best motivators for parents to raise children who love literature and are motivated to improve their writing at all levels. More than that, however, STORY connects, and when families tap into this, the results go far beyond elevated reading and writing skills. Plus, there’s one surprise factor that will make a huge difference in learning, and everyone in the family will LOVE the justification to use it daily to raise not only literacy skills, but all other areas of curriculum.
Join Jeff Laird for this session to learn about what home based learning looks like as you partner with HCOS in your journey. Learn about enrolling with HCOS as we take a month-by-month look at a typical year. Pick up some tips to add to any home based learning program no matter if you are brand new or have years of experience. As well, consider what your educational values are as a family and learn how to identify ones that will be applicable beyond any one program or resource.

Join Nola Morgan, Learning Services Consultant, and Catherine Lisimaque, Special Education teacher, as they explain executive functioning skills and how to practice and teach them at home. This workshop will include the modeling of simple and effective tools to get and stay organized, useful for both parents and students.

Join HCOS Curriculum Consultant Cynthia Duncalfe as we discover hands-on Learning Commons treasures like robots, manipulatives, and more. We’ll explore Unit Study Kits, Stem Science kits, and Come Sit by Me kits. We’ll learn about our most popular subscriptions like BrainPOP and Reading Eggs and explore how our universal supports subscriptions like Read&Write can be used by all students to support their learning.

Friendship is a powerful force in the modern world, and our media shows this with the friendships we see in movies and TV shows. At the same time, deep friendships are difficult to build and social media has cheapened our perspectives on friendships. Join us in an evening of conversation, about what it takes to develop deep friendships and what is required to share the good and bad with the people we care about and who care for us. Please feel free to bring your pre-teens and teens to this event and start these conversations that hopefully lead into ongoing discussions with your children.


Sigmund Brouwer
Photo credit to Rebecca Wellman (Photo property of Orca)

As the bestselling author of dozens of titles, with over 4 million books in print in multiple languages, Sigmund Brouwer writes for both children and adults. Sigmund instills confidence in even the most reluctant young writers and ensures they are having fun and staying excited all the while. He draws upon a diverse range of methods and strategies to help young writers find and refine their unique voices.

He has won the American Christy Book of the Year for best Christian novel, and the Arthur Ellis Award for Best Young-Adult Mystery in Canada, as well as being a finalist twice in the prestigious TD Children’s Literature Awards. Over the last two decades, he reached more than a million students across North America with his Story Ninja presentations.

Speaker - Jeff Laird
Jeff Laird
Director of K-9 Program

Jeff has been with HCOS since the school started in 2004. He has worked as a Support Teacher and Regional Administrator in the school and is currently the Director of the K-9 Program. In addition to Jeff’s experience working with families that have partnered with HCOS in their home education journeys, he has been a home education parent himself for the past 14 years. Starting in 2008 when their oldest son, Maclean (19), entered kindergarten, home education in the Laird house just wrapped up this year when their youngest son, Calum (16), started attending the local Christian school. Along with their two boys, Jeff and his wife Aleece live in Kamloops where they plan to stay for a long, long time enjoying the Interior of BC and the life they have been blessed with.

Ryan Titley
Grad Advisor – Island & North
Ryan Titley is the Art Teacher and Grad Advisor for HCOS. He likes to look at each student as an individual with specific future plans and learning needs. He enjoys planning with families for each student’s needs and giving students the opportunity to grow to their potential as they move through their graduation program. He is a father of two and loves to see his kids explore their unique passions. Ryan has a fondness for unique creative expressions from fine art and woodworking to his kids cosplay and comic art. Likewise, he appreciates time in nature, backpacking, riding a mountain bike or racing his BMX. He looks forward to working with families and supporting their goals to provide a strong Christian education for their kids.
Catherine Lisimaque
HCOS Teacher

Catherine Lisimaque is a homeschool Mom and Special Education teacher with Heritage.  She is passionate about seeing students thrive and grow more independent in their learning. She has worked with students one-on-one and in groups to develop their executive functioning skills.

Nola Morgan
Learning Services Consultant – Island

Nola works full time with HCOS as a Learning Services Consultant after having served families for 15 years as a K-9 Individualized teacher.   These broad experiences, along with the homeschooling of her own children (now young-adults) have given her a wealth of insight into the importance of Executive Functioning skills to school success,  homeschooling harmony, and overall student confidence.  Nola’s passion is facilitating growth, whether it’s encouraging a student’s foundational skills,  developing a new community program, or growing nutritious food for her family.

Cynthia Duncalfe
Curriculum Consultant

Cynthia has served as HCOS Curriculum Consultant for the past six years and as Coordinator for Chilliwack Community Connections for the past five. She has also taught various ADST workshops for HCOS students in the Fraser Valley. Cynthia and her husband, Darren, have five home-educated children. Before working with HCOS, she was a founder and owner/operator of Cornerstone Learning Resources, Ltd. in Kelowna. Cynthia has a strong passion for education, particularly in fostering a Biblical worldview and educational technology.