Saturday, January 30, 2010

Say What You Mean Convention

Homeschool Group Leader has the privilege of being an official sponsor of the Say What You Mean Convention 2010.

The theme this year is Three Flavors of Communication, and for the fifth year in a row, JoJo Tabares has scheduled an incredible lineup of speakers and workshops. JoJo does everything with excellence and this convention will be no exception.

Her heart's desire is to provide tons of great information in a FUN and FREE way to all of us, to help us be better communicators--in our marriages, families, friendships, and working relationships.

Here's the scoop on this year's SWYM convention:

When: February 3rd beginning at 8am PST/11am EST

Where: Right from the comfort of YOUR OWN HOME…COMPUTER!

What…to expect: LOTS!

Keynote Speakers: Christian Comedian, Micheal Jr. interview on Faith and Humor! AND…Talk-A-Latte’s Cindy Rushton’s seminar on Marriage!

Live Seminars: Most of the live seminars will also be recorded for later, but if you’re listening in live, you can win bonus gifts. Plus, you won’t want to miss the Michael Jr. live interview, which will NOT be recorded at all.

8am PST/11am EST ~ Interview with Christian comedian Michael Jr. on Faith and Humor
10am PST/1pm EST ~ JoJo Tabares of Art of Eloquence “The Three Flavors of Communication: Writing, Speech, and Conversation”
12pm PST/3pm EST ~ Cindy Rushton of Talk-a-Latte ”Building a Passionate, Forever, Happier, and Happier-Ever-After Marriage”
2pm PST/5pm EST ~ Joan Rudder-Ward of Girl Nurture “The Heat is On: Techniques to Protect You and Your Daughter from Becoming Culture War Casualties.”
4pm PST/7pm EST ~ Kim Kautzer of WriteShop “Writing Skills: More Important than Ever!”
6pm PST/9pm EST ~ Prayer Chat (this is a highlight of every SWYM Convention and will not be recorded)

Pre-recorded Audios: Read the descriptions of each talk here.

• How to Tailor Your Writing for Effectiveness
• The Lazy Student: What’s a Mom to Do?
• What Good Is a Speech Course If Your Kids Won’t Use It?
• How to Write a Speech
• Conversation: The Most Important Communication
• Speak the Truth in Love
• What Most Apologetics Courses Don’t Teach You
• Talking vs. Communicating
• Listening: THE Most Important Communication Skill
• Humor: A Powerful Communication Tool
• Avoiding, Reducing and Healing Conflicts
• What It Takes to Be a Great Communicator

Even More FUN!
• Free Admission
• Visit the Say What You Mean Convention for more details.

JoJo invites you to be a part of the great prize giveaways being awarded all during the February 3rd convention:
Don’t forget to sign up for our drawings on the home page of the convention site! We will draw a name to win a prize at EACH LIVE event! You don’t have to be present to win, but you do have to enter by signing up! If you are present in the live event and your name is called, you will win TWO PRIZES!
We plan to be there. Won't you join us?

Becoming better communicators,
Kristen & Denise

Learn how to communicate with moms, dads, teens and more within your homeschool group and get them fired up and involved. GO!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Spring is Coming

The drive leading to our local gym is beautifully manicured. As I was driving my kids to their homeschool PE class, we passed by a double row of crape myrtles. There must be 20-30 crapes in that one median, and I've passed them dozens of times before. Cattle were grazing peacefully in the pasture to the right, but those crape myrtles strangely captured my attention.

For seemingly the first time, I noticed that the crapes had been pruned. In the few seconds it took for me to drive past them, God used those shrubs to pour spiritual truth into my leader heart.

1. The cuts were dramatic. There were no blooms whatsoever. The trunks stood courageously bare against the January sun. In their barrenness, they were still so beautiful.

2. Each shrub had been prepped for the spring. Red mounds of mulch piled around the base of each crape myrtle, polishing its presentation and protecting its roots.

3. The pruning had clearly been done by a skilled gardener. The one who'd made the cuts knew exactly what he was doing and was purposeful in it.

As I drove on up the road leading to the gym, I commented to my daughter what the Lord was showing me.

* Pruning hurts and can leave you feeling exposed and barren.

* The Lord is a skilled gardener. He doesn't make a cut that won't bring growth in the spring.

* He makes the cuts to bring growth.

* And, probably the realization that struck me the most was that it is January. The green buds won't be seen for another couple of months.

This gave me hope. Hope that when the Lord prunes me as a person and as a leader, it is to bring stunning growth and "fruit," and to help me be more like Christ. The pain comes and then the eternally-long wait. The green growth is not seen right away.

The crape myrtle is known to be one of the longest blooming shrubs. Hmmm . . . pruning, the wait, and then growth that lasts a long time. How is my growth; is it enduring?

"Dear brothers and sisters, whenever trouble comes your way, let it be an opportunity for joy. For when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So, let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be strong in character and ready for anything."

James 1:2-4, New Living Translation

Learning lessons like this from God's creation helps me as a leader--a leader within my family, at church, and within the homeschool community. Being aware that the pruning has a purpose for my good and shapes me into a kinder, humbler, more effective leader supplants me and encourages me on.

Keep Moving Forward,


Need some more motivation during the winter months?

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Support Group Leadership Seminar in Houston, TX

Support Group Leadership Seminar
SETHSA will be sponsoring a leadership training workshop for all Support Group Leaders on

Saturday, January 23rd, 2010
9:30am - 3:30pm
Lunch provided
Parkway Fellowship which is located at
13414 Briar Forest Dr, Houston.

Hank Tate has been very active in the homeschool community since the founding of SETHSA in the mid-80s, has developed a seminar that specifically targets the various areas in which leaders are confronted. Hank will encourage each participant regarding ways to meet the needs of the families that comprise your group. He will help you learn the skills needed to become a better leader.

Please RSVP to with a list of those leaders who plan to attend by January 22nd.
Note: Lunch will be provided for those leaders who have been enrolled. There is no child care available. If you need to bring your children please provide quiet activities for them and a lunch.

This seminar will be a great opportunity for renewal for every support group leader.

The seminar schedule is:
9:30--Burnout in Leadership
An encouraging review of the realities of leadership - challenges, frustrations, heartaches, and over work. This session will lift your heart and remind you of the foundational reasons that you are investing yourself in helping families start and succeed in homeschooling. You will come out refreshed and renewed.
10:45--Foundations of Leadership
Surrounding yourself with helpers and future leaders is critical to long-term success for any organization. We will discover together, and discuss as a group, a variety of ways to identify and train future leaders within your group.
1:00--Dealing with Conflict
Conflict is inevitable for anyone in leadership. It is impossible to make everyone happy, but for those who care it is often painful to deal with conflict effectively. We will discuss the realities of conflict, types of conflict, and real-life experiences that demonstrate key principles for dealing with conflict. This workshop will build your confidence to face conflict wisely and will encourage you with insights on how to address the emotions that arise through conflict.

We will have an open Question & Answer session to address the issues and challenges on your heart. Hank & Jeannie Tate will share experiences from their 25 years of service to homeschoolers and everyone will be encouraged to share discoveries on how to handle issues successfully. Come prepared to share where you are struggling and need help.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Free CPA Workshop This Week!

Our friend, Carol Topp, Homeschool CPA, is giving you a ton of timely information this week in a live workshop. Her knowledge and experience with homeschool groups can soothe your tax-time concerns and give you the confidence you need to face the federal requirements. Register today for this one-time, on-line seminar set up especially for you, a homeschool group leader:

Paying Workers in a Homeschool Organization

Friday, January 15, 2010
at 4 pm EST/3 pm CST/2 pm MT/1 pm PST


  • Volunteers. Can you pay a volunteer? How to reward volunteers.

  • Independent Contractors. What are they? What IRS forms need to be filed?

  • Employees. How are they different from Independent Contractors? What forms does the IRS require?

The call will last about one hour, and there will be time for your questions.

There is no cost for the workshop but you should register to receive the call in information, a handout and reminders.

Click here to sign up.

or visit Carol's website

Many blessings,

Denise & Kristen

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

A Review for You: The Language of Leadership

I have yet to meet JoJo Tabares face to face, but I can't wait to meet her. JoJo's heart for leaders comes through crystal clear in everything she does.

A couple of years ago, JoJo--who is the founder of the Art of Eloquence--and I met through a Yahoo group for Christian self-publishers, and I liked her style right away. Her advice to the other group members was balanced, humorous and kind.

A couple of months ago, Denise and I had the privilege of being interviewed by JoJo on her TalkShoe Radio, discussing the topic of motivating members in a homeschool group. We had a blast working with her and knew that we had made a virtual forever-friend.

Now we have the privilege of introducing you to our friend as well as to her wonderful resource for leaders--Say What You Mean: The Language of Leadership. Written in JoJo's signature style, this downloadable book is over 50 pages, packed with real-life examples, Scriptures, and leadership assignments that JoJo uses to teach us leaders how to hone our skills to meet the challenges of leadership for the Kingdom of God.

I like that. JoJo casts a vision of how the Lord can use us to communicate our message well to others. . . and listen well to theirs.

My absolute favorite part of the e-book is the "About the Author" section right at the beginning. Here JoJo shares her amazing story of growing up as a "shy child raised by two loving Athiests of Jewish heritage" and how God used that experience to draw her to Him and to draw out her natural talents for speaking to leaders using her love for both the Bible and humor.

Eighteen easy-to-read chapters cover such communication topics as: what a leader isn't, how to "unbossy" yourself, leading your children and even the secret leader handshake. Almost every chapter ends with a link to at least one of JoJo's communication articles (that's my second absolute favorite part of the e-book).

Every homeschool group leader, regardless of position, can benefit from Say What You Mean: The Language of Leadership. It's in my own library and I'd recommend it to any homeschool group leader. You can pick up your copy at Art of Eloquence. . . and, hey, be sure to tell JoJo that her friend HGLeader sent you!

Happy Reading!