Faith’s own learning struggles and diagnosis of dyscalculia compelled her compassion for other bright but struggling students. A fifteen year teaching career before she became a homeschool mom included both public and private schools, tutoring, and working as a reading specialist. Her specific area of expertise is the identification and remediation of reading difficulties.
As an extroverted-introvert who is a lifelong learner and an avid reader, her 2008 transition to homeschooling her own two children was a natural one.
Faith currently applies her passionate advocacy for special needs students as she speaks at homeschooling conferences across the nation and internationally. She also serves as a Special Needs Consultant for Home School Legal Defense Association in addition to having her own in-home, private practice as an educational diagnostician.
Faith’s articles have been published in several national homeschooling magazines, and she has been the guest of several homeschooling podcasts.
Faith holds the following credentials:
B.S. in Early Childhood and Elementary Education from West Virginia University
M.Ed. in Reading from Shenandoah University
Certification as a trained dyslexia intervention specialist through the National Institute of Learning Differences (NILD)
Certification in Equipping Minds Cognitive Curriculum
Dyslexia Demystified—Definitions and Hope for Homeschoolers
In this informative workshop, Faith defines what dyslexia is (and what it is not), discusses the different types of dyslexia as well as levels of struggle (mild, moderate, severe), and then offers hope by sharing the types of necessary teaching methods, research-based interventions, and programs that you can implement in your homeschool. Faith offers hope and encouragement in addition to tricks and strategies to add to your teaching toolkit!
Phonemic Awareness: The Missing Ingredient in Reading Instruction
Do you have a child who just isn’t getting phonics—or is struggling with beginning reading instruction? Or perhaps you have a child who has sloppy speech or doesn’t seem to hear things correctly? Poor phonemic awareness could be partly to blame. This session provides parent-teachers with an understanding of phonemic awareness skills and how these skills (or lack thereof) impact a child’s ability to become a proficient reader. Participants receive a phonemic awareness assessment that they can use at home, take part in interactive activities in order to “play” with phonemic awareness, and receive a list of curriculum, materials, and games that address these important, foundational skills.
Laying a Foundation for Reading Comprehension in the Preschool Years
In this session, Faith discusses the ultimate goal of reading instruction: comprehension. She also explores various types of thinking and processing skills required for proficient comprehension. Faith shares tips, techniques, and strategies for developing the vocabulary of very young, as well as good habits of mind in order to lay a solid foundation for comprehension with our wee ones (up to age 5).
Reading Difficulties: Remediation Strategies and Techniques*
Do you have a student who is having reading difficulties? This session introduces the 5 Pillars of Reading: phonemic awareness, phonics (decoding and word recognition), fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension. Faith offers guidance for identifying the area and the level of your child’s reading difficulty, and she also shares practical teaching tools, strategies, and techniques for remediating your child’s reading struggles.
*NOTE: This is a 2-part workshop. Session 1 will address decoding and fluency problems. Session 2 will cover addressing and remediating reading comprehension difficulties.
“HLEP!” My Kid Can’t Spell!
In this session, Faith addresses the importance of spelling and presents the developmental stages of spelling. She also shares various strategies, techniques, and fun, hands-on, multi-sensory methods for spelling practice, as well as specialized spelling programs and strategies to help you transform “I am a terrible speller” into “I am a good speller!”
Walking on the Homeschool Tight Rope: A Practical Guide to Balancing Life and Lesson Plans
This encouraging workshop offers ideas for how to make homeschooling fit with your family’s unique situation and needs as well as your teaching style and your children’s learning styles. Faith offers suggestions for scheduling, time management, organization, and teaching children of different ages simultaneously.
SOS! How To Homeschool Students with Special Needs
This workshop offers practical direction and encouragement for families who are considering home education or for those who have already plunged into the scary waters of special education at home and are seeking assistance to navigate this realm. Faith shares resources for homeschooling special needs, diagnostic checklists for struggling learners, addresses common concerns homeschooling parents face (and how to navigate around them), and shares strategies for charting a course for success with your children who learn differently.
High School At Home for Teens with Special Needs
This workshop addresses some of the challenges associated with teaching struggling and atypical learners at home in the high school years. Do you have questions such as “How do I award my child with special needs a diploma?” or “What do I do since my child with dyslexia can’t read typical high school level material?” Faith discusses alternative coursework, specialized curricula and learning materials, assistive technology, transcript options, possible graduation guidelines, high school programs for special learners, and post–high school options. She also offers tips for navigating the process of applying for testing accommodations for College Board tests.
What Every Homeschooling Parent Needs to Know About Accommodations For Students with Disabilities
This workshop addresses a crucial, but frequently misunderstood topic related to special needs homeschooling. In this power-packed workshop, Faith explains the difference between accommodations and modifications, describes 504 Accommodation Law, and answers homeschooling parents’ most frequently asked questions, including:
- Can I give accommodations to my child on end-of-the-year standardized tests? What type of documentation is needed to do so?
- How do homeschoolers apply for special testing accommodations for college entrance exams? What documentation is required by the College Board and ACT in order for my high schooler to be considered for and granted special testing accommodations?
- Should high school students with disabilities discuss and disclose their diagnosis during the college application process?
- Can my college student receive accommodations? What accommodations are colleges required to provide to students with disabilities?
Faith also shares a disability resource guide for teens and young adults.
Equipping Minds for Reading Success
What do underlying cognitive functioning skills such as working memory, processing speed, visualization, visual and auditory memory, and naming speed have to do with reading success? Everything! Come discover how Equipping Minds, a Cognitive Development Curriculum, when integrated into part of your educational program can transform the minds of your students and set them up for reading and other academic success.