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Homeschool Talks - Ideas and inspiration for your homeschool

Fuel for your homeschool.

Homeschool Talks is an informative podcast about all things homeschooling. We feature exciting interviews with homeschoolers from all walks of life. Each episode is packed with practical tips, inspiring stories, and more.

Episode 15  •  Sep 11, 2018  • 

How to Customize Your Child’s Curriculum: An Interview with Peggy Ployhar

Are you wanting to customize your child’s curriculum to fit her needs, but aren’t sure how to do it—or even where to start? In this week’s episode of Homeschool Talks, homeschool veteran and special education expert Peggy Ployhar shares all her best tips for customizing curriculum and giving your child a truly individualized education.

28:31 min.
00:00 28:31

Episode 14  •  Jul 30, 2018  • 

The College Admissions Process from a Homeschool Perspective: An Interview with Carol Becker

If you’re homeschooling a high schooler, chances are, college is on the radar for your teen. But applying to colleges and figuring out which one is right for your teen can be a tricky process, especially for homeschoolers. Tune in as HSLDA’s high school consultants help guide you through the process, pointing out the most important things to know along the way.

01:14:05 min.
00:00 01:14:05

Episode 13  •  Jul 16, 2018  • 

Homeschooling an Outside-the-Box Child: An Interview with Nathan Clarkson

These days, the pressure to be “normal”—or to have your children be seen as “normal”—seems stronger than ever. We are often afraid to embrace our children for who they are, focusing instead on who the world thinks they should be. Today we want to encourage you by sharing the story of Nathan Clarkson, a young man who has been seen as “different” for practically his whole life. If you are homeschooling a child with a learning disability or mental health struggle, or you want to know more about what it’s like to face these challenges, this is a message you need to hear.

20:40 min.
00:00 20:40

Episode 12  •  Jun 25, 2018  • 

“Just Go Play Outside”: An Interview with Angela Hanscom

Telling kids to go play outside is often an attempt to release their extraneous energy, or to give Mom or Dad a much-needed rest. But did you know that playing outside also has significant mental and physical benefits for children? Today, Diane Kummer is chatting with a pediatric occupational therapist who says that unstructured outdoor play time isn’t just an outlet for childhood dynamism—it’s actually vital for a child’s physical and mental development.

30:17 min.
00:00 30:17

Episode 11  •  Jun 11, 2018  • 

State Senator, Homeschooling Mom: An Interview with Patricia Rucker

It’s easy to talk about the importance of serving your community, but most of the time it takes more than just words to make a difference. Today we want to introduce you to someone who talks the talk and walks the walk. Not only does she homeschool all five of her children—two of whom have special needs—but she also serves as a state senator and regularly volunteers in various service projects in her community. She’s truly a remarkable woman, and we hope you’ll find her story as inspiring and encouraging as we have. That's today on Homeschool Talks.

26:15 min.
00:00 26:15
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Homeschool Talks is the successor to HSLDA's now-retired radio program, Homeschool Heartbeat. To browse the Homeschool Heartbeat program archives, click here.

About Homeschool Talks Podcast

Are you a homeschooling parent looking for practical tips on teaching your kids, or simply someone who is interested in learning more about homeschooling?

Then you’ve come to the right place.

Homeschool Talks is an informative podcast about all things homeschooling. We feature exciting interviews with homeschoolers from all walks of life, and each episode is packed with down-to-earth guidance, inspiring stories, and more.

To get started listening, you can use the player above, subscribe on iTunes or your favorite podcast app, follow our RSS feed, or subscribe to our email list.

We are always looking for new ideas and feedback, so if you have something to share, please don’t hesitate to let us know by sending an email to info@hslda.org with “Podcast” in the subject line.

Mike Smith

Mike Smith and his wife Elizabeth, along with Michael Farris and his wife Vickie, incorporated Home School Legal Defense Association in 1983 and were the original board members. Mike grew up in Arkansas and graduated from the University of Arkansas. Upon graduation, he entered the U.S. Navy and served for three years before attending law school at the University of San Diego. He graduated in 1972 and was admitted to practice law in the state of California shortly thereafter. He is licensed in Virginia, California, and Washington, D.C.

In 1981, Mike’s life changed drastically when he heard a radio program that introduced him to the idea of homeschooling. Mike and his wife began homeschooling one year at a time to meet the academic and social needs of their children. After several years, however, it became obvious that God had exposed the Smith family to homeschooling for many other benefits, including spiritual development and family integrity. All of Mike’s children are now grown, and three of the four were homeschooled.

When he started with HSLDA, Mike began defending homeschooling in California both in court and before the legislature. In 1987 he came to HSLDA full-time, serving as its vice president until 2001, when he became its president. In addition to serving as President of HSLDA, he also is HSLDA’s lawyer for California, Nevada, and Puerto Rico.

Mike’s favorite part of his job is going to homeschool conferences and meeting those he calls America’s greatest heroes—homeschooling moms.

Diane Kummer

Diane and her husband Tom homeschooled their two children from kindergarten through 12th grade using a variety of teaching options. Both of their children went on to college and are now well into their careers.

Diane joined the staff of Home School Legal Defense Association in 2005 to help develop HSLDA’s Homeschooling Thru High School program. As the HSLDA Consultant Program Administrator and one of HSLDA’s High School Consultants, Diane regularly speaks nationwide at homeschool conferences and presents high school symposiums, sharing from her experiences and her imperfect (but real) homeschooling days! Her practical and encouraging high school seminars provide information that inspires parents to continue teaching their teens at home with confidence.

Diane enjoys writing articles (such as regular columns for HSLDA’s Home School Court Report magazine as well as articles for other publications), brochures on high school topics, and a monthly high school newsletter filled with helpful tips. She reviews new resources and provides personal consultation to HSLDA members.

Diane loves math and taught high school math classes for homeschooled students for many years. She also led a homeschool group of over 200 families, while coordinating classes and activities.

In her free time, Diane enjoys teaching ladies’ Bible studies and being involved in pro-life ministries. Having graduated from the Pennsylvania State University with a bachelor’s degree in business management, she enjoyed a banking career prior to starting a family and beginning her homeschool adventure.