2022 Spring Symposium

We want to warmly welcome you to our 2022 Spring Symposium, March 5th on the campus of beautiful Bethany Lutheran College in Mankato, Minnesota! If you are local, come and share the day with us! (Register by February 22.) If you can’t make it due to distance or time constraints, visit our Facebook page to watch the lectures via livestream. Here’s a little bit about the talks you will enjoy:

“Who Is This Child Before Me?”—Pastor Joshua Skogen

This presentation will help align our understanding of who our children are to the biblical perspective, and how that understanding shapes our purpose and goals in training them.

Rev. Joshua Skogen serves as the pastor of Scarville and Center Lutheran congregations in Scarville, IA. He received his Master of Divinity from Bethany Lutheran Theological Seminary in 2010. Since then, he has served congregations in Waukon, IA, and Portage, IN, and now is in his fourth year at Scarville and Center. He is also the principal and a teacher at Scarville Lutheran School, which currently has grades Kindergarten through 11th grade. Prior to his arrival at Scarville, he and his wife, Katie, were homeschooling their children. Though he now teaches in a Christian Day School, he remains an advocate of homeschooling. Rev. Skogen has a background in education. He received a degree from Southwest Minnesota State University to teach secondary mathematics, and he continues to study education, especially classical Lutheran education, through conferences and books. Discussions about God’s Word and education are frequently enjoyed in the Scarville parsonage where Rev. Skogen, his wife Katie, and their six children live.

“The Why? The How? And the Setting of Goals. The Abridged Version.”—Mary Abrahamson

Why should you homeschool your children, or why not? If you decide to homeschool how should you begin? Or if you’re a long time homeschooler, is it time to change things up? Mary will not answer any of these questions for you. But she may give you some things to consider as you answer them for yourself. Mary will finish off with a quick introduction to what she considers one of the most important things, perhaps the most important thing, she did many years ago as a young homeschool mom.

Mary Abrahamson, with her husband, Joe, has ten children. Their children have home schooled, charter schooled, public schooled, online schooled, attended Lutheran boarding school, and spent time with adult siblings being schooled by them. Mary has used a variety of curricula. She has had times of schooling with more structure and other times with less. Mary has been a full time mother and and also worked out of the home part time. During their years of homeschooling, Mary has schooled with a home full of children, with new babies, and during times of illness and depression. She now has few under her immediate care and guidance. She has seen the many ways in which the home school lifestyle blesses a family, and also gives rise to many challenges. And she’s seen God’s presence and promises throughout it all.

“Educating God’s Children”—Brenda Wagenknecht

Brenda Wagenknecht will share practical information on homeschooling children with unique needs. Children with exceptional gifts, developmental disabilities, learning differences, and those with trauma backgrounds require additional considerations when making a homeschool plan. Brenda will share information on neurological needs and accommodations as well as share specialized curriculum and resources.

Brenda Wagenknecht and her husband, Rev. Steven Wagenknecht, are parents to 5 bio/adopted children and 5 grandchildren. They spend their time between the Rio Grande Valley of Texas where Steve pastors a congregation and Phoenix, AZ where their children reside for schooling and medical options. Brenda has spent nearly 30 years in the field of education teaching in public, private, and homeschool settings as well as running her business, Hand in Hand Educational Consulting. She holds Masters’ in Mild to Moderate and Moderate to Severe Disabilities as well as being a certified neuro-development specialist. She serves as a Lead Mentor, Early Childhood District Coordinator, and Special Education Coordinator for the WELS. She has a passion for helping fellow parents and teachers with difficult issues related to homeschooling, adoption, trauma, special education needs, autism, cross-cultural living, and parenting. She currently is the Student Service Director at Grace Lutheran School in Glendale, AZ where she has helped the school develop a program to meet the needs of students with varying disabilities. She is a contributing author to Simply Dedicated: Stories and Devotions From and For Adoptive and Foster Families.

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