If you go

› What: Chattanooga Southeast Tennessee Home Education Association Homeschool Expo

› Where: Camp Jordan, 323 Camp Jordan Parkway, East Ridge

› When: 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Friday, July 20; 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, July 21.

› Admission: $4 for CSTHEA members, $8 nonmembers; ticket good both days

› For more information:

A Chattanooga-area mom with more than two decades in home-schooling experience wants to make sure other families considering home-schooling have access to the same resources that she has.

So Janell Bontekoe, mother of seven, is working with the Chattanooga Southeast Tennessee Home Education Association to sponsor the annual Homeschool Expo at Camp Jordan Arena.

"I'd love to see parents in the greater Chattanooga and Southeast Tennessee area join us as we build the home-school community and have some fun hanging out together," she says.

The curriculum fair is 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Friday, July 20, and 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, July 21, at Camp Jordan Arena. Admission is $4 for CSTHEA members and $8 for nonmembers. The one-time admission fee covers both days.

The expo includes 60 exhibitors showcasing ways to teach basic math and science as well as extracurricular activities like art and music.

The expo will also have a wide variety of workshops on topics ranging from teaching students with special needs and disabilities to teaching those who are gifted. One workshop will focus on teaching children "excellence without oppressing their spirit." Another will focus on "creative writing techniques that motivate children to write from their hearts and minds."

Four workshops will go on every hour, she said. There are 21 scheduled on Friday; 15 on Saturday.

The expo also serves families just looking for enrichment activities for their children. It includes educational games, toys and various tutoring groups, who let parents know how they can provide additional help for their children.

For home-school families, this is a one-stop shop where parents can find everything they need to educate their children, says Bontekoe.

"I'm one of the mature mothers," she says jokingly. "I've graduated six of my seven children and home education has been such a big building block for our family. It's built relationships. It's allowed us to tailor education to each individual child. I want other families to have that same opportunity. I want to make sure they have the resources, the materials they need to have the same phenomenal experience that we've had."

Contact Yolanda Putman at or 423-757-6431.


ChattanoogaNow Sections