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Brian Wasko

Brian Wasko: Speaker Profile

Looking for a featured speaker or workshop presenter at your homeschooling event? Brian’s workshops reflect his passion for teenagers, homeschooling, and the English language. His audiences inevitably leave instructed, entertained, and inspired. Here are some comments from a workshop he gave in 2013:
  • …enthusiastic, engaging, funny, and competent.
  • Wonderful delivery and organization – thorough coverage of the topic delivered with humor!
  • He really enjoys his subject. Keeps your attention.”
  • Click HERE for more comments

Below you’ll find Brian’s bio, a sample workshop with Powerpoint, a list of his current workshops and their descriptions, and more glowing reviews of his messages. If you would like to book Brian or have questions about fees and availability, email him at the address below. 

Biographical Information

Brian WaskoBrian Wasko is a homeschool dad who taught public high school English for ten years and served as a youth and family life pastor for more than twelve. He has been a high school wrestling coach, a summer youth camp speaker, and — believe it or not— a Christian rapper with two professional recordings in the early 90s! He currently directs the Centerville Homeschool Academy in Chesapeake, Virginia, where he also teaches weekly classes. He is the founder and president of WriteAtHome.com, a revolutionary writing skills development program serving homeschoolers around the world. Brian has also worked as a freelance writer, is the author of WriteAtHome’ s proprietary curriculum and manages the WriteAtHome blog (blog.WriteAtHome.com). He graduated from the University of Virginia in 1988 with a B.A. in English and education.

Brian’s personable, humorous, and enthusiastic speaking style is popular with audiences young and old. Through his speaking, Brian is able to communicate his infatuation with words, his passion for learning, and his love for teenagers.

Brian currently lives in Virginia Beach with his wife Melanie and his four home-educated, teen-aged daughters Stephanie, Taylor, Kerri, and Madison.

For more information, or to book Brian Wasko for your event, send an email to:

Sample Workshop

The video below is a live audio recording of one of Brian’s workshops at a large homeschool convention in 2013, entitled, “The Most Fascinating Discussion of Grammar in the History of the World (or Your Money Back).” The Prezi presentation used in the workshop is included.

 

 

Workshop Overview

Writing Workshops
Description
For Home-schooling
Parents and Teachers
Great for teens!

Effectively Teaching Writing

Everyone knows how important writing skills are, yet students continue to lag in this vital area. This workshop will look at some reasons for this conundrum and give practical guidelines for effectively teaching writing to your children. The focus will be on writing skills for middle and high school students, but parents of elementary school aged children will benefit as well.

   

Ten Dumb Things Teenage Writers Do and How to Avoid Them

This workshop focuses on the most common mistakes young writers make. We dip our toes into some grammatical issues, but the workshop focuses on simple principles of good writing. We examine common problems like redundancy, telling instead of showing, and modifier dependence.

 

 

A Journey of a Thousand Miles: The Writing Process

Writing is hard. A key to helping students cope with competing brain-halves, writer’s block, and mental exhaustion is attacking writing one step at a time. This workshop walks parents and students through the five steps in the writing process: pre-writing, drafting, revising, proofreading, and publishing.

 

 

Evaluating Student Writing

Spelling, creativity, coherence, diction, grammar, punctuation, content, tone, structure, voice…How does a writing instructor take into consideration the varied subjective and objective criteria by which a paper might be judged? Is it possible to fairly assess a creative work? This workshop looks at a handful of options, landing on my favorite: scoring rubrics.

 
 

Words Rock

Would a choice between writing and root canal pose a dilemma for your student? This workshop is guaranteed to make English more fun than trampolines and roller coasters. We’ll take a look at several ways to sprinkle some spice into your English curriculum. It’s not just about fun and games either--students who discover the pleasure of puns and the allure of alliteration tend to do much better on SATs and standardized tests.

 

 

Solid Strategies for Slaying the SAT Essay

Not long ago, someone had a great idea: Let’s make the tortuous SAT test even longer by adding an essay section! That way we can test student writing ability by springing an arbitrary topic on them and then giving them only twenty-five minutes to complete a brilliant, persuasive, and error-free paper!

The SAT essay isn’t new anymore. In fact, it’s been around long enough for us to discover the keys not only to surviving it, but to impressing the readers and scoring high. In this workshop, we’ll provide everything your prospective graduate will need to achieve a high essay score.

 

 

How to Mark Up a Student Paper Like a Pro (Only Better)

Nothing is more important in helping students improve their writing than a coach’s written notes. This workshop will show you how to provide encouraging, constructive feedback on student papers. We’ll even work through a sample paper or two.

 
 
For more information, or to book Brian Wasko for your event, send an email to:
Grammar Workshops
Description
For Home-schooling
Parents and Teachers
Great for teens!

The Most Fascinating Discussion of Grammar in the History of the World (or Your Money Back!)

There is perhaps no subject more intrinsically boring than grammar. Maybe that’s why students don’t get it, and we hate teaching it. In this workshop, you’ll learn that grammar ain’t isn’t so hard, and that it can actually (sometimes) be (sort of) fun (ish). Brian will answer the most common questions: why we should teach it, when we should teach it, and how we should teach it. Plus, you’ll get to take the World’s Trickiest Grammar Quiz. But wait! There’s more: Brian will reveal the secret that guarantees that your students will never make a grammar error in their writing again! How can you pass that up?

Confessions of a Reformed Grammar Legalist

Are you a stickler for correct grammar? Are your bothered by people who confuse their, there and they’re? To, too, and two? Its and it’s? Do you cringe when people misuse literally, confuse less and fewer, or say irregardless? Or are you on the other side – still trying to figure out how this crazy language works? In this workshop, grammar aficionado Brian Wasko will help the sticklers cope with a world of grammatical incompetence, while helping the rest of us avoid the biggest blunders. Brian will also talk about graciously instructing children in the basics grammar and usage.

For more information, or to book Brian Wasko for your event, send an email to:
Literature Workshops
Description
For Home-schooling
Parents and Teachers
Great for teens!

How To Do Literary Analysis that Doesn’t Ruin the Book

There’s nothing worse than dissecting and over-analyzing a book you might have loved. (Okay, there are probably several things worse, but it’s still bad, isn’t it? Literary people are so…literal.) This workshop will show you how to do literary analysis so that students end up loving literature more rather than less.

Great Books for Regular Students

You don’t need to be a professor or a literary snob to read and appreciate the Great Books. Taught by a homeschool dad and co-op teacher who has been successfully introducing regular students to Great Books for many years, this workshop will cover such questions as: What exactly are the Great Books? Why should I and my kids read them? and, What if we don’t get it?

For more information, or to book Brian Wasko for your event, send an email to:
General Education Workshops
Description
For Home-schooling
Parents and Teachers
Great for teens!

It’s Good to Know Stuff

Have you ever had a student ask, “Why do I have to know this?” This workshop will provide him (and you) with the infallible answer. We’ll look at the problems with a completely pragmatic approach to education and ways to stimulate a love for learning in our children.

Social Media for Homeschoolers

Facebook. Twitter. Pinterest. Blogging. The world of social media is captivating for some and bewildering for others. In this workshop, blogger and social media aficionado Brian Wasko explores some of the amazing opportunities as well as the common dangers of social media. It’s not for everyone, but students and parents alike can wisely benefit from the world of online interaction.

For more information, or to book Brian Wasko for your event, send an email to:

Workshop Comments

All of the comments below come directly from comment cards submitted by audience members at the Home Educators Association of Virginia Annual Convention in the summer of 2013.

  • “He covered the topic concisely and with an entertaining style. Thank you!”
  • “My favorite speaker of the entire weekend!”
  • “Humor while conveying ideas that are understandable.”
  • “Important information in an entertaining format.”
  • “Many things – this was one of the best workshops I’ve attended in 12 conventions
  • “Speaker was enthusiastic, engaging, funny, and competent.”
  • “Informative, well thought-out, straightforward presentation with energy. One of the better.”
  • “He was very good at getting his point over and was very funny. He even got the audience involved.”
  • “Witty, informative, very helpful, even to an experienced writer.”
  • “Everything”
  • “Excellent, funny, informative.”
  • “Great sense of humor.”
  • “Interactive, fun, educational. This guy rocks. The only thing he could have done to make it more interesting is to jump out of a cake.”
  • “Mr. Wasko is a great speaker, making topics that would be dull very fun to learn.”
  • “He gave errors AND the solutions clearly, using concrete examples. Helpful workshop every parent should hear. Please have him back!
  • “Brian Wasko is witty and fun!!”
  • “Energetic speaker, humorous, timely.”
  • “It totally lived up to the title of the workshop (“The Most Fascinating Discussion of Grammar in the History of the World”)”
  • “Get him again!!”
  • “Wonderful delivery and organization – thorough coverage of the topic delivered with humor!”
  • “Very well done, humorous. Great presentation.”
  • “Great speaker, very engaging, knowledgeable”
  • “Great! Such a relief for me. Yeah!”
  • “Great! Informative! Want more!”
  • “Well done!”
  • “Awesome!!”
  • “Outstanding! Made me think outside the box. :)”
  • LOVED this! Great intro! Wonderful personality. Excellent slides. Looks like you have a NEW FAN! I will be a reformed grammar Nazi. And now I want to work for you. No, seriously, I do. But 1st I need to be your student.”
  • “It was entertaining and thought-provoking.”
  • “He’s great!”
  • “Humorous. Substantive. Helpful.”
  • “He really enjoys his subject. Keeps your attention.”
  • “It was fun & helpful.”
  • So funny and great! <3 it!”
  • “Hilarious and informative”
  • “He was easy to listen to; funny.”
  • “Lively, humorous, and informative.”
  • “Refreshing look at grammar and understanding of why ruled are or are not. And funny!”