Zan Tyler was threatened with jail when she began homeschooling in 1984. For the next eight years she fought for homeschool freedom and good legislation in SC. In 1990 she founded the South Carolina Association of Independent Home Schools and served as its president for ten years. Her fight for homeschool freedom has led to her serve as the National Grassroots Director for ParentalRights.org, to advocate for homeschooling in the media (appearing on NBC’s Today Show) and at the nation’s capitol, and to write profusely about the benefits of homeschooling.
Zan is the author of 7 Tools for Cultivating Your Child’s Potential and speaks across the country and around the globe to encourage homeschooling families. She worked in Christian publishing and curriculum development for 16 years and now works for Homeworks by Precept/BJU Press Homeschool and Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) on special assignments.
Zan was awarded the Order of the Palmetto, the highest civilian honor given by the governor of South Carolina, and in 2015 she was presented with the Chris Klicka Award by HSLDAfor her dedication and commitment to home education worldwide. She considers the twenty-one-years she and her husband Joe spent homeschooling their own three children from kindergarten through high school to be the greatest privilege of her life. Zan enjoys traveling, reading, watching her adult children embark on the homeschooling journey, playing with her grandkids, and laughing hysterically with Joe wherever they go.
Zan’s workshops at the 2019 OCEANetwork conference
- Ten Lessons I Learned on the Way to Jail – In 1984, the State Superintendent of Education told Zan Tyler that he could have her put in jail for homeschooling her son. Zan knew this was no idle threat. The shock and fear that riveted her and the imminent threat of being jailed forced her to count the costs of homeschooling and decide if it was really worth it. Zan learned some powerful lessons about fighting for freedom, family, and faith that remain pertinent today. Our nation is once again at a crossroads where the liberties we often take for granted are at stake. We must all continue to work to preserve life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, while intentionally raising up a new generation of freedom fighters. But how do we do that? Come to this session to be encouraged and equipped with powerful principles to share with your children and teens.
- Life in the Fiery Furnace: How to Avoid Homeschool Burnout – Homeschooling places great demands on parents and leads to great expectations. This combination can set us up for an intense sense of failure and disappointment. Homeschooling doesn’t always go according to our plans. Even when we are doing our best to follow God and love our families, we may find ourselves in the “fiery furnace,” ready to throw in the towel. In this session, Zan Tyler explores the causes of burnout and shares ways to avoid them. This workshop contains many practical tips for streamlining your life. It also encourages a biblical vision for what you are ultimately trying to accomplish in your children’s lives through homeschooling—a vision that will sustain you through the hard times and difficult days that are sure to come.
- Happy at Home: Four Elements of a Superb Preschool Experience – The frenzied push for education begins earlier and earlier in today’s society. In our world of preschool-mania, some parents pay hefty amounts to consultants who can help get their youngsters into just the right preschool. Other concerned parents are putting their preschoolers on waiting lists years in advance—sometimes even while the child is still in the womb! So what constitutes a meaningful preschool education that prepares a child for a life of learning and significance? In this workshop, we will discuss learning theories as well as practical skills you can teach your children. We will also cover how to develop a love for books in even your most active little ones. Join Zan Tyler as she addresses four vital components of a superb preschool education—and be encouraged that home is indeed the ultimate preschool!
Laughter Is the Best Medicine: Marriage Lessons from Real Life with Joe Tyler – “Zan was my best friend and ministry partner when we were in college. I knew I loved her and wanted to know how she felt about me, so out of the blue (we had never dated) I proposed to her during our junior year. She didn’t speak to me for a month.” In spite of this rocky start, Zan and Joe Tyler have thoroughly enjoyed 40 years of marriage. They have experienced many joys and triumphs and weathered many storms. Along with the varied hats Joe wears in the home, he is in charge of attitude adjustments and comic relief.
“Being able to laugh through the years has helped me survive things like threats of jail, the pressures of 21 years of homeschooling, and the stress of life in general. Joe makes sure I laugh a lot,” says Zan. Come enjoy a refreshing session of laughter and encouragement as Joe and Zan share candidly about the ups and downs of married life (including their biggest fight ever), while focusing on the biblical principles that have served as the unshakeable foundation of their marriage. Understanding and embracing the magnificent biblical vision of marriage is the key to a vibrant relationship.
- The Leadership Legacy – Our founding fathers and other pioneers have left us a rich legacy as we consider how to teach and train our children and how to value and preserve liberty. We will discuss the lessons we can learn from our history as we determine what type of legacy we need to leave for those who follow us. We will discuss six traits of servant leaders and what it takes to fill the leadership gap. Zan and Joe Tyler will talk specifically about family life and homeschool leadership so that we do not alienate our spouses or our children as we work to encourage other homeschool families. You’ll learn ways to effectively incorporate your children so that your leadership becomes a mission that unites the family.
- Raising Children to Be Intentional Christians in a “Whatever” World (Worldview Training) – Our children live in the midst of a secular culture facing a host of issues and moral dilemmas that we never had to deal with at their age. Because many children are not prepared to counter this culture, startling percentages of those raised in evangelical homes abandon their faith and beliefs as they move into adulthood. For this reason, training our children to develop a strong biblical worldview is one of the most important things we can do for them. Teaching them to think biblically about all areas of life equips them to become powerful thinkers, leaders, and communicators. Most importantly, it also gives staying power to their faith as they face opposition. In this session, Zan Tyler provides practical answers to the following questions:
- What is a biblical worldview and why is it crucial for my children?
- How can I teach worldview—especially if I don’t understand it myself?
- How can I teach worldview to my elementary-aged children?
- How can studying the life of Daniel change my teenager’s life?
Our goal as Christian homeschoolers must be bigger and broader than turning out kids with exceptional talent and high SAT scores. By incorporating worldview training, we can better equip them to use their gifts to impact the world for Christ, help others by solving real problems, and bring glory to God in the process.