Pre-conference Immersion Sessions


Designed to provide adults with a more intimate experience and in-depth discussion about targeted topics or venues, Pre-conference Immersion Sessions are offered on Wednesday, June 14, 2017 from 8:30 am until 2:30 pm for a registration fee of $85.95 each. Because these sessions are limited to 25 attendees, they sell out quickly. The cost for each attending adult covers registration but not lunch.  An attendee may bring their own lunch or select a 4 day meal ticket option if staying for the rest of the conference (see below) or eat off campus. There is no individual pay-at-door option this year for a Wednesday only lunch.

The immersion sessions are intended for adults and only babes-in-arms may accompany parents. If the infant begins to cry, we ask parents to please leave until the child is quiet so that others' learning is not hindered.

Woman in Red in the Forest  


Kerri Forney

Charlotte Mason and the Older Child

Are you wondering what a Charlotte Mason high school schedule could look like?  Do you know what Charlotte had the students doing and reading in the upper years?  Would you like some encouragement for staying the course and continuing to apply Mason’s principles and methods for your teenaged students?  Come to the pre-conference immersion session on Mason and the Older Student led by Kerri Forney, a homeschooling mother of five, and her daughters Kathryn, a 2015 graduate, and Kristen, a rising junior, and join them as they walk you through many aspects of a CM high school  schedule.  The day will include demonstration, discussion, and immersion with plenty of time for questions.  The goal of the time together is to spread a feast of ideas and tools to encourage and inspire you along the CM high school road. 

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The Artist Painting his Wife 

1900- 1905

Cheri Struble and Sara Dalton

Charlotte Mason for Beginners

In this immersion session two experienced moms of many will explore Charlotte Mason's core philosophies for beginners. Discussion will include common myths and mistakes that newbies often make and tips for successfully achieving our goal of an atmosphere, a discipline and a life. We will consider ways her educational method may be adapted for individual families and unique settings. Understanding Miss Mason's educational philosophy is imperative, but practical application and demonstration also help us obtain this lofty ambition. Therefore, several short immersions lessons will be given to demonstrate Mason's philosophy in action. It might be easier than we often make it! Come with lots of questions for a delightful day of learning. 

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The Monument to Chopin in the 

Luxembourg Gardens  1909

Nancy Kelly

Keeping the Fresh Impulse of Learning : Multi-Age Homeschool Immersion

Nancy will demonstrate a morning in a multi-age homeschool using Mason’s methods.  Despite the large age range in many homeschools, adherence to the principles and practices in every area can make this rich education possible.  The focus will be on subjects that can successfully be combined with multiple ages. Subject areas that may be presented include Bible, dictation, citizenship, Shakespeare, history,  geography, hymn, folksong, poetry, copywork, composer study, picture study, handcrafts, nature study, literature, and natural history – all subjects that Nancy has years of experience teaching to all ages at the same time. Attendees assume the role of the student, experiencing the different forms of narration and the banquet of ideas which will bring a deeper understanding to the method. 

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Woman Walking in an Exotic Forest  


Emily Kiser

Keeping Time: History and History Charts 

We have all heard of The Book of Centuries, but some of the other time-tools Mason and the PNEU used are more unfamiliar. The use of charts and notebooks in the PNEU supported a child's deepening relationship with history and helped him develop his understanding of chronology, the conception of time, through a carefully graduated progression of time-tools. Our students today can greatly benefit from this thorough method of studying time that includes personal time-lines, Streams of History charts, the Book of Centuries, and Miss Beale's History Charts. 

During this immersion session we will explore how history was studied throughout the forms as the class participates in lessons at each level, 1st-12th grades. Together we will discover and produce the history tools children can be implementing at each level as they learn chronology. This hands-on experience will enable parents and teachers to have a clear view of the unfolding progression these tools provide in helping us deepen our understanding of the great men and events of the past and our relation and connection to them.  

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Park with Figures

(date unknown)

Andy Smith

Understanding Executive Functioning

“The man who can make himself do what he wills has the world before him, and it rests on parents to give their children this self-compelling power as a mere matter of habit” (School Education, emphasis mine). Self-governance, a hallmark of a Mason education, can be sabotaged by poor habits for people like Inconstant Kitty whom Mason describes in Formation of Character as “wayward,” “unsteady as a young colt,” “neither steady in play nor steadfast in love” who grow up to be “ready to undertake anything but they carry nothing through.”  

In this in-depth seminar we will examine Mason’s advice for Inconstant Kitty and see how the ADD/ADHD research on executive function (EF) in the past several decades complements and supplements this advice. EF skills are the cognitive processes that help one prioritize, plan, organize, self regulate, start and finish tasks.   While many children develop these in the normal course of things, others have conditions that bring innate deficits in the areas of working memory, organization, sustained attention, time management and impulse control. These deficits can undermine habit formation in many areas of life and learning, but happily specific strategies can help. We will discuss such strategies through topics such as labels, excuses and responsibilities; ADD vs pseudo ADD; types of ADHD; moral and physiological lens; pain and shame; living with thorns; EF developmentally; EF deficits in students and adults; CM & Inconstant Kitty; medication pros and cons; EF strategies to help kids and adults manage time, space and stuff; how CM ed supports those with EF deficits; how EF deficits may affect parts of CM education (narration, nature study, math, etc.). Participants will assess a child or adult they know, will generate strategies specific to that person, and leave with dozens of practical strategies to put into practice the next day. Since EF deficits can wreak havoc in children and adults alike, this seminar will be applicable to adults wanting to address these issues with their kids or themselves. A questionnaire will be sent out and needs returning beforehand.

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The Walk in the Forest  

1886 -1890

Marcia Mattern

Nature Study

"Children should be taught to admire and learn about everything in nature",  Parents Review Vol 11, 1900.  Spend the morning on an immersion nature walk with Marcia Mattern and one of her highschool daughters discovering the flora and fauna of Kentucky.  As a homeschooling mom with one high school graduate and five current students, Marcia will include ways to do nature study with a variety of ages in different Forms.  In the afternoon, you will discover ways to implement nature study including what to buy, how to do nature journaling and drybrush painting, and facilitating special studies.  How to start a Natural History Club will also be discussed.  Wear clothing appropriate for the weather.  If you have a nature notebook and drybrush supplies, please bring them.  

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Alleyway in the Park of Saint Cloud 


Nicole Williams

Teaching Science in Middle School and High School

Science seems to be the last hold out in a CM home education -- that one subject we don't want to hand over to Miss Mason.  Perhaps our concern is that Mason, living in such a different time and place, could not have understood then how important a science education is today for our students in this technology driven world. I suggest that of more concern to us is that evidence reveals that many of today's children dislike science. They have not discovered the wonder the knowledge of it offers because of the textbook-laden, fact-memorizing approach to learning science. How many children become disengaged and do not consider a science-related career, because high school science turns them off?  Mason's method for teaching and learning science is so relevant today because it does inspire wonder.  Wonder feeds a student's curiosity and it is that curiosity that fosters the lifetime force for self-inquiry into science. "Where science does not teach a child to wonder and admire it has perhaps no educative value" (An Essay Towards a Philosophy of Education, p. 224).   Mason's method provides students with a solid, well-grounded science education: it is rigorous enough to prepare the student who wants to pursue a science-related career and fascinating enough to engage the student who ultimately chooses a different branch of knowledge, giving them a life-long affinity with science. 

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