Conference Workshop Sessions
Friday - tentative
From Here To There - Friday
Elementary to Secondary education is from Form III upward or 7th grade to 12th. The question I am always asked is “Will my son/daughter be ready for high school?” Are there signposts of skill or knowledge level? Do her principles and methods work in secondary years? Is it just booklists? Charlotte wrote in Vol. 6: One teacher said, "If we had your booklist, we could accomplish anything!' So he used the booklist--but utterly failed because he ignored the principles [CM's 20 Principles]. ( modern version p. 270) How does a student become a self-educated learner?
Boy on the Rocks
Morning Lessons with Students and Little Ones - Friday
Basis of Our Days- Friday
What we believe about life, our philosophy of life, determines our actions and values; what we believe about education, our philosophy of education, determines our approach in schooling our children. What we do and how we accomplish education with our children must be traced backward to why it matters. It’s based on principles and practices; we have a definite aim. The short synopsis of CM’s principles is prefaced with quotes about the importance of Truth and begins where we all must begin, our worldview – what we believe about the nature of man and God. Understanding the cumulative progression of these 20 principles, beginning with “The child is born a person” and ending again with the importance of Truth, is vital in the education of children. As we consider The Basis of our Days…Principles and Practices, it will help us understand more about Education as an Atmosphere of respect, a Discipline of habits of the heart and mind, and a Life of relational ideas resting upon Truth.
Corner of the Plateau of Bellevue
Lesson Planning in a Living Education - Friday
It's one thing to choose the subjects and find the books, plan a schedule and gather the children, but then what is the teacher expected to do to bring out the most in the day to day lessons? Is reading and narration really all there is? There are practical principles and specific tips for getting through the lessons with delight and enthusiasm rather than with a haphazard or unprepared approach. This workshop will address the general guidelines as well as many specifics for facing your school day with intention rather than uncertainty.
View of the Fortifications
Cheri Struble and Sara Dalton
Dry Brush Demo - Friday
Dry brush is a watercolor painting technique that is useful in capturing details of nature. We will demonstrate the basics of dry brush and discuss various tools, types of paper and paints. Having the right tools and a little instruction will train the eye for intelligent seeing, increase observation skills and facilitate enjoyment in keeping a Nature Notebook. If you have a nature notebook and paints, please bring them to practice.
Kerri Forney and Erin Daly
Notebooks - Friday
Throughout Charlotte Mason's writings is the foundational idea that 'knowing is doing.' In Volume 6 she writes, "There is no education but self-education and only as the young student works with his own mind is anything effected." Keeping notebooks is an essential part of self-education. It is important for both the assimilation of ideas and the formation of habits. Together we will explore the ideas presented in Mason's writings, as well as the Parents' Review. We will also review the most common types of notebooks and how they are used.
The Bievre at Gentilly
"The Way of the Teacher - Humility"- Friday
What postures do we take in our homes, schools, and communities? There are many lessons to be learned from L'Umile Pianta (The Humble Plant), the publication by the alumni from Charlotte Mason's House of Education, and the badge chosen by the Old Students' Association. In this session, Nancy will explore how the lessons shared back then can help us today as we examine Mason's thoughts on the importance of humility, especially as it relates to the parent and teacher. This session will make you stop and think about how you approach education in any venue.
Plutarch: Prince of Biographers! - Friday
Why is Plutarch so important? Why did Mason include his Lives in her curriculum? Why North’s translation? What does imagination have to do with it? In this talk, we will look at the answers to these questions. The difficulties expressed in Mason’s day in regard to Plutarch are the same today. Following the presentation, a full immersion lesson will to demonstrated to allow participants to experience Plutarch firsthand. You will come away with the tools and inspiration to begin teaching, carry on, and “bridge the gaps” with this Charlotte Mason curriculum staple.
in the Parc des Buttes Chaumont
1908 - 1909
Charlotte Mason's History for the 21st Century Student - Friday
The Toll House
Bringing Joy and Ease to Nature Study - Friday
Does the habit of natural history lessons need nurturing in your homeschool? Learn how to put practices in place to make nature a part of everyday. Using a nature notebook, sources for local nature study in your area and inspiring joyful discovery are some of the topics that will be covered.
Avenue de l’Observatoire
Workshop #2 for Dads: Education is an Atmosphere - Friday
Charlotte Mason's Tabernacle - Friday
View of Malakoff Hauts de Seine
Understanding How Executive Function Deficits Affect Habit Formation - Friday
“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, italics mine). Habits of attention and self-governance can seem elusive for some people who seem to constantly struggle with distractibility, restlessness, and impulsivity. They find themselves constantly derailed because ways of doing things that work for others don’t typically work for them. ADD/ADHD research in the past several decades has given insight into how and why some people with certain neurochemistry struggle with such habit formation: their impaired executive functions (EF). Executive functions are those cognitive processes that serve as “air traffic controllers” so one can effectively organize, plan, self regulate, initiate and sustain attention. The kids with EF deficits--always forgetful, running late, losing things--often have structured parents who unwittingly become their kids’ “ surrogate executive function.” In this content heavy workshop, I will give an insight into how the EF impaired brain works with its deficits and functional consequences, and suggest some principles and strategies to compensate for these deficits for kids and adults. While there isn’t time to answer every personal question, participants will be directed to resources for more specifics.
Dr. Carroll Smith
Narration I - Friday
In this session we will discuss the history of and research behind the practice of narration. Is narration a viable option for learning today? We will look at both what current research and Mason have to say about this. This session will ground you in the importance of narration so that you can go home and use it thoroughly and with purpose. (Note: this session is a pre-requisite to Narration Part II.)
Narration Part II - Friday
Based on what we learned in Part I, we will observe and study the narrations of children at various ages. Next, we will practice and discuss how to introduce narration to young children or to those who are new to narration. Finally, we will practice the art of narration.
The Poulty Yard
Character Formation in the Mason Model - Friday
…The one achievement possible and necessary for every man is character; and character is as finely wrought metal beaten into shape and beauty by the repeated and accustomed action of will. Charlotte Mason Volume 6 p. 129 Did you know that the average human now has an attention span less than a goldfish? This declining habit of attention has obvious effects on our children’s education but also on their character, empathy, and moral attachment. Charlotte Mason’s approach is a unique voice on how to approach this problem, not as an external apparatus, but with living methods that strengthen the will and honor the whole person. This last year Amy had the opportunity to present Mason's principles on character for a Educator's Roundtable Discussion at the University of Virginia. The first part of the workshop will be a study on what Mason says about character, the will, and habit formation. The second part will focus of Charlotte Mason’s picture study as just one of the many ways we build attention and character develops from the inside out. Samples of student’s narrations and journals will be shown.
Character. Willpower. Habits. Attention. Picture Study. Truth. Beauty. Goodness.
The Eiffel Tower
Jeannette Tulis and Brittney McGann
Handicrafts: Transforming the Commonplace into the Creative - Friday
John Ruskin tells us that an artist is one who uses the material at hand and transforms it into something both useful and beautiful. Being made in the image of our creator God, we are called to be creative as well. Charlotte Mason included handicrafts in the curriculum because she understood the value of equipping a child to use their own hands to create something of value. The work of one's hands, completed over time has great value for today’s students, perhaps even more so in our highly technical and virtual age. Join Jeannette and Brittney as they explore Charlotte’s own words on the study of handicrafts and as they share favorite resources and ideas for young and older students. Then learn a handicraft on site that can be expanded as the students increase in skill and faculty. All materials provided.
Managing Your Household Finances - Friday
Wise financial management requires a series of daily choices. A budget will help prioritize your choices and stay on track to follow your goals, values and objectives. Having a spending plan written out will help you to make informed choices and lower your stress level. You will also learn to prepare for those unexpected bumps in the road of life by building savings in an emergency fund and cash reserve fund. With a savings state of mind you find ways to reach your goals.
Landscape on the Banks of the Bievre
1908 - 1909
Inner and Outer Courts of the Mind: Memorization in a Mason Paradigm - Friday
There seems to be two extremes in education today when it comes to the role that memorization plays in the instruction of children. On the one hand, modern education disdains the idea of rote memory in favor of creativity and self-expression. On the other end of the spectrum, some educational theories view children as sponges and believe we should fill their minds with facts while they are young and impressionable. Mason said that “word” memory will only take you so far and it is “mind” memory that we want for our students. Mason called this contrast between short-term memory and long-term memory the outer and inner courts of the mind. This session will explore what that means for our student’s learning process. We will discuss the kinds of things Mason believed were important to memorize and how recitation fits into this process as well. We will also look at current educational practices and research in regards to memory and memorization.
View of Saint Cloud
A Vast and Joyous Realm - Friday
Charlotte Mason tells us that it is through nature study that children “lay up that store of 'common information' which...should precede science teaching.” (Mason, School Education, 1904, p. 237) Learn how her method helps transition a student seamlessly from the observational science of nature study to experimental science, and how her philosophy not only fosters a lifelong connection with the natural world in each of our students but also prepares them to be scientifically literate citizens.