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 Pre-Conference Immersion Sessions 


Designed to provide adults with a more intimate experience and in-depth discussion about targeted topics, pre-conference immersion sessions are offered on Wednesday, July 25 from 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. for a registration fee of $85.95 each. 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. 

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.

The Warped Table - 1940

Nicole Williams 

Nature Study Immersion

Nature study is often one of the reasons people are drawn to a Charlotte Mason curriculum. They wish to spend more time in nature as part of their children’s education, and brush drawing seems like a lovely way to record their discoveries. But what actually constitutes nature study? What should be done (or not done) as part of this “out-of-door work,” and how often should it be done? How should a parent prepare, and how can morning lessons facilitate this time? Join me as I walk you through each of the components that make up nature study, so we can take the mystery, but not the majesty, out of nature study.

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West Chester Court House

(date unknown)

Kerri Forney

High School Immersion

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 High School led by Kerri Forney, a homeschooling mother of five, and her daughter Kathryn, a 2015 graduate, 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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Quaker Mother and Child-1944

Andy Smith

Stewarding One’s Neurochemistry:  Habit Formation Strategies for Those with Executive Function Deficits Immersion

“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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Emily Kiser

Keeping Time: History and History Charts Immersion

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 timelines, 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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Victorian Parlor - 1945

Dr. Jennifer Spencer

CMI's Alveary Curriculum Immersion

Join Dr. Jen Spencer, CMI's Alveary Curriculum Project Manager, as she walks you through the rhythm of morning lessons and afternoon occupations for a day. Get a peek into the 2018-19 curriculum and get ideas for how you can combine your children during some lessons and teach them individually for others. Subjects to include history, geography, literature, handicrafts, drawing, music, and more. Attendees should dress for freedom of movement and wear comfortable walking shoes. 

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Two Pink Roses-1940

Mary Becker, Nancy Elliott, and Shannon Goods 

Skylark Community Co-op Immersion

Have you ever thought about starting a co-op and wondered what it might look like?  Come join us to get a glimpse into how our co-op runs and experience it for yourself!  Some of the subjects we will participate in together include hymns and folk songs, picture study, composer study, Shakespeare, poetry, map study, nature study, and handicrafts.  We will spend the first part of our time learning and enjoying these subjects together.  Then we will discuss how our group started and how we have made adjustments over the five years we have been meeting.  We will share some of the benefits and challenges we have discovered along the way and answer any questions we can to help you see how these ideas might work for you.

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Amish Letter Writer - 1940

Liz Cottrill

The Natural Writer Immersion

Charlotte Mason said, "composition is as natural as jumping and running to children who have been allowed due use of books. They should narrate in the first place, and they will compose, later readily enough; but they should not be taught 'composition.'" She also said that instruction in this art was "like snakes in Ireland," which puzzles us. Does she mean nonexistent? (She cannot be serious!) She even went so far as to say instruction of the young in composition was a futility, and the published how-to manuals a "public danger." So how, then, does a child educated in Mason's method of education produce the lovely examples we find in her volumes of lucid, sensible, well-constructed compositions? What is a teacher, whether personally a good writer or not, to do, and how in the world do we prepare children for college or the work force without some definite writing instruction?

This practical workshop will walk through the progression in the art of composition from forms I to VI, explaining and demonstrating with hands-on lessons how this art is naturally taught and does indeed produce students as adept with a pen as with their tongues. Due consideration will be given to particular challenges such as children with learning disabilities or children who have come late to the feast.

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