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LIVING EDUCATION RETREAT © July 18 & 19, 2014 PLENARY SESSIONS – held in the Shed
How Firm a Foundation
Dr. Jennifer Spencer
During this lecture we will explore the foundational principles of a Charlotte Mason education as they compare with those of the Classical model, the Industrial model, and the Progressive model. Situating Mason within her historical, philosophical, and socio-political contexts will provide us with unique and interesting insights. Tracing common and familiar teaching practices back to their informing ideas will allow us to weigh them against Mason's foundation. This will empower us to better discern which ones fit well with a Mason education and which ones do not so that we can make more informed and confident choices in designing a living education for our children.
The Humble Plant
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. From the title to the contents, so much is carefully selected to reflect what Mason saw as the proper posture for those involved in educating children. In this session we will see how the lessons shared back then can help us today as we apply this philosophy and share it with others.
Learning to Read, Then and Now
What do Charlotte Mason and Yale University have in common? They both understand that some students learn differently than their peers. Merging today’s scientific and researchbased understanding of dyslexia and other specific learning differences with the century old philosophy of education that Mason proposed yields some surprising results. The teaching that each child is a person, mirrored with today’s functional MRI scans of individual brains, shows that Mason, once again, comprehended education in a phenomenal way.
Getting Personal: The Theory of Personal Integration
Dr. Jennifer Spencer
"In fact, lessons on 'composition' should follow the model of that famous essay on 'Snakes in Ireland'--'There are none.'" --from Home Education, p. 247 Mason's ideas about writing instruction are, to say the least, unorthodox. It takes a tremendous amount of faith to take her at her word in this area, especially when everyone around you is saying it won't work and urging you to try this or that writing program. Many have been plagued with doubt, wondering how such a hands-off approach could possibly lead to good writers. During this presentation, we will look closely at the writing development, from age four to age twenty, of one student who learned at home under Mason's model, so that we can see the process and factors that helped him grow into a strong writer. We will also discuss the implications of that process to other areas of study.
These sessions will engage the attendee in the actual class mentioned, each taught by an experienced Mason teacher. You will be a student and participate in these living classes, experiencing what the student in your home or school experiences. The second half will be a time for questions & answers and resource sharing. A. B. C. D. E. F. G. H. I. J. Math/elementary classroom Plutarch Spanish Sloyd Nature Study/hike/pencils Reading Dyslexia Simulation Picture Study/special needs Geography Nature Study/guided/dry brush The Shed Library Valley View Dining Hall Fire Ring The Shed Library Valley View Dining Hall Fire Ring Jennifer Spencer Nancy Kelly Tammy Glaser Bobby Jo Nickel Cheri Struble Amy Tuttle Gladys Schaefer Tammy Glaser Kristin Spittle Karla Taber
K. Learning to Read: Delightful Discovery or Tearful Undertaking? Amy Tuttle The Shed “ ‘Studies serve for delight’; this delight being not in the lessons or the personality of the teacher, but purely in their 'lovely books', 'glorious books.' “ This is a workshop on the process and the enjoyment of mastering letters and the sounds they represent, as well as linking words with the ideas they represent. All based on CM's own words as well as on sources from the PNEU.
L. First-born Affinities: Beginning a CM Education Almodovar Valley View
Bobby Jo Nickel and Sally
Talking to others who have gone before is an important part of a homeschool parent’s research. Bobby Jo and Sally will share how they implement the ideas of Charlotte Mason in educating their young children. Our focus will be on children ages 9 and under.
M. Charlotte Mason and her Books Library
How do you know a person? One way is to look at the books that cover their bookshelves. I have spent the last decade collecting early editions of Mason’s writings as well as copies of the books that lined her shelves at the end of her life. A trip to the Armitt Museum in Ambleside, England, where I saw this group of books for the first time, led me to a deeper understanding of the person of Charlotte Mason. Come enjoy time meandering through the books that fed our mentor and give light to us today.
N. Living Books for Lively Youth Dining Hall
Dr. Donna Johnson
“The children should have the joy of living in far lands, in other persons, in other times--a delightful double existence; and this joy they will find, for the most part, in their story books.” ~ Charlotte Mason, Vol.1, p. 153 This session begins with the reading and narration of a recent essay by Meghan Cox Curdon, entitled “The Case for Good Taste in Children’s Books.” Dr. Johnson will then guide an interactive discussion about classic and current literature for older children and young adults. Participants are invited to make comments, ask questions, and offer suggestions. Bring your favorite recently-discovered living books to share. Depart with ideas for new books to try. O. Bees Fire Ring Anthony Almodovar
“The bee is more honored than other animals, not because she labors, but because she labors for others.” - St. John Chrysostom In 1901, Maurice Maeterlinck was quoted in saying that, “If the bee disappeared off the face of the earth, man would only have four years left to live.” This may seem a bit of an exaggeration, yet a statement like this demands further examination as it highlights the relational dependency we have on the bee. In this session, we will informally observe and discuss this and other topics relating to the principles and illustrations we can learn from the bee in nature and in her colony. (Bring your nature notebooks to this session!) P. Finding Joy in Mathematics Workshop The Shed Tammy Glaser
Mason believed that mathematics depended upon good teachers, who are hard to find since so many of us have been conditioned to despise math. This workshop will invite you to keep a math notebook (captain idea log), make a design center to help you and your students play with math, learn about Mary Boole (a mathematician who collaborated with Mason), and discover how to do curve stitching.
Q. Mothers As Persons Library
“If mothers could learn to do for themselves what they do for their children when these are overdone, we should have happier households. Let the mother go out to play! If she would only have courage to let everything go when life becomes too tense, and just take a day, or half a day, out in the fields, or with a favourite book, or in a picture gallery looking long and well at just two or three pictures, or in bed, without the children, life would go on far more happily.” - Vol 3 pg 34 Mothers are people, too! But are we treating ourselves as such? In the business of educating, care giving and managing, we often neglect to fill up the giver. How can we pour out if we are, in fact, empty? What did Charlotte, who was never a mother, say to this? Wise words, of course! Are you feeling "burnt out"? Let's explore how a Charlotte Mason lifestyle is sustainable and renewing for moms, too.
R. Dads Observation Deck
“Where do I fit in?” This question is one that is asked of me by husbands and fathers. Much is said and written with regard to a mother’s role in educating children in the homeschool. Given that a father’s work situation and schedule are usually more varied than a mother’s, it becomes a daunting task to write a one-size-fits-all guide. That is not to say there are not principles that we can apply. Your role as a father is vitally important in the educational lives of your children. In this workshop we will discuss the opportunity to add richly to our children’s lives both educationally and spiritually. Join us as we explore our roles as father, teacher, and husband.
S. Charlotte Mason on the Move….from the Home to the Church Amy Fiedler Dining Room
Karla Taber and
Now that you have enjoyed the benefits of a Charlotte Mason education in your own home, why not expand your influence and take these delightful methods to church? You have seen the benefit of seeing each child as a person. You have been building relationships with people and things He created. You have been helping each child reach their potential by working with the Holy Spirit in meeting their individual needs. Now you may be ready to share the joy of this life with your church. Our experience is that most Sunday School curriculums are stale, repetitive, and often filled with predigested information, silly games, cheap crafts, and moralistic teaching. Teachers are often focused on keeping children busy and happy during this hour. Today we will share ways we have been implementing the CM philosophy into our Sunday schools. We will discuss ideas and resources that will help deepen your understanding of God’s Word and broaden your world. This workshop may even revolutionize your church!
T. Truth, Beauty, Goodness Community Valley View
During this discussion, Nancy will talk about her experiences with the Truth, Beauty, Goodness Community, the Charlotte Mason co-op she started which is now in its 7th year. She will share tools to help you organize your own community from the planning stages to the meetings and Family Nights. There will be lots of time to share concerns and ask questions.
ENRICHING OPTIONS U. Book Discussion - Echoes of Eden: Reflections on Christianity, Literature, and the Arts by Jerram Barrs led by Kurt Jahnke Library V. Campfire – relax, visit, sing
Dr. Donna Johnson, Gladys Schaefer, and Tammy Glaser
Lunch discussion – special needs Library
X. Lunch discussion – starting a support group Library
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