Meet the Speakers for the 2013 Living Education Retreat
"God does not tell you what He is going to do; He reveals to you Who He is." -Oswald Chambers As a student of Charlotte Mason’s philosophy of education and a homeschool mom wanting children to experience the beauty and truth of math, the book Mathematics, An Instrument for Living Teaching was born. I share this wild and precious life with my husband, Oleg, and our two sons. Camping, kayaking, attending library used-book sales, and finding a home for my ideas in an assemblage of Moleskine notebooks are among my favorite things.

―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.‖ – Charlotte Mason ―My books! I cannot tell you what they are to me-silent, wealthy, loyal, lovers. I do thank God for my books with every fiber of my being. I see them all just at my elbow now-Plato, Wordsworth, Myers, Bradley, Haliburton, St. Augustine, Browning, Tennyson, Amiel, and the others.‖ – Oswald Chambers My husband, Kent, and I live in Windom, Minnesota, in a 3-story Victorian house with four children still at home. We have two that have graduated from college and are now married. I have homeschooled using Mason’s methods for the past 18 years or so, teach at our TBG community and The Hive, blog at Sage Parnassus, offer a consulting service for those trying to implement Mason in their schools, and just generally try to encourage others on this journey. I love to read, write, learn, live, tend my perennial garden, drink lattes made by Kent, and enjoy the soft breezes on my porch.

"Children should have the joy of living in far lands, in other persons, in other times —a delightful double existence." ~ Charlotte Mason I left the Navy to homeschool my two children in 1995 and traded one adventurous life for another. My youngest is now a freshman at Charleston Southern. My eldest, who has autism and aphasia, and I continue our lifelong journey as learners. I became intere sted in Mason’s ideas in 2000 and continue to grow in my understanding twelve years later. I speak at conferences, write articles, and keep a blog, AUT-2B-HOME IN CAROLINA. My husband Steve and I split our time between Kansas and South Carolina.


― What we become depends on what we read after all the professors have finished with us. The greatest university of all is the collection of books.‖ ~ Thomas Carlyle After many years of teaching in a variety of settings, I now find myself in the position of assistant professor in the education program at Dakota Wesleyan University in Mitchell, South Dakota. Most of my courses are in the area of special education, but I also have the privilege of teaching the children’s literature course every fall semester. My earlier experiences included regular and special education in public and private schools as well as homeschooling my three daughters. During our early years of home education, I read For the Children’s Sake, a living book that confirmed many practices we were doing and led us to further pursue the philosophy and pedagogy of Charlotte Mason. My doctoral dissertation at the University of South Dakota examined the relationship of narration to reading comprehension; I have made presentations recommending CM methods at homeschool, International Reading Association, Learning Disability Association and CM-focused conferences. My husband, Chris, and I live on a farm near Marion, South Dakota, with one long-time pet cat and two new accidentally-acquired cats. We visit our three daughters, three sons-in-laws, and one granddaughter as often as possible.

―That children should have the peace of God as a necessary condition of growth is a practical question. If we believe it is their right, not to be acquired by merit nor lost by demerit, we shall take less upon ourselves, and understand that it is not we who pasture the young souls.‖ –Charlotte Mason Mothering, teaching, crafting, writing, and homemaking, these are the things that make up my days on our small hobby farm here on the MN prairie. I’m Bobby Jo Nickel (married to Josh.) Check out more of our family’s adventures with our 2 little boys and see what it’s like teaching at our Truth, Beauty, Goodness Community/Co-op on my blog, Where the Blacktop Ends.


What Mason said is true, ―Education is a life‖ and even though my last child is about to leave home it has not meant the end of my life in education. I lead our ever growing CM meetings for mothers, teach Shakespeare and Plutarch at our community days, and am organizing our first local CM conference coming up in October. I just celebrated my first year of writing my blog, belikeFabre, where I share my love of nature, science and photography. My gardens are my harmas: full of colors, daily changes, and creatures moving, all to my delight and fascination. My favorite spot is our front porch in a warm patch of sun and reading a book or visiting with a friend. My children received a Mason education but so did I, and I am thankful for a life of ideas and relationships.

―We who teach should make it clear to ourselves that our aim in education is less conduct than character; conduct may be arrived at, as we have seen, by indirect routes, but it is of value to the world only as it has its source in character.‖ – Charlotte Mason My physician husband, Jeff, and I live in Windom, Minnesota, and have 5 grown children (ages 19-28) and 2 grandchildren. Besides the daily activities of homemaker and medical transcriptionist, I enjoy teaching poetry, hymn, and folk song in our local CM community. My life is enriched with music, reading, handwork, and family.

"My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. ‖ Psalm 73:26 Anthony and I walk this active, home-based, life-filled education at a small town address in Lakefield, Minnesota. I continue to learn right beside my 5 children through the excellent literature that fills our home. I love to find books at thrift stores, learn about healthy ways to raise my family, and visit with friends who drop by the house. It is a real joy to serve as the registration coordinator for this retreat and work alongside an amazingly gifted group of ladies. Getting to know you even before we meet is a tremendous pleasure! I have home educated our children for 6 years and have participated in the Truth, Beauty, Goodness Community for 5 years teaching nature study, composer, hymns and folk songs.


"There are good and evil tendencies in body and mind, heart and soul; and the hope set before us is that we can foster the good so as to attenuate the evil; that is, on condition that we put Education in her true place as the handmaid of Religion." –Charlotte Mason I reside in Lakefield, Minnesota, with my wife Sally Lynn and 5 children. I have served in the armed forces under the branch of the US Air Force, specializing in electronic maintenance and graduating with a degree in Computer Science. I presently hold the position of Systems Administrator with a local transportation company and graduated in May from Liberty University with a BS in Religion. I also serve on the board of directors for the pro-life organization Helping Hand Ministries.

"He that began to sweep at first is the Law; but she that brought water, and did sprinkle it, is the Gospel." - The Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan I share my life and all its blessings with my husband and our five children, ages 6 - 15, in a spacious older home in Fulda, MN. Homeschooling the Mason way, growing and preserving our own food, and knitting with wool yarn are among my most time consuming hobbies. I daily seek to be one who sprinkles the Gospel.

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