CMI Regional Conference   l   October 25-26, 2019   l   Providence Baptist Church   l  4351 N. Germantown Rd.  Arlington, TN 38002

Charlotte Mason designed a curriculum that reflects the world God created, and she patterned her curriculum after the feast spread for humankind in the Garden of Eden. It’s a feast rich with knowledge of God, knowledge of the sciences and of mathematics, and knowledge of humanity. It is also a feast rich with stories, history, geography, culture, handiwork, mathematics, nature, and more. 
But Mason did more than develop this rich curriculum: she also sought to help children digest the feast in the most natural, human way.  Her methods produce a knowing that no other method produces. 
Whether you are just beginning your journey towards understanding Mason’s methods or have been on this journey for a while, we invite you to come spend time with fellow travellers. These travellers and educators are on a similar journey, and they have found Mason’s methods to be the best means of educating their children in a way that affirms the personhood of the child while also reflecting the feast God has created for us in the world. 
Join us on Friday, 25 October 2019 for immersions into Mason’s methods.  Select the immersion that best fits your interests or needs right now. On Friday evening, join us at the CMI Memphis Conference at Providence Baptist Church in Arlington, TN for a public lecture given by Dr. Carroll Smith, entitled “On Living Books or Adventures in Eden,” and spend Saturday, the 26th, learning through plenaries, workshops, practice sessions, and discussions. 
Come and enjoy the feast!



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Schedule & Sessions

Subject to additions and change.

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Stewarding One’s Neurochemistry: Strategies to Support Those with Executive Functioning Weakness Immersion with Andy Smith

Self-compelling power, habits of attention, self-governance, a child turning on a force in obedience to the child’s own authority–all these describe what Mason wanted for children and what she thought could be developed through proper methods, curriculum and habit training. The limited knowledge of her time, however, did not allow Mason to understand how much self-governance and sustained, persistent attention are functions of the brain’s executive system that emerge with maturation. In typically developing children, many tasks requested of the CM student fall within their executive functioning (EF) capacities; however many neuro-atypical children with limited EF capacity struggle with impulsivity, intense emotionality, distractability, lack of motivation for non-preferred activities, task management, accessing working memory and remembering so as to do something. This seminar will discuss Mason’s understanding of habits and attention in light of the current understandings of EF, focusing especially on the current ADHD research. Because it is critical to understand the neurological versus the character basis of these challenges, we will consider the neurology of self-regulation and then how limited EF through different developmental stages can impact home, social life, and core foundational learning. Attendees will learn practical adaptive strategies to support persons with EF weakness in home tasks as well as how to modify CM lessons in reading, math, narrations, compositions, picture study, and geography by reverse engineering for EF deficits. Since EF deficits can wreck havoc in children and adults alike, this seminar is applicable for adults dealing with these issues with their kids or with themselves and also for teens needing to understand their own ADHD. A questionnaire will be sent out and needs returning beforehand to help determine the needs of the group.

Nature Study – An Out-of-Door Life

Whether you are a life-long lover of nature, or are just beginning your nature journey, please join us for a day in the “out of doors” to experience the beauty of a Charlotte Mason approach to nature study. We will spend time learning about the philosophy of the Charlotte Mason approach to nature study, and why time in nature is a practice that we all need to implement. We will also look at several of the practices Charlotte recommended to us and we will practice them together at a local nature park for a large portion of the day. We will also explore together how the Charlotte Mason approach to nature study leads us into deeper worship of the Creator and as a result, caring for God’s creation as well. We will be learning about some ways to approach time in nature as a spiritual practice for ourselves as an aspect of our own continuing education and spiritual transformation. I will be leading you through many of the activities that our local Natural History Club incorporates and we will leave time for nature journaling as well. There will be a lot of time for interaction and questions built in, as well as quiet reflective time for you to enjoy the beauty of these practices as an individual. I hope you will join us! Please bring any nature journal supplies you have, as well as attire and gear appropriate for all kinds of weather.

Elementary Aged Immersion with Cathy Barrington and Parke Stalcup

Join Cathy and Parke, members of Charlotte Mason’s Alveary curriculum team, as they walk you through a morning of elementary lessons using Alveary lesson plans. During the morning hours, attendees will experience lessons as students, following the scheduling principles and teaching methods laid out by Mason. That afternoon, the group will be split into homeschool educators and classroom teachers so that discussions particular to each group can be held. Attendees will receive a copy of the lesson plans and schedule used.

Please bring: a notebook, a pencil (in addition to pens for note-taking), watercolors, and a small paintbrush.

Plenary 1: On Living Books or Adventures in Eden with Dr. Carroll Smith (open to the public)
Living books are a hallmark of a Mason education.  What she referred to as desiccated (dry) books with only facts in them were not acceptable for the mind of a living child. In this plenary Carroll will remind us of the many points that are typically made about living books.  Then, he will take the discussion further by suggesting connections with the Genesis story of our beginnings.  
Plenary 2: Charlotte Mason and the Importance of Place with Parke Stalcup

Did you know Charlotte Mason wrote six volumes of geography readers, call the Ambleside Geography Books? It must have been important to her. Like me, you have read probably what she wrote in the her six volumes for years, but access to the Parent’s Review articles has given the opportunity for a deeper look at how she went about teaching this broad subject. In this plenary I will explore what has been gleaned from the study of her volumes and the Parent’s Review articles. Along with reviewing her principles on the teaching of geography, I will shed light on some current research into this topic.

Plenary 3: Charlotte Mason in the 21st Century with Dr. Carroll Smith
What were Mason’s expectations of those who came after her?  Were we to remain in the thoughts and ideas of her day?  Were we to keep up with current thought, research and the ideas of our own day?  Are we to take her principle, the child is a born person, and using what God is revealing to us through current study and learn more about how to teach a child as a person?  Or, are we to remain within the Victorian culture? We will explore these ideas to see where Mason would lead us.
On Teaching Reading with Cathy Barrington

What approach to teaching reading did Charlotte Mason present? What has current research said is needed in supporting young readers? How can I tell when my child displays a learning challenge in reading? In this session, these questions will be addressed as well as taking a look at the progression of reading. We will use parts of The Alveary Reading Lessons (Level 1-3) to gain a practical understanding.

On Teaching Geography with Parke Stalcup

We will look at the overall picture of an education in geography.  What did the PNEU schools do, and how does that transfer to the 20th Century. Then, we will walk through a Form 2 lesson together.

On Teaching Shakespeare with Polly Pauley (online)

In this session, we will talk about how to prepare for, facilitate, and enjoy Shakespeare’s plays. We will discuss specific resources as well as practical issues that arise while studying Shakespeare’s works.  Polly will draw upon her experiences teaching Shakespeare to her own children as well as facilitating Shakespeare study in a co-op setting.  We will take a look at an excerpt of one of Shakespeare’s plays together and take time for questions, answers, and sharing.

On Teaching Mathematics: Hundred Penny Tray with Andra Smith

Home and school educators can get much mileage from this simple, easy, and inexpensive mathematical manipulative tray for elementary and middle school students.  It uses pennies in ten frames on a tray to demonstrate various mathematical concepts.  It supplements any mathematical program already in use.  You can use the one hundred pennies and a tray to teach addition, subtract to 100, decimals, percentages and more. 

On Considering Anxiety: What’s Wrong with My Child with Danielle Merritt-Sunseri (online)
Do you have a child who is frustrated, angry, fearful, or even just plain inconsistent?  Sometimes our children’s behavior can be quite puzzling!  When this puzzle becomes troublesome and we just can’t figure out what the obstacle is, it might be time to consider anxiety.  Anxiety is a neurological condition which requires special consideration.  Danielle will review symptoms and contributing causes of the disorder, as well as its educational impact in general and within the Mason paradigm.
On Considering Executive Functions with Andra Smith

Working memory (WM), a concept unknown in Mason’s time, is part of our brain’s temporary memory system; think of it as a cognitive workbench where we bring in old learning to mix with new information to create new learning.  Our genetics give us varying size cognitive workspaces; when the demands of a task exceed one’s working memory capacity shallow learning occurs.  This session will look at how limited WM can impact learning and will prove principles to support those with limited WM capacities.

On Teaching Composition with Parke Stalcup

What can teaching composition look like in a Charlotte Mason homeschool or classroom? How does teaching composition become relational, not dry? We will do some research, wonder together, and then practice a little.

On Teaching Narration with Dr. Carroll Smith

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. Then we will observe and study the narrations of children at various ages and discuss how to introduce narration to young children or to those who are new to narration.

On Teaching Science: From Science of Relations to Relations in Science with Danielle Merritt-Sunseri (online)

The science of relations seems natural to consider when we think about the humanities, but what about science?  What does that look like?  In this workshop, Danielle will focus on the essential roles of relationship, curiosity, and culture.   These are not optional considerations in a Mason science program.  Let’s examine the hows and whys of these vital ideals, so that science might be an inspiration rather than a requirement.

On Teaching Plutarch with Polly Pauley (online)

Charlotte Mason included the study of Plutarch’s Lives in her programmes to help teach her students citizenship, but the ancient biographer can intimidate modern homeschoolers.  In this session we will examine the why and how of Plutarch study: why we continue to read him and grapple with the challenges of his biographies today,  and how we can go about Plutarch study in a way that keeps his works in the realm of “living books” for our students and for ourselves.

On Teaching Nature Study with Jeanette Tulis

In this workshop, we will look at Nature Study in general, why Charlotte Mason thought it was important, and how it prepares children for further study in all the sciences. The mother or teacher is to be a guide for this time but not a task master or expert with all the answers. We will also look at what resources you may already have, some you might like to get, some helpful books and how to plan and what to take on a nature walk at different times of the year. We will take a brief look at Nature Journals, and we will also chat about what might keep you or your students from enjoying nature study. Let us purpose to be a student of nature all our lives and inspire our children to do the same.

Sol-fa and Folk Songs with Chalise Bondurant

If music and singing are something you’d like to more easily incorporate into your Charlotte Mason feast, but you feel intimidated or don’t know where to begin, this practice session is for you. Although music was a large part of my life during my adolescence, I am not a music major or professional musician, nor was I trained in the Solfege approach to singing or learning music. I have enjoyed learning alongside my children and I have seen how we have all grown together in our musical abilities. I hope this will encourage you to do the same! In this practice session I will lead you through a very basic beginner’s lesson in solfa and then we will learn together a folk song or two. I will share briefly about the how and the why of solfa and folk songs according to the Charlotte Mason philosophy. I will also share with you some of my favorite resources and books to help get you started. I hope you will walk away confident and excited to add solfa and folk songs to your weekly educational feast.

Physical Movements with Melissa Petermann

Dancing and Drill and Ball Games…. OH MY! What did Charlotte Mason do for Physical Movements within the PNEU schools? What IS drill? If “Ball Games” didn’t mean soccer and basketball, what DID Charlotte Mason mean when she added them to the programmes? If these are some of the questions that have plagued your mind, come join us for this practice session on Physical Movement within the forms, where you will have the chance to be the student in a Charlotte Mason class with Drill, Dancing, and Ball Games. Come ready to move with appropriate shoes and attire, and get ready to have some fun!

Handiwork and the Science of Relations with Ashlee Risner

In this practice session we will discover how Charlotte Mason’s 13th principle, education is the science of relations, applies to your handiwork lessons. We will discuss building relationships with: useful objects you create, the source of your materials, skilled makers throughout history, and the relationship between you and your children. You will learn how to teach the skills of hand sewing and quilt piecing to your children, while hand sewing a three-dimensional bow tie quilt block. This quilt block is a surprise twist on the traditional 1800’s necktie quilt block. All materials will be provided for this practice session.

Nature Walk with Jeannette Tulis

A Nature walk can be done anywhere, anytime, with anyone. You and your children can become nature detectives as you learn to really look at God’s creation around you, to find out the names of what you see, to resource what you find, to develop rich relationships with the natural world. We will talk about what to take along to make the best use of your time and how to cement what you and your students learn. Just the simple act of examining an object and figuring out its name will be the start of a beautiful friendship!

The Importance of Being Earnest: My Experience in Directing a Co-op — with Lisa Cadora.  

Join Lisa Cadora who runs the co-op and school at Great River Learning in Cincinnati, OH.  She will share with you the joys and struggles of running a school and a co-op.  She will provide you with good advice from her years of experience.

Mother Culture- Experiencing the Beauty of a Charlotte Mason Education Yourself (Dads welcome too!)

A Charlotte Mason education is not just for children, but for people of all ages. The more you learn about Charlotte Mason and experience the beauty of her method with your children or students, you will probably find yourself longing for this type of education yourself. The term for this practice that has been widely used in the Charlotte Mason Community at large is “mother culture”, stemming from its use in a Parents’ Review article in the late 1800s. In this session we will explore a bit of the history of “mother culture” and Charlotte’s Mother Education course and why it is just as important as ever for us to implement a practice of mother culture and continuing education for ourselves today. In this session we will also be working together to share ideas about how to incorporate “mother culture”, and I will lead you through goal setting so you can walk away from this session equipped and eager to experience the beauty of “mother culture”.

Registration Costs

Immersion and Conference Package

Immersions take place Friday morning and afternoon, and the General Conference starts Friday evening and runs through Saturday at 6:30.

General Admission Conference Package                                                          $169.95 $129.95 until September 16th

Alveary Member Conference Package                                                              $154.95 $114.95 until September 16th


General Conference ONLY Registration

This option is for those who attend only the General Conference (Friday night through Saturday) and NOT an immersion.

General Admission                                                                                                $95.95 $74.95 until September 16th

Alveary Rate                                                                                                            $85.95 $67.45 until September 16th


Immersion ONLY Registration

This option is for those who wish to register for one of the Immersions ONLY on Friday morning and afternoon.

Immersion Fee                                                                                                        $95.95

Cancellation Policy

Before October 1st, 2019: 75% refund of total cost is available.

After October 1st: no cancelation refunds except in extreme emergency.

Please notify us via email at blvigorito@yahoo.com of your cancellation.

Transfer Policy

Registrations are not transferrable to another person.

Local Options for Food, Lodging, & Entertainment

Arlington, TN, where the conference will be held is about 30 minutes outside of Memphis


Budget friendly hotels: Baymont Inn by Wyndham  in Cordova, Super 8 by Wyndham in Lakeland
Other hotels: Holiday Inn & Suites Wolfchase, Best Western Plus Inn & Suites Hyatt Place Wolfchase 
Local AirBnB options 
Camping/Cabins: Meeman Shelby Forest State Park (40 minutes from Providence)


Local Restaurants
Gus’s Fried Chicken
Corky’s BBQ 
Little Italy 

National (Chain) Restaurants: 
Moe’s Cordova
Pei Wei Cordova
Jason’s Deli 
Newk’s Eatery


Nature areas near Providence
Lakeland Managerial Park 
Shelby Farms Park & Nature Area

Memphis Attractions
Memphis Zoo
Botanic Gardens
Dixon Gallery and Gardens
Brooks Museum
Overton Park & Old Forest 
Lichterman Nature Center & Pink Palace Family of Museums
Civil Rights Museum
Mud Island River Park 
Bass Pro Shop at the Pyramid
Beale Street
Midtown IS Memphis- Overton Square & Cooper Young districts
Downtown Main Street Arts District 
Meeman Shelby Forest State Park 
For more: https://choose901.com/ & http://ilovememphisblog.com/