Living Education Lessons

Registration is now open for an upcoming Season 1 class!  Sign up here.  Details below!
(To be informed of upcoming classes, please fill out the sign-up form below!)

Dear ladies,

You are warmly invited to participate in my new offering, Living Education Lessons. This little community will be something unique for women who wish to homeschool using the Charlotte Mason method and live a full life. I believe these things can go hand-in-hand, but sometimes we need thoughtful and unhurried guidance from someone who has gone before – a mentor.

I’d love to help. 

I will share about my decades of experience from  homeschooling with Charlotte Mason methods, creating an atmosphere of beauty and respect in my home, and nurturing relationships with God, my family, and friends. As a small community, each Season you will find kindred spirits to encourage you, walk beside you, and help keep you moving forward.

A Season will consist of seven, hour-long, face-to-face meetings conducted in real-time classes online.   Each hour-long meeting will include food for your heart, soul, and mind with an emphasis on a new teaching from Charlotte Mason’s philosophy of education and a short discussion at the end. A brief reading assignment will accompany each meeting.  The seventh and final gathering of the Season will be devoted to an intimate discussion where your questions will be addressed and together we will talk about the application of the lessons.  Recordings for your personal use will be available to review and revisit, whenever you need them.

Let's come together and explore what it means to be fully alive and experience your school days with grace and joy. I have designed a simple, members-only website where you will be able to access all of the materials. It has a private discussion board, free from all the ads and distractions typically found on social media. I hope it will be haven of help and support.

The number of women in each group will be limited to an intimate circle of 15-20. Open Seasons and contact information are listed below.  Each season is $95.00, payable upon registration. Please fill out the inquiry form below to join or to ask about Living Education Lessons. If you prefer more private, one-on-one help, please explore my consulting page. You may want to read the reviews below in the comment section.

My desire is to look deeper, to learn more, and to live fully in this wonderful life I have been given.  I love sharing about these things with others.  Please pray and consider joining me!  

The teaching in Season 1 will focus on who Charlotte Mason was, central ideas in her philosophy, teaching Bible, and why humility matters. 
New class beginning in 2018!  Monday evenings from 8-9 p.m. central.  Dates are Jan. 22, 29, Feb. 12, 26, March 5, 12, and 19.  Sign up here!

Season 2 will explore the role of wonder, how to teach the younger years, the importance and richness of Shakespeare in your school, and scheduling that nurtures a full living.

During this Season, I will talk about citizenship in all its various forms, including how to teach and enjoy the living subject of Plutarch as well as why mothers should place importance on the imagination.


This class is now full! 

The best years of homeschooling with CM are  these upper years - 7th through 12 grade! We will explore Mason's pivotal book for  teens, Ourselves. Learn why it is so important and gain the confidence to experience it with your students.  The nuts and bolts as  well as  the truth and beauty of the  upper years will be discussed - from writing transcripts to discussions in the humanities.   I will share  about our teen community,  TBG Teens, as well as present an immersion lesson.

Many more Seasons to come.

Please fill out the form below in order to receive email updates for Living Education Lessons or to ask a question. I look forward to learning with you!




  1. Living Education Lessons (Season 3) came to a close this week. It was wonderful experience. And yet, it wasn't until two days later that I became aware of its true impact on me. You see, I had been invited to attend a regional homeschool conference with friends, and a few days "out on the town" sounded fun. And the friends were fun! But the conference itself had been wearing, and I saw very little that I needed. I asked myself, “With vendors and sessions galore, why do I feel this way?”

    Driving home, I knew what had been missing at the conference. The cumulative effect of the Living Education Lessons (3 seasons so far!) has provided me with a steady nourishment that has made homeschooling, and even just living life, a richer experience.

    Through the LEL, Nancy provided a space that I needed, to do the mind "work" of considering, evaluating, asking questions, and receiving new ideas. It is a relational space, interweaving mentorship, studious camaraderie, and new friendships. We read Charlotte Mason’s own words. We wrote them down. We explored concepts, like the relationship of right thinking with reason and willpower. We asked ourselves and each other, “What did she mean by that?”

    This season, my favorite takeaway was Nancy’s lessons on Plutarch. Though I am a historian, I am an Americanist, so Plutarch has never been in my “repertoire.” And admittedly, I got nervous when I heard we’d be narrating a Plutarch selection, and doubted that I’d like it. Plutarch seemed difficult, inaccessible, and just plain old. Well, I was wrong. Listening to Plutarch’s story of Philopoemen was a turning point for me in the way I viewed the idea of citizenship. In today’s current political climate, various groups almost scream at us, telling us their definition of a good citizen.
    And this changes daily, depending on the issue or scandal at hand. But here, in Charlotte Mason’s own curriculum, is a time-tested resource that begs us to consider the opportunities as citizens as something beyond belonging to a certain group or opposing a particular issue. In fact, it loops back around to Mason’s ideas on right thinking, the capacities of reason, and our own wills. I can apply these principles to the many communities I belong to: friendships, church, Bible studies, family, work, my country, the world, and so on. And so, I am very thankful for Nancy and my latest community of LEL participants that has made growing and learning such a delight.

  2. I participated in Living Education Lessons (Season 2) in the autumn of 2016; it was a blessing and a delight! I was challenged and encouraged as I participated in the reading, the assignments, and the lesson presentations themselves; my life and homeschool was truly enriched. Below I will share some of my reflections on the experience.

    I am constantly amazed at how CM's solid educational principles overlap and are interwoven and how they apply to life. This is one of ideas that stood out to me as I ponder all that we read and discussed in Season 2.

    Another stand-out idea for me is the humility needed in education. This is a concept that the Lord has been showing me over the last year or so and it was, again, highlighted and demonstrated to me through LEL. We must be humble in order to keep learning and we must model this to our children. I find this freeing! I don't need to know it all! It is a "sharing of the effort to know." I appreciate the humility shown among the women (Nancy included) in my LEL class as we struggled to know and understand. Humility is a vital part of life, necessary to love others, as well as to appreciate and understand them.

    Another exciting idea brought to light for me through CM and LEL is the concept of self-education. It excites me to know that education isn't barred by a certain time, place, or age. It is exciting to know that we all must embrace our own education and that it never has to end! I love that much of our responsibility in educating our children is to simply spread a feast of ideas, to gather beautiful books and materials before them, and to model the excitement of learning! I can do that! And what better way to demonstrate the importance of this lifelong habit of self-education than to participate in a LEL season!

    LEL was also a great reminder to respect our children (and ourselves!) as persons. It makes me smile to think of each of my children and how their education has respected who they uniquely are. It is a pleasure to watch them grow into beautiful, thinking, creative, and responsible young adults that care and can carry on conversations with anyone they encounter. Thank you to Nancy for reminding me of the importance of this simple, yet foundational, idea.

    LEL is an opportunity to allow other women to come alongside you in your efforts toward implementing the CM philosophy in your homeschool and your life. It is an opportunity to be challenged (in a good way) and to dig deeper. I am grateful to Nancy for putting these lessons together and for making it possible for us to study and learn together-- even across great distances!

  3. Nancy! Such a joy to be a part of a class of yours from the comfort of my bedroom!! I am so thankful for the opportunity to learn new things of Charlotte Mason and also to refresh my heart and mind of the things I knew, but maybe forgot! In session 2 you reminded me that children need nourishment, let them alone, do not overstimulate! Childhood education too early is dangerous! Children can be responsible for their own learning on their own time! This should be delightful, as I often forget. Moms, set a good foundation. There should be a balance of humor and respect; teacher as authority and child as a gift from God. I have been given a hard job but I should not shirk my duty! I should rise up and work as though working for the Lord! I was reminded that keeping a journal to track your child in all the areas of life is a great way to not feel overwhelmed! You can see the progress on paper and trust the sacredness of the child's personality and the philosophy of Ms. Mason! This session I learned how valuable Shakespeare is in all of our schools and life because it hands truths to children in humor, horror, etc. and allows the children to process the playing of Shakespeare.
    Thank you, Nancy, for reminding me this fall that school is less school and more living. This is invaluable information to me because in creating a warm, loving environment for ideas, my family is coming alive individually and together! I have continued to read Philosophy of Education on my own and am amazed that the timing of the readings and what I need in our life completely coincides every time! Thank you, Nancy, for being a light in our homeschool journey!

  4. Having participated in three (so far!) of Nancy’s LEL Seasons, I can tell you that they are a unique treasure. As a busy, homeschooling mother of four, these classes were soul food for me, week after week. There’s something so life-giving about intentionally setting aside time to read and reflect, with the anticipation of sharing your ideas and questions with others. These LEL Seasons kept me in a constant rhythm of doing just that.

    Each time I “attended class” (i.e. brewed myself a cup of tea and logged in on my computer - amazing!), I knew I would come away feeling full. Our classes included book recommendations from Nancy, sharing our Commonplace entries, going deep into Mason’s volumes through our shared reading, a thought-provoking lesson (taught by Nancy), as well as discussion and time for questions. For me, it was like a mini retreat that I was able to attend every week.

    Coming together with other Mason educators from all over the country (actually seeing each other’s faces on the screen and engaging in conversation) was such an encouragement. Through sharing ideas, questions, and even struggles, I felt an overwhelming sense of being connected with a larger community. As a homeschooling mom, that connectedness to other like-minded people is something I’ve come to place tremendous value on. It’s no small thing.

    Living Education Lessons have challenged me to apply Mason in my home (and in my life) in new and deeper ways. Though I’m not sure I can articulate all of the reasons, they’ve caused me to internalize Mason’s ideas in a different way than I ever have at a conference or a book study. These classes are truly unique, and I’m so thankful that Nancy is offering them to the Mason Community.

  5. If we are not able to attend a couple classes, will they be recorded for us to view later?

    1. Yes! You will always have access to the recording of the class to view whenever it suits you.

  6. The last time Nancy sent out a notice that a new Season of LEL would be up, it was probably less than 30 seconds after I finished the email that I was completing my registration for Season 3. I was elated and the whole afternoon just seemed brighter! I couldn’t wait to share with my husband. I had an exact plan for pinching a bit here and a bit there to be able to make it a priority both with time and finances. Wide-eyed I narrated all the upcoming topics of Season 3 as my husband listened. He replied, “Wow that sounds great, but we have small group on Thursdays.” Oh my. In my excitement and haste I hadn’t even looked at the day of the week or time. Tears sprang to my eyes as I tried to reconcile just watching the video recordings and not getting to participate in the live classes or giving my spot to someone else who could. It was a few hours later that my husband realized we would actually be traveling for a month and would not be in town for small group. I would only have to miss one class! I felt quite foolish for registering without even a second thought. I was also struck by the raw emotion I felt when I thought I wouldn’t be able to join Season 3. It was a powerful demonstration of how much these classes and this online community were an answer to my prayers to be nourished as a mother. Liz Cotrill spoke at the Charlotte Mason Institute Conference 2016 in a session called Mothers Are Born Persons. I set out this school year to really explore what that meant and how that could fit into our lives. LEL was a perfect match. My heart was so full being challenged academically reading Mason’s writing and knowing I would have to narrate. I was challenged spiritually as more comprehensive ideas of personhood, the will, reason and imagination all brought conviction and a sense of awe. My children also enjoyed me taking the classes. They would chuckle listening to me narrate or they would smile seeing my copywork of a poem Nancy had assigned with a scribble line through it. And honestly, my heart was softened and we just had better days after an LEL session. Even our marriage was enlightened by these lessons. We had such deep and thoughtful conversations on the topics I was discussing in class. I would often try to explain and then just ask him to read the page or two right from Mason herself! Living Education Lessons were a delight and our home has been forever changed because of them.

  7. Lynsey ScottbergMarch 1, 2017 at 1:20 PM

    Nancy's Living Education Lessons have been instrumental in my understanding and application of a Charlotte Mason education. I have taken 3 of her classes and have enjoyed learning from her as well as learning from and being connected with other Mason educators all over the country! Nancy has struck upon a simple yet effective and encouraging method - the first 15-20 minutes are for sharing a commonplace entry from the reading of Mason's Volume 6 and the remainder of class is for Nancy to share from her years of experience (with time also for oodles of book recommendations and Q&A). Nancy creates an atmosphere of grace and encouragement - no question was too basic or random.

    One of my favorite elements of the class is the slow pace with which we read through Mason's Volume 6. I have young children and am fairly new to Charlotte Mason's philosophy of education but I am so glad that this class has been a part of my introduction to her methods. I now appreciate how valuable it is to read through Mason's writings slowly and purposefully in a community of other educators.

    I also learned so much when Nancy would have us narrate a pertinent reading or do a picture study during class. Not only was this a gentle way to demonstrate how to do this with my own children but the challenge of it also reminded me that with this way of educating the responsibility remains with the student. I've started laying better groundwork now for the narrating challenges ahead for my 1st grader thanks to the modeling and practice during our classes.

    These classes, for me, have been a wonderful way to sort out the big hows and whys of a philosophy of education which in turn inform all of the small choices I make day-to-day in my home school. In Season 3 I pondered for days about what Mason has to say about will and reason and found that I was actually beginning to change how I saw my children and the choices they make and in turn saw our atmosphere being built up a little bit more. I was moved by our discussion on magnanimity and discovered new hopes for myself and my children. These LEL have been some of the best teacher development I've had the chance to participate in - I hope there are more to come!

  8. I just finished Season 3 of Living Education Lessons, and what a blessing the class has been! In his sermon last week, my husband said that people in our culture want 'tweets not meat'. Quips and quotes that may amuse us, but give us little to ponder deeply, be challenged and grow. Thankfully, Nancy's classes are full of the meat we need to really chew on ideas and be fully fed. In a Charlotte Mason education, we desire to spread a feast of ideas for our children. In these classes, Nancy does that, for US! What a treat for us mothers, who lovingly take the time to spread the feast for our children, but rarely have time to get in a few bites ourselves. I will be savoring this meal for a long time. Thank you, Nancy!

  9. Delicious! So satisfying. The best ever. Yum. Please serve this again! All these words have been spoken after a truly enjoyable meal. These words also echoed in my mind after completing Sessions 2 and 3 of the Living Education Lessons.

    Nancy, you've done a superb job of dishing up a spectacular feast! Each "dish" was specially selected, prepared, and served expertly.

    Before signing up for Session 2, I was unsure of what I would experience and learn during the lessons. The format using Zoom was new to me but with your direction was so easy to navigate and not at all intimidating. Being able to participate from the home was such a blessing as "getting away" seems to require so much additional time and effort.

    The structure of the lessons times allowed us to share from our readings and truly practice the Mason method of learning. Sharing our common place readings brought such depth to our weekly readings. I enjoyed learning from others who are wanting to delve deeper into this philosophy . . . more correctly, this way of life. The weekly lessons that you shared, Nancy, often helped to ease anxieties for such things as teaching Shakespeare, Plutarch, and Magnanimity. They have instilled in me a confidence that even I can through a "slow and ordered" fashion incorporate this into our studies. The study of the the use of the mind, way of reason, and the way of the will have provided much for contemplation, evaluation, and implementation for me. I will be forever changed.

    I am thankful to have had the opportunity to sit down at your banquet table, to enjoy the multiple hearty dishes, to enjoy the sweet seasoned delights you stirred into the lessons, to have savored the flavors of a variety of servings, and to share the dishes my fellow students contributed. As one who has contentedly pushed themselves away from the table after a meal, I am satisfied, nourished, savoring, and anticipating the sessions to follow. Thanks Nancy for the feast!


  10. I would like to share my personal reflection from my first season with Living Education Lessons:
    ' “… ‘ Education is a life’; ”implied’ because life is no more self-existing than it is self-supporting…” (vol.6, p.104). I have been struck by the idea of how the Holy Spirit is the giver of all knowledge and that it is through the Divine imparting to our child, thus to all persons, that we are feed. This quote using the word “self” twice to speak about what life is not was very striking. For life one must have nourishment and nourishment does not come from ourselves, but from the Divine gifting of life, body and mind.
    At the beginning of session 2 last fall, I was feeling a longing for peace in our home and days. Each week as I read through these five principles within the volume 6, I could feel the Holy Spirit speaking and impressing upon me the importance of giving over to Him my days with my girls and allowing each of them to be their own unique and beautiful person that was created by God for such a time as this. I was humbled by and thankful for the truth of Charlotte’s words, “All action comes out of the ideas we hold and if we ponder duly upon personality we shall come to perceive that we cannot commit a greater offense than to maim or crush, or subvert any part of a person" (vol. 6, p.80). Being a mother as been a blessing, walking each day in the joys and triumphs each of girls share with me. However, allowing for each of their personalities to grow and be nourished has not been a deep focus until recently. My husband and I walked a difficult road this summer with one of our daughters and had the opportunity to hold her as her personhood was not counted as sacred by a close relationship. It was crushing being there, but a gift to know that my daughter has been so enriched by living ideas and is filled with a personal love of life given to her by Our Father that she has allowed for grace to be extended and goodness. She is confident in her knowing because she fills her body and mind each day with new and lasting living IDEAS.
    The Lord placed Charlotte Mason’s volumes on my shelf years ago, but taking time to read through them, digest and allow for nourishment slowly and intentionally has given myself and thus my family, life.'

    Placing myself into a community of mothers from all over the country with a heart for knowing Charlotte's principles and placing her practices within our homes and lives was both humbling and joyful. Nancy’s gift of nourishment for my mind (and thus my family, too) through her sharing of her knowledge and practices of implementing Charlotte's methods in her community and home each week has been a delightful treasure, one that I will continue to reflect upon and assimilate weeks, months, even years from now. Each week I was able to listen and feel each person's commonplace from the volume's reading. This time of reflection and sharing acted as nutritional fortitude for my mind and body.

    With each day I am more and more able to feel and see the 'truth, goodness and beauty' of Charlotte Mason's words and love of life! LEL Community and Nancy's truthful leadership bring an energy and joy to the rich and bountiful feast that is a Mason Education (life)!

  11. Thank you so much, Nancy, for creating these wonderful Living Education Lessons! I love the way we read slowly through Charlotte Mason's own words and then share what we write in our commonplace journals. I enjoy hearing what stood out to the others. The information that you share in each lesson is helpful, and now I feel much more confident beginning to teach Plutarch! You stretch us, and I have to admit I am glad that you do! :) I love learning more about this wonderful education philosophy! I can't wait for the next LEL! Thank you!