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WELCOME TO THE CMEC!

Note: Registration is currently closed for the 2019-2020 School Year so that we can focus on our current members and offerings.  We will reopen for the 2020-2021 School Year in February before our curriculum launch in March.

If you would like to receive updates about the CMEC, including when we open next year's registration, please join our mailing list


The Charlotte Mason Educational Center is a nonprofit collaboration of parents and teachers dedicated to putting the educational philosophy of Charlotte Mason into practice.

The CMEC began in the Philadelphia area in 2010 with just a few families learning together around a dining room table and mothers meeting at night to read the work of Charlotte Mason. From that sprung a further dedication to living out Mason’s ideas in community: nature study clubs; Truth, Beauty, Goodness Gatherings; and a blended-model learning program, The Mason Academy. The CMEC has grown more than we ever imagined as we now develop our own full curriculum, provide the support necessary for its implementation, and offer ongoing education and training for teachers and parents across a variety of platforms. This past year we piloted an extension of our community to families around the country, and now, we are excited to invite your family to join the CMEC community.

The wide experience each new family brings has benefited the CMEC as a whole, and we feel ever more surely the great privilege it is to learn together “for the children’s sake.”


What We Offer


A Full Program of Work

for Children in 1st-12th Grade

  • Carefully crafted to achieve the breadth and balance of Mason’s clear and simply organized programs.
  • Matched to Mason’s original timetables to ensure an appropriate amount of work for each Form as well as ample time for leisure.
  • Maintaining Mason’s approach for students to all be studying the same historical era, allowing for greater camaraderie and collaboration among students and parents. (See note below.)
  • Designed around “streams” of history, science, and geography, Mason’s vision for building definite knowledge consistently across the years.
  • Assigning “living books” of literary quality across the curriculum, as well as the study of “living things,” like handicrafts, nature journals, the fine arts and more.
  • Reflecting a thoughtful progression from Form to Form.
  • Accompanied by term exams for all work assigned, using Mason’s original exams as a model.

More about our history cycle the 2019-2020 school year will study 1900-present day and the Early Middle Ages. Our model follows Mason's key ideas governing the study of history:

  • That children should begin their coursework, whether it be in history or science, with what is local and close to them and should slowly broaden their view of all the world holds. Our Form 1 students begin with American history.
  • That history should become more and more comparative so that multiple perspectives inspire new insights. Our Form 1 students study American history and then add the contemporaneous study of the country that had the greatest impact on our nation’s history, Britain, in Form 2. By Form 4, this study expands to cover World History.
  • That students should be thoroughly grounded in Ancient History. We add a third stream of readings on Ancient Cultures, beginning in Form 2 and carrying on through high school.
  • That students from Form 1 through high school work through the same history time period. This simplifies the program for a mother with more than one student and builds camaraderie along siblings and peers, and throughout the entire community, as all CMEC members study the same periods each year.

For CMEC members, all of this is explained in a workshop and with detailed handouts which include graphics and our careful research included under Resources--History.


               


Curriculum Support for the Mother-Teacher

For the 2019-2020 School Year, we are offering:

  • A live curriculum overview presentation in the spring, walking through the books and plans for the year to come. (Recordings available on the website.)
  • A detailed printable Form Guide for each level, with explanations for the books assigned and helpful teaching suggestions for each subject.
  • A clickable Booklist for each Form to aid in school preparation.
  • Sample timetables included with each Form’s program as well as guidance in making your own.
  • Background information and “captain ideas” for each term’s artist, composer, hymn, and folksong studies.
  • Growing resources for each subject on the website, including a collection of curated articles from the Parents’ Review.
  • An online Form Meeting each term to receive guidance on the curriculum, ask questions, and meet with moms of similarly-aged children around the country.


                           


    Ongoing Education and Training

    For the 2019-2020 School Year, we are offering:

    • Fall and spring mini-retreats offered live and online on subject areas of interest.
    • Annual Parents’ Night for mothers and fathers to define educational goals together and consider family culture.
    • Our new Mother’s Education Course, with monthly online meetings.
    • Twice-annual meetings specifically for those leading and teaching in Mason communities.
    • Recordings of past webinars on the CMEC website, on topics including narration, composition, exams, history, geography, and more.
    • Early access to our annual summer retreat each July.
    • Active and ongoing research by the development team into Mason’s programmes, volumes, and archives, aimed to provide training based not just on personal experience but also a solid understanding of Mason’s approach.

    We have based all of the support and training we provide on the express needs of parents and students that are enrolled. Our offerings grow and adapt from year to year with the development of CMEC families in mind.


                    


    If you are an aspiring homeschool parent with children not yet school-aged, we invite you to become a CMEC member as well. Those of us who began studying Mason’s philosophy when our children were still very young are so grateful for those extra years of formation. Our Mother’s Education Course, online meetings, support materials, and retreats will be helpful to parents of all ages. We also have a Kinderleben Guide with suggestion for the early years and a Form Leader dedicated specifically to those with younger children. Mason offers wisdom and guidance for us not just regarding formal education but in the broader realm of parenting.


    How to Enroll

    Note: Registration is currently closed for the 2019-2020 School Year so that we can focus on our current members and offerings.  We will reopen for the 2020-2021 School Year in February before our curriculum launch in March.

    We ask a yearly subscription of $300 per family for those who would like to participate in the CMEC Community. When you enroll, you will gain full access to our website’s curriculum and resources until the following June 30th.

    Your contribution will support the work of the CMEC, as we continue to research Mason's methods and share her ideas with the larger world. We hope you will join us!


    More about the CMEC Team

    The CMEC relies on a broad base of support, from our member families, to the teachers in our learning program, to our nonprofit Board, to the team of educators specifically in charge of our curriculum and community offerings.

    Our Curriculum and Community Development Team

    Celeste Cruz

    Celeste lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and their nine children. She has a graduate degree in English with a background in European Humanities and Art History, and has taught literature and writing in classroom and small group settings. She discovered Charlotte Mason before her children were born and has enthusiastically studied her philosophy ever since. But her most humbling and rewarding experience has been putting those principles into practice while learning alongside her children at home. Besides helping run a local Mason group, she enjoys engaging the online community across a variety of platforms: she shares the joys of home education at Joyous Lessons and @celeste_cruz, writes for Common Place Quarterly, and curates content for @charlottemasonirl and @keepingcompanycm. She also works on the Northern California team of Charlotte Mason West, organizing retreats and video book discussions for Mason educators west of the Rockies.

    Erin Daly

    Erin lives near Philadelphia, PA with her husband and two daughters. In 2012 she was introduced to Charlotte Mason and the work of the PNEU. Since then, she has studied Mason's life-changing ideas with a wonderful community of fellow homeschoolers. Erin and her family run the publishing company Riverbend Press, providing notebooks and artist prints to the Mason community. Erin is the Director of The Mason Academy which provides weekly educational programs for homeschool students in grades K-12. She has degrees in Economics and Political Science from Grove City College. 

    Cassie Detwiler 

    Cassie is a mother of two boys and teaches at The Mason Academy in Newtown Square, where she also serves as the Assistant Director. Cassie was introduced to Mason's philosophy after graduating from Eastern University's Templeton Honors College where she studied Philosophy, Politics, and Economics. She enjoys working with high school students, especially reading Shakespeare, Plutarch, and Plato alongside them. She and her husband are raising their family in Conshohocken, Pennsylvania. 

    Renee Ricou

    An Ohio native, RenĂ©e has followed many streams of study in her lifetime: biology, chemistry, French and education. However, her greatest learning has been done along side her five children, homeschooling in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania, guided and inspired by Charlotte Mason’s philosophy. She enjoys walks in all types of weather, participating in the life of her church and encouraging other homeschooling parents, particularly regarding high school science.

    Amy Snell

    With a graduate degree in Literature from the University of California-Irvine, Amy taught in a variety of classroom environments. She then discovered the 19th century British educator, Charlotte Mason, whose philosophy quickly convinced her to begin homeschooling her five children. As her family thrived using Mason’s methods, Amy wanted to share and learn more about Mason’s philosophy with others, including speaking at the Charlotte Mason Institute National Conference, hosting Mason book discussions and workshops for parents, running a Nature Study Club, facilitating Truth, Beauty, Goodness afternoons, and creating the Mason Academy,  as director, teacher, and parent, in the Philadelphia area and in Princeton, NJ. Amy now serves as the Board President of the Charlotte Mason Educational Center and as its Curriculum and Methodology Consultant.

    Andrea St. Amour

    Andrea has been homeschooling for over 20 years, first in North Carolina and now in Pennsylvania. Of her six children, four have graduated and continued their educations through college, graduate school, and lives full of learning. The two youngest participate in The Mason Academy, where Andrea is the High School Coordinator. She is lucky to have a community of Charlotte Mason moms, dads and now young adults to support continued understanding and refining of methods that have brought a revival to her homeschool--and her home. Of course, there are several challenges that have formed her homeschool experience: Mom is the only person in the household who is a morning person; a household with several adults working from home means that the morning school often gets interrupted; one child has severe dyslexia and another has an even more serious reading disability due to a brain injury. Her husband, Paul, a philosophy professor, says that he enjoys the folksongs and hymns that he overhears the kids singing in the shower and the “SLNs” (spontaneous lengthy narrations) on long car rides.

    The CMEC also relies on dozens of bright and dedicated volunteers to further our research, provide support to parents and students, help compile website resources, and coordinate our local and online retreats.

    Read about our Mission and Board of Directors.

    Read more about Charlotte Mason's life and work.


    Further Questions?

    Please contact info@thecmec.org with any further questions or to request our Sample Packet. We would love to hear from you.

    Note: During our season of closed registration from October through February, our email response time for prospective members will be longer as we prioritize our current members and offerings. Please allow two weeks for responses during this break time. Thank you!


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