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OUR COMMUNITY


An Opportunity to Learn and Grow in a

Vibrant and Encouraging Community of Mothers and Teachers

At the CMEC, we value ongoing research into Mason’s philosophy and sharing all that we learn with others.

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.

Each year includes a variety of events:

Term Form Meetings that take on topics and questions specific to each Form.

Fall and spring Mini-Retreats offered live and online on subject areas of interest.

  • Fall 2019: Principles of the Mason Lesson: How Studies Serve for Delight
  • Spring 2020: A Planning Retreat: The CMEC Curriculum Launch Form by Form

Annual Parents’ Night for mothers and fathers to define educational goals together and consider family culture.

Our popular Mother’s Education Course, with monthly online meetings and a carefully-designed set of coursework from the volumes and our full collection of the Parents’ Review.

Regular meetings specifically for those leading and teaching in Mason communities.

Early access to our annual summer retreat each July.


A peek at our community page:



The Community: Our Beginnings and Our Team

The CMEC began in the Philadelphia area in 2010 as just a few mothers, wanting to learn in community and study Mason together.  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. 

As more families around the country asked to use our curriculum, we were so pleased to be able to share what we had created more widely.  But rooted as our program is in both careful research and real work with real families, we wanted to continue to draw upon that vital sense of community that has always given us such strength. Thus, the CMEC Membership was born. 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--all in the context of a stable, active, supportive community of fellow families.

Here is a place for you to work out a Mason education for your own family with others, diverse and yet sharing the same vision. All of our curriculum team uses the program with their own families and in their teaching at The Mason Academy, our learning program for K-12 children. That means we live out what we create right alongside you, and we refine our understanding as we draw upon the experiences of other families. We hope you will dig into our resources, past workshops, and retreats and read the many guides we have created. We hope you will join our Mother’s Education Course and attend our Form Meetings, not just so you can benefit from all we offer, but also so that we can learn from your insights too.


Our Curriculum and Community Development Team

The CMEC relies on a broad base of support, from our member families, to the teachers in our blended-model learning program, to our nonprofit Board. This support is directed by a core team of parent-educators specifically in charge of our curriculum and community offerings.

Celeste Cruz

Celeste lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and their ten 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: sharing the joys of home education at Joyous Lessons and @celeste_cruz, writing for Common Place Quarterly, and curating content @keepingcompanycm. Celeste works in a variety of ways for our community, building website content, presenting at our retreats, and serving as our managing editor.

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. Prior to staying home with her children, she worked as a Treasury and Finance Consultant, which equips her as the CMEC’s overall administrator.

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.

Renée Ricou

An Ohio native, Renée moved to Philadelphia to attend college and received a BS in Biology and Chemistry and a Master of Science in Education from Drexel University. She studied French in high school and college and lived in Nantes, France for two years, first working in a university laboratory, then as a student of French studies at the University of Nantes. Renée met her husband there and they return to France about once a year to visit family and friends. Renée designs our science curriculum and teaches science and French to all Forms at The Mason Academy.

Amy Snell

With a graduate degree in Literature from the University of California-Irvine, Amy Snell had taught in a variety of classroom environments. Amy 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. Amy now serves as the Board President of the Charlotte Mason Educational Center and heads our curriculum team and community projects. You can find Amy on Instagram @learninghowtolivecm and @the.cmec.

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 which 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 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. Andrea heads our high school curriculum team.


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

Dawn Duran

Dawn lives in Maryland with her citizen-soldier husband and their two sons. She has undergraduate degrees in Physical Education and Physical Therapy as well as a graduate degree in Health Sciences. Her pre-motherhood career choices were influenced by her experience as a Division I athlete and she worked as a physical therapist full time prior to taking on her most prized roles of stay-at-home wife and homeschooling mother. Dawn feels blessed to have encountered the philosophy of Charlotte Mason prior to her children reaching school age and has been immersed in Mason’s methods for 8 years. Dawn has created Swedish Drill Revisited to assist homeschool families effectively embrace a forgotten form of physical education and is the coordinator of the Charlotte Mason Maryland community. She also writes for Common Place Quarterly and teaches classes online for Purdue Global University.

Camille Malucci

Camille Malucci is a homemaker and home educator using the Charlotte Mason method since the middle of her first son's first grade year. She earned a Bachelor's in Business Administration and worked as a Buyer and Planner in the fashion and home goods sectors, but is glad that when family life called she was able to pursue the life long learning beside her children. A lover of good books, beautiful architecture, travel, and fiber crafts, the Mason method was a good fit from the get-go. She lives on a small hobby farm in the heart of the nation with her husband, daughter, and (soon) five sons amidst a small collection of sheep, ducks, and chickens.

Amber Vanderpol

Amber graduated from from UC Davis with a degree in history but often feels her real education began when she started homeschooling over a decade ago. Amber and her husband Matt bring Mason's philosophy to life in their family not only through the morning lessons, but also by reading, narrating, and discussing Shakespeare and Plutarch as a family in the evening. They also model their own lifelong learning by keeping nature journals, Books of Centuries, Commonplaces, and writing their own narrations and sharing those within the family each week at their family keeping meetings. Their eldest will graduate from their homeschool in 2020, but with five more children, including a toddler, they are looking forward to serving as "friend, philosopher, and guide" for many years to come. Amber and her family live on 10 forested acres in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains in California, where they enjoy participating in the life of their church, spending time outside, and reading good books.


What members are saying about our community:

The community offerings provide an opportunity to regularly reflect on one’s homeschooling, to re-inspire and refresh ideas and philosophy, and to hear from other mothers what they are working on/how they approach different aspects of school. This is especially helpful with Charlotte Mason because her philosophy is easy to reduce to some superficial mottos, but in order to really practice it well, you need to delve deeper and look more closely. CMEC walks you through her philosophy carefully and thoroughly over time, encouraging discipline and orderliness. In some ways, adopting Charlotte Mason’s approach is perhaps harder for the mother than it is for the children, so we need as much support as we can get! - Jessica in MA

The many types of support offered to parents in the form of on-line meetings and retreats is very helpful and really makes you part of the community. Seeing familiar names and faces each time, sharing questions and solutions, and benefiting from the wonderful experience of Amy and Celeste is one aspect of the CMEC I really value. I am constantly amazed at the research and preparation that goes into each each of their presentations, whether online or in person. - Judy in PA

I love the community that is created by all of the online meetings. The community offerings are a ray of sunshine. …The leaders are welcoming and have a great gift for providing support. - Cassie in MO

I have benefited from the conference for members where there were some immersions done. I was able to finally truly understand how dictation should be done after that immersion! The Mother's Education Course has been inspirational…and have helped to keep me engaged and fresh this school year. I have also found the Form Meetings to be another place to find inspiration, help with troubleshooting, and just full of great ideas I hadn’t thought of. - Hollie in VA

The Mother's Education Course has been really impactful. I'm now using a logbook to keep track of our days and the regular meetings encourage me and remind me of our principles and what is important, which is easy to forget in the midst of the day-to-day ... I'm a better parent and teacher when I engage with the CMEC community and really use the resources that are provided because I need the consistent reminders of the CM principles and the experience of mothers who are working from the same paradigm and towards the same goals. - Sarah in CA

The CMEC Mother’s Education Course has been a great way to keep myself learning and growing as a CM educator. The PR articles assigned have been especially helpful in obtaining a deeper understanding of various aspects of the philosophy and method.  - Jessica in WA

I find everything on the website very helpful, but ultimately what sets CMEC apart is the community and ongoing education for the mother which is possible through the webinars, retreats, and online meetings. - Eva in IL

It is a gift to be part of CMEC community! - Paula in PA



Read More:

Our Curriculum

Our Resources

Our Community

Our High School Program

The CMEC for the Early Years

Or request our Sample Packet for a video tour of our offerings.

Email us at info@thecmec.org.

Note: Since membership is currently closed, our response times are slower as we focus on our current members.


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