As hard as I try to communicate the essence of what a Mason style of learning looks like for a person with autism, words cannot capture all the little moments that happen. The moments in which Pamela squeals during our Spanish lesson because the story is about firemen putting out a fire: "¡Fuego! ¡Fuego! Los bomberos vienin." The joy of singing "La Granja" at the top of our lungs. Or the fear that the runaway slave is about to be caught. The bittersweet moment when a book ends.
ChildLightUSA has come up with a way to provide such a vision at this year's conference. In addition to the wide and varied topics covered at the conference June 6-9, 2012, CLUSA is hosting a pre-conference with two immersion groups on Wednesday, June 6 (which requires an additional registration cost). Since this is a "trial balloon" of this idea, CLUSA will offer two choices this year. My friend, Nancy Kelly, mom of many and the heart behind several Mason initiatives in Minnesota, will be leading one immersion group illustrating how to handle multiple ages in a homeschool or co-operative setting. If you would like to know more about Nancy, check out her blog Sage Parnassus. I am leading another immersion for special needs children which will also illustrate how a Mason homeschool might look for upper elementary age students.
The sooner you register for the conference, the less expensive it will be. You can also save by registering with friends (groups of three or more get a discount of $10 per person). Have your registration postmarked by April 15 for the best deal.
I have attended all of the conference but the first. I enjoy going every year because I get to meet so many dear friends face-to-face. When I had no local Charlotte Mason support group, it was the only time of year where I connect with kindred spirits. This conference is unlike any conference you will attend. It is more than the nuts and bolts of teaching. It is about living: the morning begins with matins. The evening ends with inspirational experiences (the fine arts) and small group conversations about a wide variety of topics. We spend Friday evening at a nature park.
This year, CLUSA is highlighting some wonderful speakers in their wide and varied plenaries. Makoto Fujimura, the illuminator of the 400th Anniversary of the King James Bible and author of Refractions, will be speaking. We also have some of the best minds on Mason speaking: Deani and Meghan Van Pelt, Art Middlekauf, and Margaret Coombs who has turned up some fascinating tidbits about Charlotte Mason in her biographical research.