Charlotte Mason Together 2019 Retreat

Charlotte Mason Together Retreat, July 25–27, 2019

Rest, refresh, and refocus.

Take some time to rest, refocus, and refresh for the 2019–2020 school year. Join Sonya Shafer, Richele Baburina, Allyson Adrian, and other experienced Charlotte Mason moms for the Charlotte Mason Together Retreat. This special weekend offers encouraging and informative sessions in beautiful surroundings with a relaxed schedule. It is the only event that Simply Charlotte Mason will be hosting this year, so don’t miss out! Plan to join us. You’ve earned a weekend with friends (not to mention a free retreat T-shirt)!

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Sonya Shafer

Sonya Shafer

Sonya Shafer is a popular homeschool speaker and writer, specializing in the Charlotte Mason Method. She has been on an adventure for more than 20 years studying, researching, practicing, and teaching Charlotte’s gentle and effective methods of education. Her passion for homeschooling her own four daughters grew into helping others and then into Simply Charlotte Mason, which publishes her many books and provides a place of practical encouragement to homeschoolers. At the retreat Sonya will be introducing new ones to Charlotte Mason and her methods, giving practical help for high school, and sharing her heart on using Charlotte Mason with special needs.

Richele Baburina


Richele Baburina is the author of The Charlotte Mason Elementary Arithmetic Series, a math curriculum that is designed from the ground up to conform to Charlotte Mason’s principles for math instruction. She and her husband have now been home educating for more than a decade. At the retreat Richele will be sharing her wisdom about math and answering questions about using Charlotte Mason with boys. Richele is also the author of Brush Drawing: A Basic Course and will be hosting a demonstration and hands-on brush drawing gathering on Friday night.

Allyson Adrian


Allyson Adrian, PhD, is the mother of four daughters, ages 7-17, whom she homeschools in Arlington, Virginia. Four years ago she and her husband, Steve, founded Cherrydale Press, which is dedicated to publishing Charlotte Mason foreign language resources. She is now in her eighth year acting as the Shepherd/Mentor of the Arlington Charlotte Mason cooperative, “Cherrydale Wednesdays.” When not engaged in Charlotte Mason homeschooling duties, Allyson teaches Intercultural Communication at the McDonough School of Business, Georgetown University. At the retreat Allyson will be encouraging us with practical help on teaching foreign language, homeschooling through high school, and leading a Charlotte Mason group/co-op.

Additional Speakers

Doug and Karen Smith

Doug and Karen grew up spending many hours in and around the forests, lakes, and streams of Michigan. Their passion for the outdoors and the study of nature continues to this day. Karen is Sonya’s “go to” person for all things nature related. She has authored Journaling a Year in Nature and several other SCM elementary science titles. Doug and Karen will be leading the nature walks on Friday and Saturday morning, sharing practical tips, tools, and observations along the way.

Josh Davis

Sonya first met Josh when he came to her church to be the worship leader. Today, Josh ministers to people of different cultures and languages through Proskuneo Ministries. The Davis family lives and homeschools and ministers in Clarkston, Georgia, a small but diverse community that is home to more than 40 people groups and 60 languages within its 1.4 square miles. As we focus on teaching foreign languages, Josh will be giving us a taste of multilingual worship and sharing with us the beauty and impact of communicating in a person’s heart language.


We are offering a wide variety of activities, because different people find different things refreshing. We hope you will hand pick the ones that will be the most refreshing to you and rest during the others. (Sessions and schedule subject to change.)

Retreat Sessions

Thursday Pre-Retreat Sessions

Guiding to Graduation: Learn how to guide your student confidently through the high school years to graduation using Charlotte Mason methods. Sonya will also explain and demystify the Fearsome Four: courses, credits, grades, and transcripts.

Elementary Arithmetic: Charlotte Mason called elementary arithmetic lessons Numbers, believing number sense should extend far beyond a mechanical ability to work sums. A child’s relationship with numbers should reveal a wondrous world of beauty, power and joy. In this session with Richele, you will look at beginning lessons in arithmetic and explore methods distinct to Charlotte’s principles of education found not only in Numbers but in other subjects as well.

Mentoring for Life: Academics are only a part of your high schooler’s education. In this session Sonya presents her top 30 ways to prepare your teen for life after graduation.

Multiplication Tables: Richele shows you how to teach Multiplication Tables the Charlotte Mason way. Charlotte’s approach introduces living ideas, allows the child to discover patterns and relationships, and instills good habits that are so important as a child progresses to advanced mathematics.

Friday Sessions

Nature Walk: Experience the refreshing beauty of a morning nature walk while learning how to make your own Charlotte Mason nature explorations more effective and meaningful. Karen and Doug will be your guides, sharing practical tips, tools, and observations along the way.

What It Takes to Homeschool Successfully (Part 1): Set the course for the weekend as Sonya begins to share her heart on what should take top priority in our home schools and in our lives.

Math for Persons: Richele explains what makes Charlotte Mason’s approach to math so distinctive, what its benefits are, and why you don’t have to be a math whiz to teach math successfully.

Learning Languages with Miss Mason and François: Charlotte Mason routinely taught her students 3-5 languages using the method put forward by François Gouin. The method is simple, effective and—like so much of Miss Mason’s thought—affirmed by current neuroscience discoveries. Allyson will demonstrate the method for lessons, discuss how to teach languages when you are not fluent yourself, and how to use the method at the high school level.

Inside a Charlotte Mason Home School: Take a look at a typical day in the life of families who use the Charlotte Mason Method. Sonya will demonstrate what the method looks like in everyday practice and give lots of practical help and clear explanations.

Charlotte Mason for High School? Yes!: Many homeschoolers wonder whether or not Charlotte Mason’s methods are appropriate for learning at the high school level. Allyson will discuss her own observations concerning Miss Mason’s methods for higher learning based on her experience teaching her own high school students and also 30 years of teaching in universities. She will discuss curriculum choices, pacing, and credits.

Brush Drawing: Richele will demonstrate how Charlotte taught brush drawing, then you will have time to practice the technique and/or free paint to your heart’s content.

Leading a CM Group Discussion: Allyson will share from her years of leading a CM group—what it’s like, what works well, what doesn’t—and answer your questions about groups in this informal opportunity to chat.

Saturday Sessions

Nature Walk: Experience the refreshing beauty of a morning nature walk while learning how to make your own Charlotte Mason nature explorations more effective and meaningful. Karen and Doug will be your guides, sharing practical tips, tools, and observations along the way.

Charlotte Mason and Math: A Mountain Perspective: Charlotte Mason referred to Mathematics as a mountainous land, where the travelers benefit from an invigorating atmosphere and each step is taken on firm ground. In this presentation, Richele will take you on a guided journey through the Principality of Mathematics in the Charlotte Mason classroom from the early years through high school. Along the way, she will move fear to the back seat, dispel common misconceptions, and gain practical advice for your own schoolroom.

Using Charlotte Mason with Special Needs: Yes, you can use Charlotte Mason principles and methods with a special needs child. Sonya shares what she has learned from more than 15 years of teaching her daughter with autism, pervasive developmental delays, and language processing issues.

The Heart of Language Learning: Special guest and homeschool dad, Josh Davis, will encourage you in the Why of foreign language. Come prepared to be blessed as you experience the importance of heart language in singing, in worship, and in relationships.

What It Takes to Homeschool Successfully (Part 2): Wrap up the retreat inspired as Sonya shares the rest of her message on top priorities for being successful in homeschooling and in life.

Retreat Schedule

Thursday Pre-Retreat, July 25

Go in-depth on Charlotte Mason topics with the optional pre-retreat on Thursday. The pre-retreat includes two additional sessions—focused on math and on high school—plus a buffet supper.

3:00Hotel check in / Registration / Meet & Greet
4:00Math Track: Elementary Arithmetic (Richele Baburina)High School Track: Guiding to Graduation (Sonya Shafer)
5:30Buffet Supper (included)
7:00Math Track: Multiplication Tables (Richele Baburina)High School Track: Mentoring for Life (Sonya Shafer)
9:30Laser Show at Stone Mountain Park

Friday, July 26

7:00Guided Sunrise Nature Walk with Karen and Doug Smith
7:30Breakfast (on your own) or enjoy a morning swim!
9:00Retreat Registration / Meet and Greet
9:45What It Takes to Homeschool Successfully, Part 1 (Sonya Shafer)
10:20Math for Persons (Richele Baburina)
10:55Q & A Session (Panel)
11:30Learning Languages with Miss Mason and François (Allyson Adrian)
12:00Lunch (provided) / Leisure / Shopping
1:30Inside a Charlotte Mason Home School (Sonya Shafer)Charlotte Mason for High School? Yes! (Allyson Adrian)
3:00Personal ConsultationsHotel Check-in / Rest / Leisure / Shopping
4:30Book Discussion: Mother Culture by Karen Andreola
5:30Supper (on your own)
7:00Brush Drawing with Richele BaburinaLeading a CM Group discussion with Allyson Adrian
9:30Laser Show at Stone Mountain Park

Saturday, July 27

7:00Guided Sunrise Nature Walk with Karen and Doug Smith
7:30Breakfast (on your own) or go for a swim!
9:30Charlotte Mason and Math: A Mountain Perspective (Richele Baburina)Using Charlotte Mason with Special Needs (Sonya Shafer)
10:30Break / Shopping / Hotel check-out
11:00The Heart of Language Learning (Josh Davis)
11:30Q & A Session (Panel)
12:00Catered Lunch (provided) / Leisure / Shopping
1:30What It Takes to Homeschool Successfully, Part 2 (Sonya Shafer)

Personal Consultations

Sold out! A very limited number of one-on-one personal consultation sessions are available during the retreat. Sit down with an experienced Charlotte Mason educator and ask your questions. If you are interested in a 30-minute personal consultation for $10, register early. These limited sessions will be filled on a first registered, first choice basis. When the time slots are full, they’re gone!

Fantastic location

The Charlotte Mason Together Retreat will be held at the beautiful Atlanta Evergreen Marriott Conference Resort that sits inside scenic Stone Mountain Park. The historic park boasts more than 3,000 acres of natural beauty, including 15 miles of nature trails, and a 360-acre lake. Family-fun attractions and two championship golf courses are also on site. Bring the whole family and enjoy some together time. There are plenty of great activities for dad and the kids to do while you soak up the Charlotte Mason encouragement during the scheduled sessions. Or come a few days early and enjoy Stone Mountain Park as a family vacation—the $20 gate fee to Stone Mountain Park is covered for those attending the retreat!


A limited number of rooms are being held at the resort for retreat attendees. Plan to stay in the resort so you can enjoy the indoor pool, outdoor pool, hot tub, fitness center, cozy conversation nooks, in-room refrigerators, onsite restaurants, quick and easy access to all retreat sessions, and stellar rooms with lakeside or poolside balconies.

Bring three friends and split the room four ways for affordable luxury. Use your in-room refrigerator for your favorite beverages and snacks. Hang out on your balcony or at the pool, enjoy the laser show, and have a sleepover! Register your hotel room for the retreat.

Stone Mountain Park Campground also offers RV & Motor Home sites, tent sites, yurt rentals, safari tent rentals, and RV rentals.

More Details

Children and Babies

Childcare will not be provided at the retreat.

Nursing babies are welcome. We ask only that mamas are considerate of all the other attendees and step out of the room if the baby is becoming loud enough to be a distraction. With some babies that’s easy; others have become show-stoppers. You know your baby best. If you think it will be an easy task to enjoy the retreat and not detract from others’ enjoyment with Baby present, please bring that precious little one along.


Simply Charlotte Mason will have a large display of resources available for you to get your hands on, look through, and purchase at a special retreat discount. The display will include Richele Baburina’s math curriculum and brush drawing kit, as well as Allyson Adrian’s foreign language courses.

Getting Here

The Atlanta Evergreen Marriott Conference Resort is only about 35 minutes from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL). The airport is within a 2-hour flight of 80% of the population in the United States. So with about 2.5 hours of travel, you could be enjoying the weekend with kindred spirits!

If you are driving, you will find that three major interstates conveniently come through Atlanta: I-20, I-75, and I-85.

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