Charlotte Mason Together Retreat 2022

The Charlotte Mason Together Retreat

July 21–23, 2022 • Stone Mountain, GA

Take some time to rest, refocus, and refresh for the 2022–2023 school year. Join Sonya Shafer, Karen Glass, Richele Baburina, Amber O’Neal Johnston, and other experienced Charlotte Mason homeschoolers for the Charlotte Mason Together Retreat. This special weekend offers encouraging and informative sessions in beautiful surroundings with a relaxed schedule. It is a gathering like no other!

This has been the most peaceful, nourishing, and inspiring conference I have been to in a long, long time.

Michelle W.

One of the best retreats I’ve ever attended!

Eva L.


Sonya Shafer

Sonya Shafer

Sonya and her husband John have four daughters, whom they homeschooled all the way through with Charlotte Mason’s wonderful methods. Three have graduated, and now Sonya spends her time continuing to educate their youngest—who has special needs—and doing all she can to make it simple for you to use the Charlotte Mason Method.

At last count, Sonya has spoken at nearly 100 homeschool conferences, authored 60 books, produced more than 100 videos, and written more than 600 blog posts on homeschooling the Charlotte Mason way.

Karen Glass

Karen Glass is the mother of four children, all graduated, and a veteran Charlotte Mason homeschooler who lived in Krakow, Poland for 25 years before recently relocating to the United States. She has immersed herself in the philosophy of Charlotte Mason and is passionate about bringing her life-giving ideas to contemporary educators. She is one of the creators of the AmblesideOnline curriculum, and has been writing and speaking for many years. She is the author of several books based on those educational ideas, including Consider This, Know and Tell, and In Vital Harmony.

Richele Baburina

Richele Baburina began her venture of faith with Charlotte Mason’s philosophy of education as a university student, implementing picture talks as part of a museum program. As a humanities major, she found Miss Mason’s statements regarding the beauty and truth of mathematics particularly intriguing. Later, as a mother, she wanted to experience that “delightful consciousness of drawing out… new power” in her own children and she now helps others do the same.

Richele is the author of The Charlotte Mason Elementary Arithmetic SeriesMathematics: An Instrument for Living Teaching, and Brush Drawing: A Basic Course. Passionate about sharing how simple methods rest on profound principles throughout Miss Mason’s philosophy of education, she presents on a variety of topics and is a regular contributor to homeschool magazines. 

She has graduated her eldest child using the Charlotte Mason philosophy of education and her youngest is in his senior year. They reside in the foothills of the Appalachians in NE Tennessee, where they still go on nature walks together. Read her musings on art and arithmetic on Instagram @rbaburina.

This retreat has been so amazing. The speakers have been inspiring with the presentation of so many IDEAS. I can’t wait to begin implementing this with our children.

Jaime M.

Additional Speakers

Amber O’Neal Johnston

Amber O’Neal Johnston lives in Georgia nestled among pine trees, hammocks and ziplines with her husband and their four children. Her happy place is the back porch on a rainy day, preferably with a giant mug of hot tea and a good book. And although she was raised in the air conditioning, somehow the woods is where she feels most at home these days. When they have the chance, her family enjoys extended worldschooling trips to immerse themselves in other cultures. Amber chats about adding multicultural mirrors and windows to a traditional Charlotte Mason education at and on IG @heritagemomblog. She is also the author of the book A PLACE TO BELONG: Celebrating Diversity and Kinship in the Home and Beyond (TarcherPerigee, May 2022).

Karen Smith

Karen Smith

Karen Smith grew up spending many hours in and around the forests, lakes, and streams of Michigan. Her 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 and a co-founder of Simply Charlotte Mason. She has authored Journaling a Year in Nature and several other SCM elementary science titles.

Doug Smith

Doug Smith

Doug Smith, along with his wife Karen, has been homeschooling for more than 20 years and is a co-founder of Simply Charlotte Mason. He and his wife have graduated four children and now enjoy a greater focus on mentoring others on their homeschool journeys. On most days you’ll find Doug working on the website and helping the homeschoolers who frequent its pages. He has a passion for discipling his children, enjoying nature, and making technology understandable in plain English.

Josh and Jen Davis

Josh and Jen are homeschool parents and dear friends of Sonya’s. Josh is the founder and executive director of Proskuneo Ministries, an organization that works alongside church congregations to share multicultural, multilingual worship. He is a multi-ethnic worship leader, clinician, songwriter, ordained minister, and music missionary. Jen is a homeschool teacher, wife, mother, and musician. She is gifted with a heart that can ask the best questions and listen in a way that makes people feel valued.

Jaewoo and Joy Kim

Joy is a musician, an arts advocate, and a teacher at heart. She graduated from Dallas International University with a master’s degree in World Arts. Joy co-leads a multicultural homeschool co-op with intentionality to teach her children diverse perspectives and cultures and with a purpose to empower them to engage with God and the world in the ways that honor all God’s image bearers. Jaewoo Kim and Joy are part of Proskuneo Ministries.

Sarah Roberts

Sarah Roberts of In The Quiet Hours has been teaching basic hand embroidery in all types of settings since 2016. Seventh-grade Home Economics class sparked a lifelong interest in embroidery for Sarah. Since then, she’s continued to explore the vast world of needlework from cross stitch to lacemaking. Her stitches have been featured in The Atlantan magazine and online by The Embroider’s Guild of America and international needlework publication Inspirations Magazine.


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.)

This retreat has been a wonderful balance of encouragement, inspiration, and beautiful practicality in each session.

Valerie R.

Retreat Sessions

Thursday Pre-Retreat Sessions

A Charlotte Mason Morning of Studies (Sonya Shafer): Sonya will walk you through an entire morning of studies in a Charlotte Mason home school. Come prepared to take on the role of a fourth-grade student as you experience the methods in real time and get a feel for what a day-in-the-life would be like. Great for those who are new to Charlotte Mason and those who want a refresher course to build their confidence.

Principles and Methods (Sonya Shafer): After a catered lunch, you will have an open forum to discuss the morning’s studies and ask questions. Sonya will give additional insight and encourage you with the captain ideas to keep in mind as you teach your children.

Putting It Together (Sonya Shafer): Wrap up this practical and personal time with a look at schedules and curriculum. Sonya will guide you through how to create a schedule that works for your family and give an overview of the SCM curriculum resources that can help you spend less time planning and more time enjoying your children.

Time to Sharpen Our Pencils: Transitioning from Oral to Written Narration (Karen Glass): After a few years of oral narration, your children are narrating like pros. When it’s time to begin written narration, you find yourself at square one. It’s supposed to be a step forward, but it feels like a step back. Why don’t the written narrations flow as easily as the oral ones you’re used to hearing? In this talk, we’ll take a good look at the process of moving into written narration, identify the primary goals of each step of the process, and discuss strategies that will soften the inevitable bumps along the way. You’ll come away feeling prepared to navigate this challenge.

Contra Dance: Simply take the country folk dances like Charlotte taught her students, mix in a “caller” element like Swedish Drill, and add a lively dose of all-American square-dance music, and there you have it—contra dance! No experience required. If you can walk, you can contra dance. Come prepared for moderate exercise, lots of laughter, and a rollicking good time!

Friday Sessions

Nature Walk (Karen and Doug): 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. (Registration required.)

Main Gathering 1: Portraits of You (Sonya Shafer): What do you see when you look in your “parenting mirror”? Charlotte Mason sketched several portraits of what she saw when she looked at a parent. Join Sonya for a tour through that beautiful display of how Charlotte pictured you and how those portraits can inspire, instruct, and reassure you in your role as a homeschool parent.

Breakout 1A: Nature Study with Confidence (Karen Smith): Do you feel at home guiding your students in nature study? Boost your confidence in this session with Karen Smith. Karen will clarify your understanding of nature study, walk you through several nature studies, and teach you how to use a pocket microscope and a field guide to enhance your observations. Take the next step to doing nature study with confidence. Karen will be your guide.

Breakout 1B: Belonging Together: Managing the Seasons of Community and Fellowship (Amber O’Neal Johnston): Cultivating intentional opportunities for children to explore ideas and grow within a community of likeminded learners is a priceless experience. When families are regularly situated alongside others who share their desires for a living education rooted in Charlotte Mason’s principles, they reap the immediate benefits of relational learning. But once homeschool co-ops and groups are seeded, they must be watered and cared for through fruitful and difficult seasons. In this session, we’ll discuss how to manage community and fellowship amid various stages of development while maintaining a healthy atmosphere of belonging for yourself, your children, and the families within your community. 

Breakout 2A: Living Books and the Dyslexic Learner (Richele Baburina): Learn how the literature-rich Charlotte Mason style of education—hallmarked by its use of living books across a variety of subjects— helps the dyslexic child progress in listening, speaking, reading, and writing at his own pace and in an enjoyable way.

Breakout 2B: Using Technology Well (Doug Smith): We have technology all around us that Charlotte Mason would not have even imagined. So can our modern wonders fit into a CM education? We will consider that question and explore where technology can help and hurt as we endeavor to give our children an excellent education.

Main Gathering 2: Speak Up: Oral Narration Basics (Karen Glass): Narration is such a simple, natural method to use in education that it can almost seem too simple. We may feel insecure rather than confident in choosing narration over more conventional methods. In this talk, we’ll focus on why narration works as well as it does, and why it deserves our commitment.. Hearing lots of narrations can sometimes be hard work for the homeschool mother, but consistency is the key to the best outcome. This overview of oral narration will increase your resolve to make it happen even when it is difficult.

Handicraft Event: Embroidery (Sarah Roberts): Sarah Roberts of In The Quiet Hours will lead a hand embroidery workshop guiding participants through basic surface embroidery techniques. The pattern features a collection of geometric trees that are a sampler of line stitches and allow a study in stitch textures. Sarah will also introduce stitchers to embroidery tools and materials so they are prepared to keep embroidery as a regular craft practice!

Saturday Sessions

Nature Walk (Karen and Doug): 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. (Registration required.)

Main Gathering 3: Math as a Beautiful Adventure (Richele Baburina): Mathematicians are great imaginists with an immense curiosity—the same quali­ties inherent in children. Cultivate a spirit of adventure in your child’s math lesson and see how Charlotte Mason’s approach to mathematics goes beyond symbols and rules to reveal wondrous truths just waiting to be discovered.

Breakout 3A: Decently and in Order: Turning Written Narration into Formal Writing (Karen Glass): There is a plethora of writing curricula on the market because “teaching children to write” is one of the things homeschool parents find most daunting. If children narrate orally and in writing for many years, the transition to formal writing can be accomplished with a minimum of curriculum. In this talk, we’ll break the process down into steps which can be accomplished in the last year or two of high school, or spread out across several years. This process is easier than the transition from oral to written narration, and in this talk, we’ll take a look at some tools and strategies that will help our students find their own voice.

Breakout 3B: Roots & Branches: Pursuing Universal Brotherhood Through Family Heritage (Amber O’Neal Johnston): Building authentic relationships across racial, ethnic, and cultural lines requires self-awareness, humility, and a willingness to sit with the tension that often accompanies the melding of different viewpoints or even competing aims. Before children can be expected to thrive in diverse spaces and relationships, they must develop agency through personal identity. Kids (and adults too) find it difficult to honor the humanity of others when they are disconnected from their own personhood. We’ll discuss how we can use family culture and intergenerational history to deeply water our children’s roots as they spread wide branches towards others.

Worship Together (Josh and Jen Davis, Jaewoo and Joy Kim): Let your hearts be encouraged and enlarged as you join in worship to our great God. Josh, Jen, Joy, and Jaewoo will be leading this time of inclusion that invites different ethnic groups and cultures to worship together with one heart.

Main Gathering 4: 8 Words That Make All the Difference (Sonya Shafer): These eight words are powerful. They are comprehensive. They can refresh you when you’re feeling weary, inspire you when you’re feeling mundane, and encourage you when you’re feeling uncertain. If you (and your children) once allow these words to nestle into your hearts and take up permanent residence in your minds, you will have a strong and constant guide that can change the way you look at life.

Retreat Schedule

Thursday Pre-Retreat, July 21

Go in-depth on Charlotte Mason topics with the optional pre-retreat on Thursday. The pre-retreat includes a full day of additional sessions with lunch provided. (Additional registration fee applies.)

10:00A Charlotte Mason Morning of Studies (Sonya Shafer)
12:00Lunch (provided)
1:30Debrief & Q&A (Sonya Shafer)
2:30Putting It All Together (Sonya Shafer)
3:30Shopping Break / Curriculum Consults
4:00Pre-Retreat Session 5 (Karen Glass)
5:30Supper Break (on your own)
7:00Contra Dance

The pre-retreat was excellent–I appreciated the extra time to explore and learn.

Jessica M.

Friday, July 22

7:00Guided Nature Walk (Karen and Doug Smith)
9:30Welcome & Main Gathering 1 (Sonya Shafer)
11:00Breakout 1A (Karen Smith)Breakout 1B (Amber O’Neal Johnston)
12:00Lunch (provided)
1:30Breakout 2A (Richele Baburina)Breakout 2B (Doug Smith)
2:45Main Gathering 2 (Karen Glass)
4:00Personal Consultations / Meet UpsShopping / Curriculum Consults
5:30Supper Break (on your own)
7:00Handicraft Event (Sarah Roberts)Shopping / Curriculum Consults

Saturday, July 23

7:00Guided Nature Walk (Karen and Doug Smith)
9:00Bookstore Open / Curriculum Consults
9:30Main Gathering 3 (Richele Baburina)
10:30Hotel Check-out / Break / Shopping
11:00Breakout 3A (Karen Glass)Breakout 3B (Amber O’Neal Johnston)
12:00Lunch (provided)
1:30Worship Together
2:45Main Gathering 4 (Sonya Shafer)
3:30Farewell and Final Shopping

Meet Ups

At the retreat, we’ll have an opportunity for you to meet other CM homeschoolers like you! During the meet up time, we’ll help you break into groups based on number of children, location, children’s ages, and other groups so you can make some new friends.

Personal Consultations

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 $25, register early. These limited sessions will be filled on a first registered, first choice basis. When the time slots are full, they’re gone!

Curriculum Consultations

The friendly and helpful staff of the SCM Bookstore will be available all weekend for one-on-one consulting sessions. If you have questions about which resources to use or how to use them with your students, you will be able to sign up for a FREE curriculum consultation in the bookstore at the retreat.

I have been so encouraged this weekend and will go home excited for the upcoming year!

Amanda C.

I have had a positively wonderful & encouraging time this weekend!

Dana D.


Register early to get the best price! Here’s the pricing schedule for the Charlotte Mason Together Retreat.

Main Retreat Ticket

  • Early Registration (Dec. 4–Feb. 3): $199
  • Regular Registration (Feb. 4–June 15): $239
  • Late Registration (June 16–June 30): $279

Special group rate: Save $25 off main retreat ticket pricing when purchasing 5 or more main retreat tickets. Bring your co-op teachers and leadership team!

Discount applied at checkout to purchase of 5 or more tickets in one order. Does not apply to spouse ticket price.

Main Retreat Spouse Ticket

  • Early Registration (Dec. 4–Feb. 3): $159
  • Regular Registration (Feb. 4–June 15): $199
  • Late Registration (June 16–June 30): $239

Pre-Retreat Ticket

  • Regular Registration (Nov. 26–June 15): $99
  • Late Registration (June 16–June 30): $119


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 at a special discounted event rate. 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 online, or call the resort reservations number at 1-888-670-2250 and mention the Charlotte Mason Together Retreat.

Rooms at the Atlanta Evergreen Marriott are sold out. Other nearby lodging options in the area include:

The venue is beautiful! The nature walk was great and the food was actually good!

Bridget M.

More Details

Video Recordings

We will be video recording the 2022 retreat. Your ticket includes free access to any recordings released after the retreat!

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 resources from Richele Baburina and Karen Glass.

Cancellation Policy

Cancellations before June 23, 2022 will receive a full refund of the retreat registration. Lodging arrangements are subject to the hotel’s policies and not handled by Simply Charlotte Mason.

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.