2018 Speakers & Conversations


Introducing the speakers and our conversations for the day…


Liz Cottrill

Liz Cottrill is mother of six and grandmother of ten who has been homeschooling for 32 years. Through her work with her daughter in their family-owned Living Books Library serving local homeschool families in southwest Virginia and because of her 25 year journey in discovering the beauty and purpose of a Charlotte Mason method of education, she has endeavored to communicate her experience and knowledge to others through teaching at workshops and conferences, the
A Delectable Education podcast, and personal consultations with hundreds of families around the world.

The Book of Books

The subject of Bible was of first importance in Mason’s curriculum. That it is a unique book is undeniable, but how do we present it to our children in an appetizing lesson? How should we teach it with the reverence it is due and in a living way? Liz will describe Bible lessons throughout the school years, its special place in the curriculum, and how to make the most of this lesson daily.



Emily Kiser

Emily Kiser lives with her husband and three young children in the southwestern Virginia mountains. For the past eleven years she has operated a private lending library for local families full of living books. In that capacity she became acquainted with the teaching methods of Charlotte Mason and has devoted herself to learning as much as possible about the philosophy and practice of that great educational pioneer. It has been her great delight to help families implement the Charlotte Mason model of education locally through the Living Books Library, regionally by teaching seminars, and beyond with her Picture Study Portfolios and A Delectable Education Podcast. A perpetual student herself, Emily can imagine no greater joy than to share in the educational journey of her own children as they enjoy the feast of ideas and build relationships in as many directions as possible under the ultimate guidance of the Holy Spirit–the Supreme Educator of Mankind.

Images of Delight: Drawing in Principle and Practice

Drawing is an important aspect of the Charlotte Mason curriculum. However, this subject is often relegated to nature journal entries and mothers are uncertain how to cultivate this skill which develops students’ powers of observation and expression. Not surprisingly, Miss Mason had a practical and delightful way of drawing out these powers in children. In this workshop we will be looking at how drawing fits into the curriculum, indeed is interwoven through all the subjects, and helps support and equip the students’ other studies, benefiting the whole person. We will also be exploring practical ways to teach drawing (and brush-drawing) to students of all Forms.



Nicole Williams

Nicole Williams has been home educating her three children using Charlotte Mason’s principles and methods for more than a decade. She also taught four of her adopted siblings from middle school through graduation. Watching the feast of life-giving ideas restore her sibling’s innate love of learning inspired her to dig deeper into Mason’s philosophy of education and then to share her experiences with others. She does that now by co-hosting the podcast A Delectable Education, writing at SabbathMoodHomeschool.com, and teaching workshops. She is the author of Living Science Study Guides, where she helps families and schools implement Charlotte Mason’s particular way of teaching science. Beyond studying Charlotte Mason’s writings, sharing what she has learned, and homeschooling her own children, Nicole enjoys working in her garden, gathering with family around a bonfire, and, of course, reading a good book.

Special Studies and Object Lessons

Charlotte Mason said that it is through nature study that children “lay up that store of ‘common information’ which…should precede science teaching.” But how do you know that your students are gathering the information they need? In this workshop, you will learn how special studies and object lessons enhance your student’s science education through a deliberate study of nature. You will learn how to prepare for them and how to implement them during your morning school time and afternoon nature walks.


Brittney McGann

Originally from California, Brittney and her husband are raising their three children in North Carolina. Brittney leads a Charlotte Mason group called Considering Lilies and annually hosts the Grace to Build Retreat. Her research into educational philosophy has been published by the Charlotte Mason Institute and she has been featured on A Delectable Education Podcast. Here she tells the story of how she has been impacted by Charlotte Mason’s ideas:

“When I began using Charlotte Mason’s method, I believed it to be a beautiful way to educate my children. I started my journey reading about Miss Mason and learning what I should be doing for lessons. It was not until I began to read her words that I realized that this was something bigger and deeper than I had imagined. Education is a Life. It is my life too. Through Miss Mason’s philosophy, we have learned about music, art, poetry, literature, and history, and we have developed a deep affection for the natural world. I have also grown stronger and more intentional in my faith. This lifestyle embodies everything I loved about my own childhood and everything I missed. It helps me to live intentionally for Christ. Through Miss Mason, because she points me to the truth of God’s word, I am a better teacher, mother and wife.”

The Handicraft of Sloyd 


Bonnie Buckingham