2020 Speaker Bios & Abstracts

Jenn Stec

I live in Lexington, Kentucky with my husband Tim and three children, ages 11 to 19. I have been learning from Charlotte Mason for 11 years and have been the Middle and Upper School Director of Overstone School, a cooperative Charlotte Mason learning community, for eight years.

Introducing Children to Architecture

“Education is a painful, continual and difficult work to be done by kindness, by watching, by warning, by precept and by praise; but above all – by example. What we do not seek to appreciate ourselves will be all the more difficult to encourage in our children.” John Ruskin

John Ruskin, an artist with a keen eye for architecture, was a source of inspiration and instruction for Charlotte Mason and her teachers. This quote has encouraged me for many years to explore subjects of PNEU teaching that are part of the feast but sometimes overwhelm parents. Can you introduce your children to architecture if you have not studied it yourself? Is it a subject that will capture their imaginations? My answer to both questions is a resounding Yes! Join me to learn how architecture was studied in the PNEU and how we can make use of local walks, family vacations, and modern technology to visit the most magnificent buildings in the world.

Please and Thank You: Developing Habits of Obedience and Courtesy in Our Children

“The man who can make himself do what he wills has the world before him, and it rests with parents to give their children this self-compelling power as a mere matter of habit.” Charlotte Mason, School Education, p. 20

“Always remember that persons matter more than things. Don’t say anything that will leave a sting.” Charlotte Mason, as quoted in The Story of Charlotte Mason, p. 62

Charlotte Mason said that a habit is so easily formed and so strong to compel. Drawing attention to the needs of others, whether through a call to obedience or a kind word fitly spoken, is essential in the early years. In this workshop, we will glean valuable insight from the Bible, Mason’s volumes, and the Parents’ Review as we seek to develop habits of obedience and courtesy in our children.

Qua Person

“People are too apt to use children as counters in a game, to be moved hither and thither according to the whim of the moment. Our crying need today is less for a better method of education than for an adequate conception of children…. Our business is to find out how great a mystery a person is qua person.” Charlotte Mason, Towards a Philosophy of Education, p. 80

In her chapter on the sacredness of personality, Mason gives us a framework for self-assessing our parenting and our classrooms, and this assessment is even more relevant as our children mature into young adulthood. The middle and high school years are a time of tremendous physical, mental, and spiritual growth for our children, and certainly a time of growth for us parents as well! In this plenary, we will talk frankly about some of the challenges facing our young adults, we will ponder their personalities, we will consider some parenting and teaching methods in light of Mason’s principles, and we will be encouraged to treasure the opportunity to be, as Mason said, their “guide, philosopher and friend.”

Dallas Nachtigall

Hi, I’m Dallas Nachtigall and I live in Omaha, Nebraska with my husband and my three children. We are a family who enjoys drawing, design, making art, and crafting things with our hands. My husband and I are both artists & craftspeople. We both have schooling backgrounds in the Visual Arts- me in the Fine Arts and he in Graphic Design. He convinced me (despite my skepticism) to home educate our children and thankfully a friend introduced me to Charlotte Mason when our oldest was very young!
In the past I have directed art programs for 4H camps across my state and now I teach drawing classes and workshops locally and online. I love sharing the rich ideas I’ve learned while continuing my own art education with my podcast and YouTube channel, Bestowing The Brush. I use those tools to help demystify drawing, art instruction and visual literacy. Informing parents and homeschooling families has equipped them and given them confidence in teaching these things in their homes! To take Mason at her word, I strive to “bring better thoughts before people generally, so that other joiners may turn out better work.”
Find out more at: www.bestowingthebrush.com. I’m also on Instagram and Facebook @bestowingthebrush. I’d love to connect with you there!



Drawing Lessons: Habits of Mind & Body  ||  Pre-Conf Immersion on Drawing Nov. 4th

This immersion will begin with understanding some essential steps for thinking rightly about this subject, both for the teacher and the student. Do you need a mental shift in this area to unlock your potential to teach drawing lessons in your homeschool? What does Charlotte Mason say about it? Find out how you can achieve success in this area. Then, I’ll lead you through some drawing exercises with different media to help cement these ideas for you!

Daily Drawing:  Building a Habit of Practice, Not Performance

How should we think about drawing lessons in our home and how does it apply across the curriculum? Hints are given for a mental shift and concepts shown to give you confidence in this area.