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Consulting

Welcome to my mentoring and consulting page! If you have landed here, I am guessing you are looking for some encouragement and guidance in implementing the methods of Charlotte Mason in your school - something a bit more in-depth and private than a  forum question or an email inquiry.  For years I have enjoyed walking alongside others and helping them bind together the practice with the principles of a living education based on Mason's philosophy of education.



We perceive that the education we are giving exceeds all that we intended or imagined. - Mason



If only time and space would allow us to chat in my home with a warm cup of something you love to drink, amidst the books and things around which I am most comfortable!  Perhaps we may still be able to arrange something special.

I am offering you a time for us to meet and talk, to discuss and guide, to suggest and encourage you on your journey.  I will draw from my 20+ years of practice and study of Mason's methods, suggesting unique books and patterns that are tried-and-true for a relational education. If you are wondering what others think of my mentoring, please read the comments below! One meeting may be all you need to set your course in the right direction.   You will be sent a pre-consultation questionnaire which will allow you to share your specific situation and most pressing concerns with me, helping us to have a purposeful conversation. Then we will schedule our meeting.Those who have consulted with me will receive my brief, quarterly "Mentoring Notes" - a short email with timely encouragement, tested advice, and other goodness. For those who are interested, having your spouse participate in the consult can be helpful, too. This truly is what I love to do and I can't wait to meet you!


From joy to joy,
Nancy 





Consultations may be conducted via phone or video (Zoom). Consulting fee is $60.00 per hour. All correspondence is completely confidential.   Contact me at sageparnassus@gmail.com and place "mentoring" in the subject line.  For information on my speaking opportunities, whether for conferences, retreats, or  support groups, please see the information under "Speaking".  For further bio info, see my "About" page




Here is just a sampling of the wide range of personal helps I can share with you:

-unique living book suggestions for your homeschool
-a nurturing and thoughtful mentoring relationship
-developing specific schedules for each individual family and child
-guidance on preparing yourself, your family, and your home for a living education
-CM co-op advice (planning, subject instruction, issue resolution)
-transcript preparation that reflects a relational education
-course of study direction for a living education in the high school years
-end-of-term exam assessments
-sessions devoted to specific CM methods (narration, habits, notebook keeping, masterly inactivity, etc.)
-how to plan a Charlotte Mason-inspired retreat
-Shakespeare, Language Acquisition, Citizenship, or any other specific subject sessions, both inspirational and disciplinary
-A Charlotte Mason education with the dyslexic child
-STEM excellence in a relational education


Vigen Guroian defines a mentor in this way -"A mentor gives himself over to producing in another essential qualities of character that are not merely private or personal but ultimately crucial to the continuance of a special art or a way of life." This certainly applies to mentoring in the life-encompassing philosophy of Charlotte Mason. I am reminded of that sweet story recalled in The Story of Charlotte Mason of the student teacher being interviewed by Charlotte.  Miss Mason asked the young woman why she was there.  The student replied, "I have come to learn to teach."  Then Miss Mason replied, "My dear, you have come here to learn to live."  It follows that if education is an atmosphere, a discipline, and a life, our approach to school should be something that goes beyond just the school day and into how we live every day, who we are, and what we value.  Let me know how I can help you with this vision.

18 comments:

  1. I have been so blessed to have had your encouragement and guidance over the years that I would have gladly paid for your time! What a gift this consultation would be to anyone starting out, struggling or "stuck in a rut". Your understanding of Mason's philosophy and practical experience with her methods run deep and are a true part of the person you are. Thank you for being my friend, and blessings to all those who will benefit from your wisdom and kindness in their own journeys.

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  2. Nancy is a beautiful person who has unlocked the key to instilling a true love of learning into our precious children. She has studied and developed successful methods of educating her own children through living books, interesting people and natural experiences. She lovingly adheres to the delightful methods that she blesses her children with on a regular basis. One thing that impresses me is how she has created a wonderful home atmosphere with a great balance of wonder, excitement, creativity, music, beauty and discipline. If you want to learn from someone who is applying what she teaches, Nancy is a fantastic choice. As you can tell from her CM on the Prairie site, she freely and openly shares successful tips and ideas to help others create amazing learning environments. These methods work, personally our family now loves Art, Shakespeare, Famous Composers, Memorizing Peotry, taking Nature Walks and learning Hymns and Folksongs. Before I was acquatinted with Nancy, we had no joy or time for these areas. Now they are simply a natural part of our day. Nancy is passionate about sharing the secrets that don't just mindlessly educate children, but she shares the forgotten fundamental principles that teach us how to live....how to really live. Thank you Nancy for going after your dreams and blessing so many of us on the way!

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  3. I’m so glad you’re doing this Nancy. I know many people who long for this kind of personalized help and you’re supremely qualified to give it. I’ve been homeschooling using Charlotte Mason’s methods for thirteen years but the joy we experience is disproportionately due to what I’ve learned from you in the last few years. You’ve often helped me to regain perspective on why I educate my children at home. So many homeschoolers attempt to “cover” everything and lose sight of relationships or vice versa. You’ve helped me to find balance.

    Charlotte Mason tells us, “…I venture to suggest, not what is practicable in any household, but what seems to me absolutely best for the children; and that, in the faith that mothers work wonders once they are convinced that wonders are demanded of them.” Perhaps what I appreciate most about your counsel is that you have a gift for sharing simple, realistic suggestions for giving our children the absolute best.

    One of the main reasons I chose to homeschool was so that my children could spend their days surrounded by beauty. But as our family grew and the children got older I found that our favourite subjects were often being pushed aside to ensure time for the “basics”. Because of you we are once again revelling in Shakespeare, Hymns, Folksongs, Picture Study, Composer Study, Poetry, Recitation, Nature Study and Handicrafts. And the basics are still (mostly!) getting done.

    And, you’re the queen of the Living Book! I thought I knew books until I met you. You always know just the right title for every topic and every age.

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  4. Upon meeting Nancy at "A Day Away" conference 6 years ago, her openness, love of learning, kindness, encouragement, and willingness to share her personal experiences has not wavered in the least. She has been a true mentor to me over the years as I have relished in this home school journey alongside my five boys. Nancy has willingly given of her time and expertise, and calmed my worries and uncertainties through e-mails and phone calls. Nancy gives advice and encouragement without 'telling' you exactly how to do it. She knows that each family has its own unique personality, and she allows that to be a part of the conversation and lets you come to the conclusion that will be the best fit for you and your children. She is living and implementing what she teaches of the Mason principles. What a tremendous blessing Nancy has been to me over the years, helping me to implement and learn the methods of Charlotte Mason.

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  5. Nancy has been a wonderful blessing to my family and myself. I found her blog years ago, and soon after I approached her via email and gained a loyal friend and companion in this homeschooling inspired by Charlotte Mason journey. At times when I did not know what else to do, where to go, her advise has lifted me and comforted me.

    Nancy's words and experience are priceless. I have not had the pleasure of meeting her in person...yet...but I know her through this blog and email, and as you all can appreciate in her writings, she is a very special person thoroughly equipped to assist you in your needs and doubts.

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  6. As a friend, I want you to know Nancy is a person of integrity. She and her family live out their faith and the principles of Charlotte Mason seamlessly in their everyday life. Her counsel will be based on her years of study and experience but don't expect a to-do list. You will be treated like a person and given thoughtful attention.

    In my own home school, her help has been invaluable. She introduced me to Charlotte Mason and came along side to help me grow. Part of that has been through her own example as a leader and teacher in our Truth Beauty Goodness Community. Her counsel is the reason I have been able to persevere with the philosophy and our family is bearing fruit because of it.

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  7. The first time I met Nancy was at the Charlotte Mason Education Conference in North Carolina. Right away I liked her and saw her passion for CM education. We kept in touch and a year or so later I invited her to speak at our Day Away Conference for homeschooling moms. She was a godsend to many of them. Nancy spoke from knowledge of Mason’s principles and from personal experience as a mother of six. I still hear comments about what she shared that day. Nancy and I have since worked on several projects together, including republication of Intermediate Language Lessons (Emma Serl) as a write-in guide for students. What I love best about Nancy is she's real about herself and her homeschool. That takes courage and integrity---hard to come by these days.

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  8. After looking through numerous blogs I was really drawn to Nancy's. I had never considered asking for homeschool help before especially asking someone I didn't know personally. But something about reading her blog made her personality shine through and I felt very comfortable contacting her.
    Our first conversation was so helpful. I chicken scratched notes as fast as I could although she said she would send them to me. She did by the way, email them to me, and didn't leave out a thing. Since then we have spoken more and emailed more and that has been a blessing.
    Her recommendations have changed my homeschool and my outlook on the bigger picture. I didn't get a rushed change everything feeling but a relax and trust my child feeling. "Children are born persons" and Nancy reminded me of that.
    I look forward to one day meeting her at The Living Education Retreat. I believe it will be worth the flight out from NC.

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  9. I first met Nancy when I attended the Living Education Retreat three years ago. I knew right away that she was an invaluable resource, especially for those seeking to homeschool using Charlotte Mason's methods. We had not formally started homeschooling at the time of the conference and I left inspired and really in awe of Nancy and the other speakers who had spent so many years researching and living out this method of education. We started officially homeschooling last year and while I felt I had a pretty good understanding of where to begin and how to put together a CM curriculum, I felt we would greatly benefit from the guidance of an experienced homeschooler who was living out where we desired to be in our school. I contacted Nancy and it has been the best decision. My daughter and I met with Nancy at her home, which she graciously welcomed us into this past summer. We had the wonderful opportunity to do live narrations with my daughter to see just how it should go with various texts. This was incredibly valuable for both me and my daughter. We both gained so much confidence about narrations. Nancy also is a wealth of information when it comes to living books. She gave us several short lists for many subjects and we are using many of those books. She has been so warm, positive and encouraging. A true mentor. We continue to receive email support (since we are far away). It truly is a gift to be able to have Nancy as a guide for our homeschool. Our school is slowly shaping into what we always hoped it would be. Nancy's guidance is a big part of that. I strongly recommend her consultations no matter where you are in your CM journey. Thank you Nancy!

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  10. It is a GIFT, this "pouring out" of oneself for the passion of learning in Charlotte's spirit-awakening way. I highly value Nancy's experience in the CM world, as well as her experience amidst Ambleside Online's often overwhelming suggestions. I have sought her counsel two consecutive years, and find it encouraging, focusing, and as always when seeking one further along the road than oneself, confidence-boosting & life-giving to our school. I feel immensely blessed to have such a mentor, who has a desire to help others along this new (to most of us) path.
    We have discussed scheduling, tailoring book choices for each child, validating and encouraging how to take on new dimensions to our school. Every meeting betters and grows our schooling. All with a "spot of tea" and walls filled with beloved resources. :-)

    I sit with Nancy, fully aware of the blessing she is, and wonder (and know) what would happen should she have chosen to focus on her own only. Building confidence in CM ways is daunting, and without the valued experience and encouragement many will seek more familiar paths, that are far less enriching to the student. I wish such a mentor for each homeschooler, and feel it truly is the difference between flourishing and stagnating from lack of confidence.

    Thank you, Nancy, for pouring yourself out and multiplying the blessing many times over. :-)

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  11. Nancy states here that “this is truly what I love to do”. She does, and if you spend any time with her, you will know it. Talking with Nancy at the Living Education Retreat the past few years, I always walked away from a conversation with her feeling inspired and encouraged. Nancy would listen, smile, and then give me a nugget of advice that was just what I needed to hear. She hears you, and she understands because she has spent much of her life understanding the CM way of life.

    I sought Nancy’s consulting as we struggled to begin our fifth year of CM Home-schooling. My 12 & 9 year-old were feeling overwhelmed and I felt at a loss. I did not know what changes we needed to help us enjoy the beautiful and life giving feast of a CM education. I love CM and I love the feast but knowing the right balance for my family is part of the journey that for me is the most challenging.

    I cannot express how thankful I am for the consulting time spent with Nancy. From the beginning to the end of the session, Nancy guided me & encouraged me through a gentle look at our homeschool, our CM focus, and even my spiritual journey. Nancy gave me very specific guidance when I sought it, and more general encouragements and nudging when appropriate. She was VERY prepared (based on the email information we had shared) and was also very proficient in our time. It is remarkable to me that the time felt gentle and life giving, yet was packed full of necessary and excellent information and resources. Of course, a great example of the CM way!

    My daughter recently commented how much she is loving our year this year. She loves the new schedule format (thank you Nancy!) and incredibly, has lost any desire to “maybe want to do something else for school”. Nancy’s consultation really helped me to make many small and a few significant changes that were exactly the balance adjustments we need. The consultation had a HUGE impact on our home-school journey! Thank you Nancy!

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  12. Well, first I will say that I should have done some mentoring with Nancy sooner! If you're on the fence about whether or not it will be worth it...YES, it will be worth it!

    I remember getting off of the phone after our first mentoring session feeling like an enormous weight was being lifted off of my shoulders. It felt as though I now knew what to do, and could do it! This was a very different feeling from what I had been experiencing in our home with a Charlotte Mason education. I felt peace and courage to continue boldly in this way of educating my children, and I haven't looked back!

    I took Nancy's careful advice to heart and began to make some adjustments. Wonderful things began to happen! Things were not perfect, but there was a new spirit of peace in our home. I felt validated in my ideas of how to treat my children as people. This was so encouraging!

    When I was finally able to meet Nancy at the Living Education Retreat, I found that I was certainly not alone in my experience. I think anyone who is desiring to use a complete Charlotte Mason education, yet feels terribly lost and overwhelmed will soon be right-side up, and able to share their own little story of encouragement from Nancy.

    Blessings on you Nancy, for your work with this blog, for your desire to share this incredible method, for your time spent with all of us, and for your commitment to the Lord that shines through in all of these endeavors!

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  13. I felt like I knew Nancy the moment we started our phone consultation. Her questionnaire, completed prior to our consultation, really helped me focus on what I most wanted from the consultation. Nancy clearly knew my answers by heart because she referred back to the things I had written throughout our conversation. Even though I have been homeschooling for 12 years, this consult was invaluable in terms of helping me work on areas in our school that were not Mason-friendly (and not bearing fruit). I worried that since my students were both at a high school level it would be "too late" to shift some of our traditional subjects to a living education. I was wrong, and Nancy was just what I needed to get on the right track! I am anxious for a second consult. This was the best money we spent this year on our homeschool. You will not be disappointed!

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  14. After homeschooling for six years and trying everything I thought might "work" for our family, I heard Nancy speak at a local conference. The Charlotte Mason method was not completely new to me, but when Nancy talked about it, it was like hearing about it for the first time. This was the education and lifestyle we had been searching for!
    Over the past three years, Nancy has helped me navigate many aspects of our Charlotte Mason journey, including book choices, reading struggles, relational issues, and scheduling problems. She is always caring and encouraging, well-prepared and completely focused on our homeschool's needs. Without fail, I come away from a consultation with Nancy feeling lifted up and better equipped to guide our children's learning. Thank you, Nancy, for the peace your work has brought to our home!

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  15. Nancy has been a blessing in my life. In 2014 God laid it on my heart to begin using Charlotte Mason as the foundational philosophy for my homeschool. I'd looked into Miss Mason's method six years before, and at that time I wasn't able to figure out how to do it. So I was nervous to try again, and doubted my ability to grasp all the facets of what I believed a Charlotte Mason education would require.
    I began praying and searching for help and resources to successfully be able to implement a Charlotte Mason style of education. After many hours of researching and praying, I found Nancy's site and saw that she did Charlotte Mason mentoring. It was a blessing from God that I found her, and I signed up for my first mentor session.

    Prior to our first session she had me answer questions about my family, my homeschool experience, my needs, questions, etc. I could tell right away that she cared about me, and was interested in helping my family. I wasn't just another mentoring client to her, and this became even clearer the more I got to know her through our regular mentor sessions.

    Ever since our first meeting in 2014 I've been scheduling fairly regularly calls with Nancy. During those calls she's answered questions, helped me solve problems I'm experiencing in my homeschool, taught me more about Miss Mason's methods, helped me course correct when I start doing things that aren't in harmony with Miss Mason's principles, given me loads of book suggestions, and helped me map out my kid's curriculum. As a result, my family has truly experienced the 'feast' that Charlotte Mason describes in her volumes. It takes work, preparation, and a whole lot of faith to embark on a Charlotte Mason style of education, and with Nancy's help I've been able to slowly create a beautiful house of learning in my home.

    Last year we planned a big trip, and I wanted it to be amazing. I remember reading in one of Miss Mason's volumes about the girl visiting the British Museum, and how she had been so excited to see all the things she'd been learning about. I wanted that same experience for my family. So I reached out to Nancy for help. Thank goodness I did, because Nancy was able to draw on her immense knowledge of both Charlotte Mason's philosophy and books and created a perfect Charlotte Mason style curriculum that not only prepared us our trip, but made it amazing and unforgettable.

    If you are considering doing a mentor session with Nancy all I can say is do it. You won't regret it! I credit Nancy with giving me the confidence, tools, and help needed to successfully implement a Charlotte Mason style of education in my home. She is an amazing person, and an incredibly gifted mentor.

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  16. I am so glad that I took a leap and scheduled a consulting session with Nancy in January 2015. Although I had been homeschooling from a basic Charlotte Mason approach for a few years already, I was feeling a little burned-out and insecure; I wasn't sure if I was "on the right track" or not and sometimes my booklists fell short (and so did my attempts at schedules!).

    Nancy was so helpful to me. Once the session was over I immediately told my husband "I feel so much better!" My spirit was refreshed and encouraged, and my notes reflected a lot of practical tips and book recommendations Nancy passed along to me. I was genuinely impressed with her preparation for our session. We had another consulting session in 2016 as I planned a new school year, and her help was invaluable to me as I formulated our history plans, pondered how to start written narrations, and considered how to add in a second homeschooling child into our day. And I was once again impressed at her preparation and thoughtfulness. I fully intend to have another consulting session with her again this summer as I prepare for the next school year. In fact, I hope Nancy can mentor me each year as our children grow. We are seeing the fruit of a well-planned Charlotte Mason education in our children's lives and in our own lives as parents. This is a priceless, soul-nourishing gift.

    Nancy is gracious. She is encouraging and realistic. She understands Charlotte Mason's methods so well that they seep over into the mentoring process. Children are persons--and so are mothers! Nancy treats us with respect and dignity. Most of all, she understands the vital work that the Holy Spirit plays in our daily lives and she honors that when giving advice on dealing with a child's struggles, balancing homeschool and life, choosing books, and so on. I trust her advice completely because she has the wisdom of years of experience, study, and implementation. I felt the same way about Living Education Lessons; I walked away from each session with a heart of peace, ideas to ponder, and a joyful sense of anticipation. You will not come to Nancy and leave feeling burdened. I always leave her mentoring sessions, living education lessons, and blog with a sense of expansiveness and genuine excitement. She's a lovely person and a fantastic mentor!

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  17. If it all began with the kettle in Dickens, then it all began with Sage Parnassus for our homeschool. I have Nancy to thank (and perhaps blame - in jest!) for everything.

    I had been searching for a way to simplify our homeschool, to understand how to distill all the good things out there fighting for my attention. Charlotte Mason continued to bubble to the surface in my readings and I felt drawn to her principles. But how to apply them in the 21st century? I needed someone to hold my hand.

    And that person is Nancy Kelly. God has blessed me with a mentor, reaching across the country from Minnesota to Texas, gently educating me in how to gently educate my children. Nancy's kind practicality and loyalty to Mason principles consistently steer me onto the good path. Her writing, phone sessions, and friendship in general are direct, trustworthy, and formational. And, Nancy has read...well,...just about everything. Her book recommendations are solid. She seems to know just which title will best apply to every situation. She also has educated six children, each one an individual, with a variety of learning styles and differences.

    I am forever grateful to God (and my family is too!) for opening the door to the banquet of a Mason education, so adroitly prepared and lovingly presented by Nancy. Little did I know that this way of educating would become a lifestyle; education is, indeed, a life. And Nancy's tutelage is life-giving.

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  18. I am so grateful that Nancy Kelly offers this service! I scheduled a session with her because I wanted some help getting my daughter to `love` school. Nancy Kelly gave specific recommendations that really helped. And she also came alongside me and made me feel like I had what it takes to do this. It's like the difference between my experience having my first child with an OB/GYN in a hospital and my subsequent children at home with midwives. The doc (who I'd never met before) yelled at me and made me question my competence as a parent (if I can't even get this child out, how can I keep her alive and teach her to tie her shoes?). Conversely, the midwives really helped me to tap into and trust my inner wisdom and listen to my babies and my own body. I know, it's not the same thing, but the feeling is the same.

    I have been so privileged to meet Nancy Kelly in real life, and if you have the chance to attend one of her classes you should, but this is truly the next best thing. I really appreciated that Nancy was able to make an online meeting somehow feel cozy and personal. That is a feat! I hope to be able to continue to virtually meet with Nancy every year, to ensure that things keep going in the right direction.

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