Welcome to the Living Education Retreat page!  To be on our announcement list, please sign up below.

The dates for the 2016 LER are July 7, 8, & 9th. It will be held at the Lakeshore Center on West Lake Okoboji, Iowa.

Living Education Retreat Flyer 2015 - Final - Screen by Nancy
        The 2015 Living Education Retreat is FULL!  We are humbled and honored by the immediate response to this event from our early notice list.  Please join us in prayer as we prepare our hearts and minds for this year's retreat.

Further reading on the LER can be found here and here.

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The Living Education Retreat (LER) is a weekend event that focuses on the philosophy of Charlotte Mason (CM.) It was started in 2006 by Nancy Kelly and Karla Taber as a way to bring together like-minded people and form a community for those trying to implement a living education.  Every year it has grown steadily.  Now there are six planning team members who focus on the personhood of each attendee.  This highly personalized nature is difficult to achieve in large groups.  We are convinced that our smaller size is one of the things that makes us unique.

The LER is not a convention, conference, or a corporation.  It is our idea of how a CM retreat might look and includes time for pondering, processing, and discussing ideas.  It is a reflection of Nancy, Karla, Heidi, Sally, Kristin, and Bobby Jo and their individual gifts and talents.  We see it as an offering from our hearts because we feel God has led us to do this – a gift of love and time from our CM community. The LER is ultimately about relationships.

While we love families, the LER is a retreat for mothers, fathers, and teachers to come and be refreshed and renewed.  This way they are ready to go back to their families and students with fresh ideas and inspiration.  Nursing babies and students 12 and older are welcome, too.  We accommodate as many attendees as the fire code will allow at our venues. Whether at Villa Maria or Shalom Hill Farm, all lodging is for registrants.  Each location is sensitive to special dietary needs and tries to accommodate requests.  While we do not provide shuttles to and from the airport, we try and help attendees find rides with other attendees.  

Presently, we do not record the sessions.  Yes, we have skilled IT people here, but this would add a layer of management and we think our efforts are better spent elsewhere.  There is also a relaxed and candid atmosphere that may be compromised and certainly wouldn’t come through on the recordings. And while the information might be good to share digitally, it is quite a different thing when presented here – the personal, interactive nature of the talk would be lost on a recording.

Twice a year, the six of us put on an Awakening session.  This, too, is an intimate gathering that may be an option for some.  It is a one day event at Shalom Hill Farm with fresh lessons, talks, and ideas each time.
The nature and simplicity of the LER quite simply limits the number of attendees. Registration has become a challenge as there are far more people interested than we can accommodate.  We will be looking into different ways to handle this in the future. We would love to see others start CM-focused retreats and events all over the country!

 Unity - the spirit of unity - it is precious, it permeates, it leaves traces on the countenance and it beautifies even the outer garments as spirit is at unity with spirit.  And was there ever a more democratic gathering of people (who as someone said the other day, would never meet each other socially) than that which met...it was not only the great personal joy of meeting, but the feeling of strength and courage which unity of thought brings. - words from an attendee at one of Charlotte Mason's teacher conferences