February 8 – 10, 2018

Come join us for a restful and educational conference held at the St. Francis Retreat Center, located on 73 acres overlooking the San Juan Bautista Valley. Grow in your understanding of Charlotte Mason’s philosophy of education, spend time nature journaling and discussing ideas and books, and enjoy the fellowship of kindred spirits. You’ll come away refreshed and invigorated, conquering the February slump and ready to finish the school year strong.

 Location, Lodging, and Meals

Speakers  ::  Registration

To register, please visit our registration site.

Location, Lodging and Meals

St. Francis Retreat Center is located 40 miles south of San Jose.  The extensive grounds feature native landscaping around the buildings and two miles of trails, as well as views of the San Juan Bautista Valley and the Diablo Mountain Range.  The natural environment of this center will be an inspiring and restful environment for our Charlotte Mason conference.

We will be staying in double occupancy bedrooms with private baths in the same building as our main meeting room.  Each bedroom will have two twin beds and a private bathroom.  The retreat center allows attendees to use the double rooms as single rooms for an additional fee.

Our conference will include six meals, beginning with dinner on Thursday evening and ending with lunch on Saturday afternoon.  St. Francis Retreat Center can accommodate vegetarian, vegan, and gluten free diets in their dining hall, and can also accommodate other similar diets with advance notice.  There is also a refrigerator and microwave available for people with more restrictive diets.




We are still in the process of lining up speakers for our 2018 conference.  We will announce our additional speakers by this fall.

Celeste Cruz

Celeste lives in the South Bay with her husband of thirteen years and their chaotic crew of nine children, all eleven and under. Once upon a time she was training to be an English professor; now she can usually be found with a baby strapped to her back and preschoolers underfoot as she learns alongside her elementary kids. (Some days are more successful than others.) When she has her hands free, she enjoys distance running, reading, and nature journaling. She discovered Charlotte Mason before her children were born and has been an enthusiastic devotee ever since. She moderates at the AmblesideOnline Forums and shares the joys of a Catholic Charlotte Mason home education at Joyous Lessons.

Amber Vanderpol

Amber is a mother to six children, ages 15, 11, 9, 5, 3 and a baby due in August.  She has homeschooled from the beginning, but began following Charlotte Mason’s Philosophy of Education about six years ago.  Amber particularly reading great books, having thoughtful conversations, and being outdoors.  Amber and her family live on 10 acres in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada in a home she and her husband largely built by themselves.  She blogs about her homeschool and Mother Culture at Flare of Light.



The total conference cost, including lodging and meals, is $320.00.  All bedrooms are double occupancy, and the retreat center charges an additional $85 if there is only one person in the room.

Please Note:  There is a credit card processing fee for the registration.  If you are placing an advance deposit, the full processing fee will be charged up front, and there will not be a processing fee charged when the final payment goes through on December 1st.

To register or place an advance deposit, please visit our registration site.


Tickets are non-refundable, but once the conference fills we will maintain a waitlist and attempt to fill from it in case of a cancellation.  If we are able to fill from the waitlist, we will refund your registration fee.  We will not fill from the waitlist after February 5th.


We will not be able to offer a commuter rate for this conference.  However, if you would like to join us at this conference but must return home at night, you are welcome to do so.  Unfortunately, we cannot offer a discount for this option.

Airport Transportation

If you will be flying in for this conference, we hope to be able to help you get to the conference either by shuttle, volunteer pick-ups, or arranging a rental car carpool.  There may be a fee for airport transportation.  Please email amber@charlottemasonwest.com if you are interested in transportation to and from the San Jose Airport.


Please email amber@charlottemasonwest.com.