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Amber O'Neal Johnston

Featured Speaker

Amber O’Neal Johnston is an author, speaker, and world-schooling mama who blends life-giving books and a culturally rich environment for her four children and others seeking to do the same. She recommends we offer children opportunities to see themselves and others reflected in their lessons, especially throughout their books, and she’s known for sharing literary “mirrors and windows” on HeritageMom.com and @heritagemomblog (IG). Amber is also the author of A Place to Belong, a guide for families of all backgrounds to celebrate cultural heritage, diversity, and kinship while embracing inclusivity in the home and beyond.


Session 1

Working Mom Panel

Worldschooling: Taking the Show on the Road 

Traveling abroad is a dream that many families share. However, figuring out how to traverse across the continents (or even the next state over), with children in tow, while homeschooling, can feel overwhelming and even impossible. In this session, we’ll discuss what learning away from home entails and how regular, everyday families can make it happen on a budget. We’ll also consider the question of how to raise globally minded children, even when traveling outside the country isn’t a realistic possibility. The answer may surprise you!

Session 2

Finding Freedom in Charlotte Mason

When parents and teachers rely on intuition, reflective practice, and common sense to revise their application of Mason’s principles, based on the family or child at hand, they often walk away feeling as though these “departures” are separating them from the more “legitimate” world of CM purists. This session will reframe some of our thinking in this area as we discover that embracing freedom is not an educational or moral failure but an inherent aspect of a true Charlotte Mason education.

Session 3

Teaching Hard History in a Beautiful Way

Home educators are more motivated now than ever to have meaningful conversations with their children about our country’s complicated past and the forces that shaped the society we live in today. But most of us never learned about the tough topics in school, and the books traditionally read in homeschool circles rarely provide much assistance. During our time together, we’ll discuss how to approach hard history in our homes with honesty and compassion in an age-appropriate way.

Session 4

Cultural Heritage Panel

Session 5

Books as Mirrors, Windows, and Sliding Glass Doors

When children are unable to see themselves reflected in their schoolbooks, they fail to develop positive feelings of self-worth. And when they lack opportunities to examine similarities and differences between themselves and others, they miss out on valuable opportunities for recognizing the shared humanity that binds all people together. A “mirror” is a story that reflects your own culture and helps build your identity, a “window” is a resource that offers you a view into someone else’s experience, and a “sliding glass door” invites you to enter another’s world. In this session, we will examine the use of all three types of books in our homes as we educate our children while embracing their individuality and honoring others.