Overstone School: A Charlotte Mason Cooperative
OVERSTONE SCHOOL: A CHARLOTTE MASON COOPERATIVE
In the spring of 2012, several parents in the Lexington/Nicholasville area met bi-weekly to study the philosophy of education developed by British educator Charlotte Mason. After several months of study, our thoughts turned toward how to implement this philosophy in our home classrooms, as several parents did not have previous experience implementing a “Charlotte Mason education.” In the summer of 2012, the Charlotte Mason Cottage School invited 36 children to experience a “living education” using Mason’s ideas for nature study, narration, and the use of living books in the classroom. In the fall of 2012, a growing number of families began to express interest in learning more about a Charlotte Mason education, and we began a weekly study group to discuss Mason’s “Towards a Philosophy of Education” and to organize a collaborative learning environment to begin in February 2013. This collaboration resulted in the Mindful Hearts Community, an educational ministry of Wellington Church. In February of 2014, Mindful Hearts Community was renamed Overstone School.
Overstone School is first and foremost a ministry of Wellington Church. Wellington not only provides the facility for the school, but the board members are members of Wellington Church, and every decision is made in light of our desire to give glory to God and to submit to His Word. We take the discipling of our children very seriously, therefore the administration and teachers at Overstone undergo a thorough vetting process so that we can protect the hearts and minds of our precious children (Matthew 19:14).
About Overstone School
Overstone School endeavors to provide a Christ‐centered, balanced, and varied curriculum to the children who join our community. We are founded on the philosophy of British educator Charlotte Mason, whose model reflects the idea that children are individuals - persons who respond in unique ways to living ideas.
At Overstone, we recognize that how we do things is just as important as what we do. It is our desire to provide an atmosphere where students can move at a comfortable pace. Multi-age groupings allow students to assist one another, so that no one is held back or left behind. Expectations remain high without putting undue pressure on the children.
In the Lower School, we rely on a combination of real, living books and field experiences rather than textbooks and lectures. Children narrate their reading or experience, sealing it in their minds while sharing with classmates another perspective on what they are learning. End of term exams give an opportunity for parents and teachers to assess learning over a significant period of time, rather than weekly quizzing which tends to encourage fact memorization at the expense of long term connections with the material.
In the Upper School, we rely on a combination of real, living books, field/lab experiences, significant written narration and composition, oral presentations, book and internet-based research, sketching (artistic narration), and group activities. Our Upper School students learn how to plan and execute their week's work, asking for assistance when necessary from parents, teachers, and peers. Most of our graduates gain their high school credits from their own home schools, from Overstone, and from dual-enrollment opportunities at area colleges and universities.
Overstone School Board of Directors
Wayne Holcomb, Teaching Elder at Wellington Church
Zach Tincher, Deacon and Parent
Jennifer Stec, Director of the Upper School, Teacher and Parent
Cheryl Nichols, Director of the Lower School, Teacher and Parent
Our School Treasurer is Dawan Hart.
School Mailing Address
C/O Cheryl Nichols (if Lower School correspondence) or
Jenn Stec (if Upper School correspondence)
PO Box 910606
Lexington, KY 40591
School Physical Address
Wellington Bible Church
3224 Lexington Rd
Nicholasville, KY 40356
Frequently Asked Questions
What are your policies and procedures?
Our current Parent Handbook is available for parents who desire more information about the School. We suggest all families read the handbook before applying. Please contact to receive a copy of the parent handbook.
How do I apply for membership?
Due to facility space and our desire to maintain a small teacher to student ratio, membership is limited. Applications will be considered in this order: members of Wellington Church and existing Overstone School full members, sabbatical Overstone School members, new applicants. Please contact to receive a copy of the membership application.
When and where do classes take place?
At present, our classes are on Thursdays at Wellington Church. The typical hours are 9:00 to 2:00, though this is subject to change based on our class offerings.
What is the minimum age for classes?
Children must be at least 6 yrs of age by the first day of school or September 1, whichever comes first. We have an Imaginative Play Based class for 4 and 5 yr old children of teachers and volunteers. We do not offer nursery for children ages 0-3.
Can I drop off my child and leave the site?
Parents with children 0 - 3 yrs are allowed to drop off their older children. Parents with children 4 yrs and above are required to stay on-site. See below for more information. Additional detail is also available in the Parent Handbook.
What are the volunteer requirements?
In keeping with the spirit of a collaborative learning environment, all parents are expected to help in some manner throughout the year. Parents of 0-3 yr olds who drop off their children have greater volunteer responsibilities outside of the school. This may include organizing the Fall Showcase, Spring Expo, graduation, maintaining the library, organizing fundraisers, creating the annual Yearbook, coordinating field trips, counting Box Tops, etc.
Parents of children 4 yrs and older serve on-site at every session. Some are lead teachers; some are assistant teachers; and some are full-time volunteers. Those who remain on-site receive a credit toward tuition for their services.
Once accepted for membership, what do I need to know about costs for Overstone?
Can we visit Overstone?
We encourage interested parents to set up a date to visit Overstone in the year prior to considering application.
2018-19 Enrollment Numbers
Students Enrolled, Lower School - 39
Students Enrolled, Upper School - 11
Students on Sabbatical - 5
Teachers - 13
On-site Volunteers - 1
Off-site Volunteers - 4
Librarian - 1
2018-19 Offerings (classes can change each term; classes vary by age)
Lessons are facilitated by teachers trained in the philosophy and methodology of Charlotte Mason. We offer a curriculum which surrounds the child with beauty, nurtures the intellect and soul with vitality, and allows time for reflection.
Lower School: Plutarch, Solfege, Dry Brush Painting, Folk Dancing, Greek Mythology or Roman tales, Historical Biography, Hymn Study, Recitation, Clay Modeling, Picture Study, Composer Study, Science, Mathematics, Geography and Map Study
Upper School: Algebra I, History of Art & Architecture, Literature & Composition, Physical Science, Physics, Health & PE. Each class can be counted as 1 high school credit.