Saturday, November 11th, 2023


How do YOU define harmony??

Merriam-webster says:

Inner peace. Tranquility. Balance. Unity. Smooth sailing. Order. A pleasing arrangement. Coherence. Agreement. Accord.

what a mama needs

When it comes down to it, there are only a few things a busy mama really wants.
Peace. Balance. Smooth sailing. Order. Harmony.

In my motherhood and home education, I can always use a little more of that! Merriam-Webster adds to that agreement, accord, tranquility, consistency, a pleasing arrangement… and I say, yes please!
You, too? Fancy that.

We need encouragement for the daily labors, we need reminders that our work holds both temporal and eternal value. We need time to embrace inner peace.
Sometimes we just need a day away from the chaos to balance us out and reboot the order we long for.

Paideia Northwest has set aside November 11th for that very thing.

Themes & Topics

Psalm 47:6-7
Sing praises to God, sing praises! Sing praises to our King, sing praises! For God is the King of all the earth; sing praises with a psalm!

a pleasing arrangement

How many times does Scripture tell us to sing, to praise, to raise our voice, to make joyful noise? Why is this important to Him? Why is it pleasing to Him? How ought we to prioritize or pursue walking in these ways?


How does the music you listen to lend to the atmosphere of your home, family, and education? How do the theologies and stories from hymns and spiritual songs shape your family? Why do we want to sing lullabies to our babies at night? How do we best hide God’s Word in our hearts?

Romans 15:5-6
May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Colossians 3:14
Put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.


When we find ourselves in the doldrums of a homeschool day gone sour or a rainy day that plunges right through the window like a little black raincloud, where do we turn? Can music help us have a joyful, worshipful, peaceful atmosphere in the home? Can singing be used to create relational harmony in the home? How does worshiping in community bring harmony in the body of Christ?

inner peace

Using musical harmony as a metaphor, we will explore practical applications in pursuit of a peaceful, convivial Christian home, and the pursuit of inner peace. Did you know that the definitions of harmony include tranquility, accord, agreement, orderliness, and synchronization?

Psalm 40:3
He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the Lord.

Register Early…

We have a track record of selling out of tickets quickly, so don’t miss the window of opportunity for purchasing your spot to attend this year’s conference! If you have any inkling of desire to attend this year’s Paideia Northwest conference, please register early. And please do read our Policies here. If you have registered for Harmony, you will receive the link to download the recordings for personal use afterward, whether you showed up to the event or not. So you can have lifetime access to this encouragement as long as you have registered. For those who do attend in person, we are curating a small vendor area (it’s our biggest, best one yet!) to bless and uplift you… and a slew of giveaways that are always a lot of fun! Plus there is absolutely nothing like face to face fellowship – it is a foundational principle behind the Paideia Northwest vision.

If you have a genuine financial need, please contact me to discuss the potential of receiving a sponsored conference ticket. Any mug or shirt you buy from Paideia Northwest this year is directly helping to sponsor tickets for mamas in need!

meet the speakers

April Brover

April Brover is a pastor/teacher’s wife and a mama of four, living and home educating in Southern California. Happy Hymnody was born out of a need to get gospel truths into the hearts of those kiddos and for a solid bed-time routine! It was something they began when their oldest was about two years old, as April and her husband Derek longed to finish the day with our children in praise and prayer. They began singing and memorizing one hymn a month, and that bedtime routine started catching on with their friends and before we knew it, #hymnofthemonth became a fun hashtag on Instagram.

Happy Hymnody is currently a growing community of families who are committed to raising up the next generation to savor & serve Christ, the Rescuer of our souls. This is accomplished through sowing the seed of the Gospel into their hearts through family worship, teaching sound doctrine and theology, memorizing theologically solid hymns, psalms and spiritual songs, and creating rich Christ-centered traditions that point to our Sovereign King.

For each month’s hymn, they provide links to YouTube for fresh versions that honor the original tune and lyrics as well as free printables that get the words in front of you and your kids. April loves to gather others to sow these truths into children’s hearts and lift communal voices in praise to the Holy One.

David Erb

Dr. David Erb joined the New Saint Andrews College faculty as a Fellow of Music in 2008, leaving his posts at Trinity Church and Providence Classical Christian School in the Seattle area. He holds a Doctorate of Musical Arts and Choral Conducting from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Prior to moving to the Northwest, Dr. Erb taught and conducted choirs at the Lawrence University Conservatory of Music, the University of Wisconsin-Madison and at Bucknell University. Dr. Erb earned a Master of Music degree in Choral Conducting from Westminster Choir College of Rider University in Princeton, New Jersey, in 1997. Dr. Erb is active in the Moscow choral community and work with local churches. He and his wife Gail and their three daughters reside in Moscow, Idaho.

mystie winckler

Mystie Winckler married her high school sweetheart, Matt, at nineteen; together they have five children, two of whom have graduated, but all of whom have been homeschooled from the beginning. They are in the process of building a home in northern Idaho, and their most recent adventure was having their oldest son get married.

When she’s not teaching, checking work, or reading, Mystie publishes books, articles, podcast episodes, and videos on homemaking without overwhelm or perfectionism on her website, Her community, Simply Convivial Continuing Education, is a treasure trove of mother-mentors engaged in the work at home to which they’ve been called.

Mystie is also a co-host of Scholé Sisters, a podcast for classical homeschooling moms who are educating themselves while educating their kids. She manages the Scholé Sisters annual online/local retreat, an opportunity to gather your own local homeschool community together for a meaty and refreshing teacher in-service day.

Whether we’re talking about personal lives, homemaking duties, or homeschooling days, Mystie seeks to return to and live out the motto, Repent. Rejoice. Repeat.

melissa cummings

Melissa Cummings, alongside husband Steven since 2007, is a second generation Christian homeschooling mother of 4 sons & a daughter (and nine other children ahead in glory). She holds a BA from Whitworth University, which she attended after a life of home education in a Christian family. Educating her five redheaded children at home is now her full time work including banter & beauty, culture & cooking, music & mayhem, reading & recreation, trivium & teatime, worship & wonder. And did we mention books? Lots and lots of books. She enjoys working together with other mamas in education collaboration and speaking occasionally at women’s events. A core tenet of the Cummings family and home culture is the singing of psalms and hymns, and they share the journey of learning one Psalm a month on their SacredPsalmody Instagram account. Melissa loves encouraging and connecting with others through writing, by prayer, and in the annual ministry of planning, coordinating, & pulling off the Paideia Northwest conference for mamas raising kids for Christ. You can find her at or anywhere you connect with Paideia Northwest.


This year, our special event for family & friends of conference registrants will be a loose form of evensong, which throughout christendom has been a church service traditionally held near sunset focused on Psalms, hymns, and canticles. Details will be forthcoming through email to all conference registrants, but make sure you reserve Friday, 11/10/23 from 6:30-8:30pm for a family event! In addition to a psalm & hymn sing-along a la Happy Hymnody and Sacred Psalmody, we will be welcoming local musician Bill Stutzman to perform some original compositions for us! We invite you to come sing along in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, or simply sit back to listen & be blessed. Bring your children! Bring your neighbors! Let's make a joyful noise together!

bill stutzman

Headmaster of Classical Christian Academy in Rathdrum, Idaho, Bill is an Idaho native who has worked in classical Christian education for over 20 years. Bill graduated summa cum laude from the University of Idaho, earning a degree in English Literature with minors in music and French. He then went on to earn his master’s degree in English from the University of Wisconsin in Madison. He has taught and been an administrator at The Ambrose School in Boise, The Oaks Classical Christian Academy in Spokane, and Calvin Christian School in Escondido, California.

Bill has been married since 2000 to his lovely wife Cherise, an artist, musician, composer, and teacher. They have three children who have been classically educated, both at home and at school. The family revels in beauty’s many forms, from elaborate counterpoint to a simple birdsong, from a master painting to a magnificent natural vista, or from a great poem to the glories of a well-turned (or even awkwardly thrown) pun. They enjoy singing and jamming together and are delighted to live a life of learning and wonder serving Christ.

A wandering troubadour and poet at heart, Bill has written, performed, and released (with the help of his family) multiple full-length albums of original songs, including Crabapple World (2009) and Cardinals & Fireflies (2014). He has also helped produce albums for others, including his wife Cherise’s first collection of instrumental and classical works, Of Waltzes and Weeping (2009) and an upcoming EP with his daughter. Currently, Bill leads weekly psalm-singing instruction at Trinity Church in Coeur d’Alene and is always slowly working on the next musical project.


Proposed Schedule

subject to change


8:30am – 9:00amRegistration Check-In
9:00am – 9:15amWelcome & Announcements
9:15am – 10:15amApril Brover—from Happy Hymnody
10:15am – 10:45amCoffee Break
10:45am – 11:45am David Erb—from New St. Andrews College
11:45am – 1:15pmFellowship Luncheon
1:15pm – 2:15pmMelissa Cummings—from Sacred Psalmody
2:15pm – 2:45pmCoffee Break
2:45pm – 3:45pmMystie Winckler—author of The Convivial Homeschool
3:45pm – 4:00pmCoffee Break
4:00pm – 4:30pmApril Brover—from Happy Hymnody
4:30pm – 5:00pmFarewell Fellowship and Last-Call for Vendors
location & lodging

Harmony will be held at Valley Real Life on South Barker Road in Spokane Valley. The church building recently underwent a renovation, and there’s plenty of parking, sanctuary seating, restrooms, and space for fellowship. We are so grateful for VRL’s hospitality in allowing us to rent their space again this year.

We had a hotel block at the Best Western Liberty Lake Inn (just a 10-12 minute drive to the conference) for your use if you plan to stay overnight before or after the conference, but our special rate expired October 10th. It is still a good location for staying, but I can no longer offer you the special conference rate.
If you prefer to do your own legwork, there are lots of other options (hotels and AirBnbs) in Spokane or Liberty Lake, WA and Post Falls or Coeur d’Alene, ID.

Please do not hesitate to contact me (Melissa) with any questions at [email protected].

this year’s extra swag

Harmony swag is available to order at the time of registration, for pickup at the conference on November 11th. (If something unforeseen comes up to keep you from attending the event in person, I will be happy to mail it to you after the conference.)

We have a shirt and a mug available with this year’s Harmony theme incorporated into the design. We will have extra shirts and mugs available for purchase at the conference (as well as for give aways!), but sizes and quantities are always a surprise. 🙂 When you purchase a shirt or a mug, the funds go directly toward conference needs to offset the fact that I try to keep registration costs low – and for 2023, these funds allow me to sponsor free tickets to mamas in need. Thank you for helping to support Paideia Northwest so we can continue bringing an annual conference to our region to encourage so many mamas raising their kids for Jesus Christ!

Psalm 104:33-34
I will sing to the Lord as long as I live;
I will sing praise to my God while I have being.
May my meditation be pleasing to Him,
for I rejoice in the Lord.

Speaker Resources:

If you want to get to know our speakers a bit before the conference, let me suggest you check out their work elsewhere:

Please Join Us

on Saturday, November 11th, 2023 for Harmony,
specifically curated for Christian mamas raising & educating their children in the nurture & admonition of the Lord.