If you have a question about Ambleside, you will most likely find your answer here. If not, don’t hesitate to contact us.
We believe young children will learn best in school if their early childhood is spent in long hours of nourishing relationships and unstructured play. Learning to submit to a routine, helping with chores, running, jumping, climbing, and spending long hours outdoors provide a great foundation for learning. These are the years for careful formation of early habits –attention, obedience, and self-control among a few. Our Kindergarten Program allows children time to make the transition from home to school without neglecting this important foundation for learning. And, having kindergarten 5 mornings per week allows them to be in school when they are fresh, but still have time for rest and play in the afternoons. We offer optional Ambleside Afternoons, which include home-like activities, such as baking cookies, playing outside, story time, etc. for those whose children are ready for a longer day, and whose schedules necessitate this time.
We have a partner relationship with Ambleside Schools International (ASI), from whom we derive our curriculum. The curriculum has been carefully selected by experts in the application of Charlotte Mason’s philosophy of education with and is evaluated, supplemented, and improved each year through a collaborative effort of all member schools. The following information comes directly from Ambleside Schools International.
The Ambleside curricula is comprised of skill-based (disciplinary) and content-based (inspirational) instruction. These are not mutually exclusive forms of instruction—each discipline is infused with inspiration; each inspiration requires its discipline. Disciplinary and inspirational instruction work in tandem, enlivening students’ rigorous engagement with ideas and natural growth in knowledge.
Curricula consist primarily of living books, narratives. These nourish the mind, allowing it to assimilate information and gain knowledge. Some are classics that stand the test of time; others feature beautiful language, universal themes, rich characters, or intricate plots. Still others offer disciplinary information in an inspirational, accessible format.
The Ambleside curricula provides:
– a wide and varied course of study.
– an alternating weekly plan for skill development and content mastery.
– exposure to knowledge that is vital, fruitful, interesting, and idea-rich.
– books characterized as representing “the best thought of the best writers.”
– materials that aid in understanding and exploring, without diluting, the discipline.
– grade level sequences for core subjects, among them mathematics, grammar, composition, and phonics.
– grade level sequences for inspirational subjects, among them citizenship and science.
– science observations and experiments correlated with science texts.
– handwork projects and picture study reproductions.
– abbreviated versions of Shakespeare’s plays.
– Gouin series for Spanish instruction.
“Yes, man is made for work, but he’s also made for so much more… Education should be about the highest things. We should study these things of the stars, plant cells, Mozart’s Requiem… not simply because they’ll get us into the right college or into the right line of work. Rather, we should study these noble things because they can tell us who we are, why we’re here… If education has become –as Common Core openly declares– preparation for work in a global economy, then this situation is far worse than Common Core critics ever anticipated. And the concerns about cost, and quality, and yes, even the constitutionality of Common Core, pale in comparison to the concerns for the hearts, minds, and souls of American children.”
At Ambleside we focus on growth in mastery of academic and interpersonal habits and skills, knowing that achievement follows that mastery. However, a singular focus on short-term achievement may not result in desirable character formation.
“The sense of must should be present with children; our mistake is to act in such a way that they, only, seem to be law-compelled while their elders do as they please.”