Ambleside Homeschool a member of Ambleside Schools International

Ambleside Homeschool a member of Ambleside Schools International


Can someone recommend a nice Homeschool year planner please?

The homeschool division of Ambleside Schools International. See for more information. The Ambleside Homeschool Mentor Program is an opportunity for home educators who are desiring a Charlotte Mason, philosophy-based education for their children, to become part of an educational support group which provides curriculum, teaching resources, training, guidance, and encouragement for the homeschool family.

More about ASI's homeschool mentor program here:

Operating as usual

A spider's web is a natural marvel. Beautiful, nourishing, resilient. For us to create a web of relations like a spider's web requires care and attention. How's your web?

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We are Ambleside Schools International, and on October 20th, we want to pray specifically for and with our international schools! Join us at 8AM EDT (a time when our international community won't be asleep!) as we lift up these schools and connect via Zoom.

Full information about the meeting is on our website:
PC: Ambleside School of Durban

"As we stood there listening, the liquid, throaty song of a wood thrush came from the hemlocks, a fox barked from somewhere deep in the woods, and a crow taunted back at him form high on the ridge. In a moment or two, a whippoorwill's lonely call rose from the hackmatack thicket near the brook, and Grandfather whispered, "Pretty, ain't it, Ralphie?" (from "The Fields of Home" by Ralph Moody)

In recent conversations with our Ambleside homeschool families, there has been a common and recurring thread--the idea of 'Wonder.' I'm a natural-born wonder-er. So much so that my tendency to 'stop and smell the roses' can be somewhat of an annoyance to some of my family members and closest friends, and has even been perceived as a laziness. Why? Probably because 'wondering' often slows us down, and slow=lazy.

Having children in our life allows us the opportunity to revisit this--to wonder again, wonder anew. We are teaching our children these habits of 'attention' and 'seeing'; it is good for us to join them in this-- to hearken back and look at the world as a child. To have faith as a child. To be more purposeful in our attending and seeing. I encourage you to consider this. To set about the necessary tasks but to also make time and space for wonder.

Words have meaning, and the etymology dictionary defines wonder this way:

(noun) Old English wunder "marvelous thing, miracle, object of astonishment," ...In Middle English it also came to mean the emotion associated with such a sight.

(verb) Old English wundrian "be astonished," also "admire; make wonderful, magnify"

And the Scripture says it this way:

"And amazement seized them all, and they glorified God and were filled with awe, saying, “We have seen extraordinary things today.” Luke 5:24

Imagine how it is to be 'seized by amazement' and to glorify God in constant awe! And each day to say, "We have seen extraordinary things!" ~Shannon Seiberlich, Director of Ambleside Homeschool

Image Eastern Black Swallowtail

Ambleside School of Durban

“Let children have tales of the imagination, scenes laid in other lands and other times; heroic adventures, hairbreadth escapes, delicious fairy tales, even where it is all impossible, and they know it, and yet they believe.”
-- Charlotte Mason

Ambleside School of Boerne

Parent/Teacher Night is a special time for our parents to meet in their child’s classroom with the teacher and discover what they will be learning for the year. Many parents were in awe of the depth and rigor of the “feast” of subjects and ideas their child will encounter within this academic year.

It is great being together again!

'And yet you won't believe me, Curdie?' expostulated the princess, now fairly crying with vexation and sorrow at the gulf between her and Curdie.

'No. I can't, and I can't help it,' said Curdie, turning to leave the room.

'What SHALL I do, grandmother?' sobbed the princess, shaking with suppressed sobs.

'You must give him time,' said her grandmother; 'and you must be content not to be believed for a while. It is very hard to bear; but I have had to bear it, and shall have to bear it many a time yet. You must let him go now.' (from the fairytale "The Princess and the Goblin" by George MacDonald))

Are "character-training" programs a good method to develop a child's character? Charlotte Mason didn't believe so. She directed us to other compelling and inspiring ways, through habit, and even through the living ideas in the stories we read.

She wrote, "Novels, again, are as homilies to the wise; but not if we read them merely for the tale...One must read to learn the meaning of life; and we should know in the end, who said what, and on what occasion! The characters in the books we know become our mentors or our warnings, our instructors always; but not if we let our mind behave as a sieve, through which the whole slips like water. It would, of course, be a foolish waste of time to give this sort of careful reading to a novel that has neither literary nor moral worth, and therefore it is well to confine ourselves to the best––to novels that we can read over many times, each time with increased pleasure...It is well that we should choose our authors with judgment, as we choose our friends, and then wait upon them respectfully to hear what they have to say to us."

"Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us." (Romans 5:3-5)

"What God gives, and what we take,
'Tis a gift for Christ His sake;
Be the meale of Beans and Pease,
God be thanked for those and these.
Have we flesh, or have we fish,
All are Fragments from His dish:
He His Church save, and the King;
And our Peace here, like a Spring,
Make it ever flourishing."
~Author unknown

Image "Child at Prayer" by Eastman Johnson

At Ambleside, we believe that we are more than just brains. We approach education with the understanding that students are persons composed of body and soul, inseparably intertwined. This approach is deeply rooted in the Christian tradition, counter cultural, and integral to a good education. Our new blog dives into this idea of humans as not just body or soul but both, humans as "amphibians."

Read more about it:

Like the nation and the church, Ambleside schools continue to face uncommon challenges. Join us tomorrow night in a time of praying for God’s guidance, strength, courage and blessing as we begin the new school year.

Join us at 7pm EDT, tomorrow Wednesday 26th, for a Zoom Meeting.

More information is on our website:

'We apprehend Him in the alternate voids and fullness of a cathedral; in the space that separates the salient features of a picture; in the living geometry of a flower, a seashell, an animal; in the pauses and intervals between the notes of music, in their difference of tones and sonority; and finally, on the plane of conduct, in love and gentleness, the confidence and humility, which give beauty to the relationships between human beings.' ~Aldous Huxley

Image of "Meeting of Saint Anthony and Saint Paul" by Stefano di Giovanni

Who loves the rain,
And loves his home,
And looks on life with quiet eyes,
Him will I follow through the storm,
And at his hearth-fire keep me warm;
Nor hell nor heaven shall that soul surprise
Who loves the rain,
And loves his home,
And looks on life with quiet eyes. ~Frances Shaw

Image "The Rain It Raineth Every Day" by Norman Garstin

URGENT CALL FOR PRAYER! Several Ambleside Homeschool families live in the path of the California wildfires and have asked for our fervent, faithful prayers. Some have been evacuated to safety. Others are preparing for possible evacuation. Please pray for our merciful Father's peace, provision, and protection for all. The beautiful state of California and our dear friends are in great need of an outpouring of our prayers and blessings and love. Thank you!

"The first article of a valid educational creed – 'children are born persons' – is of a revolutionary character; for what is a revolution but a complete reversal of attitude?" - Charlotte Mason

Read more about this pivotal, foundational truth of Ambleside's philosophy of education here:

Listen and subscribe to our podcast here:

What are living books? ...they are books that stand the test of time! Following is just a tidbit of an example of descriptive text and living ideas from "A Little Maid of Vermont:"

“She is eleven years old, and her hair is the color of ripe chestnuts. ‘Tis short hair, and curls; and her eyes are brown, like Walmscock brook in the spring; and, Mother, she laughs just as easy! Is it not good fortune that Patience Parker has come to live in Bennington, and will be near enough so I can see her every day?” and Anne Sherwood, without waiting for her mother’s response, continued:

“Was it not a long journey, Mother? All the way from Albany, and in a sleigh drawn by two horses. Across the Hudson River to Fort Gurney, and over Lake George on the ice, and then on Lake Champlain! Patience has a fine coat of wolfskin, and liked the journey!” declared Anne, who had just returned from her first visit to the new neighbors in the log cabin a little way up the hill from the Sherwoods,…

‘Twas surely a long journey and a dangerous one…I truly wonder that the Parkers dared make the venture,” declared Mrs. Sherwood, as Anne jumped up from the bench and ran to peer out of the window, leaving her leggings, her warm woolen coat and knitted hood on the bench. “Anne,” she continued, “what is a closet for? And do you think it seemly for a girl ten years old to leave her things trailing about a room in this fashion? It surely seems that I must be a heedless mother, not to have taught you that ‘tis ill manners to make disorder in a room!” And Mrs. Sherwood’s face was so serious that for a moment Anne entirely forgot her delight in the prospect of a playmate so near at hand, as she soberly declared:

“Oh, Mother! ‘Tis not your fault that I am careless! Every day you tell me to hang up my coat;” and the little girl hastened to carry her things to the closet…firmly resolving that never again should her mother have cause to blame herself because of her small daughter’s carelessness.

Nurturing the Divine Life in the Child | Ambleside Schools International

It is a hard truth that, as a rule, a child will not give greater care and attention to the divine life than do his parents and teachers. Unless we are ardently pursuing a life of holy dependence upon and joyful obedience to our Heavenly Father, there is little chance that our students will find the true life of their soul.

Read more here:
Listen here: It is a King that our spirits cry for, to guide them, discipline them, unite them to each other; to give them a victory over themselves, a victory over the world. It is a Priest that our spirits cry out for, to lift them above themselves to their God and Father, to make them partakers of his nature,...

Having lost his mother, father, a brother, and his wife and unborn child in the Holocaust, Viktor Frankl took up the question of what makes life not only survivable but worthy of living. He wrote,

"It is not only through our actions that we can give life meaning — insofar as we can answer life’s specific questions responsibly — we can fulfill the demands of existence not only as active agents but also as loving human beings: in our loving dedication to the beautiful, the great, the good. Should I perhaps try to explain for you with some hackneyed phrase how and why experiencing beauty can make life meaningful? I prefer to confine myself to the following thought experiment: imagine that you are sitting in a concert hall and listening to your favorite symphony, and your favorite bars of the symphony resound in your ears, and you are so moved by the music that it sends shivers down your spine; and now imagine that it would be possible (something that is psychologically so impossible) for someone to ask you in this moment whether your life has meaning. I believe you would agree with me if I declared that in this case you would only be able to give one answer, and it would go something like: “It would have been worth it to have lived for this moment alone!...

Those who experience, not the arts, but nature, may have a similar response, and also those who experience another human being. Do we not know the feeling that overtakes us when we are in the presence of a particular person and, roughly translates as, The fact that this person exists in the world at all, this alone makes this world, and a life in it, meaningful...

How human beings deal with the limitation of their possibilities regarding how it affects their actions and their ability to love, how they behave under these restrictions — the way in which they accept their suffering under such restrictions — in all of this they still remain capable of fulfilling human values."

Image "Melancholy" by Edvard Munch

"The knowledge of God is the principal knowledge and the chief end of education." -#CharlotteMason

Education is the science of relations, relations with saints and sinners, the past and the present, earth and sky, art and craft, work and leisure. Still, there is more.

Read here:
Listen here:

Last time, we spoke of the Beauty Sense, a formative force rarely considered in its potent ability to shape the character of children. The Beautiful, together with the Good and the True are servants to one another, each drawing to the others, as it draws us to itself. #CharlotteMason speaks of imagination with the trained eye and ear, as central to the perception of beauty.#Ambleside

Instructing in the Beauty Sense

Last time, we spoke of the Beauty Sense, a formative force rarely considered in its potent ability to shape the character of children. The Beautiful, together with the Good and the True are servants to one another, each drawing to the others, as it draws us to itself. Charlotte Mason speaks of imagi...

"The Word of God is indeed a living and effective arrow, sharper than any two-edged sword to pierce the hearts of men. There is another, chosen dart--the love of Christ.

I must be grateful, then, for all God's gifts. But there is something that kindles and moves me even more. It is the cup that Thou didst drink, Lord Jesus, more than ought else, that renders Thee love-worthy; it is the work of our redemption that supremely claims our love. The Creator bestowed not so much labor on making the whole world, as did our Saviour in redeeming us! In the first work "He spoke and it was done"; but in the second He put up with people who tried to catch Him in His talk, carped at His actions, mocked His sufferings and even upbraided Him in death. Moreover, He was not returning any love of ours in this; but as St. John says, "Not that we loved God, but that He first loved us." . . .

This love of His is tender, wise and strong. Tender, in that He took on Him our flesh; careful and wise, in that He guarded against sin; and strong, in that He suffered death. It is a thing beyond all measure sweet to look upon man's Maker as a Man. . . . A loving Friend, a prudent Counsellor, a mighty Helper He! I trust myself entirely to Him who willed to save me, knew the way to do it, and had the power to carry out the work. He has both sought me out and called me by His grace." --Saint Bernard of Clairvaux

Image "Betrayal of Christ" by Caravaggio

On this day in 1775, George Washington leaves Philadelphia and heads to Massachusetts to take command of the ragtag Continental Army. Before he leaves, he pens one of 3 surviving letters to Martha:

Phila. June 23d 1775.
My dearest,

As I am within a few Minutes of leaving this City, I could not think of departing from it without dropping you a line; especially as I do not know whether it may be in my power to write again till I get to the Camp at Boston--I go fully trusting in that Providence, which has been more bountiful to me than I deserve, & in full confidence of a happy meeting with you sometime in the Fall--I have not time to add more, as I am surrounded with Company to take leave of me--I retain an unalterable affection for you, which neither time or distance can change, my best love to Jack & Nelly, & regard for the rest of the Family concludes me with the utmost truth & sincerity.

Your entire,
Go: Washington

(Portrait of George Washington by Charles Willson Peale, 1776. Courtesy of @brooklynmuseum. Repost from @mount_vernon)

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Charlotte Mason Ambleside Schools - live
Ambleside Homeschool Mentorship Program
Part 3: What Are We Drawing Students To?
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