Our History

Interest in Charlotte Mason’s personalist thought and unique approach to education — sparked by Susan Schaeffer Macaulay’s For the Children’s Sake — has been on the rise since the 1980s. Study of Mason’s work was further stoked by Dean and Karen Andreola’s 6-volume reprint of Charlotte Mason’s writings.

Ambleside founder Maryellen St. CyrMason (1842–1923), an English educator, author, and thinker, was committed to providing a “living education.” She developed an educational approach that cultivated an optimal learning atmosphere; developed balanced relationships and habits; and provided students access to the best work of the best minds.

In 1999, Ambleside Schools International, a 501(c)3 corporation, was founded as a model school and training center to support renewal in education. Its staff developed the Ambleside Method of education, based on Mason’s educational approach. Maryellen Marschke St. Cyr, school principal, author of When Children Love to Learn and expert in Mason’s educational thought and practice, spearheaded the Fredericksburg, Texas-based ASI movement.

Since its inception, ASI and local Ambleside schools have benefitted from the support and encouragement of both local families and leaders in the revival of Mason’s thought—among them Ranald and Susan Macaulay, Elaine Cooper, Eve Anderson, and Bobby Scott.

Under the leadership of executive director Bill St. Cyr and founder and director of curriculum Maryellen St. Cyr, ASI—now entering its second decade—remains committed to educational renewal, and to building and supporting a worldwide community of schools and training centers that provide children a living education.

Ambleside Training Centers

Ambleside schools are venues, not only for the education of children, but also for the training of parents and teachers. Since 2000, our staff has trained more than 2,000 teachers and parents from North and South America, Africa, and Europe.

ASI, in partnership with local Ambleside schools, trains and mentors parents, teachers, and all interested in developing their understanding and practice of Charlotte Mason’s thought and the Ambleside Method of education.