The value of training in giving impulse and direction, as well as knowledge and power, can hardly be overstated...”The Principles of Education” is a wide subject...The differences however between merely reading an educational work and being trained on the principles laid down in the work are as the difference between seeing a light and being kindled at a flame.
- Essex Cholmondeley, The Story of Charlotte Mason
Ambleside Schools International trains parents, teachers, and educational leaders in the Ambleside Method, a coherent philosophy and practice of education based on the teachings of English educator, author, and thinker, Charlotte Mason.
During each session, participants and ASI staff gather around the study table, feeding on and assimilating ideas, just as students in Ambleside classrooms do each day. Together, they read Charlotte Mason's writings, then assimilate it through narration, discussion, and further inquiry into the ideas present in the text.
ASI’s training accomplishes two goals. First, it provides a vision of what education can be. Second, it equips participants with the knowledge and tools that allow them to make Mason’s vision a reality in the home or school. Many participants credit ASI training with transforming them both personally and professionally.
Testimonial from Ambleside Training Graduate.
At the end of April I attended an Ambleside Internship in Fredericksburg. After practicing narration myself and observing in an Ambleside School of Fredericksburg classroom, I realized that this was the method of learning that best suited my children. When I returned home, we began to practice the art of narration together when reading the Scriptures each night. After all, if the goal of narration is to have a mind-to-mind meeting with the best minds what better mind to meet with than the Author of Sacred Scripture! At first it was very awkward but we all grew to love the challenge and looked forward to evening meals together as never before.
Just before the girls went to summer camp we vacationed 3 nights at the River Inn in Hunt, Texas. We cooked hamburgers and fresh fish each night out on the lawn but each night after dinner we arranged our lawn chairs in a circle and read and narrated together from the Bible. It was vacation from work but not from narrating the Scriptures.
At the end of the summer we vacationed in Port Arkansas in a little cottage a few blocks off the beach called the Chapel cottage. It is called the Chapel cottage because it actually has a Chapel on the property! The chapel is a consecrated church about 15 feet wide by 20 feet long situated high on top of a sand dune with a view of the water despite the houses in between. Each night after dinner we trudged up the steps in the sand, opened the windows of the Chapel and narrated from the Bible. Narrating the Scriptures together as a family was the perfect way to end to a day of surfing, sailing, beach combing and building sand castles.
Now we are back at home. Our nightly practice continues to give us a discipline in daily reading of Scripture and an opportunity to practice training in habits of attention, respect, and patience with our children. But whether we are on our back porch, a sailboat, the beach or a river, we look forward to our time together as a family with the Word of God and the art of narration. Thank you, Bill and Maryellen, and Ambleside Schools International; and thank you, Charlotte Mason!