Chapters 1-3

As you listen, use our study guides to assist you in making meaningful connections and increasing comprehension and memory.

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Chapter 1: The Foundation of Joy

One of the most important responsibilities of a teacher is to set an atmosphere of joy in the classroom. The sense of joy is non-verbal, “in the air and breathed in” by the children – it’s what Charlotte Mason called Atmosphere. Bill and Maryellen St. Cyr, of Ambleside Schools International, discuss the difference between happiness and developing a deep sense of joy. Often when people visit Ambleside member schools, they say, “There’s peace here, a peacefulness, there’s a sense of expression here by the students and by the teachers that’s genuine, that’s full of delight, full of joy….

Chapter 2: How Atmosphere Sets Affections

Our affections, our desires and motivations, are set by our community, family, or tribe. Atmosphere has a powerful influence in setting these affections; affections are caught, not taught. Bill and Maryellen St. Cyr, of Ambleside Schools International, discuss the subtle, yet potent role atmosphere plays in the heart and mind of a child. “When you go into a school… you ask, ‘What is lifted up here? What does the atmosphere say is desirable, is worthy, is worth having, worth pursuing?’

Chapter 3: Cultivating an Atmosphere for Learning

Atmosphere has a profound impact on setting our affections. Dr. Bill St. Cyr, Executive Director of Ambleside Schools International, discusses the atmosphere that supports the desire for working well, paying attention, and reading worthy books. Our affections are caught by the community we are surrounded by. “When you step into a classroom where everyone is paying attention, the easiest thing is to pay attention.”