What Educators Say About Ambleside

An Ambleside Kindergarten Teacher

One of the most memorable moments for me as a teacher occurred when my class visited the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, to view the paintings of our artist Edouard Manet.  As the class entered the French Impressionist section of the gallery, I heard a collective gasp. The children were absolutely full of delight and wonder as they came in contact with one of their favorite Manet paintings, "At the Railway."

What impact does Ambleside have on students? Ambleside Teacher and Parent

An Ambleside Fifth Grade Teacher

I love how we (students and teachers alike) are coming to know God in every nook and cranny of the day without artificially forcing Him at every juncture.

On any given day, we study His orderliness and perfection in math; His attention to even the finest of details as we study the perfect symmetry of the petals on a weed; His power as we study the universe, the power of an earthquake, volcano, avalanche; His wisdom and integrity as we evaluate  cellular respiration, the human body, laws of physics, the miracle of life; His compassion as we hear of persons extending love and care to one another; His beauty as we enjoy a composition or painting by a great master or as we stumble upon a meadow of wildflowers or the snow-capped rocky mountains or the sunset following an afternoon rain storm in Colorado. As we pursue knowledge, we pursue God, the source of all knowledge. And as we pursue knowledge and understanding of God we tap into the very source of joy, purpose, hope. Now, that's an education fitting to man.

An Ambleside Seventh Grade Teacher

I love "doing life" with my middle school students everyday in our cheery classroom, reading captivating books like the autobiographies of Helen Keller and Frederick Douglass. Entomology has come alive as several times we stared in awe watching monarchs form and emerge from their pupal casing! History, poetry, composer and artist studies...each subject brings so much life and delight to our little "classroom-family."

An Ambleside Seventh and Eighth Grade Teacher

After teaching in an Ambleside school for the past three years, I've come to realize how critical active learning and the formation of habit are to a child's education. How refreshing to teach in a school that values and emphasizes these two areas.

How does Ambleside transform children? Ambleside Teacher

An Ambleside Teacher

There is a point in the story, "The Door in the Wall," when Robin, the main character, after a long stay in a monastery, is to be reunited with his noble father and mother. While his parents are away, serving their king and queen during war, Robin has been under the loving care of the friars. The author describes Robin’s day-to-day life in the monastery and the deep bond that grows between him and the friar, Brother Luke. In the end, Robin is reunited with his parents, but he is torn when he realizes this means leaving the monastery and Brother Luke. After reading the story, we had the privilege of spending a day with the friars at a local monastery. They were as we had imagined them in the story...kind and peaceful, white-haired men, wearing long brown robes. The peace of the place was almost tangible, and at the end of our visit, one of the students came to me and said in awe, “Now I understand why Robin didn’t want to leave the monastery when his parents came to take him home.”

I have seen over and over again how, even though many of the people whose stories we read are no longer living, the students come to a deep knowing of these people, and it’s as if they are old friends. We think, "if Helen Keller actually walked through the door into our classroom, we would be so glad to see her we’d rush to greet her and tell her we love her."

How do Ambleside Teachers help their students? Ambleside Parent

An Ambleside Sixth Grade Teacher

My year has been one of discovering just how many permutations there are of bringing myself and the children to a place of stillness. I truly felt at times as though the chief end of my involvement with the children was solely for training in habit, and if we alone mastered the habit of self-control, we would have achieved a significant milestone.

Working with children, one quickly discovers that much of our work as teachers bears no immediate fruit.  As we discovered in our botany text in the final semester, even seeds have a pre-determined “dormancy” period – a period in which the seed, though fertile, will not germinate.

I had the privilege of seeing, should I say, the beginnings of “germination” in my class. I was unexpectedly and unavoidably detained and unable to reach my class for 5 minutes following our morning assembly. My mind was creating the scene in my absence. What greeted me upon my arrival, I had not anticipated. Half the class were waiting quietly outside in a line, while the other half were quietly getting on with mathematics. When I asked why they had separated, they explained:  The half outside had understood that my expectation was to wait outside the classroom and thus be visible to other staff in my absence; the half inside had understood that they should continue with their class work, so as not to squander time.

Having labored for a year, these moments are precious. I have seen growth in the children’s ability to exercise self-control, a habit that will serve them well in life. Clearly the habit I next need to master is that of “clearly communicating expectations.”

An Ambleside Sixth Grade Teacher

I entered the summer institute with a dread that it would be like other training seminars I was used to in my former school system, but what I walked away with was a toolbox for the teaching profession. The days are full of teaching and learning about the philosophy and application of  Charlotte Mason's style of learning. What I learned during that week helps me each and every day, whether it be preparing lessons or the right heart to engage with children. I believe I would be lost in the classroom without the eye-opening experience of the summer institute.

What about relationships? Principal Ambleside Colorado

Share your feedback with us!

Are you a teacher who has attended ASI training and employed the Ambleside Method in your classroom? Let us know in the comments below how your experience with Ambleside and Charlotte Mason have shaped your professional practice. Contact Us we would love to hear from you.