WHAT: A four-week class on Parents as the foremost educators of their children
WHEN: 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. on four consecutive Wednesdays, February 20, 27; March 6, and 13
WHERE: Ambleside School (high school classroom)
WHO: Open to all Ambleside parents and staff. Please RSVP so enough materials and refreshments may be provided.
CHILDCARE: We won’t be able to provide childcare, but please consider many of the Ambleside students who would love the opportunity to babysit for you!
MORE WHAT: Former UF professor and veteran ASO teacher, Leo Sandgren, along with Shari Ausley, founder of Ambleside School of Ocala, will facilitate this four-week class. The purpose is to foster connection and fellowship with Ambleside parents and staff who desire: 1) to make progress themselves as students of Jesus Christ, and 2) to see children progress as disciples of Jesus Christ. The study was designed so that busy parents could just “show up”. There will be no need to prepare ahead of time, nor is there any required homework.
Each session an accessible, modern essay by Dallas Willard, will be read together and discussed (very Ambleside!); these essays provide ideas and stimulation for thought, reflection, and application. Dallas Willard was a professor of philosophy at the University of Southern California. Next to Jesus Christ himself, both Ken and Shari Ausley credit Willard’s teaching with the survival of their Christian faith; Shari credits Willard with the reason Ambleside School of Ocala was ever born. She has often remarked, “Upon reading Charlotte Mason’s writings on the power of ideas and the driving role of habits, I thought, ‘This is Dallas Willard for children!’” And so began the story of the school you find your children attending today.
The title of each article below is linked, or, if you prefer the first three essays are contained in Dallas’ book, The Great Omission. Pre-reading is not required, but feel free to read ahead of time if you like. Hard copies will also be provided at each meeting. Each session we will consider, “How does this apply to my own formation? How might this affect my child’s formation?”
Session 1: Who is Your Teacher?
This short article reminds us that we, too, remain in need of an education. Rather than being regarded as, “…hardly conscious…a mere icon, a wraithlike semblance of a man living on the margins of the ‘real life’…,” we’ll consider that perhaps Jesus was that smartest man that ever lived.
The work of education is spiritual, not merely academic. “How does our work, what we really do, actually relate to the charge [Jesus] has left us? How much of what goes on in ourselves, …and our schools, is dictated only by ‘futile ways inherited from [our] ancestors’ (I Pet. 1:18)?”
Session 3: Living in the Vision of God
This essay gives us a framework and language for talking about an Ambleside education as a movement. Shari rereads this essay at least once a year to refresh her vision, not merely for the sake of the school, but for the larger vision of which it is but a small part, the kingdom of God.
Session 4: Being a Christian in a Pluralistic Society
This will be the headiest of our discussions. It is included because our children are growing up in a world that is very different from the world in which we grew up. As they approach young adulthood, the fear, thoughtlessness, or incongruence, they observe in our demonstrated faith will harm the confidence they’re looking to draw from us.