We endeavor that the students should have relations of pleasure and intimacy established with as many as possible of the interests proper to him: not learning a slight or incomplete smattering about this or that subject, “but plunging into vital knowledge, with a great field before him which all his life he will not be able to fully explore” (Charlotte Mason).
Narration is the basic methodology of Charlotte Mason education. Narration is an active retelling of what the student has heard and learned. Such a retelling requires the use of the child’s whole mind as well as her memory, and demands careful attention to a single reading of the source, without review and repetitions.
Ambleside students do the scholar’s work of the first-hand reading of primary sources of literary merit that present inspiring ideas in all subjects, not dry, predigested facts and texts. Their study also includes direct contact and observation of real objects from nature (plants, minerals, animals, the elements), and art, music, and other human disciplines (maps, instruments, machines).
The school offers small student-teacher ratio (16:1 maximum) and an emphasis on guiding and developing a child’s relationships with others—peers, younger children, elders, authority—and self. Instruction focuses on the development of the child as a whole person.
Students are evaluated on their growth in their relationships, study habits, and attitudes, as well as their knowledge. Standardized and fill-in-the-blank tests are not used. Exams and daily narration work in all subjects are largely broad essay-type questions, answered orally in the lower grades. Narrating daily and at exam time is an opportunity for students to bring forth and show what knowledge they have attained. It’s a call to synthesize and summarize, master and make sense of main ideas and facts while developing the child’s competence in clear thinking and verbal expression.
Ambleside provides a broad and varied curriculum for every student through direct encounter with great literature and primary sources in history, with art, music, science, mathematics, geography, language, nature, and handwork.
We strive to offer students the richest materials along with our highest expectations of what they can accomplish. We expect every student to learn and grow to their full potential as a person, born in the image of God, into a vast inheritance.
Disciplines of Study
- Composer Study
- Froebels (Kindergarten)
- History-United States
- Myths and Legends
- Nature Study
- Picture Study
- Read Aloud
- Spiritual Classics
“We were all meant to be naturalists, each in his degree, and it is inexcusable to live in a world so full of the marvels of plant and animal life and to care for none of these things.” – Charlotte Mason