Chapters 13-15

Download the audio version of these videos on our Ambleside Flourish Podcast

Chapter 13 - Establish a Strategy

Habit formation is an exercise in formation, cultivation, and helping children grow up – it is not an exercise in controlling the child for one’s own comfort. Proper habit formation includes an inspiring Idea, a joyful working alliance, and establishing a strategy. Bill St. Cyr, of Ambleside Schools International, discusses the important steps in exercising a strategy for growth. “When we act with what Charlotte Mason calls Tact, Watchfulness, and Persistence, then we find in the child those rails of habit laid down which will lead them to easily, smoothly, have the kind of relationships with God, self, others, work, the whole created universe, that we long for our children to have.”

Chapter 14 - Building the Passion to Know

Is the true goal of education to learn? Or is it to win a prize and impress others? “Build the character; build the love for learning; build the passion to know; build the discipline to work well – [and] all of that takes care of itself.” Ambleside Schools curriculum includes 16-17 subjects, following Charlotte Mason’s idea of the importance of giving children as many relationships as possible at the very beginning of their lives. Bill and Maryellen St. Cyr, of Ambleside Schools International, discuss how to direct students’ minds toward learning. “As a school, we’ve got to be very intentional about the kinds of relations we’re cultivating, and the kinds of ideas that are ceding those relations.”  

Chapter 15 - Cultivating Relationships with Learning

In many school environments, children have to choose between subjects, and they are often drawn only to subjects they like. Charlotte Mason thought it should be otherwise. She envisioned an educational feast in which students develop wide relationships with this world. She called it our Great Inheritance. “As is often the case in traditional settings, people grow in the areas that they’re already interested in. And yet, what we’ve seen at Ambleside, is real joy and real delight in learning in a varied array of subjects.” Bill and Maryellen St. Cyr, of Ambleside Schools International, discuss the delight of children and adults as they experience a broad curriculum. “We must be very, very intentional and careful about the dynamics between teacher, taught, and the text, for only then will there be a life-giving education.”