Hello! Welcome to Ambleside Tales!
Whether you’re a Charlotte Mason homeschool beginner or a seasoned veteran, you’ll find inspiration, encouragement, and tools for your journey on this site.
I’m Shelley, and I’m a wife and (gulp) homeschool mom. How many of you hesitate to say you’re a homeschool family because of the stigma?
My guess is that you too have experienced the intrusive questions and comments. How can you spend so much time with your kids without going crazy? (Who says I’m not crazy??? :)) How do you socialize your kids? How do you know if they’re getting behind what their peers know? What about sports and extracurricular activities?
The reality is you won’t have time to answer every objection, and it’s even less likely that you’ll change anyone’s mind. However, if you’re willing to join me on this journey, you’ll find that Mason does deal with these objections, and maybe this will encourage you through some of these prickly situations and help you respond to your inquisitors in the future.
I first heard of Charlotte Mason years ago from reading natural living blogs. I was familiar with homeschool (and had no interest in homeschooling, but you know how that goes…), but I didn’t know what a Mason inspired homeschool was. I discovered that many of the people who talked about a Mason inspired program were mixing several methods together and including her emphasis on living books and nature study.
As I researched Mason’s philosophy, there were so many things I found attractive. As a bibliophile myself, I was drawn to a method with a strong literary foundation. I found her principles both challenging and inspiring. The idea that we should treat children as people and not manipulate them into learning was pretty radical.
Mason’s motto that Education is an atmosphere, a discipline, and a life was also significant for me. Understanding that we can’t force children to learn is key. Our role is to put a nourishing diet of knowledge before them and allow them to partake. By putting a variety of the best sources of knowledge before them, we also allow them to make connections between areas of study, for that is much more natural than our arbitrary divisions between subjects.
Finally, the lack of division between the secular and the sacred and her emphasis on the role of the Holy Spirit in education are so important. Basically, she’s advocating for a common grace view, which I find a helpful way to make sense of many of the complexities of this life. And the reality that the Holy Spirit is my children’s teacher is a great comfort.
When did you first hear of Charlotte Mason? What about her method do you find most inspiring or challenging. I would love to hear how you started your journey to Ambleside. Feel free to leave a comment or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.