Today is launch day for the Ambleside Tales blog and the first day of school at Ambleside Tales Academy. I’ll be recounting the tales of our Charlotte Mason homeschool and sharing resources for those who are living their own homeschool adventure.
Admittedly this blog project is a bit terrifying. I have been reading blogs for over a decade and a half. Other than a short blip circa summer 2005 when I blogged about several novels I read, my blogging career has been nonexistent.
Around 2010, I considered starting a blog as a side business. Unfortunately, I couldn’t come up with a topic and didn’t really think I had anything unique to say. At the time, I was reading lots of natural living writers. While I was very interested in the topic, I didn’t consider myself an expert, so I never took action.
Let’s fast forward a few years. For the past 6 years, I’ve tossed around the idea of blogging about theological topics in a way that is accessible to women. This idea was my attempt at staying current in the academic discipline I was pursuing prior to having children.
However, starting a theology book review blog would have required a lot of work. It would have meant a constant stream of reading, writing, and interacting with recent publications. While I enjoy reading theology, the pressure of keeping up this pace while being at home with young kids was my holdup.
In the meantime, I’ve also volunteered at my church, coordinating the adult Sunday school program and starting a women’s ministry. These roles allow me to use my formal education in a practical way, but I was also wanting to start a side business to help support my family.
Big Decisions and New Ventures for Our Family
Last fall we had to make the kindergarten decision. Our son has a summer birthday, so it was one of those “wisdom decisions” on whether to go ahead or wait a year. We chose a third way and opted to homeschool. That way we could go ahead and start school while giving him a little more time to develop the necessary social and emotional skills.
I was familiar enough with Charlotte Mason’s philosophy by that point to know that she didn’t begin formal education for children until they were six. So our approach to kindergarten was very relaxed.
We taught our son to read and write and tackled basic math. We also memorized and recited a psalm and short poems, studied the Bible, and spent time drawing. Even though he complained about school, we made good progress. I’m hopeful that a Mason approach to 1st grade will be more enjoyable for him.
At the beginning of 2018, I decided to start a Virtual Assistant business. In my business, I help bloggers and small businesses with their online business marketing strategy (things like sales funnels, Pinterest marketing, Facebook bots, and email marketing strategy).
As I spent time in the online business world and worked to strengthen my digital marketing skills, I realized that I wanted to start my own blog in addition to helping others. If I had attempted this before I started my business, I would have struggled. But now that I’ve taken courses and worked in the online business world, I have a much better sense of what’s required and where to find resources.
Even More New Beginnings
I considered a few options for niche areas I could explore, but I realized I needed to choose something that would interest me for a long time. During my period of brainstorming, writing about homeschool came to mind. Since we’re at the very beginning of our homeschool journey, I figure I’ve got at least 12-15 years worth of material to cover. 🙂
I’ve been interested in Charlotte Mason for years and have been studying her philosophy and methodology. I look forward to implementing what I’ve learned and supplementing my own education as I continue to read her writings and ideas. If you’re interested in learning more about Mason’s philosophy, start with For the Children’s Sake by Susan Schaeffer Macaulay.
I’m also excited to collaborate with others who are on a similar path as our family. Since we hadn’t reached the school age, I’ve been a lurker in many of these homeschool circles for some time, reading and digesting ideas. But now that I’m all in for this school year, I’m ready to begin meeting and interacting with other families who follow a Mason method.
In addition, I am familiar with the questions and concerns that many people have as they consider a Mason education–I’ve had them too. I won’t pretend to have answers to all of them, but I am willing to share what I’m reading and learning and what is working (and not working!) in our school.
My hope is that this blog will be a source of encouragement and inspiration. I desire for Ambleside Tales to be somewhere you find resources and tools for your homeschool journey. In addition, this is a place to connect with others who are on a less traveled path.
Be sure to enter your email address so you can receive resource updates and tips and tricks to make homeschool life a little less lonely and overwhelming. Be sure to follow Ambleside Tales on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.
Here’s to new beginnings!