The homeschool division of Ambleside Schools International. See http://www.amblesidehomeschool.com for more information.
The Ambleside Homeschool Mentor Program is an opportunity for home educators who are desiring a Charlotte Mason, philosophy-based education for their children, to become part of an educational support group which provides curriculum, teaching resources, training, guidance, and encouragement for the homeschool family. More about ASI's homeschool mentor program here: http://www.amblesidehomeschool.com
"We cannot measure the influence that one or another artist has upon the child's sense of beauty, upon his power of seeing, as in a picture, the common sights of life; he is enriched more than we know in having really looked at even a single picture. It is a mistake to think that colour is quite necessary to children in their art studies. They find colour in many places, and are content, for the time, with form and feeling in their pictures." --Charlotte Mason, "Home Education"
This relationship between the master painter and his work and the mind of the child is one that is respected and nurtured through picture study lessons in both the Ambleside school and home school classroom. Following is a beautiful essay by a 4th grade Ambleside homeschool student who was moved and inspired by the work of Utagawa Hiroshige in "Titmouse and Camelias, Sparrow and Wild Roses, and Black-naped Oriole and Cherry Blossoms."
"Inspiration and Beauty"
Utagawa Hiroshige sat in his garden filled with beautiful, sweet-scented flowers. He watched as the birds landed on the roses, camelias, and cherry blossoms. Utagawa smelled the crisp air. A bird landed on his bench.
“Everywhere I look,” he said, maybe to the bird or maybe to himself, “from the trees to the bridges, flowers, or streams, there is inspiration. Nowhere is without it.”
The bird, who happened to be a titmouse, seemed to agree.
“It is the same with beauty,” Utagawa Hiroshige continued, “it is not something you earn. It is something you possess.”
The titmouse chirped.
Just then, Utagawa’s wife came over to him.
“Shoo!” she ordered the fowl, “I must sit.”
The titmouse did, indeed, ‘shoo,’ and landed on the camelias.
Hiroshige’s eyes gleamed.
“Inspiration,” he said softly.
Soon after, a sparrow and a black-naped oriole came into the garden, each landing on their own flower. The sparrow on the wild roses, and the oriole on the cherry blossoms.
Hiroshige’s wife smiled at him.
“They are everywhere,” she said.
"Influencer" . . . Did you know we are all influencers? The question is what is our influence? . . . for good or evil, worthy or unworthy ways? Charlotte Mason gave us a beautiful vision of ourselves, the idea that in each of us is a Kingdom of Mansoul, and that "There is only one authoritative estimate of the greatness of the human soul. It is put into the balances with the whole world, and the whole world, glorious and beautiful as it is, weighs as nothing in the comparison . . ." she continues, "The question of influence is very interesting. The old painters pictured the saints with a nimbus, a glory, coming out of them. The saint with a nimbus suggests what seems to be a universal truth, that each of us moves, surrounded by an emanation from his own personality; and this emanation is the influence which affects everyone who comes near him. Generosity emanates, so to speak, from the generous person; from the mean person, meanness. Those who come in contact with the generous become generous themselves; with the mean, mean." She goes on to explain the importance of our will in setting our mind to the kind of influencer we will be: "The acts of the Will, intention, purpose, resolution, are not only possible to us, but are required of us. The Will is, in fact, the instrument by which we appropriate the good, uplifting thought that comes our way; and it is as we seize upon such thought with intention, act upon it with purpose, struggle, with resolution, against obstacles, that we attain to character and usefulness in the world." It is good to pause and reflect, 'What is my 'emanation?' from "Ourselves," Book 2; Image "The Last Judgment" (detail) by Giotto
The respectable folks,--
Where dwell they?
They whisper in the oaks,
And they sigh in the hay;
Summer and winter, night and day,
Out on the meadow, there dwell they.
They never die,
Nor snivel, nor cry,
Nor ask our pity
With a wet eye.
A sound estate they ever mend,
To every asker readily lend;
To the ocean wealth,
To the meadow health,
To Time his length,
To the rocks strength,
To the stars light,
To the weary night,
To the busy day,
To the idle play;
And so their good cheer never ends,
For all are their debtors, and all their friends.
--Henry David Thoreau
Image "Memory of a Wooded Island in the Baltic Sea" by Carl Gustav Carus
But deep this truth impress'd my mind-
Thro' all His works abroad,
The heart benevolent and kind
The most resembles God. --Robert Burns
"What a blessed world we should have if the spring of Benevolence had free play in every human heart! But a whole troop of dæmons obstruct every movement of this beneficent Lord. There is Fastidiousness, which finds offence in all ways which are not exactly our own ways. There is Exigeance, on the watch to resent slight or trespass, however small or unintentional. Censoriousness is at hand to blame without thought of improving. Selfishness is ready to occupy the whole field of the heart, so that no corner of space is left for all those concerns of other people with which Benevolence is engaged. Slothfulness is there to simulate Goodwill with that easy Good-nature which takes matters pleasantly so long as it is not required to take trouble about anything. Tolerance is that form of Good-nature which is as easy with regard to other people's opinions as Good-nature is with regard to their actions. To tolerate, or bear with, the principles and opinions which rule the lives of others is the part of Indifference and not of Goodwill. Candour, fair-mindedness to other people's thoughts, is what Benevolence offers.
Benevolence has so many functions that we can only notice a few of them; but it is well we should know that it means at least an active and general Goodwill. When we realise this, the angelic message––"Peace on earth and Goodwill towards men of Goodwill"––will carry some meaning for us." --Charlotte Mason, "Home Education" (Image "Pietà" by Vincent Van Gogh)
The Light Within--Thomas R. Kelly
"Meister Eckhart wrote, "As thou art in church or cell, that same frame of mind carry out into the world into its turmoil and its fitfulness." Deep within us all there is an amazing inner sanctuary of the soul, a holy place, a Divine Center, a speaking Voice, to which we may continuously return. Eternity is at our hearts, pressing upon our time-torn lives, warming us with intimations of an astounding destiny, calling us home unto Itself. Yielding to these persuasions, gladly committing ourselves in body and soul, utterly and completely, to the Light Within, is the beginning of true life. It is a dynamic center . . . It is Light Within which illumines the face of God and casts new shadows and new glories upon the face of men. It is a seed stirring to life if we don not choke it. It is the Shekinah of the soul, the Presence in the midst. Here is the Slumbering Christ, stirring to be awakened, to become the soul we clothe in earthly form and action. And He is within us all.
What is here urged are . . . ways of conducting our inward life so that we are perpetually bowed in worship, while we are also very busy in the world of daily affairs. What is here urged are inward practices of the mind at its deepest levels, letting it swing like the needle, to the polestar of the soul. And like the needle, the Inward Light becomes the truest guide of life, showing us new and unsuspected defects in ourselves and our fellows, showing us new and unsuspected possibilities int he power and life of goodwill among men . . . Yield yourself to Him who is a far better teacher than these outward words, and you will have found the Instructor Himself, of whom these words are a faint and broken echo." (excerpt from "Listening to the Saints" compiled by J. Manning Potts); Image "Young Christian Girl" by Paul Gauguin
"If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams and endeavors to live the life he has imagined, he’ll meet with success unexpected in common hours." Henry David Thoreau (Image "The Diggers" by Vincent van Gogh)
The Vine School
"Thanks, Amy for sharing your Nature Study find with us."
To find out more about our programme please visit us at https://www.thevineschool.org.za/
Ambleside School of San Angelo
Rocky Mountain Christian Academy
THOUGHTS FROM CS LEWIS ~ WHAT WE CAN LEARN IN TIMES OF CRISIS: Many of us are familiar with the great author and Christian thinker, CS Lewis...at RMCA, his amazing texts are part of our curriculum.
His essay, "Learning in War-Time," was given as a sermon at one of the chapels attached to Oxford University in October 1939. This was only a month after Nazi and Soviet tanks invaded Poland. The fall of France, the bombing of London and other British cities, and D-Day were months and years away. In the midst of expected catastrophe, he spoke and wrote about the necessity of continuing 'peacetime' cultural pursuits, such as education.
While he was speaking specifically to university professors and students, everything he writes is as applicable to children and parents. We hope you will read Mr. Byrd's blog at the link, below, which includes thoughts on placing a crisis in the context of our larger reality.
Click This Link for The Principal's Blog:
americamagazine.org The Jewishness of Jesus has seldom been rendered more clearly in art than in the crucifixion scenes of Marc Chagall. Of the 31 paintings and 22 works on paper in “Chagall: Love, War and Exile” (on view until Feb. 2, 2014, at the Jewish Museum in New York City), the handful of crucifixion
a hymn traditionally sung on Good Friday
by Venantius Fortunatis (b. 530 A.D.)
FAITHFUL Cross! Above all other,
one and only noble Tree!
None in foliage, none in blossom,
none in fruit thy peers may be;
sweetest wood and sweetest iron!
Sweetest Weight is hung on thee!
Lofty tree, bend down thy branches,
to embrace thy sacred load;
oh, relax the native tension
of that all too rigid wood;
gently, gently bear the members
of thy dying King and God.
Tree, which solely wast found worthy
this world's Victim to sustain;
harbour from the raging tempest!
Ark, that saved the world again!
Tree, with sacred blood anointed
of the Lamb for sinners slain.
Blessing, honour, everlasting,
to the immortal Deity;
to the Father, Son, and Spirit,
equal praises ever be;
glory through the earth and heaven
to Trinity in Unity. Amen.
A Homily by Josemariá Escrivá, Part 1. "Christian life finds its meaning in God. Men have not been created just to build the best possible world. We have been put here on earth for a further purpose: to enter into communion with God himself. Jesus has promised us not a life of ease or worldly achievement, but the house of his Father God, which awaits us at the end of the way. (Jn 14:2)
The liturgy of Good Friday contains a wonderful hymn, "Crux Fidelis." It invites us to sing and celebrate the glorious struggle of our Lord, the victory of the cross, the splendid triumph of Christ. The redeemer of the universe is sacrificed and triumphs. God, the Lord of all creation, does not make his presence felt by force of arms or by the temporal power of his followers, but by the nobility of his infinite love.
The Lord does not destroy man's freedom; it is precisely he who made us free. That is why he does not want to wring obedience from us. He wants our decisions to come from the depths of our heart. And he wants Christians to live in such a way that the people we deal with will find in our conduct--despite our weaknesses, faults, and failings--an echo of the drama of love that was Calvary. Everything we have comes from God; he wants us to be salt which flavors and light which brings the happy news that he is a Father who loves without measure. The Christian is the salt and light of the world, not because he conquers or triumphs, but because he bears witness to God's love. And he won't be salt if he can't give flavor. Nor will he be light if he doesn't bear witness to Jesus through his example and word, if he loses sight of the purpose of his life." (to be continued...) Image: "The Crucifixion with Angels" by Charles Le Brun c. 1656
Social distance dancing, these two brothers at The Kesh Festival in 1983 had it sussed. All you need is a broom and a partner to learn #TheBroomDance 🕺🧹🕺
We hear reports of students delighting in regular, on-line connections with teacher and classmates. More importantly, we hear reports of parents making the most of this opportunity, connecting afresh with their students over great texts and worthy work, rediscovering the delights of a mind-to-mind, student-parent-text, relational engagement. Crisis is opportunity, and this crisis is an opportunity to kindle afresh a shared, family delight in learning and working together. Read More
As we find ourselves in unusual circumstances, take courage and look for the Inspiration! The word 'Inspiration' comes from the Latin inspirare: meaning to ‘breathe or blow into’ from in- ‘into’ + spirare ‘breathe’. The word was originally used of a divine or supernatural being, in the sense ‘impart a truth or idea to someone’. So, breathe in these ideas from Charlotte Mason and take heart!
"The mother is qualified," says Pestalozzi, "and qualified by the Creator Himself, to become the principal agent in the development of her child; ... and what is demanded of her is––a thinking love ... God has given to the child all the faculties of our nature, but the grand point remains undecided––how shall this heart, this head, these hands be employed? to whose service shall they be dedicated? A question the answer to which involves a futurity of happiness or misery to a life so dear to thee. Maternal love is the first agent in education."
We are waking up to our duties and in proportion as mothers become more highly educated and efficient, they will doubtless feel the more strongly that the education of their children during the first six years of life is an undertaking hardly to be entrusted to any hands but their own. And they will take it up as their profession––that is, with the diligence, regularity, and punctuality which men bestow on their professional labours.
That the mother may know what she is about, may come thoroughly furnished to her work, she should have something more than a hearsay acquaintance with the theory of education, and with those conditions of the child's nature upon which such theory rests." (Home Education); Image of Ambleside students finding joy in the rain.
A beautiful sight!🥰
How is your first morning of "Home Learning" going? We'd love to see pics of your students working -- feel free to post them in the comments! Here's one way we can stay connected as a community. 😀
. . . "Let us now hear Coleridge on the subject of those definite ideas which are not inhaled as air; but conveyed as meat to the mind:––
"From the first, or initiative idea, as from a seed, successive ideas germinate."
"Events and images, the lively and spirit-stirring machinery of the external world, are like light and air and moisture to the seed of the mind, which would else rot and perish"
"The paths in which we may pursue a methodical course are manifold, and at the head of each stands its peculiar and guiding idea."
"Those ideas are as regularly subordinate in dignity as the paths to which they point are various and eccentric in direction. The world has suffered much, in modern times, from a subversion of the natural and necessary order of Science . . . from summoning reason and faith to the bar of that limited physical experience to which, by the true laws or method, they owe no obedience."
"Progress follows the path of the idea from which it sets out; requiring, however, a constant wakefulness of mind to keep it within the due limits of its course. Hence the orbits of thought, so to speak, must differ among themselves as the initiative ideas differ." --Charlotte Mason, "Home Education" (Image by Gustave Doré from "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" by Samuel Taylor Coleridge)
Let us find wisdom in the ways of a wise and intentional woman . . .
"Her life was a constant evidence of the joy of 'the science of relations,' her relations with earth, with man, with bird, with beast and flower, and with God. She never came back without some 'find,' some fresh flower out, some new sound she had heard, some new aspect of the beauty in the sky or on the fell. And she was ready with expectancy to hear of what others had to tell . . . Miss Mason rarely touched upon controversial subjects, she read very little controversial matter, she steadily refused to enter the lists in condemnation of theories with which she had no sympathy. She prayed 'Lead us not into temptation' in thought as in other things, and she would not enter in and let her thoughts dwell in the many byways of modern thought when so much work was needed on the highways . . . She never worked out of hours nor let herself think of problems at night. Hasty decisions were never made even when she was pressed to make them. She took time to consider the many problems that inevitably connected themselves with the vast work for which she alone was responsible." --Essex Cholmondley, "The Story of Charlotte Mason"
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