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
Operating as usual
We humans are destined to live in troubled times. As novelist and screenwriter William Goldman puts it in The Princess Bride, “Life is pain, highness. Anyone who says differently is selling something.”
Goldman echoes the words of Jesus, who made this clear to His followers, “In this world, you will have tribulation.” Trouble is the norm, not the exception, and troubled hearts always tend toward paralysis and polarization.
In troubled states, one wants desperately either to despair and quit or to do something. But what?
Read more here:
Listen to the podcast here:
Take a moment to remember a time when someone was truly interested in you.
What would it be like for you to give this same kind of attention to your spouse, to your children, and to others?
This Christmas, consider giving the greatest gift of all: your sacred presence.
Read our full blog on Sacred Presence here: https://www.amblesideschools.com/blog/flourish/greatest-gift-all
Listen to our podcast here: https://www.amblesideflourish.com/e/the-greatest-gift-of-all-christmas-2020/
“He practices various handicrafts that he may know the feel of wood, clay, leather, and the joy of handling tools, that is, that he may establish a due relation with materials. But, always, it is the book, the knowledge, the clay, the bird or blossom, he thinks of, not his own place or his own progress.” ~Charlotte Mason, A Philosophy of Education
St Francis of Assisi is sometimes called the "father of the manger.” In 1223, he built the first manger like the one we know today. St. Francis left the monastery of Greccio with Pope Honorius' permission and went into the wood where he built the manger with an ox and a donkey. The Holy Family wasn't yet part of the scene. Afterward, he held his famous Christmas speech in front of a crowd to make the Christmas story accessible to those who couldn't read.
The beautiful manger pictured above was built from wood and filled with figures handmade with modeling beeswax by an Ambleside homeschool student. We can imagine how the boy pondered Jesus and His birth as he worked the wax in his hands.
"I have always appreciated God’s provision on my journey as a teacher. He provides the living books, the enlightening philosophy, the timely feedback needed to grow—everything. But, as I have realized many times over the years, God’s provision also—I would say, especially—includes the difficult parts: for example, those moments when a student’s cup of anxiety overflows. One year, God sent me a dear little third grader who was terrified of all flying insects. He also sent me wasps."
Read Heidi Kimball's full article from Flourish Volume 7 now:
"On a brisk day recently, a bit melancholic, I walked along a wooded trail. Catching sight of a chasteberry tree, with its clusters of fragrant flowers, I paused. I looked at the lovely flowers. It had been months since last I looked, truly looked, at a flower. As I looked, I grew thicker inside, more centered, more grounded."
Pausing to appreciate God's creation is simple but powerful. Take a moment today.
Read Dr. Bill St Cyr's full reflection from Flourish Volume 7:
"The fact that Jesus grew up and lived just like us shows us that human existence and all the ordinary activity of men have a divine meaning. No matter how much we may have reflected on all this, whenever we think about it, we should always marvel at the thirty years of obscurity which made up the greater part of Jesus' life among men. He lived in obscurity, but, for us, that period is full of light. It illuminates our days and fills them with meaning, for we are ordinary Christians who lead an ordinary life, just like millions of other people all over the world...
As with other events in his life, we should never contemplate Jesus' hidden years without feeling moved. We should realize that they are in themselves a call to shake off our selfish and easy-going ways. Our Lord knows our limitations, our individualism and ambition. He knows it is difficult for us to forget ourselves and give ourselves to others. He knows what it feels like not to find love and to discover that those who say they follow him only do so in a halfhearted way. Just think of those striking scenes, described to us by the evangelists; we see the Apostles full of worldly ambitions and merely human plans. Yet Jesus has chosen them; he keeps them close to him and entrusts them with the mission he has received from his Father.
He has called us too and asks us, as he asked James and John: "Are you ready to drink the cup"--that cup which means giving yourself full to the will of the Father--"which I am going to drink?" "Yes! We are ready!" is the reply of James and John. Are you and I really ready to carry out, in everything, the will of our Father God? Have we given our Lord our whole heart, or are we attached to ourselves and our interests and comfort and self-love? Is there anything in our lives out of keeping with our Christianity, something which makes us unwilling to mend our ways? Today we are given a chance to set things straight." Josemaría Escrivá;"Christ in His Parents' House," Millais
How like an angel came I down!
How bright are all things here!
When first among his works I did appear
O how their glory me did crown!
The world resembled his eternity,
In which my soul did walk;
And ev’ry thing that I did see
Did with me talk.
The skies in their magnificence,
The lively, lovely air;
Oh how divine, how soft, how sweet, how fair!
The stars did entertain my sense,
And all the works of God, so bright and pure,
So rich and great did seem,
As if they ever must endure
In my esteem.
Whether it's summiting a "14er" mountain or giving birth, the journey of growth reminds us that this won't last forever and good will come out of this.
But, let's be honest: being thankful for challenges is not something that comes naturally. It seems that we tend to put out gratitude on hold until we get what we want.
However, the more that we are grateful to God for the life that we have together in this year—not just in spite of but because of the challenges—the more that our children will see the fruit of trusting in Christ.
Read Brandon Byrd's full article from Flourish Volume 7 here:
PC: Keyhole Route of Longs Peak (a 14er) from 14ers.com
With blessings this Thanksgiving Day!
On this day in 1789, President George Washington's Thanksgiving Proclamation was observed as "a day of public thanksgiving and prayer" boldly acknowledging our "beneficent Author of all the good." In his proclamation, Washington wrote:
"...whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.
Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be..."
Image George Washington 1795 by Gilbert Stuart
The Pilgrims arrived at Cape Cod on November 11, 1620. Nearly half of them died that winter. The 53 surviving Pilgrims planted crops in the spring and had a successful autumn harvest. Their harvest celebration that November 1621 is the origin of our modern Thanksgiving holiday.
Through harsh conditions, the Pilgrims looked always to God, trusting Him to sustain them.
May we, like the Pilgrims, live in and through Him and pause for Thanksgiving.
Read the full blog here: http://ow.ly/OmUM50Cv4A0
In 2016, Matt Wilcox wasn't planning on becoming a teacher at Ambleside at Skylark. He just knew he was going to hike the PCT.
4 years later, still a teacher at Ambleside at Skylark, he reflects on Proverbs 16:9: "A man's mind plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps."
Read his article here: https://www.amblesideschools.com/blog/teacher/lord-directs-his-steps-flourish-volume-7
There is a great lie going around that life is a competition. My neighbor is my adversary. Performing well is winning. Never mind the anxiety, anger, and joylessness.
The Parable of the Prodigal Son offers an alternative to this lifestyle: TO KNOW and TO LOVE.
Read more here: https://www.amblesideschools.com/blog/flourish/know-and-love
"A beautiful faith!"
Heidi gazed first one way and then another. The gay nodding flowers, the blue sky, the merry sunshine, the happy bird in the air, all were so beautiful, so beautiful! Heidi's eyes sparkled with delight. She looked at her friend to see whether he, too, understood how beautiful it was. Until now the doctor had been looking round him silently and wrapped in thought. As he met the child's beaming eyes he said: "Yes, Heidi, it is beautiful here; but what do you think? If you brought a sad heart, how could you make it well, so that you could enjoy all this beauty?" "Oh, oh!" exclaimed Heidi quite gaily. "Nobody ever has a sad heart here--only in Frankfurt." A smile passed over the doctor's face, but it quickly vanished. Then he added: "And supposing someone should come and bring all his sorrow with him up here from Frankfurt, Heidi; do you know of anything that could help him then?" "He must tell everything to the dear Lord, if he does not know what to do," said Heidi with perfect assurance. "Yes, that is really a good thought, child," observed the doctor. "But if what makes you so very sad and miserable comes from Him, what can you say to the dear Lord?" Heidi had to think what ought to be done in such a case; but she was very certain that one could obtain help from the dear Lord for every sorrow. She sought a reply from her own experience. "Then you must wait," she said after a while with assurance, " and keep thinking: 'Surely now the dear Lord knows some joy which is to come out of this by and by, so I must be still for a little and not run away from Him.' Then all at once it will happen so that you will see quite clearly that the dear Lord had nothing but good in His mind all the time; but because you could not see it so at first, and only had the terrible sorrow all the time before you, you thought it would always remain so." "That is a beautiful faith, and you must hold it fast, Heidi," said the doctor. ~"Heidi" by Johanna Spyri
"We speak about God’s providence often as Christians, but what does it mean and how does it impact our lives?"
Gavin Smith, principal of Ambleside Hout Bay, writes in his Flourish article of challenge drawing the staff together and displaying God's providence.
Read here: https://www.amblesideschools.com/blog/teacher/gods-providence-flourish-volume-7
PC: Ambleside School of Hout Bay
“You can have all the hobbies you want but you need to make a living. You need to be able to support yourself.”
At 24, Krise Nowak, now a veteran teacher of Ambleside McLean, was struck by this advice. Read her story of making her hobby of plants into a living and vocation:
PC: NPS photo by Sally King of Tyuonyi Village from the Frey Trail in Bandelier National Monument
"My son is enjoying Robert Frost soooo much. He said how much he loved the word “aglitter” which described the snow melting, and he said he wants to use Frost’s line, “the woods are lovely, dark and deep.” So I suggested he begin a page in his narration book where he can add favorite Robert Frost quotes, lines, and words!" ~Pictured is an Ambleside Homeschool student and message from his mom
If we desire to see a 'love of learning' in our children, we must provide the nourishing food for their mind. We must engage with the children--sit next to, walk alongside, listen, draw attention to. We must watch and take notice of their interests and fill a 'tool box' of those tools that will 'compel' and 'inspire.' What are the 'levers' to encourage growth? We must be students ourselves who love to learn; whose heart skips a beat and eyes light up with newfound knowledge, wonder, and our own discoveries! We must be faithfully in awe. God's world is infinite as He is, and He offers us treasures on our journey. We just need to be looking!
Charlotte Mason wrote, "Poetry is, perhaps, the most searching and intimate of our teachers...Poetry, too, supplies us with tools for the modelling of our lives, and the use of these we must get at for ourselves. The line that strikes us as we read, that recurs, that we murmur over at odd moments––this is the line that influences our living, if it speak only––
"Of old, unhappy, far-off things,
And battles long ago."
A couplet such as this, though it appear to carry no moral weight, instructs our conscience more effectually than many wise saws. As we 'inwardly digest,' reverence comes to us unawares, gentleness, a wistful tenderness towards the past, a sense of continuance, and of a part to play that shall not be loud and discordant, but of a piece with the whole. This is one of the 'lessons never learned in schools' which comes to each of us only as we discover it for ourselves." ~"Ourselves" (Poetry as instructor of Conscience)
"suffering in the present life is no such mighty thing after all...We really can do a great deal towards forming the habit of steadfastness in the young people around us." ~Charlotte Mason
God's goodness in uncertain times. . .
"With no computers, the teachers improvised and used WhatsApp to make little videos for the children. It was frustrating, but the teachers persevered. Besides regular lessons, they included recitation of the Psalms and The Lord's Prayer in Bengali. An amazing response came from the parents themselves. Normally the parents work and struggle incessantly, having "no time" to know what is going on. Now, they had no choice but to listen in on the classes! They learned and were encouraged! They asked if they too could recite the prayer. It gave them comfort, they said. They listened to the recorded lessons and were blessed! The beautiful penmanship, the stories, the getting at the ideas, the conversations and prayer that the teachers were having with their children gave them a new appreciation for their children's education." ~Probhita Shew, Founder of the Ambleside School in Kolkata, India.
Read more of Flourish Volume 7 at https://www.amblesideschools.com/flourish
Flourish Volume 7 is out today! Our newsletter features articles written from our Ambleside community around the world telling stories of hope, growth, and God's provision.
"So wait before the Lord.
Wait in the stillness.
And in that stillness, assurance will come to you.
You will know that you are heard; you will know that your Lord ponders the voice of your humble desires; you will hear quiet words spoken to your yourself, perhaps to your grateful surprise and refreshment."
~Amy Carmichael, Irish missionary to India and poet
Amy Carmichael was a Christian missionary in India, who opened an orphanage and founded a mission in Dohnavur. She served in India for 55 years without furlough and wrote many books about the missionary work there. Given her calling, her words are all the more meaningful.
In 1931, Miss Carmichael had a severe fall, and, as a result, she remained bedridden for much of the last 20 years of her life. This did not stop her from continuing her inspirational writing; she published 16 additional books.
Carmichael died in India in 1951 at the age of 83. She asked that no stone be put over her grave at Dohnavur. Instead, the children she had cared for put a bird bath over it with the single inscription "Amma", which means mother in the Tamil language.
Her example as a missionary inspired others (including Jim Elliot and his wife Elisabeth Elliot) to pursue a similar vocation.
Ambleside School of Boerne
Veterans Day for Ambleside School of Boerne is not just another day. Half of our board and staff members have immediate familial ties to our armed forces. Our students hearts are shaped by the songs they sing and poems they memorize to honor our veterans.
Happy Veterans Day!
Thank you to Boerne AFJROTC for posting the colors and St. John Lutheran Church for the use of your beautiful sanctuary.
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Curriculum includes academic and fun activities that build creativity, teamwork, critical thinking, reasoning & analysis, all while having fun!
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