Ambleside Schools International Articles
Seeds to Sow – Financial Assistance for Training & Curriculum
I was first introduced and drawn to Charlotte Mason’s voice through Susan Schaeffer Macaulay’s book For the Children’s Sake. I was homeschooling our oldest daughter and seeking God in my need to grow my understanding of educating our children.
We started visiting Christian schools and the second school we visited was an Ambleside school. The Head of School answered our questions and we knew we were in the right place. We decided to take that next step, trusting that God would provide the tuition — which He did miraculously.
Over the next six years at the school, our family grew from five to eight. I was also growing in understanding the heart of true education through Ambleside. I had been meeting with other moms and reading Charlotte Mason regularly. That was when I was given the opportunity to attend the Ambleside Parent Internship training.
At the same time, our family had a growing passion to bring the light of Christ into a dark place. We felt moved to share our lives with a people group overseas. We knew school would look a lot different in a homeschool setting overseas. I needed support and a place to speak and be heard as we settled.
In preparation, I visited the Ambleside School of Colorado and was again given free tuition to attend the Three-Day Internship — a gift from ASI to us. I met Maryellen and Bill St. Cyr and was so struck by them sharing that education is a science of relationships. I saw this embodied through my personal experience at the internship. I was under their shepherding and knew that they would also be praying for us. This education grew my appetite for Christ.
Moving overseas was like being replanted. The prayer of our hearts was that God would plant us in this new soil, but it wasn’t anything like we had grown in before. I really felt at that time that we were just taken under the wings of ASI. They supported us like a tender, understanding gardener discerning our needs.
Ambleside mentors supported us in prayer, through weekly and monthly calls, in fellowship with the homeschool community around the world, and with the practical support of creating this atmosphere and training in habits in our new home. There was a lot of setup and just practical things to do, which isn’t easy in the place where we were.
While overseas, we had three Ambleside homeschool mentors. They helped me create our schedules, listened to our day and happenings, and weaved in the colorful threads of knowledge of Charlotte Mason. My mentors were also interested in our new surroundings and neighbors. I felt that they were seeking to see well and bring good counsel to us right where we were.
Ambleside was both celebrating and struggling with us as we were entering this world as new language and culture learners. Ambleside listened well and was in tune with God’s Spirit in my life. I was being sharpened as an educator.
We thought, this is such a beautiful place, and wondered what could God be doing here? Could we grow this education outside of our walls? But instead, more often, we were sharing what was happening in our home with people as they came in. Art by Rembrandt on the walls, seeing the portrayal of the storm of the sea of Galilee … it was wonderful to open that up and share that with people.
ASI was offering a steady, empowering kindness and helping us to seek out what God had for us in the midst of that changing landscape. At the end of the school day, my mentor was a beacon of wisdom and inspiration in applying Charlotte Mason to our day-to-day lessons.
We unexpectedly had to leave due to the pandemic. My Ambleside mentorship along the way and access to Ambleside tools, helped me grow in my experience overseas. It really prepared me as we returned to the States. This year we were able to come to back to our original Ambleside school and our kids were able to return to their classrooms. And, with all the educational support from ASI, I was actually able to begin teaching this year at our Ambleside school.
Through our 25 Ambleside Member Schools and our Ambleside Homeschooling program, we are continually inspired by how providing A Living Education for students also sows vital seeds in the lives of families and parents.
Daily, circumstances arise that allow our leadership, teachers, and school administrators the opportunity to come alongside like “a tender, understanding gardener discerning” the hardships of those we serve.
Charlotte Mason once asked a new teacher what purpose she had in being trained by her. The teacher said, “I have come to learn to teach.” To that she replied, “My dear, you have come here to learn how to live.”
It’s because of you and your generous gifts that our Ambleside Seed program is able to assist those who cannot afford the Ambleside curriculum and training — and like “Mrs. Foris,” they too are taught how to learn to live.
Some 70% of our funding is through curriculum and fees from member schools, homeschooling, and training events. Ambleside Schools International’s mission and ministry is also fulfilled through your generous support of our trainers and mentors.
The consistency of the Ambleside Method of education is keenly important in today’s world, and we are grateful that you share our calling to bring it to our home communities and those “in a dark place.”
We are blessed to see your investment in the Ambleside Seed program return in such abundance in the fruit of the families such as these that faithfully sow the seeds of A Living Education in our global community.
This story was shared by Mrs. Foris