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Watchwords — Person

We are all one flesh, we are all of one spirit; persons are interested in all persons; and whatever any of us does or suffers is interesting to the rest. 1


A foundational principle of the Ambleside method is “Children are born persons.” Understanding what “person” means here is key!


Perhaps the main part of a child’s education should be concerned with the great human relationships, relationships of love and service, of authority and obedience, of reverence and pity and neighborly kindness; relationships to kin and friend and neighbor, to ’cause’ and country and kind, to the past and the present. History, literature, archeology, art, languages, whether ancient or modern, travel and tales of travel; all of these are in one way or other the record or the expression of persons.


If we will approach children with living thought, living books, if we will only awaken in them the sense of personal relation, there are thousands of boys and girls to-day capable of becoming apostles, saviors, great orientalists who will draw the East and the West together, great archeologists who will make the past alive for us and make us aware in our souls of persons who lived thousands of years ago.


Questions to Consider

  • What of human relationships are you reading which connects you with living thought about persons?
  • Give description of this thought, why is it living and what does it stir in you regarding the human relationships? With oneself? With others?

1 Charlotte Mason, School Education (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., 1989), 80-81 (paraphrased).