Charlotte Mason’s Principles

Principles of Charlotte Mason - Philosophy of Edication bookA few of the many principles held by Charlotte Mason that we follow at Ambleside School of the Adirondacks.  Charlotte’s principles are just a few of the many reason’s why an Ambleside education may worth considering for your child.

  • Children are born persons—neither good nor bad, but with possibilities for good and for evil.
  • Principles of authority and obedience are natural, necessary, and fundamental, but they are limited by the respect due the personhood of children.
  • This personhood must not be encroached upon, whether by the direct use of fear, love, suggestion, or influence, or by playing on a child’s natural desire.
  • Teachers, thus, are limited to three educational tools: atmosphere and environment; the discipline of habit; and the presentation of living ideas.
  • Education is an atmosphere does not mean bringing the world to a child’s level. It means considering the educational value of his atmosphere—both the persons and the things in it.
  • Education is a discipline means developing the discipline of habits of mind and body, formed definitely and thoughtfully. The brain is shaped by habits.
  • Education is a life means that children need intellectual and moral—as well as physical—nutrition. The mind feeds on ideas; thus children need a generous curriculum.
  • Education is the science of relations. A child relates to many things and thoughts; thus we train him in physical exercise, nature lore, handicrafts, science, art, and many living books. He requires much, varied knowledge that piques his curiosity.
  • Children are taught, when they can understand, that their chief responsibility as persons is to accept or reject ideas. To help them choose, we give principles of conduct, and offer a wide range of knowledge. These principles should help children avoid some of the loose thinking and heedless action that cause us to live at a lower level than we need.
  • We allow no separation between the intellectual and spiritual life of children. Rather, we teach them that the Divine Spirit has access to their spirits, and is their continual Helper in all interests, duties, and joys of life.

Read more about Charlotte Mason on the Ambleside Schools International website