Building the Passion to Know

April 19, 2018
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Is the true goal of education to learn? Or is it to win a prize and impress others? “Build the character; build the love for learning; build the passion to know; build the discipline to work well – [and] all of that takes care of itself.” Ambleside Schools curriculum includes 16-17 subjects, following Charlotte Mason’s idea of the importance of giving children as many relationships as possible at the very beginning of their lives. Bill and Maryellen St. Cyr, of Ambleside Schools International, discuss how to direct students’ minds toward learning. “As a school, we’ve got to be very intentional about the kinds of relations we’re cultivating, and the kinds of ideas that are ceding those relations.

Bringing up Joyful Children Part 5: Questions and Answers

February 25, 2018
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Part 5 – Questions and Answers
Dr. Bill St. Cyr, Executive Director of Ambleside Schools International, answers questions on Bringing up Joyful Children.
 
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Bringing up Joyful Children Part 4: Additional Skills of Joy

February 25, 2018
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Part 4 – Additional Skills of Joy
In the final part of his series on “Bringing up Joyful Children,” Dr. Bill St. Cyr, Executive Director of Ambleside Schools International identifies: additional joy skills, the capacity to handle the six painful emotions and the ability to return to joy. Dr. St. Cyr concludes with several practical recommendations on how to build joy in the lives of our children.
 
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Bringing up Joyful Children Part 3: The Skills of Joy

February 25, 2018
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Part 3 – The Skills of Joy
The third part of a four-part series, Dr. Bill St. Cyr, Executive Director of Ambleside Schools International identifies three skills essential to building a joyful life: the capacity for shared joy; the capacity to delight in the Good, True and Beautiful; and the habit of sweet thoughts.
 
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Bringing up Joyful Children Part 2: The Constituents of Joy

February 25, 2018
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Part 2 – The Constituents of Joy
The second part of a four-part series, Dr. Bill St. Cyr, Executive Director of Ambleside Schools International explores the fundamental constituents of a joyful existence: belonging, security, fruitfulness, and contentment.
 
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Bringing up Joyful Children Part 1: The Definition of Joy

February 25, 2018
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Part 1 – The Definition of Joy

The first part of a four-part series, Dr. Bill St. Cyr, Executive Director of Ambleside Schools International gives us the definition of joy: providing examples of what it is and is not, contrasting it with happiness, and establishing it as a foundation of character.

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Establish a Strategy

February 17, 2018
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Habit formation is an exercise in formation, cultivation, and helping children grow up – it is not an exercise in controlling the child for one’s own comfort. Proper habit formation includes an inspiring Idea, a joyful working alliance, and establishing a strategy. Bill St. Cyr, of Ambleside Schools International, discusses the important steps in exercising a strategy for growth. “When we act with what Charlotte Mason calls Tact, Watchfulness, and Persistence, then we find in the child those rails of habit laid down which will lead them to easily, smoothly, have the kind of relationships with God, self, others, work, the whole created universe, that we long for our children to have.”

Building a Working Alliance

February 16, 2018
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There has been a revolution in brain science in the discovery of the brain’s ability to form and reorganize neurological connections– neuroplasticity. Charlotte Mason argued for neuroplasticity 120 years ago: “Habit is to life what rails are to transport cars.” When we learn a new habit, we get a new brain as a result of these new neural connections. How do we train in the habit of managing distress well? Persevering when head and hand are tired? Bill St. Cyr of Ambleside Schools International points out that we are always training in habit. …The only question is, “Are you training good habits or bad habits?”

Training Good Habits

February 15, 2018
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How do adults effectively support children in habit formation? Habits are best cultivated in a relational manner that reflects genuine care; Charlotte Mason describes this relationship as the “friendly ally.” Adults have to lay down the rails, do the leg work, stand beside the child,  remain consistent, always joyful to be with the child. Bill St. Cyr, of Ambleside Schools International, discusses how to cultivate a habit of humility, beginning with sowing an idea and building an alliance around an idea.

What is a Habit?

February 14, 2018
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How do we lift children above what is their nature? Charlotte Mason wrote, “Habits are to life as rails are to a train.” Bill St. Cyr, of Ambleside Schools International, discusses the role habit formation plays in the lives of individuals. “Charlotte Mason was a hundred years ahead of her time when it comes to her understand of how the brain functions. She knew that when a habit was formed, there was a change in the very grey matter of the brain. We now know much more clearly how that happens.” At Ambleside Schools, worthy habits, such as habits of kindness, attention, and careful work are intentionally and carefully formed in our students.

How Much Does the Student Care?

February 13, 2018
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Charlotte Mason wrote, “The question is not, - how much does the youth know? When he has finished his education -- But how much does he care? And about how many orders of things does he care? Dr. Bill St. Cyr of Ambleside® Schools International discusses the role atmosphere plays in cultivating relationships affinities toward history, grammar, science and mathematics. ”Who’s going to be the student that grows to his God-given ability? The student who cares.”

As you listen, use our study guides to assist you in making meaningful connections and increasing comprehension and memory.

Worthy Work

February 12, 2018
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How do we support or undermine the proper attitude toward worthy work? Charlotte Mason writes that it begins with work that is intrinsically satisfying. Poor habits of thinking may overrule a sense of satisfaction with worthy work, and the most well-intentioned adults may inadvertently contaminate the atmosphere. “How do atmospheres get contaminated? They can get contaminated, not only by teacher anxiety,  but by the use of artificial rewards and incentives, which demean the joy of knowing, and they demean the student’s capacity for intrinsic motivation.”

Artificial incentives communicate that it is impossible to enjoy history, mathematics, science and literature in and of themselves; we just endure these parts of education to appease the adults and get to the “good stuff”- pizza and a movie.

Dr. Bill St. Cyr of Ambleside® Schools International discusses the sub-text implications of a reward based approach to work.

As you listen, use our study guides to assist you in making meaningful connections and increasing comprehension and memory.

Cultivating Tastes

February 11, 2018
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Cultivating children’s tastes and directing their affections toward what is good, true, and beautiful begins with the development of deeply satisfying relationships with worthy literature, music, art, and more, as well as with a consistent habit of working well. “The atmosphere, the way in which work is talked about, the way in which work is engaged… that will communicate everything to a child about they will relate, how they should relate to work. In a place where hard work is normal, . . . where sweat is part of life, and when staying on task even when head and hand are tired is a good thing, a noble thing; it’s what we ought to do; that’s what we all do here,” children see work as a normal part of life. Charlotte Mason described the deeply satisfying nature of completing set work with excellence; this good and noble habit is cultivated in students at Ambleside® schools and homeschools. Dr. Bill St. Cyr and Maryellen St. Cyr of Ambleside® Schools International discuss the importance of setting an atmosphere that supports a noble approach to work.

As you listen, use our study guides to assist you in making meaningful connections and increasing comprehension and memory.

Aesthetics and Atmosphere

February 10, 2018
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As you listen, use our study guide to assist you in making meaningful connections and increasing comprehension and memony.

Masterly Inactivity

February 9, 2018
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As you listen, use our study guide to assist you in making meaningful connections and increasing comprehension and memony.

The Teacher and the Atmosphere

February 8, 2018
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The role of the teacher or parent in setting a classroom atmosphere of joy and order hinges on the nature of authority between the adult and the students. Does the teacher lead with an authoritarian or authoritative role? The authoritarian teacher leads by anxious and controlling means, setting an unpredictable and fragile atmosphere that squelches a student’s love of learning, desire for growth, and sense of joy and peace.  The authoritative teacher, as described by Charlotte Mason in School Education, leads as a person authorized by another, with immovable fixed principles in all matters of importance. Proper authoritative leadership lives peacefully under authority and is moved only by responsibility and what is good and right; selfish wants and needs are quickly dismissed. At Ambleside® schools and homeschools, weakness is not seen as a disturbance, but rather as an opportunity for discipleship; “It is good to be me here with you. . . . We’re going to figure out a strategy to help you move in a more life-giving direction.” Dr. Bill St. Cyr and Maryellen St. Cyr of Ambleside® Schools International discuss the distinctives of a proper approach to authority in the classroom that fosters an atmosphere of joy, curiosity, exploration, learning, and peace.

As you listen, use our study guide to assist you in making meaningful connections and increasing comprehension and memony.

Cultivating an Atmosphere for Learning

February 1, 2018
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How Atmosphere Sets Our Affections

January 29, 2018
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As you listen, use our study guides to assist you in making meaningful connections and increasing comprehension and memory.

The Foundations of Joy

January 28, 2018
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As you listen, use our study guides to assist you in making meaningful connections and increasing comprehension and memory.


 Chapter 1: The Foundation of Joy from Ambleside Schools International on Vimeo.

How is the Student Growing?

January 26, 2018
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Welcome to our video introduction to Ambleside Schools International and the Ambleside Method. We hope you find these videos both informative and inspirational. 

As you listen, use our study guide to assist you in making meaningful connections and increasing comprehension and memory. 


Part 1: Persons or Products? from Ambleside Schools International on Vimeo.