I stumbled upon this site yesterday (I have heard of it before, but I never looked it up.), and at first glance, it seems like a godsend for those of us who are at a loss as to schedules and what to teach when.
I’m wondering if anyone on this forum has used this resource with what success? I am especially interested in any “expert” opinions about a set curriculum.
Thanks for the help! Faith 🙂CindySParticipant
I am using some of the recommendations from Ambleside. I tried to incorporate quite a bit of it but it got to be too much. They say to pick and choose, so perhaps I jumped in too quickly. Some of the books are great, some are really hard. Some things I could not see the purpose of. When I happened upon Simply Charlotte Mason, I was refreshed with Sonya and Karen’s curriculum guide. I would recommend, if you would choose to use Ambleside, that you really review the books to make sure your children can handle them.
I’m no expert, but I do have an opinion 🙂 on a ‘set curriculum.’ If you are speaking of a curriculum that includes all subjects, I think that it takes away your ability to give gentle nudges where your children struggle, and big pushes where they are gifted. I also think it reduces the ability of your children to pursue their own interests when the sparks of curiousity ignite.
Ending abruptly as daughter dumps wrong ingredient in dessert!
We used it off and on for a couple of years. Even before it was AO. My issue was that it was too much for me to handle with many small children in different levels. Also, none of my children up until my 4th who is 5 have been early readers. Most of mine do not take off till around 11 – 12 years old and that means a lot of reading when you have 3 in 3 different levels. There was no way my older ones could handle the material in AO without me reading.
But, my BIGGEST thing that I LOVE about SCM is its Biblical Worldview. Not all things come from a Christian perspecitve but much of it does. AO is developed by Christians but I dont feel it has a strong of base as SCM.
I’ve used AO also for several years. I always have trouble with “set” curricula! I always want to tweak here and there and suit this child better and end up adjusting and tweaking so much I lost the benefit of the predone schedule. Also I concur with the above posters who had some difficulties with some book suggestions. I also had to dump some books–I do want my older children to read mythology, for instance, but I don’t want them totally saturated in it! I think the issue that finally pointed out to me how much more “in tune” Sonya and Karen are with my own ideas was the constant Shakespeare play reading—three a year, when there are so many plays I just do NOT want to read to a ten-year-old! I think they ended up changing it, but I downloaded the stuff one year to find the Merry Wives of Windsor on the rotation. Uh, NOT in this house!
That said, there are some terrific books over there. We’ve “migrated” a few with us and just include them in our schedules how we want. I’m particularly fond of the nature reading books on AO. But I found it very easy to add my favorite AO books to the Curriculum Guide here, and then schedule them easily in the CM Organizer. Simple!gr8tfulCMmomParticipant
I have to also agree with all of the above. AO has some great book suggestions, and I’ve culled out those I want for my family. I also enjoy their poem, artist & composer lists. I’m not familiar with those subjects, so it helps me to focus our studies. I’m ashamed to admit, I wouldn’t even know poets, artists or composers TO study without some sort of guideline. It just wasn’t a part of my upbringing. But in whole, SCM is our primary source for guidance.
I have to admit, I like the artist and composer modules here at SCM much better. We are getting a much greater variety and we are enjoying switching every six weeks. We kind of “mush” poetry between the two and then add some other favorite books of mine because I really, really like poetry! The ds’s not so much yet, though. 🙁 Perhaps one day.gr8tfulCMmomParticipant
You are SO RIGHT! This is a much larger supply of names! I had just gotten caught up in AO’s cause they supply all the music (links & downloads), poems (online to print), and pictures (online to print) through their yahoo groups. As a newbie, it was just so much easier for me to point and click. Now that you’ve said that, I went back and looked. Forgive me all, she’s right! Better choices. And now that I have a little more experience under my belt, I know all the tricks & tips to get the music & prints myself easily. Thanks Bookworm, I’m glad you took me back there.hvfth99Member
Thanks to all who have responded to my request! You have helped me immensely! As I was navigating the sight, I got caught up in all of the scheduling and plans right there for you, but, on further exploration of SCM’s guide, they do essentially the same thing. I somehow missed exploring that aspect of this website! I’m so glad you’ve all opened my eyes to it!!!! I was concerned about Ambleside’s history as they openly said the books they use taught evolution! I’m not at all interested in that! I’m very grateful for the time you all have taken for me! Thanks so much! This once again proves how much of an answer to prayer this site has been to me!
I am wrestling with the idea of mythology. My son is 14 so it isn’t an age issue really. I’m just not sure about teaching it at all. I noticed Bookworm that you said you did want your older children to read it. Is there a particular reason why you feel this way? Our oldest (19) never did mythology. It does not seem to be an issue with her and her college studies. I’m just curious to know if there is something beneficial in teaching it. I welcome anyone’s feedback. Thank you. Angie
I have two main reasons for wanting my older children to have some exposure to pagan mythology.
1. Literary allusions. There are SO MANY allusions to mythology in literature! Even magazine articles today. I see them everywhere! You’ll be forever “out of the loop” and not understanding the author’s intent if you have no idea what “Achilles’heel” means. Or what a “siren song” is. Or a “Pandora’s box” These are pretty obvious ones, but there are subtler ones. What does an author mean when he accuses someone of “flying too close to the sun”? You miss a lot if you cannot get the meaning from these. Fortunately you can look up some of the obvious ones if you have to, and also fortunately, you really don’t need to immerse yourself in the stuff to get a lot of meaning from these allusions. But I think it’s worthwhile to understand them. The influence on literature has been so profound that I think it foolhardy to totally ignore it.
2. Worldview. Older children are often ready for deeper discussions of worldview. I owe my understanding of this to Michelle Miller, the author of the Truthquest guides. But the pagan mythology stories aren’t simply random stories. They illustrate so much of who the Greeks, the Romans, the Scandinavians, were, and what they believed and felt. And given the deep and profound influence of these societies on Western civilization, it is a worthwhile study to try to figure out what these stories say about these people, and why God’s Word is vitally different. What does it say about Greeks that their chief god, Zeus, was a womanizing beast, and his wife was a jealous and spiteful shrew? Worth pondering and discussing with older students.
That said, everyone has to decide what is right for their own children. I’m trying to send mine off prepared to critically evaluate and confront our current culture, and mythology has a lot of bearing on this.dgautMember
Thank you Bookworm. I see your point of view and appreciate your response.
- The topic ‘Ambleside Online’ is closed to new replies.