Topic | Ambleside


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  • Kczink

    Hi again … Forgot to mention I am very new to this and just starting to explore CM, but I’m curious about how the online Ambleside curriculum fits in with SCM? Two completely separate sites but just wondering if is another resource like SCM?


    Hi there! Ambleside Online is a free Charlotte Mason curriculum. It’s a bit more intense than SCM and most of the books used there are old while SCM balances old books with newer ones.

    I suggest browsing the free curriculum guide here at SCM and doing the same at Ambleside Online to get a better feel for each of them.

    We use resources from both SCM and AO, as I prefer to put together my own plans.


    I also wanted to add that SCM uses more Christian resources and most SCM recommendations have a Christian worldview.

    AO uses many Christian resources and the curriculum designers are certainly Christian. However they do pull from all kinds of resources. For instance, you will find science and history books that start with evolution. As the children get older, some of the books have curse words and discuss rather adult themes.



    Another difference between the two is that AO has children each at their own level for most subjects, while SCM combines them as much as possible.  Some families prefer to learn together as much as possible, while others like more individual lessons with just a few family subjects.

    Like Melanie, we’ve used resources from both places, although I prefer SCM’s method of combining them for most things.  We have used AO for poetry & folk songs.  It also has some wonderful resources and is a great place for finding book substitutions if needed.   They also have some nice free reading book lists by grade (although I tend to look at a grade or two behind my DC’s actual grades).


    I agree with everything Holly said.

    Ambleside is a great resource and I refer to their book lists often.  I also look a grade or so behind my kids actual grades because I find that the books on Ambleside are quite challenging.

    My biggest reason for using SCM more than Ambleside, though, is that their curriculum isn’t set up in such a way that I could combine my kids for history and science.  I much prefer for the kids to all be studying the same history and science at the same time.  Therefore, although I find it an excellent resource, AO is not a good fit for me overall.


    And I’m finding that separating my dc is best for us, at this time in our lives, anyway. We will still use Spelling Wisdom/Using Language Well, picture and music study from SCM (and possibly another source as well, still undecided on that). We may do pic/music study together at times, but I’m preparing for when I need them to work on their own separate fine art studies.

    For us, family studies depend too much on me and that is just not always possible right now. We’re going to use AO for our main studies and other resources here and there as needed.

    I think this goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway. Even if you love the curriculum to death, you may not be able to use it all as-written, each and every year. One state’s requirements or one family’s academic standards (or dynamics) may differ greatly from another and that will impact how, why and what you use, even if it it’s still CM style. I never really thought AO would appeal to me the way that it does, but during this season of life (and maybe forever, I just don’t know), it is a great help to me.  At the same time, there are too many good resources here at SCM that I have no intentions on changing because they’re working just fine 🙂

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