from . . . Megan Krober, M. Ed., Ambleside School principal
Ambleside of the Willamette Valley school was founded in Newberg in the fall of 2017 with 27 students and 13 families. It is the first Ambleside school west of Denver. Our school is a member school of Ambleside Schools International (ASI), an organization based on the educational methods of Charlotte Mason, who lived in the early twentieth century. Mason was an author, educator, and thinker who believed that children are created in the image of God, meaning they are limitless in their giftings and capacity to learn.
Through the Ambleside Method, students are trained to think and discuss ideas rather than complete a worksheet or a closed activity such as a fill in the blank or multiple choice. Our students engage mind to mind with great authors, composers, and thinkers from many generations. As they discuss, wrestle, and engage, these works inform them about what the author seeks to communicate, unlike a more traditional approach with the teacher at the center, telling them what to think, say, and do. In addition, all work is generated by the student, creating a truly authentic learning experience.
While students learn from the masters, we also allow time for the one true teacher, the Holy Spirit, to engage. We begin each day together in assembly with a time of quiet reflection; this allows us to start with a calm, reflective, and centered posture. At Ambleside, as much time is given to educating our students’ affections and heart formation as is spent on their academic growth. We are educating for the eulogy, not for the resumé or the next test or quiz. To this end, we believe who students are becoming is equal to what they know.
All of our teachers participate in intensive training provided through ASI and ongoing training throughout the year in which we read and discuss ideas centered around Mason’s method. This is a comprehensive approach to education where all are “twice blessed,” as Charlotte Mason would say, for both the teacher and student grow in tandem.
As a community, we are grateful to be here at Newberg Friends. We are humbled by the warm welcome and the care given to help us settle in. We look forward to seeing many of you around, hopefully at our weekly chapel on Wednesdays from 8 to 8:30 a.m., when we come together for hymns, student recitation, and the opportunity to hear from a guest speaker. This year, our theme is JOY!
Be joyful always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18