We must go back to the axiom of Augustine, “The soul of man is for God, as God is for the soul.” The soul has one appetite, for the things of God; breathes one air, the breath, the Spirit of God; has one desire, for the knowledge of God; one only joy, in the face of God. “I want to live in the Light of a Countenance which never ceases to smile upon me” is the language of the soul. The direct action of the soul is all Godward, with a reflex action towards men. The speech of the soul is prayer and praise, the right hand of the soul is faith, the light of the soul is love, the love of God shed abroad upon it.
— Charlotte Mason


There is no greater truth than the love of God revealed in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is in the love of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit that we discover fullness of life.

Thus, parent and teacher have no greater responsibility than cultivating a child's joyful and obedient relationship with a loving God.

With this in mind, the Ambleside community assembles each morning to acknowledge God through prayer and praise. Students study the Bible daily, not merely as an academic discipline, but to experience how this holy mystery —God with man — is revealed in the Old and New Testaments.

Chapel and meditative reading are part of our school’s weekly routine. Reliance upon the Father’s guiding love is part of our school’s daily rhythm. As parents, teachers, and students relate with one another and with their communities, they endeavor to move toward one another in genuine love.

The employees of Ambleside School of Fredericksburg and hail from diverse backgrounds. However, they share a common commitment to Jesus Christ and the central teachings of the New Testament. All Ambleside faculty and staff affirm the Nicene Creed and Ambleside Code of Personal Conduct.

The Discipline of Habit

At Ambleside, we consider the process of student work to be as important as the end product. Rather than developing persons who are able to study well for the next exam, we are interested in helping students develop a life of study. We ask the questions: Did she attend? Did he put forth effort? And was she thorough? We believe school is not just an institution to get through, but rather a place to develop habits that will serve children the rest of their lives.

The Importance of Delight and of Struggle

Children will naturally delight in the feast of great ideas set before them. They will savor them and grow in the ability to enjoy and celebrate their relations with persons, ideas, and creation. But they will also at times struggle. We consider the struggle to be as essential to the learning process as the delight. Children must learn to labor with problems not yet grasped, to remain on task when uncertain of the outcome, to struggle to completion when mind and hand are tired, to experience the rewards and negative consequences of their actions. There will be no growth in character without the struggle. Foremost among the enemies of the delight and the struggle necessary for the cultivation of a learner are entertainment and indulgence. In the classroom, entertainment and indulgence both encourage passivity. To grow, a student must be strenuously engaged in the work of learning. Thus, Ambleside teachers, while often creative in their presentations, make no effort to entertain their students. Ambleside teachers, while being loving, will not be indulgent.

The Priority of the Relational Life

Children live in relationship with God, self, others, creation, and the world of ideas. These relationships are cultivated in the educational process through a broad, challenging curriculum and a faculty that seeks to relate to students, parents, and one another in accordance with the principles of Jesus Christ.

A Stimulating, Non-Competitive Atmosphere

In an atmosphere of sincerity and truth, students are free to learn for the pleasure of learning. Students do not compete with their peers for rank, grades or prizes. Learning is the focus, not besting a classmate. Real life is placed before the students to study and discuss. Students are stimulated to observe, explore, and understand.

Education as Vital, Dynamic, Living

Real learning occurs when the learner wonders, asks why and how. And it needs to happen in an atmosphere that stimulates thought, in an atmosphere rich with ideas. Our objective is to place the very best books before our students, books rich in content and ideas, putting them into relationship with the finest authors. Through the use of “living books” students interact with scientists, mathematicians, philosophers, historians, artists, poets, and explorers.

The Infinite Dignity and Potential of Each Child

Because children are born in God’s image, they are therefore born with great potential for a fruitful and full life of interests and relationships. At Ambleside, children are not identified or limited by their strengths or weaknesses. All children participate in a broad, rigorous curriculum—all children calculate, solve, attend, explore, ponder, recite, paint and sing. The expectation that prevails within the school is that all students will learn and grow to their full potential as persons and attain their vast inheritance.