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    experiences using Ambleside Online or Mater Amabilis?

    Would any previous Ambleside Online or Mater Amabilis users be willing to share their experiences with that? I'm interested in how those curricula compare to and differ from Memoria Press. I'm still on the fence about which way to go on this. Thanks!

    Emily
    2019-20
    DS--9, 3M/4M
    DD--7, mix of 1 and 2
    DD--5, MP K
    DS--3
    DS--1

    #2
    Re: experiences using Ambleside Online or Mater Amabilis?

    I can't tell you how I compare, considering the fact that I am about to do the kindergarten core this upcoming year, but I do plan on using the Memoria Press core and supplementing with Ambleside online readings starting Year 1. We may skip the Memoria first grade literature, science, and culture enrichment and just focus on the ambleside online readings. I really like how Memoria Press gives children a solid foundation in the three R's. Memoria Press and Ambleside seem to be my two favorite curriculums out of everything out there, so I would like to see if somehow I can mesh the two. I think it will be a learn as you go type of thing.
    -Alexandra
    Abel (9) MP 4/ Lydia 7.5) MP A3/ James (6) First Start Reading and Rod and Staff 1/ Micah (4)/ Nathanael (2)/ Silas Born 7/13/2019

    Comment


      #3
      Re: experiences using Ambleside Online or Mater Amabilis?

      We used Ambleside Online briefly a couple of years ago. There are so many things I really like about it, especially the great book selections. It is a different method that MP, though. I actually wrote a blog post about it awhile ago here: URL="http://www.hungryschooler.com/ambleside-online/"

      At the end of my post I explained my reasons for choosing all MP over AO, which are basically:
      -AO uses more of a huge scope approach with little mastery.
      -We wanted more than just narrations.
      -It's not quite classical enough in its focus (no real emphasis on Latin and doesn't use the progymnasmata for writing).
      -We can still use the booklist and use their ideas for slowly rotating through different read alouds.

      AO really is a great resource and I think its great that these moms have put it together and are offering it free online. With such high quality book choices a kid would get a great education with AO. But, I do think they get an even better one with MP, which includes wonderful literature, poetry, Shakespeare, etc. but also has excellent Latin courses and a fantastic writing program.

      Just my $.02 .
      2018/2019
      Dd 12: MP 7A and First Form Greek
      Ds 10: MP 5M
      Ds 5: MP K

      Comment


        #4
        Re: experiences using Ambleside Online or Mater Amabilis?

        Thank you both for your comments!
        You make some excellent points regarding the differences. I will keep this in mind!
        2019-20
        DS--9, 3M/4M
        DD--7, mix of 1 and 2
        DD--5, MP K
        DS--3
        DS--1

        Comment


          #5
          Re: experiences using Ambleside Online or Mater Amabilis?

          We did AO for a couple of years. It never really felt cohesive. I like the idea of it, but it is Charlotte Mason, not classical. We found classical works much better for us. I also found it didn't really save me time or much money, and I was filling in with workbooks (many from MP), anyhow. DC still doesn't read on an eReader so I needed to buy everything in print. While there is some wonderful lit, I felt I needed to pre-read everything because there was some odd/ old stuff, too.

          We're approaching high school, but the way the elementary MP packages are coming together now are very similar to what we actually did in K-4 that worked (Rod and Staff English was really what kept us from jumping into MP sooner since we would have subbed math, too).

          At this point we use MP as our foundation. Even if we find a particular MP product isn't a perfect fit, we know what needs to go into that "slot" on the schedule for a complete education.

          HTH
          Bean. Long time MP user.

          DD- 9th grade aerospace enthusiast. Using a mix of dual credit, online and classical materials for 2019-2020.

          Comment


            #6
            Re: experiences using Ambleside Online or Mater Amabilis?

            Emily,
            Have you read the newer book Consider This by Karen Glass? I think it might pull a few things together for you about Charlotte Mason and classical ed. I really enjoyed it this summer. I won't go into it in full detail here but to say it shortly, I describe our homeschool as traditional classical using MP and I use Charlotte Mason as my mothering philosophy. She's me a mentor for me in all our time, not simply the school hours. I think one of her best principles is that education is about relating things to other things, connecting dots, and making connections.
            Another great resource on this is Cindy Rollins. You can find her at www.morningtimemoms.blogspot.com or many articles and audio at www.circeinstitute.com
            If I can find a long post I wrote about this elsewhere on the forum I'll repost it here later.
            Best wishes,
            Festina lentē,
            Jessica P

            SY2019-2020 · 8th MP Year
            @ Home, HLN, & MPOA
            S · 10th, MPOA Henle 3
            D · 8th
            D · 5th
            S · 2nd

            Highlands Latin Nashville Cottage School

            Comment


              #7
              Re: experiences using Ambleside Online or Mater Amabilis?

              Originally posted by pickandgrin View Post
              I describe our homeschool as traditional classical using MP and I use Charlotte Mason as my mothering philosophy.
              I never thought of it, but that would describe us as well. Perfect!
              Bean. Long time MP user.

              DD- 9th grade aerospace enthusiast. Using a mix of dual credit, online and classical materials for 2019-2020.

              Comment


                #8
                Re: experiences using Ambleside Online or Mater Amabilis?

                Originally posted by pickandgrin View Post
                Emily,
                Have you read the newer book Consider This by Karen Glass? I think it might pull a few things together for you about Charlotte Mason and classical ed. I really enjoyed it this summer. I won't go into it in full detail here but to say it shortly, I describe our homeschool as traditional classical using MP and I use Charlotte Mason as my mothering philosophy. She's me a mentor for me in all our time, not simply the school hours. I think one of her best principles is that education is about relating things to other things, connecting dots, and making connections.
                Another great resource on this is Cindy Rollins. You can find her at www.morningtimemoms.blogspot.com or many articles and audio at www.circeinstitute.com
                If I can find a long post I wrote about this elsewhere on the forum I'll repost it here later.
                Best wishes,
                Thank you! I should probably get that book--I have had my eye on it for a couple of months. What I've heard and read by Cindy Rollins is what has me wondering about giving the Ambleside route a try. I did see your post where you commented on using CM as a mothering philosophy, which has also given me a different way of looking at it.

                Thanks to everyone for their comments
                2019-20
                DS--9, 3M/4M
                DD--7, mix of 1 and 2
                DD--5, MP K
                DS--3
                DS--1

                Comment


                  #9
                  Re: experiences using Ambleside Online or Mater Amabilis?

                  Originally posted by Emilylovesbooks View Post
                  Thank you! I should probably get that book--I have had my eye on it for a couple of months. What I've heard and read by Cindy Rollins is what has me wondering about giving the Ambleside route a try. I did see your post where you commented on using CM as a mothering philosophy, which has also given me a different way of looking at it.

                  Thanks to everyone for their comments
                  I am very glad that this came up...This was my issue last year...It still haunts me...I no longer think that I will try Ambleside, but I listen to the way Cindy Rollins describes her days, and it is very attractive to me...What I hear of Charlotte Mason is attractive to me...

                  It is very helpful for me to read and discuss the merits of a classical education...I envy those of you who know exactly what you want and why...I am not so lucky...I decided to use MP cores after using some MP products that has worked well for us this year...I also really love the things I have read over the last couple of years in The Classical Teacher...I heard Martin Cothran speak once and really liked what he had to say...But those thoughts are always there, the ones that tell me my days should be easy; we should just read, narrate, and discuss; we won't ever be able to accomplish a classical education with our terrible habits and former track record...

                  Having a conviction about classical education is what I feel will help to silence those voices...Part of the reason I am even going to the retreat is to help me in that area...If I am not certain of what I am doing and why, I will talk myself into doing something else...I have done that many times over the last few years...I came from a Waldorf background, and I was completely convinced of that at that time...Once that fell apart for me, it has been difficult ever since...

                  Anyhow, this is probably more than anyone wanted to know
                  Tahara

                  Homeschooling two boys
                  DS -19 (9/4/00) Homeschool graduate, 2nd year in college
                  DS -15 (9/9/04) (SN) MP Year 8 w/ FF Latin
                  DS -13 (7/3/06) MP Year 8 w/ FF Latin

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Re: experiences using Ambleside Online or Mater Amabilis?

                    Tahara,
                    Have you read Consider This? It's meaty. I heartily recommend it! And, I can't wait to talk with you at the Sodalitas Gathering!!
                    Festina lentē,
                    Jessica P

                    SY2019-2020 · 8th MP Year
                    @ Home, HLN, & MPOA
                    S · 10th, MPOA Henle 3
                    D · 8th
                    D · 5th
                    S · 2nd

                    Highlands Latin Nashville Cottage School

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Re: experiences using Ambleside Online or Mater Amabilis?

                      Originally posted by pickandgrin View Post
                      Tahara,
                      Have you read Consider This? It's meaty. I heartily recommend it! And, I can't wait to talk with you at the Sodalitas Gathering!!
                      I have not read this yet, but was considering getting it to read over the summer...
                      Tahara

                      Homeschooling two boys
                      DS -19 (9/4/00) Homeschool graduate, 2nd year in college
                      DS -15 (9/9/04) (SN) MP Year 8 w/ FF Latin
                      DS -13 (7/3/06) MP Year 8 w/ FF Latin

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Re: experiences using Ambleside Online or Mater Amabilis?

                        Tahara,
                        I think you're on a great path now! It is hard to always be second guessing your choices and methods, and I agree that Charlotte Mason methods do sound so gentle and appealing. Personally, I think MP offers the best of both worlds. The book choices are actually fairly similar since MP uses so many classic editions for science, classical studies and literature. But kids also get the benefits of Latin and more thoroughly digging into a text than just narration along requires. This is just my opinion, obviously, and I'm sure AO users might disagree. I just want to cheer you on in the direction you are going and encourage you not to look around too much if it ends up creating doubts. Sometimes I just have to NOT click on other sites so I don't get tempted by something else yet again, since what we have is already working well.

                        Angela
                        2018/2019
                        Dd 12: MP 7A and First Form Greek
                        Ds 10: MP 5M
                        Ds 5: MP K

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Re: experiences using Ambleside Online or Mater Amabilis?

                          Tahara (and others),

                          First, I wanted to thank you for sharing such personal feelings about your struggle to know the direction you have wanted to take with your family and homeschooling. I am in the camp of being deeply committed to classical education, but it took a lot of time and study to calm my frustrations, and educate myself. I have not read "Consider This," but I read through the blog posts of the author. She read books that did and did not strike her as "educational truth," which helped her nail down her personal philosophy.

                          I experienced that as well, reading many of the same things Ms. Glass read, yet having a different "take away." For example, I have a hard time with Charlotte Mason. I do sense more modern beliefs in her writings, especially centered around a dislike for rigor, and for what you would call, "blood, sweat and tears." Please don't take that to mean I favor knuckle blows with rulers, or instilling learning by intimidation. Not at all. But the truth I have experienced through classical education is that the rigor, drill, hard work, disciplined school structure - whatever you want to call it - is part and parcel with the moral life. Because of our fallen state, the soul is disordered, with appetites for the easy way instead of the hard way. Assuming we can make education easy and delightful assumes that we have automatic appetites for the good. Sadly, we do not. Therefore the work of forming our children with appetities for the true, the good, and the beautiful, often involves the "blood, sweat, and tears," that I mentioned earlier.

                          When I tried to form our lifestyle around Charlotte Mason's principles, I regularly felt like a failure....because our days did not live up to the gentle, calm, nurturing environment that she says should be created for real learning to take place. Ironically, since embracing the form and discipline of classical education, with orderly, regular, sustained hard work, I find our days more peaceful and calm. (Not all, of course....we still have "character building" mornings!)

                          I am offering this not so much as a condemnation of Charlotte Mason, but more as an argument against the fact that she comes across with universal statements - that this is how all children learn best. With that, I take great issue. That to me, as a Catholic, is like saying all people should pray like Franciscans pray, or that Carmelite spirituality is right for everyone. These spiritualities are incrediibly foreign to my Dominican-ordered soul - even though we are approaching the same God. When we are creating this homeschool life, we are each going to have those avenues that speak right to our hearts, and those that do not.

                          For example, these last two weekends I spoke with homeschoolers who fall into many different camps as to why Memoria Press appeals to them. Some are totally burned out with piecing things together and are attracted by the cohesiveness. Some absolutely love the planning part, and pulling pieces together into their own creation for the year. So I want to encourage folks that we can have very distinct personalities when it comes to how we want our homeschool life to be. The best challenge is to read as much as you can, but read it critically. Just because it is a popular book, does not mean it strikes at your heart for how you will homeschool. If not, take that as a sign you need to keep learning, and find your own "homeschooling Bible."

                          For me, I love Norms and Nobility. But I suspect I love it differently than Ms. Glass does.

                          AMDG,
                          Sarah
                          2019-2020 - 9th Year with MP
                          DD, 18, Homeschool grad; Art major/philosophy minor
                          DS, 16
                          DD, 14
                          DD, 12
                          DD, 10
                          DD, 7.5
                          DD, 5.5
                          +DS+
                          DS, 18 months

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Re: experiences using Ambleside Online or Mater Amabilis?

                            What a great thread. Tahara thank you for sharing your struggles, I can relate so much. It's an awful feeling to know you can be so easily tossed around! I wanted to share a recent victory that I believe has cemented my path even more. I have been so pleased with Memoria since we found it 2 years ago; but there has been this nagging voice of insecurity about what to do with my older girls, not having studied the classics or Latin myself. During this time I hadn't really been talking to my husband too much about the process, trying hard to prove myself you know ;-). This climaxed in me completely stressing myself out and had 3 different scenarios going through my head of what we would do next fall. My soul and head were overloaded and I felt I just needed to lay it all down for a week and pray so I could hear and obey out of clarity (so no blogs forums, websites, books or catalogs). That day my husband and I were getting away on an overnighter for our 26th anniversary. I had the gift of 24+ hours to be still, pray and last but definetely not least, talk to my husband, barf on him is a better way to put it!

                            So to get to the end, he listened to all of my thoughts, questions, fears.... At the end he tells me (honestly I didn't expect this). You need to do classical, he said he had seen more fruit in the last couple of years then he had ever seen before. He pulled out how this works with my weaknesses, where as some one else might do well with another method, this works for me. He affirmed Latin, and he loved that Memoria leaves the more detailed Faith guidence to us.

                            So I can't begin to explain how this affected me, it took a burden off for sure, but it hemmed me in in a way that is so necessary. I think of Sarah always saying "trust the path" and I believe I finally can.

                            I hope some little part of this is helpful.

                            Blessings,

                            Maggie
                            -Amy

                            Nine babies, 6 graduated, 5 married, 16 grand babies 6 and under!
                            2019-20 MP 2nd, 5A, 10th MPOA, College student. Starting 7th year using Memoria Press
                            Director of Coop 412, a Classical Christian Coop using MP and based on Ephesians 4:12.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Re: experiences using Ambleside Online or Mater Amabilis?

                              Angela, Sarah, and Maggie, thank you so much for your words of advice, your encouragement, your stories, and just for responding in general...Our homeschool has struggled greatly over the years, and I am looking forward to turning things around and seeing some successes...Everyone in my house including my husband is looking forward to our full switch to MP...I just feel so nervous about it all...This thread has been a source of encouragement to me...I have another question that I am going to ask in a new thread...
                              Tahara

                              Homeschooling two boys
                              DS -19 (9/4/00) Homeschool graduate, 2nd year in college
                              DS -15 (9/9/04) (SN) MP Year 8 w/ FF Latin
                              DS -13 (7/3/06) MP Year 8 w/ FF Latin

                              Comment

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