Interviews,  Podcast,  Show Notes

S6E83: A Heart to Heart with the AmblesideOnline Advisory

The person who can live upon his own intellectual resources and never know a dull hour (though anxious and sad hours will come) is indeed enviable in these days of intellectual inanition, when we depend upon spectacular entertainments pour passer le temps [to pass the time].
If knowledge means so much to us, “What is knowledge?” the reader asks. We can give only a negative answer. Knowledge is not instruction, information, scholarship, a well-stored memory. It is passed, like the light of a torch, from mind to mind, and the flame can be kindled at original minds only. Thought, we know, breeds thought; it is as vital thought touches our minds that our ideas are vitalized, and out of our ideas comes our conduct of life…
The direct and immediate impact of great minds upon his own mind is necessary to the education of a child.

Charlotte Mason, Towards a Philosophy of Education, p. 303

Show Summary:

  • On The New Mason Jar today, we bring you a conversation Cindy and Dawn had with the AmblesideOnline Advisory members Anne White, Donna-Jean Breckenridge, Karen Glass and Leslie Laurio.
  • How the friendship of the AO Advisory developed and has been a gift for each member throughout the years
  • Did the Advisory members use the whole AO curriculum as written?
  • What about those fears about missing out on something if a family doesn’t do everything in the curriculum perfectly?
  • The simplicity of the Charlotte Mason approach to language arts
  • Do any of the Advisory doubt Charlotte Mason’s methods now that they have all graduated their children?
  • Are there any things that aren’t common knowledge that the Advisory wants to share?

Listen Now:

Books and Links Mentioned:


Six Voices, One Story by Donna-Jean Breckenridge, et. al.

In Vital Harmony by Karen Glass

For the Children’s Sake by Susan Schaeffer Macaulay

AO Advisory Bios:

Anne White grew up and still lives in southern Ontario.  She anticipated David Epstein’s Range by changing her university major three times and stretching a four-year degree into seven, but she did complete a BA in creative writing, and later added a BEd in adult education. In the thirty years between those things, she (and her husband) raised three homeschooled daughters, who have each found their own Range. Anne has been associated with AmblesideOnline since its beginning, and is the author of several books about Charlotte Mason’s philosophy.

Donna-Jean Breckenridge lives with her family in northern New Jersey. She is honored to be a founding member of the AmblesideOnline Advisory, and she continues to serve AO’s community while homeschooling her granddaughters. She is a public speaker, writer (This Country of Ours – Annotated, Edited, and Updated and Six Voices, One Story: The Heart of AmblesideOnline), and audiobook narrator. She counts her greatest roles as mom to her four children, grandmother to five, and grateful friend. Her heart’s desire is to encourage others that God is safe to trust, no matter what. 

After living 25 years in Krakow, Poland, Karen Glass currently lives in Indiana with her husband and youngest daughter. She is a founding member of AmblesideOnline and home educated her four children through graduation. She is the author of several books related to Charlotte Mason and speaks and teaches on the philosophy and methods (especially narration). She reads, writes, tries to grow things, and has been known to crochet doilies and knit socks.

Leslie Laurio is an art school dropout, a veteran, a homeschool mom, and one of the founders and original creators of AmblesideOnline. She and her husband live in Tennessee and have four children who were homeschooled all the way from kindergarten through high school, and are now married and scattered across the eastern US pursuing various careers and passions. She has paraphrased the Charlotte Mason series, Parables From Nature, and other works.

Find Cindy:

Morning Time for Moms

Cindy’s Patreon Discipleship Group

Mere Motherhood Facebook Group

The Literary Life Podcast

Cindy’s Facebook

Cindy’s Instagram

Let us, out of reverence for the children, be modest; let us not stake their interests on the hope that this or that new way would lead to great results if people had only the courage to follow it. It is exciting to become a pioneer; but, for the children’s sake, it may be well to constrain ourselves to follow those roads only by which we know that persons have arrived, or those newer roads which offer evident and assured means of progress towards a desired end.

Charlotte Mason, School Education, p. 245



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