Disciplines of study


Areas of Study

A brief account follows of the specific disciplines of study and how they are expressed throughout the school:

Art Formal instruction in technique and various media is introduced throughout the grades, providing experience, observation, and study.

Bible Readings are selected from the Old and New Testaments for instructing in the knowledge of God and the knowledge of man.

Citizenship Beginning in grade four, students read about men and women's relationship to self and others. Classroom discussions engage moral choices of good and evil, principles of civic duty, and heroic service to society.  

Composer Study The students are acquainted with two classical composers and several of their works in every grade, cultivating taste and appreciation for classical music.

Composition In the beginning years, students are solely acquainted with oral composition in the form of narration. Narration is continued daily throughout the grades as a method of assimilating information. Written composition is begun in grade three with work in description, and continues throughout the grades, resulting in formal reports and essays by the end of eighth grade.

Dictation Each week, students copy beautifully well-written text, noting spelling, grammar, and punctuation. Later they are called upon to write what has been copied, as it is dictated to them.

Froebel Manipulatives Froebel materials are used to help children recognize and understand the interconnectedness of creation and the world around them.  Through disciplined exploration of each gift, students are led intentionally through a logical progression from the whole (unity) to the parts (complexity) and back again to the whole.

Geography Atlases are used throughout the day as a reference in areas of study, as geography is naturally integrated into the curriculum. Geography is taught formally in grades 5 and 6. 

Grammar Students receive formal instruction in Grammar from 3rd grade until 8th grade.  They are introduced to the rules and regulations of our language by way of formal instruction.  They diagram sentences in all grades.  In the later years, instruction is enhanced to address errors in writing and usage.


Handwork Each year students learn two handwork skills, such as stitchery, clay, and woodworking, taught by the classroom teacher or an artisan in the community.

Handwriting In the early years students master D’Nealian manuscript writing and then are introduced to Spencerian writing, practicing form, size, and style.

History An introduction to history begins in grades one and two. Beginning in grade three, the history of the United States and the world is taught each year through the eighth grade. Students in the third grade begin with exploration for United States history and the history of Egypt and Greece for world history. Studies are continued in both World and United States histories, covering all periods through the twentieth century.

Literature A variety of living books of different genres are selected each year, some to correlate with history and science, and others are chosen because they have stood the test of time.

Mathematics Beginning with arithmetic, students master the art of computation in addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division in the elementary grades. Pre-Algebra begins in 6th grade, with two years of Algebra in 7th and 8th. Students are able to receive high school credit for Algebra I after their eighth grade year at Ambleside.

Nature Study Each student keeps a nature journal in which weekly entries are added to include drawings and descriptions. The students become acquainted with their natural surroundings over their years at Ambleside and are able to identify many specimens by name.

Phonics and Reading In grades K, one and two, students go through a formal program of sight and sound correspondence to develop skills in pronunciation and spelling. Phonics rules are introduced and learned for application. Beginning phonetic readers are used to reinforce these developing skills.

Picture Study Students are made familiar with two artists a year and six of their significant works. They also experience the style and technique of the artist through reproducing one of their works.

Poetry Two poets and their works are introduced to the students each year. The students are given a volume of their works and memorize poems individually and corporately for personal enjoyment and formal recitation.

Read-Aloud Teachers and students share in the delight of a book that is chosen for the sole reason that we would not want them to miss the opportunity of the joy of reading this book aloud.

Recitation This time is used to rehearse passages and verses from Scripture, poetry, or history that the students are responsible for keeping in their hearts and minds.

Science Nature Study is the foundation of science in the early years. In grade three students are acquainted with animals and fossils through readings, drawings, and hands-on activities. Beginning in grade four through the middle grades, branches of physical, earth, and life sciences are taught each year. Through these varied branches, students are introduced to the principles of science, observation, and demonstration.

Singing and Music The students’ voices and ears are trained individually and collectively. The harmonies and melodies of classical and folk music are introduced to the students through song, dance, and instrument. All students, in choral groups, perform at school and in the community.

Spanish Students are gradually immersed in Spanish through a class taught mainly in this foreign tongue. The time is spent in imitation, repetition, dialogues, and writing. Students complete high school Spanish Level I by the end of eighth grade.

Tales and Fables / Myths and Legends In the early grades, tales and fables, as well as myths and legends are chosen from history and various countries, which are read aloud to warm the imagination and instruct the conscience.

Shakespeare Towards the end of the school year all grades participate in our annual Shakespeare Festival. The festival includes a rendition of a play, songs, sonnets, and a Mayfair.