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Almost Free Homeschooling with Ambleside Online

Every few years in our decade and a half of homeschooling, we’ve reevaluated how we homeschool.  Now it’s happening again, and we’re leaning more heavily towards Charlotte Mason learning, partially because the best year we’ve ever had was totally based on the Ambleside Online curriculum. Unfortunately, it was too much for me at the time because I was in extremely poor health and had a busy preschooler as well as four school-aged children.  Now I’m well, the preschooler is almost 9 years old, and I’m looking at this curriculum again.

I love Charlotte Mason’s philosophy as exemplified in Ambleside Online, with its living books, narrations, composer study, nature study, and more.  Even better is the fact that it is rigorous while feeling gentle.  Because the books in each year are related, covering the same historical time period, students cannot avoid making connections.  This provided many ‘aha’ moments, and is probably one of the main reasons why our Ambleside year was the best.

While going through this curriculum last week, I saw once again how much of the Ambleside Online reading material is available online, for free.  I had forgotten that.  Yes, you might still need to pay for math, phonics, science, and foreign language, but then again, you might not.  In any case, there’s a wealth of free downloads, organized by year, scheduled by week, with a huge support base of FAQs and egroups.

If you like Charlotte Mason, classical, or literature-based learning, Ambleside Online just may meet your needs and save you bundles of money in the process.  It’s worth a look.

Disclosure  As usual, I am not compensated for my posts and have given my own honest opinion. 

You can find more frugal tips, including the occasional homeschool idea, at  Works for Me Wednesday, Thrifty Thursday, and Frugal Friday.


  1. Carmen says:

    Thanks for posting this. I was somewhere in the very back of my mind to look at their site, and you’ve brought it to the front of my mind. We are beginning to lean towards Charlotte Mason’s methods, and I’m excited about the possiblities. A friend let me borrow Charlotte’s 6 book homeschooling series, which makes for interesting reading.
    So glad to know that you are feeling better. It seems like you are getting more energy as time goes on. That must be a real relief to you. Praise God for his mercies!

  2. Annie Kate, I have long looked admiringly at the Ambleside Online website. I was first introduced to it about a decade ago. I think the offerings of what is available to go with it have either changed or become better organized on the site. And yet, because my children are all ages and learning styles, for now I think we will stick with Tapestry of Grace as our framework. But thanks for sharing. I do visit that site from time to time for ideas. 🙂

  3. niki says:

    Good post! There are lots of free resources available online from various sites, even from curriculum companies themselves.

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