Ambleside School | Charlotte Mason K -8 Education

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Ambleside School | Charlotte Mason K -8 Education 5

Ambleside is a Christ-centered K-8 school located in McLean, Virginia, that applies the philosophy of British educator Charlotte Mason.

In partnership with the family, we encourage children to discover and embrace God’s truth, to link knowing with doing and to love learning.

Basic facts

  • Available Spots:  5/7/20 We have approximately 15 spots open. 1 spot open in Kindergarten, 6 spots available in 7th Grade for the 2020-21 school year.
  • Age Range:  Kindergarten to 8th Grade
  • Years Established:   1999
  • Enrollment:  125 students
  • Average Class Size:  13
  • Tuition:  $7,600 - $10,125
  • Who you serve:  Catholic, Co-ed, Christian, Elementary, Middle School, Protestant
  • Mission/Philosophy:  

    Ambleside School is a Christ-centered school committed to providing a Charlotte Mason “living education.” In partnership with the family, we guide and empower each student to think with the mind of Christ and to author a life rich in relationship to God, self, others, ideas, and all of creation.

  • Capacity:   144
  • Available Hours:  8:15 am - 3:10 pm

Contact Details

  • Address: 8980 Brook Road, McLean, VA 22102
  • Zip Code: 22102

  • Phone: 703-430-4034

  • Website:

  • What differentiates your school from all others? 

    We use the Charlotte Mason philosophy to develop habits of learning in a non-competitive but stimulating academic atmosphere where students are guided to be in good relationship with God, self, and others.

    Daily oral or written narrations allow each child to think about a text. Through asking why and how, students are active, not passive learners. Memory retention and mental focus improves and each student feels valued under this method.

    Each grade is capped at sixteen students, so every child talks and is known by the teacher and their peers.

    Few students own a cell phone and none are permitted in class.

    Our students work hard during the day so their afternoons are free to enjoy time outdoors, participate in sports, or pursue a hobby. Any work at home is purposeful and limited.

  • Where do you see your school in 5 years, what will be different? 

    We will have full K-8 classrooms, which means a total of 144 students at our school. We have a 12-year lease giving us a long-term home at 8980 Brook Road, McLean, Virginia, since the fall of 2018.

  • Whats one myth about your school thats just not true?  

    Myth: "We don't have tests." Fact: We do!

    In math, we have regular assessments and daily mental math warm-ups. In history, Bible, literature, citizenship, and other subjects, we use oral and written narrations to daily assess our students' knowledge.

    We have K-8 exam week in November and May, plus an annual standardized test date each spring for 4th, 6th, 7th and 8th grades.

  • What kind of student is most successful at your school? 

    All students are welcome. Students are not identified by their strengths or weaknesses, nor will they receive prizes or a rank among their peers. All students focus on learning, not besting a classmate.

    A student who learns to labor with a problem not yet grasped, who remains on task when uncertain of the outcome, who struggles to completion when hand or mind are tired, who experiences the reward and negative consequences of their actions, will grow in character and
    be successful.

  • Why should we choose your school? 

    Choose Ambleside School if you want to foster a robust learning experience and self-discipline in your student. From detailed Science and Nature Journal sketches, to Composer and Artist Studies, to mid-week House Games and our annual Shakespeare Festival, students grow mentally, socially, and emotionally into young people who look adults in the eye and carry themselves with poise.

    We are a member school of Ambleside Schools International,, that has over 20 schools around the world.

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There are 3 reviews. Add your review »

  1. I forgot to put 5 stars in my previous review!

  2. I have been an Ambleside parent for 9 years with 3 kids at Ambleside. We have absolutely appreciated the Christ-centered Charlotte Mason educational philosophy. We didn’t know about Charlotte Mason until this school and we are convinced it works…our children come home knowing more than I ever did as a child (and sometimes as a parent, I think they surpass me in certain pieces of knowledge!). I often wish I had an Ambleside education. 🙂

    At Ambleside, the students’ affections are cultivated to enjoy learning, they are not merely learning for testing – but for the sake of learning and it works! They read quality books; they narrate; they do nature study. They are able to enjoy the wonders of the outdoors and natural play. Personally in my home, this is how it plays out…. my kids LOVE books- they love going to the library- they read to each other; they stop and look at art when we are out as a family; there is lively discussion at the dinner table about characters in history; they recognize plants and trees in the neighborhood and the list goes on! My kids are being educated in a life-giving way and we have benefited so much as a family.

    The staff and teachers are caring and Christ-centered; they care about the whole child, not just academics. We would highly recommend Ambleside if you line up with a Christ-centered and the Charlotte Mason philosophy!

  3. If you are searching for an amazing Christ-centered school with leadership and staff who love the Lord, lead by a Christ-like example, and teach with a solid, beautifully balanced educational philosophy, this is the school for your children. Look no more. The Charlotte Mason Education philosophy that the school is founded on has not only had a positive impact on our third grader academically, spiritually, and mentally, but also on us as parents and therefore on our entire home. Academics are challenging in new ways our son had never experienced and he is thriving! We immediately saw more maturity, pure joy, and deep thinking out of him from day one. I cannot speak more highly of this school.

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