Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Wednesday With Words: A couple of gems from Ambleside Year 4

As you may already know, I am reading through all the Ambleside books not only to prepare to study them with my children, but also just for my own personal benefit.   My public school education was nothing more than a game to me, and my reading diet growing up was filled with far too much twaddle.   Ambleside is helping me fill in those gaps in my own upbringing.  This week’s quotes are a couple of gems I found as I was reading through AO Year 4, Week 8.
Robinson Crusoe on Gratitude:
“I frequently sat down to my meat with thankfulness, and admir’d the hand of God’s Providence, which had thus spread my table in the wilderness.  I learn’d to look more upon the bright side of my condition, and less upon the dark side; and to consider what I enjoy’d, rather than what I wanted; and this gave me sometimes such secret comforts, that I cannot express them; and which I take notice of here, to put those discontented people in mind of it, who cannot enjoy comfortably what God has given them; because they see, and covet something that he has not given them: All our discontents about what we want, appeared to me, to spring from the want of thankfulness for what we have.”
            ~Daniel Defoe in Robinson Crusoe (sorry my Kindle book doesn’t have page or chapter numbers!)
Uncle Paul on Writing:
“Grammar cannot teach one to write.  It teaches us to make a verb agree with its subject, and adjective with a substantive, and other things of that kind.  It is very useful I admit, for nothing is more displeasing than to violate the rules of language; but that does not impart the gift of writing…Language is in some sort the clothing of thought.  We cannot clothe what does not exist; we cannot speak or write what we do not find in our minds.  Thought dictates and the pen writes…But again, if the ideas are wanting if there is nothing in the head, what can you write?  How are these ideas to be acquired?  By study, reading, and conversation with people better instructed than we.”
~Jean-Henri Fabre in Chapter 19 in The Storybook of Science



  1. "All our discontents about what we want, appeared to me, to spring from the want of thankfulness for what we have"

    Definitely words to take to heart!

  2. I love both of those. The first is convicting and the second gets a hearty "Amen." Everything I believe about education is tied up in this idea about ideas. It drives my philosophy.

  3. Love these quotes, Jen. I am bookmarking to refer back to them often. :)
    Thank you.