AmblesideOnline for Groups Form 3A Booklist

Note: These booklists and curriculum suggestions are incomplete without a thorough understanding of Charlotte Mason's ideas and methods. We cannot emphasize enough that you take time to familiarize yourself with her philosophy by reading her books.

If you're planning to use AmblesideOnline, your first stop should be the the FAQ for some information about the curriculum and basic instructions. Our FAQ answers all the questions that people routinely ask: AO's history scope and sequence, how to schedule your school days, how to do narration, and more.

Key: (What do all those symbols mean?)

Book titles are linked to Project Gutenberg (which offers free etexts in a variety of formats) or other online text when no Project Gutenberg text is available.

Asterisks refer to which term the book is used: * Term 1 ** Term 2 *** Term 3

β -, another free ebook site.
α - free etext at; newer books can be borrowed for one hour at a time.
(ChrBk) - purchase from using AO's affiliate link.
K - free Kindle text from
(£amzn) - Living Books Press purchase using AO's affiliate link.
($amzn) - book purchase using AO's affiliate link.
(K) - Kindle purchase using AO's affiliate link.
(£) - Purchase directly from Living Books Press with an affiliate link; save 10% with discount code: AOBooks
Λ - free audiobook at Lit2Go
Ω - free audiobook at Librivox [2]
- other free audiobook source
[0] - Click the bracketed numeral to view any notes about the book near the bottom of the page.
[0] - red footnotes indicate a heads-up for parents about the title. We cannot foresee every incident that might potentially be an issue to every family, but we have red-flagged those that are commonly a concern.

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AmblesideOnline Form 3A Curriculum

The previous version of this page can be accessed until June 2024 here.


Genesis 1- 50, Job 1-42, Exodus 1-40, Leviticus 1-27
Luke 1-24
Psalms 1-55, Proverbs 1-16 [4]

Spiritual Formation

And The Word Came With Power by Joanne Shetler α α ($amzn) [8]
or Bright Valley of Love by Edna Hong α ($amzn) (K) [8]

History: 800-1600

Term 1: 800-1454; Term 2: 1455-1529; Term 3: 1530-1600

Make a century chart of the period studied. [10]

The Birth of Britain by Winston Churchill ($amzn) (K)
OR A History of England by Arnold-Forster α ($amzn; [12]

Bede's Ecclesiastical History of the English People (ChrBk) Ω [14]
William of Malmesbury's account of the Battle of Hastings
The Magna Carta (modern paraphrase) [16]


The Life of King Alfred by Asser, selected passages α [18]
Saints and Heroes, Vol 1 by George Hodges α ($amzn) (K) [20]


The History of English Literature for Girls and Boys by H.E. Marshall ch 1-31 β α ($amzn) (K) [28]
Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott β α ($amzn) (K) Ω [30]
The Once and Future KingBook I and II, by T. H. White (ChrBk) ($amzn) (K) [32]
The Age of Chivalry by Thomas Bulfinch, Part I (King Arthur) β α ($amzn) (K) Ω [33]
Beowulf - Burton Raffel's is our first choice ($amzn) (K); Seamus Heaney's ($amzn) (K) () is also fine if you already have it. [34]

Shakespeare for the 2023-2024 School Year:
* Twelfth Night
** King Lear
*** Measure for Measure

Poetry [35]

The Oxford Book of English Verse ed. by Arthur Quiller-Couch [36]
The Grammar of Poetry by Matt Whitling [38]


Include selections from Shakespeare, the Bible, poetry and other sources. These selections may be the same ones used for recitation.


Grammar and Composition

Easy Grammar Plus by Wanda Phillips ($ from their website or CBD) [40]


Foreign Language

Begin Latin if you've not started already.
Continue with previous foreign language studies. [60]


The Brendan Voyage by Tim Severin ($amzn) (K)


Plutarch for the 2023-2024 School Year:
Term 1: Alcibiades (Study Guide with text; Text Only)
Term 2: Coriolanus (Study Guide with text; Text Only)
Term 3: Cato the Younger (Study Guide with text; Text Only)
(Purchase this year's study guides, Vol 9, in one book: ($amzn) (K)
AO's full Plutarch rotation

Ourselves by Charlotte Mason (£) (£amzn) [24]

Government and Economics

Current Events

Students should have a plan for keeping up with current events. [26]

Science [42]

The Handbook of Nature Study by Anna Botsford Comstock α (ChrBk) ($amzn)
Continue to use as in previous years with the AmblesideOnline curriculum.

Eric Sloane's Weather Book by Eric Sloane ($amzn) (K)
Great Astronomers by R.S. Ball β α (£) (£amzn) (Intro, Ptolomy, Copernicus, and Brahe) [45]
First Studies of Plant Life by George Francis Atkinson α ($amzn) [44]
Secrets of the Universe: Discovering the Universal Laws of Science by Paul Fleisher, a five-book series:
Liquids and Gases: Principles of Fluid Mechanics (£) (£amzn)
Objects in Motion: Principles of Classical Mechanics (£) (£amzn)
Waves: Principles of Light, Electricity, and Magnetism (£) (£amzn)
Matter and Energy: Principles of Matter and Thermodynamics (£) (£amzn)
Relativity and Quantum Mechanics: Principles of Modern Physics (£) (£amzn)
Purchase the 5-volume set (£)
Signs and Seasons: Understanding the Elements of Classical Astronomy by Jay Ryan (ChrBk) ($amzn) [48]

Adventures with a Microscope by Richard Headstrom ($amzn) (K) [49]

Nature Study

Keep flower and bird lists of species seen, select a special study for outdoor work, and continue to maintain nature notebooks.

Social Life in the Insect World by J. Henri Fabre, selections (ch 3, 4, 5) ($amzn) K
The Lay of the Land by Dallas Lore Sharp (ch 1, 3, 7, 11) α (£) (£amzn) (K) [50]

Nature Study Topics for the 2023-2024 School Year:
summer/fall: Trees/shrubs/vines
winter: Stars/sky
spring: Amphibians
AO's full Nature Study rotation


Continue your math program; for some options, see this page.


The Fallacy Detective by Nathaniel and Hans Bluedorn (ChrBk) ($amzn) (K) students should complete the book before moving on to Form 4. [51]

How To Read a Book by Mortimer Adler and Charles Van Doren (ChrBk) ($amzn) (K) students should read parts 1 and 2 before moving on to Form 4 [52]


Artists (Picture Study) for the 2023-2024 School Year:

2023-2024 TERM 1 Tintoretto (1518-1594; Renaissance)
(This term's music: Renaissance)
Self portrait
1. Crucifixion, 1565, Scuola Grande di San Rocco, Venice; study
2. Christ Before Pilate, 1567, also here Scuola Grande di San Rocco, Venice
3. The Adoration of the Magi, 1582, Scuola Grande di San Rocco, Venice; study
4. Portrait of a Man, 1586-1589, State Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg, Russia
5. Paradise, 1588, Doge's Palace, Venice
6. The Last Supper, 1592-1594, San Giorgio Maggiore, Venice
Download a pdf file of this term's six prints here [NOTE]

2023-2024 TERM 2 Claude Monet (1840-1926; French Impressionist)
(This term's composer: Ravel)
1. Terrace at St. Adresse, 1866, Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY
2. Women in the Garden, 1866, Musee d'Orsay, Paris
3. Jean Monet on His Hobby Horse, 1872, Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY
4. Woman with a Parasol: Madame Monet and Her Son, 1875, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. (see also here)
5. Tulip Fields in Holland, 1886, Musee d'Orsay, Paris
6. The Waterlily Pond, 1899, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey (Similar image here)
Download a pdf file of this term's six prints here [NOTE]

2023-2024 TERM 3 Georges Seurat (1859-1891; French Post-impressionist)
(This term's music: Opera Overtures)
1. Rock-Breakers, Le Raincy, 1882, also here Norton Simon Art Foundation, Pasadena, CA, USA
2. Man Cleaning His Boat, 1883, Courtauld Institute Galleries, London, UK
3. Bathers at Asnieres, 1883-84, National Gallery, London, UK
4. Sunday on La Grande Jatte 1884, Art Institute of Chicago, USA
5. The Eiffel Tower, 1889, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, USA (also here)
6. The Circus, 1891, Musée d'Orsay, Paris
Download a pdf file of this term's six prints here [NOTE]

AO's full Artist rotation; How-to on YouTube

Note: PDF files for AO's picture study are being made available for you to download and print yourself from "A Humble Place"; you can access the PDF files of pictures by clicking the "Individual Artworks Only" link by each artist's name. The "Picture Study aid" link is an additional optional resource and may require you to submit your email address or make a purchase, but the "Artworks Only" link is provided with no strings attached.

Work on drawing skills. Illustrate a scene from one of this week's readings.

The Story of Painting by H. W. Janson ($amzn) [54]


Composers for the 2023-2024 School Year:

2023-2024 TERM 1 Renaissance Music (This term's artist: Tintoretto)
1. Songs * * * * *
2. Guillaume Dufay * *   Ave Maris Stella ("Hail, star of the sea") * *
3. Dance Music * * * * *
4. Josquin des Prez * * * *
5. Vocal Music of William Byrd * * * * *
6. Claudio Monteverdi * * * *   Monteverdi wrote the earliest opera still regularly performed: "L'Orfeo" *
     CD and mp3 Options:
     -- The Hillard Ensemble: Music for Tudor Kings seems to offer a nice variety of music from the era. ($amzn) ($mp3); also English and Italian Renaissance Madrigals. ($mp3) The Hilliard Ensemble has multiple CD's featuring Renaissance era composers.
     -- Gloriae Dei Cantores: Masters of the Renaissance (choral sacred music) ($amzn) ($mp3)
     -- Oxford Camerata: Renaissance Masterpieces (vocal) ($amzn) ($mp3)
     -- Dances of the Renaissance ($amzn) ($mp3)
     -- Catherine King: Elizabethan Songs and Consort Music (solo voice, instrumental) ($amzn) ($mp3)

2023-2024 TERM 2 Maurice Ravel (1875-1937; Impressionist) (This term's artist: Claude Monet)
1. Daphne et Chloe - selections * *   complete *
2. Bolero * *
3. Mother Goose Suite * *
4. Pavane pour une infante dufunte (no, there really is no dead princess) * *
5. Piano Concerto in D for the Left Hand (composed for a pianist who lost his right arm in WWI) * *
6. Rhapsody Espagnole * *

2023-2024 TERM 3 Opera Selections (This term's artist: Georges Seurat)
1. Giuseppi Verdi: "Triumphal March" from Aida * * and "Vedi! le fosche" (Anvil Chorus) * * from Il Trovatore
2. Giuseppi Verdi "Libiamo Ne'lieti Calici" (Brindisi; drinking song - parents, preview!) from La Traviata * * and "La Donne Il Mobile," from Rigoletto * *
3. Giacomo Puccini: "O Soave Fancuilla" * * and "Quando M'en Vo" * * from La Boheme, and "E Lucevan Le Stelle" * * from Tosca.
4. Giacamo Puccini: "Un Bel Di Vedremo" * * from Madama Butterfly, and "Nessun Dorma" * * from Turandot.
5. Gioacchino Rossini: overture * * and "Largo al factotum" (Figaro Figaro Figaro. . .) from Il Barbiere Di Siviglia (The Barber of Seville) * *
6. Gioacchino Rossini: William Tell overture * *
We suggest using a selection of Opera favorites that contains most of these, such as Best Opera Album In The World . . . Ever! ($amzn) and filling in any missing pieces with whatever else is on the CD. Puccini's "O mio babbino caro" from Gianni Schicchi, Bizet's "Au fond du temple saint" from The Pearl Fishers, Verdi's "Celeste Aida" from Aida would be worthy substitutes.
One possibility: 25 Opera Favorites CD ($amzn)
1 - track 7. Giuseppi Verdi: "Triumphal March" from Aida; track 17. Gypsies' Chorus from Il Trovatore
2 - track 3. Giuseppi Verdi: "Libiamo Ne'lieti Calici" (Brindisi) from La Traviata; track 9. "La Donne Il Mobile," from Rigoletto
3 - track 21. Giacomo Puccini: "Che Gelida Manina" from La Boheme; track 23. "Quando M'en Vo" from La Boheme; track 18. "Vissi d'Arte" from Tosca
4 - track 6. Giacamo Puccini: "Un Bel Di" from Madama Butterfly, track 5. "Nessun Dorma" from Turandot
5 - track 4. Georges Bizet: "Au Fond du Temple Saint" from the Pearl Fishers; track 2. Gioacchino Rossini: "Largo al factotum" from The Barber of Seville
6 - track 1. Gioacchino Rossini: William Tell overture
     Free Ebook for younger students Verdi: The Little Boy who Loved the Hand Organ by Thomas Tapper
     Classics for Kids Past Shows: Verdi; Puccini; Bizet; Rossini

AO's full Composer rotation

Hymns for the 2023-2024 School Year:

August: The Rock That Is Higher Than I *
September: For All the Saints who from their Labours Rest *
October: For the Beauty of the Earth * * *
November: Anywhere with Jesus * *
December: Praise God From Whom All Blessings Flow * *
January: My Song is Love Unknown * *
February: This is My Father's World * *
March: Ah, Holy Jesus * *
April: Count Your Blessings * *
May: All Creatures of Our God and King * * *
June: Lo! He Comes With Clouds Descending *
July: Holy, Holy, Holy * * *

AO's full Hymn rotation

Folksongs for the 2023-2024 School Year:

AO's Intro to 2023-2024's Folksongs
August (Bonus): God Bless America
September: Aiken Drum * *   Scottish version: * *
October: The Ash Grove * * * *
November: The Lion Sleeps Tonight * *
Over Christmas break, try learning a less familiar carol: Sleep, Sleep, Sleep My Little Child and/or O Little Town Of Bethlehem
January: The Water is Wide (Oh Waly, Waly) * * * *
February: Now is the Hour * * *
March: Log Driver's Waltz * * *
April: A Man's A Man for A'That ("Should'a been Scotland's national anthem...") * * *
May: Simple Gifts * * *
June: Click Go the Shears * *

July (Bonus): This Land is Your Land

View AO's full Folksong rotation; Hannah Fridenmaker at FolksAndHymns has been recording folk songs and hymns -- they are beautiful, simple, and joyful. You can view them for free on her YouTube channel, and purchase downloadable mp3s from her Patreon. This dot ∘ in place of an asterisk will take you to a YouTube link to her channel. Hannah has received specific and seldom-granted permission from the AmblesideOnline Advisory to use our name, and we appreciate her consistent dedication to the vision of AO per our license statement.

Sing 3 songs per term in your foreign language [56]
Learn 3 folk songs per term in English [58]

Health and Physical Education

Physical Education: Learn and play a game (kick ball, tennis, croquet, ping-pong, softball, etc.) or folk-dance, or pursue other physical activity of your choice. One option is Swedish Drill Revisited by Dawn Duran purchase

Life and Work Skills

Charlotte Mason had students do house or garden work, make Christmas presents, other crafts, sew, cook, learn first aid . . .

Students who will be moving up to Form 4 next year (and will not be doing Form 3 next year) should read these books, which are scheduled in Form 3 next year, if they have not already read them:

Watership Down by Richard Adams (ChrBk) ($amzn) (K) [63]
Chaucer for Children: A Golden Key by Mrs. H. R. Haweis α (£) (K) [64]
Whatever Happened to Penny Candy by Richard Maybury α (ChrBk) ($amzn) (K) [66]

Free Reading

Are Free Reads required reading?

In Freedom's Cause by G.A. Henty β α (ChrBk) ($amzn) (K) Ω [62]
Sir Gawaine and the Green Knight (Burton Raffel's version is very accessible) (ChrBk) ($amzn) (K) Ω
A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court by Mark Twain β ($amzn) (K) Ω Λ
The Legends of Charlemagne by Thomas Bulfinch β α (also here) ($earch) (K) Ω
Knight's Fee by Rosemary Sutcliff ($amzn) (K)
The Gammage Cup by Carol Kendall (ChrBk) ($amzn)
Rolf and The Viking Bow by Allen French (ChrBk) ($amzn) (K)
The Lost Prince by Frances Hodgson Burnett β α Ω
David Copperfield by Charles Dickens β α (ChrBk) ($amzn) (K) Ω Λ
Hereward, the Last of the English by Charles Kingsley β α
(or Hereward the Wake, originally published in Robin Hood and Other Outlaw Tales)
Beloved Botanist: The Story of Carl Linnaeus by Adrian Stoutenburg, 1961 (as a companion to Atkinson's First Lessons in Plant Life; out of print) (out of print; $amzn)

The Pushcart War by Jean Merrill ($amzn) (K) If the price is high, look elsewhere. This isn't a book worth spending a fortune on.

The Lord of the Rings trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien: (ChrBk) (ChrBk) ($amzn) (K)
The Hobbit
The Fellowship of the Ring
The Two Towers
The Return of the King

The Tripods series ($amzn) by John Christopher:
When the Tripods Came ($amzn) (K)
The White Mountains ($amzn) (K)
The City of Gold and Lead ($amzn) (K)
The Pool of Fire ($amzn) (K)

Many thanks to David Hicks, author of Norms and Nobility, for his kind permission to draw from his work and ideas. For more information please see the 1999 edition of his book. ($amzn)


2. Note on Audiobooks: While links to audio books are added as a courtesy, Miss Mason's approach to grammar and composition is heavily dependent upon the children receiving an immense amount of visual exposure to the written word over many years, so parents should exercise extreme caution in how many audiobooks they use each year. Our brains just work differently when we see the words. (Cindy Rollins did a Circe Mason Jar podcast that included the role of audiobooks with difficult books.) For children who have difficulty reading, one solution is to have them follow the audio version along in a written text
Librivox free audio is done by volunteers, and some are better than others. Forgotten ClassicsHeidi Nash has a list of some favorite Librivox readers. Be aware that apps, including Librivox, that have clickable ads can open a browser and allow children unfiltered access to the internet, even when browsers have been disabled by the parent. There are options: either download mp3 files from Librivox and listen without the app, or only install the app on a parent-controlled device. Librivox has a pay option to turn off ads. (Back)

4. AO for Groups offers a weekly plan to take students in both Forms III and IV through the entire Bible in six years using a loosely chronological schedule.
Resources: Study questions with maps; Bible Maps; Bible timeline. Encyclopedia of Bible Truths, 4 Volumes by Ruth C. Haycock (purchase from CBD)
Charlotte Mason had her students reading a commentary. We suggest you use what fits best with your group's belief system, keeping in mind that this year should be a bit meatier than previous years. (Back)

8. And the Word Came with Power: How God Met and Changed a People Forever - Joanne Shetler's experience as a missionary/Bible translator to a remote tribe caught in spiritual oppression in the Philippines.
Bright Valley of Love is a true story about a Christian community for the physically and mentally impaired threatened by the Nazi regime in WWII. (Back)

10. Timeline: At this age, students should be keeping a Century Chart and Book of Centuries. Instructions for making your own timelines and charts are included in these Parents' Review articles: Book of the Centuries; Teaching Chronology; The Correlation of Lessons. For more details about the why, when, how of keeping CM timelines (and other notebooks), we recommend Laurie Bestvater's book, The Living Page ($amzn). Two Book of Centuries options: (£) (£) (Back)

12. The Birth of Britain is Volume 1 of Winston Churchill's four volume set, "A History of the English Speaking Peoples." The next three volumes will be used in later years. Don't get the one edited by Henry Steele Commager, as it's abridged. For planning purposes, there is a table of contents with dates for all 4 volumes of A History of the English Speaking Peoples, and a schedule to break down the week's chapter into 4 short daily readings.
(Maps of medieval England)
Term 1: Chapter 1-7
Term 2: Chapter 7-13
Term 3: Chapter 14-20
An alternate option is A History of England by Arnold-Forster, ch 1-20, also online at, Google Books ($amzn;; Options); schedule. There's a list that correlates chapters of Churchill's Birth of Britain, The New World, Arnold-Forster's History of England, and Marshall's An Island Story. (Back)

14. Bede's Ecclesiastical History of the English People: We've provided a link to the selections that are scheduled in AO for weeks 1-7. The entire thing is here. (Back)

16. The Magna Carta: A modern rendering is available, with this caveat: Use paraphrases cautiously. If a student is truly lost and discouraged, a paraphrase can provide understanding and get him over the hump. But the goal is to build up his reading skills so that he doesn't need a paraphrase, and that won't happen by constantly relying on a paraphrase. (Back)

18. Asser's Life of Alfred: Selected passages are scheduled; you can print those selections here. (Back)

20. Saints and Heroes is church history.
Term 1: ch 1 Cyprian-ch 09 Columba
Term 2: ch 10 Charlemagne-ch 13 Bernard
Term 3: ch 18 Wycliffe-ch 14 Becket-17 Francis (Back)

Plutarch: Charlotte Mason recommended Thomas North's "inimitable translation." (Back)

24. Ourselves: approximately 22 pages per term. This book will continue through all the remaining years of the AO curriculum. This is the 4th volume of Mason's 6 Volume Series. Pages 1-65 of Book 1 are scheduled this year.
Also available in a modern English paraphrase that can be read online or purchased. (K) The paraphrase of Book I, Self-Knowledge, the first half of Volume 4, can be purchased from as a separate paperback book, with this caveat: Sometimes it's necessary to use a paraphrase - everybody has to start somewhere and a brand new student might feel like they're dealing with a foreign language and need to ease up on one or two books - but consistently relying on paraphrases won't do your student any favors.
Term 1: Book 1 pg 1-20
Term 2: Book 1 pg 21-44
Term 3: Book 1 pg 45-65

26. Charlotte Mason had students at this level read the daily news and keep a calendar of events. We suggest students choose the most important 2 or 3 stories of the week and re-write them in their own words as a chronicle of the year, making the heading of each page something like "This Week in History, September 1st, 2003." Teachers: pre-read and filter current events materials (on the web, or in print) as necessary, due to the potential for coverage and topics of an explicit nature, even from conservative sources. We've listed some possible options.
Blogs as a media form have rapidly overtaken hard-copy publications. News is being reported there, in some cases, faster and more accurately than other, older media forms. Students should learn about them, find one they trust, and check it regularly. However, we recommend that teachers first become familiar with blogs and visit the one(s) their students will frequent. We suggest several poliblogs, but know that not every message on these blogs will be 'child-friendly' and often have ads that include scantily clad women. Also, most blogs link to a multitude of other blogs and sites that may not be child-friendly.
Comments posted on blogs can be considered a new media equivalent of a letter to the editor, and students should learn how to communicate well on blogs. (Back)

28. The History of English Literature for Girls and Boys:
Term 1: ch 1 (The Listening Time) - ch 8 (Beginning of the Reading Time)
Term 2: ch 9 (The Passing of Arthur) - ch 14 (The Father of English History)
Term 3: ch 15 (First English Guide-book) - ch 20 (Piers the Ploughman)
AO schedules this book in conjunction with Invitation to the Classics; more material is covered in Marshall's History of English Literature in Form 3, and more is covered in Invitation to the Classics in Form 4. If you prefer to use only Invitation to the Classics by Louise Cowan and Os Guinness ($amzn), Students would read pg 77-106 Early Christian Writers to Sir Gawain and the Green Knight this year. Table of contents to help with planning (Back)

30. Ivanhoe: books such as Ivanhoe only seem hard if you're not accustomed to the advanced writing and ideas of older books. The way to get used to them is to keep reading them. Go slow, refer to a summary when you, the teacher, have to in order to help your student through the material. Katie Barr has provided a Study Guide for Ivanhoe. (Back)

32. The Once and Future King, hereafter referred to as TOAFK, Book One ("The Sword in the Stone") and Book Two ("The Queen of Air and Darkness") will be divided over three terms. This book is not in the curriculum to give the students another version of a King Arthur story, and it should not be the student's only exposure to the King Arthur mythos. Rather, this book is contains living lessons in government, including self-government, self-discipline, consequences of bad decisions (even when made in ignorance), leadership, and so much more. It cannot easily be replaced by any other book. NOTE: This is a read aloud and discuss book. **Please preview.** The themes in this book, although controversial, are too important to dismiss. For more information, read discussion about this book. [If you need to cut back, Book 2 could have only selected chapters read. The chapters in Book 2 that are about Arthur and Merlyn are 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12. Chapters in Book 2 that more squeamish students might want to skip are 1, 5, and 7. All of Book 1 should be read. Spark Notes gives a brief summary of each chapter in Book 2 to help you decide whether doing selected chapters is right for your student.] (Back)

33. The Age of Chivalry: Students who are unfamiliar with the King Arthur story and find Age of Chivalry out of reach may prefer Tales of King Arthur and the Round Table by Andrew Lang ($amzn) (K) Ω
. A schedule to pace the book through most of the year. Conversely, a student who is familiar with the Arthurian legends and is ready to move on to something different may read Part 2 of The Age of Chivalry: The Mabinogoen. A schedule for that is here. (Back)

34. Beowulf: Burton Raffel's is our first choice (ChrBk) ($amzn) (K); Seamus Heaney's (ChrBk) ($amzn) (K) () is also fine if you already have it. Seamus Heaney's translation is available with graphics that illuminate the setting and objects mentioned in the text. Another option: an updated verse translation by Frederick Rebsamen ($amzn) (K), or use this free-verse version. Another option: Online Translation by Francis B. Gummere.
Beowulf: A New Telling by Robert Nye ($amzn) (K) is a prose version that's not exact, but could be used as an introduction if your students is struggling.
Since there are so many variations, we've put schedules for the different books on their own page, here. We suggest you paste the schedule for your book to a doc and print it to use as a bookmarker during the term. (Back)

35. Poetry: How do you "do" poetry? Simply read it and enjoy it, re-read it, read it again and listen to the sound of the phrases, let them paint a word picture in your mind. Do you feel like you need more direction? How to Read a Poem: Based on the Billy Collins Poem "Introduction to Poetry" by Tania Runyan is "less as an instructional book and more of an invitation." This is a suggested optional parent resource that encourages you read poetry for enjoyment. (Back)

36. The Oxford Book of English Verse, 1919, edited by Arthur Quiller-Couch, is a poetry anthology Charlotte Mason used; it's very good, and it's online with a chronological index at, though we suggest using an ad-blocker if you use the website. (Poems 1-24, 29, 31-33) The same text, but with a different title, is also at Project Gutenberg β The best way to tackle these is to have your student rewrite them in their own words. Some tips for reading Middle English. As a parent/teacher resource, this site offers modern translations of the assigned poems. Click the first line, then click the word "translation" at the top. AO offers some rough and general modern translations, but be aware that allowing your student to use paraphrases as a crutch will not help him acclimate to Middle English. We suggest the parent/teacher use the paraphrases only to help the student through the material. Check online sites such as Librivox for free audio readings of poems.
If you prefer, you can use Representative Poetry Online: Follow this time-line of English Poetry and do an anthology of sorts this term. Some firewalls may block access to this link - just a technical glitch. In that case, try this: shorten the URL to then click on "e-Resources" which will take you to a search field. Type in "Representative Poetry." From that page, choose "timeline" and you'll be in the right place. (Back)

38. The Grammar of Poetry by Matt Whitling, from the Imitation in Writing series - Logos School Materials; purchase from CBD: Updated Edition; Teacher's edition. With the current edition, you need both student and teacher's editions. If you can only afford one, purchase the student edition and ask in the forum if you can't work out the answers. (Back)

40. Easy Grammar Plus: It is not necessary to memorize the prepositions at the start, just write a list of them and explain an easy way to remember most of them, such as "any way a worm can go in relations to two apples," or "any way a swallow can go in relation to two mountains." A parent using this with one child could get by with only the Teacher's Edition (ChrBk) since the student workbook is included in it, but multiple students would need their own workbooks (ChrBk). There are about 330 student worksheets in this thick book; expect to do one sheet every day to get through the book in two years. You can also purchase from their website. Easy Grammar Grade 8 Student 180 Daily Teaching Lessons by Wanda Phillips is just as good; it also has the student workbook included in the teacher's edition. Work through Easy Grammar Plus over two years. Students who are moving up to Form 4 and only have a single year in Form will need to work through it quicker.
If you prefer, you can use Jensen's Grammar. It goes slowly and step-by-step using a thorough answer key, but is not quite as simple as Easy Grammar Plus. There are 75 lessons, so plan to take two years, doing one lesson per week. Students who need to get through the material in a single year should do two lessons per week. Expect to pay about $30 for the Jensen's text and answer key. The DVD's are not necessary. You will probably find it cheaper at New Leaf Publishing, or other homeschool sellers such as Lamppost Homeschool.
Those who are more familiar with grammar may prefer Our Mother Tongue. It's more interesting as it uses classic literature for exercises and includes snippets of history about language, but it assumes the teacher has grammar experience (the answer key doesn't always help). The Answer Key ($amzn) is sold separately. (Back)

42. Science: If your student wants to pursue a scientific major and needs to prepare for special exams, you may want to contact your college of choice to find out what the requirements are. We have not undertaken to prepare our students for specialty exams, but to give them a foundation of knowledge about science which will make it a matter of interest to them for life. (Back)

44. First Studies of Plant Life: this book will be continued next year. Planting, growing and observing germinating seeds and plants is necessary to benefit from this book. Also online at Google Books.
If you prefer, you may substitute Exploring Creation with Botany by Jeanne Fulbright ($amzn) over Forms 3 and 4, with selected activities from the book. (Back)

45. Great Astronomers: For students struggling with Great Astronomers, the individual chapters have been paraphrased here. However, be mindful that students will only grow into challenging books by reading challenging books. Use paraphrases sparingly if at all. Relying on paraphrases will prevent your child from developing the mental muscles needed to comprehend older books. But sometimes a paraphrase is needed. If a child is completely lost, then nothing in their brain is firing up, so there are times (and specific children) where it can make the difference between giving up on a book, or using a paraphrase so the ideas at least get through. Read more about this in Wendi Capehart's blog post Imagination and the Mind's Eye. Or, there are briefer biographies online at MacTutor History of mathematics archives at the University of St Andrews, Scotland. They can be searched alphabetically. (Back)

46. Secrets of the Universe was republished as five separate books:
Liquids and Gases: Principles of Fluid Mechanics (£) (£amzn)
Objects in Motion: Principles of Classical Mechanics (£) (£amzn)
Waves: Principles of Light, Electricity, and Magnetism (£) (£amzn)
Matter and Energy: Principles of Matter and Thermodynamics (£) (£amzn)
Relativity and Quantum Mechanics: Principles of Modern Physics (£) (£amzn)
Purchase the 5-volume set (£); see help in corresponding the books.

These books have been republished by Living Book Press and and can be ordered individually directly from their website.
The book goes in and out of print and can sometimes be difficult to find, although it does pop up; public libraries would be the obvious first place to look since the book isn't really that old. Please don't feel that the Advisory is asking anyone to go on a major quest for the only excellent book out there. That's not what was intended by leaving the book on the list, only that if you CAN get a copy, it's still our first choice for this year. If you are unable to access it, another solid option is The Boy Scientist by John Bryan Lewellen, out of print, but more readily available at used book sources than Secrets of the Universe (not the recent "The Boy Scientist: 160 Extraordinary Experiments and Adventures;" look for the 1955 one by John Llewellen). Another option is The Sciences by Edward Holden, out of print, but online. Charlotte Mason herself recommended Holden's book, so even simply taking a look at it will give an idea of the kind of science text she would have used. We don't usually recommend out of print books, or very expensive books. All of these books are good, and if you can obtain them, we suggest you use them. However, we continue to seek an alternative that fits our guidelines of excellence, availability, and affordability.
The Boy Scientist by John Lewellen covers similar topics and is a very worthwhile alternative. Try this link: ($amzn) Be sure to get the 1955 red book by John Llewellen. There's a 2009 book (it's blue) called "The Boy Scientist: 160 Experiments, A Popular mechanics Book" by C. J. Peterson; it is not the same book. A weekly breakdown could look like this:
Term 1
     Boy Scientist: week 1 ch 1, first half (pg 1-9)
     Boy Scientist: week 2 ch 1, second half (pg 9-18)
     Boy Scientist: week 3 ch 2, first third (pg 20-26)
     Boy Scientist: week 4 ch 2, second third (pg 26-33)
     Boy Scientist: week 5 ch 2, last third (pg 33-40)
     Boy Scientist: week 6 ch 3, first half (pg 42-49)
     Boy Scientist: week 7 ch 3, second half (pg 49-58)
     Boy Scientist: week 8 ch 4, first half (pg 60-65)
     Boy Scientist: week 9 ch 4, second half (pg 65-70)
     Boy Scientist: week 10 ch 5, first third (pg 72-78)
     Boy Scientist: week 11 ch 5, second third (pg 78-85)
     Boy Scientist: week 12 ch 5, last third (pg 85-92)
Term 2
     Boy Scientist: week 13 ch 6, first half (pg 94-99)
     Boy Scientist: week 14 ch 6, second half (pg 99-106)
     Boy Scientist: week 15 ch 7, first quarter (pg 108-114)
     Boy Scientist: week 16 ch 7, second quarter (pg 114-121)
     Boy Scientist: week 17 ch 7, third quarter (pg 121-128)
     Boy Scientist: week 18 ch 7, last quarter (pg 128-136)
     Boy Scientist: week 19 ch 8, first quarter (pg 138-144)
     Boy Scientist: week 20 ch 8, second quarter (pg 144-150)
     Boy Scientist: week 21 ch 8, third quarter (pg 150-157)
     Boy Scientist: week 22 ch 8, last quarter (pg 157-164)
     Boy Scientist: week 23 ch 9, first third (pg 166-173)
     Boy Scientist: week 24 ch 9, second third (pg 173-180)
Term 3
     Boy Scientist: week 25 ch 9, last third (pg 180-188)
     Boy Scientist: week 26 ch 10, first quarter (pg 190-195)
     Boy Scientist: week 27 ch 10, second quarter (pg 195-200)
     Boy Scientist: week 28 ch 10, third quarter (pg 200-206)
     Boy Scientist: week 29 ch 10, last quarter (pg 206-214)
     Boy Scientist: week 30 ch 11, first half (pg 216-224)
     Boy Scientist: week 31 ch 11, second half (pg 224-232)
     Boy Scientist: week 32 ch 12, first third (pg 234-240)
     Boy Scientist: week 33 ch 12, second third (pg 240-246)
     Boy Scientist: week 34 ch 12, last third (pg 246-254)
     Boy Scientist: week 35 ch 13, first half (pg 256-260)
     Boy Scientist: week 36 ch 13, second half (pg 260-264) (Back)

48. Signs and Seasons - read Prologue and Chapter 1 this year, including note on how to use properly. Field work is an integral part of this book.
If you prefer, A Walk through the Heavens: A Guide to Stars and Constellations by Milton Heifetz may be used. ($amzn) (K) (Back)

49. Adventures with a Microscope: Choose 11 adventures if you are able to procure/borrow a microscope. Jeanne Webb wrote a study guide (Back)

50. The Lay of the Land: These are stand-alone essays. AO scheduled one or two chapters per term to match up with US seasonal months. Feel free to rearrange them to fit the seasons where you live.
ch 1 The Muskrats are Building (autumn)
ch 2 Christmas in the Woods (winter)
ch 3 A Cure for Winter (midwinter)
ch 4 The Nature-Student (any season)
ch 5 Chickadee (winter)
ch 6. The Missing Tooth (winter)
ch 7 The Sign of the Shad-bush (spring)
ch 8 The Nature Movement (spring/summer)
ch 9 June (early summer)
ch 10 Broken Feather (spring)
ch 11 High Noon (summer)
ch 12 The Palace in the Pig-pen (spring)
ch 13 An Account with Nature (late summer)
ch 14 The Buzzard of the Bear Swamp (late summer)
ch 15 The Lay of the Land (summer) (Back)

51. Fallacy Detective: There are 36 "lessons" in the book (newer editions have 38). Ideally, take two years to go through the book, covering a lesson every other week. Students who are moving into Form 4 and only have a single year can do a lesson per week. (Back)

52. How to Read a Book: Be sure to get the revised edition. written by both Mortimer J. Adler And Charles Van Doren. If Van Doren is not a co-writer, it's the older book. It was revised in 1972, but later books may not be called "revised." The version to use has five chapters in part 1; 7 chapters in part 2; 7 chapters in part 3; and two chapters in part 4. The unrevised edition may have fewer parts.
The book is read slowly, but this material is weighty and should give much material for reflection and discussion. Ideally, students should take two years to cover Parts 1 and 2. However, students who are moving into Form 4 and only have a single year should do both Parts in one year, as Parts 3 and 4 will be read in Form 4. There is a two year schedule and a one-year schedule. These can be printed and used as a bookmark. (Back)

54. Janson's Story of Painting: chapters 1-2 this year: How Painting Began, The Middle Ages (the first half). (Some nudity; preview first.) If you already have Janson's Picture History of Painting, Janson's History of Art for Young People or Janson's History of Art, those books are broken down into their appropriate terms for AO4G. Note that Janson's History of Art and History of Art for Young People are huge books with much more text than the Painting books, and may be too much for most students on top of their other reading. (Back)

56. Foreign Folk Songs: Charlotte Mason did 3 in French and 3 in German. (Back)

58. English Folk Songs: you may choose to continue the Folk Song rotation at AmblesideOnline; as well as the AmblesideOnline rotation for Hymns each term. Carols would do for the Winter term. Work on each song about 4 weeks. Folksongs which are particularly appropriate selections for this year's time frame include:
The Bold Pedlar and Robin Hood, The Three Ravens, The Outlandish Knight. Lyrics and the midi files
When The King Enjoys His Own Again, Farewell to Lochaber, Battle of Otterburn, or any other tunes of your choice from this website. Again, work on each song about 4 weeks, reviewing as desired. The idea is to enjoy them, not turn them into drudgery.
Find them here. Other folksongs are also online. (Back)

60. Charlotte Mason's students were learning three languages at this level. A good English/foreign language dictionary is also recommended.
You might find that your foreign language studies cover enough grammar to be counted as English Grammar as well. (Back)

62. Although "In Freedom's Cause" is a work of fiction, it is a more accurate account of William Wallace and Robert the Bruce in Scottish history than is available in many other similar books. There is a dramatic audio abridgment for this book. We don't recommend doing an audio drama in place of a book, but if this book is such a stretch that even the audiobook is challenging and you're considering dropping it altogether, you might consider this option. The quality seems to match Focus on the Family's Radio Theater projects, and they have some big name celebrities, including Joanne Froggert (Lady Mary Crawley's maid Anna from Downton Abbey), Billy Boyd (Pippin in LOTR movies), Skandar Keynes (Edmund Pevensie in the Narnia movies), and James Cosmo (from Braveheart). More information here. (Back)

63. Watership Down: An allegorical story that includes "community, connection, relationships, government systems and consequences, what makes a civilization, what makes it humane or inhumane, quests, and more." Read what Advisory member Wendi Capehart said about why this book is scheduled. (Back)

64. Chaucer for Children by Mrs. H. R. Haweis contains these tales: The Knight's Tale; The Friar's Tale; The Clerk's Tale; The Franklin's Tale; The Pardoner's Tale. A Taste of Chaucer contains edited-for-students versions of the following tales: The Monk's Tale, The Nun's Priest's Tale, The Tale of the Clerk of Oxenford, The Manciple's Tale, The Franklin's Tale, Chaucer's Tale, The Tale of the Man of Law, The Canon's Yeoman's Tale, The Pardoner's Tale. Letting your student loose on an unedited version of Canterbury Tales is not recommended! An AO mom has reprinted this book at in color $ or black and white $. This online version has a modern paraphrase alongside the original, but it isn't edited. The Chaucer Story Book α by Eva Tappan ($amzn) (K) is a prose retelling for children from 1908. Before deciding to use Tappan's prose retelling instead, consider that swapping out hard books for easier ones is giving soft food to children who haven't learned to really chew solids yet: sometimes it's necessary. But don't give up too early on helping them (and you!) "chew" through the challenging material. With that in mind, some stories may be read from this as an additional supplement. The following stories from Tappan's book are not in Haweis's Golden Key:
ch 3 The Man of Law's Tale: The Story of Constance
ch 4 The Prioress's Tale: Little Hugh of Lincoln
ch 5 The Nun's Priest's Tale: The Cock, The Hen, and The Fox
ch 7 The Wife of Bath's Tale: The Unknown Bride
ch 10 The Squire's Tale: Cambuscan and the Brazen Horse
ch 12 The Canon's Yeoman's Tale: The Priest Who Learned to be a Philosopher (Back)

66. Whatever Happened to Penny Candy: There are currently seven editions of this book; if you have a later edition, you may need to make some minor adjustments in its scheduling. Canadians: there is a Canadian supplement to this book. (Back)

Last updated March 31, 2023 (to update Bible)

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