AO Retreat:
Camp Meeting 2019

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AO Year 3, Basic -

AmblesideOnline - Year 3 Booklist, Basic Version

History studied in Year 3: late 1400's-1600's Renaissance and Reformation
Term 1: late 1400's-1580's; Term 2: 1580's-1600's; Term 3: 1600's

Note: The AO curriculum is incomplete without a thorough understanding of Charlotte Mason's ideas and methods and requires that you invest time to familiarize yourself with her philosophy by reading her books. In addition, AO's FAQ addresses questions that people commonly ask about the curriculum.

Detailed weekly schedules for these books are available in various formats:
Html List; PDF; modifiable DOC; modifiable ODT

Table of Contents:


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.
β -, another free ebook site.
Δ - free etext at
K - free Kindle text from
($) - hard-copy book purchase from
(K) - Kindle purchase from
- free audiobook at Lit2Go
Ω - free audiobook at Librivox [Audio Note]
- other free audiobook source
[0] - Click the bracketed numeral to view a note about the book near the bottom of the page.
[0] - red footnotes indicate a heads-up for parents about the title. We are unable to foresee every incident that might potentially be an issue to every family, but we have red-flagged those that are commonly a concern.

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

In addition to the books, the following subjects should be scheduled daily or weekly.


Penmanship or Copywork
Phonics or reading practice
Foreign language


Correspond history readings with a timeline [tl] and map
Music Appreciation, including folksongs and hymns
Nature Study
An artist and a composer each term


This site has many versions. [1]

History: 1400-1600 Renaissa nce and Reformation

An Island Story, by H.E. Marshall ($ K) Ω [2]
This Country of Ours, by H.E. Marshall β Δ ($) Κ Ω [3]
A Child's History of the World, by Virgil Hillyer ($ K) [4]

History Tales and/or Biography

* Michelangelo, by Diane Stanley ($) [9]
** Bard of Avon: The Story of William Shakespeare, by Peter Vennema and Diane Stanley ($)
*** Landing of the Pilgrims, by James Daugherty ($) [11]
Optional: Trial and Triumph, by Richard Hannula ($ K) [7]


Marco Polo (We know of one online; see link here for additional recommended books and resources)

In addition, these geography concepts should be explained and taught this year: [Geo]

      Term 1: Measuring distance: inch, foot yard; mile.
            A country's proximity to the equator or poles determines its climate.
            Parallel lines from pole to pole are longitude.

      Term 2: The sun rises in the east and sets in the west.

      Term 3: A map (plan) is a picture of a room, town, country or earth.
            A mp should show where N is
            How maps are made
            Maps of towns, regions, countries, the world.

Natural History/Science

       The Handbook of Nature Study by Anna Botsford Comstock Δ ($),
            as scheduled for Nature Study.

       Supplies for Nature Study:
              Nature notebook and pencils or paint for each student
              Begin to build a library of regional field guides
              Plenty of time to allow Nature Study to be a fun learning experience for both parent and child

A Drop of Water: A Book of Science and Wonder by Walter Wick ($) [11a]
* ** Pagoo, by Holling C Holling (Term 1: ch 1-13; Term 2: ch 14-20) ($)
** *** Secrets of the Woods, by William J. Long β Δ ($) Κ
Optional: Science Lab in a Supermarket, by Robert Friedhoffer (K) [12]


A curriculum or program for handwriting is not necessary, but if you want to use one, these are some we've used and can suggest:

              A Reason for Writing (Level A: $) (Level B: $)
              Getty Dubay Italic Handwriting Series ($)

AO's Language Arts Scope and Sequence for this level is here.


Select a program that meets your family's needs from our page of Math Options.

Foreign Language

Some programs we can recommend:

       Lyric Language ($)
       Phrase-A-Day ($)
       Triple Play, and Triple Play Plus ($)
       Springboard to French/Spanish ($)

Read a Parents' Review article on teaching foreign languages


Purchase all three terms of Year 3's poetry for Kindle (K)
* William Blake (K) Ω Ω
** Sara Teasdale and Hilda Conkling (K)
*** Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (K) Hiawatha Ω


Parables from Nature, by Margaret Gatty, selections. Δ ($ K) Ω A modern English paraphrase is available ($ K). [13]
American Tall Tales, by Adrien Stoutenburg ($)
Tales from Shakespeare, by Charles and Mary Lamb β Δ ($ or $) Κ Ω
The Heroes, by Charles Kingsley β Δ (also here) ($) Ω Κ
Pilgrim's Progress Part Two, Christiana's Journey, by John Bunyan (online here or here) Δ [14]
* The Princess and the Goblin, by George MacDonald β ($ K) Ω Κ
** Children of the New Forest, by F. Marryat β Δ ($) Ω Κ
*** The Jungle Book, by Rudyard Kipling β Δ Ω ($) Κ (Only Book I is scheduled.)

Additional Books for Free Reading [15]

A Little Princess, by Frances Hodgson Burnett β Δ ($) Ω Ω Κ
The Water Babies, by Charles Kingsley β Δ ($ K) Κ Ω [download an abridged, slightly annotated Word doc of this book by Anne White here.]
At the Back of the North Wind, by George MacDonald β Δ ($) Ω Κ
Men of Iron, by Howard Pyle β Δ ($) Ω Κ
Alice's Adventures In Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll β Δ ($ K) Ω Κ [16]
Through the Looking Glass, by Lewis Carroll β Δ ($ K) Ω Κ
The Bears of Blue River Δ, by Charles Major ($)
Swallows and Amazons, by Arthur Ransome ($ K), Swallowdale ($ K), and others in the series. ($earch)
* Unknown to History: Captivity of Mary of Scotland, by Charlotte Yonge β Δ ($) Κ
Caddie Woodlawn, by Carol Ryrie Brink ($ K)
On the Banks of Plum Creek, by Laura Ingalls Wilder ($)
The Little White Horse, by Elizabeth Goudge ($)
The Saturdays, by Elizabeth Enright ($) 4 Books; Includes: The Four Story Mistake, by Elizabeth Enright ($), Then There Were Five, by Elizabeth Enright ($) Ω (kayray has read all of these; you'll have to search for them here)
English Fairy Tales, by Joseph Jacobs β Δ Δ ($) Ω Κ (more)
King of the Wind, by Marguerite Henry (18th century, Africa, France and England) ($ K)
The Wheel on the School, by Meindert De Jong ($)

If you would like some easier, but still excellent, living books, for a year 2/3 student to read independently for free reading, consider:
The Bears on Hemlock Mountain, by Alice Dalgliesh ($)
The Hundred Dresses, by Eleanor Estes ($)
Betsy-Tacy books by Maud Hart Lovelace: Betsy-Tacy ($), Betsy-Tacy and Tib ($), Betsy and Tacy Go Over the Big Hill ($)
Billy and Blaze books by C. W. Anderson: Billy and Blaze ($), Blaze and the Forest Fire ($), Blaze and Thunderbolt ($), Blaze and the Mountain Lion ($), Blaze Finds the Trail ($), Blaze and the Lost Quarry ($), Blaze and the Gray Spotted Pony ($), Blaze Shows the Way ($)
Impunity Jane: the Story of a Pocket Doll, by Rumer Godden ($)
The Story of Holly and Ivy (a Christmas book) by Rumer Godden ($)
Fairchild Family series: Happy Little Family ($), Schoolhouse in the Woods ($), Up and Down the River ($), Schoolroom in the Parlor ($) by Rebecca Caudill
The Enormous Egg, by Oliver Butterworth ($)
If you would like some easier, but still excellent, living books, for a year 3/4 student to read independently for free reading, consider choosing three or four books from this list:
The Matchlock Gun, by Walter D. Edmonds ($)
The Courage of Sarah Noble, by Alice Dalgliesh ($)
Sarah Plain and Tall ($) and sequels: Skylark ($), Caleb's Story ($), More Perfect than the Moon ($), Grandfather's Dance ($) by Patricia MacLachlan
The Remarkable Journey of Prince Jen, by Lloyd Alexander ($)
Twenty and Ten, by Claire Huchet Bishop ($)
Rabbit Hill, by Robert Lawson ($)
The Twenty-One Balloons, by William Pene du Bois ($)
My Side of the Mountain, by Jean Craighead George ($)

(Purchase a Kindle)


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. For children who have difficulty reading, one solution is to have them follow the audio version along in a written text. (Back)

Timeline: At this age, students should be keeping a timeline of their own personal history. 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 ($). (Back)

1. It is preferable for a child to become accustomed to the language and flow of the King James Version of the Bible, as a familiarity with King James English will make other literature more accessible. Please read Lynn Bruce's article on the King James Version by clicking here.
The weekly schedule lists readings taken from J. Paterson Smyth's commentaries, with Old Testament readings focusing on Exodus and the life of Moses, and New Testament in the book of Luke. (see AO's Bible plan) Charlotte Mason taught both with commentaries, reading the Bible passage first, then narration, then reading the commentary, but Smyth's commentaries may reflect the doctrine of his era and denomination; they are not necessary to follow the Bible schedule.
Optional Bible Resources: Timeline; Calvary Chapel Coloring Sheets; Study questions with maps. (Back)

2. An Island Story, Chapters 62-94 1509-1760, Henry VIII-George II this year. Term 1: ch 62-71 (1509-1588, Henry VIII-Elizabeth; Armada defeated)
Term 2: ch 72-82 (1588-1685, Elizabeth Charles II)
Term 3: ch 83-94 (1685-1760, James II - George II)
Kings and Queens Timeline Figures
This book was published in the UK under the title, 'OUR Island Story;' both books are identical except for the title. Be aware that the edition for sale from Wilder Publications has no Table of Contents or chapter numbers. Public domain texts are available for anyone to copy, paste and publish, and many new companies are springing up publishing and selling these texts without editing for typos.
For planning purposes, there is a Table of Contents with dates for An Island Story here. (Back)

3. This Country of Ours, Term 1: ch 6-11 (1497-1584, Henry VII-Elizabeth)
Term 2: ch 12-22 (Elizabeth-James I, 1584-1622)
Term 3: ch 23-28 (James I-Charles I, 1618-1691)
For planning purposes, there is a Table of Contents with dates for This Country of Ours here. (Back)

4. A Child's History of the World,
Term 1: ch 63-66 (ch 60-62 in 1st edition) skip Colombus, Explorers-Renaisance 1492-1520
Term 2: ch 67-69 (ch 63-65 in 1st edition) Reformation/Elizabeth, Age of Elizabeth, 1520-1600
Term 3: ch 70 (ch 66 in 1st edition) James I
For planning purposes, there is a Table of Contents with dates for A Child's History of the World and M. B. Synge's Story of the World here. (Back)

7. Trial and Triumph: Descriptions of some trials of the Christians may be intense; parents should preview chapters to determine suitablity based on their children's sensitivities. If you prefer, you can skip this book and cover church history in Years 7-9 with a different book, Saints and Heroes, by George Hodges.
This book tells church history from a definite Protestant perspective; some families may wish to skip this book or find an alternative.
Trial and Triumph used to be online, but now only a sample of the book is available online. This is what we used to post about the online posting: Google Books does have permission from Canon Press to have Trial and Triumph in full online. Here is a statement from Canon Press: "I believe we have extended permission to them to display that title. Obviously we would love for folks to purchase hard copies but we understand the limitations of many folks. If they do benefit from the online version though, we would be grateful for some sort of review whether it be on a blog, on Amazon, or on our own website. Thanks for contacting us to check. We really appreicate it." - David Hoos, Canon Press - Customer Service (Back)

9. The Michelangelo book contains drawings of nude art and drawing of cutting a cadaver. (Back)

11. Landing of the Pilgrims, by James Daugherty is a 'Landmark' book. (Back)

The Following geography concepts should be explained and taught this year; a book is not necessary as these can be explained informally during walks and outings. AO's complete list of geography topics is here.
   Term 1: Measuring distance: inch, foot yard; mile. A country's proximity to the equator or poles determines its climate. Parallel lines from pole to pole are longitude.
          These topics are covered in these chapters:
          Charlotte Mason's Elementary Geography: Hot Countries and Cold Countries Part I
          Charlotte Mason's Elementary Geography: Hot Countries and Cold Countries Part II
          Charlotte Mason's Elementary Geography: Parallel Lines

   Term 2: The sun rises in the east and sets in the west.
          These topics are covered in these chapters:
          Charlotte Mason's Elementary Geography: Sunrise and Sunset
          Charlotte Mason's Elementary Geography: Why the Sun Rises and Sets
          Charlotte Mason's Elementary Geography: Mid-day Lines

   Term 3: A map (plan) is a picture of a room, town, country or earth and should show where N is; how maps are made; maps of towns, regions, countries, the world.
          These topics are covered in these chapters:
          Long's Home Geography Δ 7. How to Tell Distance
          Long's Home Geography Δ 8. Pictures and Plans
          Charlotte Mason's Elementary Geography: The Plan of a Room
          Charlotte Mason's Elementary Geography: The Plan of a Town
          Charlotte Mason's Elementary Geography: Map of a County
          Charlotte Mason's Elementary Geography: How Maps are Made

11a. A Drop of Water: Experiments are all on pgs 38-39; adjust the timing of winter experiments (sections 14, 15, 16) to suit your climate if necessary (Back)

12. Friedhoffer's "Science Lab in a . . ." books are a great resource, but they're out of print; don't spend more than $10 on a used copy. (Back)

13. "Parables of Nature" is a Christian character book using elements of nature to make its point. and is scheduled for 3 years - Years 1, 2 and 3. It is not a science book. If you feel you must substitute, we suggest Clara Dillingham Pierson's "Among the __ People" series because "each story closes with a gentle moral, inspiring children to right behavior," rather than substituting with a science book. (Back)

14. Pilgrim's Progress - The original language is recommended; read why and see recommended versions by clicking here. We assume you read Part 1 in Year 2; if you have not, you should read it instead of Part 2. Part One (Christian's Journey) (also here) β Δ ($) Ω Κ OR (Back)

15. Free Reading books are books that no child should miss, but rather than overloading school time, these can be read during free time. No narrations need be required from these books. Advisory member Wendi C. suggests, "How you handle these is up to you . . ." (more) Parents should also explain to students that historical fiction, while often well-researched, is still fiction, and contains the author's ideas of how things might have happened. Books with asterisks pertain to that term's historical studies. (Back)

16. Alice in Wonderland and Alice Through the Looking Glass are nonsensical fun with words and math/logic. The Advisory likes this quote from the author: "I believe that when you and I come to lie down for the last time, if only we can keep firm hold of the great truths Christ taught us--our own utter worthlessness and His infinite worth; and that He has brought us back to our one Father, and made us His brethren, and so brethren to one another--we shall have all we need to guide us through the shadows. Most assuredly I accept to the full the doctrines you refer to--that Christ died to save us, that we have no other way of salvation open to us but through His death, and that it is by faith in Him, and through no merit of ours, that we are reconciled to God; and most assuredly I can cordially say, 'I owe all to Him who loved me, and died on the Cross of Calvary.'" (Lewis Carroll, 1897) (Back)

For those on a strict budget, recommended purchases are:

A Child's History of the World, by V. Hillyer (to be used for 2 years; $ K, unless you plan to use M.B. Synge's online books instead)
Handbook of Nature Study, by Anna Botsford Comstock (used for 6 years; ($) - online, but would be cumbersome to utilize that way.)
a Math program
a phonics program if necessary
Da Vinci, by Emily Hahn, Landmark Book ($) OR Michelangelo, by Diane Stanley ($) (check library for these)
Bard of Avon, by Peter Vennema and Diane Stanley ($) OR Good Queen Bess, by Diane Stanley ($) (check library for these)
Squanto (Dark Pilgrim), by Feenie Ziner ($) OR Landing of the Pilgrims Landmark Book, by James Daugherty ($ K)
American Tall Tales, by Adrien Stoutenberg, unless your library has a copy of tall tales ($)
Pagoo ($)
Laura Ingalls Wilder books if your library does not have them ($)
Elizabeth Enright books are nice if you can find them cheap (but not worth high collector prices) ($)
Other books can be read online or borrowed from the library.

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Last update July 30, 2014