AmblesideOnline - Year 2 Booklist

Weekly schedule is here.

"A child . . . must have a living relationship with the present, its historic movement, its science, literature, art, social needs and aspirations. In fact, he must have a wide outlook, intimate relations all round; and force, virtue, must pass out of him, whether of hand, will, or sympathy, wherever he touches. This is no impossible programme."

Charlotte Mason, Volume 3, p. 161-2
A Basic Overview of Year 2
BibleHistoryGeographyScience and Math

1000 A.D. to Middle Ages

Medieval England


Joan of Arc

Earth's orbit


Nature Study


The Little Duke
Language ArtsLiteratureForeign LanguageMusic and Arts
Simple Copywork

Oral Narration


De La Mare, Field, Riley, Rossetti

Pilgrim's Progress

Robin Hood, Wind in the Willows, and more. . .
Modern Language Hymns and Folk Songs

Artist/picture study


Drawing and Handicrafts

History studied in Year 2: 1000 AD to Middle Ages

Students will be practicing reading, or doing a phonics program. They will do simple daily copywork, no more than ten minutes a day. They may keep a simple timeline. Every scheduled reading will still be narrated orally. They continue a formal history rotation, with medieval-era history. Foreign language study continues through songs and/or stories.

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.

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

Table of Contents:

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.
β -, another free ebook site.
α - free etext at
K - free Kindle text from
(£amzn) Living Books Press purchase using AO's affiliate link.
($amzn) - book purchase using AO's affiliate link.
(K) - Kindle purchase using AO's affiliate link.
(£) Purchase directly from Living Books Press with an affiliate link.
Λ - free audiobook at Lit2Go
Ω - free audiobook at Librivox [2]
- other free audiobook source
[0] - Click the bracketed numeral to view any notes about the book near the bottom of the page.
[0] - red footnotes indicate a heads-up for parents about the title. We cannot foresee every incident that might potentially be an issue to every family, but we have red-flagged those that are commonly a concern.
AO is an affiliate of Living Book Press, which mean that when you purchase from we receive a commission which allows us to keep offering AO for free.
AmblesideOnline is part of's Affiliate program. If you use the Amazon links, we receive a small commission which enables us to cover the costs of keeping the website and curriculum. Amazon links are identified like this: ($amzn) or (£amzn) or (K), but we have provided links to free and alternate sources as well.

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

A list of Year 2 audio books here.

In order to complete the curriculum additional instruction should be provided in the following areas.

Daily Instruction or Practice:

Weekly Instruction or Practice:

Bible [6]

History: 1000 A.D. to Middle Ages

History Tales and/or Biography


In addition, these geography concepts should be explained and taught this year: [22]

Natural History/Science


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:

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

Phonics/Reading Instruction

Phonics and reading with CM's methods can be taught effectively and simply without a formal program, carefully following Charlotte Mason's sequence explained in Home Education, volume 1 of her book series (start at page 199). Jennifer S. described how to implement CM's method of teaching reading step by step on her Joyful Shepherdess blog.

Additional (non-CM) programs the AO Advisory has used and can recommend (not an exhaustive list):

Beginning readers might gain confidence from classics retold in A Primary Reader by E. Louise Smythe ($amzn)


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

Foreign Language

Choose a foreign language program that focuses on oral learning. Some that are popular among Charlotte Mason parents are The Learnables, Little Pim, Cherrydale Press, Language Learning for Children by Alyssa Johnson and Christine Lewis (K or free for AO Forum members)

Celeste at Joyous Lessons wrote a 3-part blog series on teaching young children a foreign language. There's also a vintage Parents' Review article on teaching foreign languages

Poetry [25]

Purchase all three terms of Year 2's poetry for Kindle (K)


Additional Books for Free Reading [36]

If your Year 1-2 student needs some additional reading practice, we suggest choosing from the following:

If your Year 2-3 student needs some additional reading practice, we suggest choosing from the following:

(Purchase a Kindle)


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. Heidi 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. 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 ($amzn). (Back)

6. Bible: Bible Gateway has many versions of the Bible online. 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 Genesis, and New Testament in the book of Matthew. (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)

8. An Island Story, Chapters 22-60 1066-1553, Harold II-Edward VI this year. Term 1: ch 22-32, 1066-1189, Harold II Henry II.
Term 2: Chapters 33-50 1189-1399, Richard I Richard II.
Term 3: ch 51-61 1399-1553, Henry IV-Henry VII.
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)

10. This Country of Ours, Term 1: ch 1 How the Vikings...
Term 2: not used.
Term 3: ch 2-5 Columbus, 1492-1497, Henry VII.
For planning purposes, there is a Table of Contents with dates for This Country of Ours here.
Optional: Leif the Lucky by D'Aulaire or Part II of Viking Tales, by Jennie Hall can be used in place of This Country of Ours in Term 1.
Optional: Columbus by Ingri D'Aulaire can be used in place of This Country of Ours in Term 3. (Back)

12. A Child's History of the World, ch. 47 on Charlemaigne-60; ch. 48 ("Getting a Start," about Alfred) may be skipped, as that is also covered in 'An Island Story.'
Term 1 are ch 47, ch 49-53 (ch 45, 47-51 in 1st edition) 1000 AD Charlemaigne, Vikings Peter the Hermit; 800-1100.
Term 2: ch 54-57 (ch 52-54 in 1st edition) Richard I-John I Magna Charta, 1189-1215.
Term 3: ch 58-61 (ch 55-58 in 1st edition) Marco Polo-Joan of Arc; 1275-1456.
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.

If you need an online book, you may use The Discovery of New Worlds by MB Synge ($amzn) Ω
Term 1: ch 12-18
Term 2: ch 19-22
Term 3: ch 23-29
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.

Chapters from 'The Story of Mankind' by Hendrick Van Loon Ω α are shown where they overlap with history being studied for those wishing to have an older student (5th grade and up) follow along in the same rotation or for those who are limited to only this text. Story of Mankind is for an older age group and not really recommended for children this young. The text for the Story of Mankind is online here.
Term 1: ch. 29-32 Charlemaigne, Norsemen, Feudalism, Chivalry.
Term 2: ch. 33-35, Pope vs. Emperor, Crusades, The Medieval City.
Term 3: ch. 36-38, Medieval Self-Government, The Medieval World, Medieval Trade.
For planning purposes, there is a Table of Contents with dates for The Story of Mankind here. (Back)

18. 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 appreciate it." - David Hoos, Canon Press - Customer Service (Back)

20. The Little Duke: Charlotte Yonge is an author CM used in the PNEU curriculum. This is a lively, literary biography of Richard, Duke of Normandy, great-grandfather of William the Conqueror, beginning in 943 AD. Yonge's historical information about events of the Viking era is meticulously researched, although presented in a somewhat Victorian tone. AO Advisory member Anne White has written a study guide for this book, which is here. (Back)

22. Geography: 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: A compass can show direction when sun and stars are not visible. Magnetic needle always points north. Points on the compass (N, S, E, W and also halfway in between: NE), how sailors use a compass.
          These topics are covered in these chapters:
          Long's Home Geography α (£) (£amzn) 4. How the Compass Shows Direction
          Charlotte Mason's Elementary Geography (£) (£amzn): The Points of the Compass
          Charlotte Mason's Elementary Geography: The Mariner's Compass

   Term 2: Planets orbit around the sun. Earth orbits around the sun in 365 days, making a year. The earth's turning makes day and night.
          These topics are covered in these chapters:
          Charlotte Mason's Elementary Geography: Our World and Other Worlds Part I
          Charlotte Mason's Elementary Geography: Our World and Other Worlds Part II
          Charlotte Mason's Elementary Geography: Day and Night

   Term 3: The poles; earth's spinning on its tilted axis makes the four seasons
          These topics are covered in these chapters:
          Charlotte Mason's Elementary Geography: Poles and Axis
          Charlotte Mason's Elementary Geography: The Four Seasons Part I
          Charlotte Mason's Elementary Geography: The Four Seasons Part II
          2 minute explanation on YouTube; also look for Bill Nye The Science Guy episode: "Seasons" (23 minutes)

24. The Burgess Animal Book: Term 1: ch 1-15; Term 2: ch 16-27; Term 3: ch 28-40
See up-to-date searchable taxonomy and/or Kelly Kenar's taxonomy key to research more about the animals in the book (Back)

25. 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)

26. Shakespeare: If you are concerned about some of the themes in Shakespeare because of the age or sensitivity of your students, or if you have never done anything like Shakespeare before, you may wish to adjust the line-up AO has scheduled for Years 1-3 (scheduled plays are listed on AO's weekly schedule) and instead do a couple of the comedies first -- Midsummer Night's Dream, Much Ado About Nothing, The Tempest, and maybe a historical Shakespeare play. These are the plays AO schedules to be read in a paraphrase for younger students:
     Year 1
          Midsummer Nights Dream
          The Tempest
          As You Like It
          The Winter's Tale
          King Lear
          Twelfth Night; Or, What You Will
     Year 2
          The Two Gentlemen of Verona
          Romeo and Juliet
          All's Well That Ends Well
          The Comedy of Errors
     Year 3
          The Merchant of Venice
          Pericles, Prince of Tyre
          The Taming of the Shrew
          Measure for Measure
          Much Ado About Nothing
          Hamlet, Prince of Denmark (Back)

27."Parables from 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 your child needs something more manageable, a Modern English paraphrase version of this book is available. You can read it for free online here or purchase. ($amzn) (K). (Back)

28. Pilgrim's Progress: The original language is recommended; read why and see recommended versions by clicking here. (Back)

30. Don't let your son be put off by Understood Betsy because it's "about a girl." We've had many, many requests from moms to suggest a Boy Option because their son balked at this book - only to have the same moms later report that "Understood Betsy" turned out to be a favorite book. "Understood Betsy" was also published as "Betsy" in the UK. (Back)

32. The Wind in the Willows: we recommend the edition illustrated by Ernest H. Shepard (Back)

34. Robin Hood may be continued into the summer if necessary to finish. Don't let the language put you off this book. After getting a feel for the rhythym and phrases, many moms report that this is a favorite with their children, especially boys. It can be the book that helps transition children to some other challenging AO books. You can purchase an unabridged audio of Robin Hood read in a wonderful British accent by David Case from Blackstone Audio. ($amzn) (Back)

36. 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)

38. Heidi wasn't written in English, and there are various translations out there; some leave things out. Look for one that has all of the chapters and includes the hymns. There is a beautifully illustrated, unabridged 'gift edition' online (it's the one at Project Gutenberg linked to the title 'Heidi'), and one with Jessie Wilcox Smith illustrations, although that one may not be complete. (Back)

40. "Tanglewood Tales" is similar to Charles Kingsley's book 'The Heroes,' which is read in Year 3 (Back)

42. Five Children and It: In ch 11, near the very end of the book, there's this line: 'Him outside and me in, I was,' said Martha; 'except for fetching up a fresh pail and the leather that that sl-- of a Eliza 'd hidden away behind the mangle.' The word didn't used to mean what it does now; it used to mean a lazy person. (Back)

43. Dr. Dolittle - The original has racist issues and references that are unacceptable today. We strongly recommend finding a version edited for modern readers. These public domain versions link to the original version and will need editing. That includes the audio versions we've linked. Project Gutenberg β α ($amzn) Ω Λ (Back)

44. Some versions of Mary Poppins say 'revised' because P.L. Travers revised chapter 6 herself in 1981 to get rid of some rather nasty racist things; read more about that here. (Back)

46. Otto of the Silver Hand: Be aware that the child loses a hand in this story; if your child is sensitive, you might want to gloss over or edit that part. (Back)

For those on a strict budget, recommended purchases are:

Hillyer's Child's History of the World is used for multiple years; ($amzn) unless you plan to use M.B. Synge's online books instead
Handbook of Nature Study by Anna Botsford Comstock is used for 6 years; ($amzn) - online, but would be cumbersome to utilize that way.
Joan of Arc by Diane Stanley if your library does not have it ($amzn)
a Math program
a phonics program (although you can make do yourself, as this mom did)
Tree in the Trail ($amzn) and Seabird ($amzn) by Holling C Holling if your library does not have them
Laura Ingalls Wilder books if your library does not have them ($amzn)
D'Aulaire's Abraham Lincoln (free reading), if your library doesn't have it ($amzn) ($BFBooks)
Other books can be read online or borrowed from the library.

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Last update Oct. 2, 2020