AmblesideOnline - Year 3 Booklist

Weekly schedule is here.

"Children make large demands upon us. We owe it to them to initiate an immense number of interests. Thou hast set my feet in a large room; should be the glad cry of every intelligent soul."

Charlotte Mason, Volume 3, p. 170
A Basic Overview of Year 3
BibleHistoryGeographyScience and Math
Exodus and the life of Moses

Late 1400's-1600's Renaissa nce and Reformation

English monarchs


Da Vinci/Michelangelo


Marco Polo/China
Nature Study

Ocean life

Woods Animals

Examples through history
Language ArtsLiteratureForeign LanguageMusic and Arts

Oral Narration


Blake, Teasdale, Longfellow

Tall Tales

Jungle Book, mythology, and more. . .
Modern Language Hymns and Folk Songs

Artist/picture study


Drawing and Handicrafts

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

Some students may be ready to tackle one or two of their own books this year. They will continue with daily copywork, still in short lessons. History becomes a little more rigorous with stories of kings and queens. They will keep a simple timeline. Every scheduled reading will still be narrated orally as in past years. Foreign language study continues.

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

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

Daily Instruction:

Weekly Instruction:

Bible [06]

History: 1400-1600 Renaissance and Reformation

History Tales and/or Biography


In addition, these geography concepts should be explained and taught this year: [26]

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.


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 [31]

Purchase all three terms of Year 3's poetry for Kindle (K)


Additional Books for Free Reading [36]

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

If your Year 3-4 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 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)

8. 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)

10. 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)

12. 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.

If you need an online book, we suggest The Discovery of New Worlds ($amzn) (K) Ω and The Awakening of Europe by M.B. Synge ($amzn) (K) Ω
The Discovery of New Worlds and The Awakening of Europe, by M. B. Synge may be used in place of A Child's History of the World. The Discovery of New Worlds: ch 31 and 49; The Awakening of Europe: ch 5, 6, 14, 15, 30. Term 1: ch 31, 49, 50, and The Awakening of Europe ch 5
Term 2: The Awakening of Europe ch 6, 14, 15
Term 3: The Awakening of Europe ch 30
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. (Advisory note: look also at Synge's A Book of Discovery α)

Note on The Story of Mankind, by VanLoon Ω α [16] Chapters from 'The Story of Mankind', by Hendrick Van Loon 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 39-40, Renaissance, Age of Expression, 1471.
Term 2: ch 41-42 Great Discoveries 1497?, Buddha Confucius.
Term 3: ch 43 Reformation, 1517.
For planning purposes, there is a Table of Contents with dates for The Story of Mankind here.

16. (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. Leonardo Da Vinci, by Emily Hahn is a 'Landmark' book and can be purchased from Sonlight. (Back)

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

24. Landing of the Pilgrims, by James Daugherty is a 'Landmark' book.
Optional alternate: Squanto, by Feenie Ziner; the 1965 edition of this book was called 'Dark Pilgrim;' be aware that it has references to native spiritism. ($amzn) An online file of Feenie Ziner's book can be borrowed for 14 days from Squanto, Friend Of The Pilgrims by Clyde Robert Bulla is shorter and easier and could be used as a supplement, but wouldn't be sufficient for a replacement. (Back)

26. 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: 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 (£) α 7. How to Tell Distance
   Long's Home Geography α 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

28. 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)

30. 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)

31. 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)

32. 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)

33."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)

34. Pilgrim's Progress - The original language is recommended; read why and see recommended versions by clicking here. (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. 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 is used for 2 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.)
a Math program
a phonics program if necessary
Da Vinci, by Emily Hahn, Landmark Book ($amzn) OR Michelangelo, by Diane Stanley ($amzn) (check library for these)
Bard of Avon, by Peter Vennema and Diane Stanley ($amzn) OR Good Queen Bess, by Diane Stanley ($amzn) (check library for these)
Squanto (Dark Pilgrim), by Feenie Ziner ($amzn) OR Landing of the Pilgrims Landmark Book, by James Daugherty ($amzn) (K)
American Tall Tales, by Adrien Stoutenberg, unless your library has a copy of tall tales ($amzn)
Pagoo ($amzn)
A Drop of Water: A Book of Science and Wonder, by Walter Wick ($amzn)
Laura Ingalls Wilder books if your library does not have them ($amzn)
Elizabeth Enright books are nice if you can find them cheap (but not worth high collector prices) ($amzn)
Other books can be read online or borrowed from the library.

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Last update Oct. 2, 2020