AmblesideOnline for Groups Form 1A 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 - manybooks.net, another free ebook site.
α - free etext at archive.org.
K - free Kindle text from amazon.com.
(£amzn) - Living Books Press purchase using AO's amazon.com affiliate link.
($amzn) - book purchase using AO's amazon.com affiliate link.
(K) - Kindle purchase using AO's amazon.com 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 means that when you purchase from livingbookpress.com we receive a commission which allows us to keep offering AO for free. LBP links are identified like this: (£)

AmblesideOnline is part of Amazon.com'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.

AmblesideOnline Form 1A Curriculum

Bible [6]

Old Testament - Genesis
New Testamant - Luke 1-18

History: 55BC-1265AD

Begin or continue a simple timeline. [4]

An Island Story by H. E. Marshall, ch 1-38 β α (£) (£amzn) (£amzn) ($amzn) (K) Ω [8]
A Child's History of the World by Virgil Hillyer, ch 47-57 ($amzn) [10]
² This Country of Ours by H. E. Marshall, ch 1 β α (£) (£amzn) (£amzn) ($amzn) K Ω [12]
Fifty Famous Stories Retold by James Baldwin, selected chapters β α (£) ($amzn) (£amzn) (K) Ω Ω K [14]

Biography

¹ George Washington by Ingri and Edgar Parin D'Aulaire ($amzn) ($BFBooks) Borrow Online for 1 Hour: α [15]
¹ Farmer George Plants a Nation by Peggy Thomas. ($amzn)
¹ Viking Tales by Jennie Hall, ch 1-11 β α (£) (£amzn) ($amzn) Ω [16]
² ³ The Little Duke by Charlotte Yonge β α (£)(£amzn) ($amzn) Ω K [18]

Literature

The Aesop for Children by Milo Winter ($amzn) K Λ
¹ Just So Stories by Rudyard Kipling β α ($amzn) Ω Ω Nice free audio recordings of some stories here. [28]
² The Jungle Book, Book I by Rudyard Kipling β α Ω ($amzn) K [29]
³ The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame β α ($amzn) Ω K Λ (we recommend the edition illustrated by Ernest H. Shepard)

Parables from Nature by Margaret Gatty. α (£) (£amzn) ($amzn) (K) Ω Ω
A modern English paraphrase is available ($amzn) (K) [30]

Pilgrim's Progress, Book 1 (Christian's Journey; also here) α by John Bunyan, first half this year ($amzn) Ω [32]
The Blue Fairy Book by Andrew Lang β α ($amzn) (£) (£amzn) Ω Λ, selected chapters. [34]
Tales from Shakespeare by Charles Lamb β α (£) (£amzn) ($amzn) (K) K Ω [35]
American Tall Tales by Adrien Stoutenburg ($amzn)
The Heroes by Charles Kingsley (used for older students) β α (also here) (£) (£amzn) ($amzn) Ω K

Poetry [25]

A Child's Garden of Verses (for younger students) β by Robert Louis Stevenson; ($amzn) Ω K Λ
Now We Are Six ($amzn) (K) and When We Were Very Young ($amzn) (K) by A.A. Milne (4-Volume Pooh Library: $amzn)

AmblesideOnline's Anthology of 200 Classic Children's Poems. (K) (or other quality collection of poems)

Copywork

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: ($amzn) Level B: ($amzn)
Getty Dubay Italic Handwriting Series ($earch)

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.

Discover Reading by Amy Tuttle: guide, lesson plans and activities to teach reading with CM's methods.

Additional (non-CM) programs the AO Advisory has used and can recommend (not an exhaustive list):
Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons by Engelmann, Haddox and Bruner ($amzn)
Alpha-Phonics: A Primer for Beginning Readers by Samuel L. Blumenfeld ($amzn) (K)
Home Start in Reading by Ruth Beechick ($amzn)

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

Recitation

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

Geography

Paddle to the Sea by Holling C. Holling ($amzn) [20]

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

Term 1: The world is round.
Left, right, front (before), back (behind) are positions.
Know left from right and front from behind.
Left/right, front/behind vary with perspective.

Term 2: Fixed direction (north, south, east, west).
The sun shows direction: East is where the sun rises, west is where it sets.
Stars (North or Pole Star, constellations) show direction and help mariners find their way.
The length and direction of shadows can help us tell time as well as direction.

Term 3: The round world can be divided into two spheres (hemispheres).
The line dividing it across the middle is the equator; its parallel lines are latitude.
The line where the earth meets the sky is called the horizon.

Nature Study and Science

The Handbook of Nature Study by Anna Botsford Comstock α ($amzn) as scheduled in 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 all

Nature Study Topics for the 2021-2022 School Year:
summer/fall: Invertebrates
winter: Rocks, minerals and soil
spring: Fish
AO's full Nature Study rotation

The Burgess Bird Book for Children by Thornton Burgess β α (£) (£amzn) ($amzn) Ω K [24]
A Drop of Water: A Book of Science and Wonder by Walter Wick ($amzn) [26]
Secrets of the Woods by William J. Long (used for older students) β α (£) (£amzn) ($amzn) K Ω

Mathematics

Select a program that meets the needs of your student(s) from our page of Math Options.

Art

Artists (Picture Study) for the 2021-2022 School Year:

TERM 1 Jan Van Eyck (1395-1441; Flemish Northern Renaissance) (This term's composer: Saint-Saens and Berlioz, Early Romantic)
The Crucifixion and The Last Judgement are two of Van Eyck's most important and well-known works; however, they're gruesome, so alternatives have been suggested along with them.
1. The Crucifixion, 1425-30 Brussels, Belgium OR Birth of John the Baptist, 1422, Museo Civico d'Arte Antica, Turin, Italy
2. The Last Judgement, 1425-30, Brussels, Belgium OR Madonna with Child Reading, 1433, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia
3. Adoration of the Lamb (From the Ghent Altarpiece, 1425-30)
4. The Annunciation, 1434-1436, National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.
5. The Arnolfini Wedding, 1434, National Gallery, London
6. Man in a Red Turban, 1433, National Gallery, London
Download a pdf file of this term's six prints here

TERM 2 Sandro Botticelli (1445-1510; Florentine Renaissance) (This term's composer: Bach)
1. Fortitude, c. 1470, Uffizi Gallery, Florence (also here; CM describes this in Vol 4, Book 2, pg 41)
2. Primavera, c. 1482, Uffizi Gallery, Florence or, this more modest alternate detail
3. Madonna of the Magnificat 1483-85, Uffizi Gallery, Florence
4. The Birth of Venus, c. 1485, Uffizi Gallery, Florence or, this more modest detail
5. A Young Man Being Introduced to the Seven Liberal Arts, c. 1484, Louvre, Paris (also here)
6. Calumny of Apelles, or, more modest detail, 1494-95, Uffizi Gallery, Florence (described in CM's Vol 4 Book 1 pg 151)
Download a pdf file of this term's six prints here

TERM 3 Caspar David Friedrich (1774-1840; German Romantic) (This term's composer: Liszt)
1. The Cross in the Mountains 1808, Gemaldegalerie, Dresden, Germany
2. The Wanderer above the Mists, 1817-18, Kunsthalle, Hamburg, Germany
3. Chalk Cliffs on Rügen, 1818-19, Stiftung Oskar Reinhart, Winterthur, Switzerland
4. On Board a Sailing Ship, State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia
5. Moon Rising over the Sea, 1821, State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia
6. Woman at a Window, 1822, National Gallery, Berlin, Germany
Download a pdf file of this term's six prints here

AO's full Artist rotation

Music

Composers for the 2021-2022 School Year:

TERM 1 Hector Berlioz (1803-1869) and Camille Saint-Saëns (1835-1921; Romantic) (This term's artist: Jan Van Eyck)
1. Saint-Saëns - Symphony no 3 in C min Op 78 * *
2. Saint-Saëns - Danse Macabre Op 40 * *
3. Saint-Saëns - Carnaval of Animals * *
4. Berlioz - Symphonie Fantastique * *
5. Berlioz - Dance of the Sylphs (from Faust Op. 24) * *
6. Berlioz - Rakoczy (Hungarian) March (from Faust Op. 24) * *
     Classics for Kids Past Shows: Berlioz; Saint-Saens

TERM 2 Johann Sebastian Bach ( 1685-1750; Baroque) (This term's artist: Sandro Botticelli)
1, 2. Magnificat in D major BWV 243 (4 weeks) * *
3. Chaconne from Partita in D minor BWV 1004 * *
4. any Church cantata * *
5. Brandenburg Concerto No. 6 in B flat major, BWV 1051 * *
6. Art of the Fugue BWV 1080 * *   Full * *
     Purchase the book Sebastian Bach, The Boy from Thuringia ($amzn) by Opal Wheeler
     Free Ebook for younger students Johann Sebastian Bach: The Boy who sang in the streets by Thomas Tapper
     Classics for Kids Past Shows: Bach

TERM 3 Franz Liszt (1811-1886; Romantic) (This term's artist: Caspar David Friedrich)
1. Piano Concerto no 1 in E-flat major S.124 * * *
2. Hungarian Rhapsodies, especially no 2 (this was featured in Tom and Jerry and Rhapsody Rabbit cartoons) * *   All *
3. Les Preludes, Symphonic Poem no. 3 S.97 * *
4. Liebestraum No. 3 in A-flat major for piano * *
5. Piano Sonata in B min S.178 * *
6. Mephisto Waltz No. 1, S. 514 * *
     Free Ebook for younger students Liszt: The Boy Who Became a Great Pianist and Teacher by Thomas Tapper
     Classics for Kids Past Shows: Liszt

AO's full Composer rotation

Hymns for the 2021-2022 School Year:
September: I Am Resolved * *
October: To God Be The Glory * *
November: The Love of God * *
December: Tell Me The Story Of Jesus * *
January: O God, Our Help In Ages Past *
February: Leaning on the Everlasting Arms * *
March: At Calvary * * *
April: Am I A Soldier Of The Cross? *
May: Now Thank We All Our God * *
June: 'Tis So Sweet To Trust in Jesus * *
July: Nearer, My God, To Thee * * * * *
August: More Love To Thee, O Christ *

AO's full Hymn rotation

Folksongs for the 2021-2022 School Year:
September(subj. to change) The Jam on Gerry's Rocks * * (Related: film about Woodsmen and River Drivers)
October:
November:
During your Christmas break, try a carol you may be less familiar with:
He Is Born, The Heav'nly Child/Il est ne, le divin enfant and/or O Come, O Come Emmanuel
January (subj. to change) Land of the Silver Birch * * *
February:
March:
April (subj. to change) Farewell to Nova Scotia * * *
May:
June:

AO's full Folksong rotation

Physical Education

One option is Swedish Drill Revisited by Dawn Duran purchase

Additional Books for Free Reading for Form 1 [36]

Charlotte's Web by E.B. White ($amzn)
King of the Golden River by John Ruskin β α (£) (£amzn) Ω Λ K
Peter Pan (or, Peter and Wendy) by James M. Barrie β α ($amzn) Ω Ω Λ [38]
Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi Why? β α ($amzn) (K) Ω Ω K
The Red Fairy Book by Andrew Lang β α (£) (£amzn) ($amzn) K Ω
St. George and the Dragon by Margaret Hodges ($amzn)
The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams β α (£) ($amzn) (£amzn) (K) Ω Λ
Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder ($amzn) ($amzn) (K) 9-bk series: ($amzn) Paperback: (&amzn) (K)
Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder ($amzn) ($amzn) (K)
Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder ($amzn) ($amzn) (K)
On the Banks of Plum Creek by Laura Ingalls Wilder ($amzn) ($amzn) (K)
Pocahontas by Ingri D'Aulaire ($amzn) ($BFBooks)
Buffalo Bill by Ingri D'Aulaire ($amzn) ($BFBooks) Borrow Online for 1 Hour: α
Heidi by Joanna Spyri. β α ($amzn) (K) Ω [38]
A Wonder Book by Nathaniel Hawthorne β α ($amzn) K Ω
Tanglewood Tales by Nathaniel Hawthorne β α ($amzn) Ω K [42]
Five Little Peppers and How They Grew by Margaret Sidney β α (£) (£amzn) ($amzn) Ω K
Hans Christian Andersen fairy tales α β (£) ($amzn) (K) K (selections)
The Pied Piper of Hamelin α by Robert Browning ($amzn) Ω K
Five Children and It by Edith Nesbit β ($amzn) (K) Ω K [44]
The Story of Doctor Dolittle by Hugh Lofting [45]
Mary Poppins by P.L. Travers ($amzn) (K) [46]
Brighty of the Grand Canyon by Marguerite Henry ($amzn)
Mr. Popper's Penguins by Richard Atwater ($amzn) (K)
Otto of the Silver Hand by Howard Pyle β α (£) (£amzn) ($amzn) Ω K [48]
Chanticleer and the Fox by Barbara Cooney's is one version ($amzn)
Along Came A Dog by Meindert De Jong ($amzn)
The Door in the Wall by Marguerite De Angeli ($amzn) (K)
A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett β α ($amzn) Ω Ω Λ
At the Back of the North Wind by George MacDonald β α (£) (£amzn) ($amzn) Ω K
Men of Iron by Howard Pyle β α (£) (£amzn) ($amzn) Ω K
Alice's Adventures In Wonderland by Lewis Carroll β α ($amzn) (K) Ω Λ [50]
Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll β α ($amzn) (K) Ω K
The Bears of Blue River by Charles Major α (£) (£amzn)
Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome ($amzn) (K), Swallowdale ($amzn) (K), and others in the series. ($earch)
Caddie Woodlawn by Carol Ryrie Brink ($amzn) (K)
The Little White Horse by Elizabeth Goudge ($amzn) (K)
James Herriot's Treasury for Children by James Herriot ($amzn); also published as "James Herriot's Treasury of Inspirational Stories for Children."

The Water Babies by Charles Kingsley β α ($amzn) ($amzn) (K) K Ω [download an abridged, slightly annotated Word doc of this book by Anne White.]

The Saturdays by Elizabeth Enright ($amzn) (K) and sequels:
The Four Story Mistake ($amzn) (K)
Then There Were Five ($amzn) (K)
Spiderweb for Two ($amzn) (K)
Ω (kayray has read all of these; search for them here)

English Fairy Tales by Joseph Jacobs β α α (£) (£amzn) ($amzn) Ω K (more)
King of the Wind by Marguerite Henry (18th century, Africa, France and England) ($amzn) (K)
The Wheel on the School by Meindert De Jong ($amzn)

Excellent living books for a beginning reader to read independently for free reading:

The Boxcar Children (just the first one) by Gertrude Chandler Warner ($amzn)
A Lion to Guard Us ($amzn), Shoeshine Girl ($amzn), or others by Clyde Robert Bulla
Henry and Mudgeand others in the series by Cynthia Rylant ($amzn)
A Toad for Tuesday by Russell Erickson by Russell Erickson ($amzn)

Millicent Selsam's easy readers. Particularly good are:
Plenty of Fish
Seeds and More Seeds
Let's Get Turtles

Frog and Toad books (and others) by Arnold Lobel
Frog and Toad Are Friends ($amzn)
Frog and Toad All Year ($amzn)
Frog and Toad Together ($amzn)
Days With Frog and Toad ($amzn)
Owl at Home ($amzn)
Grasshopper on the Road ($amzn)
Mouse Soup ($amzn)
Mouse Tales ($amzn)

Little Bear books by Elsa Holmelund Minarik:
Little Bear ($amzn)
Father Bear Comes Home ($amzn)
Little Bear's Friend ($amzn)
Little Bear's Visit ($amzn)
A Kiss for Little Bear ($amzn)

Easier, but still excellent, living books, for a slightly more advanced reader:

The Matchlock Gun by Walter D. Edmonds ($amzn) (K)
The Bears on Hemlock Mountain by Alice Dalgliesh ($amzn)
The Hundred Dresses, by Eleanor Estes ($amzn)
The Enormous Egg by Oliver Butterworth ($amzn)
Impunity Jane: the Story of a Pocket Doll by Rumer Godden ($amzn)
The Story of Holly and Ivy (a Christmas book) by Rumer Godden ($amzn)

Betsy-Tacy books by Maud Hart Lovelace:
Betsy-Tacy ($amzn)
Betsy-Tacy and Tib ($amzn)
Betsy and Tacy Go Over the Big Hill ($amzn)

Billy and Blaze books by C. W. Anderson:
Billy and Blaze ($amzn)
Blaze and the Forest Fire ($amzn)
Blaze and Thunderbolt ($amzn)
Blaze and the Mountain Lion ($amzn)
Blaze Finds the Trail ($amzn)
Blaze and the Lost Quarry ($amzn)
Blaze and the Gray Spotted Pony ($amzn)
Blaze Shows the Way ($amzn)

Fairchild Family series by Rebecca Caudill:
Happy Little Family ($amzn)
Schoolhouse in the Woods ($amzn)
Up and Down the River ($amzn)
Schoolroom in the Parlor ($amzn)

And a little more advanced:

The Courage of Sarah Noble by Alice Dalgliesh ($amzn) (K)
The Remarkable Journey of Prince Jen by Lloyd Alexander ($amzn)
Twenty and Ten by Claire Huchet Bishop ($amzn)
Rabbit Hill by Robert Lawson ($amzn)
The Twenty-One Balloons by William Pene du Bois ($amzn) (K)
My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George ($amzn) (K)

Sarah Plain and Tall series by Patricia MacLachlan
Sarah Plain and Tall ($amzn) (K)
Skylark ($amzn) (K)
Caleb's Story ($amzn) (K)
More Perfect than the Moon ($amzn) (K)
Grandfather's Dance ($amzn) (K)

Footnotes

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. Timeline: At this age, students should be keeping a timeline of their own personal history. Read an Advisory member's blog post about early timelines at Wendi Wanders. 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. It is a good idea for children 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. For more about this, read Lynn Bruce's article on the King James Version.
Optional Bible Resources: Bible Gateway has many versions of the Bible online. Timeline; Study questions with maps. (Back)

8. An Island Story, Chapters 1-38 this year:
     Term 1: ch 1-14, 55BC to 574 AD, Albion and Brutus to Gregory
     Term 2: ch 15-26 849-1087, Alfred the Great to William the Conqueror.
     Term 3: ch 27-38 1058-1265, William the Red to Henry III.
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. (Back)

10. A Child's History of the World, ch 47 on Charlemagne to ch 57 on John Lackland; ch 48 ("Getting a Start") on Alfred is optional, as that is also covered in 'An Island Story.'
     Term 1 ch 47, 48 (ch 45, 46 in 1st edition) 800-900 AD; Charlemagne, Alfred
     Term 2: ch 49-52 (ch 47-50 in 1st edition) 1000-1066; Lief Ericson to Harold
     Term 3: ch 53-57 (ch 51-54? in 1st edition) 1100-1215; Peter the Hermit to Magna Carta
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. (Back)

12. This Country of Ours: ch 1 is covered this year.      Term 1 ch 1 1000 AD; Vikings
For planning purposes, there is a table of contents with dates for This Country of Ours. (Back)

14. Fifty Famous Tales: chapters are scheduled chronologically, rather than in chapter order.
Term 1:
     ch 30 The Sword of Damocles
     ch 31 Damon and Pythias
     ch 32 A Laconic Answer
     ch 36 The Brave Three Hundred
     ch 34 Alexander and Bucephalus
Term 2:
     ch 35 Diogenes the Wise Man
     ch 25 The Story of Regulus
     ch 26 Cornelia's Jewels
     ch 28 Horatius at the Bridge
Term 3:
     ch 24 The Story of Cincinnatus
     ch 27 Androclus and the Lion
The selected Tales from "Fifty Famous Stories Retold" are historically vital for cultural literacy. No child should grow up without knowing the story of William Tell or Horatio at the Bridge. These tales not only have deep value as stories of courage, bravery, and wit, but they will also show up in many other readings (and in media sources as well) for the rest of your child's life. There will be references that allude to the Sword of Damocles (such as this news story). If you do not know the stories, you miss those references and so some nuances are lost. Your child's life will be the richer for knowing these stories. Click the 'selected chapters' link to see a list of the chapters covered. (Back)

15. George Washington by D'aulaire: pg 56, the last picture of happy slaves standing at the front of the house with Washington's wife and children to welcome him home, is one that some parents/teachers may want to discuss, or tape over. Farmer George Plants a Nation by Peggy Thomas ($amzn) is scheduled as a supplement to give some balance to the issue of slavery that is missing in the D'Aulaire book. However, its depiction of George Washington as a farmer is inadequate on its own to be the only word about the country's first great leader. (Back)

16. "Viking Tales" are hero stories and myths of Norway. Read Part 1, chapters 1-11 in Year 1; the second part, about Leif Erikson, is covered in Year 2. (Back)

18. The Little Duke: Yes, the language in this book is a challenge, but the challenging books that tell engaging stories are the ones that will slowly scaffold children to comprehend the nuances and meanings of longer sentences and more complex sentence structure so that they'll be able to read anything by high school with ease. 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. (Back)

20. After reading Paddle to the Sea, you can watch a three-part docu-drama of the book on YouTube by clicking the links: Part 1; Part 2; Part 3 (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.
Term 1: The world is round. Left, right, front (before), back (behind) are positions; know which is which and realize they are dependent on perspective.
These topics are covered in these chapters:
Charlotte Mason's Elementary Geography (£) (£amzn): Our World Part I
Long's Home Geography (£) (£amzn) 1. Position

Term 2: Fixed direction (north, south, east, west). The sun shows direction: East is where the sun rises, west is where it sets. Stars (North or Pole Star, constellations) show direction and help mariners find their way. The length and direction of shadows can help us tell time as well as direction.
These topics are covered in these chapters:
Long's Home Geography 2. How the Sun Shows Direction
Long's Home Geography 3. How the Stars Show Direction

Term 3: The round world can be divided into two spheres. The line dividing it across the middle is the equator; its parallel lines are latitude. The line where the earth meets the sky is called the horizon.
These topics are covered in this chapter:
Charlotte Mason's Elementary Geography: Our World Part II
(Back)

24. The Burgess Bird Book: You may choose 6 chapters per 12-week term based on season and which birds frequent your geographical region: Fall/winter: ch 36-45; Early spring ch 3-32; Late spring/summer ch 3-35.

Burgess Bird Book Resources:
Supplements for Bird Study: More Bird Photos | Bird songs online | An online birdfeeder guide (or here)

In most cases, especially in North America, the absolute best option is to buy a field guide about birds and have the students hold that book in their hands, looking at the picture of the bird being described while the teacher reads aloud the corresponding chapter. A field guide in the child's hands is a very CM-compatible approach and saves mom a bunch of time and energy. If that's not possible, look at photographs of the bird on a nature website that also has the bird calls, and play them after reading the description.
For free coloring pages, go about halfway down this page. Also, Rod and Staff has bird pictures in their Nature to Color coloring book. There's a site to order from; calling them directly may be quicker. 1-606-522-4348 (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. A Drop of Water: Experiments are all on pgs 38-39; feel free to adjust the timing of winter experiments (sections 14, 15, 16) to suit your climate. (Back)

28. Note - In "Just So Stories," How the Leopard Got His Spots has one occurrence of a racial slur that will need to be omitted; it's near the very end of the chapter. Unabridged audio versions may include the deplorable word. (Back)

29. The Jungle Book: Yes, this is a hard book. It's hard for a reason. It's going to stretch and grow your student's ability to read and comprehend -- the Robinson Crusoe, Jungle Book, and Children of the New Forest he learns to manage now will prepare him for Oliver Twist, Age of Fable, and Sleepy Hollow in Form 2. This is how Form 3 students can read Churchill, Ivanhoe and Utopia later. It's a growing process that happens step by step, book by book. It's okay that it's hard at first. Read smaller portions, buddy-read (take turns paragraph by paragraph), let the child read along while listening to an audio version (make sure he's seeing the words/sentences). It's okay to use alternate ways of reading the book. But please, please...read the book. Once you have the experience of growing into a book as you read, it will be easier to persevere in the future when a book feels hard at first. (Back)

30. Parables from Nature is a Christian character book using elements of nature to make its point, and is scheduled for all 3 years of Form 1. 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 or purchase. ($amzn) (K). Use paraphrases cautiously. If a child 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 paraphrases. (Back)

32. Pilgrim's Progress: The original language is recommended; read why and see recommended versions. Book I (Christian's Journey) is spread over two years of Form 1; Book II (Christiana's Journey) is scheduled over the last year of Form 1. (Back)

34. The Blue Fairy Book: This book is used over three years; these are the tales schedules this year: Term 1: Beauty and the Beast; Term 2: Why the Sea is Salt; Term 3: Felicia and the Pot of Pinks; Prince Darling.
Fairy tales are not necessarily bad for children: Read three articles about fairy tales from Charlotte Mason's original PR magazine: 1, 2, 3, and read Wendi Capehart's article about Fairy Tales. If your children are sensitive to tragic stories, (and every situation will be different because children are unique and have varying levels of tolerance) you may prefer alternate suggestions:
Grimm's Fairy Tales (these selections) Ω
Hans Christian Andersen's Fairy Tales (which have less magic, but can be more tragic and sad) Ω Ω
Howard Pyle's The Wonder Clock α
Nine tales from the Blue Fairy Book specially selected with no fairies, witches or magic spells (Back)

35. Shakespeare: In the event the term's play is not in the Lamb's book, choose one from the AO rotation that isn't scheduled to come up for a couple of years (so you don't end up repeating the same play the following year). A Midsummer Night's Dream is always a good one to start with. Also notable are the comedies The Tempest, The Taming of The Shrew, and Twelfth Night -- and the tragedies Hamlet and Macbeth. (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) Students should understand 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. Some parents may wish to make some omissions in Peter Pan: this book is very British and, on a few occasions, Tinker Bell uses the word for a donkey in name-calling. Her character is not admirable, and in chapter 6, fairies are said to be coming home from a wild partying revelry, but the word that is used sounds odd to us because it has changed meaning since the book was written. There is also a casual attitude about violence, although there is nothing realistically explicit. Over all, the book is fun and J.M. Barrie has a fun sense of humor and a charming writing style that is delightful to read. If you read the book aloud, omissions can be made.
Peter Pan was originally written as a play called "The Boy Who Would Not Grow Up." Then a novel followed, a prequel to tell how Peter ran away from his mother and went to live with the fairies when he was seven days old. That book is called "Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens." And last, the play was re-written as a novel called "Peter Pan and Wendy." (Back)

39. Pocahontas: The John Smith story very likely is false; at best, it's probably very much exaggerated -- but it's the story John Smith told because that's the kind of person he was, and it's the story people believed for years and years. That alone makes it worth knowing.
It's a good thing for children to be drawn to people in history, to feel connected to them as real people, to be interested in them, and the D'Aulaire book makes that happen. Learning what people believed about somebody, even if the version they believed is mistaken, is also educative. People admired the story of Pocahantas because the tale of a young Indian girl saving a potential enemy's life, a stranger's, a foreigner's, was inspiring to them.
And it's a good thing for them to learn, as they do over time with AmblesideOnline, that history is a collection of different viewpoints, that witnesses of the same event can come away with different impressions and different understandings about what happened and why for an assortment of reasons.
One Advisory progeny majored in history at Purdue, with a focus on Spanish colonialism; one of her favourite professors used to remind his students constantly that they owed it to the people of the past to let them be who they were, and to understand that in the midst of the New World conflicts, nobody knew how it was going to end.
History, and people, are more complex than a simple black and white answer. It's a fairly simple matter to say, "This is the story that John Smith told about what happened. It's probably not true, he liked to exaggerate a lot, but we'll learn more about that later. Right now, this is a really fun story to know, and there really was a young Indian girl named Pocahantas and she traveled to England and met the Queen, so she was certainly seen as somebody special by the English."
It might be compared to the cherry tree story with George Washington. It may not have happened that way, but people told that story and believed it for years for two reasons -- they really admired and respected honesty and integrity, and they believed those qualities were closely connected to George Washington. The cherry tree story is more likely to be true than not -- it's notable that in the original publication the focus was not on George, but rather, the story was told to illustrate the character of his father and his father's standards and parenting tactics, and nobody questioned it until Woodrow Wilson in the 1920s, and he had his own less than disinterested reasons for debunking the heroes who preceded him. But this story, of John Smith, should be seen more as a Tall Tale told by John Smith about real people, but he was quite the braggart and it's likely false. * (Back)

40. 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)

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

44. 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)

45. 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)

46. 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. (Back)

48. 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)

50. 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)

Last update Mar. 16, 2021

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