2017-2018 School Picks

“A child should be brought up to have relations of force with earth and water, should run and ride, swim and skate, lift and carry; should know texture, and work in material; should know by name, and where and how they live at any rate, the things of the earth about him, its birds and beasts and creeping things, its herbs and trees. . .” -Charlotte Mason, Volume 3

As some of my readers may know, we are a homeschool family. Yearly, I will share our homeschool curriculum with the hope of assisting other homeschool parents in choosing curriculum that suits their family.

We are in our 5th year of homeschooling, which I certainly find hard to believe! I currently have three kiddos in school ages 9, 8, and 5. In the past, we have utilized My Father’s World, Bob Jones University, and Alpha Omega for various subjects. It can be difficult and overwhelming to choose a curriculum for your family. This year, we decided to take a different approach and dove wholeheartedly into the Charlotte Mason teaching style. Charlotte Mason was a British Educator in the 20th century. She believed that education was “an atmosphere, a discipline, and a life”.

Annie's Copywork

I discovered Ambleside Online through a book I was reading in the Spring of 2017. Intrigued, I decided to research AO and loved what I saw. Although I was apprehensive to begin a different curriculum, I was relieved to see it wasn’t too different from My Father’s World, which also implements Mason’s teaching style.

What I enjoy most about Ambleside Online is that it fosters a genuine love for reading and learning. My children have spectacular imaginations and a deep love for play, which I greatly attribute to their taste for real books. Another wonderful fact about AO – it is a Free resource!

Focused on living books rather than textbooks, AO curriculum teaches by covering the child in topics such as history, language, and science through classic literature. Hymn Study, Composer Study, and Artist Study are also included. Charlotte Mason encouraged that a majority of the child’s time be focused on outside play and nature, with intentional observation of creation.

Apple Blossom.jpeg

I hope to dig deeper into the Charlotte Mason learning style with future posts, but for now, I will simply list the children’s books.

The school year is broken up into 4 terms. Here is a list of subjects and books my children will study during Term 1 of this school year.

Kiddo Number 3
5 Years Old
Year 1

– with siblings during Morning Time.

Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons 
– Horizons Phonics.

-Her Weekly Scripture from Awana.

History (Early History 55 BC to 1066 AD):
Trial and Triumph by Richard Hannula
An Island Story by H.E. Marshall
Fifty Famous Stories Retold by James Baldwin

American History Biography:
Benjamin Franklin by Ingri D’Aulaire

Paddle to the Sea by Holling C. Holling

– Hymns and Folk Songs
-Piano lessons, weekly.
-Composer Study: Arcangelo Corelli and George Philipp Telleman

Art Study:
-Artist: Mary Cassatt

Natural Science/Nature Study:
Handbook of Nature Study by Anna Botsford Comstock

-Right Start Math

-A Child’s Garden of Verses by Robert Louis Stevenson

-The Aesop for Children by Milo Winter
-Beautiful Stories from Shakespeare by Edith Nesbit
-The Blue Fairy Book by Andrew Lang
-Just So Stories by Rudyard Kipling
-Parables from Nature by Margaret Getty

Free Reads:
-The Boxcar Children
-A Lion to Guard Us
-Henry and Mudge
-A Toad for Tuesday
-Frog and Toad Series
-Little Bear

Kiddos Number 1 and 2
Ages 9 and 8
Year 4

– Old Testament: Joshua and Judges
– New Testament: Mark

History (1640-1700s)(French and America Revolutions):
This Country of Ours by H.E. Marshall

History Tales:
Trial and Triumph by Richard Hannula
Poor Richard by James Daugherty

Minn of Mississippi by Holling C. Holling
Material World: A Global Family Portrait by Peter Menzel
What the World Eats by Faith D’Aluisio and Peter Menzel
-Map Drills

Natural History/Science:
The Handbook of Nature Study by Anna Botsford Comstock
Madam How and Lady Why by Charles Kingsley
The Storybook of Science by Jean-Henri Fabre
Gregor Mendel: The Friar Who Grew Peas by Cheryl Bardoe and Jos. Smith
– Issac Newton: The Ocean Of Truth by Joyce McPherson

– Right Start Math

Foreign Language:
– Spanish (Rosetta Stone)
– Latin (Memoria Press)

– Alfred Lord Tennyson

– Hymn and Folk Songs
– Piano lessons, weekly
– Composer Study: Arcangelo Corelli and George Philipp Telleman

– Artist Study: Mary Cassatt

– Plutarch’s Lives
– Shakespeare
The Age of Fable by Thomas Bulfinch
The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defore

– Copywork
– Dictation

Free Reads:
There is a long list of free reads to choose from, which is great for my kiddos because they love to read! Here is a short sample:
– Black Beauty
– Pollyanna
– The Chronicles of Narnia
– The Secret Garden
– The Railway Children
– Gone Away Lake
– Gentle Ben
– The Borrowers
– The Peterkin Papers


We are about five weeks into the school year and are loving it thus far! Do you use AO or a similar curriculum? Have questions? Let me know in the comment section below!


3 Comments on “2017-2018 School Picks

  1. Loving your blog! I’ve fallen in love with the CM philosophy, too. I’m interested to see how you like AO. My oldest is only 4, so we aren’t doing anything serious, yet. I tried MFW pre-k and wasn’t a fan of all the structure and schedules. This year, we are slowly working on Read In 100 (about 2 lessons a week) and a Living Math book (the one with the pig).
    I’ll be stalking your CM journey, this year! 😉

    • Hey, glad you are here!!
      Yes, MFW is great for 2nd grade. The focus that year was Early American History, and we loved it! I didn’t really enjoy Exploring Countries and Cultures, so started looking at other options.
      The book I read was called, Mere Motherhood by Cindy Rollins. Have you read it?
      Babe Number 3 is in Year 1, and we finish her AO lessons within 45 minutes or less. It seems like a lot on paper, but is easily broken down to several days throughout the week.

      • I haven’t read that. I will check it out! I did read For the Children’s Sake by Susan Schaefer Macaulay. It was a great into to CM.

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