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AO Year 6 -

AmblesideOnline - Year 6 Booklist

Weekly schedule is here.

"The question is not,--how much does the youth know? when he has finished his education--but how much does he care? and about how many orders of things does he care? In fact, how large is the room in which he finds his feet set? and, therefore, how full is the life he has before him."

Charlotte Mason, Volume 3, p. 170-171
A Basic Overview of Year 6
BibleHistoryGeographyScience and Math
Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, and Job

Life of Christ (gospels in harmony), part 2
End of WWI to present, plus Ancient History

World History

Bio of Winston Churchill

Selected Lives from Plutarch
African Colonization

Animal Features


How People Live
Bios of Einstein, Archimedes, and Galileo

Intelligent Design

Natural History

Nature Study



Plutarch's Lives
Language ArtsLiteratureForeign LanguageMusic and Arts

Oral and Written Narration



Frost, Sandburg, Noyes

Age of Fable, Iliad, and more. . .
Modern Language

Hymns and Folk Songs

Artist/picture study


Drawing and Handicrafts

History studied in Year 6: End of WWI to present day, and 2 terms in ancient history
Term 1: WWI to present day; Term 2: ancient history; Term 3: ancient history

Students continue studying Plutarch's Lives as well as a Shakespearean play each term. They will continue with daily copywork, as well as studied dictation and grammar study. Every scheduled reading will still be narrated, either orally or in writing. Written narration should increase to more often than once a week, serving as further preparation for composition. Foreign language study continues as begun in previous years, alongside the study of Latin.

Note: Our booklists are incomplete without a thorough understanding of Charlotte Mason's ideas and methods. Please take time to familiarize yourself with her philosophy by reading her books. Additionally, our FAQ provides basic instructions and information about the AO curriculum, and 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.

Year 6 reflects a transition year between the education of childhood and the challenging education of the upper years. As such, more mature subject matter is included in some areas. We have endeavored to make note of this where applicable, but we encourage parents to pre-screen such material to determine its appropriateness for their child and family.

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.
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 [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.

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 Lessons:

       Penmanship or Copywork
       Foreign language
       Musical Instrument Practice

Weekly Lessons:

       Art Appreciation
       Correspond history readings with a timeline or century book [04] and map
       Music Appreciation, including a composer, folksongs and hymns
       Nature Study
       One Life from Plutarch per term
       A Shakespeare play each term

Bible [6]

       Old Testament: Genesis
       New Testament: Matthew

History: end of WWI to present day, and 2 terms in ancient history

Year 6 reflects a transition year between the education of childhood and the challenging education of the upper years. As such, more mature subject matter is included in some areas. We have endeavored to make note of this where applicable, but we encourage parents to pre-screen such material to determine its appropriateness for their child and family.

       * The Story of Mankind by Hendrick Van Loon ($) [8]
       * The Story of the World, Vol 4: The Modern Age by Susan Wise Bauer ($ K) [12]
       ** *** Augustus Caesar's World by Genevieve Foster ($) [16]
       ** The Story of the Greeks by H. A. Guerber β Δ ($) Κ
       *** The Story of the Romans by H. A. Guerber Δ ($ K)

History Tales and/or Biography

       Trial and Triumph by Richard Hannula ($; K) [18]
       * ** Never Give In (about Winston Churchill), by Stephen Mansfield ($)
       ** *** Genesis, Finding Our Roots by Ruth Beechick ($) [20]


       * ** The Complete Book of Marvels by Richard Halliburton ($) [22]
               OR A Child's Geography of the World by Virgil Hillyer ($)

       *** The Story of David Livingstone by Vautier Golding ($ K) [24]

       Material World: A Global Family Portrait by Peter Menzel ($) [26]
       What the World Eats by Faith D'Aluisio and Peter Menzel ($) [26]

       Ten minutes of map drills each week [28]
       Locate places from the day's reading on a map

In addition, these geography concepts should be explained and taught this year: [30]

      Term 1: Animal features (feet, teeth, covering) and their purposes
            How we use animals:
            meat, milk, fur, silk, horns, hooves, labor, pets

      Term 2: Things mined from the earth:
            Minerals and metals such as coal, iron, gold, silver, lead, tin, copper, mercury, salt.
            Quarried stones: granite, sandstone; limestone (chalk), marble, slate and their uses.
            Where brick and glass come from

      Term 3: People around the world live in different dwellings, eat, work, learn and play.
            Terms: agriculture (farming), stock-raising,
            mining, lumbering, fishing.
            Town people:
            manufacturing, trade/commerce, transportation and other occupations.

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

       The Mystery of the Periodic Table by Benjamin Wiker and Jeanne Bendick ($ K)
       The Sea Around Us by Rachel Carson ($ K) [32]
       It Couldn't Just Happen by Lawrence Richards ($ K)

       The Elements: A Visual Exploration of Every Known Atom in the Universe by Theodore Gray - selected elements ($)
               Or, purchase the app

Science Biography

       * Albert Einstein and the Theory of Relativity by Robert Cwiklik ($)
               OR Ordinary Genius by Stephanie McPherson ($)

       ** Archimedes and the Door of Science by Jeanne Bendick ($ K)

       *** Galileo and the Magic Numbers by Sidney Rosen (K)


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.
Year 6 exam questions will focus on adjectives, adverbs, prepositions and prepositional phrases.


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

Foreign Language



       * Robert Frost
       ** Carl Sandburg
       *** Dreamkeeper by Langston Hughes ($ K), or Langston's poems online.


       The Age of Fable by Thomas Bulfinch β Δ ($ K) Ω Κ [34]
       * ** The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien (16 weeks) ($ K)
       ** Animal Farm by George Orwell (8 weeks) ($ K)

       ** The Iliad by Homer
We suggest a good retelling, such as The Iliad for Boys and Girls by Alfred Church Δ ($ K) Ω or Black Ships before Troy by Rosemary Sutcliff ($) [36]

       *** The Odyssey by Homer
We suggest a good retelling, such as The Odyssey for Boys and Girls by Alfred Church Δ ($ K) or The Wanderings of Odysseus by Rosemary Sutcliff ($)

Additional Books for Free Reading [38]

Books with asterisks coordinate with that term's historical studies.

       * Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls; 20th century ($ K)
       * The Endless Steppe: Growing Up in Siberia by Esther Hautzig ($) (recommended by AO users!)
       * The Winged Watchman by Hilda Van Stockum ($)
       * Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor ($ K); deals with racism in the 1930's
       * Blue Willow by Doris Gates ($); dust bowl story - there is another book by this name
       * Miracles on Maple Hill by Virginia Sorensen ($ K); depression era fiction- sweet, upbeat, nature appreciation
       * Letters from Rifka by Karen Hesse ($ K); very literary story of a Jewish Immigrant to post WWI America
       * Jungle Pilot: The Life and Witness of Nate Saint, Martyred Missionary to Ecuador by Russel T. Hitt
       * The Von Trapp Family Singers by Maria Von Trapp ($ K)
       * Number the Stars by Lois Lowry ($ K); WWII based on a true story of the Danish efforts to save the Jews
       * The Ark by Margot Benary-Isbert; refugee family attempts survival in post WWII Germany [OOP]
       * The Chestry Oak by Kate Seredy ($); The effects of WWII on a young Hungarian prince
       School of the Woods Δ, by William J. Long ($ K)
       Rob Roy by Sir Walter Scott β Δ ($ K) Ω Vol 1 Κ Vol 2 Κ
       Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain β Δ ($) Ω
       Little Men by Louisa May Alcott β Δ ($) Ω
       Jack and Jill by Louisa May Alcott β Δ ($) Ω Κ (every homeschool family should read this)
       The Cricket on the Hearth by Charles Dickens β Δ ($) Ω Κ
       The Swiss Family Robinson by Johann Wyss β Δ ($ K) Ω
       Call of the Wild by Jack London β Δ ($) Ω Ω Κ
       Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne β Δ ($) Ω Κ
       Penrod by Booth Tarkington β Δ ($) Ω Κ
       A Little Brother to the Bear by William J. Long Δ ($ K) Κ
       *** The Bronze Bow by Elizabeth Speare ($ K)
       * God's Smuggler by Brother Andrew and John Sherrill ($ K)
       ** *** Ben Hur by Lew Wallace β Δ ($) Κ Ω
       * The Search for Planet X by Tony Simon [out of print; this book has a PNEU connection.]

       * Snow Treasure by Marie McSwigan ($)
True story of Norwegian children who spirited away gold for the resistance right under the Nazi's eyes

If your students in years 4-6 could benefit from some easier, but still excellent living books for free reading, consider choosing four or five books from this list:

       Mrs Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert C. O'Brien ($)
       The Rescuers by Margery Sharp ($) (and others in the series)
       The Cricket in Times Square by George Selden ($)
       Homer Price by Robert McCloskey ($)
       Centerburg Tales by Robert McCloskey ($)
       The Great Brain by John D. Fitzgerald (particularly interesting to boys; $)

       Noel Streatfeild books (appealing to girls in particular)
                  Ballet Shoes ($), Skating Shoes ($)
                  Dancing Shoes ($)
                  Theater Shoes ($)

       Kate Seredy books, including:
                  The Good Master ($)
                  The White Stag ($)
                  The Singing Tree ($)
                  The Chestry Oak ($)

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

4. Timeline: At this age, students should be keeping a simple, single-page timeline of major events and a Book of Centuries. 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)

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 New Testament readings taken from J. Paterson Smyth's and Eugene Stock's commentaries on the second part of the life of Christ from all the gospels in harmony. Not every week has assignments from both OT and NT. (see AO's Bible plan) Charlotte Mason taught with commentaries, reading the Bible passage first, then narration, then reading the commentary, but Smyth's and Stock's commentaries may reflect the doctrine of their era and denomination; they are not necessary to follow the Bible schedule. You can follow this schedule without commentary, or choose your own.
Suggested for Year 6: Begin to read through the Bible (minus Song of Solomon and Revelation) in six years (Years 6-11): Term 1: Genesis; Psalm 1-20; Proverbs 1-6
Term 2: Job and Exodus 1-24; Psalm 21-37; Proverbs 7-11
Term 3: Exodus 25-40 and Leviticus; Psalm 38-55; Proverbs 12-16
For New Testament, continue with the second part of the life of Christ.
Optional Bible Resources: Timeline; Study questions with maps. (Back)

8. The chapters used this year in Story of Mankind include added chapters that are only in later revised editions and are still under copyright, so they are not in the online texts. They are in the 1984 version updated by John Merriman and published by Liveright, and the 2013 edition revised by Robert Sullivan. Only get a Kindle version if it says it's the version "updated, by John Merriman." Online public domain texts and audio of this book are likely to be missing those later chapters.
Term 1: ch 66-71 1920
For planning purposes, there is a Table of Contents with dates for The Story of Mankind here.

For those who wish to supplement, or to combine students in the same year, corresponding chapters of A Child's History of the World by Virgil Hillyer for younger children are as follows:
Term 1: ch 85-91 (Back)

12. Story of the World: The historical books that were recommend for Years 1-6 such as An Island Story, A Child's History of the World, Abraham Lincoln's World, The Story of Mankind were carefully selected based on literary quality and availability for those historical periods and we believe that Susan Wise Bauer's Story of the World Volume 4 is the best book for the twentieth century that meets that same criteria. Pgs 244-474 are used this year. To help with your planning, a Table of Contents for this book, with loose dates, is here.

Full title is What Everyone Should Know About the 20th Century: 200 Events That Shaped the World, by Alan Axelrod and Charles Phillips. This book went out of print and has been replaced in our schedule, by The Story of the World Volume 4 The Modern Age, by Susan Wise Bauer. However, if you have this book, you can still use it.
In the first years of AO, the Advisory did not feel that there was an adequate children's level book available on the 20th century. "What everyone should know about the 20th century" is written for adults. We scheduled a number of the short chapters for year 6. Chapters not selected may have material deemed inaapropriate for students, and parents should keep that in mind when giving the book to their children.
Parents may wish to read surrounding chapters to the chapters assigned. For instance, the chapter about the Moon Walk concludes on the page that a chapter on Woodstock begins. The Advisory did try to note any questionable wording in the chapters recommended. Parents should preview chapters where possible, as the author occasionally displays a bias that would not be acceptable to all families. This book has no photos - Parents are encouraged to select appropriate [non-graphic] photos of the century to show to their children, after they have read about the events ahead of time, in their context. This book was originally used in year 5 and 6.
Before this book went out of print; AO support group members worked on a compendium that may be used. You can see that here. (Back)

16. Augustus Caesar's World: This book contains sections on the birth of world religions presented from a secular humanist point of view. Parents may wish to cover these sections closely with their children. AO has a KJV side by side comparison for Chapter 44, The Law of Moses.
Term 2: first half of book - 162 pgs
Term 3: second half of book - 162 pgs (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 appreicate it." - David Hoos, Canon Press - Customer Service (Back)

20. In place of Genesis, Finding Our Roots, some families have used Ben Hur by Lew Wallace β Δ ($) Κ Ω, scheduling Books 1-4 in Term 2 and Books 5-8 in Term 3.; a suggested schedule of readings is here. (Back)

22. The Complete Book of Marvels is a combination of two books: The Occident, and The Orient (see contents here). It is out of print, but wonderful if you can find a copy.
Hillyer's Child's Geography of the World (contents here) is also good, but out of print as well. (Back)

24. David Livingstone: If you were unable to obtain a copy of Halliburton's Book of Marvels or Hillyer's Child's Geography of the World, you may use Missionary Travels β Δ Κ for all terms of Year 6; an alternate schedule is here. Livingstone's journeys were selected for their geography of Africa, so map work is vital. The map link goes to a Map created by Livingstone himself. (Back)

26. Material World/What the World Eats - How to use these books:
Leave them laying out, preferably near a globe or world map, and browse through them together from time to time.
Leave them laying out, browse through them and maybe once a month pick a country that especially interests your child. Look it up (briefly) on Wikipedia or in a good Atlas. Read a little bit more about it. Find it on a map or globe.
If your child is interested, he can pursue additional research in his free time and learn more about countries that particularly interest him, but this should be his own delight directed study or hobby.
How not to use these books: as the basis of a unit study or a burdensome checklist of additional tasks to fulfill.
Note: Material World: pg 16 and pg 70 have some National Geographic types of photos that parents may want to screen.
Hungry Planet: What the World Eats by Peter Menzel and Faith D'Aluisio looks similar to What the World Eats; we think it could be used interchangeably. ($) (Back)

28. Geography: Geosafari (available now on CD-rom) would be sufficient. ($ purchase basic geography card set) SeterraOnline offers Free Map Quiz Games. If you have an iPad or iPhone, TapQuiz is a free map quiz app. (Back)

30. 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: Animal features (feet, teeth, covering) and their purposes; how we use animals (meat, milk, fur, silk, horns, hooves, labor, pets)
          These topics are covered in these chapters:
          Long's Home Geography Δ 37. The Parts of Animals
          Long's Home Geography Δ 38. The Covering of Animals
          Long's Home Geography Δ 39. Uses of Animals

   Term 2: Things mined from the earth: minerals and metals such as coal, iron, gold, silver, lead, tin, copper, mercury, salt. Quarried stones: granite, sandstone; limestone (chalk), marble, slate and their uses. Where brick and glass come from; mortar.
          These topics are covered in these chapters:
          Long's Home Geography Δ 41. Things Found in the Earth
          Long's Home Geography Δ 42. More About Things Found in the Earth

   Term 3: People around the world live in different dwellings, eat, work, learn and play. Terms: agriculture (farming), stock-raising, mining, lumbering, fishing. Town people: manufacturing, trade/commerce, transportation and other occupations.
          These topics are covered in these chapters:
          Long's Home Geography Δ 43. How People Live, and What They Are Doing
          Long's Home Geography Δ 44. More About What People Are Doing
          Long's Home Geography Δ 45. A Review Lesson

32. The Sea Around Us - we recommend the Young Readers Edition adapted by Anne Terry White if you can find it. $ (Back)

34. Age of Fable, used over three years, is a book about Greek mythology, and some editions use illustrations of nudes, which some families might find objectionable. This year: ch 29 (Ulysses) - end (Druids)
Term 1: ch 29 (Return of Ulysses) to ch 33 (Camilla, Opening the Gates, Camilla)
Term 2: ch 33 (Evander, Infant Rome) to ch 36 (The Unicorn, the Salamander)
Term 3: ch 37 (Zoroaster, Hindu Mythology) to ch 41 (Iona) (Back)

36. The Iliad: two other options are Tales of Troy by Andrew Lang β Δ ($) K (the sections titled Ulysses the Sacker of Cities and The Wanderings of Ulysses are retelling The Iliad and The Odyssey) or The Iliad of Homer, by Barbara Leonie Picard (K)
We have scheduled some of the worthy re-tellings of The Iliad, but if you prefer the original, we suggest the translation by Robert Fagles ($, K) The Iliad is 24 "books;" to use this in Term 3, you will need to schedule two "books" per week. (Back)

38. 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)

For those on a strict budget, recommended purchases are:

The Story of the World Volume 4 The Modern Age, by Susan Wise Bauer (used in year 5 and 6) ($ K)
Handbook of Nature Study, by Anna Botsford Comstock (used for Years 1-6; ($) - online, but would be cumbersome to utilize that way.)
a math program
Augustus Caesar's World, by Genevieve Foster ($)
The Mystery of the Periodic Table, by Benjamin Wiker ($ K)
The Elements, by Theodore Gray ($)
Genesis, Finding Our Roots, by Ruth Beechick ($)
Never Give In (Winston Churchill), by Stephen Mansfield ($)
The Sea Around Us, by Rachel Carson, if your library doesn't have it ($ K) (we recommend the Young Readers Edition adapted, by Anne Terry White if you can find it - $.)
It Couldn't Just Happen, by Lawrence Richards ($ K)
Archimedes and the Door of Science, by Jeanne Bendick if your library doesn't have it ($)
Galileo and the Magic Numbers, by Sidney Rosen (K)
biography-type books about Michael Faraday, Albert Einstein, etc
a Latin/foreign language program
Animal Farm, by George Orwell (check libray) ($ K)
The Hobbit, by Tolkien (check library) ($ K)

Charlotte Mason created a "List of Attainments;" what a child should be able to do by age 6, and by age 12. It might be helpful to take a look at this list since many Year 6 students are around age 12.

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Last update Jun 19, 2017