History studied in Year 7: Middle Ages, 800-1485
Term 1: 800-1066; Term 2: 1066-1333; Term 3: 1327-1485
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.
Click to view:
KEY TO SYMBOLS
BIBLE AND CHRISTIAN THEOLOGY
GOVERNMENT AND ECONOMICS
GRAMMAR AND COMPOSITION
LIFE AND WORK SKILLS
Asterisks refer to which term the book is used:
(Read Wendi's informal chat about why these books were chosen and which ones are indispensable)
This is a collection of some of the best resources for this time period. Even Advisory members aren't able to cover all of these with every single one of their own students and have to be selective. Feel free to pick and choose from among these suggestions. The best choice may just be the book you already own, and the one from which your student can narrate. (If this looks overwhelming for your student, you might consider plan B - a lightened load for year 7. See it here.
Suggested Devotional Reading
* How to Be Your Own Selfish Pig, by Susan Schaeffer Macaulay ($; under review for Year 7) This is a "read-aloud and discuss" book. [1a]
** The Pursuit of God, by A.W. Tozer (1949, a call to devotion) β ($ K) also here Ω
*** The Pursuit of Holiness, by Jerry Bridges (a no nonsense guide to godly living) ($)
Optional: Saints and Heroes, Vol 1, by George Hodges Δ (Heritage History) ($ K) 
Make a century chart of the period studied. [tl]
The Birth of Britain, by Winston Churchill ($ K) 
* Bede's Ecclesiastical History of the English People; selected chapters in weeks 1-7. Ω
* The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle on Alfred the Great (a brief single-page article.)
* William of Malmesbury's account of the Battle of Hastings
** The Magna Carta or here. Or, use this modern rendering. Ω
** In Freedom's Cause, by G.A. Henty β Δ ($) Ω 
*** History of Deeds Done Beyond the Sea, by William Tyre (A first-hand account of the Crusades)
*** The Daughter of Time, by Josephine Tey ($ K) 
Students should have a plan for keeping up with current events. 
Shakespeare - Continue with AO's Shakespeare Rotation.
The Once and Future King, by T. H. White ($ K) 
Ivanhoe, by Sir Walter Scott β Δ ($ K) Ω 
The History of English Literature for Girls and Boys, by H.E. Marshall ch 1-31 β Δ (K) 
The Age of Chivalry, by Thomas Bulfinch β Δ ($) Ω 
* Watership Down, by Richard Adams ($ K)
** *** Chaucer for Children: A Golden Key, by Mrs. H. R. Haweis Δ ($ K) or A Taste of Chaucer, by Anne Malcolmson ($ K) 
* Representative Poetry Online  OR: The Oxford Book of English Verse, 1919, edited, by Arthur Quiller-Couch 
** Alfred, Lord Tennyson 
*** John Keats 
The Grammar of Poetry, by Matt Whitling 
Begin written narrations, 2-3 per week, varying among subjects. Include one written narration from a reading earlier in the week. 
Purchase a good English handbook. An Advisory favorite is The Little, Brown Handbook ($). Some may find Writer's Inc. more user friendly ($).
Scripture suggestions: * Psalm 45, ** Psalm 46, and *** Psalm 51
Shakespeare - selected passages, all terms. 
Poetry - a poem by that term's poet, all terms.
Term 1: Poem 8 Praise of Women and 32 The True Knight from The Oxford Book of English Verse
Include selections from Shakespeare, the Bible, poetry and other sources. These selections may be the same ones used for recitation.
Continue your math program; for some options, see this page.
The Handbook of Nature Study, by Anna Botsford Comstock Δ ($) Continue to use as in previous years with the AmblesideOnline curriculum.
* Eric Sloane's Weather Book, by Eric Sloane ($)
** *** The Life of the Spider, by Jean Henri Fabre β ($) Ω Fabre texts with photos
Secrets of the Universe: Discovering the Universal Laws of Science, by Paul Fleisher 
The Wonder Book of Chemistry, by Jean Henri Fabre Δ ($ K) [26a]
First Studies of Plant Life, by George Francis Atkinson Δ [Google Books] ($) [26b]
Adventures with a Microscope, by Richard Headstrom, chose 11 adventures if you are able to procure/borrow a microscope. ($ K) Jeanne Webb's study guide
Signs and Seasons: Understanding the Elements of Classical Astronomy, by Jay Ryan ($) and accompanying Field Journal ($) Both the book and journal are cheaper from CBD. Field work is an integral part of this book. [26c]
Great Astronomers, by R.S. Ball β Δ (Intro, Ptolomy, Copernicus, and Brahe)
Keep flower and bird lists of species seen, select a special study for outdoor work, and continue to maintain nature notebooks.
Continue AO's composer rotation.
Begin Latin if you've not started already.
Continue with any previous foreign language studies. 
Learn and play a game (kick ball, tennis, croquet, ping-pong, softball, etc.) or folk-dance, or pursue other physical activity of your choice.
Charlotte Mason had them do house or garden work, make Christmas presents, other crafts, sew, cook, learn first aid . . .
Sir Gawaine and the Green Knight (Burton Raffel's version is very accessible) ($ K) Ω
The Lord of the Rings trilogy, by J.R.R. Tolkien (The Hobbit, The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, and The Return of the King) ($ K)
A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, by Mark Twain β ($) Ω ☊
When the Tripods Came ($ K); The White Mountains ($ K); City of Gold and Lead ($ K); and Pool of Fire ($ K), by John Christopher
Legends of Charlemagne, by Thomas Bulfinch β Δ (also here) ($ K) Ω
The Pushcart War, by Jean Merrill ($; if the price is high, look elsewhere. This isn't a book worth spending a fortune on.)
The Knight's Fee, by Rosemary Sutcliff ($earch)
The Gammage Cup, by Carol Kendall ($)
Rolf and The Viking Bow, by Allen French ($ K)
The Lost Prince, by Frances Hodgson Burnett β Δ Ω
The White Company, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle β ($) Ω (its prequel is Sir Nigel Ω)
Beowulf - AO recommends the version, by Seamus Heaney ($ (K) ∩); Another favorite: an updated verse translation, by Frederick Rebsamen ($ (K)); the version, by Burton Raffel is also very accessible ($ K), or use this free-verse version. Ω ☊
David Copperfield, by Charles Dickens β Δ ($ K) Ω ☊
The Black Arrow β, by Robert Louis Stevenson Δ ($ K) Ω
Hereward, the Last of the English, by Charles Kingsley β Δ (or Hereward the Wake, originally published in Robin Hood and Other Outlaw Tales)
The Disappearing Spoon, by Sam Kean ($ K)
Beloved Botanist: The Story of Carl Linnaeus, by Adrian Stoutenburg, 1961 (as a companion to Atkinson's First Lessons in Plant Life) (out of print; $)
Other Possibilities: These are books that Miss Mason used, or that we think would be good- but we've not read them, so can't recommend them. We list them here so that those who are interested might preview them if desired and pass on a review for the rest of us:
The Talisman, by Sir Walter Scott β Δ Ω or other of the Waverly novels appropriate for this year's study. (All the novels written by Sir Walter Scott are commonly referred to en masse as The Waverley Novels. While not a series, these books all share the common distinction of superbly written historical fiction -- in fact, it is said that Scott created this literary genre with these novels. Charlotte Mason read from the Bible and the Waverley novels daily through much of her lifetime; whenever she finished reading through all 27 volumes, she simply started over. We assume any of them would be good for free reading anytime, but have not yet read them all ourselves. You can read more here and here. Further links or information always welcome.)
Penrod and Sam, by Booth Tarkington β Δ ($) Ω K
Alhambra: Tales and Sketches of the Moors and Spaniards, by Washington Irving β Δ Ω
Feats on the Fiord, by Harriet Martineau β Δ
The Life and Death of Cormac the Skald β anonymous Icelandic epic.
Useful for future reference: A Guide to the Best Historical Novels and Tales, by Jonathan Nield
Many thanks to David Hicks, author of Norms and Nobility, for his kind permission to draw from his work and ideas. For more information please see the amazon.com link to the 1999 edition of his book.
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)
1. Continue AO's plan (6 years through the Bible in Years 6-11, leaving Song of Solomon and Revelation for Year 12), or follow a plan of your own preference. AO's plan schedules the following for this year:
Term 1: Numbers 1-30; Luke 1-6; Psalm 56-74; Proverbs 17-21
Term 2: Numbers 31-36, Deuteronomy 1-27; Luke 7-14; Psalm 75-88; Proverbs 22-26
Term 3: Deuteronomy 28-34, Joshua; Luke 15-24; Psalms 89-105; Proverbs 27-31
Resources: Study questions with maps; Bible Maps; Bible timeline. Encyclopedia of Bible Truths, 4 Volumes, by Ruth C. Haycock (purchase from CBD)
Charlotte Mason had her students reading a commentary. We suggest you use what fits best with your family's belief system, keeping in mind that this year should be a bit meatier than previous years. (Back)
1a. How To Be Your Own Selfish Pig: Preread; later chapters in the book discuss intense situations (such as a woman who had attempted suicide) and subjects that parents may prefer not to introduce yet. Some may wish to use More Than a Carpenter, by Josh McDowell ($ K), about a chapter a week, instead. The Advisory is considering moving this book up a year. (Back)
2. Saints and Heroes is an option for church history if you didn't use Trial and Triumph in Years 1-6; all of book 1 is covered in Year 7:
Term 1: ch 1 Cyprian-ch 11 Hildebrand
Term 2: ch 12 Anselm-ch 17 Francis
Term 3: ch 18 Wycliffe-ch 20 Savonarola (Back)
Timeline: At this age, students should be keeping a Century Chart and 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 ($). (Back)
3. The Birth of Britain is Volume 1 of Winston Churchill's 4 volume set, "A History of the English Speaking Peoples." The next three volumes will be used in Years 8, 9 and 10. Don't get the one edited by Henry Steele Commager, as it's abridged. If you can figure out how to use this, this book is online in audio For planning purposes, there is a Table of Contents with dates for all 4 volumes of A History of the English Speaking Peoples, and a schedule to break down the week's chapter into 4 short daily readings.
(Maps of medieval England)
Term 1: Chapter 1-9
Term 2: Chapter 10-20
Term 3: Chapter 21-30
An alternate option is A History of England, by Arnold-Forster, online at archive.org, Google Books; a schedule is here. (Back)
4. Athough "In Freedom's Cause" is a work of fiction, it is a more accurate account of William Wallace and Robert the Bruce in Scottish history than is available in many other similar books. (Back)
6. Another option: Andrew Lang's The Story of Joan of Arc is available at Heritage History Δ Ω
The Advisory has not read this one yet: A Heroine of France, The Story of Joan of Arc, by Evelyn Everett-Green (Back)
8. You will love this book and may therefore look for more by the same author for your child to read. Please exercise caution in doing so. (Back)
Geography. Geosafari (available now on CD-rom) would be sufficient. ($ 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)
Map Drill Resources: Websites useful for mapwork activities (and a great big thanks to Wendy Fish for her gargantuan task of sifting through mapsites to find these!):
Mapwork for Roman Britain and Ireland. Northern Gaul outline maps also available.
For those who would like a way to find modern town names.
An overall quiz on Medieval locations.
Europe as it was in the timeframe covered in Year 7 studies.
The most straightforward outline maps of modern world.
Some easy-to-read maps of Europe in the Year 7 timeframe.
Blank outline map of Late Medieval Europe.
An extra note: Will and Ariel Durant's history series volume for this time period contains excellent maps inside the covers that portray the geographical locations pertaining to Year 7 studies. (Back)
9. Whatever Happened to Penny Candy: There is a Canadian supplement to this book. (Back)
10. Ourselves: approximately 22 pages per term. This book will continue through all the remaining years of HEO curriculum. This is the 4th volume of Mason's 6 Volume Series. This year: pages 1-65 of Book 1.
Also available in a modern English paraphrase that can be read online or purchased. (K) The paraphrase of Book I, Self-Knowledge, the first half of Volume 4, can be purchased as a separate paperback book.
Term 1: Book 1 pg 1-20
Term 2: Book 1 pg 21-44
Term 3: Book 1 pg 45-65
12. Charlotte Mason had students at this level read the daily news and keep a calendar of events. We suggest students choose the most important 2 or 3 stories of the week and re-write them in their own words as a chronicle of the year, making the heading of each page something like "This Week in History, September 1st, 2003." Parents: pre-read and filter current events materials (on the web, or in print) as necessary, due to the potential for coverage and topics of an explicit nature, even from conservative sources. We've listed some possible options here.
Blogs as a media form have rapidly overtaken hard-copy publications. News is being reported there, in some cases, faster and more accurately than other, older media forms. Students should learn about them, find one they trust, and check it regularly. However, we recommend that parents first become familiar with blogs and visit the one(s) their children will frequent. We suggest several poliblogs here, but parents should know that not every message on these blogs will be 'child-friendly' and often have ads that include scantily clad women. Also, most blogs link to a multitude of other blogs and sites that may not be child-friendly.
Comments posted on blogs can be considered a new media equivalent of a letter to the editor, and students should learn how to communicate well on blogs. (Back)
13. The Once and Future King, hereafter referred to as TOAFK, Book One ("The Sword in the Stone") and Book Two ("The Queen of Air and Darkness") will be divided over three terms. This book is intended to compliment and expand on King Arthur, and should not be the student's only exposure to the Arthurian legends. NOTE: This is a read aloud and discuss book. **Please preview.** The themes in this book, although controversial, are too important to dismiss. For more information, read discussion about this book. (Back)
15. The History of English Literature for Girls and Boys: $ from Kelly Kenar, who typed this e-text for the use of AOHEO. Postage at lulu.com is automatically set to UPS ground which is expensive, but you can choose media mail which is substantially cheaper. (If you purchase this book, we request that you purchase from the link provided, as other publishers' reprints of this book have used Kelly's hand-typed etext.)
Term 1: ch 1 (The Listening Time) - ch 12 (Father of English Song)
Term 2: ch 13 (How Caedmon Sang) - ch 24 (Chaucer)
Term 3: ch 25 (First English Guide-book) - ch 31 (Sign of the Red Pale)
AO schedules this book in conjunction with Invitation to the Classics; more material is covered in Marshall's History of English Literature from Year 7 to the middle of Year 10, and more is covered in Invitation to the Classics from the middle of Year 10, and through Year 11. If you prefer to use only Invitation to the Classics, by Louise Cowan and Os Guinness ($), Year 7 students would read pg 77-112 Early Christian Writers to Geoffry Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales. A Table of Contents to help with planning is here. (Back)
16. The Age of Chivalry: versions seem to differ in Part III; some list 3 or 4 Heroes, some list 6 chapters of English Knights. (This assumes your student read King Arthur in Year 5; if this isn't the case, consider using one of the Year 5 options instead.) (Back)
17. Chaucer for Children, by Mrs. H. R. Haweis contains these tales: The Knight's Tale; The Friar's Tale; The Clerk's Tale; The Franklin's Tale; The Pardoner's Tale. A Taste of Chaucer contains edited-for-students versions of the following tales: The Monk's Tale, The Nun's Priest's Tale, The Tale of the Clerk of Oxenford, The Manciple's Tale, The Franklin's Tale, Chaucer's Tale, The Tale of the Man of Law, The Canon's Yeoman's Tale, The Pardoner's Tale. Letting your student loose on an unedited version of Canturbury Tales is not recommended! This online version has a modern paraphrase alongside the original, but it isn't edited. Another here. The Chaucer Story Book Δ, by Eva Tappan ($) is a prose retelling for children from 1908. Some stories may also be read from this as an optional supplement. (Back)
18. Representative Poetry Online: Follow this time-line of English Poetry and do an anthology of sorts this term. Some firewalls may block access to this link - just a technical glitch. In that case, try this: shorten the URL to http://rpo.library.utoronto.ca/display/index.cfm then click on "e-Resources" which will take you to a search field. Type in "Representative Poetry." From that page, choose "timeline" and you'll be in the right place. Check online sites such as Librivox for free audio readings of poems; this is a growing project and more poems are online every month. (Back)
19. The Oxford Book of English Verse, 1919, edited by Arthur Quiller-Couch, is a poetry anthology Charlotte Mason used; it's very good, and it's online in a searchable format. (Poems 1-24, 29, 31-33) The same text, but with a different title, is also at Project Gutenberg β This site offers modern translations of some of these poems. Click the first line, then click the word "translation" at the top. AO is also working on modern translations here. Check online sites such as Librivox for free audio readings of poems; this is a growing project and more poems are online every month. (Back)
20. Alfred, Lord Tennyson, especially Idylls of the King β Δ Ω and Lady of Shalott; Death of King Arthur; La Morte d'Arthur; Ulysses; The Lotos Eaters; Mariana; and Mariana in the South. Check online sites such as Librivox for free audio readings of poems; this is a growing project and more poems are online every month. (Back)
22. The Grammar of Poetry, by Matt Whitling, from the Imitation in Writing series (Logos School Materials; purchase from CBD: Updated Edition; Teacher's edition; With the current edition, you need both student and teacher's editions. If you can only afford one, purchase the student edition and ask in the forum if you can't work out the answers. (Back)
23. Our Mother Tongue has 49 chapters. One suggestion is to spread the book over two years, doing about 9 chapters per term. (Back)
25. Bartlett's Familiar Quotations is a helpful tool for looking for quotable sections from various plays of Shakespeare, especially quotes from the various plays which appear in various other literature. Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, 10th edition, is online (in html and text here.) Note: To get the list of plays from the Bartlett's Familiar Quotations page, try selecting 1) the Author index, then select 2) the Shakespeare entry, which should provide a list of quotations from the first play in the list; and then try selecting 3) Shakespeare's name above the quotations. This last step should bring you to an index of the plays, not just the list of quotations. Or, you may go directly to the play needed from the Shakespeare play index. (Back)
Science: If your child wants to pursue a scientific major and needs to prepare for special exams, you may want to contact your college of choice to find out what the requirements are. We have not undertaken to prepare our students for specialty exams, but to give them a foundation of knowledge about science which will make it a matter of interest to them for life. (Back)
26. Secrets of the Universe was republished as five separate books:
Liquids and Gases: Principles of Fluid Mechanics ($)
Objects in Motion: Principles of Classical Mechanics ($)
Waves: Principles of Light, Electricity, and Magnetism ($)
Matter and Energy: Principles of Matter and Thermodynamics ($)
Relativity and Quantum Mechanics: Principles of Modern Physics ($); see help in corresponding the books here.
The original book has gone out of print and seems to be difficult to find, although it does pop up; public libraries would be the obvious first place to look since the book isn't really that old. Please don't feel that the Advisory is asking anyone to go on a major quest for the only excellent book out there. That's not what was intended by leaving the book on the list, only that if you CAN get a copy, it's still our first choice for Year Six. If you are unable to access it, another option might be The Boy Scientist, by John Bryan Lewellen, out of print, but more readily available at used book sources than Secrets of the Universe. Another option is The Sciences, by Edward Holden, out of print, but online. Charlotte Mason herself recommended Holden's book, so even simply taking a look at it will give an idea of the kind of science text she would have used. We don't usually recommend out of print books, or very expensive books. All of these books are good, and if you can obtain them, we suggest you use them. However, we continue to seek an alternative that fits our guidelines of excellence, availability, and affordability. (Back)
26a. Wonder Book of Chemistry: Many of the experiments are not safe; in some cases, the explanations of what happens are sufficient to benefit from this book. (Back)
26b. First Studies of Plant Life: this book will be continued next year. Planting, growing and observing germinating seeds and plants is necessary to benefit from this book. If you prefer, you may substitute Exploring Creation with Botany, by Jeanne Fulbright ($) over Years 7 and 8, with selected activities from the book. (Back)
26c. Signs and Seasons - read Prologue-Chapter 2 this year, including note on how to use properly. If you prefer, A Walk through the Heavens: A Guide to Stars and Constellations, by Milton Heifetz may be used. ($ K) (Back)
27. In place of Lay of the Land, you may choose the nature writings of Edwin Way Teale Δ (search amazon.com) if you have them on your shelf. Unfortunately, few are online, and go in and out of print. A particular favorite is "The Circle of Seasons" but other titles are also commendable. (Back)
28. How to Read a Book may be saved for a later year. Be sure to get the revised edition, and read only Part 1 this year (this book continues into Year 10). This breaks down to five chapters for the year, seven weeks to get through each chapter. This is slow, but this material is weighty and should give much material for reflection and discussion. Note: The revised version was written by both Mortimer J. Adler And Charles Van Doren. If Van Doren is not a co-writer, it's the older book. It was revised in 1972, but later books may not be called "revised." The version to use has five chapters in part 1; 7 chapters in part 2; 7 chapters in part 3; and two chapters in part 4. The unrevised edition may have fewer parts. (Back)
29. Janson's Story of Painting: chapters 1-3 this year. (Some nudity; parents should preview first.) (Back)
30. Foreign Folk Songs: Charlotte Mason did 3 in French and 3 in German. (Back)
31. English Folk Songs: you may choose to continue the Folk Song rotation at AmblesideOnline; as well as the AmblesideOnline rotation for Hymns each term. Carols would do for the Winter term. Work on each song about 4 weeks. Folksongs which are particularly appropriate selections for the Year 7 time frame include:
* The Bold Pedlar and Robin Hood; The Three Ravens; and The Outlandish Knight. Lyrics and the midi files
** When The King Enjoys His Own Again; Farewell to Lochaber; Battle of Otterburn, or any other tunes of your choice from this website. Again, work on each song about 4 weeks, reviewing as desired. The idea is to enjoy them, not turn them into drudgery.
*** Go No More a Rushing; Greensleeves; Scarbourough. You may also choose any other three folksongs you prefer. Find them here. Other folksongs are also online. (Back)
32. Charlotte Mason's students were learning three languages at this level. A good English/foreign language dictionary is also recommended.
You might find that your foreign language studies cover enough grammar to be counted as English Grammar as well. (Back)
Last update July 30, 2014
Copyright © 2002-2013 AmblesideOnline. All rights reserved. Use of this curriculum subject to the terms of our License Agreement.