Please be advised that these booklists and curriculum suggestions are incomplete without a thorough understanding of Charlottle Mason's ideas and methods. We cannot emphasize enough that you take time to familiarize yourself with her philosophy by reading her books.
For those planning to enter House of Education's Year 7 without first covering Ambleside Online Years 1-6, we have compiled a list of AO books that we consider prerequisite preparatory reading for House of Education.
Because of the individualized nature of a plan like this (some may have already read many of these books, and some may have started homeschooling in the middle of a year and only have a term or a summer to work with this), it isn't possible to formulate it into a 36-week schedule. However, Carol H has posted a suggested reading guide for Pre-7 on her own website as a pdf file.
For older students experiencing Shakespeare for the first time, we recommend incorporating Tales from Shakespeare by Charles and Mary Lamb as an introduction to reading the actual plays assigned.
If this is an older student's first exposure to poetry study, we suggest a good anthology, or the Advisory's Year 6 poetry collection.
Augustus Caesar's World by Genevieve Foster (see comments on Year 6 Booklist page)
The Story of the World Volume 4 The Modern Age by Susan Wise Bauer pgs 244-474 (Years 5 and 6)
Trial and Triumph (Church History) by Richard Hannula (available at Canon Press may be continued into House of Education Years (or, you could skip Trial and Triumph and use Saints and Heroes, volumes 1 and 2, by George Hodges, in Years 7-9.)
Story of the Greeks by H. A. Guerber (Year 6)
Story of the Romans by H. A. Guerber (Year 6)
Robin Hood by Howard Pyle
The Story of King Arthur and His Knights by Howard Pyle
Age of Fable by Thomas Bulfinch
Pilgrims Progress by John Bunyan (also sold in an excellent unabridged audio version)
The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis
The Hobbit by J.R.R Tolkien (prequel to the Ring trilogy books in Year 7 Free Reading)
a good book of Fairy Tales, such as Andrew Lang's Fairy Books
The Princess and the Goblin by George MacDonald
A Very Subjective List of Other Books We Consider Essential From All Ambleside Online Years
NOTE: The Ambleside Online Year in which each book appears is given in parentheses, but such placement is quite subjective and flexible. Classic literature is always distinguished by its capacity to appeal to a broad age range. Etexts, where available, are hyper-linked.
Daniel Defoe - Robinson Crusoe (Year 4) - (Caveat emptor: truly unabridged versions are hard to find.)
Robert Louis Stevenson - Kidnapped (Year 4), Treasure Island (Year 5)
Rudyard Kipling - Jungle Book (Year 3), Kim (Year 5), Captains Courageous (Year 5), Puck of Pook's Hill (Year 5) - If they have to lose a book from this list, Kim and Jungle Book are more dispensible than other books in the free reading lists of the earlier years, and it might be best for the time crunched to omit Puck, although the historical aspects are helpful.
Edith Nesbit - House of Arden (sequel is listed in Year 8)
Lucy Maud Montgomery - Anne of Green Gables and others (Year 5)
Charles Dickens - A Christmas Carol (Year 5), Oliver Twist (Year 5), Cricket on the Hearth (Year 6)
Mark Twain - Adventures of Tom Sawyer (Year 5), The Prince and the Pauper (Year 6), Huckleberry Finn (Year 6) - If they have to lose a book from this list, Prince and the Pauper is more dispensible than other books in the free reading lists of the earlier years.
Louisa May Alcott - Little Women (Year 5), Little Men (Year 6), Jack and Jill (Year 6) - If they have to lose a book from this list, Jack and Jill is more dispensible than other books in the free reading lists of the earlier years, and perhaps Little Men could wait as well.
Animal Farm by George Orwell (Year 6)
The Iliad - perhaps a version such as Black Ships Before Troy by Rosemary Sutcliff, or Tales of Troy by Andrew Lang (Year 6) Rob Roy by Sir Walter Scott (Year 6)
Penrod by Booth Tarkington (Year 6) - (sequel is listed in year 7 Free Reading)
Titles we have listed as pre-requisites that ought to be read in the next few years, but not necessarily squeezed in the summer before starting Year 7:
"Musn't Miss" poetry for younger children can be found in the Advisory's Children's poetry collection OR The Oxford Book of Children's Verse, edited by Iona and Peter Opie, and, of course, A.A. Milne's two classic volumes, When We Were Very Young and Now We Are Six, all of which are enjoyable for children from 5 to 105. We suggest you also peruse these selections for poems your older student might enjoy for although they are scheduled in Year 1, we observe that many children in upper Ambleside Years choose to revisit these poems on their own for pleasure.
Abraham Lincoln's World by Genevieve Foster
Of Courage Undaunted: Across the Continent with Lewis and Clark by James Daugherty
Charlotte's Web by E. B White (Year 1) - (Wonderful audio read by author available at libraries.)
Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi (Year 1)
Little House series by Laura Ingalls Wilder (scheduled in free reading in Years 1-6)
The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame (Year 2) - (We recommend locating the edition illustrated by Ernest H. Shepard, who collaborated closely with Grahame.)
Poor Richard by James Daugherty (Year 2)
Elizabeth Enright books (Years 3-4) - (Perhaps not as essential as others here, but well-written and quite engaging.)
Others we can't bear not to mention, though we must stop somewhere . . .
The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams (Year 1)
Five Little Peppers And How They Grew by Margaret Sidney (Year 2)
Heidi by Joanna Spyri (Year 2)
Understood Betsy by Dorothy Canfield Fisher (Year 2)
Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll (Year 3)
Black Beauty by Anna Sewall (Year 4)
A Little Princess by Francis Hodgson Burnett (Year 3)
The Secret Garden by Francis Hodgson Burnett (Year 4)
Hans Brinker by Mary Mapes Dodge (Year 5)
The Borrowers by Mary Norton
E. Nesbit The Railway Children (Year 4), The Treasure Seekers (Year 5), The Wouldbegoods (Year 5)
And, of course, the rest of the free reading and literature selections from the earlier years. =)
Last update Oct 15, 2006
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