History studied in Year 8: 1400's-1688 (Renaissance to Reformation)
* 1400-1605, ** 1605-1649, *** 1649-1688
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.
Asterisks refer to which term the book is used:
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 8. See it here).
GOVERNMENT AND ECONOMICS
GRAMMAR AND COMPOSITION
LIFE AND WORK SKILLS
Suggested Devotional Reading
* A Ready Defense: The Best of Josh McDowell ($), OR The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel ($ K) OR Evidence That Demands a Verdict by Josh McDowell ($)
** The Mind of the Maker by Dorothy Sayers ($) 
*** Desiring God by John Piper ($ K) 
Optional: Saints and Heroes, Vol 2 by George Hodges Δ (Heritage History) ($ K) 
Keep a century book and century chart.
* A slightly abridged version of Martin Luther's defense before the Diet of Worms
** Queen Elizabeth's speech to the Spanish Armada, July 29, 1588 (this is included in the text of Churchill's book)
*** John Donne's funeral address, from the full sermon titled Death's Duel Ω
* A Man For All Seasons by Robert Bolt ($) 
* Life of Sir Francis Bacon by William Rawley (very short)
* ** The Voyage of the Armada The Spanish Story by David Howarth ($)
** A History of Plymouth Plantation by William Bradford β Δ Ω 
** Johannes Kepler chapter from Great Astronomers by R.S. Ball β Δ (very short) OR Johannes Kepler: Giant of Faith and Science by John Hudson Tiner ($)
** The Life of Dr. [John] Donne by Izaak Walton (fairly short) Δ Δ
** *** A Coffin for King Charles by C. V. Wedgwood ($ 
Galileo's Daughter by Dava Sobel ($ K) OR, as a last resort, Galileo chapter from Great Astronomers by R.S. Ball
** *** Oliver Cromwell and the Rule of the Puritans in England by Sir Charles Firth ($) 
* Christopher Columbus, Mariner by Samuel Eliot Morison ($)  OR The Life of Christopher Columbus by Edward Everett Hale β Δ (K )
** *** Kon Tiki by Thor Heyerdahl ($) OR ** The Discovery of Muscovy etc. by Richard Hakluyt β Δ ($ K) and *** The Discovery of Guiana by Sir Walter Raleigh β Δ K
Alternative suggestions are listed on page of geography options.
Ten minutes of map drills each week [geo]
Locate places from the day's reading on a map
Whatever Happened to Justice by Richard Maybury ($)
I, Pencil by Leonard Read; this short essay is included in ch 15 of Whatever Happened to Justice
Optional: The Story of the Constitution: Second Edition by Sol Bloom (purchase from CBD)
Ourselves by Charlotte Mason ($) 
Plutarch's Lives - follow AO's Plutarch rotation. 
* ** Utopia by Sir Thomas More β Δ ($) Ω (also listed by book/chapter)
Francis Bacon essays (listed by title) β Δ ($), selected essays 
Students should have a plan for keeping up with current events. 
Shakespeare - Continue with Ambleside Online Rotation.
The History of English Literature for Girls and Boys by H.E. Marshall ch 1-31 β Δ (K) 
*** A Student's History of American Literature, by William Edward Simond, most of ch. 1 
* Everyman, a Morality Play Δ ($ K) Ω (a slightly less archaic version is here)
* ** Westward Ho! by Charles Kingsley β Δ ($) weeks 1-18
** The Diary of Samuel Pepys β ($) excerpted copy 
** *** I Promessi Sposi (The Betrothed) by Alessandro Manzoni β Δ Ω 
*** The Holy War by John Bunyan β Δ ($) Ω 
* Fierce Wars and Faithful Loves by Roy Maynard; (read online) ($)
* Shakespeare's Sonnets β, selected. 
** John Donne and George Herbert - 13 Donne poems here (K) (notes here) and 10 Herbert poems here
*** John Milton, selected poems, to include Paradise Lost Book I (14 poems here.)
The Roar on the Other Side: A Guide for Student Poets by Suzanne Clark ($)
Our Mother Tongue: An Introductory Guide to English Grammar by Nancy Wilson ($ Answer Key: $) 
OR, work through Jensen's Grammar ($) in Year 7 or 8.
Written narrations: 3 per week, varying among subjects. Include one written narration from a reading earlier in the week. 
Purchase a good English handbook. 
Optional: Paradigm Online Writing Assistant 
Scripture suggestions: * Romans 6; ** 1 Cor. 13; *** Psalms 139
Shakespeare - selected passages, all terms. 
Poetry - a poem by that term's poet, all terms.
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.
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 . . .
Kenilworth by Sir Walter Scott β Δ ($) Ω (or other Scott novel)
Don Quixote by Miguel Cervantes ($), find an edited version (term 1) Unedited version here; a very edited but fun retelling for youths by James Baldwin is here ($ K)
Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens β Δ ($ K) Ω
The Innocence of Father Brown by G. K. Chesterton β Δ ($) Ω
Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen β Δ ($) Ω ☊
Freckles by Gene Stratton Porter β Δ ($) Ω
** The House of Arden: A Story for Children by E. Nesbit β ($) Ω
** Harding's Luck by E. Nesbit β Δ ($) Ω
** Lorna Doone by R. D. Blackmore β Δ ($) Ω
The Wonderful O ($) and/or The Thurber Carnival by James Thurber ($)
The Space Trilogy by C.S. Lewis (Out of the Silent Planet, Perelandra, That Hideous Strength ($)
To Have and to Hold: A Story of Virginia in Colonial Days by Mary Johnston β Δ ($) Ω
All for Love, or, The World Well Lost β Δ or Discourses on Satire and Epic Poetry β by John Dryden
The Prydain Chronicles by Lloyd Alexander: The Book of Three ($ K), The Black Cauldron ($ K), The Castle of Llyr ($ K), Taran Wanderer ($ K), The High King ($ K) ($et; read a fan's blog post about these books here.)
The Compleat Angler by Izaak Walton β Δ ($) Ω (might be more appreciated for older folks who enjoy short contemplative readings, rather than Year 8 students)
The Memoirs of Gluckel of Hameln ($ K)
Pioneers of the Old South: A Chronicle of English Colonial Beginnings Mary Johnstonβ Δ by
The History of King Charles II of England by Jacob Abbott β Δ (edition/publisher under review)
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, not including Psalms/Proverbs, and 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: Judges, Ruth, 1 Samuel 1-14, and Matthew 1-11
Term 2: 1 Samuel 15-31, 2 Samuel 1-24, and Matthew 12-21
Term 3: 1 Kings, Ecclesiastes, and Matthew 22-28
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)
2. Saints and Heroes is an option for church history if you didn't use Trial and Triumph in Years 1-6
Term 1: (Vol 2) ch 1 Luther-ch 8 William the Silent
Term 2: ch 9 Brewster-ch 10 Laud
Term 3: ch 11 Cromwell-ch 12 Bunyan (Back)
3. The Mind of the Maker examines such ideas as the image of God, the Trinity, free will, and evil.(Back)
4. Desiring God, 2003, is about making obedience a joy instead of an obligation.(Back)
5. The New World is Volume 2 of Winston Churchill's 4 volume set, "A History of the English Speaking Peoples." The next two volumes will be used in Years 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 A History of the English Speaking Peoples here.
Term 1: Ch 1-10
Term 2: Ch 11-18
Term 3: Ch 19-26 (Back)
6. A Man for All Seasons is a play about Thomas More. Preferably, the student should read the book. Alternately, the student could watch the movie ($), or as a second option, read William Roper's biography of Thomas More. (Roper was Thomas More's son-in-law.) (Back)
7. A History of Plymouth Plantation: Caleb Johnson had posted Ch 1, 2, 3, 4, 7, 8, 9, 36 with modern spelling on his webpage, but it's gone; these have been re-posted at a Plymouth site: 1, 2, 4, 9. Suggested schedule (and these are linked to Project Gutenburg's full text; you may want to use Caleb Johnson's when possible) - Wk 18: ch. 1-2; Wk 19: ch 3-4; Wk 20: ch 7-8; Wk 21: ch 9 and 36. There is a modern language version available ( $) Weeks 18-21. (Back)
8. A Coffin for King Charles was also published under the title The Trial of Charles I in England. Weeks 21-36 (Back)
10. Christopher Columbus, Mariner especially ch 11, will require parental screening. (Back)
11. The Life of Christopher Columbus: The Advisory hasn't reviewed the Kindle copy of this yet. (Back)
Geography. Geosafari (available now on CD-rom) would be sufficient. ($ 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)
12. Ourselves: approximately 22 pages per term. This book will continue through all the remaining years of AO/HEO curriculum. This is the 4th volume of Mason's 6 Volume Series. This year: pages 66-135 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 66-86
Term 2: Book 1 pg 87-107
Term 3: Book 1 pg 108-130 (Back)
14. Francis Bacon selected essays: Of Truth, Of Revenge, Of Innovations, Of Friendship, Of Regiment of Health, Of Suspicion, Of Discourse, Of Riches, Of Youth and Age, Of Studies (paraphrase), Of Praise, Of Honor and Reputation, Of Anger. (Back)
15. 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)
16. The History of English Literature for Girls and Boys: $ from Kelly Kenar, who typed this e-text for the use of AO/HEO. 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 32 (Beginning of Theater) - 43 (Spenser)
Term 2: 44 (First Theaters) - ch 54 (Some Lyric Poets)
Term 3: ch 55 (Herbert) - 59 (Bunyan) (Back)
17. Student's History of American Literature by William Edward Simond: chapter 1 with exceptions (used towards the end of the year). (also here) Read all of chapter 1 with the exception of, the third section, including all of the material on Increase and Cotton Mather who wrote largely AFTER 1688). Each chapter has several sections, and each section has several pages, so be sure to page forward for the entire text. Alternately, download text document of ch 1 (minus Increase and Cotton Mather) >> right click, choose Save Target as (or 'save file as'). Then open and paste into your Word processor.(Back)
18. Diary of Samuel Pepys: Charlotte Mason used this book. Pepys gives a great first-hand account of the Great Fire. However, this needs editing both for length but also because Pepys was wretchedly honest about his sordid behavior, details of which really aren't appropriate for young people to read. List member Sarah Bruce has kindly compiled an excerpted copy with his account of the Great Fire. (Back)
19. I Promessi Sposi (The Betrothed): (There's a newer version called Promise of Fidelity, translated by Omero Sabatini ($). Penguin Classics has version translated by Bruce Penman and called The Betrothed ($ K) Weeks 19-36. (Back)
22. Shakespeare Sonnets: Selections: XVIII (18), XXIX (29), XXX (30), LIII (53), LIV (54), LVII (57), LXXIII (73), XCIV (94), CIV (104), CVI (106) CXVI (116), CXXIX (129) (read one per week) Download these 12 sonnets in one collection. SparkNotes has helps for some of the sonnets. Modern side-by-side translations are available from No Fear Shakespeare, CliffsNotes, and Shakespeare Online 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)
23. Our Mother Tongue has 49 chapters. One suggestion is to spread the book over two years, doing about 9 chapters per term. (Back)
26. Paradigm Online Writing Assistant: Karen Glass: Paradigm Online Writing Assistant is a whole online free course about writing four kinds of essays. I haven't explored the whole thing, but I like what I've seen so far. This is the link to the section on writing a support essay. At the top of the page, you can see the progression of the whole course. (Back)
27. 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)
28. Science: Apologia - Read the suggested course sequencing at http://www.apologia.com/store/ to determine what will work best for the needs of your student, based on interest and math level. If a student missed out on the Ambleside science selections and nature study rotation, General Science ($) should be considered as a starting point with Apologia materials; otherwise start with Physical Science ($). Read through Jay Wile's website, especially "course sequencing" to see what will work best for the needs of your student based on interest and math level. If financial resources are a concern, any of their science courses may easily be stretched to two years.
Another possible option: Rainbow Science, ($) a two-year program, can be used in years 7 and 8. "The Rainbow," their junior high program, is appropriate for this age. The Advisory has not used this yet. (Back)
29. In place of Rural Hours, 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)
30. How to Read a Book may be saved for a later year. Be sure to get the revised edition, and read only Part 2 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 Chares 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)
31. Janson's Story of Painting: chapters 4-5 this year. (Some nudity; parents should preview first.) (Back)
32. Foreign Folk Songs: Charlotte Mason did 3 in French and 3 in German. (Back)
33. English Folk Songs: you may choose to continue the Folk Song rotation at Ambleside Online; as well as the Ambleside 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 8 time frame include:
* Barbara Allen, Star of the County Down, Andrew Barton
** The Death of Queen Jane, The Miller of Dee, Drink to Me Only With Thine Eyes
*** Three Mariners, The Oak and the Ash, My Lodging is on the Cold Ground [tune], English folksongs and other folksongs. (Back)
34. 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 Mar. 16, 2007
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