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AO Yr 8 Lite

Ambleside Online Year 8 Lite

This is an AmblesideOnline student's idea of which books were most helpful and most indispensible for someone needing to pare down. This schedule does not have official Advisory approval. ;)

Based on AO's Year 8 (a 36 week schedule is here)

History studied in Year 8: 1400's-1688 (Renaissance to Reformation)
Term 1: 1400-1605, Term 2: 1605-1649, Term 3: 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.

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 [Audio Note]
- other free audiobook source
[0] - Click the bracketed numeral to view a note about the book near the bottom of the page.
[0] - red footnotes indicate a heads-up for parents about the title. We are unable to 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

Devotional Reading

Follow the Bible reading plan of your choice, or use AO's plan which goes through the Bible semi-chronologically over 6 years in Years 6-11. This year's readings would be as follows:
        * Judges, Ruth, 1 Samuel 1-14; Matthew 1-11; Psalms 106-118; Proverbs 1-6
        ** 1 Samuel 15-31, 2 Samuel 1-24; Matthew 12-21; Psalms 119-124; Proverbs 7-11
        *** 1 Kings, Ecclesiastes; Matthew 22-28; Psalms 125-150; Proverbs 12-16
More Than a Carpenter by Josh McDowell ($ K) OR The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel ($ K)
The Mind of the Maker by Dorothy Sayers ($) OR Desiring God by John Piper (online; $ K)
Saints and Heroes, Vol 2 Δ by George Hodges ($ K) (online) [1]


The New World by Winston Churchill (volume 2 of his History of the English Speaking Peoples; $ K) [A schedule here]
A slightly abridged version of Martin Luther's defense before the Diet of Worms (online)
Queen Elizabeth's speech to the Spanish Armada, July 29, 1588 (online; this is included in the text of Churchill's book)


A Man For All Seasons, a play by Robert Bolt ($ purchase movie)
A Coffin for King Charles by C. V. Wedgwood ($) OR Queen Elizabeth by Jacob Abbott (online Δ) or In the Days of Queen Elizabeth by Eva March Tappan (Δ K)
Johannes Kepler chapter from Great Astronomers by R.S. Ball (online β Δ) OR Johannes Kepler: Giant of Faith and Science by John Hudson Tiner ($)


Kon Tiki by Thor Heyerdahl ($), OR Christopher Columbus, Mariner by Samuel Eliot Morison ($) [2] OR The Life of Christopher Columbus by Edward Everett Hale (online β Δ)

Government and Economics

Whatever Happened to Justice by Richard Maybury ($)


Ourselves by Charlotte Mason (online $) [3] (starts week 23)
Plutarch's Lives (follow Ambleside Online's rotation)
Utopia by Sir Thomas More (online β Δ $) Ω
Francis Bacon essays (online), selections [4]

Current Events

Keep up with daily news (resource options here) and keep a calendar of events


The History of English Literature for Girls and Boys by H.E. Marshall ch 32-59 (online β Δ K)
Everyman, a Morality Play (online Δ $ K) Ω
Westward Ho! by Charles Kingsley (online β Δ $) OR I Promessi Sposi (The Betrothed) by Alessandro Manzoni (online β Δ) [5]
Shakespeare (continue with Ambleside Online rotation)


Fierce Wars and Faithful Loves, which is Spenser's Fairie Queene Book I (online; $)
Shakespeare's Sonnets, selections (download 12 sonnets) Modern translations of the sonnets from NoFear Shakespeare
John Milton: L'Allegro, Il Penseroso, Lycidas, On His Blindness
          Or, poems by John Donne (notes here) and George Herbert, online here and here.
The Roar on the Other Side: A Guide for Student Poets by Suzanne Clark (optional; $)

Grammar and Composition

Our Mother Tongue: An Introductory Guide to English Grammar by Nancy Wilson ($; continue from last year; do Lessons 10-49)


Romans 6; 1 Cor. 13; Psalms 139
Shakespeare passages
a poem per term from the term's poetry selections


Include selections from Shakespeare, the Bible, poetry and other sources. These selections may be the same ones used for recitation. Consider begining a personal quote book.
Also, do dictation regularly.


Continue your math program; for some options, see this page.


The Handbook of Nature Study Δ by Anna Botsford Comstock (as a reference)
Apologia science text (purchase General Science/Physical Science) OR Rainbow Science ($)

Nature Study

Rural Hours by Susan Fenimore Cooper (online Δ $)
William Harvey and the Discovery of the Circulation of the Blood by Thomas Henry Huxley (online)


How To Read a Book revised edition by Mortimer Adler and Charles Van Doren (used for 3 years; $ K)

Drawing and Art

The Story of Painting by H. W. Janson ($) chapters 4, 5
Continue the artist rotation posted at Ambleside Online


Continue the composer rotation and hymn rotation posted at Ambleside Online
Folk Songs:
Term 1: Barbara Allen, Star of the County Down, Andrew Barton
Term 2: The Death of Queen Jane, The Miller of Dee, Drink to Me Only With Thine Eyes
Term 3: Three Mariners, The Oak and the Ash, My Lodging is on the Cold Ground

Foreign Language

Begin Latin if you've not started already OR Continue with any previous foreign language studies


Fearfully and Wonderfully Made by Paul Brand if you didn't do it last year ($ K) (see notes here)

Life and Work Skills

Work on useful skills such as budgeting, gardening, cooking, car maintenance, carpentry, etc.

Free Reading

Try to use books that were not included from Year 8, or the Year 8 Free reading List
One fun suggestion: James Baldwin's retelling of Don Quixote. (K)

Exam Questions


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. Saints and Heroes: for church history, if you didn't use Trial and Triumph in Years 1-6 (Back)

2. Christopher Columbus, Mariner: this book, especially ch 11, will require parental screening (Back)

3. Ourselves: There is a modern English paraphrase of this book. You can read it online (K) (Back)

4. Francis Bacon essays: choose from 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)

5. I Promessi Sposi (The Betrothed): There's a newer version translated by Omero Sabatini called Promise of Fidelity ($), and also a Penguin Classics version translated by Bruce Penman and called The Betrothed ($ K). Ω (Back)

6. Fierce Wars and Faithful Loves: The Kindle version is badly formatted and not recommended. (Back)

Last update Oct 20, 2011