Years 7-8-9 Second Year Booklist
As students mature, their reading material will present more challenging content, and may include strong language and more mature themes. We have placed footnotes linked in red beside those books that most parents will consider an issue. However, we cannot anticipate which content might be an issue for every family. We encourage parents to pre-screen material to determine its appropriateness for their child and family.
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.
If you're planning to use AmblesideOnline, your first stop should be the the FAQ for some information about the curriculum and basic instructions. Our FAQ 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.
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.
Asterisks refer to which term the book is used: * Term 1 ** Term 2 *** Term 3
β - manybooks.net, another free ebook site.
α - free etext at archive.org.
K - free Kindle text from amazon.com.
(£amzn) - Living Books Press purchase using AO's amazon.com affiliate link.
($amzn) - book purchase using AO's amazon.com affiliate link.
(K) - Kindle purchase using AO's amazon.com affiliate link.
(£) - Purchase directly from Living Books Press with an affiliate link.
Λ - free audiobook at Lit2Go
Ω - free audiobook at Librivox 
∩ - other free audiobook source
 - Click the bracketed numeral to view any notes about the book near the bottom of the page.
 - red footnotes indicate a heads-up for parents about the title. We cannot foresee every incident that might potentially be an issue to every family, but we have red-flagged those that are commonly a concern.
AO is an affiliate of Living Book Press, which means that when you purchase from livingbookpress.com we receive a commission which allows us to keep offering AO for free. LBP links are identified like this: (£)
AmblesideOnline is part of Amazon.com's Affiliate program. If you use the Amazon links, we receive a small commission which enables us to cover the costs of keeping the website and curriculum. Amazon links are identified like this: ($amzn) or (£amzn) or (K), but we have provided links to free and alternate sources as well.
AmblesideOnline Year 7-8-9 Curriculum
- Current Events (Keep up with your choice of periodicals or blogs)
- Foreign language
- Music Appreciation, including composers, folksongs and hymns
- Outdoor Nature Study
- Artist/Picture Study
- One of Plutarch's Lives spread over each term
- A Shakespeare play spread over each term
The following weekly readings should be broken up into daily readings in whatever way works best for your family.
Bible and Christian Theology
Bible: if you continue AO's plan, read Judges, Ruth, 1 Samuel; 2 Samuel; 1 Kings, Ecclesiastes; Matthew 1-28; Psalms 106-150; Proverbs 1-16 (Year 8's scheduled reading). Your student should then have three years to complete AO's plan all the way through (which normally wraps up in Year 11, though your student will be wrapping it up in Year 12).
History: Renaissance, Reformation, French and American revolutions
Term 1: 1640-1688; Term 2: 1688-1776; Term 3: 1777-1815
Keep a century chart and Century Book of the period studied. 
** Salem witch trial transcript; also here; name search here. 
** Jonathan Edwards' "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God" Sermon Ω Ω YouTube
** Free Grace: John Wesley Denounces the Doctrine of Predestination
** Edmund Burke's Plea for Conciliation with the American Colonies, March 22,1775 Ω
** The Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence (1775)
** The Declaration of Independence Ω
** Patrick Henry's famous 'Give me liberty or give me death' speech Ω
** *** Miracle at Philadelphia by Catherine Drinker Bowen ($amzn)
*** Articles of Confederation (1777)
*** Articles of Capitulation, Yorktown
*** Treaty with Great Britain (1783)
*** The Federalist, articles 1 and 2 α Ω
*** Washington's First Inaugural Address (1789)
*** Constitution of the United States (current version) 
*** Treaty with the Six Nations (1794) Ω
*** Speech by William Wilberforce concerning the slave trade. 
*** Treaty with France (Louisiana Purchase) (1803)
*** Washington's Farewell Address Ω 
*** Treaty with Great Britain (End of War of 1812) (1814)
** Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift. β α ($amzn) ($amzn) (K) Ω Λ ∫ 
* Battle of the Books by Jonathan Swift ($amzn) A paraphrase is available here.
** Rasselas, Prince of Abyssinia by Samuel Johnson β α ($amzn) (K) Ω ∫
Shakespeare for the 2021-2022 School Year:
* Julius Caesar
** The Two Gentlemen of Verona
*** Romeo and Juliet
Include selections from Shakespeare, the Bible, poetry and other sources. These selections may be the same ones used for recitation. Consider beginning a personal quote book.
Do dictation regularly.
Grammar and Composition
Our Mother Tongue: An Introductory Guide to English Grammar by Nancy Wilson ($amzn) Answer Key: ($amzn) or other grammar book 
Writers Inc by Patrick Sebranek, Verne Meyer, Dave Kemper, as a reference ($amzn)
2 Bible passages of about 20 verses each and 2 Psalms per
a poem per term from the term's poetry selections
Begin Latin if you've not started already, or continue with any previous foreign language studies
Plutarch for the 2021-2022 School Year:
Term 1: Pompey, Part 1 (Study Guide with text; Text Only)
Term 2: Pompey, Part 2 (Study Guide with text; Text Only)
Term 3: Themistocles (Study Guide with text; Text Only)
Purchase this year's study guides, Vol 6, in one book: ($amzn) (K)
AO's full Plutarch rotation
Government and Economics
Whatever Happened to Justice by Richard Maybury ($amzn) If you don't use this book, at least be sure to read I, Pencil by Leonard Read; this short essay is included in ch 15.
Essays (from John Hopkins's Notions on Political Economy) by Jane Haldimand Marcet α
Keep up with daily news (resource options here) and keep a calendar of events
Nature Study and Science
First Studies of Plant Life by George Francis Atkinson, Parts 2, 3 α [Google Books] ($amzn) 
Signs and Seasons: Understanding the Elements of Classical Astronomy by Jay Ryan, ch 3-5 ($amzn) (CBD) 
Adventures with a Microscope by Richard Headstrom, chose 12 adventures if you are able to procure/borrow a microscope. (K)
Great Astronomers by R.S. Ball β α (£) (£amzn) (chapters on Newton, Flamsteed) [42a]
The Microbe Hunters by Paul DeKruif, Leeuwenhook-LaPlace ($amzn) (K)
* The Chemical History of a Candle by Michael Faraday β α ($amzn) (K) 
* Phineas Gage: A Gruesome but True Story About Brain Science by John Fleischman ($amzn) (K)
* William Harvey and the Discovery of the Circulation of the Blood by Thomas Henry Huxley β Images for text
** *** A Briefer History of Time by Stephen Hawking ($amzn) (K) 
Nature Study Topics for the 2021-2022 School Year:
winter: Rocks, minerals and soil
AO's full Nature Study rotation
Continue your math program; for some options, see this page.
The Story of Painting by H. W. Janson - Towards Revolution and part of The Age of Machines ($amzn)
Artists (Picture Study) for the 2021-2022 School Year:
TERM 1 Jan Van Eyck (1395-1441; Flemish Northern Renaissance) (This term's composer: Saint-Saens and Berlioz, Early Romantic)
The Crucifixion and The Last Judgement are two of Van Eyck's most important and well-known works; however, they're gruesome, so alternatives have been suggested along with them.
1. The Crucifixion, 1425-30 Brussels, Belgium OR Birth of John the Baptist, 1422, Museo Civico d'Arte Antica, Turin, Italy
2. The Last Judgement, 1425-30, Brussels, Belgium OR Madonna with Child Reading, 1433, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia
3. Adoration of the Lamb (From the Ghent Altarpiece, 1425-30)
4. The Annunciation, 1434-1436, National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.
5. The Arnolfini Wedding, 1434, National Gallery, London
6. Man in a Red Turban, 1433, National Gallery, London
Download a pdf file of this term's six prints here
TERM 2 Sandro Botticelli (1445-1510; Florentine Renaissance) (This term's composer: Bach)
1. Fortitude, c. 1470, Uffizi Gallery, Florence (also here; CM describes this in Vol 4, Book 2, pg 41)
2. Primavera, c. 1482, Uffizi Gallery, Florence or, this more modest alternate detail
3. Madonna of the Magnificat 1483-85, Uffizi Gallery, Florence
4. The Birth of Venus, c. 1485, Uffizi Gallery, Florence or, this more modest detail
5. A Young Man Being Introduced to the Seven Liberal Arts, c. 1484, Louvre, Paris (also here)
6. Calumny of Apelles, or, more modest detail, 1494-95, Uffizi Gallery, Florence (described in CM's Vol 4 Book 1 pg 151)
Download a pdf file of this term's six prints here
TERM 3 Caspar David Friedrich (1774-1840; German Romantic) (This term's composer: Liszt)
1. The Cross in the Mountains 1808, Gemaldegalerie, Dresden, Germany
2. The Wanderer above the Mists, 1817-18, Kunsthalle, Hamburg, Germany
3. Chalk Cliffs on Rügen, 1818-19, Stiftung Oskar Reinhart, Winterthur, Switzerland
4. On Board a Sailing Ship, State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia
5. Moon Rising over the Sea, 1821, State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia
6. Woman at a Window, 1822, National Gallery, Berlin, Germany
Download a pdf file of this term's six prints here
Composers for the 2021-2022 School Year:
TERM 1 Hector Berlioz (1803-1869) and Camille Saint-Saëns (1835-1921; Romantic) (This term's artist: Jan Van Eyck)
1. Saint-Saëns - Symphony no 3 in C min Op 78 * *
2. Saint-Saëns - Danse Macabre Op 40 * *
3. Saint-Saëns - Carnival of Animals * *
4. Berlioz - Symphonie Fantastique * *
5. Berlioz - Dance of the Sylphs (from Faust Op. 24) * *
6. Berlioz - Rakoczy (Hungarian) March (from Faust Op. 24) * *
Classics for Kids Past Shows: Berlioz; Saint-Saens
TERM 2 Johann Sebastian Bach ( 1685-1750; Baroque) (This term's artist: Sandro Botticelli)
1, 2. Magnificat in D major BWV 243 (4 weeks) * *
3. Chaconne from Partita in D minor BWV 1004 * *
4. any Church cantata * *
5. Brandenburg Concerto No. 6 in B flat major, BWV 1051 * *
6. Art of the Fugue BWV 1080 * * Full * *
Purchase the book Sebastian Bach, The Boy from Thuringia ($amzn) by Opal Wheeler
Free Ebook for younger students Johann Sebastian Bach: The Boy who sang in the streets by Thomas Tapper
Classics for Kids Past Shows: Bach
TERM 3 Franz Liszt (1811-1886; Romantic) (This term's artist: Caspar David Friedrich)
1. Piano Concerto no 1 in E-flat major S.124 * * *
2. Hungarian Rhapsodies, especially no 2 (this was featured in Tom and Jerry and Rhapsody Rabbit cartoons) * * All *
3. Les Preludes, Symphonic Poem no. 3 S.97 * *
4. Liebestraum No. 3 in A-flat major for piano * *
5. Piano Sonata in B min S.178 * *
6. Mephisto Waltz No. 1, S. 514 * *
Free Ebook for younger students Liszt: The Boy Who Became a Great Pianist and Teacher by Thomas Tapper
Classics for Kids Past Shows: Liszt
Hymns for the 2021-2022 School Year:
September: I Am Resolved * * ∘
October: To God Be The Glory * *
November: The Love of God * *
December: Tell Me The Story Of Jesus * *
January: O God, Our Help In Ages Past *
February: Leaning on the Everlasting Arms * *
March: At Calvary * * *
April: Am I A Soldier Of The Cross? *
May: Now Thank We All Our God * *
June: 'Tis So Sweet To Trust in Jesus * *
July: Nearer, My God, To Thee * * * * *
August: More Love To Thee, O Christ *
Folksongs for the 2021-2022 School Year:
September: The Jam on Gerry's Rocks * * * * ∘ (Related: film about Woodsmen and River Drivers) ($mp3)
October: The Wellerman * * * * ($mp3)
November: There is a Time for Us to Wander * * * ($mp3)
During your Christmas break, try a carol you may be less familiar with:
He Is Born, The Heav'nly Child/Il est ne, le divin enfant and/or O Come, O Come Emmanuel
January Land of the Silver Birch * * * * * * * * ($mp3)
February: Haul on the Bowline * * ($mp3)
March: Revolutionary Tea * * * * ($mp3)
April: Farewell to Nova Scotia * * * ** * * ($mp3)
May: Ballad of New Scotland * * ($mp3)
June: Day-O, The Banana Boat Song * * * * * * * * ($mp3)
Bonus: I Know Moonlight, I Know Starlight * * *
Folksongs which are particularly appropriate selections for this time frame include:
* Three Mariners, The Oak and the Ash, My Lodging is on the Cold Ground [tune], English folksongs and other folksongs.
** The Skye Boat Song arrangement 2 (also on YouTube; The Ballad of the Green Mountaineers According to one book, it's actually a poem written in his youth by John Greenleaf Whittier, so it postdates the Revolutionary War. YouTube. An alternative would be The Yankee Privateer YouTube; Yankee Doodle historical - More info in a popup link; The Water is Wide
*** Johnny Has Gone For a Soldier YouTube
Robert Burns' poetry and music fit this era; one of his many songs is A Man's a Man For a' That (You'll have to click to the alternate lyrics linked on that page to hear the midi.)
Other Scottish folks songs arranged chronologically, including a large collection of Burns' songs.
Health and Physical Education
Keep fit: Learn and play a game (kick ball, tennis, croquet, ping-pong, softball, etc.) or folk-dance, or pursue other physical activity of your choice. One option is Swedish Drill Revisited by Dawn Duran purchase
Life and Work Skills
Work on useful skills such as budgeting, gardening, cooking, car maintenance, carpentry, etc.
We strongly suggest including these:
Westward Ho! by Charles Kingsley β α ($amzn) (K) study guide
or I Promessi Sposi (The Betrothed) by Alessandro Manzoni β α Ω 
(Whichever you didn't read for school, assign as free reading.)
The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas (or here) β α Unabridged translation by R. Buss: ($amzn) (K) Ω 
This booklist should be doable for an AO student; however, if you need to lighten it up, consider doing these three books (one from the literature section of each term) as free reading using audio versions: Westward Ho, Gulliver's Travels, Pride and Prejudice.
The Year 8 and Year 9 regular booklists should be consulted for additional free reading material.
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.
Librivox free audio is done by volunteers, and some are better than others. Heidi Nash has a list of some favorite Librivox readers. Be aware that apps, including Librivox, that have clickable ads can open a browser and allow children unfiltered access to the internet, even when browsers have been disabled by the parent. There are options: either download mp3 files from Librivox and listen without the app, or only install the app on a parent-controlled device. Librivox has a pay option to turn off ads.
3. Saints and Heroes is an option for church history if you didn't use Trial and Triumph in Years 1-6. For this year, read Fox, Wesley, Laud, Cromwell, Bunyan). (Back)
4. Timeline: At this age, students should be keeping a Century Chart and Book of Centuries. Students at this level in the PNEU schools made summaries of dates and events, referred to maps as they read their history, and made century charts. 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 ($amzn). Two Book of Centuries options: (£) (£) (Back)
6. The New World and Age of Revolution are Volumes 2 and 3 of Winston Churchill's 4 volume set, "A History of the English Speaking Peoples." The final volume will be used in Year 10. Don't get the one edited by Henry Steele Commager, as it's abridged. For planning purposes, there is a table of contents with dates for all 4 volumes of A History of the English Speaking Peoples.
Term 1: The New World Chapter 15-26
Term 2: Age of Revolution Chapter 1-13
Term 3: Age of Revolution Chapter 14-25
Alternately, you could use A History of England by Arnold-Forster in Term 1, online at archive.org, Google Books ($amzn; Lulu.com; Options); a schedule for Years 7/8 and the first term of 8/9. Later chapters have a colonialist flavor and are not scheduled. (Back)
8. A Coffin for King Charles was also published under the title The Trial of Charles I in England. Weeks 21-36 (Back)
10. Diary of Samuel Pepys: List member Sarah Bruce has kindly compiled an excerpted copy with his account of the Great Fire. Charlotte Mason used parts of this book. Pepys gives a great first-hand account of the Great Fire. However, this needs editing both for length but also because Pepys was wretchedly honest about his sordid behavior, details of which really aren't appropriate for young people to read. His entries for April 22 and 23 have to do with the coronation of Charles II and may be useful. If you wish to read the entire diary, it is available online: The Diary of Samuel Pepys β ($amzn) excerpted copy of (the part detailing The Plague and The Great Fire) and excerpts from his entries on the plague. (Back)
12. Salem witch trial transcript: These links are suggested; feel free to choose more (or to choose differently):
Letter From Rev. John Higginson to His Son Nathaniel Higginson
Letter of Deodat Lawson
Court testimony of Sarah Bibber
Court testimony of Mary Osgood
Letter To John Foster
Notable people: Tituba, Increase Mather, Cotton Mather
Optional: these links from the same website might be added:
Trial transcripts: John Alden
Letters of Governor William Phips
Petitions from Relatives of Prisoners
Reversal of Attainder and Rest
Brief article with linked names.
The Salem Witch Trials were a blight on our history, but the fact remains that they stand out because of the rarity of witchcraft executions in the Colonies, and their comparatively late date (although Switzerland executed a witch in 1892). In the Colonies, 40 people were executed for witchcraft, half of them in the Salem Trials, and one of the key judges later repented and expressed his deep sorrow for his role in the executions. In England, there were nearly a thousand witchcraft trials from 1552 to 1722, and roughly a quarter of those ended in executions. Scotland tried nearly 2,000 in the same period, and even Switzerland had nearly 400 witchcraft trials in this period with nearly a quarter of the accused executed. Southwestern Germany executed some 3,000 during the same time period.
If you prefer a book option: The Witchcraft of Salem Village by Shirley Jackson, a Landmark book ($amzn) (K) (Back)
15. US Constitution: If your student needs help, you might look at something to read alongside the Constitution. One suggestion: this paraphrase printed as a side by side parallel - The Constitution Made Easy by Michael Holler ($amzn) ($amzn) (K) (Back)
16. Speech by William Wilberforce In the book "A Treasury of the World's Great Speeches," (online ($amzn) you can find "William Pitt the Younger Indicts the Slave Trade and Foresees a Liberated Africa" April 2, 1792. We suggest that a book of famous speeches such as the above treasury ought to be in every homeschool library. [An AO user found a book of Pitt's speeches. Scroll down to the African Slave Trade speech (p363), and click on it. The speech starts half way down page 363 and is listed as April 2nd 1792, not April 3rd. Or, you can download a Word/.odt document of this speech.] Ω (Back)
17. George Washington's Farewell Address was a final opportunity to express some guiding principles for the young nation, to promote union and warn against party factions, and encourage neutrality with other nations. The U.S. Senate still has a tradition of reading this every year on Washington's birthday; if you'd like to listen along as you read, look on YouTube for videos of Senators reading this. The speech is about 40 minutes long. (Back)
18. Chesterfield: Full book is 488 pages; you can use AO's selections, about 88 pgs, or choose your own selections. There's a nice collection selected by Edward Gilpin Johnson in 1893: The Best Letters of Lord Chesterton α ($elections) (Back)
20. George Washington: If you need an online option: The Life of George Washington by David Ramsay ($amzn)
The Student's Life of Washington by Washington Irving β α
There's a briefer but good section in James Baldwin's Four Great Americans.) (Back)
22. Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation is a modest-sized paperback (248 pages) that won the Pulitzer in 2002, and thus should be in every public library. From the back of the book: "Through an analysis of six fascinating episodes -- Hamilton and Burr's deadly duel, Washington's precedent-setting Farewell Address [does not contain the text of it, but rather puts it in context], Adams' administration and political partnership with his wife, the debate about where to place the capitol, Franklin's attempt to force Congress to confront the issue of slavery, and Madison's attempts to block him, and Jefferson and Adams famous correspondence -- Founding Brothers brings to life the vital issues and personalities from the most important decade in our nation's history."(Back)
24. 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 99-125
Term 2: Book 1 pg 126-166
Term 3: Book 1 pg 167-210 (Back)
25. Pope's Essay on Man: Read a little background on Pope (there's a tiny bit in English Literature for Boys and Girls), and you'll see his poetry is "of the brain" and not the heart. With that in mind, read a few stanzas, and see if you can re-write them in prose, just to get a flavor of his writing, and the thinking that was prevalent during the era (he is a man of his time, and his ideas are more timely than timeless). The sentimental and romantic poets were a reaction against poetry like this (in part). Once you've experienced the thing, there's really no need to read it all. (posted by Karen Glass) (Back)
Plutarch: Charlotte Mason recommended Thomas North's "inimitable translation." (Back)
26. The History of English Literature for Girls and Boys: purchase 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 50 (The 'Revenge') - 59 (Pilgrim's Progress)
Term 2: 60 (Dryden: The New Poetry) - ch 71 (Goldsmith)
Term 3: ch 72 (Burns) - 73 (Cowper: The Task)
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 ($amzn), students in this year would read from John Donne to Alexander Hamilton, pg 155-202. Table of contents to help with planning. (Back)
30. The Holy War by John Bunyan: Charlotte Mason's Kingdom of Mansoul in Ourselves (volume 4 of her series) is based on this book. Mount Calvary Baptist has a helpful study guide, links to study notes, audio files and links to online texts. Ethel Barrett wrote a retelling in 1969; a 1998 reprint can can be purchased at amazon.com.
The librivox version is read beautifully by Joy Chan. To divide it into 24 readings over a 12-week term, you might listen to one of the 20 audio files twice a week, except for chapters 1, 3 and 4, and 5 which can be divided in half. Text with divisions based on this recording so your student can follow along.
We don't recommend paraphrases, but if your student truly needs help, a modern English version is available here ($amzn). (Back)
32. Gulliver's Travels: Skip chapter 5 in Part II, on Gulliver's visit to Brobdinnag as it has some inappropriate or unpleasant incidents with the Giants in two different places as well as a gruesome execution. Also be aware that towards the end of the first chapter, the minuscule Gulliver is repulsed by the sight of a giantess nursing her child. (Back)
34. She Stoops to Conquer: This is a play; there's a BBC-type movie version featuring Mark Dexter, Susannah Fielding, Polly Hemingway that might be fun to watch after reading the book. You might find it on YouTube. (Back)
35. Poetry: How do you "do" poetry? Simply read it and enjoy it, re-read it, read it again and listen to the sound of the phrases, let them paint a word picture in your mind. Do you feel like you need more direction? How to Read a Poem: Based on the Billy Collins Poem "Introduction to Poetry" by Tania Runyan is "less as an instructional book and more of an invitation." This is a suggested optional parent resource that encourages you read poetry for enjoyment. (Back)
36. Grammar: In terms of difficulty (easiest to most challenging), Easy Grammar Plus is probably the easiest, followed by Jensen's, and then Our Mother Tongue.
Jensen's Grammar goes slowly and step-by-step; their answer key is thorough (Our Mother Tongue doesn't always have answers). There are 75 lessons, so plan to take two years, or else do two lessons per week. Expect to pay about $30 for the Jensen's text and answer key. The DVD's are not necessary. You will probably find it cheaper at New Leaf Publishing, or other homeschool sellers such as Lampost Homeschool.
If you are not confident about teaching grammar, you might prefer Easy Grammar Plus by Wanda Phillips. It's less intense than Jensen's, but still doesn't assume a lot of previous knowledge from the teacher. It's easier than Jensen with just a couple suggested alterations (for example, don't insist on memorizing the prepositions at the start, just write a list of them and explain an easy way to remember most of them: any way a worm can go in relations to two apples, or a swallow in relation to two mountains). A parent using this with one child could get by with only the Teacher's Edition since the student workbook is included in it, but multiple students would need their own workbooks. ($ from their website or CBD) Easy Grammar Grade 8 Student 180 Daily Teaching Lessons by Wanda Phillips is just as good; it also has the student worbook included in the teacher's edition.
Those who are more familiar with grammar may prefer Our Mother Tongue. It's more interesting as it uses classic literature for exercises and includes snippets of history about language. The Answer Key ($amzn) is sold separately. Our Mother Tongue has 49 chapters. One suggestion is to spread the book over two years, doing about 9 chapters per term. (Back)
38. Napoleon's Buttons: Chapters 11 (The Pill) and 12 (Molecules of Witchcraft, because of the first paragraph on page p. 235) are not scheduled and can be skipped. Additionally, these brief comments should also be noted by parents:
ch 5 (Nitro Compounds) pg 89 refers to the waste products of wine drinkers and "clergyman, or better yet a bishop" to make gunpowder.
ch 7 (Phenol) pg 131 suggests gossypol as a potential male chemical birth control method.
ch 10 (Wonder Drugs) pg 187 refers to "venereally spread" syphilis.
ch 16 (Chlorocarbon Compounds) pg 327 "In the Book of Genesis women, as Eve's descendants, are condemned to suffer during childbirth as punishment for her sin..." and goes on to mention why. (Back)
40. First Studies of Plant Life: continues from last year; parts 2 and 3 this year. Planting, growing and observing germinating seeds and plants is necessary to benefit from this book. If you prefer, you may substitute Exploring Creation with Botany by Jeanne Fulbright ($amzn) over Years 7 and 8, with selected activities from the book. (Back)
42. Signs and Seasons: chapters 3-5 this year. The book is cheaper from CBD. Field work is an integral part of this book. Field activities are included in the back of the book, so the field guide is not necessary.
If you prefer, A Walk through the Heavens: A Guide to Stars and Constellations by Milton Heifetz may be used. ($amzn) (K) (Back)
42a. Great Astronomers: A paraphrase is here. Or, there are briefer biographies online at MacTutor History of mathematics archives at the University of St Andrews, Scotland. They can be searched alphabetically. (Back)
43. Chemical History of a Candle resources: We highly recommend going through this book with Bill Hammack, "The Engineer Guy." His YouTube readings with guided commentary are invaluable helps, and we have posted the amazon link ($amzn) (K) above to his updated revision of the book. There is also a Pdf Study Guide by AO mom Kathy Wickward, and there are video helps from Khan Academy or Crash Course Chemistry. (Back)
44. A Briefer History of Time: A shorter version of A Brief History of Time containing less technical concepts. We encourage you not to skip this book; Hawking is one of the most respected scientists of our time and it is important for our students to be literate in this subject and know what other people believe. Hawking acknowledged the role of God in creation, and this book is respectful to the beliefs of others. (Back)
46. 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 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)
48. Love Is a Fallacy - An amusing short story which manages to entertain while instructing in some of the basic rhetorical fallacies. There's an alternate link, and a pdf file. We continue to update links, but this one has been a moving target. The story begins, "Cool was I and logical. Keen, calculating, perspicacious, acute and astute." If our link doesn't work, you might try googling with those exact words and the author's name (Shulman) to find it elsewhere on the internet. (Back)
50. The Count of Monte Cristo: A must-read but very long -- plan accordingly. Count of Monte Cristo overlaps the time periods of Years 9 and 10, so reading it through the summer will have the benefit of sustaining the flavor of the appropriate time period until the beginning of Year 10. (Back)
Last updated Mar. 16, 2021