AmblesideOnline Year 12 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.
($amzn) - book purchase using AO's amazon.com affiliate link.
(K) - Kindle purchase using AO's amazon.com affiliate link.
(£) - Purchase directly from Living Books Press with an affiliate link; save 10% with discount code: AOBooks
Λ - free audiobook at Lit2Go
Ω - free audiobook at Librivox 
∩ - other free audiobook source
 - Click the bracketed numeral to view any notes about the book near the bottom of the page.
 - red footnotes indicate a heads-up for parents about the title. We cannot foresee every incident that might potentially be an issue to every family, but we have red-flagged those that are commonly a concern.
AO is an affiliate of Living Book Press, which means that when you purchase from livingbookpress.com we receive a commission which allows us to keep offering AO for free. LBP links are identified like this: (£)
AmblesideOnline is part of Amazon.com's Affiliate program. If you use the Amazon links, we receive a small commission which enables us to cover the costs of keeping the website and curriculum. Amazon links are identified like this: ($amzn) or (£amzn) or (K), but we have provided links to free and alternate sources as well.
AmblesideOnline Year 12 Curriculum
For some thoughts behind the planning of this Year, some encouragement, and an explanation of this very unique AO plan, click here. Take the time to read the footnoted notes and comments; you will not be able to make good decisions about what to include or not without doing so.
Weekly Work: (not all students will be doing all of these)
- Current Events (Keep up with your choice of resources)
- Dictation and additional writing assignments
- 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
Year 12 students should consider reading through the Bible in a year; there are many plans available online.
Suggested Devotional Reading
Note Upcoming Changes: The AO Advisory is currently working on updated revisions to our Devotional and Citizenship/Worldview subjects for this Year. As we adjust these subjects, our changes will be listed as alternate options for the 2022-2023 school year. You may wish to go ahead and use the selections currently listed, or wait to purchase books until the changes are posted. Either choice--the current book list or the updated one--will be a strong option.
* The Call by Os Guinness ($amzn) (K) (304 pages)
** On Loving God by Bernard of Clairvaux (40 pages) Ω ($amzn) (K)
*** The Knowledge of the Holy: The Attributes of God by A.W. Tozer ($amzn) (K) (128 pages)
History: Current Times/Post-Modernism
The time period for Year 12 is the 21st century along with a stream of ancient history, with a focus on worldview
The Echo of Greece by Edith Hamilton ($amzn) (224 pages)
The Consequence of Ideas by R. C. Sproul ($amzn), (186 pages; ch 6, 10, 12 which are covered in '10 Books' are not scheduled) - correlated with Sophie's World/10 Books
Sophie's World by Jostein Gaarder ($amzn) (K) (544 pages; parent should preview the final chapter) correlated with Consequence of Ideas/10 Books
10 Books That Screwed Up the World (And 5 Others That Didn't Help) by Benjamin Wiker ($amzn) (K) (260 pages) correlated with Consequence of Ideas/Sophie's World
Fighting Terrorism: How Democracy Can Defeat Domestic and International Terrorists by Benjamin Netanyahu ($amzn) (K) (180 pages)
Knowing History and Knowing Who We Are essay by David McCullough (Online) (16 pgs)
Christian responses to Islam, Islamism and 'Islamic terrorism' essay by Colin Chapman (Online) (8 pgs) 
The Roots of Muslim Rage essay by Bernard Lewis (Online) (24 pgs)
History Supplements and Speeches  [YouTube Playlist]
George Walker Bush - 9/11 Address to the Nation - 2001 or here
President Bush's bullhorn speech - 2001 or here
Bush's September 20th speech to joint session of Congress - 2001 (starts at 22 minutes) or here
Barack Hussein Obama - 2004 Democratic National Convention Keynote Address or here
Steve Jobs - Commencement Address at Stanford University, 2005 or here (optional)
Thomas Dale DeLay - Farewell Address to the U.S. House of Representatives 2006 or here
Bono at the 2006 National Prayer Breakfast or here
Robert Michael Gates - Address to the World Forum on the Future of Democracy 2007 or here
Jessica Dawn Lynch - "The Truth is Always More Heroic than the Hype" 2007 or here
Ryne Dee Sandberg - Baseball Hall of Fame Induction Address 2007 or here
Binyamin Netanyahu - 2009 Speech to the United Nations General Assembly or here
Mike Rowe - Learning from Dirty Jobs - 2009 or here
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's TED Talk: The Danger of a Single Story - 2009
Here I Stand: Valedictorian Erica Goldson Speaks Out Against Schooling 2010
Michael Nutter - Mount Carmel Baptist Church Address 2011 or here
David McCullough, Jr. - Wellesley High School Commencement Speech 2012 or here
Salman Khan: 2012 commencement address at MIT
Obama's Speech on Human Trafficking 2012 or here
Donald Trump's speech in Warsaw - 2017; Transcript
Donald Trump, March for Life Rally from the White House in 2018, and in person, 2020 (optional)
Donald Trump's July Fourth Mount Rushmore speech - 2020
Shakespeare for the 2022-2023 School Year:
* Henry V
** The Tempest
*** The Merchant of Venice
Miss Mason directed students at this level to keep a commonplace book for passages that strike them particularly; to learn a hundred lines of poetry; and to be able to give some account of what they have read in each book, with sketches of the chief characters.
Choose an essay or two every week on current events. 
Optional: Poemcrazy: Freeing Your Life with Words by Susan G. Wooldridge
Include selections from Shakespeare, the Bible, poetry and other sources. These selections may be the same ones used for recitation.
Continue (or begin) a personal quote book.
2 or 3 pages of studied dictation per week. 
Grammar and Composition
Simple and Direct by Jacques Barzun (optional; or revisit an earlier year's suggestions)
Written narrations: 3-5 per week, varying among subjects. Include one written narration from a reading earlier in the week. 
Most students in Year 12 have completed their SAT. As for assigning research papers, we leave this to parental discretion.
Purchase a good English handbook. An Advisory favorite is The Little, Brown Handbook by H. Ramsey Fowler and Jane E. Aaron. Some may find Writer's Inc. more user friendly.
Memorize each term:
2 Bible passages of about 20 verses each
2 Psalms (whole chapters)
2 Poems (or 50 lines) from the term's poets
1 passage from the term's Shakespeare play.
Continue Latin and any previous foreign language studies. 
Ten minutes of map drills each week, locating places from the week's reading on a map. 
Explore foreign places relevant in news and current events.
Note Upcoming Changes: The AO Advisory is currently working on updated revisions to our Devotional and Citizenship/Worldview subjects for Years 7-12. As we adjust these subjects, our changes will be listed as alternate options for the 2022-2023 school year. You may wish to go ahead and use the selections currently listed, or wait to purchase books until the changes are posted. Either choice--the current book list or the updated one--will be a strong option.
Optional but highly recommended: Eric Metaxas discusses the key themes of his book If You Can Keep It on YouTube; 1 hour. The book, which expands on Os Guiness's Golden Triangle of Freedom, or freedom, virtue and faith, is also suggested (as free reading).
Plutarch for the 2022-2023 School Year:
Term 1: Marcus Brutus (Study Guide with text; Text Only)
Term 2: Pericles (Study Guide with text; Text Only)
Term 3: Fabius (Study Guide with text; Text Only)
Purchase this year's study guides, Vol 8, in one book: ($amzn) (K)
AO's full Plutarch rotation
Government and Economics
AO students who have read all or most of the Economics suggestions for years 9-11 have likely done enough to merit a high school credit for Economics. If you and your student want more reading, we recommend:
A basic government book or course 
Students should have a plan for keeping up with current events. This is not optional. 
Some students will have completed their credit requirements by this time; check your state's requirements.
A four-year living Science plan is being worked on in the forum. In the meantime, we're suggesting these books for year 12:
Science Matters by Robert M. Hazen and James Trefil ($amzn) (K) (345 pages)
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot ($amzn) (K) (305 pgs; especially relevant for year 12 because of the bioethics issues it brings up) 
Continue flower and bird lists of species seen, select a special study for outdoor work, and continue to maintain nature notebooks.
Nature Study Topics for the 2022-2023 School Year:
spring: Wildflowers/flowerless plants AO's full Nature Study rotation
Continue your math program; for some options, see this page.
Optional (we haven't even looked at these yet):
Super Crunchers by Ian Ayres ($amzn) (K) (320 pages)
Here's Looking at Euclid by Alex Bellos ($amzn) (K) (336 pages)
Elements by Euclid ($amzn) (K) (527 pages)
Artists (Picture Study) for the 2022-2023 School Year:
2022-2023 Term 1 Vincent Van Gogh (1853-1890; Dutch Post-Impressionist)
(This term's composer: Mahler, Bruckner)
1. The Starry Night, 1889, Museum of Modern Art, New York City
2. The Chair and the Pipe, 1888, National Gallery, London
3. The Night Café, 1888, Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Connecticut
4. Self Portrait as an Artist, 1888, Paris, Arles, St. Remy, Auvers-sur-Oise (part of a traveling exhibit?)
5. The Vase with Sunflowers, 1888, Paris, Arles, St. Remy, Auvers-sur-Oise
6. Bedroom at Arles, 1889, Musee d'Orsay, Paris
Further Interest: The Yellow House (be sure it's the picture book by Susan Goldman Rubin)
Download a pdf file of this term's six prints here [NOTE]
2022-2023 Term 2 Raphael Sanzio (1483-1520; Italian Renaissance)
(This term's composers: Ralph Vaughn Williams, Edward Elgar; 20th Century British.)
Biography. Note: If you use the Wikipedia biography, preview it first.
1. The Knight's Dream, 1504, National Gallery, London
2. St. George and the Dragon, 1504-6, National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.
3. Galatea, 1512, Villa Farnesina, Rome
OR Young Woman with a Unicorn, 1506, Galleria Borghese, Rome (more here)
4. Sistine Madonna, 1512-1514, Dresden, Germany
5. The Miraculous Draft of Fishes, 1515, The Vatican, Rome (more about this series here)
6. Ezekiel's Vision, 1518, Palazzo Pitti, Florence
Download a pdf file of this term's six prints here [NOTE]
2022-2023 Term 3 John Singer Sargent (1856-1925; American)
(This term's composer: Grieg and Sibelius)
1. Oyster Gatherers of Cancale, 1878, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.
2. The Daughters of Edward Darley Boit, 1882, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
3. The Breakfast Table, 1884, also here Fogg Museum of Art, Cambridge, MA. The woman is Violet, Sargent's younger sister.
4. Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose, 1885-6, Tate Britain, London (also here)
5. An Artist in his Studio, 1904, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
6. Lady Agnew of Lochnaw, 1892-3, National Gallery of Scotland, Edinburgh
Further Interest: Theodore Roosevelt, 1903, The White House, Washington, D.C.
Robert Louis Stevenson and his Wife, 1885, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, AR
Download a pdf file of this term's six prints here [NOTE]
Note: PDF files for AO's picture study are being made available for you to download and print yourself from "A Humble Place"; you can access the PDF files of pictures by clicking the "Individual Artworks Only" link by each artist's name. The "Picture Study aid" link is an additional optional resource and may require you to submit your email address or make a purchase, but the "Artworks Only" link is provided with no strings attached.
Work on drawing skills. Illustrate a scene from reading of your choice once a week, more as desired.
Composers for the 2022-2023 School Year:
2022-2023 Term 1 Anton Bruckner (1824-1896) and Gustav Mahler (1860-1911) (This term's artist: Vincent Van Gogh)
1. Mahler: Symphony 1 in D major "Titan" *
2. Mahler: Symphony 9 * *
3. Mahler: Kindertotenlieder (song cycle) * *
4. Bruckner: Symphony no 4 in E-flat major "Romantic" WAB 104 * *
Classics for Kids Past Shows: Bruckner; Mahler
2022-2023 Term 2 Edward Elgar (1857-1934) and Ralph Vaughn Williams (1872-1958; 20th Century British) (This term's artist: Raphael Sanzio)
1. Ralph Vaughan Williams: Symphony 1 (A Sea Symphony) *
2. Ralph Vaughan Williams: Fantasia on Greensleeves * *
3. Ralph Vaughan Williams: Fantasia on a theme by Thomas Tallis * *
Further Interest: The Lark Ascending * *
4. Edward Elgar: Serenade for String Orchestra in E minor Op 20 * *
5. Edward Elgar: Pomp and Circumstance Op 39 No.1 March in D Major * *
6. Edward Elgar: Enigma Variations Op 36 * *
Classics for Kids Past Shows: Elgar; Vaugn Williams
2022-2023 Term 3 Jean Sibelius (1865-1957; zhan suh BAY lee us) and Edvard Grieg (1843 -1907) (This term's artist: John Singer Sargent)
1. Grieg - Peer Gynt Suite no 1 Op 46 *
2. Grieg - Piano Concerto in A Op 16 * *
3. Grieg - Norwegian Dance Op 35 no 2 * *
4. Grieg - Lyric Suite Op 54 * *
For further interest: Lyric Pieces Op. 12 * *
5. Sibelius - Finlandia Op. 26 no 7 * *
6. Sibelius - Symphony No. 1 in E min Op. 39 * * or Symphony No. 2 in D maj Op. 43 * *
Free Ebook for younger students Edvard Grieg: The Boy Who Made Music in the Land of the Midnight Sun by Thomas Tapper
Classics for Kids Past Shows: Sibelius; Grieg
Hymns for the 2022-2023 School Year:
August: More Love To Thee, O Christ * ∘
September: He Leadeth Me * * * * ∘
October: Dear Lord and Father of Mankind *
November: He Hideth My Soul * * * * *
December: How Sweet The Name of Jesus Sounds * * *
January: What A Friend We Have In Jesus * *
February: I'll Praise My Maker While I've Breath * *
March: Redeemed, How I Love To Proclaim It *
April: I'm Not Ashamed to Own My Lord *
May: Sweet Hour of Prayer * * *
June: Rock of Ages * *
July: I Stand Amazed in the Presence *
August: The Rock That Is Higher Than I *
Folksongs for the 2022-2023 School Year:
July: My Country 'Tis of Thee ∘ AO doesn't schedule folksongs for summer, but Hannah Fridenmaker picked a couple of songs to supplement for those doing folksongs in July/August.
August: America The Beautiful ∘
Bonus: I Know Moonlight, I Know Starlight * * * * ∘
September: Did You Go To the Barney * * ∘ ($mp3)
October: Waltzing Matilda * ($mp3)
November: The Fox (went out on a chilly night) * * ($mp3)
During your Christmas break, try a carol you may be less familiar with:
The Wexford Carol, While Shepherds Watched Their Flock * and/or What Child Is This? (Greensleeves) *
January: The Mermaid * * ($mp3)
February: Wayfaring Stranger * ($mp3)
March: Whoopie Ti Yi Yo Git Along Little Dogies * ($mp3)
April: Red River Valley * ($mp3)
May: Crawdad Song * ($mp3)
June: I'll Fly Away * * ($mp3)
Read biographies of modern (still living) composers.
Music lessons on instrument of choice.
Foreign language - 3 songs each term (Charlotte Mason did 3 in French and 3 in German).
Health and Physical Education
Life and Work Skills
House or garden work, useful crafts, or skill. 
(These still need pruning; the Advisory has not read all of these.)
Together, Alone by Susan Albert ($amzn) (K) (a memior about creating a home in the Texas Hill Country)
Pensees by Blaise Pascal β α ($amzn) (K) Ω K (classic 1600's thoughts about human experience and behavior)
One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp ($amzn) (K)
Orthodoxy by G. K. Chesterton β α ($amzn) (K) Ω
Quo Vadis: A Tale of the Time of Nero by Henryk Sienkiewicz β α ($amzn) (K) Ω (Roman opulence vs Christian poverty/power)
The Spartan α by Caroline Dale Snedeker (beautifully descriptive story of ancient Sparta) GoogleBooks; free pdf ($amzn)
The Book of the Ancient Greeks ($amzn), and Book of the Ancient Romans ($amzn) α by Dorothy Mills
The History of the Ancient World by Susan Wise Bauer ($amzn) (K)
The Greek Way by Edith Hamilton ($amzn) (K)
The Roman Way by Edith Hamilton ($amzn) (K)
History and Current Events:
Who Killed Canadian History? by J. L. Granatstein ($earch) (Canadian option)
No Future Without Forgiveness by Desmond Tutu ($amzn) (K) (apartheid, ch 7 is gruesome, so is an episode in the postscript)
Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela ($amzn) (K)
Mexifornia: a State of Becoming by Victor Hanson ($amzn) (K) (how border issues affect us)
Underdevelopment is a State of Mind: The Latin American Case by Lawrence Harrison ($amzn) (K) (Latin American culture; recommended by Thomas Sowell)
The Geography of Nowhere: The Rise and Decline of America's Man-Made Landscape by James Kunstler ($amzn) (K) (the homogenous suburbanization of America)
The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down: A Hmong Child, Her American Doctors, and the Collision of Two Cultures by Anne Fadiman ($amzn) (K)
From Dictatorship to Democracy by Gene Sharp ($amzn) (K) [esp ch 1-4; free pdf online; not revolutionary but informative] Ω
Orientalism by Edward Said ($amzn) (K) (pdf)
Decision Points by George Bush ($amzn) (K)
My Life by Bill Clinton ($amzn) (K)
A Severe Mercy by Sheldon Vanauken ($amzn) (K) (marriage, grief, friendship with C. S. Lewis)
The Paper Garden: An Artist Begins Her Life's Work at 72 by Molly Peacock ($amzn) (K) (Mary Granville Pendarves Delany, 1770's)
If You Can Keep It: The Forgotten Promise of American Liberty by Eric Metaxas ($amzn) (K) "Metaxas explains that America is not a nation bounded by ethnic identity or geography, but rather by a radical and unprecedented idea, based on liberty and freedom for all. He cautions us that it's nearly past time we reconnect to that idea, or we may lose the very foundation of what made us exceptional in the first place." Metaxas "borrows a concept from Os Guiness's 'The Golden Triangle of Freedom,' or freedom, virtue and faith. This triad of cultural goods is mutually reinforcing. 'Freedom requires virtue; virtue requires faith; faith requires freedom.'" Metaxas discusses the key themes of his book on YouTube; 1 hour.
Judicial Tyranny: The New Kings of America by Sutherland, DuPre, Moore and Dobson ($amzn) (K)
Being Human: The Nature of Spiritual Experience by Ranald Macauley and Jerram Barrs ($amzn)
Making Sense of It All: Pascal and the Meaning of Life by Thomas Morris ($amzn) (K)
Loving to Know: Covenant Epistemology by Esther Lightcap Meek ($amzn) (K) (philosophy of relational thought)
Six Great Ideas by Mortimer Adler ($amzn) (K)
Life, God, and Other Small Topics: Conversations from Socrates in the City by Eric Metaxas (who wrote Wilberforce) ($amzn) (K)
Under the Influence: How Christianity Transformed Civilization by Alvin Schmidt ($amzn)
Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left, From Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning by Jonah Goldberg ($amzn) (K)
Think: The Life of the Mind and the Love of God by John Piper ($amzn) (K)
Total Truth: Liberating Christianity from its Cultural Captivity by Nancy Pearcey ($amzn) (K)
Refractions: A Journey of Faith, Art, and Culture: essays by Makoto Fujimura ($amzn)
Controversial Essays by Thomas Sowell ($amzn) (K)
Black Rednecks and White Liberals by Thomas Sowell ($amzn) (K) (essays)
The Art of the Commonplace: Agrarian Essays by Wendell Berry ($amzn) (K)
Why I am Not Going to Buy a Computer essay by Wendell Berry
The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains by Nicholas Carr ($amzn) (K)
The Underground History of American Education by John Taylor Gatto ($amzn)
Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling by John Taylor Gatto ($amzn) (K)
Book Lover's Guide to Great Reading by Terry Glaspey ($amzn)
The Pleasures Of Reading in an Age of Distraction by Alan Jacobs ($amzn) (K) (reminder of the joy of text)
Technopoly: The Surrender of Culture to Technology by Neil Postman ($amzn) (K)
Between Heaven and Hell: A Dialog Somewhere Beyond Death with John F. Kennedy, C. S. Lewis and Aldous Huxley by Peter Kreeft ($amzn) (K)
Civil Disobedience by Henry David Thoreau ($amzn) (K) Ω
Redeeming the Time: A Christian Approach to Work and Leisure by Leland Ryken ($amzn) (K) (Christian response to secular culture)
The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work by Alain de Botton ($amzn) (K)
Shop Class as Soulcraft by Matthew B. Crawford ($amzn) (K) (value of blue-collar work)
Made by Hand: Searching For Meaning in a Throwaway World by Mark Frauenfelder ($amzn)
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values by Robert Pirsig ($amzn) (K)
House Thinking: A Room-by-Room Look at How We Live by Winifred Gallagher ($amzn) (a psychological tour of the American home and how rooms influence the way we think)
The World is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century by Thomas Friedman ($amzn) (K)
How an Economy Grows and Why It Crashes by Peter and Andrew Schiff ($amzn) (K)
Equality, the Third World, and Economic Delusion by Peter Bauer ($amzn)
Life at the Bottom by Theodore Dalrymple ($amzn) (K)
Popes and Bankers: A Cultural History of Credit and Debt, from Aristotle to AIG by Jack Cashill ($amzn) (K)
The Soul of Science by Nancy Pearcey ($amzn)
Longitude by Dava Sobel ($amzn) (K)
The Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements by Sam Kean ($amzn) (K)
Oliver Sacks (case studies of neurological disorders; wrote Musicophilia and the movie "Awakenings") ($earch)
Speculation by Edmund Jorgensen; Karen Glass: "It's an amazing book, blending philosophy and fiction, with a mysterious twist that keeps the story interesting. The basic conclusion of the book meshes beautifully with A Meaningful World (i.e., any meaning in the universe is proof of God), but shows individuals wrestling with the idea, and the effect it has on the their lives." ($amzn) (K)
Cry the Beloved Country by Alan Paton ($amzn) (K) (South Africa)
The Island of the World by Michael O'Brien ($amzn) (K) (graphic parts of war imprisonment; Balkans WWII)
Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe ($amzn) (K) (Nigeria; the first book in The African Trilogy)
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams ($amzn) (K) (irreverent and goofy science fiction with a very serious core; not for everybody)
Looking Backward by Edward Bellamy β α ($amzn) (K) Ω (an 1887 look at the world of 2000)
Hannah Coulter by Wendell Berry ($amzn) (K)
Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard ($amzn) (K)
The Living: A Novel by Annie Dillard ($amzn) (K)
The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier ($amzn) (K) (1974: a boy's refusal to sell chocolates during his school's fundraiser)
Ingathering: The Complete People Stories of Zenna Henderson ($amzn) (K) (sci-fi/fantasy stories of faith; fulfilling, uplifting, light, without being fluffy, encouraging and sweet without being saccharine.)
Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison ($amzn) (K) (a young, nameless black man in Harlem; "the Brotherhood")
Shades of Grey by Jasper Fforde ($amzn) (K) (inventive fantasy about color published in 2009)
The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman by Ernest Gaines ($amzn) (K) (recollections of a black woman who has lived through slavery; written in 1971)
Lord of the Flies by William Golding ($amzn) (K)
Inspector Appleby by Michael Innes ($earch) (mystery series)
Inspector Alleyn by Ngaio Marsh ($earch) (mystery series)
Lord Peter Wimsey by Dorothy Sayers ($earch) (classic mystery series)
Albert Campion by Margery Allingham ($earch) (classic mystery series; fun and light)
The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova ($amzn) (K) (thriller about the historical search search for Dracula)
The Earthsea Cycle by Ursula LeGuin ($earch) (classic sci-fi series, but written from an atheistic perspective; Christianity Today has an article by Mark Woods explaining how this series can be of value even to Christians. The series consists of these books: A Wizard of Earthsea, The Tombs of Atuan, The Farthest Shore, Tehanu, Tales from Earthsea, The Other Wind)
Making Money by Terry Pratchett ($amzn) (K) (Discworld: set in the fantasy city of Ankh-Morpork)
Going Postal by Terry Pratchett ($amzn) (K) (Discworld: a government job in Ankh-Morpork)
The Thief of Time by Terry Pratchett ($amzn) (K) (Discworld: humorous novel about stopping time)
Descent Into Hell by Charles Williams ($amzn) (K) (novel by an Inkling friend of Tolkein and Lewis; "a multidimensional story about human beings who shut themselves up in their own narcissistic projections, so that they are no longer able to love, to 'co-inhere.'")
Neil Gaiman ($earch) (fantasy fiction)
Graham Greene ($earch) (novels that "explore the ambivalent moral and political issues of the modern world")
Stephen Lawhead ($earch) (fantasy, science fiction, historical fiction, particularly Celtic historical fiction)
Books and Culture
MIT Tech Review
Many thanks to David Hicks, author of Norms and Nobility, for his kind permission to draw from his work and ideas. For more information please see the 1999 edition of his book. ($amzn)
A Note About Year 12
Selecting the best books is a challenge that increases with each successive school year, and, in particular, when studying the 21st century. High school students are journeying across the bridge into adulthood, and the books they should read at this level reflect the adult world.
It had long been the plan for Year 12 to be a year of studying ancient history, and several of the Advisory have graduated students with year 12 plans of our own that reflected that idea. Somehow, we never found the right books to make an official year 12, and the experience of our older children going out into the world has given us more insight into their needs than we had previously. Looking again at CM's own history plans, we find that she never studied ancient history in a consecutive way, but allowed the extensive reading in Plutarch to provide that background for her pupils. We decided that Plutarch was enough for us, too (along with the history studied in year 6), and shifted the focus of year 12 from ancient history to the world we live in today. However, the "history" for this year does not neglect the ancients. We want to give our young adults an overview of human thought and ideas from ancient times to the present day, to let them see the way shifting thought has affected history, and to bring that perspective to bear on the post-modern world in which we all have to live today.
We also recognize that most Year 12 students will have their own interests, jobs, projects, or dual enrollments that take up time, and we therefore have deliberately kept our Year 12 lighter (and with fewer salad-bar choices to make) than earlier HEO years. The books we have chosen for this year are intended as an antidote to post-modernism. When they begin this year, most students will only be a few months away from moving into the adult world and engaging with new people, places, and ideas. We want the work they do this year to give them insight into that world, and a framework for understanding it.
While previewing the content of mountains of books for the HEO high school years, we've been constantly aware that we cannot predict how far across that bridge to adulthood other people's children may be. Families vary greatly in their views on sheltering, protecting and preparing for adulthood, so it would be futile for us to attempt to be the censor or guardian (the bridge troll?) for all House of Education Online scholars. We set a very high standard for HEO materials, and we've gone the extra mile and beyond to create and provide a Year 12 prototype that reflects excellence. However, by no means do we claim to have done all the work for you! It remains the homeschool parent's job, most particularly on the high school level, to assume full responsibility for matching your child's sensitivities and sensibilities, and your family's standards, with the books you select for study.
In the booklist below, we've offered a few notes on potential concerns in certain books, but it goes without saying that we have not noted every potential concern in every book. Please understand that the absence of a comment does not mean the absence of anything your particular family might find offensive or inappropriate.
We feel that this Year 12 book list is in keeping with Charlotte Mason's principles, but it isn't the only possible way to "do" CM in high school. You are free to use it en toto, piecemeal, or simply as an example to consider.
Before beginning Year 12, we suggest that you read (or reread) volume 6 of Charlotte Mason's six volume set. Volume 5 may also be helpful to you. Both are available online, as free e-texts You'll also find it useful to scan the sample Programmes from Miss Mason's own PNEU school, which are linked from the AmblesideOnline homepage. Forms V and VI are the ones relevant to Year 12. You'll find a wealth of helpful articles at AmblesideOnline, so plan to spend a few evenings exploring the site. It's also helpful to have on hand a good current book on homeschooling through high school. And you'll find terrific support on the forum - we welcome you to subscribe and participate!
Blessings to you, and happy high schooling!
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. (Cindy Rollins did a Circe Mason jar podcast that included the role of audiobooks with difficult books.) For children who have difficulty reading, one solution is to have them follow the audio version along in a written text. (Back)
4. Christian responses to Islam: balanced, neighborly, but suggests that Christians distance themselves from Zionism (Back)
6. Wisdom of History course: 36 half-hour lectures. This option is highly recommended, but only for those who have access to it; some libraries carry these. (Back)
8. Speech Details:(Back)
George Walker Bush - 9/11 Address to the Nation or here - "A Great People Has Been Moved to Defend a Great Nation." This speech is chilling, and brings back memories of that blue-sky day and the smoke seen in the distant sky and the quiet of the rest of that day (no planes flew after that). This and the following two speeches are vital to understanding what America -- and the world -- experienced as a result of 9/11.
President Bush's bullhorn speech or here - given from atop the pile at Ground Zero, just three days after. It is just about two minutes long - but it shows a tiny piece of the intensity of the feeling at that time. It's vital, and moving.
Bush's September 20th speech to joint session of Congress or here - an hour long; very educational, and a phenomenal and important speech. It is stirring and inspiring to see the entire body rise in unified support of their nation - fairly unprecedented in modern times. Whatever happened since then, it is important to understand the enemy, the cause, the fight of that time. It is a history lesson in Islamic fundamentalism and in the struggle of people everywhere for freedom. Bush's passion here reflects the nation (their standing ovations are evidence of this as well), and is a contrast to the shock in his face for the shorter speech to the nation on September 11th itself.
Barack Hussein Obama - 2004 Democratic National Convention Keynote Address or here - His "Audacity of hope" speech.
Thomas Dale DeLay - Farewell Address to the U.S. House of Representatives 2006 or here - "Partisanship is the worst means of settling fundamental political differences -- except for all the others." This speech goes beyond partisanship. It is also an appeal to the nation's legislative body to do something about foster care in America. Very powerful.
Bono at the 2006 National Prayer Breakfast or here - He addresses AIDS and what has been done by America and people of faith to help eradicate it, and what still needs to be done. It is an unexpected speech, but very inspiring, and speaks to an enormous crisis, one that students must recognize - and realize they can do something about it.
Robert Michael Gates - Address to the World Forum on the Future of Democracy 2007 or here - Such depth of knowledge about the history of freedom and democracy, sort of how we got here and where we are going.
Jessica Dawn Lynch - "The Truth is Always More Heroic than the Hype" 2007 or here Lynch's story is shocking. Though she does not see herself as a hero -- and that is the whole point, that she was not the Rambo she was depicted (falsely by the government) -- her sacrifice as a US soldier causes the viewer to wonder what it is, in fact, that merits being called a hero. Perhaps she is, more than she thinks. It is also a stark reminder of man's sinfulness, not just that there is war, but that some choose to lie about what happens in it.
Ryne Dee Sandberg - Baseball Hall of Fame Induction Address 2007 or here - This is a nice speech, classic thanking everyone and reviewing one's own accomplishments and dreams. It has impact now because of the steroid scandals that plague so much of sports today. Respecting the game - any game, as with life - is far better than cheating.
Binyamin Netanyahu - 2009 Speech to the United Nations General Assembly or here - Netanyahu speaks here like an Old Testament prophet, defending the Jewish nation. A vital speech.
Here I Stand: Valedictorian Erica Goldson Speaks Out Against Schooling 2010 - Great stuff. Channeling John Taylor Gatto and Mencken, and challenging everything the academes and their followers have believed. Text here.
Michael Nutter - Mount Carmel Baptist Church Address 2011 or here - Slow-going in the beginning but then it's excellent and powerful. A perspective from an African-American leader that needs to be heard.
David McCullough, Jr. - Wellesley High School Commencement Speech 2012 or here - Son of the incredible historian David McCullough; this commencement speech (at Wellesley High School; he is an English teacher there) is what every high school student needs to hear. He rips apart the over excess of the Self-Esteem movement with great sarcasm and humor and truth - and reminds us (though he does not say it) - it is in Christ we have our worth, not in the self.
Salman Khan: 2012 commencement address at MIT or here; text - "Live your life like it's your second chance." Mr. Khan Academy himself. A fascinating individual, and a worthy speech. Hard to watch without his little black board with the drawings, though. :-)
Donald Trump, March for Life Rally - 2018 - the first time a president addressed the March for Life (live); from a gathering in the Rose Garden (Reagan had sent pre-recorded messages) And this, from when Trump attended the March for Life itself in person in 2020, the first US president to do so. You can see Alveda King (MLK Jr's niece) behind him. (optional)
10. Full Tilt: Ireland to India with a Bicycle contains some eyebrow-raising language. (Back)
12. Geography: Miss Mason's students at this level were expected to "know from Atlas something about foreign regions coming most into note in the newspaper, and in connection with history etc. studied. Summarize readings by memory maps on blackboard."
Geosafari would be sufficient. SeterraOnline offers Free Map Quiz Games. If you have an iPad or iPhone, TapQuiz is a free map quiz app.
Many countries have a tourism department, and writing to their embassies for free brochures, maps, and other travel information might be an inexpensive way to supplement geography studies. The World and I, listed under current events, is a rich resource for this purpose also. (Back)
14. Government: High School students will need to earn credit for basic government. This material can be done in Year 9, 10, 11 or 12. Some options:
Foundation for Freedom: A Study of the United States Constitution Workbook by Lars Johnson - This "workbook" is the text with review exercises after each chapter, which can be skipped. ($amzn) Foundation for Freedom is an updated, full-color version of The Story of the Constitution, Second Edition by Sol Bloom and Lars Johnson ($amzn). Both appear to be the same book/workbook, but the newer one is in color. (Sol Bloom's original 1937 Story of the Constitution, which Lars Johnson used as a foundation for his own book, is online at Hathi Trust. Because it was written in 1937, it stops at the 21st Amendment. Lars Johnson did an excellent expanding and updating the Bloom book by adding concerns that weren't on the radar in 1937. He also wrote a chapter on limited government, checks and balances, and Biblical morality as well as a full-page explanation of each Amendment; Sol Bloom's book just explains each Amendment with a sentence or two. If you are in a situation where you need an online resource, the Sol Bloom text could work, but you should also seek out a source that explains why each Amendment was added and what it does.)
Constitution 101: The Meaning and History of the Constitution is a twelve-week online course offered by Hillsdale College with 40-minute streaming video lectures (or you can download the audios). You have to register with a login and password, but the course is free. After you register, "you can find out how to get a copy of Hillsdale's U.S. Constitution Reader, the essential companion to the course, which contains over a hundred primary source documents edited by Hillsdale's Politics faculty." The website says the course begins on Feb 24, but their FAQ says their courses are archived so you can start them at any time, and you can go at your pace.
Exploring Government Curriculum Package by Ray Notgrass (purchase from CBD)
The Everything American Government Book by Nick Ragone is an easy to read explanation of political terms (such as caucus, filibuster, bureaucracy, regulatory commission, judicial review, pork barrel spending, gerrymandering) with a minimum of bias. The author glosses over the Constitution, giving his interpretation of the key points, so this is not a substitute for learning what's in the U.S. Constitution. If you decide to use this book, a schedule that divides it over either 36 weeks or 18 weeks is here. ($amzn) (K).
This 10-minute YouTube video presents a clear explanation of the difference between a republic based on law, and a democracy based on majority rule. (Back)
16. PragerU's free video clips "explain and spread what we call 'Americanism' through the power of the Internet. Our five-minute videos are conservative sound bites that clarify profoundly significant and uniquely American concepts. . . We help millions of people understand the fundamental values that shaped America." Transcripts are linked under each video. (Back)
18. A Meaningful World: refers to Hamlet and The Tempest; students should have read both. Year 12 is built around this book. If you decide to pare down by skipping a book, don't skip this one! (Back)
20. The Marketing of Evil - full title is "The Marketing of Evil: How Radicals, Elitists, and Pseudo-Experts Sell Us Corruption Disguised as Freedom." (Back)
22. Ourselves, the 4th volume of Mason's 6 Volume Series: approximately 22 pages per term. This book will continue through all the remaining years of AO's high school curriculum. If your student is graduating before Year 12, you may wish to speed up in order to complete the book before graduation. This year: pages 141-202 of Book 2
Also available in a modern English paraphrase that can be read online or purchased. (K) The paraphrase of Book 2, Self-Direction, the second half of Volume 4, can be purchased as a separate paperback book.
Term 1: Book 2 pg 137-155
Term 2: Book 2 pg 156-173
Term 3: Book 2 pg 174-202 (Back)
24. Charlotte Mason had students at this level read the daily news and keep a calendar of events. World magazine is an excellent resource for this. 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.
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, 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)
26. Till We Have Faces: Lewis said this was his best work. Retelling of Cupid and Psyche. (Back)
28. Students should read an essay/article or two per week on a current event topic such as diversity/tolerance, feminism, LGBT, immigration, sanctity of life, abortion, separation of church and state, illicit temptation/pornography, technical/media use, climate change, media bias, education and culture, GMO's. Choose from online, periodicals, or compilations such as Is Reality Optional?, by Thomas Sowell, Breakpoint.org, or The Advisory started an ongoing list of suggested articles and essays collected from online.
Essays may be used for dictation work. After studying essays, students should be prepared to tackle writing essays on subjects they choose. One possible usage is to have students read an essay on Monday, outline it on Tuesday, rewrite it from their outline on Wednesday, and polish up that rough draft on Thursday. Note: In PNEU's Form III, a paragraph was dictated; in Form IV, selections were occasionally written from memory. You might occasionally assign the student's mastered work for the dictation lesson. Forms V and VI also wrote: "A good precis. Letter to The Times on topics of the day. Essays on subjects taken from the term's work in History and Literature and Economics; or, write on a picture studied, or on some aspect of nature." (Back)
30. AO's Language Arts Scope and Sequence for this level. Assign 3 to 5 written narrations each week, varying the assignments among subjects, and assigning some narrations to be written from readings done earlier in the week. For example: On Tuesdays, the student would read the scheduled Literature, news of the week, historical or allegorical subjects, etc. Then on Thursdays, the student would write a narration of one of those readings. Narration can be done in many ways: poetic, in answer to an essay-style question, straight narration, narration in letter-writing form, and many other creative ways. Write verses (perhaps using metre of poems set for this term) on current events and characters in the term's reading, upon heroic deeds, or on seasonal scenes. Write Narrative poems on striking events. (Back)
32. 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)
34. Dictation: The student studies two or three pages of dictation material per week, from which the teacher dictates several paragraphs or sections. Students should have the opportunity to study the passage carefully for spelling, punctuation and form before they are required to write it from dictation. At this level, you may wish for your student to alternate between taking dictation in the traditional way by hand, and with a word processor (an added benefit here is the spellchecker function, which can be a useful teaching tool and actually functions in a manner complementary to CM's spelling methods.)
Dictation selections may be drawn from sources such as the term's prose, poetry and Bible readings. You may also occasionally choose to assign selections from well-written journalism sources to exemplify a more technical and factual style of writing. However, choose carefully as newspapers and magazines are often poorly written. Examples of worthy sources might include World Magazine, and columnists such as Peggy Noonan, William F. Buckley, William Raspberry, Charles Krauthammer, Cal Thomas, George Will, and Thomas Sowell, most of whom are accessible from www.drudgereport.com (site will need screening by parent; daily entries are increasingly and disturbingly non-family-friendly). Another good resource for exemplary journalism is http://www.opinionjournal.com from the Wall Street Journal. Writers from these sources are prolific and skilled at the craft of writing. The New Yorker magazine is known for being expertly written and edited, but may require parental previewing.
You may also select among these essays for dictation work. These provide a good starting point for the essay form of writing. After two or three terms of studying Lamb's essays, students should be prepared to tackle writing essays on subjects they choose. One possible usage is to have students read an essay on Monday, outline it on Tuesday, rewrite it from their outline on Wednesday, and polish up that rough draft on Thursday.
Note: In PNEU's Form III, a paragraph was dictated; in Form IV, selections were occasionally written from memory. You might occasionally assign the student's mastered recitation work for the dictation lesson. (Back)
36. Henrietta Lacks had a sad childhood that included abuse, which the book does not gloss over. We do not recommend this book for a younger student. (Back)
38. 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)
40. Regular Exercise: One Advisory suggestion: For routine fitness, Living Arts' Pilates videos/DVD's offer a challenging but enjoyable 30 minute mat workout that will benefit the entire family. Instructor Ana Caban gives clear and concise verbal cues that even young children can follow with a little guidance (even a 3 yob! ;-) and the background music is neither loud nor distracting. Start with the Beginning Mat Workout video/DVD ($amzn), which explains the basics, before advancing to the Intermediate Mat Workout ($amzn). Another suggestion: Leslie Sansone's Walking DVD's: Start! Walking ($amzn), Walk Away the Pounds ($amzn).
Learn and play a game (kick ball, tennis, croquet, ping-pong, bocce ball, softball, racquetball, volleyball, soccer, etc.) or take up hiking, swimming, folk-dancing, hula dancing, clogging, Scottish dancing, Irish dancing (purchase Celtic Feet DVD or pursue other physical activity of your choice.
Another option is Swedish Drill Revisited by AO mom Dawn Duran purchase
The Inner Game of Tennis, by Timothy Gallwey (PE) (Back)
42. Nutrition: You may wish to consider books by Shonda Parker ($earch), a Christian homeschooling mother and certified herbalist.
Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, by Weston A. Price ($amzn)
The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals, by Michael Pollan ($amzn) (K)
Folks, This Ain't Normal: A Farmer's Advice for Happier Hens, Healthier People, and a Better World, by Joel Salatin ($amzn) (K)
The Locavore's Dilemma, by Pierre Desrochers
Nourishing Traditions, by Sally Fallon
Harvest For Hope, by Jane Goodall
Naturally Healthy Woman, by Shonda Parker
Mommy Diagnostics, by Shonda Parker
Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, by Barbara Kingsolver (duplicates Pollan's Omnivore's Dilemma)
An Omnivore's Dilemma, by Michael Pollan
In Defense of Food, by Michael Pollan
Why I Am Afraid to Tell You Who I Am, by John Powell
What the Bible Says About Healthy Living, by Rex Russell
Taking Charge of Your Fertility, by Toni Weschler (Back)
44. Work and Life Skills: Charlotte Mason had students do house or garden work, make Christmas presents, pursue useful crafts, sew, cook, and learn first aid. She also suggested that the student help darn and mend garments from the wash each week and sew for charity (serving at a soup kitchen would also work). We suggest that over the course of high school, your student might do the following (a rough guideline would be to choose about three of these per year for the next four years):
Learn to cook using a basic cookery book such as Joy of Cooking ($amzn), Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook ($amzn), The Cook's Illustrated How-to Cook Library (K), Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything ($amzn), one of Sue Gregg's cookbooks ($earch), or whatever you have on hand.
Learn CPR and first aid (This can also be counted for Health.)
Learn to balance a checking account
Learn to read a map
Read a book about Small Engine Repair
Take a course in Driver's Ed
Work with an Election Campaign
Learn to garden and/or yard care
Change a flat tire
Use jumper cables
Pump gas, change the oil and plugs on a car
Make some simple furniture
Lay a tile floor
Paint a room
Some basic home repair and maintenance
The Walls Around Us, by David Owen ($amzn) is a well-written book about how our houses are built, but it needs some previewing or parental editing.
Miss Mason frequently recommended Scouting tests (Parents' Review, May 1920) and said that all girls should take the First Aid and Housecraft Tests. We suggest that all students learn CPR and First Aid. Scouting or 4-H are other options to consider.
DOMESTIC SCIENCE OPTIONS:
Home Comforts: The Art and Science of Keeping House, by Cheryl Mendelson (excellent resource for all homes) ($amzn) (K)
The Hidden Art of Homemaking, by Edith Schaeffer ($amzn) ∫
Do I Dust or Vacuum First?, by Don Aslett ($amzn)
books by Emilie Barnes ($earch)
Get More Done in Less Time, by Donna Otto ($amzn)
Speed Cleaning, by Jeff Campbell ($amzn)
Who Says it's a Woman's Job to Clean?, by Don Aslett ($amzn)
(These last two may be particularly useful with boys.)
Books by Larry Burkett ($earch; K) or Dave Ramsey ($earch)
The Tightwad Gazette books by Amy Dacyczyn ($earch) (Back)