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AO Yr 7 Basic Version

AmblesideOnline Year 7 Lite

based on AO's Year 7 Detailed weekly schedules for these books are available in various formats:
Html List; PDF; modifiable DOC; modifiable ODT

History studied in Year 7: Middle Ages, 800-1485
Term 1: 800-1066, Term 2: 1066-1333, Term 3: 1327-1485

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.

Table of Contents:


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.
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

Bible and Christian Theology

       Old Testament: Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua
       New Testament: Luke
       Psalms 56-105
       Proverbs 17-31

       Bible Gateway has many versions of the Bible online. [4]

Suggested Devotional Reading

       * How to Be Your Own Selfish Pig by Susan Schaeffer Macaulay ($; under review.) This is a "read-aloud and discuss" book. [6]

       The Pursuit of God by A.W. Tozer β $ K Ω OR The Pursuit of Holiness by Jerry Bridges ($) (starts in week 13)
       Saints and Heroes, Vol 1 by George Hodges Δ ($ K) [8]


Make a century chart of the period studied. [10]

       The Birth of Britain by Winston Churchill ($ K)
               OR A History of England by Arnold-Forster Δ [12]

       Bede's Ecclesiastical History of the English People Ω [14]
       William of Malmesbury's account of the Battle of Hastings (week 11)
       The Magna Carta (modern paraphrase) (week 24)

       In Freedom's Cause by G.A. Henty β Δ Ω ($)
               OR The Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey ($ K) (starts in week 4) (Richard picture for Tey book is here.)


       The Life of King Alfred by Asser, selected passages (Δ [16] (starts in week 3)
       (Personal Recollections of) Joan of Arc by Mark Twain (online: Vol 1 and Vol 2; $ K) Ω [18]


       The Brendan Voyage by Tim Severin ($ K)
               OR How the Heather Looks by Joan Bodger ($ K)

Government and Economics

       Whatever Happened to Penny Candy by Richard Maybury ($) (starts in week 20)

       Optional: PragerU 5-minute video clips [20]


       Ourselves by Charlotte Mason ($) [22] (starts week 23)

       Plutarch's Lives - follow AO's Plutarch rotation. [24]

Current Events

Students should have a plan for keeping up with current events. [26]


       The History of English Literature for Girls and Boys by H.E. Marshall ch 1-31 (β Δ K) [28]
       Beowulf - Preferred: Seamus Heaney ($ K ) [30]
       Watership Down by Richard Adams ($ K)
       The Once and Future King by T. H. White ($ K) [32]
       The Age of Chivalry by Thomas Bulfinch β Δ ($) Ω [34]
       Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott β Δ ($ K) Ω [32]
       The Chaucer Story Book by Eva Tappan Δ ($; starts in week 25)
               Chaucer for Children: A Golden Key by Mrs. H. R. Haweis Δ ($ K)[34]

       Shakespeare - Continue with AO's Shakespeare Rotation


       The Oxford Book of English Verse [36]
               OR Idylls of the King
by Tennyson β Δ Ω

Grammar and Composition

       Our Mother Tongue: An Introductory Guide to English Grammar by Nancy Wilson ($ Answer Key: $) [38]


       Psalm 45, Psalm 46, and Psalm 51
       Shakespeare passages
       A poem per term from the term's poetry selections (For Term 1, 8 Praise of Women and 32 The True Knight)


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.

Science and Nature Study [40]

       The Handbook of Nature Study Δ by Anna Botsford Comstock (as a reference) ($)
       Eric Sloane's Weather Book by Eric Sloane ($)
       The Life of the Spider by Jean Henri Fabre β ($) Ω Fabre texts with photos
       Secrets of the Universe: Discovering the Universal Laws of Science by Paul Fleisher [42]
       First Studies of Plant Life by George Francis Atkinson Δ [Google Books] ($) [44]
       Adventures with a Microscope by Richard Headstrom, ($ K) with study guide
       Signs and Seasons: Understanding the Elements of Classical Astronomy by Jay Ryan ($)
       and accompanying Field Journal ($) [46]
       Great Astronomers by R.S. Ball β Δ (Intro, Ptolomy, Copernicus, and Brahe)


       The Fallacy Detective by Nathaniel and Hans Bluedorn ($)


       The Story of Painting by H. W. Janson - chapters 1-3 ($) [48]
       Continue AO's artist rotation.
       Work on drawing skills. Illustrate a scene from one of this week's readings.


       Continue AO's composer rotation.

       Folk Songs:
               Term 1: The Bold Pedlar and Robin Hood; The Three Ravens; and The Outlandish Knight. (lyrics and midi files here)
               Term 2: When The King Enjoys His Own Again; Farewell to Lochaber; Battle of Otterburn (try this site)
               Term 3: Go No More a Rushing; Greensleeves; Scarbourough (lyrics and midi files here)

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 ($ K) (or save for a later Year; 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 7, in addition to the Year 7 Free reading List


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. (Back)

4. AO's Bible plan goes through the Bible semi-chronologically over 6 years in Years 6-11. This year's Bible readings would be as follows:
    * Numbers 1-30; Luke 1-6; Psalms 56-74; Proverbs 17-21
    ** Numbers 31-36, Deuteronomy 1-27; Luke 7-14; Psalms 75-88; Proverbs 22-26
    *** Deuteronomy 28-34, Joshua; Luke 15-24; Psalms 89-105; Proverbs 27-31 (Back)

6. How To Be Your Own Selfish Pig: Preread; later chapters in the book discuss intense situations (such as a woman who had attempted suicide) and subjects that parents may prefer not to introduce yet. Some may wish to use More Than a Carpenter by Josh McDowell ($ K), about a chapter a week, instead. The Advisory is considering moving this book up a year. (Back)

8. Saints and Heroes: for church history, if you didn't use Trial and Triumph in Years 1-6; all of book 1 is covered in Year 7. (Back)

10. Timeline: At this age, students should be keeping a Century Chart and Book of Centuries. 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 ($). (Back)

12. The Birth of Britain is Volume 1 of Winston Churchill's 4 volume set, "A History of the English Speaking Peoples." The next three volumes will be used in Years 8, 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 all 4 volumes of A History of the English Speaking Peoples, and a schedule to break down the week's chapter into 4 short daily readings.
(Maps of medieval England)
Term 1: Chapter 1-9
Term 2: Chapter 10-20
Term 3: Chapter 21-30
Or, use A History of England by Arnold-Forster, online at, Google Books; a schedule is here. (Back)

14. Bede's Ecclesiastical History of the English People: We've provided a link to the selections that are scheduled in AO for weeks 1-7. The entire thing is here. (Back)

16. The Life of King Alfred: the text with weeks for this Basic lighter schedule marked for weeks 3-12, is here. Another copy, scheduled in Weeks 8-15 for Year 7 Detailed is here. (Back)

18. Joan of Arc: Andrew Lang wrote a Joan of Arc that may be easier; Heritage History Δ Ω (Back)

20. 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. AO has a list of their videos here. (Back)

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

24. Plutarch: Charlotte Mason recommended Thomas North's "inimitable translation." ($) (Back)

26. Current Events: 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)

28. The History of English Literature for Girls and Boys: $ from Kelly Kenar, who typed this e-text for the use of AOHEO. Postage at 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 1 (The Listening Time) - ch 12 (Father of English Song)
Term 2: ch 13 (How Caedmon Sang) - ch 24 (Chaucer)
Term 3: ch 25 (First English Guide-book) - ch 31 (Sign of the Red Pale)
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 ($), Year 7 students would read pg 77-112 Early Christian Writers to Geoffry Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales. A Table of Contents to help with planning is here. (Back)

30. Beowulf: AO recommends the edition of Seamus Heaney's translation with graphics that illuminate the setting and objects mentioned in the text. The page numbers in the 36-week schedule are from this book. ($); there's a cheaper edition of Seamus Heaney without illustrations. ($) Another favorite: an updated verse translation by Frederick Rebsamen ($ (K)); the version by Burton Raffel is also very accessible ($ K), or use this free-verse version. Another option: Online Translation by Francis B. Gummere. Most versions have 43 parts; that also appears in the 36-week schedule. Ω (Back)

32. The Once and Future King, hereafter referred to as TOAFK, Book One ("The Sword in the Stone") and Book Two ("The Queen of Air and Darkness") will be divided over three terms. This book is intended to compliment and expand on King Arthur, and should not be the student's only exposure to the Arthurian legends. NOTE: This is a read aloud and discuss book. **Please preview.** The themes in this book, although controversial, are too important to dismiss. For more information, read discussion about this book. (Back)

34. The Age of Chivalry: This assumes your student read King Arthur in Year 5; if this isn't the case, consider using one of the Year 5 King Arthur options instead. (Back)

32. Ivanhoe: Katie Barr has provided study notes to go along with this book; you can access that here. (Back)

34. Chaucer: Chaucer for Children: A Golden Key by Mrs. H. R. Haweis is preferred as it actually Chaucer's poetry. AO originally scheduled the out-of-print A Taste of Chaucer by Anne Malcolmson ($); be sure to use a version of Canturbury Tales specifically edited for students (Chaucer needs editing!) (Back)

36. The Oxford Book of English Verse, 1919, edited by Arthur Quiller-Couch, is a poetry anthology Charlotte Mason used; it's very good, and it's online in a searchable format. (Poems 1-24, 29, 31-33) The same text, but with a different title, is also at Project Gutenberg β The best way to tackle these is to have your student rewrite them in their own words. There are some tips for reading Middle English here. As a parent resource, this site offers modern translations of the assigned poems. Click the first line, then click the word "translation" at the top. AO offers some rough and general modern translations here, but be aware that allowing your child to use paraphrases as a crutch will not help them acclimate to Middle English. Check online sites such as Librivox for free audio readings of poems. (Back)

38. 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 $ is sold separately for about $5. Our Mother Tongue has 49 chapters. One suggestion is to spread the book over two years, doing about 9 chapters per term.
The 36-week schedule uses Our Mother Tongue: start week 26 with Unit 1, Lessons 1-9, continue the book next year. (Back)

40. Science: If your child wants to pursue a scientific major and needs to prepare for special exams, you may want to contact your college of choice to find out what the requirements are. We have not undertaken to prepare our students for specialty exams, but to give them a foundation of knowledge about science which will make it a matter of interest to them for life. (Back)

42. Secrets of the Universe was republished as five separate books:
     Liquids and Gases: Principles of Fluid Mechanics ($)
     Objects in Motion: Principles of Classical Mechanics ($)
     Waves: Principles of Light, Electricity, and Magnetism ($)
     Matter and Energy: Principles of Matter and Thermodynamics ($)
     Relativity and Quantum Mechanics: Principles of Modern Physics ($); see help in corresponding the books here.
The original book has gone out of print and seems to be difficult to find, although it does pop up; public libraries would be the obvious first place to look since the book isn't really that old. Please don't feel that the Advisory is asking anyone to go on a major quest for the only excellent book out there. That's not what was intended by leaving the book on the list, only that if you CAN get a copy, it's still our first choice for Year Six. If you are unable to access it, another option might be "The Boy Scientist" by John Bryan Lewellen, out of print, but more readily available at used book sources than Secrets of the Universe. Another option is 'The Sciences' by Edward Holden, out of print, but online. Charlotte Mason herself recommended Holden's book, so even simply taking a look at it will give an idea of the kind of science text she would have used. We don't usually recommend out of print books, or very expensive books. All of these books are good, and if you can obtain them, we suggest you use them. However, we continue to seek an alternative that fits our guidelines of excellence, availability, and affordability. (Back)

44. First Studies of Plant Life: this book will be continued next 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 ($) over Years 7 and 8, with selected activities from the book. (Back)

46. Signs and Seasons - read Prologue-Chapter 2 this year, including note on how to use properly. If you prefer, A Walk through the Heavens: A Guide to Stars and Constellations by Milton Heifetz may be used. ($ K) (Back)

48. If you already have Janson's Picture History of Painting, Janson's History of Art for Young People or Janson's History of Art, those books are broken down into their appropriate terms for Years 7-11 here. Note that Janson's History of Art and History of Art for Young People are a huge books with much more text than the Painting books, and may be too much for most students on top of their other reading. (Back)

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Last update June 19, 2017