Jump to content

Menu

If you tried Ambleside Y1 ....pros and cons


Susie in MS
 Share

Recommended Posts

If there are drawbacks, it's that it's harder than most people realize in that the language building skills are not fluffy. :D If kept on schedule these kids will be reading Plutarch in short order-which is awesome, but most people think it's simple and lacks rigor. Not so.

 

I DO do some AO, I take what works for us and toss what doesn't.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree. Very rigorous reading. My youngest who did AO lit. from the start (starting in Y1) does fine with it. My eldest who started at a later age struggles more and does one year below grade level (not uncommon). I use AO lit., but didn't like having 2 kids in different history cycles. And we didn't find the history as engaging as other living books...so we now combine using Truthquest History guides with AO/SCM books. HTH some:) Gina

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you both for your time!!

 

Are your children doing the reading on their own at Y1? Is this why it is rigorous? If you left off Trial and Triumph at these early ages would it still be rigorous?

 

I am only looking at the early years of AO. I don't think I want to do the high school levels.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We started my oldest in Yr. 1 in first grade. He took awhile to take off with his reading, so I knew he wouldn't be able to read all of his books himself by Yr 4 and he wasn't. And he couldn't read ANY of his year one books. We ended up doing only part of yr. 3 last year, and this year he is reading the rest of year 3 on his own. Now my younger ds is a much stronger reader, and will be able to doing the readings without any problem.

 

I also ended up skipping Parables b/c that was too difficult for him. We did the 'Among the ____ People' instead.

 

But I decided during our first year I wanted to do more than just AO for history and science. I also realised I wasn't 100% on board w/ CM. I wanted to do spelling etc. I was adding and changing so much that you couldn't really say I was 'doing AO' any longer. You can see from my sig. that we're very ecletic around here. ;)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We are using AO Y1 for lit, geography, some history and fine arts (composer studies, artist studies, poetry). We read OIS and Fifty Famous Stories Retold for history, but I am also doing a four year history cycle with SOTW and other books. Many people feel this may be confusing, but my son is thriving with this type of layered approach to history. We do not do Trial and Triumph, as we are Catholic, but I have heard other parents say they put it aside as it was too difficult. My ds does not read any of the AO books himself, I read all the AO books, or we listen to librivox recordings or audiobooks.

 

His favorites so far are Paddle to the Sea, Fifty Famous Stories, the Burgess Bird Book and Aesop.

 

I am not doing a totally CM approach, but I love using living books and AO appealed because of the free resources. I also think it is very well thought out in terms of the readings being "connected" an the students being able to make these connections to cement their learning.

 

Pros (for myself anyways):

- My ds really thrives with the Living Books approach.

-Free schedules and resources, and many of the books available free online.

-The yahoo groups for AO are a wealth of information and support. The general curriculum user group is very active and helpful, and there are pretty active groups for each year as well. Other AO yahoo groups have files with free schedules, copywork and dictation quotes from each book, art prints, lesson plans, etc.

-There is a yahoo group with all of the Y1 public domain readings formatted in either Word or PDF documents and organized by week. I like just having that week's reading for a book in one document, it is a plus for me. I just pull up the week we're in and plug away.

-Most of the Y1 books can be found on www.librivox.org

-I like having the composer/artist studies all planned out for me.

- My son loves outdoor time, and nature study, so this curriculum is also a good fit for him

-You get a great overview of Western Civilization with their lit choices

 

Cons (for myself)-

-Having to tweak the history to fit into a four year history cycle. I think that the history cycle that AO has mapped out is great, it just doesn't fit into what I had already planned for our family. This may prove too difficult in upcoming years, I'm not sure

-I also don't like some of the history texts recommended, such as CHOW, but I know many other families will enjoy them

-Finding time for all the free reading books, as they really are excellent and I wish we could fit them all in :)

-My son is having a lot of issues with reading, he is just now starting easy readers like the BOB books. He does a very good job listening and his narrations are great, but he has some serious reading issues. In the long run I don't know if he'll be able to read the AO books independently by Y4, when most kids are expected to be able to read a lot of the books on their own. So that could make this curriculum more difficult to use in the long run.

-I personally don't like the CM approach to spelling and am not sure if it will work well for my son.

 

 

Tweaking can be a pain, but my opinion is that anything must be tweaked if you are going to really meet an individual child's needs, and to me that is one of the main reasons we homeschool.

 

HTH!

Edited by MyFourSons
spelling
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I wrote a blog post recently about this, including with a list of the Year 1 readings and what we're doing that corresponds - and doesn't. Ours is quite different, but I still consider myself to be "doing" AO to some extent. We are following the composers, but dropped the artists (theirs were too obscure, imo, though I got slapped down here on the forums once for suggesting so!). We never did the hymns and haven't really gotten into the folksongs, either. (much as I like folksongs!)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I like many of the selections from years 1 and 2. Parables is challenging - and many times got dropped here. In years 3 and 4 (maybe 5 also?) I think GWW and ALW are a pretty big jump. These books are considered "logic stage" books by many and are hard to follow unless you already have an idea of the people and history they refer to, imho. TCOO wasn't as appealing a read as Island Story (but I think it's hard to find a good American spine).

 

Other thoughts.... I think Ancient History is covered too quickly. I think 1600 - 1900 is covered too slowly. I think HEO is a big leap from years 1-6.

 

The main reason I drifted from AO towards WTM (and other classical helps) several years ago is that I didn't understand how to nurture skills in a CM education. WTM was great at addressing skills, but felt dry as toast after the richness of AO's content.

 

Also, as my oldest approached logic stage and as I added more "students" I could not sustain the number of "subjects." No matter how quick they were supposed to be, it felt overwhelming. Every year I started with a lovely list of AO-styled topics or resources..... Every year by week 10 I was streamlining.... dropping subjects like soldiers dropping non-essentials on a 20-mile march.

 

In spite of my comments, I highly recommend years 1 and 2.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Most kids would not be able to read Y1 on their own. AO has Y4 as the goal to have kids reading most of it on their own (and that is challenging!) My son was able, though, to do a lot of Y2 on his own and is doing Y3 on his own....but only lit. He does easier history readers than AO's spine...I read a spine to my kids. HTH some:) Gina

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We do not follow the CM philosophy but have used AO's book lists for 6 years. AO fills a hole for me: how do you get your child from Winnie the Pooh to Moby Dick? AO has all the children's classics sorted by difficulty into grades. DS started with year 1 and has read all the books and the free reads up to year 7. Now, he really can read anything, and he is not afraid of classics, in fact he prefers them because of their rich language and tantalizing plots.

 

I have tweaked their lists by moving the literature selections later (because DS was reading them himself) and moved the free reads earlier. I have also moved the history books where they need to be in our 4 year cycle. All this has been well worth the effort.

 

Ruth in NZ

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We've been doing year 1 this year and are quite happy with it, though like most people we've tweaked some. Dd does choir at church and piano, so that is our music. For nature study we are pretty much doing general outdoors stuff and the local science club, and we are using BFSS seperatly. We are also using a spelling program because she's reading pretty well.

 

We haven't had any trouble with the difficulty of the selections, including Trial and Triumph (though we will have to find another church history book in subsequent years as it isn't really suitable for us in the Reformation section). Dd reads AS, the poetry, and sometimes other selections to herself, and we read the more difficult ones together.

 

We've been following our own artist studies because I have tons of prints, so I don't see any reason not to use them.

 

The biggest challenge for us is narration - dd is convinced it is too hard and she can't remember, though a bit of prodding usually shows she does. She also tends to rebel at copy-work to some degree. Both of those things I think come from not wanting to do things she isn't immediately good at.

 

I would really recommend AO, I thik it is a great program.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have tweaked their lists by moving the literature selections later (because DS was reading them himself) and moved the free reads earlier. I have also moved the history books where they need to be in our 4 year cycle. All this has been well worth the effort.

 

Ruth in NZ

 

Ruth, I'd love to see how you have rearranged Ambleside's books, if you don't mind sharing.

 

:001_smile:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I love AO, in a very tweaked way. :lol:

 

My 9 year old is doing a mixture of AO year 1 and year 2 for 3rd grade. I've dropped a lot of things that don't pertain to us, added other things we love and just made it ours. That's the most important reason for us to homeschool, to have a truly individualized education. I consider us as doing AO but we are definitely making it our own.

 

The yahoo groups really are wonderful. I learn a ton and glean lots of great ideas from the posts there.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ruth, I'd love to see how you have rearranged Ambleside's books, if you don't mind sharing.

 

:001_smile:

I merged everything with sonlight's list and my own research. so it is definitely a muddle. Here is the middle ages for this year. My son will not read all the books I have listed. I like to give him some choice. My requirements is 16 classic/year. Excuse the notes, O means I own it, L for the library etc.

 

 

Literature – Logic Medieval- Grade 6. ds(11) reads

 

400-1000 Early Middle ages: Knights and Castles, Feudalism, Vikings Sept, Oct

Beowulf the Warrior , Sutcliff , L

The story of Rolf and the Viking Bow French , B

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight ,Tolkien B (optional)

Conn Yankee in King Arthur's Court , B

The Once and Future King, White, L (trilogy)

Tales from Arabian Nights Lang, L

 

1000-1400 High Middle ages: Crusades, Holy Roman Empire Byzantium, Plague Nov, Dec

 

Ivanho B

Crispin: Cross of Lead, Avi L

Catherine Called Birdy, Cushman L

Mary, bloody Mary Meyer L

Sir Nigel, Doyle G

The White Company, Doyle G

Canturbury Tales, Original, just a few stories, I

 

Lord of the Rings, Tolkien, G (trilogy)

 

Eastern China, India, Japan, Africa (Mali), Khmer Empire Jan, Feb

A Single Shard, Park L

Lady of Ch'lao Kuo L diary series

 

South America Incas, Aztecs, Conquistadors Feb, Mar

 

Lady of Palenque L diary series

The Left-handed Spirit L

The captive O'Dell L

 

Early Rennaissance Apr, May, June

Joan of Arc, Twain, B

Black Arrow, Stephenson L

Trumpeter of Krakow L

Dante's divine comedy Chwast (graphic novel), L

 

Optional by Sutcliff

Outcast- Britain under roman rule, focus on celts and picts

Sutcliff has a series on Arthur

Mark of the horse lord – brtian under roman rul, N tribes

Shining Company – britain, fuedal chiefs, saxons

Blood Fued , Sutcliff , britain, constantinople

Sword Song – vikings

 

Daughter of Time, Tey L Queen Elizabeth mystery, modern

 

 

History: Middle Ages and Early Rennaissance (read alouds to ds(8) and ds(11))

400-1000 Early Middle ages: Knights and Castles, Feudalism, Vikings Sept, Oct

White Stag (Attila the Hun) L

Beowolf

Castle, City Macaulay L

King Arthur and His Knights, Pyle L

Arabian, Islam One Thousand and One Nights, McCaughrean L

 

1000-1400 High Middle ages: Crusades, Holy Roman Empire Byzentine empire, Plague Nov, Dec

 

 

Adventures of Robin Hood, Pyle L

Midwife's apprentice B

Adam of the Road, Gray - 13th C england, NE Award L

Shadow of a bull – Bull fighting L

Canturburly tales McCaughrean L

 

Eastern China, India, Japan, Africa, Khmer Empire Jan, Feb

Samurai's Tale, Haugaard L

 

South America Incas, Aztecs, Conquistadors Feb, Mar

 

Secret of the Andes O

Around the World's Rim O

 

Early Rennaissance Apr, May, June

 

Shakespeare Macbeth, Hamlet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream;

Taming of the Shrew; Much Ado About

Master Cronhhill – Plague in 1654, London fire B

 

 

Eyewitness: Vikings, Knights, Midevial Life, Castle, Arms and Armor,

Edited by lewelma
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here is our ancients. (L) just means it is in our libary.

 

 

Ancients, Grade 5

 

 

Egypt

Tales of Ancient Egypt, Green (L)

Golden Goblet

Mara, Daughter of the Nile

Cat of Bubastes, Henty

Pyramid, McCaulay (L)

 

 

India

Tales from India, Gray or Green? (L)

Myths and Legends Horowitz (L, CD)

 

 

Greece

Black Ships Before Troy, Sutcliff (L)

The Wanderings of Odysseus, Sutcliff (L)

Story of the Greeks (history, online)

Tales of Greek Heroes, Green (L)

Heroes of Greece and Troy, Green,

 

 

Rome

Lantern Bearers series, Sutcliff (L)

Eagle of the Ninth

The silver Branch

Frontier Wolf

Outcast

For the Temple, Henty (Print)

Young Carthaginian, Henty (Print)

Age of Fable

Story of the Romans (History, online)

Plutarch's lives, Plutarch's (L)

The last Days of Socrates, Plato (L)

Aenid (Maybe)

Aesop's Fables

City, MacCaulay (L)

Original Sources (free online)

 

 

Myans

Well of Sacrifice

Secrets of the Stone

Lady of Palenque (L, modern from diary series)

Heart of Jaguar (L, modern, violent 1200's)

 

 

Briton

Warrior Scarlet , Sutcliff (L)

Beric the Briton, Henty (Print)

 

 

China

Lady of Ch'lao Kuo (L, modern from diary series)

The left-handed Spirit (L)

 

 

Science and Religion

Encyclopedia of ideas that changed the world (L)

August Caesar's world

Archimedes and the Door of Science

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Moving backwards in time. Here is Modern for 4th grade. My son did have to listen to the audio for most of Robinson Cruseo and Kidnapped. Excuse all the notes. I don't have time to edit all of this..... This list includes both book ds read and all the read alouds. Sort of depended on what he wanted to read and what my dh wanted to read to both boys.

 

I just had a look, and my 1st through 3rd grade records must be in paper, because they are not on the computer...

 

 

Literature Ambleside 4

Robinson Cruseo, Defoe

Kidnapped, Stevenson

Incredible Journey, burnford

Legend of Sleepy Hollow, Irving

Paul Revere's ride, Longfellow

Rip Van Winkle, Irving

 

Poetry Ambleside 4

Tennyson, Dickinson, wordsworth

 

Secret Garden (ambleside 4)

Railway children (ambleside 4)

Chronicles of Narnia (ambleside 4)

Return to Gone Away (ambleside 4)

Around the World in 80 Days (sonlight 2,5) library

The Incredible Journey (sonlight) library

 

Modern Grade 4

 

Civil War

Behind Rebel Lines - civil war spy female, true (sonlight y4 2,4)

Across Five Aprils – civil war (sonlight y4 3,5 , Ambleside 5)

The Perilous Road – Civil War hates yankees, Library (sonlight y4 1,4, NH)

Shades of Grey – Civil war orphaned, forgive the enemy, Library (sonlight y4 2,4, )

 

1860-1930

Sing down the Moon – 1860's navaho female (sonlight y4 1,4) Library

Little britches – ranching in 1910s in colorado (sonlight y4 3,5)

Roll of Thunder - racism in the 1930s (sonlight 3,6, Ambleside ?)

Moccasin Trail – homesteading in Oregon, indians (sonlight 3,5)

Thimble Summer – 1920 own (sonlight 1,4)

Blue Willow – dust bowl (ambleside 6, library)

 

WW1 and WWII

The House of Sixty Fathers ww1 (sonlight 2,5)

Miracles on Maple Hill – ww2 depression era fiction, sweet, upbeat (Ambleside 6, sonlight y4 2,4)

Winged watchman - ww2 in holand (Ambleside 6, sonlight y4 1,4)

Number the Stars – ww2 true danish efforts to save the jews tuLibrary (ambleside 6, sonlight)

Letters from Rifka – jewish immigrant to post ww2 america (ambleside 6, library) RA for B?

 

World

Chucaro: Wild Pony of Pampa – cowboy life in Argentina (sonlight y43,5)

Young Fu – china 1920 (sonlight 2,4)

Call is Courage – polynesian people fear of the sea (sonlight y5 2,4)

The Cat who Went to Heaven – buddhist perspective(sonlight y5 2-4)

Endless Steppe: growing up in Siberia – Library (Ambleside 6, sonlight)

Water Sky – escamos (sonlight y5 3,5)

The Breadwinner – afghanistan, tliban religious fanaticism (sonlight y7, 4,6)

Broken Blade 2400 mile canoe trip through canada (sonligt y7, 4,6)

Ghost in Tokaido Inn – mystery set in samurai times(sonlight y7, 4,6)

Good Master – hungarian boy in 1900s (sonlight y7, 4,6)

Nory Ryan's song – ireland, potato famine (sonlight y7, 4,6)

Snow Treasure –true, norwegian kids got gold for resistance to nazis (sonlight y7 3,5, Ambleside 6)

Rilla of Ingleside (ambleside 5, library, ww1)

Dr Jenner and the speckled monster (sonlight y7, 4,6) smallpox vaccine

Where the red fern grows - 20th century (ambleside 6)

Edited by lewelma
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Those lists are lovely! I'll have to take some time to look them over later.

 

When Sweetie was 7 we started AO, and I merged Years 1 and 2. She's very verbal, and had no trouble with narrations (we'd done WWE1 in 1st grade), and could actually read a lot of the books already. The Year 1 materials are really quite lovely, and a great place to start.

 

Like others, we tweak as necessary. We left out Trial and Triumph and Parables of Nature, but added some other readings (world religions) which were also challenging. Your choice of Shakespeare will also impact how challenging your year is. If you use Nesbit, it's a bit easier; the Lamb version is written at a very high level. My daughter did Ok with it, but another friend was using it and her daughter found it to be almost incomprehensible. We also dropped Paddle to the Sea (dd was bored to tears) and switched in some of the geography books from Mater Amabilis, which was a great tweak for us.

 

We've managed to do all the free reads too... some of those are fabulous! But as I mentioned my daughter is a strong reader and I can just assign them each week (30min/day, 5 days/week, mostly year-round) and they get done no problem.

 

Good luck with AO! It's been such a good experience for us.

:)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I just wanted to say thank you for the great lists; I'm saving now for when we do ancient and medieval at that level. I have been looking over the lists at AO, and I would like to incorporate a book here and there, but I'm not sure how to do it yet. I'm reading the Burgess bird book to them free online, and they are loving it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We have been using Ambleside for about 5 years now, but I turned a couple of years ago to the Charlotte Mason Help site and began using many of Linda Fays lists, as well as her history rotation and liked it MUCH better.

 

My daughter had some struggles since I basically dropped her into it and did not start with it when she was young. I had to drop back a couple of grade levels and narrations were like a root canal for a while. However, the several years we did AO enabled her to read anything now. She reads novel after novel on her own now, and this was a child who hated to read before that. She also has a love for poetry that surprises me!

 

My second one is on year 2 still, bearing in mind he has multiple learning disabilities, Aspergers, and struggled a long while with reading. I still read aloud to him most all of the selections, but it works. The rich literature just enlivens school and even though I have looked at other curriculums here and there I cannot get on board with them. I find so much missing after having done school in this way. I spent about a year and a half doing year 1 with him.

 

This year I am straying a bit in beginning AAS with my son. He still has some reading issues and I believe for him this will be helpful with any gaps he has, so it is something we are undertaking.

 

I have one in K-5 this year and we are loving it. It is such a fun time with both the kids and they adore the stories. They argue over which one they loved most.

 

Linda Fay provides a week by week breakdown of the books she uses, so then you can divide it up as you want for the week. We tend to leave Friday very open, as I use that day for art study, art, music, etc.

 

Year 1 Pros I would say are the quality of literature. For us, the intimate time together reading and doing narrations were very endearing also. My son retains so much. I cannot believe a year later how much he recalls of all last years stories. No textbooks! :)

 

Cons for us were (for my son) the difficulty of the material. I know MANY of you have children who would not struggle here, so do not let this dissuade you. My son did have a few books I had to baby him through that he just had a hard time following. It seemed like as went along I was able to add them back in and he adapted. Shakespeare, even Nesbitt stretched him. Again, I ended up taking longer with him to finish year 1 and that worked out fine.

 

Good luck! I think AO and CM help are just fabulous!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I merged everything with sonlight's list and my own research. so it is definitely a muddle. Here is the middle ages for this year. My son will not read all the books I have listed. I like to give him some choice. My requirements is 16 classic/year. Excuse the notes, O means I own it, L for the library etc.

 

 

Literature – Logic Medieval- Grade 6. ds(11) reads

 

400-1000 Early Middle ages: Knights and Castles, Feudalism, Vikings Sept, Oct

Beowulf the Warrior , Sutcliff , L

The story of Rolf and the Viking Bow French , B

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight ,Tolkien B (optional)

Conn Yankee in King Arthur's Court , B

The Once and Future King, White, L (trilogy)

Tales from Arabian Nights Lang, L

 

1000-1400 High Middle ages: Crusades, Holy Roman Empire Byzantium, Plague Nov, Dec

 

Ivanho B

Crispin: Cross of Lead, Avi L

Catherine Called Birdy, Cushman L

Mary, bloody Mary Meyer L

Sir Nigel, Doyle G

The White Company, Doyle G

Canturbury Tales, Original, just a few stories, I

 

Lord of the Rings, Tolkien, G (trilogy)

 

Eastern China, India, Japan, Africa (Mali), Khmer Empire Jan, Feb

A Single Shard, Park L

Lady of Ch'lao Kuo L diary series

 

South America Incas, Aztecs, Conquistadors Feb, Mar

 

Lady of Palenque L diary series

The Left-handed Spirit L

The captive O'Dell L

 

Early Rennaissance Apr, May, June

Joan of Arc, Twain, B

Black Arrow, Stephenson L

Trumpeter of Krakow L

Dante's divine comedy Chwast (graphic novel), L

 

Optional by Sutcliff

Outcast- Britain under roman rule, focus on celts and picts

Sutcliff has a series on Arthur

Mark of the horse lord – brtian under roman rul, N tribes

Shining Company – britain, fuedal chiefs, saxons

Blood Fued , Sutcliff , britain, constantinople

Sword Song – vikings

 

Daughter of Time, Tey L Queen Elizabeth mystery, modern

 

 

History: Middle Ages and Early Rennaissance (read alouds to ds(8) and ds(11))

400-1000 Early Middle ages: Knights and Castles, Feudalism, Vikings Sept, Oct

White Stag (Attila the Hun) L

Beowolf

Castle, City Macaulay L

King Arthur and His Knights, Pyle L

Arabian, Islam One Thousand and One Nights, McCaughrean L

 

1000-1400 High Middle ages: Crusades, Holy Roman Empire Byzentine empire, Plague Nov, Dec

 

 

Adventures of Robin Hood, Pyle L

Midwife's apprentice B

Adam of the Road, Gray - 13th C england, NE Award L

Shadow of a bull – Bull fighting L

Canturburly tales McCaughrean L

 

Eastern China, India, Japan, Africa, Khmer Empire Jan, Feb

Samurai's Tale, Haugaard L

 

South America Incas, Aztecs, Conquistadors Feb, Mar

 

Secret of the Andes O

Around the World's Rim O

 

Early Rennaissance Apr, May, June

 

Shakespeare Macbeth, Hamlet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream;

Taming of the Shrew; Much Ado About

Master Cronhhill – Plague in 1654, London fire B

 

 

Eyewitness: Vikings, Knights, Midevial Life, Castle, Arms and Armor,

 

These are awesome! Thanks! I love the books you have chosen.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We have been using Ambleside for about 5 years now, but I turned a couple of years ago to the Charlotte Mason Help site and began using many of Linda Fays lists, as well as her history rotation and liked it MUCH better.

 

My daughter had some struggles since I basically dropped her into it and did not start with it when she was young. I had to drop back a couple of grade levels and narrations were like a root canal for a while. However, the several years we did AO enabled her to read anything now. She reads novel after novel on her own now, and this was a child who hated to read before that. She also has a love for poetry that surprises me!

 

My second one is on year 2 still, bearing in mind he has multiple learning disabilities, Aspergers, and struggled a long while with reading. I still read aloud to him most all of the selections, but it works. The rich literature just enlivens school and even though I have looked at other curriculums here and there I cannot get on board with them. I find so much missing after having done school in this way. I spent about a year and a half doing year 1 with him.

 

This year I am straying a bit in beginning AAS with my son. He still has some reading issues and I believe for him this will be helpful with any gaps he has, so it is something we are undertaking.

 

I have one in K-5 this year and we are loving it. It is such a fun time with both the kids and they adore the stories. They argue over which one they loved most.

 

Linda Fay provides a week by week breakdown of the books she uses, so then you can divide it up as you want for the week. We tend to leave Friday very open, as I use that day for art study, art, music, etc.

 

Year 1 Pros I would say are the quality of literature. For us, the intimate time together reading and doing narrations were very endearing also. My son retains so much. I cannot believe a year later how much he recalls of all last years stories. No textbooks! :)

 

Cons for us were (for my son) the difficulty of the material. I know MANY of you have children who would not struggle here, so do not let this dissuade you. My son did have a few books I had to baby him through that he just had a hard time following. It seemed like as went along I was able to add them back in and he adapted. Shakespeare, even Nesbitt stretched him. Again, I ended up taking longer with him to finish year 1 and that worked out fine.

 

Good luck! I think AO and CM help are just fabulous!

 

It's good to hear how well AO/CM Help has worked for your ds. My 8yo third grader is dyslexic and still struggles with reading. He's not reading independently yet. He's still reading level 1 and 2 readers aloud to me, but he did just finish his first Magic Tree House Book, so he's coming along. For as slowly and as much as he struggles with reading, he has excellent comprehension. It amazes me how well he can grasp the content of what he's reading when it takes him so long to get through each sentence. Even I start losing track of what is going on. :tongue_smilie: Anyway, I'm thinking of starting him in AO Year 1 after Christmas. I, of course, will be doing all of the reading, but hopefully by next year he will be able to take over a book or two. :001_unsure:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am considering this for my dd next year. She would be 7 yo then.

 

If you stayed with it what is it that you did like and dislike?

 

If you decided against it, why?

 

Thanks muchly!

 

We loved Y1. We only did half of it bc we moved & I couldn't keep up, but that was still a good year. I read it all outloud. Dd was only 6 at the time. The drawback is reading outloud so much. My toddler wont allow it at the moment.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I just wanted to add that we didn't do AO last year so this is our first year using AO and CM methods. This year is going MUCH better than last year. My daughter is enjoying it, it feels low-key to her and yet she's learning a lot and making great connections. I'm convinced that for this time in our lives, this is the best curriculum we could be doing. Big fan here!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am considering this for my dd next year. She would be 7 yo then.

 

If you stayed with it what is it that you did like and dislike?

 

If you decided against it, why?

 

Thanks muchly!

 

Just to answer your question, I love Ambleside. I started off slowly. I have gradually moved away from the classical approach and more CM. However, there are some overlaps of classical and CM. A lot of people combine the two. I did Year 1 years ago. I struggled dearly with the books because they were original texts. My difficulty was I did all the reading. I read almost every book to them. If a child has learning difficulties, this method is wonderful because you can slowly read. The child is learning information and narrating. The books are great pieces of literature and so they make great copywork and dictation lessons. It is just a nice way to get a child learning. I had a hard time with reading some of the texts because the books were so long. Thank the Lord, I found audiobooks, books on tapes, and movies of the book. This helped me a lot and it freed me up to do more hymns, folk songs, art lessons, etc.

 

My pros: Love the rich literature that a child receives at a young age. I love that any child can do it like a child with learning disabilities as well as a highly intelligent child.

 

If you follow the Charlotte Mason approach, there is so much to do that I found it hard to complete in a year.

 

The cons: I read this in a homeschooling review website. The person did not like the program because she did not finish reading all the books.

 

My feelings about that are that the curriculum is soo rich. A child learns so much just from reading these living books, even if you don't finish reading all the books, a child walks away learning so much!

 

Just my experience!

 

Blessings,

Karen

http://www.homeschoolblogger.com/testimony

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you both for your time!!

 

Are your children doing the reading on their own at Y1? Is this why it is rigorous? If you left off Trial and Triumph at these early ages would it still be rigorous?

 

I am only looking at the early years of AO. I don't think I want to do the high school levels.

 

My 8 yo dd is in Year 2. She did Year 1 last year. I read Trial and Triumph with my older boys but I left it off for her. It can be pretty graphic in regards to the persecution suffered by the early Christians. My dd is so tender-hearted that I didn't think I should burden her with all of that at this age. She isn't doing any reading of the AO books on her own yet. She isn't a very strong reader yet. We are slowly working our way through the Second McGuffey's Reader right now.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I read Trial and Triumph with my older boys but I left it off for her. It can be pretty graphic in regards to the persecution suffered by the early Christians. My dd is so tender-hearted that I didn't think I should burden her with all of that at this age.

 

I have been hesitant about Trial and Triumph for first grade. I guess I'll make the call when we get closer to next year.

 

 

 

Meanwhile, I am straight up torn between LBC and AO. AO would be cheaper. *sigh*

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I love, love love Ambleside. I love reading blogs of families that use it, But my dc were simply not advanced enough in reading comprehension to manage it.

 

We did try the Art and Music. Since then, I have read some authors who believe that children may learn to discriminate more easily by looking at pictures, hearing music from different periods. I certainly found that my dc got a bit too much Bach, a bit too much Turner, etc. Now that we look at art & music from different periods, they are more interested and excited that they can actually identify a lot of it. I'm not being critical of CM/Ambleside by any means (did I say that I love it?), just saying that sometimes other methods have worked better for us.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have been hesitant about Trial and Triumph for first grade. I guess I'll make the call when we get closer to next year.

 

 

Meanwhile, I am straight up torn between LBC and AO. AO would be cheaper. *sigh*

 

One alternative to Trial and Triumph people use is In God's Garden by Amy Steedman. It is available to read at mainlesson.com

 

I have the LBC teacher guides as well, and I love the idea of them. I bought them second hand and we used them in the beginning of our homeschool journey. In reality the program was just not a good fit for us, there was too much going on for me, too many books, too much prep work to really get the most out of it with so many kids. If I only had one or two it might be the way to go. I also love Mater Amabilis, which is almost like a cross between AO and LBC, and also free online. It is Catholic, but it would be appropriate for Protestants as well. It uses a lot of the same books as LBC, and so it is also more expensive than AO. MA also seems like it would be more time consuming than LBC to implement.

 

So I ended up going with AO because I know it is a rigorous, quality program, the costs are low, and there is so much support and so many resources on the yahoo groups that it just seems easier for me to use. Of course I tweak, and I also use resources from WTM and LCC, so I am not really a straight up "CM'er."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I love, love love Ambleside. I love reading blogs of families that use it, But my dc were simply not advanced enough in reading comprehension to manage it.

 

We did try the Art and Music. Since then, I have read some authors who believe that children may learn to discriminate more easily by looking at pictures, hearing music from different periods. I certainly found that my dc got a bit too much Bach, a bit too much Turner, etc. Now that we look at art & music from different periods, they are more interested and excited that they can actually identify a lot of it. I'm not being critical of CM/Ambleside by any means (did I say that I love it?), just saying that sometimes other methods have worked better for us.

 

That is very interesting. I read somewhere on the AO site that CM actually mapped out music appreciation according to what time period was being studied in history. The advisory board said that that would be the ideal way to organize a study of music and folksongs, but they organized them by term to make it easier for families to combine children in multiple years.

I seem to recall LBC having art and musical selections based on the historical period being studied, so you could combine the two so the student would be exposed to music and art from various time periods.

 

I have also seen others advocate studying music and art in a strictly chronological way, regardless of history cycle. This would be interesting, as you would see the natural progression of art and music through the ages.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am curious for you AO users. I use AO's History but I noticed someone's comment about reading comprehension with AO. What do most of you do for reading comprehension to go along with their literature list?

 

I haven't thought of it as an issue. We do oral (and occasionally art) narrations after every reading, so I know if she isn't understanding what we've read. That is true regardless of whether I read aloud or she reads to herself. It has been easy to tell where the limits of dd's comprehension are just from that.

 

Does that help?

:)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am curious for you AO users. I use AO's History but I noticed someone's comment about reading comprehension with AO. What do most of you do for reading comprehension to go along with their literature list?

 

The student isn't expected to read the selections himself until year 4, but they are expected to narrate the selections and this is how you check for comprehension. If you are wondering about reading instruction, AO suggests using a daily phonics program of your choice along with copywork, dictation, and narration. Here is a language arts scope and sequence if you are interested:

 

http://www.amblesideonline.org/LangArtsScopeSeq.shtml#1to3

 

They don't suggest any specific phonics programs, but the phonics programs I've seen discussed on the boards include 100 ez lessons, Ordinary Parents Guide, and Blend Phonics.

 

They also suggest these readers:

 

http://www.mainlesson.com/author.php?author=treadwell

 

My son is a struggling reader, we are currently using BOB books and Dick and Jane.

 

HTH!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have the LBC teacher guides as well, and I love the idea of them. I bought them second hand and we used them in the beginning of our homeschool journey. In reality the program was just not a good fit for us, there was too much going on for me, too many books, too much prep work to really get the most out of it with so many kids.

 

In what areas did you find there to be too much prep work?

 

I do look at the books and get a little nervous at the thought of multiple children. I really don't want to combine them but I have four and they are closely spaced so this is something I've been reading about in regards to AO (particularly since I can read more testimonies of that than of LBC). I have found that there are "larger" families doing AO and keeping children in separate years and I need to read more but I'm presuming this is doable due to children doing their own reading at a certain point so that had me wondering if it could be the same with LBC. I realize there are a lot of factors that differ between the two programs that I haven't been able to sort out and think through yet, though. For instance, LBC has composer and picture study scheduled by year according to history period while these are subjects that AO schedules so as to combine children. I love both plans! I'm going to have to be realistic though. One is obviously more doable than four.

 

But then, what about history with AO? It appears from the scope & sequence I read on the FAQ page that ancients are only studied for one term in Year 6 and then in Year 12. How do others feel about that? I don't think I like it. I think I would have to supplement somehow.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That is very interesting. I read somewhere on the AO site that CM actually mapped out music appreciation according to what time period was being studied in history. The advisory board said that that would be the ideal way to organize a study of music and folksongs, but they organized them by term to make it easier for families to combine children in multiple years.

I seem to recall LBC having art and musical selections based on the historical period being studied, so you could combine the two so the student would be exposed to music and art from various time periods.

 

I have also seen others advocate studying music and art in a strictly chronological way, regardless of history cycle. This would be interesting, as you would see the natural progression of art and music through the ages.

 

I originally thought it would be brilliant to connect history with the same period in art and in music. IRL, my dc were not ready to make those connections -- "Oh, now I see how classicism influences architecture and painting and music..." was not going to enter their heads. I am perfectly willing to admit that other dc are brighter, just saying it didn't work for us.

 

It is hard for me to see things through my kids' eyes. To give an example. When I chose a read aloud book, when dc were less than a year old, I chose one about a cute little rabbit. The kids loved it. But I chose it because the illustrations of plant were botanically correct. (Sad, but true.) I honestly did not know at the time how infants' vision develops.

 

When we do music & art, I try to think how dc see & hear. (I wish I could find the article I read about kids doing better looking at pictures from contrasting periods.) All I can say is that my dc hear Bach better when they have also heard Renaissance music and classical music.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

But then, what about history with AO? It appears from the scope & sequence I read on the FAQ page that ancients are only studied for one term in Year 6 and then in Year 12. How do others feel about that? I don't think I like it. I think I would have to supplement somehow.

 

 

:bigear:

I wondered about this too.....

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am considering this for my dd next year. She would be 7 yo then.

 

If you stayed with it what is it that you did like and dislike?

 

If you decided against it, why?

 

Thanks muchly!

Our family uses the WTM, but I peruse the book selections on AO for ideas.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

But then, what about history with AO? It appears from the scope & sequence I read on the FAQ page that ancients are only studied for one term in Year 6 and then in Year 12. How do others feel about that? I don't think I like it. I think I would have to supplement somehow.

 

Check out http://www.charlottemasonhelp.com/p/free-curriculum.html

and the history schedule http://www.charlottemasonhelp.com/2009/07/chronological-history-plan.html

 

I have started using this and love it. It is based on AO but with a few changes which she explains on the site. One of the changes is the history schedule which starts with a full year of Ancients and then does another in Year 6. I much prefer this to the AO history schedule. It also puts Parables of Nature and Trial and Triumph at older levels which is another change that I think is very relevant. The site is full of CM helps.

 

I thought my ds7 was struggling with reading and comprehension with the literature based program we were doing, then I started Higher Up Further In with him. Suddenly he is listening to harder material, narrating it successfully, and choosing to read alone (after only two weeks.) I'm suitably impressed. :001_smile:

 

Might be worth a look.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

AO has been a great fit for my older ds. I started him in Year 1 when he was 9 and I think that was a great decision. he has been slow on learning to read and just this year (year 3) he is reading most of his books himself. He could read them all just fine, but I choose to do a few as read alouds. I tried my younger ds last year at age 8 on year 1. We ended up skipping quite a bit. Even so, I thought he would be ready for year 2 this year. Nope. I'm going back and doing a more complete year 1 along with some FIAR with him. It's working very well. For some reason, around here age 9 seems to be the magic year for year 1.

 

Pros: Quality literature, program has depth, lots of resources online (yahoo groups with schedules, files, etc.)

 

Cons: It's not a great fit for everyone

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I do look at the books and get a little nervous at the thought of multiple children. I really don't want to combine them but I have four and they are closely spaced so this is something I've been reading about in regards to AO (particularly since I can read more testimonies of that than of LBC). I have found that there are "larger" families doing AO and keeping children in separate years and I need to read more but I'm presuming this is doable due to children doing their own reading at a certain point so that had me wondering if it could be the same with LBC. I realize there are a lot of factors that differ between the two programs that I haven't been able to sort out and think through yet, though. For instance, LBC has composer and picture study scheduled by year according to history period while these are subjects that AO schedules so as to combine children. I love both plans! I'm going to have to be realistic though. One is obviously more doable than four.

 

I should have been clearer on this, I didn't mean to imply that LBC requires more prep work than AO in general or as a rule. AO was just less work for me during that particular time in my life and in our particular situation. I didn't mean to make a blanket statement about LBC vs. AO, since each family's circumstances will have an impact on which curriculum works best for them. At the time I was making the decision between AO and LBC, I already had many of the selections from AO in my library and I had downloaded the rest online, and being able to access free schedules, copywork selections, and support from the yahoo groups also made it seem more "doable." Also, having the librivox recordings was a big plus for me, since I have so many children, and fewer of the LBC books are available in that format. I had a 2nd grader, 3rd grader, and preschooler, and combining them in certain subjects and having them in their own AO years seemed like a great way to streamline and did work quite well. I'm sure that others would have no problem combining levels for multiple children with LBC, it just wasn't the best fit for us at that time. This year my oldest two are back in private school, so I contemplated using LBC Year One with my 7 year old this year. But I had a baby last month, and also having a toddler and preschooler at home, I decided that using something I'm more familiar with like AO was the best option.

 

But then, what about history with AO? It appears from the scope & sequence I read on the FAQ page that ancients are only studied for one term in Year 6 and then in Year 12. How do others feel about that? I don't think I like it. I think I would have to supplement somehow.

 

AO does not include an in depth history study of the ancients in Y1, but they do have what I would call "classical studies" built in to the schedule each year from the start, although they do not call it that. To my mind their selections are very similar to what LCC lays out (another very appealing approach for me, though not CM). LCC has multiple history schedules each year organized to include classical studies, Christian studies and modern studies, and I find AO to be very similar to this. Here are the books by year in AO that I consider to make up a "classical studies" curriculum:

 

Year One: Fifty Famous Stories Retold with stories from ancient Greece and Rome,

Bible study (we discuss the Egyptians, Assyrians, Hebrews, Babylonians during our study of the Old Testament, and ancient Greek and Roman culture is covered during our New Testament studies)

Our Island Story covers the Roman conquest of Britain in Y1

 

Year Two: Bible Study

A Wonder Book and Tanglewood Tales, both are free reading selections that cover Greek and Roman mythology

 

Year Three: Bible Study,

Heroes by Charles Kingsley is a required book for literature that also covers Greek mythology

 

Year Four: Bible study,

Plutarch, this is history and literature

The Age of Fable by Bullfinch is a required lit book covering Greek and Roman mythology,

Formal Latin starts this year

 

Year Five: Bible Study,

Plutarch and The Age of Fable are used again this year

 

Year Six: Bible Study, Plutarch and Age of Fable continue,

Augustus Caesar’s World,

The Story of the Greeks and The Story of the Roman's,

Archimedes and the Door of Science,

and The Iliad (Black Ships Before Troy and Tales of Troy are listed as alternative versions)

 

To me this seems like a thorough, effective and methodical way for us to prepare for a "Great Books" approach in high school, which is appealing to me. But I also really enjoy the chronological four year cycle as well, and really wanted to cover other ancient cultures besides middle eastern biblical cultures and the Greeks and Romans, so we are using SOTW1 to fill the gap. I am also using the AO history readings, and my son is doing really well keeping track of the different timelines, it has not been an issue at all for us. If it had been an issue, I would have dropped the AO history and just used SOTW. AO also suggests SOTW 4 in Year 5, so if we stick with AO I may just switch to the AO chronology. It isn't a 4 year cycle, but it is pretty close. I haven't really looked at the years after year 6 closely, I really like the private high school here in town, and if we do homeschool for high school I've been considering Kolbe Academy and using the HEO booklist as a supplement.

 

For anyone who is interested in AO but knows they would have to tweak or suplement, there is a yahoo group called AmbleRamble that is very active where people share alternative books, schedules, supplements, and just general homeschooling info for AO.

 

Wow this is a long post, I hope someone will find it useful :)

Edited by MyFourSons
spelling
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...