Wednesday, January 17, 2018

The Riddle Song, Folksong for February, 2018

Here are the lyrics to the Doc Watson version on this youtube video:
 I gave my love a cherry that has no stone.
I gave my love a chicken that had no bone.
 I gave my love a baby with no cryin',
And told my love a story that had no end.

 How can there be a cherry that has no stone?
How can there be a chicken that has no bone?
 How can there be a baby with no cryin'?
How can you tell a story that has no end?

 A cherry when it's blooming, it has no stone.
And a chicken when it's pippin', there is no bone.
A baby when it's sleeping, there's no cryin'.
And when I say I love you, it has no end.

 Repeat first verse.

 Riddles and riddle songs are probably as old as human-kind. This particular song is over five hundred years old- the oldest version being a manuscript dated 1430, housed in a British museum.

 Although some of the riddles have changed over time, the cherry and the chicken have been there from the oldest version we know of. In some versions, the baby with no crying is a baby in the making. Folk songs are often ribald, but this has not historically been one of them. However, there have been several anachronistic attempts to make this one more earthy than it ever was.

 'Pippin', or pipping, is a chicken still in the egg, but just starting to peck it's way out, the idea that while still in the egg the bones have not yet developed or hardened.

 Some versions include a book that can't be read (it's still in the press), and similar notions, all of which, to me, charmingly communicate the notion that ideas are the seeds from which real things grow.

 This song has often been sung as a lullabye, and versions have been recorded by Burl Ives, Carly Simon, and the Meters (a funk band from New Orleans). It traveled from England to the American Appalachians, and probably back again. It is slower and not as immediately appealing to many children as some of our more lively suggestions, but I hope you don't skip it. Let it grow on you.

 You might consider engaging their interest by first introducing only the first verse. Ask them what they think the answers to the riddles are. Speculate a bit. Have fun with it. Have a bit of time wondering about or guessing the answers, learn the next verse. You could wait a few moments or a few days to introduce the answers in the next verse, just give the children some time to think about and speculate with you over the possible the answers before going on to the second verse.

 To borrow and paraphrase from Canadian storyteller Alice Kane, This song we are singing is five hundred years old. None of us will ever be five hundred years old.

 Here is a possibly related version, performed here by Pete Castle):
 I had four brothers, over the sea, Perry Merry Dixie Domini,
They each sent a present unto me,
 Perry Merry Dixie Domini,
Petrum, partrum, paradisi tempore,
Perry Merry Dixie Domini,

 The first sent a cherry without any stone,
 Perry Merry Dixie Domini,
The second sent a chicken which had no bone,
Perry Merry Dixie Domini,
The third sent a blanket without any thread,
Perry Merry Dixie Domini,
The fourth sent a book which no man had read.

Perry Merry Dixie Domini,
Pitrum, partrum, paradisi tempore,
Perry Merry Dixie Domini

How can there be a cherry without any stone?
Perry Merry Dixie Domini,
How Can there be a chicken without any bone?
Perry Merry Dixie Domini
How can there be a blanket without any thread?
Perry Merry Dixie Domini
How can there be a book no man has read?
Perry Merry Dixie Domini
Pitrum, partrum, paradisi tempore,
Perry Merry Dixie Domini

The cherry when it's blooming, it has no stone,
Perry Merry Dixie Domini,
The chicken when it's in the egg it has no bone
Perry Merry Dixie Domini,
Petrum, partrum, paradisi tempori
Perry merry dixie domini

 The blanket on the sheep's back it has no thread
Perry Merry Dixie Domini,
The book when it's in the press, no man has read
Perry Merry Dixie Domini,
Pitrum, partrum, paradisi tempore,
Perry Merry Dixie Domini.

 There are some slight variations between the above lyrics and the Pete Castle version. Can I say, with much warm and friendly affection and encouragement, please get over that. It realio, trulio doesn't matter. Your lyrics do not need to match up perfectly to the youtube video or other recordings. It's totally unimportant. You need to listen to the recorded version only enough to get the gist of the tune and rhythm. Then turn it of and sing and play for yourselves. Folksongs change over time and through regions, and between singers. Change them up yourselves, if you like. Don't be frustrated and unable to sing because your lyrics say blanket and the song says wool. It's totally irrelevant. Just sing.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Nature Study: Seeing the World in a Grain of Sand

To see a World in a Grain of Sand

And a Heaven in a Wild Flower

Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand 

And Eternity in an hour

William Blake's Auguries of Innocence
"Let us consider for a moment what unequalled training the child naturalist is getting for any study or calling-the powers of attention and concentration, of discrimination and patient pursuit, and growing parallel with his growth, what will they not fit him for? Besides life is so full of interest for him, that he has no time for the faults of temper which generally have their source in lack of occupation for body or mind.
The sense of Beauty comes from early contact with Nature. "The aesthetic sense of the beautiful," say Dr. Carpenter, "of the sublime, of the harmonious, seems in its more elementary form to connect itself immediately with the perceptions which arise out of the contact of our minds with external Nature"; while he quotes Dr. Morell, who says still more forcibly that "All those who have shewn a remarkable appreciation of form and beauty, date their first impressions from a period lying far behind the existence of definite ideas or verbal instruction." There is no end to the store of common information, got in such a way that it will never be forgotten, with which an intelligent child may furnish himself before he begins his second career.
A child should be made familiar with natural objects, that is the observant child should be put in the way of things worth observation, and the unobservant child encouraged to notice and be on the look out for things. Generally speaking, this is not difficult, because every natural object is a member of a series. Take up any natural object-it does not matter what-and you are studying one of a group, a member of a series; and whatever knowledge you get about it is so much towards the science which includes all of its kind. Break off an elder twig in spring; you notice a ring of wood round a centre of pith, and there at a glance you have a distinguishing character of a great division of the vegetable world. You pick up a pebble. Its edges are round and smooth. It is water-worn and weather-worn and that little pebble brings you face to face with disintegration, the force to which, more than any other, we owe the aspects of the world we call picturesque-glen, ravine, valley and hill. It is not necessary to tell the child anything about dicotyledonous plants or disintegration, only that he should observe the pith within the twig and the rounded edges of the pebble. By and by he will learn the bearing of the facts with which he is already familiar-a very different matter from learning the reason why of facts which hitherto have never come under his notice. The power to classify, discriminate, and distinguish between things that differ is amongst the highest faculties of human intellect, and no opportunity to cultivate it should be allowed to pass. For this reason children should be encouraged to make such rough classifications as they can with their slight knowledge of both plant and animal forms of life. A classification taken from books, that the child does not make out for himself, cultivates no power but that of verbal memory."

Read the rest here.

Monday, January 1, 2018

New Year's Meditation

Charlotte Mason published the following poem, titled Education, in the volume 4 (1893/4) edition of the Parents' Review.
Several years later she republished it in volume XVI (1905), in the opening pages of the New Year, retitled now as "New Year's Meditation."

I thought it fitting to repost it here for our own New Year's Meditation and personal reflection:

Master, Thou will'st me poor--
Haughty and rich am I;
In self-dependence rich,
Presuming, hard, and high:
Faith, looking on the coming years, doth see
Dark faults, sore failures, let to humble me.
Thy will be done!

A mourner must I be:
And holy messengers
Oft have Thy presence left,
To bring me blessed tears:
Too soon they fail, and sin's hot breath sweeps by:
Then wilt Thou take the spot and show it me,
Till, weeping, fain I turn to hide in Thee:
Thy will be done!

Meek wouldst Thou have Thy child:
How little can I bear!
How seldom wait for Thee,
Quiet, within Thy care!
Though through provokings, teach me to endure,
Bid errors make me of myself less sure:
Thy will be done!

A hung'ring, thirsting one
Must Thy disciple be;
And I so full! grown fat
On Thy gifts, leaving Thee!
But Thou wilt teach me want, or take away
All lesser food till Thou my only stay:
Thy will be done!

Merciful as Thou art:
Oh, how hard judgments rise!
Oh, this censorious tongue,
Evil-discerning eyes!
Yet His sweet mercy will my King impart,
If by no other way, e'en through the smart
Of pity withheld in my extremities:
Thy will be done!

Pure, e'en in Thy pure eyes:
Single and free from guile;
Oh, when shall these vain thoughts
Pure rising, meet Thy smile?
E'en this through Thee is mine: though it should be
That, first, through purging fires, Thou go with me:
Thy will be done!

Ruled by the Prince of Peace:
How far from this my state--
Oft striving for my own,
Exacting, harsh, irate.
No peace is found in me; but Thou wilt come
And make this chafing bosom Thy sweet home:
Thy will be done!

Thus I abide His time;
For hath the King not sworn
That all these shall be mine,
And will not He perform?
If tender ways shall serve, such wilt Thou use;
But smite, if need be; I would not refuse:
Thy will be done!

Friday, December 29, 2017

Why Don't You Write Me a Letter

(Obscure and meaningless cultural reference in title. It's the title of an old Pop song from back in my day)

Handwritten notes and cards are rarer than ever these days, but this is a good time to bring back the charming form of personal connection.  Take some time over the next month to write some thank-you notes with your children.  Thank people for gifts. Thank people for being part of your lives. Thank the mail carrier for delivering mail.  Thank somebody at church for being there.

"you can seldom write one letter too many, but you may easily write one too few, and be sorry for it all the days of your life."

From a Parent's Review article in 1890.

Saturday, September 30, 2017


Picture this:

The table is full.  There’s a computer, there are notebooks and art prints - and stacks and stacks and stacks of books.  

It’s a typical summer scene, one that has been here in my kitchen for years.  Dinner, if I can manage it during these weeks of planning, is spread on a picnic table out back, or on trays on the porch.  When I’m really in the thick of it, I have been known to mutter from behind a wall of history, biography, and free reads, “Fend for yourselves.”  There is organizing, combining, synchronizing, and tweaking the calendar (Do I use the half week of Thanksgiving as a catch-up week?  Do I spread that week over two weeks?  How long do I stop for Christmas? Do I try for summer lessons, or just use that time for anything we miss?).

And when I’m finally done with getting ready for the school year, I find that the beauty that is a Charlotte Mason/AmblesideOnline education looks abundant and very, very full.  

Then a funny thing happens. 

When the books find their way to the designated shelves, when the notebooks and supplies land in desks or in bins, when the calendar is in the laptop or phone or absorbed into a daybook, when the homeschool lessons actually begin - 

Suddenly, everything changes.  What was seen as so much, even a little daunting, morphs into inadequate. There is a temptation, even with a rich feast of a curriculum like AmblesideOnline, to use it as a base from which to do more.  

Just read a poem a day?  Yes, that’s nice - but how about several poems read each day for comparison? What about researching the poem, looking for its literary devices, and defining vocabulary words?  Surely several highlighters are needed, at least, maybe in a few different colors?

Literature?  Great books are good, yes, but what about study guides, or supplemental readings, or, again, those lists of vocabulary words?  

History?  Is this the actual best prescribed rotation for the story of mankind, and shouldn’t some of the tales from long ago and the uglier viewpoints of the past be left out?  And why on earth start with the history of a country other than our own?

Nature study?  OK, but my little yard isn’t all that exciting, and a walk in this neighborhood doesn’t yield much to see - so isn’t it best to add videos of nature, of important and real nature, and focus on stuff happening in rainforests and places far away?

Narration? Just ‘tell it back’? Really? That’s it?  Isn’t there more? Shouldn’t it all be written down, corrected, recopied, and used for a study of the principles of composition?  

Hymns and folk songs - just sing them? Don’t we need musical analysis, the history of each work, and lots of hymn recitation?

And just like that, a path of freedom and beauty turns into drudgery, and becomes instead a path towards burnout and exhaustion. 

This feeling that more is needed is just that  - a feeling.  It bears no resemblance to the truth.  I know this now because, well, I’ve been at this for awhile. I’ve homeschooled this CM/AO way since 1990, and the children whose curriculum plans were on my kitchen table this past summer include two of my three grandchildren - the ten- and seven-year-old daughters of the little girl I began to homeschool all those many years ago.  

I’ve learned a lot of things through homeschooling my four children (three of them graduated, one still in high school) and now through helping to homeschool my grandchildren.  And the main thing I’ve learned is this:

It is enough. 

It is enough to park in the poetic mind of one man or woman for a season, and hear their words read aloud, singly, daily, for the inspiration or challenge they bring.  Before long, a student recognizes the poet’s style, and a phrase or stanza or even the entire poem stay with that student, often for a lifetime. 

It is enough to walk around the same yard, the same street, the same park or field, on a simple walk - and find that your child gets familiar with a single tree, with the sound of a returning bird, with the flow of a stream or brook, with the change of the seasons, with decay and renewal, and with wonder over God’s creation.  And the intense observation that comes from sketching a leaf, a feather, a nut, a web, or an animal track is the foundation and the essence of real science.  

It is enough to read a book - not someone else’s take on it.  Imagine if you were given the choice of whether to stand in the front of the crowd and hear Abraham Lincoln give his second inaugural address, or to read a political commentator’s evaluation of it in a newspaper?  It’s the same with literature. There is simply no substitute for interaction with an author, for getting to know and witness firsthand the strength of the words and the force of the worldview.  

It is enough to narrate - to use this powerful tool, even through the first steps of objections, last-word parroting, and missing facts. Very soon a pattern emerges out of the new habit, due to a strengthening of mind muscle, of attention, and of building associations.  Blank stares are replaced with “this reminds me!” discoveries, and connections with other books, history, life.  And the analyzing, categorizing, connecting - and yes, the composing - is done by the child, not the study guide. 

And it is enough to sing, just sing a hymn, and to learn to sing it even - maybe especially - without accompaniment.  There may be no instruments available for your child when he walks in a hard place or wakes from a nightmare or waits for difficult news, and finds comfort and guidance in singing quietly (or bravely),  “When peace like a river attendeth my way, when sorrows like sea billows roll, whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say, ‘It is well, it is well, with my soul.’ “

There are some supports used at times in an AO education, of course, such as a study guide for Plutarch, an introduction to a new book, or a more specific essay style-question for a narration. But the general Charlotte Mason principle that “the mind feeds on ideas, and therefore children should have a generous curriculum” does not require for its implementation a paid advisor, an insider’s interpretation of the six volumes, or a heretofore unrevealed new approach to one subject or another.  This method is well-tested, and many of us have lived the harvest of its beauty and simplicity. 

So to the young mom whose table or laptop or library card or Amazon account has been full, and who is daring to go forward but feeling a little bereft and uncertain without charts, unit studies, and workbooks - 

Be reassured. It is enough. 

To the harried homeschool teacher who’s been at this for awhile but life has gotten very tense and now high school looms large, with worry about tests and college and jobs and the future - 

We’ve been there.  It is enough. 

And to the new homeschool mom whose children know facts but don’t care, and who is seeking for them to know Robert Louis Stevenson and Johann Sebastian Bach and William Shakespeare and, above all, the Bible, at least as well as or better than they know the current athletes, musicians, and celebrities - 

Join us, and countless others.  We’ve discovered - it is enough. 

In fact, we’ve learned it’s not just enough. 

It is more than enough.  

Monday, June 19, 2017

What Could An AO Co-op Look Like?

The real answer is it could look like almost anything you like - it would be your co-op, your gathering of a few local homeschooling famiiies, and you would decide what would work best for you.  You might meet once a week or once a month- or something in between.  You might have ten families all doing AO on schedule, and you could essentially have a cottage school together. You might have two families, and one of them isn't even all that keen on Charlotte Mason, but you could still figure out some things that are compatible with your regular school days that you could enjoy doing together. You might live in a concrete jungle with a two hour drive to any green space so you don't want to do anything but nature walks on a co-op day, or you might live in the woods and have people come out to your house so you can combine nature walks with your co-op day.

We have two possible approaches to suggest.  First, we have some suggestions I have compiled from my own experiences with an AO or CM co-op and collected from others.  These suggestions are intended for use by families using AO essentially as written, but it wouldn't be difficult to adapt them for use with those who combine other curricula, or just do CM, or for a group with a mix of homeschooling philosophies.  I hate saying the possibilities are endless because it is such a cliche, but really, the following ideas could be combined in too many unique ways to tabulate, and one of them is probably just right for your group.

(scroll down to the end for the second suggestion- an exciting announcement)

Don't let the perfect become the enemy of good enough to get started.  Just figure a few things out and jump in, committing to being flexible, tolerant of other families' foibles and your own.  Keep a sense of humour and work out the kinks as you go along.

To begin with, ask around and find out who else might be interested.

~Collect names and ages of families/children, so you know what you will need. For instance, if you have no high school students, your co-op will look different to a co-op that includes several high school students.
Then have a get-together so you can plan out your co-op.  Try a park day, or a Saturday morning while the parents who are not the primary homeschoolers are able to be home, or hire a couple of teenagers to supervise the kids in the backyard while parents/teachers meet in the living room. Parents work together to plan things out. Everybody needs to volunteer to do something, or the thing will fall apart. This cannot be a drop the kids off time, and you should not accept three moms doing lessons and working with the children while two or three other moms sit in another room and chat as a matter of course for your co-op. Some ideas to discuss:

~What is it you each want most from a co-op? If most of the moms really just want some time with other adults, consider having a parents' study group a couple of times a month instead.

~If you have AO families (or families using all the same curriculum from any CM type offerings), think about dividing your kids into forms- so all kids in years 1-3 would do the same things together on co-op day, and all the year 4-6 or 7 would be together, and then 8 on up would be together (fuzzy lines are okay here). 

- Consider going in together and hiring an art teacher, foreign language instructor, somebody who can teach a handicraft, a music teacher, a singing instructor, a math tutor, a biology teacher (not all of the above at once, necessarily)- knowledgable instructors who can give some focused weekly instruction and directions that all of you can practice at home throughout the week.

--For AO families: Consider this a good time to use one of the 'Unicorn' (that is, really hard to find or expensive) books. If only one person in your group has that wonderful hard to find book, ask if they would consider bringing it and reading aloud from it at co-op meetings. 

Things you will want to consider in addition to what year each of the students is in and what books they are reading: 
~Meals and/or snacks (brown bag, collect dues and order in, potluck, don't have them?)
~How often do you meet?
~Where will you meet?
~Do you want to collect dues and hire a specialist for some things? 
~Time of day? 
~any standards of behavior or statement of faith that need to be ironed out?

Here is a group of suggestions- pick and choose! Some of them would be best for a co-op where all families are following the same AO schedule, some would work best for families that are at least on baord with Charlotte Mason, and some would be compatible even for a group where only one person is a CM homeschooler. 

Things a co-op group could do together with the kids in year 3 and below :

  • Read aloud and then act out a fairy tale, folk tale, or myth with the kids
  • Same with the Lamb's retelling of Shakespeare
  • Parables of Nature
  • A weekly science demonstration- something fun about basic science stuff, how things work, why water does what it does, how toilets flush, why you don't put a magnet on your computer, etc.
  • Work together on some of the geography concepts we have listed for those years
  • Read Heroes (or other Greek myths, D'Aulaire's is good)
  • Play a game- a board game, an outside game, something fun that they might not get to do at home because they don't have enough kids to play. One of the old school yard games is a good choice, something like duck, duck, goose, Mother May I, or something else.

Year 4 and Up:
  • Read aloud Shakespeare together in character each week
  • Plutarch
  • Read Bullfinch's myths together
  • Pick one free read from any of the upper years and read it aloud together and narrate, discuss
  • Some basic map drills
  • Dictation
  • Mad Libs to learn parts of speech, or some other basic grammar lessons on parts of speech
  • Play a game- a board game, an outside game, something fun that they might not get to do at home because they don't have enough kids to play. This is a good time for something like kickball or soccer or some other loosely organized team sport.
High School:
  • Some of the above things as well as:
  • Roar on the Other Side
  • Grammar of Poetry (while each of these books is used for a specific year, you could group together all students in years 6-8 or 9 and work through one book one year, and the other the following year.  Lani, one of our auxiliary members, tells me  her co-op found it easy to go through  'Grammar of Poetry by doing it together twice a month (with homework in between, but just practicing lesson covered) over two school years. Roar was easily done in one year this way. GoP worked quite well for 6th and 7th grades.')
  • Writing class
  • Foreign Language
  • Volleyball, soccer, kickball
  • Biology- dissections 

Things that could be done together with a wide range of ages, or divide up the group if that would help:

Folk songs- also view Children of the Open Air videos to learn Sol-fa, or Music at Home,

Swedish Drill

Picture study


Recitations- if the group is too large for all to take a turn reciting, draw names for five recitations (need not be done all at once, could divide this up and have one at the beginning of the day and one during a snack or lunch time). See the Burrell article on recitation on the PR section of the website and have a short lesson on recitation).

Listen to composer music, perhaps read aloud a biography of the composer over a few weeks by reading each co-op time.

A timeline- similar to recitations, it does not matter that all of them are doing different times, draw names and five people come up and put something on a timeline and explain why they chose that event or person (would require having the same location in order to use the same timeline, or having a portable timeline that could unfold so it can be easily seen)

"Book reports," just narrations- not everybody needs to present if that would take too long, either choose ahead of time or everybody knows they might be called on, or draw names and have a few people come up to share their favourite reading that week.

Biography- share a biography of the term's composer, artist, or poet and read aloud together every week.

Learn Latin (or some other foreign language if you all agree on the language)- or just play something like Rummy Roots together (it's a card game of Greek and Latin root words)

Handicraft: have different people come prepared to teach different handicrafts through the year, or hire an art instructor to do group lessons. 
PE- play an outdoor game (kickball seems to work pretty well for large groups of kids with disparate skills, but there could be other sports presented and the basic rules learned)

Nature study- also do some kind of object lesson using Hons- Present something like a branch from an oak tree, a basket of seashells, a pinecones, rocks, bones, etc and have the kids just look it over and find out as much as they can from their own observations and then combine knowledge, read something from Hons, ask a few leading questions, discuss.

Nature Walks- You might also consider booking time at a local nature center for some specific lessons 

What if you are the only CM or AO mom in the group?

Things you could probably get other moms to go for, regardless of educational philosophy:

  • A nature walk, trip to a nature center, getting an interpretive guide to talk to the kids
  • Going in together for an outside art teacher or drawing teacher, or somebody to do dissection with the teens, or somebody to teach a craft, or foreign language+
  • singing hymns and/or folk songs
  • Book reports- you don't have to be on the same page for this at all- the kids read what they read independently, and the other kids give a book report and your kids narrate a book they finished that week.
  • PE- whether drills, or kickball, or volleyball, etc.
  • Some kind of recitation- perhaps a public speaking opportunity.
  • Mad Libs for parts of speech is still fun in a group, regardless of educational philosophy and background.
  • Map drills for continents, oceans, countries, states

  • Book Discussion group

I'm sure there are ways other things could be adapted so they are mutually beneficial and compatible with your individual goals for your families.

We would encourage you to focus on organizing your co-op in a way that would not burden parents too much by requiring a lot of outside work to keep up, but that could, at the same time, somehow incorporate things they might already be trying to fit in (like reading a biography of the term's artist together, or picture study, or some of the geography work, or recitation and dictation) so that they would be gaining some community but not at the cost of having to cut out large chunks for the school work they wanted to do or squeezing it into fewer days a week. How much the co-op would do would depend on whether it met weekly or monthly, full days or half days, and where you meet. If it is not a place conducive to nature walks, for example, you will want to either forego them, or you would omit other things to make time to drive to a place for nature walks. 

Here's a sample schedule for one co-op:

Opening prayer, recitation of Philippians 4:8 or CM's motto
Hymn - 10 mins
Picture Study - 10 mins
Folk Song and sol-fa instruction - 20 mins
Swedish Drill - 10 mins
Paper Sloyd/handicraft - 20-30 mins
Shakespeare - 20-30 mins
Drawing lesson - 20-30 mins
Lunch - 30 mins
Nature Hike with journaling and/or Free play

Another co-op of just two families (8 kids, 4-11) meets twice a month, once for a field trip planned by one of the mothers, and the second time the other mother does the following with the kids:

Recitation - we gave the kids a chance to recite poems (their choice) or play piano pieces they had learned for each other.
Picture Study
Nature Study - more often 'object lesson' type of stuff for the 'class' type meeting - mostly on various aspects of plants this past year. Our 'field trip' outing was often a park or nature hike, though so it rounded out a bit.
Composer Study - introducing the composer, listening together and discussing what we heard, with the understanding that we'd all continue listening at home through the month.
Handicrafts - we did Paper Sloyd in the fall and hand sewing projects in the spring.

Have you worked out a local co-op or study group compatible with AO that works for you?  We'd love to hear about it!

Announcement and Possibility Number 2- As Leslie recently announced, '
AmblesideOnline is putting the final touches on a streamlined version of AO that can be done with groups of students in Form I (grades 1-3), Form II (grades 4-6) and Form III (grades 7-8 or 9). Are you thinking of doing AO in a co-op setting? Are you hoping to start a CM cottage school? Perhaps you need a way to streamline a large family into a couple of Years? AO 2.0 may be just what you're looking for!  Coming soon!!'

You could have a co-op using this 2.0 program designed for cottage schools working with kids coming out of public schools, or you could use the 2.0 as your source for books to do together once or twice a month.

Note: It is a lighter version than our official AO curriculum, which is still, in our opinion, the 1969 mustang, the 1957 Chevy, the Ferrari, the Porsch, and the car we don't even have yet- the solar operated, green fueled and designed durable and affordable hover-car! In short, the AO curriculum as seen on the website is still a winning and excellent combination of classic and modern, style and workmanship, heavy duty, road tested durability and affordability. That is not going away.  This AO for Groups curriculum is for cottage schools and larger families.  It is the 12 passenger van for families who don't fit in the AO family car anymore. 

Friday, June 9, 2017

Sample Year One Schedule

The usual caveats apply: this is one sample of one mom's work with one of her kids, and we are excited to be able to share it with you all. We hope it will give you ideas about your own schedules and be an encouragement. It's not a blanket endorsement, a recipe, or a straitjacket. It is meant to be a helpful example. Huge, huge thanks to Tanya for catching the AO spirit and letting us share it.

Tanya moderates a FB support group for San Diego Charlotte Mason Homeschoolers. I'll let her introduce herself:

I'm Tanya Stone. I've been homeschooling for 7 years, since my oldest entered Kindergarten. I've been using Ambleside Online for about 5 years. My children are 12, 11, 9, 7, and 5.

Do you have a schedule to share? Let us know!