"....Your children shall be like olive plants all around your table." Psalm 128:3

Monday, January 7, 2013

Looking Back on Term 1

We did it; we completed Term 1 of the Ambleside Online Curriculum !

So how did we fare?  Well, let me tell you all about it...

I'll start with Mimi, my youngest. She is in yr0 of AO. She spent her days "eavesdropping" on the lessons of the older children and has learned so much. She casually talks  about Shakespeare, Plutarch, and other classics as if they're old friends. She is also reading in an advanced 2nd grade reading book and working with lots of Math manipulatives, and an occasional worksheet. She loved sketching in her Nature journal, too.

Next is Natty, who is in yr3 of AO. Her favorite things about Term 1 were reading American Tall Tales, Shakespeare's Cymbelline, The Princess and the Goblin, Pilgrim's Progress (as with all AO literature books, she's reading the unabridged version - *gulp*), and A Child's History of the World. She also enjoyed folk songs, poetry, and Nature study.

Asher, (who is in yr4), was constantly telling me, "I love school! All of it! I can't name one single thing that I don't like." He will never know how much those words thrilled this home school Mama's heart.  :)  He "loved" (his word) reading Minn of the Mississippi,  Shakespeare, Robinson Crusoe,  and The Story Book of Science. He also enjoyed written narrations, poetry, Nature study, and Nature journals.

Aaron's (also in yr 4) enjoyed reading Shakespeare, The Story Book of Science, Poor Richard, Robinson Crusoe, and poetry (especially Alfred Lord Tennyson's The Lady of Shallot). He also liked folks songs, picture study (particularly Renoir), and Nature journaling.

Ian's favorites from Term 1 were reading Mere Christianity ( by C.S. Lewis, and now one of Ian's all-time favorite books),  Watership Down, Lay of the Land, Bede's Ecclesiastical History of the English People, The Once and Future King, and The Brendan Voyage. He also enjoyed poetry, Nature journaling, and Biology (Apologia).

And now, it's my turn. My favorite things about the AO curriculum so far (I'm sure I will add to this list as the year progresses) are....

...first of all, AO is a challenging curriculum. (And the levels do not correspond with the grade levels of a typical school.) My children are challenged in their readings and in what's expected of them, which has developed a better work ethic in them. They work harder, but they love what they're doing.

...doing away with the dry, boring textbooks, and watching my children devour the wonderful, living books. My children are loving them, in spite of the sometimes-challenging vocabulary words.

...the exposure to great artists and composers. It's so exciting to see my children get excited over listening to a Bach selection or studying a picture by Pieter de Hooch.

I have to admit that I did have initial reservations about whether or not the narration aspect would really work when we got to the end of Term 1 and had our exams.  But I can honestly say that I was amazed by
how much my children remembered...just by using narration. They remembered details from the first week of school! Narration works. My children have proven that.

We are now beginning week 17 (the 5th week of Term 2) and loving it more and more. The children were so excited to get back to their lessons after 2-week break for the holidays. Natty was jumping up and down last saying how excited she was to get back to reading one of her favorites of this term, The Children of the New Forest by Frederick Marryat. In all my years of homeschooling, I've never seen my children get this excited about school.  :)

We are so thankful for the Lord's leading us to the AO curriculum; it's a perfect fit for our family.

So, my friends, how is your year going so far?  Have you found a curriculum that fits your family well?  Do tell!  :)

Happy homeschooling!

"Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good.."  ~  Psalm 107:1

sharing with The Modest Mom 
                   Deep Roots at Home


  1. This was a blessing to read, Lisa! Praise God for their excitement, and yours. :) My boys and I are really enjoying immersing ourselves in the 1800's--historical fiction, biographies and other non-fiction selections--as we study the Civil War and the decades after.

    1. That's wonderful, my friend! My boys are particularly fond of 1800's too, especially the Civil War era. And they love G.A. Henty (historical fiction) books. Have your boys read any of those? They're free at the Kindle store - if you have a Kindle.
      Much love to you. :)

  2. Hello Lisa :) Like you, I also used the Ambleside Online and I have used it for over 6 years now. This year son#1 graduates from home school high school, so college applications, financial aid and the like is what is being done right now. Son#2 is chugging away at his 9th grade work. We are right on target :) mb

    1. Hi Maria,
      I'm so glad to find another AO mom, and a "seasoned" one at that! :) I might be stopping by to glean some wisdom from you every now and then. ;)
      Hope you have a blessed day, my friend.

  3. So glad to hear it's working so well.

    1. Hope you're having a great year, too, Jen. Thanks for stopping by. :)

  4. Sounds really awesome, Lisa. I'm sure it just does your heart so good to see them enjoying it so much. Our curriculum is a real hodge podge of things but so far it's working. I've never really heard of AO so this was very interesting. We do love books around here--especially Pilgrim's Progress. Oh--and we have an Asher, too!!

    1. That's one of the wonderful things about homeschooling, Charlene: you can find what works for your family and do it; unlike traditional schools, there is no cookie-cutter curriculum. :)

      And since our Asher has come along, we've met so many other "Asher families". :)

      Hope you're having a lovely week, my friend. And thanks for stopping by and sharing.

  5. All of it is so wonderful. SO very wonderful when we know our children are loving to learn!
    God Bless:)

    1. How wonderful indeed, my friend! Thanks so much for stopping in. :)
      Many blessings!

  6. I'm glad you found something that works for you and that the children are really loving. Although we don't use AO, we love our studies too and I think our graduate is missing it. I ♥ homeschool!

  7. I'm sure your oldest ids missing it, dear Jane...as you are missing her. :')
    Much love to you, my friend.


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