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: Our booklists are incomplete without a thorough understanding of Charlotte Mason's ideas and methods. Please take time to familiarize yourself with her philosophy by reading her books. Additionally, our FAQ provides basic instructions and information about the AO curriculum, and answers all the questions that people routinely ask: AO's history scope and sequence, how to schedule your school days, how to do narration, and more.
If you are beginning with an older student, we have a list of "don't miss" books that should be read before beginning Year 7 here.
Table of Contents:
KEY TO SYMBOLS
This is a collection of some of the best resources for this time period. Even Advisory members aren't able to cover all of these with every single one of their own students and have to be selective. Feel free to pick and choose from among these suggestions. The best choice may just be the book you already own, and the one from which your student can narrate. Read Wendi's informal chat about why these books were chosen and which ones are indispensable. (If this looks overwhelming for your student, you might consider plan B - a lightened load for year 7. See it here.
Old Testament: Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua
New Testament: Luke
Suggested Devotional Reading
* How to Be Your Own Selfish Pig by Susan Schaeffer Macaulay ($amzn) 
** The Pursuit of God by A.W. Tozer, also here. β ($earch) (K) Ω 
*** The Pursuit of Holiness by Jerry Bridges ($amzn) (K) 
Make a century chart of the period studied. 
The Birth of Britain by Winston Churchill ($amzn) (K) 
* Bede's Ecclesiastical History of the English People Ω 
* The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle on Alfred the Great (a brief single-page article.)
* William of Malmesbury's account of the Battle of Hastings
** The Magna Carta Ω 
** In Freedom's Cause by G.A. Henty β α ($amzn) (K) Ω 
*** History of Deeds Done Beyond the Sea by William Tyre (A first-hand account of the Crusades)
*** The Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey ($amzn) (K) 
Students should have a plan for keeping up with current events. 
Shakespeare - Continue with AO's Shakespeare Rotation.
The Once and Future King Book I and II, by T. H. White ($amzn) (K) 
Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott β α ($amzn) (K) Ω 
The History of English Literature for Girls and Boys by H.E. Marshall ch 1-31 β α ($amzn) (K) 
The Age of Chivalry by Thomas Bulfinch β α ($amzn) (K) Ω 
* Watership Down by Richard Adams ($amzn) (K) [57a]
Begin written narrations, 2-3 per week, varying among subjects. Include one written narration from a reading earlier in the week. 
Scripture suggestions: * Psalm 45, ** Psalm 46, and *** Psalm 51
Shakespeare - selected passages, all terms. 
Poetry - a poem by that term's poet, all terms.
* Poem 8 Praise of Women and 32 The True Knight from The Oxford Book of English Verse
Include selections from Shakespeare, the Bible, poetry and other sources. These selections may be the same ones used for recitation.
Continue your math program; for some options, see this page.
Eric Sloane's Weather Book by Eric Sloane ($amzn) (K)
** *** The Life of the Spider by Jean Henri Fabre β ($amzn) Ω Fabre texts with photos
Secrets of the Universe: Discovering the Universal Laws of Science by Paul Fleisher, a five-book series: 
Liquids and Gases: Principles of Fluid Mechanics (£)
Objects in Motion: Principles of Classical Mechanics (£)
Waves: Principles of Light, Electricity, and Magnetism (£)
Matter and Energy: Principles of Matter and Thermodynamics (£)
Relativity and Quantum Mechanics: Principles of Modern Physics (£)
The Wonder Book of Chemistry by Jean Henri Fabre α; Google Books ($amzn) (K) 
First Studies of Plant Life by George Francis Atkinson α ($amzn) 
Adventures with a Microscope by Richard Headstrom ($amzn) (K) 
Signs and Seasons: Understanding the Elements of Classical Astronomy by Jay Ryan ($amzn) (CBD) 
Great Astronomers by R.S. Ball β α (£) (Intro, Ptolomy, Copernicus, and Brahe) 
Keep flower and bird lists of species seen, select a special study for outdoor work, and continue to maintain nature notebooks.
Continue AO's artist rotation.
Work on drawing skills. Illustrate a scene from one of this week's readings.
Begin Latin if you've not started already.
Continue with previous foreign language studies. 
Physical Education: Learn and play a game (kick ball, tennis, croquet, ping-pong, softball, etc.) or folk-dance, or pursue other physical activity of your choice. One option is Swedish Drill Revisited by Dawn Duran purchase
Charlotte Mason had her students do house or garden work, make Christmas presents, other crafts, sew, cook, learn first aid . . .
Sir Gawaine and the Green Knight (Burton Raffel's version is very accessible) ($amzn) (K) Ω
A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court by Mark Twain β ($amzn) (K) Ω Λ
The Legends of Charlemagne by Thomas Bulfinch, also here. β α ($earch) (K) Ω
Knight's Fee by Rosemary Sutcliff ($amzn) (K)
The Gammage Cup by Carol Kendall ($amzn)
Rolf and The Viking Bow by Allen French ($amzn) (K)
The Lost Prince by Frances Hodgson Burnett β α Ω
The White Company by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle β ($amzn) (K) Ω; its prequel is Sir Nigel Ω
David Copperfield by Charles Dickens β α ($amzn) (K) Ω Λ
The Black Arrow β by Robert Louis Stevenson α ($amzn) (K) Ω
Hereward, the Last of the English by Charles Kingsley β α
(or Hereward the Wake, originally published in Robin Hood and Other Outlaw Tales)
Beloved Botanist: The Story of Carl Linnaeus by Adrian Stoutenburg, 1961 (as a companion to Atkinson's First Lessons in Plant Life) (out of print; $amzn)
The Tripods series ($amzn) by John Christopher:
These are books that Miss Mason used, or that we think would be good -- but we've not read them, so we can't wholeheartedly recommend them. We list them here so that those who are interested might preview them if desired and pass on a review for the rest of us:
Penrod and Sam by Booth Tarkington β α ($amzn) Ω K
Alhambra: Tales and Sketches of the Moors and Spaniards by Washington Irving β α Ω
Feats on the Fiord by Harriet Martineau β α
The Life and Death of Cormac the Skald β anonymous Icelandic epic.
The Talisman by Sir Walter Scott β α Ω or other of the Waverly novels appropriate for this year's study. (All the novels written by Sir Walter Scott are commonly referred to en masse as The Waverley Novels. While not a series, these books all share the common distinction of superbly written historical fiction -- in fact, it is said that Scott created this literary genre with these novels. Charlotte Mason read from the Bible and the Waverley novels daily through much of her lifetime; whenever she finished reading through all 27 volumes, she simply started over. We assume any of them would be good for free reading anytime, but have not yet read them all ourselves. You can read more here and here. Further links or information always welcome.)
Useful for future reference: A Guide to the Best Historical Novels and Tales by Jonathan Nield
Many thanks to David Hicks, author of Norms and Nobility, for his kind permission to draw from his work and ideas. For more information please see the 1999 edition of his book. ($amzn)
2. Note on Audiobooks: While links to audio books are added as a courtesy, Miss Mason's approach to grammar and composition is heavily dependent upon the children receiving an immense amount of visual exposure to the written word over many years, so parents should exercise extreme caution in how many audiobooks they use each year. Our brains just work differently when we see the words. (Cindy Rollins did a Circe Mason jar podcast that included the role of audiobooks with difficult books.) For children who have difficulty reading, one solution is to have them follow the audio version along in a written text.
Librivox free audio is done by volunteers, and some are better than others. Heidi Nash has a list of some favorite Librivox readers. Be aware that apps, including Librivox, that have clickable ads can open a browser and allow children unfiltered access to the internet, even when browsers have been disabled by the parent. There are options: either download mp3 files from Librivox and listen without the app, or only install the app on a parent-controlled device. Librivox has a pay option to turn off ads. (Back)
4. Continue AO's plan (6 years through the Bible in Years 6-11, leaving Song of Solomon and Revelation for Year 12), or follow a plan of your own preference. AO's plan schedules the following for this year:
Term 1: Numbers 1-30; Luke 1-6; Psalm 56-74; Proverbs 17-21
Term 2: Numbers 31-36, Deuteronomy 1-27; Luke 7-14; Psalm 75-88; Proverbs 22-26
Term 3: Deuteronomy 28-34, Joshua; Luke 15-24; Psalms 89-105; Proverbs 27-31
Resources: Study questions with maps; Bible Maps; Bible timeline. Encyclopedia of Bible Truths, 4 Volumes by Ruth C. Haycock (CBD)
Charlotte Mason had her students reading a commentary. We suggest you use what fits best with your family's belief system, keeping in mind that this year should be a bit meatier than previous years. (Back)
6. How To Be Your Own Selfish Pig: under review for Year 7) This is a "read-aloud and discuss" book. 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 ($amzn) (K), about a chapter a week, instead. The Advisory is considering moving this book up a year. (Back)
8. The Pursuit of God: 1949, a call to devotion. This book is not long, but it is dense. You may wish to spread readings over the week. A 12-week schedule that divides the book into four shorter readings each week is here. (Back)
10. The Pursuit of Holiness: a no nonsense guide to godly living. (Back)
12. Saints and Heroes is an option for church history if you didn't use Trial and Triumph in Years 1-6; all of book 1 is covered in Year 7:
Term 1: ch 1 Cyprian-ch 11 Hildebrand
Term 2: ch 12 Anselm-ch 17 Francis
Term 3: ch 18 Wycliffe-ch 20 Savonarola (Back)
14. Timeline: At this age, students should be keeping a Century Chart and Book of Centuries. Instructions for making your own timelines and charts are included in these Parents' Review articles: Book of the Centuries; Teaching Chronology; The Correlation of Lessons. For more details about the why, when, how of keeping CM timelines (and other notebooks), we recommend Laurie Bestvater's book, The Living Page ($amzn). (Back)
16. 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. 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
An alternate option is A History of England by Arnold-Forster, online at archive.org, Google Books; a schedule is here. You can also see a list that correlates chapters of Churchill, Arnold-Forster, and An Island Story for Years 7 and 8 here. (Back)
22. Athough "In Freedom's Cause" is a work of fiction, it is a more accurate account of William Wallace and Robert the Bruce in Scottish history than is available in many other similar books. There is a dramatic audio abridgement for this book. We don't recommend doing an audio drama in place of a book, but if this book is such a stretch that even the audiobook is challenging and you're considering dropping it altogether, you might consider this option. The quality seems to match Focus on the Family's Radio Theater projects, and they have some big name celebrities, including Joanne Froggert (Lady Mary Crawley's maid Anna from Downton Abbey), Billy Boyd (Pippin in LOTR movies), Skandar Keynes (Edmund Pevensie in the Narnia movies), and James Cosmo (from Braveheart). More information here. (Back)
26. Joan of Arc: Another (much shorter) option: Andrew Lang's The Story of Joan of Arc; also available at Heritage History α Ω
The Advisory has not read this one yet: A Heroine of France, The Story of Joan of Arc by Evelyn Everett-Green (Back)
30. How the Heather Looks: You will love this book and may therefore look for more by the same author for your child to read. Please exercise caution in doing so. (Back)
34. Map Drill Resources: Websites useful for mapwork activities (and a great big thanks to Wendy Fish for her gargantuan task of sifting through mapsites to find these!):
Map of Roman Britain in 43 AD. Northern Gaul; A variety of Outline Maps at Heritage History (scroll 2/3 down to British Middle Ages Resources).
For those who would like a way to find modern town names.
Europe as it was in the timeframe covered in Year 7 studies.
The most straightforward outline maps of modern world.
Some easy-to-read maps of Europe in the Year 7 timeframe.
Blank outline map of Late Medieval Europe.
An extra note: Will and Ariel Durant's history series volume for this time period contains excellent maps inside the covers that portray the geographical locations pertaining to Year 7 studies. (Back)
36. Whatever Happened to Penny Candy: There are currently seven editions of this book; if you have a later edition, you may need to make some minor adjustments in its scheduling. Canadians: there is a Canadian supplement to this book. (Back)
38. Foundation for Freedom: A Study of the United States Constitution Workbook by Lars Johnson - The workbook is the text with review exercises after each chapter, which can be skipped. ($amzn) Foundation for Freedom is an updated, full-color version of The Story of the Constitution, Second Edition by Sol Bloom and Lars Johnson ($amzn). Both appear to be the same book/workbook, but the newer one is in color. We suggest you do a study of the Constitution at some point between Years 7 and 12; the time period actually fits chronologically in Year 9. This book (either version) is highly recommended. Sol Bloom's original 1937 Story of the Constitution, which Lars Johnson used as a foundation for his own book, is online at Hathi Trust. Because it was written in 1937, it stops at the 21st Amendment. Lars Johnson did an excellent expanding and updating the Bloom book by adding concerns that weren't on the radar in 1937. He also wrote a chapter on limited government, checks and balances, and Biblical morality as well as a full-page explanation of each Amendment; Sol Bloom's book just explains each Amendment with a sentence or two. If you are in a situation where you need an online resource, the Sol Bloom text could work, but you should also seek out a source that explains why each Amendment was added and what it does. (Back)
42. Ourselves: approximately 22 pages per term. This book will continue through all the remaining years of HEO curriculum. This is the 4th volume of Mason's 6 Volume Series. This year: pages 1-65 of Book 1.
Also available in a modern English paraphrase that can be read online or purchased. (K) The paraphrase of Book I, Self-Knowledge, the first half of Volume 4, can be purchased from lulu.com as a separate paperback book.
Term 1: Book 1 pg 1-20
Term 2: Book 1 pg 21-44
Term 3: Book 1 pg 45-65 (Back)
44. Plutarch: Charlotte Mason recommended Thomas North's "inimitable translation." We recommend Anne White's Study Guides, which use North's translation. (Back)
46. 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)
48. Beowulf: Burton Raffel's is our first choice ($amzn) (K); Seamus Heaney's ($amzn) (K) (∩) is also fine if you already have it. Seamus Heaney's translation is available with graphics that illuminate the setting and objects mentioned in the text. Another option: an updated verse translation by Frederick Rebsamen ($amzn) (K), or use this free-verse version. Another option: Online Translation by Francis B. Gummere. Most versions have 43 parts; that also appears in the 36-week schedule.
If you use the recommended Seamus Heaney illustrated version, it lines up like this:
Pt 1: pg 3-9 line 1-114
Pt 2: pg 9-15 line 115-188
Pt 3: pg 15-19 line 189-257
Pt 4: pg 19-23 line 258-319
Pt 5: pg 23-27 line 320-370
Pt 6: pg 27-31 line 371-455
Pt 7: pg 31-35 line 456-498
Pt 8: pg 35-39 line 499-558
Pt 9: pg 39-45 line 559-661
Pt 10: pg 45-49 line 662-709
Pt 11: pg 49-53 line 710-789
Pt 12: pg 53-57 line 790-835
Pt 13: pg 57-61 line 836-923
Pt 14: pg 61-67 line 924-989
Pt 15: pg 67-69 line 990-1048
Pt 16: pg 69-77 line 1049-1125
Pt 17: pg 77-83 line 1126-1190
Pt 18: pg 83-87 line 1191-1250
Pt 19: pg 87-91 line 1251-1320
Pt 20: pg 91-95 line 1321-1382
Pt 21: pg 95-101 line 1383-1472
Pt 22: pg 101-105 line 1474-1556
Pt 23: pg 105-111 line 1557-1650
Pt 24: pg 111-119? line 1651-1757?
Pt 25: pg 119?-123 line 1757?-1816
Pt 26: pg 123-127 line 1817-1887
Pt 27: pg 127-133 line 1888-1962
Pt 28: pg 133-135 line 1963-1998
Pt 29: pg 135-137 line 1999-2031
Pt 30: pg 137-143 line 2032-2143
Pt 31: pg 145-149 line 2144-2220
Pt 32: pg 149-155 line 2221-2311
Pt 33: pg 155-161 line 2312-2390
Pt 34: pg 161-165 line 2391-2462
Pt 35: pg 165-173 line 2463-2601
Pt 36: pg 173-179 line 2602-2693
Pt 37: pg 179-183 line 2694-2751
Pt 38: pg 183-189 line 2752-2820
Pt 39: pg 189-193 line 2821-2891
Pt 40: pg 193-195 line 2892-2945
Pt 41: pg 195-201 line 2946-3057
Pt 42: pg 201-207 line 3058-3136
Pt 43: pg 207-209 line 3137-3182
Beowulf: A New Telling by Robert Nye ($amzn) (K) is a prose version that's not exact, but could be used as an introduction (but not a replacement!) if your students is struggling. Very roughly, it breaks down like this:
ch 1 loosely corresponds to the Prologue
ch 2 loosely corresponds to Parts 1-2
ch 3 loosely corresponds to Parts 2
ch 4 loosely corresponds to Parts 3-5
ch 5 loosely corresponds to Parts 6-10
ch 6 loosely corresponds to Parts 11-12
ch 7 loosely corresponds to Parts 13-18
ch 8 loosely corresponds to Parts 19-20
ch 9 loosely corresponds to Part 21
ch 10 loosely corresponds to Part 22
ch 11 loosely corresponds to Parts 23-25
ch 12 loosely corresponds to Parts 26-30
ch 13 loosely corresponds to Parts 30-31
ch 14 loosely corresponds to Part 32
ch 15 loosely corresponds to Parts 33-36
ch 16 loosely corresponds to Parts 37-43 (Back)
50. 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 not in the curriculum to give the students another version of a King Arthur story, and it should not be the student's only exposure to the King Arthur mythos. Rather, this book is contains living lessons in government, including self-government, self-discipline, consequences of bad decisions (even when made in ignorance), leadership, and so much more. It cannot easily be replaced by any other book. 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. [If you need to cut back, Book 2 could have only selected chapters read. The chapters in Book 2 that are about Arthur and Merlyn are 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12. Chapters in Book 2 that more squeamish students might want to skip are 1, 5, and 7. All of Book 1 should be read. Spark Notes gives a brief summary of each chapter in Book 2 to help you decide whether doing selected chapters is right for your student.] (Back)
54. The History of English Literature for Girls and Boys:
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 ($amzn), 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)
56. The Age of Chivalry: versions seem to differ in Part III; the 3-in-1 edition of Bulfinch's Mythology lists "Hero Myths of the British Race" (Beowulf, Cuchulain, Hereward the Wake, and Robin Hood), while the 1858 edition covers "The Knights of English History" in ch 33-39: King Richard, Robin Hood, Chevy Chase, and Edward the Black Prince. (This assumes your student read King Arthur in Year 5; if this isn't the case, consider using one of the Year 5 options instead.) (Back)
57a. Watership Down: An alleghorical story that includes "community, connection, relationships, government systems and consequences, what makes a civilization, what makes it humane or inhumane, quests, and more." Read what Advisory member Wendi Capehart said about why this book is scheduled here. (Back)
57. Poetry: How do you "do" poetry? Simply read it and enjoy it, re-read it, read it again and listen to the sound of the phrases, let them paint a word picture in your mind. Do you feel like you need more direction? How to Read a Poem: Based on the Billy Collins Poem "Introduction to Poetry" by Tania Runyan is "less as an instructional book and more of an invitation." This is a suggested optional parent resource that encourages you read poetry for enjoyment. (Back)
58. Chaucer for Children by Mrs. H. R. Haweis contains these tales: The Knight's Tale; The Friar's Tale; The Clerk's Tale; The Franklin's Tale; The Pardoner's Tale. A Taste of Chaucer contains edited-for-students versions of the following tales: The Monk's Tale, The Nun's Priest's Tale, The Tale of the Clerk of Oxenford, The Manciple's Tale, The Franklin's Tale, Chaucer's Tale, The Tale of the Man of Law, The Canon's Yeoman's Tale, The Pardoner's Tale. Letting your student loose on an unedited version of Canturbury Tales is not recommended! This online version has a modern paraphrase alongside the original, but it isn't edited. Another here. The Chaucer Story Book α by Eva Tappan ($amzn) (K) is a prose retelling for children from 1908. Some stories may also be read from this as an optional supplement. (Back)
60. 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 at Bartleby.com, though we suggest using an ad-blocker if you use the website. (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.
If you prefer, you can use Representative Poetry Online: Follow this time-line of English Poetry and do an anthology of sorts this term. Some firewalls may block access to this link - just a technical glitch. In that case, try this: shorten the URL to http://rpo.library.utoronto.ca/display/index.cfm then click on "e-Resources" which will take you to a search field. Type in "Representative Poetry." From that page, choose "timeline" and you'll be in the right place. (Back)
62. Alfred, Lord Tennyson, especially Idylls of the King β α Ω and Lady of Shalott; Death of King Arthur; La Morte d'Arthur; Ulysses; The Lotos Eaters; Mariana; and Mariana in the South. Check online sites such as Librivox for free audio readings of poems; this is a growing project and more poems are online every month. (Back)
66. The Grammar of Poetry by Matt Whitling, from the Imitation in Writing series (Logos School Materials) purchase from CBD: Updated Edition; Teacher's edition; With the current edition, you need both student and teacher's editions. If you can only afford one, purchase the student edition and ask in the forum if you can't work out the answers. We have not used the DVD's, so we cannot attest to their usefulness. (Back)
68. 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 $30 for the Jensen's text and answer key. The DVD's are not necessary. You will probably find it cheaper at New Leaf Publishing, or other homeschool sellers such as Lamppost Homeschool.
If you are not confident about teaching grammar, you might prefer Easy Grammar Plus by Wanda Phillips. It's less intense than Jensen's, but still doesn't assume a lot of previous knowledge from the teacher. It's easier than Jensen with just a couple suggested alterations (for example, don't insist on memorizing the prepositions at the start, just write a list of them and explain an easy way to remember most of them: any way a worm can go in relations to two apples, or a swallow in relation to two mountains). A parent using this with one child could get by with only the Teacher's Edition since the student workbook is included in it, but multiple students would need their own workbooks. (purchase from their website or CBD) Easy Grammar Grade 8 Student 180 Daily Teaching Lessons by Wanda Phillips is just as good; it also has the student workbook included in the teacher's edition.
Those who are more familiar with grammar may prefer Our Mother Tongue. It's more interesting as it uses classic literature for exercises and includes snippets of history about language. The Answer Key ($amzn) is sold separately. Our Mother Tongue has 49 chapters. One suggestion is to spread the book over two years, doing about 9 chapters per term. (Back)
72. Bartlett's Familiar Quotations is a helpful tool for looking for quotable sections from various plays of Shakespeare, especially quotes from the various plays which appear in various other literature. Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, 10th edition, is online (in html and text here.) Note: To get the list of plays from the Bartlett's Familiar Quotations page, try selecting 1) the Author index, then select 2) the Shakespeare entry, which should provide a list of quotations from the first play in the list; and then try selecting 3) Shakespeare's name above the quotations. This last step should bring you to an index of the plays, not just the list of quotations. Or, you may go directly to the play needed from the Shakespeare play index. (Back)
74. 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)
76. Secrets of the Universe was republished by Living Books Press 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 book goes in and out of print and can sometimes 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 this year. If you are unable to access it, another solid option is The Boy Scientist by John Bryan Lewellen, out of print, but more readily available at used book sources than Secrets of the Universe (not the recent "The Boy Scientist: 160 Extraordinary Experiments and Adventures;" look for the 1955 one by John Llewellen). 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.
The Boy Scientist by John Lewellen covers similar topics and is a very worthwhile alternative. Try this link: ($amzn) Be sure to get the 1955 red book by John Llewellen. There's a 2009 book (it's blue) called "The Boy Scientist: 160 Experiments, A Popular mechanics Book" by C. J. Peterson; it is not the same book. A weekly breakdown could look like this:
Boy Scientist: week 1 ch 1, first half (pg 1-9)
Boy Scientist: week 2 ch 1, second half (pg 9-18)
Boy Scientist: week 3 ch 2, first third (pg 20-26)
Boy Scientist: week 4 ch 2, second third (pg 26-33)
Boy Scientist: week 5 ch 2, last third (pg 33-40)
Boy Scientist: week 6 ch 3, first half (pg 42-49)
Boy Scientist: week 7 ch 3, second half (pg 49-58)
Boy Scientist: week 8 ch 4, first half (pg 60-65)
Boy Scientist: week 9 ch 4, second half (pg 65-70)
Boy Scientist: week 10 ch 5, first third (pg 72-78)
Boy Scientist: week 11 ch 5, second third (pg 78-85)
Boy Scientist: week 12 ch 5, last third (pg 85-92)
Boy Scientist: week 13 ch 6, first half (pg 94-99)
Boy Scientist: week 14 ch 6, second half (pg 99-106)
Boy Scientist: week 15 ch 7, first quarter (pg 108-114)
Boy Scientist: week 16 ch 7, second quarter (pg 114-121)
Boy Scientist: week 17 ch 7, third quarter (pg 121-128)
Boy Scientist: week 18 ch 7, last quarter (pg 128-136)
Boy Scientist: week 19 ch 8, first quarter (pg 138-144)
Boy Scientist: week 20 ch 8, second quarter (pg 144-150)
Boy Scientist: week 21 ch 8, third quarter (pg 150-157)
Boy Scientist: week 22 ch 8, last quarter (pg 157-164)
Boy Scientist: week 23 ch 9, first third (pg 166-173)
Boy Scientist: week 24 ch 9, second third (pg 173-180)
Boy Scientist: week 25 ch 9, last third (pg 180-188)
Boy Scientist: week 26 ch 10, first quarter (pg 190-195)
Boy Scientist: week 27 ch 10, second quarter (pg 195-200)
Boy Scientist: week 28 ch 10, third quarter (pg 200-206)
Boy Scientist: week 29 ch 10, last quarter (pg 206-214)
Boy Scientist: week 30 ch 11, first half (pg 216-224)
Boy Scientist: week 31 ch 11, second half (pg 224-232)
Boy Scientist: week 32 ch 12, first third (pg 234-240)
Boy Scientist: week 33 ch 12, second third (pg 240-246)
Boy Scientist: week 34 ch 12, last third (pg 246-254)
Boy Scientist: week 35 ch 13, first half (pg 256-260)
Boy Scientist: week 36 ch 13, second half (pg 260-264) (Back)
78. Wonder Book of Chemistry: Many of the experiments are not safe; in some cases, the explanations of what happens are sufficient to benefit from this book. (Back)
80. 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. Also online at Google Books.
If you prefer, you may substitute Exploring Creation with Botany by Jeanne Fulbright ($amzn) over Years 7 and 8, with selected activities from the book. (Back)
84. Signs and Seasons - read Prologue-Chapter 2 this year, including note on how to use properly. The book is cheaper from CBD. Field work is an integral part of this book. Field activities are included in the back of the book, so the field guide is not necessary.
If you prefer, A Walk through the Heavens: A Guide to Stars and Constellations by Milton Heifetz may be used. ($amzn) (K) (Back)
85. Great Astronomers: A paraphrase is here. Or, there are briefer biographies online at MacTutor History of mathematics archives at the University of St Andrews, Scotland. They can be searched alphabetically from here. (Back)
86. In place of Lay of the Land, you may choose the nature writings of Edwin Way Teale α ($earch) if you have them on your shelf. Unfortunately, few are online, and go in and out of print. A particular favorite is "The Circle of Seasons" but other titles are also commendable. (Back)
88. How to Read a Book may be saved for a later year. Be sure to get the revised edition, and read only Part 1 this year (this book continues into Year 10). This breaks down to five chapters for the year, seven weeks to get through each chapter. This is slow, but this material is weighty and should give much material for reflection and discussion. Note: The revised version was written by both Mortimer J. Adler And Charles Van Doren. If Van Doren is not a co-writer, it's the older book. It was revised in 1972, but later books may not be called "revised." The version to use has five chapters in part 1; 7 chapters in part 2; 7 chapters in part 3; and two chapters in part 4. The unrevised edition may have fewer parts. (Back)
89. Fallacy Detective: There's a newer edition of this book that has 38 chapters. The two new chapters are chapter 6 "Special Pleading" and chapter 17, "Slippery Slope." If you want to add these extra chapters, one suggestion is to schedule chapters 1-13 in term 1 (scheduling ch 5 and 6 together), 14-25 in term 2 and 26-38 in term 3 (scheduling ch 33-34 together). (Back)
90. Janson's Story of Painting: chapters 1-3 this year. (Some nudity; parents should preview first.) 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)
92. Foreign Folk Songs: Charlotte Mason did 3 in French and 3 in German. (Back)
94. English Folk Songs: you may choose to continue the Folk Song rotation at AmblesideOnline; as well as the AmblesideOnline rotation for Hymns each term. Carols would do for the Winter term. Work on each song about 4 weeks. Folksongs which are particularly appropriate selections for the Year 7 time frame include:
* The Bold Pedlar and Robin Hood; The Three Ravens; and The Outlandish Knight. Lyrics and the midi files
** When The King Enjoys His Own Again; Farewell to Lochaber; Battle of Otterburn, or any other tunes of your choice from this website. Again, work on each song about 4 weeks, reviewing as desired. The idea is to enjoy them, not turn them into drudgery.
*** Go No More a Rushing; Greensleeves; Scarbourough. You may also choose any other three folksongs you prefer. Find them here. Other folksongs are also online. (Back)
96. Charlotte Mason's students were learning three languages at this level. A good English/foreign language dictionary is also recommended.
You might find that your foreign language studies cover enough grammar to be counted as English Grammar as well. (Back)
Last update Oct. 2, 2020
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