Every scholar of six years old and upwards should study with ‘delight’ his own, living, books on every subject in a pretty wide curriculum. Children between six and eight must for the most part have their books read to them.
School Education by Charlotte Mason
This year is the 7th and the last year I’ll be teaching 4th Grade in our home but it’s the first time I’ve used Ambleside Online
for this particular year. Being the year that covers the mid-sixteen to late seventeen-hundreds, Australian History comes alive for us, so I’ve had to give some thought as to what substitutions we could make – preferably using what books we already have on hand.
Last year I read through Volume 3, School Education
by Charlotte Mason and then read Leslie Laurio’s modern paraphrase
of ‘An Educational Manifesto,’ which I quote with permission below.
Children learn best from real, tangible things, and books. Tangible things include:
a. Natural structures for physical activity like climbing, swimming, walking, etc.
b. Resources for working and building with, such as wood, leather or clay.
c. Natural objects in their native habitat, like birds, plants, creeks, and stones.
d. Works of art.
e. Scientific instruments.
It was very helpful to spend some time thinking through this Manifesto – Charlotte Mason’s ‘philosophy of education in a nutshell’ – as I planned out my little girl’s year:
What real, tangible things have I included?
Swimming, highland dancing, cello
Nature walks, gardening
Needlework, cooking, woodburning
Caring for the cat
Have I left enough time to actually do them?
Have I scheduled them so that they will actually get done?
Do we have the resources we need? Are they where I can easily find them?
Most people acknowledge the need for tangible things in learning, as in hands-on education, but fewer people recognize that intellectual education has to come from books.
I wrote a post on substituting books
after planning an Australian version of AO Year 9 for one of the boys about two years ago after spending some time reading what Charlotte Mason had to say on the subject.
Education is the Science of Relations; that is, that a child has natural relations with a vast number of things and thoughts: so we must train him upon physical exercises, nature, handicrafts, science and art, and upon many living books; for we know that our business is, not to teach him all about anything, but to help him make valid, as many as may be of
‘Those first born affinities,
‘That fit our new existence to existing things.’
A Philosophy of Education, pg xxx
With all the above in mind here is our Year 4 Ambleside Online modified for Australia. Books in this colour are scheduled or optional Ambleside Online books for Year 4. At the time of writing we are going into Week 9:
History studied in Year 4: 1640-1700’s (French and American Revolutions)
All the History options, except A Child’s History of the World, plus two biographies were picked up years ago in op shops, library sales and Lifeline Book Fares (I use the free online version of Our Empire Story) and cost under $10 all up. I come across these titles from time to time so they are still available.
History & Geography
** ***George Washington’s World by Genevieve Foster
* ** *** History of Australia Ch 1 to 8 (read aloud)
* ** *** Our Sunburnt Country Ch 1 to 5
* *** Our Empire Story – 3 Chapters (Pg. 125-142)
* ** A Child’s History of the World Ch 67-72 1st Edition
** An Island Story Ch 95 & 96
* Term 1 (1640-1720)
Our Sunburnt Country Ch 1 ‘The Land of the Dreamtime’
A Child’s History of the World Ch 67 ‘The King Who Lost his Head’ (Charles I)
History of Australia Ch 1 ‘The Beginnings’ (selected sections)
History of Australia Ch 2 ‘South of the Spice Islands’
A Child’s History of the World Ch 68 ‘Red Cap & Red Heels’ (Louis XIV)
History of Australia Ch 3 ‘Piecing Together a Continent’ (Tasman & Dampier) 1642-1700
Our Empire Story by H.E. Marshall – ‘There Is Nothing New under the Sun’
– up to ‘Dampier feared to stay longer, lest his men should fall ill in that desert land. So he steered away to the East Indies and from thence sailed homeward.’ (1699)
Our Sunburnt Country Ch 2 ‘New Visitors to an Old Land’ (Pg 21-30)
Our Sunburnt Country Ch 2 ‘New Visitors to an Old Land’ (Pg. 30-37)
Our Empire Story – ‘Nothing New Under the Sun’ from ‘Many years passed’ to end of chapter (1768)
History of Australia Ch 4 Captain James Cook & The Endeavour 1770
A Child’s History of the World Ch 69 ‘ A Self-Made Man’ (Peter the Great)
A Child’s History of the World Ch 70 ‘A Prince who Ran Away’ (Frederick the Great)
Our Island Story Ch 95 & 96 (George III)
A Child’s History of the World Ch 71 ‘America Gets Rid of Her King’ (George III)
*** Term 3 (1773 – 1780)
Our Sunburnt Country Ch 3 ‘They Came and Stayed’
History of Australia Ch 5 ‘Bound for Botany Bay’ (The First Fleet, 1787)
Our Empire Story – The Founding of Sydney (1788)
History of Australia Ch 6 ‘Settlement’
History of Australia Ch 7 ‘Convicts’
History of Australia Ch 8 ‘Completing the Coastline’ (Matthew Flinders)
Our Sunburnt Country Ch 4 ‘Rum and Rebellion’
Our Empire Story – ‘The Adventures of George Bass and Matthew Flinders’ (1796)
Our Sunburnt Country Ch 5 ‘Bass and Flinders Map the Coastline’
History Tales and/or Biography
Trial and Triumph by Richard Hannula (with some omissions)
**James Ruse: Pioneer Wheat Farmer (1760 – 1808) by Jean Chapman
** ***James Cook: Royal Navy by George Finkel
*** Matthew Flinders by George Finkel
* ** Long’s Home Geography
– free online
*** The Old Man River of Australia
by Leila Pirani (thanks to Jeanne
for this suggestion)
All the Ambleside Online selections
with the exception of the optional title plus:
* How Did We Find Out About Numbers? by Isaac Asimov (short review here)
** How Did We Find Out About Vitamins? by Isaac Asimov ( Ch 1-3)
** Karrawingi the Emu
by Leslie Rees
*** Monarch of the Western Skies
: The Story of a Wedge-tailed Eagle
by C.K. Thompson
All the Ambleside Online selections plus:
*** Trim by Matthew Flinders
Getting Started with Latin
by William Linney
No set programme but I use this book as a guide for me.
selections we use are in a blog post
I did last year.
Devotions, Shakespeare, Plutarch, Hymns, Folksongs, Composer & Picture Study, Read aloud.
Free reads – as scheduled at Ambleside Online.
Other Options for Australians & New Zealanders:
Young Nick’s Head
by Karen Hesse
(Also published under the title Stowaway) Fictional but based on fact. Written in the form of a diary by a young boy, Nicholas Young, on board The Endeavour who was the first European to sight New Zealand.
At this age, I’d suggest reading it aloud. It was a while ago that I read it but do remember doing a little editing as I went.
All About Captain Cook
by Armstrong Sperry – an easier book than Finkel’s but still good.
The Cannibal Islands by R.M. Ballantyne – preview first. The author’s style is similar to G.A. Henty but his descriptions can be a bit gory!
John of the Sirius
& John of Sydney Cove
by Doris Chadwick were books a friend loaned us over 13 years ago. We managed to find our own copies about 10 years ago ($2 each) but they’re hard to find now. They’re a fun read aloud if you have younger children also and fit the time period studied in Year 4.
I considered adding A Dutchman Bold: The Story of Abel Tasman by George Finkel (152pg) in Term 1 but between the three main texts of Our Empire Story, History of Australia & Our Sunburnt Country, I thought I’d covered Tasman well. It might be a good addition anyhow if you\’re looking for a biography choice.
This chronological list of books for Australian History at Aussie Homechool was put together years ago by the CM&Friends-ANZ email group.
I keep this very simple and it’s basically the same format I’ve used for everyone. Before the beginning of a new week I look at the AO schedule for the coming week and put in the next chapters etc. for that week. I don’t have everything written on the page – eg. in week 8 we did History of Australia whereas the week before we did a chapter from Our Sunburnt Country so I do some cutting & pasting & add or subtract the boxes where necessary. There are certain things I like them to get done first (Maths & music practice for example) but that’s not reflected on the page. They just know that certain subjects need to get done earlier.
‘Education, to be successful, must not only inform but inspire.’
T. Sharper Knowlson