Review of AmblesideOnline Year 6 – the second time around

This is the second time we’ve done AO Year 6. I wrote about Benj’s beefed up Year 6 here. He was 13 years of age at the time so I made a few alterations to accomodate that. Moozle is 12 years old, and although I made some modifications here and there, most of what she did followed the schedule at AmblesideOnline.
The AO Geography schedule changed during the year and as we’d already done Halliburton’s Book of Marvels the year before, (see my Pinterest page for some resources I put together) this is what we actually did:

Ist Term:

The Story of David Livingstone by Vautier Golding

2nd & 3rd Term:

A Child’s Geography of the Holy Land by Ann Voscamp & Toni Peckover

I\’ve used this before & focussed mostly on the readings and mapping the various locations. Moozle also enjoyed making some of the recipes included in the book. This book meshed nicely with the study of the Ancients in Year 6.

And she started a Geography notebook:

History Tales/Biography

We stopped using Trial & Triumph a few years ago and Moozle continued with Passion for the Impossible, a Year 5 read that we didn’t get to finish.
In place of Genesis, Finding Our Roots, she read the alternative AO suggestion Ben Hur.


We finished the final three chapters of History of Australia & followed AO’s History schedule.
For Asian studies she read, Little Brother by Allan Baillie, which is set in Cambodia.

Australian Literature:

Golden Fiddles by Mary Grant Bruce (1928)

Natural History & Science:

We followed the AO recommendations and they were some of her favourite books.

The Sea Around Us by Rachel Carson, adapted by Anne Terry White – I read this aloud, skipping the first chapter. Actually I gave her a basic outline of the evolutionary beliefs outlined in that first section and she laughed and said, “There was a big bang and all the fishes turned into men!”
It is an exceptional book in many ways but it needs some up to date explanations in places, thank you, YouTube! I made a playlist relating to the chapters here.
My Occeanography & Marine Biology Pinterest board has some other links also.
A picture of the copy I have & the table of contents:

We also made good use of The University of Nottingham’s periodic videos when reading The Elements and The Mystery of the Periodic Table. Over the course of both these books Moozle wrote down the elements she learned on this free downloadable blank PDF of the Periodic Table.
(Edited to add: Interactive Periodic Table – in pictures & words)
Moozle has made regular entries into her science notebook which she started in Year 5. I wrote a post about some of her notebooks here.

I read aloud My Family & Other Animals by Gerald Durrell – some editing done on the go, but it’s a fun and interesting book.

We continue to use The Handbook of Nature Study by Anna Comstock plus the following Australian titles:

Nature Studies in Australia by William Gillies & Robert Hall

This one was great when we did some nature study at the beach earlier this year:

The Laws Guide to Nature Drawing and Journaling by John Muir Laws – I was unsure whether to buy this book as I didn’t know how much use we’d get out of it but we watched a couple of John Muir Laws’ videos on Youtube and they were helpful so I bought it. The book contains much that can be used wherever you live – drawing and watercolour techniques, as well as the use of other art media; observation skills, types of materials to use, working in the open & making fast and accurate field sketches; drawing landscapes. There are a few examples (some birds, a bear) that are specific to the USA, or not found here in Australia, but the methods he uses to demonstrate how to draw and journal are universal. It was definitely a good buy! Moozle has been working her way through it & has picked up many useful hints.
 Not an Aussie bird, but learning some skills with watercolour and composition…

Health: We read this book together: The Care & Keeping of You 2 

Maths:  Continuing with Saxon 76 after about five years of Singapore Maths.


We listened to a recording and read along with the script and then watched this movie. It was on Youtube but it looks like it\’s been removed.


We\’re about half way through Julius Caesar so will continue that. This life seems a bit longer than some of the others we’ve done but it’s a good one to study especially as he’s been around in a few of the Year 6 books.


At the beginning of the year we started French for Children B, published by Classical Academic Press after completing French for Children A. It’s excellent.


A combination of Getting Started With Latin and Our Roman Roots by James R. Leek, an out of print curriculum I’ve used off and on for a number of years.


We haven’t done a lot of English grammar this year as the French curriculum we’re using has plenty,  and since starting French for Children, her understanding of grammar has jumped significantly. When we do cover grammar, it’s with Easy Grammar Plus by Wanda C. Phillips, which I started using with Benj about eight years ago & continue to use. It’s different to many other grammar programmes in that it gets students to identify prepositions & prepositional phrases before anything else & once that’s done it’s so much easier to identify other parts of speech.

Free Reading (besides the AO list) Books marked with an * are ‘highly recommended.’

Devils’ Hill by Nan Chauncy (set in Tasmania)
The Red House Mystery by A.A. Milne *
Under the Lilacs by Louisa May Alcott
The Cargo of the Madalena by Cynthia Harnett
How They Kept the Faith by Grace Raymond
The Adventures of Shelock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle *

These Agatha Christie novels are in the Tommy & Tuppence series:
The Secret Adversary by Agatha Christie*
N or M? by Agatha Christie *
Partners in Crime by Agatha Christie*

The following books are by L.M. Montgomery:

Emily of New Moon *
Emily Climbs *
Emily’s Quest *
Kilmeny of the Orchard

Moozle says ‘Of course I’d highly recommend every Biggles book!! *****

Biggles & the Blue Moon
Biggles and the Missing Millionaire
Biggles Takes a Hand

All the Biggles’ titles above are out of print.

10 thoughts on “Review of AmblesideOnline Year 6 – the second time around

  1. Oh! I love the Emily books by LM Montgomery! I need to recommend them to my 13 year old. 🙂 My 10 year old has the Laws book, and she'll be working with it this year. I hope it will last her for a number of years ahead.What a beautiful education you're offering your girl. And she makes such beautiful art and astute observations. I'm so impressed!


  2. Her artwork really is well done. I know Laws' book ia great guide with clear steps, but she obviously spent careful, thoughtful work on her copying there! And I was really pleased to read this just as we were starting our year a few weeks ago. It gave me a peek at what to expect! I love the map and the science notebook entries.


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