A Tweaked Version of Ambleside Online Year 9

We finished up AO Year 9  at the end of 2019. Prior to this I had decided to combine Years 8 & 9 over 18 months. This meant making a few changes and omitting some things for various reasons. Australian titles were substituted in some areas and I’ve marked these with an *
Books written in black are from the Ambleside Online curriculum.
We only did one of Plutarch’s Lives and two Shakespeare plays during the year.
An overseas trip during August and September, some additional family matters, and preparation for a Cello exam over the course of the year meant that we were a little stretched for time.
The following is basically what we did for Year 9:

The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis
Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis

* The Flying Scotsman by Sally Magnusson – a biography of Eric Liddell

* Chariots of Fire – the movie of Liddell’s life


* Captain Cook by Alistair Maclean (I’ve written about it here – scroll down) Enjoyed by everyone here.

* My Love Must Wait by Ernestine Hill – I really liked this (review) but it was a bit too descriptive/wordy in Moozle’s opinion.

* Napoleon by Albert Marrin – a couple of my children have enjoyed this bio of Napoleon as well as  other books by the same author. A well-written & engaging book.

* Currency Lass by Margaret Reeson – all of my girls read and appreciated this book about a young woman growing up in the early days of Sydney.

Age of Revolution by Winston Churchill

* A Short History of Australia by Ernest Scott – I had books by modern historians (Geoffrey Blainey and Manning Clarke) but I prefer Scott for this time period.

* Personal, Career, and Financial Security by Richard J. Maybury 

Essays by Jane Haldimand Marcet

Ourselves by Charlotte Mason – we finished Book I
How to Read a Book – plodding along slowly with this one


The History of English Literature for Girls and Boys by H.E. Marshall
Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift
Battle of the Books by Jonathan Swift
The Vicar of Wakefield by Oliver Goldsmith
The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen


Great Astronomers 
* Men, Microbes & Living Things by Katherine B. Shippen (Biology)
Napoleon’s Buttons & Phineas Gage – both carried over from the year before

* A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson – this has been a favourite book in Year 9. It is full of evolutionary content but Bryson has a light-hearted touch and is quick to point out holes in scientific thought and the quirks of scientists through the ages.
Cosmology, Biology, Geology, Physics, Chemistry…a broad sweep of what we have discovered about the Earth and what scientists have deduced from these discoveries; odd scientists, accidental discoveries and a good amount of humour sprinkled throughout. This has been a read aloud & discuss type of book and it has generated many interesting conversations, not to mention guffaws from my daughter, over some of the stuff that has gone on in the scientific world over the past two hundred or so years. The chapters are quite long so we’ll be continuing this book in Term 1 of year 10.

Natural History/Nature Study

* All Things Bright & Beautiful by James Herriot – this is the second memoir in Herriot’s series about his life as a vet in the Yorkshire Dales in the years just before WWII.
We visited this beautiful area on our 2019 overseas trip (which I wrote about here, and here!)

* Nature Studies in Australia by William Gillies

* The Art of Poetry – I reviewed this here. This is an excellent resource but I think for some students it might be overkill. 

Plutarch: the Life of Demetrius
Shakespeare: The Merchant of Venice & Measure for Measure

The Arts by Van Loon

Free Reading

Rafael Sabatini re-reads of a number of his books. Scaramouche, * Seahawk, * Captain Blood, * The Gamester
* The Dean’s Watch by Elizabeth Goudge
* Henrietta’s House by Elizabeth Goudge   

* Murder Must Advertise & The Nine Tailors by D.L. Sayers
Agatha Christie – various
Ngaio Marsh – various
Margery Allingham – various

Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren – I bought Moozle a lovely HB copy of this as she didn’t have the book. It’s written to a much younger age level but that didn’t stop her enjoying it.

This Present Darkness & Piercing the Darkness by Frank Perretti – there are some excellent aspects touched on in both of these hard to put down books but there are also some negative elements. I though this article explained things well and it was good to discuss those points. I read the books when they first came out and found them quite inspiring but I understand the concerns stated in the article.


Longitude by Dava Sobel
A Journey to the Western Isles of Scotland by Samuel Johnson – we saved this for reading after we’d been over there.

Art & Music

For Picture Study we looked at works by John Everett Millais, Francisco Goya, and El Greco.
We’ve used YouTube videos to learn some art techniques and Pinterest for ideas at times but I wanted something more structured for Moozle to work through.
I bought the art course below just over a year ago in the Black Friday sales and it was very good, so at the end of 2019 I bought the Pastels 101 for her to work through this year. With our low Aussie dollar everything from the USA seems exorbitant to us so a decent discount is always appreciated. At the time of my writing this they have a 40% off sale for the Art School Bundle which includes Drawing, Watercolour, Oils & Acrylics, and Pastels.
I added an account for Moozle on my Instagram so she can display her prodigious art work and various projects. It’s missy_hudson05 if you want to have a peek.



During 2019 Moozle prepared for her Grade 8 Cello exam so we incorporated music by Haydn, Edward Elgar, and Ernest Bloch that she was studying into our Composer Study and read through sections of The Arts by Van Loon that were scheduled in AO 9.

A highlight of the musical side of the year was an 11p.m. orchestral performance Moozle was involved in just before Christmas for the launch of the latest Star Wars movie at a local cinema.

Clear Music Australia was recommended to me for sheet music about two years ago by one of Moozle’s accompanists. A supplier we used closed down so I had to scour ebay and random internet stores to try to find what we needed and for an instrument like the cello it was really difficult. Clear Music has been excellent – great service, reasonable prices & everything arrives quickly and undamaged (!!) so I highly recommend them.


I added this subject in Year 7 and have continued with it. The exciting thing was that in 2019 we travelled to the UK & Paris and saw some of this stuff first hand. The oldest building we have here (Elizabeth Farm) only dates back to the 1790’s so it was incredible to walk through castles, churches, and ruins that have been standing for centuries, and in some cases, millennia.


Stirling Castle, Scotland
York Minster
Bath, England
Notre Dame, Paris, September 2019


Swimming in a competitive squad continues three to four times a week with a two week break over Christmas. We’re nearly at the end of that and she’s itching to get back into training.

An example of a week’s scheduling:





14 thoughts on “A Tweaked Version of Ambleside Online Year 9

  1. What a rich and beautiful life she's living, and such a solid education you are providing.How it makes me wish we could have stayed on this. I'm glad for you and her.Congratulations on all of this.


  2. I read All Things Bright and Beautiful to my mother when visiting her and my father last week. I never tire of Herriot. You've got quite a few books that I love. And Chariots of Fire is, in my opinion, one of the best movies ever. I have yet to read a biography of Liddell, but I hope to.Did I ever tell you that I lived in Bath in the nineties. Such a great city! The Royal Crescent, Jane Austin's houses and used bookstores everywhere. Lots of fun!And can I say I love the name Moozle? It's fun to say: Moozle, Moozle, Moozle.Happy reading in 2020!


  3. Carol your posts are so inspiring! I’ll be reading over this again to check out your recommendations… just for myself. My boys gave me some Dorothy Sayers books for Christmas. How to Read a Book is really hard going but so worthwhile. I would say it is one of the books that changed my reading habits and influenced us the most. I’ll be interested in reading the article about the Perretti books. How fortunate we are to be able to give our children such a rich education! I love your reading selections!!Margaret


  4. I'm so glad to see this post today. I don't know much about Australian geography or exactly where you live, but I've been watching all the awful news about the fires there. I was praying that you & your family were not affected.Also, as ever, I love the little window into your school!


  5. Sharon, isn't Herriot just so good!? No, I didn't know that you lived in Bath. You should write a blog post on your travels. I LOVED the Bath bookshops! Lots of hidden gems there.I saw a couple standing outside a building in Bath dressed up in Austen-ish costume.I was going to update Moozle's name to something else but she didn't like any of the alternatives so I left it as is.


  6. Thank you, Margaret. Hope you've been ok up your way with the fires. We've had a little bit of rain this afternoon – so welcome! I got a nice lot of books for my birthday/Christmas that I'm looking forward to reading this year. Hope you enjoy your Sayer's reading!


  7. Thank you so much for the prayers, Ten Arrows! Much appreciated. We had a lot of smoke but no fires close enough to cause concern thankfully, as we're surrounded by bush where we are.


  8. Pingback: Coming Late to Ambleside Online – some thoughts on the high school years | journey & destination

  9. Pingback: Plans for Combining Ambleside Online Years 8 & 9 Over 18 Months | journey & destination

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