Ambleside Online Year 12 in Australia

Year 12 has looked different every time we’ve done it. These are my initial, to be updated, plans for this year for my daughter who’s just turned 17 using some selections from Ambleside Online (those are marked with an *) and adding other material I’d like her to cover. We’re going into Week 3 as I write.

I’ve always used a tick the box schedule (on the left of the photo above) but this year Miss M is using the list schedule (I printed out both anyhow) – above right, and keeping a diary for activities like swimming, workouts, cello, part-time work and reminders.


New Testament with Commentary (N.T. Wright’s Early Christian Letters For Everyone)

In the Steps of St. Paul by H.V. Morton – a wonderful combination of Early Church History and the Geography and culture of those times.

* The Call by Os Guinness – we did this over two Terms


* The History of the Ancient World by Susan Wise Bauer – this is 896 pages long so I’ve scheduled about 21 pages a week over the whole year.

* The Consequence of Ideas by R. C. Sproul – update: we used this for Term 1 and then changed to How Now Shall We Live by Charles Colson and Nancy Pearcey

* Quo Vadis by Henryk Sienkiewicz

I’ll be adding in some worldview/modern times/Australian Politics books after I’ve raided my eldest son’s bookshelves 🙂



* Till We Have Faces by C. S. Lewis 

* Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

Shakespeare’s Henry VIII

I’ll probably add to this list later on.


* Poemcrazy: Freeing Your Life with Words by Susan G. Wooldridge

The Well-Read Poem Podcast – we’re listening to two different poems each week and have really appreciated the presenter’s ‘historical and intellectual background, elements of poetry & light explication’ of the selections.

Current Events/Essays/Speeches

We’ll use some of the AO speech selections and also some Australian resources, one of which is John Anderson’s Conversations.

Update: added Conspiracy by Tom Phillips & Jonn Elledge


Novare General Biology – we started this just over a year ago and I decided to spread the work out over about 18 months and add in some other living books related to the areas covered. This year we’ll be covering Human Organ Systems and Ecology so I’ve selected some chapters from Bill Bryson’s The Body for Miss 17 to read alongside, and Rachel Carson’s superb book of natural history, Under the Sea-Wind.

Uncle Tungsten is a biography that captures the author’s mania for chemistry and the books he read to fuel that obsession as he was growing up. Some mature content in this so I would definitely leave it for an older student.

Selected chapters from The Joy of Chemistry

Theodore Gray’s books are very attractive and interesting and my daughter wanted to read Reactions as she has really enjoyed the other two in this series, The Elements and Molecules. By doing all three you cover a good amount of chemistry, especially combined with the book above that provides ‘straightforward demonstrations that can be carried out in the kitchen or garage,’

Ten Equations That Changed the World by Michael Guillen – the story behind five mathematical equations that have shaped the modern world and the scientists that discovered them. The author’s website is here.

Update: added Darwin’s Black Box by Michael J. Behe


A Traveller in Rome by H.V. Morton

Nature Study

Weekly nature notebook entry; botany in the garden – propagating plants etc.

Grammar and Composition

I’m looking over the books we have, e.g.

Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation by Lynne Truss

The Lively Art of Writing by Lucille Vaughan Payne

Daily written narrations; poetic narrations

Weekly Commonplace entry

Foreign Language

Latin Alive – we put this aside for a while but picking it up again this year.

French – using the Duo Lingo app for 10 minutes a day.


* A Meaningful World by Benjamin Wiker and Jonathan Witt

* Ourselves by Charlotte Mason

? Plutarch – possibly not

Other Interests We Make Time For

Cello & Musicianship lessons



Health & Nutrition – podcasts, reading, cooking


Free Reading

I don’t tend to schedule this unless there are particular books I’d like her to read because she reads widely, re-reads her favourites, and is always asking me for more books.

Her recent reading includes: Rex Stout, Louis L’Amour, Ngaio Marsh, Agatha Christie re-reads, Grace Livingstone Hill, Nevil Shute, Meredith Nicholson, E.C. Lorac, A.E. Mason.

6 thoughts on “Ambleside Online Year 12 in Australia

  1. Hi Carol,

    You are organised – week 3! I will be lucky to be ready for week 1 next week.

    I like your choices and had wondered about Australian politics so that is helpful.

    I noticed you used to use Apologia for science and wondered how you find the Biology and Chemistry choices you listed by comparison? Some of my kids are finding the high school Apologia a bit dry but I have them as resources on the shelf already so don’t necessarily want to spend more and then find out it wasn’t a good fit, although I know there will always be an element of trial and error.

    My eldest daughter will actually be going to Augustine College this year which she is looking forward to and which will be a big change for her. You were one of the first people I heard about it from. Actually, she found Echoes of Greece good and yet I noticed you didn’t include that in your selection. She struggled a bit in reading A Meaningful World and didn’t end up finishing it.

    Anyway, thanks for sharing the above post.

    Kind regards,



    • Hi Gillian,

      Lovely to hear from you. I will be interested to hear how your daughter goes with Augustine as it’s been 6 years since my son, Benj, the first year the Cert IV was offered. I imagine it’s quite different now in how it’s run.
      My friend’s son who started with Benj, was on staff for a year or two but finished up at the end of last year & of course, the Academy has relocated way out of Sydney. It has changed in other ways – some of the staff there at the beginning have moved on and 6 years ago attendance was only 2 days a week. Now they have a couple of families there, too, helping out.

      Re Apologia: we used this for some of our older children. My eldest daughter’s degree required Chemistry as a pre-requisite and Apologia suited her very well as she was strong in maths. I do like that the experiments are suitable to do at home and I managed to get the supplies fairly easily. I might use some of them this year.
      My youngest has done very well with AO’s science selections over the years so I was happy to continue with individual books instead of using a textbook for Chemistry.
      The Novare General Science is quite dense which is why I’ve spread it over a longer period and it doesn’t have as much of a textbook feel to me. It probably helps that she really enjoys biology.

      I didn’t schedule Echoes of Greece because I don’t have the book and felt that we already had enough books on Ancient Greece! I don’t want to pack too much into her schedule, either.
      I always fiddle with my plans as we go!
      Enjoy your year and I hope your daughter thrives in her new venture.


  2. Great program!
    Till We Have Faces by C. S. Lewis is complicated, but at least it can be combined with the review of an important Greek myth!
    I am actually native French and teach French online one on one. My home-schooled students are the most motivated and the best. It was fun preparing one to the tough AP exam last year, and she got the highest result, %, which is not easy in French. And this year, I prepare one of my students to the International Baccalaureate. In case your daughter wants to speed up her French, I teach through Skype (preference, but also with Zoom and Google Meet).
    I thought of you recently, as a friend offered us a gorgeous birding book, and lots of it is on Australian birds:
    I’m reading a bit everyday, and should be able to write a review on it next month

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Emma,

      I enjoyed ”Till We Have Faces” so much. I will keep your lessons in mind. I did know you offered these but I thought the time difference would be too messy to work through. Congratulations on your student doing so well! My daughter hasn’t done a lot of French in the past year so I wanted her to get back into a regular habit with it and then decide what to do.
      The bird book sounds great. Will look forward to your review. I’m always on the look out for good natural history books.


  3. Love keeping up with your learning schedules.
    I just read a book by A. Bennett This Thing Called Literature.
    I didn’t like everything in the book (review on blog next month) but the chapter “How to read a play” was very good! (*helps especially reading Shakespeare!) Also there was a chapter “Thinking” …trying to develop critical reading skills.
    Each chapter had books for further reading…and I found one or two I liked! So, if you see this book in the library….have a look!

    Liked by 1 person

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