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Saturday, September 25, 2010

Ambleside Online, Geography


Please see each AO year's booklist pages for specifics and links to resources for Geography selections (years are linked below)... 

 *See this post for AO Geography titles listed by region.* Also, see AO's rotation for covering basic Geography topics in years 1-6 here.

**Note from Fisher Academy, this information is based on AO's curriculum and is not intended to replace use of the AO site; only to enhance usability.  I have only pre-read the books up until year six so far.  Therefore, these books are listed here not because of personal recommendation, nor do I necessarily personally approve of all the books (especially those recommended as alternatives to later years, which may contain some mature content - see notes to the individual titles).
**Note from the AO Advisory: While previewing the content of mountains of books for the HEO high school years, we've been constantly aware that we cannot predict how far across that bridge other people's children may be. Families vary greatly in their views on sheltering, protecting and preparing for adulthood, so it would be futile for us to attempt to be the censor or guardian (the bridge troll?) for all House of Education Online scholars. We set a very high standard for HEO materials, and we've gone the extra mile and beyond to create and provide a Year 11 prototype that reflects excellence. However by no means do we claim to have done all the work for you! It remains the homeschool parent's job, most particularly on the high school level, to assume full responsibility for matching your child's sensitivities and sensibilities, and your family's standards, with the books you select for study.


Y1
Paddle to the Sea by Holling C. Holling

Y2
Tree in the Trail by Holling C. Holling
Seabird by Holling C. Holling

Y3
Marco Polo (various authors - see website for recommendations)

Y4
Minn of the Mississippi by Holling C. Holling

Y5
Explore the Holy Land by Ann Voskamp,
OR The Book of Marvels: The Occident and/or Second Book of Marvels: The Orient by Richard Halliburton
OR A Child's Geography of the World by Virgil Hillyer, both out of print but wonderful if you have access to them.

Y6
The Story of David Livingstone by Vautier Golding. This book could be covered in one term, leaving time to use another resource (perhaps one of the options from Year 5). Or, you may prefer to use Missionary Travels by David Livingstone, although some students have found it very dry. Livingstone's journeys were selected for their geography of Africa, so map work is vital.

Y7
* ** The Brendan Voyage by Tim Severin (there is a documentary about this journey)
*** How the Heather Looks by Joan Bodger (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.)

Map Drills

Ten minutes of map drills each week, locating places from the week's reading on a map.
Mapwork for Roman Britain and Ireland. Northern Gaul outline maps also available.
For those who would like a way to find modern town names.
An overall quiz on Medieval locations.
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.

Y8
* Christopher Columbus, Mariner by Samuel Eliot Morison (This book, especially ch 11, will require parental screening) OR The Life of Christopher Columbus by Edward Everett Hale
** *** Kon Tiki by Thor Heyerdahl
OR ** The Discovery of Muscovy etc. by Richard Hakluyt and
*** The Discovery of Guiana by Sir Walter Raleigh

Alternative suggestions are listed on page of geography options (**see end of this post).

Map Drills
Ten minutes of map drills each week - websites available
Locate places from the day's reading on a map


{The list of Geography book selections below will carry through all four HEO high school years. Please plan accordingly.}


Y9
If you wish to match your geography to the time period for year 9, we suggest you choose one to three of the following:

* London to Land's End by Daniel Defoe
** A book about the Lewis & Clark Expedition - Two suggestions are Undaunted Courage by Stephen E. Ambrose,
and Lewis and Clark by Dayton Duncan and Ken Burns. (Preview any other titles, as many books on this subject contain graphic material.)
*** A Journey to the Western Islands of Scotland by Samuel Johnson (the one online is called A Journey to the Western Isles of Scotland) currently in print, approximately 133 pages (will vary by edition).

If you wish your geography to be more current, select from our page of geography options. (**see end of this post).  (The 36-week schedule uses The Royal Road to Romance by Richard Halliburton, and Walking the Bible by Bruce Feiler.) 

Map Drills
Ten minutes of map drills each week - websites available. Geosafari (available now on CD-rom) would be sufficient.
Locate places from the day's reading on a map
Explore foreign places relevant in news and current events. (See our notes about The World and I under current events. This is a rich resource for this purpose also.)
Many countries have a tourism department, and writing to their embassies for free brochures, maps, and other travel information might be an inexpensive way to supplement geography studies.

Y10
If you wish to match your geography to the time period for year 10, we suggest you choose from the following:

Eothen by Alexander Kinglake

*** The Oregon Trail by Francis Parkman

For those who wish their geography to be more up-to-date (you may, of course, combine options, using a geography book contemporary to Year 10 one term and a more modern text in another term), select from our list of geography options (**see end of this post).

Map Drills
Ten minutes of map drills each week - websites available. Geosafari (available now on CD-rom) would be sufficient.
Locate places from the day's reading on a map
Explore foreign places relevant in news and current events. (See our notes about The World and I under current events. This is a rich resource for this purpose also.)
Many countries have a tourism department, and writing to their embassies for free brochures, maps, and other travel information might be an inexpensive way to supplement geography studies.

Y11
BOOKS - The first and last titles have been especially recommended by at least one Advisory member, but since this is a salad bar, you might prefer to choose one of the other geography options (**see end of this post), all of which were published in the 20th century.

The World: Travels 1950-2000 by Jan Morris, formerly James - well written, but there's a brief non-graphic mention of the author's gender-change operation in chapter 18, titled "Casablanca." The chapter is very short and can be skipped or removed. This book should be spread over all three terms. (This book is divided over the year in AO's posted 36-week schedule as the only geography selection)

* Endurance - The Endurance set out on the very eve of WWI--in fact, war was declared but the Prime Minister wanted the expedition to continue. Very exciting tale of survival and exploration, scientific expeditions, polar exploration, human ingenuity
OR South by Sir Ernest Shackleton - Shackleton's exploration of the South Pole on The Endurance; travel, geography, adventure

** Under the Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes - great geography book, but the movie of the same name isn't recommended

Alternative suggestions are listed on page of geography options (**see those listed below).

Ambleside Online Geography Options 

(as listed and linked from AO here)

--Books by H.V. Morton such as In Search of England, In the Steps of St. Paul, A Traveller in Rome. Morton set the standard for travel books.

--The Christmas Mystery by Jostein Gaarder--Excellent as a literary advent calendar. A journey in time as well as distance, more historical and philosophical than religious.

--Cry, The Beloved Country by Alan Paton--Great book for a glimpse into South Africa. Contains especially deep ideas that would be valuable for young people to confront. Fits particularly well in term 3 of Year 10.

--Dervla Murphy's books, such as Full Tilt. She sees the world on a bicycle. Fascinating reading, well written, and quite current. Also somewhat anti-Christian in flavor. Pre--reading recommended.

--Tracks by Robyn Davidson. A young woman crosses Australia by camel. Well written, interesting, definitely needs pre-reading (she sometimes travels nude).

--My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell. Most of Durrell's books are travel stories with conservation-minded animal collection as the purpose. They also work well as nature reading.

--Travel books such as Lonely Planet and Insight Guides. These will need a bit more parental involvement as certain readings will be a waste of time, and others less than edifying (descriptions of red light districts, for example).

--Heidi's Alp: One Family's Search for Storybook Europe by Christina Hardyment. Well written travel guide tracing the roots of children's books from Hans Brinker's Holland, to Hans Christian Anderson's Denmark and Germany. Pre-reading recommended (includes a passage about castration).

--Remember Me to Harold Square by Paula Danziger. Three kids explore New York. Basically a travel guide in fiction form.

--Naturalist by E.O. Wilson. His autobiography; well written. Theme: how his childhood interests and adventures developed into his (spectacular) adult career. Also, his Journey to the Ants is a popular book on the travel and research behind his Pulitzer prize winning book Ants. Please preview.

--Dove by Robin Lee Graham. Preview, read aloud, or save for a more mature student.

--Peace Child by Don Richardson. Mr. Richardson was a missionary who brought the gospel to a cannibalistic tribe. An amazing story of a stone age tribe's first contacts with the outside world in the early 1960's.

--Walking the Bible by Bruce Feiler (this is used in AO Year 9's 36-week schedule)

--Royal Road to Romance by Richard Halliburton - please preview (this is used in AO Year 9's 36-week schedule)

--Walk Across America by Peter Jenkins - In the 1970's, Jenkins set out discouraged with life and determined to find meaning in his existence by walking due west. The places he sees and people he meets along the way help him find answers. Sequels are Looking for Alaska, Walk Across China and The Walk West, which was co-written by his wife, Barbara Jenkins.

--Bill Bryson books (as readalouds)



The Advisory hasn't looked at these, but they come highly recommended and are worth pursuing (as listed and linked from AO here):

The Geography Behind History by Gordon East
The Last Secrets of the Silk Road by Alexandra Tolstoy
Chasing the Sea by Tom Bissell
Waugh Abroad by Evelyn Waugh
1,000 Places to See Before You Die: A Traveler's Life List, by Patricia Schultz
Almost Heaven by Martin Fletcher
The Hills is Lonely by Lillian Beckwith

Other older travel books (as listed and linked from AO here):


For those watching the budget, these are online as free etexts!
- Following the Equator: A Journey Around the World by Mark Twain
- In the South Seas by Robert Louis Stevenson, Neil Rennie (Editor)
- Sailing Alone Around the World by Joshua Slocum
- Mariner of St. Malo: A Chronicle of the Voyages of Jacques Cartier (1500's) by Stephen Leacock

4 comments:

Trisha said...

Amy,
This is so helpful! It's wonderful to be able to look at all of the resources at one time. Thanks again for your time and work in putting this together. :)

Emily said...

Fabulous lists....love it.

btw: ENDURANCE for Y11 is my favorite non fiction book of all time. (aside from religious books)

I saw my husband cry upon finishing it, so it holds a special place in my heart. :)

Silvia said...

Amy, this is great, could I take it for my resources website, the geography part? Of course your blog will be linked too.
Hugs,
s

Ginger said...

Hey Amy! Thanks for putting all these great books together. I don't homeschool, (and I don't really have a clue what Ambleside is or what Y4 means) but a great read for your boys might be:
"Carry on Mr. Bowditch" Follows the story pre American Revolution of a boy, becoming an endured servant, working hard, becoming a sailor, travelling the seas and the world (great for following on a map and geography skills), teaching others using his brilliant God-given math skills. It's a great book. (read it twice now!) I also loved Endurance - AMAZING story!

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