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Friday, October 21, 2011

Our Year 7 with Ambleside Online!

I never thought this day would come. Didn't I? Javen and Cullen are growing up. I cannot believe it. Or can I? This summer was one of marked change in them, and still more upon returning to Peru. I'm so impressed with them lately. It has been so fun to begin to share more 'grown up talk' with them over the last several months. I love it. But still, it makes me feel so old.

Ah, yes. Year 7.

This is the year that the transition becomes most noticeable, from elementary-ish school level to the higher studies. It is clearly reflected in their weekly checklist. They've got a lot of interesting things to do this year. They're excited, I'm excited; we are ALL excited.

Because I tend to think more clearly in ink or type, the plan of our first term follows. :)

This year we'll be continuing to concentrate on:
The habit of attention. Strengthening the will.
"The student may be compelled by a necessity which he recognises, or stimulated by compitition: the latter is a poor broken reed, and the former he will rightly try to escape, unless he has somehow come to regard his study as a duty--the "something which has to be done, whether it pleases anybody or nobody":--otherwise he will detest and resist atoms and molecules as strenuously as accidence and syntax, or any other subject that can be laid before him."

AOy7, Term 1

Gospel of John.  Commentary by VanRyn, or in the absence thereof, Tasker's.

Book of Centuries will accompany and mapwork is to follow the history readings: Birth of Britain, Ecclesiastical History of the English People, King Alfred, The Brendan Voyage. We'll use an ancient map of Brittania, a map showing Britain as part of the Roman Empire, and a modern map for Brendan Voyage and for Map Drill (specifically UK).

We will be using Ourselves as our own family book club reading. We will meet weekly to discuss (preferably over tea :).  I'd like to do a map of Mansoul as we go along... we'll see.

Plutarch's Lives, Poplicola - read aloud (use Anne's AO study guide). I'll probably mostly look at the study guide myself and only address things if/when they come up. With discussion questions, I hope to help them to observe in order to outline a character sketch at the end of the term. **They REALLY love Plutarch!**

Whatever Happened to Penny Candy
Current Events: Student News Daily and World Magazine's Top story. Weekly, make an entry in written narration notebook, "This Week in History."

Literature for the first term includes: Watership Down, The Once and Future King, English Literature for Boys and Girls, Age of Chivalry, Ivanhoe

All readings will continue to be narrated as in all years of a CM education. This first term of y7, I will require weekly:  
  • 1 or 2 - written narrations from their choice of readings (gently edited);  
  • 1 - science lab book entry;  
  • 1 - 'This Day in History' narration/blog post (self-edited). 
In addition to these, there will be one supervised copywork, several commonplace notebook entries, and one or two studied dictations. This pretty much means they will be writing every day, maybe more than once! This is a huge jump from last year.

Poetry: Daily reading from Lord, Alfred Tennyson and/or The Timeline of English Verse.
Grammar of Poetry: one lesson/week
Grammar: one lesson/week using Our Mother Tongue.

Recitation: We'll have one (15min) lesson every couple of weeks to practice, go over pronunciation, presentation as outlined here. They'll go over their selection daily. They may choose from Last Words of Chaucer, Lady Clare, Sir Galahad, Henry V's prayer before Agincourt, or part of Locksley Hall.  If they have something good that they'd much rather do, by all means I'll allow it! :)

Shakespeare: We'll first finish reading aloud Romeo & Juliet (by the boys' request) and continue with Henry V.  I am encouraging them to come up with creative narrations of this reading, such as dramatized narration, comic strip, etc.

Math – Continue MEP y6 math – 1 lesson/day. In Tarapoto, finish Life of Fred Decimals - 30min/day,  continue with Live of Fred Pre-Algebra.
Apologia's Physical Science – (use science lab book for narrations – spread a lesson over 2 weeks). Read this article on the necessity of keeping a science lab book.

Nature Study - This year we'll be once again shooting for almost daily entries (minimum 2/week). This will depend greatly upon how often we make time to get outside... it being seriously more difficult here in Trujillo on the fourth floor! Entries may include any of the following: sketch an object w/ watercolors, monthly tree observations, maintaining bird & plant lists, recording phases of the moon, etc.  Read: Lay of the Land.  Read: an article outlining Nature Journals.

Folksongs:  follow AO rotation + specific to year 7,  Bold Robin Hood and the Pedlar, The Three Ravens, The Outlandish Knight. Watch youtube videos here and here.  Here's a post illustrating why folksongs are so valuable.
Hymns: He Leadeth Me, Dear Lord and Father of Mankind & He Hideth My Soul
(see AO hymn page for lyrics, links and midi files)

Composer Study: Mozart. All of his music can be found free online here. I have the Opal Wheeler book, which I plan to use as well as simply listening to the music whenever we think to.
Artist Study: Fragonard. We'll use this book, read this biography and look at these prints.
The Story of Painting.
Music: Guitar and Singing practice, 15min/day (would love to pay for lessons?)

Latin: Getting Started with Latin. 2-3 lessons/week.
"It follows that we must look elsewhere to find grounds for preferring one study to another, or, indeed, for requiring the young to study anything beyond those elements which have become necessaries of life for civilized mankind. The only safe ground is educational value: the worth of study as the means of suppling and strengthening the intellect, over and above that moral value which belongs to all forms of work."

At home, we speak English and Spanish. The kids are learning Spanish without even trying. As for lessons, we do read to them in Spanish, and they narrate back. We sing in Spanish at home and at church. Our friends speak Spanish... etc. But apart from that, we are not pushing formal lessons at this time.

FrenchThe Easy French
(Unfortunately, this will only happen sporadically; ideally, in Trujillo, as we have native-speaking French friends here. There is even a French Club! But, seeing as this first term, we will be concentrating on regaining our routine after furlough and before traveling again, we have to postpone the more intense study of French for another term at least.) In the meantime, I'm looking forward to looking over Anne's posts on their French studies.
"The language chosen should differ widely from the mother-tongue of the student, because sharp contrasts, as of black ink on white paper, more readily fix the attention and stick in the memory. It should also be at least equal to the mother-tongue as an instrument of thought, and it should be capable of stimulating the mind of the learner by introducing him to new ideas and unfamiliar ways of looking at the world around him. Finally, as it is not to be an end in itself, but a means of awakening the intellect to a consciousness of the delicate differences and shades of meaning conveyed by slight variations of expression, it should be a language which will not be required to be employed with the glibness of every-day intercourse." 
Health: We will begin with Fearfully & Wonderfully Made when we arrive back in Tarapoto (the book is there!)

Another couple of things new and exciting to this year (y7) are the Commonplace Notebook and the Book of Centuries. Read this article for the merits of starting your own Commonplace Notebook, and here for your BoC.

Work: continue with chore list.
Physical Education: Run with Mom & Dad, 3x/week. Soccer in the park with neighborhood kids, 2x/week.
Handiwork: Sand and paint tables.

Free Reads: 30min/day as a suggestion. Please plan accordingly to finish by end of year.

Nature Journal
Copywork Notebook (technically, this is being phased out, soon to be replaced by Commonplace)
Written Narration Notebook - all written narrations, including 'This Week in History'
Commonplace Notebook - to take down memorable quotes, living ideas as stated by other authors.
Book of Centuries
Science lab book - pretty informal at this point.
Math Practice Book
Personal Journal (personal/spiritual, private)

Helpful Links:
This plan is based almost exclusively from the AO Year 7 recommendations: See here.
Would you like to see this plan for yourself? Download here.
I've created a handy-dandy checklist to hang on the fridge for AOy7, term 1. Download here.
Can I just say that I love how Naomi approaches scheduling?! Read about her schedule here.


Jeanne said...

Oh my goodness - this is so impressive! I'm so, so, so glad you're ahead of me.

Jeanne said...

Ho Ho - I think you were visiting me while I was visiting you!!

Kathy said...

I'm glad to look this over. It's nice to see what others are doing. What an exciting year for you!

MarshaMarshaMarsha said...

i love the book choices. i wonder if my kids will ever love plutarch one day... but we still have time, right?

i am excited for y'all as you get back into your routine. personally, it makes me happy.

Pam... said...

I is fun to get those new lists and find those books and get them on those shelves...
Such good books too! And from a trusted site. The boys will catch your enthusiasm. And will catch theirs back as they narrate. Bravo!

So dumb question. In Peru is school time just starting up? Or do you school year round and it is time for the new listings?

amy in peru said...

not a dumb question. :) we follow the US school year in general just to be at the same term as everyone else (more or less) on AO.
But we do school year round. This year has been way wacko because of furlough, so it took WAY longer to finish y6 than it should have, and so we're just now starting the new year. the Peruvian school year is the same as most S. Hemisphere countries? March-December because our summer months are December-March. It is SO weird to have a warm Christmas. SO weird. :)

amy in peru said...


I think Plutarch does grow on you, but I don't remember them ever strongly disliking it either. It does help some that *I* love Plutarch! ;)

Sarah said...


How much time do you spend doing schoolwork daily? Are the boys pretty independent? This is my first year having to break the kids up into two learning groups and it's taking a lot longer than I thought it would!

amy in peru said...

It'd be really hard to say because we haven't had a 'normal' week yet. I wanna say, if we were diligent, that we'd finish by 2pm or so. But the days are so varied by interruptions and I have pockets of free time here and there while they work on their different things... I don't even know.

I usually have a routine worked out, but with things as unsettled as they are (not knowing when exactly we'll be moving back to the jungle, and from there where we'll be living, etc), I'm not sure it'd be worth it quite yet. Things are sure to change again very soon!

But I'd like to say that we could finish everything that they need me for in 4 hours or less everyday?

Anonymous said...

So how are you including the youngers? Your schedule looks amazing and organized! Good job!

amy in peru said...

Hi Kari! (aka: gkbolivia)

I just posted on the younger kids schedule here:
Our Combined Year 1/2 with Ambleside Online


Phyllis said...

I'm just seeing this now, and I'm curious, have you been able to do anything visual with Mansoul? I keep wanting to, but haven't done it on my own.

amy in peru said...

Just discovered a great link for old England maps (and tons more) for using with Birth of Britain...

lindafay said...

Amy, I believe you are on the Ambleside Auxiliary board. I would like to know why the posting of my book choices for year 7 is considered a copyright violation by Ambleside but clearly you have posted your choices here. I would very much appreciate an explanation. Thank you, lindafay

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