Monday, March 18, 2013

A is for Ambleside Online

I am so very excited that we will soon be starting Ambleside Online.  I credit this (free) curriculum for sparking my interest in Charlotte Mason when I was researching homeschooling styles and methods.  I've looked into other programs, but I keep coming back to Ambleside Online.

Preschool
So far, I have primarily been focusing on Year 0.  It is not really a year of curriculum, but rather a guide for the first 6 years before formal schooling begins.  It works very well for the preschool years.  We focused on quality children's picture books, nature study, music, poetry, forming good habits, and informal learning through puzzles and games.  It is such a gentle introduction into education and I am so glad I found it in the beginning.

impromptu nature study with dad


Kindergarten
After doing about a year of Year 0, Iron Man was ready for a little "more" during his Kindergarten year.  I have referred to this as Year 0.5 before, which is an unofficial year, sort of a bridge into formal learning.  We added a reading and math curriculum.  To enhance his nature studies he started a nature journal.  We've dabbled in a little Art and Spanish.  We had the occasional history study through holidays.  It has been a year of transition for us - formal schooling, moving and adding a sibling - but we're plugging along, and gearing up for next year.

drawing the Mayflower


First Grade
Next school year, however, he will be almost 7 years old.  We will be required to notify, and I'll be using Year 1 as our primary curriculum. We will have an actual schedule, but I love that it is flexible.  It is more of an outline than a checklist, which suits my needs perfectly.  There are weekly history, geography, science, and literature readings, but I choose when we do them.  Bible, poetry, math, copywork, and reading instruction are added daily by me.  Then our goal is to have music, art, nature study and handicrafts weekly.  I also want to be more consistent with Spanish.  In no way am I ready to have a first grader, but at the same time I am excited to offer him a rigorous education and I really hope to instill a love of learning in him.


 Blogging Through the Alphabet





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11 comments:

  1. I've looked at AO but never really did much with it - I'd like to get up the nerve to do more with it though.

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    1. I got lucky that I found it during our preschool years, so I could start with the "extras" like nature study, which is now one of my 6 year old's favorite activities! I'm also going to slowly start with one of the science selections (it has more chapters than AO actually uses) and the free reads this spring, to kind of get our feet wet with the materials before we start this fall.

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  2. We follow AO quite closely my kids are doing Year 6 and Year 4 right now. They are 12 and 10. My 4 year is having fun in Year 0. We do Apologia for science - Although we do the science biographies! It is Amazing how good it is! I wish we were better with Spanish and Nature Studies though!
    chickensbunniesandhomeschool.blogspot.com

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    1. I thought Nature Study would be the hardest for me, but I'm finding it is one of our favorites. It is artist and composer studies that are proving to be a challenge for me!

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  3. I've never heard of Ambleside, thank you for sharing. It looks like you have found a curriculum that is going to work real well for your family, and that is the greatest feeling as a homeschool mom.

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    1. Yes, it is really working for my son's learning style right now, and I love that!

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  4. Sounds like you have a good plan. Enjoy! Stopping by from BTA. Blessings!

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    1. It seems to fit my teaching philosophy and his learning style, so I am excited. Thanks for stopping by!

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  5. Sounds like a wonderful plan!!!

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  6. He's cute! :) I hope your Year 1 is awesome!

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  7. I love the concepts of Ambleside Online. We have migrated to Sonlight this year but still enjoy some of the Charlotte Mason principles in our homeschool. Great post.

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