Category Archives: Curriculum

Rose’s Reading List

Eek! Two more days to get myself organized!

Like Jane’s list, Rose’s is quite Ambleside-influenced. However, drawing a note from Waldorf, I have spent this year working with a theme in mind for Rose’s reading: saints and heroes. This theme has made for some rich and wonderful reading, even when life turned upside-down for us during the move!

Some of the titles below are books we started last fall or even earlier and are still slowly making our way through.

Our Island Story
(with sisters—continuing from last year!).
Our Island Saints (continuing).
This Country of Ours.
Fifty Famous Stories Retold (continuing).
Tree in the Trail (with sisters).
Burgess Bird Book.
The Great Inventors and Their Inventions.
American Tall Tales by Mary Pope Osborne.
The Princess & the Goblin by George MacDonald.

Plus Latin, math, and some copywork.

A word about the history titles. Our Island Story and This Country of Ours are both o-o-old books. They are not necessarily up to date on all points. But Rose isn’t reading them in a vacuum. These books offer much opportunity for good meaty discussion. They are also engaging and interesting; they recount historical events with a tang and zest that is pretty much the definition of a living book.

Rose is an avid reader, but I will do much of the reading of these books aloud in order to make sure she goes as slowly and carefully as I wish her to, and also to keep us, well, on the same page. We also have a fat stash of good historical fiction and biographies, and I’ll keep dropping those books in her path for her pleasure reading. I’ll try to record those in a reading log, but frankly it’s hard to keep up with that kind of thing!

Again, don’t imagine that we will ‘get through’ all of these titles every single day. That is not the idea. These reading lists are arranged with our weekly rhythm in mind. A typical day might include reading and narration from perhaps three of these books, along with Latin and math. In a typical week, there might only be three such ‘typical days’! To borrow the motto of our Latin-centered friends, the idea is "multum non multa"—not many but much.   The Waldorf folks call this "entering deeply" or "living into" the material. Charlotte Mason described it in terms of connections and relationships. The tide is high, and it’s about to be all hands on deck for our winter voyage. I’m excited to weigh anchor!

Really Good Books, Right There on Your Screen

This morning, before a well-intentioned realtor played a game of Psych! with my day, I was raving to a friend about the fabulous, wonderful, incredible resource that is The Baldwin Project, and I realized I haven’t raved about it HERE nearly enough. I’ve linked to it several times, but I haven’t taaaaalllllked about it. And that’s what I do, talktalktalk about the Delightful Resources we use for the Cultivation of Mind and Spirit. (My more dignified and hyper-capitalized way of saying "fun learning stuff.")

So. The Baldwin Project. Do you all know about this? It’s books. Books that volunteers have generously devoted their time to scanning in or typing in or I don’t know how they get them IN, but they’re IN THERE, just waiting for you to read them to your kids. Print them out, download them, whatever you want. If you want a nice papery-smelling actual hard copy to hold in your bookloving hands, you can buy those at the project’s publishing arm, Yesterday’s Classics. At quite reasonable prices, I might add.

These are old books, books that went out of print or fell into the public domain. Lovely old books like Famous Men of Greece, Famous Men of Rome, The Blue Fairy Book, Among the Pond People, Tanglewood Tales, Wild Animals I Have Known, and oh how the list goes on. There are treasures here, rich books, living books, stories to make a mind soar and a heart grow.

If you’re an Ambleside Online user, you probably already know about the Baldwin Project. If it’s new to you, prepare to lose an afternoon—and gain aeons.