16 Sep 2008

An Australian History Rotation

Here is our 'Australianised' AO history sequence with some explanation following:

Year 1 -- early history, focusing on people rather than events

Year 2 -- British History: 1000 AD - Middle Ages

Year 3 -- Church History: The Reformation in detail
World History: 1400 - 1600 (Renaissance to Reformation)

Year 4 -- Australian History: The discovery of Australia and the explorers
World History: 1700's up to the French Revolution and American Revolution

Year 5 -- Australian History: Gold, sheep and bushrangers
World History:1800 to 1920 up to WWI

Year 6 -- Australian History: The World Wars up to the present day
World History: end of WWI to present day, then a term in ancient history

Ambleside Online's history rotation is basically a history of Western civilisation with an emphasis on America's roots in Western/British history. They schedule two rotations of history throughout the 12 years of a student's education, starting at Year 1 with the early middle ages, and progressing chronologically until Year 6 when ancient history is introduced.

Their rotation without amendments is shown here:

Year 1 -- early history, focusing on people rather than events
Year 2 --1000 AD - Middle Ages
Year 3 -- 1400 - 1600 (Renaissance to Reformation)
Year 4 -- 1700's up to the French Revolution and American Revolution
Year 5 -- 1800 to 1920 up to WWI
Year 6 -- end of WWI to present day, then a term in ancient history

Year 7 -- 800-1400's Middle Ages (Alfred, King Arthur, Joan of Arc)
Year 8 -- 1400-1600's (Reniassance to Reformation)
Year 9 -- 1688-1815 including French and American revolutions
Year 10 --1815-1901 including the American Civil War
Year 11 -- 20th Century
Year 12 -- ancient history
It is our intention to try to adhere to the AO rotation as closely as possible - after all, in that way much of the hard work is done for us! The main problem is that Australian history prior to the 1800's is very limited, causing problems in Year 3. We don't plan on doing all of the American history obviously, although we do read the biographies in Year 1 and 2.

Our solution is to spend Year 3 doing an in depth study of the Reformations of Europe and Scotland, focussing on our Reformed Presbyterian roots. We study Luther, Knox and Calvin in depth during this year.

Years 1 and 2 we use AO history as written with minor amendments in Year 2 where instead of the first few chapters of This Country of Ours we read from Alan Boardman's Great Events in Australia's History, which tells the stories of the First Fleet, the crossing of the Blue Mountains and Eureka Stockade along with Roland Harvey's amusing illustrations.

Books for Year 4 include the relevant chapters of Our Empire Story by H. E. Marshall; Arthur Baillie's Our Sunburnt Country and Eve Pownell's Exploring Australia, amongst others. Some Australian literature will bulk out the year.

There will, no doubt, be changes along the way... I'll keep you posted!


  1. Hi Jeanne,
    Really keen to read of any suggestions you have for studying the Reformation. We have Trial & Triumph but any other suggestions for children would be great!

  2. Hello there, I hope you are well. I was just wondering if you have any suggestions for year one Australian History Biography I am looking for three people, I have been searching every where for people rather than events but Australian focused but am feeling a bit lost. Thank you for your help. Have a blessed day. Tara (One Faithful Arrow)

  3. Tara, what sort of thing are you looking for? Are you looking to replace AO titles? What length of books? Are you looking for a particular era?

  4. Just a note for others who may want to know in future - The Alan Boardman stories appear to be available as individual books- and they're in my library system (hooray)!


I'd love you to leave me a message. Tell me what you like - and what you don't. Just remember that this is what we do in our family - it doesn't have to be what you do in yours...