1 Jan 2008

Our Australian Curriculum

If you look at the top of my blog you'll see a tab called Our Curriculum. It's been there since I began my blog, waiting to be filled. Here's a beginning...

We use Ambleside Online. I love it because it's Charlotte Mason in a box for the thinking homeschool mum...well almost. The only problem is, it's Americanised Charlotte Mason in a box. That's okay - if you're American. We're not.

I've tried to Australianise AO as gently as possible. The benefits of following the programme as written are numerous, and I've always been one who tries not to reinvent the wheel if it rolls.

So here's what we do. We're only up to AO2. We'll have to update the later years when we get to them. Let me know what you think, girls - I'd really appreciate your input - afterall, we're pretty isolated down here... oops...I mean us - not Australia...though that's pretty isolated as well...

Our Australian History Rotation
Our Australian Poetry Rotation
Australian History Spines


AO0 Australian booklist


AO1 Booklist
AO1 Daily Schedule

AO1 Australian literature
Dot and the Kangaroo
The Way of the Whirlwind

AO1 Natural History/Science
Old Bob's Birds by CK Thompson
Maggie the Magnificent by CK Thompson
The Wonderland of Nature by Nuri Mass

AO1 Australian Poetry
A Book for Kids C J Dennis

AO1 Additional Books for Free Reading
Snugglepot and Cuddlepie by May Gibbs
Blinky Bill by Dorothy Wall

AO1 Exams
Term One
Term Two
Term Three


AO2 Booklist
AO2 Timetable
AO2 Schedule

AO2 Australian Literature
Australian Legendary Tales

AO2 Australian Geography
Magic Australia by Nuri Mass
Trim by Matthew Flinders

AO2 Australian Poetry
The Animals Noah Forgot by Banjo Paterson
Reading list ages 6-8

AO2 Additional books for free reading
The Muddle Headed Wombat by Ruth Park(710L)
Thiele Tales - Three Long Tales for Children by Colin Thiele
Scottie in Gumnutland by May Gibbs (840L)
The Magic Pudding by Norman Lindsay

AO2 Exams
Term One
Term Two
Term Three


AO3 Schedule

AO3 Australian Literature
Seven Little Australians by Ethel Turner

AO3 Natural History
Animals of Australia in Colour by Lyla Stevens
Little Dragons of the Never Never

AO3 Additional books for free reading
A Little Bush Maid by Mary Grant Bruce
Wilderness Orphan by Dorothy Cottrell
Storm Boy by Colin Thiele
The Flyaway Highway by Norman Lindsay

AO3 Australian Poetry
60 Classic Australian Poems edited by Christopher Cheng

AO3 Exams
Term One


AO4 Booklist
AO4 Daily Schedule
AO4 Australian History

AO4 Australian Literature
Children of the Dark People by Frank Dalby Davison
The Drover's Wife by Henry Lawson

AO4 Australian Geography
They Live in Australia by Eve Pownall
Old Man River by Leila Peirani
River Murray Mary by Colin Thiele

AO4 Australian Grammar
The Little Grammar People by Nuri Mass

AO4 Additional books for free reading
Mates at Billabong by Mary Grant Bruce
Family at Misrule by Ethel Turner


AO5 Daily Schedule
AO5 Australian History

AO5 Australian History
Burke and Wills by Frank Clune
Goldseekers by Greta Knudsen
Ned Kelly by Frank Clune
The Aussie Crusaders by Joseph Bowes
The Lighthorsemen by Elyne Mitchell

AO5 Australian Natural History
Bushland and Seashore by Robin Hill

AO5 Additional Books for Free Reading
February Dragon by Colin Thiele
Stradbroke Dreamtime by Oodgeroo
Norah of Billabong by Mary Grant Bruce
Gully of Gold by Mavis Thorpe Clark

AO5 Australian Poetry
Around the Boree Log by John O'Brien


AO6 Term 1 Daily Schedule

AO6 Australian Natural History
Australian Backyard Naturalist by Peter Macinnis
Spotty the Bower-Bird and Other Stories by E S Sorenson
Australian Backyard Explorer by Peter Macinnis
Australian Backyard Astronomer by Dr Ragbir Bhathal and Jenny Bhathal

AO6 Australian History
The Flying Doctor: John Flynn and the Flying Doctor Service by Barry Brown
Nowhere to Hide by Mavis Thorpe Clarke

AO6 Additional Books for Free Reading
The Randy by Dorothy Lucie Sanders
Sun on the Stubble by Colin Thiele
From Billabong to London by Mary Grant Bruce
Karalta by Mary Grant Bruce

AO6 Australian Poetry 
Henry Lawson Poems and Stories by Dee Huxley


AO7 Australian Botany
Australian Nature Studies by J A Leach

AO7 Natural History
A Bush Calendar by Amy E Mack
Bush Days by Amy E Mack

AO7 Australian Grammar
The Word Spy by Ursula Dubosarsky
The Word Spy Returns by Ursula Dubosarsky

AO7 Additional Books for Free Reading
Jim and Wally by Mary Grant Bruce
Ash Road by Ivan Southall
Longtime Passing by Hesba Brinsmead


AO8 Australian Geology
Open Air Studies in Australia by Frederick Chapman

AO8 Natural History
News from Nature - A Selection of Seasonal Gossip by Alec H Chisholm
Bush Charms by L G Chandler

AO8 Australian Literature
The Nargun and the Stars by Patricia Wrightson

AO8 Additional Books for Free Reading
Captain Jim by Mary Grant Bruce


AO Australian Government
Australian Flags

AO9 Additional Books for Free Reading
Pastures of the Blue Crane by Hesba Brinsmean
My Brilliant Career by Miles Franklin
Back to Billabong by Mary Grant Bruce
Billabong's Daughter by Mary Grant Bruce


  1. Wow! This is great! You are going to have such a following in years to come as AO is quite American, you've made it so much easier for Aussies to follow it. Thank you so much! I'll be definitely referring to your list for Aussie books for us:)

  2. Except many Americans find it to "English"--not enough American history!! You've done a great job developing this. Some day I hope to be able to read some of the lovely children's books on Aus that you've put up on your blog. All those sun hats!!

  3. And you have all the *Billabong* books yet to go, 7 Little Australians, the Colin Theiles, Elinor Spence, Hesba, Brinsmead....so many wonderful choices. It is nice to see an Aussie doing this though I admit I like the American choices just because they are less likely to be books I've read! ☺

  4. Thank you so much for doing this - for sharing your expertise and doing the hardwork. I shied off Ambleside for the first few years because of it being so American.

    We're making good use of your suggestions, many are unfamiliar to us. Thankyou so much!

    We are now waiting for your AO3 lists! I think we are pretty much at the same place as you are, in the last term of AO2....

  5. Hi Jeanne my homeschool mentor!
    Is there any chance you'll be updating this with your book lists for AO3 and AO4 ? No pressure :) just thought I'd ask:)

  6. Working on them as you speak!! I didn't realise I hadn't posted them. Sorry.

  7. YAY...I'm hanging out to see AO4!

  8. Jeaane this is great! Thank you! We have decided to join you and others from Oz in following the AO program next year. With 5 (soon to be 6) children in different year levels I am shaking in my boots! I kid you not! :) However, with glass of chilled wine in hand, and a prayer for grace and sanity, I am planning our next year. So happy you have led the way for the likes of me! I have a bazillion questions to ask you, but this wine is starting to kick in so they'll have to wait for another time ;) I don't 'spose you've any thoughts re australianising years 6, 8 or 10?? *cheeky grin* Mel x

  9. Hi Thank you for your Aussie links ! I'm your newest follower. Find me at Every Bed of Roses. Love this list. As an immigrant I am not familiar with Australian literature so this list is invaluable to me. Thank you for taking the time to put it up here :)

  10. I would be the American that finds AO too British. We've been using Story of the World to learn history and reading some of the AO Lit and loving it. Love that you've adapted the curriculum to fit your needs. What I love about AO drives my home schooling mama buddy quite mad, because I slow down to absorb info as it suits my boy. Love that about CM. Your blog is quite inspiring. Thanks.

  11. This comment has been removed by the author.

  12. Hi Liz, I left you a message on Google+. Did you get it? I don't actually use Google+ myself, although I have a profile. Facebook is better for me!

  13. Thank you Jeanne for all the work and willingness to share your Aussie AO curriculum. I have found it enormously helpful. I am still trying to get my head around how to go about a few things with ds11 but I have really enjoyed moving along with dd5, she will be through her books in no time! Thank you thank you for all the Aussie links. You have helped make tackling our choices no so daunting. I can even see ahead. Blessings

  14. Not sure if you have looked on Mater Amabilis. Its Catholic based but the subjects listed for books have Australian recommendations. I use MA and AO.

  15. I'm an Aussie living in the US. My kids are dual citizens currently aged 3 and 4. Will be loosely following Ambleside Online and am so thankful to have found your site!

  16. We have just started ao1 with my oldest (of 4 children) and I was just going to go exactly as they have planned out. I will add these aussie books in too, thank you so much.
    I recently found a few of these titles in my local op shop, 7 little Australians, a bush calander, snuggle pot and cuddle pie, blinky bill. We also listened to snugglepot book on cd we borrowed from the library.
    You have a new follower in me 😊

  17. Grace, don't forget to remove books as well. Most of these are substitutions, not additions to AO. Thank you for following me. :)

  18. How do I know what to substitute it for? We aren't reading trial and triumph or the American history ones.

  19. We in AO1 we did read the American bios. I figured it was important to know about those great men, even if they were American!

    Generally, I never add to AO, so use my suggestions instead of the similar category in AO. Aussie Geography instead of Geography, Aussie natural history instead of the recommended American title. And so on.

  20. Hi,

    Thank you so much for your hard work - I am avidly following as I start #1 of 4 on the AO path!

    I note that I can't see your AO7 or 8 schedule, timetable or booklists here. Would it be possible for you to link to where those are on your blog? Also, I can't seem to view your Yr 1 schedule at all - Scribd tells me it can't convert it to downloadable format?

    Thank you again

  21. Hi Jeanne. I've been following you and reading many of your articles since 2011. The time has come when I need to start thinking to find resources for year caro. I'd would appreciate to know if there is an Australian list for this year? Thanks. Natilla.

  22. What year are you after, Natilla?

    1. Jeanne. I'm after an Australian book list for year 0. I have been using the Ambleside list for year 0, but I would like to know if you can recommend an Australian list? Regards. Nat(Natilla).

  23. Heh. You know, when I started this blog, one of my first plans was to put together an Aussie Year 0 list. I've never done it. So sorry. Perhaps this is the impetus I need.

    1. Yes! A booster to your comment. Jeanne I am just a wee enthusiast of this philosophy and I am pretty sure if you ask your close CM friends they will share their good Australian living books with you. I don't know anyone to ask to be honest. I don't use the social network to ask. I would appreciate your help. God bless.

  24. Www.homeschoolingdownunder.Com has a great list of books.
    CM oriented mostly.
    Jeanne I'm keen to do more AO but have shied just because I don't think I can handle being that scheduled. I'm adding more to my day gradually and in years to come hopefully I'll cope better.
    Thanks for all your work.

  25. Hello!
    I am new to your website (and to homeschooling). I am about to start my daughter on Grade 1 and was intrigued to see your denomination.

    We are Psalm singing Reformed Baptists. We attended the PCEA church when we lived in Sydney and grew to love the Psalms, and now we are very much Psalm only singers. :)

    Anyway, my actual question is; do you know of anything helpful for teaching the Bible to a First Grade student? I know there are plenty of Bible studies available but I would love a Reformed one (as in, sensible in nature and without 'pictures' of Jesus/God, etc). We do two Bible readings a day and explain the passage and we sing Psalms, but I was hoping for something to help my tired mind :)

    Thanks for reading and for any advice :)

    1. Hi Ella, did you end up finding what you're looking for? My families convictions sound similar to yours so would love to hear your outcome :)


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  29. Any chance of sharing what you used in years 10-12?

  30. Hi Jeanne,
    Just wondering if you can tell me a little bit about "News from Nature - A Selection of Seasonal Gossip by Alec H Chisholm". I would like to use it but it's pricey. Is it worth it do you think? What's the reading level like? And is it an example of a great Aussie living book? Thanks, Jeanne, love your blog, so helpful

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