Regardless, I am a homeschooling mum, and I do teach my daughter on pretty much all weekdays. Right now we're on term break. Which is nice. This morning I've read The Horse and His Boy aloud to Jemimah, and she's read Pollyanna aloud to me. (Listening to children read is underrated, I say.) She's given me a foot massage, and styled my hair in ever so many ways, and I've sat there chatting with her about life, the universe and everything, and loving every single moment. We're just back from a lovely stroll to the shops in the gorgeous autumn sunshine, and we're shortly heading back out to eat our salad sandwiches on the lawn. Our tomatoes, our lettuce, our basil, our cucumber. Tinned beetroot. Ahem! Holidays are good.
Apart from the good stuff, I've been planning Term Two. You'll recall that given our history rotation we're up to our first year of Australian history, and it occurred to me that some of you might be interested to know what we've been doing with that, and how I went about deciding what we would do.
Australianising Ambleside Online is not easy. The ladies of the Advisory have done a jolly good job at selecting not only the history spines of the curriculum, but also the literature choices that flow on from there. Not surprisingly, since most of the ladies are American, there is a significant US slant, and I think they would make no apology for that bias. The trouble is, while they have biased Charlotte Mason's techniques toward the American, I want to do the same toward the Australian.
The AO curriculum uses more American poets than I want to; more American artists; more American composers. Imagine my Australian daughter growing up not knowing the poetry of Banjo Patterson, C J Dennis, Lindsay Gordon, "John O'Brien" and Oodgeroo Noonuccal. Imagine her not knowing the art of the Heidelberg School, Albert Namatjira, Grace Cossington Smith, Arthur Boyd, John Olsen, Rover Thomas and Emily Kame Kngwarreye. Imagine not teaching her the music of Percy Grainger and the carols of Wheeler and James!
Then there's the geography of our great land, and its history and its literature and its folksongs and its unique flora and fauna. Adding all of this into the fantastic curriculum that is AO - without adding significantly to the amount of work we are requiring from my daughter - has been a real challenge, as I attempt to tailor this wonderful curriculum to the needs of my family.
To explain in one post how I've attempted to 'fix' all of this would make for an incredibly long probably very boring post. I'll explain it in bits though, if any of you are interested. Today, however, I thought I would show what we're doing for AO4 history, and how we go about doing that. If you want to follow along, here we go:
- Firstly, I looked at the AO History rotation, and considered what substitutions I would need to make given the relative youth of our country compared to that of America, which is, itself, a mere toddler when compared to Miss Mason's England. With a bit of tweaking I came up with Our Australianised AO History Rotation.
AO4 is the beginning for us, really. The rotation says:
Year 4 --
Australian History: The discovery of Australia and the explorers
World History: 1700's up to the French Revolution and American Revolution
- Next I divided the year down into terms. It looked like this:
Term 1: Aborigines and Discovery
Term 2: Captain Cook
Term 3: The First Fleet and Matthew Flinders
- Then I took a look at my bookcase, choosing books both for History, as well as complementary history spines. I added the relevant books to our History Plan. That looks like this (sorry the formatting doesn't work):
Ambleside Online Year 4 Australian History
Term 1 Aborigines and Discovery
Our Sunburnt Country Ch 1 The Land of the Dreamtime
The Story of Australia Ch 1 A Hidden Country and its People
CHOW Ch 71 Charles I 1600
The Story of Australia Ch 2 The Hidden Land is Found Portugal/Dutch 1605
CHOW Ch 72 Louis XIII 1601-43
The Story of Australia Ch 3 A Dutch Sailor Tasman 1642
The Story of Australia Ch 4 The British come Dampier 1699
Children of the Dark People by Frank Dalby Davison 14 Chapters
Term 2 Captain Cook
Our Sunburnt Country Ch2 New Visitors to an Old Land Cook 1660-1761
The Story of Australia Ch 5 Captain James Cook Cook 1770
CHOW Ch 74 Prussia Frederick 1740-86
Our Island Story Ch 45 Loss of America George III 1776
CHOW Ch 75 American Revolution George III 1776
James Cook Royal Navy by George Finke 19 Chapters 1770
Bennelong by Joan Phipson 9 Chapters 1770-1813
Term 3 The First Fleet, Matthew Flinders
The Story of Australia Ch 6 British Settlement 1st Fleet 1788
Our Sunburnt Country Ch 3 The Came and Stayed 1st Fleet 1788
The Little Wooden Horse 1st Fleet 1788
The Story of Australia Ch 7 Trouble and Wool Bligh
Our Sunburnt Country Ch 4 Rum and Rebellion Bligh
The Story of Australia Ch8 Bass and Flinders Flinders 1795
Our Sunburnt Country Ch 5 Bass and Flinders Flinders 1795
John of the Sirius by Doris Chadwick 21 Chapters 1787
Matthew Flinders by George Finkel 7 Chapters 1795
- Next, I looked at the relevant chapters for each time period. You can see that above as well.
- Finally, I worked them into the AO weekly schedule. That's what I'm working on for Term Two right now. If you would like to see what I come up with for Term Two, and what worked surprisingly well for Term One, leave me a comment and I'll get right on it...as they say in the classics...or on telly...or somewhere, anyhow.
Let me know if you want quick reviews on all the books as well. I can do that - in fact I'd love to do it for you if you want me too, but it is a bit of a wast of time otherwise, don't you agree?
Will you be watching? What will you be eating?
So nice of Wills and Kate to time their wedding just for us in Oz, wasn't it? It'll be just in time for dinner on Friday night here. Some of you will need to wait until some dreadful hour of the morning. I s'pose you'll need to serve Smoked Kippers. Or Kedgeree - that would be quite Imperial, now, wouldn't it, and not too OTT for brekky with the girls.
Perhaps I'll offer that if our ladies don't go home in time...maybe.
Okay, I'm a bit silly. Sorry. Royal weddings do that to a girl.