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  • Reviewed on Tuesday, October 23, 2012
  • Grades Used: Year 1
  • Dates used: Part of 2011 and now 2012
After using FIAR for 3 1/2 years I didn't know I could be so happy about another curriculum! AO is fantastic! We started using Y1 when dd was in 1st (6 yo) and it was too soon. But now at 7 yo and in 2nd grade AO Y1 fits like a glove. So right from the start I would suggest when considering placement, one also consider the books scheduled in AO are advanced.

My love for AO is shared by my dd. She loves each and every book we have used! One plus is the reading variety. British history, church history, animal stories, fairy tales, study of birds, gentle geography, parables and Shakespeare.

My dd is loving nature studies, art studies, and composer studies.

I also use the copy work book (downloadable) which includes passages from all of the Y1 books. My dd loves this also! She will copy the passage and illustrate it. From this I can tell that she is truly getting a lot out of the reading because her illustrations are all about what we read. From the copy work she is learning spelling, punctuation, grammar usage, and handwriting.

AO is very well organized and easy to use. The literature is top of the line. You have the option of downloading to e-readers or print up many of the books making this a very economical option.

There is now an AO forum where you can get much support and discuss all things Ambleside/CM.


  • Reviewed on Tuesday, November 2, 2010
  • Grades Used: 5th - 6th
  • Dates used: 8/2010 - present
I have been aware of AmblesideOnline for a little over a year. We have been homeschooling for 3 1/2 years, doing something different every year. (I am a little ADD!) I have been drawn to the Charlotte Mason method, but have been afraid to try it. I was torn over which curriculum to use this year, and had prayed extensively about it. I was convicted to put away all my 'how to homeschool' books and go w/ AmblesideOnline.

I do not regret this decision!

I am so pleased with this curriculum and pray that we will stay with it throughout our homeschooling adventures! I love the history! There are a lot of different books to read, it keeps me from being bored. (I know it's not about me, but if I can't stay focused, I can't teach my kids!). My kids love the Wild Animals I have Known by

I printed off year 5, both book list and schedule, and use it for both kids. I use a teacher's planner book. I write the subject headings at the top of the page, and list the assignments in the corresponding boxes. It's easier for me to check off, and easy for hubby to follow when I need him to take over for a day or so. We do not do all the items assigned - I am not into mythology, and haven't gotten the appropriate geography book yet.

We also do Saxon math, A Beka Language Arts, Apples spelling & phonics, Latina Christiana, George Washington's World, Reading Drills, Bible, Penmanship, and Reading Drills. (some of these are every day, some aren't).

We haven't gotten to the Art or Music Appreciation yet. Even though we don't do all that is listed, we still take 4+ hrs a day to school. I work 2 pt jobs from home and have 3 other kids to tend to. My day flies away!

I hope to get into the routine of Art & Music as well. Maybe after Christmas.

I really love this approach and wish we had this when my kids were younger!


  • Reviewed on Monday, March 29, 2010
  • Grades Used: 2-3
  • Dates used: 2009-2010
Ambleside Online and the Charlotte Mason approach have revolutionized our homeschool. We used a couple of different workbook and textbook based, school-at-home programs before. They were useful in terms of making me comfortable homeschooling because they were very structured. But there were so many times when I would realize: my kids can't wait to get done with school so we can get to their "real" books. Charlotte Mason and AO is all about real books! My children love the books they are reading. Using narration to demonstrate their comprehension makes so much sense: listen to what they learned, what they know, rather than tripping them up on what they don't know, or what someone has decided are the predigested "important" facts. CM is VERY EASY to do. My biggest word of advice is to trust the process. We are combining grades-- 2nd and 3rd-- and my kids are able to do more than the AO schedule outlines without being overwhelmed. This simplifies things for me, and works for our family, but maybe not for others. I would have to say that I am especially impressed with history. I must qualify that by saying that some of the AO history books have a Protestant slant that contradicts my Catholic faith and has been, in a very few instances, ahistorical. I have had to correct that with my kids. But apart from that, they love the history books and remember a remarkable amount. In AO, they are not doing as much writing at an early age as they might in another curriculum, and that worried me at first because of concerns of "keeping up." But they are learning loads, they love school, and it is so important to compose their thoughts before struggling with them on paper, or else the joy is killed. I do have my kids do book reports-- but they narrate them while I type, and when they can just think and remember and tell what they know without the impediment of writing skills that are beyond their years, their reports are GREAT. You can easily tailor this curriculum. Lpoads of support and resources are available. Charlotte Mason wrote that the measure of a good education is how many things the child cares about. My children are interested in-- and feel confident and proud to know something about-- SO much more than they did in the boring, textbook/workbook/school-at-home methods.


  • Reviewed on Monday, December 1, 2008
  • Grades Used: First Grade, Second Grade
  • Dates used: 2007-2009
Ambleside Online curriculum is a free online curriculum which follows the educational philosophy of Charlotte Mason as outlined in her books "The Original Homeschooling Series."
The curriculum is designed for grades Pre K through 12th grade. The lesson plans and many of the books utilized in the curriculum are included within the Ambleside Online website.
The curriculum is free and available to any parent who wishes to provide a quality, affordable education for their child/children.
Ambleside Online has two online support communities via Yahoo Groups: Ambleside Online and Amble Ramble where parents can fellowship together and learn more about the educational philosophy of Charlotte Mason.
I would highly recommend reading either "For the Children's Sake" by Susan Schaeffer Macaulay before beginning Ambleside Online. Susan's book will give you a glimpse of the educational philosophy of Charlotte Mason and will prepare you to read Charlotte's "Original Homeschooling Series."