Ambleside Online Books Aligning with SCM Cycles

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  • mommyshortlegs

    Before I reinvent the wheel, I’m curious if others have already put forth the labor of aligning AO booklists with SCM’s History cycle — with the aim of reverting to SCM for more familial togetherness* and more biblical focus, while also not neglecting some of AO’s not-to-be-missed and complimentary selections. Thank you!

    *a desire especially keen this year as my eldest enters 6th, is nearly my own height, and the time past vs. the time we have remaining…it’s all hitting home


    I’m sorry I don’t have a good response but I have wondered the same thing. I love SCM’s biblical and family-centered focus, but I also really enjoy AOs history selections. So I guess I’m following and hoping someone out there answers 🙂


    Here is the break down of the years covered by SCM and AO – once you have those in mind, it is fairly easy to add books from AO. My choices tend to change with each child or situation so I do not have a master list to share. To make this easy for myself, I sort all my books on the bookcase using the SCM years and just pop the AO books that fit into those years. It makes it much easier to add when planning my year. The sequences have been taken directly from both sites. It is interesting to see them side by side.

    SCM chronological history sequence (note these repeat starting Year 7):

    Year 1/7 – Genesis – Ancient Egypt – Creation to 332BC

    Year 2/8 – Joshua – Ancient Greece – 1856BC to 146 AD

    Year 3/9- Matthew – Ancient Rome – 753BC to 476 AD

    Year 4/10 – Middles Ages, Renaissance, & Reformation & Epistles – 394 to 1550

    Year 5/11 – Early Modern & Epistles – 1550 to 1850

    Year 6/12 – Modern Times & Epistles, Revelation – 1850 to 2012

    AmblesideOnline’s chronological history sequence:

    There are two rotations, starting with the early middle ages (in Year one) and progressing chronologically until Year 6. At this point, Greek and Roman history are introduced. This enables students to deal with meatier works suitable for older readers. The chronological sequence is continued from Year 7, and in Year 11 or 12 (probably 12), Greco-Roman civilization will probably be approached again. This, again, enables us to present the students with the really complex material necessary to really grapple with the ideas involved.

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

    Year 2 — 1000 AD – Middle Ages

    Year 3 — 1400 – 1600 (Renaissance and 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 2 terms in ancient history

    Year 7 — 800-1400’s Middle Ages (Alfred, King Arthur, Joan of Arc)

    Year 8 — 1400-1600’s (Renaissance and Reformation)

    Year 9 — 1688-1815 including French and American revolutions

    Year 10 — 1815-1901 including the American Civil War

    Year 11 — 20th Century (1900-present)

    Year 12 — Today; an overview of ideas from ancients to now as an antidote to postmodernism



    I use SCM mostly and add in AO selections. I don’t have anything written down or aligned, I just go to the AO year of the same history time period and take note of the books I’d like to use. I have one who especially loves to read so she just reads them on her own in addition to the scheduled books we do with SCM. I did schedule Answering the Cry for Freedom to do with all of my kids when we did early modern history…we did the whole book though and didn’t stretch it out over two or three years like AO does because I thought it fit mostly in the revolutionary war/pre-civil war period. We all really enjoyed that one, it was so enlightening and we had some really interesting discussions. I find AO generally schedules more difficult books at a younger age than SCM does so my year 8 might use the same AO book as my year 4 and it’s totally okay.

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