I received a couple questions recently regarding AmblesideOnline, Charlotte Mason, and the teaching of history that made me think of conversations I’ve had in the past with Karen Glass. I decided to use them as an excuse to have a conversation with her and record it for AfterCast. That’s what I’m presenting to you today.
Karen is the author of Consider This: Charlotte Mason and the Classical Tradition, and also the brain behind Mind to Mind, an abridgment of Charlotte Mason’s sixth volume. Karen Glass is part of the Advisory of AmblesideOnline. She has four children, ages 13 to 27, who have been homeschooled using Charlotte Mason’s methods from beginning to end. She has been studying and writing about Charlotte Mason and Classical Education for over twenty years.
Listen to this episode:
Here are the two questions I read at the beginning of the episode:
I wanted to know your thoughts on history cycles. Why you like AO 6 year cycle compared to the many others (3,4, 5, 6). Do you think/know that they really know history? Have a good overview? Do you feel they have the “right pegs” to fill in the rest of history as they read/study on their own? Such as they are not memorizing a timeline like CC or Veritas?
My oldest has completed Years 1 and 2 of AmblesideOnline and we actually did the first term of Year 3 last year. I am feeling muddled in my head, though, regarding history. It is probably a pedagogical problem on my part, but I worry that my son is not getting a strong sense of the broad sweep of history, chronologically and geographically. We are putting events and names on a timeline, and we do consult a map, but I still find myself longing for a more straightforward approach to the big picture and more clarity overall. Can you speak as to your student’s grasp of history, having faithfully done AO? And are there things that I should be doing as a teacher to make things more clear (without lecturing and buying textbooks!) Oh, and we do narrate every reading. But obviously dates and names don’t always sink in.
Links to things we mentioned:
- AmblesideOnline History FAQs
- This Country of Ours
- Our Island Story
- Norms and Nobility
- The Parents’ Review
- The Archives
- Volume 1 (Home Education)
- Volume 3 (School Education)
- Volume 6 (Towards a Philosophy of Education)
- “The mind is restricted to pabulum of one kind: it is nourished upon ideas and absorbs facts only as these are connected with the living ideas upon which they hang.” (p. 20)
- AmblesideOnline Year 1
- In Memoriam
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