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    How to Use AmblesideOnline for Groups: A Tutorial

    July 8, 2019 by Brandy Vencel

    Was it only last year that AmblesideOnline debuted their new AO for Groups curriculum? I think so. It’s still fairly new, and many folks don’t even know it’s there. Those who do sometimes find it confusing. It’s actually quite simple. You just need to learn to think about the years in a different way: it’s basically a series of three-year loop schedules.

    If you have closely-spaced children who are also school age but currently illiterate (or just not literate enough for AO’s high reading level), AO for Groups (abbreviated AO4G) is for you!

    This tutorial is meant to show you the sequencing. It’s “How to Use AO for Groups” in the sense of how it’d work out year by year for a family — who would do what year of AO4G at what age? How does the progression work? I hope that by watching this video, how the A-B-C years will work with many children will start to make sense.


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  • Reply Leslie May 29, 2020 at 8:22 am

    Thank you so much for this, it really brought comfort to this anxious but eager mama.

  • Reply Lindsey August 9, 2019 at 9:49 am

    Oh this was so very helpful. I wonder if you might have this in written form somewhere that a I can print out? I’d love to have the examples as hard copies…
    I appreciate you so much; your site has been a huge blessing to me this year as I add new students to my crew.

  • Reply Lori Leibbrand July 28, 2019 at 9:39 pm

    Hi Brandy! This was super helpful! I would love some feedback on if this would be the best for my crew. I have four kids…an eight year old boy (he will be nine in October), a girl that turned six in April, a four year old boy with a birthday in November, and a ten month little girl. We have been homeschooling from the beginning but this will be our first year doing AO.
    My oldest is a great reader (already reading chapter books, retaining what he reads, etc), has a strong grasp on spelling, grammar, math, etc…great memory retention and all around one where school comes fairly easy for him. He loves to learn and is a very curious guy!
    My six year old girl is the opposite. She is still struggling to remember the letters of the alphabet. She does know a majority of her letters sounds just remembering the names is a struggle. I think that is a bit who she is…she struggles to remember her own friends names half the time :). We will see how that develops over time. She is very creative, has outstanding penmanship, and loves school time. She really does love to learn it just doesn’t come as easy or natural as her older brother which is ok!
    The other two are just along for the ride at his point :). Because my two kiddos are on such a completely different level of skills would it be most beneficial for them to place them in Y3 and Y1 or would I be able to do Form 1 with them? Since this is our first year doing it (and I still have two others at home one being a very active four year old boy and an into everything almost one year old), I want to make this year as doable as possible for all of us. I didn’t know if it would be realistic though to start with Form 1 this year or if I should start separated since they are on such different learning levels. My four year old will eventually overlap with my six year old since they are only 19 months apart too. Again, I am new to all this so just trying to figure it all out. I would love feedback!

  • Reply Jennifer July 10, 2019 at 7:35 pm

    This is wonderful! You are amazing!

  • Reply Tirzah Woodward July 9, 2019 at 3:33 pm

    Loved it! Thanks!
    Do you ever combine all the kids for history (TCOO and CHOW) and read aloud the chapter books (I.e. Little duke, etc.) (as opposed to having the older kids read the chapter books independently?)

    • Reply Brandy Vencel July 11, 2019 at 1:45 pm

      I never have. 🙂 I’m sure it could be done, though.

    • Reply Carrie July 28, 2019 at 12:42 pm

      This is a lot like my situation! I’ve used AO4G for 2 years now, just Form 1. This fall, I’m starting my oldest in Form 2, with two younger ones still in Form 1. I have really liked the way the Forms are structured; using AO4G has been so helpful with having several children close in age! (Thank you for the tip about starting Year 7 after Form 2, though. That’s what I’ve been assuming I’ll do once we get there, but your explanation makes sense!)

  • Reply Amanda July 9, 2019 at 3:04 pm

    That was amazing, Brandy!

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