Looking Back On Our First Year Of Ambleside Online

We have come to the end of our first year using Ambleside Online. It’s strange to think that this time last year I was planning for the year ahead, trying to figure out how to schedule everything and wondering how it would all work. Now, I’m once again in planning mode, but knowing more of what to expect, I am even more excited than the first time around. Next year we’ll be doing year one and year three and I cannot wait to dive in.

Looking Back

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I started Angie in year two instead of year one. It was an easy decision to make; she’ll be able to listen in next year when I read to Emmy, or even read the year one books by herself. She has turned into quite the bookworm, and just this morning, almost missed out on breakfast because she was reading in bed. I’m pretty sure this won’t be the last time that happens.

It took a while for us to get the hang of narration. I say us, because I had to figure out how much I could read before she started to daydream. After a few weeks, her narrations started to improve – although there are still some not-so-great narration days. (I can’t be too hard on her. Narration is difficult. I should probably practice more myself.)

One thing I’ve thought over and over this year is how cheated I felt regarding my own education. Why weren’t we doing Shakespeare and composer study and picture study from grade one? Why weren’t we reading all these wonderful books instead of dull textbooks? But as the year progressed, I got over it (mostly) and accepted that although I hadn’t had this education before, nothing is stopping me from learning right along with my children.

Angie’s favourite book this year was Joan of Arc. She connected with Joan, and was quite upset at how unjustly she was treated in the end. I thought she would say that Pilgrim’s Progress or Parables From Nature would be her least favourite, but she says it was Robin Hood. That may be because she’d just had to narrate from Robin Hood shortly before I asked her. Bad timing on my part, I suppose.

My favourite books were the Wind in the Willows and Robin Hood, neither of which I had read before. (I know, I know – and I call myself a bookworm!) Actually, now that I think of it, there hasn’t been any book on the list that I haven’t liked. (Though Peter Pan and Pinocchio turned out to be a little bit stranger than I expected.)


Angie finished Math-U-See Alpha, and there were days when she loved maths and days when she didn’t. I can’t recall ever loving maths, so I’m already counting this as a win. Next year she starts Beta, and Emmy will begin Alpha.

Morning Time has worked out really well. Even though we’re on holiday now, we’re still doing a light version of Morning Time. It helps to have a little bit of routine, and it means we’re still doing family devotions, scripture memory work, hymns and, of course, readaloud time.

Lots and lots of readaloud time. 🙂

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