Year 1 Review

*in order to comply with AO TOC I omitted the book lists and gave descriptions.  Please make sure you get your schedule and curriculum at

We did it!!!  We finished Year 1!  I am so proud of my boy and all the hard work he has done!

This post will not go into a lot of detail for each of the subjects, but give an overview of what I found worked great for our family with some of the book selections!  First of all,  *PLEASE READ the Year 1 Primer for AO approved advice!  I know the website can be a bit daunting and there are helpful tips and tricks on how to make sense of it all if it seems like too much to bite off right now.  I spent about 3-4 months studying everything on the site before we started Y1 so I could plan out and prepare for our year.  A lot of advice that you will get is "if you wait until you feel like you have it all together you will never start."  I agree that it is best to jump in and learn as you go!  But if my planning can help you I am happy to share!

Once I understood the subjects I put together a schedule to help us through the daily grind.  You can download it here  or just use it to come up with your own schedule for your family! 

I kept the AO .pdf schedule in my binder and checked off and made notes as we finished each week. 

Whenever you can, act out the Bible story with your kids!  Mine are 7 and 5 years old and LOVE to act out the stories and it really helps them remember the story!  We ended up modifying a few weeks to fit with the liturgical calendar (we skipped ahead to the Nativity and Easter stories during those appropriate weeks.)  I also found that keeping a monthly Bible verse to memorize was fun for the kids.  I kept a chalkboard of the verse in the dining/school room.

*Book about history stories/*Book about vikings
When *viking book* took over in Term 3 I really missed doing our *history stories*!  I may need to go through the unread stories and read them to the kids during the summer!  I found it easiest for us to use the Usborn picture atlas during *history stories* as well as the globe.  For *viking* we just occasionally look up the Nordic countries on the atlas.

*Book about UK*
There is nothing you need to supplement this book!  My son has thrived on these stories!  We've done oral narrations and I've had him draw pictures of the story (the chapters on Merlin and Arthur were his favorite!)  Next year it will go into more of the history of kings and I need to figure out the best way to introduce each king.  I did buy a moleskin journal for our Book of Centuries.  I'll keep the blog updated as we use it during our historical timeline!

*Book about saints*
I dropped the ball in Term 2 and 3 and we still have 5 stories that we have not finished in Y1.  I am planning to incorporate it into our Bible/Morning time next year along with Pilgrim's Progress.

It usually takes us longer to go through the biographies (about 6-8 weeks!) So don't worry about starting the biography later in the term.  Go ahead and start at the beginning and work on it throughout the term (Benjamin Franklin/George Washington/Buffalo Bill.)

*Book about birds*
I made this post so that you can print off coloring pages and reference photos while going through the book!  It has been super helpful for my son!  I did see a super creative idea from another mom on the FB group!  She made a large tree out of brown butcher paper and every time they read about a bird, her son colored the picture and cut it out to tape on the "tree!"  I thought that was so creative!

*Book about Great Lakes*
I made this map to print and mark every place Paddle had a city engraved on his canoe!  There is also a map in the back of the book that is nice for kids to trace with their finger after each chapter.  I did show my son a few videos during the year to help him visualize the Great Lakes and other surroundings mentioned in the book!

*Book about animal doctor*
These stories are great for narration!  The illustrated pictures are beautiful and the stories are so rich!  We've loved it!

*Book about Fables*
My son eventually has been reading these as his reading assignments.  The vocabulary is perfect and I usually pick out one or two words before we read and write them down and have him use them in his narration when he is done with the story.

*Book about nature parables*
I'm going to be honest.  This is a hard one to narrate.  However, it has led to some awesome discussions!  I think I wrote about one of them in one of the term updates.  I do find that I have to explain a lot after I have given him the chance to narrate a paragraph or two.  It can get confusing on who is talking when.

*Kipling book*
These stories are PERFECT for learning to narrate!  My son loves telling the story back to me.  Especially the Term 1 selections!  I think those are best.  Check the AO website for some politically correct sensitivities.

*Lang book*
Timeless stories to read your child! I've loved every story we have read.  As a precaution - don't save it for the end of your week!  Some of the stories are too long to read in one sitting.  We usually need to start it on Monday and break it up into 3-4 readings.

I've preferred the Nesbit retelling of Shakespeare but any child retellings (Nesbit, Lamb, Coville) are great for kids!  We've also enjoyed watching some of them on the Animated Shakespeare videos that you might be able to find at your library.  Here is the Amazon link!  We also are blessed to have a world class puppet production that put on Midsummer and Tempest for us this year!

We have sometimes missed a daily poem but we have worked on memorizing/recitation of one or two poems a term!  We are currently working on our longest!  Robert Louis Stevenson's "My Shadow."  We have a few stanzas to go before we are completely finished but he has done amazing at his recitation!  Here's a cute video of him reciting AA Milne's Shining Knight

For math we use Miquon (and love it!) For copywork we copy a poem or a Bible verse (about 2-3 lines a day) and for phonics/reading we count Aesop or a passage from the Treadwell Reader 1 as our reading and phonics for the day.  We've been using Song School Latin but will switch to Spanish next year.  It was too hard for him to get into and we weren't consistent.

I veered a bit from the CM book this year.  We have been memorizing State Capitals and playing a computer game called "World Explorer."  Not very CM, but it has been great for my 7 year old!!!

You MUST get the Handbook of Nature Study for your school room!  It has come in so handy as we learned about nature this year!  Most of our study has been through amazing field trips and hands on activities like hikes and interpretive programs at state parks!  The Ambleside Facebook group is very helpful with specific questions on the nature study rotation for each year and term.

We have stuck pretty close to the rotation on the AO website!  I LOVE music and art so it is easy for me to make sure these subjects are included in our school.  In fact, my son had a lightbulb moment last night with solfege and dictated one of his piano songs on solfa!  Proud mama moment!!!!  I have tried to post helpful blog tips and resources through the year and will continue to do so next year!  If you want to add a few folk songs to your list for Year 1 here are my suggestions:

Canoe Song, Land of the Silver Birch, Edmund Fitzgerald, Who Killed Cock Robin, Here Comes a, Bluebird,  Mrs. Jenny Wren, Little House series Click here to see a list of songs in the book.

Also, I HIGHLY recommend this book for additional folk songs!  They bring so much joy!

Thanks for sticking around this long to read!!!  Stay tuned in the next couple months to hear about our Year 2 and Year 0 prep!!!


  1. Just started Year One, thanks for sharing!

  2. I absolutely LOVE how you did your Year 1 Schedule with the loop and AO reading slots as opposed to assigning specific subjects to certain days. I have been going through the Year 1 weekly schedule and trying to come up with some sort of schedule for my daughter. Previously I have assigned specific subjects to days/ time slots and it just never works. Sometimes we have things come up/ are on the go and a specific subject just does not fit in the slot that was designated and we miss a bit here or there and I end up feeling behind. On the other hand with 3 active little ones I must have a schedule or nothing would ever get done. It was a bit of an AHA moment to look at your schedule and realize that it is in fact possible to have both a schedule and flexibility. I hope you do not mind me borrowing your schedule and trying it out for our Year 1.

    1. I just saw your comment and hope your year is going well!


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