This page is archived. The most recent updates to the curriculum may not be on this page.
+ Subjects considered to be essential at this level. Other subjects should be included if at all possible to give a broad Charlotte Mason style education.
(N) Books/subjects intended for narration.
* Key curriculum – books considered to be key parts of the curriculum are shown in bold type and marked with an asterisk.
Highly Recommended materials/subjects are shown in bold. These should be included if possible, but are not essential.
Optional extras – optional books and suggestions are shown in italics
Selections listed in bright blue are alternatives for home educators in the UK
History Cycle for Australian students [provided by Ruth Marshall]
At this level most lessons should last around 20 minutes.
Please note that the resources listed here are suggestions meant to give you a clear picture of what is recommended at this level. They are not set in stone. If you find a suitable resource that you prefer, please feel free to substitute.
RELIGIOUS EDUCATION +
(1) New Testament (Weekly, except during Advent)
(N) * A Life of Our Lord for Children by Marigold Hunt. We recommend the 2003 Sophia Institute Press® edition which contains new illustrations and minor editorial revisions to the original text.
Approximately three pages to be read (aloud in the first year, independently if possible in the second year) and narrated for each lesson. The schedule is lighter in the second terms to allow a break for Advent.
1A Year Two: * A Life of Our Lord for Children
- Term 1: pp. 81-124
- Term 2: pp. 125-150
- Term 3: pp. 153-188
Recommended Reference Materials:
OSV Catholic Encyclopedia for Children, for background information, maps and pictures of houses, clothing, every day items and locations.
(2) Catechism (Weekly)
(N) * Faith and Life Series Read, narrate and discuss one lesson each week.
1A Year Two : * Our Life with Jesus, Faith and Life 3
- Term 1: Lessons 1 to 9
- Term 2: Lessons 10 to 20
- Term 3: Lessons 21 to 30
Optional Extras: Faith and Life Activity Book 3 – for children who like workbooks
United Kingdom: Abbreviated Catechism with Explanations by Canon F. Drinkwater— uses penny catechism, which has simpler and clearer language than the catechism questions in Faith and Life;
United Kingdom: 250 Catechism Stories by Canon F. Drinkwater
(3) Saints (twice weekly, once for UK alternatives)
(N) * A Catholic Child’s Illustrated Lives of the Saints by L.E. McCullough
(N) * Saints for Young Readers for Everyday, Volume 1 and Volume 2 by Susan Helen Wallace
Read and narrate the saint of the day twice a week.
(N) The Lion Treasury of Saints by David Self. Note: From an Anglican publisher, but almost all the saints covered are Catholic. Note that the section on Mary does not give the full Catholic perspective.
(N) * The Young People’s Book of Saints by Hugh Ross Williamson. Read and narrate one saint each week.
(4) Advent (Three times weekly)
(5) Lent (Twice weekly) One story to be read each lesson. Not for narration.
1A Year Two: * More Catholic Tales for Boys and Girls by Caryll Houselander
(6) Easter (Twice weekly)
(N) 1A Year Two: * The Young Life of St. Faustina by Claire Jordan Mohan
(1) Work through any math program of your choice at a pace appropriate for your child. Short daily lessons lasting 20 minutes (including drill) are recommended.
(2) Five minutes of daily drill in math(s) facts.
XtraMath – free online help to master basic math facts.
Math Mammoth Practice Center – another free software to practice basic arithmetic facts.
You might like to vary your week by making Friday a fun math day, doing activities and reading living math literature instead of your usual math scheme.
G Is for Googol: A Math Alphabet Book by David Schwarz
(1) Reading (Daily)
Continue using the reading program of your choice. Daily reading practice
1A Year Two: Books set for religion, history and geography to be read independently or read aloud by the child. When making the transition to independent reading “buddy reading”, alternating paragraphs or pages between parent (or older sibling) and child can be helpful.
(2) Writing (10 minutes daily)
Continue with handwriting scheme of your choice. Schemes we can recommend personally are D’nelian cursive and Getty-Dubay Italic
(b) Written Narration
Depending on your child’s writing ability, you may want to start making the transition to written narration in the second year of Level 1A. If so, then start with shorter, simpler narrations. Saints for Every Day for Young Readers may be a good choice for this.
(c) Copywork and Studied Dictation
Short selections taken from the literature, history and religion selections, or from * The Harp and Laurel Wreath by Laura Berquist. The Faith and Life books contain a number of Bible quotations suitable for copywork.
Optional Extra: The Child on His Knees by Mary Dixon Thayer –short, interesting but simple poems and prayers
Suggested Activity: Copy two or three lines of a prayer or poem daily. When the whole thing is done illustrate it, decorate it, cover it with contact paper and use it as a placemat.
(3) Grammar / English Language (Three times weekly)
* Primary Language Lessons (PLL) by Emma Serl
We recommend the Hillside Education edition of PLL which retains the charm and grace of the original with some additions: color pictures, larger page size, updated poems, and a variety of new lessons. Page numbers reflect the Hillside edition.
Hillside Education has also made the Primary Language Lessons Answer Key and Teacher Guide available for free download.
1A Year Two:
- Term 1: Lessons 83-108, pp. 75-95
- Term 2: Lessons 109-136, pp. 95-115
- Term 3: Lessons 137-164, pp. 116-138
1A Year Two: Grammar Skills 2 or 3 (Learners Publishing, Singapore)
Note: These books use British English and spellings. Singapore schools start using this series at age 6. As the series provides considerably more grammar coverage than would be usual in British schools, you may prefer to start at age 7. You can see samples here to decide which book would be the best fit for your child.
(1) Tales (Twice Weekly)
(N) * Classic Myths to Read Aloud by William F.Russell
1A Year Two:
- Listening Level 2 (17 stories)
(N) Stories taken from books of your choice from the following list:
(2) Classic Children’s Literature (ad.lib.)
Choose at least one book each term from the selection to read aloud. Not for narration, just read and enjoy!
- The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S.Lewis
- All-of-a-kind Family by Sydney Taylor
- The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by Frank L.Baum
- Five Little Peppers and How They Grew by Margaret Sidney
- Little House in the Big Woods and other books by Laura Ingalls Wilder
- The Story of the Treasure Seekers and other books by E.Nesbit
- The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling
- Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfeild
- The Princess and Curdie by George MacDonald
- The Princess and the Goblin by George MacDonald
- The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
- A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett
- Emil and the Detectives by Erich Kastner
- Misty of Chincoteague by Marguerite Henry
- Peter Pan by J.M.Barrie
- Kensuke’s Kingdom by Michael Morpurgo
(3) Poetry (weekly)
* The Harp and Laurel Wreath by Laura Berquist.
NATIONAL HISTORY +
(twice weekly; additional book ad.lib.)
Continue with a three-year course in the history of your own nation. If your child has not done Level 1B then start with Year 1 of this course. Otherwise, continue with Years 2 and 3.
Option 1- Introduction to American History (Twice weekly)
(N) * The Catholic Faith Comes to the Americas ( History 3 For Young Catholics) by Illeen Reninger [Seton Educational Media]
Optional Extra: Everything You Need to Know About American History Homework Charts, maps, timelines, and short summaries of important facts about American history.
Option 2: Introduction to British History
(N)* Our Lady’s Dowry by Kathryn Faulkner.
Recommended additional book each term, to be read aloud at your own pace.
Option 3: History Cycle for Australian Students
See Australian history outline. Two year study of British history recommended for this Level.
ANCIENT HISTORY +
(twice weekly, during Ordinary time only)
1A Year Two: Ancient Egypt
(N) *The Pharaohs of Ancient Egypt by Elizabeth Payne (Landmark Book).
Read aloud and narrate according to the schedule (40 lessons).
Recommended Reference Materials:
Pharaohs and Pyramids (Time Traveler Series)
The Orchard Book of Egyptian Gods and Pharaohs by Robert Swindells. Further reading according to interest -a booklist is included at the end of the schedule.
GEOGRAPHY AND EARTH STUDIES +
(three times weekly, plus map work)
Each term you should cover 36 lessons and also spend a short time each week on map study. How you want to schedule these lessons is up to you: you could take one lesson from each section each week, or you may prefer to work in blocks of lessons from one section at a time. Please read our introduction to geography in a Charlotte Mason education.
Recommended Reference Material
Atlas suitable for the child to use independently.
For Parents: Building Foundations of Scientific Understanding: A Science Curriculum for K-8 and Older Beginning Science Learners, 2nd Ed. Vol. I, Grades K-2 by Bernard J. Nebel, Ph.D.
Spend a short time each week locating places mentioned in reading for other subjects. You will also be focusing particularly on the map of Asia.
1A Year Two [Themes: Asia; Extreme Environments; Mountains and Volcanoes]
(1) Peoples and Places [Asia] (12 lessons each term)
Choose one book each term from the list below to read (or read aloud) over the course of a term. Before each lesson, spend five minutes studying the map of the region. Aim to be able to quickly name and locate countries, capital and other major cities, important rivers and mountain ranges.
- A Little Tiger in the Chinese Night by Song Nan Zhang [China]
- The Children of China: An Artist’s Journey by Song Nan Zhang [China]
- Sovietrek: A Journey by Bicycle Across Russia by Dan Buettner (read narrative before studying pictures and captions)
- Water Buffalo Days: Growing Up in Vietnam by Quang Nhuong Huynh [Vietnam]
- Miss Happiness and Miss Flower by Rumer Godden [Japan] –fiction
- Daughter of the Mountains by Louise Rankin [Tibet / India] –fiction Note: This book includes references to Buddhist prayers and practices and also to the use of astrology that you would need to discuss with your child. For background information on the position of the Church with regard to other religions see Catholic Answers Link 1 and Link 2
(2) Earth Studies – Extreme Environments (36 lessons)
- Term 1: Deserts * 52 Days by Camel: My Sahara Adventure by Lawrie Raskin
- Term 2: Jungles * Jungle Islands: My South Sea Adventure by Maria Coffey
- Term 3: Arctic / Antarctic * By Truck to the North: My Arctic Adventure by Andy Turnbull
Children may be able to read these books independently. Read and narrate the main text for each chapter, then explore the photographs, captions and supplementary text after the narration.
Arctic and Antarctic (DK Eyewitness Guides) (Dorling Kindersley)
Race to the Pole by Meredith Hooper
Antarctic Journal: Four Months at the Bottom of the World by Jennifer Owings Dewey
(3) Earth Studies – Mountains and Volcanoes (36 lessons)
Science study for Year 2 will focus on a study of magnitude.
1A Year Two: This year’s study will help your child to get a sense of the order of the universe. Your child will learn to classify everything within creation by magnitude, and will set up a binder which will also be used in future years.
- The Universe in My Hands by Mary Daly Note: You will require both the booklet and the set of dividers. We advise you to read through the booklet before starting the lessons with your child.
[United Kingdom: As the dividers are intended for American sized 3 ring binders, and there is no UK source for them, you may prefer to make your own set. They will not be as good as the real thing, but will save on postage and on the frustration of having dividers the wrong size for your file and paper!]
- Home Science Adventures: Microscopic Explorations
- Home Science Adventures: The Astronomy Adventure
- Adventures With Atoms and Molecules: Chemistry Experiments for Young People (Adventures With Science, Book 1) by Robert Mebane and Thomas Rybolt
(1) Take at least one nature walk each week.
(2) Keep a nature journal.
Optional Extra Reading:
See also: Notes on Nature Study
Option 1 – Spanish
* Learn Spanish with Grace! The Catholic Approach to Learning Spanish by Miriam Alvarez Gallaher
Option 2 – French
1A Year Two:
- Term 1: pp.28-36
- Term 2: pp.37-45
- Term 3: pp.46-53
**Children need to be reading and writing fairly well to use Skoldo Book 1. If you think your child might not be ready for this you can start with the Elementary Book. The vocabulary covered is the same in both books, but Book 1 adds in conversation and begins simple French grammar. Children who have used the Elementary Book (either in Level 1B or Level 1A) are likely to be able to complete Book 1 in one year because of the overlap. We have scheduled the Skoldo books at a slow pace to allow time for extra French books and activities, and to prevent children being overburdened by the grammar element.
* Music Masters Set 1 (Bach, Mozart, Chopin, Schumann/Greig, Mendelssohn, Schubert).
- The Story of Bach in Words and Music
- The Story of Mozart in Words and Music
- The Story of Chopin in Words and Music
- The Story of Schumann & Grieg in Words and Music
- The Story of Mendelssohn In Words And Music
- The Story of Schubert in Words and Music
Follow up each Music Masters CD by listening to complete works by the featured composer.
Note: Other Music Masters CDs can be substituted so that all children in a family can study the same composer.
Masters of Classical Music (Box Set) – economical set of 10 CDs, each featuring works by a different composer. Ideal as follow up listening to the Music Masters CDs (includes Bach, Mozart, Chopin and Schubert).
1A Year Two: Post-Impressionists
See also: Notes on Picture Study.
A Child’s Book of Prayer in Art by Sister Wendy Beckett
The resources below provide ideas for a wide range of art projects.
- Discovering Great Artists by Mary Ann Kohl and Kim Solga -lots of art projects in the style of great artists. All projects are given a rating for both difficulty and the amount of preparation required.
- Oxford First Book of Art by Gillian Wolfe – looks at many different aspects of art, with each double page spread having a different theme. For each theme there are pictures of various works of art, questions to help children focus on the pictures and a suggested art activity.
- The Usborne Book of Art Skills by Fiona Watt – lots of simple but effective projects, using a variety of media.
- [United Kingdom] Artists Workshop Series by Penny King and Clare Roundhill – pictures of different works of art and styles are used as the inspiration for art activities for children.
Learn two new songs and two new hymns of your choice each term.
(2) Instrument (Daily practice)
If you have a piano or keyboard available, either start or continue learning to play it. Two beginners’ piano programs that can be used independently are:
Beginning at the Piano books, by Alan Jemison (Catholic)
Bastien Piano Series.
Alternatively either continue or start learning to play the recorder. A good starting point is the The NEW Nine-Note Recorder Method: Easy Music for Beginners by Penny Gardner.
The Usborne Book of Easy Recorder Tunes
Easy Duets for Catholics: A Nine-Note Recorder Book by Penny Gardner
Easy Christmas Duets: A Nine-Note Recorder Book by Penny Gardner
- Help in house and yard (garden).
- Work on learning a practical craft or skill of your choice. Ideas for this level could include simple sewing or knitting; clay modelling; making simple toys.
UK Resource: Opitec sells a wide range of reasonably priced craft kits, projects and hobby materials.