Ambleside Year 0 (Kindergarten)

Ambleside Online is an extensive K-12 curriculum based on the Charlotte Mason method. This means kids read real books rather than textbooks, spend time in nature, and are allowed time after school to pursue their own interests. The resources on the Ambleside website are completely free, as is membership in the support network. The authors are adamant that simply reading the books on these lists won't give your child a Charlotte Mason-style education, though: you'll need to thoroughly understand and apply her methods, which they've made available to users in free online e-texts via a contemporary-language translation of her 6-volume home school education series.

Year 0 isn't a formal Ambleside Online year like the others, which have booklists and schedules; it covers the time from birth till formal schooling begins around age 6 or later. There is no book list as such at this level, and books don't share the same prominent place they have in other years. Book suggestions provide examples of the kind of material that's consistent with the standards Charlotte Mason set. There's no need to find all the books and read them according to a schedule. Simply use the list as a guide for selecting the best books from what you already own or have access to.

Picture Book Suggestions

Many picture book lists are available, but Charlotte Mason felt children would be better off with only a few really good picture books than a lot of merely entertaining ones. Compiling a short list is difficult because we tend to love what we grew up with. We also tend to love whatever our own children love. It's hard to separate sentiment from objectivity, but the Ambleside authors have attempted to do just that, favoring books that are good for all children.

What books qualify? Mason said of education, "The answer cannot be given in the form of 'Do' this and that, but rather as an invitation to 'Consider' this and that; action follows when we have thought duly." Following are some principles about how books should be chosen by parents wishing to embark on a Charlotte Mason journey with their children.

Criteria:

Text should be literary to prepare children for the challenging books they'll read in school, and cultivate a delight in beautiful names. Children should not develop a taste for easy books that undermine their capacity to read classics later. Books should be chosen to help decrease dependence on pictures, and rely more on imagination to envision pictures in the mind from the text.

Illustrations should "have a refining, elevating effect upon our coarser nature" and bring us into the "world of beauty" while helping our children develop an affinity for and an attraction to the beautiful, the lovely, the pure, the refining—because "education is concerned to teach him what pictures to delight in."

Stories should have the noble, beautiful, inspiring kind of living ideas that Mason espoused, including "the great human relationships, relationships of love and service, of authority and obedience, of reverence and pity and neighborly kindness; relationships to kin and friend and neighbor, to 'cause' and country and kind, to the past and the present."

Classic stories and poems illustrated by good children's artists (such as Gennady Spirin, Barbara Cooney, Edward Ardizonne, Ted Rand) are almost always a safe bet. Parents should also look at books used in Ambleside's Years 1 and 2 when their children are ready for "chapter books."

Did you find this review helpful?
Parent Categories
Related Links
Year 0 Booklist
at Ambleside Online
Year 0 Weekly Schedule
at Ambleside Online
49 Items found Print
Adventures of Peter Cottontail
by Thornton W. Burgess
Reprint from Dover Publications
for 3rd-5th grade
in Animal Stories (Location: FIC-ANI)
$2.55
Adventures of Reddy Fox
by Thornton W. Burgess
from Dover Publications
Animal Stories: Fantasy for 2nd-4th grade
in Animal Stories (Location: FIC-ANI)
$2.55
Appley Dapply's Nursery Rhymes
Book 22
by Beatrix Potter
from Frederick Warne & Company
for Nursery-1st grade
in Peter Rabbit & Friends (Location: FIC-PETER)
$5.59
Blueberries for Sal
by Robert McCloskey
from Viking Press
Realistic Stories for Kindergarten-3rd grade
1949 Caldecott Honor Book
in Picture Books (Location: PICTURE)
$15.29
Cecily Parsley's Nursery Rhymes
Book 23
by Beatrix Potter
from Frederick Warne & Company
for Nursery-1st grade
in Peter Rabbit & Friends (Location: FIC-PETER)
$5.59
Child's Garden of Verses
by Robert Louis Stevenson & Tasha Tudor
from Simon and Schuster
Poetry for 1st-5th grade
in Poetry for Children (Location: POET-CHIL)
Classic Tales of Brer Rabbit
by Joel Chandler Harris & Don Daily
from Running Press
for Preschool-3rd grade
in Picture Books (Location: PICTURE)
$7.96
Complete Tales of Beatrix Potter
by Beatrix Potter
from Frederick Warne & Company
Animal Fantasy for Preschool-3rd grade
in Peter Rabbit & Friends (Location: FIC-PETER)
$32.00
Folk Tale Classics Keepsake Collection
by Paul Galdone
Box from HMH Books for Young Readers
for Kindergarten-1st grade
in Picture Books (Location: PICTURE)
$16.99
House at Pooh Corner
by A. A. Milne
from Puffin Books
Animal Fantasy for Kindergarten-4th grade
in Fantasy Fiction (Location: FIC-FAN)
$5.94 $3.50 (1 in stock)
House at Pooh Corner
by A. A. Milne
from Dutton Children's Books
Animal Fantasy for Kindergarten-4th grade
in Fantasy Fiction (Location: FIC-FAN)
$6.50 (1 in stock)
House at Pooh Corner
by A. A. Milne
from Dutton Children's Books
Animal Fantasy for Kindergarten-4th grade
in Fantasy Fiction (Location: FIC-FAN)
$16.99
Little Engine That Could - Original Edition
by Watty Piper
from Platt and Munk Publishers
Personification Stories for Kindergarten-3rd grade
in Picture Books (Location: PICTURE)
$7.99
Little House
by Virginia Lee Burton
from Sandpiper Books
Personification Stories for Preschool-3rd grade
1943 Caldecott Medal winner
in Picture Books (Location: PICTURE)
$6.39
Make Way for Ducklings
by Robert McCloskey
from Puffin Books
Realistic Animal Stories for Kindergarten-3rd grade
1942 Caldecott Medal winner
in Picture Books (Location: PICTURE)
$6.39 $4.00 (2 in stock)
Miss Rumphius
by Barbara Cooney
from Puffin Books
Realistic Stories for Kindergarten-4th grade
in Picture Books (Location: PICTURE)
Mother West Wind's Children
Dover Thrift
by Thornton Burgess
Reprint from Dover Publications
Animal Fantasy for 2nd-4th grade
in Animal Stories (Location: FIC-ANI)
$2.55
Now We Are Six
by A. A. Milne
from Puffin Books
Poetry for Kindergarten-4th grade
in Fantasy Fiction (Location: FIC-FAN)
$5.94
Now We Are Six
by A. A. Milne
from Dutton Children's Books
Poetry for Kindergarten-4th grade
in Fantasy Fiction (Location: FIC-FAN)
$9.00 (2 in stock)
Now We Are Six
by A. A. Milne
from Dutton Children's Books
for Kindergarten-4th grade
in Fantasy Fiction (Location: FIC-FAN)
$6.00 (1 in stock)
One Morning in Maine
by Robert McCloskey
from Puffin Books
Realistic Family Stories for Kindergarten-3rd grade
1953 Caldecott Honor Book
in Picture Books (Location: PICTURE)
$6.79
Ox-Cart Man
by Donald Hall
from Puffin Books
Realistic Stories for Kindergarten-3rd grade
1980 Caldecott Medal winner
in Picture Books (Location: PICTURE)
$6.39
Ox-Cart Man
by Donald Hall
1st edition from Viking Press
Realistic Stories for Kindergarten-3rd grade
1980 Caldecott Medal winner
in Picture Books (Location: PICTURE)
$6.80 (1 in stock)
Poems and Prayers for the Very Young
by Martha Alexander
from Random House
in Poetry for Children (Location: POET-CHIL)
$2.00 (1 in stock)
Real Mother Goose
by Blanche Fisher Wright, illustrator
from Scholastic Inc.
Rhyming Books for Preschool-Kindergarten
in Mother Goose (Location: PIC-MG)
$8.46
Stone Soup
by Marcia Brown
2nd edition from Aladdin Paperbacks
Fairy Tales, Fables, and Legends for Kindergarten-3rd grade
1948 Caldecott Honor Book
in Picture Books (Location: PICTURE)
$6.79
Story About Ping
by Marjorie Flack
from Grosset & Dunlap
Animal Realistic for Kindergarten-2nd grade
in Picture Books (Location: PICTURE)
$4.24
Story of a Fierce Bad Rabbit
Book 20
by Beatrix Potter
from Frederick Warne & Company
for Nursery-3rd grade
in Peter Rabbit & Friends (Location: FIC-PETER)
$5.59
Story of Ferdinand
by Munro Leaf
from Puffin Books
Animal Stories for Preschool-2nd grade
in Picture Books (Location: PICTURE)
$6.79 $4.00 (1 in stock)
Story of Little Babaji
by Helen Bannerman
from HarperCollins
for Kindergarten-2nd grade
in Picture Books (Location: PICTURE)
$14.44
Story of Miss Moppet
Book 21
by Beatrix Potter
from Frederick Warne & Company
for Nursery-1st grade
in Peter Rabbit & Friends (Location: FIC-PETER)
$5.59
Tailor of Gloucester
Book 3
by Beatrix Potter
from Frederick Warne & Company
for Nursery-1st grade
in Peter Rabbit & Friends (Location: FIC-PETER)
$5.59
Tale of Benjamin Bunny
Book 4
by Beatrix Potter
from Frederick Warne & Company
for Nursery-1st grade
in Peter Rabbit & Friends (Location: FIC-PETER)
$5.59
Tale of Ginger and Pickles
Book 18
by Beatrix Potter
from Frederick Warne & Company
for Nursery-3rd grade
in Peter Rabbit & Friends (Location: FIC-PETER)
$5.59
Tale of Jemima Puddle-Duck
Book 9
by Beatrix Potter
from Frederick Warne & Company
for Nursery-1st grade
in Peter Rabbit & Friends (Location: FIC-PETER)
$6.99
Tale of Johnny Town-Mouse
Book 13
by Beatrix Potter
from Frederick Warne & Company
for Nursery-1st grade
in Peter Rabbit & Friends (Location: FIC-PETER)
$5.59
Tale of Little Pig Robinson
Book 19
by Beatrix Potter
from Frederick Warne & Company
for Preschool-3rd grade
in Peter Rabbit & Friends (Location: FIC-PETER)
$5.59
Tale of Mr. Tod
Book 14
by Beatrix Potter
from Frederick Warne & Company
for Nursery-3rd grade
in Peter Rabbit & Friends (Location: FIC-PETER)
$5.59
Tale of Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle
Book 6
by Beatrix Potter
from Frederick Warne & Company
for Nursery-1st grade
in Peter Rabbit & Friends (Location: FIC-PETER)
$5.59
Tale of Mrs. Tittlemouse
Book 11
by Beatrix Potter
from Frederick Warne & Company
for Nursery-3rd grade
in Peter Rabbit & Friends (Location: FIC-PETER)
$5.59
Tale of Peter Rabbit
Book 1
by Beatrix Potter
from Frederick Warne & Company
for Preschool-2nd grade
in Peter Rabbit & Friends (Location: FIC-PETER)
$6.39
Tale of Pigling Bland
Book 15
by Beatrix Potter
from Frederick Warne & Company
for Nursery-3rd grade
in Peter Rabbit & Friends (Location: FIC-PETER)
$5.59
Tale of Squirrel Nutkin
Book 2
by Beatrix Potter
from Frederick Warne & Company
for Nursery-1st grade
in Peter Rabbit & Friends (Location: FIC-PETER)
$5.59
Tale of the Flopsy Bunnies
Book 10
by Beatrix Potter
from Frederick Warne & Company
for Nursery-1st grade
in Peter Rabbit & Friends (Location: FIC-PETER)
$5.59
Tale of the Pie and the Patty-Pan
Book 17
by Beatrix Potter
from Frederick Warne & Company
for Nursery-3rd grade
in Peter Rabbit & Friends (Location: FIC-PETER)
$5.59
Tale of Tom Kitten
Book 8
by Beatrix Potter
from Frederick Warne & Company
for Nursery-1st grade
in Peter Rabbit & Friends (Location: FIC-PETER)
$5.59
Tale of Two Bad Mice
Book 5
by Beatrix Potter
from Frederick Warne & Company
for Nursery-3rd grade
in Peter Rabbit & Friends (Location: FIC-PETER)
$5.59
When We Were Very Young
by A. A. Milne
from Puffin Books
Poetry for Kindergarten-4th grade
in Fantasy Fiction (Location: FIC-FAN)
$5.94
Winnie-the-Pooh
by A. A. Milne
from Puffin Books
Animal Fantasy for Kindergarten-4th grade
in Fantasy Fiction (Location: FIC-FAN)
$5.94