“Assign Yourself….” aka My Own Homeschool Two Year Self-Education Program for 2015-2017


I’ve written before about how much I admire the Ambleside Online homeschool curriculum. I have a small, no-frills blog called A Lifelong Learner in Ambleside where I chart my progress in reading the books in the Ambleside Curriculum. So much beautiful prose! I’ve also gotten on the bandwagon of “Reading Challenges” this year although I’ve always challenged myself to read a book out of my comfort zone, a classic or two that I’ve “missed,”  some book that’s been challenged, something a friend has raved about that I might not have chosen (but that isn’t really out of my zone). I also follow the picks of various book clubs–reading those that strike my fancy at the moment and ignoring others. I like to see what colleges assign to incoming freshman, or what a city has chosen for a citywide “read.”

This year, with both my children out of school–one in college part-time–I decided it was time to renew the focus on my own “education.” So I’ve drawn up a personal “homeschool curriculum” or “reading challenge” or whatever-you-want-to-call-it. I will, of course, fail at some of these, will succeed at others and will certainly add many, many more to the list as I go along–all of those chosen because they just happen to interest me. To organize my “program” I’ve used the Ambleside curriculum as my “classification scheme.” [I’m a librarian–I know how to catalog!]. I will also be using Ambleside as a guide for “pacing” some of my books. Some books just demand slower reading so that they can be both savored and absorbed. I’ve even picked an artist to study and a composer–because that’s what drew me to this curriculum when I was a homeschool Mom way back in the day for a few years.

Finally, since Ambleside also uses Plutarch my goal is one life–ditto a Shakespeare play that I have not yet read, though the live performances of our local Shakespeare are all ones I’ve read. No matter, if I can find the ticket price I’ll go. I’ve plotted a map of a few more local art museum and historical sites too. If the kids hate that sort of thing, I love it! I’m striking a blow for empty-nesters everywhere and doing things I love! Let the kids rot their newly-independent brains with cable tv.

NOTE: All photos are from Amazon. I have not linked to the books, but when I do I do not make any money off the links.

Language Arts:


Literature and Banned Books:



History/Biography/Historical Fiction:


Natural History:



galeleoScience is a tough one for me. This I should be ok with.

Artist Study:

  • Hans Holbein the Younger since I’ve never heard of him!.

Composer Study:

Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina since I’ve never heard of him, either.


As You LIke It–the only one being performed locally that I haven’t read or seen.

Opera and Ballet:

I’ve always thought a homeschool year should have the story and performance of an opera and a ballet. A live performance when possible, if not an outstanding broadcast or recording of one. I will see what’s available

Live Drama and Musical:

Same as opera and ballet. I’ll see what’s available.

Historical sites to visit: Another presidents home, another writer’s home and whatever else I decide on.

Museums: I’ll chose as the years go on. Only the Dayton Art Museum is left locally.

Note I’ve put this down as a TWO year program. If it takes less fine, if it takes more, fine. In the interest of fair disclosure I’m already well into Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, the Pope and Mussolini and Yosemite.

Do you have an self-education plans this year–whether formal classes, travel plans, conferences or just “at home?” I’d love to hear your plans.

4 thoughts on ““Assign Yourself….” aka My Own Homeschool Two Year Self-Education Program for 2015-2017

  1. How fun!There are several titles on your current list that are on my “to read” list, Lisa. Those are Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, Don Quijote and I, Claudius. I am currently reading Galileo’s Daughter – and we’re discussing it on the AO forum, so come and join in! Other discussions I am currently involved in on the forum are How to Read a Book, Consider This, CM Volume 5 (just finished), CM Volume 4 (about to begin), Birth of Britain, Protecting the Gift and Ivanhoe.


  2. oh, hi Dawn! -grin

    Lisa, you’ll get a kick out of this one. Yesterday we went to the Haspburgs exhibition at our local fine arts museum, Heather and her kids, and I and mine, and in the car, she told me that, after reading this post, she bought two books from it, the Muir one, and the Butterflies one, (I Claudius she already has). I read the Butterflies sample at Amazon, and decided to wait a bit because I have another similar one called Sand (science well narrated, and doable for a non scientific person -even though some parts are hefty), and now Dawn intrigues me with yet another title, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek!

    Oh for the time to read more, ha ha ha. I’m reading Don Quijote with Heather and others at the forum also, and have ordered the two other books by Mary Lawson that Karen Glass recommended me and from which I have loved Crow Lake already. I may end up getting the Muir title and read with Heather. I feel tempted to open Yo Claudio (I have that one in Spanish and have read and loved it as a young adult), but I fear I will not be able to stop and be absent -and the girls kind of need me-, but it engrosses you.


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