Editing AO Year 3 History

For those who enjoyed my previous post about diversity in Ambleside Online’s Year 3 history, I am sharing a brief sample of my next project.

After a couple of exams, I am sad to report that Joy Hakim’s A History of US was a flop. I was concerned about her somewhat disjointed narrative style, and I was right. My daughter could not remember the details of the chapters. She could tell me some very general topics, but not nearly enough. The other readings from H.E. Marshall’s This Country of Ours and Our Island Story were fine. If narration is the the “litmus test” of whether a book is “living” or not, the Joy Hakim book failed the test.

So, I am going to go back to the drawing board. I am going to read the originally scheduled TCOO chapters with my daughter after all, *but* I am typing up an edited version of each of them. I have completed Chapter 7 (see below). My goal was to find the name of the Native American tribe that is referenced, if that information is available, and to replace generic and/or offensive terms like “Redmen,” “savage”, “wigwam” and “chief” with the appropriate terms for the tribe. I replaced “white men” with the name of their nationality as well. I really like how it turned out, and I hope you do, too! I plan on doing this kind of edit on the problematic chapters and printing out the pages to read with my daughter instead of the original chapters “as-is.” Marshall’s narrative style really is wonderful, and I tried to avoid interrupting it. Check it out:


Chapter 7: How the Flag of France was Planted in Florida


From north to south, from east to west, in all the vast continent there were no Europeans save themselves. The little company was made up of young nobles, sailors, merchants and artisans. There were no farmers or peasants among them, and when they had finished their fort none of them thought of clearing the land and sowing corn. There was no need: Ribaut would soon return, they thought, bringing with him all they required. So they made friends with the native people called the Edisto and roamed the forest wilds in search of gold and of adventures, without care for the future.

But the days and weeks passed and Ribaut did not return. For when he arrived home he found that France was torn with civil war, and that it was impossible to get ships fitted out to sail to America.

Soon the little colony began to feel the pangs of hunger. Daily they scanned the pitiless blue sea for a glimpse of Ribaut’s returning sail. No sail appeared, and daily their supplies dwindled away. Had it not been for the friendly Edisto they might all have perished. For the Edisto were generous, and as long as they had food themselves they shared it with their French friends. But at length they could spare no more. Indeed they had already given the French so much food that they themselves, they said, would be forced to roam the woods in search of roots and herbs to keep them from starving until harvest was ripe. They told the Frenchmen, however, of two rich and powerful chiefs, called micos, who held sway over land which lay to the south where they might obtain endless supplies of corn and vegetables.

This was indeed good news to the Frenchmen. And guided by their Edisto friends they lost no time in setting out to beg food from the micos.

When the Frenchmen reached the council house of one of these micos they were received with great honour. They found that their Edisto friends had spoken truly. Here there was food in abundance; and after a great feast they returned joyfully to the fort, carrying with them a great supply of corn and beans, and – what was still better – a promise from the friendly mico that he would give them more food whenever they had need of it.

Once more the colonists rejoiced in plenty. But not for long. For the very night they arrived home their storehouse took fire, and all the food which they had brought with such joy was destroyed.

Again famine stared them in the face. In their plight they once more appealed to the mico who supplied their wants as generously as before; promising them that as long as his meal should last they should never have want. So for the time being the colonists were saved from starvation.


After trying this experiment with my daughter, I will let you know how it goes! If it is successful, I will do the same with my son next year as well.

Here is a link to my RESOURCES FOR AO FAMILIES page where I will post chapters as I complete them for others that might like to use them. 🙂


Charlesfort/Santa Elena History – https://www.nps.gov/nr/travel/american_latino_heritage/Charlesfort_Santa_Elena.html

Edisto Tribe – https://www.sciway.net/hist/indians/edisto.html

“Guale Tribe” (related) – https://www.accessgenealogy.com/native/guale-indians.htm

Timucua chiefdom (the larger cultural group to which most of the area tribes were related): https://www.polk-fl.net/staff/teachers/tah/documents/floridaflavor/lessons/a-14.pdf

4 responses to “Editing AO Year 3 History

  1. This is really wonderful. I hope that when you complete this project you can share it with all of us and hopefully even find helpers to put the entire book together as one document online so it can be used on a computer, printed, or put on a tablet. Keep me in mind if you need help with the editing process 🙂


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