All Frequently Asked Questions
History studies are the “pivot of the curriculum,” and all grades (with the exception of Grade 1) and many subjects, including art, music, and literature, coordinate with the year’s time period. Following Mason’s lead, students begin by learning their own national and cultural history and then gradually expand that study to learn about history across the world in times past and present. We aim for the curriculum to present the complexity of the good and evil in history, the reality that all history comes from a perspective (which encourages students to hold humble convictions), and to explicitly and implicitly honor the personhood of all students by giving them the opportunity to see themselves in their books to some degree. Our goal throughout the curriculum, but especially in studying history, is to set students on a lifelong journey of humility, integrity, curiosity, conviction, and hope most of all as they navigate our world today. Below are our four history rotations. Preview many of our actual book selections for each year on YouTube, and explore a bit more about our process of choosing books here. Alveary 2023-24 is focused on History Rotation 4, and Alveary 2024-25 will move on to Rotation 1.
- Rotation 1: 800-1650 AD (Grades 5+ also study 3500-550 BC)
- Rotation 2: 1650-1800 AD (Grades 5+ also study 550-100 BC)
- Rotation 3: 1800-1900 AD (Grades 5+ also study 100BC-350 AD)
- Rotation 4: 1900-Present (Grades 5+ also study 350-800 AD)
Registration opens on February 1. There is no deadline for registration (it remains open all year), though we do recommend joining as close to February 1 as possible to get the most from your membership.
On February 1st we publish our Program, including a booklist for the upcoming year. Members will also have access to the Alveary Hive social media group, Alveary Weekly newsletter, Office Hours live support, the Reflective Practice Planbook, and other support resources on this date. Lesson plans are published on June 1.
All memberships for the 2023-24 school year include access to all three terms of the 2023-24 curriculum, regardless of when you register. Likewise, all 2023-24 memberships expire on June 30, 2024 regardless of when you register.
Through a grant from the Templeton Foundation, we have developed a comprehensive science course vetted by experts in science fields that answers today’s emphasis on STEM subjects while also adhering to Mason’s ideas and practices.
- Our Foundations video courses help you learn Mason's ideas and methods quickly.
- Thorough lesson plans (including video support and online links to enhance some lessons) are designed to assist you in implementing Mason’s methods.
- Alveary Office Hours provide a chance to ask questions and interact directly with the Alveary team.
- Our Alveary Hive is an online community where you can connect with other members for support and encouragement.
- Our newsletter, Alveary Weekly, provides encouragement, tips, and updates each Friday throughout the school year.
- Our Reflective Practice Planbook helps you set goals for the year and allows you to check in each week by reflecting on what went well and what did not. In short, it helps you teach (and live) intentionally.
- Our searchable catalog of webinars and resources will help you grow your skills while providing encouragement.
Our curriculum is written by a team of over 20 veteran Charlotte Mason teachers, homeschool parents, administrators, and researchers.
Yes! We have a number of Alveary tutorials, schools, and co-ops and write our lessons with both home and classroom settings in mind. If you'd like to register your co-op, you can read the guidelines and apply here today! To use Alveary in your school or tutorial, read the guidelines and request a consultation. We'll follow up with you personally to answer questions and provide further support.
Yes. Charlotte Mason’s principles are timeless, based on what she knew to be true of children as image bearers. However, she also recognized the importance of remaining immersed in the best research of her day. We follow her example in order to allow her enduring ideas to breathe freely in our own day. We are continuing our research into her work right at the home of Mason’s House of Education as part of a partnership with the University of Cumbria at Ambleside.
Our students enjoy a balance of both classic and newer titles that are of the highest literary quality. We are intentional about including books that represent diverse ethnicities and cultures and honor the personhood of all people. We re-evaluate the books we recommend each year, also assessing new titles to see if they should be included. When a book goes out of print we replace that title (or have it republished) to help keep costs low and our books easy to access.
We have a fantastic team of Canadian lesson plan writers who provide book selections and lesson plans in subjects where the content differs from that of the United States. For example, in Form 3 Geography, Canadian students study provinces and territories instead of the fifty states; students in Forms 1-3 study Canadian History instead of US History. We also provide book titles for Canadian historical fiction and biographies. Canadian artists, poets, and folk songs are incorporated into the Alveary as a whole, rather than pulled out separately, so that American students can get to know their neighbors, as well.
All of our Lesson Plans are downloadable/printable, so you will have those as long as you have downloaded and/or printed them by June 30 each year. Any links in the Lesson Plans will remain live, so you should be able to access them even after memberships end. However, unless you renew your Alveary membership, you will lose access to the member side of our website on June 30.
New registrants have access only to the curriculum for the academic year for which they register (i.e., 2023-24). Members who renew will keep access to their current curriculum (2022-23) and gain access to the new one (2023-24), but the current year’s curriculum are archived on June 30 each year. This follows Mason’s example in encouraging all members to work in the same history rotation.
Our academic calendar runs for 13 months from June 1-June 30. (Lesson Plans are published for the new school year on June 1; all current materials are removed from the website on June 30 each year.) Within those dates, members may schedule their school year as they wish. We provide sample school calendars that allow for 180 days of instruction, as this meets the requirements of most US states, follows Mason’s model, and ensures that you can finish the lesson plans in one academic year.
This depends on student age and ability. Students in Grades 1-3 require a lot of teacher attention. Grades 4-6 students can do some things independently, but they will still need heavy support sometimes. Students in Grades 7-8 will be much more independent, although they will still need some guidance in certain subjects. In high school, our lesson plans are actually written to the student, and the teacher’s role shifts to mainly one of accountability.
The Alveary is part of the Charlotte Mason Institute, which is an educational nonprofit. Our purpose is to support a worldwide community of learners and educators in an authentic practice of Charlotte Mason’s paradigm of education, which was decidedly Christian. Our curriculum reflects Mason’s commitment to presenting to each student the knowledge of God, man, and the universe; however, we do not promote a particular denominational doctrine. If interested, see this brief video to explore this topic further.
With such a living, organic approach to education, there will still be things that you need to think through and plan. These include if/how you will combine your students, what your schedule will look like, and which books from which grades you will choose. We provide guidance in making these decisions, and you will also have the support of a thoughtful online community willing to share their experience with you.
The school year is divided into three terms of twelve weeks each. Eleven of those are for instruction and one is for exams. With the exception of Grade 1, everyone studies the same time period in history, making it easy to combine students of different ages for lessons.
Alveary is a product of the Charlotte Mason Institute, an educational nonprofit (501c3). We are a nonprofit that seeks to research and amplify the educational theories and practices of Charlotte Mason. We help educators practice relational education through curriculum, conferences, publications, training, and social media. You can learn more at cminst.org.