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All Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use Alveary+ scheduling options with my school, tutorial, or hybrid organization?

Yes! All Alveary schools, tutorials, or hybrid organizations will have the option to add on additional administrator accounts in Syllabird for their teachers.

What are the printing options for the lessons with Alveary+?

All Alveary members have flexibility and can print courses, edit lessons, or order hard copies of lessons. Alveary+ members can print their students' lessons for a single day, a week, or even the entire year with a variety of options.

What happens if we need to take a vacation or have a sick day?

The interface is designed to handle such situations smoothly. Alveary+ members can easily incorporate vacations, sick days, and other changes, and the lessons will automatically reschedule to accommodate.

Can I add in non-Alveary courses to the Alveary+ Syllabird planning tool?

Yes, you can add non-Alveary courses to the planner. You can also include things like piano practice, chores, administrative tasks to keep everything in one place.

Can students really have their own accounts with Alveary+? How does the Transcript tool work?

Yes, students can have their own accounts. They can view their lessons, share comments and upload compositions/narrations.

The Transcript tool keeps track of all the assignments and course completed. Grades can be assigned if desired, and records can be printed off as well.

How does the integration between Alveary and Syllabird work?

When lesson plans are released June 1st, Alveary+ members will receive instructions on how to set up their Alveary+ account with Syllabird. Alveary lessons are preloaded into Syllabird's digital planner, allowing you to customize and schedule lessons easily for each child.

How does Alveary approach history studies?

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 2024-25 is focused on History 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)
When may I register for your 2024-2025 curriculum?

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.

What will I have access to once I have registered?

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. 

How long does my membership last?

All memberships for the 2024-25 school year include access to all three terms of the 2024-25 curriculum, regardless of when you register. Likewise, all 2024-25 memberships expire on June 30, 2025 regardless of when you register. 

How does Alveary answer today's emphasis on STEM?

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.

What kind of support is available?
  • 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.

Who writes the Alveary curriculum?

Our curriculum is written by a team of over 20 veteran Charlotte Mason teachers, homeschool parents, administrators, and researchers.

Can I use Alveary with my co-op, school, or tutorial?

Yes! We have a number of Alveary tutorials, schools, and co-ops and write our lessons with both home and classroom settings in mind. You can read all our guidelines on using Alveary in a co-op or class and becoming an Alveary co-op here. To learn more about using 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.

Does Alveary follow Charlotte Mason's principles?

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.

What kind of books does Alveary use?

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.

Do you offer a curriculum for Canadians?

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.

What if I don’t finish school before June 30? Will I lose access to everything?

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. 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. 

Will I have access to all of the previous years’ curriculum when I register?

New registrants have access only to the curriculum for the academic year for which they register (i.e., 2024-25). Members who renew will keep access to their current curriculum (2023-24) and gain access to the new one (2024-25), 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.

When does the academic year start and finish?

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.

To what degree can students work independently in the Alveary?

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.

Is this a Christian curriculum?

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.

Is Alveary an ‘open-and-go’ program?

Yes and no. 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 the booklists, lesson plans, guidance in making these decisions, and you will also have the support of a thoughtful online community willing to share their experience with you.

How is Alveary structured?

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. 

What is the Charlotte Mason Institute?

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.

Still have a question?

Once you submit your question, our team will decide how best to address it in order to benefit as many people as possible. While some questions may warrant a personal response, some may be best addressed via our newsletter, The Buzz. Another option is to come to our Alveary leadership office hours. Click on the following link, choose a date, and submit your question in the comment section.