For the Young Lady at the Bend in the Road

“…my future seemed to stretch out before me like a straight road. I thought I could see along it for many a milestone. Now there is a bend in it. I don’t know what lies around the bend, but I’m going to believe that the best does. It has a fascination of its own, that bend…”
Anne of Green Gables, chapter 38de816-p1050218

For my oldest daughter’s 8th grade year, I undertook a booklist with a different vision, one which had at its heart a feminine spirit.  This is that book list, which for my daughter and I, represents a year full of cherished memories and delightful acquaintances.

Using the Anne of Green Gables books as its inspiration, this study provides for a young lady (of middle school/early high school) a booklist of direction and inspiration in developing in the many feminine virtues and domestic skills, so often belittled or eschewed in our current culture.  Toward this end, the booklist offers literature from the Victorian and Edwardian period that accompanies Anne most naturally: friends such as Jo and Beth from Little Women, and the poetry of Ms. Montgomery herself, which is such a strong and utterly delightful support in this study.  Following Anne through the books and through the year, my daughter found a quiet and very comfortable companion for “the bend in the road.”  As Anne matures, her rich and ebullient life provide much for mother and daughter to discuss; it is a time to be cherished, and if you have not read these books yet dear reader, it is time to introduce yourself along with your daughter.

As the booklist naturally evolved, subjects connected themselves quite naturally so that this particular year looked more like a unit study if you are familiar with that style of learning.  The literature, the history, even the Botany which emphasized naturalists from the period, all spring from the same lovely time in which Anne found herself singing off those pages as Ms. Montgomery penned her.

In addition to books, many wonderful movies and programs are listed as a suggestion to be enjoyed alongside this plan (and it is understood that families will exercise prudence in choosing to view any movie listed).

As part of this study, an emphasis on developing virtues, each represented by a different flower, is presented using The Catholic Girls Guide by Father Lasance.  Additionally, reading from the lives of saints representative of the virtues discussed in Father’s book is listed. References to the Catechism of the Catholic Church and the Bible are provided to further guide virtue development as well as apologetics of particular teachings pertaining to the virtues being studied.

The year and booklist seemed to ask quietly to be contained as flowers do, in a lovely way, fitting a young lady.  So, I organized it into baskets (and as you know, I do love baskets!) named for the flowers that Father Lasance offers as representatives of the virtues discussed in The Catholic Girl’s Guide.  There are four baskets for dividing the year into four quarters.

Since I’ve been asked several times lately for these plans, I decided I’d post them here for you to see, enjoy, and perhaps they’ll inspire a year of delight for your young lady.
Literature For the Young Lady – yearly booklist

….and because the science, which focused on Botany for this year, is such a particular delight, I’ve decided to post those plans in a separate format in case you’d like to use them:

With this booklist, I hope I’ve drawn out the best and loveliest from this period which might be suitable, even inspiring for a young lady, intentionally choosing to point out the good and beautiful while sharing Anne with my daughter as a companion throughout the year.

I hope you and your daughters will enjoy this study and that time spent at the “bend in the road” as my daughter and I have.  It has been several years since we completed this booklist and began to journey and look beyond that fascinating bend together, and we cherish our memories of the year.  I pray that in sharing it with you, it is as much a blessing as it has been for us.

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  1. Jen, I would love to peruse the Botany & Natural History plans and booklists, but cannot open the acrobat files on my iPad (which is the only computer I can use with my disabilities). Might you be able to post a link to a pdf version? I don't know how easy that would be for you to do; I don't wish to be a bother!

  2. Thank you SO SO much for posting these Jen! I can't tell you how thrilled I am. I remember you posting these links a few years ago and really wanted to use them with my daughter this year. Unfortuntaly I could not find the exact post on your blog. What a blessing that you re-posted the links. Thanks again!
    Blessings in Christ
    Shirley Ann

  3. Hi ellie,
    I'm so sorry you're unable to see the botany plans. Blogger does not allow me to put pdfs directly on my blog which is why I have Acrobat host them for me. The link to acrobat is really just a link to a pdf you can download and print. Is anyone else having trouble seeing the Botany plans via the link? I just checked and I'm able to open them and see them just fine.

    In any case, ellie, if you'll email me, I'll be happy to send you the pdf files directly so that you can see them. (rjmack @ ardmore dot net) take out the spaces and substitute a . for the “dot”

    I would appreciate it if any of you have trouble viewing the files! Please let me know if so! 🙂

    Thank you all for the kind words – it makes me so happy to share the plans!

  4. Jen~ Wow. How wonderfully BEAUTIFUL. And girly. And rigorous. I was showing this to my now grown daughter who said, ” But Mom, we read some 'Anne' books,too”. And I said “But not like THIS!” When you get ready to do this for your little men, could you give me the heads up??? We'll want to be in your 'class'! :o)

  5. Hi again Jen, just wanted you to know that I have nominated your blog for two lovely awards – details on my blog. Please do not feel pressured to take them up, I just really wanted to share your blog – it is so lovely.

    PS I managed to download all your files. No problems on my side ;o)

  6. Thank you for posting this Jen. My only daughter will be ready for a list such as this next year. I can't wait to do this with her. I'm wondering how you schedule the baskets. Are they divided by quarter?

  7. Wonderful, Becky!

    The baskets are simply scheduled by term – so 4 baskets :: 4 terms in the year :: divide your school year into 4 terms/baskets. For a 36 week school year, we took 8 weeks per basket. That took 32 weeks, leaving us 1 week after each term to complete projects, do any extra reading…so essentially, 9 weeks to complete each basket.

  8. I was so excited to read your post. I picked up “Anne of Green Gables @ Target in the $1 section about a week ago and my 10 yr old daughter read it in two days. She loved it. After we she read it we got the movie out of the library and watched it together. It was so exciting to share something so good wholesome that I had experienced with her. I wasn't sure of the names of the other titles but thanks to your post we now have them! I just love the way God works!!

  9. For clarification, Elizabeth and I collaborated for a short period of time on *Literature for the Young Lady*, which is why the post on Serendipity and mine are so similar. I wrote the original *Literature for the Young Lady* post on Serendipity that you linked to, Anonymous. Elizabeth wrote all year two posts on Serendipity.

    The work I shared on this post (on my blog) is all my work. I formatted and built the plans for the baskets, and therefore, I can joyfully share them here. Elizabeth shared her version of Literature for the Young Lady, on Serendipity, which she enjoyed with her daughter. They're both similar because they both came from a common point originally as we sought to share Literature with our young ladies! However, each version is slightly different in choice of books and overall vision since they represent our different tastes and vision for the year of literature that would unfold. Thanks for letting me clarify that. 🙂

  10. How inspiring! I love the feminine touch. Thanks. Reminds me of the year I finished off our eldest daughter's schooling using Polished Cornerstones as the main part of her schooling. After all, her goal was to be a godly woman.

    God has richly inspired you to bless homeschoolers. Thanks so much.

  11. Hi Jen,

    I just happened upon this wonderful post. It’s an answer to my prayers! Unfortunately, every time I click on a link, it just takes me to an Adobe webpage. Could you check the links to see if they work on your end? Thank you so much and God bless!

    1. Oh dear! Thanks for letting me know about these links, Jodi! When I moved my blog a couple of years ago, I tried to fix all the old links to Adobe to update them…but I knew I forgot some! I’m so grateful when someone comments and lets me know of a broken link!

      I’m updating the links for you right now so if you check back in a couple of hours you should be able to open and download and print away! 🙂

      1. Ok – just finished updating all the files – they can now be opened and downloaded and printed! Don’t be afraid to write all over them, change them and update them to fit your young lady!

        Oh – I added a file to a planning grid worksheet that I had made and forgotten to add to the original post! So, there’s a bonus file up there for you now! Hope this helps, Jodi! 🙂

        1. These plans are wonderful! You are truly talented. Thank you for sharing them, and for fixing them so quickly! 🙂 God bless you and your family.

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