All About the Four Gentle Learning Co. Cycles

Bible

The GLC cycles include a chronological Bible reading plan to take you through the whole Bible in one year, two years, four years, or eight years. I wrote a blog post to share all about these Bible reading plans, here.

If you choose to go through the Bible in eight years, these are the books of the Bible you'll be reading from:

CYCLE 1

First Time Through

Genesis, Job, Exodus, Leviticus

Second Time Through

2 Kings, 2 Chronicles, Jonah, Isaiah, Amos, Micah, Psalms, Hosea, Nahum, Zephaniah, Jeremiah

 

 

 

 

CYCLE 2

First Time Through

Leviticus, Numbers, Psalms, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges

Second Time Through

Jeremiah, Psalms, 2 Kings, 2 Chronicles, Habakkuk, Lamentations, Ezekiel, Joel, Daniel, Ezra, Haggai, Zechariah, Esther

 

 

 

CYCLE 3

First Time Through

Judges, Ruth, 1 Samuel, Psalms, 2 Samuel, 1 Chronicles

Second Time Through

Ezra, Nehemiah, Psalms, Malachi, Luke, John, Matthew, Mark, Acts

 

 

 

 

CYCLE 4

First Time Through

2 Samuel, Psalms, 1 Chronicles, 1 Kings, Song of Solomon, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, 2 Kings, Obadiah

Second Time Through

Acts, James, Galatians, 1 Thessalonians, 2 Thessalonians, 1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians, Romans, Colossians, Philemon, Ephesians, Philippians, 1 Timothy, Titus, 1 Peter, Hebrews, 2 Timothy, 2 Peter, Jude, 1 John, 2 John, 3 John, Revelation

Memory Work

The four cycles line up perfectly with the Claritas Publishing classical memory work. Using this memory work in your homeschool days is optional, but it is really rich and full. Each cycle contains 28-weeks worth of memory work on the following subjects: English Grammar, Math, Science, History, Geography, Hymns, Scripture and Latin. The GLC cycles were built around the Claritas cycles. I wrote a blog post about the memory work here.

Bible Memory

In addition to the Scripture memory work that is included in Claritas Publishing's guides, I have added two additional verses per week for all twenty-eight weeks of each cycle. I am also working on a Scripture Memory-to Music project on this site here.

Apologetics & Worldview

There are twenty-eight apologetics questions in each cycle. There is one main apologetics book scheduled for Forms 1-3 that follows these questions, and then the Form 4 & 5 students are addressing the same questions in books at their level. In addition, Form 4 & 5 students "Worldview," or "Life" reading books, like Boundaries by Cloud & Townsend and 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens by Stephen Covey.

CYCLE 1

Sample Apologetics Questions:

  • Can I forgive someone who hurt me?
  • Is¬†faith in Christ necessary for salvation?
  • Do all religions ultimately point to God?
  • Is God all-powerful?

Some of the Form 4 & 5 Books:

  • More Than a Carpenter by Josh McDowell
  • The Knowledge of the Holy by A.W. Tozer
  • Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis

 

CYCLE 2

Sample Apologetics Questions:

  • Are all people made in the image of God?
  • ¬†Is Jesus both God and man?
  • Does the Holy Spirit guide us in truth?
  • If I'm a good person, will I go to heaven?

Some of the Form 4 & 5 Books:

  • The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel
  • Counter Culture by David Platt
  • Absolute Surrender: The Blessedness of Forsaking All and Following Christ by Andrew Murray

CYCLE 3

Sample Apologetics Questions:

  • If God is loving, how can He send people to hell?
  • ¬†Is there any evidence that Jesus actually existed?
  • Does every believer have a spiritual gift?
  • Is the Bible reliable?

Some of the Form 4 & 5 Books:

  • The Treasure Principle by Randy Alcorn
  • Knowing God by J.I. Packer
  • Ever-loving Truth: Can Faith Thrive in a Post-Christian Culture? by Voddie Baucham
  • ¬†

CYCLE 4

Sample Apologetics Questions:

  • If God is good, why is there so much evil in the world?
  • ¬†Does God know everything?
  • Is confessing sin important for a Christian?
  • Is stewardship important for a Christian?

Some of the Form 4 & 5 Books:

  • How to Be Your Own Selfish Pig by Susan Schaeffer Macaulay
  • The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis
  • The Cost of Discipleship by Dietrich Bonhoeffer
  • ¬†

Hymn Study

There are four hymns scheduled for singing each week (two per day, rotating) and there is one hymn scheduled for reading about each week (and at least 8 books suggested to read from per term, with reading schedules). If you follow the four GLC cycles, you will study more than 100 hymns in 4 years' time!

I have scheduled my favorite hymn books for kids, and though they're out of print, I highly recommend trying to find a copy of each volume of Bobbie Wolgemuth & Joni Eareckson Tada's Hymns for a Kid's'Heart. There are pictures of these books below, and a list of some sample hymns that are sung in each cycle (some of the hymns will be found in these books, but not all). There are other hymn study books scheduled as well (including several that are still in print and easy to find).

CYCLE 1

  • This is My Father's World
  • Holy, Holy, Holy
  • O for a Thousand Tongues to Sing

CYCLE 2

  • Praise to the Lord, the Almighty
  • Trust and Obey
  • To God Be the Glory

CYCLE 3

  • Be Thou My Vision
  • I Surrender All
  • I Need Thee Every Hour

CYCLE 4

  • All Glory, Laud and Honor
  • It is Well with My Soul
  • How Great Thou Art

Read Aloud Books

There are read aloud books scheduled for each week, at a pace of approximately four chapters per week (depending on the length of the length of the chapters). At STAR Homeschool Community, families with students in Forms 2 and 3 are reading these books and discussing them in class. Below are pictures of just two of the books for each cycle.

In addition, there is one story per week (28 stories total) scheduled for Form 1 students (picture books).

History

This is my favorite part of the GLC cycles: history is taught chronologically, over four years! And then, once you've covered every year of His Story and learning about the people and places He created, you get to start over. Only, your kids will be a little older, and maybe you'll read different books, and dig a little deeper into a different subject. Keep a timeline book and draw maps and solidify all of these ideas in your kids' minds!

There are several options for living history books scheduled in the GLC reading plans. There are two options for most books: read them cover-to-cover, or simply read the chapters that line up perfectly with the week's memory work. This is really a choose-your-own-adventure curriculum.

Geography

The GLC Geography reading plans follow the Claritas Geography memory work. There are several books scheduled as options for your family. Sit together at the couch or at your dining room table and look at maps, read about places, enjoy photos of what people eat and how they live in other parts of the world, and pray for people who live far away from you.

Science & Nature

The Claritas Publishing memory work guides include one or two main science subjects each year. I have added to those subjects to provide a large buffet of choices for your family. When you come back around to a cycle again, you can either dig deeper into a science subject you have already covered, or choose to move on and cover another subject. It's also Charlotte Mason-style to read little bits of lots of different subjects, over time, so don't feel limited to one or two science topics per year. You can read more about the Science & Nature Scope and Sequence here.

CYCLE 1

Main Subject

  • Biology

Other Subjects

  • Anatomy
  • Insects
  • Botany
  • Animals
  • Deserts

CYCLE 2

Main Subjects

  • Astronomy & Geology

Other Subjects

  • Marine Biology/
  • Ocean Life
  • Water Cycle
  • Mountains

 

CYCLE 3

Main Subject

  • Chemistry

Other Subjects

  • Gardens
  • Birds
  • Ponds
  • Farms
  • Biology (repeated from C1)

CYCLE 4

Main Subject

  • Physics

Other Subjects

  • Weather
  • Safety
  • Forests
  • Jungles

 

Enrichment

Each cycle includes 4 artists (with 7 paintings each), 4 composers (with 7 songs each), 4 poets (with 4 poems each) and eight or more handicrafts.

Habit Training

Each cycle includes four character traits and twenty-eight life skills, as well as suggested books and schedules for reading about these important habits.

Math

There are so many options for math, and it's hard to narrow down the very best program for each child. I wanted to give you some options, though, so I have scheduled out five different math curriculums. Take your pick, or use another one of your choice.

Language Arts

A Charlotte Mason purist would only use narration, dictation and copywork until the student is in middle school or higher. I describe how to do all of that in the online portal. I also suggest multiple language arts programs and I suggest how to schedule those, as well.

Form 4 and 5 students are introduced to beautiful and classic literature and have writing assignments scheduled as well.

More Reading Schedules!

In addition to the read aloud schedules and the history, geography and science reading schedules, I have planned out extra read aloud or independent reading books. Some of these books line up with the history time period, and some are just for "fun." Cycle 2 includes four additional reading tracks and Cycle 3 includes ten!

Electives

Each cycle includes at least one elective subject. 

CYCLE 1

Team Policy Debate & Economics

 

CYCLE 2

Speech & Personal Finance/Money Skills

CYCLE 3

Government

 

CYCLE 4

Logic

 

Support for Moms

You won't be alone as you navigate the reading plans on this site! We've got an online community that comes free with every cycle, as well as optional book clubs.

Virtual Classes

We have online classes to go along with the Cycle content. You can see our current classes here.

18 Months of Access & Printables to Keep Forever

While many online programs allow access for just 12 months, I want to give you ample time for planning out your school year. You will have access to the Cycle contents for 18 months after purchase. And, you can print all of the reading schedules, put them in a binder, and keep them for as long as you like!

A Preview of the Reading Plans

If you're curious about what the reading plans look like, check out this blog post.

Ready to Purchase?

It starts with selecting your cycle:

Cycle 1

n/a

Coming, May 2025

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Cycle 2

$99

Available!

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Cycle 3

$99

Available!

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Cycle 4

$99

Available!

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More questions? Here are some FAQs!

What are "Forms"?

Forms are our groupings of students, instead of dividing them into 12 grade levels. Form 1 is 4 years old through first grade. Form 2 is second and third grade. Form 3 is fourth through sixth grade. Form 4 is seventh and eighth grade. Form 5 is ninth through twelfth grade.

 

How many weeks of reading plans are included in the cycles?

The GLC reading plans are 28 weeks long. I used to use curriculum that was 36 weeks long and I felt so overwhelmed by it! Twenty eight weeks is just the right amount of time to allow for ample holidays, time to explore subjects that your children are interested in, field trips, and family vacations.

 

I see that you mention the idea of whole-family-learning. I only have one child. Can I still use your reading plans?

Absolutely! These reading plans will work for families with one child or families with several children!

 

I hate screens. Will my kids need to be looking at screens to use this program?

I get it! Once you print the reading plans that you want to use, you can close your laptop and open books! There is no need for your student to look at screens in order to be educated with these reading plans. A couple of exceptions to this might be if you want to: learn hymns using YouTube, use the memory work Roku channel, or if you want your student taking a virtual class. These are all optional, of course. Form 4 and 5 students will be asked to research places and events. A good encyclopedia set and an atlas will be sufficient for offline research for these students. There are two subjects that will require access to current news articles, for Form 4 & 5 students: Team Policy Debate, and Extemporaneous Speech.These are optional electives, and you can avoid this kind of online research completely if you choose to.

 

Are there any printable worksheets included in the GLC program?

No. Charlotte Mason-style homeschooling includes lots of reading aloud, and then narration, dictation, and copywork--but no worksheets. In the future, I may sell additional resources with copywork sheets, but not word finds, crossword puzzles or fill-in-the-blank exercises.

There are TONS of printable reading plans included here, but no worksheets.

 

Do the Gentle Learning Co. reading plans include fables and folk tales?

Yes--and they are optional to use. I understand that some families have convictions about reading some of the darker stories to young children. Every part of the GLC reading plans is optional. Think of it like a buffet line, and you get to pick the entrees that look the most appealing to you.

I included these classic stories because 1. I majored in English Literature in college and I adore literature. And, 2. I think it boils down to the philosophy of education--and I personally believe that there is no safer place for a child to learn about these things than in his mama's arms. Our children will be exposed to evil in the world, there is no question. I believe that using stories is a great way to gently, slowly, show a child what he or she might face, and then explain it in context of God's Word. What does the Father say about this particular thing? With these kinds of conversations, we can set up a framework for how our child thinks about these subjects, and for how they will manage the trials they face in their own life. That said, feel free to look over the reading selections to decide the very best stories for your family.

 

Do the GLC reading plans introduce children to mythology?

Not yet--and yes, they will. I haven't created the Cycle 1 history plans, but I do intent to include information about Greek and Roman gods, and ancient Egyptian gods, etc. Again, you can choose to skip over these things. Some parents prefer to wait until their child is a particular age to introduce these things.

I introduced these fake, little "g" gods to my kids and kept pointing out how they weren't powerful, or all-knowing, or all-seeing like the One True God that we read about in the Bible. I would say "isn't this silly? They believed this god and worshipped him, and he wasn't even real!" Through these kinds of conversations, plus plenty of focus on the Word of God, my children have been able to discern the Real God from these fake little "g" gods. The reading plans will include these subjects, but you can choose to omit them or hold off on teaching these things. It is really up to you! 

 

Why did you start with Cycle 2?

I started with Cycle 2 because my family had recently studied ancient history and I was ready to move on! Our daughter Ruby will be a senior in the 2024-2025 school year, and I wanted to get through Cycle 4 with her. Don't worry, I'll come back around and create the Cycle 1 reading plans. The gaol is to have this finished by May of 2025!

 

What denomination are you?

Great question! I currently attend a Baptist church with my family, but we have typically attended non-denominational churches. These reading plans are created with my Christian worldview in mind. Meaning, I don't include books that are not true, beautiful, lovely or pure. When books include messages that are contrary to Scripture (like an evolutionary perspective), I make a note of it to let you know.

 

Do you believe in a young, round earth?

Yes. I believe God created the earth in 7 days, like He said He did in Genesis. I schedule and link to books and resources with the same perspective, like books from Answers in Genesis, videos from Awesome Science, and the Jonathan Park audio stories.

 

Can a non-Christian use your reading plans?

Sure! Like I've mentioned, this is like a giant buffet, a choose-your-own-adventure kind of program. You get to pick and choose what you want to use. Books written with a Christian worldview are clearly noted. Feel free to choose the books that work best for your family.

 

Can I access the reading plans on my phone?

Yes! Download the Kajabi app. After you've purchased a cycle, it will show up in your Library on the app. It's pretty easy to use, too!

 

Weren't these reading plans free?

Yes, for a period of time, I offered the Cycle 3 reading plans for free. I wanted to provide an introduction to what the GLC reading plans are like, so I offered them free of charge. More than 500 people got access to Cycle 3 this way! Amazing! I may offer free links in the future, too. Make sure to sign up to receive emails from me so that you can stay in the loop.

 

Why do you offer 18 months of access instead of 12 months, or "lifetime access"?

I want moms to have time to plan their homeschool days and weeks ahead of time, instead of just giving you 12 months to plan, teach, and wrap up the school year. I didn't provide "lifetime access" because 1. I wanted to be able to offer the cycles at a lower cost than "lifetime access" would allow. And 2. because I am updating the cycles and adding new content over time, and I want you to be able to see the new content when you come back around to a cycle (in four years). I don't want to create content that will become stale, just sitting there, but that you have lifetime access to. I want fresh, evolving, growing content on this site, and purchases that last for 18 months will allow for that.