YMB 13 Plutarch 101: A Conversation with Anne White

Anne White is a mother of three, a long-time member of the Ambleside Online Advisory Board, and the author of numerous resources on the Greek-born Roman historian Plutarch. She joins us on this episode of the podcast to help us figure out how we might approach reading Plutarch with our kids during Morning Time.

Plutarch 101: A Conversation with Anne White - Your Morning Basket

Who was Plutarch? What did he write about? Why did Charlotte Mason consider him worthy of inclusion in her course of study? What can modern-day students hope to glean from learning about people and events from so long ago?

Anne answers these questions and so many more. She explains that the purpose of reading Plutarch is not to get bogged down in names and dates from ancient history, but rather to share stories with our children and, in doing so, to help them grow in virtue and character.

Anne shares how she herself did not understand Plutarch on her first reading, but began to enjoy him after additional reading and study. In sharing her story, Anne reminded me that I can be a fellow learner alongside my children as we approach subjects like these during Morning Time.

Listen along as Anne brings Plutarch to life!

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The Basket Bonus for today’s show is a printable procedure for how to conduct a Plutarch lesson. Enter your email to get access to the Basket Bonus library with this and other great Your Morning Basket printables.


Links and resources from today’s show:

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  • Sarah M says:

    this was lovely! I learned so much. 🙂

  • Amy P says:

    Thanks for this. I’ve been resisting the idea of Plutarch. After this talk, I just picked up an 83 hour long audible version of it. It comes with a pdf of what times each of the stories begin on. I would much rather have an expert read it to me before I go trying to read it to my kids. 🙂

    • mark says:

      Where did you find an 83 hour long audible version of Plutarch? Is it in the public domain?

  • Cindi says:

    That was my question, too! Where did you find the audio version? 😉

  • Carlene says:

    This podcast was so helpful, even in spite of not being completely new to Plutarch too. We started Anne’s Volume 1 book this year in our co-op and the small lessons are all laid out, make it so easy to digest with the kids. Leaves room for great discussions!

  • Melanie Simpson says:

    Thank you so much for this episode! As an English major (undergrad and masters) I found myself putting off introducing Plutarch simple because I found it to be so challenging and was struggling to determine how to go about sharing it with my children:) This was a fantastic instructional episode and I now feel so encouraged and empowered to go forth and read Plutarch!

  • Leslie says:

    Echoing what others said, most encouraging podcast yet! I feel ready to pick Plutarch up right now! Previously, I didn’t see the value of it, but this makes it tangeble and valuable. Thank you both, Anne and Pam!

  • Carolyn says:

    I have had the name Plutarch in my planning books for years, and took it off this year, since nothing was happening! With the podcast, resources and Pam’s lovely procedure, I seems a more realistic task. I will be adding it back in next tern and doing this time.

    It was also pleasure to hear from one of the Ambleside Online writers! Thank you Pam!

  • Melissa says:


    We actually started Plutarch last year unsuccessfully with Timoleon. I was determined to try again this year with 5th and 6th grader. We completed Timoleon and Aemelius Paulus using Anne White’s AO Study Guide. It was difficult!!…but worthy. My kiddos did not like it, nor did they see the value. I will not be picking up another life this year, but will continue to keep trying in future years. Sooner or later, maybe we’ll grow to love it, lol.

    I was also thinking about picking up a copy of the Yesterday’s Classics reprint of Our Young Folks’ Plutarch by Rosalie Kaufman, but am now a little leery. I wonder if it would be considered one of the watered down versions Anne mentioned? Yesterday’s Classics also has two books reprinted by F. J. Gould regarding Plutarch’s Lives. Typically, I find their reprints worthy and many are used in the AO lists. Can anyone speak to the Kaufman or Gould books?


    • Elizabeth says:

      Curious,Melissa, if you got any answers on this. This podcast was so interesting for me. As we are studying Greek history this year, I had purchased the Gould one a while back, but we haven’t read it yet, wondering if I should put it aside,,, Thanks for any input!!!

      • Melissa says:

        Hey Elizabeth,

        I did not get a response back. I did search on the AO Forum as well and it sounds like the Gould edition is very entry level, with Kaufman being next and then Dryden or North. I’m wondering whether or not I should even bother ordering the Kaufman version. My kiddos will be 6th and 7th in the fall so I’m sure we should be reading the real deal. Part of me really wants to give it up altogether, but after studying Charlotte’s 20 principles, Plutarch seems more important for character/citizenship training. Sorry, I’m not much help.


  • Amy Marie says:

    Thank you! I really enjoyed this! We are almost done using one of Anne’s free guides from AO and I must say, I would have been TOTALLY lost without it. Plutarch hasn’t been the easiest thing to use in our home school, but my daughter’s narrations have been enlightening and I believe that she is pulling out some valuable things. One small warning, don’t go TOO slowly with these, because you will forget what is happening! LOL. Not that I know anything about that or anything! 😛 😉

  • Brandy says:

    Enjoyed this and it made me feel so much better. I did Ambleside online with my kids when my oldest was about 4th grade to 7th and she is 22 now. I still remember the utter cluelessness of reading Plutarch’s Lives to them. I might pick it up for myself.

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