Thursday, July 1, 2010

School Plans: Chronicles of Narnia

I'm so excited about the upcoming school year. For the entire 10 years we've been homeschooling, I've used, at least to some degree, Sonlight. I love Sonlight. I love everything about it. Before I knew about Sonlight, I was going to write my own curriculum exactly like this—rich in excellent literature and full of history.

But we all need a break, especially after studying American History for three years. I never intended to spend so much time on American History, but I also didn't want to rush it. I used a combination of Sonlight and various supplements, resulting in Year 1 and Year 2 and, not yet posted, Year 3.

So starting in mid-August (which my Yankee self still balks at), we'll be embarking on a year of Narnia. I know! I'm so bold! My friends gasp when I tell them we aren't doing any history. But really, in the whole scheme of things, what is a year without studying dates and events, reading biographies, or sticking pins in maps? I feel quite confident that my kids aren't going to become academic rejects because they spent a year in a fantasy world. On the contrary, I think this year away will give them a chance to delight in a world with talking animals, Marshwiggles, and Dufflepuds.

We've read the books to them before when they were younger, and Duncan has listened to them all on audiotapes, but this year we'll spend about a month on each book. I actually bought Further Up and Further In, a whole year's unit study, many years ago. I'll be using that as well as various other sources that I find on the internet and in my own head. Of course we'll continue with all our other "regular" school: language arts, science, math, etc. But our "history" and literature will be largely Narnian. I also plan to add in The Princess and the Goblin and The Princess and Curdie, my two favorite George MacDonald books. I was happy to see that movie The Voyage of the Dawn Treader will be coming out in December, corresponding nicely with our reading schedule. And in case you were wondering, we are reading the books in the order in which Lewis wrote them. I'm a purist like that.

You know what else is exciting? My set from my childhood—just like the one in the picture— is so worn out, with so many missing pages, that we'll have to get a new one. I just hope I can find one that has The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe as #1.

I can hardly wait to start writing out my lessons. But first I have to finish reading essays from the co-op class that I taught. Lesson planning is my reward. That's not warped, is it?


  1. Sounds wonderful! We love Narnia too! To our collection we have added the 19 cd audio drama which is fantastic.

  2. I think this is an EXCELLENT idea! Whenever all my kiddos are reading, (dreaming of that day), I will remember this...

  3. My kids will be so jealous! I'll have to check out the Further Up link.

  4. I just picked up a used copy of Further Up, Further In and plan to use this for the spine of my 8th graders studies this fall. Yeah!

  5. Sounds great....We love Narnia...One of our favorite things at MGM at Disney....

  6. Of course it's warped! (at least according to the pattern of THIS world!) ;-D

    Wish we could move to Tennessee for a year augment your class by another 3 students!!

  7. lesson planning is fun, and fun stuff is a reward. doesn't sound warped to me.

    this sounds a lot like me 5 years ago. my oldest was headed to college and my 2nd-oldest to school (9th grade) for the first time, and i finally had JUST my two "little ones" (ages 7 & 10) to teach. i really wanted to have a fun, relaxed year with them, and as part of that, i wanted to take a year's break from our typical history-based studies. i love being history-based, but i find myself easily enslaved to it, and i really just wanted more freedom that year to explore & read what we/i wanted to read w/o it having to tie into a historical period. my kids had recently developed an interest in the narnia books, and so for the first few months, that's what we read. i also bought f.u.f.i., but used it more as a resource than as an actual unit study-- partly bc we'd already read/listened to the first few books, and partly because i didn't want to be enslaved to that, either!

    after that year we went back to being history-based and, like you, i supplemented a lot and refused to rush and took much longer to go through our studies than i'd intended. we just finished 400 years of world & u.s. history, which is "supposed" to take 2 years-- it took us twice that long, and that's with continuing history over the summer! but it was worth it. now we'll be starting the cycle again with ancient history, and since i have a high-schooler, i'll have to really try hard to be good about sticking to plan.

    (wow, i am better at writing blog posts on other peoples' blogs than on my own.)

  8. What a wonderful idea. Getting lost in Narnia for the year. We are actually finishing the last two books in our literature choices this year. Thanks for the head up about the new movie coming out in December, I had no idea. Looking forward to it.

  9. Sarah, I think the Narnia study sounds great! We also love the stories and were excited when we found out that the new movie is coming out at Christmas. I had the same box set as you, but took it to the used book store a few years ago after we bought a book with all of the stories in it. I am looking forward to hearing how the year goes.


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