Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Chronicles of Narnia for our '13-'14 School Year

    When I say Chronicles of Narnia based literature, I don't mean that's all we'll be reading. Narnia is the spine our literature will be based on. I'm currently working on the rough draft plans.

    We're starting with the Further Up and Further In guide from Cadron Creek (FUFI for the rest of this post). It includes a lot of Bible connections, but misses some of the most obvious ones. There's a fair amount of nature study, scattered. History and geography make random guest appearances. The English is also random, and seems detached.  I started working through the guide making my own rough lesson plans and an extra books and supply list, marking pencil X's through the assignments that I knew we weren't going to do. After that was done I started writing notes directly in the FUFI guide. Yes, I am one of those people who write in books. 

    Grace will do the nature science, and Honor will skip it unless he's particularly interested in it. I'll pad more nature study, readers, and botany study for Grace and call it her science for the year. They'll both do most of the included Bible. The geography will just get added to our small projects list, and we'll go on with our planned geography course for the second half of the school year. We're skipping the English, and I'll pick and choose the composition assignments as we go. Vocab and thought provoking questions will be done orally; boring comprehension questions get skipped

    ROAR! by Heather and David Kopp was the first to get added. The questions and connections in ROAR! are awesome, and much more up our alley than boring comprehension questions. Occasionally they have some great fodder for rabbit trails as well. I wrote the ideas and page numbers I liked right into the FUFI guide in the appropriate Narnia chapter section.

   As I make my way through my summer reading list and find more treasures I want to share with Honor and Grace, I'll find the right place in FUFI and, you guessed it, write in it some more. Actually, I included a few notes for Joy already. I have no doubts she'll jump into their Narnia work when she can. (At nearly 13 she still jumps into the middle of water puddles, just to see if she'll end up in Narnia.)

My Summer Reading

    One major change I made to both FUFI and ROAR! is starting with the appropriate book.  The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe is the rightful place to fall in love with the magic and wonder of Narnia. Period. Starting with the Magician's Nephew is like sneaking a peak at your Christmas presents before it's Christmas. Magician's Nephew will be read just before The Last Battle instead. That's the way of it. (Both books start with Magician's Nephew for some odd reason.)

    Caveat Emptor: If theses lists look too thick or overwhelming, know that if the going gets tough we won't get it all done. I don't rigidly lesson plan, and our schooling must ebb and flow with our life. Some weeks we'll get all those fun projects done, and some weeks life will probably be so hectic we'll be lucky to just get the reading done. One day at a time. =)

The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe

  • When the Sirens Wailed by Noel Streatfeild (Lit)
  • Goodbye Mr. Chips (DVD)
  • Norse Gods and Giants by D'Aulaire (Lit) (If they want more, D'Aulaire also wrote Book of Norse Myths and Book of Trolls)
  • Foods: Turkish delight, English tea, fresh fish and marmalade rolls, 
  • The Knights Handbook
  • Design Your Own Coat of Arms (Dover)
  • King Arthur (Lit)
  • Big Project: Make our own wardrobe with a refrigerator box, mothballs, old coats
  • Smaller projects: Clay statues, statue game, animal tracks, hieroglyphs, stonehenge, Armor of God

The Horse and His Boy

  • 1001 Arabian Nights by Geraldine MacCaughrean (Lit)
  • The Three Godfathers (DVD)
  • Hamlet (Lamb retelling) (Lit)
  • war horses, seascape artist, disguises, sundial, shadow drawing, 
  • Shasta style road trip
  • Foods: meat pasties, punch/sherbet, Gooseberry Fool, goat's milk, porridge with cream, bacon/eggs/mushrooms, meat pie
  • archery
  • heraldry/armory, family motto or crest
  • Mrs. Tiggywingle (Beatrix Potter)

Prince Caspian

  • Sherlock Holmes (Lit)
  • Projects: treasure chamber, chain maille, clay lamp, battle strategy, compass games, illusions, fencing
  • food: campfire apples, fish/apples for breakfast, meat over a fire, oatcakes with fruit, loam, somerset, finest gravel and silversand
  • sea water, water cycle, sea and ocean geography
  • Mermaid Tales from Around the World (Lit)
  • mythology: wood nymphs, dwarves
  • DVD on Grand Canyon (erosion over long time periods)
  • row boats, rowing
  • particular chapters of Perelandria and Till We Have Faces (or the whole works for Joy)
  • Tanglewood Tales by Nathaniel Hawthorne (particularly Circe's Palace) (Lit)

Voyage of the Dawn Treader

  • Gulliver's Travels (Lit)
  • Ship by David Macaulay
  • Carry On, Mr. Bowditch (for learning more on sea navigation) (Lit)
  • ships logbook
  • DVD on slavery
  • Androcles and the Lion (short story)
  • Dawn Treader logbook, chess, snakes, invisible ink, trade winds, stars, water lillies, sea horses, limericks, constellations
  • King Midas
  • Midsummer Night's Dream (Lamb retelling)
  • Tom Sawyer
  • food: mead and curds, feast
  • portions of Henry the Fourth, Rime of the Ancient Mariner, LeMorte d'Arthur
  • Ulysses and the Sirens

The Silver Chair

  • Homer biography
  • owls, dissect an owl pellet
  • To Build a Fire (short story, Jack London)
  • food: eel pie, castle dinner, comfits and posset, centaur breakfast, cock-a-leekie soup
  • Trafalgar Square, signs to remember, Saint Paul dome/arched bridge/Stonehenge, frostbite
  • Hamlet DVD
  • Comedy of Errors (Lamb retelling)
  • portions of Surprised by Joy and Poems (both by C.S. Lewis)

The Magician's Nephew

  • Sherlock Holmes (especially The Speckled Band)
  • Treasure Island DVD
  • The Story of the Treasure Seekers by Edith Nesbit
  • Atlantis
  • solargraphic paper project

The Last Battle

    As you can see, I'm not done. But it's only June. And I'll be adding more notes after I get into The Family Guide.

    Just to make this post even bigger, here's a random weekly sample. Week 3 of The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe
 Day 1:
  • Read chapter 9: In the Witch's House 
  • Discuss vocab orally (4 words)
  • Why did Edmund feel different than everyone else at the mention of Aslan's name?
  • ROAR! p. 90-91, discuss questions and "Grown up thoughts"
  • (Bible) look up verses on selfishness
  • (Lit connection) read short introduction to a Norse myth, begin reading from D'Aulaire's Norse Gods and Giants, find where Norse mythology originated from (continue D'Aulaire book daily until finished)
  • (project) make clay sculptures like the White Witch would have had in her castle
Day 2
  • Read chapter 10: The Spell Begins to Break
  • Discuss vocab (2 words)
  • (Bible) Armor of God, Ephesians 6:10-18, memorize, what do the children's gifts symbolize? (Peter's sword = Faith, etc.)
  • ROAR! p. 92-93, discuss questions
  • (Bible) 1 Corinthians 12 and 13, what are some gifts the Holy Spirit gives
  • skip the composition assignment and pronoun lesson
  • (Lit) Tolkien's Father Christmas letters
Day 3
  • Read chapter 11: Aslan Is Nearer
  • Discuss vocab (5 words)
  • Margin questions in ROAR p. 95
  • FUFI critical thinking questions, discuss orally
  • fog, cause of fog, what did it mean to the witch when it became foggier
  • (Nature study) draw pictures of several different plants (listed in FUFI), add a fact to each drawing
  • (Nature study) tracking animals, eraser stamping animal tracks
  • (Food) make plum pudding
Day 4
  • Read chapter 12: Peter's First Battle
  • Discuss vocab (3 words)
  • (Bible) Peter gets a new name, Matthew 16:15-19, a disciple answered Jesus, received a new name, and was told he'd be leader of His new church
  • "Good and terrible," Deuteronomy 7:21
  • margin questions in ROAR p. 97
  • Peter didn't feel brave, read quotes FUFI p. 61, discuss courage, duty and fear, give examples
  • draw or paint children's view from top of the hill
  • (Nature study) add flowering currants, hawthorn bushes and elms to plant notebook, start bird section with kingfisher and thrush
Day 5
  • Norse Gods and Giants, look for other references to Norse myths in the Chronicles
  • wrap up any open projects, or do clay statues here instead


  1. Looks like fun! I have a huge Narnia-related lit list on my blog. We haven't formally gone through it, but we've read many of the books now.


  2. This is awesome! Hope you will update your notes as you get to the Last Battle and later books :) I'd love to buy your FUFI guide when you're done this year - all those notes would make it a treasure for sure!

  3. I forgot all about updating this. We've had a great year. :) I'm pretty sure I won't be able to part with my FUFI until my three year old is old enough to have used it or it's clear he just won't. LOL