One of the greatest joys of homeschooling is sharing beautiful literature with my children.
This year we've fallen in love (again) with The Chronicles of Narnia.
I've started at the beginning (The Magician's Nephew - there is some debate whether this is the "beginning" - I think it makes sense to read it first) and am reading every book in the series aloud to my 11 year old son.
(My daughter devoured the series when she was in the 4th grade... first with me reading it aloud, and then she wanted to read the series AGAIN on her own. I LOVE that!)
I used to foolishly believe we didn't have TIME for read alouds in our homeschool day. Now that I am older and hopefully wiser I realize reading aloud is perhaps the SINGLE BEST INVESTMENT we can make in our children's education.
Shared moments during a wonderful piece of literature remain in our children's memories for a lifetime.
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Why THIS Series?
Out of all the series out there to be read aloud, this series is so rich in symbolism, language, imagination, and depth.
The books provide a fantastic STORY for all ages and older children can dig into the rich MEANING behind the words, while adults can reflect on an even deeper level about our own faith.
You can learn history (WWII and the history surrounding CS Lewis' time), geography (England), science (lions), English (literary devices), and so much more. In fact, I have a FREE DOWNLOAD for you at the end of this post to help enhance your children's learning!
( In our Challenge program the children explore these books and write persuasive essays on them. )
Then, there is just the pure ENJOYMENT and WONDER factor... each time I read aloud from these books my children's attention is focused on the story and we all want to hear MORE. Generally I'm sitting on the sofa and LEGOS are being built and a dog is curled up close by.
It's a precious time I want to make the most of.
So I would challenge you.... if you've never read this series aloud to your children, you MUST! Or, if you're not a huge reading aloud person, get the audio books (I have some suggestions below.).
Ideas & Resources for The Chronicles of Narnia
Books and Audio:
We own the entire series -- I discovered quickly children want to read these books again and again. Whether you read them aloud, alone, or listen to the audiobook, the gift of CS Lewis remains the same.
( After we finish the series this time, we will also be doing A Year With Aslan - Daily Reflections from The Chronicles of Narnia. What a great way to keep CS Lewis' message close to our hearts . )
If you're an audio book person, you can always use the unabridged audio books and keep them in the car for entertainment on the go!
The BBC offers a wonderful radio dramatization of The Chronicles of Narnia... we're big fans of this!
And, Focus on the Family has their own radio dramatization, too.
And... you can listen to some of the books for FREE online at Ancient Faith Ministries.
Our most recent reading of The Chronicles of Narnia was inspired because of a play we wanted to see at The Alliance Theater in Atlanta. (You can see pics and an article from Broadway World -- what a great experience!) We went with a large group of friends to the play last week, and I wanted to have read the books again in preparation.
The show did not disappoint, and was an incredible one hour performance -- told from the perspective of an adult Peter & Lucy -- of their adventures in Narnia. Everything that happened OUTSIDE the circle was NOW... inside the circle was back THEN. It was so well done!
Investigate to see if there is going to be a performance in your area - and take your children to see it!
Unit Studies, Lapbooks, & More
Certainly reading the series can stand ALONE, but we've found a lot of supplemental resources over the years that just enhance our learning. I've compiled a few of our favorites. Remember, find ONE GOOD RESOURCE and utilize it. Less is more.
- Free lapbooks from Homeschool Share
- Resources Guides for all of the books from CSLewis.org
- The Chronicles of Narnia Online Games from Harper Collins
- The Chronicles of Narnia Unit Study
- Confessions of a Homeschooler has a nice unit study on The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe
- Believing in Narnia: A Kid's Guide to Unlocking The Secret Symbols of Faith in the Chronicles of Narnia
- The Chronicles of Narnia Course from Christianity Today
Yes, we watch the movies, but not until we've read the books! It's fun to compare, contrast, and have good discussions after we've read and watched.
I've been taping them as I see them come on cable, but here are links to the various movies so you can see for yourself.
FREE Copywork Download
Children learn to be good writers by following models. I have found the act of copying passages/quotes from great pieces of literature to be of tremendous value to my children.
Not only does it cement great writing in their heads, but it also helps them practice their own handwriting and habit of excellence and attention.
I have created print and cursive copywork pages for The Magician's Nephew. Each version includes 8 quotes from the book with lined paper for copywork.
Simply click the images below to download the version you would like!
Have you read The Chronicles of Narnia to your children? Or have your children read them on their own? I'd love to know about your experience with this series!