Tuesday Tome Week 39 – The Last Battle

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My daughter, who is six, says that The Last Battle is her favorite book in all The Chronicles of Narnia. I don’t think it was my favorite, but it was definitely a great book to read.

The Last Battle

The allegories to the Christian journey continued and culminated with the last scenes where all the characters come back. We had to go back to the first volume to remember if the first king of Narnia, King Frank, was a policeman or a cabby (he was a cabby) because we had forgotten such details.

It was good to recount who was who and who did what and when. The children remembered more than I did, which is a good thing. I have enough things to remember as it is. Information overload is the story of a mother’s life.

One thing we have been doing more and more of is highlight humorous passages. For example, the kids laugh when a character says, “Hallo! What are we stopping for?” or “aii-aii-aouwee!” or “ow! ow! What d’you do that for!” They are beginning to take literature in and react and respond to different scenes and turns of phrases, the silly ones for now, but others later on, too, I am sure. That was my goal all along.

Once literature speaks to them directly, they will reach for books again and again. It’s like anything else. You cannot force them to love music (or Jesus). You put them in the presence of music (or Jesus) over and over and then music (or Jesus) works its (His) magic. Continue reading »

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Tuesday Tome Week 38 – The Silver Chair

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The Silver Chair did not seem very interesting to me at first. It took more than half the book to even understand the title. I felt confused by the whole layout of the land described and the Marsh-Wiggle called Puddleglum. (Uh, what’s a Marsh-Wiggle?)

The Silver Chair

The book begins with Eustace helping a school mate, Jill, while she is being chased by bullies. They both escape to Narnia just in time before the bullies get to Jill. Folks, this is 1950 and C.S. Lewis knew enough about schools in those days to put a bit of them in his books. The bullies today work just the same, if not worse.  Continue reading »

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Tuesday Tome Week 37 – The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

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The Voyage of the Dawn Treader is the fifth volume of The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis. The Dawn Treader is a Narnian sail boat which belongs to Prince Caspian. Lucy and Edmund join him on this ship and end up going to the end of the world in it.

The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

One of these days, you will have to sit down and read this book. Especially if you miss the seaside and it’s cold outside and you just got overwhelmed by wanderlust. It’s an adventure and most children will enjoy it, too.  Continue reading »

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Tuesday Tome Week 36 – Prince Caspian

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Prince Caspian is the fourth volume in The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis. We read these books out loud – I read them to the kids – one chapter or two per day. They love Narnia. We also listen to the radio theater version created by Focus on the Family and watch the BBC version from 1988.

Prince Caspian

The children liked Prince Caspian a lot. In fact, my six-year-old said she liked it better than The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. I think I liked it better myself. The journey narrative made me think of our own journey through life.

And then, why do we journey? A battle awaits at the end of a journey – a confrontation with envious, jealous people, who want to either kill us or take away our birthright. Whether they symbolize the forces of evil or mean-spirited people in our own lives, it depends on every context. But I can see this scenario repeated in small things and big things in the human experience and especially in the experience of a Christian – somebody who has taken God, the King of Kings, as their Father. Which, of course, makes us princes and princesses, heirs and heiresses.

There were some funny parts, especially the ones involving Dwarfs. And then there was the chilling realization that the White Witch is back in a different form. Even the radio theater people, by using the same voice, made sure we got the hint. When I asked the children, they said they knew. They could tell it was her again.

The moments when Aslan pops into the story are as touching as ever. My children love Aslan and they know he is a symbol of Jesus.

The best part for me was the location of the battle: Aslan’s How. I think C. S. Lewis was brilliant when he came up with that. The method of Aslan or his “how” should be paramount in our minds and hearts. All in all, a great, meditative read.

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Radio Theater from Focus on the Family

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As we homeschool, we morph and change. The children grow and we grow with them. I drove them to Knoxville (one hour both ways) for three years to participate in Adventure Club – a scouting program through our church.

Then, I got burned out. They were younger. No matter what we did in the car for their entertainment, they drove me crazy. My children have never traveled well. It was just too much driving for their age and it had to stop.

Focus on the Family Narnia radio theater

Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis in radio theater form on 19 CDs.

Nine months later, they are different people. Plus, we have discovered radio theater CDs from Focus on the Family. We have listened to almost the whole series of Adventures in Odyssey. We are working through Chronicles of Narnia now.  Continue reading »

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Tuesday Tome Week 35 – The Horse and His Boy

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Volume 3 in The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis, The Horse and His Boy was a completely unknown book to me. How sad! This book has fed me so much since we read it with the children. We also listened to it in radio theater form from Focus on the Family.

The Horse and His Boy

Shasta is an orphan boy raised by a cruel man, who ends up running away to Narnia on a talking horse. So now you know who the characters in the title are. The books presents several other memorable characters as Shasta meets friends and foes on the way to his new destiny.  Continue reading »

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Tuesday Tome Week 34 – The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

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The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is the second volume of The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis and, probably, the best-known and the most read. Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy spend their summer in the country because of the war (this was World War II England – a chance to discuss some history with the kids), in the home of an old professor. There, Lucy walks into a wardrobe and, from there, into Narnia, a magical land.

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

C. S. Lewis wrote about Narnia and you could just enjoy the story as it is, of course. But the writer meant it all as an allegory of the Christian walk and a human’s relationship with Jesus Christ. Aslan, the lion in the title, represents Jesus. The Witch represents Satan and, at times, our fallen nature. The Wardrobe is the actual “door” used to go between our world and Narnia.  Continue reading »

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Tuesday Tome Week 33 – The Magician’s Nephew

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The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis have inspired me and the children in many ways. I will attempt to cover several in this blog post but there will be more points coming, as I will write about each volume in a separate post.

The Magician's Nephew

The first volume of this masterpiece is titled The Magician’s Nephew. The language, the long sentences, the descriptions, i.e. the beautiful prose of C.S. Lewis, represent the first reason why any homeschool should put Narnia on their reading list.  Continue reading »

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