Till We Have Faces
C.S. Lewis brings us a novel of Orual, The Queen of Glome. When Orual was a little girl, the only company she had to keep was her irritating sister, Redival, and her father, the tempestuous King. However, her life changed dramatically with the introduction of Fox, one of her father's slaves, into her life. Fox became her only true comfort, and Orual affectionately began to call him "Grandfather." Fox taught her to think in the ways of the Greeks, how to regard the Gods and everything else that has happened in her life. Soon after the arrival of Fox, the King married and brought into the world the most beautiful child, "Istra," which translates to Psyche. As Orual's family has partial blood of the Gods, Psyche too has been touched. It does not take long before the citizens of Glome begin to refer to her as a goddess. While Psyche is beautiful, Orual is extremely homely. Psyche makes the God Ungit jealous; therefore, as punishment, there has been little yield in the way of crops. The Priest of Ungit declares that in order for the citizens of Glome to be prevented from starving, there must be a sacrifice. It is the matter of this sacrifice that will change the soul and the life of Orual forever.
Please note that a brief synopsis of many of the books included here are provided in our Library Builders section. Study guides for the same book are often available from several publishers, so we found it more efficient to give a description of the book only once.
From the captivating introductory question “Why study this stuff?” to the glorious full-color artwork representations to the sheer comprehensiveness of the coverage, these books are enthralling. Omnibus is Latin for “all encompassing; everything.” The publishers couldn’t have picked a better title for this project that has as its goal a six-year theology, history, and literature curriculum that will literally “talk about everything” - all the important ideas from all the ages will be put on the table to explore.
The Omnibus curriculum desires to enable the student to unlock the treasure chest of ideas contained in the Great Books – those which have guided and informed thinking people of western civilization. While you might associate the term with the list compiled and edited by Mortimer Adler, the publishers and editors of the Omnibus have established their own list that overlaps with Adler’s.
Omnibus is both classical and Christian. It was written from a distinctly Protestant viewpoint that is best summarized by the Westminster Confession of Faith. Omnibus I (Biblical and Classical Civilizations) and Omnibus II (Church Fathers Through the Reformation) are 7th and 8th grade texts with emphasis on the logic stage. Omnibus IV - V covers similar time periods but with emphasis on the rhetoric stage. Omnibus III & VI covers modern (1563 to present) times with logic and rhetoric emphasis respectively. In other words, grades 7-12 grades are covered in two, three-year rotations.
Each Omnibus is divided into two semesters with primary (traditional Great Books) and secondary (other) book selections for each. These selections and the course built around them are rigorous; very rigorous. Some parents might be concerned about portions of the content. The editors are clear about several things. First, they assume that evil is to be conquered rather than evaded. Secondly, they assume that godly oversight and protection will accompany the student through this coursework. Thirdly, they see the Christian home as a boot camp where students are taught to handle their weapons - under godly, patient supervision. Lastly, since the Bible includes the same topics as these books there is no subject that this curriculum will raise in the minds of junior or senior high students that would not also be raised as he reads the Bible.
If you’re beginning to feel overwhelmed, relax. These texts will instill confidence even as they make the job easier for you. In essence, they’re comprised of stand-alone guides for reading, studying and understanding these Great Books and the Great Conversation of ideas they represent. Beginning with an introductory worldview essay, a session is outlined for each day a book is to be studied. The number of weeks in a study varies with the selection. Discussion is a major part of every book study. Some days the discussion is general with an eye on comprehension but more often the focus is textual, cultural, and biblical analysis. There are daily reading assignments and almost daily writing assignments plus a large selection of optional activities. The really comforting thought is that the Teacher CD contains complete and thorough answers and talking points for every discussion or question raised.
In addition to the wonderful artwork, other excellent resources are evident. Appendix I outlines a two semester reading schedule. Appendix II is a parallel timeline of events in history, literature, and theology, with miniature art representations or a book cover. The Teacher CD-ROM includes the entire text on PDF files with answers and talking points inserted into the discussion session notes. Additionally, lesson plans, teaching tips, and midterm and semester exams with answers are included. It also includes a grading calculator - an Excel file where you insert a student’s grades. The text does not include the reading selections; you will need to obtain them separately. The editors also mention two beneficial references - Western Civilization by Spielvogel and the History of Art for Young People (we have it listed as Short History of Art) by Janson & Janson. As you look over the reading selections, don’t be surprised to note, “I read this book in college.” These are academically (and spiritually) challenging courses. ~ Janice
First Semester Primary Books: Genesis, Exodus, Epic of Gilgamesh, Code of Hammurabi, 1 & 2 Samuel, 1 & 2 Kings, Odyssey, Histories, Oresteia, Plutarch's Lives.
First Semester Secondary Books: Chosen by God, Till We Have Faces, The Magician's Nephew, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, The Horse & His Boy, Prince Caspian, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Minor Prophets.
Second Semester Primary Books: Theban Trilogy, The Last Days of Socrates, The Early History of Rome, Luke & Acts, Aeneid, The Twelve Caesars, Julius Caesar, Revelation.
Second Semester Secondary Books: The Silver Chair, The Last Battle, The Best Things in Life, The Unaborted Socrates, Galatians, Romans, James, The Eagle of the Ninth, The Screwtape Letters, The Holiness of God.
This series of upper-level literature guides from Classical Academic Press covers selected works from C.S. Lewis, Tolkien, and Dorothy Sayers. They can be used together to fulfill one year of British literature or individually, although the authors selected these authors and works specifically as these authors' works often share the same themes and ideas - even across different genres of writing. These authors were deeply familiar with one another; all members of an informal literary discussion group called "The Inklings." The Inklings shared unfinished works with each other, reading and discussing them on Thursday evenings in C.S. Lewis' college rooms. The authors of these studies have taught extensively on all of these authors, and really desire to share the relationship between the Inklings, as well as a recognition for the common themes and ideas that run throughout their fictional and nonfictional works. A unique feature of these guides is that students not only read the featured work of fiction, but will also read excerpts from essays by all three of these - and additional related - authors. For example, in the guide for The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, students spend the first several days reading, analyzing and summarizing essay excerpts from The Weight of Glory and Mere Christianity before starting into the novel. The excerpts are not included in the guides for copyright reasons, so you will need to get the books from the library or purchase those books as well. There are two suggested reading schedules given in each guide: a 10-day schedule and a 20-day schedule, depending on your volume of work in other subject areas. Please note that you may want to schedule in additional time for the enrichment and writing activities found at the end of each guide.
The study guide authors emphasize active reading and note-taking, where the student makes notes in their copy of the novel to help them pay attention, gather details, note instances where themes are apparent and more. (You may wish to invest in a copy of the book for your student's purposes only, rather than have them mark up the family read-aloud copy!) The study guide pages for each reading assignment remind the student to make notes in their book, look for passages that reference the "great ideas" in that section and record them on the lined pages provided for nine different themes, orally narrate a summary of the chapters to a teacher or partner (or retell in another creative way), and answer the reading and discussion questions. The reading questions are basically comprehension questions, while the discussion questions focus on main ideas and analyzing the author's meanings and choices. The literature guide activities wrap up with a journaling assignment based on the reading and a prompt to generate your own discussion questions based on the reading. No crosswords or vocabulary exercises here; there is a heavy emphasis on discussion and writing throughout these guides. At the end of the guide, you'll find enrichment activities and writing project suggestions. These focus on the work as a whole, and include hands-on and creative activity and writing suggestions, as well as multiple essay assignment possibilities, exploring one of the "great ideas" from the book even further. Suggested essay assignments include a thesis, question, expanded question, and personal connection questions (the Teacher's Edition also includes a sample essay for each).
Much of the material is the same between the student and teacher editions, and many of the pages in the teacher's edition are a copy of the student's page with answers and suggested summaries/essays filled in. However, the study guide authors suggest that it will probably be very helpful for you to have the teacher's edition so that the student can write their own summaries and answers, then read the authors' version in the teacher's edition to see what they may have missed, and for further education. If you choose to use these for a year of British literature, the suggested scope of sequence is: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, The Last Battle, The Screwtape Letters, Till We Have Faces, The Man Born to Be King, the Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers and The Return of the King. We will list them in that order below. These fill a unique niche in the study guides available at the upper levels, and they go a little deeper - across the works of multiple authors - than other study guides we have seen at this level. - Jess
Instead of isolating Bible and Christian history from what was happening in the rest of the world, the folks at Veritas aim to incorporate it. They offer four different history time periods (each aimed at a different grade level and designed to take one school year) which take students from creation to the present. The program originally had three parts: teacher's manual, history cards (an absolutely essential element of the curriculum) and a memory song on audio CD. The song is sung by a woman with a pleasant voice at varying tempos and is designed as a type of auditory time line.
The history cards are fantastic! They have many interesting facets (the more you study them, the more you learn). The cards from the various time periods are color coded and numbered - there are 32 cards in each pack. If the cards also relate to Bible history they have another color and another number. Each card has a picture (usually in full color) representing what it is about. For example, the card for Creation has a reproduction of the Creation of the sun and moon from the Sistine Chapel Ceiling by Michelangelo. Many of the other pictures on the other cards are famous paintings as well. Each card has a title and a Scripture reference (if appropriate). They also contain a summary of the event they represent and a list of resources. This information can only be found on the cards and is not duplicated in the Teacher Manual. On the Creation card, examples of the resources are: Child’s Story Bible, pages 3, 4 and Streams of Civ, Vol 1, pages 11-14. Reading whatever is set out on the cards provides the ‘text’.
The Teacher Manual is split into 32 weekly lessons. Each lesson has a worksheet, a project or two, and a test. An example of what you might find in the appendix is a literature unit, an Egyptian decor bulletin board pattern, an Egyptian Feast project, reproducible sheets, great games, and lyrics for the memory song. An enhanced CD-ROM is also available, which includes the memory song for that level, an electronic version of the Teacher Manual, and an instructional video. The enhanced CD will work on either Windows or Macintosh. Because the enhanced CD contains the complete Teacher’s Manual, we sell two kits; one which includes the Teacher Manual book, the card set, and the audio CD (Homeschool Kit), and one which includes only the enhanced CD and the cards (Homeschool Kit w/ CD). ~ Genevieve