Further Up and Further In (Spiral)
What is a "unit study"? Briefly, it's a thematic or topical approach to teaching as opposed to the traditional by-subject approach. Rather than teach each subject separately, a unit study attempts to integrate many or all subject areas into a unified study - usually centered around a particular subject or event. Obviously History (the study of events) and Science (the study of "things") are well-suited to unit studies, and usually form the "core" around which other subjects are integrated. Subjects like Bible, Geography, Government, English (writing), and Reading/Literature, Music, Home Economics, Life Skills, and Art, are usually easy to integrate around a core topics. Remaining subjects (Math, Phonics, Grammar, Spelling) can be integrated to some extent via related activities. Each, however, has its own "system" (progression of skills, mastery of "rules") which must be followed to some degree. Since one of the additional advantages of a unit study curriculum is the ability to use it with students of varying ages and skill levels, these subjects are generally taught apart from the core curriculum. This may be as simple as assigning pages in a grammar or spelling book, or using a separate "program" for Phonics and Math. Unit studies also tend to be more activity-oriented than the traditional approach, a real boon to kinesthetic learners. Advocates of the unit study approach site studies showing that children learn best when learning is unified rather than fragmented and when learning is more participatory than passive.
This literature-based unit study utilizes C.S. Lewis's Chronicles of Narnia series to help parents instruct their children in academic subjects and godly character development. Primarily, this unit study emphasizes the study of God's Word. From an academic standpoint, this study covers the subjects of art and music, Bible, cooking, English, reading, health and safety, geography/social studies, history, and science. You will need separate math, grammar, and spelling courses.
Further Up and Further In is organized into seven units, each corresponding to one of the seven Narnia books. The design for this study allows a single unit to be completed in about a month (at the rate of one chapter per day). Each unit is subdivided into four sections. Each section generally covers four chapters of the designated Narnia book. At the beginning of each section is a Planning Guide listing and items to be gathered. Each chapter of this unit study corresponds with the reading assignment from the Narnia books. The first assignment of each chapter is to learn the allocated vocabulary words and to read the chapter. The activities, which support the chapter, follow the reading of the chapter. A week in Further Up and Further In consists of four days of assignments. The fifth day of the week is used to catch up on reading, finish activities, field trips, or projects. Required materials include the complete Chronicles of Narnia series (page numbers cited in this manual correspond to the January 1995 printing of the Scholastic edition of the Narnia books), a dictionary, a Bible, a thesaurus, and encyclopedias. Additional recommended resources are listed below. Spiral bound.~ Rachel P.