Journey to Narnia - Omnibus I Literature Study

Thursday, July 30, 2015

If you've been following me for a while you know my deep love of books. Like Benjamin Franklin I'd far prefer to have money for books than food. I can't really survive without either, but sometimes my book budget shows my greater love (don't worry, my kids aren't starving.) We have so enjoyed all the books we have read in our school studies, but I really wanted to dig a little deeper this year for 7th grade.

My husband read several of the The Chronicles of Narnia books to the boys. It has been a long time ago though. Aedan hasn't read through them himself.  I found a way to study these fabulous books that I'm super excited about!

I did buy the full color set even though I didn't need to - yes, I sure did. I already had a few copies, but not the full set. I really love the original illustrations, and full color just makes my little bibliophile heart skip a beat. Hubba hubba!

We will be having a C.S. Lewis read-a-thon extravaganza! We may leave off Screwtape Letters and Till We Have Faces. I've read these before, but I need to read them again with fresh eyes (and a 13 year old boy in mind.) At first I wondered if reading all these this year would get monotonous. However, as soon as I started digging though I found dozens of fabulous ideas to make this year so fun! I have so many ideas swimming in my head. If you follow me on Pinterest, you're sure to see me pinning away in the land of Narnia! I plan to have a Narnia party at the end of the year to celebrate. Do not put it beyond me to make start begging appliance stores for refrigerator boxes to make wardrobes -- And cake - how fun does a Narnia cake sound? The wheels of my mind they are a' turnin!

I set aside my plans for this year, and that opened up dozens of possibilities for us. At first it was overwhelming, but I think I'm starting to see more of who I am as a homeschooler. I'm not perfectly Charlotte Mason nor am I Classical. I'm somewhere in between. I love the beauty of a Charlotte Mason education, but I also love the great books of classical. Neither are mutually exclusive, but people feel they have to step both feet firmly in one camp. This year I'm realizing that I don't have to declare or label myself one thing or the other. It's been so fun picking and choosing this year based on the things I love in both philosophies.

I had seen Omnibus before at homeschool conventions and stores. When I picked it up at first I thought "OH heck to the no!" It looked way too serious and way too intense. To be honest, it is if you use it exactly the way it is written. But, guess who is going rogue and making her own plans? This girl right here! I had never looked at Veritas Press until Michelle over at Delightful Learning used it with her son this year. I was so sold on what I was doing that the blinders I was wearing did a pretty good job. It wasn't until I got the catalog that I saw their fabulous book lists. Many were ones I would like to cover, but would be intimidating without a great resource.

Omnibus I is Ancient History, Theology and Literature. Because we are in Early American we will not be using the history portion this year. There are 2 Tracks in Omnibus - Primary and Secondary. The Primary Track includes Primary Source Text books written during the period being studied i.e. The Code of Hammurabi, Plutarch's Lives Volume I etc. The Secondary readings are often less intense and may or may not be Primary Source texts. Omnibus I covers all of Lewis's The Chronicles of Narnia books plus The Screwtape Letters and Till We have Faces as their literature portion. We will only be using these specific books.

It took me quite a while to navigate through how to use Omnibus. Their website doesn't make a lot clear. I called them and they were super helpful in answering my questions. They have Self-Paced courses and Online Classes that are also available. For us I chose the You Teach version. We didn't want to get eyeball deep yet this year. I will say that when you call Veritas Press that they may ask questions that make you feel like they don't think you can teach your own child. It wasn't just me. A friend also called with questions and got the same impression without my having said anything to her about it. It kind of tickled me. I'm such a can-do kind of girl, as are many homeschoolers. I'm of the mind that one can teach themselves anything just like Abraham Lincoln taught himself law by reading borrowed books.

This TM isn't cheap, but it is gorgeous. I do have to say that some of the pictures are "interesting." If you've ever held this in your hands you'll know what I mean. We visit the museum often though, and my boys have seen much classical art. I'm not really one who worries about that stuff. 

I may be more excited about Omnibus for me honestly. I have read through some of the books scheduled and have learned so much. It's basically a college course that you can do at home if you never got the chance. I love that each book has a ton of background presented not only on the time period, but on the author himself (or herself.) There are many books I wouldn't have my kids read this early - like no way. I read Gilgamesh (which is scheduled in this volume.) It is an absolutely and completely fascinating picture of the culture of the time. Do I want my pubescent teen reading it? Umm...nope.

There are 2 versions of the TM. One doesn't have the CD, and for $25 more you can get one that does. The CD has resources plus the whole TM with the answers written out. There are also exams, exam keys and a reading schedule. We plan to schedule this way slower than Omnibus does. They are kinda hard core. I'm not trying to kill my 7th grader - not yet anyway. I do have my eye on using Omnibus III a little more fully when we turn the bend on High School.

Bless my little favorite printer's heart. Is it just me that gets that excited about a printer that prints in full bleed? I mean, have you ever? I chose to print out just the books we would be using and I bound them (with my handy ProClick) for my reference. When Aedan writes essays or answers questions I'll be able to check to see if he was even close to getting it right.

The student text looks like this. It has assignments with questions. There are sometimes essays or activities scheduled as well.

The printable Teacher Text has the same questions as the Student Text, but the answers are written in green. This is such a huge help if you are pinched for time and can't read the books before hand.

Those of you who saw my Beautiful Feet post know I love to make things to go along with our studies. I made something very similar for Omnibus for just the books we will be reading. I have no idea if any of you out there would ever use this, but if you do you can find this Free Literature Notebook Here.

It is even less specific than the version I made for Beautiful Feet. It's just a place to answer questions and write essays plus a little box for illustrations. You will have to print as many pages as you need for each book. I printed about 6 front and back for each book.

The CD has this awesome printable map. It was 9 pages that I taped together. Sweet Silas helped me paint it for his brother.

There is also a printable game board we will use.

A Complete Guide to the Magical World of C.S. Lewis's The Chronicles of Narnia (boy is that a mouthful) is suggested but not required.

The companion is used in optional activities.

The kids are directed to look up more information about characters or places in the book.

They are also directed to make maps from each book they read.  There are a maps from each book in the companion. It's going to be fun to travel through these places in a more experiential way.

Ummm....This might be dangerous, but I'm SO excited about it. Unfortunately The Official Narnia Cookbook is only available in the Kindle form. 

 It doesn't give the specific chapter for each recipe, but it does give you the book. In this case Lucy was roasting apples. If you find the picture in the book you can find the chapter. I plan to add a little flavor to our journey through Narnia. Oh how I love to cook though books! Have you noticed? I plan to make this more of a grown up FIAR. I'm SO excited! 

That's all for literature for now! We'll see if I get around to posting what else I have up my sleeve.


  1. Have you seen the book, "Further Up and Further In"? It's a unit study created for all the Chronicles of Narnia book. I haven't used it, but it might have some fun ideas for you.


    1. I have seen it! I'm sure there are many ideas in it. I had thought about buying it for that reason. I need to not buy one more single thing this year, but I did think that would be a helpful resource. Omnibus has plenty of work, so I wouldn't want to use FU&FI as it is written I'm sure, but having activity ideas would be so fun. Thank you for the suggestion :)

  2. Glad to see your new plans! Your painted map is beautiful!!!

  3. Thank you! My plans finally came together. I'm not as ready as I have been in years' past, but maybe that will be a good thing :)


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