November 17, 2011
I had heard the name of the book a lot growing up, but not until we started homeschooling was I ever introduced to ‘Pilgrim’s Progress’. Frankly, it’s not something churches touch these days, and it’s a WEE bit ‘religious’ for public schools. But John Bunyan’s book used to be considered a vital part of every American child’s education, and AmbleSide Online (the free schooling curriculum I use) incorporates it in their education plan, too.
So I printed the book off free from the AO site (they have it broken down into weekly readings), and I’d found an ‘Illustrated Pilgrim’s Progress’ at a garage sale. It’s just a book of pictures with captions from the story under it. I thought I would read, and the kids could look at the pictures.
It didn’t help. Frankly, Pilgrim’s Progress is VERY hard for a child to understand. It’s the journey of ‘Christian’ (we call him “Hebrew”) from the complacent home he’d always been in out into spirituality. In other words, Pilgrim’s Progress puts the ‘journey’ in ‘Spiritual Journey’. It’s a story of his progress from Lost to the Celestial City.
I… am a grown woman, well read, and the sucker was confounding ME. It’s that difficult to read. And yes, there are watered down versions, but I’d read that a lot got skipped or lost in translation and that it was best to read it in the original old English. Yikes!
I’d looked on-line to see if there were any maps already made up. I found a spiral ‘map’, but it was missing a lot, and didn’t really show the ‘topography’ of the journey, either. And then there was this one, and take a look at this baby – HOLY. WHA! It was made in 1778, is complete, but not terribly easy to read. Done in three columns, it’s neat, but not too friendly.
So we decided to try to make maps of our own. I have some old-looking school paper, and we sat down and caught up to what we’d read, and have been adding to as we go along. We don’t read it often, because it does boggle the mind, but the map is helping. The concept of allegory is hard for children, though. Seriously hard. Having a good map that you can see what’s going on truly helps. And if there isn’t one out there… well, have colored pencils, will travel.
I’m not the best artist in the world, so no snickering… the kids appreciate getting to draw little stick people instead of trying to deck them out, though. Sometimes simple is best. But anyhow, I thought it might be helpful to other mom’s and people reading ‘Pilgrim’s Progress’ to see what we are working on.uPDaTe: Our progress, as time has gone by…
As usual, click to enlarge…
NoTe: There is NO WAY to fit this on one sheet of paper. I seriously tried, but… it just isn’t possible. If I’d known that, I wouldn’t have scrunched the Valley of the Shadow of Death into a little hairpin curve like that. Hindsight is always 20/20, isn’t it?
The completed map. I left it HUGE for you –
the largest picture I’ve uploaded to this site, amazingly!
((That means you really need to click THIS one.))
LOTS of space left on my second page. Wishing I’d spread out the quag and Hell more. *Sigh!* Well, on the bright side, I’ll be doing ‘Pilgrim’s Progress’ again in six years, should the Lord tarry… next time will be even better, right? ((grins!)) Lydia feels the same way, although I think she did quite well on hers:
But there it is! Completed and quite lovely, all things considered.