Monday, February 23, 2009

Cadron Creek: Further Up & Further In



Cadron Creek Christian Curriculum

Cadron Creek Christian Curriculum
publishes year-long unit studies.  They have three different unit studies for different ages:

Further Up And Further In
We were sent Further Up And Further In to review.  My oldest daughter loves The Chronicles of Narnia and has read the series several times.  My younger children have enjoyed reading The World Of Narnia (a picture book version) and our family enjoys the recent Narnia movies.  So, we were excited to be able to read the Narnia books as part of our curriculum. 

Further Up And Further In
is a literature based unit study.  It is designed to cover the following subjects:  English, literature, history, social studies, geography, science, Bible and character, cooking, art.  You would need to add a separate math, spelling, and grammar program for each student.  You would also need additional history studies, as well as additional science, in my opinion.

I love literature-based unit studies, but have struggled to implement them in our ever-enlarging family in more recent years.  We began this review period with me leading the daily lessons, and ran into some of the struggles we'd faced previously:  crying babies interrupting my reading, and the constant struggle to balance chores, babies, and the unit study.  We then decided to try having the girls work independently on Further Up And Further In.  I filled out an assignment chart for the week, telling them what lessons to do through the week.  They read the chapter to each other and worked through the lessons themselves.  They made use of the encyclopedia and dictionary extensively.  I was available to provide direction and explanations, as needed, but they were not relying on me to teach them directly.  I was actually surprised at how well this worked for us.  It required some additional planning on the weekends, and a gathering of supplies for the lessons, but didn't have a daily demand on my time.

The further into the study that we went, the more I became disappointed that it didn't include enough history and science.  However, when I looked at the Cadron Creek website again, I realized it clearly states that additional history studies will be needed.  (Although the Further Up & Further In manual itself does not say this.)  I was expecting it to be a complete unit study, but it is not as strong in history as the other two Cadron Creek unit studies.  (Which makes sense since Narnia is a fictional world, and not a true period of history).  I was glad to see that the author and publisher realize it needs additional history studies.  Knowing that changed my expectations of the curriculum, and my satisfaction with it.  Students could study ancient civilizations or World War II for a natural connection to the Further Up And Further In unit study.

Pros:

  • Multi-level approach can include several age students at once

  • Relationship building occurs as a family studies together

  • Can be Mom-centered as she reads to the children and leads discussion

  • Can be studied independently, with junior high students working on their own

  • Literature based learning provides a natural connection to the subjects being studied

  • Can be adapted to work for different ages and abilities

  • Cross-curricular unit study approach saves money over multiple curricula

  • Minimal amount of other resources required

  • Cost-effective plan for a year's curriculum


Cons:

  • Needs additional history and science to provide adequate junior high education

  • Some chapters only have Bible and literature lessons

  • Lesson content and amount varies from chapter to chapter, book to book


Further Up And Further In is available in paperback for $56.00, or spiral bound for $62.00.  That is a wonderful price for a year's curriculum for multiple children.  The study requires a set of The Chronicles of Narnia, by C.S. Lewis.  I recommend buying a set, so you can take as long as you need with each book.  In addition to the Narnia books, there are several additional resources that are helpful.  They are sold at the Cadron Creek website.  Three of those resources are included in the Basic Pack, for $85.00, saving you money.  You can also find sample pages, and helpful resource links at the Cadron Creek website.

Our family enjoyed our visit to Narnia, and the learning that Further Up And Further In made possible.  Anyone seeking a unit study for their upper elementary and junior high students will be sure to enjoy it as well.

Click the banner at the top to read more reviews on this product by other Homeschool Crew members.

Trusting in Him,
April

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