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All-in-One Curriculum for The Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan Review by Jessica DeFore

Ken Ham
Answers in Genesis
PO Box 510
Hebron, KY 41048

When I first received the All-in-One Curriculum for The Pilgrim's Progress, all I could say was, "Oh, my!" Now that I've had time to read and look through it, I still can only say, "Oh, my!" I received the 496-page hardcover book with its Student Resources CD. (Available separately are the audio CDs, on which the titles of the tracks match the lesson titles for ease of use.)

John Bunyan originally wrote Pilgrim's Progress for his children on their regular visits to him while he was in jail for preaching the gospel. First published in 1678, Pilgrim's Progress is acclaimed to be the greatest allegory ever written and is regarded as one of the great classics of literature. It has been translated into more than 100 languages and, with the exception of the Bible, is the most popular Christian book ever sold. This version of Pilgrim's Progress is designed to enable parents, fathers in particular, to fulfill their God-given responsibility of training their children and helping them to defend their faith.

All-in-One Curriculum for The Pilgrim's Progress contains the entire text of the allegory as well as Scripture annotations in the margins and illustrations of important scenes. It is appropriate for any learning situation: church, homeschool, classroom, or individual study. The curriculum was written for grades 2 and up, with questions, activities, and further readings for more mature students.

The discussion questions for younger students are called "Truths to Ponder," and the questions for older students are called "Digging Deeper." Both "Truths to Ponder" and "Digging Deeper" are in worksheet format and can be printed out from the Student Resources CD. An added bonus is that the worksheets are also available online for various studying situations, such as a church Bible study. The website address for obtaining the online worksheets is on the Student Resources CD.

There are 39 lessons in the book. The study is intended to last 13 weeks (three lessons per week), but it is adaptable to your goals. Each lesson has three components: reading, discussion, and additional information. The additional information includes information on the characters and certain theological themes that are highlighted in the margins.

There are also "extension activities" (timeline, map work, science, and language arts activities) that make this study stand apart.

  • History consists of reading of additional texts (nonfiction and fiction), watching DVDs, exploring suggested websites, completing hands-on activities, and studying the time period in which Pilgrim's Progress was written.
  • The science activities are intended to supplement your regular science curriculum. Each week, a different scientist is highlighted, particularly his belief in God. Discussion or essay questions solidify what has been learned.
  • Language Arts involves vocabulary words that can be used as spelling words (provided at the end of each lesson), essay and creative writing assignments, literary terms, a study of Shakespeare with comparisons to Bunyan, and hymn writing.

All-in-One Curriculum for The Pilgrim's Progress could be called All-for-Everyone because any type of homeschooler can utilize this text. We happen to classically homeschool, and this product fits wonderfully into our Late Renaissance studies. The depth of this curriculum is best suited for older students, but a simple reading to younger students would provide the foundation for a later in-depth study. I wholeheartedly recommend this product. It will bless whoever uses it.

Product review by Jessica DeFore, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, March 2007