Part of our time involved a “travelogue,” a book I made for each of them with spaces for jotting down notes on all the characters and themes that appear in the books. The names can be daunting for someone who’s never come across them before, so I wanted them to have a “cheat sheet” of their own making to help along the way.
Despite some initial moaning, the students took to the book like ducks to water. I was so pleased with the class discussions we had about eucatastrophe and Biblical allusions. I only wish we had more time — once a week is so little.
It comes home again and again: if a piece is well-written and truthful in theme, children (or in this case, young men and women) will surprise you with their abilities to comprehend the transcendent truths therein. We should, as parents and educators, have faith in that ability. It has been a privilege to watch this group of students explore Middle Earth this year.