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UPDATE: The retold “Dangerous Journey” was transformative for my youngest. We switched to only reading that version for now. He loves the pictures and flips through the book sometimes when we aren’t even doing “school.” Anyway, read on, but I highly recommend the Dangerous Journey version if your child is not ready for the original.
The John Bunyan book, Pilgrim’s Progress is not always a part of our morning time, but it is for the moment. Whenever a book appears in one of my children’s reading lists that is 1. a little bit difficult and 2. would benefit the whole family, I add it to the morning time list. Pilgrim’s Progress is on the list for Ambleside Year 2, so my youngest should be reading it, but it’s good for everyone – so it’s perfect for morning time.
We aim for 10 pages per week, but no stress if we don’t make it. It’s a heavy book and it’s okay to go slow.
Pilgrim’s Progress Options
Over the years, we have found three different methods to cover the ideas in Pilgrim’s Progress.
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The original text by John Bunyan is a fine option. We found our copy on Thrift Books, but the text is old enough, it is available for free in the public domain.
There is an adaptation of Pilgrim’s Progress that is illustrated and highly recommended called Dangerous Journey. We will start this version soon for my youngest because he’s not quite ready for 1600’s English.
We also purchased an audio drama several years ago. Many in the homeschool community told me it was great and helped their children understand Pilgrim’s Progress. I had a plan to play the audio in the car while we drive around because that’s prime “captive audience” time. We did, in fact, listen to one or two segments and my kids thought they were interesting. Unfortunately, I’m not tech savvy enough to play MP3s in my vehicle effectively- but I’m sure it’s a great tool for someone who knows how to use those MP3s.
Original Text by John Bunyan
John Bunyan was a writer and preacher in the 1600’s. He was a travelling tinker with a filthy mouth for some time and the story goes that a woman berated him for his sin. Convicted, he vowed to become a new man. Read more of his story in the book Trial and Triumph.
John Bunyan’s new faith grew and he became a minister. Eventually he was jailed because his beliefs did not line up with King Charles II. He was in jail for twelve years and taught from jail when he could.
Laws changed, and Bunyan was released. But a few months later, when authorities told him again to stop preaching, he refused and was jailed again for 6 months. During this time, he wrote Pilgrim’s Progress.
At age 59, he was caught in a storm and caught an illness with fever. He died shortly thereafter.
Pilgrim’s Progress is his best known work and in England, you can visit a museum dedicated to his life and work.