Online Homeschool Curriculum - Sample Lesson (Lesson 1 Only)


Chapter 1: Why the Princess Has a Story About Her

Week: 11

Eight-year-old princess Irene lives halfway up a mountain in a large castle-house. Hideous, but clever and strong goblins live within hollow caverns and passages in the surrounding mountains. The goblins once lived above ground and now resent the people who live in their old homeland. The goblins only venture from their caverns above ground at night. The little princess never sees the night sky, as she stays inside at night to avoid the goblins.

Chapter 2: The Princess Loses Herself

Week: 12

When left alone in the nursery, the princess ventures out to explore the house and discovers a staircase. She ascends the staircase to the upper floors of the house, where she wanders long passageways flanked by many doors. All the passageways look the same, causing the princess to become lost. Feeling panicked, she begins to cry and runs through the corridors. She eventually finds a narrow, steep staircase that leads further up into the frightening unknown.

Chapter 3: The Princess and-We Shall See Who

Week: 12

The princess hears a noise and discovers a lady spinning in a room. The lady looks young but the princess senses she is very old. Later the lady reveals she is far older than 100. The old lady says she has the same name as the princess and reveals she is the princess' great-great-grandmother, Queen Irene. The old lady says she lives by eating pigeon eggs and shows the princess her pigeons. The old lady leads the princess back to her nursery.

Chapter 4: What the Nurse Thought of It

Week: 13

The princess tells her nurse about meeting her great-great-grandmother, Queen Irene. The nurse does not believe the princess' story, which angers the princess. The nurse and princess reconcile, but the nurse still doesn't believe the princess met her great-great-grandmother.

Chapter 5: The Princess Lets Well Alone

Week: 13

The princess resolves to prove to her nurse, Lootie, that her great-great-grandmother exists. Princess Irene decides to ask her great-great-grandmother for permission to introduce Lootie. The princess sets out to find her great-great-grandmother and instead becomes lost. Eventually, the princess finds a staircase that leads down to the kitchen. The servants in the kitchen are excited to see her. Lootie finds the princess and returns the princess to the nursery.

Chapter 6: The Little Miner

Week: 14

Princess Irene and Lootie take a walk outside, but lose track of time and stay out past sundown. Fearing the goblins and losing her job for keeping the princess out too late, Lootie panics, pulls the princess along too fast, and causes the princess to fall and skin her knees. Lootie is so scared and panicked, they become lost. They encounter Curdie, a handsome and brave miner boy, who sings to keep the goblins away. Curdie leads them back to the castle-house. The princess promises to kiss Curdie for his help, but Lootie will not allow it. Curdie says he will return someday to enable the princess to keep her promise.

Chapter 7: The Mines

Week: 14

Curdie hears goblins outside his house, but scares them away by singing a song. Goblins hate new songs they have never heard before the most. Curdie goes down under the mountains into the mines with his father to mine for ore. The miners use pickaxes and explosives to break up the ore before carrying it out of the mountain and selling it. Curdie decides to work overnight to save extra money to buy his mother a red petticoat and to find out what the goblins were up to. During the night, Curdie and the other miners hear the tap tap of the goblins doing their own mining, which is odd, since the goblins never carry any ore out of the mountain.

Chapter 8: The Goblins

Week: 15

As Curdie mines overnight, he overhears a conversation between a goblin family through a thin section of rock. The goblin family is packing up and traveling to the goblin king's palace. Curdie learns that the goblins are mining to make new houses for themselves further away from the miners. He hears that the goblins are planning some mischief against the miners. He discovers that the goblins have soft, vulnerable feet. He also learns that the goblin king's first wife was a human, and that goblins have no toes. Curdie quietly removes rock, intent on following the family to the palace so he can learn more about the goblins' nefarious plans for the miners.

Chapter 9: The Hall of the Goblin Palace

Week: 15

Curdie follows the goblin family to the king's court. There he learns that the goblins have two plans for the miners, a primary plan and a backup plan. The primary plan is unclear. The backup plan involves flooding the mines and drowning the miners. Curdie eventually makes his way out of the mountain and returns home to tell his father of the goblins' plans.

Chapter 10: The Princess's King-Papa

Week: 16

The king returns to the castle-house on horseback with his men. The princess tells the king that she has met Queen Irene, her great-great-grandmother. The king reveals he did not know that Queen Irene was in the house. As the princess says it must have been a dream, a white pigeon flies in and lands on her head. The king says he cannot visit Queen Irene unless he has been invited. The king reveals he knows the princess and Lootie were out past sundown. The princess begs her father to spare Lootie, but later the king talks to Lootie and makes her cry.

Chapter 11: The Old Lady's Bedroom

Week: 16

The princess pricks her hand on a brooch while playing, and her hand becomes swollen and infected. That night, the pain from her hand wakes her. She walks about the house, locates the staircase, and finds her great-great-grandmother, Queen Irene. The old lady reveals she is spinning the princess a special thread made from spider web fetched by the pigeons. The old lady puts soothing ointment on the princess' hand and allows the princess to sleep in the old lady's bedroom. A great orb hangs from the bedroom ceiling that shines like moonlight. Its power keeps the bedroom lovely and perhaps, keeps the old lady lovely as well. The old lady tells the princess to visit again next Friday, or risk not being able to visit again for a long time. Irene wakes the next morning in her own bed. Her hand is healed, and only the sweet scent of the ointment lingers.

Chapter 12: A Short Chapter About Curdie

Week: 17

Curdie has a wonderful mother. She is trustworthy, she can keep a secret, and she works hard to make a comfortable home for Curdie and his father after their hard days of work in the dark, deep mines. Curdie's mother helps him untangle the string he uses to explore the mines. Curdie uses a ball of string to be able to explore unknown passages in the mines and to find his way back. He anchors the string to his pickaxe and unrolls the string as he explores. Upon reaching the end of his exploration, he follows the string back to his pickaxe. By the time Curdie returns to his pickaxe, the string is always terribly tangled. He brings the tangled string home, and by the next morning, it is back in a ball, untangled by his wonderful mother.

Chapter 13: The Cobs' Creatures

Week: 17

During the night, the men-at-arms guarding the castle-house begin seeing strange, grotesque creatures frolicking in the moonlight. These creatures are the domesticated animals of the goblins. The goblins steal regular animals from above the earth and bring them underground. Spending too long in the dark, underground chambers of the mines transforms these animals into their current hideous forms. The creatures have found a hole the goblins made while mining and escape out during the night.

Chapter 14: That Night Week

Week: 18

When Friday arrives, the princess keeps quiet and behaves, wanting to be able to visit her great-great-grandmother. As night falls and Lootie leaves to fetch the princess' tea, one of the goblins' grotesque creatures jumps into the nursery through an open window. The princess panics and runs out of the castle-house. Guided back by the moon-like orb glowing from the old lady's room, the princess makes her way back to the castle-house. By now, Lootie has found the princess missing and people are looking for her. But they do not find her before she climbs the stairs and reaches the old lady's door.

Chapter 15: Woven and then Spun

Week: 18

After being scared by the cat creature, running outside, and following her grandmother's beacon back to the house, the princess ascends the stairs to visit her grandmother. Her grandmother gives the princess an opal ring and a grey-white ball created by her spinning. In times of trouble the princess is to put the ring under her pillow and follow the thread back to her grandmother, no matter how convoluted the path. Her grandmother keeps the grey-white ball in her cabinet, although she says it truly belongs to the princess.

Chapter 16: The Ring

Week: 19

Lootie scolds the princess for running out of the castle. The princess reminds Lootie of when Lootie became so scared she got them lost, and Lootie leaves the princess alone after that. Lootie remarks on how the princess' ring glows. As a distraction, the princess asks Lootie where she got the ring. Lootie replies that perhaps the princess' mother gave the princess the ring.

Chapter 17: Springtime

Week: 19

When spring comes, the king returns to visit the princess. The princess asks the king about her ring, and the king tells her that it was her mother's once. The king disappears up the stairs, perhaps to visit the old lady. Before leaving the castle-house again, he leaves six of his men to defend against the goblin's creatures. The princess spends time outside in the sunshine, enjoying the flowers and visiting with the goats.

Chapter 18: Curdie's Clue

Week: 20

One night in the caves, as Curdie follows his string back to his pickaxe, he discovers the goblins' creatures have uprooted the pickaxe and are playing with it. He fends off the creatures, but finds himself lost in the darkness. He stumbles upon the private chambers of the goblin royal family. He listens to them discuss getting a human princess for their half-human, half-goblin crown-prince, Harelip. He crawls a bit closer, slips, and tumbles down among them. He asks the king for an escort out of the mountain, but the king orders his goblins to attack. Curdie sings a rhyme and strikes their tender goblin feet with his pickaxe. The queen, who wears hard shoes of granite, tackles Curdie into a dark chamber. Curdie loses consciousness. When he awakes, Curdie finds the goblins have piled up stones so he cannot get back out of the hole which he fell through. Curdie is trapped in the darkness.

Chapter 19: Goblin Counsels

Week: 20

The goblin king announces his intention to let Curdie starve to death, but the queen suggests feeding him to their creatures. Curdie sings some insulting rhymes, chanting that the queen has toes. The king, who has never seen the queen's feet, commands the queen to remove her shoes. The queen refuses. The king attempts to remove them, but the queen wins the scuffle with her husband. The king and queen decide to starve Curdie for a couple of days to weaken him before feeding him to their creatures. Curdie plots to pretend he's dying, to try to trick the goblins into freeing him from his stone prison before his strength fails. Curdie lies in the darkness and waits, inventing more rhymes.

Chapter 20: Irene's Clue

Week: 20

The princess wakes from her bed to a horrible snarling (which, unknown to the princess, was only a tussle between a regular cat and dog). She places her ring under her pillow and follows the thread out of the house and into the mountains. The thread leads her under the mountains, to the pile of rocks outside the very chamber where Curdie is trapped. The thread leads into the pile of rocks, so the princess cannot proceed any further. The princess doesn't realize Curdie is on the other side. Frightened, she tries to follow the thread back out of the caverns, but the thread disappears each time she turns back. The princess begins to cry.

Chapter 21: The Escape

Week: 21

The princess stops crying and begins moving the rocks to follow the string. As she moves the rocks, she hears Curdie singing and realizes he is on the other side. Eventually she clears enough rocks so that Curdie can move the main slab blocking him in. They follow the string into the hole, through very narrow passages, until they reach a chamber where the king and queen are sleeping. As they pass through the chamber, Curdie finds his pickaxe. Curdie can't resist removing the queen's shoe and sees that she has six toes. As he tries to remove the other shoe, the king and queen awaken. Curdie and the princess run away, continuing to follow the string. The follow the string along a river, and eventually come out in the princess' garden next to her house. Curdie and the princess follow the string, up the staircase toward the princess' grandmother, Queen Irene.

Chapter 22: The Old Lady and Curdie

Week: 21

The princess leads Curdie to her grandmother's room, but Curdie cannot see or hear the old lady. Curdie believes the princess is making a fool of him. Feeling offended, Curdie sets off for home. The old lady gives the princess a special bath, which heals all of the princess' bruises. The old lady cleans the princess' nightgown in the rose fire and puts the princess to bed for a long sleep.

Chapter 23: Curdie and His Mother

Week: 21

Curdie tells his parents about the princess saving him from the goblins. His mother admonishes him for not believing the princess. Curdie's mother tells him her own incredible story of being rescued from the goblins by a glowing orb and a silvery bird. Curdie's mother again states she does not believe that the princess lied. Curdie believes the goblins are tunneling toward the princess' house and that the goblins plan to kidnap the princess and make her marry Prince Harelip.

Chapter 24: Irene Behaves Like a Princess

Week: 22

The princess awakes to her nurse and many other servants staring at her. Lootie is quite vexed with the princess, believing her to have hidden under the covers from them all. The princess refuses to tell Lootie what happened, because she thinks Lootie will not believe her. Lootie becomes even more angry, so the princess asks the captain of the gentlemen-at-arms to take charge of her and to notify her Papa that she would like to speak to him. As the princess looks to a scullery-maid to watch over her, Lootie breaks down and cries. The princess decides to keep Lootie on and cancels her order to send for the king. The princess says she is to remain in the charge of the captain of the gentlemen-at-arms.

Chapter 25: Curdie Comes to Grief

Week: 22

Curdie keeps watch over the cave entrance in the garden outside the princess' castle-house. As he watches, the gentlemen-at-arms shoot him with a bolt, believing him to be a goblin. The gentlemen-at-arms capture Curdie and bring him inside, where Lootie lies and claims Curdie was trying to kiss the princess. The gentlemen-at-arms lock Curdie in a room and keep him under watch. Curdie tries to convince the guards to watch for the goblins, but they believe Curdie is raving mad.

Chapter 26: The Goblin-Miners

Week: 22

The servants hear noises like thunder and the castle-house shakes. The servants believe the thundering may be rats or the miners, but it is actually the goblins tunneling toward the house to break in and kidnap the princess. Unbeknownst to the servants above, the goblins break into the wine cellar. The goblins cheer as they hustle back to tell the royal family of their triumph. The royal family comes to the wine cellar and open the door to the rest of the house.

Chapter 27: The Goblins in the King's House

Week: 23

As the goblins invade the house, Curdie sleeps and dreams of everything that has happened with the princess. He dreams of a lady with white hair rubbing him with something that smells of roses. The dream lady waves her hands over Curdie, healing his wounds. Curdie awakens to the uproar of the goblin invasion and rushes out of the room. He grabs a knife and starts slashing and stamping on goblin feet. He rescues the gentlemen-at-arms and the servants in the cellar and sends the goblins scattering. But the princess is gone, believed to be taken by the goblins. Curdie vows to get the princess back.

Chapter 28: Curdie's Guide

Week: 23

As Curdie resolves to set off after the goblins, a thread that he can feel, but can't see touches his hand. The thread leads him back to his mother and father's cottage. There Curdie finds the princess in his mother's arms. The princess had heard a ruckus, placed her ring under her pillow, and followed the thread to Curdie's home. The princess never even saw the goblins in her house. Curdie's mother takes the princess back to the castle. Curdie wakes his father and tells him something of great import. His father rushes out of the cottage.

Chapter 29: Masonwork

Week: 23

Curdie and his father rush to the mine to tell the miners that the goblins may soon enact the second plan, which entails flooding the mines. The miners work to shore up a weak wall with stones and cement. They hear water running, but soon realize it is not the goblins' flood. Instead, a great storm has descended upon the mountain. Curdie and his father hurry back to the cottage, which sits between two rivers of water. Curdie and his father find Curdie's mother and the princess safe in the cottage. Due to the swollen rivers, the princess cannot return home until morning. The princess falls asleep watching her grandmother's light shining through the darkness.

Chapter 30: The King and the Kiss

Week: 24

The next morning, Curdie's father, Peter, heads to work. Curdie and his mother take the princess home. When they arrive, the king is there and he is overjoyed to see the princess. The king allows the princess to keep her word, and the princess kisses Curdie. The king throws a feast in celebration, and the merriment continues long after the princess falls asleep.

Chapter 31: The Subterranean Waters

Week: 24

As the feast continues, the princess awakens and follows her thread to her Papa. She tells him she hears something. They hear a sound like distant thunder. Curdie realizes what it is and asks the king to evacuate the house. The people leave the house just in time to escape a torrent of water cascading down on the house from inside the mountain. Curdie realizes that the goblins have executed their second plan, but the wall of concrete and stones built by the miners diverted the flood of water from the mines to the channel that leads to the house. Dead goblins float through the house, accidentally drowned by their own evil plots. The king offers Curdie a position in his guard, but Curdie declines, preferring to remain with his parents and asking instead for a red petticoat for his mother. The princess and her Papa leave the castle-house for the main castle, but the princess says they'll return the next summer to see Curdie and his parents.

Chapter 32: The Last Chapter

Week: 24

The servants and guards split up and stay with the miners in their homes. In the coming days, they all work to divert the flood and clear the house of water. Many goblins died in the flood, including the queen, but some goblins make it out of the mountain alive. Over the years, the goblins became milder of character, softer of head and heart, and harder of foot. Eventually, the miners eliminate all the goblin's creatures. There is more to the story, but those tales are left for the next novel, 'The Princess and Curdie.'