What We Received:
We were given access to one digital file containing a 50 page document entitled The Long Way to a New Land Study Guide by Colleen Schreurs. This document included activities like fill in the blank worksheets, short answer questions, definitions, crossword puzzle, family heritage activity suggestions, and a lot of discussion ideas pertaining to the students feelings if he were in the character's position.
How It Works:
A study guide is a document of exercises intended to aid the reader in pulling as much understanding out of the original text as possible. How you use it is largely up to your discretion, but this study guide is divided up into before you read activities, activities based on each chapter and after you read activities. In the Notes to the Instructor section, they recommend students reading the entire book first while doing some of the before you read activities and then reread each chapter as they go along in the study guide. The exact order, while natural to go through sequentially, isn't vital for learning since all of the activities and subjects are related within the text. This study is a great example of individualized education based on each student's pace and needs. With 5 chapters and a host of pre and post reading activities, this study could be spread over several weeks if desired. For most students this will require some parental involvement and some great discussions certainly enhance their learning.
What We Thought:
The most challenging part of this project was simply finding the book! Neither of the library systems we have access to had the book so we finally found a proper reading of it on the internet. Everything past that was well-organized, straight-forward and value-added to the reading of the book. My son is in 8 (almost 9) and all the activities seemed appropriately leveled including some easily done while others more challenging. For example, the vocabulary words were not a problem, but the pages that asked about the student's own feelings or how they would feel if certain things happened to them took a little more time. Still, the empathy inducing questions were some of my favorites! My kids struggle with appreciating how good they have it and tend to complain. These types of discussions are important to keeping their perspective accurate rather than distorted by our culture's standards.
According to their website, Progeny Press' mission is "To teach our children to think clearly, to understand literature, and to rely on the scripture for truth and values, and enjoy themselves while they do it!" Based on this singular study guide, I can say that they are succeeding! From asking students to apply scriptures to characters actions to encouraging them to empathize with the characters, this study guide supports character building and alongside the initial reading comprehension!
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The Homeschool Review Crew reviewed a variety of study guides spread over several age levels. If you are interested in another age or simply looking for another perspective, go ahead and click below!