Friday, July 10, 2020

Study Guides For Literature: A Progeny Press Review

I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review.  I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.

Are you considering homeschooling this fall?  If you're new to the idea and looking for a neat way to get started, let me suggest looking into Progeny Press and their classic literature study guides.  Learning has a lot more to do with engagement and connection than it does with facts and figures.  All homeschoolers struggle to remember this from time to time, especially when you're new.  Reading and discussing great literature stirs up engagement in the best kind of way!  Thanks to the Homeschool Review Crew, my review today features In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson Study Guide and A New Coat for Anna Study Guide from Progeny Press.

What We Received: 

We received a digital copy of A New Coat for Anna Study Guide (Grades 1-3), 28 pages long and In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson Study (Grades 4-6), 58 pages long. The corresponding books were not included, but easily obtained from our local library.

Each study guide begins with similar elements including:

  • Note to Instructor - This section gives instructions on how the study guide can be used.
  • Synopsis - Parents who haven't read the book before can get a general understanding of the story.
  • About the Author/Background Information - More than a simple biography note, historical context and events surrounding the story is shared.  
  • Before You Read/After You Read Activities - These are often history or geography related, but always with the purpose of a greater understanding of a character's experience.  Crafts, cooking and family tree research are just a few of the possibilities in each study guide.
  • While You Read Activities - These are the bulk of the study guide designed to increase vocabulary, comprehension and a Christian perspective.  This section may include crossword puzzles, word definitions, fill in the blank, short answer 
  • questions and discussion questions.
  • Additional Resources: At the end of each guide, this final section lists books and websites that compliment the topics of the book in further research.

How It Works:

With such a variety of activities available to the student, there can be no real wrong way to use the study guides, as long as you do!  I've seen some recommendations for reading the book through once before beginning and then rereading aloud as you work through activities.  Depending on the reading level of your student, a variety of ways could work.  Independent readers could work on their own until they need help, but due to the discussion nature of these study guides and questions, working through them together can have many benefits.  The various projects or activities consist of varying levels of supervision or parental involvement so it really requires initial planning to determine what, when and how the activities will be included.

Family Tree

What We Thought:

In light of all the debate about incomplete truths in history, these study guides provide the perfect opportunity to teach a thorough picture of history, warts and all.  Literature brings to light differing perspectives and circumstances that we need to note and talk about, even if just to disagree or condemn the actions.  Especially with the options of further research, you can build an entire unit around this text.  With these two books/guides, we were introduced to World War II and Chinese history and culture, both things we had not discussed much about before now.  A New Coat for Anna is intended for grades 1-3, but Year of the Boar is intended for 4-6.  I mistakenly started Year of the Boar first with my brand new 4th grader and could really feel the level difference.  Boar wasn't beyond him, but it required us sitting together to go through most of it.  Of course, it led to great discussions and a further understanding on his part, but in retrospect, we should have started with Coat for Anna to gradually build the difficulty.  

As a big proponent of a holistic approach to learning, exposing students to a subject from multiple angles is so valuable and rich. Whether you're new to homeschooling or simply looking for a fresh approach to boost your homeschool right now, Progeny Press study guides can breathe life into your learning relationships.

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The Review Crew also reviewed middle school and high school study guides.  Check out the rest of the reviews for details about those too!
       Study Guides for Literature - A New Coat for Anna, In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson, My Side of the Mountain, Animal Farm & Little Women {Progeny Press Reviews}

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