Monday, March 19, 2012

TOS Review: Progeny Press Study Guides

I vaguely remember reading Across Five Aprils when I was in junior high, I believe.  I know it was not one I chose for myself, and that I don't remember the books that were assigned to me as well as I remember others that I chose to read.  That said, out of the list of books to choose from which have associated Progeny Press Study Guides, I chose Across Five Aprils because while I don't think Wonder Boy is ready to read it yet - skillwise - I think he would be highly interested in the subject matter of the Civil War. 

I have not started assigning reading books yet in our lesson plans, however, I plan to start next year.  I have wondered how to help my children get the most out of assigned books, and I feel that Progeny Press Study Guides may be a good way to do that.  There are guides starting at the early elementary level, including subjects such as The Courage of Sarah Noble and Frog And Toad Together, on up through high school (The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and Hamlet, amongst others).

From the website:

Progeny Press study guides are designed to help students better understand and enjoy literature by getting them to notice and understand how authors craft their stories and to show them how to think through the themes and ideas introduced in the stories. To properly work through a Progeny Press study guide, students should have easy access to a good dictionary, a thesaurus, a Bible (we use the NIV translation, but that is up to your preference; just be aware of some differences in language), and sometimes a topical Bible or concordance. Supervised access to the Internet can also be helpful at times, as can a good set of encyclopedias.
 It is suggested that the student read the book first, in its entirety, then go back and work through the study guide.  For Across Five Aprils, there were a few activities to do before or while reading the book, but most were done after.  It seems to me that the study guide could be used along side the book, as some of the books could take longer than a week (what the site suggests) to read, depending on how much other school work a child has, and their interest level in the book. 

I love that in addition to the traditional literature questions, there is a combination of vocabulary, history, and creative writing included in the study guide activities, as well as relating the story to the Bible.  There are a variety of methods used to reinforce the target knowledge, which helps keep the material fresh.  Another great thing is that the guide is a PDF file, which can be filled in on the computer or printed off for the child to use.  My kids love doing any schoolwork they can on the computer, and this method saves us money on ink and paper!  I definitely think I will be turning to Progeny Press for other guides in the future!

Progeny Press Study Guides can be found at  They are available in a variety of forms, including a paper booklet, cd, and email attachment.  Price depends on the guide and form you choose.  You can also purchase the books on which the guides are based, if you would like.

***Note:  I received a digital copy of a Progeny Press Study Guide in exchange for my review through TOS Homeschool Crew.  All opinions are my own.

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