3/17/12

TOS Review: Progeny Press Literature Guides

I prefer a literature based approach to learning. That means we read a lot of books here at Aletheia Academy.  But I don’t just want the girls to read great books.  I want them to learn from great books.  Progeny Press Study Guides for Literature offer the opportunity to go deeper with a great novel.

From the Notes to Instructor: “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.”

We received two study guides in the PDF format. Customers can choose PDF format and receive an email with the PDF attachment.  Others forms include CD and Booklet.  As a convenience, Progeny Press also carries the novels for the study guides.

The TOS Crew could choose between several study guides as well as between Middle School, High School or one of each.  I choose to do one Middle School study guide (The Bronze Bow $16.99) and one High School study guide (The Screwtape Letters, $18.99).

I assigned The Bronze Bow Study Guide to Tailorbear, my 7th grader.  She is studying World History this year and read this book as part of her required reading for school.  She had completed reading the book before starting the study guide.  She says she would rather “ look at the study guide and read the chapters that it says for each section then do the questions. It was really difficult for me to remember things like what Daniel was doing in chapter 8.”  She liked working independently and I loved how this product engaged her. I never had to fuss at her to work on her assignments in the interactive study guide.  I did wish that I was more involved and when I asked her she replied "If Mom was reading the book with me and sharing her thoughts that would be cool, but I like being independent."

Some final thoughts from Tailorbear:”It's a wonderful product. It's easy to do. Makes you think about what you read. I want to do more of these. I like being independent with the study guide and stating my thoughts. Don't have to print every page. Like the format of typing it in. Much easier to type than to write. I really like it.”

You can view a sample of The Bronze Bow Study Guide here.

Both Boobear (11th grade) and Turtlegirl (9th) grade are working through the study for The Screwtape Letters.  Turtlegirl had so much to say about this product that she wrote her own review.  Please click on the link to read her details about this study guide.

Boobear read the book according to the sections she needed.  She would take a day or two to read those “letters” and then worked through the questions for that section at about a page a day.  The study guide suggests a pace of about a section per week. 

Thoughts from BooBear:"I really enjoyed the questions. They made me think about the book in a proactive way not just a passive way. I liked the vocabulary questions. They are similar to what would be on the SAT. I don't like that they have 5 or 6 questions inside one so-called question."

You can view a sample of The Screwtape Letters Study Guide here.

Both study guides suggest working through approximately one section per week.  Most guides will take 8-10 weeks to complete.  All three  girls found this to be a good pace.

My Thoughts: I found the Middle School guide very appropriate for my 7th grader student.  If I were to use this study guide with either my 9th or my 11th graders I would have to add writing assignments to bring it up to a high school level.  I found the level of work in the high school level appropriate for my high school students.  The content of the book The Screwtape Letters is too mature for my 7th grader, however, put that aside, I would have to reduce the writing assignments so as to not overwhelm my younger daughter.  I would think this applies to all high school level guides, if the content is appropriate for your student, you may have to reduce the expectations and the writing assignments.  That said I think I would stick to using the age guidelines given for each study guide.

With over 100 titles to choose from, I’m sure Progeny Press has something to offer everyone.  There are a variety of genres and guides for every level from K through High School.  I see lots of titles that interest me such as Frog and Toad are Friends, a K-2 level study guide that looks fun for Supergirl.

Click on the banner below to read what my fellow crew mates had to say about the different Progeny Press Literature Guides.PhotobucketAll information is correct and accurate as of the date of this review.

Disclaimer: As a TOS Crew member, I received two literature guides free of charge to review. This review is my honest opinion with, hopefully, enough detail as to why I liked or did not like a product so that my readers can make an informed decision. I received no compensation.

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