Disclaimer: I recieved 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. All opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family. I am disclosing this in accordance with FTC Regulations.
Digging deeper into good literature is fun and made easier by Progeny Press with their literature study guides. I reviewed Little Women Study Guide for high school students (8th – 12th grades) and In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson Study Guide for upper elementary students (4th – 6th grades). The E-book study guides each came with answer keys, too.
This is the fifth Progeny Press Study Guide I have used and before I tell you about these 2 study guides, I want to share some things that I notice about all of their study guides I’ve used so far. These study guides:
- …enhance my kids’ enjoyment of the book by providing some fun activities that make learning fun!
- …help my children understand not just the story, but to notice how the author crafts their stories.
- …guide my children into themes and how these ideas relate to Scripture. I love that the best!
- …teach language arts skills from vocabulary to spelling to grammar to literary analysis. I appreciate the depth here in every guide I’ve seen.
- …optional writing assignments throughout the guide that are very creative!
Like my mother before me and my daughters after me, I have read Little Women numerous times and every time I hope Dad comes home safely from the war, Jo falls for Laurie, that Beth lives. I always find myself laughing and weeping.
The novel opens with Mr. March away serving in the Civil War and the family struggling deeply financially, yet still able to give to others. The story takes us through the years as we meet the indomitable March family live live, find love, endure tragedy, meet friends, experience loss, and dream impossible dreams that just might come true! I love this book!
We started with the background information on the Civil War and the Romantic Movement at the beginning of the study guide. It did a great job explaining both and even addressed transcendentalism. We also talked about Pilgrim’s Progress, an important part of the books as it is referred to constantly.
The vocabulary, comprehension questions, and other language arts activities were really helpful. We learned about maxims and idioms! We also used Scripture to evaluate the actions of the characters. I thought the Digger Deeper questions were very insightful and made us think! All the language arts material was impressive!
The optional activities were very creative! We made buckwheat pancakes and chicken soup, but there were many other recipes we could have made, too. We might make costumes, create a biography, or put on a play! There are just too many things to ever do all of them!
My favorite part was when they had us list “castles in the air” for each character in the book! I also really like the “in context” assignment.
In The Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson, Shirley Temple Wong and her mother move halfway around the world to New York from China to be with her father. With struggling English and the awkwardness of being in a new country, Shirley felt lost until she discovered baseball and learns about Jackie Robinson, the first black baseball player! She realizes that American is truly a land of opportunity.
I discovered this book when we were studying 20th Century History. It’s a great story! Before we read the book, we did some of the pre-reading activities in the study guide like mapping the trip from China to New York and learning about Chinese religions and how they compare with Christianity.
After we read the book, we talked about the setting in China. I loved the comparison chart on page 10–that was really helpful. I also liked the vocabulary and comprehension questions. The section on similes was really good too–very easy to understand and sometimes that can be tricky.
Overall, I would rate the study guide as excellent. It had activities that brought the book alive, but it was also full of good language arts material for my kids!
My favorite assignment was on page 55: A Year in Your Life! Based on the books focus on months of the year as chapter titles, the assignment has students make a little book and write a little summary of each month of one particular year. This is a perfect year to do that! We haven’t done this assignment yet, but it’s on the calendar to complete soon.
Here are some things I love about using an e-guide:
- Easy to download
- I can print the pages I need –saves paper!
- Easy to use with a group–just print multiple copies
- I can store a copy in my computer and in my tablet
Did I mention there’s an answer key for every study guide? I love that!
You can read more reviews from the Review Crew about Progeny Press Study Guides HERE!
I also want to encourage you to check out The Old Schoolhouse’s Review Crew Blog. You can read reviews on all kinds of homeschooling products for all ages.
Until next time, Happy Homeschooling!