Wednesday, April 17, 2013

TOS CREW Review- Progeny Press

 photo 26018_10150154187290243_4120345_n_zpsd9393f12.jpg Reading Literature books and answering questions pertaining to them are not new things to my kiddos.  It is just one of the easiest ways to check for reading comprehension.  But when I heard that Progeny Press had interactive Literature Guides I jumped at the chance to try them out.  For my 5th grade son we chose The Golden Goblet Study Guide recommended for 5-8th graders, and for my 9th grade daughter, what else, but The Hobbit Study Guide, recommended for 9-12th graders.  Progeny Press also offers titles for younger elementary children.

The guides we choose, as well as over 100 more offered at Progeny Press are available in an easy download to your computer.  Well, easy for the 9th grader who did her own download.  Mom, that would be me, messed up The Golden Goblet download, but luckily a quick email to Nathan at Progeny Press got us started again and we were able to correctly download the Interactive Study Guide as well as the separate Answer Key and suggested pre-reading activities.  Each guide begins with a synopsis of the book and an About the Author section.  Then for each assigned reading you are directed read the corresponding chapters and answer the questions.
 photo a64739f13876d7e650edf3_m_zps62f7a3c9.jpgSet in Ancient Egypt, The Golden Goblet, written by Eloise Jarvis McGraw is a delightful book about a boy named Ranofer who longs to be a goldsmith like his father.  Unfortunately for him, his mean spirited brother Gebu stands in his way until Ranofer discovers a secret surrounding a golden goblet.  The adventure is a good one and is sure to keep  your child interested in reading the book.   The Golden Goblet Study Guide begins with a vocabulary worksheet and crossword puzzle and then proceeds to questions.  Three to four chapters are covered with each lesson.  There is space for your child to answer directly on your computer underneath each question, as well as a print option.  Even though my son is not a proficient typist (note to self- get the boy a typing program!), he really enjoyed this feature.  Just remember to teach your child to hit the save button BEFORE he closes the guide.  Just saying!

 photo a6473911373c6e271da741_m_zps1aab7a67.jpgOf course, most everyone is familiar with The Hobbit, written by JRR Tolkien.  Bilbo Baggins, some friends and a band of dwarfs join together on a quest to middle earth to recover a treasure that has been stolen. The Hobbit Study Guide is presented in a similar manner as The Golden Goblet, obviously just geared for a slightly older audience.  I like that this guide, as well as The Golden Goblet, varies in how it tests the facts and concepts learned- from vocabulary  and some multiple choice "just the facts" kind of questions, to thought provoking essay questions.  Each section of The Hobbit Study Guide ends with a section called Dig Deeper that has your student use the Bible as a springboard to answer some pretty deep questions.  Even with as much Bible background and knowledge as my daughter has, the Dig Deeper sections stumped her a few times and really made her stretch her thinking.  They are also wonderful conversation starters between parent and child.
 Each of the Progeny Press Literary Guides can take 8-10 weeks to complete, covering 1 section per week.  They do recommend that you have your child read the entire book to begin with, but we chose not to, but instead only read the assigned chapters for that week, for fear of not remembering the smalls details.  One of the glories of homeschooling is finding what works for your child and then go for it.
Our thoughts-
I really like these guides!  Admittedly they are very different from what we are use to, yet neither of my kids had any trouble transitioning to a new way.  My son especially prefers this to what we have been doing and we are going to continue on through the summer with another one of his choice.  There are some great Middle School oldies but goodies as well as some we did not recognize to choose from. 
I love the mission statement of Progeny Press-
"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!"
I love that owners Michael and Rebecca Gilleland are dedicated to teaching Classic literature from a Godly perspective.  There is a bunch of junk out there and it is nice to know that this company is devoted to helping you as a parent weed that junk out, while still providing books that have cultural relevancy.
I would recommend you look through the list of books for your child's age range and chose the four or five that interest your child the most and enjoy a year of strong, comprehensive Literary study!
The Hobbit-
$21.99 Printed Booklet
$18.99 CD
$18.99 Instant Download
The Golden Goblet-
$18.99 Printed Booklet
$16.99 CD
$16.99 Instant Download
*Books are also available at Progeny Press!

Fellow CREW read other titles from Progeny Press.  Click on the banner to read what they had to say! 
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