Progeny Press Study Guides produced by Progeny Press are study guides for literature from a Christian perspective which concentrate on critical thinking, comprehension, literary analysis and Christian application. Currently there are 107 guides for Kindergarten through High School.
The mission of Progeny Press, which is a homeschool family-run, family-operated business started in 1992, is to teach our children to think clearly, to understand literature, and to rely on the scripture for truth and values, and to enjoy themselves while they do it!
The website is set up to shop for titles by genre or grade level as well as new titles.
For review we were blessed with one Junior High level study for Taylor to check out, and one High School level study for Morgan to check out.
Across Five Aprils is a Middle School Study Guide appropriate for grades 5-9. This study guide is available for $16.99 as an email attachment download in interactive pdf format for your computer (this is what I received), booklet format for $18.99 + shipping, CD for $18.99 + shipping, or CD and Booklet for $23.99 + shipping. Just choose your format over at the Progeny Press online store! All formats contain complete student text and answer key. Novel must be purchased separately, or checked out from library. (Most should be easy found at your library.)
Additional resources include a dictionary, thesaurus and Bible.
The sugggested time frame for the study is 8-10 weeks.
The first part of the guide gives a short description of the book, author biography, and discussion of the civil war era social and political scene.
The book is meant to be read the first week, with prereading activities to do to help set up some elements for understanding the study such as research on the civil war, geography and map study, confederate and union battles, etc.
The study guide covers two chapters at a time, each suggested to span one week. Vocabulary activities include definitions, matching, multiple choice, thesaurus activities, among other things. The variety from lesson to lesson is really a plus with this study, helping the student maintain interest and attention.
Literary elements are studied in the form of questions, covering all the standard similes, hyperboles, forshadowing, character studies, both from a literature standpoint as well as historical context. Not only is the variety of the questions, historical context, and character study in light of the Bible unique in Progeny Press studies, but the scriptural references with discussion of character choices according to Biblical teachings is just refreshing and delightful!
There are many opportunities and suggestions for further research, writing projects, historical research, cultural and sociology studies, impacts of war on society as well as the students perspective of her own community. This could basically open up an incredible unit study lasting as long and expanding as deep as desired.
There are many additional books, resources, and websites listed at the end of the study as well as biographies and references.
The second Progeny Press study guide we were blessed with is the Screwtape Letters Study Guide.
The Screwtape Letters is the ever popular C.S. Lewis classic for High School level students grade levels 9-12. This is really a bit more advanced guide, so I would caution you to use discretion and preview it before handing it off to your students.If you aren’t familiar with Screwtape Letters, the website has a pretty good description of the content of the material.
This 75 page study guide also comes in three formats: the email attachment, interactive pdf download version that I received is $18.99, Booklet format is $21.99 plus shipping, Cd format is $18.99 plus shipping, and the CD/Booklet combo is $27.99 plus shipping. Again, the pdf download is my preference with no shipping charges and ability to work with the document right on your computer, typing in answers and checking it right there. This gives the ability for the student to print out each assignment and hand it to you, or you can just check it right on the computer. Great format! This is a best seller on their website!
This guide is very similar in format to the first one I discussed, with a bit more content and thought provoking questions. It does, however, still have much room for further projects, writing activities, research, etc. The beginning still has prereading activities, discusses the author and time period he wrote from, and a small bit of synopsis of what the story is about. This guide is designed to be used over 8-10 weeks as well with the first week suggested for reading of the book, and each additional week lesson for 2-4 “letters” or chapters if you will.
There are vocabulary, thought provoking questions from the book to answer, literary analysis of story and critical thinking elements, and “digging deeper” section which brought Biblical perspective and ideas into the study. This part is totally awesome with scriptural truths as guidance!
Again, there are many optional and suggested activities (so many that you really can’t possibly do them all, but enough that you can get excited about many!).
There are some pretty creative ideas for further reinforcement and projects which are just delightfully thought out.
Included is an overview section which sums things up or can even be used as a final exam if desiring to use the study for high school credit. On that note, it is suggested that one study guide could count as a 1/4 high school credit.
PP Study Guide Adventures at Gunn Ranch Academy
My Jr High student Taylor and I have been studying American History this year and are just embarking on the Civil War. This was great timing for the Across Five Aprils study, as I have seen this book recommended many place. I found it free on a book swap site, and it arrived just a couple days after I downloaded my guide which gave me a chance to read through the study guide and see how it would work.
My dd and I read through the synopsis of the story, author info, and prereading activities. We had already looked at several of the civil war issues as well as mapped union and confederate states and battle grounds with our history studies, so it really fit right in.
Taylor read through the book in a day, so we went ahead and jumped into the two-chapter lessons. She really enjoyed typing the answers into the computer.
I generally prefer print copies of things, but this study is just so convenient as an interactive format! You can check out how it works by clicking the link on the homepage of the website. Having took last week for spring break, we still have some lessons to complete, but I haven’t really maintained a strict schedule with this since we are using it alongside our history studies. Taylor has really enjoyed the scriptural aspects and has mentioned they really add to the study. She thinks it’s pretty cool that the guide brings this whole new perspective to the book. The character study and personal opinions as they relate to the student’s life are fabulous and thought provoking aspects of the study as well.
I requested to review Screwtape Letters for a couple of reasons. First one is that my High School student read it last year as a part of another study, so I was interested in her perspective. She is studying literature analysis this year already, so I didn’t expect her to use it for the recommended 8-10 weeks. Since she already read it and has already been studying literature this year, I asked her to read through and give me her perspective on the studying.
She really loves the way it is organized, with enough variety to the questions so the student is not bored by doing the same thing in each lesson. She doesn’t particularly like vocabulary words, but thought the variety there was not too tedious or boring. Since this is already a Christian-based book, it definitely lent itself to scriptural elements. She thought the depth of critical thinking questions were definitely way more involved than she had done when she looked at the book earlier. Her prior experience with it, out of all fairness however, was not a complete book study but only using the book as a small part of a larger study.
She really loved the extra activities which brought home the certain aspects of human nature that were being brought up with each “letter” or chapter of the book. I think she has spent more time reading back through this and going through the study guide than she had intended :).
Now on to my second reason for choosing this guide. I just don’t have much time these days to really read for enjoyment, or really read things in much depth. I’ve scanned over Screwtape Letters in the past, but there’s just so much depth to this book that I decided I really wanted to read through the book and go through the study guide myself. While it’s been a nice refreshing of literary analysis (which was never my strongpoint or my favorite subject), I’ve gleaned so much enjoyment in the ideas and additional questions concerning each aspect of human nature being analyzed in the letters.
I had bought a compilation of C.S Lewis stories all in one book of which the Screwtape Letters is a part. I have loved opening my big ole book with a silver ribbon tape bookmark and really being able to dig in. I think this guide is just brilliant and very thought provoking!
I am thinking using a guide or two a year in accordance with what we are studying in history will be on our agenda for the future. As I have a Kindergarten student this year, I also really love finding a new and fresh perspective in teaching for his years to come.
This is yet another higher recommended jewel I am adding to our learning adventure treasure box!!
Check out my Crew Mates Adventures with Progeny Press Study Guides at the Crew Blog!
*I downloaded these two study guides for review purposes as a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew. No other compensation was received and opinions are my own.