Disclaimer: I received 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.
My family love to go camping. Something about being out in nature, sleeping in a tent far away from everyone else makes us all happy. However, we unfortunately had to skip our yearly camping trip this year because with the Covid-19 pandemic, all of our campgrounds here in California are closed. However, for the last few weeks, we have been using the Progeny Press My Side of the Mountain Study Guide , a study guide written for grades 5-8th, as we read the book written by Jean Craighead George and have been enjoying the story of survival and nature.
About Progeny Press
Progeny Press is a publishing company who offers E-guides for literature with a Christian perspective. Offering guides for reading levels from early elementary through high school, each of the Progeny Press guides are designed to help students to better understand the story they are reading as well as to recognize the themes presented by the author.
However, what makes Progeny Press different from other literature study guides is that Progeny Press uses Biblical teachings, backed with scripture, to tie the story into practical lessons. While many books contain content or beliefs that do not align with Christian beliefs, Progeny Press guides direct students to instead study what God says about such things so they will be better prepared and strong in their faith when they face such behavior, language, and philosophy in life.
Progeny Press literature guides break the assigned book into weekly reading assignments. Students read the assigned chapters and then they complete different activities that correlate with what they have read. These activities fall into four categories to help expand the student's knowledge about what they have read.
First, vocabulary activities help to introduce words that might be unfamiliar to the student in ways that help with retention.
Second, reading comprehension questions are used to be sure the student is understanding what they are reading. These are both direct questions that can be answered straight from the reading as well as questions that require the student to think about what they read and determine why a character might have done an action, thought the way they did, or what they might do in the future.
Next, literary techniques that are used by the author are introduced with activities that help the student understand concepts such as alliteration, metaphors, conflict, compare and contrast, mood and coming of age.
Character Values and Moral Lesson help the student recognize traits that either honor God or that conflict with Christian beliefs or living, such as acceptance, honoring parents, lying, patience, and dealing with fear. Students are given Biblical references that correlate with the values being taught to solidify what God says and how they relate to the situation the characters in the book find themselves in.
Finally, suggested activities and writing assignments are offered to expand that help to expand on the book. These included field trip suggestions, plant research, creative writing assignments, discussions about safety, research topics, and science connections that can be used to tie in with the book. Additional reading selections that can tie in or are similar to the novel being read are also suggested.
How We Used Our Literature Guide
For this review, we were given the digital e-book version of the interactive literature guide as well as the digital answer key that corresponds with the guide. Written by Carole Clark, the Interactive Guide is a 63 page PDF file that can either be printed out for the student or it can be used on a computer. The guide is formatted in such a way that the student has the ability to type answers and use drop down selections to answer the material and then print the pages. This makes for a great option if you have a student who either dislikes writing or just prefers typing over using a pen/pencil.
For this review, we decided to print the guide for both children. Purchase of the digital guide allows for the teacher/parent to print off multiple copies of the guide to use in their classroom. As the guide is 63 pages in length and broken into 8 sections plus an overview, I found it easier to print off the first half of the guide for the kids to use the first 4 weeks and then print out the second half of the guide for weeks 5-9.
Incorporating the literature guide into our daily work was easy. The kids and I would read the required chapters on Monday, then spend the rest of the week working on the activities and questions that go with the reading.
This worked really well for us, as we could easily read the three to four chapters required within our reading period on Monday, then work on the vocabulary exercises on Tuesday, the comprehension questions on Wednesday, literary techniques on Thursday, and finally the character values and moral lesson section on Friday. When possible, we also included a few of the optional activities such as a discussion about how to handle situations and people that make them uncomfortable, eating strawberries dipped in sugar together and researching nesting habits of the Peregrine falcons.
As a homeschooling parent, I really enjoy using the Progeny Press study guides with the kids. They really help the children to understand the literature they are reading and dig deeper than just reading the story. I also really appreciate the Christian perspective the guides use that help to really tie Christian teaching into the study, because it gives my kids the opportunity to see how scripture teaching can be used in a real world setting.
For more information about Progeny Press and the large selection of study guides for literature that they offer, be sure to visit their website. You can also find more information by visiting the company's social media sites:
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