Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Teaching Language Arts: A Review of a Progeny Press Study Guide

text: Teaching Language Arts: A Review of Progeny Press Study Guide; background image of snow; logo of A Mom's Quest to Teach

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.

text: Teaching Language Arts: A Review of a Progeny Press Study Guide: A New Coat for Anna Study Guide; image of A New Coat for Anna Study Guide; lamb clipart logo of A Mom's Quest to TeachWhen reading good literature with our children, it is often nice to have a study guide to accompany that book. Progeny Press makes it very easy to find study guides to go along with a great variety of books for young elementary students to high school students. In the past, we have reviewed a study guide with our younger son (The Long Way to a New Land) and our older son (Perelandra). For this review, Progeny Press offered members of the Homeschool Review Crew (read the rest of the reviews here) five different study guides:

  • A New Coat for Anna Study Guide (recommended for grades K-3): This is the one our younger son and I used the past several weeks. 
  • In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson Study Guide (recommended for grades 4-6) 
  • My Side of the Mountain Study Guide (recommended for grades 5-8)
  • Animal Farm Study Guide (recommended for grades 9-12)
  • Little Women Study Guide (recommended for grades 8-12) 
photo of PDF on computer of A New Coat for Anna Study Guide

What Is Progeny Press? What Are the Study Guides?

The mission of Progeny Press is: "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!"

The study guides provide students with the ability to better understand and enjoy literature while examining themes and ideas presented in the stories.  The study guides include background to the novel, activities, vocabulary exercises, content questions, literary analysis questions, and critical analysis questions. Among these activities, there are multiple questions that ask children to reflect upon Bible verses or how the work might connect to their life. And don't worry, parents – there is an answer key! 

How Did We Use the Study Guide in Our Homeschool? 

VHS of The Sound of MusicI used this study guide with our upcoming second grader. When the book arrived, I handed A New Coat for Anna to our son and told him we would be completing a study guide for it like we did last year for The Long Way to a New Land. He read through the book by himself at least once before we started the study guide.

A New Coat for Anna Study Guide CoverOnce I downloaded the study guide (30 page PDF file), I looked over the Before-you-read Activities and saw that watching the Sound of Music was one of the activities listed. Neither of our young children had watched the musical, so for a few days during lunch, we enjoyed watching the Julie Andrews musical. We discussed why the Captain wouldn't leave Austria, facts about the real von Trapp family, as well as information about music.

This time, I decided to use the study guide primarily on our laptop and allow our son to type his answers into the PDF. I really liked that I didn't have to print out lots of pages. However, it did mean that he could not work on the questions unless I was giving him access to a computer.

We went through and completed the chart that examined what Anna would need for her coat and where she would get the materials from and when that would happen. Then we matched up careers with descriptions and worked on vocabulary. When answering questions about patience and quotes from Proverbs, we discussed the topics and questions rather than typing the answers in the PDF.

The one activity I did print out was the word search pages. I gave them to our two sons to work on together. I love that our older son was able to share some homeschooling time with his brother and help him out.

using the Children's book A New Coat for Anna to complete a word search puzzle

A New Coat for Anna book and word search activity

What Did We Think? 

I appreciate the fact that I can use the study guides with more than one child in my family. So, we can use the study guide this year with our son and in a few years with our daughter. (Although our daughter did enjoy hearing the story as we read it several times over the course of completing the study guide.) I also like the fact that I do not have to print out all the pages. Being able to keep the work online is a great bonus as we have so many papers everywhere. Our son also greatly enjoyed being able to type the answers into the PDF.

There are a number of activities you can complete when you are finished reading both the book and the study guide. I really wish I had remembered to get all of the ingredients to make the Silver Cake before the end of the review period. Oh, well – something to look forward to in the coming weeks! Our son and daughter enjoyed making bookmarks as the study guide suggested. We had two colors of yarn to pick from, so our son chose a light purple color for the paper part to match the dark purple yarn. They both decided to write fruits of the Spirit onto their bookmarks.

bookmark in A New Coat for Anna

2 bookmarks made by children

I would recommend the study guides from Progeny Press to homeschool families. They have a great variety of titles available for elementary to high school students. If you want to see how other families from the Homeschool Review Crew used the study guides in their homeschools, be sure to read their reviews.

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