Monday, April 15, 2013

TOS Review - Progeny Press - Eagle of the Ninth Study Guide

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Progeny Press is a family owned business run by Michael and Rebecca Gilleland since 1992. Michael and Rebecca discovered back in 1991, when they started homeschooling, that good literature studies with a Christian view were just not available. Out of this "dilemma" the Gillenland's published their first study guide. Progeny Press has grown from 18 guides to 107 as of the beginning of 2012.

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"At Progeny Press we are committed to teaching good cultural literature, examined from a Christian perspective. Biblical Truth + Cultural Relevancy = Effective Christians."

For this review Progeny Press offered us through the TOS Review Crew an opportunity to use and review Eagle of the Ninth Study Guide.

What You Need to Know:

Recommended Age: 5th - 8th grade

Cost and Type:  18.99 Printed Booklet
                        16.99 CD
                        16.99 Instant Download (we received this version)

What is Needed:  Adobe Acrobat Reader

How to Use Progeny Press Study Guides

These guides are designed to help students work their way through literature by learning and understanding what the author writes and why. It is helpful for the student to have available a dictionary, thesaurus, and Bible to complete the activities in the study guides. Middle and High School grade study guides will take 8-10 weeks to finish.

What is Included in the Study Guide

The beginning of the guide includes instructions on how to implement the material as well as how to use the interactive part of the guide.

There are instructions on how to use the interactive guide for both Windows and Mac users. Next you will find a synopsis of the book your student will be reading. After the synopisis is a section about the book's author. Pre-reading activities are listed if you or your student wish to learn more about the time period that the book takes place. Now we come to the "meat" of the study guide. Our guide had us read three chapters of the book then follow up with the appropriate study guide section. Each section is set up the same, yet different, if that makes sense. Vocbulary, comprehension questions, thinking about the story, dig deeper, and class discussions round out the majority of each section. In the back of the guide, once you have finished the study, is an overview that can be treated as a final test. The guide also provides a list of additional reading resources and an answer key. This study guide can be used by writing the answers on the printed version or on the computer in an interactive fashion.

How We Used the Product and What We Thought

As far as literature analysis goes I have to admit we haven't done a lot of it. Grace is finishing up 8th grade this year and for the most part we read a book and then discuss it orally, occasionally with a small written book narration thrown in. Reviewing Progeny Press Study Guides has opened my eyes to the importance of learning literary terms, etc. that we are missing by not analyzing  literature in the true sense. First off I need to say that we read Eagle of the Ninth as a read aloud. Even as a read aloud the language was challenging for Grace. I don't think she could have read through the book on her own. We did rent the movie "The Eagle" and watched it for her to better understand what was going on in the book. This actually opened up a whole other discussion because the movie is somewhat different from the book. We read one chapter a day aloud until the three chapters were finished so we could then delve into the corresponding section of the study guide. Using the book and guide in this way we were able to finish chapters 1-9 of the book and three sections of the guide. One section of the study guide would take us 2-3 days to accomplish if we decided to do every question and activity offered. Each section found us using it a little differently. For the review we tried it three different ways: written, oral, and interactive. Grace, who is my non-writer, liked the oral and interactive ways of using the product. What we have learned so far: vocabulary, hyperbole, foreshadowing, allusion, metaphor, synonym, antonym, simile, cause and effect, and mood. Hands down my favorite parts of the guide are the scripture references. They are spot on for each section of the story. I found that Grace learned a lot about Roman History through this book and guide also. I definitely feel that I will buy another study guide from Progeny Press in the future.

Please be sure to go and visit Progeny Press to check out all the wonderful study guides that are available, but especially Eagle of the Ninth Study Guide.

Check out what others from the TOS Review Crew thought about their study guides from Progeny Press.

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1 comment:

Cristi said...

I'm a bit relieved to know that I wasn't the only parent of a middle schooler that thought the reading material was a bit difficult. Brennan and I did Treasure Island as a read-aloud for our study.