Monday, April 22, 2013

Review: Progeny Press

 photo 26018_10150154187290243_4120345_n_zpsd9393f12.jpgHello, friends! Today I am going to share with you another literature resource for your Middle Schooler: a literature guide for the book Eagle of the Ninth by Progeny Press.


Progeny Press was started by a couple who were searching for literature guides that were written from a Christian worldview yet based upon classic literature. Frustrated by the lack of resources available, Michael and Rebecca Gilleland began to create their own. Twenty years later, there are over 100 different study guides available to benefit Christian homeschool families everywhere. The study guides are available in several different options: printed booklets, as PDF files on a CD-ROM or can be downloaded directly from their website after purchase.  

Each study guide begins with a synopsis of the book, pre-reading activities as well as a brief description of the author. They then progress through the chapters guiding the student through vocabulary exercises, comprehension questions, and discussion questions that allow the student to apply what they have learned through a Biblical perspective. Their goal is for the student to comprehend, analyze story elements, and apply the knowledge.

Our Routine

For this review, I allowed my daughter to read the descriptions and choose a title she thought would be interesting. She chose Eagle of the Ninth and I admit that even though I have ready many books, this book was foreign to me. Upon receiving the study guide, we eagerly went down to the library to get the book. There was a single copy in the Adult literature section. After I perused the book a bit, I gave it to Em. To be honest, she struggled with this piece of literature. Reading through the first few chapters, she became frustrated with the terms used and historical context to which she was not familiar. Enter the Progeny Press study guide. The interactive PDF file of the study guide gave her something to look forward to and eased the transition from her pleasure reading as of late to an in-depth study of literature. There is quite a difference! 

Good to Know

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  1. Students will need a few resources to assist them throughout the study guides. These items are: a thesaurus, a dictionary and a Bible. (NIV is used within the study guides.)
  2. Though study guides are available in print, I would highly recommend the interactive PDFs. The student is allowed to answer the questions directly into the computer. This saves paper, increases interest, and allows the student to focus more on literature than writing.
  3. Study guides are available for first grade through twelfth grade. I have linked the available resources  by grade level so you can peruse the many study guides available for your homeschool students. Lower Elementary (1-3), Upper Elementary (3-5), Middle Grades (5-8), and High School (9-12).
  4. The Eagle of the Ninth study guide is available for $16.99.

My Thoughts

This was a very challenging review for Em and me. The problem was not the excellent resource by Progeny Press but rather the book selection itself. However, Progeny Press is a great way to teach the deeper aspects of literature. Prereading resources are listed to help give your student prior knowledge to build upon. My goal is to to use some of these resources and then do this study again. Also, a list of optional activities like essays or projects are available with the study guide and even additional materials that would further the discussion. It is a great resource and one that I am looking forward to using in the future, perhaps when my young reader is a bit more prepared to tackle this classic work.


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