I remember, waaaay back in High School reading several classic pieces of literature in my English classes. The teacher always had a endless bank of questions that were designed to engage us in thinking about a book as more than just words gathered onto pages and creating a nice little read. We were challenged to look at the world through the perspective of the characters, to understand the when, where and why of the setting the author had chosen…. That was the stuff that made literature come alive for me. I will confess that it is the exact thing that gave me more than a bit of trepidation as a homeschooling parent. I didn’t know if I would be able to replicate the amazing-ness of my high school English teachers.
To my rescue, comes the company Progeny Press.
They sent me two of their literature study guides. Pride and Prejudice for my High Schooler and The Bronze Bow for those in Grades 6-8. I primarily worked with Hunter (4th grade) on the Bronze Bow study guide, so I can testify that they are indeed appropriate for those in even younger grades than 6th.
My daughter, Tayler, a Junior in High School, enjoyed going through the lessons designed for Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. It is one of her favorite novels; she has read it for pleasure many times. This was the first time she read it with literary analysis in mind. She found the questions thought provoking and felt that they helped her to delve into the characters more deeply. She really enjoyed working in the interactive PDF. She could pull it up on her laptop and not have to carry around a large printed booklet to work from.
I especially appreciated the way it tied themes of pride, humility, control of one’s tongue to Scripture, and asked her to reflect on a possible different outcome of things if the characters had behaved according to Scripture. It really puts this great work by Jane Austen into a whole new perspective.
Hunter and I worked through The Bronze Bow by Elizabeth George Speare. First, let me just say that this is a wonderful book. We are a little over half way through reading it and answering the questions in the guide. I had never even heard of this book until this review and I am very glad we had a chance to read and review this guide. The questions within the study guide are teaching him to pay more attention to the characters in a book; to ask himself questions about them, to infer, and predict. It is also building his vocabulary. For Hunter, we printed out several pages of the PDF file at a time to work on as we read each set of chapters.
The study guide draws from Scripture and asks you to read an compare a passage from the Bible with a section of the book. We have really enjoyed reading the book and the time that it is giving us together as we work through the lessons.
Progeny Press offers you a chance to look at samples before you buy. Pricing varies by what might be on sale, the grade level of the study guide, and the format that you would like to use. For example, I received The Bronze Bow via email; the price of the file would have been $6.95 + $3.00 processing fee, bringing the guide to a grand total of $9.95. The cost would increase if you wanted a CD or Booklet version. Please make sure you check their store for availability and pricing that would best suit your family’s needs.
Honestly, $10.00 isn’t a bad price, not for something that I can use over and over and over with multiple children as they come along. It really turns out to be a great investment in your children to help them better explore literature through the lens of the Bible.
Don’t just take my word for it, be sure to check out the many other reviews on the TOS Homeschool Crew Blog
I received two study guides from Progeny Press, free of charge, for the sole purpose of this review. The above opinions are my own and those of my family members who used the product. We are not obligated to furnish a positive review. No other compensation has been received.