Monday, March 19, 2012

Progeny Press "The Cay" TOS Review 2012

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  Literature is a large part of our English Curriculum this year, and as we move up in grades it will continue to be so. My boys struggle not with reading but sometimes with reading comprehension and retention. I have found study guides to be helpful with mastering both of these issues. The TOS Crew members were recently given a choice of Progeny Press Literature guides to chose from to review, the boys and I chose the study guide based on Theodore Taylor's "The Cay"

                My boys are fascinated by any stories that are about the wars set back in our History. Not that the current war is not important they just find World War I and World War II and Vietnam extremely captivating. So when choosing our curriculum I often lean towards their personal interests so that I keep their attention. I often get far better results in their work when they are very interested.

   Let me start with a little background information about Progeny Press, here is some info from their site.
The History of Progeny Press

Progeny Press is a family-owned and family-run business operated by Michael and Rebecca Gilleland since 1992. Michael and Rebecca started homeschooling in 1991, but as they examined literature studies available to them, they could not find anything that helped them teach classic cultural literature combined with a Christian perspective. They discussed this with other homeschooling parents and teachers in Christian schools, and over and over they heard, "If you find anything, let us know! We'll buy it, too!"

Finally, they arranged with a homeschooling friend to write a study guide, and they offered it to a local Christian school for use in their classroom as a test run. At the end of the quarter, the principal of the school contacted the Gillelands and offered to purchase every title they had available. In 1992 they hired Andrew Clausen and in 1993 Progeny Press was selling 18 study guides for literature.

Progeny Press has grown from 18 study guides in 1993 to 107 study guides at the beginning of 2012. Just as in the beginning, Michael and Rebecca edit and review each study guide to make certain that it adheres to their high standards of literary analysis and biblical application.
Progeny Press study guides can now be purchased anywhere in the world via its online store, and in bookstores and catalogs around the world.

   Progeny Press sells over 100 literary study guides and they are available for a range of ages from Lower Elementary, moving on to Upper Elementary and then up through Middle and High school levels. "The Cay" that we chose is appropriate for Middle School levels. Progeny Press prides themselves on choosing and explaining cultural literature from a Christian point of view. I know this is an important trait that I look for in any company I am choosing to use to help teach my children.

     The Study guides are all set up in the same fashion, so I will take you through a walk of ours, "The Cay"
written by Theodore Taylor, the study guide was written by Lisa Tiffin. Our study guide was 66 pages long and sent to me via email .pdf download, it is also available by print format through the mail and CD with a .pdf download as well. As with anything the email .pdf is the most cost effective route to take and starting at $10.99 and going up to $27.99 you can decide which is the best route for your family to take. In the 66 pages this includes, information about the study guide author, the book's author, a synopsis of the story, instructions for the teacher/parent. There is also a table of contents and many activities to help you along your literary journey, pre-reading activities, ours had 6 of them. They were Report: 1-2 page report, map work, a time line, vocabulary, artwork and finally a biography. These pre-reading activities are suggested to be completed while the child is reading the book. The book should be read in the first week, as you work through the activities you will refer back to the book for cross referencing.  After the book has been read through in its entirety it is suggested that a worksheet a day be completed. It generally takes about 8 weeks to complete the entire study guide. You can work at whatever pace is right for your family. That is the joy of homeschooling, well at least in my opinion. The end of the study guide has pages of additional resources such as other books by the author, books that may be of interest or help in researching and completing some of the worksheets, and also internet resources that at the time of print were appropriate for Christian kids. please always use caution and parental supervision when allowing them to use the internet.

    My boys enjoyed "The Cay" as well as using the study guide by Progeny Press, I really feel they benefited by delving in deeper by using the study guide while reading the book. It gave them a new perspective on reading a classic literary piece. We are still working with our study guide and have about 4 more weeks of work to be completed. It has been a very thorough lesson and I definitely think it is worth the purchase price.

  Please be sure to visit the Progeny Press website to see what other titles they offer, with over 100 to choose from I am sure their is something to fit the tastes of your family.  Also be sure to check out the TOS Crew Blog and see what titles the other crew members picked for their choice.

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services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it

on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally

and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance

with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the

Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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