Progeny Press Mr. Popper’s Penguins E-Guide Review

Our family is not a stranger to Progeny Press. We love reading literature in our homeschool and we’ve been able to use  some of its book study before. My children enjoyed using them and so they were looking forward to using Mr. Popper’s Penguins E-Guide. We were given a downloadable copy as a part of the Schoolhouse Review Crew.

Progeny Press has been producing faith-based book studies on classic literature and popular novels for a number of years already. These study guides are for grades 1-12. The writers of the study guides include the owners of Progeny Press, Michael and Rebecca Gilleland, and other authors who came from varying professional background like teachers, pastors, home-education and writers. The guides pass through peer reviews and are edited by their office staff for literary accuracy and analysis.

Literature Study Guides from a Christian Perspective {Progeny Press Review}
The study guides are meant to help parents and teachers raise critical thinkers and readers. It provides instruction for the readers  to perform activities related to the theme of the book, digging deep into the vocabulary words and analyzing the story and the character profiles.

All guides come as printed workbooks or CDs or downloadable E-books. You would need Adobe Acrobat installed on your computer to access the files. Adobe Acrobat is a free software that you can easily install to your computer.

The study guides are recommended to be used for 8-12 weeks, but it really depends on how fast the student reads and works on the study guide.

There are hundred of study guides available from Progeny Press. They are divided by grade levels:

  • Lower Elementary ( for K- Grades 3)
  • Upper Elementary (for Grades 3 – 5)
  • Middle School (for Grades 5 – 8)
  • High School (for Grades 8 – 12 )

Mr. Popper’s Penguins E-Guide  is best for upper elementary years or those in grades 4 to 6. It is interactive, meaning students can type in their answer to the questions directly on the computer and they can even choose some answers to the questions via drop down choices. The students just need to save their work on their computer to ensure the changes made are saved.

Literature Study Guides from a Christian Perspective {Progeny Press Review}
A 1939 Newberry Honor Book, Mr. Popper’s Penguins is a heart-warming story of a house painter who dreams of traveling to the Antarctic. Mr. Popper dreams big dreams and doesn’t give up easily even if his family’s income is just enough to support them. As the penguins came into their life, Mr. Popper’s family showed resilience and creativity to make their dreams a reality.

My daughter who is currently in 6th grade read the book and used the interactive study guide. It took her a few days to complete reading the entire book. Then she used our MacBook Pro installed with Adobe Acrobat to open the file.

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There are 56 pages in this study guide. Here is the table of contents:

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She worked on the study guide 2-3 times a week for half an hour each time. She answered the vocabulary questions, questions about the story until the end of the study guide. She worked on this study guide independently. We just did the Money Matters section together and it certainly made an impact to her as she learned about inflation and credit. She saw how math is valuable in computation of money. We also discussed the story structure, the character study and the main theme of the book. We used the questions from the study guide as our prompt to have a deeper conversation about all that she has learned.

What I liked about Mr. Popper’s Penguin E-Guide is that it is very easy to do independently for my 6th grade daughter. There is a separate answer key file so I can easily check her work, even if I was not able to read the book yet. I also liked that there are several pre-reading and post-reading activities suggested to make the lesson even more special. It is like doing a unit study based on a book. Lastly, this study guide costs only $17.99. It is downloadable so it means that my daughter can work on the computer or I can print the pages if I wanted her to write. I don’t need to look for a physical product or have it shipped all the way from the USA.

Progeny Press really makes great literature studies which develop critical analysis. I am thankful for their study guides as it helps my children process the books they are reading. Check out our previous experience with Progeny Press Frogs and Toad Together E-Guide and Sarah Plain and Tall Interactive Study Guide. Each of this study guides are from different levels and we have all enjoyed them!

For more information about Progeny Press, please visit their website and their social media accounts at Progeny Press Facebook and Progeny Press Twitter .

The Schoolhouse Review Crew was able to use guides for other levels as well like the Lower Elementary,  Middle School  and High School, so be sure to to read the other reviews to learn the differences between these levels.

 

Literature Study Guides from a Christian Perspective {Progeny Press Review}
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Progeny Press Sarah Plain and Tall Interactive Study Guide Review

We believe in literature based curriculum so we were quite delighted to be reviewing Progeny Press Sarah, Plain and Tall Study Guide as part of the Schoolhouse Review Crew.

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Progeny Press is not new to us as we have reviewed one of their products, Frog and Toad Together, last year. Progeny Press produces study guides for classic literature and popular novels from a Christian perspective. Their mission is to let the children think clearly, understand literature and to rely on the scripture for truth and values and enjoy themselves. The study guides are categorized according to these levels:

  • Lower Elementary
  • Upper Elementary
  • Middle School
  • High School

The Study Guides are available through physical books, CDs, and E-guides. Some E-guides are interactive, meaning the student can type in their answers directly to the PDF file and save it. You need to install Adobe Acrobat Reader to use E-Guides. If you want to print the PDF file, you may also do so using the print feature of Adobe Acrobat Reader.

The Study Guide for Sarah, Plain and Tall is recommended for students in grades 4-6. My daughter who is currently in 6th grade is the one who read the book and worked on the study guide. The study guide is 43 pages long. It costs $17.99. The recommended time to complete work on a single guide takes 8-12 weeks but it could take lesser time depending on your child’s capability.

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I had my daughter read the book Sarah, Plain and Tall written by Patricia MacLachlan. Then I had her work independently on the Study Guide. She opened the document and read the information on the author, synopsis and the background information on the setting of the story. She checked out the Before You Read Activities and found that she was recommended to write to a penpal. Since she was already sending letters back and forth to a friend in Canada, she understood what it was like to write and send letters to someone who is on another continent in the world. There were several other activities like history research, map work and reading aloud another story, but she wasn’t keen on doing them. So she just moved on to the next part.

My daughter liked the story of Sarah, Plain and Tall as it focused on family life in a prairie setting. She realized how different life back then was, as they didn’t have modern communications and had to rely on newspaper ads and letter writing to communicate with another person on a different part of the country. But she also noticed that even if times were different, the basic needs of people are the same. To have a joyful family was clearly important back then as it is today.

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The study guide was divided by chapters. The first part was focused on Chapters 1-3, then there were vocabulary words, questions about the story and questions that made you think and then questions related to the story but put in the context of the scriptures. There were activities like  word search, crossword puzzle and after you read activities too.

My daughter was able to finish the study guide in 3 weeks but still is working on the after you read activities. She enjoyed working on this study guide as it helped her analyze the story more and appreciate the details of the story. She also liked the part where she worked on similes. She can be a voracious reader but using Progeny Press study guide helped her to slow down, and dig deeper into the richness of the story.

Going through the study guide, we were also able to have discussions on what is important in a family, where to find your life partner and what to look for in your life partner.

I would highly recommend this product if you  want you children to dig deeper on the literature that they read. Because in the end, it is not about how many books you’ve read but how many books you’ve understood.

For more reviews on the different study guides from Progeny Press, check out the posts from other Schoolhouse Review Crew members. Follow Progeny Press on Facebook at http://facebook.com/ProgenyPress, on Youtube at http://youtube.com/progenypress and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/progenypress

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Frog and Toad Together E-Guide Review

As a family who loves to read literature together, we have been on the look out for great literature guides. I have heard of Progeny Press from another homeschooling mom before so I was excited to start reviewing the Frog and Toad Together E-Guide  with my 7 year old son!

Progeny Press Review
Progeny Press has produced over a hundred study guides for popular and classic literature over the years. What makes it unique is that the study guides are written from a Christian’s perspective. The literature that they choose are mostly award winner (Newbery, Caldecott, ALA Notable Book, Coretta Scott King, etc.) books which ensures that these literary pieces are endowed with quality and substance. The differrent study guides are categorized according to year levels :

  • lower elementary (K-3)
  • upper elemenentary  (3-5)
  • middle school (5-8)
  • high school (8-12)

All the study guides come in three versions: the physical book, the CD version and the Downloadable E-Guide. Each of the different versions contain the same content and have the same price. The CD version and Downloadable E-Guides both are PDF files which can be accessed with the use of Adobe Acrobat Reader. Guides for grade levels 4-12 all come in interactive PDF format, meaning your children can type in their answers and save their work so you can check later!  Answer keys can be found at the end of the book.

The recommended time to complete work on a single guide takes 8-12 weeks but it could take lesser time for those using the K-2. You may end up using three to four study guides in a school year!

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Frog and Toad Together Study Guide is recommended for  Lower Elementary students ranging from Grades K-2. It only costs $11.99.

 

Frog and Toad Together is written by Arnold Lobel and is probably one of the most popular children’s stories. It is a story of friendship. We have read the adventures of frog and toad many times before and we’ve enjoyed it immensely, often laughing at the silliness of toad! But we’ve never really discussed the lessons we can learn from the stories.

While downloading the PDF file to my computer, I asked my 7 year old son to read the 1st chapter of Frog and Toad Together. 

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Then we opened the Frog and Toad Together Study Guide and saw that it contained a note to the instructor. It details how Progeny Press  Study Guide should be used. Aside from a copy of the literature, we needed to have a dictionary and Bible on hand. Then we went on to read the synopsis, information about the author and started on the before-you-read activities.

As the activity has suggested, I asked my son to draw his best friend and what character qualities he thinks a good friend should have. It was amazing to see that even at 7 years old, he already has a concept of what he wants in a friend and how he can be a good friend to another. Then he went right on to answer the questions on Chapter 1. Because the chapter discusses about Toad making a list and how silly it was for him to be confined on what he was to do based on a list, he was tasked to make a list of his own at the end of the chapter. My son is not fond of making lists so it was a nice activity for him to do for the first time! He enjoyed writing down what he was to do the next day. And he found himself constantly checking the list to make sure he has accomplished what he planned on doing. Interestingly, we also learned that not everything happens according to plan. Just as the study guide mentioned, it is not for man to direct his own steps. My son was able to understand the reality of life — how  interruptions and challenges may happen and we need not fear them since it is God who directs you in the way you should go.

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At the end of each chapter, there were different hands-on projects suggested and fairly easy to do since all materials are easily found in your household. Projects were of a great variety as there were experiements involving seeds, baking cookies, making a schedule, drawing and painting.

My son enjoyed doing the overview activities which included a venn diagram and word search. There was a list of suggested books for further reading. Thankfully, we had more books about Frog and Toad on hand and continued reading the adventures of these 2 friends!

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We completed one chapter a day and worked on the study guide 3x a week . We finished the whole study guide in 2 weeks.

The study guide exceeded my expectations. I was a bit wary that my son who isn’t very fond of writing would be bored but surprisingly, he enjoyed doing this study guide. The questions challenged him to think and the activities were fun and enjoyable. I liked that the material was really age appropriate and that it was downloadable over the internet. But best of all, the study guide was able to tie up scriptures which reminded us of God’s character and His Word with a story we love. I am looking forward to more guides that are coming soon from Progeny Press and will definitely be getting some more E-Guides for our future use!

For more information on Progeny Press, follow them on their Facebook page at  https://www.facebook.com/progenypress Twitter at  https://twitter.com/progenypressPinterest at  http://www.pinterest.com/progenypress/ and YouTube at  https://www.youtube.com/user/ProgenyPress.

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The Wise Woman with Literary Analysis Journal Questions Review

Family read aloud every lunch time is one of our most anticipated moments of the day. My kids enjoy it and so do I. Home School Adventure Co. was gracious to give us a copy of the downloadable ebook  The Wise Woman with Literary Analysis Journal Questions by Stacy Farrell, for our family to read and review. So when we got our copy, we immediately began reading it!

Home School Adventure Co.

The ebook contains a full copy of The Wise Woman by George MacDonald wherein each chapter is followed by an average of 20 literary analysis questions. The book is 160 pages long and at the end, there is a long list of vocabulary words with the chapter and page of where the words can be found. The book can be used as a family read aloud for 9-11 years while 12 years old and above should be able to read this by himself.

The Wise Woman Literary Analysis  Journal

 George MacDonald is a known author especially for his Christian fables. He is one of the first authors who excelled in fantasy literature. The Wise Woman also known as The Lost Princess is first published on 1875. Though the story was written a very long time ago, the present day family will still be able to relate with the characters in the story. The story centers on an old woman who magically pays visit and captures two young girls who came from different family backgrounds. One girl is a princess while the other is a shepherd’s daughter. Both of them go on an incredible adventure to learn valuable lessons about pride, humility, contentment, selfishness, sacrifice and compassion. Both their parents learn too late that discipline is important when it comes to parenting a child, regardless of one’s stature in life.

Stacy Farrell is a freelance writer and teacher who has once worked in a civil rights litigation and constitutional law firm. She has mentored both her sons through character transformation herself. She is passionate about empowering teens to think more critically and deeply with a biblical worldview. She has written other products like Mere Christianity Critical Analysis Journal, Philippians in 28 weeks and Philosophy Adventure.

After using our Google Chrome browser in our computer to download our copy, we opened the file using Adobe Reader. This is a free software that is easily available over the internet. After lunch, my two children, a boy aged 7 and a girl aged 10, would sit next to me as we read 2 chapters each day. Though the english language was a bit deep, they listened intently and didn’t want me to stop reading. They were begging me to continue on to find out what has happened to Rosamond or to Agnes. But we wisely just read 2 chapters each day so we can properly discern and understand the richness of the story.

After each chapter, I read the questions to both my kids. They answered with confidence on some while they had me explain the other questions. The questions were thorough, deep and reflective. The questions often start with how, what and why. It encourages critical and reflective thinking, making our discussion very rich with insights for living and searching our own hearts for our own ugliness and sin.

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Rather than make my daughter write her answers, we discussed the questions so we can talk more deeply and discuss the lessons we learned more openly.  I’d like to share some of the lessons my daughter learned after our in-depth discussion.

– Every one needs to have self control.

– Not getting what you want all the time is actually good for you.

– Working hard is an important part  of life. It is training you to become a person of worth.

As a parent, I was challenged by this book and really reflected on how I was training my children. I saw the importance of discipline and not spoiling the children. In this age where self-centeredness and self-gratification is prevalent, I need to intentionally train them to rely on the Holy Spirit and to constantly check their character.  I liked the visuals of the book as the font was easy to read and in every chapter, there was a highlighted sentence which shares the main lesson of the chapter.

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Each day, it took us about an hour more or less to read 2 chapters and discuss together. We’ve been reading for quite some time now and I can honestly say that this has been one of the richest book we have read and discussed together. I believe that this book should be read not just once but at least twice to really be able to reflect and apply the changes we need in our own life.

The downloadable ebook copy costs $14.95 while the physical book costs $28.95. But for a limited time, until May 15, you can get 10% off any download purchase by using the CODE: CREW-10.

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