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Jun 16, 2016

Progeny Press TOS Review


I've heard a lot of great things about Progeny Press Study Guides for Literature, but I tend to avoid many subjects that aren't math, since that's the bane of our existence!  sigh...  No more!  The Sword in the Tree E-Guide is so much fun.  With trips to two Renaissance faires planned for this summer, I thought a story involving King Arthur, at least peripherally, would be really enjoyable.  I was right.  The boys have really liked The Sword in the Tree.

Progeny Press carries Literature Study Guides from a Christian Perspective for grades K-12.  Their E-Guides are interactive and can be filled in on the computer and then saved with the student's answers in the file.  I received the interactive guide and an answer key.

You will need to purchase or borrow
  • The book the study is based on, in this case The Sword in the Tree.
  • A dictionary.
  • A Bible.
  • A thesaurus.
  • The downloaded study guide, either on screen or printed out.
It will be helpful to have related books and videos, coloring pages, crafts, and writing implements.  The required book is available from the Progeny Press website as well as various other locations.  My local libraries did not have copies of The Sword in the Tree, but there were some available in our network.  Since the study guide is nearly a two month project, I decided to just purchase a copy of the novel.

Progeny Press E-Guides are reproducible for the entire family or a classroom.  They are not, however, intended to be resold like a physical copy of the Study Guide could be.  The E-Guides are also not returnable.  I really liked the instant access to the guide, the easily printed pages in the quantities needed, and savings due to no shipping charges.

Most of the study guides are written by Rebecca Gilleland or Michael Gilleland, whose family homeschools and operates Progeny Press.  Some of the guides are written by others.  After they are written they are peer reviewed by pastors and teachers, all Christians.

The PDF answer key is short and sweet.  It is exactly just an answer key.  Some of the questions are factual and not really up to interpretation.  Some questions require some thought and have subjective answers.  I was pretty surprised and impressed by some of the ideas the boys had about various parts of the story.  It's always interesting to get them thinking and then get them to talk about it.  Too often, we assume children don't "get" one thing because they are struggling with something else, in school or in their lives.

I didn't use the Interactive Study Guide in the way it was intended at all.  Instead of having the boys type into the computer, I inserted lines for them to write on after each question.  I saved the file with the lines and printed it.  I used the underscore key ( _ ) and connected them all together to make the lines.  Both Mal and Xav struggle with the size of their handwriting, so I thought they'd find the writing guides helpful.

Not only have they been introduced to an enjoyable and exciting story, they've been working on dictionary skills and looking up bible verses.  They've learned about armor and castles.  Parallels between story lines were compared.  We've discussed character and conversely, the lack of character, hospitality, and wisdom.  They were introduced to important writing vocabulary like foreshadowing and paraphrasing.

Prereading activities, postreading activities, and additional resources are listed in the literature study guide.  Progeny Press also has study guides for several of the related books. 

Xav built this castle with a drawbridge out of a tea box, straw, and string.  He's really pushing me to drink more tea so he can finish the rest of it.  We explored tons of related topics through books from our library.

If your little prince would enjoy The Sword in the Tree, I believe he will like the Study Guide from Progeny Press.  This particular study is intended for the upper elementary grades (4th-6th).

Find Progeny Press on social media.


Progeny Press also has guides for Lower Elementary (I have two of them I want to grab for Merricky), Middle School, and High School (I am personally very interested in The Scarlet Pimpernel E-Guide!) so be sure to to read the other Crew reviews!

Literature Study Guides from a Christian Perspective {Progeny Press  Review}

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