Tuesday, June 14, 2016

The Drinking Gourd E-Guide - A Progeny Press Review

I love the fact that I am raising readers, but I don't always know if they comprehend what they read.  This is why I was really excited to receive The Drinking Gourd E-Guide from Progeny Press to review with Little Miss.  This downloadable study guide is a great resource for you to check and see if your students are understanding what they read.
homeschool, literature, faith-based, christian, critical analysis, book study
Progeny Press is a company that started out when Michael and Rebecca Gilleland were homeschooling their own children and saw a need for quality study guides with a Christian perspective for Classical Literature.  They started out by writing 18 study guides and today they offer well over 100 study guides in several different formats.  The study guides that they write are designed to teach children to analyze what they read while checking their comprehension.  This was our first time exploring a Progeny Press product, but it definitely won't be our last since they have study guides for lower elementary right up through high school.
Little Miss and The Drinking Gourd
We received The Drinking Gourd E-Guide from Progeny Press for Little Miss and I to review, but if this title doesn't appeal to you, they do have other titles in this age range.  This E-guide is for lower elementary (grades 1-3).  We had to obtain the book, The Drinking Gourd by F.N. Monjo on our own, which was available at our local library.  I could have also purchased the book from Progeny Press because they do sell the books they have guides for.  The link to download our E-guide came via email with instructions on how to download the study guide.  It was super easy to download and then I printed it off so we could work on it.  This study guide was very well written.  It had a "Note to Instructor" that clearly explained how to use the study guide, suggested what other materials we might need, and gave Internet references along with a note for parents to check the sites before allowing the students to.  The guide included an about the author, a synopsis and a background so I could see what we would be reading about before we dug into the book.
We also read this book as part of the "Before-You-Read Activities"
The E-guide also included "Before-You-Read Activities" that help introduce the subject and story to the student through activities.  The activity that we completed from this section was to read Follow the Drinking Gourd by Jeanette Winter.  Little Miss really liked this book and she liked the story behind the song that slaves sang as they followed the Drinking Gourd.  Reading this book gave us a chance to discuss what slavery was, the Underground Railroad, and why slaves wanted to get away.  After we did this, Little Miss read The Drinking Gourd by F. N. Monjo.  She also really enjoyed this book and after she read it on her own, she read it to me.  We began working our way through the study guide.  First we worked on the vocabulary section.  I had her try to answer all the questions herself before I would help her because I wanted to check her comprehension.  She did very well on this part and if there was a word she didn't know we tried to break down the sentence first to see if she could pick up the meaning and she did.  Then there were study questions for each chapter.  Little Miss wanted to try the on her own and she was able to complete most of them without my help.  The ones she did need help on, were a little harder but they also gave us a chance to discuss different ideas like freedom. Bible verses and how they fit the story, and feelings of the characters.  In just a few weeks she has been able to get a little more than half way through the study guide.  She sits down and works on it a little every day.  The last part of the study guide has "After-You-Read Activities" which she has already looked ahead and found.  She is looking forward to doing some star gazing on some upcoming camping trips to see what constellations we can find besides the Drinking Gourd  which we taught her to find when we were camping for Memorial Day.
Working independently on the study guide
We really enjoyed working on this E-guide from Progeny Press.  I felt it was very well written and very thorough, yet easy enough for Little Miss to be able to work on by herself.  It gave us a chance to have discussions on many topics.  She has discovered a new topic that she wants to learn more about, the Underground Railroad, and the guide has a list of more resources we can look into and we definitely will.  I really love it when a product encourages more learning, that is a company I will turn to time and time again.  She will be finishing up the guide in the next week or so and I will be adding some of the suggested resources from our E-guide to our school year this fall.  I will definitely be checking out Progeny Press for other study guides at other levels especially since I will be putting together unit studies for him for school this year, these will work beautifully for that.
Here is an example of her work (I didn't worry about spelling for this).
You can find Progeny Press at their website, on Facebook and Twitter.  You can find The Drinking Gourd E-guide we received here.  Please make sure to go and check out all that Progeny Press has to offer since they do offer so many guides for so many levels.  There are many, many titles to choose from with Progeny Press.
Little Miss is excited about being able to find The Drinking Gourd in the sky.
Please check out the reviews from my friends on the Schoolhouse Review Crew.  The Crew is reviewing many of the E-guides that Progeny Press offers.  I know I will be checking out the reviews.
Literature Study Guides from a Christian Perspective {Progeny Press  Review}

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