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How to Use Progeny Press Study Guides

Posted by Michael and Rebecca, Co-founders on 6th Mar 2014

What is the purpose?

Progeny Press study guides are designed to help students better understand and enjoy literature by getting them to notice and understand how authors craft their stories and to show them how to think through the themes and ideas introduced in the stories.

What's included?

To properly work with a Progeny Press study guide, students should have easy access to a good dictionary, a thesaurus, a Bible (we use NIV translation, but that is up to your preference; just be aware of some differences in language), and sometimes a topical Bible or concordance. Supervised access to the Internet also can be helpful at times, as can a good set of encyclopedias.
Progeny Press study guides include:

  • Background
  • Activities
  • Vocabulary
  • Content questions
  • Literary analysis and terminology questions designed to give students a good understanding of writing technique and how to use it
  • Critical analysis questions designed to help students consider and analyze the intellectual, moral, and spiritual issues in the stories and weigh them with reference to scripture
  • and, of course, a detailed answer key!

How long is this going to take?

Most middle grades and high school study guides take from eight to ten weeks to complete, generally working on one section per week. Over the years, we have found that it works best if the students completely read the novel the first week, while also working on a prereading activity chosen by the parent or teacher. Starting the second week, most parents and teachers have found it works best to work on one study guide page per day until the chapter sections are completed. Students should be allowed to complete questions by referring to the book; many questions require some cross-reference between elements of the stories.

What about Tests, Essays, and other extras?

Most study guides contain an Overview section that can be used as a final test, or it can be completed in the same way the chapter sections were completed. If you wish to perform a final test but your particular study guide does not have an Overview section, we suggest picking a couple of questions from each section of the study guide and using them as your final test.

Most study guides also have a final section of essays and postreading activities. These may be assigned at the parents’ or teachers’ discretion, but we suggest that students engage in several writing or other extra activities during the study of the novel to complement their reading and strengthen their writing skills.

What can I put on a transcript?

As for high school credits, most Christian high schools to whom we have spoken have assigned a value of one-fourth credit to each study guide, and this also seems to be acceptable to colleges assessing homeschool transcripts.