So when I was offered a review from Progeny Press which involved reading - it was a no-brainer we had to do it.
Jam had been bugging me forever to read The Hunger Games (You know the drill "But Mom, everyone else has read it) so he was really excited when I finally let him read it for this review. Boo who is always game to read new books chose The Giver.
I got the books from the library and introduced both of them to their Interactive PDF study guides Hunger Games $21.99 recommended for grades 8-12 (for Jam) and The Giver $18.99 recommended for grades 5-8 (for Boo). My kids loved the fact that they could type directly into the guide instead of having to hand write everything. My husband and I liked that we didn't have to print off pages and pages.
Jam couldn't wait to get started and read the book cover to cover in about two days. Boo wanted to read her book along with the study guide at the beginning. Probably because it was a new book for her. However within a couple of chapters that all changed as she was sucked into the story.
The study guides begin with a note to the instructor. My kids are really self motivated most of the time, so we read this together so that we would all be aware of the expectations of the material. It then carries on to a synopsis of the book. The guide then goes into detail of the author of book. We found this extremely interesting. We didn't realize that we had read so many Andrew Clausen books (the author of The Giver) and we have added even more books to our reading list.
I don't know if you are familiar with this author or book in particular but it is a little unusual and Boo was a little concerned at first in fact she asked to speak to me privately about a particular section. After we discussed the meaning and context she felt a lot happier and went on to really enjoy the book.
The next part of the study guide focuses on some 'pre-reading' exercises. Jam loves Archery so it was a great excuse for him to get out his bow, Boo joined him in this adventure of course. We have also been studying about plants and have made different oils and products. Luckily I have a good friend who helped us with this. This kids had great fun looking for different flowers and 'weeds' that are edible. We even made crystallized lilacs.
Boo's pre-reading activities were not quite as 'hands on', but did lead us into lots of good discussions. We discussed some of the traditions around the world when children 'come of age' and what she thought she would like to be when she grew up.
I kept the original study guide on my computer and the kids had a copy on theirs so every time they kids finished a section they would save the updated file, it worked like a charm.
The study guides are broken down into chapter chunks. Each section starts with vocabulary exercises. The interactive guide was very useful for this and the kids loved that they could just click boxes.
After the vocabulary guides there is a set of questions, after that comes a dig deeper section where the guide uses the bible as a guide. The only problem we found with this was that we use the King James Version of the bible and Progeny Press.
On the whole we really liked these study guides. Jam found some of the questions a little repetitive. However I never had any moaning about it. I asked the kids to work on this three times a week. However, they have both almost finished it. Boo just has her final essay to finish. I am glad that we read these particular books with the guides. I think we have had a lot more discussions about the books than we would have done if the kids had just read the books by themselves.
The bible portion of the guides use the NIV version of the bible. We only use the KJV however this didn't really cause us any problems. Since my kids are used to the KJV they understood the different vocabulary.
There are so many guides available for such a wide age group basically K-12 so I am sure there is something for everyone. Check out the rest of the reviews to read about different age groups and books that others in the Crew reviewed!
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