If you’ve been a fan of the Homeschool Review Crew for very long at all, today’s vendor will be a familiar one for you! Progeny Press, which is owned by Michael and Rachel Gilleland, creates study guides for popular novels, both classic and modern, from a Christian perspective. Their goal is to help parents teach their children to read with a critical eye… to dig deeper into their reading assignments and find things they might not otherwise notice, especially seeing Biblical aspects in mainstream books.
They sell their study guides as printed workbooks, CDs that are mailed to you, or digital downloads, which are available instantly for up to one year after purchase. The digital versions are editable PDFs, which means you can have your student type their answers right into the file (but they’re also printable if you prefer that).
Crew members have been reviewing selections from Progeny Press for the past several weeks, and there’s a wide variety of grades and age ranges represented.
A New Coat for Anna (grades K-3)
This post-WWII story tells of Anna and her mother, and how they overcome major obstacles in order to get Anna a new winter coat to replace the one she’s outgrown, despite the stores being bare and no one having any money. The study guide was written by Rebecca Gilleland and covers topics such as dictionary work, maps, WWII history, and thinking about God’s provisions.
In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson (grades 4-6)
The year is 1947, and Shirley Temple Wong and her mother have been living away from her father for a long time – they in China and he in New York. The day finally comes when he sends for them, and Shirley is elated! But life in America is harder than she expected. Read along as she learns how to be an American, especially the joy of baseball and its first black player: Jackie Robinson. In the study guide written by Andrew Clausen, students will learn about setting, map work, world religions, and being an ambassador for Christ.
My Side of the Mountain (grades 5-8)
Sam Gribley knows that his great-grandfather built a homestead in the Catskill Mountains many years ago, and then left if behind to become a sailor. Armed with that information, plus $40 and a few crude supplies, he sets off to find this homestead. When he gets there, he learns how to fend for himself on “his side of the mountain.” With the help of Carol Clark’s study guide, students will learn a variety of literacy techniques including verbs, irony, and conflict (plus many more). In addition to that, they will have the opportunity for field trips, health and nutrition lessons, and learning about keeping a high moral character.
Animal Farm (grades 9-12)
In one of Time magazine’s 100 best novels, the animals on the farm decide they’ve had enough. They band together to create a paradise of progress, justice, and equality. But is their version of the farm any better than the one they fought against? Michael Gilleland wrote the 93-page study guide for this novel by George Orwell, and in it students learn about allegory and Stalinist Russia.
Little Women (grades 8-12)
Louisa May Alcott’s timeless novel tells the story of 4 sisters: Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy March. With their vastly different personalities, the girls strive to make each other better as they live with their mother while their father is a soldier in the American Civil War. Carol Clark wrote this rich study guide in which students will practice a wide variety of literary techniques, as well as expand their vocabulary with timely lessons. There are loads of moral lessons and writing assignments sprinkled throughout also.
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Special thanks to Wendy of Ladybug Daydreams for writing this introductory post.
You can find out what each of these families thought about the Progeny Press products. And how they worked with their particular children in the roundup below.