Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.
Summertime is a great time for us to take a step back from our daily routine, but I like to continue light schooling in order to keep the kids focused and ready for when we start back into a full routine again. That’s why I was excited to have the opportunity to do a review of A New Coat for Anna Study Guide and My Side of the Mountain Study Guide from Progeny Press.
A New Coat for Anna is a great book to start using study guides for kindergarten through third grade; but I used it for my fourth grader because I wanted him to read it on his own, and he has a short attention span. I found that this book was a good starting point for him to learn how to do study guides because the chapters were short, and he did a great job answering the questions and demonstrating his reading comprehension. His occupational therapist actually loved that we were reviewing this with him, and I think that he really enjoyed the book as well.
I picked two books that my children had not read and then set them about on the task of completing the work on their own–with my supervision, of course. I was worried that my son wouldn’t complete the questions if I left him alone, so I sat with him and asked the questions while he answered them for me. I was also pleased to have the opportunity to teach him how to look up words he doesn’t know and find their meanings based on their context. We mixed it up and used an actual, hard copy dictionary on some words, and then I allowed him to look some up online.
But I think my favorite part of this study guide was the comparison to Scripture. He had to read some verses in the Bible (i.e. Prov. 31) and then answer some questions that compared the characters to these verses. I think that was probably the most valuable part of the study guide for both of us. I love incorporating Scripture into all aspects of our studies, and I think that Progeny Press offers a lot of great resources with that purpose in mind.
I chose My Side of the Mountain for my daughter because she is a more advanced reader and wanted something to do on her own, apart from her brother.
While my son did better filling in his answers on the computer, my daughter likes to be able to work on things in the comfort of her room or outside, so I printed the guide for her.
This particular study guide is geared to fifth through eighth graders and definitely reflected that in the amount and type of content that was included. In addition to answering questions about the story, she also had to learn about parts of speech, synonyms, foreshadowing, and the like. Her questions were more in-depth and definitely took longer than my son’s did.
And of course, Scripture was tied in as well. There were also additional activities suggested that included artwork, cooking activities, research papers, and drama. These projects enhance the book and bring it to life for the student.
One of the things I loved about these study guides was that I had the option to either do it on the computer or print them out. Sometimes, money is tight for us, and it can be difficult to use our resources to print out a lot of things. This program included an editable PDF, so we could work right on the computer and save our answers. But as I said, I was also able to print out pages for my daughter to be able to use to work at her own pace.
I do wish that the book had been included with the study guide, but Progeny Press has the books available for purchase as well. If funds are tight for you, check your local library or see if you can borrow the book from someone before you purchase the study guide. It really helped them to be able to have a physical copy to hold, so they could look back and search for answers at times when they couldn’t quite remember.
Overall, I think that this was a great way to keep them reading this summer! I think my children enjoyed reading the books, and I am happy that we were able to incorporate this into our homeschool this summer.
But don’t just take my word for it! Find out about some other great products from Progeny Press by following these reviews: