Faith, Family, Love and Reviews

Crew Review: Progeny Press; The Giver and Uncle Jed’s Barbershop #grow4christ #hsreviews

Progeny Press Review

I’m pleased to be able to introduce you to Progeny Press, a wonderful company that specializes in literature unit studies that according to their mission statement on their website “To teach our children to think clearly, to understand literature, and to rely on the scripture for truth and values, and enjoy themselves while they do it!”  This is such an important factor as there are more and more books out today that seek to distort God’s Word and try to lead our children astray and they must learn to see what they are reading and understand it under God’s Word to know if it is good and pure as well as helping them to further the Kingdom of God.  I was given The Giver e-guide and Uncle Jed’s Barbershop e-guide as part of the review, The Giver is geared towards middle school students in grades 7-9 and Uncle Jed’s Barbershop is lower elementary level for grades K-3.  While I was given the download version of the study guides there are also a physical version as well as CD with a PDF e-book that you can chose from as well – however the download version are available almost immediately upon completing your purchase transaction.


The Giver e-guide is written by Andrew Clausen and is for the book of the same title written by Lois Lowry – and as I said above is geared towards grades 7-9 but if you have a child who is not in those grades but is reading at that level by all means it can be used by them as well.  The e-guide for this particular book is an interactive guide meaning that students can edit the document and type in their answers, which will save dramatically on ink and paper costs – unless someone would desire a finished copy to include in the student’s portfolio.  It is suggested that for this level it could take 8 to 10 weeks to completely finish the guide, but if one has a voracious reader as I do then it could be completed much faster.  I like that the e-guide gives the teacher ideas on how to use the guide but that they aren’t set in stone so if something needs tweaked for the student it can easily be done – saying that for this middle school level Progeny Press does suggest having the student spend the first week reading the book and working on the pre-reading activities and then working on one guide page a day until the chapter pages are completed.
Progeny Press Review

This did not work for my oldest daughter who is 12 and will be entering the 8th grade in the next month or so – I cannot give her a book and tell her to take a week to read it, our copy of The Giver is only 180 pages, so it’s a quick read.  I allowed her to read the book and gave her the freedom to chose which pre-reading activities to do the first week, I’ve found if I tell her what to do rather than letting her chose she will not want to do it.  After she read the book through and completed two of the pre-reading activities I allowed her to work on as many pages in the guide as she wanted a day, some days she would finish an entire section other days she’d split it up.  Since she is an independent worker I knew the work would get done and she would do it well if I wasn’t hovering and giving her explicit directions in what she needed to do each day.  I realize not each child is like this and so the instructor directions will aid the parent of a child who needs a bit more guidance in getting the work completed.  There is an overview which can be used for a test if you’d like and also essays which can be used as a wrap up to conclude the unit study.  I was not able to find the answer key in my copy so I read the book (we have two copies) along with my daughter so I would know what the answers should be and so we could discussion the more open ended questions about the chapters.  The e-guide is 69 pages and is $18.00.
Progeny Press Review

Uncle Jed’s Barbershop is not an interactive guide so when I was using this with my son who is 7, does write but isn’t reading yet, I printed off the pages we’d need (I didn’t print off the pages such as the instructor’s pages, book summary, etc) so it would be easier for him to write when he wanted to do so and for me to take dictation when writing became to tiresome.  The study guide is written by Rebecca Gilleland for children in grades K-3 and is set in the mid-1900’s American South and the book is written by Margaree King Mitchell  – I easily obtained a copy of this book from our local library.  For this book I read it with my son and we worked through some of the pages each day – I followed his cue – since he’s a boy his attention span isn’t as long as my daughter’s so we could maybe get 1 page done on some days and others maybe only a question or two.  The answer key is included at the back of the guide and since I was working on this with my son I kept those close just in case he needed some re-direction in understanding what we were reading at that time.  This e-guide is 33 pages and is available as a download for $11.99.


I appreciate these guides as they make it easy to incorporate literature into our day without making it seem like a chore and each of my children can work at their level on a book that they may enjoy.  There are over 100 titles to chose from and they span K through high school so there is more than likely something for everyone, and with digital downloads they can be used for more than one student, saving money in the long run.  Last year I reviewed another Progeny Press’ studies and we enjoyed that very much as well, you can read my review of Hall of Doors.  Progeny Press is also on social media which is a great way to stay up to date on their products – Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and YouTube – so be sure to follow along so that you can stay up to date!  Also don’t forget to see what other homeschool parents thought of these and different Progeny Press titles be sure to check out the Schoolhouse Review Crew blog.


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