Monday, March 19, 2012

Review: Progeny Press Literature Guides (The Screwtape Letters)

When I discovered that Progeny Press would be a vendor for the Homeschool Crew this year, I asked my 16 year old tenth grader which of these over 100 literature guides for all ages she would like to review. As a huge fan of C. S. Lewis, she opted to study The Screwtape Letters.

What did we receive?

Progeny Press offers both physical literature guides and electronic versions. We received a downloadable interactive literature guide. I was able to save a main copy and make a second copy, assigning her name to it in order to allow her to type in her own answers. I also received an answer key.

Progeny Press Literature Guides are designed to focus on the following skills:

  • reading comprehension
  • critical thinking
  • literary analysis
  • Christian application

Our verdict?

Progeny Press does an admirable job of meeting all these goals. I am impressed and am considering purchasing some of these.

Any problems?

I was a little surprised by some of this, but we did encounter a few small problems.

First, we have a computer down. Although I did not realize it at first, my daughter did not want to type on my computer to complete the interactive study. So, a couple of weeks before this review was due, I realized that she had not been making progress and I printed her a physical copy of the literature guide. Not a big deal. Having an electronic copy allows the flexibility of choosing between using the interactive version and printing a physical copy. Not all companies offer these options, so this was a plus.

Second, since my daughter had actually read this book nearly two years ago, her memory alone was not sufficient for her to rely on to complete the study guide. This is a good problem to have! It indicates that Progeny Press requires such a high level of attention to details and literary analysis of its students that a cursory reading or former reading is not sufficient to be able to complete the guides.

Third, I discovered that although the questions and critical thinking style required of the Progeny Press Literature Guide was very comfortable for her and even familiar to her, that she wanted to use this in a discussion format. Yes, honestly. She did not want to fill out the guide herself, but would happily sit down and discuss the book with me, answering the questions as I asked them.

Okay, she is admittedly extroverted and more used to completing this type of study in a discussion format rather than writing her analysis and thoughts down. Yet that made me consider that she probably does need more experience writing her thoughts out in this type of format. And this literature guide really required a great deal from its readers. And that can be a really beneficial thing.

I think we'll be buying some more of these.

The Screwtape Letters is available in both physical and downloadable formats:

Booklet                                     $21.99
CD                                           $18.99
E-mail .pdf                                $18.99
Set (physical booklet plus CD)  $27.99
Book (by C. S. Lewis)              $13.99

Download and view Progeny Press' full catalog. Levels are available for all ages, from elementary through high school. All guides are now available in the new interactive format, or be sure to check their specials for discount prices on the old CD versions if you or your own children would rather have printable literature guides.

Disclosure: As a member of the Homeschool Crew, I received a complimentary e-download of this product for review. No other compensation was received. To see other reviews of this product, read the Homeschool Crew blog.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for your review of this one. My eldest has been working through Pride and Prejudice, and it has been GOOD for her as well. Since she is a fast reader, this has made her slow down and really dig into the book, which I think is fantastic!

    Btw, oddly enough, I wasn't following you like I thought I was....but I am now! ;)