There is so much great literature out there and just not enough time to read everything. Do you feel the same way? I have a list of assigned literature my children are to read for each grade level of school. I also have a list of other books I want them to read before they graduate from high school. We may not complete the lists, but the desire, always, is that their comprehension level keeps up with what they are reading.
We had the opportunity to review The Hound of the Baskervilles Study Guide Grades 9-12 from Progeny Press. This title is just one of the many available from the company, which carries literature guides for lower elementary through high school students.
My children are voracious readers. As they have gotten older, keeping up with them and the content in the books they read is challenging. I cannot read fast enough to keep up with them, so I do not even try. I have to rely on book reviews to ensure what they are reading is appropriate for them. Something I really love about Progeny Press is the studies are from a Christian perspective, so I also use its selection as a resource for book options. Granted, there may be some titles with deep content (especially in the high school level), but I am comfortable with the way Progeny Press presents those themes in its guides.
Progeny Press suggests the student read the literature book in its entirety before completing the guides. In the past, we have used the literature guides both ways; read the book completely and read the chapters and completed the guide portion for those chapters. Since we are just starting the new school year, I allowed River to read the book going alongside the literature guide. As we use more guides, I may have him read the complete book before starting the guide.
The Hound of the Baskervilles is a Gothic Fiction book by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. River learned a bit about the author. It gives the reader some insight as to the whys the author may have written the book. The introduction also includes content with the synopsis and prereading activities. There is also a Note to the Instructor, but the guides are written where a student can easily work independently through the material.
Some of the other sections I like about the Progeny Press literature guides are the:
Vocabulary – In high school, the words are more challenging and ones that can help build a stronger vocabulary base for your children.
Analysis – Looking at different scenarios from the book, he was to explain what each passage meant. There is also a section with general comprehension questions, which are also good. If you decide to read the book with your child, they can lead to great discussions as we have had when using some other Progeny Press literature guides.
Dig Deeper – I think this is one of my favorite sections. More questions are asked, but the student pulls from his ideas and relates himself more to the events in the book. Some of his responses depended upon verses he was assigned to read in the Bible.
River even came across some math problems.
I absolutely love the interactive feature that is included in all levels of literature guides that allows students to key their answers to the exercise using a computer. It saves on printing the pages and also gives your student (especially high school) a chance to use their typing/keyboarding skills. Being able to type answers for the questions really made a difference for River. His mind works faster than he can write and I think it hinders his progress. The interactive feature made the work less tedious for River, because he liked not having to write his responses. The work gets heavier as the student progresses through the literature guide. I also like the inclusion of biblical content, because he was able to gain perspective on the story using the Bible as a guide.
Overall, Progeny Press literature guides provide a thorough comprehensive experience with literature that goes way beyond just reading the book from over to cover. After using a literature guide, I realized there is more to a story than just the answers to a few questions. Progeny Press helps my children go past the story and gain a whole new perspective about what they are reading and answers the whats, whys and hows? If you are still trying to figure out what to do for literature, consider adding some of the guides (let your child choose) to their education plan.
PRICE AND AVAILABILITY
The Hound of the Baskervilles Study Guide Grades 9-12 is available as a download for $21.99.