The crazy life of the ClarkClan. Living a life of grace through Jesus Christ.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Progeny Press- Study Guides for Literature

Progeny Press

  • Progeny Press
  • Study Guides for Literature From a Christian Perspective
  • Guides available for a variety of books
  • Guides are available  for Early Elementary through High School
  • As of January 2012, there are approximately 107 guides
  • Guides available in three formats: Printed and bound booklet, CD Rom with interactive guide, Email attachment with interactive guide
  • PDF versions are interactive, allowing your student to type directly into the computer in an Adobe Acrobat format.

We had the privilege to review two different literature guides offered by Progeny Press.  Progeny Press is a company that has been producing quality literature guides since 1992. Their guides are used by both home school families and Christian schools. The guides are written by the company owners Michael and Rebecca Gilleland as well as a variety of authors who meet strict standards. Each guide adheres to high standards of literary analysis and Biblical application.

The literature guides offered by Progeny Press teach well-written literature and help students develop and refine how they deal with man’s philosophies in relation to God’s Word. They equip students to understand writing and help enhance their reading enjoyment.  

Progeny Press study guides are unique. We often are asked what separates Progeny Press study guides from other study guides.
First and foremost, Progeny Press study guides contain and teach a Christian worldview. We do not put down other worldviews, but
we definitely promote a Christian worldview. Therefore, when we discuss the moral or ethical issues raised in a book, we do so by
taking students to the Bible as the standard by which such issues should be measured. Second, we concentrate on literary techniques and terminology so our students learn what makes a story work. We believe good readers make better writers, and we encourage students to answer questions in persuasive essay answers. Third, in all our questions we emphasize critical thinking, analysis, and comprehension. We want our children to know how to think.
(Excerpt taken from Progeny Press catalog)

ClarkClan Thoughts


Ben (10) was who I had use the Across Five Aprils study guide. This study guide was written by Carol Clark, who is a junior high language arts teacher at Toledo Christian School. While the guide is interactive, I printed the entire guide out instead of having him use the computer. This worked well for us so Ben could work on the guide while his sister was using the computer.

Ben has really enjoyed using this study guide. He is about half way through the guide. I have been having him read the appropriate chapters, then taking about a week to complete the study questions and activities. While he does the work on his own, I then will sit down at the end of each week and go over with him all the questions and generally talk about the book and what points the literature guide has brought up.

The guide is designed for grades 5-9. Ben has had no trouble completing the guide. Ben is a child who loves vocabulary and enjoys looking up words in the dictionary, so the vocabulary parts have been fun for him. One chapter had Ben looking up important military leaders of the Civil War. I sat with him while he searched on the computer. He loved this activity. Another part of the guide has Ben mapping and explaining the strategy of the different leaders. We have a map in our hallway, and Ben has spent quite a bit of time marking places and telling me what is going on in the Civil War according to his book.

I am definitely quite impressed with the this literature guide. I like the depth that is involved, yet it is still doable, even for a young, bright, fifth grader. I liked the guide so well, I have picked out which one I would like Ben to do next.


Sarah (14) has been working through the Literature Guide for The ScrewTape Letters, by C.S. Lewis.  This guide is a high school level guide designed for grades 9-12. This guide was written by Michael S. Poteet, an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church.  While this is a PDF interactive guide, I printed the guide out so Sarah could work on it at any time during the day.

I have been having Sarah, read the chapters of the book that we are focusing on, then answer the literature guide questions. She is taking about a week to complete one section of the guide. I then sit with her and go over her answers and discuss the various questions with her. Not only is Sarah learning through this guide, but I am learning quite a bit about this book, as well.

The Screwtape Letters is a powerful book and having the study guide helps me to internalize the truth found in it. I found myself during my ladies weekly Bible study, pointing out lessons I had learned while helping Sarah through this guide. My older son had read The Screwtape Letters while he was still in high school and when we pulled it out for Sarah, he picked it up and re read the book. I wish I had known about Progeny Press guides and had used one with him before he graduated. 

I would highly recommend this literature guide. I found it to be very thorough. I was also highly impressed with the depth of scripture study involved in unraveling the mysteries of this book. We are over halfway done with this guide and I have found nothing contrary to our Lutheran teachings. This has been a huge plus for me. I am looking forward to using other Progeny Press literature guides for Sarah when we are finished with this one.


There were many TOS Crew Mates who were able to review Progeny Press Literature Guides. Visit the Crew Blog and read what they thought about the guides.

As an Independent contractor for The Old Schoolhouse and member of TOS Homeschool Crew I received Across Five Aprils, and The Screwtape Letters Literature guides  from Progeny Press for free in exchange for my honest review of their product.

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