While I had heard the name Progeny Press, I was unfamiliar with the company prior to this review. The Scavengers sounded like a book my son would really enjoy so I purchased the book and requested the opportunity to review the The Scavengers – eGuide that Progeny Press created to accompany the book. Knowing that we would be reviewing this over the summer when we would normally be taking a break, I really hoped the book would be good enough to really hook my son and keep him interested. Thankfully, he absolutely loved the book and enjoyed the format of the eGuide. This particular book and guide are recommended for grades 5-8 and my son is entering the 7th grade.
The Scavengers – eGuide starts out with prereading activities that you can choose from. They were quite varied and covered a variety of learning styles. For this book there were options that included a Bible study, a research project, a cooking project, and even a field trip. We completed the research project as a family discussion as well as talking about the hands on the project. In this instance, one of the hands on options was using a book on edible plants and trying to locate some of them near your home. Since we had already done this as a family, we simply discussed when we had done it and what we learned.
They made a suggestion at the beginning of the guide that made a huge difference for my son. He loves to read but often gets really frustrated with study guides and such because he does not like to have to pause at the end of every chapter or section to answer questions. Progeny Press suggested reading the entire book and then going back and rereading the sections as necessary. He really appreciated that and felt like it helped with both the flow and enjoyment of the book.
Once he had completed the prereading activities and read the entire book, he went back and started completing the questions for each section. There are two different ways to approach having a child answer the questions. This is a self-guided study and you can have the child answer the questions on the computer in adobe or you can print it out and have them answer the questions on paper. My son preferred to answer them on the computer and appreciated that many of the questions offered drop down boxes with choices.
The book was great. I really liked the drop down boxes on some of the questions. I did not like that there was so much grammar/vocabulary study included.
He is a student that prefers book studies to be more focused on the content of the book and was not as fond of having to deal with vocabulary and grammar in the form of synonyms and antonyms and literary terms. As a parent/teacher I see the value in including those components and feel that they are an important part of a well rounded education.
Once the questions in the guide are completed there are writing and ‘after you read’ activities that you can use to wrap up your study. Many of these offer opportunities to think more deeply and critically about the content and themes of the book. For example one of the prompts for this book has them looking at times and ways in which people groups have been dehumanized throughout history. There are also hands on activities like painting a scene from the book or creating a diorama. My son is going to create a painting but has not finished that part of the study yet.
At the end of the study Progeny Press includes a list of additional resources that the student can use to continue the learning. There is also an answer key to make grading easy for the parent. While we did discuss the book as a family, it was very easy for my son to work independently and for me to grade his work without me needing to actually read the book. With four children, this is definitely a benefit because I can not keep up with reading everything they read.
I think it is important to note that these eGuides are written from a Christian perspective. There are tie-ins to scripture and discussion questions that have the student analyzing how different parts of the book line up with scripture. However, the books themselves are not necessarily written from a Christian perspective. The Scavengers – eGuide was a really interesting experience for us and while I do not plan on making these our entire curriculum, I could certainly see us using some of their other eGuides in our literature studies.
I encourage you to check out the many eGuides available at Progeny Press and other Review Crew reviews about some different titles below. I’d love to hear in the comments which one most interests you.
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