Progeny Press is a provider of study guides and was created by a homeschooling family that realized there weren't many critical thinking literature guides available. We chose The Courage of Sarah Noble by Alice Dalgliesh study guide, because we are currently working on a Native American unit study.
This is a wonderful story based on true events that took place in the early 1700's. The story focuses on a young girl named Sarah who traveled to Connecticut with her father to cook and clean for him while he builds a cabin for their family. Sarah remembers the words her mother said to her to be brave and learns valuable life lessons from her father. At first she is scared when she learns her new neighbors are Native Americans, but as she gets to know them better, she becomes their friend. When her father needs to leave to bring back the rest of their family, she is left with the tribe. They care for her and treat her like a sister and daughter. When her family arrives, she is happy to move back home, but is glad to have spent the time with her neighbors.
Progeny Press's literature study guides include a table of contents, notes to the teacher, synopsis, author details and background information about the story before beginning the questions. There are before you read questions, as you read questions and chapter questions. Sometimes they do group the chapter questions, which I suppose some people would not like if they are working on one chapter at a time. However, we read the entire story before even looking at the questions. Once we had read the story through the first time, we started over and this time with the questions on hand. I read the story out-loud in about 30-45 minutes. The study guide also provided activities and arts and crafts ideas, including a recipe, art project, craft, game and crossword puzzle. There were additional suggested reading material, however you are not required to read them unless you want to. An answer guide can be found at the end of the study guide.
While this story is recommended for children in grades 1st through 3rd, I found it fitting for our needs. We did not use the study guide for written assignments, as my children are not proficient writers. Instead I read the questions out-loud and talked to my children about their answers. I had taken notes to which questions go with which chapter and had labeled them in order. My preschoolers listen closely to stories, so this was a great way to introduce them to literature studies!
We used the vocabulary guide provided in the study guide to make flash cards. We printed all of the words onto flash cards that I made online and laminated them. I used a hole punch on the top corner of the card and put them on a ring. The definition of the card is printed on the back of the card for reference. Each day we chose one word and read the definition out loud. I told them a few different sentences on how those words were used and asked them if they could make their own sentence using the word.
The crafts, recipes, games and other activities were a great addition to this study guide. We love bringing our studies to life, because I feel like that is a great way to connect what you learn to real life experiences. While they are too young for some of the activities to do on their own (such as the cross word puzzle), the few that we could do they enjoyed greatly!
We will be keeping Progeny Press in mind for future literature studies! We liked that the questions were engaging and actively encourage the child to think about the answer. To be fair, there were many questions, much more than I expected and we did not use all of them. I simply used the ones that I thought my children could understand. We love their literature selection and that they offer books for all grade levels. Their books are divided by lower and upper elementary, middle and high school. And they do not offer just the study guides, but the books too! Because sometimes it can be impossible to find the book you want to read at a local library or bookstore. We found The Courage of Sarah Noble at our favorite used bookstore.
The E-Guide for The Courage of Sarah Noble is available for $11.99. This study guide is also available in CD format. Please note that as this is a downloadable product, you will need to print the pages in order to use them if you intend to hand-write the answers. However, this product has a neat feature in that you can write your answers right onto the PDF, so you can save it and print it if you want to! As most homeschoolers deal with an abundance of printing costs, this is a great way for older kids to complete their work.
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