Wednesday, June 4, 2014

The Courage of Sarah Noble and The Door in the Wall (A Progeny Press Review)

In our family, we love to read. We have readers of all different levels, and while the kids get some daily reading in, I often times read out loud to my family a lot. This affords us many adventures together. In addition, we like to discuss and analyze literature. We have had the privilege of reviewing a couple of literature guides from Progeny Press: one for The Courage of Sarah Noble and one for The Door in the Wall.

The Courage of Sarah Noble

The book and literature guide is geared toward lower elementary children (grades K-3).  

We have owned both of these books for quite a while (the books do not come with the purchase of the literature guide). The Courage of Sarah Noble literature guide is for lower elementary. Which is perfect timing for us because Explorer and Dreamer had not yet heard this story. This study guide corresponds with the book written by Alice Dalgliesch. 

The Courage of Sarah Noble is set in 1707 and is based on a true story. This is a story about courage, loyalty, a love for family and home, friendship, and of course adventure. Sarah Noble travels afar with her father so she may be of help to him as he builds his family a new home. Through trials and fears, Sarah often recalls the encouraging words and instruction her mother gave her before leaving to, "Keep up your courage... Keep up your courage, Sarah Noble!" This helps her to work through scary aspects (especially frightful tales of Indians). She soon learns that some Indians are indeed friends, and she remains with them when her father returns to gather the rest of the family and bring them home. Do things really turn out all right for Sarah and her family? Do they become reunited?

This is a short story and the literature guide contains 38 pages consisting of pre-reading questions, discussion questions to help analyze the story, vocabulary, reading comprehension, and some references the Bible to go through as we make our way through the guide. In addition, there are some suggested optional fun activities to along with the story.

The Door in the Wall

The book and literature guide is geared toward upper elementary children (grades 3-5).  


Now, this one I hadn't read to any of the children before. So, even Scientist, Artsy Girl, Explorer and Dreamer listened in as I read out loud to Song Bird. :-)

Knighthood awaits Robin (son of the knight, Sir Jon de Bureford). One day, when Robin's parents are gone and assuming that Robin is on his way to preparing for knighthood, he falls ill and loses the ability to use his legs. At this time, London is suffering from the plague and Robin is abandoned by the one servant who stayed behind! However, a kind monk, Luke, learns of Robin's situation and takes him to the monastery. Will Robin heal and become a knight? Or do other plans unfold for his life?

The literature guide contains 39 pages consisting of a synopsis, a section about the author/illustrator, background information, ideas for pre-reading activities, vocabulary, reading comprehension, and some references the Bible to go through as we make our way through the guide. 

How I Used Progeny Press' Literature Guides in Our Homeschool

With morning sickness and fatigue, we have understandably worked at a slower pace than normal for our family. I have read the stories out loud and discussed the questions with our children. We also went over vocabulary. 

The only activity, so far, they worked on was the art. Dreamer and Explorer drew illustrations after I read The Courage of Sarah Noble to them (nap time for mama while they did this). :-)

What I Like About Progeny Press' Literature Guides

  • Vocabulary words are already selected from the book- making it easier to be ready to look them up and discuss them.
  • I especially love the Scriptural references! Principle Approach/Bible Principles homeschooling mamas with enjoy this aspect because Bible Principles are already pulled out for you (not that you couldn't go with others, too). :-)
  • Suggestions for further reading as there are some books we have not heard of and it's always appreciated to receive recommendations from trusted sources.
  • There is an answer key provided at the very end (helpful for really tired mamas). :-)
  • I appreciate that the author background is available- saves me the time!
  • These guides are written with a Christian perspective.

Something I Would Like To See

Our family, like many others, is going gluten-free. It would be nice to have (and possibly a good selling point) activities involving food with gluten-free alternative ideas included. This is such a transition for us and I haven't the wherewithal right now to be creative and figure it out on my own. Just a thought. :-) 

How Much These Progeny Press Literature Guides Cost

The Courage of Sarah Noble literature guide is $11.99  (e-guide or on CD).

The Door in the Wall literature guide is $16.99 (e-guide or on CD).

*You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader 9.0+ in order to download the e-guides.

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Blessings to you!

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