Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Little Women Study Guide & Animal Farm Study Guide from Progeny Press: A TOS Crew Review

Little Women Study Guide & Animal Farm Study Guide from Progeny Press

Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way

We have been long time fans of Progeny Press and their Interactive Study Guides! Check out our past reviews from 2016 - 2017- 20182019. One of the things I most admire is the wide variety of selections for ALL grades. The guides are very easy to use, everything you need (just add the book) is clearly laid out for you. This year we are focusing on Little Women Study Guide & Animal Farm Study Guide from Progeny Press.

Both of these guides are designed for your high school students.  They take about 8-10 weeks to complete and can count for approx. 1/4 of a full high school credit.  Completing four guides in one year gives a student a full high school credit.  They have dozens of great titles to choose from at every level.

We love the format of these easy-to-use guides.  They come as downloadable PDF with the ability to either print what you need, or use the interactive feature that allows you to type directly into the document.  They are reusable for each of your students.

Each guide follows a similar design with a short Synopsis of the book, an About the Author and Background Information section to help you introduce the literature to your student.

 Fun Pre-Reading Activities help set the stage, and Optional Essays and Projects and Additional Resources let you expand the learning.

Each guide uses a variety of activities to teach the literature, chapter by chapter. The guides are designed for students to be able to work independently.  

A beloved family favorite, the Little Women Study Guide is a 111 page Interactive Guide that includes vocabulary activities which utilize a variety of approaches including matching, fill-in-the-blanks, working synonyms & antonyms, crossword puzzles and more.  We love the variety included in each guide.

Students are encouraged to Think About The Story. In this section, literary terms & analysis are introduced and explained, with examples from the reading included to help the student understand the context. Alliteration, epiphany, and poetic justice - just to name a few.

We loved all of the great ideas included in this guide - from recipes and cooking, dancing, and extra research, they have suggestions for all learning styles!

The 92 page Animal Farm Study Guide is another great choice for your high school students.  I still remember reading this one in high school - ALL ANIMALS ARE EQUAL BUT SOME ANIMALS ARE MORE EQUAL THAN OTHERS.” is still a familiar quote, and a timely one to introduce to our students, especially in our world today.

The guide uses short answer Questions that are designed to help your student understand what they are reading. Our favorites are the Dig Deeper questions that really encourage us to draw conclusions and make connections to Scripture. We love to do these questions out loud together!

Analogous Characters and Events is a section that focuses on important characters, places, or events that tie into history.  From Nazi Germany to Soviet Communism they are learning much more than just simple literary analysis, they are understanding history and it's significance today.

Full Answer Keys are included with each guide as well (a great bonus for busy moms that may not have had the time to read along with her high schoolers...) 

Progeny Press Interactive Guides have been a staple in our homeschool across all grades, we have appreciated their high quality year after after.  We highly recommend them!

Be sure to check out the other titles the Crew is reviewing:

Find Progeny Press on Social Media:


Hashtags: #hsreviews #progenypress #literature #reading #learnathome #readingcomprehension

Study Guides for Literature - A New Coat for Anna, In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson, My Side of the Mountain, Animal Farm & Little Women {Progeny Press Reviews}

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

MaxScholar Orton-Gillingham Software from MaxScholar: A TOS Crew Review

MaxScholar Orton-Gillingham Software from MaxScholar

Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way

Summer is a great time to sneak in some extra reading practice!  We've been using MaxScholar Orton-Gillingham Software from MaxScholar.  It's an online subscription that features a multi-sensory, Orton-Gillingham based approach that your student can work with to improve their reading writing skills.  It works well on any platform and can even be used on mobile devices to take their reading with them.

The program is very user friendly, in fact - multiple children in our family have been using it for the past several years. Check out our previous review here.  Parents have access to a Parent Dashboard that allows them to monitor progress and even create reports.  Students begin with  a placement test to determine the proper place for their ability.  My tester for this review is a 5th grade student - she was given the option to pick and choose in several different areas: MaxReading, MaxWords, MaxMusic, MaxVocab, MaxPlaces, and MaxBios.

In MaxReading, students are asked to read a passage.  Instructions are in both written and auditory form for all types of learners.  Each passage begins with introducing vocabulary with highlights and definitions.

A key focus of this program is teaching them to highlight what they are reading, looking for the main topic, main idea and the important details in different colors.  This really helps slow them down and get them to focus on what they are reading.

The passages are very interesting, my tester was able to choose from several topics - "Great Ideas" and "Jobs".  Each has 7 different passages to work with.

After they have read and highlighted the passage, they create a simple outline of the paragraph.  Then, they answer some comprehension questions, and get immediate feedback on how they did.  Writing prompts are included as well with a choice of writing a summary, answering an open-ended question or a general question about the passage.

Students have the options to view the correct answer, or redo the chapter.

Once they have completed the exercises, which do need to be completed in order, they are able to play several games to help reinforce the information.

MaxWords allows them to gain skills in spelling, prefixes, suffixes, latin and greek roots.  In each module, a variety of exercises are included.  Fill in the blank, matching, and even challenges keep the learning varied and engaging.

In MaxMusic, artists and lyrics are used to reinforce grammar skills by having them identify and highlight verbs in the passages.

In MaxVocab, they get to practice their vocabulary skills and build their confidence with word meanings by matching words and definitions in a variety of games.  The student is allowed to pick the level they want to complete.  My tester liked to master one and move on to the next.

Hangman gives them an updated digital version of an old favorite.

Click and drag to match the words to the definitions.

And a word search option too.  

 MaxPlaces allows them to choose a location from a world map and read interesting passages as they discover the world.

MaxBios focuses on famous people - with reading & highlighting to increase comprehension.

This is a great program for all ages, and summer is a great time to introduce it with a Free - 15 day trial!

Find MaxScholar on Social Media:


Hashtags: #hsreviews #ortongillingham #onlinesoftware #onlinetutoring #MaxScholar #dyslexia #distancelearning #homeschool #ortongillinghamtraining #readingcomprehension

MaxScholar Orton-Gillingham Software {MaxScholar Reviews}

Thursday, July 2, 2020

How does our Garden Grow?

At the beginning of the spring (and quarantine) my sons built a raised garden bed.  It's nothing fancy... just some 2x6 boards and a bunch of dirt that was born from a casual, wishful comment I made.  Thank goodness for sons and power tools! (and boys that love their mom).

 But, it has provided much more than just some plants.  Here is some of what we've been harvesting this summer:

Cooperation ❤️  My boys worked together to construct it, and everyone helped fill it. Watering is a daily task. It takes contributions from everyone to keep it growing.

Wonder ❤️ There is nothing more amazing than watching tiny seeds begin to poke out and unfurl into plants.  The first vegetables we spotted has us all whooping and hollering!  Want your kiddos to want to eat their veggies... have them grow them!

Patience ❤️ Tending a garden is an exercise in patience... it takes a long time for that flower to become a cucumber or that green tomato to turn red.  Watering (twice a day in South Texas heat) is a daily discipline.

Delight❤️ Our garden has brought back delight to our days.  It's a simple, not complicated or complex, delight in watching something grow.  No expectations or demands, just a delight-filled anticipation of what will bloom under our care.  

 Satisfaction ❤️ Each time we inspect our garden, we feel satisfied with our work.  We can see the reward that our investment has grown each time we snap off a fresh, crisp green bean or juicy red tomato.

I probably could go on... But, I highly recommend creating a garden with your children. I know you will harvest the rewards for many years to come!

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Escape to the Beach

We needed a change of scenery... so our annual beach weekend came early this year.

Of course... we had to keep tradition and take the family pic at our lunch stop...


The poles were great entertainment this time!

She has amazing balance...

 Walking along the beach at sunrise will always be my very favorite!

Look... she's got a beak!

My favorite beach bums!

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; 
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.

Lamentations 3:22-23