Last year we had the wonderful opportunity to review a couple of study guides for Progeny Press, and after the review, I even bought an additional guide that went with our history studies for Firecracker and Rose to use. So, when Progeny Press allowed us the opportunity to review a study guide title again this year, I was excited to have another opportunity to use their fantastic products.
I received a digital copy of the the Lower Elementary/K-3rd Grade guide for Miss Rumphius to use with the children. (The book you’ll need to go with the study guide can also be purchased on their website.) Even though the study guide is written for lower elementary, I chose to use this book with my third grader, Rose, and my fifth grader, Firecracker instead of involving my kindergartener. After looking through the study, I felt like it was a little over Monkey’s head.
About Miss Rumphius
Miss Rumphius is a picture book that depicts a beautiful relationship between a young girl named Alice and her grandfather. Alice sets three goals to follow in her life, and as she grows, the book chronicles how these goals are met in her life. The pictures are lovely, and are painted in a very pleasing palette of acrylic paints, and the story will give your child much to contemplate.
About the Study Guide
The study guide is broken into several sections to make it easy to make this book into a month or six week long literature study.
First, there are two before you read studies about setting goals and about seeds for your child to complete in the first week before you read the book. There are also a couple of before you read activities to complete as they’ll be either works-in-progress during the study and you’ll need to set them up before the study.
The book itself if broken down into three sections in the study guide. Each section contains:
- Vocabulary terms
- Questions about the story
- Questions about the artwork
- Dig Deeper questions integrating the story ideas with applicational thought and Biblical teachings
- Projects and activities for each section
Sprinkled throughout the study guide are grammar and spelling, geography and art activities to add to student learning.
Once the questions have been answered and the activities have been completed for each section of the story, there are some additional ideas for art activities, geography study, field trips and a community project.
If you and your child get stuck anywhere in the study guide, there is an answer key provided so that you guys can consult it for a definitive answer.
How We Used the Study Guide
We sat down with the study guide and used it approximately three days a week. Because we didn’t work on it five days a week, we haven’t completed our study at this point. However, I can already see how it’s borne fruit with my children.
For example, before we ever read the book, we were able to have long and fruitful discussions about the importance of setting goals, and about the importance of remembering that the plans we make are dependent on what God’s will is for our life and for the things we plan.
We had a lesson in the first section on plurals. My fifth grader gets really confused about spelling rules, especially rules that don’t make sense phonetically. Our book provided plenty of practice making plurals with words that end with the letters f or fe. He now has that rule memorized.
We also had a discussion in the workbook about Proverbs 17:6, which says, “Children’s children are a crown to the aged, and parents are the pride of their children.” It turned out that my children had no clue what children’s children were, and my third grader didn’t realize that your actions can honor the other people in your lives. It’s something I’m not sure that I would ever have thought to share with her had it not been part of the study guide we’ve been working on.
My Opinion on the Study Guide
My opinion is that Progeny Press makes a great product. You go with a child from looking at pictures and reading a book to analyzing meaning with the Bible. This is beyond reading comprehension and is more along the lines of life lessons, and I think that through using these study guides the children and I have done important work together. I think these guides fit exactly within my goal as a parent of facilitating discipleship with my children.
Because of the Biblical analysis that the authors of the study guides take to the literature that we study with them, they become helpers in discipling my children. I cannot speak highly enough of the study guides or of this company.
As far as Miss Rumphius goes, it’s a lovely book, and if I hadn’t been using the study guide with it, we might have read it a few times and not really thought much about it. Using the study guide, we’ve dug deeper and we’ve thought about what the Bible says about goals, grandparents, seeds and fruit and more all through a little picture book. The study guide makes a great companion and helps make a good book into a great study.