Progeny Press creates study guides for well written literature but from a Christian perspective. Their mission is “to teach our children to think clearly, to understand literature, and to rely on the scriptures for truth and values, and enjoy themselves while they do it!” Progeny Press was started in 1992 by Michael and Rebecca Gilleland. By the summer of 1993 their study guides became available to homeschooling families. It is their desire for the study guides to help our student (s) “better understand the themes and ideas in the story as well as think about the story and its contents while learning Christian approaches to ideas contained in them”.
For our review we were sent the Macbeth E-Guide to download. This study guide was written for the William Shakespeare’s play “Macbeth”. The Macbeth E-Guide is a 64 page interactive PDF for grades 9-12th. The price to purchase this study guide is $21.99. It is written for the teacher and the student. When I say it is interactive that means your student can fill in their answers for the questions right their on the computer, and save it without you having to print it out to be written on. You do need Adobe Acrobat Reader 9.0+ to access the file. I was also sent an 11 page (PDF) answer key of the questions from the student's study guide. This comes with your purchase of the E-guide.
You will need to obtain a copy of the play to use for the Macbeth E-Guide. This is not included in your purchase. You can get a copy of Macbeth from your local library or other sources where available (they suggest selecting an annotated edition in which we did use the source *shown above that they recommended). Other things you will need are a good dictionary, thesaurus, and a Bible. A concordance, internet access, and a good set of encyclopedias may be helpful as well.
As for what’s included in the E-guide keep reading as I share that with you. First off is a Note to Instructor. This where they share with you how to use the study guide. Their study guides for middle and high school grades can take anywhere from 8 to 10 weeks to complete if you are working on one section per week. Progeny Press makes earning High School English credit easy with high school level study guides such as this MacBeth E-Guide. Your student (s) can earn .25 (or 1/4) credit for each study guide they complete.
Next in the E-guide is A Special Note on Shakespeare’s Plays. I like that it is suggested to use video or audios of the play as part of the learning process. Our special needs high school son definitely needed this to be able to get through the reading of the text. They also suggested letting your student watch or listen to the play before reading it. This will help familiarize them with the story and language of the play and makes an in-depth study of the text easier. We found this to be very true for our son. We started out by watching a well recommended video of it on Youtube. After this section there is a Synopsis and some Background Information being shared.
As we read through the About the Author portion, an idea came to me of letting my son create a notebook journal of Shakespeare, his life, and works once we have finished this E-guide. I like the parts in the Suggestions for Prereading Activities that suggest map work, watching a video on Scotland, and copying your favorite phrases or passages in a notebook to make notes to yourself about them. These are things my special needs high schooler can handle. Take a look at these next photos of the lesson set-up.
At the very end of the E-guide you’ll find an Overview. This can be used as a final test or completed the same way the chapter questions were done. The Writing Projects are last on the list. This is for writing essays and postreading activities. They complement the student’s reading and strengthen his writing skills. Additional Resources like other plays by Shakespeare, books about Shakespeare, and videos of his plays are shared as well.
I like that my son is reading and learning literature from a Christian perspective. I don’t think any of us in our home would see the point, or be able to get anything from it if not studied this way. It makes a huge difference to my husband and I because we would have passed it up otherwise as just filling his head with a bunch of secular humanistic ideas/philosophies.
Thank you so much for reading my review. Before I go let me share that although the Macbeth E-Guide is for high schoolers, Progeny Press also has guides for Lower Elementary, Upper Elementary, and Middle School as well. Some of those that others on the Crew will share about are:
- The Bears on Hemlock Mountain E-Guide (Grades 1-3)
- Charlotte’s Web E-Guide (Grades 4-6)
- The Silver Chair E-Guide (Grades 5-7)
Be sure to click on the banner below to read the other reviews and learn more about all the levels!