Saturday, March 17, 2012

Progeny Press ~ TOS Review

What is Progeny Press?

Progeny Press offers study guides for literature for over 100 different novels ranging from kindergarten through high school.

"To teach our children to think clearly, to understand literature, and to rely on the scripture for truth and values, and enjoy themselves while they do it!

At Progeny Press we are committed to teaching good cultural literature, examined from a Christian perspective. We believe in the equation "Biblical Truth + Cultural Relevancy = Effective Christians." Take away biblical truth and Christians become no more than a religious subculture-- salt without saltiness. Take away cultural relevancy and Christians become isolationists with no impact on the world-- lights hidden under bushels. We believe in looking at the world clearly and openly with the Bible firmly in hand.

Our purpose is not to bring you only "safe" fiction, but to teach literature that is well-written and that will help students develop and refine how they deal with man's philosophies in relation to God's word. Progeny Press examines literary terminology and technique in good, cultural literature to equip students for understanding the craft of writing and to enhance their joy of reading. With these things in mind, we promise to bring you good literature, provide good literary analysis, and measure it by the light of scripture."

My family and I had the opportunity to review study guides from Progeny Press.  I chose Across Five Aprils for my 6th grader and Pride and Prejudice for my 8th grader.

Across Five Aprils takes place in Southern Illinois during The Civil War, 1861-1865.

“Times are uneasy for the Matthew Creighton family, tensions rising between the north and the south as war between the states approaches. When war finally does break out, two of the grown Creighton sons, and the town's young school teacher and friend of the family, join the fight. They are expecting an easy victory for the Union, but it quickly becomes clear that victory will neither come easy nor soon. Then the last grown son, Bill, also leaves; but he does not join the Union. When word gets out that he has joined the south, the Creighton family finds the war in their own home, and division and strife rise between them and their neighbors. Nine-year-old Jethro is now the only son still at home. Soon after, his father suffers a heart attack, and it is now up to Jethro - as the only remaining 'working man' in the family - to do the work of five or six grown men…

Pride and Prejudice takes place in England during the 18th-19th Century.

“At the turn of the 18th century, the accomplishment considered highest for any English gentleman's daughter was to be well married. A good match was one that provided comfort and financial security for both the young lady and her suitor. Much of the story of Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austin's famous romantic comedy of manners, revolves around this theme.

Elizabeth Bennet is the second of five daughters born to a gentleman of moderate wealth and property living near the town of Meryton, in Hertfordshire, England, at the dawn of England's Regency period, sometime during the Napoleonic Wars (1792 - 1815). Mr. and Mrs. Bennet have failed to produce a male heir for the family's estate, Longbourn, so Longbourn has been entailed upon Mr. Bennet's cousin, the ridiculous Mr. Collins. With no estate or adequate inheritance of their own, the five Bennet girls find themselves in need of suitable matches that will ensure financial security for themselves and their family..."

Progeny Press offers you the study guide of your choice and the corresponding book, or you may choose to purchase or borrow the book elsewhere.  Additionally, you will need a bible, dictionary, and thesaurus. 

Each study guide offers a complete user guide, a synopsis of the story, background information on the study guide author; Carol Clark ~ Across Five Aprils, Tiffany A. H. Colonna ~ Pride of Prejudice, the book author and sometimes the story topic; Civil War. Additionally, it provides a list of helpful pre-reading and during reading activites to help you better understand the study. 

In Across Five Aprils each chapter is divided into sections such as Vocabulary, Questions, Thinking About the Story, Dig a Little Deeper, Idioms, Dig Deeper, and finally some Optional Writing Activities. While Pride and Prejudice covers Vocabulary, Questions, Thinking About the Story, and Dig Deeper. Finally, at the end of the both study guides there are Essay and Writing Suggestions. 

Most of the answers throughout the guide reguire essay form responces, but there are also plenty of matching anf multiple choice responses as well.

One awesome bonus Progeny Press guides offer that I haven’t seen in many study guides, is the interactive qualities.  Which means your child can actually type their answers directly in to the PDF.  This is a great option, as it cuts down on the amount of paper and ink used from printing.  We didn’t use this option as, I had already printed the guides prior to realizing this neat function.

I definitely plan to purchase other study guides from Progeny Press in the future.  My 8th grader really likes the guide so far, as it allows her to dig deeper into the book than simply reading it.  My 6th grader on the other hand, I feel I chose a book too advanced for her abilities at this time.  Even when I read it to her, she has a hard time understanding the book what is going on.

Across Five Aprils Study Guide
Grades 5-9
Email Attachment $16.99
Paperbound Booklet $18.99
CD $16.99
CD and Paperbound Booklet $23.99

Pride and Prejudice Study Guide
Grades 9-12
Email Attachment $18.99
Paperbound Booklet $21.99
CD $18.99
CD and Paperbound Booklet $27.99

Check out the Progeny Press website to see what other study guides they offer.

  Be sure to read what my fellow crew members had to say about Progeny Press.

I received study guides for Across Five Aprils and Pride and Prejudice from Progeny Press free of cost in exchange for my honest review.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

The Art of Argument ~ TOS Review

Art of Argument? Really? Who would have thought?!  It's a well known fact that teenagers argue. However, most do not know how to argue well, without be taught.  Everywhere they look, our teens and young adults are bombarded with numerous deceptive arguments. Everything from radio, television, magazines, billboards, teachers, politicians, and many more, use false arguments to sway their thinking. How awesome is it that there is curriculum available that actually helps teach our teens the tools they need to argue effectively.  

Through 28 different informal fallacies, The Art of Argument helps them learn to discern which arguments are valid and which are not.

Click HERE to view a sample of the student text.

The student text is in paperback, workbook form; 230 pages including the glossary.Each chapter offers illustrations, examples, review questions, and sometimes advertisements, dialogue, and other real-world examples.

The 28 fallacies are divided amongst 3 unit and 6 chapters.

Unit 1: Relevance
Chapter 1: Ad Fontem Arguments
Fallacy 1: Ad Hominem Abusive
Fallacy 2: Ad Hominem Circumstantial
Fallacy 3: Tu Quoque
Fallacy 4: Genetic Fallacy

Chapter 2: Appeals to Emotion
Fallacy 5: Appeal to Fear (Argumentum Ad Baculum)
Fallacy 6: Appeal to Pity (Argumentum Ad Misericordiam)
Fallacy 7: Mob Appeal (Argumentum Ad Populum)
Fallacy 8: Snob Appeal
Fallacy 9: Appeal to Illegitimate Authority (Argumentum Ad Verecundiam)
Fallacy 10: Chronological Snobbery

Chapter 3: Red Herrings
Fallacy 11: Appeal to Ignorance
Fallacy 12: Irrelevant Goals or Functions
Fallacy 13: Irrelevant Thesis
Fallacy 14: Straw Man Fallacy

Unit 2: Presumptions
Chapter 4: Fallacies of presupposition
Fallacy 15: Begging the Question (Petitio Principii)
Fallacy 16: Bifurcation (False Dilemma)
Fallacy 17: Fallacy of Moderation
Fallacy 18: Is-Ought Fallacy
Fallacy 19: Fallacy of Composition
Fallacy 20: Fallacy of Division

Chapter 5: Fallacies of Induction
Fallacy 21: Sweeping Generalization (Accident)
Fallacy 22: Hasty Generalization (Converse Accident)
Fallacy 23: False Analogy
Fallacy 24: False Cause
Fallacy 25: Fake Precision

Unit 3: Clarity
Chapter 6: Fallacies of Clarity
Fallacy 26: Equivocation
Fallacy 27: Accent
Fallacy 28: Distinction Without a Difference

The text features a variety of:
  • Real-World Applications
  • Dialogues
  • Worksheets
  • Tests 
  • Phony Advertisements
  • Dialectic Discussion Questions
  • Fun extras such as a skit, “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Election” for students to perform, and the famous short story, Love is a Fallacy by Max Shulman
 The revised version includes:
  • Improved chapter and unit organization for greater ease of use
  • Ten new and revised advertisement illustrations  
  • Many added and updated examples
  • Fallacy explanations rewritten for clarity

The Teacher’s Edition is in paperback form; 286 pages.  It includes the entire student text, answers to all the questions, and chapter and unit tests. I really like that the entire student text is included, as it allows me to easily follow along with my daugter. Click HERE to see a sample. 

Here is a video sample of what the DVD is like.

My oldest daughter (8th grade) has enjoyed the program so far.  It is very thorough and contains a LOT of information. She completes a few pages a day, as this is what works best for our schedule. 

The Art of Argument Student text is available for $21.95, Teacher Guide is $24.95, and the DVD disk set is $54.95.  The Bundle Set is available for $88.95 which includes the Teacher's Guide, Student Text, as well as the DVD disk set. 

Be sure to stop by the TOS hub and read what my fellow crew members have to say about The Art of Argument and The Argument Builder by Classical Academic Press.

I received the student text, teacher's guide, and a sample DVD from Classical Academic Press free of cost in exchange for my honest review. No other compensation was received.

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