The Sojourner

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Progeny Press: The Screwtape Letters Literature Guide - TOS Crew Review

When the opportunity for this review arose, we were asked to select which literature guide we would want to review.  Since we were about to have the opportunity to not only read the book, but see the live performance, I chose The Screwtape Letters Literature Guide for my family to use and review.

Progeny Press has over 100 different literature guides covering great literature for all age groups, from Mr. Popper's Penguins to Julius CaesarThe Literature Guide for The Screwtape Letters is an interactive PDF file consisting of 75 pages of very thought provoking material, plus a 10 page Answer Key for the teacher/parent.  This version is interactive on Windows or Mac computers.   It includes background information about the author, the time period in which the story was written, and then the chapters are divided into smaller sections and there are vocabulary questions, questions for comprehension, analysis, digging deeper questions and optional activities.  All of this is designed to help your student to "think clearly, to understand literature, and to rely on scripture for truth and values, and enjoy themselves while they do it!"

According to the Progeny Press website, the middle and high school level study guides should take 8 - 10 weeks to complete.  It is also recommended to read the novel in its entirety the first week, and then use the guide to work through the book again to glean more from it.

It is very cool to me that the students can type their answers right into the document (no handwriting required!)  For my teens, this is huge!  There are actually samples of this interactive type of literature guide available right on the Progeny Press website.  Also, you can search through the inventory of literature guides by genre as well as grade level.  They have taken some of the best literature ever written and produced very comprehensive study guides that are age appropriate and a lot of fun for the students.

The Literature Guides are available in three different formats:
  1. As a printed and bound booklet for $21.99
  2. On a CD in .pdf format for $18.99
  3. As the same .pdf file as an e-mail attachment for $18.99
Or you can get both the CD and booklet for $27.99.

Overall, I am very impressed with Progeny Press' Literature Study Guides.  A lot of work has been put into each of these and they really delve into the literature in so many ways and bring a Biblical perspective to all of these great books.

If you would like to read more reviews of Progeny Press' Literature Study Guides, visit the TOS Review Crew website here for more reviews.

I received this product for free in return for an honest review. I have not received financial reimbursement for my review of The Screwtape Letters Literature Study Guide by Progeny Press.


Thursday, March 15, 2012

The Art of Argument - TOS Crew Review


Since we have not followed a classical style of learning in our homeschooling over the years, we have not studied logic in any formal sense.  So when presented with the opportunity to review The Art of Argument, I had mixed feelings.  First, I was intrigued by the title since there is a lot of arguing that goes on this house with my teens!  Second, I was a little intimidated about teaching a course on logic since I have not studied it formally in any manner throughout my life, although I am a very logical person.  So, it took me a while to get up the nerve to open the books and look them over.  However, when I finally did take some time to peruse them, I was very pleasantly surprised with the way the books were presented and how appealingly they are laid out for the students!  This made it much easier to delve into with my teens.
The Art of Argument, published by Classical Academic Press, is an introduction to the informal fallacies.  "What is that?" you might ask (like I did.)    Here is what their website says:

"From billboards to commercials to a walk down the mall, fallacious arguments are everywhere you look. The Art of Argument was designed to teach the argumentative adolescent how to reason with clarity, relevance and purpose at a time when he has a penchant for the "why" and "how". It is designed to equip and sharpen young minds as they live, play, and grow in this highly commercial culture. This course teaches students to recognize and identify twenty-eight informal fallacies, and the eye-catching text includes over sixty slick and clever, “phony advertisements” for items from blue jeans to pick-up trucks, which apply the fallacies to a myriad of real life situations."

PhotobucketIf you have ever had an argument with your teenager, you know that there are many different and creative ways that they can approach an argument and they seem to constantly be expanding their argument repertoire!  Well, YOU may even learn a lot from this curriculum to distinguish good and valid arguments from those that just aren't valid.  Of course, the down side of this course is that your teens may use the information they learn AGAINST YOU!!  But, of course, you already realized that as they learn and grow they also become better at "presenting their case" for what they want, haven't you? Ah, the fun times ahead!

The Art of Argument is available as a bundle which includes the Student Text, Teacher's Edition and DVD Set for $88.95.  Or you can purchase the components individually as follows:
Student Text  $21.95
Teacher's Edition $24.95
DVD Set $54.95
There are also sample pages from both the Student Text and the Teacher's Edition available on their website so you can take a glance at what to expect in the books.

"The greatly expanded Art of Argument Teacher’s Edition now includes the entire student text, answers to all exercises, and new chapter and unit tests. The DVD Set features three experienced logic teachers and four capable, enthusiastic students discussing the 28 fallacies with contemplation and humor. Each discussion seeks to make a practical application of the fallacy to student life, advertisements, political speech, and various kinds of ethical and philosophical debates."

If you would like to read more reviews of The Art of Argument, visit the TOS Review Crew website here for more reviews.

I received this product for free in return for an honest review. I have not received financial reimbursement for my review of The Art of Argument by Classical Academic Press.