Finding just the right study guide for a younger child and a shorter book is sometimes hard to do. While you might find those with all the lovely pictures and cut outs and prep work, sometimes you just want the good old fashioned study guide!
When given the chance to use the Sam the Minuteman Study Guide from Progeny Press, I was excited! Finally something that I could use with Ray Ray that would keep him focus on what needed to be done, not what color the whatever was!
What It Is
This is a straight forward study guide from Progeny Press. We have used their study guides in the past and loved them so we were excited to use this one for Ray Ray. This study guide covers the before, during and after activities to go with your story. This is just the study guide and does not include the book (I found it at the library and bought it from Amazon because we liked it so much!)
While he was reading the book, it was all him, I was not allowed to help, Ray Ray would remember something from the map, and you could see the dots connecting in his head. He remembered talking about something and then reading about it, and he loved this feeling!
While most of the big kid study guides have you using the guide while you read, I did not find that necessary with this one. The book was short enough that we only took two days to read it, but the activities last us the whole week.
How We Used This
I set aside our reading program for a week and we used this. We were able to start our literature lesson with Ray Ray looking at the map and learning about the distance and space between something on a map. After the map, I sat back and listened to him reading to me.
After the reading was done, we started working on the worksheets. Each activity focused on something different in the world of literature. It was nice to see that even though this wasn’t all pretty and colorful, it was still geared for grades 1-3.
The first activity was vocabulary. It was a little difficult for Ray Ray to write the definitions, but we worked together and he did it. There was plenty of room for his big writing on the two lines provided. And although the words were “big” he picked up on the meaning and was able to easily use them in a sentence. This made him feel grown up!
Another section was the Looking at the Story section. This is always my favorite. This is where I see if the kids remember what they read. While I would make Moe Man use complete sentences in this section, I was easy on Ray Ray, I had him just write the answer, but he had to tell me in a complete sentence (the joy of homeschooling and doing it your way!). The questions were not hard, but they were either simple or thought provoking. Both perfect in my book.
The Thinking About…section was a great way to make a young child truly think about what was happening. With some True/False statements to studying the Declaration of Independence. It was simple yet effective.
Finally, you have the After-you-read Activities. These activities took what you learned and let you have fun! We looked over the activities and decided to work on our own sequel to Sam the Minuteman. This was a great way to tell a story in our own words. As soon as we get more ink, we will be making our three cornered hats!
What We Thought
We really liked this study guide! It had all the elements of the big kid ones yet was perfect for Ray Ray. I could tell by doing this study guide, Ray Ray learned many new things about the book and the history that he would not have learned if we didn’t use it!
I enjoyed the simple print and use set up. There was no cut this, buy this or print this on this kind of paper. Just print and go! While I was able to easily help with the answers, there was an answer key at the end if I needed it.
Ray Ray really loved solving the word mystery (vocabulary) and I loved that he thought he was playing games not doing school!
Another great point, is the Christian perspective that is put in each of these guides. Being able to relate the stories to the Bible is a great wya to include our bible into our daily life!
These study guides have not disappointed us! There are so many different options and stories, check out these other reviews on some of the other guides!