Before I get into how the study guides are laid out and how intense and fabulous the work is let me just say how much reading Robin Hood as affected our family. My kids have watched Robin Hood several times since my oldest has started reading it. He points out the differences frequently between the book and the movie. They also play Robin Hood nearly every night. My oldest has one of those play bow and arrows so he is Robin Hood of course and then one of the boys is Little John and usually my daughter decides to be the Sheriff of Nottingham and then somehow Captain America always ends up in the mix (that’s our youngest for you). LOL I just love how much creativity and fun play this has brought in to our family life. I never thought critically studying in depth a classic piece of literature would spark my children’s imagination but it has. It makes this momma’s heart happy.
So now into the nitty gritty of the study guide. Each lesson goes through several parts. First there are the reading notes. These are just little tidbits to read with your child before they read the chapter. They are background terms and people that they may need to remember or know to help them better understand what they are reading. Then you read together the vocabulary they are looking for and the comprehension questions. As they are reading the text they need to be looking for these and then marking the page numbers in the study guide. They also suggest that they underline the vocabulary words in their books. I gave Ben the option of doing that or not. He preferred to just write the page numbers in his study guide. Then when they are done they go through and try to figure out the meaning of the vocabulary words from the context of the words. Next they answer the comprehension questions in complete sentences. This was a struggle at first but after a couple of lessons he had it. I helped him through the first ones and was afraid I was helping too much but literally after about two times of me walking him through it and basically telling him what to write he had it down and was impressing me. After he finishes that we would discuss the vocab and the comprehension questions.
The next parts of the lesson are quotations, discussion questions, and enrichment. The quotations are for you to discuss together. You basically are just guiding the child’s answers. Usually with a little prompting my son would remember it right away. The discussion questions are for just that discussion. In the teacher’s guide the answers are in the back since you may not be reading the book so won’t have a clue. LOL Then there comes the enrichement. These are “fun” little extras that are creative projects. Sometimes we wouldn’t do any but usually I would have him do at least one of them.
There are also quizzes and tests that are reproducible in the back of the teacher’s manual. I didn’t realize it right away and so we were late with the first quiz. I would recommend seeing when they are supposed to come and putting little sticky notes on those lessons so you don’t forget to do them if you are wanting to.
Overall we really, truly enjoyed this product. It is a bit challenging, and at times my son would groan about it but overall it is helping him to grow in areas that were very much needed and learn to analyze literature more and look for answers in the text. He is learning skills he will need in high school and beyond. I would highly recommend these for your literature studies. I am so glad we have these wonderful guides. I have looked through the other guides and they are just as rich and compelling as the Robin Hood study guide.