Studying Classic Literature with Memoria Press – Review

Memoria Press Literature Guides Review
I have been looking for a way to add in some more formal reading into our homeschool, especially for my oldest. I want him to be able to read critically when needed and have good reading comprehension skills. I was very excited when I saw the Literature Guides come through from Memoria Press. We had lots of choices, especially since I could have done it with my younger students as well but when I saw what books are studied in the Sixth Grade Literature Guide Set I knew that was the ones for us.

 

Memoria Press Literature Guides Review
In the sixth grade sett you get King Arthur, Adam of the Road, Robin Hood, and The Door in the Wall. We received the student study guides as well as the teacher books. You could either buy the books are choose to borrow them from the library. Since I knew we would be spending some time in these books and I am a HUGE bibliophile and am cultivating that in my children as well we ended up buying them from Memoria Press. The copies they send you are great little editions and we love them. I was very happy with the choices they sent. As you may have been able to guess the theme of this sixth grade set is Medieval Times. I let my son which one he wanted to start with and it was a toss up between King Arthur and Robin Hood, which I knew it would be since those are the two most popular stories of the four. We ended up going with Robin Hood.

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.

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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.

 

Memoria Press Literature Guides Review
 

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