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Josefina Story Quilt Study Guide Progeny Press Review

We were recently sent a fun study guide to review from Progeny Press called The Josefina Story Quilt – eGuide.

The Josefina Story Quilt – eGuide

Downloadable PDF Study Guide

34 Pages

Grades 1-3

Retails $11.99 e-book (or CD).

This study guide is 34 pages and is designed for kids in 1st through 3rd grades.   The study guide goes along with the book called The Josefina Story Quilt.  The study guide is available for $11.99 as a PDF download, or as a CD on the Progeny Press website.  The reader book is also available for $3.99 on the Progeny Press website, bookstores, and may be available to borrow in your local library.

Table of Contents

  • Note to Instructor
  • Synopsis (summary of the story)
  • About the Author
  • Background Information
  • Before-you-read Activities
  • Vocabulary
  • Looking at the Story: Part One
  • Looking at the Story: Part Two
  • Dig Deeper
  • Crossword Puzzle Review
  • Activities, Arts, and Crafts
  • Suggestions For Further Reading
  • Answer Key

Examples of Study Guide Pages:

Our Experience:

We received the downloadable PDF version of the study guide (e-study guide) for the purpose of this review.  I printed it and put it into a three ring binder.  We were expected to acquire the reader book on our own.  I purchased the book The Josefina Story Quilt from the Progeny Press website for $3.99 plus shipping.

This story is about a young girl named Faith and her pet chicken named Josefina. Her family is moving to California by covered wagon in 1850.  Her father wants her to leave her pet chicken behind, but she convinces the family to let her bring the chicken with them.  The main characters are Faith, Josefina, Pa, Ma, and brother Adam.

The story follows Faith’s family’s journey on the wagon train. While on the journey, Josefina stayed in a cage at the back of the wagon, but on the times Faith let her out, usually big trouble ensued and Faith’s father is ready to get rid of the chicken. But he eventually becomes fond of the chicken after she begins laying eggs and acted as a watchdog to scare away robbers on the trail in the middle of the night.  The family goes through a lot of hardships on the trail including running out of food and water and faced many dangers.

While on the journey, Faith is tasked with making quilt squares that will later become a quilt that keeps the family warm, and the quilt also retells a story with fond memories. Faith decides to make the quilt squares about the journey with her pet chicken.  She makes a quilt square wagon wheel patch, and another for an egg patch.  On the journey she makes over 15+ quilt squares and then she made one for a pine tree to remember where she had to bury her pet chicken after she died.  Though it took a long time, maybe six months or more, eventually the family makes it to their new destination.  When Faith has finished her patches and has enough to make a quilt, her family pitches in and helps her make a blanket quilt for her bed to remember the story of their journey.  From that night forward, every night she sleeps under her Josefina Story Quilt.

Though the story book does not have a Christian focus, the study guide questions use a Christian perspective in evaluating the story.  Kids are encouraged to read bible scriptures and relate them to the events and characters in the story and there is a lot of room to write out their answers as they ponder these ideas.  They are also encouraged to use a dictionary and look up new words. Before you begin there is a map activity and questions about what you might take with you if you were on the wagon train, and a short encyclopedia look-up activity. There is vocabulary multiple choice questions and a word scramble and crossword puzzle.

In addition to reading the book and answering the study guide questions and cross word puzzle, my daughter enjoyed the few suggested activities in the study guide. She enjoyed homemade bread (we purchased locally made homemade bread as it was too hot to bake our own), and she made an art project creating paper quilt squares.

On her own, she also role played and retold the story to me with her Legos.  She had a wagon (her brother later dismantled), a bird (for Josefina), a girl (for Faith), boy, mom, dad, and two robbers.

Final Thoughts

For the purpose of this review, I had my daughter review this study guide with me.  She enjoyed this experience.  She enjoyed the bible study and crossword puzzle, but said she wished there were some more hands on activities in the study guide.  Also the suggestions to further the learning are additional books you can read about the time period.  Though we appreciated the book list, it was not super exciting for her as she would also prefered more hands on activities related to the book and time period.  She would have liked more opportunities to learn further and I plan to put more activities together for her.

There is a lot of writing practice scattered through out the study guide and many of the writing activities seemed more relevant for an older student rather than a 1st – 3rd grader.  However the story book itself was right for the listed age range.  I would say, given that this study guide was produced in 1995, and costs $12 plus buying the book $4 (so at least a $16+ or more investment), that updating the material and activity suggestions would be a good idea.

We plan to revisit this again with our American History studies in the fall.  My plan is to use the book and study guide along with my daughter to teach this story to her younger brothers.  She is practicing some teaching and helping skills and this will be a great book and guide to practice her skills with.

When we revisit this study guide in the fall with all three of the younger kids, we plan to turn it into a unit study.  We will take more time to learn about the history of the Wagon Trains that went Westward, do a lot more arts and crafts, and do science activities about breeds of chickens, learn more about eggs, learn about feathers, mix up some homemade bird food perhaps looking in the yard or a field for grass seeds and things birds can eat, caring for horses, oxen (caring for cows), practice hand sewing projects, and take a field trip to visit a hands on historical farm and a museum.  We will also do some campfire activities outdoors in the back yard when it cools off this fall, and some baking of historical recipes, but it has been too hot this summer to do those.  We may also study the night sky and study the moon and stars.  I found some free resources online to go along with the book and study guide to create a lap book.  I will print those out and get some folders to make the lap books.  My kids love making lap books so this will be a great way to further the learning.  I think my daughter might want to make her own story quilt to use for her bed in the future.

I was looking forward to doing this review because we enjoyed reviewing Sam The Minute Man study guide from Progeny Press a few years ago.  I am cautious about what books we choose to review, so many have pagan and heretic ideals, and there are many to choose from that don’t meet our requirements.  I don’t think you can view wizards, sorcery, reanimating the dead, magic, trans-humanism, gods and goddesses, pagan rituals, and aliens (that are really demons and fallen angels as they are noted in the bible) with a positive Christian spin, that would be delusional and hypocritical no matter how many bible verses you dump on it.  However, there are many historical books and study guides to choose from where applying the bible does give a deeper understanding, and enrich our lives and spiritual outlook.  Overall, we have enjoyed learning literature with historically focused books, and gaining a deeper understanding of Progeny Press study guides.

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Critical Thinking Detective: Vocabulary Review

Do you want to get smarter?  Do you want your kids to improve their grades?  Then you might want to check out the over 200+ Award Winning products from The Critical Thinking Co.™

Critical Thinking Detective

We recently checked out the Critical Thinking Detective: Vocabulary Book 1.  Critical Thinking Detective is a whole series of books that helps you learn to think logically to solve dilemmas.

So far, the Critical Thinking Detective series includes:

  • Beginning
  • Book 1
  • Book 2
  • Math
  • Vocabulary Book 1
  • Vocabulary Book 2

Critical Thinking Detective: Vocabulary Book 1

Student Workbook

AnswerKey

12 Cases To Solve

Softcover

Colorful Illustrations

40 Pages

Retails $8.99 on sale for $7.99

Critical Thinking Detective: Vocabulary Book 1 is a 40 page softcover workbook for grades 5-12+ (would be fun and challenging to most adults too).  This student workbook contains 12 mystery cases to solve.  The student uses vocabulary, and critical thinking skills to logically solve the case.  As the student evaluates the details of the case, understands the meanings of words and learns their meanings and synonyms, uses inductive and deductive reasoning, analyzes the information, they are then able to solve the case.

Table of Contents:

  • How To Solve These Cases
  • The Antique Double-Dealer
  • The Stray Accomplice
  • The Pilfering Today
  • The Ring Coveter
  • The Acrid Saboteur
  • The Contrary Instigator
  • The Brazen Biker
  • The Cogent Denigrator
  • The Disgruntled Defacer
  • The Unencumbered Employee
  • The Wandering Wayfarer
  • The Cunning Customer
  • Answer Key

So how do you solve the case?  Well, first of all you need to CAREFULLY read the description of the case.  Read the statements from one or more witnesses, and read the statement from 4 possible suspects who may or may not have committed the crime.  Then look up the words given in the clues. These definitions will help you understand what really happened and who did it.

Here are the steps to solve each cases:

  • Read the clues.
  • Use a dictionary!
  • Understand the definition of each word.
  • Understand the synonyms and antonyms of each word.
  • Take notes.
  • Reason it out.
  • Solve the case.

Following each case, the student is introduced to 18 to 25 new vocabulary words to learn. There is also a worksheet full of fill in the blank sentences to complete to practice using the vocabulary correctly.

Author

Critical Thinking Detective: Vocabulary was written by Diane Hartsig.  She is also the author of Vocabulary Riddles – A-Z Catastrophes, Books 1 and 2.  She is a wife, the mother of 3 kids, and an elementary school teacher.  She is passionate about kids acquiring and learning how to use language.

Our Experience:

We received Critical Thinking Detective: Vocabulary Book 1 in exchange for writing an honest review.  The Critical Thinking company is also offering special savings for our readers.  I think it is great when companies send products to be reviewed and also send discounts to those who want to try out the product because they read the review and were inspired to try it.  So be sure to check out the special offers listed below for a discount code, and get the free Critical Thinking Puzzle too!

I gave this workbook to my 15 year old son to include in his schoolwork. My thoughts on giving it to him was that the mystery cases are short and he might be able to do them without adding a lot of additional work onto his schoolwork.  I thought as he accomplished the cases, it would build more confidence for writing.

After reading the case, he tried to reason it out, but was not quite sure who did it.  So I had him go ahead and work through vocabulary words and complete the sentences before trying to solve the crime.   However, after working through the first handful of words, perhaps 10 or so, he was ready to quit before he had even accomplished the first case.  He wanted to quit because he found the words unfamiliar and didn’t like looking them up to find what sentence they fit into.

These are hard words!  I don’t even know most of them myself.  They are not commonly used.  Here are just a few examples:

  • congent
  • flummox
  • espy
  • sedulous
  • vacuous
  • superfluous
  • credulous
  • madras
  • tantamount
  • puce
  • tenable
  • senescent
  • foist
  • spurious

However, after a few days of setting the workbook aside (and I don’t blame him), he put his mind to it and persevered.  To complete the task, he only needed the workbook, a pencil, and access a dictionary (he used an online dictionary on the internet).  It’s portable, so he doesn’t have to sit in one place.  He can take it with him and fill in the gaps in his time.  He enjoys being outside and working on it if the weather is nice.  Having the freedom to choose where and how to learn is one of the beautiful benefits of homeschooling.  Just being outside seemed to help motivate him to work on it.

After he looked up the meaning of the new word, and learned it’s definition and other words that have the same meaning, then he would compare words and fill the words into the correct sentences. Each word can only be used once.  Taking time to do the vocabulary words gave his brain time to ponder the details of the case.  Finally, he was confident in various word meanings to reasonably solve the case.

After completing the first case, he was more confident in working through the rest of the workbook.

After completing the first few cases, he was well on his way to improving his use of vocabulary and logic.

He is motivated to finish and I have no doubt he will finish the workbook and raise his knowledge and skill level to be way smarter than me!

The Critical Thinking Co.™

Created in 1958 by John Brown, The Critical Thinking Co.™ helps students master skills needed to achieve high standards for education.  They have extensive knowledge in math, logic, reading and writing, science, and social studies.  They guarantee better grades and higher test scores when you practice your critical thinking skills with their books and software.

The Homeschool Review Crew is currently reviewing several products from The Critical Thinking Co.™

Critical Thinking Detective: Vocabulary

Understanding Pre-Algebra

Dare To Compare: Math Level 1

Critical Thinking Detective Book 1

Vocabulary Riddles Book 1

Something Fishy at Lake Iwannafisha

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