If there is one thing EJ and I share it is a love of mysteries so when we were given the opportunity to review the Hound of the Baskervilles Study Guide for grades 8 – 12 from Progeny Press we jumped on it. Not only was this a novel study for a mystery but it was also from a company we trust. We reviewed The Scavengers Study Guide in the past and found it fit nicely with our traveling lifestyle.
The Study Guide
This study guide begins with an instruction to the parent/teacher on how you can use the guide as well as some background on the genre of the book you will be studying. For instance, The Hound of the Baskervilles is not only a detective novel, a la Sherlock Holmes but also in the Gothic fiction genre a la Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (according to the background information provided in the guide).
Another nice feature of this guide is the good selection of prereading activities to help your students get into the book even before they pick it up. EJ’s favorite was looking up the setting of the book in an online map. He was excited to find there is a National Park in the area now.
Kids can also read about the author of their chosen book. EJ was amazed at how much he learned about Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and the backlash he received from readers after killing off his famous and popular detective. People wore black armbands in mourning for Sherlock Holmes to the point where he resurrected him and wrote several more stories about him.
Right near the beginning of the study guide readers are provided with a synopsis of The Hound of the Baskervilles that shows it is aid out like a typical whodunnit with several potential suspects each with their own reason for acting out against the Baskerville family.
Of course, we are introduced to a potential supernatural power as soon as we begin to read the book so things get fairly scary early on. EJ enjoys the mystery part, figuring out the clues but isn’t a fan of the gory parts so this wasn’t one of his favorite titles. The study guide helped keep him interested since it focussed its questions on the mystery and clues.
How We Used This Guide
Since we’ve been traveling quite a bit (as usual) we also got the Audible version of The Hound of the Baskervilles to listen to on our drive. This helped us break it up a bit more so we didn’t fall behind. As it is most of the high school studies do take about 8 – 10 weeks to complete so we are only about halfway through right now. We’re looking forward to seeing how the story ends.
I have taken a look ahead though and see how science, math, and field trips will be worked into the study guide before we are done. I like to see curriculums that show how several topics can work together are important in all of our work.
I like how the importance of vocabulary was continued throughout the guide, right from the beginning with the prereading activities. We did stray a bit from the plan suggested and read the novel while doing the work since EJ tends to have some trouble with remembering details. We found if he listened to it on Audible or if we took turns reading, he would get a good overview of the main story. Then he would go back and read more of the details. this helped him with answering the questions.
We also mixed in some of the suggested additional activities such as looking up the setting on a map to keep things interesting. While EJ is getting better at reading more he still has some trouble with sitting still so giving him alternative work can help in managing his ADHD for sure.
Overall EJ is enjoying this study guide even though he finds the book a little on the dark side for him. He has enjoyed doing the Bible study suggestions along with his reading. He says it has helped him to understand how the hound is representing evil.
Again, I find the Progeny Press Study Guides quite complete and easy to follow. They provide a lot of options for extra work so you can easily adjust your curriculum to suit the learning style of your child.
As I did in the past, though, I had some trouble with the fillable pdf and had times where either all of the multiple-choice spots changed to the same letter or the spots simply disappeared and we weren’t able to complete them on the computer. We kept a notebook handy for these occasions so we didn’t forget where we were.
Several crew families have reviewed various titles from Progeny Press. Be sure to click on the image below and read what they had to say.