Progeny Press- The Screwtape Letters Study Guide

Monday, March 19, 2012


I received both The Screwtape Letters and Across 5 Aprils Interactive Study Guide from Progeny Press. The guides are for use with MAC or Windows and come in 3 optional forms:  a bound booklet , on CD in pdf format or an email attachment as a pdf . The pdf has a READ ME file, the study guide itself and an answer guide for the teacher.

The Read Me file  for both guides are thorough and informative for how to operate the program- if you choose to use the guide online.  By following the step by step tutorial, I learned how to underline and cross out words and phrases.  While I use my computer many times a day, I would not consider myself to be particularly computer savvy, but the instructions are extremely straight forward.

Interactive means just what it implies - each child can have his own online guide to be  answered online and graded online by the teacher! No more "dog ate my homework" or "sister made a paper airplane" type excuses!

Yet, if you are on the road or just like to have a paper printout, of course, that is still fine!  I tried both ways.

When you purchase a study guide from Progeny Press, you receive the rights to reproduce pages for home or classroom use, but you cannot copy pages for others or sell the file - unless you have an original CD in an original sleeve.  The Screwtape Letters guide is $21.99 for the booklet, $18.99 for the CD or emailed pdf. Progeny Press has been business owned and operated since 1992. You can read more about the mission behind Progeny Press here

The Screwtape Letters Guide is authored by  Rev. Michael S Poteet, an ordained Presbyterian minister.

A good dictionary, thesaurus and Bible are necessary in addition to the book The Screwtape Letters by CS Lewis- which we purchased through Kindle and was less expensive than the gas to go to the library and back again! Scriptures in the guide are primarily from the New International Version (NIV) translation.

The study guide itself consisted of optional pre-reading activities , asks questions on  2 - 4 chapters at a time and also includes optional activities and research paper topics. It is recommended the student take a week or so to read the text completely beginning the review guide.  Each section includes vocabulary words and questions about the text.  A variety of  multiple choice, fill in the blank, word finds and other activities are interspersed though the guide. My children each have different strengths and I like the variety of ways to answer so it will challenge each in a different way. I used the Screwtape Letter guide myself.

I felt the  background information on the author of  The Screwtape Letters (CS Lewis) was thorough and useful information to be included in the guide. From the very start it gave me a different perspective on this book from when I read it  in highschool. Through the years I have read (and re-read) many books authored  by CS Lewis and enjoy his writing very much. Yet, I didn't know he had turned away from God and then was led back before being prompted to write this great book. This revelation made The Screwtape Letters and accompanying study guide even more meaningful to me.

Reading The Screwtape Letters in highschool, helped develop in me the image of the daily battle we wage with the devil. It made me realize how powerful and real Satan is and how much he hates us. CS Lewis is able to preach to me in a way very few authors have. Yet, I find I missed the first time  and The Screwtape Letters meant something completely different to me this time around.  Plus, on this end, as I am nearing 40 - my take on evil is quite different. Sometimes, I feel I have lived several lifetimes for all the sorrow, sickness, sadness and evil I have seen.

The message of The Screwtape Letters is very current and worthwhile today. This study guide doesn't shy away from the hard questions that get your highschooler thinking and challenges them towards developing their own belief system.  As CS Lewis points out, it is often the "transition from dreaming aspirations to laborious doing" that causes us to stumble.

Geared for highschool students grade 9 - 12, this could be modified for use with adults. I believe my 14 yo would not be ready to truly tackle this book for another 2 years, but each child is different.  If your child is ready to read this book, then the study guide shouldn't be too difficult. The Screwtape Letters is set in the 1930s and would be appropriate  while studying Christian Literature or British Literature or CS Lewis.

I personally use a curriculum that is literature based and already have study guides included. For that reason, I would probably not purchase a study guide from Progeny Press. I personally  was surprised there wasn't more of a price difference between a pdf and print copy. It seems most of the expense would go into the production and the printing.  I haven't done a price comparison between study guides, but did like this guide. It would be pricey for me if I were using it once, but clearly if I were using this with a group or many times in my school, it would be more affordable.

As part of the TOS crew, I received this product for free in exchange for my honest review.


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