Blog Archive

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Combining Elementary Grades

Dear Rebecca,

I have an 8-year-old boy that will be going into 3rd grade, and a 6-year-old girl that will be going into 1st grade. This will be their first year of homeschool. The oldest is a very good reader, the younger just starting out. Would I be able to do the same study guide with them both, or do you recommend each their own. The oldest is reading at a 4-6 grade level.

Thank you,


Dear Erna,

Good question. You have a couple of options as you mentioned, and either would work.
If you'd like to do the same guide with both of them, your eight-year-old would be able to write the answers down and do well with the study guide. Your six-year-old would enjoy the story, and be able to discuss the questions with you out loud. Since she is just starting to read, remember that her ability to write probably won't come easily for another year or so.

Another possibility for you is to do one of the 1st-3rd grade level guides with him, and do our Prereader guide with her. The Prereader Study Guide ( for Oscar Otter and Henry and Mudge in Puddle Trouble) is actually two study guides for the price of one, including all the questions a regular 1-3 grade level guide would have (but no space for the student to write their answers; we assume you will discuss the questions out loud). The Prereader guide also includes science ideas, arts and craft ideas, coloring pages, and activity/maze pages. This can keep their little hands busy while they discuss the book with you.

Whichever way you decide to go, I would suggest doing only two guides in their first year, and simply reading lots of books for the rest of their literature for the year. That way they will learn critical reading and comprehension skills, but they won't feel they have to study everything. Choosing reading titles that coincide with your history studies is always fun. When you add some phonics, spelling and grammar, they will be well-covered in language arts.

I hope this helps, have great fun next year!




  1. HI I have just discovered Progeny Press. I have a son who will be 10 by beginning of next school year (when I plan to use) but is not a strong reader/writer, etc. I also have an 8 yr old daughter who is a pretty good reader/writer but comprehension sometimes is hard. SO, my question is should I use your lower or upper elementary study guides/books. Especially since we have never used PP or this style of teaching literature. Any information/help would be greatly appreciated, Ivory

    1. Ivory,
      Here's what I always tell people at conferences. Progeny guides are all about teaching your kids starting at where they are and guiding them to grow. Please take a close look at the sample pages online and use them to decide what level your son and daughter are at. Remember, you want to look at their writing level and their ability to answer the questions well. If the 3rd grade level guides, such as Minstrel in the Tower, is easy, then move up to something a little harder such as The Whipping Boy or The Big Wave or Charlotte's Web. Likewise, if the older guides are too hard to answer well, back down just a little bit and give them the practice to become good at answering at a little easier level.

      I think you could easily have them both do the same guide at this age.

      Find samples for all our guides at:
      Choose the grade level you'd like to look at, then the title. Then below the product picture, click on "Take a Look Inside".

  2. forgot to ask...i am looking to do the same study guide with them both. Will that work? Or do i need to use different grade level books.

    1. Sorry for the delay in responding! You can absolutely do the same guide for them provided you take care in selecting a title that they would both enjoy and is geared towards their grades.

      If you need help selecting some titles, you can always email me or call the Progeny Press Customer Service. The number is on the website at


Have a similar issue or question? Let me know and I will be more than happy to help out!