The student is instructed to first read through the book, The Sword in the Tree, prior to starting the study guide. Then they are to read through the book slower while using the study guide. Chapters 1-3 questions are grouped together, while Chapters 4-6, 7-9 and 10-14 are grouped together respectfully.
Typical questions in the study guide involve questions about what the characters are saying or thinking. Such as, “What is Uncle Lionel doing that Lady Marian dislikes?” and “Describe Shan’s and Magnus’ first meeting.” These questions encourage the student to pay attention to details within the story.
The Dig Deeper sections really encourage the student to look at the characters and situations in the story deeper yet and apply it to their lives. Questions such as,
“While living with Adam and Phebe, Shan learns to fish, hunt and feed and water sheep and goats, and he cuts and hauls firewood. What does this tell you about Shan’s character?”
“Read the following verses about work: Proverbs 14:23; Ecclesiastes 2:24-25; Ephesians 4:16; I Thessalonians 4:11-12 and 5:12-14. What do they teach us about work and our attitude?”
I appreciate how the Dig Deeper lessons incorporate life lessons using the Bible as a foundation for those lessons. It is much easier to learn these lessons when we can see how the Bible applies to our lives even now.
The Vocabulary section studies the words both in the context of the story and the dictionary meanings. The students get dictionary practice while working through the study guide which I also appreciate.
There are fun, hands-on activities included in the “Optional Activities” such as a recipe for Whole Wheat Biscuits like Shan and Magnus had on the hay ferry. Or take a hike with a packed lunch of a loaf of bread, some cheese and bottled water just as Shan and Lady Marian traveled and ate. Shan was a hardworker who wanted to help those who helped him and his family. The students are also encouraged to work hard for others by completing a community project such as picking up trash, mowing the yard for elderly adults, host a fundraiser for a school or non-profit etc.
Brock and Adisyn both have been working through the E-Guide (even though Brock is in 8th grade, he had never read The Sword in the Tree and wanted to so I had him work through the study guide as well.)
They both really liked the book and have done well working through the study guide. I really appreciate the life lessons that are incorporated in the study guide. I think we will be incorporating more of these study guides into our homeschool because this one is so well written.
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Other members of the Schoolhouse Review Crew reviewed the Sword and the Tree as well as several other E-guides: Minstrel in the Tower, The Drinking Gourd, Mr. Popper’s Penguins, Give Me Liberty, Indian in the Cupboard, The Scarlet Pimpernel and Great Expectations. Be sure to read their reviews by clicking on the banner below.