Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Memoria Press

I had the privilege of reviewing the Third Grade Literature Guide Set from Memoria Press. Memoria Press produces Classical Christian educational material for Pre-K through 12th Grade. 

The books included in this set are:
A Bear Called Paddington by Michael Bond
Mr. Popper's Penguins by Richard & Florence Atwater
Charlotte's Web by E.B. White
Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder 

These books can be purchased through Memoria Press if you do not currently own them. For the review I did not receive the books, I only received the guides.  

Great literature is like food, it nourishes a child's mind and takes them on a journey of imagination to places that are new and exciting. My 7 year old was excited to begin. She chose to begin with A Bear Called Paddington. Most of this review will focus on this book since each book takes approximately 6-7 weeks to complete. 

A Bear Called Paddington is definitely a favorite children's classic and I was anxious to share this journey with my 2nd grader. This is her very first chapter book to read on her own. She did really well and it was fun for both of us. 

A Bear Called Paddington Student Study Guide 
The guide was divided into 8 chapters the same number of chapters included in the book. Each chapter in the study guide is broken down into 6 sections:
  1. Reading Notes
  2. Vocabulary
  3. Comprehension Questions
  4. Quotations
  5. Discussion Questions
  6. Enrichment

Before reading it is suggested that the parent review unfamiliar vocabulary. For instance, a few of the words that I had to explain were pence, rheumatism, bush hat, and toggles. These words are found at the beginning of each chapter in the study guide labeled, Reading Notes. Both the unfamiliar terms and words are given as well as a definition. 

Next, after reading I went back to the study guide with my daughter to complete the rest of the sections. In the Vocabulary section the child is supposed to try and figure out what the unfamiliar vocabulary means within the context of the reading. For instance, "It was very rickety." As my daughter read each chapter I notated where the vocabulary words were located within the chapter. For each of the vocabulary words listed I went back and read the sentences before and after and then had her give me a meaning in a word or two. 

Comprehension Question were next. I opted to have my daughter read the questions aloud and then give me an oral answer instead of her writing out the answer. For us this just worked out much better. My 2nd grader tends to be very wordy and I did not want to bog her down with trying to figure out how to write what she was thinking. This also turned out to be a great discussion time. Many times she would compare the movie to the book. 

I love quotations from books, movies, and famous people in history. I loved the Quotation section and so did my daughter. For some reason quirky, funny, and insightful quotations tend to stick with you. Some of my daughter's favorite quotations in the book were:

"I'm sure you must have had lots of wonderful adventures."

"It's nice having a bear about the house."

"Yes, I like Paddington as a name. Paddington it shall be." 

The Discussion Questions are a great opportunity to discuss not only thoughts pertaining to the book but also provides the opportunity to introduce concepts that may be new and unfamiliar to your child. For example, one of the discussion questions talks about Paddington's strong sense of right and wrong. As my daughter and I discussed how Paddington displayed these attributes it led into a great discussion about how important it is to listen to our conscience because often times it alerts us when we are making decisions of importance. 

My daughter's favorite section was the Enrichment ideas. These hands-on activities are fun, educational, and further build upon events, places, and other interesting stuff in the book. My daughter had fun coloring a picture of Paddington. She located London and Peru on the map. We researched the currency in Europe. My daughter had fun retelling her own experiences at the seaside after reading Chapter 7, Adventures at the Seaside, and reading about Paddington's experience. 

Included in the study guide are quizzes, each covering several chapters, and a final test. This is the perfect opportunity to see how well your student comprehended. The multiple choice and matching portions of the quizzes and test I had my daughter do on her own. For the short answer and essay I had her do orally. 

I cannot wait for my daughter to begin reading the other books in the 3rd grade bundle. Memoria Press has truly chosen some of my all time favorite children's literature. I have six children and I have fond memories of reading all of these books with them. Thank you Memoria Press for making my sixth go around so enriching!!! 

Charlotte's Web
As I browsed the Student Study Guide I was drawn to the Appendix and the amazing resources added to the study. There is a great Biographical Sketch on Elwyn Brooks White (aka E.B. White). We are all familiar with the heartwarming story the unique friendship between Wilber, the runt pig, and Charlotte, the barn spider. 

If your child is fascinated by spiders, Memoria Press, has a full page about Spiders as well as a labeled diagram of a spider in the Appendix.

The Appendix also has three poems that fit perfectly with the Charlotte's Web study. One of my favorite children's poems, The Spider and the Fly, by Mary Hewitt is listed. 

The Student Study Guide has some features that I really liked. I was drawn to the Elements of Literature and Storyboard pages. The student analyzes a character, setting, and plot and then uses the storyboard page to draw the particular scene from the book.

Mr. Popper's Penguins
Who doesn't love the story of Mr. Popper's Penguins! The story is about Mr. Popper who is a house painter. He is surprisedly gifted with a penguin from a South Pole explorer. This is only the beginning of the craziness because soon the one penguin turns into twelve!!!!! Mr. Popper starts a stage show with the penguins to help pay for their upkeep. 

This book provides a great opportunity to get in some geography. At the end of the story Mr. Popper moves to the North Pole to establish a penguin colony. This offers a great opportunity to continue your students knowledge into this cold arctic region as well as learn some more about penguins. 

The story of Mr. Popper is truly a dream come true in most children's eyes. The study guide asks the student to come up with their own "wish trip". We all know that children's imaginations and dreams are BIG and this is the perfect opportunity for them to draw, write, and tell about their wish trip.  

Need a bit of music appreciation? One of the suggested activities is listening to Schubert's "Military March" and Franz Lehar's "Merry Widow Waltz". 

Farmer Boy
As a child I read through the Little House on the Prairie series more than once. I was so happy that one of these books was included in the 3rd grade pack. 

The Appendix contains some really fun stuff. Not only will your child learn a bit more about Laura Ingalls Wilder's life but they will learn about 19th century education. Most children have little or no knowledge of farm life and equipment. Well, Memoria Press has drawings and descriptions of some of the common farm machinery of the 1800's. When your child reads about a "fanning-mill" in Farmer Boy they can go to the Appendix and see just what it looks like and how it works. 

Your child will be introduced to many unfamiliar works in the book such as: poultice, whetstone, and "tan your jacket". Before reading each chapter you can look through the Reading Notes and Vocabulary so that as your child reads they understand these terms. 

In one of the Enrichment activities you student will learn a very interesting literary term, ONOMATOPOEIA. Now that is a mouthful. For those unfamiliar with this term it "occurs when a word imitates a sound or sounds like what it describes." Using sentences found in the reading your child will underline words that are examples of onomatopoeia. 

In Chapter 22 your child will read about candle making. In the Enrichment activity for that chapter your child will list out the steps for candle-making. I am almost certain that most kiddos will then want to try it out "for real".

Which of these books my daughter will choose next!!! I will be sure to blog about each of our next three experiences with Farmer Boy, Mr. Popper's Penguins, and Charlotte's Web. Stay tuned.....

Final Thoughts
I absolutely LOVE Memoria Press and their literature sets. I will most definitely continue to use these in the future with my children. I would highly recommend these sets to others. Go check them all out. 

To read more reviews click HERE

Social Media Links



  1. I've been looking into this 3rs grade set for my daughter. Looks like a TON of fun!

  2. I noted your review! Paddington is a book I have wanted to read with my boys so I definitely will consider snagging it!