Literature study has been something that I have struggled with in our homeschool. My goal is for my reluctant readers to find reading something to be enjoyed naturally, and to be able to recognize and appreciate quality literature. Hewitt Homeschooling Resources has been on my radar for several months now. I was excited to have the opportunity to review the Gr 7 Lightning Lit Set for my son, and my older daughter joined us.
The difference between the right word and the almost-right word is the difference between the lightning and the lightning bug.”Mark Twain
What is Lightning Literature?
Lightning Literature is a language arts curriculum that begins in first grade and goes all the way through high school. The goal of Hewitt Homeschooling Resources Lightning Lit is to provide a language arts curricula that will do three things:
- Uses whole books and other classic literature (short stories, poems, etc.)
- Teaches deep reading and writing skills
- Maintains or even increases a child’s love of reading
I received the Teacher’s Guide, Student’s Guide, and Workbook to review for 7th grade. Immediately, I smiled at the above Mark Twain quote on each of the soft cover workbooks. I thumbed through the Teacher’s Guide first, and took notice of the clear layout. I love the weekly planning schedule. It provides enough guidance to stay on track, but also enough flexibility that you could do the readings and assignments however you see fit. These pages are only in the teacher’s guide, so you may want to provide copies of these pages for students as well. The schedule also includes checkboxes. Who doesn’t love the satisfaction of checking a box?
Another thing I really like is how the stories and poems are varied. I noticed that the student is alternating between short readings and longer novels. The Gr 7 Lightning Lit Set includes lesson plans for: Stories and Poems for Extremely Intelligent Children, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, The Story of My Life (Helen Keller), and All Creatures Great and Small. The books are available for purchase as a part of the set, or you can be find them in a library or bookstore.
How we used Lightening Lit
We jumped right in to Tom Sawyer because we had just started reading this just days before I was chosen for the review. Talk about perfect timing! One thing I found interesting and different – but totally natural, was the reading schedule. The book is read before they complete the corresponding activities. Not only is that a more natural way of reading without stops and starts, but it gives us time to work on other things during our school day. The kids prefer reading on their own at night or early in the morning. The result is that there are only a few days concentrating on the lessons themselves, rather than daily assignments.
We completed the comprehension questions orally after every few chapters. The literature and writing lessons are great. However, with it being the last few days of school, the kids were lacking in motivation. I’ll admit, I was as well! We did manage to squeeze a few of days of talking about plot lines and subplots, outlines, writing from notecards, and some of corresponding activities in the workbook. I appreciated that the included grammar lessons are woven into the topic rather than random sentences and various grammar rules to work with. The grammar lessons provide reinforcement, but are not intended a stand alone grammar program.
What we thought about Lightning Lit
Looking ahead at the rest of the book, I like the variety of activities associated with the stories and poems. The curriculum would suit many types of learners. Overall, I think Lightning Lit from Hewitt Homeschooling Resources offers a well-rounded curriculum that exposes students to different types of literature, and various types of complimenting writing activities. The course seems manageable and not overwhelming to do independently. Lightning Lit is a curriculum that I will be highly considering for both my children next fall.
Many others from the Crew have reviewed other levels from Hewitt Homeschooling Resources. Be sure to click the banner below to read their reviews.