Friday, June 14, 2019

Lightning Lit & Comp REVIEW

I had not heard of Hewitt Homeschooling Resources prior to reviewing American Mid-Late 19th Century Gr 9-12.  I received a softcover copy of the 170-page Student's Guide and a hole-punched paper copy of the 55-page Teacher's Guide.  I simply placed the Teacher's Guide into a pronged folder to keep it neat and tidy.  The subtitle to the student guide is "Acquiring College-Level Composition Skills by Responding to Great Literature."  I was excited to get this one started with my 9th going into 10th grader.

Product received

Teacher's Guide placed into a pronged folder for safe keeping

There are additional books required for this curriculum that are included in the curriculum package you purchase online.  You will NOT need to purchase them separately if you purchase the package deal. They were not included for me for the purpose of this review.  I will be required to purchase unabridged copies of UncleTom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe, Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain, The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane, and The Call of the Wild by Jack London.  I actually downloaded a free digital copy of Uncle Tom's Cabin onto my Kindle.  The Teacher's Guide has the answers to the Comprehension Questions from the Student's Guide.  The Teacher's Guide also includes schedules, writing exercises, discussion questions, and project suggestions from the Student's Guide.  There is also plenty of information and suggestions on how to grade the student's papers.  In addition to the information, there are checklists to help you grade the papers for:
  • Nonfiction Papers
  • Fiction Papers
  • Poems
I really like that they make a point to mention that it is important to not discourage your student(s) as they grow in their writing and literature skills.  They share how you might correct with constructive criticism, but being careful to not overdo it.

Also included in the Teacher's Guide are Grading Templates.  I really liked this feature!  Of course, they are optional to use, but I know I will find them helpful when it's time to grade.  There are templates for the papers, for the comprehension questions (including how to figure out averages), for vocabulary (if you choose to assign this, it is recommended), and finally for how to figure your quarterly and final grades.

Sample Grading Template for Comprehension Questions

The Table of Contents breaks 8 lessons into 4 units.  There are more literature and authors covered than just the 4 required books.  The additional content is included in the Student Guide and does not need to be purchased.


I really appreciate that they include schedules for both a semester and a year.  For us, it is necessary to use the year-long schedule because language arts is a little challenging for my high schooler.  The guide mentions that the Hewitt English program uses the semester schedule for their Honors English program and the yearly schedule supplemented with other grammar or language arts programs for their Basic English program.  The yearly schedule is recommended for any students that struggle in Language Arts.  Be aware that the extras from the Teacher's Guide are not included in either the semester or yearly schedules.  Extras such as the Discussion Questions and  Project Suggestions (including art, history/geography, religion/bible, and science, health, and nature). You will need to work in any extras that you want to cover as you see fit.

The Student's Guide is wonderfully comprehensive.  It has a wonderful introduction that covers:
  • Why This Course?
  • Why Read Literature?
  • How to Read Literature
  • How to Read Poetry (including figurative language and sounds)
  • Why Learn to Write? (including Paper Writing 101)
    • Covers brainstorming, research, outlines, and paragraphs to name a few
There are also sections in the Student's Guide covering "The Fluidity of Language and Pronoun Confusion," and a detailed section on "How to Use This Student's Guide."  I like that there is a section recommending that the student keep a vocabulary notebook and a reading journal.  We have already encountered a lot of "new" or "odd" words in our reading thus far.

Units typically consist of an Introduction, a discussion on The Selection, some questions to consider While You Read, the Comprehension Questions, a Literary Lesson, and finally Writing Exercises.

Comprehension questions

Literary Lesson

Writing Exercises

I think this Lightning Lit & Comp homeschool curriculum is a very good fit for us and I really like the yearly schedule.  I definitely give American Mid-Late 19th Century Gr 9-12 a thumbs up and look forward to completing it over the next year.  We are of course still reading and covering comprehension questions at this point. We read every day and cover the comprehension questions as we go along. The book has been a little bit of a challenge for my 9th grader due to the language and syntax (he is a struggling learner), but I think he is really enjoying it.  He doesn't enjoy some of the language due to the nature of the subject in Uncle Tom's Cabin, but it is a good classical read for him to be familiar with.

You can connect with Hewitt Homeschooling Resources on FACEBOOK, TWITTER, PINTEREST, YOUTUBE, and INSTAGRAM.  Please be sure to check out the other reviews on this curriculum (there is a whole series of Lightning Literature packages) as well as several others that my fellow Crew members reviewed by clicking on the graphic link below.  You might just find your next language arts resource you have been looking for.

Lightning Literature, My First Reports, State History Notebook & Joy of Discovery {Hewitt Homeschooling Resources Reviews}
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