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Saturday, July 7, 2012

Schoolhouse Review Crew: Hewitt Homeschooling Lightning Lit & Comp

Hewitt Homeschooling has a variety of products to offer homeschoolers with children in grades K-12 in three different areas: services, testing, and products.  Members of the Schoolhouse Review Crew recently had an opportunity to use and review one of their most popular products, Lightning Literature.
Lightning Literature offers Student Guides, Teacher Guides, and Literature Packs for grades 7 and up (grades 7 and 8 also have a consumable student workbook.)  The junior High guides take a full year to complete.  Each high school guide is a one semester course unless the student struggles in the areas of reading and writing,  then it could take a full year to complete.

  Over the last several weeks my high schooler and I have been working on the Lightning Literature and Composition British Mid-Late 19th Century Student Guide. 

Grade Level: 9-12
Author: Michael G. Gaunt
Publisher: Hewitt Homeschooling Resources
Publish Date: 2011
Binding: Perfect Bound
Dimensions: 8 1/2 by 11 inches
Number of Pages: 244
Item ID: 3444 A5A  ISBN: 978-1-57896-244-0

Students read in this order:
  • Alfred, Lord Tennyson (selected poems; text in this Guide)
  • George Eliot (novel: Silas Marner)
  • Charles Dickens (novel: Great Expectations)
  • Lewis Carroll: (selected poems; text in this Guide)
  • Robert Louis Stevenson (travelogue/essay, text in this Guide:"The Silverado Squatters")
  • Oscar Wilde (play: The Importance of Being Earnest)
  • Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, (short story, text in this Guide: "The Adventure of the Speckled Band")
  • Rudyard Kipling (novel: Stalky & Co.)

View Table of Contents here. 

See a sample chapter here.

 Recommendations:  This course is especially recommended for the students who have already taken at least one previous high-school level Lightning Literature course, who are studying world history, and who are interested in British literature. These should not be viewed as restrictions; this course can profitably be used by high-school students of any grade regardless of which previous Lightning Literature courses they have completed. Generally speaking, this course is more difficult than the two American Literature courses and Speech but easier than the Shakespeare courses, British Christian Literature, or British Medieval Literature. Much depends on student interest in the material, however.

Cost of the Student Guide is $29.95. Lessons cover conflict, rhyme and meter, local color, theme, genre, and source of ideas.  The Student Guide includes: biographies of the authors, comprehension questions, lessons on the readings, writing exercises, short stories, essays or poems used for lessons, additional reading suggestions,discussion questions, semester and full year schedules, and a bibliography. 

The Teacher's Guide is $2.95.  It contains the answers to the comprehension questions, teaching schedule, teaching and grading aids, writing exercises, and comprehension questions.

You also have the option of purchasing British Mid to Late Century Pack for $52.86. This pack includes the Student Guide, Teacher Guide, and the four books the student is to read: Silas Marner, Great Expectations, The Importance of Being Earnest, and Stalky and Company.

We chose to review the Mid to Late 19th Century British Literature because Chelsea is working a semester long British History course and the novel selections contained in this course were ones that she had not yet read.  It is the first time we have ever used a Lightning Literature course, and I am very impressed!  The Student Guide contains everything the student needs in order to complete this course (with of course the exception being the answers to the comprehension questions) allowing for self guided, independent learning while still having an opportunity for the teacher to be involved with discussion, comprehension questions, and grading the writing assignments.  I found the schedule suggestions and grading tips to be very helpful.  There is a variety of works studied throughout the semester: poems, short stories, and full length novels.  I LOVE that the shorter works are included in the guide!  The longer selections were easily obtainable from the library, but it makes it so much easier not to have to hunt down the shorter works too.

The lessons themselves are very complete.  Each section contains background information on the author, lesson preview, information on the selection, things to keep in mind while reading, comprehension questions, a complete literary lesson on a topic (ex. rhyme in poetry, local color, theme), and not one but several writing exercises that the student can choose from.  Wow!  I can't think of one thing that would make this course more complete.  While I do think that it is somewhat challenging, I don't see that as a negative, just something to keep in mind if you have a student that struggles with reading or writing.  This Lightning Literature Course will leave your student well prepared for going on to college.

To see what other crew mates had to say click here.

Disclaimer: As a member of the Schoolhouse Review Crew I received a complimentary copy of the Mid to Late 19th Century Student and Teacher Guides for the purpose of writing a fair and honest review.  I received no other compensation. 

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