Review of Hewitt Homeschooling Resources’ Lightning Literature & Composition – British Christian Authors 19th-20th Century

img_3552

 

I loved using Lightning Lit from Hewitt Homeschooling Resources with our second son before, so I was excited to have the opportunity to review British Christian Gr 11-12  with our 16-year-old daughter.  This program provides a great opportunity for our daughter to develop both her composition skills and her literary skills at the same time.  For this review, we received the student guide and the teacher guide.  However, the program also requires the purchase of four additional unabridged copies of The Four Loves by C.S. Lewis, Why Does God Allow War? by D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Orthodoxy by G.K. Chesterton, and Gaudy Night by Dorothy L. Sayers.  Even though our daughter is in the 10th grade, she felt confident about her ability to complete the coursework.

Hewitt Homeschooling, since 1983, has functioned as proponents of homeschooling.  According to their website, “. Our emphasis includes combining excellent academics with character development, instilling the work ethic, and developing a spirit of community service in the next generation. With a current client base of over 30,000, Hewitt’s operation is currently divided into three sectors: services, testing, and products. Operating out of our facility in Washougal, Washington, we serve parents with students from kindergarten age through high-school.”

Lightning Literature at the high school level is meant to be covered over 18 weeks, however, we used a year-long pace since we were nearing the start of our summertime school schedule when this review started.  Both a semester-long and a year-long schedule are provided so families can use the one that best suits their needs.

img_3622

Students read, answer comprehension questions, complete literary lessons, writing exercises, along with reading articles which are sprinkled throughout the course that touch on late 19th through early 20th century British Christian Literature.  The four units, covering one of the four books, includes an introduction for the students to read, information about the selection, and information for while the student is reading.  Our daughter found these sections to be extremely useful.

Students are supposed to develop a vocabulary notebook and reading journal during the course.  For our purposes, instead of requiring our daughter to write everything out, we allowed her to complete the questions, vocabulary and reading journal on the computer using a word processing program.  I also permitted her to answer some of the questions orally to me rather than typing out her answers.

img_3623

The Student guide contains all the material the student needs to complete the course including an Introduction which discusses suggestions for reading and writing including brainstorming, outlining, revisions and citing research.  Suggestions for how to use the student guide are included along with Appendices that provide suggestions for Discussion Questions and Project Suggestions, additional reading suggestions, and schedules.  Plus there are suggestions for activities to enhance the student’s experience including developing a Vocabulary Notebook, a Reading Journal, Biographies and more.

img_3624

For each unit, there is an Introduction, Comprehension Questions, a Literary lesson – which for the first unit on C.S. Lewis is Writing a Five-paragraph essay.  Our daughter is working on narrowing her topic for her first essay on a hobby.  She is trying to decide between art and music.  We will see what she decides.  She plans on doing the brainstorming and outline for this first essay at the beginning of next week.

All of the Units follow the same basic pattern.  I look forward to reading and learning with our daughter throughout the remainder of the course.  She found the Student Guide easy to follow and easy to utilize.  For the Comprehension Questions, she found most of them straight forward, however a few required deeper thought and attention in order to answer.

 

img_3625

The Teacher Guide includes information about the Student Guide, the answers to the Comprehension Questions, Suggested Schedules for either a Semester Schedule or a Yearly Schedule, Writing Exercises, Discussion Questions, as well as project suggestions.  As one of our daughter’s projects, we decided she would memorize 1 Corinthians 13.  Our goal is to have her do a Bible Study with her father on fasting, but his schedule has not permitted that yet.

img_3626

You can find Hewitt Homeschooling Resources on Social Media at the following links:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/hewitthomeschooling
Twitter: https://twitter.com/hewittonline
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/hewittonline/
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/HewittOnline
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/hewittonline/

If you would like to read our earlier review of Shakespeare Tragedies, click here.

Other members of the Home School Review Crew are reviewing various products from Hewitt Homeschooling Resources this week, click here or on the graphic below to read additional reviews of this product along with other products for various grade levels.

320crew20disclaimer202016_zpscwpb9ywe

Review of Memoria Press’ Classical Composition I: Fable Set and Classical Composition II: Narrative Set

classical-composition-i-fable-set

classicalcomposition2-narrative-completeset-1

When I think of Classical Christian Education I think of Memoria Press so I choose the Classical Composition I: Fable Set  and Classical Composition II: Narrative Set to review with my daughter. For many years our family has strived for a Christian Classical Education for our children and finding the right Christian Classical Curriculum for our family has been essential to us.  That is why I was thrilled for our family to have the opportunity to review these two products.  Our 15-year-old daughter expressed excitement upon receiving these products.  These courses are recommended for grades 4-12, and I think these recommendations are perfect. Of course, the older the student, the more in-depth they will go and the higher the expectations will be.

The one thing I love about Memoria Press is the variety and quality of products they offer.  This company has been a favorite of our family since we began homeschooling.  So it seemed a natural progression to try their Classical Composition courses.  Classical Composition I: Fable Set and Classical Composition II: Narrative Set and we have enjoyed them so far.  The sets we received included both Teachers guides, both student workbooks, both sets of DVDs and a lesson plan booklet that covers both courses in a 34-week layout.

I love how the lesson plan booklet lays out everything in detail for each day, plus includes a checkbox for each day so I could mark off things as we completed them.  The lesson plan book also means if something happened and I was not around, our daughter could grab the lesson books and know exactly what to do.

We were so excited upon receiving these materials we just jumped right without utilizing the DVDs.  With the assistance of the teacher guide, we were able to figure out exactly what needed to be done, especially with the help of the Lesson Plan booklet.  We started off by reading the Teaching Guidelines at the beginning of both the Teacher’s Guide and the Student Workbook.  These clearly lay out the requirements, expectations, and layout of the assignments.  From the fables themselves to variations, outlines, narrations, paraphrases and even writing a final draft is described in detail.

The Teacher’s Guide also includes an advanced rubric for grading the student’s work.  There are even optional grammar requirements.  I found this extremely useful since we could utilize those requirements to help cover grammar instead of needing additional material.  There is also an introduction to the Fable Stage that describes imitation and suggestions for starting the writing journey.

As we began the actual lessons, our daughter expressed some distaste for reading out loud, but she is my introverted child.   So I really was not surprised by this.  As we moved through the exercises together, she really seemed to enjoy the lessons.  From writing down synonyms to writing outlines, variations, and paraphrases, she enjoyed all the activities.  She even enjoyed writing the final drafts.

The lessons on the DVDs are very well done and enjoyable to watch.  The information is presented in a way that is easy to follow along with what is being taught.  When the videos should be paused for the students to complete assignments, they are told to do so. Brent Vaden, the instructor on the DVDs, has the perfect voice for these DVDs.  He speaks clearly and is easy to understand.  Although I decided to watch the DVDs with our daughter and participate with her in the lessons, I feel she definitely could have completed the assignments on her own – especially with the help of the DVDs.

The lessons in both sets are designed to be spread out over 5 days a week for a two-week period.  This ensures there is time for doing variations (where the student changes the words from the original fable),  does an outline,  does a narration, and writes a final draft using paraphrases which genuinely fit the original story.

In Classical Composition II: Narrative, the layout of the materials reflects similarities to the Fables course.  The student watches the DVDs, does a reading, variations, paraphrases, outlines, additional variations and then writes a final draft.  Again the final draft is created on a separate sheet of paper. Brett Vaden provides the instruction for the DVDs, and he does an excellent job of teaching. the

All the work is done by the student in the consumable workbooks except for writing the final drafts, so this is a grab-and-go curriculum other than having the ability to watch the DVDs.  My daughter and I both are glad we decided to review these products.  If you would like to read additional reviews of Classical Composition I: Fable Set and Classical Composition II: Narrative Set or of other products from Memoria Press, click here or on the graphic below.

Logic-Penamanship-and-Classical-Compostion-Memoria-Press-Reviews

320crew20disclaimer202016_zpscwpb9ywe