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Hewitt Homeschooling Lightning Lit & Comp

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Trevor, while reading above grade/age level, is a very reluctant reader. This year, we plan to focus on some classics and boy adventures from the past that share all-American boy characters that haven’t been bitten by the “I need to be snarky to my parents” bug that so many kids have fallen prey to now, and is reflected in some current mainstream literature. {A side note: I am NOT saying that all contemporary literature is bad, nor am I saying that Trevor never reads snarky characters, I am just stating our decision to try to off-set that snarkiness with some classics. Trevor will still enjoy some of the books he currently loves – that I don’t – and will continue to receive a well-rounded, though grounded, exposure to children’s literature.}

So, when the opportunity to review 7th Grade Lightning Lit & Comp from Hewitt Homeschool Resources was presented to me, I eagerly accepted. This program, while several grade levels above Trevor’s, utilized some of the very stories I planned to expose him to. We received the Teacher’s Guide, the Student’s Guide, and the consumable Workbook. The works covered in the year-long program include: Rikki Tikki Tavi, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Stories and Poems for Extremely Intelligent Children of All Ages, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, The Story of My Life, All Creatures Great and Small.

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We tried out the first chapter – Rikki Tikki Tavi. I thought the program was well-designed and thought out, though I didn’t use the teacher’s guide all that much. It would be helpful to have, though, especially if you are unfamiliar with the stories or you don’t plan on reading with your child. I always read what my kids are reading, so I didn’t need the answer keys and probably wouldn’t purchase the teacher’s guide if I had to do it myself.

The Student Guide starts with a nice introduction to the piece the child will be reading, gives suggestions for what the child should be looking for as he reads, and includes a vocabulary list with definitions. This was helpful as some of the words were new to Trevor. The Student Guide also includes comprehension questions, a literary lesson {this one was on plot}, a mini lesson {writing another opening}, and writing assignments. The workbook contained extension activities related to each of the lessons in the Student Guide.

Overall, I think this is a great literature program for middle school readers. I think it is well-laid out, reasonably priced, and self-contained. While I think kids do better with some input from their parents when it comes to learning, this could be a mostly independent program once expectations are set up and timelines for completion are figured out.

For us, I might shelve it for a year. Trevor is certainly capable of reading most of these texts, and has the comprehension to be able to understand them, but developmentally, the writing is too much for an almost ten year old. He dictated most of his work to me in this chapter, and I could continue having him do that, but my goal is to grow him into an independent writer, and this {at this point in time} won’t get him there. That being said, I will likely pull this program out and use it, if not with him, with my highly gifted {and book-loving} Molly as soon as she is capable of handling it. I think she’ll eat it up.

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Disclosure: I received this product for review purposes. As always, all opinions are my own. To see what members of the TOS Review Crew thought about this and other Hewitt Homeschooling products click here. To see my complete disclosure policy click here.

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Colleen