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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Review: Hewitt Homeschooling (TOS Review)

Hewitt Homeschooling Review
Hewitt Homeschooling Review
We really enjoyed our review product from Hewitt Homeschooling.  We used Lightning Literature and Composition: Grade 1 Student Workbook and
Lightning Literature and Composition: Grade 1 Teacher's Guide.  If you are a regularly follower of my blog you may recall that my oldest (almost 8, 3rd grade) is not a fan of writing.  He struggles with it a bit, so I opted to try out the Grade 1 curriculum.  It is recommended for Grades 1-2.
This curriculum is literature, composition, writing and grammar.  Each week focuses on a new book chosen from a wide variety of children’s classics. 
Here are a few of the book selections for this curriculum.  Many listed were books that we already owned.  They are common, popular childhood stories.  They are easily found for purchase or at your local library.
2014-07-28 20.51.27
The curriculum is designed on a 4 days a week program, with the 5th day as a catch up (if needed).  This worked well for us, as we typically only school 3-4 days a week.  Each week the lesson is based on one book.  Since my son is older and is an avid reader, he was able to read the literature choices himself; sometimes I read them to him (he still likes to be read to).
The teacher’s manual contains comprehension questions to go with the stories, as well as other teacher directed activities. The writing process for the final paper of the week is written out in a step by step, day by day process.  This was nice, because it made the task of writing a story, much simpler for my son.  He didn’t feel overwhelmed with the task, he had several days to plan it out, we talked about it, and then sometimes he would dictate and later copy, or he would write a rough draft himself and then a final copy.
The student workbook has colorful pictures, easy to read instructions, plenty of writing space for the assignments.  In addition to the workbook and literature choices you also need a journal or writing paper for the weekly writing assignment.  The workbook pages are labeled by days of the week, which can be a bit confusing if you aren’t following that schedule precisely.  I would prefer if they said Day 1, Day 2 – instead of Monday, Tuesday…
We tried at first to keep the pages in the book when working on them (to keep them all together), but the book was too thick and it became difficult for him to write.  The pages do easily rip out though and they are hole punched to place in a binde.
The writing and grammar was my main interest with this curriculum, since writing is our struggle. He enjoyed the subjects assigned each week for writing.  I feel that the subject of writing improved quite a bit with the use of this curriculum over the last several weeks.  My son had a great time revisiting old stories (ones he had read in the past).  He completed the assignments without too much complaining. 
Some weeks have alphabet pages where you list a wide variety of words in a particular subject (ie fruits and vegetables, emotions, reptiles and amphibians).  He had fun learning new words. 
2014-07-09 11.58.512014-07-28 20.52.50
We did not start with Week 1, we went with what books we had on hand and did the lessons in order starting with the first book we had, and moving forward that way.  Ideally this curriculum would be used in order, as the lessons to build on each other grammatically and also with literature terms.  Most of the grammar covered in the books we have already covered, so that was not an issue, our main focus was to work on writing. 
This curriculum could also be used to focus on comprehension and literature alone if you have an early reader who isn’t strong in writing, or would be a perfect balance and combination curriculum for reading and language arts.  It could easily be adapted to fit your child’s learning needs. 
We will be continuing with this curriculum for writing practice mostly at this stage.  Since my son is 3rd grade and we have covered most of the literature and grammar concepts.
I love the use of literature to teach reading, writing and language arts!  It’s a great combination and made it much more enjoyable for my son.  Writing truly has been a struggle for us, and this helped ease the painfulness of it for both of us!
The teacher’s guide is available for $29.95 and the student workbook is available for $49.95.  I only wish they had PDF versions available!  Grade 2 and 3 programs are in the works, I’ll be keeping my eye out for them! 
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