Friday, August 1, 2014

Schoolhouse Review: Hewitt Homeschooling #hsreviews

Hewitt Homeschooling Review

My favorite subject in college was, by far, British Literature.  I was enthralled with it all.  Sir Durr made the poetry and stories come to life as he led us on an exploration of the Romantics.  I was thrilled to take my first trip abroad with him to merry old England and see the places and the people that we had discussed in class firsthand.  Because of this, I was excited to introduce British Literature to Long Leaf Academy a few years ago through Hewitt Homeschooling when we studied Shakespeare:  Comedies and Sonnets and then I jumped at the chance to share Early-Mid 19th Century British Lit this summer.

Lightning Literature and Composition:  British Literature Early-Mid 19th Century Student's Guide ($29.95) is a 233-page perfect bound course written directly to the student.  The 4 units are divided into 8 lessons and contain enough material to be considered a 1/2 English credit on the high school transcript.  Hewitt Homeschooling recommends that all Lightning Literature courses be completed in one semester (that's the "lightning" part of this curriculum).  The rigorous schedule is perfect for students on an Honor's track.  Due to summer craziness, we've been using British Early-Mid 19th Century three days a week, but plan to use it five days a week when we return to our normal school schedule.  For purposes of this review, we followed the Full Year Schedule.  

So far, we have studied the poetry of William Blake through descriptive tone, comparing and contrasting poems from all three phases of his writing career and studied characterization through the pages of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice.   I especially like that the readings are broken down into do-able chunks.  After reading the assigned chapters, students answer 9 - 20 comprehension questions to make sure they are reading carefully and not rushing through anything.  The emphasis is on responding to great literature through composition, not just checking off a task.  

Each unit's lessons follows the same pattern:  Introduction and bio of author which includes details about the literary selection and things to look for/think about while you read, Comprehension Questions to answer as you complete a reading assignment (or to use for testing what has been read), a Literary Lesson that teaches the craft of writing (think tone, character, point of view, and setting), Writing Exercises that offer practice of the skills being taught, and a historical description of the genre being read and studied.  

Lightning Literature and Composition:  British Literature Early - Mid 19th Century Teacher's Guide ($2.95) is an 88-page, 3-hole punched set of answer guides that contain grading tips, a proposed schedule to complete the work in either one semester or two (depending on the abilities/motivation of your students), answers to all comprehension questions, writing exercises, and suggested discussion questions and projects.  Well worth the money, this valuable resource helps you to follow your student's progress while encouraging literary excellence.  For easy reference, I added the Teacher's Guide to my school planning binder.  This way the answers were easily accessible and I could make sure we stayed on schedule.

Recommended for students in grades 9 -12, but perfect for my 8th and 10th graders to work on together, Lightning Literature is easy to implement and simple to understand.  Due to the strenuous nature of this course, it is recommended that students who take British Literature Early - Mid 19th Century have previously taken at least one other high school level Lightning Literature course, but that is not a necessity.  All required literature was easily obtained as free downloads for our Kindles and Kindle Apps or you can purchase the literature pack from Hewitt Homeschooling.  You can also find all of the required reading at your local library.  Required reading includes Pride and Prejudice, Ivanhoe, Frankenstein, and Jane Eyre.  Other selections studied (poetry and book excerpts) are included in the text.

You can see the nature of the course in the Table of Contents and read a Sample Chapter to get a great feel for the course.  Find out more about all of the wonderful Hewitt Homeschooling products through the following Social Media outlets:

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I was given the opportunity to review this Lightning Literature and Composition by Hewitt Homeschooling as a member of the Schoolhouse ReviewCrew.   You can check out the Crew Review and see what other members of the Schoolhouse ReviewCrew thought of this and other products as well (or just click on the banner below.)

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