Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Lightning Literature and Composition Pack: American Literature - Early-Mid 19th Century (Review)

Today's review features Lightning Literature and Composition Pack  American Early-Mid 19th Century from Hewitt Homeschooling.   This is a one semester (18 week) literature and composition curriculum.   We received both the student and teachers guide for this review.

The student guide is softback, but with a lovely glossy cover, and it includes 176 pages.  The student guide starts off with 21 pages of how and why to use this product, followed by 4 units, broken into 8 lessons.   There is also an 18 week schedule, and 36 week schedule as well (if you decide to go that route).  Students will need the unabridged copies of the following books:  The Autobiography and Other Writings (Benjamin Franklin); Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass: An American Slave Written by Himself (Frederick Douglas); The Scarlet Letter (Nathaniel Hawthorne); Moby-Dick (Herman Melville).

The teachers guide is a simple 3-hole punched, stapled together, 56 page document.  It  contains answers to all the discussion questions, grading tips and checklists, and grading rubrics.   Also included in the teachers guide is the writing exercises and project suggestions so that you can see what your student is supposed to be doing without having to take their guide away, grins.

There are four units in the student book, and each unit contains 2 lessons.   Each lesson consists of the weeks reading assignment, comprehension question and writing assignments.   There are typically several (7-10) writing assignments that allows the student some control as they pick the one or ones to do.  Obviously, the parent can assign more or different assignments if a student leans towards always picking the "easy" work.

There are also three Appendices included in the student book.   The first contains discussion questions (different from the ones in the lessons) and project suggestions,  additional reading by unit and then the semester and full year schedules.

Olivia loved the first book about Benjamin Franklin.   She also liked the fact that the comprehension questions were broken down into sections so she could focus on the each section instead of having to remember every single thing at the end of the book.   The writing assignments that went along with this unit were great, and since she had to write about herself (studying the autobiography) it allowed her to write about something that she obviously knew a lot about, alleviating the need for research right at the beginning of the class.

I had planned to work this product into Olivia's fall curriculum stack.  However, after working through the first book, I felt like the reading was going to be too heavy if we did the 18 weeks, and didn't feel it would be enough if I stretched it out to the 36 weeks.   That is not meant as a jab at the curriculum, I really like the layout and the style, but with all the other heavy courses we had going on this year I didn't feel like it would be wise to add anything else.

To read other Review Crew reviews of products from this vendor, click here.

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