Hewitt Homeschooling
My daughter and I were recently given the opportunity to review a reading and writing program I had never heard of before.  It is called the Grade 2 Lightning Lit Set from Hewitt Homeschooling.  For this review, we received the Teacher’s Guide and Student Workbook.  All of the literature selections we either had on hand or borrowed from the library.

This Literature and Composition program is available for the different grade levels so children can begin with the program when they are young and move up with it.  It contains literature, grammar and mechanics, and composition. One lesson leads to the next so moving sequentially is pretty important most of them.

Here are some of the other topics the program covers:

• Capitalization
• Plurals
• Parts of speech including nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs
• Synonyms and Antonyms
• Punctuation
• Subjects and Predicates
• Sentence Diagramming
• Poetry terms including things like line, stanza, rhyme, repetition, and more
• Fiction vs. Nonfiction
• Writing things like personal essays, friendly letters, poems, and more

The student work is a consumable item that is bursting at over 300 pages.  The program can cover an entire 36 week school year.  This book even includes a dictionary in the back.  In addition to the Teacher’s Guide and Student book, you’ll need 26 more literature books.  You can see a list of those here.

The teacher’s guide is also quite substantial at 350 pages in size.  It really gives you detailed information about how to use the program.  You get a description for leading discussions complete with questions to get your started.  This is also where you’ll find the directions for compositions and answers to just about everything.  If you want a more in-depth study on the fifth day of the week they even give you some ideas for extended study.

The lessons begin with a picture study that you repeat every day for the week.  The program provides you with comprehension questions and such so you’ll be prepared to engage your child in conversation about the book.  Along the way you work on grammar and use a reading journal.  Your child will complete pages in the workbook, work through sentence puzzles, and he/she will complete a composition as well.  The last day of the week is lighter and can be used as a review to complete any work missed during the rest of the week.

How We Use This Program

I’ve been using this with my 7-year-old daughter Joyanna. Like many kids her age, her reading level far surprises how well she writes.  We were typically able to get all of the work for the week done in 3-4 days.  The lessons are well laid out with clear guidance for me, the teacher.  The days are broken down for you.  This is really an open and go curriculum and I truly appreciate that.  The answers are all provided for me in the teacher’s book making for quick and easy reference and teaching.

The writing exercises are well thought out and broken into easy steps.  It really helped my daughter feel capable and less overwhelmed.  Since her writing endurance is still lacking I often had her dictate at least some of the work to me and I did the physical writing for her.

Our Overall Thoughts

As a homeschool mother and curriculum reviewer, I really appreciate this program.  I love how it is all laid out for me and I can stick to the lessons or use them as a jumping off point but either way, I don’t have to do a ton of prep.  I appreciate everything the program is aiming to teach my child.  She learned quite a bit in the six weeks we were working through the program.  Her one stumbling block is that she just doesn’t have the endurance for writing yet.  I don’t want to give you an impression that there is an extreme amount of writing here, there isn’t. I’d say based on my 20 years of experience working with children it is completely appropriate.  I just happen to have a child lacking in the strength in this area.  We got around it easily with dictation.  And her endurance has improved with the regular practice this program has provided.

My one concern is the literature required.  It’s a fantastic selection.  If you purchase them they will be a treasured addition to your library.  If that is beyond your means it may be tricky to get them all from the library.  My local library didn’t have most of them.  However, I live in a state with a wonderful interlibrary loan program so it wasn’t an issue for me.  I have access to a statewide library system.  Even then there are a couple I’d have to buy.  It’s just a point to keep in mind.

Lightning Lit is available for the following grades:

You can also check out their extensive high school level programs on their website.

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