Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Lightning Lit & Comp: American Literature (Early-Mid 19th century) by Hewitt Homeschooling -- my REVIEW

Are you homeschooling a high school student?  If so, I'm sure that you have been looking for literature courses to complement writing courses that they are taking.  I'm happy to tell you about this great resource from Hewitt Homeschooling that I had the opportunity to review.  The particular curriculum that I will be telling you about covers American Literature: Early-Mid 19th Century and it's more than just a literature course -- it includes writing (composition) as well -- as a matter of fact, it uses the composition to help the student more fully understand the literature (or perhaps vice versa!)

 Lightning Literature and Composition Pack
American: Early to Mid 19th Century
Check out the above picture:  the book on the left is the student's guide for this program, and the white in the center is the teacher's guide.  You may either purchase the four books shown along with the program or acquire them separately.  We chose to download an electronic version on the Kindle.  These are not the only pieces of literature used in the course, however; many others are printed right within the student's guide.  

The student's guide begins with an introductory section that speaks to the question many high schoolers ask, "Why read literature?"  It also walks the student through many different literary devices that will be seen throughout the course (things like how to read poetry, figurative language, tools for writing, how to write different things (fiction, research, poetry, etc), and more.)   Following the introductory material the student is walked through how to use the guide, including how to use the schedule in appendix C.  Scheduling is done in either a half-year or a full-year format; this is nicely laid out so that the student (and teacher!) can easily see what needs to be done when.

The chapters are in a form that merges reading literature with composition practice with different genres.  The first chapter centers on Benjamin Franklin's autobiography--with many comprehension questions for the student to answer as they work through the book (I really like this--it helps keep the student on track and focusing on the content!)  The composition portion of this chapter is on writing about yourself, whether it be a letter, a blog, a journal, or something else.  The student learns techniques and then gets to practice one or more in the writing exercises (for instance, in the autobiography section, one of the exercises is "Choose one of your hobbies and describe it.  Include the following information: How and when you got started, what exactly you do, and why it's important to you.")

After Franklin, the student moves on to Washington Irving, learning a bit about his life before reading a selection entitled "The Angler".  This study of American Literature Early-Mid 19th century includes many familiar authors, such as Edgar Allan Poe, Frederick Douglass, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Herman Mellville, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and more.  Each section focuses on reading and writing in a particular form.  

I am really pleased with this curriculum.  It is easy for my daughter to use independently -- and the comprehension questions really keep her on task.  The writing (and thinking!) exercises are fun as well as greatly help cement the literary form to the student.

 The book is written in a very student-friendly manner, easy to read, easy to follow (for example, the section on James Fenimore Cooper and the romantics begins with, "When you hear the word romance you probably think of books or movies about people falling in love.  That is a modern notion though, and does not correspond with the literary notion of 'romance.'" and then goes on to explain romanticism.)

The student guide presents literature in a way that is not intimidating, yet gives a full picture of the author, the piece being highlighted, and the literary form being illustrated by that work.

I'm sure that by now you have the idea that I really like this curriculum :)  I am so happy to have my daughter use it...and will probably also have my son and my younger daughter use it eventually!  I strongly recommend this course, American Literature Early-Mid 19th Century  by Hewitt Homeschooling.

As a matter of fact, I am so pleased with this one student guide that we got to review that we will probably look into using some of the other courses as well.  Hewitt Homeschooling has a whole series of Lightning Lit books for high schoolers as well as for younger students. Some of their other products include:
 as well as other resources.  Please check out their website to see their many offerings!

If you'd like to read review of more of the products in this series, please click on the link below:

Hewitt Homeschooling {Reviews}

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1 comment:

  1. I used Lightning Lit, Grade 1 with Xav and liked it so much I'm using it with Merrick in the fall. He's in K, so we'll probably spend a year and a half on it.