Lightning Literature & Composition - 7th Grade

     This summer, Briyah and I have been thankful and blessed to review the 7th Grade Lightning Literature & Composition program from Hewitt Homeschooling Resources, for the Schoolhouse Review Crew. Our family loves literature and our primary educational philosophies are in line with classical education methods. The Hewitt Homeschooling courses are suitable for any homeschooling method, and are highly suitable for classical and/or Charlotte Mason educators.

     The Lightning Literature & Composition series offers quality works of literature for both junior high and high school age levels. The 7th Grade program covers two (18 weeks each) semesters of course work which includes three core texts: Teacher’s Guide ($20), Student’s Guide ($20), and Student’s Workbook ($20).

     Wonderful works of literature are covered for the full year course for 7thGrade:
  • “Rikki-Tikki-Tavi” by Rudyard Kipling from Stories & Poems for Extremely Intelligent Children 
  • The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
  • Assorted poems from Stories & Poems for Extremely Intelligent Children 
  • Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carrol
  • "The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky” a short story by Stephen Crane from Stories & Poems...
  • The Story of My Life by Helen Keller 
  • All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot

     Our family had many of these titles within our home library and they are available at our public library. Hewitt Homeschooling Resources also offers a convenient Grade 7 pack which includes all of the literature resources and the three core texts of the program ($91.73). They also sell the books on an individual basis if you need to order one or two titles to correspond with books you have on hand.

     The lessons are laid out in the Student Guide in a highly beneficial manner which encourages independent work and critical thinking. The three core texts of the 7th Grade program ensure that very little preparation time is needed for the busy homeschool mom. When using this program, I simply needed to read some introductory information on the lesson, and Briyah was able to read through her own daily lesson in the Student Guide for instruction and guidance on what she would complete each day. Briyah was able to work primarily on an independent basis and then we were able to join together for discussion of the literature works. Each chapter of the Student Guide includes a helpful introduction to give an overview of the material, vocabulary, comprehension questions, literary lesson, mini-lesson, and writing exercises. Additional activities are included in the Student Workbook. One aspect that we appreciated about this curriculum is that the lessons are set up for a weekly basis rather than a set five day schedule. This allows for flexibility for homeschool families to set up their course according to the days they would like to work on literature.

     The lessons cover a broad range of literary topics and skills such as plot lines, poetry, autobiography, creativity outlines, brainstorming, character analysis, and dialogue. Our favorite features were the extensive vocabulary lists (we are such word nerds!) pulled out of each literature work and the comprehension questions which covered a thorough discussion of each work. Our preference for the comprehension questions was to use these for oral Socratic-style discussion of the literature works as a family. As a homeschooling parent, you could choose to assign the comprehension questions as a written assignment. This course allows enough flexibility that it is highly adaptable for various homeschooling methods and learning styles. You can check out a sample at this link!

     The 7th Grade program covers a specific series of books and literary lessons, but the curriculum is also adaptable to other grade levels. You can use this series to teach multi-age students within your family. The course work is best suited for junior high level, but an accelerated 5th or 6th grade student that loves literature, would benefit from this program.

     Our family enjoyed reviewing this course so much that we have added it to our course line-up for the 2012/2013 year. Briyah has already begun spying out the high school level courses which include great works of literature that she would like to read in the future. The Schoolhouse Review Crew reviewed a full product line by Hewitt Homeschooling Resources, so please stop by and check out the other great reviews that are offered.

Happy Homeschooling!

DISCLAIMER: Any products reviewed by me as a member of the Schoolhouse Review Crew have been given to me free of charge in order for me to provide you with an honest review of the product.