I am incredibly blessed to have helped the boys catch the ‘reading bug.’ They enjoy reading great books (and even some not so great ones) and when they take the required standards based tests here in Alaska they score in the advanced range for reading comprehension. Yet, I do not always feel like we do enough to truly delve into discussions about the books they are reading. (And, there is always room for improvement when it comes to comprehension.)
Hewitt Homeschooling’s Lightning Literature is a program that is helping me to dig a little deeper with my 7th grader right now. The reading of a story is the easy part for him. It’s all the rest that takes a bit more effort.
There are a few books that you need to have on hand for the course. You start with the story “Rikki-Tikki-Tavi” in the book Stories & Poems for Extremely Intelligent Children. As we needed to wait for that book to arrive after ordering it, I had R go ahead and start working on The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. I suspected he’d enjoy the book and for the most part I was right. For several weeks of the suggested schedule, the student reads a few chapters of the novel and then goes through reading comprehension questions with their teacher. He did fairly well doing these orally with me instead of trying to write down his answers.
Once the other book arrived, we switched gears in reverse and started the first 3 weeks of the schedule. He really enjoyed Rikki-Tikki-Tavi as a story and nailed the comprehension questions. But, once he needed to start completely sheets in a student workbook he slowed down the pace and started to ‘misplace’ the book in a classic work avoidance manner. So we are stuck about half way through the 2nd week as I keep encouraging him to work on the different activities. Some of those activities are ‘fun’ while others do cause the student to exercise the brain a bit.
More About Lightning Literature and Composition, 7th Grade
Hewitt’s Lightning Lit guides use full-length novels, autobiographies, plays, essays, short stories, and poems to teach deep reading and composition skills. Unlike some literature programs that take a scatter-shot approach (where none of the literature seems connected) or that try to include too much into one book, Lightning Literature guides focus on a few classics in depth, in a systematic manner.
The grade 7 and 8 guides are year-long courses consisting of a student guide, a student workbook, and a teacher guide. The Student Guide includes biographies of the authors, vocabulary, comprehension questions, lessons on the readings, additional lessons on composition, and writing exercises. The Student Workbook is consumable. The Teacher Guide includes a teaching schedule, answers to comprehension questions, answers to the workbook pages, extra teaching help for the lessons, help in choosing appropriate writing exercises, and discussion questions.
The books used with the program are The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, All Creatures Great and Small, The Story of My Life (Helen Keller), and Stories and Poems for Extremely Intelligent Children. You can purchase them in a package with the teacher and student materials through Hewitt Homeschooling.
You can find out more about this program and others at the Hewitt Homeschooling website. Lightning Literature for 7th grade is available in a full package including the required books for $91.73 plus shipping.
Disclaimer ~ We were sent the materials referenced in the above post to facilitate a review as a member of the Schoolhouse Review Crew. No monetary compensation occurred and all opinions are my own. You can see what other Crewmates had to say about this product and others by visiting the Schoolhouse Review Crew website.