Thursday, June 29, 2017

Hewitt Homeschooling ~ A Review

Hewitt Homeschooling  offers a balanced, flexible, and complete approach to homeschooling. My daughter has been working through the Grade 3 Lightning Lit Set over the past weeks. This set covers literature, comprehension, grammar, and composition.

You can purchase the whole set including the books on the site or you can purchase the curriculum and get the books elsewhere. 

The novels covered in the 3rd grade set are:
  • Sarah, Plain and Tall
  • Rickshaw Girl
  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
  • Ramona and Her Father
  • The Big Wave
  • Charlotte's Web
  • The Tale of Despereaux 
Exposing your children to great literature is essential to a well rounded education. From the early classics such as Winnie the Pooh to upper level novels such as Jane Eyre reading great literature is a huge part of our homeschool education. I was so very excited to get this literature set and set out on the many adventures awaiting us. My daughter is more than capable of reading these books on her own but I chose to read some of them aloud or take turns reading with her. All of the books chosen for this level were great choices. Third grade is a bit of a pivotal transition year and Hewitt chose 3rd grade to be the year to choose only chapter books for their selections.

My daughter was excited about all of the book choices. I am glad that some of the books have been made into movies because I want my daughter to see that more than not the books are far superior to the movie. My daughter was already familiar with most of the books. Several we have already read in the past but never did anything beyond just reading them. My daughter was most excited about reading Charlotte's Web because she loves the story so much.

"It is not often that someone comes along who is a true friend and a good writer."
~Charlotte's Web~

Student Workbook
The student workbook is very colorful and 3rd grader friendly. The curriculum is set up based on a 4 day a week schedule with the 5th day for enrichment. Days 1-4 are clearly labeled at the top of each page. Some of the books like The Big Wave will only take a week to complete while others will take a couple of weeks.

Activities included in the student workbook include:
  • fill in the blank
  • short answer
  • diagramming 
  • puzzles
  • arranging
  • underlining and identifying 
  • listing
At the end of each novel that your student reads they will write short answers to the following questions:
  • What this poem is about
  • What I think of this poem
  • My favorite line is

In between the novels your student will read and analyze poetry for The Random House Book of Poetry. Just like reading the novels your student will complete activities on Day 1-4. At the end of the week they will answer the following questions:
  • What this poem is about
  • What I think of this poem
  • My favorite line is
Hewitt does a fantastic job at having the students interact with the poems beyond just reading them. Students are encouraged to memorize some of the poetry. They will learn about the different genres of poetry and be introduced to basic poetry definitions.

Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought
and the thought has found words.
~Robert Frost~

The poetry book chosen is a great addition to the 3rd grade set. Children at this age are like sponges and this is the perfect time for memorization. Beyond just reading the student really learns to interact with the poem. This is also a great time to learn about the poets behind the poems. The book is filled with whimsical pictures. Some of the poems are very short while others are a bit longer. Students are encouraged to try their hand at writing their own poems. 

At the end of the student workbook there is a section entitled Dictionary Pages where your student can write new words that they learn throughout their study. 

Teacher's Guide
I was very impressed with the detail that the guide provides the teacher. The guide starts out with a section entitled, How to Use this Teacher's Guide, that explains each part of the curriculum explaining what your child will learn as well as the reasons behind the methods used. For example when talking about discussion questions it states that your child will have questions of various types. Some of the question will be literal questions taken directly from the reading. In addition to the literal questions your child will be asked to answer inferential, evaluative, reflective, as well as predictive questions. These questions help prepare the student for more advanced academia. 

A section entitled, Tailoring This Course to Your Needs covers topics such as the reluctant or struggling student to the student that may need to be challenged a bit more. Enrichment activities given on day 5 encourage the student to explore the book or poem in greater detail. The enrichment section allows the student to explore the author, content, and concepts found in the reading into areas such as science, history, and art. 

For example, while reading the book Rickshaw Girl your student is challenged to learn about Bangladesh. A fun suggestion is to see if your city has any bicycle rickshaws that you can catch a ride on. 

I would most definitely recommend this curriculum to others. This was a great fit for our family and I will be purchasing the next level once we complete this one. 

"The difference between the right word and the almost-right word is the difference between the lightning and the lightening bug."
~Mark Twain~ 
To read more reviews click here.

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