Monday, July 9, 2012

CREW Review- Lightning Literature

Have I mentioned we read a lot of books in this family?  Yes, I thought so.  Many of the books we read are just for pleasure, but a good amount are for our schoolwork.  Literature alone has been known to encompass up to 30 plus books in one school year.  Not bad for 2 girls who love, love, love to read and do so quickly; a little overwhelming to many others though, including my middle boy.  As my husband asked me a few days ago- what is the goal?  To read as many books as you can (don't answer, girls) or read a few good classics, enjoy AND comprehend them.  Good point, honey!

Enter Hewitt Homeschooling and their Lightning Literature programs.  We were blessed this time around to be able to review their high school level British Medieval program, my 14 year old daughter's choice.  This level includes four novels, which can be purchased separately, and four additional selections which are included in the Literature/Student's Guide. Book titles include:
Piers the Ploughman
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
Canterbury Tales

Hewitt recommends doing a package each semester thus covering 8 novels in a year.  They do supply a year schedule in addition to the semester schedule if you choose to go at a slower pace.  Both schedules, found in the Teacher's Guide, are broken down into weekly bites which allows you to customize each day's lesson.  In each lesson you will find a solid overview of the assigned book including historical background and facts and things to be looking for as you read it, followed by questions to be answered after reading. In addition, each assignment has a literary lesson that is taught such as foreshadowing in Beowulf to Humor in Canterbury Tales.  We found the weekly workload to be quite manageable and the questions thorough, covering not only the who, what and when, but also, as my daughter says, the "make you think" questions.  Luckily for you as a teacher, the answers to all questions can be found in the separate Teacher's Guide, as well as tips and forms for grading. 

In Unit One, the first lesson was focused on  the reading of Beowulf and the literary lesson of foreshadowing.  That is covered in two weeks if you are following the semester schedule as we were. 

In weeks three and four a writing assignment is started as well as the second lesson, Anglo-Saxon Riddles, a new, but fun topic for both of us!  Suggested writing assignments are found at the end of each unit .  We loved the idea that the student could have some say in what they wanted to write about, a great incentive for kids this age.

I will admit that when I first saw the program I was doubtful it could indeed cover all you need for a year's worth of High School Literature, but I have since realized how mistaken I was!  There is a wealth of information in each guide and enough work to keep a student busy without adding busy work.  Each packaged set, which includes the Teacher's Guide, Literature/Student's Guide and books, costs between $46.56 and $58.30, a great value for your money.  As a side note:  even if you already have a few of the books listed, I would recommend you order the ones Hewitt offers.  We used our own copy of Beowulf and some of the chapters and pages did not line up with the lesson plans.  Obviously, that is a minor inconvenience to overcome, but it did bug my daughter, none the less. 

You should also check out what fellow CREW mates have to say about Hewitt by clicking on the banner below, as we all reviewed different packages including American Lit., British Lit., World Lit., Christian Authors, and Shakespeare as well as 7th and 8th grade levels which are slightly different in that they have a workbook as well.  I LOVE the books they offer in the 7th and 8th grade levels as well as the many other quality products within other subjects you will find in their catalog and on their website!



Our bottom line- for this price you cannot go wrong!
Cost for British Medieval per the catalog:
Complete pack-$58.30 (includes both guides and four main reading selections.  (Short pieces studied such as stories, poems, essays, etc. are included in the guides)
Literature/Student's Guide- $29.95
Teacher Guide- $2.95
**  Right now, during their spring sale, British Medieval is 33% off!
Disclaimer- We received the British Medieval Student Guide and Teacher's Guide in exchange for our honest review of this product.  All opinions are our own and were not influenced by the company in any way.

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