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Aug 1, 2014

Hewitt Homeschool: Lightning Lit Grade 1 Review

Hewitt Homeschooling Review

In 1983, the Hewitt Research Foundation's focus shifted to the family unit.  The foundation was begun in 1964 by Carl Hewitt and author Dr. Raymond Moore who wrote several books on education, including Better Late Than Early.  Hewitt Homeschooling currently provides homeschoolers with services, testing (PASS test), and curriculum.  I had been looking into various standardized testing options for the boys when I first learned of Hewitt Homeschooling.  When the Schoolhouse Review Crew offered the opportunity to review one of Hewitt's offerings, I was happy to select Lightning Literature & Composition Grade 1 Student Workbook for Xavier and the Lightning Literature & Composition Grade 1 Teacher's Guide.

Hewitt Homeschooling Review

I loved Lightning Lit the second I saw it.  It's gorgeous.  And purple.  Though I don't suggest choosing your home education materials based on their covers!  This literature based curriculum is full of fun books, some we own and have read often (Caps for Sale), some we borrowed from the library (Madeline), and some we actually let Levar Burton have read to us (Chickens Aren't the Only Ones).  That's right.  I couldn't get Chickens at the library, so I googled it and found an entire Reading Rainbow episode featuring that book!  Xav is just beginning to really be a good reader and he has had no trouble reading these classic selections to me.

Lightning Lit Grade 1 also uses Aesop's Fables for a little literary extra.  Once each week, you read a fable together and discuss the moral of the story.  Aesop's Fables for Children is available from Hewitt Homeschooling, if you'd like to purchase it there.  If you get it elsewhere, some fables may not be included, depending on the version you purchase, but you can read any of them in the place of a missing fable.

I received the grade 1 Teacher's Guide and Student Workbook.
    Lightning Literature and Composition Grade 1 Student Workbook
Soft-cover, 440 perforated, hole-punched, course pages followed by a student created dictionary, $49.95

The writing spaces in the workbook are 5/8".  That's a good size for the intended age, I think.  They don't really need anything bigger.  Colorful, clipart decorates the pages.  The variety of assignments is wonderful.  You'll even find work suitable for the non-writer.  If the writing required is too much, you are free to take dictation.  The composition focus is solely on learning the elements required to create quality writing.  Spelling is secondary, as an inability shouldn't interfere with brainstorming, compiling and writing big ideas.  Xav finds most of the activities fairly fun and he is learning most concepts quickly.

The only thing I did not like about this workbook is the glossy paper.  We couldn't use our erasable colored pencils or even just any old pencil.  Only a fairly good quality #2 pencil would work and the results in the book with that didn't wow me.  Writing in it is a bit frustrating for Xavier.

    Lightning Literature and Composition Grade 1 Teacher's Guide 
Soft-cover, 302 course pages followed by reproducible composition pages in three sizes, $29.95. 
A week of Lightning Lit looks like this.
  • Monday
  1. Literature - read the book and answer comprehension question.
  2. Grammar and Mechanics - introducing new ideas in bite size pieces for littles.
  3. Composition- decide on a topic to write about for the week.
  • Tuesday
  1. Literature - narration.  The child retells the story in his own words.
  2. Grammar and Mechanics - editing, using the concept learned on Monday.
  3. Composition - brainstorming ideas for the writing topic.
  4. Reading Journal - writing or dictating sentences about the story.
  • Wednesday
  1. Literature - read the book and answer inferential questions, requiring your student to think in a deeper manner about the story.
  2. Grammar and Mechanics - either sentence writing to introduce and practice structure, or an alphabet to fill in on a certain topic (colors, weather, etc.).
  3. Composition - write a rough draft.
  • Thursday
  1. Literature - An Aesop's fable.  This is unrelated to the weekly book and grammar topic, but is a very nice complimentary addition.
  2. Grammar - fill in the blank, short answer review.
  3. Composition - write rough draft.
  • Friday - this is a free day.  It can be used as a day off, for a catch up day, or for the Extending the Lesson ideas included in the Teacher's Guide.
Each lesson begins with a Week at a Glance page.  Here you will find a quick summary of the book for the week, the fable to read, optional materials, the grammar and mechanics topic(s),and the composition theme.

Interestingly enough, the Teacher's Guide did not have the same glossy paper as the student workbook.  While parents are less limited by writing utensils, this book actually has paper more like I would expect in the workbook.

We are having so much fun with Lightning Literature and Composition Grade 1, I have applied to be a field tester for the new Lightning Lit Grade 3!  That one's for Malachi.

Lightning Lit is available for grades one, two (new this fall), seven, and eight, as well as several high school options, including Shakespeare.  Lightning Literature and Composition Grade 1 is listed for 1st grade, but was also just right for our rising 2nd grader.

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Jul 28, 2014

Week in Review 6/29/14

Happy birthday, America!

    In my life this week…
Merrick is starting to realize letters make words.  
Telling me the letters on the Uno Moo! game.  "U. N. O. Mommy. M. O. O. I. spell mommy!"  He sees a random M on the milk jug and tells me it spells milk.  Now if he could just learn numbers and colors as easily as he has learned letters and sounds. 

Bushnell finally sent me a rebate that I applied for in January.  The time on the phone and digging out receipts and resubmitting forms was probably not worth $30.  Next time I buy a game camera or binoculars, they will be a different brand.  

    In our homeschool co-op this week... 
Picnic at the beach day.

Merrick didn't want to walk through the rain puddles left over from the downpour right before we got there.

    What we're reading... 
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Skylark (the sequel to Sarah, Plain and Tall)

I'm reading Hiking Through about Paul Stutzman's hike on the Appalachian Trail.

    Helpful tips or advice to share…

Don't be a jerk.

    Places we’re going and people we’re seeing…
Iguanas church VBS closing was Sunday.  Some boys were wiped right out.

After that we ran to Walmart, then home.  To rest.  Zzzzzzzzz...

We went to the world's smallest parade.  It probably wasn't really, but it only lasted about 15 minutes.  The boys got the largest treat haul, they've ever had there!  Then we stopped at the tiny library and found a Lego book to be inspired by.

    What Micah is doing...
Still plugging away on the treehouse.  Bit by bit.

Micah got me this fantabulous cupcake for no apparent reason.  Yummo!

He also ran in a race Saturday morning before the parade.  He is too fast and we arrived too late to cheer him on. 

    We rewarded the kids this week by…

We don't often offer rewards, but this week each boy was allowed to choose a movie from the $5 bin.  After all the craziness that is VBS week x 2, they were well behaved and cooperative at both locations.  Mal chose Kung Fu Panda and Xav hemmed and hawed until Dad suggested The Lego Movie, decidedly not a $5 movie.  Now I get to hear that song all the time.  You know the one.  UGH.

    A photo, video, link, or quote to share (silly, serious or both!)…

A science calendar for July.  Yes, I know it's almost over by the time I'm posting this, but you can still use it!

Jul 26, 2014

Quilt - Little Boy Fun

My mom made this quilt for The Bigger when he was Merrick's age.  She made a toddler bed for him and this was his first big blanket.  Those tiny little crib blankets are pathetic.  They couldn't be tucked in like the blankets on a regular bed.  When you are in a big kid toddler bed, you need a big kid blanket.

Dave liked astronauts.  This quilt is about 27 years old.  Every one of The Littles have used this quilt.  As you can see, Merrick is pleased to be the latest owner.

Mom hand-tied this quilt and made it with cheery yellow trim.

Week in Review 6/22/14 Double Dose of VBS

Xav on the back porch, reading his Bible.
    In my life this week…
Merrick has decided it is time to start asking "Why?" a lot.

    In our homeschool this week…
We were on light duty this week.  I had some review items to keep up on, but we had two VBS every day.  I didn't realize how tiring that would be.

    What we're reading... 
Sarah, Plain and Tall

     Around the yard...
Micah bought me hens and chicks for the yard last year.  They make me think of my gramma and I've planted them at almost every place I've lived.  This year something happened that I never heard of before.  Apparently, this is a rooster.


Places we’re going and people we’re seeing…
Vacation Bible School and Vacation Bible School.  In the morning we headed to a nearby Methodist church for Weird Animals and in the evening we drove over to "Iguanas Church" (the Baptist church where we sometimes attend Awana, yes they call it iguanas) for Arrow Island, a tropical paradise.

Morning VBS did not have a class for Merrick.  We spent time at a school playground...

Merrick desperately wanted to play on the pirate ship.  He pushed, pulled, and kicked the fence.
 A town playground, the library, and just hanging out with friends.

At Weird Animals, Mal and Xav learned about the axolotl, leafy sea dragon, and other weird animals as well as Jesus Christ.

At evening VBS, they offered classes for ages 2-adult.  Merrick actually got to attend and he loved it!  This was at "Iguanas" church, so I had no problem with that.  Actually, the first night, Micah and I had an errand to run and we decided to do that alone after we signed the boys into their groups.  The rest of the week, I attended the adult VBS right along with the boys.

Iguanas church always goes all out for VBS!

Thursday morning, we found Xav sleeping in the recliner in the living room.  He did not want to miss VBS

I even got to talk with a new co-op mom who was also attend the adult class.  She and her sons visited Friday School last spring and decided they wanted to join in with our kooky group of homeschoolers.

One day, on the way out to evening VBS, I grabbed my binoculars.  I wanted to get a better look at the birds in a giant nest on the way over.  I used my phone's camera to take these pictures through the binoculars.

    A photo, video, link, or quote to share (silly, serious or both!)…
When The Bigger shared a video with me of some little remote helicopter thing with a camera interacting with smiling people all over town, I was completely creeped out.  Some stranger, sitting on a rooftop, flying around spying on people.  Ummm.  No.  Not cool.  But I guess I am the only one who sees a problem with this.  Well, this woman who was spied upon probably isn't feeling the love either.

Just to balance that out, here's one of the funniest videos about businesses and engineering I've ever seen.  Yes, you can use funny and engineer in the same sentence.

    This week's reviews...

Schoolhouse Review Crew's Go Science DVDs from Library and Ed (including my own)
Schoolhouse Review Crew's Veritas Press

Jul 21, 2014

Select a Bundle or Build Your Bundle - Homeschool Edition

The first ever "Build Your Bundle" - Homeschool Edition sale is here!

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The bundles are AMAZING, including products such as Learning Language Arts Through Literature, A Child's Geography, Character Concepts, Picture Smart Bible, Math Mammoth, and more! There are SO many incredible products to choose from, all bundled up in grades/themes OR you can "Build Your Own!"

Build Your Bundle - Homeschool Edition Sale: July 21-28 Save up to 92% on Popular Homeschooling Curriculum, Many from Cathy Duffy's Top 100 Picks!

Our "Build Your Own" bundles offer you the opportunity to select a certain number of products with a retail price of $19.99 or less for up to 80% off! We have MANY items to choose from, including Cathy Duffy Top 100 Picks! When you purchase a combination of any 2 "Build Your Own" bundles, you will get the 3rd one at 50% off!

Build Your Bundle - Homeschool Edition Sale: July 21-28 Save up to 92% on Popular Homeschooling Curriculum, Many from Cathy Duffy's Top 100 Picks!

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Jul 19, 2014

Quilt 1 - Hippy Chic?

You know what I love about quilts?  Besides the fact that they keep you cozy and warm (which is really kind of an odd thing to be thinking about in July)?  I love that our quilts were made by some of my favorite people.

I shared cocoas with you, the good and the bad.  Now I want to show you our quilts.

The other day, the boys and I were playing a game in the car.  "Punch bug hippy!" I said as I popped Mal on the shoulder.  "What color is that?" he wanted to know.  Well, it was a crazy bright psychedelic, flowery
kind of thing.  You know.  Hippy.

My grandma's quilt is well over 40 years old, probably more like 50+, but I don't really know when she made it.  When my dad came to visit a couple of years ago, I put it on his bed.  My step-mom recognized it right away.  I used to save it, but now I want to enjoy it.  That was the first time in a *long* time I had gotten it out.  What good is a quilt stashed in the cedar chest.  I want people to see it and feel happy.  I put it on guest beds all of the time now.

Gram's quilt is hand tied.  She didn't do the intricate stitching, but I love it anyway.

Jul 11, 2014

Week in Review 6/15/14

Happy Father's Day!

    In my life this week…
Merrick is thinking he might want to give up his nap.  He is two.  I strongly disagree with him. 

    In the yard... 
I think FIVE baby birds are packed into that nest.  Obviously, they should hire different builders and plan accordingly next year.  They flew away the very day after I took this picture.

The boys enjoyed the lower level of the tree house.

That frog is gi-normous.  He has lots of friends in the pond if anyone wants to come by and catch them.

Merrick and I wandered the yard and finally saw lots of green.  And a small deer.  We found a hidden treasure of wild strawberries, a ton of green blueberries, some apples, and the peonies finally ready to bloom.

    My favorite thing this week was…

Watching Merrick, who is getting pretty good at color sorting and making rainbows.  He lines up one vehicle type and then adds other vehicles by color.

    Things Dad is working on...
More treehouse stuff.  These kids hit the treehouse dad jackpot.

    A photo, video, link, or quote to share (silly, serious or both!)…

The One Routine Guaranteed to Make You Beautiful