"While I can imagine no wrong physical position for reading a classic,
I can conjure up several wrong mental positions....
Perhaps worst of all, is reading a classic with a closed mind,
because what cannot enter the mind cannot enter the heart or soul."
Elizabeth Kamath ~ author of Lightning Lit
How poignant this quote is. So often while learning literature, students are pushed to read the piece with no instruction on who, what, why, or when. Yes, they may have to find these answers to write a report on the book, but are not given the guidance to truly understand.

As a homeschooling mom, I want to ensure that my children not only enjoy reading, but know what it is they are reading, have a sense of the whole picture and not just some small bit of it., and be able to effectively write about it.

As a member of the Schoolhouse Review Crew, I have been introduced to a curriculum source I hadn't seen before from a company I am quite familiar with. An author of the curriculum wrote the quote I started this post with. You can read the enter quote here.
Hewitt Homeschooling is a name synonymous with excellence. I have known of Hewitt for several years and utilize their PASS test for end-of-the-year testing. Hewitt offers hand-picked curriculum to homeschool families, to ensure quality and substance of the products. The curriculum available is from several different publishers, including Hewitt. 

One collection that is offered by Hewitt is the Lightning Literature & Composition studies.

This collection "provides a balanced approach to the classics. Introductions to the authors, their times, and their works give students a strong start to their adventure. Comprehension questions keep students on track while the lessons are a guide to the beauty of the literary landscape".

There are courses for Junior High and Senior High students. The Junior High courses are intended to be a full year course, while the Senior High courses are designed to be a semester long, but can be completed in a longer time if it suits the student.

Through the Lightning Lit courses, the student will read full-length novels, autobiographies, plays, essays, short stories, and poems to learn deep reading and composition skills. They will be given the proper guidance to fully understand what they are reading and learn how to write about.

We received British Medieval Lightning Lit & Comp Pack.

This course covers the books 
BeowulfPiers the Ploughman
Sir Gawain & the Green Knight, & Canterbury Tales

The lessons that are taught are: story telling, imagery, symbolism, characterization, persuasive writing, drama, and description 

The student guide is comprehensive and covers: comprehension questions, writing exercises, discussion questions, an additional reading list, semester and full-year schedules, and a bibliography. You can preview a sample chapter of the Beowulf book here and you will see that Hewitt has truly You will find the answers to all of the comprehension questions in the teacher's guide, too. So if you didn't learn about this while you were in school (and many have not), this guide will help you grade your student as well as offer support and encouragement. There is also a wonderful schedule in the teacher's guide that can help you prepare the lessons.

The Lightning Lit & Comp courses vary in price. For example, The British Medieval Pack that we received is $60.10 and the Grade 8 with Stories and Poem Pack is $125.95. The curriculum can be purchased separately from the books, if you already own them. 

Not all members of the Crew received the Lightning Lit curriculum. Those with younger children received The Joy of Discovery, Chronicles of _____ series (a state history notebook), & selections from My First Report Series.

You can read reviews on all of these by clicking the link below.
I am very pleased with the Lightning Lit series. As I wrote above, I want my children to get what they read, not just read it and forget it. With Lightning Lit, my daughter was really able to delve into the meaning of the pieces (we did not read all of the books prior to this review), and gain an understanding beyond what the forward said. She enjoyed learning about the history of the book, the time period and having questions set in her mind prior to reading. This brings out so much more of the story, without having to reread it many times. And the writing exercises were inspiring and encouraging. They weren't just "do this" or "tell about that", they were "think about this & write about it" (this is a very simple explanation, for specific examples, please refer to the free preview chapter I mentioned above. 

Try Lightning Lit today and see if it is what you've been looking for in a literature curriculum : ^ )
Disclaimer: I received these products free as a member of the Schoolhouse Review Crew  with the sole purpose of providing an honest review after using them. For more information on this, please see my disclaimer.


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