My eldest daughter and I have been enjoying some one on one time while getting some language arts in during “summer school”. We have been working through Lightning Lit & Comp for seventh grade. She is a rising 6th grader but has had no difficulty with the selections so far. I was unfamiliar with Lightning Lit until this review, but I can definitely see adding them to our future studies. Currently, they offer year long courses for 7th & 8th grade and semester courses for high school (American lit, British lit and Shakespeare among others).
I appreciate that their approach is one to dig into the literature and not just study a selection of the work (like I remember from my school days). The writing assignments aren’t just essays or summaries of the story read. The lessons build on each other, so you do best to not skip around, but follow the order given. This is fully a language arts course – your learner covers the literature and composition as well as vocabulary and grammar. The Charlotte Mason wannabe in me loves this.
In the seventh grade level we have done “Rikki-Tikki-Tavi” by Rudyard Kipling and are finishing our lessons for Tom Sawyer. I have fond memories of both stories. There are also wonderful poems from Stories and Poems for Extremely Intelligent Children. After checking that one out of the library, we are purchasing it. The anthology has a wonderful collection that we will refer to for more than this course (It is used again in the 8th grade course). I don’t typically like collections by multiple authors, preferring to have individual books. This is an excellent collection, unabridged and with some hard-to-find-elsewhere poems. (It will also save room on our crowded bookshelves). The other selections we either already own or can easily obtain from the library.
The biggest sign this is a winner in our home? My daughter is asking to work on these. She is not one who usually likes to read “big books”. She is still behind grade level in her reading ability (probable dyslexia) but has been picking up Tom Sawyer – without my prompting. When she was feeling bogged down she listened to the Librivox recording. We also read it aloud together for one chapter. The selections for this course are great for inspiring her to increase her reading ability. She is really looking forward to Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.
We recieved the Teacher’s Guide ($20), Student’s Guide ($20) and Workbook ($20). There is also a package containing the literature selections ($91.73). The workbook is consumable, but the rest is easy to use with younger siblings. There are samples and the table of contents that you can view online. I always love when a curriculum includes a schedule – which this has in the Teacher’s Guide. I may not follow the schedule, but with a starting point, it is easy to tweak.
Other members of the Schoolhouse Crew received various products from Hewitt Homeschooling. In addition to their excellent Lightning Lit courses, there are products for all grades. State studies and “My First Reports” are some of the items also reviewed. To read those reviews, head to the Crew blog.