Language arts is the one of the foundations of a solid homeschool education, right up there with mathematics instruction. I was relieved to be chosen again this year to review the Grade 2 Lightning Lit Set from Hewitt Homeschooling to use with my 7 year old. This curriculum uses quality literature and interesting poetry and stories to engage elementary students while they work through grammar, writing exercises, penmanship reading comprehension, vocabulary, spelling, and even reading journal prompts.
The set we received included the Student Workbook and the Teacher Guide. When you order the complete set, you will also receive The Random House Book of Poetry for Children. Each week, the lessons correspond to a book. There’s a complete book list available to browse before you buy. I found all but one were at my library, so it will be easy to continue this curriculum without a huge investment on the corresponding literature.
The work is designed to be used on a 4 or 5 day schedule. If you choose to do a four day schedule, it goes something like this:
Day One – Read the book, student answers inferential and literal comprehension questions, student does workbook exercises for grammar and mechanics, student brainstorms a topic for their composition assignment for the week.
Day Two – Read the book again (optional), student narrates the book to you and discusses the story with you including details such as character information, setting, external and internal details, conflict, and theme, student completes workbook exercises in grammar and mechanics, student continues to brainstorm or order their ideas for their composition for the week, student fills in reading journal exercises.
Day Three – Read the book again, student answers evaluative and inferential questions, student completes a sentence puzzle or diagramming exercise, student writes a rough draft for their composition.
Day Four – Student works on a workbook grammar assignment and writes the final draft of their composition. Additionally, your student can optionally read half a chapter of Winnie-the-Poo (for the first 20 weeks) or chapters from Just So Stories by Rudyard Kipling and answer questions about them as well.
If you choose to add a fifth day to your language arts schedule for the week, day five can be used to finish up anything your students are behind in. You could also extend the lessons using some of the suggestions that are given in the Teacher’s Guide. These suggestions branch out into other subjects sometimes, such as science, art, or history.
As the teacher, you will definitely want the Teacher’s Guide. This guide is printed in black and white, is softcover, and is over 300 pages.
It provides a complete Week at a Glance for each week to let you know what you’ll need and what your student will be working on. For discussion questions, there are plenty of ideas of questions to ask, as well as examples of correct answers. The answers for the workbook pages are also found in the Teacher’s Guide.
The very back of the Teacher’s Guide also contains more information about teaching penmanship, including a chart showing students how to form each letter and a chart showing them what the letters should look like (in print) on the lines as used in their workbook. They’ve also provided masters for 1/2, 5/8, and 7/8 inch ruled lines which can be copied and used with your student.
I love that the Teacher’s Guide has it all scripted out for me. As long as I have the book for that week, a spiral notebook or some loose paper for my son’s compositions, the Teacher’s Guide, and the Student Workbook, the curriculum is completely open and go. It really is simple to implement into our daily schedule with no fuss.
My son has experience using their products from using the Grade 1 materials last year, so he’s relieved that we’ve chosen to use the Grade 2 resources this year. It’s always nice to use something you’re familiar with!
The Student Workbook for Grade 2 has a soft cover, has 3 holes punched through it for use in a huge binder or for tearing out pages to place in a binder (optional, of course), and is 354 colorful pages long. The very front has a Table of Contents letting the students know where in the book to find each week’s assignments, and it also includes the name and author of the book being studied each week. I turned to this page often for quick reference when checking out books from the library.
There is an illustrated title page for each week, and then the work is found behind it. Each day is labeled on the assignments, so your student will have a good idea of the written work they are to do for the day. Answer prompts have a 1/2 inch lined writing area to encourage proper penmanship and neatness. My son liked this feature because he’s still working on practicing how big letters should be and where all the loops and humps and curves of the letters go.
The print is large and there are pictures throughout the whole book. My son liked having a full-color workbook much better than some black and white ones he’s encountered before in his homeschooling. He said it made it more interesting and less boring to work in.
While my son did say that the worst part of this curriculum was having to do work (I know, Son, I know!), he told me that he liked that the assignments were pretty short each time. I appreciate that the written portion is modest and that it still uses quite a bit of oral narration and discussion for reading comprehension.
I’m pleased with this level of Lightning Literature and plan to use it for the 2017/2018 school year for my 2nd grade son. He is really enjoying the book selections because he finally loves reading. I think it’s neat to be able to still have this read aloud time with him. The repetition of reading and rereading the literature has been neat as well, because he’s picking up on new things each time the story is shared again. I’m able to let all of my kids tag along if they’re around so they can enjoy it as well.
To see how other families used Hewitt Homeschooling resources like this one, click the banner below. Other Crew members reviewed items for middle school and high school homeschoolers as well. Hewitt Homeschooling offers a whole range of curricula for families.