Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Lightning Literature {Crew Review}

I've been looking for a good program to use for Literature with Laycie for a little while now but hadn't been able to find anything.  Homeschool Review Crew to the rescue!  They had the perfect program at the perfect time.

I had heard of Lightning Literature from Hewitt Homeschooling over the years and always been told that it was a great program to use for literature and composition.  I wasn't aware just how great a program this product is though.  For our review, we were sent the Grade 1 Lightning Lit Set.

The Grade 1 Lightning Lit Set includes the Teacher's Guide by Elizabeth Kamath and the Student Workbook also by Elizabeth Kamath.  Additional children's books are needed for the course but these are easily obtained through your local library or through a local book retailer or even online.

I chose this level to use with Laycie since we are just moving forward into literature and this is the first time of us using a literature program with her.  I was looking for something more structured but not so rigid that it made learning stressful for her.  Lightning Literature surprisingly has been great for that.

This program allows for the fact that some first graders won't be able to read the work or books provided.  The goal is to provide a love of literature beginning at a young age.  The program allows the child to dictate their answers so that they can have help to complete the exercises.  The books used are classic children's picture books with a few newer books also included to give a well-rounded example of good literature.

Every day there are activities to complete for the specific book that you read for the week.  The first book is Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson.  The activities change with the books.

Of course, this is a basic 5 day a week lesson set up for the program.  The course teaches literature, grammar and mechanics and also composition.  There are included Reading Journal pages, Dictionary pages, and Alphabet and Sentence pages.  Aesop's Fables are included on Day Four of this curriculum each week but these can be skipped if your child does not enjoy them.  There are also lesson extensions shared to expand on the weekly lessons.

Break Down of Each Day's Basic Set-Up

On Day One of the lesson, you read the book and answer comprehension questions specific to the book being covered.  Grammar and Mechanics is covered with a quick multiple choice worksheet. Composition is covered as well on Day One.

Day Two leaves you with the decision to read the book again but preferably to have your child narrate the story by telling what they remember of it back to you.  You can do this by looking at the book together and discussing it as you go.  This is a great way to encourage reading.

Day Two's workbook work covers Grammar and Mechanics by completing a worksheet specific to what the child is learning at the time through the course.  This develops as they work through the program and learn.  This day also includes the Reading Journal activity: the child can either write or dictate the sentences related to retelling the story.   This particular part of the program is scheduled early in the week but can be moved to later in the week if preferred.

On Day Three, you and your child read the story again.  This day has more comprehension questions to help your child discover even more about the story they are learning about.  On this day, the dictionary pages are introduced for the week.  for these pages you can choose words from the story or you can choose words from daily life.  It's up to you what words you chose for your student to learn. The longer sheets can be completed with assistance from the parent/teacher.

Composition is worked on daily with planning and on Day Three the work is put onto paper as a rough draft.  This can also be done as dictation if needed.  Whatever your child is ready to do.

Day Four introduces a new Aesop's Fable each week.  The Dover edition of this book is used or you can use a free one found online.  These are random and shared for enjoyment of reading purposes mostly.  Grammar activity is done on this day in relation to what's being learned for that week.  The composition final draft is also completed each week on Day Four.

Day Five is a free day or a catch up day if needed.  It's up to you how it's used.  This day could also be a day used to expand the lesson.

How We Used It:

This program is just awesome!  I used it with Laycie but it also worked great with Jack too.  As I read they both listened.  Jackson wasn't ready for the book work but because these books are common children's books, I was able to find activities online to use with him outside of what the curriculum provided.

The workbook provided just enough work for Laycie yet it wasn't overwhelming.  This helped her writing skills and her storytelling and dictation skills as well.  We worked together to write answers both with dictation and working on her writing skills.

We chose to read our story daily together.  We also chose to do the weekly Aesop's Fables and found additional activities to do online for that as well.  It was great to have the workbook to follow and guide us in this curriculum.

Where Can You Get Lightning Literature:

You can find Lightning Literature in different levels at the Hewitt Homeschooling website.  The price for the Grade 1 Lightning Lit Set is $88.11.  The set includes the books mentioned above and Aesop's Fables as well.

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