Friday, July 6, 2012

Interested In British Medieval? No. Then Try This: A SCHOOLHOUSE REVIEW

Who would of thought?  British literature definitely came alive in our home using one of the many resources from Hewitt Homeschooling. One of the units had Michelle(age14)  reading Beowulf. My first thought was boring. When Michelle and I began reading Beowulf it was slow but when we got beyond the introduction and added in the questions from the Student Guide everything went from let's get this review over with to "When are we going to read Beowulf"?  I loved the format of the questions. Since we were reading this book together our talk about what we were learning about British Medieval happened through out our days. We especially liked learning about the time of King Arthur and doing family trees of  Beowulf, King Hrothgar, and Grendel (the sea monster). It also prompted other creative writing assignments along the way. We are not too much into textbooks, but this learning resource fits the bill for us. I was glad to finally read a piece of literature that I had avoided all of my life. Watching Michelle enjoying this epic poem really made me appreciate British Medieval literature. We aren't done using this resource at all it has other units as well.

The components that make up this resource
1. Lightning Literature Scope and Sequence
2.A Teacher's Guide that was three hole punched ready to put into a binder.
3. A Student Guide picture shown below.

4.There are some literature works that go along with the guides you have to purchase or do what we did and check them out at the library.

The Student Guide has background information on the works. It has comprehension questions as well as a literary lesson for each unit. Beowulf's literary lesson was foreshadowing. Although Michelle does understand foreshadowing we were able to foreshadow by comparison and concluded the literary unit with fatalism and foreshadowing. The literary component added a challenge for Michelle that she soaked up and now illustrates in her other Language Art works. Michelle's learning needs were met with this guide it offered her plenty of challenges and comfort of understanding what she was reading at the same time.

The Teachers's Guide has grading tips, schedule recommendations( Hewitt recommends a semester for each Lighting Literature Guide), answers to comprehension questions, and discussion questions. I ditched the Teachers' Guide after some thought. First of all grading wasn't happening with this unit. The schedules would never work for us. When we take on an assignment the time is available until the assignment has been completed. We have no need to rush!! I didn't need the answers to the questions because I was reading along with Michelle. While we answered the comprehension questions we naturally begin making discussions about the book so the discussion questions weren't necessary. I do recommend using the teacher's guide if this is something that your child(ren) would be doing independently, because without it you may become lost and unable to keep up with what their actually learning.

The Lightning Literature Scope and Sequence was not used either. I gave Michelle the choice of what literature piece she wanted to cover. Since Language Arts is a strong suit of Michelle's the order of the literary lessons was of no concern. I did appreciate having it available for a glance to see what would be covered.

To see a sample lesson go here.

The cost of this unit is $29.95, it is on sale right now for $19.95.

I am really glad that I had the opportunity to review this item. It is definitely a material that I will use with my high schooler and future high schoolers. We may not follow the schedule recommended but we will use this whenever the interest of British Medieval comes their way.

Michelle recommends this product based on her fun with reading Beowulf, it inspired her to open up other books that she may not have chose to read before.

To see other Crew Member Reviews on this homeschooling resource please visit


Disclaimer: I was given the Lightning Lit and Comp second edition British Medieval Student Guide,Teacher Guide and a Lightning Literature Scope and Sequence in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own!! 

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