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Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Homeschool Review Crew - American Christian Literature Hewitt Homeschooling

Review, #hsreviews, #homeschool, Homeschool, Personalized, Encouragement, English Literature, English, Reading, Christian Authors, Christian Literature

I have a high school student this year who loves to read but is extremely careful about her choices for literature so I couldn't have been more excited to get a chance to review the American Christian Gr 11-12 Authors Pack from Hewitt Homeschooling.

Hewitt Homeschooling, #hsreviews, #homeschool, Homeschool, Personalized, Encouragement, English Literature, English, Reading, Christian Authors, Christian Literature
 Lightning Literature & Composition PackAmerican Christian Authors, #hsreviews, #homeschool, Homeschool, Personalized, Encouragement, English Literature, English, Reading, Christian Authors, Christian Literature
Other members of the Homeschool Review Crew received the following. Some even had the opportunity to take part in the Hewitt Homeschooling paper evaluation service where you submit your student's essays and papers for evaluation. So, please be sure to check out their reviews to get a full picture of what Hewitt Homeschooling has to offer:
Grade 1 Lightning Lit Set

Grade 2 Lightning Lit Set

Grade 3 Lightning Lit Set

My First Report

Gr 7 Lightning Lit Set 

Gr 8 Lightning Lit Set 

American Early-Mid 19th Century

American Mid-Late 19th Century


British Early-Mid 19th Century

British Mid-Late 19th Century

British Medieval

Shakespeare Comedies

Shakespeare Tragedies

British Christian

World Lit 1

World Lit 2
What is the American Christian Author Pack from Hewitt Homeschooling?

Hewitt Homeschooling dates back to 1963 when a group of professionals who were concerned about education and overall health and welfare of the family organized a foundation that was part of the pioneers of the homeschooling movement in America. Hewitt Homeschooling focuses on a flexible approach to schooling with balance with an emphasis on academics, character development, and instilling a work ethic and community service.

The American Christian Literature pack is part of Hewitt Homeschooling's Lightning Literature curriculum which teaches language arts through the use of whole books and classics, teaches deep reading and writing skills with the intent of increasing the student's love for reading.

While the company is very homeschool oriented, their books have also been used successfully in private school settings.

I received a glossy paperback 176-page student guide and corner-stapled, 3-hole-punched, notebook-ready teacher's guide pages.

The Student Guide

The Student Guide

The student guide is set up to cover either a semester or a full year's schedule. If you choose the semester, it is broken down into 18 weeks. If you choose the full year, it is stretched out over 36 weeks. Both cover the same amount of material.

The lessons are broken down into:

  • Introduction
  • The Selection
  • While You Read
  • Comprehension Questions
  • Literary Lessons
  • Writing Exercises
  • Perspectives
  • Appendices - Discussion Questions, Project Suggestions, Reading List, Schedules
At the beginning of each lesson, there is an introduction that provides a brief biography of the author and additional tidbits about the reading passage in the lesson. The selection portion is the literary work being studied. It will either refer to one of 4 of the books listed for use with this study or will include poems, essays, etc. on the pages of the Student Guide. The While You Read section includes a list of questions for the student to keep in mind while reading. Each section is followed up with Comprehension Questions, literary lessons, and writing exercises. Some include additional perspectives.

There are also Activities to Enhance the study suggested:
  • Vocabulary Notebook
  • Reading Journal
  • Biographies
  • Family Reading or Writing Night
  • Oral Summaries
  • Writing Group

The Teacher Guide

The teacher guide provides an introduction to the parents explaining how the student guide should be used, includes the schedules, writing exercises, discussion questions, and project suggestions. It also contains a grading guide and the answers to the comprehension questions.

How Did We Use It?

I knew from the start that my middle daughter would be perfect for a literature study. She lives to read, but is extremely particular about the words she puts into her mind and prefers Christian authors or topics that are edifying to her spiritual life. So, when I saw that I was chosen for the American Christian Authors Pack, I was excited and told her about it before it even arrived in the mail. I was anxious to get her reaction. Before I handed it off to her, however, I took some time to dive in and find out what it was all about.

My first order of business was to locate a copy of the first book that is covered in the program. I checked with my local library, but they did not have one. Thankfully, I was able to get my hands on the book elsewhere. When you purchase the pack from Hewitt Homeschooling, the books are included but were not for the purposes of my review.

Then, I began by reading the teacher guide which explains the student guide is written directly to the student and is set up in sections:

  • Introduction which explains the importance of writing well, includes a short biography of the author, Lucy S. R. Austen, and provides topics to think about while reading.
  • Comprehension Questions
  • Literary Lesson - Each lesson teaches aspects of writing by using a specific piece of literature.
  • Writing Exercises
  • (Throughout the Student Guide there are also "Perspectives" which are informative articles that provide historical background to the piece of literature being studied).

The books covered in the course include:

  • Can You Drink The Cup? by Henri Nouwen
  • A Circle of Quiet by Madeliene L'Engle
  • Godric by Frederick Buechner
  • No Graven Image by Elisabeth Eliot
There are also short reading selections, poems, and essays that are included in the student's guide.

The student guide suggests that the students keep a journal and that they discuss the things they're reading with their parents.

What Did We Think?

First of all, I can't stress enough how happy I was that there was a literature program that covered Christian authors. Also, I really love the way this pack is presented with not only comprehension questions but also writing assignments and projects. I also appreciate that the importance of the parent/teacher reading along and being actively involved with the student in the study of each piece of literature discussed.

On a somewhat shallow side note, I want to add that when I presented the course to my daughter and asked if she would be interested in making it her full-year study of literature, she responded with glee that the book looks pretty, so she'd be open to the idea. Of course, I explained what the course was all about and talked about the authors and the books in the study before she decided to give it a go beyond whether or not the cover of the book was "pretty".

Please Note: There are some hot-button topics discussed, such as racism, incest, rape, murder, and homosexuality, making the high school level appropriate. When I discovered the authors chosen for this course, I will admit that I took pause and went back and forth wondering if I should present the material to my innocent daughter or not. I  do want to note that all is done in a manner that I did not find controversial or problematic, but rather serves as a critical thinking launching pad that opens up discussions to help walk the student through formulating their own thoughts on deep spiritual matters which establishing a moral framework. Still, I was happy for the heads-up about them presented in the teacher guide. Within the American Christian Literature course, these topics are discussed in light of God's power and love. There is an explanation toward the end of the Student Guide that explains why the spotlighted authors were chosen to be included in a study of American Christian authors. The author of the curriculum writes:

Test everything. Hold on to the good. Avoid every kind of evil. - It is my hope that you will do this with the authors and works in this book, and that they will give you the same encoouragement that they have given me.

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Read what other members of the Homeschool Review Crew thought by clicking on the picture below:

Hewitt Homeschooling {Reviews}

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