Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Checking In

I've been so neglectful of my blog.

In truth, my house, body, and husband look a little neglected, as well. It's a good thing the Muffin knows how to fry an egg. Now if we could get my house to tidy up after herself

But, my friends.

Next week we start Cousin Camp! Josiah and I leave for the Missouri farm in just a few days. I am just a bit behind in my preparations. I can't seem to get myself together. Hopefully, the cousins will be merciful and flexible. Aunt Beke needs more than just a nap or two to catch up.

I hope to do a little "vlogging" as we go about our week. I don't doubt I will have plenty of good material and willing participants. It's just me getting it up on Youtube. I still have a trip we took to our Minister's Conference I still need to post.

It had been my goal to have an easy breasy summer. Nothing has been easy so far. We seem to have been busier than ever. I am WAAAYYY behind on my current writing job and the calendar for the rest of the summer is as full as it can be.

Sigh.

I don't know about you, but I have found that it takes less and less to entertain me. Just give me a good book and some time on the comfy corner of my couch and I am in heaven. A pedicure thrown in now and again is nice...and occasional date with my husband for sushi.

Would I like a vacation at the beach? You bet your bippee. Vacations for us are non-existent. I just try and find my bliss where I can. One of these days, though. One of these days.

Stay tuned.


Thursday, June 13, 2019

Lightning Lit (British Mid-Late 19th Century) A Homeschool Review Crew Post


We have had great experiences with Lightning Lit from Hewitt Homeschooling Resources previously. When the opportunity arose to review Lightning Literature & Composition: British Mid-Late 19th Century, I jumped at the chance.



What I Received




Lightning Literature & Composition: British Mid-Late 19th Century Student's Guide
This is a thick book (approximately 244 pages). It contains all the necessary material needed for your student to study a variety of works hailing from British Mid—Late 19th Century.



Lightning Literature & Composition: British Mid-Late 19th Century Teacher’s Guide
This a stapled book that provides the teacher with a recommended schedule, grading suggests and a copy of all the writing exercises, etc.

The books needed are sold separately (some works are included in the Student Guide). The intended grades indicated on the website for the product is 9-12, but we were given an even narrower guideline of 10-12. It is also recommended that the student have completed a previous level of High School Lightning Lit…though that recommendation is not written in stone. I think if your student is a strong writer, he or she should have no difficulty.

Here is the order of the literature covered (I copied it straight from the website)

Alfred, Lord Tennyson (selected poems; text in this Guide)
George Eliot (novel: Silas Marner)
Charles Dickens (novel: Great Expectations)
Lewis Carroll: (selected poems; text in this Guide)
Robert Louis Stevenson (travelogue/essay, text in this Guide:"The Silverado Squatters")
Oscar Wilde (play: The Importance of Being Earnest)
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, (short story, text in this Guide: "The Adventure of the Speckled Band")
Rudyard Kipling (novel: Stalky & Co.)

We obviously didn’t have time to cover the whole curriculum. However, I did already have the required books. This is what comes with shopping those thrift stores for your library!

How We Used It and What I Thought

To be honest, I chose this to review this product simply because of the writers and works covered. I wuv them. I also took a class in college that was very similar to the scope and sequence of this one.



That being said, when considering how I was going to approach our review time I paid close attention to the recommended schedules. You can use this course in a variety of ways. I needed to get through as much material as possible, but if I had to do it again I would definitely go at a slower pace.


This is one of those products that your student can use independently…depending on his writing prowess.


The Student Guide contains all the information (with the exception of the novels) that is needed for the student to complete the course. Each lesson will contain a general reading. This might include the type of literature or a variety of literary terms.  There will be a short biography of the author and some background information.


For example, Unit 2: Lesson 3  - Charles Dickens, gives us some basic information about Mr. Dickens and then proceeds to talk about his literary journey (most of his work was published in serial form). You might remember that Mr. Dickens and his family spent some time in debtor’s prison when he was young. His experiences often show up in his novels. Victorian England could even be one of the major characters in Dicken’s novels.


After the background information, the student is given the comprehension questions to fill out for each chapter. The Literature Lesson covers conflict. There are several pages of reading on the variety of conflict in literature. The final section assigns a variety of Writing Exercises.



We decided to pick one or two to focus on. Josiah chose to the assignment that asked him to write about four summaries of conflicts he has experienced in the past.

All the lessons follow a similar pattern.

Appendix A contains Discussion Questions and Project Suggestions.  The Discussion Questions were fairly meaty and could certainly be used for advanced writing projects and papers.

The Project Suggestions has ideas for across the curricula. Some are more involved, such as creating a Graphic Novel for one of the works. Others are more research-based, like researching the diseases that popped up in the crowded cities of the Industrial Revolution. In any event, there is a little something for every interest. We even listened to some popular music of the time. (Gilbert and Sullivan, anyone?)

Appendix B provides a list of additional recommended reading and Appendix C contains a couple of different recommended schedules. They are fairly easy to follow.

One of the great difficulties that homeschool parents often come across is how to grade a child’s writing assignment. Some of us feel like we are just shooting in the dark.

The Teacher’s Guide provides a good portion of help in that department. I try to make sure before assigning anything that I let Josiah know exactly what I am looking for. I was helped even further by the advice and recommendations in the Guide.

I will say that the end of the traditional school year was not the best time to review a heavy duty lit and composition curriculum. I had a hard time motivating Josiah to pay attention. He is not a strong writer and is dyslexic. This would not be a product I could give him to use on his own.

That being said, it is very well constructed and I love the variety of literature used. I think I enjoyed it more than he did! He had a harder time plowing through. If you have a student like my Josiah, you might consider an easier level.  I don’t care for literature curriculums that analyze the work to death. I felt that Lightning Lit does a good job of helping the student think and applying their thoughts to the written word. I would also recommend to pepper your student’s assignments with some of the project assignments (located in the appendix) as you go along. 

Lighting Lit has many more great products! You can read more reviews of a variety of levels by clicking on the banner below. You can also connect with Lightning Lit via the following social media outlets.




Lightning Literature, My First Reports, State History Notebook & Joy of Discovery {Hewitt Homeschooling Resources Reviews}
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Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Memoria Press: The Story of the Thirteen Colonies (and more!) A Homeschool Review Crew Post


You might have noticed that I have reviewed a number of Memoria Press products over the years. Memoria Press has really become one of my favorite publishers. For one, they produce such quality materials. My review today goes even beyond my expectations. For this review, I got to take a look at The Story of the Thirteen Colonies & the Great Republic Set and 200 Questions About American History set for grades 5-8.



What I Received

I got a number of goodies in the mail. The Story of the Thirteen Colonies & the Great Republic Set includes:

The Story of the Thirteen Colonies and the Great Republic text

The Story of the Thirteen Colonies and the Great Republic Student Guide

The Story of the Thirteen Colonies and the Great Republic Teacher Guide

In addition to those products, I received the 200 Questions About American History Set.



The Story of the Thirteen Colonies and The Great Republic are actually two separate works written in the late 1800s by British historian H.A. Guerber. Memoria Press edited Ms. Guerber’s works to allow us to see better history unfolding through the lens of time. The book begins with life for Native Americans before the entrance of Europeans and ends with the Spanish American War.



The 200 Questions About American History Set (which includes student, teachers guides, plus flash cards) was compiled as a supplement. It contains (obviously) 200 questions that every American should know about history. Be aware that there are a few modifications given on the website to use this product. I think it was originally compiled to use with another history book and they are still working on that one. 

You do need to know that the Student Guides are all consumable and each of your students is going to need their own copy.

How I Used It and What I Thought



We are all about the history here in our house. I even do some writing of my own history curriculum. 

That being said, I don’t like to present our history in a dry or dusty manner. I LOVED the H.A. Guerber book. It is really delightful. More importantly, my son loved it.

My son (who is High School) is dyslexic.  As a result, we have done the majority of our reading aloud or via audio books. I was curious to see if this product would be one he could read on his own. I simply assigned him a section a day. He was really hooked. He has been sharing with us all kinds of tidbits he’s learning along the way.

We have been doing a rather hurried version of the recommended schedule for our “summer school” months. There won’t be any schooling in July, so I thought this product would be a great one to squeeze into our rotation. That being said, it is intended to use as a one-year survey for those middle school kids.

The Guides themselves are classic Memoria Press. Each lesson contains:

Facts to Know
Vocabulary
Comprehension Questions
Enrichment

The Enrichment portion might include map work or a writing assignment. There are also many primary source assignments (which I LOVE), as well.

The Appendix in both the Student and Teachers Guides include maps, lots of primary sources, a time line, etc. The primary sources include a letter from George Washington to his wife, Martha. There are also excerpts from Thomas Paine’s Common Sense, the Constitution (everybody needs to re-read it) and the Emancipation Proclamation. Plus, more!

The Teachers Guide also includes tests and the answers to those tests.  

I don’t know about you, but I need those answers!

We have had a lot of fun with the 200 Questions set. There is a recommended schedule to use with each chapter in The Thirteen Colonies. There are Drill Questions, dates to know, famous quotes to remember and a section that helps the student learn all the Presidents in order.

The 200 Questions About American History Flashcards are sold separately and can be used with any history curriculum.


It’s all good stuff. Be sure you check out the sample pages located on the website. 



One of the great things about Memoria Press is that they make it easier for you, the teacher. The products are well-constructed and thoughtful. It is a Classical Education company so the material isn’t skimpy and watered down. I have found many of their products fit well with my own eclectic/Charlotte Mason/Unit Study sensibilities.

This particular group of products is really terrific. I know your kiddos (and yourself) will enjoy the writing style of Ms. Guerber.  

Memoria Press has another winner in our house!

Don’t forget to connect with Memoria Press via the following social media outlets. Don’t forget to read more reviews about this product and more by clicking on the banner below.





Classical Writing & Spelling, American History & Jewish Wars {Memoria Press Reviews}
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