Wednesday, July 30, 2014

TOS Review: Hewitt Homeschooling


Hewitt Homeschooling has been helping homeschooling families for over three decades.  They strive to introduce great literature to your children, while helping them with reading, writing, and communication skills.

Recently, Hewitt Homeschooling designed the Lightening Literature series for elementary children.  Last year, they introduced the first grade level and the second grade level will be available this fall.

We were thrilled to review the Lightening Literature for first grade.

We received the following:

Lightening Literature and Composition: Grade 1 Teacher's Guide, $29.95

Lightening Literature and Composition: Grade 1 Student Workbook, $49.95


I love to snuggle up on the couch and read books with my girls.  It is my favorite part of the day.  I was so excited when I discovered that the Lightening Literature series incorporates award-winning children's books into their curriculum.  There are 36 weeks of organized lessons and activities.  Each week incorporates one amazingly awesome picture book to read with your child.  Here is the list of the books that are covered throughout the year.

qqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqq

What's included in the Lightning Literature and Composition First Grade: Teacher Guide?


-The soft bound teacher's guide has a total of 306 pages.

-At the beginning of the teacher's guide, there is a detailed introduction on how to use the curriculum and a brief overview of the suggested daily schedule.  The curriculum is intended to be used 4 days a week for 36 weeks.  Your student will complete three sections, Literature, Grammar and Mechanics, and Composition, each day.

-The reminder of the teacher's guide is divided into 36 weeks.  Each week begins with  brief glance of the week, which includes objectives and needed materials.  Followed by detailed daily lessons plans, including questions and discussion topics for each book, grammar and mechanics instruction, and weekly composition activities.

-Here is a sample week from the teacher's guide.

qqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqq

What's included in the Lightning Literature and Composition First Grade: Student Workbook?



 -The consumable soft bound student workbook contains a total of 465 perforated, hole-punched pages.

-The student workbook is divided into 36 weeks.  Each week has daily colorful lessons and/or activities to complete.

-There is a sample week available to preview.  It will give you a clear idea of how each week is set-up.

qqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqq

How did we use the Lightning Literature and Composition First Grade curriculum?

-We used the curriculum on a daily basis during the review period.  We followed the suggested schedule found in the teacher's guide.  Specific days follow the same sequence, weekly.

-Every Monday, the book of the week was introduced, which we read together as a read-aloud, then Izzie would answer the provided comprehension questions.  There is a space provided in the Teacher's guide to record your student's answers; however, I found it more convenient not to use the provided space.  Afterward, she would complete a corresponding grammar and mechanics workbook page found in her Student Workbook.  Finally, she would complete a composition activity.

Lightning Literature and Composition First Grade: Teacher's Guide, Week 1

Lightning Literature and Composition First Grade: Student Workbook, Week 1: Monday

-Tuesday is referred to as Narration Day.  Instead of rereading the book of the week, Izzie would retell as much of the book as she could remember, including the story, character, setting, external and internal details, and conflict.  Again, she would complete the corresponding grammar and mechanics workbook page found in her Student Workbook.  Afterward, she would complete a different composition activity.

Lightning Literature and Composition First Grade: Student Workbook, Week 1: Tuesday

-On Wednesdays, we would reread the book of the week.  This time Izzie would read the book to me.  Afterward, she would answer the provided questions, which were more inferential and evaluative.  On Wednesdays, there are optional workbook page activities, such as completing dictionary, alphabet, or sentences pages.  Izzie did not complete these activities, since we aren't schooling full-time this summer.  However, she will complete these activities once we start school in the fall.

-Every Thursday, there is a specific Aesop's fable assigned to be read.  Afterward, there is a grammar and mechanics workbook page to be completed.  Finally, your student will write their final draft from the week's composition activities.

Lightning Literature and Composition First Grade: Student Workbook, Week 1: Thursday 

-Fridays are free days.  We normally used this time to read other books from the week's author.

qqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqq

What did I like about the  Lightning Literature and Composition First Grade curriculum?

1.  It was very simple to incorporate the curriculum into our daily schedule.  It took Izzie an average of 30 minutes a day to complete all assignments.  

 2.  It is very parent-friendly.  Besides a trip to the local library, everything is already planned for me!  We only needed the weekly book, the teacher's guide, and the student workbook to complete the assignments.

3.  The teacher's guide is extremely organized and contains detailed instructions with daily lessons plans.  There was very little prep, which saved me a lot of time.

4.  The student workbook contains short, colorful lessons and activities that are age appropriate.  The workbooks pages are easily transferable to a binder since they are already perforated and hole-punched.

5.  Izzie is being exposed to amazing children's literature, while learning to read and write.

qqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqq

I would highly recommend the Lightning Literature and Composition First Grade curriculum.  I'm looking forward to purchasing the second grade curriculum this fall.

Be sure to sail over to see what other Crew Mates had to say about their experience with Hewitt Homeschooling! 

Click for more reviews photo clickformorereviews600x160_zpsc2cf0855.png

Crew Disclaimer

Monday, July 28, 2014

Monday, July 7, 2014

TOS REVIEW: Moving Beyond the Page


Moving Beyond the Page is a complete literature-based curriculum that encourages critical and creative thinking, provides challenging and engaging projects, and supports different learning styles. 

Moving Beyond the Page has a plethora of curriculum for children as young as 4 years old through 14 years old.  Each age-level curriculum is structured around four 9-week concepts.  Each concept consists of three science, social studies, and literature units and each unit contains approximately 10 lessons and one final project. 


Moving Beyond the Page Curriculum Stucture

However, the curriculum is extremely flexible and can be used as a supplement, where individual units may be purchased in packages.  There is an option to purchase the guide as a physical copy or as an online copy.  In addition, each package includes physical components.

We received the Language Arts Package-Poppy, which included the online guide and physical components. 

Recommended Age: 7-9 years old 

Total Cost: $25.91

Poppy
Moving Beyond the Page, Language Arts-Poppy

     

In addition, we received the corresponding Science Package-Lifecyles, which included the physical guide and physical components. 

Recommended Age: 7-9 years old 

Total Cost: $45.92

Lifecycles
Moving Beyond the Page, Science-Lifecycles

Product Details   Product Details


The above packages are recommended for children ages 7-9, who are in second or third grade.  It is recommended that the child is able to read and comprehend chapter books on a 3rd or early 4th grade reading level, can answer comprehension questions about a chapter in a journal, and is able to write three to four sentences on a topic.

In addition, all lessons are based on state and national standards.

Here is a Summary of Skills for the Poppy and Lifecycles units.

qqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqq

How did we incorporate the Moving Beyond the Page curriculum into our daily schedule?

All units are divided into daily lessons plans, so Izzie, 7 years old, completed one lesson from each package (language arts and science) each day.  She completed 3-4 lessons per week from each package, averaging about 2 hours per lesson.  It took her approximately 3 weeks to complete both packages.

qqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqq

What's included in the Language Arts Package-Poppy?

 Paper-back book, Poppy, with 20 chapters and a total of 161 pages.   

Poppy by Avi

Poppy is a courageous deer mouse who has many adventures as she outwits a great horned owl, Mr. Ocax, who no one dares to disobey.  Throughout the book, she finds herself in terrible danger, as she struggles to overcome the cycle of power that has gripped her family for generations.

Izzie, 7 years old, really enjoyed this book!  We used it as a family read-aloud, reading 2 chapters daily, as suggested in the guide for Poppy.  

 We received the online guide for Poppy.  

Poppy
Moving Beyond the Page, Language Arts-Poppy

Once logged-in, there is a Table of Contents page, which contains downloadable teaching materials, all 12 lessons and the final project, as well as suggested spelling words and vocabulary.

Moving Beyond the Page, Language Arts-Poppy, Online Guide-Lesson 3

Once a lesson is completed, it is highlighted and marked through.  This is a great quick visual to see exactly which lesson you are on.

The lessons are broken down into daily lesson plans.  Once you click on the desired lesson, it takes you to a screen with Questions to Explore-questions related to the concept, Facts and Definitions-knowledge and vocabulary for the lesson, Skills-objectives that the student will learn or do, and Materials--supplies needed for the lesson.

Moving Beyond the Page, Language Arts-Poppy, Online Guide-Lesson 3

Next, there is a brief Introduction for the parent and student.  Then, there is a reading assignment from Poppy.  Each lesson had the student read two chapters from the book.  We read Poppy as a family read aloud.  After reading the two chapters, there are comprehension and discussion questions.  The questions can be answered verbally, printed, or typed.  Notice the two icons at the top right hand side.  If the pencil icon is clicked, the questions are downloaded to a PDF, which can be printed so that the student can answers the questions by paper and pencil.  If the keyboard icon is clicked, the questions appear in another window and the student can type his or her answers, then print the handout.

Moving Beyond the Page, Language Arts-Poppy, Online Guide-Lesson 3

The student activities are next.  There are a variety of activities for different types of learners.  If there is a handout/worksheet needed for an activity, there is a PDF icon, which once clicked will download the needed handout/worksheet.

Moving Beyond the Page, Language Arts-Poppy, Online Guide-Lesson 3

Lastly, there is a Conclusion section, which reviews information.  

Moving Beyond the Page, Language Arts-Poppy, Online Guide-Lesson 3

One difference between the online guide and the physical guide is Idea Share.  The Idea Share is the blue icon, which once clicked will show you all ideas about the concept that have been shared by other parents.  In Lesson 3, there was only one idea shared.  It was about a virtual owl pellet dissection.  This area could be very beneficial if you were wanting more ideas and activities for your student.

Moving Beyond the Page, Language Arts-Poppy, Online Guide-Lesson 3

Here are a few activities that Izzie completed during the Language Arts Package about Poppy.

In Lesson 1, Activity 4, she completed the Setting Map. On poster board, she created a map of the places where the events of the story take place.  She was thrilled with the finished project and was able to use the map with each lesson as she read the story.  When major events happened, such as a death, she labeled them on her map.  In addition, she was able to trace Poppy's journey throughout the chapters.

Moving Beyond the Page, Language Arts-Poppy, Lesson 1, Activity 4

In Lesson 3, Activity 3, the girls dissected an owl pellet.  The Owl Pellet Dissection Kit is included in the package.  However, it only came with one pellet and I knew both girls would want to dissect their own, so I purchased another kit.  Please note that Mac, 5 years old, did not complete any other activities.  She did listen to the story because I read it as a family read aloud and she was extremely excited to dissect an owl pellet.



Dissecting Owl Pellets

Izzie concluded that her owl ate a shrew and Mac decided that her owl ate Ragweed!

Izzie's dissected owl pellet 

Mac's dissected owl pellet 

All literature units incorporate activities related to the book, including vocabulary, writing practice, grammar activities, and suggested spelling words.  In addition, many of the activities have two options, one being more advanced.  This is an easy way to differentiate activities and choose the best option for your child's abilities.

In Lesson 2, Activity 3, conjunctions were introduced and Izzie had to combine sentences by using a conjunction.  There were two different options.  Izzie completed option 1.

Moving Beyond the Page, Language Arts-Poppy, Lesson 2, Activity 3

Moving Beyond the Page, Language Arts-Poppy, Lesson 2, Activity 3

In Lesson 6, Activity 3, Izzie reviewed the definitions of synonyms and antonyms, then she created a diamante poem about Poppy and Mr. Ocax.

Moving Beyond the Page, Language Arts-Poppy, Lesson 6, Activity 3

qqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqq

What's included in the Science Package-Lifecycles

The spiral-bound physical guide, Lifecycles, contains all 9 lessons plans, final project, and the student activities. 

Lifecycles
Moving Beyond the Page, Science-Lifecycles

At the beginning of the guide, there is a brief introduction to the unit and a page listing all required books and a materials list for the entire unit, organized by lessons.  This was extremely beneficial to be able to quickly see what was needed for the entire unit.

Moving Beyond the Page, Lifecycles


At the beginning of each lesson:

Big Ideas are introduced--questions related to the concept.

Facts and Definitions are listed--knowledge and vocabulary the student will learn.

Skills are explained--objectives that the student will learn or practice.

Materials are listed--listed of items needed.  Many materials are simple and can be found within your home.

  Next, there is a brief Introduction for the parent and student. Followed by, several Activities to complete.    For many activities within the lessons, there are 2 different options, which allow the parent to decide which level is the most appropriate for the child based on his or her abilities and skills.  Lastly, the lesson is completed with a Wrapping Up section, which reviews the information and allows the student to explain what he or she had learned.  In addition, some lessons include a Life Application activity, which encourages the student to apply the new knowledge and/or skills.  


Lesson 2: What Is A Life Cycle? lesson plan 

-The student activity pages are located at the end of each lesson.  There are a variety of activities for different types of learners, including activity pages and hands-on activities such as art projects, science experiments, math manipulatives, and dramatic plays.

Here's a glimpse of some of the activities that Izzie completed with the corresponding lesson.

Lesson 1: Characteristics of Living Things

Moving Beyond the Page, Lifecycles-Lesson 1, Activity 1

In Lesson 1, Izzie reviewed the characteristics of life, the needs of living things, and adaptions for survival.  For Activity 1, she colored all the above pictures that were living, then wrote a brief description that explained why each was considered living.  Afterward, she organized the living organisms into plants and animals.

Moving Beyond the Page, Lifecycles-Lesson 1, Activity 1 

Lesson 3: Life Cycles of Animals

In Lesson 3, Izzie learned about various life cycles.  In Activity 1, she was to color, cut, and paste each life cycle stage in order on a wheel.  As you notice, there were two different options to complete this activity.  The first option had the three organisms and their stages organized into separate boxes, whereas the second option had all the vocabulary together.


Izzie completed the first option, but decided she didn't have enough room to label each stage, so she verbally told me the stages.

Moving Beyond the Page, Lifecycles-Lesson 3, Activity 1

At the end of Lesson 3, in Activity 6, Izzie was able to compare and contrast life cycles.  Again, there were two options, the first option was comparing/contrasting two life cycles and the second option was comparing three different life cycles.  I love that the curriculum incorporates graphic organizers!  I really like the differentiated activities and being able to choose which activity was best suited for Izzie's abilities.

Moving Beyond the Page, Lifecycles-Lesson 3, Activity 6

Moving Beyond the Page, Lifecycles-Lesson 3, Activity 6

Izzie completed the first option by comparing and contrasting the life cycle of salmon and people.

Moving Beyond the Page, Lifecycles-Lesson 3, Activity 6

Lesson 7: Energy and Food Chains

In Lesson 7, Izzie learned about food chains and how energy is passed from one living organism to another. During Activity 5, she drew a food chain for different habitats.  Option 1 included a list of organisms for each habitat, whereas, Option 2 did not include a list.


Izzie decided she wanted to choose different animals, so she completed Option 2. 

Moving Beyond the Page, Lifecycles-Lesson 7, Activity 5

Final Project: A New Species

For the final project, Izzie was able to create a new species under a list of conditions.  She had to answer several questions regarding her new species, then illustrate it.  In addition, she created a life cycle wheel, a food chain and food web, and a model of her new species.

Moving Beyond the Page, Lifecycles-Final Project

Moving Beyond the Page, Lifecycles-Final Project

There are two required books, which are included in the Science Package-Lifecyles.

The colorful, well- illustrated What Is A Life Cycle? book, which contains a total of 32 pages.  This book is used in Lessons 2, 3, 4, and 5.  There are six comprehension questions regarding the book in the back of the Lifecycles guide.

Product Details

The fun, informative Who Eats What? book, which contains a total of 32 pages.  This book is used in Lessons 7 and 8.  There are six comprehension questions regarding the book in the back of the Lifecycles guide.

Product Details

Lastly, the Green Earth Butterfly kit is included in the package.  It is introduced in Lesson 4: Insect Life Cycles.  Please be aware that there is an additional charge of $9.95 for the caterpillars and it takes 2 weeks for delivery.


qqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqq

What are my final thoughts regarding Moving Beyond the Page curriculum?

1. I encourage my girls to read quality literature, so I'm drawn to their literature-based curriculum. It's a additional advantage that they incorporate science and social studies within their language arts units!  The book, Poppy, was outstanding and the science books were very colorful and informative.

2.  It was extremely easy to incorporate into our homeschooling schedule.  I appreciate that the units can be used independently or together.  It was simple to integrate both packages, by simply completing one lesson from each (language arts and science) daily.  The information from both packages flowed together seamlessly.

3.  Izzie enjoyed using the hands-on and investigative approach while learning.  The activities were meaningful and well-thought out.  I liked that most of the activities were differentiated, which allowed me the ability to choose which option was best for Izzie's abilities and skills.

4.  I preferred the physical guide over the online guide.  I like having a hard copy to highlight, make notes, and to use for quick reference.  However, both guides were very organized and user friendly.

5.  My only suggestion would be to have a separate student guide.  I liked being able to print off the student activities from the online guide, rather than Izzie completing the pages in the physical guide.  When she was working on the student activities pages in the physical guide, I was not able to have access to the physical guide. This was especially time-consuming, when she was diligently working and I was trying to prepare for the next activity.

qqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqq

Be sure to sail over to see what other Crew Mates had to say about their experience with Moving Beyond the Page!

Click for more reviews photo clickformorereviews600x160_zpsc2cf0855.png

Crew Disclaimer

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...