Homeschool Review ~ Hewitt Homeschooling: Lightning Literature and Composition Grade 1

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I have a boy. And my boy does not enjoy writing. He is FULL of crazy stories, but as soon as I say, “You should write that down,” he clams up.

What about you? Do you have a nonwriter?

lightening literature

Hewitt Homeschooling has produced many literature and composition products. I was able to review Lightning Literature and Composition for Grade 1. I received a Student Book ($49.95) and a Teacher’s Guide ($29.95).

This Grade 1 curriculum uses the Student Book, the Teacher’s Guide, and Aesop’s Fables for Children. It also uses 36 children’s books which can either be bought separately or borrowed from the library. Each week there are 4 lessons that focus on one book.

The Teacher’s Guide includes directions for each week written in the same basic structure. For each it includes: materials needed, reading comprehension questions, a grammar and mechanics lesson, a composition project, narration, and lesson extensions.

The Student Book has a practice section for each book. Some of the activities vary, but each week will have grammar and mechanics practice, a reading journal page(s), and review.Composition 1

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How We Used The Product:

This is a first grade curriculum, but my son is in second grade. Like I said earlier, he dislikes writing and will avoid it like the plague. So I am using a first grade level composition curriculum to help him. It includes MANY books that we have read, so him being familiar with them helps. He knows he already likes the books. I am trying ANYTHING to get this kid to learn how to write, and perhaps, enjoy it a little bit!

When we started this, I did not have the children’s books needed at home and we would not be able to go to the library in time to begin. So…I went to YouTube. We’ve worked through four weeks of Lightning Literature. Here is the list of books we were to read. I only had Madeline here at the house. I have linked to the YouTube readings we used.

After we watched, or read, the books, I would ask the reading comprehension questions. My son is a fantastic reader, so he always had great answers. Then we read through the simple grammar lesson, which consisted of capital letter use and punctuation, and completed the practice for the day. We discussed story elements. And then we worked on the composition section and followed the directions in the Teacher’s Guide. The lessons usually lasted 20-45 minutes and we did three to four lessons per week.

For the reading journal entries, I decided to write down my son’s answers. They were usually quite detailed. But he did the composition activities. These usually consisted of choosing a topic, then brainstorming, writing a rough draft, and then writing a final draft. Lightning Literature did a great job of stepping out the beginning writing process, but because I knew my child well, I knew that I had to back up a little more and then hopefully gain ground as the weeks went by.

Here are two examples of his work. What do you think?

Week 1: Write about a picture.

Week 1: Write about a picture.

Week 4: Write about how to do something

Week 4: Write about how to do something.

I think RB did a great job! He was much more organized, chose a topic that he enjoyed, and cared about his work. We have not edited this last composition yet, so we will work on it later this week.

There is one aspect of this curriculum that I did not do well. While we have spoken about the parts of literature, I have not had RB narrate the story to me as we discuss those sections. We have never really done that before, so it is something I skipped over for some reason. Now that I am seeing improvement in writing, I am going to add in the narration and work on public speaking some as well.


What I liked the most about Lightening Literature for Grade 1 was the use of familiar children’s books and fun composition activities. This curriculum seems to “click” with my son and I have seen a willingness to write more as he has progressed through these first few weeks. I plan on continuing this curriculum to see how RB improves!

Overall, Hewitt Homeschooling earns 5 FFS Aliens out of 5 FFS Aliens for homeschool Reading/Writing/Grammar/Composition friendliness!

5 aliens

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