Hewitt Lightning Lit: World Lit II Review

Hewitt Homeschooling Resources offers a comprehensive selection of literature courses for grades 7 through 12 called Lightning Literature and Composition. From basic classics like The Adventures of Tom Sawyer in American Literature, to British Literature, Shakespeare, and World Literature, Lightning Literature integrates literature, composition, and even an optional geography approach into one program.

Hewitt Homeschooling

As part of the Schoolhouse Review Crew, I was privileged to review Hewitt’s last course, Lightning Literature and Composition: World Literature II: Latin America, Africa, and Asia by Brenda S. Cox. World Lit II is comprised of a Student Guide ($29.95), and a Teacher’s Guide ($2.95), with a selection of books that can be purchased to make a set ($88.93 for both guides and texts) or as individual titles.

The Teacher’s Guide is well organized and includes many helpful tips and insights for walking through the literature selections with your student(s).

The incredibly inexpensive Teacher’s Guide provides the following resources:

  • detailed answers to the comprehension and discussion questions for each story.
  • templates, rubrics, and checklists for scoring a variety of assignments, essays, and projects.
  • scheduling options for a semester program, a full year program, or a program that includes BJU Geography textbook lessons.

The affordable Student Guide is where the action is, however. The World Lit II Student Guide includes:

  • tips and instructions for writing essays and reports.
  • comprehension questions for each story.
  • discussion questions for each unit that compare and contrast different authors and stories within and across units.
  • literary lessons such as developing characters, conflict and plot, style and irony, setting, political fiction and satire, persuasive writing techniques, and more.
  • writing exercises galore! World Lit II gives students the opportunity to practice their hand at character development, persuasive writing, compare and contrast, and so on.
  • an appendix full of supplemental project ideas ranging from community service activities, field trips, shadowing opportunities, and more.
  • literary terms and vocabulary.

For purposes of this review, my 11th grade daughter and I worked through Unit 1, Malgudi Days by famous Indian author, R.K. Narayan. Z also read 2 stories from Japan in Unit 2, and I read through some Unit 4 material regarding the text In the Name of Identity: Violence and the Need to Belong by Amin Maalouf.

Z enjoyed Narayan’s writing style and dry-humored descriptions of different characters within a fictional Indian city. We enjoyed sharing our thoughts on the comprehension and discussion questions together. Incidentally, we had just read Life of Pi by Yann Martel, and we were pleased to recognize the reference to R.K. Narayan in that book.

In the Name of Identity is a deep, philosophical book about where we derive and how we express our identity/sense of self. The author sees this issue resulting from differences in religious values between middle eastern and western cultures. Cox uses this book to teach students how to develop persuasive arguments. This course is definitely designed for young adults who are eager, insightful thinkers. The ability to look at your own paradigms by considering someone’s opposing paradigms is very challenging! However, it is an essential skill that is quickly disappearing from our culture with dire consequences.

We did not do any of the writing assignments or projects due to limited summer time, but World Lit II offers a wide selection of well-designed topics that will help any senior high student develop college-level essays with critical content.

Recommendations:

  • Lightning Lit and Comp World Lit II is an excellent, challenging, and comprehensive program for high school seniors.
  • The lesson plans are clear, systematic, well-organized, and well-integrated within itself and with BJU Geography (optional approach).
  • Other than reading ahead, little prep time is needed on the teacher’s part.
  • Information and instruction in the Student Guide is clear, comprehensive, and very readable.
  • World Lit II (and it’s precursor World Lit I) would meet the credit required for a college prep program.
  • Lightning Lit handles non-Christian world view themes very well in discussions and writing assignments.
  • Since literature is best enjoyed in the company of other minds and insights, this Lightning Lit program would make an excellent homeschool co-op class curriculum.

Considerations:

    • Due to its mature and sophisticated content, World Lit II should NOT be used as an independent study program. Students definitely need to be guided through the material by an adult who has reviewed the lesson plans and book contents. Discussing the ideas in the books with others is also a crucial element of the program.
    • Some of the literature includes foul language, mature concepts, and non-Christian perspectives. However, Brenda Cox does an excellent job addressing those issues through discussion and exercises in the Teacher and Student guides.
    • Although the Student and Teacher guides include information about how to write essays and reports, this program is not a good place to learn HOW to do that. A senior high student should already have basic essay and report writing skills in place before pursuing the assignments in this curriculum. Students would use this program to develop their ability to think critically and then express their critical thinking skills in writing.
    • World Lit II refers to works and concepts from World Lit I, although II can probably be managed quite well without it if necessary. However, both programs would make an incredibly solid, college-worthy literature and composition course.

Overall, Z and I enjoyed Lightning Lit and Comp: World Lit II. As an English/writing teacher by trade, I would jump at the chance to teach a homeschool co-op class with any Lightning Lit Program. Alas! If only there were two of me! This high quality curriculum offers a rewarding study for both student and teacher.

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Disclaimer: As a member of the Schoolhouse Review Crew, I received the Lightning Lit World Lit II Teacher Guide and Student Guide at no cost to me in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are mine alone.

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