Monday, January 5, 2015

Middle School Monday - Lightning Literature and Composition

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Middle School Monday

Welcome to Middle School Monday! This week I'm excited to be participating in the Virtual Curriculum Fair hosted by Susan at Homeschooling Hearts and Minds and Chareen at Every Bed of Roses. We are sharing our thoughts on "Playing with Words" this week.

 Lucky for me, Kennady loves to read and generally likes to write, so Language Arts isn't a subject we struggle with too much. In another stroke of luck, we found a literature and composition curriculum that she loves! A few years ago, we reviewed Lightning Lit & Comp for Grade 7, and although she was a little too young for it at the time, it was an excellent fit and when she got to Grade 7, that's the course we used. As we neared the end of that school year and I started planning for Grade 8, she was very firm: we "had to" get Lightning Lit & Comp for Grade 8. Done, and done!

Hewitt Homeschooling Review
This curriculum combines literature study with composition and grammar study. Each unit begins with a brief biography of the featured author, and a lesson about the literature selection and what the student will focus on during the unit. There are comprehension questions to help ensure that the student understands the action of the novels and what is going on in the stories. There are writing exercises - several to choose from! - in each unit that challenge the student to try their hand at writing short stories, poetry, and other compositions using the techniques they are learning about.

The Grade 8 literature selections are:
"A Crazy Tale" by G.K. Chesterton
Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
A Day of Pleasure by Isaa Bashevis Singer
"Wakefield" by Nathanael Hawthorne
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
"Reflections" by Lafcadio Hearn
My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell
To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
... and various poets - the short stories and poems are all taken from Stories and Poems for Extremely Intelligent Children of All Ages

   So far, in addition to enjoying the reading, and studying grammar and composition, Kennady has written nonsense poetry and short stories. Not everything has come easily for her, and just like everybody, she likes some types of reading material more than others. I have been rearranging the order that she is working on the units a little bit, based on her preferences and our calendar. So right now she is working on A Day of Pleasure, a book I wasn't at all familiar with. At first glance, she wasn't sure she would like it, but I encouraged her to give it a chance, and it's turning out to be an enjoyable read. I think I will read it when she is finished!

Without any question, she is most looking forward to studying The Hobbit. I've rearranged the units so that she'll do this book (a favorite of hers, and one she's already read several times) at the end of the school year instead of near the beginning. She did a Moving Beyond the Page study of the book this past spring, and loved that (Read our full review). That in-depth study included hands-on activities like this map of Middle Earth and writing in Anglo-Saxon Runes, as well as grammar and writing activities.

 (For more detail on the Grade 7 course, you may read our full review. We've also reviewed one of the Lightning Lit and Comp books for high school level. That wasn't the best fit for my high school son, but we do plan to use it in a couple years for Kennady.)

 What are your favorite resources for studying Language Arts? Leave a comment and let me know!

Each week I invite bloggers to share their posts about middle school here on Middle School Monday. The link is open through Friday, and I will do my best to visit, comment, and share your posts. Please grab the Middle School Monday button to add to your post or to your sidebar when you leave your link below, and please visit the other links and comment or share. I look forward to seeing what you and your middle schoolers are doing!
Middle School Monday at Homeschool Coffee Break

Please visit your neighbors, leave comments, and share!

For more "Playing With Words" posts in the Virtual Curriculum Fair, visit these participating bloggers:
Building a Foundation of Words by Susan @ Homeschooling Hearts & Minds
Language Arts for 2015 by Chareen @ Every Bed of Roses
Bible-Based Language Arts Resources by Tauna M @ Proverbial Homemaker
Relaxed Homeschooling: Language Arts in the Early Elementary Years by Brittney @ Mom's Heart
Loving Books and Words by Sarah@Delivering Grace
5 Language Arts Resources We Love by Becky @ Milo & Oats
Teaching Reading at Home: A Tale of 5 Readers by Kristen H. @ Sunrise to Sunset
A More Simplistic Approach to 7th Grade Language Arts by Christy @ Unexpected Homeschool
Language Arts Reading for Delight-Directed Learning by Susan @ The Every Day of Education
How To: Spelling Dictation by Heather @ Only Passionate Curiosity
The World of Words in our Homeschool by Joelle @ Homeschooling for His Glory
Unschooling and Words, Words, Words by Nicole @ Schooling in the Sun
Learning With Literature and Language Arts Resources by Leah @ As We Walk Along the Road
Words and More Words! by Michele @ FamilyFaithandFridays
Language Arts in Our Homeschool (2014 – 2015) by Laura O @ Day by Day in Our World
Our curriculum choices ~ Language Arts by Renata @ Sunnyside Farm Fun
The 2015 Virtual Curriculum Fair ~ Language Arts in Our Homeschool by Jennifer @ A Glimpse of Our Life
Loaded Pistols: Virtual Curriculum Fair Playing with Words by Lisa @ Golden Grasses
A Renewed Focus on Reading Aloud by Debra @Footprints in the Butter
Language Arts in our Classical / Charlotte Mason Homeschool by Sharra @ The Homeschool Marm
Logic of English Foundations: The Grand Prize Winner of Phonics by Chelli @ The Planted Trees
A Sentence a Day Teaches Grammar the Fun Way by Amy A @ One Blessed Mamma
Tackling Language Arts by Jacquelin @ A Stable Beginning
Middle School Monday - Lightning Literature and Composition by Kym @ Homeschool Coffee Break
The Great Grammar Discovery by Laura @ Four Little Penguins

Thanks to Susan at Homeschooling Hearts and Minds for the Virtual Curriculum Fair 2015 banners created using clipart and graphics from StoryRock from My Memories.

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Joelle said...

Oh wow, so nice when you find something that really clicks and works! My boys love the Hobbit book as well.

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