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LIGHTNING LIT & COMP (Hewitt Homeschooling Resources)

2103 B Street, Washougal, WA.  98671
Available at

Review by Linda K. Foster

Lightning Lit & Comp guides, published by Hewitt Homeschooling Resources, are a unique approach in the combined study of literature and composition.  Unlike most other programs that require reading a variety of seemingly disconnected pieces of literature, Lightning Lit focuses on a limited number of classics to provide an in-depth, systematic study approach.  Lightning Lit and Comp guides use full-length novels, autobiographies, plays, essays, short stories, and poems to teach deep reading and composition skills. Guides are available for a variety of junior and high school courses including American Literature, British Literature, World Literature, Christian British Authors and Shakespeare.

Lightning Lit & Comp guides are available for purchase in packs including all required books or as individual guides. Each guide focuses on age-appropriate reading materials presented in a clearly-written, comprehensive fashion.  For instance, the Lightning Lit & Comp guide for seventh grade level students features Mark Twain, Lewis Carroll, Helen Keller, James Herriot, Rudyard Kipling, Stephen Crane and a variety of poets.  Each guide provides an introduction clearly explaining how students can use the guide to maximize the learning experience. Students are advised to read each lesson introduction prior to reading the required books, short stories or poems.  Each lesson consists of a brief biographical introduction, vocabulary, comprehension questions, the literary lesson and mini-lesson, and writing exercises. 

Lightning Lit & Comp guides also include workbook pages that provide students a chance to practice the skills and concepts learned in the lessons. Students are also presented with a variety of additional stimulating exercises geared to cover other composition skills (writing from note cards, re-writing in your own words, etc.), thinking skills (differentiating fact from opinion, identifying bias, etc.) and grammar review (capitalization, pronouns, antecedents, etc.).  Optional puzzles and extra challenge workbook pages are also included.  Each lesson and corresponding workbook selection is designed to increase student interest in reading and to stimulate thinking. For instance, the 7th Grade Workbook includes a Graphic Organizer exercise designed to organize thinking.  In this exercise, students read a provided excerpt from “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County” by Mark Twain and then complete a chart by analyzing the frog’s abilities and traits. Students than create a storyboard for the story line of Rikki-Tikki-Tavi” using sketches, if desired. 

Unlike many other programs, Lightning Lit & Comp guides offer much more than simple reading exercises. Lessons are written in a clear, concise manner.  Instructions are clear and writing assignments are varied enough to peak student interest and spur the desire for additional reading.

Lightning Lit & Comp also offers equally well-written Teacher Guides for each course.  Each Teacher Guide includes an explanation of the course’s philosophy, a weekly lesson planner, answers to the Comprehension Questions, additional teaching suggestions for each lesson, additional information on writing exercises, and answers to workbook assignments.

The format of Lightning Lit & Comp is geared toward independent study, making it an excellent choice for homeschoolers or anyone who needs more of a self-directed and self-paced approach to literature and composition. While each grade is a one-semester course for most students, students struggling with reading and writing may take up to a year to finish a guide. Students who excel in language arts will find the additional reading recommendations useful. Regardless of skill level, all students will be exposed to exciting new authors or will revisit old favorites with new eyes.

Reading and writing should be fun and satisfying and Lightning Lit & Comp guides are designed to accomplish those goals.

For additional information or to purchase these excellent resources, please visit  L.F.


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