5th Grade, 6th Grade, 7th Grade, Language Arts, Literature Base

Lightning Literature & Composition Grade 5 Review!

Complimentary Product Received from Hewitt Learning!

We have been long-time users of Hewitt Learning Lightning Literature & Composition curricula. My son has completed grades 2nd-4th grade, I have also taught the 1st grade online. Each year our family has loved the curricula! Lightning Literature & Composition Grade 5 Teacher’s Guide & Student Workbook is no different than the previous years and brings that same familiarity my son has grown to love.

Who is Hewitt Learning?

If you aren’t familiar with Hewitt Learning the company has always been at the forefront of supporting homeschool education since the early 1960. The company has since created award-winning literature-based curriculums for grades 1st-12 grade. They also have administered over 350,000 P.A.S.S tests to homeschool students for standardized testing. Along with the curriculum and standardized testing, they have ventured into the arena of STEM with their Innovators Challenge program. Hewitt Learning is currently developing an online component coming soon. This Fall their highly anticipated release of Kids Chemical Solutions is coming in the next few weeks.

About Lightening Literature & Composition Grade 5

Lightning Literature & Composition Grade 5 Teacher’s Guide & Student Workbook has kept that same standard of rigor. The curriculum is not religious. A complete set includes the Teachers Guide and Student Workbook. Lightning Literature & Composition Grade 5 is the last of 2 left in the elementary series until middle school. You have the option of purchasing the physical books or pdf. Their is a literature pack bundle if you would like to get the readers.

I love the design of the student book, the illustration are colorful and not overwhelming. There are 36 weeks of lessons which include grammar/mechanics and reading comprehension. Lightning Literature & Composition Grade 5 students will read nine novels. Students will also work on poetry which is included in the student text. The included poetry is new for us this year. In grade 4 we used a poetry book that my son LOVES and had me buy the sequel to the book.

The literature selections for this year’s curriculum are phenomenal. Every book selected for this year was on my to-be-read list. You can purchase the literature pack from the company or check them out from your local library. I was equally impressed by the inclusivity and diversity of the book selection. The very first-week students are The Mighty Miss Malone.

Gary, New York City, and the Deep South; they’ll journey to Canada, Europe, and Pakistan; they’ll travel from a hundred years in the past to some unknown time in the future; and they’ll explore a fantasy world peopled with strange characters.

Lightning Literature & Composition Grade 5

I love the student checklist that breaks down the chapters the students are responsible for reading for the week. The checklist also includes the grammar/mechanics as well as the composition assignment for the week. Each week has four days of written work including reading comprehension questions. The fifth day is reserved for finishing the final draft of the composition or extension lessons. Students are expected to work on their compositions throughout the week.

Students will also review sentences diagramming. My son loves to diagram sentences I am not a huge fan, but I do understand the reason behind learning the skill.

Lightning Literature & Composition Grade 5 doesn’t include spelling, reading, and handwriting. These other disciplines can easily be supplemented and blended into the curriculum.

About the Teacher’s Guide

Lightning Literature & Composition Grade 5 Teacher’s Guide is comprehensive. The how-to-use sections provide parents with information on how to teach the lessons. I really like how the guide tells you to tailor the course to your needs. The teacher guide also includes a week at a glance for the lesson along with the answers to the student text. There are also extra resources available on the the companies website.

Lightning Literature & Composition Grade 5 Teacher’s Guide includes detailed help for guiding your student through writing their composition for the week. Lightning Literature & Composition Grade 5 Teacher’s Guide is must have when working with your student, please don’t skip purchasing this guide.

How We Use

Okay, this isn’t our first time working with this curriculum, so I consider ourselves pros now. We have used both pdf and hard copies of Lightening Literature & Composition curriculums. I like both versions, but for this review, we are using the Lightning Literature & Composition Grade 5 hard copies. My son is a grammar monster he loves grammar. This year we have a spine English curriculum, but Lightening Literature & Composition Grade 5 is also being used alongside his spine as his independent work.

This year we are excited to use Lightning Literature & Composition Grade 5 and have already started listening to and reading week one novel. We use the novels from Lightening Literature & Composition Grade 5 Teacher’s Guide & Student Workbook novels as our read-aloud. My son works on the lesson on his own and he does the compositions as part of his writing time on Fridays.

Parent Involvement and Preparation.

With any curriculum there is some level of parent involvement. With the upper elementary levels 4-5 grade students are on the independent track. I personally preview the lesson each week on Sunday and evaluate if this something my son can do on his own or do I need to review with him. I also enjoy reading/listening along to the literature so we use them as our read a-louds and do the reading comprehension questions together. If you purchase the hard copies you don’t need to prep the lessons you can tear them out the book and put in a binder or keep them in book. My son prefers I tear them out each week. If you feel you need to prep external resources for the lesson that is clearly up to you. The pdf version does need some preparation. The curriculum is low prep and requires parent involvement based upon your students capabilities.

Final Thoughts

Lightning Literature & Composition Grade 5 is a great curriculum it can be used as a stand-alone or combined with another spine. The lessons are short and in-depth. Students have plenty of practice over the week of the grammar and mechanics. After every five lessons, students will get a review of the previous lessons. The poetry is spread throughout the book over the course of 36 weeks.

Is it on grade level? Absolutely, actually above grade level in my opinion. My son works well in Lightning Literature & Composition curriculums, the literature picks are great and keep his interest. If your student doesn’t have a strong grammar background I would consider looking over the sample pages of each of the grade levels before purchasing. I would also recommend that if your students aren’t familiar with the writing process you give them a quick review or use the composition as a way of teaching them about the mechanics of writing.

Lightning Literature is a language arts curriculum designed to:

  • instill a love of literature in students,
  • expand their ability to read intelligently and deeply, and
  • prepare them for more advanced language arts concepts.
Hewitt Learning

Hewitt Learning’s website provides excellent sample pages of the curriculums and great customer service. At the time of this review Lightning Literature & Composition Grade 5 Teacher’s Guide & Student Workbook combo is on sale for $80.65 and the regular price is $84.90. If you would like to purchase the Lightning Lit — Gr-5 Pack w/Readers the cost is $154.33 on sale!

I highly recommend Lightning Literature & Composition Grade 5 we have used their curriculas for several years. One of the things I really enjoy about this curricula is their commitment to including divirsity in their booklist and illustrations. My son loves the books and academically they have been phenomenal. I think that curricula works well for those looking for a relaxed approach to grammar while being challenging. The upper grades provide checklist for students allowing them to be independant and a steward over thier learning. You can do the lessons as part of a morning basket and the learning schedule will fit into a loop homeschool schedule perfectly.

Until the Next Time,

Mom

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1st Grade, 2nd Grade Curriculum, 3rd Grade Curriculum, 4th Grade, 5th Grade, 6th Grade, 7th Grade, Critical Thinking and Logic, Curriculum, dyslexia, Education, Games and Apps, Homeschool, Language Arts, spelling, Vocabulary, Writing

Mrs.Wordsmith Word Tag Review!

Complimentary review through Mrs. Wordsmith!

Are you looking to add some excitement to vocabulary building? Have you ever heard of Mrs. Wordsmith? Well if you haven’t heard about Mrs. Wordsmith what better way to introduce you to this company than telling you about their new app Word Tag.

Mrs. Wordsmith is an award-winning company based originally in the UK. The company was founded in 2015 by Sofia Fenuchell who wanted to create educational materials that actually worked and kids would love it. Using quality animations and game design to improve how kids learned vocabulary, Mrs. Worthsmith was born. Mrs. Wordsmith since their early beginning the company has grown and developed a full line of products for kids ages 4-13. The company has created books, games, curriculums, tons of free resources. We own several of the curriculums, books, and vocabulary sets. Mrs. Wordsmith’s newest addition to their line of literacy and vocabulary materials is the Word Tag app.

We were invited in July to join the team as a tester and my son has loved playing the Word Tag app. The company has taken video games to an entirely new level with fun vocabulary-building adventures. My son loves Hip-Hop culture so the game won him over instantly with the graffiti. The game takes place in Los Angeles, kids will go on a quest of collecting spray cans and spraying words while trying to avoid the street cleaners. Kids will complete daily activities at their paces, challenges, and pop quizzes.

With a methodology designed to teach challenging vocabulary, Word Tag boosts reading comprehension, advances creative and academic writing, and improves exam performance.

Mrs. Wordsmith

Word Tag 3D adventure is visually appealing to players and it encourages them to keep playing and learning new words. The kids are constantly reviewing the words they have learned. Kids will learn up to 1,000 words. Words a present in context to help reinforce their learning. The more words your student’s master more levels open for them to play. Players can earn more coins and unlock materials from the pop quizzes. I love how the words show the kids the definitions, parts of speech, and synonyms. The vocabulary the kids learn is Tier 2 academic words that are frequently used on SSSA. ISEE, SAT, STAR, and MAP exams. Word Tag also will increase your students reading levels.

Word Tag also allows students to connect with other players and their friends if they are using Word Tag to share the gameplay and compete with each other. Word Tag takes your student’s safety seriously and incorporated a safe social player. The program is adaptive and you will have access to player reports. The company also provides a parent guide that includes a sample word list and learning objectives.

So why does Word Tag work :

  • Active engagement
  • Word repetition
  • Learning progressin
  • Self-directed learning
  • Character-based learning

Our Review

I love Word Tag for all the reasons above I mentioned. I am familiar with the company and its products, so their brand is one I trust with my child. Now my son is crazy about Word Tag he was super excited when the Mall level opened for him and he has been playing non-stop. He said the graphics are cool and it is fun to learn the new words. The other great thing is he sees characters from Mrs. Wordsmith’s Storyteller’s Illustrated Dictionary, How to Write a Story, and Reading Comprehension Vocabulary.

I highly recommend you try out Mrs. Wordsmith’s Word Tag it is available on Apple Store and Google Play and is currently a free download.

Until the Next Time,

Mom & J

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4th Grade, 5th Grade, 6th Grade, 7th Grade, Critical Thinking and Logic, Curriculum, Education, Homeschool, Reviews, S.T.E.A.M

Genius Games : Periodic: A Game of The Elements Review !

Complimentary product received through the Melanated Gold Review Squad, in exchange for my honest review.

Looking for a fun game that teaches you and your kids the periodic table? I was sent the Periodic: Game of The Elements to review from Genius Games. As a science-loving family and we love any opportunity to game school.

The Periodic: Game of The Elements is a great way to introduce the periodic table to your budding chemist. My son has a little knowledge of the elements but not much and he has recently shown interest in learning them. Periodic: Game of The Elements is for students ages 10+ , 2-5 players, and gameplay is 40-60 mins. The game board is sturdy and the elements are in bright colors. Players will move around the board using 1 of the 5 Erlenmeyer Flask as they research and learn the elements and their atomic numbers.

The goal of the game is to move along the periodic table and collect elements in order to score goal cards. Periodic: Game of The Elements is a strategic game and you have to plan your moves so you can complete goal cards for points. The game has two game movements one is moving your flask around the table and the second movement is moving your microscope around the board and completing your secret agenda cards for extra points. Players also have to decide on how to spend or gain energy to activate trends. The person with the most points wins the game. Periodic: Game of The Elements comes with 172 small pieces, 1 game board, and a rule book.

I really like this game for teaching the elements and their atomic mass. The game offers a great lesson in teaching students about protons and neutrons. The goal cards have different combinations of elements on them and what they become when combined. on the back of the Periodic: Game of The Elements box, you will find a QR scan that makes it easy to retrieve the rules of the game and video of game play.

Periodic: Game of The Elements does has had a lot of moveable parts and does require a certain level of mental play, and logic skills. This game is defiantly for older kiddos I highly recommend it for kids ages 12+. There are a lot of rules to remember and follow to be successful at the game. My son did find it a little confusing as we played the game but, I decided to scale the game back a little for him. We only did the primary movements of the game. Keep in mind my son is just 1 month shy of being 9 years old and he has a strong background in science. He really likes the game board, learning the table as well looking over the goal cards, and researching. We just tweaked the game little for him, I also had a little trouble following the gameplay rules, but the video was very helpful.

I would recommend Periodic: Game of The Elements from Genius Games for students 10+. I wouldn’t recommend to children younger than 9 years. We did enjoy the game and I am sure we will continue to grow into it over the years. At the time of this review the cost of Periodic: Game of The Elements is $39.99 plus taxes and shipping.

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1st Grade, 2nd Grade Curriculum, 3rd Grade Curriculum, 4th Grade, 5th Grade, 6th Grade, 7th Grade, Curriculum, dyslexia, Homeschool, Language Arts, Read Alouds, Reviews, spelling, Writing

LightSail for Homeschoolers Review!

Disclosure: I received this complimentary product through the Homeschool Review Crew.

For the last few weeks, we have been using LightSail for Homeschoolers Premium Subscription. The crew was given given a 1-year online subscription to review. LightSail for Homeschoolers focuses on four areas Reading, Writing, Vocabulary, and Fluency it also includes World Book.

LightSail for Homeschoolers program focuses on the 4 areas of literacy. Before students can venture into the program they are given an assessment to determine their Lexile level. The assessment is lengthy so I recommend breaking it up into 2 days. After the children finish the assessment you will see their score and you as a the parent can assign books for them to read that are on on that level or any level you would like. LightSail for Homeschoolers has excellent content security, I noticed that a lot of books I went to assign my student or I was just researching to add for him to read I had to grant permission for him to access.

LightSail for Homeschoolers Reading has a huge selection of literature, I was very pleased to see lots of culturally diverse materials and topics. My son has a major passion for the Negro Baseball League and we found several books, videos, and documentaries about the players that I created him a unit study so he could access them faster. Speaking of unit studies WOW this feature is fabulous, I was able to create unit studies for our science, history, and language arts lessons. The unit study feature allows you to assign the study to all the students or to individual students. The LightSail for Homeschoolers Reading provides:

  • Unit Studies, Booklist and Memory Work
  • Read-Alouds
  • Assessments
  • Augment Reality
  • Interactive Books
  • Videos
  • Parental Control

We really enjoyed the augmented reality section we were able to explore areas of the world and places. The LightSail for Homeschoolers Reading also helps you set reading goals, track your students data, reading badges, and much more.

LightSail for Homeschoolers Writing from what is reviewed is going to be a great program that will encourage your student to work on grammar skills, writing, journal, and write books. Parents will be able to assign writing assignments, grades and provided feedback to their students writing. At the time of this review, this section was not available.

LightSail for Homeschoolers Vocabulary is fabulous students can work on vocabulary building and spelling both of which we really need assistance in this area. Students will work on definitions and interactive activities. One of my absolute favorite sections is the Clozes in text, how can sing this practice praises. Several of the books in the library uses the clozes. The books the students read are missing words, and have interactive in-text activities. The students can’t move on in the book until they do the activities. The activities require the student to use comprehension, context clues and vocabulary skills to fill in the blanks.

LightSail for Homeschoolers Fluency will work on improving your students fluency, through read-alouds & re-telling, memory work, listening, speaking and writing.

LightSail for Homeschoolers Reading, Writing, Vocabulary, and Fluency is an excellent language arts online platform. There is a lot of content in the LightSail for Homeschoolers , you will need to undergo a learning curve when using the platform. I highly recommend you watch all of the videos and take some time getting use to the platform. I am still learning the platform myself, several of the areas are still under development so you will not have access to all areas. The one thing I was very disappointed with is that this program will only work with Chrome and Edge. We are an Apple family and I had to download the Chrome browser on my iMac so I could manage the parent dashboard. My son also wasn’t a big fan that he couldn’t use this on his iPad and had to be stationary in front of his laptop. I would encourage the company to make this available on Safari and Firefox.

At the time of this review, the company offers a 7 day free trial, thereafter $99 for the LightSail for Homeschoolers Premium account. Be sure to check out the other crew’s reviews of LightSail for Homeschoolers by clicking the banner below.

4th Grade, 5th Grade, 6th Grade, 7th Grade, Curriculum, dyslexia, Education, Homeschool, Language Arts, Reviews, spelling, Writing

Write Shop Junior Level E Homeschool Curriculum Review!

Complimentary product received through the Melanated Gold Review Squad, in exchange for my honest review.

We are no strangers to the WriteShop curriculum when my son was in kindergarten/1st grade we tried out the WriteShop Level A Primary. Two years ago I purchased WriteShop Junior Level D , at the time I purchased level D my son wasn’t quite ready for it so I put it on the shelf until this year. The Melanated Gold Review Squad was offer the chance to review WriteShop Junior Level E and I thought this would be a good opportunity to check out Level E, because I had plans to purchase it.

WriteShop Junior Level E is for 4th-5th grade. Students will embark on a creative writing adventure using all the different learning styles. WriteShop Junior Level E set comes with

  • Teacher’s Guide
  • Activity Pack w/Fold-N-Go Grammar
  • Time-Saver Pack, and Junior Writer’s Notebook 1 .

The Junior Writers Notebook is a digital download I plan to purchase this product, because it was not sent to me. WriteShop Junior Level E is available in hard copy or digital.

WriteShop Junior Level E has 10 instructional writing lesson covering:

  • Fables
  • Writing with Humor
  • Adventures
  • Writing Science Fiction
  • Mystery Writing
  • Concrete Poetry
  • Personal and Descriptive Narrative
  • Book and Nonfiction Reports

I know what you are thinking 10 lessons that’s all ??? Each lesson is recommend to be done over a 3 week period of time, which will give you 30 weeks. Now you can do what works for and go at your own pace. The teacher’s manual offers suggested lessons plans for a 2 week or 3 week schedule. The teachers manual helps you with the set up of each lessons, prepping, suggested reading list, and resource links.

WriteShop Junior Level E requires parent involvement. You need to do prepping of each lessons activity. The time-saver pack is must have it does exactly what it says saves time. I took a Sunday and created all of the Fold-N-Go Folders. You do have permission to photocopy of the grammar. Making copies are for your use only. I did take my time and make photocopies of certain lesson just in case I may need to review again with him. I did purchase a long reach stapler on Amazon. Grammar covered in WriteShop Junior Level E :

  • Sentences
  • 4 Sentence Types
  • Compound Sentences
  • Parts of Speech Review
  • Dialogue
  • Homophones, Homonyms, and Homographs
  • Five Paragraphs
  • Prefix and Suffix
  • Compound Words
  • Synonyms and Antonyms

How the Program Works

Students will start their journey with reading one the suggested books for the lesson. This step is clearly option, we looked through the list and we noticed that the book list suggested in the teacher book and the provided resource link lacked diversity so we had to make some adjustments in this area. The weekly lessons students will work on one of the following skills during the 4 day work week: Brainstorming, Pre-writing, Fold-N-Go Grammar, Editing, and Revising.

One of the things I found confusing in the teachers manual is the referencing to the Junior Writers Notebook in the teacher’s manual and I was confused why I couldn’t find the sheets and then I checked WriteShop and noticed I needed to purchased it separately because I didn’t receive it. The teacher’s manual can be a little overwhelming I had to whip out my highlighters and page markers.

Overall Thoughts

I really like WriteShop Junior Level E the program is multi sensory, creative and flexible. The program also works for children who may have dyslexia or dysgraphia and struggling 6th and 7th grade writers.

The company emails helpful resources and has a wonderful blog. My son isn’t a big fan of writing but this curriculum went over well. He didn’t feel overwhelmed as enjoyed the games and the interactive activities. My son has a strong foundation in grammar so WriteShop Junior Level E grammar skills lessons are a perfect review for him, but because he isn’t a confident writer we will continue to finish up with WriteShop Junior Level D and we will also use WriteShop Junior Level E later this semester but I will pull the grammar from WriteShop Junior Level E hence the reason why I am glad the company grants you permission to make photocopies for your own personal use.

At the time of this review WriteShop Junior Level E hard copy is $84.50 plus shipping. Be sure to check out the other Melanated Gold Review Squad reviews on WriteShop .