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Jun 29, 2017

Hewitt Homeschooling ~ A Homeschool Crew Review

The Hewitt Research Foundation, begun in 1964, was started by Carl Hewitt and author Dr. Raymond Moore who wrote several books on education, including Better Late Than Early.  Hewitt Homeschooling currently provides homeschoolers with services, testing, and curriculum. Their focus is on character, work ethic, community service, and academic excellence.

My First Reports are an inexpensive, full 12 week unit study.  Students learn all about researching and reporting skills, writing, and practice handwriting.  They will know most of the answers to the Me unit, since it is all about them.  That is a great first unit.  When your child is ready to start searching for answers they don't know, you will teach them how to research the information in books you have, at the library, or online if you like.

 My First Reports
Set of Fourteen

My First Report is available in 24 individual titles.  A select set of 14 of those topics in a 3-ring binder is also available.  Topics cover an array of subjects to interest pretty much every student.  My State (#3353) covers all the information we could use to learn about our own state, which we are required by our statute to do.  I found Transportation (#1764) for all of the boys.  Hello! trains, cars, trucks, and airplanes.  What more could they want?  Merrick is very into Marine Life (#2224), so I chose that for him.  After they write all about Me (#1766), Focus on the World (#3210) is great for broadening a students perspective by looking at geography and world missions.  While working on Reptiles & Amphibians (#2225), we had to catch some salamanders, of course.  Wild Animals: Large Mammals (#1966) rounds out our collection of studies.

Focus on the World takes us all over earth, directing us to learn about Christians in each area.  A book Window on the World is recommended, but not necessary for this study.  I have ordered it from Amazon, even so, as a great addition to our reference materials.

The My First Reports are created specifically for grades 3-4.  First and second graders can use them with help from Mom or Dad.  Struggling, older students can also apply the writing prompts to help them create paragraphs. They came stapled and three hole punched, so I just pulled the staples from the corner and placed them in binders with a tab divider between each one.  For ease of use by the punks, I keep the studies in 1/2" binders, with just 2-3 My First Reports in each one.  You might even choose to insert each one into its own 3-hole punch pocket folder.

Approximately twelve pages of questions are in each study.  The questions are in some way related.  For instance, in Me, one page has eight questions on the "My First Report on What I Look Like" page.  At the bottom of the page is a box containing pertinent vocabulary (height, weight, auburn, green, etc.,).  A Transportation page lists six questions related to Public Transportation, with electricity, diesel, and trolley among the words listed in the vocabulary box.  Similarly, Focus on the World shows a map on the left hand page of a two page spread followed by several questions about a specific region.

You'll find an entire unit study resource at the end.  Many of the units have crossword puzzles and word searches in addition to pages of ideas to tie into your study.
  • Bible/Character
  • History/Geography/Social Studies
  • Reading
  • Language
  • Math
  • Science/Health
  • Physical Education
  • Music
  • Art
  • Field Trips
This is followed by a Resources section.  This lists fiction and non-fiction books, music to enjoy, and some units list websites to access.  Other important fact lists follow.  In Wild Animals: Large Mammals, students learn about animal classifications (King Phillip Came Out From Geneva Switzerland.).  My State lists the Presidents of the United States, their home state, and their vice president.  Bible verse copywork is included.  Then the unit ends with various sized, reproducible, blank lined pages (5/8", 1/2", and 3/8"), with and without boxes to illustrate what's been written by the student.

Here, I let the boys choose a page to work in.  Sometimes I picked the unit and they picked the specific topic.  We started with answering the questions on the sheet in full sentences.  Then, we would find the closest related questions on a page and write sentences that answered them.  I showed them that paragraphs are made up, not of random sentence answers, but of *related* information (You can see the progression in the photos below.).  I showed them the difference in a complete sentence that merely answered the question (It was blue.) vs a sentence that could be understood by someone who didn't know what the original question had been (My favorite ball was blue.).   They're writing is growing a lot with these units and their paragraphs are getting much better as we use the prompts as a guide to build related information into complete paragraphs.

I do wish that each My First Report had numbered pages all the way through (the unit study section *is* numbered) and a table of contents.  Before I had them in the binder, the punks had separated the Me report and messed them all up searching for the page they wanted to respond to first.  My First Reports are terrific little homeschool studies and we'll be using the prompts for a longtime to come. 

Several years ago, I reviewed Hewitt Homeschooling's Grade 1 Lightning Lit Set with Xavier.  I liked the curriculum so much, I have another student workbook so I can use the program with Merrick in the fall.  He will only be in kindergarten, but I plan to take about 18 months to go through the whole thing.  You can read my review of that, or click the banner below to see what the rest of the Crew thought about it and many other literature courses offered by Hewitt Homeschooling.

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