Review Crew: Hewitt Homeschooling

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Hewitt Homeschooling offers curricula for all grades in a variety of subjects in order to promote flexible but comprehensive learning in the home setting.

Many companies carry everything including the kitchen sink. At Hewitt, we hand-pick each book, because we think it is the best for that age and subject. We believe that the best educational experience is a mix of great literature, combined with a good foundation in language and math, and lots of hands-on experience. (from site)

Curly and I had the opportunity to review the First Reports from Hewitt Homeschooling.  These packets are for students in grade 3-4 and include questions for the child research, resource ideas, handwriting practice, and unit study style activities.  The packets can be completed by younger students with adult direction or by older students needing remedial work in research and report writing.

We received the Large Mammals and Olympics packets which retail for $8.95 each.

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How it works:
The packet comes 3-hole punched and ready to put in a binder.
The first section contains questions about various aspects of the topic as well as a list of vocabulary words.  The student should research to find the answers to the questions and begin his report.

The next section contains all the unit study ideas, divided by subject, as well as a list of outside resources that are recommended.

The unit study topics included are:
Bible
History/Geography
Reading 
Language
Math
Science
Physical Education
Music
Art 
Field Trips

The last section contains handwriting pages and copywork practice from Scripture.

How we used the product:
Because Curly cannot write reports on her own we did the reports together.  We read the questions and picked topics that were most interesting to us.  Then we looked through books or websites to find answers.  We learned about different types of bears, what they ate, and where they lived.  We also began the study of hippos and learned that hippos enjoy swimming.
We discussed what we found and then Curly narrated to me.  She and I took turns writing down key facts and she illustrated her report.  She created a short book about her animals with her illustrated drawings and narrations.  We also used some of the activity ideas and ended our study of large mammals with a visit to the zoo.  The hippo was her favorite!

Cons:
The reports are like a large unit study on a topic which requires some advance planning of the parent in order to choose which questions to research and which activities to do.


During the planning phase, some materials might need to be gathered for the activities and books will need to be purchased or borrowed if using the resource list.

Pros:
The student can be self-directed in writing a report as he uses the questions to guide his research and writing.

The unit study activities can be used with students of various learning styles.  The reports are very adaptable.

In working through each packet, the student would cover each subject area while improving writing and language arts skills.

The format is clearly laid out and the unit study topics are conveniently divided by subject for a quick reference.

Overall:
Curly enjoyed our research together and it sparked her interest in several new topics.  She was proud to create her own reports.
I found that I don’t do a good job implementing unit studies.  I like the idea of unit studies but the execution of the various activities does not always happen at our house.  For a unit study family, these would be a great fit.  For us, we enjoyed reading about the topics and researching them; however, we did not get as many activities done as I would like.
We enjoyed the reports and the clearly outlined questions to guide our research.  We also had fun doing a few hands-on activities and further reading about our topics.  I’m saving these reports to revisit again and again in the later grades as Curly slowly works towards independence in writing out her ideas. 

See what other Crew Members though about their Hewitt Homeschooling materials here!

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Disclaimer:  I received these products at no cost to me in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are mine.

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