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Lightning Lit VS CLE for 8th and 6th grades


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I was wondering if I could get some input about Lightning Literature. We used CLE lit for 7th and 5th grades this year and liked it. In fact, I was just planning on using it again because I like the thoroughness of what it covers. Then, of course, I got a catalog in the mail for the company that makes Lightning Lit and as I was reading about it I became intrigued. I really, really like that it uses actual books as opposed to short stories used for CLE. The stories are great for CLE but I also want the DC to read good books too so I am having to come up with books and study guides to go over in addition to the CLE Lit.


Anyone ever use the Lightning Lit? I like CLE because it covers more than just vocab and comprehension for Lit. My dd's learned alot this year using this program. I just wish we could also fit in some good novels with our literature study. We did miss that this year. It's hard to find that happy medium.

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This is good to know. Some of the books they have them reading are wonderful and I would love to have a lit program offer a good meat and potatoes type of study using novels like the ones Lightning Lit covers. Most of the time however, it is just like you said busy work or tons of vocab and comprehension questions. I feel like we do enough of that with oral narration so I don't want any more comprehension or vocab stuff we have a seperate vocab to cover that too. This is where I do like CLE. They really do a good job of covering the fundamentals. I just wish we could find something that teaches what CLE does with real books. We really missed reading lots of good books this year. There wasn't as much time to add those in after we did our CLE work.

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If you want your dc to read whole books, why not assign them some? I don't see why you cannot have them be completing CLE Reading for what it contains, and have them reading great quality literature of your choosing for fun and exposure as well.


I personally don't think every literature book read needs to be analyzed with questions and activities, do you? With CLE they are getting that...so why not add in the others just for pleasure. If you really want something shown in paper-form for each book read, how about having them keep a book journal where they must write a daily summary of what is happening in their book.


Just thinking out loud with you. ;)


I have used LL for my middle son's British Lit. We used the Early-Mid Century set with Frankenstein, Ivanhoe, etc. While it was good, it was nothing to go crazy over. It fulfilled a high school requirement at the time. Nothing more, nothing less. Nothing about it blew us away. He did love Frankenstein though! And believe it or not...Pride and Prejudice. Of course, he's seen the movie because I watch it probably 2x-10x a year. :D So, it was the actual books themselves that he enjoyed, not the LL...and those you can most definitely read for pleasure.


A nice thing about picking your own Lit to read is that you can tailor it to your own children. With the LL we used my son really, really, really didn't like Jane Eyre. That is defintely not a guy book. I let him drop it and he read something else in it's place. I recall despising Moby Dick in hs, but my boys loved it! :confused: :tongue_smilie: I would rather they read classics they are going to love and connect with than go with someone's pre-planned package. To my way of thinking, that helps foster that love of reading we all want our dc to have.


My opinion of course. ;)

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Below, I am "reprinting" my response from a recent thread on Lightning Lit. (http://www.welltrainedmind.com/forums/showthread.php?t=99010) You may find the whole thread of interest, too, as there are a number of responses on both sides.


Based on your question and comments in original post above, I'd say that LL could be a wonderful supplement of great works to add to your CLE studies. And you would be able to enhance your discussions/analysis of the works through what you've learned in CLE. Just my opinion! Warmest regards, Lori D.



We've used LL7 and LL8 for middle school, and they were exactly right for us -- right timing, right amount of work, interesting and gentle introductions into literary analysis, using complete works, and covering a variety of works (novels of different types; short stories; poetry).


In middle school, our boys were not very strong independent workers, and LL7 and LL8 were extremely easy to use aloud together. And doing them aloud together was great, as it sparked discussion and we learned vocabulary in the moment / in context. I definitely give credit to LL7 and LL8, along with Literary Lessons from the Lord of the Rings, as the 3 lit. programs used in middle school as contributing factors to our family enjoying classic literature, and literary analysis.


We found the workpages to be varied and helpful. Most are geared toward learning to put the literary element learned into practice. A few are for practice occasional grammar and writing information used in writing a paper (i.e., editing; fixing incomplete / run-on sentences; capitalization / punctuation; citing sources; etc.); and, especially in the last half of LL8 have the student beginning to practice basic analysis. Of the 11-12 worksheet pages for each unit, 2 were "busy work" of a word search and a crossword puzzle.


We have not used any of the high school level LL programs yet, but have used a wide variety of literature guides to go with works read -- often more than one guide per work in order to gain a wider perspective. I am considering using the 2 LL American Lit. high school programs along with other material as we study American Lit. next year.



From reading through various threads on LL, it seems to me that families who are just getting started with literary analysis are generally very pleased with LL. Families with advanced students, or families who have already done literary analysis with other programs find LL to be "lite". I'd recommend looking at the sample lessons (a complete lesson out of each of LL7 and LL8 are available for viewing) at the Hewitt Homeschooling website to decide for yourself. Warmest regards, Lori D.



LL7 sample: http://www.hewitthomeschooling.com/pdfs/3249s%20Chp%201.pdf

LL8 sample: http://www.hewitthomeschooling.com/pdfs/3285s%20chp%201.pdf

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For my older ds, we started gr. 7 with LL&C 7 and it didn't give us what I was looking for. I wanted deeper reading of literature and writing instruction. I sold it.


We switched to CLE reading 7 and IEW writing during the second half of grade 7 and have stuck with that combo since.


We alternated CLE reading LU's and whole books for a full year of literature studies.


Looking for help with your literature (whole book)? Here are some great resources:








http://www.pass.leon.k12.fl.us/Book%20Subject%20Areas/Language%20Arts.aspx Look at units 6




http://www.penguinreaders.com/pr/resources/index.html join for free and get answers

Edited by MIch elle
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