Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Shakespeare Comedies from Hewitt Homeschooling: A TOS Crew Review

Hewitt Homeschooling

Shakespeare Comedies from Hewitt Homeschooling 

Summer is a wonderful time to spend time with the Bard... that is, Shakespeare!  The Bentz Test Laboratory has been learning a new appreciation for one of history's greatest authors with 
Shakespeare Comedies & Sonnets from Hewitt Homeschooling.

This program is designed for your 11-12th grade student to use independently to study literature in a meaningful, in-depth fashion and respond to it in written form.  

We received both the Teacher and Student's Guide.  The required books can be purchased from Hewitt Homeschooling, or gotten on your own.  

We are Shakespeare lovers, so we had the four works covered - Twelfth Night, As You Like It, A Midsummer's Night Dream and The Merchant of Venice.  This volume concentrates on Shakespeare's Comedies (You can also get - Shakespeare Tragedies in another volume).
This volume can be covered either in a semester, or over the course of a full year.  Handy schedules are included to help keep your student on track.

The Student Guide is a 174 page, softcover book which includes each of the 4 Shakespeare Comedies covered as an in-depth unit.  Each unit includes 2 lessons.  One lesson covers the Comedy with plot summaries (helpful for understanding Shakespeare!), comprehension questions, literary lessons on themes, characters and language and writing exercises. 


 Another  lesson focuses on Sonnets (which are printed in the book). Finally, each unit wraps up this a section on Perspectives - Elizabethan Theatre, Elizabeth I and James I, Did Shakespeare Actually Write the Plays and Sonnets? (a VERY hotly discussed topic with the Bentz testers!)

The Appendix included Discussion questions, project suggestions, additional reading, and even movie and video recommendations.

The Teacher's Guide is a handy, three-hole punched, 47 page guide.  It includes very useful grading tips for your student's writing.  Anyone else appreciate a checklist to use?  They have them all done for you.  Semester and Full Year Schedules are included to make it easy for your student to keep moving ahead.  Both schedules allow the student to complete two papers for each book.

The Teacher's Guide also includes answers to Comprehension Questions, helpful if you haven't had time to read ahead of them!  Writing Exercises are detailed for each Unit and lesson - they offer a variety of suggestions, so you can pick and choose which works best for your student.  They vary in length  from rewriting a sonnet into prose, writing a poem built on puns, or completing a full research paper.  I love the flexibility this offers!

Discussion Questions and projects are included that will help bring the literature to life. I love the discussion questions!  My testers truly enjoy Shakespeare - grades 11-12.  It was interesting to hear their deeper thoughts.  This is an example:   "If music be the food of love, play on" - Do certain types of music affect your emotions?  When is this good, when might it be a problem? This sparked a very interesting conversation about music choices in our family, and how they have been personally affected. (We choose to listen almost exclusively to Christian music for this very reason).  These types of questions truly get your teens talking, and not just about the literature!

Projects cover areas of Art, History, Geography, Music, Bible, Science  and even memorization. 

I love that Hewitt Homeschooling has jam-packed their literature study with rich learning.  I also appreciate how very independently my students can work, but that I can jump in at any time.  The Guides are very well organized, and easy to use.  They make teaching high school literature painless, and fun!

Be sure to check out other titles the Crew has reviewed in the High School literature collection:

#hsreviews. #homeschool
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