|Publisher: Hewitt Homeschooling Resources
Review last updated: November 2009
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Hewitt offers other complete grade level packages, but this package, designed specifically for second grade level, differs from the others because it integrates all of the subject areas around studies of the states. Math and language arts (including reading) are covered, unlike most other unit studies. Social studies, science, art, Bible/character, music, health, and studying and thinking skills comprise the rest of the content coverage.
The basic package includes a three-ring binder Teacher's Manual that explains the program, describes the scope and sequence for each subject, then provides detailed daily lesson plans. A student binder contains worksheets primarily for math and language arts. In addition to the two binders the package comes with the Across America Reader, the game Rummy Roots, States and Capitals Songs (map and cassette tape), and state map stickers.
Themes for the units are drawn from the study of each state as well as from character traits, although they are not as thoroughly developed as we find in KONOS or The Weaver.
The program incorporates multi-sensory learning through songs, games, crafts, hands-on learning of concepts, oral work, and listening along with more traditional worksheet activities. Generally some extra items are required for each unit, but a list at the beginning of each helps us plan ahead. Items required are generally easily accessible, e.g., paper sacks, tracing paper, crayons, books, pictures, ingredients for recipes, burlap, and magnets.
You will likely want to purchase some of the additional books or resources used with the program: Kids Learn America!, The United States Cookbook, Colonial Kids, Discovering Great Artists, Meet the Great Composers 2, and Westward Ho! plus attribute blocks and an activity book.
Parent involvement is essential throughout the program, because there is a great deal of discussion and interaction. Parents who like a structured program that lets them know what to do each day, yet who want to provide the variety and fun of unit study for their children should find this a good compromise solution. Since it was written for home educators, the activities are practical in the home setting. Youe can purchase extra student binders for additional students in our family.
Hewitt has published supplements for either first graders or third and fourth graders that come in three-ring binders. These supplements allow you to teach the same topics to children at all these grade levels while still targeting necessary skills at each level.
The Across America Grade 1 Supplement ($80.95) includes a reading program and instructions for teaching arithmetic by using Addison Wesley's Mathematics 1 and Unifix Cubes. Appropriate activities for younger students are frequently described for the other subject areas also. This Supplement includes My Book of States, which serves as a beginning reader, and state flag stickers. You may also purchase a first grade supplement package that does not include the math text and Unifix Cubes for $35.79.
The Across America Grades 3 and 4 Supplement ($39.95) expands lessons on Bible/character, social studies, reading, and science/health to offer age-appropriate challenges. Time line charts printed on heavy card stock and a U.S. map with transparency overlays are tucked in the pockets of the binder. This supplement also includes the American Tales Reader, a collection of biographical tales about famous people, each followed by comprehension/discussion questions. Both supplements must be used along with Across America; they do not stand on their own.
- Learning Styles: all
Suitable for: one-on-one or group plus independent work
Need for parent/teacher instruction: high
Prep time needed: moderate
Need for Teacher's Manual: the teacher manual is core book for the program
Educational Approach: multi-sensory unit study
Religious perspective: Christian
Hewitt Homeschooling Resources
PO Box 9
Washougal, WA 98671-0009
( 800) 890-4097
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