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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Hewitt Homeschooling...A TOS Crew Review...

Recently, we had the opportunity to review a product from Hewitt Homeschooling, called My First Report: Sports.  This is a product that is for Grades 1-4, with parental direction suggested for Grades 1 & 2, that can also be used for remedial work for Grades 5-8.  This packet sells currently for $8.95.

My First Report was developed to help children with their creative writing, penmanship, vocabulary, reading, and critical thinking.  There is a large selection of My First Reports, covering some childhood favorites:  Small Mammals, Bugs and Worms, Reptiles and Amphibians, and Outdoor Activities, just to name a few.

Hewitt Homeschooling Review

We received My First Report already three-hole punched and ready to be put into a binder.  It came in a 44-page packet, and included an introduction, several report sheets, a unit study on sports, and master sheets for writing the reports.  

The report sheets are designed to be used once / week, and there were ten included in our packet.  The sports covered were:  baseball, basketball, football, soccer, volleyball, hockey, table tennis, badminton, tennis, bowling, golf, and stick-and-ball games (like croquet or field hockey).  Each report sheet includes several questions specific to the sport covered, or the history of the sport, in order to give children a stepping-off point for thinking about what to include in their reports.  For example, some of the questions for baseball include "describe a baseball diamond", "what can pitchers do to confuse a batter?", and "what is inside a baseball?"  There is also a list of vocabulary included on each report sheet, also specific to each sport--bunt, steal, and Babe Ruth were examples of vocabulary words on the Baseball report.

The master sheets included in the packet are 5/8" ruled, 5/8" ruled with a spot for a drawing, 1/2" ruled, 1/2" ruled with a spot for drawing, and 3/8" ruled with and without a spot for drawing.  They can be photocopied to use for each report.

In my opinion, the 15-page unit study is the most valuable part of this packet (of course, we are currently pretty fond of unit study-style learning).  There are several suggestions for many subject areas that you can use with your children to make a wonderful learning unit study on sports.  Bible is included, with stories about Biblical athletes, characteristics of winning athletes, and some Bible verse analyzing.  There are also suggestions for history, geography, science, health, physical education, and even art and music!  Reading and language are covered in other suggestions and there is a suggested book list as well.  There are even activities provided for covering math--things like graphing Super Bowl appearances or computing statistical averages for baseball players.  Other things found in the unit study section are useful addresses, for USA Hockey and the National Tennis Center, for starters, Bible verses for memorization and / or copy work, and a crossword puzzle.

I think that My First Reports are a great tool for families looking for a fun tool to help their kiddos get excited about writing and / or learning.  I wish there was a bit more instruction given on using the report forms and turning them into reports from the student, but I have enough confidence teaching at this point that I would be comfortable simply using the questions and vocabulary given as a starting point for my children, and then having them write what they learn through their research in a paragraph (or more, depending on which child!)  I am definitely excited about all of the unit study ideas, and will be planning a big unit study on sports later this school year!

To learn more about Hewitt Homeschooling, and all of the products they offer to homeschool families, you can find them on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google +, or on their blog. Also, please make sure you take a look at what my Crewmates thought of their products--many reviewed products for older students as well:

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