Sometimes knowing where to start when it comes to writing reports can seem like an impossible task for our kids. It can be especially difficult if the child has a hard time focusing or honing in on a specific topic. Hewitt Homeschooling understands this and has developed several helpful tools to aid in homeschool report writing called, My First Reports. For this review, I will focus on My First Report: Western United States.
What is Hewitt Homeschooling?
Hewitt Homeschooling is stationed in the beautiful state of Washington. It originally began as a public charity in the 1960’s but has become a major proponent of homeschool due to the research Hewitt has collected. The company strives to promote excellent academics, work ethics, strong character development among many other things. On the Hewitt Homeschooling website you will find many resources.
About My First Report:
This series of reports were developed to help younger students, or students who struggle with organizing reports, establish a good pattern of report writing. There are several reports in the series, however, the ones included in the TOS Review Crew are as follows….
- Eastern United States
- Wild Animals: Small Mammals
- Southern United States
- Bugs and Worms
- Middle United States
- Reptiles and Amphibians
- Western United States***
- Outdoor Activities
- My State
The Western United States Packet:
This packet is an 8 1/2 x 11 inch preprinted, hole-punched packet delivered to you by mail. This report includes 64 pages total and has many resources to jump-start your child’s project.
Things included are blank maps of states, questions to answer about each state, basic facts to make research easier, and many ideas to go deeper into each state while also incorporating other subjects like math, PE, science, bible, etc.
Also included in the packet are reproducible dotted lined paper in different sizes for children who need the guided lines. We even found a cross-word puzzle with names of locations.
The states in this packet are Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Idaho, Utah, Nevada, Washington, Oregon, California, Alaska, Hawaii, and U.S. Territories.
How did we use it?
We chose the Western States because we are actually from the Pacific North West. I thought it would be fun to do a more formal report on somewhere the kids may have actually been before. My 11-year-old, Tee, is the main kid to use the packet. Even though she is in 6th grade, she still struggles with completing an organized report.
The state reports are meant for one state to be done about each week. We learned pretty quick that in order for that to happen the student can’t really use every single resource that is provided by Hewitt Homeschooling. The suggestions are endless with a TON of options to do a report. Because of the amount of report suggestions, Tee was able to cherry pick what she liked the best and go with that.
Tee spent a lot of time on three states: Oregon, Montana, and Hawaii. I felt that I shouldn’t rush her because she seemed to be enjoying herself. One of the suggestions had to do with Crater Lake, Oregon’s prized jewel. We took this report a step further and made a trip to the majestic blue beast. That is the image pictured at the top. Because Tee had already spent some time on Crater Lake in her report, she was quite fascinated with all that the park had to offer. It is a family memory that will last a life time for sure! Make sure to see this one before you’re too old to get around!
What did I think overall?
Overall, I do think these reports would be a great resource for busy families, especially those with multiple kids at different grade levels. Because of the way the packet is set up, it does allow for more independent work, even for those kids who need a lot of guidance (this includes mine). It is an inexpensive tool – and because it comes preprinted and hole-punched – it is pretty convenient. Although, a PDF version, if sold might be better because of shipping costs.
I loved how the facts were already included in the packets. This saves so much time and limits the amount of “google” exposure for my kids.
As for the actual packet, one thing I wish could be improved upon were the reproducible lined sheets. There are only ones for younger students which have the dotted lines. I’d like to see ones without the dotted lines for older kids. We had to go to a different resource for this because it wasn’t in the packet. There was also one small error in the Oregon section. Although the motto used to be, “The Union,” it was changed in the 80’s. It is now “She Flies With Her Own Wings” (Alis Volat Propriis). I’m a Oregon girl so I have to mention it.
And on a side note, my daughter didn’t complain at all. That’s a compliment all by itself!
According to Hewitt Homeschooling…these reports are geared towards 3rd and 4th graders. Although 1st and 2nd grade may be able to complete these with help. Also mentioned on the site is that these may be good for children in grades 5-8 who need remedial work. Again, my daughter is in 6th grade.
Price: $8.95 for one set. Or you can buy the whole series of 14 reports for $69.95
Don’t forget to check out all the other reviews for this product as well as for many others for older children!
How do you do reports in your home? Any time-saving tips??