Friday, April 22, 2016

Writers in Residence (A REVIEW)

We had the opportunity to review a new writing program by Apologia Educational Ministries called Writers in Residence. We have used many of Apologia's science books, so I was excited to see what a writing program from them would look like. I was very pleased to find some of the same great quality that we find in their science books in this writing program as well.

Apologia: Writers in Residence Review

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After I received the spiral bound book (which is pretty thick), and its accompanying answer book, I read through the "How to use" section. I felt a bit overwhelmed at the thickness of this book at first, but reading the "how to use" section really helped alleviate some of the worry I had. It covers all the what's, how's, why's, etc., and gives a lot of great suggestions on how to use the book. Then it introduces the real-life writers that are featured in this book. I love that it looks at some real-life writers, and interviews them. It is one of my favorite features of this book.

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After the "how to use" section it has a Suggested Daily Schedule. I was happy to find it laid out very similar to the science schedules. It gives you a daily suggestion that is easy to follow.

The first writer's spotlight is then introduced after the schedule, Bill Myers. We read about him, and learned that he has also writen, directed, and done voice work for the Family's Adventures in Odyssey. That led us to checking out a few of those audio books from the library. We even found one on DVD to watch too. The writer's spotlights are dispersed throughout the book at the beginning of each of the 6 units. It is a fun way to get to know some writers and their books and styles.

We then moved onto Unit 1, module 1 (the units are split into several modules) which starts out looking into our own memories for writing ideas. In Module 1, We checked out the book When I was Young in the Mountains by Cynthia Rylant, as suggested to help us see how we could write about our childhood memories. It was an enjoyable book that followed a pattern using the "When I was Young..." phrase. We used the charts to help map out some childhood memories of the boys. From that they can then write a draft of those memories for "When I was young..." using that phrase to begin each thought. Module 1 continues on to verbs, and module 2 covers nouns. This book has it all. It covers the basic conventions the English language, spelling, writing and editing.

It also has checklists at the end of each module to make sure all steps are completed, and to help with points and grading. It can be a great way for children to see the progress they are making in writing, especially if you don't usually grade writing assignments (like me). I like the step-by-step process throughout this whole book. Very easy for both student and parent to follow.

Apologia: Writers in Residence Review
Overall, I think this is a great writing curriculum for your 4th-8th grader. I feel like my 4th grader isn't quite ready for this though, so I will save it for next year to continue going through it. It is very complete, and easy to use. Unfortunately I didn't get any pictures of us doing anything, so that is why I have very little in the way of pictures. But, there are many other reviewers that have some great pictures of the things they did. You can find their reviews if you click on the banner below.

Apologia: Writers in Residence Review

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