When it comes to reading and writing and grammar studies, in our house it really is quite a struggle. My oldest son just dreads this stuff! I think saying he is reluctant is an understatement really. Yet these are things that are near and dear to my heart; I love to read and write. So I guess I always assumed my kids would too; that they would eat all this stuff up just like I did (and still do). Surprise! At least my oldest son – he dreads it, fights it, cries over it. This is not the way its meant to be!! So I was excited to learn that one of my favorite companies Apologia Educational Ministries just released Writers in Residence. This is writing AND language arts, together at last! Written by is written by Debra Bell this is also Bible based! We received a physical workbook to be used by one student and were also provided the teacher’s Answer Key book. Writers in Residence is the first of four volumes and this is for grades four through eight.
This is amazing!
The All-In-One Student Text and Workbook is HUGE with 576 pages; spiral bound and very durable. There are six units in all.
- Unit 1: I Remember
Writing Assignment: “When I Was Young” (sentences)
- Unit 2: I Imagine
Writing Assignment : “Very Truly Yours” (creative writing)
- Unit 3: I Investigate
Writing Assignment: “My Family Hall of Fame” (research writing)
- Unit 4: I Think
Writing Assignment: “My Favorite Author” (opinion essay)
- Unit 5: I Remember
Writing Assignment: “The History of Me” (autobiography)
- Unit 6: I Imagine
Writing Assignment: “Zap! Pow! Kazam!” (short story)
What is so unique and really fun, about this is that at the very beginning of each unit, there is the “Spotlight on Christian Writers”. This is a really great way to learn about the authors that are out there and be encouraged. It even helps to intrigue my oldest son (a very reluctant reader). My son really liked “getting to know” various writers as we went along. Some of the writer mentioned are: Bill Meyers, Phil Vischer, Irene Howat, Amy Parker. I admit I myself found it so neat to learn a bit more about some of these authors that we so enjoy reading! And we are looking forward to reading some not so familiar ones too now.
This has a built in Daily Schedule for anyone who, like me perhaps, struggles to really stay on task. There are lots of great infographics (so they are called) to study covering things like: Six Traits Writing Model and Introduction to the Writing Process. These are fabulous references to keep handy although I admit I wish they were a separate page, something that could be removed and kept out while working in the workbook itself. I do love how the units are broken down into concepts:
I Remember, I Imagine, I Investigate, I Think, I Remember, and I Imagine
My 10 year old son and I used this four days a week; when we began my son was quite surprised to come across the biography of the author of The Time Stumblers, Bill Meyers. Now this is one of those books that he has, but has never really read. So I think he was rather inspired to read it after “getting to know the author a bit more” because we had to take a break when we were done reviewing this so he could find the book in his room. From there we began Unit 1 which did a great job introducing the traits of good writing. There were lots of highlights within these pages to showcase important vocabulary words, and the rubric (this was new to me!) which is a checklist used to evaluate writing and various other projects. There is a checklist at the end of each module too to help track progress. There are also Writer’s Questions throughout the unit and a Sneak Peek into what will be learned in each of the modules. This helped my son know what to expect and I think he really appreciated being able to have a bigger picture while also seeing how simply each short lesson is laid out. Less pressure. More peace of mind.
My son loved the Word Collection in the appendix of this book, where he could fill in all his favorite words. I really appreciated how it “forced” him to expand himself when it comes to his writing because he tends to stick with what he knows. So the gentle push throughout this program really helped him to grow more confident and go outside of his comfort zone to create! The lessons take about 15 minutes most days, sometimes a bit more when my son is struggling with doing his work. This really is a gentle approach to writing, both for those new to writing and those who are reluctant writers. I do appreciate how much this has encouraged my son to write more and most importantly to enjoy writing.
As a momma to four children, I love how simple this is to use. Its all right there; no preparation needed really. I do appreciate how its all in one book; bound together already its like a portfolio that we can review as he goes along. A way for my son to see his efforts, in a tangible way, as they develop. I do wish this was something I could use with more than one kiddo but the convenience and the quality of this makes it easy to overlook that. Again, this really breaks down not just the process of writing but the elements as well. Simple yet fun lessons that aren’t too long but aren’t too short either. We really do like this and are going to be looking forward to the next volume in this program.
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/apologiaworld @apologiaworld