Help! I’m buried under writing assignments! How I dug out.

Help! I’m buried under writing assignments! How I dug out.

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With a lot of kids it seems like I was getting more and more swamped with paper. That is why I was looking forward to reviewing Reader In Residence Volume 1 (Sleuth),  from Apologia Educational Ministries. They’ve wrapped up an ALL IN ONE, perfect homeschool reading curriculum in an easy to spot bright green spiral student notebook. With this full set you can kiss your paper pile good bye!


Are you read for a steam lined approach to Language Arts

We have a large family with a wide range of ages. Normally, I look for materials that I can use with a large group. That is why I have never before considered purchasing Apologia’s Readers In Residence before. The books are intended to be used by one student, independently. This is the only draw back I have about using it. For the price you are going to want this to be someone’s core LA work for the year.

In all the previous years of school I have purchased curriculums that had permission to copy pages for your immediate family. I am a stickler for copyright rules. But I have come to a place where lost papers, multiple copies, the cost of ink and keeping track of it all is making me a little bit batty! This All-In-One binder is kind of dreamy. The full color pages threw my son off. When was the last time I printed anything in color? Kids love color. My son was no different. This workbook looked like fun from the start.

Are you caught in the tide of a paper avalanche? @apologiaworld can clean up your troublesClick To Tweet All-In-One workbooks keep everything in one place for easy grading and tracking progress at a glance.


Book Loving Fun

There is nothing worst than using your favorite book from childhood as a study for your kids, and watching a bad curriculum make them hate it. Apologia made great use of highlighting the features in our favorite books. Every lesson felt like we were uncovering features instead of picking apart the book. Volume 1; Sleuth, reintroduced us to books from cover to cover. Literally, we looked at the cover art and author bio for clues about the books we were reading.

These are things I do everyday when I am making a reading choice. I use this skill at the book store and library, but I had not really thought about teaching this to my kids. We also started to value all the effort publisher went into to tell us about a book at a glance.

I noticed the subject of covers and authors creeping into our day. We couldn’t help but share what we were covering with the other kids as we headed to the library.



We loved the book selections in this series.

Sleuth; Volume 1, starts with Sara, Plain and Tall, and will follow with Charlotte’s Web and Because of Winn Dixie. You also get to choose three books of your own choice. Since we were really digging into the structure of the books, it was to our advantage that we had already read the books before. Do not be dissuaded if these are familiar and loved titles at your house.


Who would Apologia’s Reader In Residence work for best for?

This would be a great fit if you are looking for a way to stream line your Language Arts lesson time. Multiple level instructions on multiple ability levels is time consuming. There  comes a time where it is no longer effective to work in a group. I saw this last year in our school and made some pretty drastic changes. Change is good. Embrace it and make your day fit the best it can.

Also, Reader In Residence would be a good alternative for a family who usually does their studies as a group but are finding that you have a child who is in an age or ability gap. I had a son who was always waiting for us to finish and give him instructions. He in turn made my day…um, miserable. I realized that I was causing a lot of our grief by not having something ready for him to do that requites little oversight by me. Apologia’s program would have filled that gap perfectly for me and it can for you. Give your kid great tools and watch them excel instead of be frustrated.

What does a book cover tell you?
Reader In Residence get your kids looking at books in a whole new way

Give your students the structure they crave

Does your child hate ambiguis instructions that creative writing programs are often filled with. My oldest HATED all creative writing assignments that expected him to make stuff up. He likes clear instructions and expectations. I finally got him a prompt chart and he checked each one off one by one. Some kids like room to create and othere’s love structure.

With Reader In Residence you could stop arguing over creative writing and let this series guide you through whole books. You won’t be missing out. Great reading, and getting a deeper understanding of what makes a book capture an audience, teaches writing and creativity as nothing else will.

You are never out of the loop

The lessons could easily be done with minimal instruction from you, though tons of clear instructions, prompts and inspiring ideas are provided in the Parent Guide. You are never left out of the loop and could also be very involved if you desire. You can also let your student take off. My 7th grader had no trouble with any of the assignments. Since I was reviewing this I wanted to check it out with my 5th grader who is a great reader and my 4th grader who is a struggling reader as well. My 5th grader handled the portions I assigned her with no questions. My daughter (4th) had trouble with the length of the reading so, I chose to read along side her during the lessons.  As we completed the reading she had no trouble completing the assignments on her own.

The whole series suggests that it be presented as a Book Club with as much fanfare. My son loved the idea and his sisters were ready to join in our reading time. It would be very fun to gather a group of kids together and meet weekly or even monthly to share in some of the related activities. If you are in a play group or co-op Readers In Residence would be easy to use as a Language Arts class or just a Book Club guide.

If you are already an Apologia user they offer a members club. For a fee you get 20% off of all purchases all year and access to some pretty great bonuses. This would be a great idea if you are thinking of adding Apologia’s Language Arts to you Science order this year like I am.

If you check out Apologia’s FaceBook page soon, there is a Teacher Appreciation give away you can sign up for CLICK HERE to enter. Good luck. You can also read a few more reviews if you click the link below.

Readers in Residence Volume 1 (Sleuth) {Apologia Educational Ministries Review}
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