Thursday, April 21, 2016

Apologia Educational Ministries - Writers in Residence (TOS Review)

Apologia: Writers in Residence Review
Boo wants to learn to write really well, and so we were excited when we were offered a new writing program Writers in Residence by Apologia Educational Ministries. We received the full set that includes a huge all in one consumable student text and workbook and answer book. 
Apologia: Writers in Residence Review
Our first impression when we opened the box was how pretty the cover is. It has a picture of a fountain pen on the front. I used to write with one when I was in school, in fact it used to be 'the' type of pen to use. I have never found one for a reasonable price since moving to the US. Oh well, reminiscing over let's get back to the writing program.
The program is written by Debra Bell she has a bachelor's degree in communications and a master's degree in English, and a doctorate in educational psychology. You can read more about the author at
This is a complete language program but teaching it in a writing focused way. The assignments grab the students attention and keeps them motivated as they work through the program. The students learn all the traditional language topics; sentence structure, parts of speech, punctuation, and capitalization. 
The course is set up into 6 units each contain writing assignments and various grammar topics.
Unit One - When I was Young - sentences (action verbs, nouns, conjunctions, subjects, predicates)
Unit Two - Very Truly Yours - creative writing (adjectives, proper nouns, personal letter, capitalization, commas, simple sentence, linking verbs, complements).
Unit Three - My Family Hall of Fame - research writing (paragraphs, modifers, descriptive adjectives, determiners, sensory words).
Unit Four - My Favorite Author -opinion essay (paragraphs, adverbs, transitions).
Unit Five - The History of Me - autobiography (first person, phrases, prepositions, prepositions phrases, object of the preposition).
Unit Six - ZAP! POW! KAZAM! - short story (quotation marks, punctuating and formatting dialogue, commas, interjections, question marks, exclamation points).
I love that this program thinks outside the box, it steps away from the traditional essays that are written by high school students. However, it focuses on the types of writing used in day to day life in work and at home. There are some excellent models to use as guides. Since the program is split into 128 days or 32 weeks of work there is a little wiggle room. 
So lets look at how Boo used this program. We followed the program as written. The suggested schedule was very easy to follow. However sometimes she took an extra day or to on an assignment to when she was busy with other subjects or her swimming. Boo really loves to write and she is enjoying the flow of the program. The assignments build on each other and she doesn't feel that new concepts are added without explanation. Boo loved the first assignment. She was required to write about a memory. It was funny because as she was writing she got so into it that she wrote probably the longest essay ever. Since each unit is broken down into modules and each module has a check list which Boo thought was very useful. She loves that it helps keep her organized and focused on her assignments.

We will definitely be continuing with this program until it's finished. She loves it and I love that she is enjoying writing. Since this program can be adapted to a variety of age groups, you really need to check out how others used it. Click on the link below.
Apologia: Writers in Residence Review
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