Review of Apologia Educational Ministries Writers in Residence

My son is a reluctant writer. We had the opportunity to review the Writers in Residence curriculum from Apologia Educational Ministries, however, and I was really hoping that it would get him thinking about writing and composition in a new light. Here's what we loved about the program.

What is Writers in Residence?

This composition program covers so much of what I want my kids to learn in school. I did this program with my 6th grade son, and he immediately dove into this Biblically-based guide for learning how to use language to communicate effectively. It contained a consumable worktext for students, and a Teachers Guide with Answers. We reviewed the Volume 1: Apprentice, as it is designed for 4th graders and up.

The program is a very step-by-step approach toward writing. On one day, my son would learn about replacing common verbs (such as "came" or "told") with more exciting or interesting synonyms (think "barged in" or "exclaimed".) The next day he might cover grammar basics, and then go on to formal writing structure for a variety of writing forms.

Because this program is based on the "six traits of great writing" I was very confident it would improve my son's writing and verbal communication almost immediately. And it did.

The materials are written in a very easy-to-understand, conversational tone with lots of great writing samples and example to inspire students. There are profiles of great Christian writers for kids to learn about, too, so they understand that writing well can have marvelous consequences!

Since my son is a bit unorganized, I was worried that this new course would end up with us having to organize yet another group of notebooks and loose papers. Having the entire course in a spiral bound student book that they write in is a genius idea; we always knew where our materials were and he was able to take full responsibility for his writing program. He would work on it 4 days a week for about 45 minutes on his own, only coming to me when he needed a little help or wanted answers checked.

What did we think?

As a parent, it's so important that my kids develop much-needed skills for being adults and performing well in their jobs and in life. As a writer, I simply cannot stand the idea of them not seeing great writing in action, and also understand where it comes from. Writers in Residence is a program that teaches kids that great writing takes work, patience, and personal growth, something that is sometimes difficult for my son. The process of writing, therefore, has helped him to develop as a person, something I didn't expect happening when we first started.

If you want a very student-friendly, thorough, and easy-to-use writing program that kids can get excited about, I think Writers in Residence fits the bill. Complaining about writing has diminished to almost nothing now; my son sits and does his writing and understands both the how and the why, which is a big plus to using this product.

Apologia: Writers in Residence Review

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Apologia: Writers in Residence Review
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