Okay, confession time.
I’m not a big fan of formal homeschool curriculum. But if you’ve been here before, you knew that already. As a relaxed homeschooler, I try my best to integrate all of the subjects my children are required to learn as holistically as possible.
Take writing, for example.
Up until this point, our go-to approach for tackling this field of study has been notebooking. This tool has allowed my children to not only get a feel for the writing process, but to actually enjoy it, as well.
Now that I’ll have another child entering the high school years next year, however, I’ve really been contemplating how to cover this subject in a way that will equip my children for college, should they choose to attend, without boring them to tears.
I think I found the answer to what I’ve been looking for.
(I received this product for free and was compensated for writing this review. All opinions are entirely my own.)
Writers in Residence™ Vol. 2 All -In-One Student Text and Workbook and Answer Key
The first time I used a product by Apologia was way back at the beginning of our homeschooling journey, nine years ago. Another family was gracious enough to let me use their Apologia Biology curriculum. It was the only textbook I’ve ever come across that was so interesting that I wanted to read it for fun! Crazy, right?
Then earlier this year, I was blessed in being given the option to try out their American Literature curriculum. This resource also surpassed my expectations.
So when I was given the opportunity to use Writers in Residence™, Volume 2 All -In-One Student Text and Workbook and Answer Key, you can bet I jumped at the chance!
A Comprehensive Homeschool Writing Curriculum
When I received this curriculum, I fully expected it to be a typical writing resource: tips on writing expository essays, narrative essays, argumentative essays, etc. Refreshingly, though, this course is so much more.
Have you ever had the experience of purchasing something that needed to be assembled? Some products come with instructions that are so vague that you want to pull your hair out and just say, forget it. That’s your typical writing curriculum.
On the other hand, other merchandise contains instructions that literally take you through every single step, no matter how insignificant some steps may seem. After a brief time, your goods are assembled, they’re sturdy, and you’re confident they will endure because everything was intricately spelled out for you. That, my friends, is Writers in Residence™, Volume 2 All -In-One Student Text and Workbook and Answer Key.
Rather than simply starting off on writing assignments and projects, this resource is designed to let children take things slowly, but correctly. Seemingly little things that I, myself, never thought of before, such as knowing how to tell the difference between and credible and iffy websites, how to double check for inconsistencies between multiple websites before publishing information, and what does or does not constitute plagiarism is covered in a way that is interesting and easy for children to understand. (I should add that this was written for students in 4th through 8th grades, but I definitely think it’s suitable for children even older than that.)
In addition to that, it incorporates all aspects of language arts, such as:
- parts of speech
- literature, and
- research, making it an extremely comprehensive and trustworthy resource to use in your homeschool.
How We’re Using Writers in Residence™, Volume 2 All -In-One Student Text and Workbook and Answer Key
At first, my daughter was a little leery about trying this curriculum. Up until this point, she’s really been enjoying doing her notebooking; she particularly enjoys working on her animal notebook. Imagine her delight when we discovered that the very first writing assignment to be completed was a report on an animal of her choice from our state!
That definitely got her attention.
On top of that, the first project was to be written in a question and answer format. I believe that was the perfect way for her to transition from our mostly freeform notebooking into something a bit more structured.
As with most homeschool curricula, this resource comes with a suggested lesson plan. At first, I did try to follow it as written, but over time I began to see that my daughter was losing her excitement for the assignments because she’s a very active learner. Short lessons work best with her.
Since the lesson plans are mainly designed for three or four sections in a module to be completed each day, we decided to stick with one section per day to make it a bit more manageable for her.
That little tweak was all it took for her to take off running with her assignments.
We both have learned so much from this curriculum already, simply because it’s so practical. There are so many useful tips that she was able to apply before she ever even began writing the report, such as:
- What to use for note-taking
- Tips on where to store it
- How to tell the difference between credible and less credible websites
- Spotting inconsistencies in website information
- Knowing who and where to get information from
- Making citations
- How to use the library and field trips for research
I just love this “small steps” approach. It makes things so much less intimidating for kids like my daughter who get overwhelmed quite easily when facing new things.
If you’re on the lookout for a quality homeschool writing program, this may be just the thing for you. You can learn more by downloading this sample and some frequently asked questions.
As a bonus, enjoy this awesome Eclipse eBook Freebie!
There’s no doubt about it that taking the responsibility to homeschool your children is a huge responsibility. With excellent curricula from publishers like Apologia, however, that burden can feel quite a bit lighter.