Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Readers In Residence Vol 1 (Apologia) ~ A New TOS Review!!

For a while now my daughter Audrie and I have been reviewing the newest homeschool reading curriculum from Apologia Educational Ministries which is called Readers in Residence Volume 1 (Sleuth). It comes as a full set by author Debra Bell (who also has written another program called Writer's in Residence). This is a curriculum which was created to assist children "to read in order to learn."
Apologia Educational Ministries Readers in Residence
Some of the techniques the students should learn include pulling inferences out of the text, recognizing literary elements, learning new vocabulary, reading for understanding, and so much more. It is intended for grades 4th - 6th. Although you could use this curriculum if your child was advanced, if you have more of a struggling reader, or even if your student hasn't really grasped reading comprehension.
Apologia Educational Ministries Readers in Residence
One of the best things about this curriculum is that it uses the FULL text of quality books! The books for this volume are Sarah, Plain and Tall; Charlotte's Web; and Because of Winn Dixie. Then the student (with some help from the parent) will get to choose 3 additional books over the course of the year. These books are not included in the set, but you can readily find them at the library or even purchase them -- they are such great books to add to your library! These books will be the key to helping your student become an expert reader by thoroughly investigating the words and capturing the inferences made by the author throughout the books about the characters and story.

The full set includes the All-In-One Student Text and Workbook as well as the 200+ page Answer Key. Inside the answer key you will find rubrics to help with grading of the assignments. At the front of the Student text there is a checklist of what you need to daily so that you can get through the program in one year - which is about 32 weeks. Most students will be able to complete most of the lessons all on their own. But for the discussion parts parents really need to get in there and talk about the books. The answer key can certainly steer you in the right direction even if you (the parent/teacher) hasn't read the book.  Readers in Residence Volume 1 (Sleuth) has been created for quick use and very little teacher prep is needed.

I, being the "English person" in our home, have really loved this program. Audrie was hesitant to even start this program because the all in one student workbook was/is HUGE and had her scared at first. However, after we got through the introduction and started in on the lessons she did warm up to the idea of this new curriculum. Once I showed her the checklist she knew just how much was expected of her each day. Some days, like when we had to write down ALL the character traits in the chart, we would have to shorten the lesson, but that was simple enough.
Fortunately, Audrie has been really working on her ability to read on her own therefore these books were right where she needed them to be, which allowed her to read them mostly on her own. Reading has been a struggle for her for a long time, but in the last year to year and a half she has really put more effort into consistently reading both required and "fun" reading. This program uses books that some might find as too easy for this level, but I find it to be perfect. It's much easier to learn using a simpler text then something so hard you make the student trudge through the text and then can not even remember what they just read.

The lessons not only dealt with characters, plot, and the like, but also with proper grammar and even capitalization and punctuation rules and activities. This is definitely a well-rounded program. Another (and there are so many) great thing about this particular curriculum is that the place where the student has to answer questions is longer then most other programs. Having a child who writes larger the space to write answers is definitely a BIG deal in our home and can even lead to tears when there's not enough space. I think it makes her feel like she's not answering the questions correctly. Thankfully this program has generally had the perfect amount of space.
I have found that Readers in Residence Volume 1 (Sleuth) has been quite easy to adjust for my own struggling reader and make the curriculum work for us and not us be stuck to it's own agenda. The full set is available for $89. You can find Apologia Educational Ministries on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest. And don't take just my word for it ... read other reviews from the Crew by clicking the banner below!
Readers in Residence Volume 1 (Sleuth) {Apologia Educational Ministries Review}

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