Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Writers in Residence by Apologia Educational Ministries - A Schoolhouse Crew Review

Writing has always been a challenge for Edyn. She just doesn't like to do it. Even though she feels this way, I think a good writing curriculum is important.  Writers in Residence by Apologia Educational Ministries has been a real game changer in the writing department for Edyn. This is a complete writing curriculum that also includes language arts that integrates grammar, punctuation, and capitalization.

If you're part of the homeschooling world, or even if you're not, then you have probably heard of Apologia Educational Ministries. With them being the #1 publisher of creation based science and Bible curriculum, it's hard not to know them. Apologia Educational Ministries has teamed up with award winning author Debra Bell to create this amazing writing curriculum.

What we received for this review ~

We were blessed and able to review the full curriculum which includes the All-In-One Student Text and Workbook, and also a 2nd book which is the answer key. Writers in Residence comes as a 526 page, spiral bound book with a laminated cover, full of colorful and engaging lessons. It is a 32 week curriculum which is geared for kids in grades 4 - 8. I love the fact that the answer key is also a separate book. It makes going over the lessons with Edyn much easier.

How we used Writers in Residence ~

We have been and will continue to use this as Edyn's only writing curriculum. We love everything about it. The goal of Writers in Residence is to have a complete collection of writings from your child that you can cherish forever. I have always loved to keep things like that, so it's just one more thing to love about this.

Writers in Residence is broken down into 6 different units. One of my favorite things about it (and there are a lot) is that each Unit starts off with a Spotlight on Christian Writers section that does a Q&A with that particular author. I think this is a fabulous idea so that the student can learn from and get to know real authors.

Another thing that always makes me love a program just a little bit more is when it is broken down into parts and easy to understand. Writers in Residence does a fantastic job of that. First, there are 6 Units and they all cover different topics in writing and language arts. They are as follows:

  • Unit 1: I Remember
          Writing Assignment: "When I was Young" (sentences)
 Language Arts covered: action verbs, nouns, conjunctions, subjects, and predicates
  • Unit 2: I Imagine
          Writing Assignment: "Very Truly Yours" (creative writing)
Language Arts covered: adj, proper nouns, personal letter, capitalization, commas, simple sentence,
linking verbs, complements
  • Unit 3: I Investigate
           Writing Assignment: "My Family Hall of Fame" (research writing)
Language Arts covered: paragraphs, modifiers, descriptive adj, determiners, sensory words
  • Unit 4: I Think
           Writing Assignment: "My Favorite Author" (opinion essay)
Language Arts covered: paragraphs, adverbs, transitions
  • Unit 5: I Remember
           Writing Assignment: "The History of Me" (autobiography)
Language Arts covered: first person, phrases, prepositions, prepositional phrases, object of preposition
  • Unit 6; I Imagine
          Writing Assignment: "Zap! Pow! Kazam!" (short story)
Language Arts covered: quotation marks, punctuating and formatting dialogue, commas,
interjections, question marks, exclamation points

One of my very favorite things about this curriculum is that there is a daily schedule! This is PERFECT for Edyn since she can check off each day as she goes. This also frees me up from having to section it off and tell her what she needs to do everyday.

Each Unit is broken down into Modules, and then even the Modules are broken down into smaller sections. This again is perfect for Edyn because big chunks of things are overwhelming to her.

Edyn worked on this program normally 4 days a week unless there was something that had come up and she could only do it 3. Either way, it was easy to jump right back into the next time she picked it up. It would normally take her around 30 minutes or so to complete. At first, I would do it with her, but she got to the point that she was just picking it up and doing it for herself. This is a dream to me!! As a busy homeschool mom, anything that they can do independently is a huge plus.

Lessons would include reading and language arts but it all tied into the writing assignment they were working on. For example, one assignment she had to work on was called vigorous verbs. After she learned about them and how they increased interest in her writing, she had to go back to her rough draft and change out her verbs to more vigorous verbs.

After each module is done, there is a chance for me to check her work and see how thoroughly it was done. Instead of giving a grade, it's based on a point system. How well did she work on each section? Did she put all of her effort into it? You give an amount of points as to how you think the student did. If they need to work on something you would give a lower amount of points. This way there is no letter grade given.

Thoughts on Writers in Residence ~

There isn't anything that I could suggest to make this better. It is so well done and thought out that it would help any struggling writer. It isn't what I would call "schooly" either. It's a lot more fun than that. For Edyn to just pick it up and do it on her own says a lot. If she doesn't like to do something she will definitely let us know, and she didn't complain about this. As for the parents, again, this is something that they can have a little freedom with. It's broken down enough that they won't get too far ahead before you are able to check the work that they've done.

I definitely give Writers in Residence by Apologia Educational Ministries over 5 stars. It's given Edyn a new outlook on writing and the confidence that she can enjoy it!

Make sure to follow Apologia Educational Ministries on Social Media!

Apologia was generous enough to let 95 of us review their product so if you would like to read other reviews, please click the link below!

Apologia: Writers in Residence Review
Crew Disclaimer


  1. This was a great review. I had never heard of this particular program from Apologia. I am anxious to check it out more. Thank you for a thorough review and the examples were great! God's Blessings.
    Vickie (Maiden Voyage crew member)

    1. Thank You so much Vickie! We really have enjoyed using this program. :)