Am I the only one who gets excited about homeschool writing curriculum?
That’s a rhetorical question because I know I’m obviously not the only one who gets excited about things like language arts curriculum. How do I know that for sure?
Disclosure: I received Writers in Residence free for the purpose of review. I was not required to write a positive review and all opinions expressed are my own. I was compensated for my time to write this post.
I know because Apologia has a great entry into the homeschool writing curriculum market with Writers in Residence by Debra Bell. As a family of writers, we are so thrilled about this!
Writing came naturally to me when I was growing up and it does for my daughters as well. However, that doesn’t mean that style or grammar comes naturally. Sometimes my daughters get caught up in writing a story — which I absolutely encourage — but when it comes time to polish that story or study the mechanics, it’s just not as fun. When I first started writing, one of the things I learned was that you have to know the rules first in order to earn the right to break the rules with your writing. I want to be sure my daughters have a solid foundation of writing skills to fully develop their writing voices.
Writers in Residence: a Comprehensive Homeschool Writing Curriculum
It’s not easy to find a homeschool writing curriculum that is thoroughly comprehensive, yet does not kill the joy of the writing process. I believe Writers in Residence strikes this balance well.
It provides a biblically-based framework for kids to think about language and communicate effectively in writing with these features:
- A complete writing curriculum that integrates grammar, punctuation, and capitalization
- An easy-to-use All-In-One Student Text and Workbook
- A helpful answer key with directions, checklists, and evalutation rubric for every writing assignment that takes the guesswork out of evaluating your child’s writing
- A detailed lesson plan outline for four days a week for thirty-two weeks, make planning and teaching a breeze
- Appropriate content for grades 4 through 8
- Lively and engaging tone, written to the student
- Visually pleasing page layouts, designed to guide your student through the lessons
- Compelling interviews with favorite Christian authors
When I say “comprehensive” I’m not kidding. Do you see how thick this student workbook/textbook is? Kids can write the assignments directly in the book, or you could use a separate notebook or binder as we do.
Types of writing skills covered include: memory story (memoir), letter writing, vocabulary, persuasive writing, outlining and preparing your stories, sensory descriptions, short stories, and so much more. I wish I had this curriculum when my oldest daughter (15) was younger! She has been looking through it “just for fun” because she loves writing and is always looking for ways to sharpen her skills.
Speaking of different ages and stages, one of the huge advantages of Writers in Residence is the ability to use it for a wide range of ages and skill levels. This means if you have several children working at different levels, the assignments can easily be adjusted and fairly evaluated using the included rubrics.
One of our favorite parts of Writers in Residence is learning about Christian authors that are featured in the Spotlight on Christian Writers sections. My daughters always like to hear the stories behind the stories, so this glimpse into the writing life from successful professional writers is a great feature for us. I also believe that learning about authors can be an inspiration and encouragement to budding writers. Unit 4 focuses on this as children write about their favorite authors.
As a homeschool teacher, you get the benefit of the Teacher Manual so there is no guesswork for you. All assignments, suggested answers, and rubrics are laid out for you. This makes prep time very minimal and allows your children to work more independently as you act as their guide.
Learn more about Writers in Residence Homeschool Writing Curriculum
This video gives a brief overview along with some FAQs:
You can also follow Apologia to get the latest news and updates.
I highly recommend both Writers in Residence and Readers in Residence as solid language arts homeschool curriculum choices.
P.S. Don’t miss my review of Readers in Residence if you’re looking for a homeschool reading curriculum.