Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Writers in Residence {TOS Review}

Apologia: Writers in Residence Review

Mikaela, my 7th grader, has been reviewing a new writing program, Writers in Residence by Apologia Educational Ministries, for the past month. She loves it!

What is Writers in Residence? 

Apologia: Writers in Residence Review
Writers in Residence is unique writing program that includes light grammar instruction. There are 4 types of writing tasks your child will complete with this book:
  1. I Remember - Your child will be writing about experiences they have had. 
  2. I Imagine - Your child will learn how to write a fictional story.
  3. I Investigate - Your child will use research skills and writing in an investigative journalism project.
  4. I Think - Your child will learn argument writing by taking a position and defending it.
Writers in Residence uses a 6 Trait Writing Model: ideas, organization, sentence structure, word choice, voice, and conventions. Your child will use this model to evaluate their final drafts.

The language arts included in WIR are grammar, punctuation, capitalization, spelling, formatting and usage. They are taught right alongside the writing instruction, not as a separate subject.

At the beginning of each Module, there are "Writer's Questions". These questions are designed to "turn on their brains and get ready to learn". An example of one of these is "Where can I get ideas to write about? How can I make the action in my stories more exciting?"

There is also a "Sneak Peek" box at the beginning of each Module that will show the child what they will be learning in this module.

Throughout the Module, there are examples of student's work, writer's toolbox {strategies writers use}, graphic organizers, the sandbox {a place to practice writing}, vocabulary words relevant to the writing assignment, word sleuth {new words your child will learn to spell and the meaning}, and a module checklist.

The Module Checklist is at the end of each module, and it is to be used by the child and the parent. The child will check off their assignments they have completed, and the parent will go through and award points based upon the point system explained in the book.

The is also a Spotlight on Christian Writers, which introduces your child to 6 Christian writers, such as Irene Howat {author of the Lightkeepers Series} and Phil Vischer {one of the creators of VeggieTales} through interviews.

What did we like about Writers in Residence?

We didn't like anything about this program - we loved everything! Mikaela enjoys using the graphic organizers to put down her ideas and thoughts, as it really helps her with writing. I love how quickly her writing is improving, and how much grammar instruction she is receiving.

One of my favorite features of this book is the Suggested Daily Schedule! It is so easy to follow, and Mikaela can look at a glance and see what she needs to do for the day. When she is done, she checks the box. I love this, because it makes this program totally independent for her. The Suggested Daily Schedule is for 32, 4-day weeks. Mikaela loves this so much, she does it everyday! So it won't last quite as long, but that is totally fine with me!

This book is huge with over 575 pages! The pages are colorful, and the font is large and easy to read. The instructions are very clear and easy to follow. This writing program is the best I have seen, and I am planning to buy another book for my 5th grade son, Eli, to use next year. Writers in Residence keeps writing fun.

Check out Apologia Educational Ministries on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.

Apologia: Writers in Residence Review


  1. I was eyeing this when it first came out! I'm glad your daughter is loving it. It does look fun :) Do you think it's feasible to get through that great big book in one year, or would it be better over a few years?

    1. I think it's definitely feasible to finish in a year. The schedule is for four days a week for 34 weeks. Mikaela loves it so much, she does it five days! It doesn't take long each day at all.