We have been busy around here lately trying to prepare Mahala for the possibility of College in the next year or so. And part of that is making sure everything we sought out to learn and do has actually been accomplished or at least attempted. :) The other day I asked Skylar, who is 2 years into College...to share with me what he wished we would have spent more time on in our homeschool with him. What could we have done to better prepare him? He said a few little things like time management and organization. But, the Huge change that he said would have made his life in College a lot easier was implementing a Writing Program. He has Dyslexia and we did a lot of his work orally so we never really talked about the importance of writing papers, researching, journaling and such. Even though I do all these things every single day...I figured it
would just come naturally, well it hasn't. Right around the time of this conversation I was given the opportunity to Review Writers in Residence from Apologia Educational Ministries. It is written by the amazing Debra Bell and I have yet to find anything that I don't absolutely love that her hands has touched. This could not have come at a better time!! And even though Mahala is in the 10th grade and this program is technically for grades 4th -8th we were determined to make it work. :)
So, when we first opened the box I was like a little girl at Christmas....honestly I was far more happy to see this massive, spiral bound book then Mahala. But, that's ok it grew on her over time! :) It is so Beautiful and Bright with Fun illustrations and easy to read print. Writers in Residence is divided into 6 units with 24 Modules total. In the end there is a Final Review and a plethora of helpful tools to make this writing journey a success. Some that Mahala found extremely helpful in using was the Word Collection and the Glossary Section.
In the very beginning there is a Quick Guide and that is where you are going to find the motivation and instructions to do this Series. I love how this course promotes Progress and not Perfection. It takes the scariness out of writing! :) Here you will also learn both the Teaching Philosophy and method. You will learn how to Teach, be the Parent and Writing Coach. Ultimately with Writers in Residence your Kiddo will learn how to Capture and Express in words their Ideas, Memories, Investigations and Stories. I don't know about you, but this gets me fired up and excited. Writing tells the Future who the Past was...this means a lot to My Family and I. My Parent's past away when I was a little girl and I know very little about My History. I work hard to make it impossible for my Kiddos to forget their Past so they can pass it down in the Future. I remember when Mahala was a little girl I shared with her a short story I had written in the 6th grade. It was one of her favorite bedtime stories. I look forward to her doing the same thing one day. :)
Ok, back to our Review.... Mahala used this Series 4 days a week consistently the first 2 weeks. But, she enjoyed it so much that she began skipping ahead and averaged about 6 days a week of actual lessons. That's a sure sign of a Winner if your Kiddos want to do MORE work then required. I Love how there is a Beautifully mapped out schedule printed out at the front of the book. It's easy to use, you will Never lose it and the Kids can check off what they do independently. I almost forgot, but in the back as your Kiddos rack up points for doing various activities they can bubble in this chart and once they get 85% of the way to Apprentice they will receive an Award by just submitting a request online....such a cool idea!!!
Mahala has progressed nicely through this program the thing she likes the most about it she said is the conversational tone throughout the text. She said it's like reading a good book you don't want to put down. She has ADD and a lot of times she struggles with written instructions, but she had No Difficulties at all. She was able to work independently and I could see her confidence grow as she worked through the program. She still has a lot more to do and has already committed to working through the Summer even on our RV trip. Another Favorite for her was the Christian Writer Spotlights. I'll be honest she skipped around and read them all the 1st day. She was impressed to see that they were regular people just like us and hearing their writing secrets and stories inspired her to jump in and give this writing thing a try. I think it took of the pressure of perfection she always wraps around her neck.
So, what did I think.......I LOVED it, I would buy it again for my next Kiddo to use. I think all homeschool and even public school Kiddos should grab this up and put it in their tool belt. I know Mahala is feeling Mighty Confident about heading to college now after taking the time to do this Series. She still has a lot to learn and do, but she is on the right path. I couldn't ask for anything more!!
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