Apologia Educational Ministries has done it again with Readers in Residence Volume 1 (Sleuth) by Debra Bell. In case you’re wondering what I mean with “done it again,” let me give you a little backstory.
Readers in Residence Volume 1
Around this time last year, we were given the opportunity to review Apologia Writers in Residence, by Debra Bell. When we began this program, I had a child that hated to write. When asked to write about his day, I was lucky to get two sentences before he added “The End.” Since adding what I can an AMAZING curriculum, he now LOVES to write. I can often time find him in his room writing a short story, or journaling about his day. That’s why when we were given the opportunity to review the knew Readers in Residence Volume 1 (Sleuth), I couldn’t refuse!
• Answer Key: This 232-page softcover book includes information on how to use this program as well as answers for the workbook exercises.
• All-in-One Student Text and Workbook: This is a 562-page consumable, spiral-bound workbook.
What is Readers in Residence Volume 1
Readers in Residence Volume 1 (Sleuth) created by Debra Bell is an all-in-one curriculum. This series is a reading comprehension, literature, and vocabulary program that can be used as a stand-alone, or in conjunction with the Writers in Residence series. When adding both of these programs together, you then create a full year of language arts.
The program is divided into six different units. Each unit is broken down into separate modules and lessons. The six units covered are:
• Sarah, Plain and Tall
• Historical Fiction of your choosing
• Charlotte’s Web
• Animal Fantasy of your choosing
• Because of Winn-Dixie
• A book of your choosing
Opening the student book, you’ll find a welcoming page that talks about the different topics that will be covered throughout this curriculum. Following this section, you’ll find a suggested four-day daily schedule. So far, this schedule has worked out really well for us. Also, since it encourages your child to start a book club, it even offers suggestions and ideas on how to kick that part off. Keep in mind that participants in the book club do not have to be using this curriculum, and the book club is in no way mandatory. It’s merely a fun suggestion to kids more interested in reading and sharing what they’ve read.
Readers in Residence Volume 1 (Sleuth) starts out in a way that gets kids itching to learn more. It starts out by encouraging them to look for clues on the cover of books. It shows them how to find the publishes, synopsis, title, illustrator, author and so much more. Once they have covered all this, it then has them make their own book cover. This was such a fun hands-on activity. of course my ten-year-old designed an Unofficial Minecraft cover for a book. But he also did a pretty awesome job at making up a pretend synopsis as well as writing about himself in the “About the Author” section.
Adding Reading Assignments
Your child doesn’t start actually reading Sarah, Plain and Tall until you reach Model 2.5. By the time they reach this area, they have learned how to look for clues in their reading. The first activity that follows reading Chapter 1 of Sarah, Plain, and Tall is for your child to list the characters, what they learned and they learned it. There are no right or wrong answers in this, but we did enjoy sitting down and talking about the different characters and what he came up with as far as what he learned.
I have to say that we are completely in love with this curriculum. Who said that reading has to be boring? This curriculum isn’t just reading and worksheets. Sure they have picked a wonderful selection of books as part of this curriculum, but it also offers hands-on activities and projects throughout so that your child can demonstrate what they have learned. Not only that, but it also encourages your child to start a book club, and even gives them ideas and suggestions on how to do just that. The awesome part is that anyone can be part of the book club, so they can invite parents, grandparents, siblings, and friends.
I also really love that they have included the “Meet the Author” section in this curriculum as well. My ten-year-old has always enjoyed reading these as part of the Writers in Residence and this is no different. He loves going into the library or bookstore and finding authors that he’s familiar with on the shelves.