One of my goals for my children is for them to be good readers. The ability to fully comprehend what they read is a skill that will take them far in life. Simply being able to read the words on a page isn't helpful if they don't understand the meaning and intent behind those words. Apologia Educational Ministries offers Readers in Residence Volume 1 (Sleuth), a homeschool reading curriculum intended to help teach those critical reading skills.
For this review, we received:
- Readers in Residence All-in-One Student Text and Workbook - a 562-page consumable, spiral-bound workbook.
- Readers in Residence Answer Key - a 232-page softcover book containing the answers for the workbook exercises.
Readers in Residence is created by Debra Bell, one of my favorite curriculum writers. She also created the Writers in Residence curriculum that I reviewed with Little Red last year.
Readers in Residence consists of six units. Each unit is broken down into separate modules and lessons. The six units cover
- Sarah, Plain and Tall
- Historical Fiction of our choice
- Charlotte's Web
- Animal Fantasy of our choice
- Because of Winn-Dixie
- Any book of our choice
We started with having Sassy read Sarah, Plain and Tall and work on the unit for that book. The books are not included in the curriculum, but all of the books used are easily found at our library. We chose to buy Sarah, Plain and Tall because it's a classic and definitely belongs on our bookshelves. As we get to the other units, we already own Charlotte's Web, and we will purchase Because of Winn-Dixie. For the units where we get to choose which book we use, we will probably use books we already have in our home.
I really appreciate that Readers in Residence teaches a variety of necessary reading skills. In the unit for Sarah, Plain and Tall, there are lessons on
- Nonfiction and Fiction
- Character Development
- Making Inferences
- Context Clues
Later units have lessons on plot, figures of speech, setting, and more.
In addition to the lessons for each unit, the student text and workbook includes a suggested daily schedule that covers 32 4-day weeks. I am thankful for curriculum that includes a suggested schedule; it helps me know how to break down the lessons in order to cover all of the material. This suggested schedule allows me a little bit of flexibility as well since we have 36 weeks of school, so if Sassy needs extra time to understand a concept or complete an assignment, we will still be able to get all of the work done.
There is also information included for how to create a book club, with suggestions for theme, food and festivities, and book discussion.
Each module within the units comes with a rubric where Sassy and I sit down and assign points for each activity she completed in the unit. I let her give a lot of input on whether or not she thinks each activity was done exemplary in quality and/or effort, acceptable in quality and/or effort, or if it needs improvement. This helps her take more ownership of her work because she likes to get the maximum number of rubric points each time, and she understands that she has to do her best in order to get those. There are also rubrics included to evaluate the projects in the three units for the assigned books.
Included in the answer key, besides the answers to the student workbook activities, are directions to explain the assignments in the student workbook, checklists to keep track of progress, and copies of the rubrics that are also in the student workbook.
I have been very impressed with Readers in Residence Volume 1 (Sleuth) and its detailed approach to having Sassy read and comprehend.
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