Say goodbye to your reluctant writer with Debra Bell’s Writers in Residence.
It’s a week until “school starts” at our house, and we’ve almost made it—but not quite. My kids requested to start early. Slight groan. While I really love teaching my kids and all of the things that go along with it, I have to admit that I’m not quite prepared yet. Torn somewhere between wanting them to want to learn and my ducks not being in a row, I decided to let them get their appetite whet with a little Story of the World audio and map work.
To my surprise, the next question that rang out loud was, “Can we start the new writing book, mom?” Imagine the shock when my reluctant writer posed that question! A huge driving force in the wide-eyed anticipation was our new writing course that was edging its way off of the shelf. I too, have to admit that I’m a little giddy about it, but I really had to push it off just a few more days until I could really get my bearings.
Have you ever found a curriculum that really hits the sweet spot? You know, you love it, your kids love it, and it teaches what you want and how you want and everyone is happy about it? Like—dancing, singing, exited—happy about it! That’s pretty much how we were when we found Apologia’s Exploring Creation series! So…when we discovered Debra Bell and Apologia had released Writer’s in Residence, we were first in line to check it out!
Because we are just beginning to use it, I want to share with you what we love about it and why we chose to trade in our previous writing curriculum and go full force into the wildly creative world of WIR! We are infatuated with the conversational tones and high-interest content. The colorfully designed, rubric threaded Volume 1 worktext (think student book and workbook combined) has excited both my creative author and my mildly dysgraphic* student equally. Now that’s a feat, so we’re jumping in head-first!
What’s that anyway? According to the Learning Disabilities Association of America, a person with this specific learning disability may have problems including illegible handwriting, inconsistent spacing, poor spatial planning on paper, poor spelling, and difficulty composing writing as well as thinking and writing at the same time.
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As a full-time working, homeschooling momma, I’m always a fan when an author pairs efficiency and efficacy. Because we take part in a local, academic co-op, the four day approach to scheduling is a great fit. (It’s actually co-op friendly too if you wanted to implement it there!)
In lieu of traditional lesson plans, a colorful lesson rubric makes it simple for kids and moms alike to move through the assignments with virtually no planning! Students are taught to self-evaluate their writing through point-earning checklists that allow students to earn their “apprenticeship” as an award of distinction. The spiraling concepts will gently introduce new material and weave it through future lessons for repeated exposure.
Bell encourages students to study examples of good writing and to incorporate the six-trait writing model to produce intentional work based on personal experiences. She encompasses grammar, punctuation, formatting, usage, and even spelling and composition from a non-intimidating stance, breaking down each new concept into manageable chunks.
During the repeated assignment cycle, students will work through four tasks:
- I Remember
- I Imagine
- I Investigate
- I Think
which will expose children and teens to all of the essential forms of writing to make them successful writers.
Because we are really just starting to dig into serious composition, and I have (or maybe now, had) a reluctant writer, we intend to set a timer in accordance with our limits. If we aren’t able to complete the recommended assignment for Day 1, then we will simply spread it out to two days. This curriculum can easily be adapted to fit many different schedules while captivating the minds of all.
As a mom, I genuinely appreciate the segments that focus on Christian writers. I look forward to helping my kids catch a glimpse of exactly how writing can manifest into real careers and be used to glorify God through their voices!
“God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another.” –1 Peter 4:10
DO YOU HAVE A WRITER?
Enter the VFW writing contest 2016-2017
Learn more at: http://www.vfw.org/PatriotsPen/ (PATRIOTS PEN GRADES 6-8)
THEME: The America I Believe In
http://www.vfw.org/VOD/ (VOICE OF DEMOCRACY GRADES 9-12)
THEME: My Responsibility to America
To submit your entry go to one of the above VFW sites, click FIND A POST to submit your application through your local VFW.