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Readers in Residence Review by Megan Russell

Debra Bell
Apologia Educational Ministries
1 (888) 524-4724
1106 Meridian Street, Suite 220/340
Anderson, IN 46016

Readers in Residence is a complete literature curriculum from Apologia Educational Ministries for children in 4th through 8th grades. Your child will study six books representing three literature genres, learn vocabulary words, increase reading comprehension, create several projects, and even start a book club with friends. There are two components to this program:the Student Text and Workbook and the Answer Key. You will need to buy or borrow three books to read while completing Readers in Residence:Sarah, Plain and Tall;Charlotte’s Web; and Because of Winn Dixie. Your child will also read three other books with this program, but they are allowed to choose their own book within the chosen genre.

The Student Text and Workbook is huge—over 560 pages—with a neon-green spiral binding. It is full of color, illustrations, and fun, easy-to-read fonts. There are six units, with different modules in each unit. Units One and Two cover the historical fiction genre, using the books Sarah, Plain and Tall and your child’s choice. Units Three and Four cover the animal fantasy genre, using the books Charlotte’s Web and your child’s choice. Units Five and Six cover contemporary realistic fiction and fiction, using Because of Winn Dixie and your child’s choice. Scattered throughout the Student Text and Workbook are “Meet the Author” articles, focusing on the authors of the books your child will be reading.

There is a Suggested Daily Schedule in the beginning of the Student Text and Workbook. This schedule is divided into 32 weeks, each week with four days of plans. There is a box for your child to mark each time a lesson is completed. Each module has a checklist for the parent to complete when your child is finished. This checklist covers every project and task from the module. You give your child points based upon their effort and quality for each task.

I am using Readers in Residence with my 9-year-old daughter who is in the 4th grade. The daily lessons take anywhere from 20-45 minutes for her to complete. Some of the things she has to do are answer questions based on the book or the textbook, fill in character maps and charts, complete Venn diagrams, and discuss ideas with me. Some of the questions really make her think and are difficult for her to answer. She has learned what inferences are and has to make them routinely about the book she’s reading. She has learned many new words, drawn pictures of different scenes in the books, learned about complete sentences, subject, predicates, and verbs, and read about character development. She has learned what makes a paragraph and how to find the topic of a paragraph.

I like Readers in Residence and think it is a wonderful literature curriculum for homeschoolers. My daughter has learned quite a lot of new concepts, as well as reading some good literature. Readers in Residence is a little teacher-intensive, which is to be expected. I dislike having to give her points based on her work, because I see that she really tries hard even when her answers are not “exemplary” (as the book describes they should be). I like the checklist, as I can go through and make sure she has completed all her assignments and projects, but I think I’m going to quit awarding her points for her answers. If she has completed everything to the best of her ability, I will check it off her checklist.

Readers in Residence sells for $89, which includes the Student Text and Workbook and the Answer Key. This is a reasonable price considering the quality and size of the materials. Apologia Educational Ministries has many products for homeschoolers, ranging from Bible studies to science curriculum to writing curriculum.

-Product review by Megan Russell, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, July 2017