Monday, April 17, 2017

Reader's In Residence - Volume 1 (Sleuth) - Review


Apologia Educational Ministries is famous for their science products, and they are beginning to launch out into other subject matter.   Today I'm sharing our review of Reader's In Residence Volume 1 (Sleuth), the newest edition to the Apologia language arts program.


Let me start off by saying this is a whopping big, spiral bound, student book (564 total pages).   Do NOT let that freak you (or your student) out.   The pages have fairly large print, color graphics and sidebar notes that take up a great deal of the space, see the graphic below for samples.   So, while there are a lot of pages overall, it's not as daunting at it first appears.  Also included in those 564 pages are a 4-day a week - 32 week schedule (if you choose to use it); information/ideas on hosting 5 different book club meetings throughout the academic year, meet the author pages and rubrics for grading.   One final item is the "Sowing Seeds" section.   Here, you'll find teaching on character traits found in the books, followed by discussion questions and scriptures references to go along with the topic at hand.
For the required book studies, you'll need specific copies of Sarah, Plain and Tall, Charlotte's Web and Because of Winn Dixie.   The reason you'll need the specific version of the books is because the student is asked questions, and specific pages are listed for finding the correct answer.  You can of course use other versions of the reader's but it will make that part of the process a little more involved for your student.   The student/parent will also pick three other books to study throughout the year as well.  Not to worry, there is a suggested reading list that you can pick from for each genre, or you can combine reading for another subject and kill two birds with one stone.

The teacher's answer key has all the answers to the questions (printed in a different font color from the question), the same 4-day/32 week schedule, as well as rubrics and check lists to be used to guide the student and grade their work.   There is enough information given here to help the student if they are truly struggling, but this is not a teacher's guide, as the program is student directed.

While working through the first book study of Sarah, Plain and Tall, we were surprised at how much more information the book has than the movie, even though it's not a long book.   Lindsey liked how the curriculum helped her to know what to look for, and what questions to ask herself as she read so that she could better understand the characters.   She also love that there wasn't tons of writing each day as she worked through her daily assignments. 

Lindsey and I both liked that the book was spiral bound.   This feature allowed for much easier use of the book without having pages flip and close on you.  This is also a plus for left handed students as it allows them to get the binding out of the way easily when working from left to right.

This curriculum is geared for grade 4 and up.   Older students (middle school) who struggle with reading comprehension would also benefit from this thorough teaching approach, without feeling like they are doing a "little kid" curriculum.

To read other TOS member reviews, click here.


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