I re-read my boys’ psycho-educational evaluations last week.
I wanted to remind myself, as I planned for the new school year, of how vast the asynchrony is in how they learn. Honestly, it’s easy to overlook the really off the charts categories.
Like my youngest who, at eleven years old, can barely read at a second-grade level, but whose vocabulary and comprehension scores are that of a high school senior. Or my oldest, who struggles to understand even simple emotional inferences, but easily achieved a college level Lexile score in first grade.
It’s one of the reasons we homeschool. How could one-grade level classroom possibly meet their twice exceptional needs?
Language Arts And Learning Differences
The older they get, the more difficult it becomes to find curriculum choices that meet my sons’ needs.
As part of preparing for the new school year, I have been looking for a language arts program that allows for more discussion and fewer comprehension worksheets (my children can parrot almost exact passages of books after just one exposure – basic comprehension worksheets are useless in really helping them understand literature).
I am delighted to say that I have found a program that works well for all of us.
Please know, although I was compensated for my time, this review is 100% my own. I only share products that work well for my family, in the hopes they might help yours as well.
Readers in Residence by Apologia is a literature based, year-long program for grades 4 and up. It’s designed to be flexible and engaging, while still learning the basics.
Our experience with Readers in Residence has been exceptional.
Readers In Residence Overview
There are three key aspects of Readers in Residence that make it an excellent choice for my family.
It’s literature based.
It has a slower pace.
It’s flexible and easily accommodates learning differences.
There are three books covered in the study, and we choose three books as well to work through with provided resources and discussion guides. (These three books are described below as “On Your Own” or ” “OYO.”)
The basic flow of the program looks like this –
- Historical Fiction: Sarah, Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan
- OYO Historical Fiction
- Animal Fantasy: Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White
- OYO Animal Fantasy
- Realistic Fiction: Because of Winn Dixie
- OYO Grand Finale
I think the best way to learn more about how this all seamlessly works together is to take a look at this comprehensive free sample provided by Apologia. (Incidentally, this sample is the reason I decided to give Readers in Residence a try.)
Why We Use Readers In Residence For More Than Just Reading
For My Dyslexic Child –
I find the workbook to be a good fit for my son with a reading delay. The print is larger than in most programs and the careful use of color makes it easier for my son to track with the learning.
For Social Skills Practice and Reinforcement –
Readers in Residence is designed to facilitate thoughtful and emotive understanding of great books. It goes way beyond the standard comprehension approach, and instead asks questions like –
What are some of the changes you notice in the main character throughout this story?
What character trait would you use to describe this character?
Why do you think people make promises?
I find this approach not only encourages my sons’ love of literature, it also helps them practice social skills learning. Although understanding motive and intent in everyday conversations can be difficult for a child with social differences, using a character in a story makes social awareness and understanding more accessible.
In short, I am genuinely excited about using Readers in Residence this year. So much so, I have also started looking into other Apologia products – take a look at this free Activity E-book for this month’s Solar Eclipse!
Shawna Wingert is a former training and development professional turned education specialist, and has homeschooled her two children for the last ten years.Shawna has written four books about homeschooling unique learners and has been featured in homeschooling discussions on Today.com, The Mighty, Simple Homeschool, My Little Poppies and Raising Lifelong Leaners.
You can find her online here at DifferentByDesignLearning.com.