Apologia Jump In

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  • Reviewed on Saturday, August 16, 2014
  • Grades Used: 6th
  • Dates used: 2013-2014
-Absolutely wonderful, but not for everyone. Jump In* is not for advanced students who will become bored with simple tasks. It is perfect for the student who does not like writing, but is able to study independently. My son was in 6th grade, scores high in reading and math, loves science, and hates, hates, hates writing. Before using Jump In, he would try so hard to think of something to write, come up with nothing (often frustrated to tears), and end up turning in a blank paper. Despite the efforts of several talented teachers, he made little progress.
-It builds confidence. My son used to think he was too stupid to write anything. Jump In lessons (“skills”) include short tasks that walk the student step by step through each aspect of writing. Each completed task builds confidence. They also assign tasks that will not be graded, so the student can try it without pressures.
-It gives tools to make writing easier, including how to proofread using the “mistake medic”, trying out various brainstorm models, understanding what to include in each paragraph, and finding out what sequence of steps works best for them.
-It will take the dread/fight/tears out of writing lessons. Jump In uses a casual, fun tone, engaging the student. It also lets the student write about things they want to talk about. While I wouldn’t say he enjoys writing, my son will now make up a story and record it or draw a comic of it, just for fun. You cannot know how astonishing this is.
-Let’s be realistic. It probably will not transform a poor, unwilling student into an eager, talented writer. But, it will improve their writing abilities. My DS is not at grade level, does not enjoy writing, and will probably not become a journalist or author. But, I am confident that his writing will not hold him back from applying for a job or taking a school course or doing whatever else he wants to do in life.

*This review is for both the Student workbook and Teacher manual set.


  • Reviewed on Thursday, May 23, 2013
  • Grades Used: 6th
  • Dates used: 2012-2013
I would not recommend this program for a student who struggles with language arts in general because it's designed to be used independently (the book is written to the student and there isn't a teacher's manual to teach from (there's a guide for helping you grade papers, and that's about it.) While you can read along with your student, if you aren't comfortable teaching writing, you'll basically be learning alongside your child with no "intel" from a manual to assist you.) My son struggles with writing and dislike it as a result, so I thought this might be a good fit; however, it did not work well for him and didn't do much to improve his attitude about writing or improve it much overall. It may be a good program for a student who can work independently in language arts, learns things fairly easily, and doesn't need much teacher instruction. If, however, your student would benefit from a teacher-led program, consider looking elsewhere.


  • Reviewed on Sunday, October 24, 2010
  • Grades Used: 6th
  • Dates used: 2010-2010
This is a fantastic writing program!! My son is enjoying it tremendously and it is farily independent which is nice also.


  • Reviewed on Wednesday, February 24, 2010
  • Grades Used: using with a 4th grader
  • Dates used: 2009-2010
We are in the middle of using Jump In this year. My son is just a little bit young for it, but we are going slowly, and may not do the whole book in one year.

I love this book!! I have looked at and tried so many writing books and never seen anything so effective, practical and well put together. The text uses clear, highly engaging, often light-hearted language, and breaks everything down into totally un-intimidating chunks and steps that make sense. I'm impressed by the way increasingly refined, mature writing is introduced and encouraged in such simple language. The workbook invites just enough written response along the way to keep students tracking with what is being taught. When it's time to tackle a full writing assignment at the end of a unit, a suggested schedule for the writing process is presented to ease your student into it. No lesson is too long, and most lessons could be done independently by most students if necessary.

I wish that Jump In was a series instead, with similarly great books for the elementary and high school level!