Friday, May 13, 2011

Institute for Excellence in Writing

Product - Teaching Writing / Student Writings Intensive - Level A, combo pack.

Company - Institute for Excellence in Writing

Age Group - Grades 3 - 5

Price - $239.00

This package includes the following:

1. Student Writing Intensive binder.  There are worksheets, teacher notes, checklists, and handouts (containing stories to work with). There are also labeled dividers to keep things organized.  These include tabs for "current work," "finished work," etc.

2. Student Set of 4 DVDs.  These are the actual classes taught by Andrew Pudewa.  He teaches in a real classroom with several students. Viewers are supposed to join in the class and follow along, just like the children on the DVD.

3. Teaching Writings: Structure and Style binder. This contains notes, a syllabus, and very detailed descriptions to help you (the teacher) use this program.

4. Teacher Set of 6 DVDS - to teach us how to teach. There is also a DVD called "Tips and Tricks." There are 3 additional DVDs in this case which are Student Writing Workshops for -  elementary, intermediate and high school levels.

5. A large poster/ folder which is called "Portable Walls." This is full of "writing models and word lists." You'll find suggested Transition words, lists of prepositions, verbs, synonyms, adverbs and models to quickly help writers work on their projects.

How it worked for Us -

I used this mostly with John (13) who is dyslexic and has struggled tremendously, over the years, with writing.  I also used it briefly with Amy (16), just to get a quick idea of how it would work for her.


In the Teacher's DVD case, I chose the intermediate student workshop.  I gave her a notebook and a pen. She watched the program for around 30 minutes and took some notes. She found it very helpful. However, Amy would love to be in an actual classroom where she can participate with other students. It was too easy for her to be distracted when no one was there to hold her accountable. In her case, I probably should have had her watch this with me or some of her siblings.  Again, I only had her briefly view this. She did not go through the program.  My plan was to just use this with John.  Later, I intend to have Amy watch the high school level DVD and have us both work through it together. This will give her that "competition" she needs to keep her motivated.


Before I got him started, I sat down and watched some of the Teacher DVDs.  I watched Andrew on the screen. I went through the notes in the binder and worked through the lessons as he taught. I had to actually do the same thing my student was going to do. This really helped me understand not only his method, but I also got to experience the results after seeing my own progress.  I was seriously impressed!

Next, I was ready to put John to work. He thrives in a quiet environment. I set him up in a room with a small desk and chair. I sat in the background and watched him work. I was also there to answer questions, get him a drink, or find one of the "handouts" he needed to get through each lesson.

John did this program 2 days a week for several months. He LOVED it! I was so amazed at his growing skills in writing.  He enjoyed having a "teacher" other than me. (smiles). He also enjoyed Andrew's sense of humor. Andrew made learning easy! He clearly explained everything in each lesson and gave the students plenty of time to work. John was also able to hear the students discuss their writing with the teacher. He was able to hear mistakes and learn from them. This was a fabulous aspect of the program.

After a short time, John was confident enough to begin actual writing projects without apprehension. He even came up with his own ideas for stories and enjoyed writing them.   John still has a long way to go, and I plan to re-start this program for him in the coming weeks.  But I really don't think I could have taught him so much without Andrew's help!

I am deeply grateful for this curriculum and consider it to be worth every single penny!

To find out more about my homeschool reviews, please visit "Introduction to our Homeschool Parlor"

*I received this product, for review purposes through The Old Schoolhouse Magazine Crew*

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Courtney said...

We've been part of a homeschool co-op for three years, but in the fall I will be homeschooling my daughter exclusively. My daughter is entering 3rd grade, and the co-op would have started IEW and Shurley Grammar. I've heard from so many parents that this is a rigorous program combination. At a recent curriculum fair, I was put off by all the dvd's and the overall cost of IEW. Mothers I spoke to couldn't put into words what they like about IEW except to say that their kids were writing well. So I do appreciate this review, which is more than I've ever heard about the program. I am still unsure about starting it (considering Shurley English--it covers grammar and writing), mainly because of the cost. But I did hear a local library has the dvd's ... thanks for reviewing. I might consider it more seriously now.

Taryn said...

We are ending our home education program next month(our youngest is 18). We've been homeschooling since 1985 and have tried almost everything. I advised my daughter-in-law for our 4-year-old granddaughter to try Christian Liberty Press's Preschool($50). Then to use CLP and ABEKA(history,health,science,art,music) for kindergarten,first grade and older. CLP uses Bob Jones Writing and Grammar. They use Modern Curriculum Press math,etc. We like the Rod and Staff readers(grades 1-4). We order Spectrum Test Prep Booklets through Seton Testing then order the Seton Test in April. We are not of the Reformed Theology like CLP(we attend a Baptist church). We stayed away from computer and DVD teaching. We enjoyed writing but did very little Creative Writing(no tall tales, talking animals,etc.). I learned a lot from's articles/book reviews.

CCV Project said...

Just a note to let you know I would ditto everything Mrs. White has said about the IEW program. We have used it in our homeschooling family with three of our children so far. Two have gone on to take college level writing courses and did not struggle even the littlest bit because of the fantastic writing stratagies thought. It was well worth the investment!

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