Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Institute for Excellence in Writing (IEW) : Teaching Writing Level A

IEW Review
Recently I received the opportunity to review a program I have heard so much about. I have wanted to check this out myself for years and finally, my kiddo is old enough to try it out. I recently received Institute for Excellence in Writing (IEW) program, the Deluxe Combo Teacher/Student Writing Package Level A . I also received the Word Write Now and Portable Walls with our kit. 
IEW Review
Here's a look at what we received in the package. The Word Write Now and Portable Walls were not in the package but were an add on.
Deluxe Combo Package A

Teaching Writing - Although writing is what I do for a living, I have found it difficult to teach my child to write. He would randomly come up with stories or plays but they never went very far. He's a typical boy that hates writing more than he has to. Enter this DVD seminar! 

This set is for you as the teacher/parent. There is an instruction manual for you to follow along in the program. There are nine hours of instruction for you as the parent. Usually I just pop in a disc when my son is busy with a lesson or working on something else. Mr. Pudewa goes over how to teach your child to write efficiently and it all starts with rewriting a paragraph.

Honestly, I found myself in the first few minutes of the DVD's. He talks about the child that doesn't know what to write. I honestly have a hard time helping him find something to write about. By giving him the paragraph to rewrite it gets his juices flowing. 
Student Writing Intensive DVD - This makes me happy! This package includes the Student Writing Intensive DVD's where Mr. Pudewa teaches the lessons to your child. You can watch them together and feel like you're in the class with him. There were lots of giggles in our writing class here as it was fun. 
In this series your child will go through the lessons with a class of students near their age and learn the process of writing effectively. We really enjoyed the lessons and it is easier to work through writing when you're having fun! 
Student Writing Intensive NotebookThey have their own binder, notebooks and pages to work on as Mr. Pudewa is teaching the specific lesson. It goes along with the lesson plans you have so you can assist them with when the DVD is turned off. 

Here's an example of how the process works. We watched the lesson first and worked with the program as he taught it. Once you have learned the concept you can stop the DVD and work throughout the week on that particular lesson topic. There are other worksheets that have the same concept where you can get practice on it. 

Here's a snapshot of us working on pages in the notebook. The great thing about this program? Everything you need is all together! 

Fix It Grammar - Now these are a favorite of mine. Grammar has never been a favorite subject of mine. There are so many rules to remember and it's just wild sometimes. Enter in the Fix It Grammar part of IEW. 

Each lesson is just a few minutes long. Your child has one passage to copy down each day of the week into their own binder you have set up. They will fix any grammatical errors along the way as they copy it down. They also learn different parts of speech and grammar as they are doing the copy work. The lessons are short and sweet and by the end of the book, you have an entire story copied down in your own binder. 

Boo Bear loved this part of his writing lesson because it only takes a few minutes and we are learning grammar at the same time. He could be done with a subject in less than ten minutes depending on the length of the passage for the day. In our first book we are working on it really is one sentence a day. You learn the paragraph markers for indention, homophones, verbs etc. It is a fun way to get in those sometimes boring parts of speech. 

A Word Right Now - So how many of you when you're writing have a hard time coming up with just the right word? Maybe you've used something in the previous sentences and you want to use something similar but not the same word over and over. Enter A Word Right Now! 

This book offers a large word list including everything from character traits to your senses. You'll find a variety of words for your child to use or if you need them in your own writing. 

Portable Wall - As homeschoolers we tend to have tons of posters and things on the wall already. Well IEW thought of that and introduced the portable wall for your desk. This tri-fold item works well on your students desk or yours to offer reminders of all the models that are taught in IEW. It offers word lists, helps for different writing techniques and even replacements for words so you do not repeat the same word over and over. 

What We Thought... Wow! Honestly, to begin with I was overwhelmed at all this awesomeness in one place. Once I got settled in and looked through the items it was easy to see where to go. 
I watched the DVD seminar discs on my own. To begin with I started with the overview disc so we could get started working. This made it easier for me to have an idea of what to expect. 

We started with our writing intensive DVD's and watched the lesson. We would watch the lesson of the week which was around 30 minutes and would then work on the rest of the items throughout the week. This would give us practice putting into use the topic covered. 

We would work on Fix It Grammar just a few minutes every day as that is all it takes. For Fix It, we have a spiral notebook that he copies his passages down in everyday. At the end of the book his notebook will have that entire story copied in his own handwriting. 

For me, it's an awesome program. I love how I feel like I have an English/Writing teacher in the home with us. Andrew Pudewa makes it fun and entertaining while we are learning how to be better writers. I love that I don't feel alone when my kid looks at me with that blank stare of not knowing what to write. With this program, we have something to start with and that makes a world of difference. 
I love that the lessons plans are clearly laid out for me so I know what we are doing for the day/week. I love that Boo Bear enjoys writing and that it's not as huge of a chore. There were a few days of frustration as the program doesn't want you writing in pencil. They want you writing in pen and learning how to mark your papers. We worked around this and he also learned about that infamous red pen. You know the one. The one college students tremble in fear at? Yeah. That one. 

If you're looking for a full writing curriculum to help you teach this touchy subject and your child to feel successful, IEW is the way to go. Be sure to check them out on social media with the links below. You can also see what others thought about the programs by clicking the banner below. 
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IEW Review
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  1. I loved reading your review! We both USED to have boys who hated to write! =) Not anymore! I too experienced the problem that you mentioned with other writing curriculums where I had to come up with content for my son to write about. One time he wanted to write a mystery and I was supposed to know how to help him do that. But I just had no idea how to write a mystery! With this program though, wow, what a wonderful change. I love not thinking up content for my son to write about. This curriculum has benefited us both SO much. Happy writing to you both! =)

    1. Thank you for stopping by Leah! I appreciate your kind words. Happy writing to you too!!!


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