Sunday, July 7, 2013

Teaching Writing: Structure and Style & Student Writing Intensive {Institute for Excellence in Writing}

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Institute for Excellence in Writing (IEW) is a well known writing curriculum in the homeschooling world.  Many homeschool families, tutorial services and co-ops use it.  They have molded many to be confident writers, and teachers! 

Included in this package were the Teaching Writing: Structure and Style Set, as well as the Student Writing Intensive Level B.

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First, let me tell you about the Teaching Writing: Style and Structure Set.  The set includes the Teaching Writing: Style and Structure Seminar, taught by Andrew Pudewa, which is spread out on 10 DVDs. They have also included the TWSS student workbook (for the parent), which includes summaries of the 9 units taught in the seminar.

The units in TWSS include:
  1. Note Making and Outlines
  2. Summarizing from Notes
  3. The Syllabus in Style
  4. Summarizing Narrative Stories
  5. Summarizing References & Library Reports
  6. Writing from Pictures
  7. Creative Writing
  8. Essay Writing
  9. Critiques

In watching the seminar, I felt like I was given a ton of good information, and teaching tips.  At first I was a little overwhelmed with all of the information, I was really glad to have the student workbook to help me to follow along and to reference back to.  I also found the handouts to be very helpful.   

The lessons range from 1 to 2 hours each.  It does take some time to watch the seminar, but I feel it is time well spent! Beings that I have no formal training in teaching writing, I was happy to glean from a pro. 

I like that IEW has a goal for parent to have a good understanding of the program, by learning it ourselves we can be better teachers! The assignments made me feel like a high school student again {smile}, but they were quite helpful.

While I did learn a ton from the seminar, I would like to go back over it at a slower pace to really retain it all. Here, you can view a little sample of TWSS...

The next item in the package was in the Student Writing Intensive Level B.  This course is designed for students in grades 6-8. Most students usually complete it in 15-30 weeks. I just want to mention that IEW does give the "a okay" to use this level with multiple ages, including elementary and high schoolers. 

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There are 15 lessons in this course, the units are:
  • Note-taking and Summarizing
  • Story Sequence (Narrative)
  • Reports from Multiple Sources
  • Creative Writing
As my kids are getting older I am becoming a HUGE fan of  DVD lessons, just saying!  While I am bent on homeschooling my children, and feel that I am their best teacher overall, I am happy that there is help available in subjects I am not strong in.You know, like writing {double wink}.

I love that IEW is so well laid out, they help even the most unorganized of us feel prepared!  They have included a scope and sequence for us to see where we are heading, and what we are learning for the year.  They have included a course schedule suggestion, which helps students to stay focused and on track. 

The daily teacher's notes are very detailed, with an easy to follow format.  They show you exactly what to do for the day, as well as give additional teaching tips.

We find Mr. Pudewa's student video lessons to be extremely helpful, he lays the ground rules in writing, while leaving room for students to be creative.  He teaches the children in a way that is engaging and entertaining.

I will be honest, we did not finish with the SWI Level A.  Not that we didn't like it, I think we just had to many other things going on at the time.  This go round, I plan to have Lil Chef and Computer girl continue with Level B to completion.  Especially after watching Teaching Writing: Structure and Style, I am convinced that IEW will help to prepare my girls for the high school and college level writing that they will have in the future.  

I do recommend IEW.  They offer a solid writing foundation for students and parents.  They go beyond the basics, giving students and parents the confidence they need to be good writers, and teachers. With IEW, students are taught to write and think! The overall excellence of their program has earned them a top spot amongst writing programs in home school circles.

IEW's Teaching Writing: Structure and Style is available alone for $169.00 or in a value package with a Student Writing Intensive for $249.00.

The Student Writing Intensives are also available alone for $109.00.  There are available in 3 Levels:

Click to read more reviews from the Schoolhouse Review Crew!

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