When I was asked to do an IEW review for a special needs package from Institute for Excellence in Writing (IEW) called Teaching Writing: Structure and Style, Student Writing Intensive Level B, I didn't know what to expect. I've heard of it, being very popular in my homeschool Facebook groups that I'm apart of, but that's all I knew.
IEW Review Contents
Once it arrived I was blown away at all that I received. I received:
Teaching Writing Structure and Style, including the Premium Subscription
A Student Writing Intensive level (B)
With the "Teaching Writing Structure and Style, including the Premium Subscription" I received a:
- Teaching Writing: Structure and StyleDVD seminar
- 12 DVDs
- TWSS Seminar and Practicum Workbook
- Teaching Writing: Structure & Style:
With the "A Student Writing Intensive level (B)" I received:
- Student Writing Intensive Level B
I think the fun part was making the binders, haha I know I'm crazy! So I received a binder kit for the teacher, a lesson plan binder kit, and then the students binder kit with a binder. The Teacher's kit came with the 12 dvds in this really nice leather dvd storage case:
I loved the lesson plans binder! Well I love lesson plans, usually I get something and then I'm wondering what I'm supposed to do with it. But these lesson plans told me what to do each day. The premium subscription allows you to print out more stories and has more lessons, The whole 18 hour teacher's training course online so you don't have to use the dvds if you don't want to, and other things.
How we used it
First, I had to set everything up; Cam's binder and the teacher's lesson plans binder. Next, I read over the lesson plans for the first week and then there was an activity to follow along with Mr. Pudewa and his students on the dvd. So what we had to do was, we read the story along with the teacher and then we would go from sentence to sentence finding and writing down the 3 major important points from each one. Then, when we found all of them in each sentence we would write the story over using those main points.
Next, after the lesson, we would stop the dvd before we got to the next part and then the teacher's binder contains 2 or 3 more stories to practice on before the next week.
The next week contained more stories and then had a new lesson. So each week they are practicing what they learned the previous week and then learning something new. So they are always learning something new each week.
How it works
First you can watch the introduction dvd by yourself to familiarize yourself with how you're supposed to be teaching them. Then you the parent makes the students binder, not giving them anything in the teacher's lesson plan until he tells you in the video. The teacher's lesson plan comes with the stories that Andrew Pudewa talks about on the dvds. The lesson plans have the weeks and days mapped out, so all you have to do is read the lesson plan for the day you're on. Mr. Pudewa will go over a lesson or story and they will figure out the important clues in the story and then write the story over using those clues. In the video he talks about banned words (words that shouldn't go in their writing).
What we liked
Well since we couldn't find anything wrong with it, although my son hates to write, I didn't hear him complain once. He even asked to work on it each day which was surprising to say the least. I loved how everything was laid out, I never wondered what I was supposed to do next. The lesson plans told me what dvd to watch, what chapter, and even when to stop. Being a first time homeschooler I loved that! Cam (C.J) found it funny and a little hard at first, because he just wanted the students to use pens, no pencils. Cam loves his mechanical pencils. This way there is no erasing on their rough draft. He said that pencils and/or typing is ok on the final copy. It was very interesting to me to see how he interacted with the kids in the video, making up hand codes, and making them laugh. I loved being able to help Cam with his writing because it was all written out in the lesson plans.
I really recommend this package. Cam received the special needs package since I noticed that he has trouble making sentences and paragraphs, also because he has ADHD and Asperger's. It contains short stories to make it easier for them to work on.
Have you tried this program? What did you think?
IEW can be found on Social Media at: