Today's Wisdom

Friday, May 13, 2011

TOS Review: IEW Student Writing Intensive B


Today’s review product is one that I am very excited about.  We have had this program for most of the school year so we have had ample time to thoroughly go through the program.  Last year, after testing my children both of my boys scored low in writing.  I expected they would because writing is not a strong area for myself so I honestly had no idea where to begin to teach it!  Our tester recommended that we look into purchasing IEW which is short for Institute of Excellence in Writing.  So, my research began. I looked first at Teaching Writing: Structure and Style DVD seminar to gain some insight for myself.   
It looked awesome but the price kept me away.  I wasn't sure it was what I wanted or that it would work and didn't really want to spend that much money on something I didn't know much about!

So, when this opportunity came around I was so excited!!  We reviewed the Student Writing Intensive Level B.  I have a 4th grader and a 7th grader who both used this curriculum. 
Here's how it breaks down.....

You begin the program by watching Andrew Pudewa explain the week’s lesson on DVD.  He makes it so simple and fun.  The whole program is broken down in steps and each week you build upon those steps.  Honestly, I am learning right along beside my children.  That is one of my favorite parts of homeschooling!  After watching the DVD, we spend the rest of the week working on the writing assignment given and explained on the DVD.  Some lessons we extended to two weeks.  The program is very flexible to use!  There is a suggested course schedule included that will spread the course out over 30 weeks.  Also included are all the handouts and teacher notes for each lesson.  To extend the program further you could include the reinforcement exercises also included.

Our schedule looked like this.

Monday - watch DVD - and don't be surprised when you and your student start talking to back to the TV!  It's normal - I think. :)
Tuesday - write key word outline on the source text provided
Wednesday - write rough draft and edit with mom
Thursday - type the corrected final draft including elements on composition checklist provided
Friday - any extra practice that might be needed including grammar skills brush up, spelling, and new vocabulary.  This would also be a great time for you to watch the Teaching Writing: Structure and Style DVD seminar for the upcoming week.  Each lesson tells you exactly which disk to watch.

Doesn't that sound simple?  Really, it is! I love the step by step process.  We started with one paragraph and have built our way up to three so far.  

Here is a sample of SWI-B.

Here is a great introduction video for you to watch on the levels of the Student Writing Intensive.

The Student Writing Intensive comes in three levels - A, B, and C.  You can purchase them individually for $99 each or you can purchase the Student Writing Intensive level of your choice + the Teaching Writing: Structure and Style for $239.

Also available for a very affordable price of $10 is the Structure and Style Overview DVD.  In case you can't purchase the Teaching Writing: Structure and Style DVD's right away, this DVD gives you a brief overview of the nine units of structure and gives you an introduction several of the stylistic techniques as well.  

We also had the opportunity to use the new portable walls available now.  These are awesome!  It is really like a big cheat sheet for writing.  Each concept is there for the student to look at in a glance including lists of –ly words, strong verbs, prepositions, and so many more of the elements taught in IEW.

Would our family purchase this?  Absolutely!!  I can say that in the area of writing we have found the curriculum that works for us.  We will be using this and the other levels and products as our only writing curriculum from here on out.  I love it!  The kids love it!  No matter the price, we will do our best to make this one fit in our budget! Some of the products at first glance seem very expensive BUT if you factor in the fact that you can use them again with each child the cost goes down.  Plus, the fact that sometimes products are worth every penny when they work so well for your family.  My husband continuously reminds me that he doesn't want cost to hinder our children's education.  I love that man!

Another thing to keep in mind is IEW will offer you a 100% money back guarantee so really and truly you have nothing to lose!

The Institute of Excellence in Writing website is a valuable resource in and of itself.  They provide articles, a where to start page, downloads, and so much more! There are also yahoo groups to help answer your questions.


Don't forget to check out what my fellow crewmates thought of this and other products from Institute of Excellence In Writing.  

**Disclaimer:  I received a free copy of this curriculum in exchange for my review.  The opinions here are my honest and true evaluation!

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