Friday, May 13, 2011

Institute For Excellence in Writing

There are many products offered to us as Homeschool families. Some are nice, but not necessary, some are low quality and really not necessary, some are  great and would go on a "wish list" that every homeschool mom has somewhere. Then every once in a great while, a home school mom stumbles upon an absolute "must have" in her homeschool and the Institute For Excellence In Writing or IEW is that product.

Prior to my exposure to IEW, I did not think it was possible to teach someone the art of  writing. I really thought that some people just have a natural way of stringing words together to make a story entertaining and interesting. I figured that as a homeschooling mom, I would cover the basics in writing, styles, etc.. through our language arts curriculum and either my children, with practice,  would become writers, or they wouldn't. I guess looking back now, that is a pretty bleak outlook. As a member of TOS Homeschool Review Crew, I was sent Teaching Writing/ Student Writing Intensive Combo Pack, Level A  it costs $239.00 ( perfect for children working at the Elementary Level). They also sent me a Portable wall ($7.00), which is handy for a quick reference of writing models and word lists.

So, why all the hype? This is a quality program that is very user friendly and walks the teacher through the lessons as well as  clear and understandable instructions for the students. The teacher discs are a wonderful tool to help you begin to implement the program. The instructor, Andrew, is knowledgeable and is a pleasure to watch. Even if you are not yourself a great writer, this program will equip you as the teacher with everything you need to teach your students. The lessons for the student are laid out very nicely. Once I watched the first few discs of Teaching Writing: Structure and Style, we were able to begin. The Student Writing Intensive lessons run about 45-60 minutes long, depending on the session and typically we would watch the Lesson on Monday and use the rest of the week to work on the writing assignment. The writing assignment would directly apply the lesson that was just taught. There is also plenty of opportunity for review and reinforcement.

Each lesson has a chart that lets me know what is to be watched on the student DVD, the viewing time, the handouts for the lesson and the optional handouts if I think more reinforcement is needed. The company also offers online support for teachers, so you always have help when you need it. I LOVE that we can "attend class" with a great instructor without leaving our home,  that I can customize a writing assignment based on our own family experiences and really make the stories our own.

I could go on all day about how valuable this product is, but I think you should head over to their website and watch a few of their video clips about their program. Also, head over to the TOS Blog and see what my fellow Crew Mates thought of this program.

As a member of TOS Homeschool Review Crew, I was sent IEW at no cost to myself in exchange for an honest review.

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