Friday, August 31, 2007

Getting Ready To Start Using A New Writing Curriculum

One thing I am doing today is making final preparations to begin using “Institute for Excellence in Writing” (IEW) curriculum. This is a writing composition curriculum written for homeschooling parents to use.

The company has a basic theory of how to teach writing. They then sell different packages of student materials, one for elementary grades, one for middle school, and one for high school. In other words the overall program and theory is the same thing but how fast the students work through the materials and what base reading materials they use to do their writing composition from will change depending on the student’s age/grade and ability. The other exception is that the high school students learn a couple of more writing skills than elementary grade students do which are age/grade appropriate.

I am planning to begin using IEW with both of my children in September when we resume our homeschooling lessons.

The parent has two options for how to teach this. One is to buy the teacher materials and then to teach the student the lessons, the teacher is teaching the student. The other method is, in addition to buying the teachers manuals, to also buy the optional student DVD lessons which are video recordings of Andrew Pudewa where he is literally the teacher, teaching a class of students. I did buy this set of DVDs. The child can watch the lessons alone and work alone or the parent/teacher can watch the lessons with the child and help the child along in their writing work.

I will admit that I am a bit nervous about beginning this, just because I haven’t started using it yet. This morning I didn’t quite get the gist of how to use their student DVD lessons compared with my own teacher’s materials. So this afternoon I have begun watching the student lessons on DVD. So now I not as nervous as I was this morning.

I really think this different way of teaching writing composition to children will work very well for my children. Specifically, I think it will appeal to my older son’s learning style and the way he thinks.

Since I am going to be teaching my older son with this curriculum, I think I will also teach it to my younger son and see how he does with it. I don’t expect my three-years-younger son to work along at the same level but I figure since he likes to be a part of what else is going on at the moment, he can join in. If he learns from this, then that is great. If he struggles, I’ll not push him as my goals for his writing composition for second grade are not the same as for his fifth-grade older brother.

One of my blog readers once posted that there is a Yahoo Group! for homeschooling parents who use IEW and want to chat or ask questions of other IEW users. I have not joined that group but I wanted to mention this in case you are thinking of using IEW or if you already use IEW and want to discuss using IEW with others.

A friend of mine (K.) suggested I look into this program. She also said that this curriculum is recommended in “The Well Trained Mind” which I had failed to recall. Before buying this I attended a vendor workshop lecture at a homeschooling convention to learn more about the program.

IEW has a 100% money-back guarantee. At any point in the future if I decide this is not right for our family I can get a full refund. The offer was too good to resist and so I bought it.

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Nine Texans and friends.... said...

I'm sure you'll enjoy IEW. J n' J will probably like it too (if you bought the student intensives)
Andrew Pudewa's cheesy jokes TOTALLY appeal to boys. My kids think he is just HYSTERICAL. Go figure. He happened to be at a local homeschooling conference I attended a few weeks ago. Jack wanted me to get his autograph. LOL! I did stop by the IEW table, picked up a couple supplemental books and told him I appreciated his method and work.

Sherry said...

Did I understand you to say that I can use this curriculum with my children without the teacher DVDs? I just bought the student DVDs and student book and the teacher book, but NOT the teacher DVDs. I have looked everywhere for used teacher DVDs and am having no luck. We are really looking forward to getting started. Let me know as soon as you can.