Friday, May 13, 2011

End Eye Rolling with Institute for Excellence in Writing, Student Writing Intensive C !!

So..........How are you doing with teaching writing to your kids?

Yeah.....  I feel ya....

*insert sheepish look here*  I haven't done the best either.

Trust me....  it is not for the lack of trying..........I have tried.

I bought books that said they were for reluctant writers.  I bought cute little notebooks.  I thought of creative writing prompts....  I begged, I pleaded, I cajoled......absolutely everything I tried to do to make writing  fun, engaging, interesting or creative.... was met with..........

EYE ROLLING..........  and those little pshahhhhhhhhh noises that sound like your teen has some how morphed  into a pressure cooker.....

So, after a few years of banging my head into the whiteboard on the wall........

I just gave up.  I figured that by the time they got to college....  a few failed papers would be a catalyst to sharpen their writing skills....

With absolutely nothing as a writing program in use for a year or two.... it was me who was rolling her eyes when I found out that I would be reviewing a writing program....

I will admit that I was scared....  afraid that again another program would be tried.... and that I wouldn't be able to get the kids interested in it.... and that there would be moments I would have to duct tape them to the couch so we could get through this...

I stand before you ( well sit really, because I have to sit to type....  I can't type standing.... but you get the point.....)  to say........


After the first two lessons they actually asked to do it.  They asked to do it on Saturday's!  (what? who does that?)

You know what I heard every single time they did the lessons?

Laughter.  blissful laughter.

They would laugh and laugh and laugh through the DVD's.    They walked around for weeks telling each other that someone was in deep yogurt.....

It wasn't just laughter.... that was happening as they watched Andrew Pudewa teach.....  There was LEARNING !!!  Delivered in an easy conversational style, Mr. Pudewa draws the students in and makes the learning of writing skills enjoyable.  Clearly, a talent I lack.

For this review we used the Student Writing Intensive C.  This course is designed for high school students that, for whatever reason, need a jump start in writing.  It was filmed during a week long class, but it is broken up into a very manageable lessons.  They even include a 30 week schedule for you to use the program over the course of an entire school year!  It was a wonderful thing not to have to think about creating a schedule.  All we had to do was follow the one that was already created for us!

Things I   liked  loved! :
  • There were teacher notes to go with EVERY lesson.... this made me look exceptionally smart to my already hip, and knowing everything teens.
  • There was a teacher..... and this time it wasn't me ! 
  • Lots of samples
  • There was a notebook where my children could keep all their writing work in one place!!  ( AMEN!)
  • The portable wall
  • It was a pain .......and eye rolling free curriculum

What the kids have to say about it :

Evan (17, and a junior) :  I enjoyed the straight forward delivery style of this program.  It was funny, and engaging.  I have fallen asleep during other attempts to learn about writing.  This program was too interesting to sleep through.

Tayler (15, and a sophomore) : I like it. It was a fun way of learning how to write.  Mr. Pudewa made learning something that can be confusing, easy. 

Student Writing Intensive Level C is available for $99.  For that price you receive the 4 discs of  DVD lessons and a teacher's notebook that contains all the student handouts and dividers.

 Additional student books are sold for $18.  In my opinion.... if you have more than one student, just buy the extra notebook.  We copied pages for this review... and for the cost of printer ink these days.... the $18 is worth every single cent, not to mention your time copying page after page.

IEW also sent us this nifty Portable Wall.  It has all the whiteboard information on it.  I was amazed at how often it was referred to, especially when the kids were writing and editing their compositions.  The Portable Wall is available for $7.  I recommend one per student using the program.... we shared... but it was hard when they were both working on something.  It would have been nice to have two.
Ever generous in the material that they supplied for us to review, IEW also included the DVD titled; Structure and Style Overview. At only $10, I strongly suggest you purchase it.  Think of it as teacher's notes. Taken from a seminar, and with handouts available for download,  it is Andrew Pudewa teaching parents how to teach writing. Can I get an AMEN ?!?  It is a shortened version of Teaching Writing: Structure and Style ($169).  But it goes along very nicely with SWI Level C.

I can not possibly list here all of the products that are available by Institute for Excellence in Writing.  I can only offer up that if they are all to the caliber we experienced with this program.  They are worth the time, and money to be used in your homeschool.  Please take the time to visit their website and see the many products that are available.

Read what other families are saying about this product and other writing products by IEW, by visiting the Homeschool Crew blog.

If you have other more specific questions regarding the material, please feel free to leave me a comment.  I will answer them all to the best of my ability.

As a member of the TOS Homeschool Review Crew, I received the above products from IEW, for the purpose of this review.  No other compensation has been given.

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