Monday, July 8, 2013

Institute for Excellence in Writing Review

I can't hide my excitement...we LOVE Institute for Excellence in Writing {IEW}!!  Funny Bunny and I were first introduced to IEW about two years ago and have been using their products ever since.  For this review we received the two products listed below.

Funny Bunny has completed Student Writing Intensive Level A already so she was prepared for Level B.  I however, had never watched the Teaching Writing: Structure and Style {TWSS} DVD and was happy to finally get to watch it!

First, let me start by saying that Andrew Pudewa is the founder, principal speaker, and director of the Institute for Excellence in Writing.

Funny Bunny and I met him at the FPEA Homeschool Convention in Orlando in May.  He is the teacher on the DVDs and in my opinion, makes the whole program exciting to watch and fun to use!  Funny Bunny just loves listening to him.  And meeting him in person for Funny Bunny was kinda like meeting a rock star.  ;)  It was fun watching them interact!

Let me first tell you about Teaching Writing: Structure and Style {TWSS} DVD Seminar with Workbook.  I have heard so much about this dvd set and a question that many people ask is if it is *required* to purchase.  I'll tell you what I think in a bit, but first let me tell you what it's all about.

Teaching Writing: Structure and Style is a video seminar for parents and teachers.  It includes 10 DVDs.

The 9 units of TWSS are:

*  Unit 1:  Note Making and Key Word Outlines
*  Unit 2:  Summarizing from Notes
*  Unit 3:  Summarizing Narrative Stories
*  Unit 4:  Summarizing a Reference
*  Unit 5:  Writing from Pictures
*  Unit 6:  Library Research Reports
*  Unit 7:  Creative Writing and Basic Essay
*  Unit 8:  Essay Writing
*  Unit 9:  Critiques

Mr. Pudewa helps parents and teachers understand the program from beginning to end.  As I mentioned earlier, Funny Bunny has completed Student Writing Intensive Level A so I thought I knew all there was to know.  ;)  I watched all the DVDs right along with her, and she excelled through the program, but there were some things that I really didn't understand the WHY behind.  While watching TWSS there were many times that I was thinking, Ohhh, that is why she needs to do that!

Mr. Pudewa is very engaging and I did not feel at all bored or exhausted while watching the DVDs.  There are even several places where he asks for the DVD to be paused and work to be ME!!  Of course, looking back it all makes sense that to really be able to teach the program, you should be able to do it yourself.

So, should you purchase TWSS to be able to teach any of the Student Writing Intensive products?  Well, it is not required and I can honestly say that Funny Bunny did very well in SWI A without me previously watching TWSS, BUT if I had watched it and understood what I understand now, I think I could have been a more confident and helpful teacher.  So I would recommend Teaching Writing: Structure and Style 100%!!

So now that I've told you all about Teaching Writing: Structure and Style, let me tell you about Student Writing Intensive Level B.

Recorded live with Mr. Andrew Pudewa, this four-DVD writing course for students lays a solid foundation of writing skills, based on the Teaching Writing: Structure & Style syllabus. 

The three levels cover grades 3-12 and require no previous experience.

Let me just start this off by saying that Funny Bunny LOVES listening to Mr. Pudewa and is always entertained by his lessons.  I was initially concerned that this program was only for the struggling writer but she has learned so much!  She enjoys writing and I will often find her typing away on another chapter book that she has thought up overnight.  But Student Writing Intensive has taught her how to create an interesting story that the reader will enjoy and not want to put down.  Does she still have more to learn?  YES!  And that is why I was happy to review Student Writing Intensive Level B.

One thing I like is that everything is laid out for you.  Included is a Scope and Sequence and Suggested Course Schedule with each and every day mapped out.  Of course you don't have to follow it exactly, but it's there for those who need it.  In addition, each lesson includes Teacher's Notes that explain the lesson in detail, list reinforcement exercises, and sample outlines.  Click here to view a sample of SWI B.

For this review Funny Bunny was able to complete the first four lessons, which is roughly 7 weeks of work.  Below is one of her Key Word Outlines and a rough draft of her story.  He encourages messy papers and does not allow erasers, or even pencils....although she did this one with pencil.  {It's sometimes hard to find a pen around here}.

Key Word Outline

First Rough Draft

I'm glad for the messy paper encouragement because her paper definitely fits the bill!  He requires his students to use things like -ly adverbs, quality adjectives, strong verbs, who/which clauses, and to stay away from a list of banned words.  After writing the rough draft, Funny Bunny will edit it once more before typing it out.

I hope I've shed a little light on both TWSS or SWI B and that this review has been helpful.  If you have any questions about our experience I may have not touched on, please leave a comment.

Thoughts of a 10-Year Old:  I liked IEW because I LOVE to write and I liked Mr. Pudewa because he is funny and he is a good teacher.  I learned things like -ly words, good adjectives, strong verbs, and more.  IEW is fun for me because I like to write, but if I didn't like to write, this just might make me love writing!  I really love and recommend IEW.  Go and get this now! 

Find Out More:  You can find out more online at the Institute for Excellence in WritingTeaching Writing: Structure and Style DVD Seminar with Seminar Workbook {TWSS} is $169 and is for teachers of students in grades 2–12 and beyond.  Student Writing Intensive {SWI} Level B is $109 and is for grades 6-8 {but choose the level based on your child’s age and maturity rather than writing ability}.  Or you can purchase both in a Combo Pack for $249.

My Crewmates are also reviewing Institute for Excellence in Writing, so you can check out what they think HERE.

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Great review! We're excited to begin using this program this fall! My daughter thinks Mr. Pudewa is funny and actually asks to do writing when we have a DVD lesson!


IEW is fantastic! We started in grade 10 and 7, consistently. It is never too late.

Our Homeschool Reviews

We are loving it! My dd also completed Ancient History Based Writing Lessons with her Classical Conversations Essentials Writing Class this past year. I really liked how it complimented our studies. Here is the link.

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