Saturday, August 30, 2014
The Best Writing Curriculum Ever!
I've done a lot of research into language arts and writing curricula and the best I've found is IEW. I tried substitutes and I've tested other approaches, but I return to IEW over and over.
Why did I choose IEW curriculum? IEW, or Institute for Excellence in Writing, is a very thorough and effective program that yields excellent measurable results. However, the learning curve for the instructor is steep so many homeschool moms find it difficult to integrate into their homeschool routines.
This year I am again teaching composition classes for high school and middle school and I am using IEW curriculum. (Sadly, there doesn't seem to be local interest in an elementary level class.) Offering these classes to homeschoolers means that I can provide quality writing instruction to students in a group setting. Parents can be assured they will progress steadily toward excellence in writing without the pressure of learning how to teach this system.
When you have this, you can learn from the master himself - Andrew Pudewa. Prepare yourself to be overwhelmed and confused at first. I viewed the TWSS twice and taught David and Emily the SWI-B (Student Writing Intensive) before I felt really confident about teaching these concepts.
However, some moms don't have the advantage of a local class. So, what do they need to do? Well, if you're serious about teaching writing with this method, I'd suggest getting the Teaching Writing with Structure and Style (TWSS) DVD set from IEW. Yes, it's expensive. I went in with a group of friends and we purchased it together.
My classes are using the Thematic books from IEW this year. The middle schoolers will be using the Ancient History-based theme book and the high school group will be working through the Character-based theme book. Last year my middle school group completed the Following Narnia theme book which turned out to be a valuable experience. These books are only suitable for use by instructors who already know the IEW system well.
Parents can skip the learning curve by choosing the SWI courses. These DVD-based courses allow your children to learn from Andrew Pudewa and work through exercises in the corresponding work binder. I would recommend watching the DVD along with your children so you understand how to complete the assignments.
If you want help choosing IEW curriculum for your family, IEW has a helpful tool on their website HERE.
Students who learn to write with IEW gain confidence and skill and become excellent writers. I recommend starting now!