Talk to a ‘seasoned’ homeschooler and odds are that they have either used or at least heard about the Institute for Excellence in Writing (IEW). The company originated after Andrew Pudewa found himself a requested presenter to help teachers learn how to teach writing based on the structure and style in composition seminar taught by Dr. James B. Webster in Canada. With Dr. Webster’s blessing, he developed a 2 day seminar for educators and eventually started teaching student classes. Both the educator seminar and student classes were eventually recorded for sale which allowed for a greater reach.
The Schoolhouse Crew had a mixture of products for review this year from IEW, including Teaching Writing/Student Writing Value Packages ($249), which include both Teaching Writing: Structure and Style DVD seminar as well as Student Writing Intensive (Levels A, B, and C), and Teaching the Classics DVD Seminar & Workbook ($89.)
Teaching Writing: Structure and Style DVD seminar is geared for educators, whether homeschool or classroom based. Andrew presents his more condensed version of Dr. Webster’s teachings on structure and style in composition. The DVD shows Andrew in a seminar format with responses by participants audible. Along with presenting the material, the educator is also walking through examples of how to put it into action. Six DVDs contain the nine structural models and multiple stylistic techniques for a total viewing time of approximately 10 hours. Also in the package is a 2 hour ‘refresher’ seminar titled Tips & Tricks for Teaching Through the Nine Units as well as three discs of student workshops to help with implementation. Completing the package is the TWSS Seminar Workbook, which serves as the syllabus for the seminar and contains charts, word lists, sample lesson plans, and more.
Student Writing Intensive comes in three levels to cover from grades 3 through 12 and provides the ability for students to learn directly from Andrew as he taught the material to a live class. Level A is suggested for grades 3 to 5. Level B is suggested for grades 6 to 8. And, Level C is for high school students. While some of the topics presented for educators in the Teaching Writing: Structure and Style seminar are covered in all three levels, some are reserved for the older student. Along with the DVD courses, the set includes a student notebook containing student handouts, a student binder, and daily lesson suggestions for the teacher/parent.
The final product reviewed by selected Schoolhouse Crew members is the Teaching the Classics DVD Seminar & Workbook by Adam and Missy Andrews. This literature seminar for educators utilizes short stories as the models and the Socratic approach as the method. Through the presentation, the authors systematically prepare you to teach character, plot, theme, and other elements of fiction and literary analysis. The set has a total of 4 DVDs as well as spiral bound syllabus containing samples used for analysis.
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