I received this product through The Melanated Gold Review Squad in exchange for my honest review.
For some, writing can be a very challenging subject to teach, especially when you, your child’s teacher, may not feel confident in their own writing skills.
In my home, we really focus on reading, writing, and arithmetic. If we don’t get anything done, but those three subjects, I feel accomplished. It has always been a priority to find something that was well established, traditional, repetitive and easily implemented into our schedule, because, honestly, it’s a hard subject for me.
So after many hours of research , which I’m sure you’ve experienced those midnight-researching fevers, IEW fits the bill, for us. That’s why, from the beginning of our homeschooling journey, IEW, has in some way, always been incorporated into our home learning. We’ve been using the Institute for Excellence in Writing program for a few years now and really love it.
We were generously gifted Structured and Style Year 2 Level A to review.
What is IEW: Structure and Style for Students?
Structure and Style for Students is a brand new, video-based, writing curriculum from the Institute for Excellence in Writing. IEW has been creating excellent writing and grammar curriculum for the homeschool community for many years. This new curriculum is video-based with engaging writing lessons taught by Andrew Pudewa, the founder of IEW.
Institute for Excellence in Writing Structure and Style for Students or IEW SSS is a comprehensive writing curriculum for beginners. It has 3 levels: Level A (upper elementary), Level B (middle school), and Level C (high school).
Grade Level/Age: IEW SSS-2A is geared towards upper elementary (Grades 4th-6th).
Parent Involvement: The way the program is set up, its meant for the child to be more independent with their studies, although, depending on your child’s ability, you can adjust the parental oversight. However, don’t consider this a hands off curriculum. There will be parent/teacher interactions.
Schedule: The course is a 24-weeks, 5 days per week curriculum. However, there are suggested daily breakdowns where you can adapt the program into one, two, three or four days a week. I love the flexibility.
Lessons: There are 7 units that are covered throughout the year:
- Note Making and Outline
- Writing from Notes
- Retelling Narrative Stories
- Summarizing a Reference
- Writing from Pictures
- Summarizing Multiple Reference
- Inventive Writing
At the beginning of each week, there’s a lesson overview page. It contains :
- Week# and title of source text
- Video lesson schedule
- Suggested Daily Breakdown
Some might find the format, redundant, but I really appreciate the consistency throughout the whole year. I can plan accordingly.
Product Format: We received the hardcopy teacher and student manuals and the lifetime online video lessons. However, there is an option for Video lessons on DVDs.
How do we use it?
If we use it in it truest form, my son is suppose to work independently and watch and complete all assignments. On day 5, I will collect the school work, correct it, return and discuss the lesson.
In our home, we tried it and that didn’t work. So what’s been working, right now, is scheduling IEW three days a week, but sometimes it goes into a fourth day . I will watch the videos before hand, so I’ll know what the lesson is about. Then, we will read the source text together.
Even though the source text is read in “class” I want him to get used to being prepared BEFORE class by knowing what the text is about. This skill definitely translates into real life .
I’ll then ask him some comprehension questions , just because. Afterwards, he will then watch the videos. And make his outline independently with the ‘class’.
During the 3-4 days , he will watch the videos, he will then create an outline pulling 3-4 keywords from each sentence. He is then suppose to be able to orally retell the story using the outline only. Finally, he rewrites the story while replacing certain words with stronger verbs, adjectives and adverbs or more specifically the goals set for the week. I will then make any appropriate editing marks, return the work then he types up his final version.
All lessons are formulated the same way, so parent (s) and child(ren) know what to expect.
Side note: We don’t use the literature suggestion because we already do a lot of reading across other subjects. Also, since, we don’t use a typing program, this is where he gets his typing practice in.
The Structure & Style Year 1 Level A $149 are for Students reading at a 3rd–5th grade level who are new to the Structure and Style for Students video course. The curriculum provides clear daily assignments and includes vocabulary words, literature suggestions, and lesson plans for teachers.
The Structure & Style Year 2 Level A $149 are for 4th–6th grade students who are ready to go to the next level in their Structure and Style writing journey. Students who have completed Year 1 Level A and are ready for their second year will be reviewing and refining previously learned writing skills .
Overall: I love this program. I love the structure and detailed scheduling , the enjoyable (although corny at times) video classes and the independence it allows my son to have. Further, the quality writing instructions and tasks. It alleviates the mental load of creating an original piece to practice writing. It also frees some time up for me to focus on other homeschool tasks. Most importantly, I appreciate having another teacher, via prerecorded lessons, teach writing.
Wanna Know More?
- Working with IEW Materials
- Interested in the IEW Fix It! Grammar and where to place your child?
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I hope this review was helpful in your research for writing curriculum. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out! If you need further information, please visit IEW: Where to begin?
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