I received the Teaching Writing: Structure and Style, Student Writing Intensive Level A to facilitate my review. However, all opinions are 100% my own and are not influenced by this product.
My daughter struggles with dysgraphia. She has been doing well so far. However, writing is not her friend. When the review crew asked me about reviewing Teaching Writing: Structure and Style, Student Writing Intensive Level A from Institute for Excellence in Writing (IEW) I was both excited and nervous. I have used a writing curriculum in the past and I wasn’t happy with it. Before reviewing this curriculum I heard about it from friends. While some told me it was amazing, others told me it was a lot to take on. I would love to share our experience with this curriculum over the last few weeks with you.
What did I receive?
I received the Teaching Writing: Structure and Style, Student Writing Intensive Level A.
How were the lessons set up?
The Teacher portion of the book lays out exactly what should be covered in each lesson. One of the components I really like about this curriculum is the opportunity for additional work in an area if the child is not grasping a concept completely. Because of R’s dysgraphia sometimes a writing concept will take her a bit longer to catch on to.
There are two different formats for the lessons that I have observed. The first involves watching the teacher speak to the students about what they need to do while having them work along. R is a slower writer so we had to push the pause button frequently on the DVD. However, she was very engaged and even laughed occasionally as the teacher is kind of funny. In fact, the other day she started giggling uncontrollably. I asked her what was funny. She said, “This teacher. Aren’t you watching? He is so funny!”
The second format involves independent work where the student applies the lesson from the video and practices the concepts taught. R seemed to really enjoy this portion of the lesson. It may have a lot to do with the fact that all the excerpts used were focused on animals though. My future veterinarian will change her tune for animal facts.
Instead of a traditional writing curriculum where they expect the child to choose a topic and write on it, this curriculum gives you the topic and teaches you how to piece it together. I have found this to be a great help for R as she is very easily overwhelmed with writing typically.
What did I think of it?
As a whole I have been very happy with this curriculum. In fact, I intend to continue to use it with her through the summer to keep these concepts fresh and strengthen R’s writing skills. I like that the teacher engages the students on their level with some silliness without being overly strict or overly silly.
The teacher book is simple to use and plans each lesson for you. This is a huge bonus for this busy mom. I also love that it comes with a binder that has all tabs so that you can put the papers where they belong and hit the ground running. With the binder included it is easy to keep track of all school work without having to file anything away for later.
One of my favorite things about this program will seem small to you unless you have a child with dysgraphia or dyslexia. The teacher requires students to always double space every paper they do. He does this because he wants them to know that they will be making corrections later. Knowing that you can make a mistake and being allowed to make it is a huge relief for a dyslexic or dysgraphic student. I was very thankful for this component of the lessons.
What about Teaching Writing Structure and Style?
This set of worksheets and dvd’s is perfect for the parent who is preparing to teach writing. I only watched the sections that went with what I was teaching at the time. You can easily watch the whole thing if you have more time but I found this to be more useful if I watched it one segment at a time. There is a well put together binder filled with everything you need to go through this seminar and be prepared to teach your children effectively using this method.
One of the things I really like in the companion book is that it works by grade levels so that you can focus on the ages you are educating and how best to teach them.
How easy is it to use?
As I said above this curriculum is very easy to use. I don’t agree with the claims of some of my friends promising this would be a difficult curriculum to learn to use and implement at home. We have been using it faithfully for a few weeks now and we are very happy with it.
How much does it cost?
The kit I received is $249. This is a great value for all that you receive.
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