Review of Institute for Excellence in Writing (IEW)

Introductory Note:  I purchased these on my own.  I did not receive a free copy to review.  Hence, these are my honest opinions and assessments on the curriculum.

I ordered Teaching Writing/Student Writing Intensive Combo Pack Level A and coughed up the $239 based upon its excellent reviews.

The different levels are for different age groups.  Level A is for 3rd-5th grade.  Level B is for 6th-8th Grade.  Level C is High School Level.  The material covered is the same just directed at these levels and the intensity is changed as well.

Andrew Pudewa is an engaging speaker and my kids loved watching him on the videos and following along.  It was a good break for me as I got to sit and not have to teach.

It was a good investment.  We finished Level A in the first half of the semester.  I did not do this intentionally.  I didn’t realize they recommend doing only a little bit a day whereas I did most of it in one day so I ended up in December going, “Now what?”

IEW recommends after this to go to Student Intensive Continuation Courses, which is a video series again.  Same material covered just more lessons for another $240.  However, there is no written materials for this course.  I was miffed.  How can they charge $240 for just CD’s?  This was my biggest hindrance.  You have to print out all the materials yourself.  Well, paper and ink is not cheap so the cost of this program is much more than $240 for a few CD’s.  I do wish IEW would reconsider the cost of this program as we all know 10 CD’s do not cost $240 to reproduce.

Well, I didn’t want to cough up another $240 just for the videos so I invested in Ancient History-Based Writing Lessons since we are studying Ancient History.  These are written directly to the student, cover the same material in the writing course, and contain lessons on what we are studying for only $29/each.

This was more in my budget.

Admittedly, my first-grader is struggling with these concepts.  I have told her she can wait and do these next year but she refuses (always the one who wants to keep up with her older sister).  She is getting it, but it is taking much more time for her to grasp the concepts and methods.

We are thoroughly enjoying Ancient History.  The book is packed with vocabulary words the kids have to memorize and use in their writing and wonderful lessons.  The kids are encouraged to illustrate their stories, which is the favorite part for my girls.  They eagerly finished their final copy so they then can do the drawing!

Conclusions:  I cannot say enough about IEW.  There was a glitch on their website over Christmas break and I ended up not being able to order clearance copies so I paid full price for regular copies because I needed the material right away due to our move.  IEW refunded the difference in cost without me even having to ask.  As homeschoolers every penny counts so this was much appreciated.

Furthermore, they only shipped me one copy of Ancient-History Student book.  When I called to inform them of their mistake, they gladly shipped me my second copy UPS so I’d receive it as soon as possible with no charge to me.

Their customer service is stellar and they have won me as a customer for life.  I will be using their products for many years in the future.

I remain disappointed in the cost of their continuation courses and do wish they would reconsider.  They bill these as use for 1-2 years of instruction, which for me will be considerably less.  Still, I will probably never purchase these because of the added printing costs.

Come to find out my old charter school uses this program as well. Go IEW!