Institute for Excellence in Writing {Review}

Institute for Excellence in Writing Review

Writing is undoubtedly the subject I have found most challenging to teach in our homeschool. After trying several different writing programs with only minimal success, I seriously doubted my ability to teach writing to my children.

With three children in high school, I was desperate to find a writing course that would help them develop their writing skills effectively. Over the summer I invested hours in researching curricula, downloading samples, and asking questions. And then I made the decision: Institute for Excellence in Writing.

I received this product for free and was compensated for my time. All thoughts and opinions are my own. I was not required to post a positive review. See our Disclosure Policy for more information.

About Institute for Excellence in Writing

Teaching Writing: Structure & Style

Teaching Writing: Structure & Style (TWSS) is a training course for the teacher. Developed by Mr. Andrew Pudewa, the course includes a workbook and nine DVDs to help you learn to teach writing effectively to your children. TWSS is designed for use with students in grades two through ten and can be used year after year.

Student Writing Intensive

Student Writing Intensive (SWI) is the beginning student course. It includes four DVDs with ten hours of instruction by Andrew Pudewa, the author of Teaching Writing: Structure & Style. It also includes a student binder and materials necessary for the course. Three different levels are available, based on student grade level.

A variety of supplemental materials and theme-based writing lessons  are also available.

How We Are Using Institute for Excellence in Writing

I prepare for each new lesson by watching the TWSS DVD that is referenced in the teacher’s notes for that lesson. This is valuable “teacher training” and enables me to help my children through their lessons and assignments. Mr. Pudewa’s talent and enthusiasm for teaching writing is very inspiring, and I have benefited greatly from his expert advice.

The three older children (grades 11, 9, and 8) watch the SWI lesson DVD together. Lessons vary in length, lasting an average of approximately forty minutes in Student Writing Intensive B.

A new lesson is covered about every two weeks, with daily assignments to reinforce the skills being learned. Following this schedule, the entire course can be completed in thirty weeks; alternatively, each lesson may be covered in one week in order to complete the course in fifteen weeks.

Institute for Excellence in Writing DVD

What We Learned in Lesson 1

In Lesson 1, Mr. Pudewa introduced the key word outline and the “who/which” clause. My students completed their key word outlines from the source text provided with the lesson. Here’s part of one child’s key word outline:

Key word outline

Key word outline

Over the next few days, my students wrote a rough draft, edited the rough draft, and then completed the final copy of the paragraph.

Rough draft

Rough draft

IEW Final copy

 Final copy

While working through Lesson 1, we learned:

  • How to make a key word outline (great foundation for building note-taking skills)
  • How to construct a paragraph from a keyword outline
  • How to use a “who/which” clause to connect two sentences
  • How to effectively work through the steps of the writing process

In addition, all three children experienced the satisfaction of completing a well-written paragraph. The boost to their self-confidence is truly invaluable.

If you are using IEW, I’d love to hear about it! 

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  1. And I can shout a hearty Amen! We love IEW! I started out last year as a newbie. My eldest used the SWI-C, and my youngest used All Things Fun and Fascinating. What an awesome year it was for us!

    I would have loved to continue with SWIC-C with my oldest, but he’s a senior this year and we only have so much time, so we are using the Advanced Communications with him, and with my younger son we are trying the Ancient Themed Based. So far it is working wonderfully! I love knowing what we have to do each day. I love not having to wing it, so to speak, and I love knowing that they are being taught in a way that makes sense, practices style, but still has structure.

    My college aged daughter has gotten lots of writing tips from us, and those tips have led to A’s in all her classes so far. My only homeschool regret is not having used IEW from the very beginning!

    Be blessed!


    1. Judy Hoch says:

      What a wonderful testimonial, Dee! Like you, I appreciate having the lessons all planned out for me–otherwise writing would often be put off until “tomorrow.” And my children no longer have to struggle to decide what they will write about!

      How awesome that your college-aged daughter is benefiting, too. That’s encouraging for me as a mom of an 11th grade reluctant writer. 🙂

      Thanks so much for sharing!