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IEW: Need help from those who use it


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I am really confused and don't know what to do.


I am thinking of dropping our all in one language arts program and only go with IEW.  Been looking at comments and reviews for over a year now, jsut haven't taken the plunge yet.


I have to start by saying I do have the complete Fix It Grammar updated program and love that. Also have Phonetic Zoo have not used it yet. Also have another spelling program.


My thoughts are this on options:

- SWI B later add in Teaching the classics

- TWSS then the Themed books and later adding Teaching the classics


Money are tight but I am willing to make the investment where it is really needed. With that being said, must I get the TWSS? Can I not just do the SWI level b and move on? I am a little scared on the spending as we still need to pay excessive shipping and taxes to get it here.


English is not our home language just as a note. (but most of our subjects we do in English) We are from SA. Kids are both Gr6.


Any recommendations.


I am a little scared to be honest, what if my kids hate the lessons? How long does it take a day? Does it come with some sort of schedule?



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If you are wanting to use SWI-B, check out this link. Click on the Samples tab to see the scope and sequence, sample assignments, length of video lessons,and the schedule. http://www.iew.com/shop/products/student-writing-intensive-level-b

We used this level with my 7th and 5th grader last year. It was our first year with IEW writing and they both did really well with it. This year my 8th grader is using the continuation course B videos all in one year. It can be broken up into two years if needed.

As far as the TWSS, though I have it, I didn't really use it last year. I watched the video lessons with my children or made sure I did the day before the lesson. It wasn't hard to understand. I do find myself referring to the TWSS this year with the CC. My 6th grader is using the medieval theme book......I haven't had trouble with teaching it without TWSS.


With all that said, maybe just try to start off with SWI-B w/o TWSS.....if you think you need the extra support, see if you can find TWSS used.

YouTube has lots of videos for IEW and they have a Yahoo group that is extremely helpful!


Hopefully someone with more experience with IEW Writing can jump in this thread to help you!

Good Luck!

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My 6th grader is using SWI-B this year, his first time using IEW. I didn't get the TWSS and haven't needed it. It's been extremely helpful for my previously reluctant writer.


It is very scheduled, but easy to tweak. There is the video component (we call it "going to writing class") and the accompanying assignments. It's very scaffolded and Andrew des an incredible job laying out every expectation. The videos were taken while he was teaching an actual class, and it's been very helpful for my DS to see and hear examples that the other kids produce. It helps me, too, to see he is on target for the expectations for his age.


It won't take us the entire year to complete. We started in November, I think, and will be wrapping up in a few weeks. We are starting to use the strategies across the board, however, and will continue practicing and building on skills for the remainder of the year. Next year I'm planning to use his Robots and Technology theme book.

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TWSS was designed for you as the parent to watch, so you could create writing lessons for your children using for example a passage in the history or science textbook that you are also using.


The SWI levels was designed for the students to watch, so Mom didn't have to teach the program herself.


I was gifted TWSS and purchased SWI - B and C levels for my kids.


Both TWSS and SWI are equally awesome! :)


I would go to their website and search for the recorded webinars and watch them, no matter which one you decide to go with.


Last year I stuck really close to SWI-B. This year I eliminated writing class from our schedule and using the tactics I learned in TWSS, I assigned writing from other subjects they were going to do, using the checklists they learned in SWI.  It's been great.

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One thing to keep in mind. They are releasing a new revamped version of TWSS this year. So, you should conceptually be able to get a better deal on a used older one. From what I understand, the core information is unchanged, but there is additional material in the new TWSS.  There is also a yahoo group for support (IEW families) that you can use that is very helpful.


Alternately, you could borrow someone's copy of TWSS to watch over a week or two--take good notes, and return it.



You may be able to get SWI-B used.  You can check the IEW Items For Sale Yahoo Group, here, or on other sites. There is also a forum on their website but they just converted to it in the last year and there is not a whole lot of activity versus the yahoo groups.  

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I have TWSS, SWI a, and we are now doing sicc a. Haven't done any themed books.


Yes, you could just use Swi b. He teaches the lessons to the kids (but I watch with them), gives the assign,nets and there is a complete schedule. That said, I found it very useful to watch the TWSS which teaches the lessons to the teachers. Just a different perspective, but helpful. He kind of points out issues which may come up and how to handle. One thing that really stuck out was "hands on structure, hands off content". Basically telling the teachers to focus on critiquing the kids structure usage, and none of the content, which can be awkward when beginning. Ive rewatched TWSS about 3 times now. The swi schedule tells when to brush up on a section if you have it.


There are some pretty good used prices on the IEW sale boards. Might be worth checking that out.


My kids enjoy him. They had requested to continue the videos with him teaching. I think the time varies per kid, how quick they write etc. our Monday video, the new lesson, usually runs about an hour. The time they spend on writing is child dependent. About 30 lessons per book. We try to do a lesson a week, but you could move at a different pace if needed.

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