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Convince me IEW is worth it?

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I have been looking at IEW for years and have always ended up trying something else because of cost. Writing is one of those subjects that never gets done because everything else seems to take precedence. I need to change that this year. I have a 4th, 7th, and 8th grader. I need my 8th grader to be ready for higher level writing (which she is not at this point). 

 

My original plan was to outsource writing so it got done, but I've decided to cut some time down with Math now that all my children are finally caught back up after spending 2 years in public school. I have switched math curriculum to TT Algebra 1 for both my 12 and 14 year olds to free all of us up for other things (like writing, of course, Science, and History). 

 

My thinking is that, since I was originally going to outsource writing, at the cost of close to $1,000/year for 2 children with the curriculum (Writeshop), it may make sense to spend the $200 on IEW. Even though it will take my time, it will also cut down on the disruption of driving my children to and from one day a week taking up 2 hours of our day between driving and class time. Surely I can get IEW done, even if a couple days a week, in less time that that? 

 

If I go with IEW, what exactly do I need? I really loved the look of the themed curriculums, but was told that I need to video instructional DVDs to go along with it? Are these for the student or the parent? How much planning time does IEW actually require? Will I be able to have my 8th grade daughter ready for higher level writing by the end of this year with IEW? 

 

The other program I have looked at is Apologia's new program which looks wonderful and is about $54.00 on Christian book. But, I haven't seen reviews for it as of yet since it is pretty new. 

 

sidenote: We have used Winning with Writing in the younger years, Writing Strands, but never completed because it was dry, done narrations, free writing, journaling, etc. My children all know how to create outlines, get their thoughts together, get them onto paper in the correct order, write beautiful detailed sentences using stronger adjectives and nouns, etc. So, the basics pretty much. My 4th grader is a natural writer. My 7th grader and 8th grader are not. I did spend 2 weeks on nothing but writing when we took a break last year and my 7th and 8th grader made huge strides in their ability to write. 

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You could put all three in TWSS-B/SWI-B if you could swing the cost.  TWSS (Teaching Writing Structure and Style) would be for you, to train you on how to use the program.  It is the full IEW introductory writing program, designed for the middle school years.  You might need to scaffold your 4th grader a bit but the other two should do fine with level B.  SWI (Student Writing Intensive) is the student portion and the DVDs are for the student.  Some only get TWSS and teach the program themselves.  Others only get SWI for their students to use but it isn't the full program.  Certain units are not included.  It still works, though.  Others prefer to use both.  They go through TWSS themselves so they can be more effective at facilitating the learning their students are doing in SWI plus they can do the units that are only in TWSS.

 

One thing to keep in mind is that IEW has a 100% money back guarantee if it turns out to be a really bad fit.

 

Have you looked at the chart for IEW?  

http://iew.com/sites/default/files/images/IEW_2016_Pathway.jpg

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One thing to keep in mind is that IEW has a 100% money back guarantee if it turns out to be a really bad fit.

 

Have you looked at the chart for IEW?  

http://iew.com/sites/default/files/images/IEW_2016_Pathway.jpg

 

 

Just echoing the money back guarantee. It has no time-limit, and it applies even if you use the product.  *However* you must purchase it from IEW to get the guarantee. They don't allow discounts so you won't be paying more than somewhere else like CBD or Rainbow.

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Surely I can get IEW done, even if a couple days a week, in less time that that? 

 

If I go with IEW, what exactly do I need? I really loved the look of the themed curriculums, but was told that I need to video instructional DVDs to go along with it? Are these for the student or the parent? How much planning time does IEW actually require? Will I be able to have my 8th grade daughter ready for higher level writing by the end of this year with IEW? 

 

 

 

I think it is fair to assume 45 minutes to an hour four days a week for IEW. You may finish sooner, but I would hate to tell you a lower figure and have you count on that.

 

For IEW all of the writing programs assume that you (the parent/instructor) have watched the Teaching Writing Structure and Style DVDs. These teach you to teach your kids how to write using the IEW methods. If you felt inclined, you could pull all your own source materials and teach the units yourself.  Many people choose to use one of the writing products to make their lives easier.

 

So, as OneStepatatime noted, the product they would put you in if you have never done IEW before is the Student Writing Intensive. There are three levels which are based on grade level.  As she noted, Level B would be most appropriate if you combined. SWI-B is a video course in which you get an introduction to the IEW writing methods for some, but not all, of the units. For example, the formal essay unit is not included in SWI. If you continue with IEW, you will get formal essay.  

 

As far as your last question about if you will be able to get your 8th grade daughter ready, I would look at the staircase Onestepatatime posted. Because you are starting later, they will always put you in SWI first, and then depending on your grade level, the progression from there can be quite different.   

 

Also I can highly recommend the Yahoo IEW Families group.  It is moderated by IEW folks and they are super helpful.

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Also keep in mind that IEW products have excellent resale value.   As long as you take good care of the DVDs, you'll be able to resell them easily when you are finished with them.

 

We started using IEW when my kids were in 5th and 3rd grades and it was a great choice.   Yes, your 8th grader will need to invest some time to get her writing up to high school level writing in a year, but I think it's an excellent program and we found it was very engaging.

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Definitely look at the IEW chart.  See where your 8th grader would start.  The chart makes it easier to see how to move through and where she would be for 9th grade.  The key for the abbreviations is at the top.

 

To really get the full program and be effective at teaching it, TWSS DVDs would be a huge help for you as the teacher.  The SWI program would be for your students but you would better understand what they were doing and how to help them if you had TWSS.  You could also pair TWSS with a theme based unit instead of SWI.  You would need to provide the instruction.  

 

And yes I think it would be easier going that route than hauling the kids to a tutor twice a week.  Plus, you can use it when the schedule works for you and you don't have to worry about when the tutor is not available or one of the kids being sick so they have to miss that session, etc.  Also, as mentioned above, the program has an excellent resale value.  TWSS was significantly updated recently, by the way.

 

As mentioned by SebastianCat it will probably take a bit more than 2 hours a week, though, especially with three kids.  The first day would be the longest, usually, if you are having them watch the DVDs for SWI, followed by shorter lessons for the other three days where they are applying what they are learning.  Plan on as much as an hour the first day, maybe 35-50 minutes on the other three, depending on the lesson and the student.  Once you get into a rhythm it should be pretty smooth.  Just really watch those videos yourself, first, so it gets in your head and you can adapt on the fly as they struggle or rush forward.

 

With the revamped version the support material helps a lot with planning it out.  

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I think I am going to go with the DVDs for the parent rather than for the child so that it's easier for me to teach all three of them. How much time do you spend watching the DVDs? Would you suggest I purchase the DVDs or is the streaming just fine? 

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Also, we usually use Easy Grammar and have for years. I am thinking of switching to Fix-it and just starting at the bottom. I am wondering if I should start at the bottom with my 8th grader or with Book 2. She passed the placement test for the first book already, but she struggled with the format of how things are done since we are so used to EG. 

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Just get the level B Student Writing stuff. Used for middle school ages. They offer free download sheets for younger ages. And you can buy one student pack to copy. Allowed to do this.

 

SWI-B and student pack. it teaches it to your kids.

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I am currently watching the TWSS videos for the 1st time and I am very very very impressed and excited to start teaching writing to my 9th, 7th, and 3rd graders this year! It took me a while to be ready to bite the bullet with the high cost as well, but my 9th grader has a lot of trouble organizing his thoughts and while I'm a natural writer myself, I just haven't been able to translate that process to him very well on my own. I spent a LOT of time with a rep at the convention booth this spring and she told me I have 3 options:

 

1. Buy & watch TWSS and create and teach my own units.

2. Buy & watch TWSS and get a theme based book with already created units for me to teach.

3. Buy SWI and let Andrew Pudewa teach my kids to write while I facilitate.

 

They recommend you start with the SWI and she told me by the time we were done with that, we'd be able to tell which of the other options fit "our style" to go forward in the future.

 

We ended up going with a combo of all 3. (Yes, I'm that impressed! :lol: ) I'm watching TWSS so I can create individualized units for my 9th grader. He really would be offended if he was doing the same stuff as his younger sister, and I want him to get farther than unit 7 (which is as far as the SWI goes). I got the SWI for my 7th grader and intend for her to go on to the continuation course SICC with Andrew Pudewa teaching the following year. And I got a theme book for my 3rd grader.

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I would get TWSS for you and then SWI-B for your children. You can get models that are level A but coordinate with B for your youngest (if needed).

 

TWSS will teach you the program. Andrew Pudewa will do the majority of the teaching to your children when you use SWI. It saves you planning and teaching time, and it also helps you learn how to teach the IEW way.

Edited by JudoMom

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 Would you suggest I purchase the DVDs or is the streaming just fine? 

 

I don't think you can stream if you don't buy the DVDs.  Also the streaming is only good for one year. I would buy the DVDs.

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