Structure and Style: An Institute for Excellence in Writing Review
I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.
Writing is not something my 9 year old son loves to do all the time. When he has to do it, he usually does as little as possible as fast as possible. Knowing his tendency to shy away, it is my job to find methods and curriculum that will help him learn the proper skills despite himself! Today's review was a program I couldn't say no to because of the company's excellent reputation and my son's desperate need for creative encouragement in writing. A few years ago we reviewed a Poetry program from them and fell in love with Andrew Pudewa's charming approach! Today's product, Structure and Style for Students Year 1 Level A from Institute for Excellence in Writing was designed with reluctant writers in mind and proved to be just as engaging as previous products!
What We Received:
Structure and Syle - We received lifetime digital access to 24 videos intended to cover 24 weeks of coursework, 1 Teacher's Manual, 1 binder, 1 student packet of dividers, stories and worksheets, and access to PDF downloads of student samples, checklists, and a 30 week schedule. The teacher's manual provides various options for homeschool, public school, and 1-5 day a week program, depending on your scheduling needs. The Scope and Sequence provides a weekly/unit overview of the stories covered, grammar discussed and optional literature suggestions.
How It Works:
The student pack comes with an Introduction page that includes instructions for assembling the binder (stories, dividers, etc.) and how to utilize it from week to week. Each video corresponds with a story or passage to be used in the assignments that week. The videos consist of Andrew Pudewa speaking to a classroom of 3rd-5th graders and leading them through a variety of writing techniques amidst his fantastic storytelling. Through these videos, students are led through writing analysis, vocabulary words, and a variety tasks students do during the video and then homework assignments to be done on their own before the next video. Parent involvement depends on a student's diligence and how much optional literature or grammar is included.
What We Thought:
My son was extremely diligent to watch the videos. They were so engaging and entertaining that my 7 year old daughter begged to watch them too! The work that Mr. Pudewa guided the students through during the video always got done. The homework was the part that I had to follow up on regularly to make sure he did it. In one of the early weeks, he encourages the students to find an editor, which mom and dad are good options since they are free! My son really liked that idea. The first thing introduced is a keyword outline that I know would have intimidated my son if I had tried to teach him myself. While there are times when he doesn't want to do it, he certainly has the skills and understanding to utilize it, which is the real goal anyway.
The stories and storytelling that Andrew Pudewa brings to his products are are always engaging and the writing excellence that he teaches is truly valuable! We loved this curriculum and will certainly be continuing it through the end of the school year.