Your Children Can Love Writing & Teaching Writing is Easy Too {Guest Post}

Today’s Guest Post is from Rebecca Brandt who shares about this teaching writing program, Institute for Excellence in Writing. IEW provides writing activities your kids will love.

I have not spent a lot of time, lately…showing you inside of our school room. We’ve been busy running, playing, swimming, reading, but…for two weeks, we have been…..


OH, the terror that brought into our home last year, as my middle child was ‘learning to write’ paragraphs and stories…and me…I could not fully understand her dilemma…I love to write. She loves to write….when it’s on her own terms. I fully ‘get that’.

A few months ago, I was introduced to the Institute for Excellence in Writing through their PAL Reading and Writing programs. We are having so much fun with that. My 5 year old spends his learning time laughing and giggling….YEAH!

Back to writing.

I had heard great things about IEW…and wanted to check it out…..and this is what I discovered.

It is a great program to teach children to write (and speak publicly) by learning through imitation.

“Imitation is the Sincerest form of flattery.” Charles Caleb Colton

My new journey into teaching my children to write with IEW began with a series of videos for the teacher/parent. This is available alone or in their combo pack for Teaching Writing/Student Writing Intensive Combo Pack (We have Level A). This video series actually teaches YOU…the parent…how to teach.

Andrew Pudewa, the speaker is witty and shares his own stories about teaching violin and writing (with his children) and draws you in. The videos are not meant to be watched all at one time, but over time, as you implement more of the techniques you learn from this series.

Now, I’m sure you’re like me…you don’t have time to sit and watch videos (Unless your children are watching a movie with you, etc)…. So, I pulled my binder together and read the schedule they identify very well for you. The binder is part of the package and it provides you with good documentation based off of the videos….great tools for later when you are with your children and can’t pull up the video to see what Mr. Pudewa states…..and I began IRONING!

Yes, I iron…(no, I don’t like to….honestly, but it’s a necessity) and I ironed…without even caring because I enjoyed the videos so much! (Who enjoys a seminar about teaching writing, while ironing…I’m sure some do…and to those…wow, I want to be like you…and I guess, now that I have IEW…I can be!)

I then, pulled together my children’s binder and we all sat in front of our computer and watched their video series, based on the recommendations in their binder. They sat, laughed and smile while we learned from Mr. Pudewa, as he taught in a class room in front of other children.

It was so interesting to watch him pull in math, science and other topics while teaching writing. It was like stepping into a beautiful unit lesson where all topics were discussed…and my children walked away from one video understanding 1/4….or .25 in a way they never had before.

The children begin learning to write through a Key Word Outline. This means, they take a sample writing of something good…like an Aesop Fable (yet something at or below their reading/comp level) and break down each sentence into three words. Then, they go back and re-write the story using only those three words using their own words and showing off their own reading comprehension!!!

Here are two samples from my son’s ‘stories’. Please note, the one on the left was his first. I explained he had to write at least neat enough for me to read the words…hence, the paper on the left.

My two children have been doing that….and it is really teaching them so much. They are even dissecting sentences as they read, thus increasing their reading comprehension.

My son’s favorite, though… that Mr. Pudewa tells the children to write with PENS AND to be SLOPPY and mark OUT words. OH, I really had to adjust my thought process here. Yet, I was prepared because in the Teacher’s video, he explained that our children don’t need to overload on various items when writing and that the neatness will come…..

So, when my son stood up and shouted for joy at this, I smiled….and was so thrilled when he turned to me and said…..”MOM, HE is telling me to be sloppy!”

As a homeschool Mother, who has a degree in Project Management, I have never taken classes….teaching me how to teach. I thoroughly appreciate how well Mr. Pudewa presents the material and the way IEW has pulled everything together into a neat package. Each writing lesson provides examples of answers, as well as a check list to grade each writing assignment. This is so helpful, as it helps guide you, the parent in building your children’s skills, as the requirements begin with gentle lists…and gradually increase, as your child or children grow through the program!

This shows a sample of writing with the check list for grading. Note, my son missed his ‘which’ clause…back to the drawing board!

Our journey with IEW has just begun. However, I can not begin to tell you the difference it has made in our homeschool. The desire to ‘notebook’ is becoming a reality, as my children are learning how to write well…..and are learning to write without copying directly from a book. I also love the way I have the teacher DVDs to teach me and the DVDs to watch Mr. Pudewa teach my children. That allows me more freedom as a mother to enjoy the experience with them…and learn new techniques for writing, as well!

Last year was SUCH a challenge, with writing being at the core of the challenge….and now, I see a beautiful rainbow set before me with endless possibilities!!!

So, what comes in this great package of material?

Check it out for yourself. I know you will be impressed!



Rebecca is a child of God, married to the love of her life, and the mother of three children. She writes about faith, life, nutrition and homeschooling at Mom’s Mustard Seeds.




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