Institute for Excellence in Writing (IEW) . . . A T.O.S. Review

Institute for Excellence in Writing (IEW) believes in being there to help those of us who are educating special needs children. So much so, that they have created some wonderful curricula for us, two sets which I have been very fortunate indeed to have been chosen to review with my twins! 🙂

I received their Primary Arts of Language: Reading Complete Package,

along with their Primary Arts of Language: Writing Complete Package .

You will find out more about how they help our special needs kiddos by going here and checking it out!

At first, I was really overwhelmed by what all was in the package we received! As I said, we were given BOTH the Primary Arts of Language: Writing, AND the Primary Arts of Language: Reading (PAL)

In the Primary Arts Of Language: Reading package was a DVD ROM, which gave me the following:

Videos presentations given by Jill Pike, mp3 presentations by Andrew Pudewa, &Anna Ingham, along with the PAL: Reading Student Book. We also received the Primary Arts of Language: Reading Teacher’s manual, which also has the student pages in it, along with a generous home use copy allowance, allowing me to print pages for both boys.

The Teacher’s Manual is laid out in the following sections:

1. Introduction, which goes into reading instruction stages, classroom management, and Home classroom management: materials needed and set up.

2. Lessons 1 – 80

Nine different appendixes

3. Audio handouts

Discovery Card Check Sheet and Discovery Cards.

We received as well, a very nice book, Primary Arts Of Language: Phonetic Games, which are very simple to assemble and use.

Finally, we also received The Phonetic Farm folder, with a link to get the downloadable pdf e-book word book that goes with it.

In our Primary Arts Of Language: Writing, we received a different DVD Rom. It has a video presentation from Jill Pike, mp3 presentations by Adam Andrews, Andrew Pudewa, Shirley George, and Richelle Palmer. The Primary Arts Of Language: Writing DVD Rom also holds the student materials.

We also received the book Primary Arts of Language: Writing Teacher’s Manuel, which again includes the student pages with a generous copy write use for home school families. We also got the All About Spelling Level 1 Teacher’s Manuel, and a Spelling Basic Interactive kit, containing color coded letter tiles, directions to download a Phonogram Sounds App, and a set of divider cards labeled: Phonogram Cards Reviewed, Phonogram Cards Mastered, and Phonogram Cards Future Lessons. Also included in shrink wrap was the Level 1 Student Packet (for spelling), which also had some little round colored tokens in it for later.

The teacher’s manual is broken up clearly into three sections:

1. Printing and Story Summaries

2. Copy Work and Style

3. Composition With Style

There is a scope and sequence at the back, along with numerous other appendixes, including one with recipes for fun hands on things to do! There are also hand outs to go along with the talks on the CD ROM.

I found the DVD ROM’s to be very good, and very helpful. They are for me, the parent. The one mistake I did make though, was to just sit right down and watch them straight through. That was very overwhelming, and now I am re-watching them piece by piece. I also tend to just open the box, pull out the student materials, and get going. While I suppose you COULD do that with IEW, I think we’re doing better for having the instructions, at least for now. I freely admit that I am, in fact, one of “those” people, the ones who need to see the “big picture”, as opposed to biting it off in bite sized chunks. Guess I need to work on that, huh? 🙂

Although there is a suggested schedule, it didn’t work well for us because we have regular therapy appointments, things involving church, etc, but it isn’t that hard to adjust to work a schedule around your own life as opposed to working your life around a school schedule, and hey, that’s truly one of the very best things about home schooling, in my book.

I wanted this to use with my twins, “Mr. Loquacious” and “The Puzzler”, both of who struggle with reading and writing. I will say that I wanted it mostly for “Mr. Loquacious”, because he simply won’t read unless we make him, even though he can. He wasn’t much impressed, until he realized (along with his brother) that this could be a really fun program, given that they love the Farm Folder, and using the stickers with it. We also like the letters. which we had the choice to either leave as it, or to put the little magnets on the backs, so they can be moved around to practice making words. It does talk about using a magnetic white board, but I’ve also had success using a small metal baking sheet.

WE also really enjoy the Phonetic Games book which goes along with, and re-enforces what is being taught in the reading program, is terrific! Everything is already in the book, and there is no need to print it out! We can just cut the materials out of the book as needed, and make the game board using a file folder. How cool is that? My boys really like games, so anything which makes learning fun is, as you know, a great thing to me.

I like that we were also given All About Spelling, as well. This is a area the boys struggle with, and it is helping with things like “sounding out”, something I’ve been trying to work on for a while with them, with less success than I had hoped to have.

This is a multisensory program (seeing, hearing, & doing) in which my boys can use the letter tiles and the round game tokens, along with hearing the phonogram sounds on thee downloadable app. There are Step by step lesson plans for me to follow (although, as everyone who knows me is aware, I do tend to “loosely” follow at times, lol!), built in daily review, and my favorite thing with ANY educational product, customizable for any student. For me, that means we can go as slowly or as quickly as we are able. There is very little to purchase, other than stickers or colored pencils for a progress chart, lined notebook paper, an index box . . . things like that, some or all you probably already have on hand, as a home school parent. 🙂 Spelling is taken step by step, as I said before, so as not to be overwhelming to the child. Thus far, that has been good for my boys.

My final thoughts on the matter? I LOVE this product. I think this is something we can take our time with, and really bring the twins up to where they will be much better readers, which may well help “Mr. Loquacious” to become a child who reads for pure enjoyment, which is a definite goal for me when it comes to all of my boys.

Please click on the banner below to read about what my fellow crew members thought of this package, along with several other packages from the Institute For Excellence in Writing!
IEW Review

Crew Disclaimer

As always, I would just love to have you join me on all of “My Journeys Through Life”! Just go to the “sign me up” button at the top of the blog, enter your email, and never miss an update again! 🙂

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