I’ve been using the products from Institute for Excellence in Writing (IEW) for a while now and I just wanted to write and share that our family still loves this writing program.
Hubby uses it with his class at school and I use it to teach Ethan to write.
It’s a fantastic product and has made all my fears about teaching writing just melt away. Every time Ethan produces a piece of writing it just confirms for me that this is a brilliant program.
Ethan has never been a keen writer (we can safely call him “reluctant”), yet nowdays I can send him to create a key word outline, a draft with “dress ups”, and a published piece all in one afternoon…with barely a complaint…and two to three times a week!!! I didn’t think I’d EVER see this day!
Here’s an example of the writing Ethan completed this week. This is his draft…yes his draft!
One day a fly was eating along an edge of a jar. He did not know that he was moving away from the edge and it got stuck in the honey. Struggling to get free he got his wings in the honey too. A moth saw him there and he yapped, “You are foolish; you were greedy so you got caught in that jar. Your appetite was too much, way too much for you.” The fly had not a word to say in reply. What the moth had yapped was true. Evening came and who was it that came, the moth came with a candle and it burned the moth to ashes. The fly yapped, “What? You are foolish too. You had good wisdom for me but no wisdom that tells you not to play with fire”. It is easier to see others foolishness then your own.
Yes a few errors and awkward places but wow, still a piece that makes a Mumma proud and pleased as punch.
I got Ethan to read his draft aloud to me and he could see a few places that needed work. Then I pointed out a few other things that needed a little attention – like all the “yap”s. Hehe.
Here’s his final piece after he added his required “dress ups” (a key IEW term that just refers to making the language more succinct but yet descriptive and detailed). The underlined words show where he added his dress ups.
One day a fly was eating along the edge of a jar. He did not know that he was foolishly moving away from the edge and he got stuck in the honey. Struggling to get free he got his wings in the honey too. A moth, who was passing by, saw him there and scolded, “You are foolish; you were greedy so you got caught in that jar. Your appetite was too much, way too much for you.” The fly, who was quite mad at himself, had not a word to say in reply. What the moth had asserted was true. Evening came and who was it that came? The moth came with a candle. He senselessly flew right into it and it burned the moth to ashes. The fly chuckled, “What? You are foolish too. You had good wisdom for me but no wisdom that tells you not to play with fire.” It is easier to see other’s foolishness than your own.
There’s still some immature expressions but boy, it just blows me away. I never imagined that I’d receive this standard of writing from my boys…not in the early years anyway! And it’s made possible through using IEW.
Yes, the content is modeled on a text Ethan was given to outline but the text is removed before the writing task begins. So while there is likeness of expression to the model text, the writing has been retold with Ethan’s own flair.
At this point in our writing journey, having the content of the writing laid out for Ethan allows him to focus on the skill of writing rather than creating new ideas. But once his foundations writing skills are in place, we can move onto new challenges. We look forward to that but we’re not going to rush into it. These early stages are so important.
Thank you sooooo much IEW. In my eyes there is no program that can ever compare!