Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Writing Curriculum REVIEW

 Disclaimer: 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 for my high schooler has always been a struggle.  When you are not only dyslexic but also dysgraphic, you are bound to have some difficulties.  My high schooler has managed to overcome most of his dyslexia, it just makes him have to think harder.  The dysgraphia has been a work in progress.  We are always looking for programs to help us with these challenges.  I was excited to be able to try out the newly revised Structure and Style® for Students Year 1 Level C from Institute for Excellence in Writing®.  We have used some of their curricula before and have always been pleased with the results. I first received access to the first 3 weeks of the curriculum and then later received the entire program packet that included the student binder, labeled dividers, pages, teacher manual, and purchase code for my "forever streaming" access to the program.

The hard copies came nicely packaged in a cardboard box

You will need internet access for the video lessons.  In addition to the hard copy of the program, you also receive access to the online video lessons with Andrew Pudewa as the instructor.  If you have never heard of him or watched his videos you are in for a treat.  I really like him as an instructor and he seems to really capture the attention of my reluctant high schooler.  My high schooler was NOT looking forward to this program but Andrew has really helped him to be able to tolerate it well!  Andrew is a clear, concise, and entertaining instructor.  I think he is very good at capturing the attention of his students.

The kit comes with everything you need.  The binder has prelabeled dividers and there are instructions on how and what order to place the student pages into it.  The teacher manual is wonderful and has complete instructions on how to help your student along in the course.  Andrew does the teaching through the videos but you will also watch the videos to prepare for helping your student with the homework and grading.  There are instructions in the Teachers Manual on how to access the free downloads that you will use in the course for yourself and your student that include reproducible checklists, student samples (not available for Level C till early November 2020), and timestamps for the videos (invaluable for finding specific content you want to view!).

PDF downloads for teacher helps

Binder instructions for student pages

Andrew Pudewa does the teaching

The focus of the program is on nine structural models that include note taking, writing paragraphs, stories, simple reports, writing from pictures, research reports, creative writing, essays, and critiques.  Stylistic techniques taught include dress-ups (strong verbs, quality adjectives, etc), sentence openers (prepositional, clausal, etc), and decorations (alliteration, quotation, simile/metaphor, etc).

Sample Table of Contents

Sample teacher manual pages with overview and helps

There is so much more to this program than meets the eye.  It integrates seamlessly with Fix It! Grammar so if you are needing a grammar option then you can do that also. The weekly schedules include which lessons from Fix It! Grammar to cover.  There is an included scope and sequence section in the teachers manual that includes literature suggestions and another page that explains how to adapt the program for homeschool, one-day-a-week, two-or three-day-a-week, or four-or five-day-a-week programs.

Sample checklist to help in grading

Weekly lesson overview

Adapted 30 week schedule with scope and sequence

Even though lesson videos are over an hour long, you will see from the weekly schedule that it is generally broken down into two different days so your student has approximately 30-35 minutes of video twice weekly.  I really like that the schedule easily allows for a four-day week which works very well for my reluctant student who craves a day off here and there.

The timestamps PDF from the teacher files is
invaluable for finding specific topics

We have been following the included schedule and use the four or five day schedule as it suits us each week.  I am also excited that since he did not complete his Fix It! Grammar that we had received in the past, we can pick that back up and complete in it conjunction with this program.  I can't say enough about how much we are liking this writing curriculum.  My son hates to write and he doesn't like doing literature at all, but this program is getting him through his requirements with a lot less fussing than usual and the simple bite-sized lessons and Andrew's comic relief sure are helping us to do that!!

I highly recommend Structure and Style® for Students Year 1 Level C from Institute for Excellence in Writing®.  You can connect with IEW on FACEBOOK, TWITTER, INSTAGRAM, PINTEREST, and YOUTUBE.  Also be sure to check out the reviews from my fellow Crew members by clicking on the graphic link below.  There are free samples available on the IEW website so be sure to take advantage of those.

Structure and Style® for Students Year 1 Level A, B & C {Institute for Excellence in Writing® Reviews}

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