Teaching Writing with the Institute for Excellence in Writing

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As a writer, it is kind of ironic that I haven’t done much formal writing in our homeschool. We have always followed somewhat of a Charlotte Mason approach to language arts. We have read lots of good books (many living books) and created a love for reading first. Yet, when my daughter was in third grade she was not a great speller, reader, or writer, and I was somewhat discouraged. However, the key to this for her was maturity. Within the next few years her love of reading finally took a foothold, and quite naturally her spelling and writing skills followed.

All of that exposure to good writing finally paid off, without much formal language arts. In fact, in sixth grade she wrote her first short story- a 40 page book! She developed it all on her own, and not part of “school” or an “assignment.” Her story was excellent and her skills were surely there, and I believe she learned naturally through reading good books.

Presently, however, at the eight grade level, I felt it was time for a more formal writing program to give her a proper technique and further develop her skills. I had been very careful all along to not use something that would squelch her love for writing. I began searching out some different classes and programs, and then I was approached to review Institute for Excellence in Writing- I was thrilled! What a divine appointment! :)


We began using IEW this school year and I truly, truly can not say enough about how much we both love it. I look forward to watching the lessons with my daughter each day. Andrew Pudewa is engaging, humorous, and truly knowledgeable on the subject. I have marveled at watching my daughter diligently taking notes during the lessons and really engrossed in the videos.

I admit when I first rceieved the materials, I was a bit overwhelmed at where to start. There was a teacher’s binder, DVD’s, and student binder. However, I took some time to watch the DVD’s and to understand Mr. Pudewa’s approach. I really liked what I saw! I quickly became less overwhelmed.

IMG_3149Once we started the program together, everything made even more sense. I understood how the program worked much better. I am convinced that God knew exactly what we needed and when we need it. I am so grateful to IEW for this amazing opportunity..

I would highly recommend IEW for teaching writing. We are using Level B for 8th grade, and it is a perfect fit for us. We watch the lessons together and my daughter enjoys the exercises within each lesson. The lessons are so engaging and the time flies by. Sometimes we just snuggle up on my bed while watching (and having lots of laughs) and learning. My daughter is loving the exercises throughout the DVD lessons. She is learning how to be a better writer through Mr. Pudewa’s humor and engaging exercises. 


 One of the  benefits of IEW is having my daughter learn from Mr. Pudewa, and not me. She is at the point where I know it is beneficial to have another “teacher” besides me. She was ready for that change this year. As she is getting older, it really helps to bring in the another teacher in certain areas. However, I enjoy that we are watching the lessons together, so we can still discuss it and go over concepts, without me being the one that is doing all of the teaching.

She is enjoying learning how to “dress up” her writing, and how to exclude “banned” words to keep things interesting! I am looking forward to the rest of this program and watching my daughter’s love for writing only grow. Thank you to Institute for Excellence in Writing for providing a truly excellent program that both student and teacher enjoy!


If you would like to know more about Institute for Excellence in Writing, please visit their website:

Institute for Excellence in Writing








Author: Karen DeBeus

Karen is the author of Simply Homeschool, Called Home, and Bible Based Homeschooling. She is passionate about encouraging homeschooling families on their journey to keep their eyes on the One who called them here. She can also be found blogging about all things simple at Simply Living for Him.

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