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I am a long time user of IEW (Institute for Excellence in Writing) resources in my homeschooling. I first learned of IEW at a homeschool conference in Houston. Andrew Pudewa was one of the key note speakers. After hearing his opening talk, I looked up the rest of his sessions to see what he would be speaking on. One of his sessions caught my eye “Teaching Boys and Other Children Who Would Rather Make Forts All Day.” At that point in my homeschooling I was feeling like a complete failure with my eldest. She just didn’t learn like she was supposed to. Ha! I ended up going to every one of Andrew Pudewa’s talks and was so encouraged! The traditional books that I was using with her were not a good fit for my rock collecting, insect finding, dirt loving girl.
Up to that point writing was a complete drudgery. Her paragraphs consisted of three sentences and no more than six words total. She absolutely hated to write! I took home the Teaching Writing Structure and Style video series and workbook, Student Writing Intensive, and Phonetics Zoo. These products revolutionized our homeschooling! Instead of just telling my daughter to write and expecting her to do it, I was giving her an easy to follow method for writing. Now she loves to write! That didn’t happen instantaneously, but I do credit the turning point to IEW! And the Phonetics Zoo helped taught her to spell by emphasizing what she got right and not on failure. Writing for her was no longer an impossibility. It made sense and she saw that she could excel.
After that year we joined a Classical Conversations Homeschool community. I was surprised and excited to learn the program also uses IEW writing resources in the program. So my children have been using various IEW writing resources starting about the third grade.
Just this year I saw that IEW now has a curriculum for the primary grades, and I couldn’t wait to look into it. What if instead of switching to IEW in the 3rd grade, we could just start from the beginning?
5 Things I love about IEW’s Primary Arts of Language.
The Reading and Writing packages are sold separately, but are intended to be used together. Included in the PAL Reading Complete Package is:
- Primary Arts of Language: Reading Teacher’s Manual
- Primary Arts of Language: Phonetic Games
- The Phonetic Farm
- Primary Arts of Language: Reading DVD-ROM
With the exception of The Phonetic Farm which is consumable, these are all the materials you need for all your children whether you have one or twenty one. How I love this!!!
1.The student books are on the DVD-ROM and you can print as many as you need.
Included in the PAL Writing Complete Package is:
- Primary Arts of Language: Writing Teacher’s Manual
- Primary Arts of Language: Writing DVD-ROM
- All About Spelling Level 1 Teacher’s Manual
- All About Spelling Level 1 Student Packet
- Spelling Basic Interactive Kit
2. Students learn easy can-do methods of excellent writing structure and style from the primary grades.
I absolutely love that these principals are taught early and naturally. There doesn’t need to be a big switch to this style later in the elementary years any longer.
3. Spelling is taught from the beginning.
This is something I missed in my homeschooling. In the curriculum I used, it seemed to go from no spelling at all to lists of words to memorize. When you use All about Spelling from the beginning, children learn how to spell letters and sounds and the transition to words comes naturally.
PAL (Primary Arts of Language) was inspired by Anna Ingram’s book Blended Sight-Sound Program of Learning.
Here is a great video with the author of PAL Jill Pike and Andrew Pudewa that gives a great overview of the program.
4. This is a phonics based approach to reading that also incorporates blending sight-sound.
Anna Ingram’s methods were taken and shaped into a user friendly curriculum. Now the curriculum was made for a classroom, but works well for home education as well.
5. There are oodles of suggestions and teaching ideas throughout.
Don’t freak out! The plethora of information and ideas was so helpful to me when I taught in a classroom, but as a homeschool teacher you need to know that you don’t have to do every single suggestion or activity. Homeshooling five kiddos “less is more” has become my motto. I tend to do the essentials and only add the extras when I have ample time, or if I’m finding my child isn’t grasping the concepts and needs more practice. All this to say, enjoy the extensive resources available with the curriculum, but don’t let it scare you!
When you get your package, pop in the DVD and watch it before doing anything else. The explanation and breakdown of the curriculum will calm your nerves and answer your questions.
Whether you have a primary age child or not, IEW has extensive resources for teaching writing. How does free sound to you? Yeah, I thought so!! Click this link to see IEW’s FREE lessons!
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