Have these words ever crossed the lips of your homeschooled students? Do you struggle with the dreaded writing lesson? Does the word “essay” make you cringe?
Have no fear! For years, the Institute for Excellence in Writing (IEW) has provided a trusted framework for students and parents to take the anxiety out of writing instruction.
How can I help?
Let me give you a little of my background. I am a homeschool mother located in the Northern California area. Like you, I desired to teach my children how to read and write, providing them the tools they needed to be successful in their future endeavors. Yet to my dismay, I found that my Bachelor’s degree in English and a lifetime of reading and writing did not seem to equip me to teach writing. For years, I struggled with how to explain my expectations for my children’s writing assignments. Too often these assignments ended in frustration for all involved.
Enter Andrew Pudewa, IEW…and one of the most profound moments of my homeschool career…
One sunny June day (and those in the Northern California area know that means one blazing hot day) I decided to attend a lovely little seminar hosted by a local church. I had heard Andrew Pudewa speak many years prior when we lived on the Central Coast, but those talks had been about the importance of reading books to and with our children (of course, I agreed with him on that point) and the significance that music has on brain development (I agreed with him on this as well!). When I heard that he would be speaking in my area, I went primarily for the nostalgia because I was missing my old coast home (where a 90-degree day was virtually unknown and caused a mass migration to the beach) and because I thought that I would probably agree with him some more about whatever he decided to talk about.
As I listened to his presentation about writing instruction for children, I became more excited to go home and begin using these simple yet profound ideas with my children. All those years of struggle and turmoil over writing in my homeschool were because I hadn’t had the tools, the vocabulary, or the structure to teach them all that I knew about writing.
I bought the Teaching Writing with Structure and Style syllabus that day. I’m so glad I did.
Not only was my homeschool energized in the area of writing, but friends began asking if I wouldn’t mind teaching small co-op classes for their children as well. I suppose my excitement was contagious. After using the materials in small groups along with my own children, I became an accredited instructor with IEW. What began as an investment in my own children’s education has blossomed into my own business teaching writing classes using this method.
Let’s face it. It’s a little hard to simulate the experience of a classroom with only two students.
While it can be done, it does help to “add to the intellectual capital of the room,” according to Mr. Pudewa, by having more minds available in the same space to learn from and engage with. I thoroughly enjoy spending time with the young people in my writing classes…they teach me so much! Not only that, but they consistently awe me with their enthusiasm, creativity, and sheer joy. Sharing my love of the English language with them is an honor and a blessing.