Institute for Excellence in Writing : Counting the Cost
by Martha K
Although we are newbies to Institute for Excellence in Writing, (IEW) I'd still like to share what we've been getting out of it so far.
The first big hurdle to overcome is the start up cost. Thankfully IEW has extremely high resale value. Most of it sold used is only discounted $20 - 30 off new.
I too struggled with the cost so I'm not wanting to minimize it. If you have more than one child and are just now starting out then you will get many years of use out of what you're purchasing. Some people even rent out their DVDs to recover some of the cost. I wouldn't write it off simply because of the purchase price.
Another aspect to consider is that it begins in a teacher intensive manner. Once you watch the TWSS (Teaching Writing:Structure and Style) you shouldn't have to make that big commitment again except maybe to reference something when you start a new section. You could even get a Student Writing Intensive where Andrew Pudewa teaches directly to the child. I would think a teenager could watch the TWSS and do a lot on their own.
With all that said, I would ask what kind of program are you really wanting? For me, the aspect of modeling, having dress ups, checklists and many other little aspects made it the perfect fit for us. I had already tried several traditional approaches and none of them were helping. My dd looks forward to writing because she has clear direction. I relieved as well for the same reason.
Multi-faceted is how I would describe what IEW is. It is not simply teaching writing; it also teaches grammar (albeit unconventional) and even public speaking. Knowing if it really is for you is something only you can decide by comparing your struggles and goals to what IEW offers. It's almost impossible to describe the program in a couple paragraphs. Check around your area to see if somebody will let you borrow the first TWSS DVD so you can thoroughly grasp how the program works.
If you have specific issues and want them answered they have a great Yahoo group (IEW Families). I believe they truly do not try to just sell their product. They give you every answer you need to make an informed decision. In addition they have a group that is strictly for selling used IEW materials.