While I do so love to write, I admit that I really struggle with helping my children really gain a love and a strength in this area. My oldest son really enjoys writing; he can spend hours sketching and writing his own stories and comics. He enjoys a speech and debate group every fall; still we can always benefit from learning how to write stronger and be more confident in our writing. This is exactly why I was so thrilled that we were given the chance to review the High School Essay Intensive from the Institute for Excellence in Writing.
One thing I really love about the Institute for Excellence in Writing is that their programs offer teacher training and lessons that you can use with just about any grade level (this is awesome when you are home educating more than one child!).
From the moment I first learned of Andrew Pudewa, I have just sought to learn as much as I can from him. I love the heart and drive he has for our kids; his passion for home education is so clearly seen. He is fun, and funny, yet also serious, engaging and is a teacher that really holds your attention and helps you to see the value of what is being taught. His passion as he teaches in contagious too!
This is a DVD course; it is intended to be used by high school students in order to gain confidence in essay writing. While my son is not yet in high school technically, he does love to write and so I try to take advantage of his desire to help him along the way. Since this is a program that can be used as quickly or as slowly, as you like, this is a wonderful fit for my very active son.
We also received the Portable Walls for the Essayist. This is a folder, with three parts to it, which contain helpful suggestions, specific models, types of essays, the writing process and lots of other great tips for the writer. My son keeps this close to him at all times right now so I can attest to the value of this myself.
There are four parts to this program. My son is currently working on Part One (which begins with a timed essay) and continues teaching: writing strategy, planning for length, development and structure. My son has really been enjoying this part especially since he sees the value of this for himself! He also really appreciated the Five Canons of Rhetoric; I think this helped him to see more clearly the importance of each piece in writing an essay.
Part Two is related to the ACT; this helps the student to understand the examiner, how things are scored. This is definitely interesting; I wish I would have had something like this when I was preparing for this test. It definitely helps a student to understand how to plan and develop your essay in the time allowed. I remember myself, all to well, how much I struggled with this myself so this is greatly appreciated and will quite likely be used in the future by my children.
In Part Three Andrew Pudewa talks about essay portion of the SAT. He teaches the value of annotating as you write (I sure appreciated that!) as well as planning and editing your writing. I found it interesting that “How to Read a Book” was mentioned here. That has been on my list of books to read for sometime now. Perhaps this was the inspiration I needed to pick that one up.
At Part Four we are taught how to write a personal essay for university application (again, where was this when I was younger?) and how to really write in a way that shows and impresses the readers. Again, this is something that will certainly be of great value to mine, as they get older, and prepare for higher studies. I do so love the value within each portion of teaching on this program!
This is such a wonderful program! Even though so much of it is not where we are, I can definitely see a great benefit from this to students who are preparing for SAT and ACT and the process of applying for university. You do not just hear but also see what is being taught. And it is all done in a way that is clear and concise and engaging too. I think this is a wonderful way to help our students to prepare and succeed as they enter into this stage of life and learning. ❤