Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.
This week’s review features our thoughts on the Structure and Style® for Students Year 1 Level B (grades 6-8) comprehensive writing course. This is a new course by the Institute for Excellence in Writing® and we can’t wait to show you how we used this in our home.
Structure and Style® for Students is a 24-week program that teaches nine structural models for writing while incorporating vocabulary devices to enhance each style. We received the Structure and Style® for Students Year 1 Level B (grades 6-8) Basic Set to use with Bear. This set includes a Teacher’s Manual, Binder, Student Packet, and access to helpful downloads specifically designed for this curriculum. This course also features 24, new and improved videos by Andrew Pudewa that can be accessed via streaming or on a DVD set.
Institute for Excellence in Writing® is known for its commitment to educating children in writing and grammar with quality workbooks and videos. Based on the success of their previous writing courses the new and improved Structure and Style® was designed with video streaming capabilities, subtitles for the hearing impaired, and uniformity in teaching for various learning styles. This course currently includes first and second-year options for children in 3rd through 12th grade.
IEW’s Nine Writing Units
- Note Making and Outlines
- Writing from Notes
- Retelling Narrative Sequences
- Summarizing a Reference
- Writing from Pictures
- Summarizing Multiple References
- Inventive Writing
- Formal Model Essays
- Formal Critiques
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Year 1 Level B walks your middle school student through daily assignments that build a foundation for the aforementioned writing styles. The lessons begin with a video introduction from the instructor, followed by brief reading comprehension and discussion exercise. During this time the students read a passage, pull keywords from the text, and then retell the story. After another video portion is played, new vocabulary words are introduced and worked into the retelling of the passage. Writing practice occurs as the students incorporate the new vocabulary to enhance their paragraphs, learn to edit their work, and practice presentation by reading their works aloud.
The Teacher’s Manual gives an example of every passage and process within the Student Binder. Writing models, teaching tips, and helpful notes to ensure success are also provided. A daily timeline for adapting the lessons to one, two, three, four, or five days is also included. The additional downloads and eBooks provide an option to extend the curriculum to 30 weeks, timestamp details for each video, and a rubric checklist for your child’s work. The videos showcase Mr. Pudewa’s humorous teaching style in front of a classroom of middle school students. Each video is over an hour but all timed writing exercises are included with a timer displayed. The Student Binder includes necessary worksheets and organization tabs for writing stages. Organizing their work is truly important to the writing process and included as part of the daily lessons.
OUR ROUTINE & FINAL THOUGHTS
After looking over the scheduling options I decided to do the 30-week plan and extend the curriculum. With this plan, we will be able to Structure and Style® for Students Year 1 Level B (grades 6-8) for the entire school year. Bear used this curriculum initially four days a week by many eventually decided to move to two days a week. Though he appreciated the video lessons he did find some of the humor to be a bit silly and forced from time to time. Once he got a hang of the structure of the class he preferred to use the time stamp and only watch what he made it so he could skip past the introduction and fill-in and conversations from the instructor. He did you think it was cool that the classroom was filled with students in his age group and that the instructor was actually teaching the students while this program was being recorded.
I think this program is well organized and has appropriate reading material for this age group. The various program options allow it to work well with any homeschool schedule. The exercises are challenging but the instructor is encouraging. Though the student packet is consumable, it can be duplicated within a family that has multiple children using the same level. This package also includes “forever streaming” access to the instructional videos so you don’t have to repurchase each year. We’ve enjoyed all 8 weeks of this Institute for Excellence in Writing® program and will continue to use it for the remainder of our school year.
- Year 1 Level B
- Year 1 Level A
- Year 1 Level (High School)
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