I have been wanting to do a quick review on this curriculum for a while. We are really enjoying the change this year. We have previously used IEW for many years. I love IEW but after about 6 years of using the program I felt like a little change – a change is as good as a holiday right?
Each book lasts for 6 months. Each lesson is varied and lasts about a week and is broken up into 4 sections;
Tell it Back – Where the children retell the story from the beginning of the lesson.
Talk About It – This section is discussion time for the teacher and student. There are various questions about the text and sample answers are provided for in the Teacher’s Text.
Go Deeper – This makes the student analyse the text more. This consists of multiple choice questions, and grammar type questions (nouns, verbs, adjectives etc.)
Writing Time – This gives the student an opportunity to write at length. Sometimes this is improving part of the story, or changing it slightly, or in older grades it involves writing essays. Often at the end of the writing time it has a section on encouraging children to improves their public speaking skills. In our homeschool this might be reading aloud to each other, or to Dad at the dinner table.
To be able to do this curriculum with an age difference I expect more of Beth than I do of Zac. Beth writes more lengthy dramatic stories, whereas Zac’s are more simple and sometimes he even dictates to me and I write for him.
Another thing I love about this curriculum is that it encourages picture study. Some lessons include a study of a famous painting. One such painting for Beth and Zac was Rembrandt’s ‘The Return of the Prodigal Son’.
Dom started this year on Book 5: Refutation and Confirmation and is now doing Book 6: Commonplace. Although very good, there is a large emphasis on American history. Dom has said that he prefers IEW, but I have said that we will be doing this until the end of the year. And possibly into next year too 🙂 This curriculum is pushing his mind into very critical thinking ideas (thesis formation, confirming/refuting arguments, essay writing, annotation).
I am very pleased with this new curriculum and glad we decided to have a bit of a ‘holiday’!
What writing curriculums are you using this year?