All The Rivers Run

All The Rivers Run

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

A Slight Change of Plans – Excellence in Writing

As you may have seen on my previous post, this year I had planned to use IEW’s ‘Ancient History-Based Writing Lessons’ with my three youngest girls.  We’ve had a change of plans.  Last year, the girls completed SWI (Student Writing Intensive) Level A, but unfortunately, with travelling, moving, the fire, and all the other ‘minor’ things we went through, I wasn’t exactly able to supervise as well as I’d like, so a few things were… shall we say….  not exactly completed to their fullest potential. 

So, instead of moving onto a theme-based book, we’ve decided this year to begin with SWI B, which will cover the basics again, but at a higher level.  Another advantage with using SWI B is that the girls will watch Andrew himself on the DVDs, which as many of you will appreciate, is always a hit!  We organised the new folders and pulled our DVDs from  the depths of the yet-to-be-unpacked boxes, and soon we were ready to begin.

Last Wednesday was ‘the day’.  After presenting the girls with their new folders, we settled down in front of the television for their first session.  As always, there were smiles and chuckles as Andrew ‘did his thing’ and taught them all about key word outlines and how to re-write a paragraph.  The source text was a paragraph on ‘Sea Wasps’, which are found in the oceans off the coast of Australia.  I’m always very appreciative of this particular lesson; it’s lovely to begin the year with some Australian content, and to know that Australia has some of the coolest and most deadly creatures in the world! 

As is typically the case, we soon found that we ‘were not alone’.  There’s something special about Andrew Pudewa, and he manages to grab the attention of whoever is about.  Even though our Daniel has finished his homeschooling, once he saw what we were watching, he happily settled himself of the couch to enjoy the lesson as well.  It’s wonderful to have such a programme; one that the older children can simply watch and enjoy, and yet, they are therefore having a review lessons themselves.

Once the DVD reached a certain point, it was time to press ‘stop’ and have the girls re-write their paragraph.  I was pleased to discover that they tackled the task easily, and remembered several things from the lessons of last year.  It was good to know they had retained some information, despite my failings!  The next day involved writing up another paragraph before moving on to the next section of the DVD.  Although the course was originally an intensive, 4-day presentation, IEW now offer lesson plans for 15-30 weeks, meaning we can take our time and allow plenty of opportunities for practicing the various skills learned along the way.

It’s wonderful again to be working through SWI B – I think this is my favourite one of the series.  Next year, we’ll use the Continuation Course, but we will probably use Speech Boot Camp first – another one of my favourites.  For now though, I’m looking forward to using these DVDs again and enjoying the giggles as Andrew takes the girls through their lessons.  We’re off to a good start – just the thing to keep a busy homeschooling mum happy!



  1. Yeah Linda,
    How are you going? looks like lots of fun in your neck of the woods.
    We love IEW and Brid is totally enjoying Australian History- in fact she wants to send you some of her work.....hows that..
    We are doing Continuation C next year or ? term 3. She's wizzing through her IEW.

  2. Hi Leeanne! I'd love to see some of Brid's work - I'm actually doing some tutoring this year - and loving it, really think I may have found what I want to do when I er.... 'grow up'!

    Great to hear from you,