Three Incredible IEW Resources for your Homeschool {Crew Review}

It’s no secret that I love Institute for Excellence in Writing. Through IEW I have gained confidence in my own ability to write and in my ability to teach writing to my daughters. IEW put together a set of resources for members of the Schoolhouse Review Crew. They included Teaching with Games Set, Timeline of Classics, and A Word Write Now.  These items are not sold together but IEW gave me all three resources to use and review. 

A Treasture Trove of Resources from Instittute for Excellence in Writing

Teaching with Games Set

Let’s talk about the DVD first. One of the things I love about IEW DVDs is the classical music that plays in the background when you view the menu. Is it wrong to confess that I left the DVD on menu mode for a while when I was home alone just to listen to the music? The DVD contains three discs: 2 DVDs and 1 CD_ROM.  Disc One covers Matching Card Games and “No-Prep” Games.  Disc Two includes Question Games, Math Facts Games, and “Make As You Teach” Games. The appendix is also available on Disc 2.  On Disc three you’ll find the Teaching with Games PDF e-book and bonus material.

Although there is a copy of the e-book version on the CD_Rom, IEW generously included the physical spiral bound book which is sold separately. The DVD references the Teaching with Games book. The e-book and printed book are identical so the page numbers mentioned in the DVD sessions will match either version.

Supergirl plays TIME Bingo just one of the many games in Teaching With Games

All of the games would be appropriate for use in a small classroom or home school co-op. Most of these games would work very well for home school families with 2 or more children in small age ranges, like mine. Several of the games have variations listed. For example, the Number Line Tug of War lists a variation for younger students.  Sum Fun has a list of variations that include choosing different sums and a suggestion for adapting for older children. I adapted Sum Fun for Supergirl and we worked on matching addends of 6. There is a large variety of types of games including trivia, cards and yes, even board games. 

Our variation of SUM Fun ~ Learning how to make 6.

A Word Write Now

I was drooling over this one earlier this year when some of the crew members had the opportunity to review the deluxe set for Teaching Writing Structure and Style with Student Writing Intensive. Turtlegirl found A Word Write Now and began to thumb through it. She asked “Can I use this for my writing?” Um, yes.  Yes you can.  She cam back a little bit later and told me that she found it inspirational. Turtlegirl and I both describe A Word Write Now as being like a thesaurus but better and easier to use.

Unlike a thesaurus this book is not arranged in alphabetical order. No, this soft cover spiral bound treasure is arranged by theme.  On the cover just below the title is a subtitle: A Thematic Thesaurus for Stylized Writing. This tool is divided into four sections:

  • Section A: Character Traits
  • Section B: Descriptive Words
  • Section C: Words for Movement and the Senses
  • Section D: Appendix

Before the sections begin there is an introduction, an overview an d a “Simple Definition of Parts of Speech”  throughout the book are spaces where writers can add more words. One of the things Turtlegirl especially loved about A Word Write Now are the excerpts from Classical Literature and quotes. These quotes and excerpts are indeed inspirational.

This book resides next to my computer when it hasn’t been stolen to be used by one of the girls!

Timeline of Classics

Subtitled Historical Context for the Good and Great books, this teacher and student resource is a must have for any home schooling family that uses a literature based approach to education. In addition to books, and audio books, you'll find movie suggestions as well. As the name implies this is a timeline but it's a timeline of great classic literature arranged in chronological order by historical events and it includes suggestions for all ages from elementary school to high school.

The pages of this spiral bound resource are in landscape format with for columns. The first column on the far left is Description or Time Period. Next you have the title of the book. The third column is the author or in the case of an audio book the narrator. Finally in the last column you have Level. This column will list the recommended ages for the literature selection. E for Elementary, M for Middle School and H for High School.

The literary works are arranged by the time period of the story which may or may not be the same time period they were written.  For example you’ll find Julius Caesar by Shakespeare as a suggestion for the time period 44 BC but Shakespeare wrote at the end of the 16th century.

Supergirl wants to study Egypt and she wants to study the Vikings. I’ve been using this resource to pick out books, especially audio books as well as some movies at the E level that Supergirl will enjoy. I’ve also been going through and marking some of the books my high school students have read so that I can include them in a book list for their academic resumes for college applications.

Planning Supergirl's study of Egypt

Final Thoughts

These three resources for teachers and students are not sold together as a set. I do recommend all three and wish I had these resources years ago when my high schoolers were still in elementary school, but even at the high school level we have already found A Word Write Now to be a treasure. Supergirl is enjoying having games to play for math and as she matures we’ll add some games for science and history from Teaching with Games as well. She’ll benefit more than her sisters from the Timeline of Classics. These are three more incredible resources from IEW that I think every home school family should own. 


IEW Review

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