Wondering what your student can do with all those
wonderful writing skills they learn using IEW in the younger years?
The IEW system is a complete writing system that homeschooling families can build on from year to year. If your family has worked through the Teaching Writing: Structure and Style course and your older student is now looking for ways to use apply their skills to other subjects, the Excellence in Literature Content Guide for Self-Directed Study series by Janice Campbell is the perfect way to connect great literature and great writing. There are two books to choose from: American or British Literature. You can download a sample of the American Literature guide from the IEW website and also one for the British Literature guide.
These courses are written directly to the student and not the parent, allowing the student to build time management skills and allowing a measure of freedom. The author says that these courses will introduce “literary reading”, where the student learns to read with discernment.
We are just finishing the American Literature course which features nine different authors, offered in chronological order by literature movement. Each book is introduced by giving background to the author and the time period along with suggested follow-up topics to write about. The background links and resources are a rich mix of primary sources, biographies, art, music, and additional context material in written, audio, and video formats. The background research before reading the book is fundamental to this literature/writing course and will give the student a more three-dimensional view of the literary selection.
Points to Consider
- Targeted to students in grades 8-11 (My 16-year-old son used this as part of our 12th grade curriculum.)
- Units include suggested additional honors texts and links.
- Provides models, tips for general study skills, additional writing helps, sample writing pieces, and grading rubrics.
- We found it necessary to have a copy of the course book and the literature selections for highlighting and notes.
- The guide does not give a daily reading plan for each book. I assigned one week for background work, one week for reading the book, and two weeks for writing, as suggested by the author.
- There is usually more than one suggested writing topic.
- $29.00 – My son kept notes and thoughts in his book so I would suggest that each student have their own course book.
This IEW product was a success in our family and we will be moving on to British Literature next year.
I love that we can take the pattern from this literature guide and apply it to future books.
- Complete background information through internet research into the author and time period.
- Read the book with a writing topic in mind, keeping notes as you read.
- Follow up with a formal writing piece using the topics or ideas from the assignments in the course.
You may be interested in my other Institute for Excellence in Writing product reviews: