Writing courses for primary and intermediate students teaching the proven and highly rated curriculum from the Institute for Excellence in Writing (IEW).

Hi there, and thanks for visiting my site. Located in New Zealand, I am an IEW-accredited Registered Instructor and offer writing courses (delivered online) to primary and intermediate aged school children. IEW or the Institute for Excellence in Writing are based in North America and provide a widely taught and respected writing curriculum. Their methods have proven to be effective at teaching writing, and they receive a lot of positive feedback – see here. The IEW programme has been running for 20 years, although it originates from a programme developed by a Canadian primary school teacher during her many decades of teaching – see more.

As a homeschooling dad, I use the IEW curriculum to teach writing to my sons; starting when they were Years 4 and 6. It has made the world of difference, teaching them how to structure stories and reports, how to generate ideas for what to write about, and how to use stylistic techniques to improve the flow and impact of their writing. I was so happy with the results from IEW that I completed their teacher training course to become an independent Registered Instructor, so that I can teach it to other children.

I will be teaching IEW’s Structure and Style for Students Year 1 Level A programme, which I have divided into 3 courses. The first of these will soon be open for enrolment, and available for students aged 9 to 12 – please visit the course page for further information. To find out more about IEW see below and also the About IEW page. If you would like to register your interest in the course or have any questions, please visit my contact page.

Best wishes,
Richard

The mission

IEW’s mission is “to equip teachers and teaching parents with methods and materials which will aid them in training their students to become confident and competent communicators and thinkers.”

I really like the ‘confident and competent communicators and thinkers’ part. Isn’t that what we want for our children? As an IEW instructor, this will also be my mission.

Writing, simplified

IEW simplifies the writing process by breaking it down into parts, with a focus on how writing is structured, and how it is styled. Structural models consider how writing is organised for different writing purposes; for example how a narrative story is structured. Style concentrates on how the writing sounds, the picture it paints, and the feeling it creates.

Avoiding ‘blank page syndrome’

‘Blank page syndrome’ is when a child struggles to come up with something to write, which can cause distress and a dislike of writing. IEW avoids this by providing ‘source text’ for lessons in Units 1 to 4, and 6. After learning a new concept, students improve this text by implementing what they have learnt. In Unit 5, instead of a source text, students are given pictures as prompts. In Unit 7 they don’t receive any content, but instead are taught how to generate ideas and write about a wide range of topics; equipping them to fill the blank page.

Encouraging thinking

Throughout the IEW programme, students are guided to ask and answer questions to help draw out the ideas and content for their writing, and this encourages thinking. The questions change according to the type of writing, but asking the right questions helps to solve the problem of what to write.

Next steps