IEW Writing Reviews – Institute for Excellence in Writing

IEW is dramatically different from other language arts program available. In fact, you will not find the term “Language Arts” within the product description. The focus of Institute for Excellence in Writing is to teach the arts of language. Writing is simply the written form of communication, therefore, cannot be successfully taught independently of the other arts of language.  For five years, we have used IEW and I am pleased to share with you my IEW Writing Reviews. Having a SCHOOLS division and a HOMESCHOOL division, IEW   caters to ALL students, teachers, and parents. It truly is a company dedicated to improving communication.

Arts of Language – All Are Important and Encouraged

  • Listening – Learning to listen well is essential in communicating and meeting expectations
  • Speaking – Fear of public speaking is one of the most common fears worldwide. Practicing the art of speaking from childhood can help reduce the fear because a way to overcome fear is to conquer it.
  • Reading – This is the first and most obvious skill that most parents and educators start with. A recent initiative is 1KB4K – that is for kids to have been read to one thousand books before kindergarten. This is wonderful! Reading books out loud to children is a predictor of success. Learning to read is essential. All children learn to read at different ages and this can be a source of stress if the student does not fit neatly in the bell-shaped curve. Children with certain learning differences, such as dyslexia, can understand far more than they can read. Don’t stop reading out loud when your kids can read. There are so many other benefits I shall discuss in another article.
  • Writing – This is taught methodically through imitation, simply at first, then building on the same method to increase skill according to individual ability.
  • Thinking – How do you think? Do you just listen to and repeating other’s opinions? Nope- that’s not thinking – that is regurgitating. Thinking is done through the art of asking and answering questions.

Who Does the Teaching in IEW?

IEW offers three options at the time of this writing.

  • Parent teaching IEW offers extensive Teacher training. I completed this the summer prior to starting to teach with IEW. This training was immensely valuable to me and is necessary for anyone who plans to teach using IEW material other than video based lessons.
  • Video Based Instruction Andrew Pudewa, founder of IEW, does ALL the teaching. Funny and engaging, his video lessons provide all the content required for student instruction. Watch this with your children so you can understand the expectations in order to adequately grade the assignments.
  • Online Classes This option is by far the best choice for working or busy parents. It does not require parent involvement other than ensuring your child has a computer and internet available.


IEW has engaged my boys and encouraged them to grow in all the arts of language. Interesting and engaging source texts take the drudgery away from writing. Simple prompts are never given and the student told to just “write whatever you want.” Writing involves thinking first so thinking is required prior to writing. Thinking then writing is modeled and taught. To make writing more stylish, techniques called “dress ups” are taught, modeled and encouraged.

We still remember some silly topics we wrote about when we first started including how eggplant is the most repulsive vegetable ever! Poetry memorization is encouraged in the K-2 program and alternates between classics and silly poems. Ooey gooey was a worm and is an all-time favorite of our family. The silly way we practice saying “ooooooooey gooooooooey” still is heard in our home when we find encounter something gooey.

Institute for Excellence in Writing not only trains students but with tremendous efforts, focuses on supporting teachers as well. Through their website, magazine articles and podcasts, they encourage parents and teachers to reach children.


Do Kids Love IEW?

I have three boys. “All-Boy” is how I would describe them. Given the choice, they would play sports, play with friends, play pretend, swing, run, fish, bike, hike or do anything active ALL DAY LONG! I suppose they could just as easily be captivated by screens all day but there is a limit to screen usage in our home. So when I ask them if they love IEW as much as I do… the answer is “kind of.” They don’t love to brush their teeth either but it’s something I require of them. So while they may not love it, they do appreciate the program. In retrospect, some of our areas of the greatest challenge are more likely a result of interpersonal conflict or mistakes that I’ve made and not at all to do with the program itself. Tremendous growth has occurred as a result of using IEW. Speaking confidently, thinking articulately and communicating effectively are the benefits I’ve observed and attribute to the skills acquired through IEW program materials.

Is IEW Christian or Secular?

You can choose Christian or Secular versions. IEW has a public school division which uses non-christian materials.

Andrew Pudewa is unashamedly Christian and the company has Christian foundations. A variety of source texts are available so you have the ability to choose.

What if My Child is Gifted or Has Special Needs?

This is the beauty of IEW! It is a system of teaching that truly works for everybody at every level. Children are instructed in a certain logical way and are given assignments based on an “easy plus one” model. I have taught three levels simultaneously with different expectations and requirements of each student. I have one average student, one gifted student and one dyslexic student. They each have their areas of excellence and struggle, yet I can easily accommodate all three together in an environment where they are encouraged to each learn, grow, and do their best.

Thank you for reading my review. I pray for blessings for you in whatever you choose and hope to be an encouragement to. If you want to read more about the curricula we use, I share about Sonlight and general homeschool curriculum suggestions. All the best!


Leave me a comment below and let me know your favorite curriculum and if you try this!

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22 Replies to “IEW Writing Reviews – Institute for Excellence in Writing”

  1. Very in depth review of this Language arts product. I have a kid on the way so I have been looking into different programs like this that could be taught at home. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Hi and thanks for this review and explanation of IEW. We are at that point with our daughter in 2nd grade where this is a key topic. Fortunately, the instruction she is getting from school together with the reading we do together and the writing she is doing is all going very well.
    It makes me reflect back on my own experience which was not so great. I discovered around 7th grade that I could barely read even though I was recognized as one of the brightest in the class. After many years of work on this, I think I may have found an explanation.
    When I was very young I used to write poetry. Apparently, I wrote a poem in class following the teacher’s instruction. Her reaction was – that is great Andrew, you will read this to the whole school at assembly tomorrow morning. – Apparently I came home and said to me mother, that was the last time I was going to write anything. I say “apparently” as the experience was so traumatic that I blocked it out of memory and my mother told me about this decades later. After that experience I must have rejected books and reading.
    This article reminded me of that story.
    Best regards

  3. What an in depth review on IEW . Its also good to know that its suitable for children with special needs. I am familair with sonlight but never knew about the IEW.

    Useful information.


  4. Thank you for this in depth review. I am glad to hear that this applies to kids with special needs too. Programs like this that are very helpful in today’s situation. thank you

  5. Hey,

    Wow. I’ve never heard of the IEW (Institute of Excellence in Writing), it sounds amazing. I have been writing a blog since January 2020 and my writing has really come along since then, and I really would love to make it even better and take my writing even more seriously.

    Thank you for sharing and keep up the great work.

    All the best,


  6. I was not aware of either Language Arts or IEW.
    Thank you for introducing IEW after using it for five years. Your review is persuasive, based on your first-hand experience.

    I love the philosophy of “thinking before writing”, as writing is the reflection of our thoughts. I visited the IEW website, and the program seems promising.
    Thank you for the introduction.

    Your site covers diverse topics related to education. My daughter is four years old, and I think I can learn a lot from this site.
    Thank you, and talk to you later.

  7. How great you have limited screen usage for your kids. While they can learn a lot on the internet, playing and sports is equally important. 🙂
    Good review. I am so happy to learn that there are good homeschooling programs nowadays!

  8. WOW! Based on your very thorough review, I could dive in right away, if I had children of that age. Your shared experience with it, which shows through your article, only adds value to it. It seems to be a very complete and very useful program for home teaching and not only. With so many grown-ups who can’t even express themselves fluently, I wonder whether it could be adapted for teaching adults, as well…?

    1. Oh this communication technique is useful for any and everybody. There are a few free offerings in June for anyone interested in learning more. All the best to you!

  9. I am a school teacher who has learned that homeschooling is the only option for me and my children, but I still work from home.

    I am always on the lookout for high-quality educational material.

    You speak so highly of this, can I ask you which teaching route you took?

    1. I have utilized the first two options. I have taught using IEW materials and have also utilized the DVD teaching. For K-2 or 3, I prefer teaching personally then using the DVD in 3rd or 4th grade. We’ve switched back and forth since then. There are benefits either way 🙂 This year we are looking forward to the new SSS program just released.
      All the best! Let me know if there’s anything else I can help with 🙂

  10. Hi Christy,

    I have never heard of IEW. This is the first time and I must say I am very interested in using it. I have no kids and I would definitely use this one day to be better at having conversations with them. I think anyone can use this for themselves too.

    I love the fact that it’s Christian too and that Andrew is also a Christian. It’s amazing that this can work for special needs children too. This sound truly life changing. Thank you 🙂

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