Hi everyone! I’ve had a ton of requests to do a review for our homeschool writing curriculum. We’ve been using the Institute for Excellence in Writing program for a few years now and really love it. We started out with the Group A Student Writing Intensive, and this past year we moved on to the Group A Continuation Student Writing Intensive program.


IEW does offer several different courses depending on the ages and needs of your students, so you’ll want to check out the IEW Website to decide which program is best for your student. They also have themed writing units if you don’t want to do the writing intensive curriculum like we are. I really like how this program works. The instructions for your students are really clear and they know exactly what they need to do to create a properly formed paragraph along with dress-ups, and sentence openers that will really improve their writing style.

I didn’t do the Teacher course called Teaching Writing: Structure and Style, but they have that as an option if you’re really nervous about trying to teach writing. I’ve found that watching the videos with my kids has been enough for me to be able to facilitate the writing lessons. They also provide checklists for your student, along with a grading sheet that makes the whole process really easy for both the teacher, and the student.

Most of you also know that we started using the IEW Fix It! Grammar curriculum this year as well. They go really well together and use similar terminology and methods which make it easy for me to teach both.

Check out my video review of the IEW Student Writing Intensive to learn more about why we love this curriculum!



For more information, visit IEW below!


Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. I want to make it clear that I will NEVER refer a product to you that I do not use and love myself! That said, I am sometimes fortunate enough to receive a small compensation from products that you purchase through the links in my post. So thank you!


  1. So I didn’t realize we would need the dvds until I watched your review and I had already purchased all our curriculum for when we start in 2 weeks. I purchased history themed until and fix it grammar. So when I watched this I freaked out thinking I cannot afford to get any dvds before we start! What am I gonna do? So another mom gifted us Writing intensive level A! My daughter is in 7th so I know its a little young for her. But the mom that gifted it to me told me that it should be enough to teach us both the program so we can then do the themed writing I already purchased. Do you agree?

    Stephanie Littles
    1. Hi Stephanie,
      Yes, I agree with her, the Level A should be fine to teach you the basics, the stories in that level will just be a bit too easy for her but you should still be able to use the DVD lessons.

  2. Thank you so much for this review. I too was very intimidated by this curriculum, but after watching your review, I’m excited to try it. What level would you recommend for a 5th grade girl? I was kind of torn between A and B.

  3. Thank you for this review! It helped me to decide what curriculum to use for writing and grammar this year. I purchased (used) level B DVDs and then downloaded the student/teacher’s manual from IEW. I couldn’t find the grading checklists either so I contacted IEW. I was told the SWI does not contain grading checklists but if I had the Teacher Writing course with Premium Subscription, I could download grading checklists. I’m not sure if something changed or if the checklists are only included with the continuation course. I also asked the IEW rep what she would suggest as a follow up to the SWI as I was looking at the theme-based writing options. She told me the theme-based writing courses were designed for those who had completed the Teacher Writing course. Did you find it difficult to teach the theme-based writing courses having not purchased the Teacher Writing course?

    1. Hmm, that is weird because the checklists came in our student workbook and in my TM for SWI Level A. Maybe they changed them, but I don’t think that’s correct. You may want to contact them again and see. I’ll contact my rep as well. I’ve never done the teacher writing course, so I don’t think it matters if you do the theme based units without it. I do suggest the SWI before trying to do a themed unit though as it really teaches the IEW style and I think it would be difficult to do without knowing that first.

    2. HI Stephanie, I talked with IEW and as I thought they haven’t changed the format so the student writing checklists are included in the SWI after each lesson They are in my TM and in may be in the student workbook in the newer versions. You might want to just flip forward through She said you can Chat online or 800-856-5815 if you have any other questions 🙂

    3. Just received our products for next year from IEW and I am questioning if it’s the right fit. My daughter is a very strong writer and excells at creative writing. Does IEW teach creative writing as well? So far it all looks very technical. Trying to figure it out! Thoughts?

      Katie Shepard
      1. Hi Katie, it depends on which product you purchased. They do cover more creative writing in their theme based units, but the Student Structure and Style is more focused on the mechanics of writing. They go through editing pre-written scripts first, then later on in the year they get to choose their own topics to write about.

  4. What curriculum would you suggest for students that don’t like to write? And what will help improve reading comprehension for students who also have slow processing so need more time finish their work? Any suggestions for 7th/8th grade level? (We used fix-it two years ago and 6/7th grade bju but the 7th grade literature was very intense.) Many thanks!

    1. I would start with the IEW Student Writing Intensive. It will get them on the right track and their method isn’t stressful at all. Most kids don’t like writing because they don’t know what to write about, or how to write a proper paragraph so it is stressful for them. IEW alleviates all of this struggle and shows them exactly what to do. As far as reading comp. repetition is usually key there. We also used Abeka Read and Comprehend skill sheets which are timed drills so they get used to doing it a bit faster. We use IEW Fix It! for English/Grammar and for reading we’re using my literature units. The older kids are doing Janice Campbell’s Introduction to Literature which gives them plenty of time to read before doing a report.

  5. I’ve been wanting to switch to IEW for a few years, also from BJU English, but have hesitated over the cost and how intimidating the program seemed. Thank you for breaking this down! I have a question. In the CBD catalog I see thematic writing lesson books, like U.S. History or Following Narnia. Do these go with the IEW program you are reviewing here?

    Laurie Rust
    1. Hi, this review is for the Student Writing Intensives. I recommend doing that first, then it will be much easier to move on to one of the theme based writing units. That is what we do now since we’ve gone through the SWI already.

  6. Also, how well does this work across multiple ages? I have a grade 3, grade 5, and grade 7 that I would be using with with right now. Could I easily do them all together?

    Laurie Rust
    1. I think you can do it across multiple grades pretty easily. I believe Level A is grades 3-5 so you could probably use it with your 7th grader as well, the stories might just be a little too easy for them. But the video lessons will be beneficial.

  7. Thank you! This was exactly what I needed. I have the materials, borrowed from our co-op, but I wasn’t clear on how to use them, and I was gearing myself up for 10 hours (which I didn’t have available) of watching the Structure and Style DVDs. I know what I’m doing now, thanks to you! Thank you so much for taking the time to give such a thorough review!

    1. If you’ve gone through the student writing intensive Level A, B, or C, then you can move into the continuation for that level. After that we moved into their theme based writing units.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.