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, then moved on to the Group A Continuation Student Writing Intensive program. Now we’re using their Theme Based Writing Units.

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. I reviewed the Student Writing Intensive units here, and today I’ll be showing you the theme based writing units.

Check out my video review of the IEW Theme Based Writing Units to learn more about why we love this curriculum!

We’ve been using IEW writing programs for several years now and we really enjoy them. The instructions are very clear and students know exactly what they need to do to create a properly formed writing assignment along with many ways to improve their writing techniques and style.

These units also provide vocabulary as well as literature for the higher grade levels. And they include easy to use composition checklists, 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 also use the IEW Fix It! Grammar curriculum. They go really well together and use similar terminology and methods which make it easy for me to teach both. So I highly suggest using them together.

For more information, visit IEW below!


  1. This looks great, I must check it out. My kids are reluctant writers, and hate practicing but maybe with some structure I can establish better writing habits amongst them. I wonder if you rely on any Virtual Learning Communities for homeschooling? Sometimes I wonder if I am really providing my children with everything they need through homeschooling, for example, are they getting enough chances to socialize? We live in a pretty remote community and I feel like maybe an online group would help, at least a little, bit with that. But also any communities online for me, so I can bounce ideas off other parents and homeschoolers. Something interactive.

    Hannah Pierce
    1. We do a mix of online school and text book classes, but I think it just depends on what works better for your family. If you’re concerned about socialization you may want to try and get involved in your community more. We do a lot of things outside of our home and when they were younger we did homeschool groups so we could meet with other families. Now that they’re older, they work, do sports and extra curricular activities etc.

  2. Did you do the Teaching Writing: Structure and Style course? For some reason I am not interested in doing it yet I want to use the themed based writing books. Is it reasonable or not?

    Heather Sirounis
      1. Do you think that the theme based writing can be done along side the student intensive? For example have them watch lesson 1 part of the student intensive and the do the corresponding portions of the theme based writing?

        Sarah Makowski
  3. We have been doing the Fix-It Grammar this year and my 6th grader loves it. I want to start the IEW writing program next year for 7th grade and have planned on using the Structure and Style 1b program. I see on the website that it is a streaming/DVD course and it looks like the best way for him and myself to learn the style of the program. After looking at the decision tree/pathway it looks like the paths are either following the streaming/DVD version or the theme based writing program. I did watch your review and you recommended starting with the writing intensive. Is this Structure and Style course the newest version of the writing intensive that you were speaking about? If it is did you transition to the theme based writing after the writing intensive?

    1. Hi, yes they changed the name of it recently, so now the Student Writing Intensive is called Structure and Style and I would recommend starting with that then transition into the theme based writing unit after that.


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