How long are the webinar classes?
Classes meet once a week for 90 minutes.
Each level covers a full year: 2 semesters, 16 weeks per semester.
What materials do we need for a webinar class?
Click here for webinar system requirements and supply list.
Can a student jump into a webinar class mid-semester?
No. New students are accepted only during registration for the new school year. Everything students do during spring semester builds on what students did during fall semester.
My student is new to Writing Foundations, but s/he has had IEW writing classes elsewhere. Can s/he enroll in Level Two?
No. All new Writing Foundations students must begin with Level Half (ages 10+) or Level One (ages 12+).
Why is that? Aren’t you teaching IEW?
There might be some misunderstanding out there about Writing Foundations and IEW.
Institute for Excellence in Writing’s primary purpose is to train parents and teachers to teach writing using the methodology that Andrew Pudewa learned from mentors Dr. James B. Webster and Mrs. Anna Ingham. IEW’s flagship product is the TWSS: Teaching Writing: Structure and Style program. Parents and teachers who complete the course work for this program are eligible to apply for IEW accreditation. After accreditation, IEW-approved teachers are encouraged to use IEW student materials to teach classes OR to write their own lesson plans. Back when Ms. B. was trained (2001), IEW didn’t have the student options yet, so Ms. B. had to write her own lesson plans, and those plans became Writing Foundations.
Levels Half, One, and Two are Writing Foundations’ constructs while IEW has a system of progression for their group materials called Student Writing Intensives and Continuation Courses A, B, and C. All of our courses are built on the same methodology and philosophy, but our lesson plans and order of units are not the same.
For the first few years after the Writing Foundations levels were established, Ms. B. tried allowing students who were familiar with IEW to jump in on Level Two. However, there are so many concepts that Ms. B. teaches in Levels Half and One, which students build on in Level Two, that new students were not able to complete the lessons without extensive review of earlier concepts. Eventually Ms. B. made the policy that students must have recently completed Level One with her to proceed to Level Two.
What do the different levels of webinar classes cover?
How do I know when my student is ready to move on to the next level?
The units we cover for each level remain the same, but the contents (vocabulary lists, grammar stories, report sources, etc.) change every year. We have a three-year rotation of content for each level. No two years of a level are ever the same.
Students often retake levels depending on their age, confidence, and mastery. This allows time for students to completely digest the concepts before moving on to high school and college classes. About 50% of students review Level Half; about 50% of students review Level One; about 20% of students review Level Two. Taking a break year between levels is not recommended, especially between Levels One and Two.
HOW TO DECIDE IF YOUR STUDENT SHOULD REVIEW A LEVEL OR MOVE ON TO THE NEXT:
AGE: Are they old enough to move on? This is usually only an issue for students moving from Level Half to Level One. Level One students should be at least twelve years old.
CONFIDENCE: Did your student take initiative to complete the homework, or did s/he require constant assistance and reminders to complete the work all year? Was the end of the year filled with wailing and gnashing of teeth during the Reflection/Video unit, or was the end of the year a time of revelation and confirmation of your student’s improvement?
MASTERY: Did your student complete ALL of the work assigned for both semesters? Did your student’s work consistently receive scores of 90% or higher? Did their papers constantly require heavy editing, or did the number of edits diminish over time? Did they struggle to turn in properly completed assignments, or did proper homework completion become routine?
MS. B.’S RECOMMENDATION: Ms. B. will include her recommendation with the score for your student’s final video project. Parents may use this information when deciding which class to choose for next year.
My student has successfully completed Level Two. Now what?
Congratulations! Your student no longer needs to learn how to write; now s/he should use writing as a means of expressing what s/he is learning! Your student should pursue high school and college level classes that assign essays and reports to discuss the concepts of the class.
Ms. B. also recommends IEW’s The Elegant Essay and other advanced curricula.
For literature and critical thinking development, you might consider a literature course with the writing option through the Center for Lit.
What is the difference between the Webinar Classes and the Guided Study courses?
The Guided Study courses were created out of the core writing units of the Level 1 Webinar class to meet the needs of families who desired a lighter, self-paced approach to writing. Students proceed through the step-by-step lessons at their own pace and receive personalized feedback for each paper without the demands of due dates.
Which Guided Study course should my student take first?
Students ages 10 and up should start with Writing Basics.
If your student has successful experience with IEW materials, s/he may jump to the Report Basics or From the Brain if desired. From the Brain is required for all students before taking The Basic Essay course.
Can my student do this course independently?
The Guided Study courses work best for families when a parent incorporates the lessons into the daily/weekly routine and holds the student accountable. Although we provide extensive feedback and encouragement with each lesson that we send back, we do not provide accountability to upload lessons and stay on track. Parents are responsible to oversee student work to course completion.
How often should my student send in lessons for the Guided Study course?
Because the lessons are self-paced, some students send in daily, some send in weekly, some in between. Whatever works for your family is fine.
The key is to be consistent.