Jul 102013

Composition Writing Can Be FUN!

If your child “hates” composition writing, you will want to SERIOUSLY consider the Institute for Excellence In Writing (IEW) Student Writing Intensive (SWI) courses and **Student Writing Intensive Continuation Course (SWICC).

I can’t possibly describe the IEW programs adequately enough. Although the SWI course was sent to me for review, I personally purchased the SWICC for our use. We had such great success with composition writing by using the first level.

The Institute for Excellence In Writingcomposition writing‘s programs are the best of all I’ve used for converting reluctant writers into willing writers.

IEW’s step-by-step, detailed instruction is so straight-forward and kid-friendly, that I believe most kids can use the IEW process for composition writing. After years of beating my head on the wall, using several different programs, the Student Writing Intensive is the first program we’ve used that my kids LIKED. They showed significant progress in their composition writing!

IEW’s owner, Andrew Pudewa, was formerly a reluctant writing. He has an engaging teaching style that lets the students know they are not alone in their dread for composition writing. Mr. Pudewa has broken the composition writing process down into a straight-forward, step-by-step process which makes sense to anyone. His teaching videos make the process easy for YOU–the homeschooling parent. Having Mr. Pudewa as your kids instructor means they have the best instructor they can possibly get. Plus, since the teaching is on video, you will have a teacher who will repeat himself over-and-over as many times as you wish to play the DVD!

After finding and using the IEW courses, we had no need to look ANY further. The Student Writing Intensive (SWI) and Continuation courses were HIGHLY effective in bringing forward my reluctant high school boys’ writing abilities. In fact, my sons have been able to complete English 101 and 102 through joint enrollment with A’s (your results may vary ;-)).

Another good program for kids who are reluctant about composition writing is Brave Writer‘s program called “The Writer’s Jungle.” I reviewed and used from a misprint copy sent to me for review. From the moment it came out of the box, I couldn’t help but love this program.

With chapter names like “Machette Mechanics” and “Dumb Assignments”, you automatically become engaged in wanting to know more. When it comes to composition writing, who among us can’t hear her child saying, “This is so dumb”?

So, let’s move ‘write’ along the road and talk about the “dumb” assignments.. That is what I like most about Writer’s Jungle is that it isn’t a curriculum at all. The path you will take through The Writer’s Jungle is a journey you take lovingly with your child. When you emerge from the jungle, you will have a composition writing standing beside you. The Writer’s Jungle is a recipe for teaching composition writing with love–a recipe for creating a creative writer.

Julie Bogart, the program’s author, approaches composition writing from a published writer’s perspective, not as a teacher using a traditional curriculum. Julie’s passion for writing comes through in every page of The Writer’s Jungle. She loves to see writer’s bloom, and her program will help you grow your own composition writier.

The Writer’s Jungle will take you a long a path to progressively teach your child a love of composition writing. You’ll start with basic language skills–communicating through talking. By keying into language as a communication skill, you can take the steps outlined in the Jungle to help your child get her ideas on paper. Building on ideas and learning to focus on expression will help your child begin to to appreciate writing as a way for him to express himself. The path is easy and the burden is light as you walk through the Writer’s Jungle with your child. So, go check out The Writer’s Jungle and stop trying to drag your child along the writing road in shackles.

Another great composition writing program that a lot of parents like is Essentials in Writing (EIW). Like IEW’s programs, EIW’s program has teaching DVDs where Matthew Stephens teaches composition writing in a step-by-step manner also, with the key difference being smaller bites for this program over IEW’s programs.  I’ve had a couple of parents indicate their child was better able to digest the teaching in Essentials in Writing. 

Therefore, depending upon how significant your child’s writing disabilities are, you may find EIW’s program a better fit than IEW’s programs. I’ve not personally used nor reviewed a hard-copy of this program, so I cannot attest to it’s effectiveness for specific learning styles or for children with dysgraphia, but I welcome any input you have to share if you use this program.

Lastly, the Lost Tools of Writing is a specific, sequential composition writing program. The Lost Tools of Writing uses a classical approach to writing. It will carry your child through three stages of writing. Like the IEW and EIW programs, Lost Tools uses a teaching video followed by composition writing assignments as practice for your child. This program is not as widely popular, but again–different kids respond better to different teachers, so Lost Tools of Writing may be the program your child responds to best.

Whichever program you choose to teach your child composition writing, take the program at your child’s pace of learning. Don’t be in a hurry for complex compositions. Letting your child learn to express himself naturally when writing will help you avoid bigger problems with composition writing down the road.