IEW Resource Pack: A Schoolhouse Crew Review

Institute for Excellence in Writing is one of my favorite resources, and this review is of three of their homeschool tools. We reviewed Timeline of Classics, the Teaching with Games Set, and A Word Write Now. We previously used Timeline of Classics but lent it to a friend. I was very happy to again use this resource. 

Timeline of Classics

Movies and books are organized by relevant time period in this invaluable resource written by Gail Ledbetter, also a homeschool mom. Timeline of Classics: Historical Context for the Good and Great Books was originally compiled over 17 years! This resource is a useful addition to your homeschool library when planning history and literature lessons. It covers history from creation through 2013 when the latest edition was published. It is conveniently divided into these four sections: Ancients, The Middle Ages, Renaissance and Reformation, and The Modern World. Each line further describes each selection with a brief description, complete title, author's name and an indication if the selection is an audio recording or film, and E, M, and H to indicate if it is appropriate for elementary, middle, or high school students. Related quotes are printed on almost every page of this timeline.

My oldest daughter requested we focus on modern American history during her senior year, so we have used the last section which focuses on the time period from 1850 through the present. This resource is equally valuable both for students and for teachers. I like to take it with me on our trips to the library. Even if I don't stick to the period of history that corresponds to our lessons, the recommended books in this guide are good choices for our reading selections. 

Making lessons fun has been one of my frequent goals as a homeschooling mom, and this book and DVD set provides ideas for turning almost any lesson into fun and games. This year we started meeting with another family and it grew into sort of a co-op split into two groups: high school students and younger students. My son quickly shared that his group (the younger half and mostly boys) favorite part was playing outside. While play has benefits, part of this weekly time does indeed need to be devoted to learning. I watched the ideas presented in the Teaching with Games videos with our group in mind and was given many more ideas to choose from as we continue to join efforts for the benefit of our children. 

Intelligent, judicious, perceptive, and sagacious are just a few of the adjectives listed as alternate words for wisdom. A Word Write Now is unlike any other thesaurus. Two complete pages suggest lists of nouns (her rationality), noun characters (a professor), adjectives, adverbs (rationally), and verbs (illuminate) as well as a related quote, definition, illustration, thoughts, and excerpts from classical literature. Not every word you can think of is listed in these pages, but it is a workbook designed to be written in, and students can create their own word lists. Every November for NaNoWriMo (national novel writing month) I encourage my children to write even more. I anticipate this book will be used often during both the writing and editing process. 

If you are new to IEW, start with the very first link above and sign into their website where you will find these and many other resources for your homeschool. 

Also find IEW on Pinterest, Facebook, Vimeo, Twitter, You Tube, IEW blog, Google+, and Instagram.

Other Schoolhouse Crew members reviewed this and IEW's spelling/phonics resources. Click the link for other reviews.

IEW Review


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