Curriculum research is something that I have been enthralled in for years now. As AppleBlossom is finishing up her second grade school year we have finally gotten a taste of the treasures from Institute for Excellence in Writing ~ (http://www.iew.com/) including a program that SisterL personally loves as well, Linguistic Development through Poetry Memorization. In the 2016 year, IEW has actually updated the program. So if you have had the original program for years, you’ll want to contact them to discover the updates, additions and changes.
For the purposes of this review, we were blessed to receive a poetry memorization set (Teacher’s Manual and CDs) as well as an additional physical student book.
Samples are available on the IEW website.
In our agreement for the review, we opted to use the material three days a week. By the recommendations of the program, we actually used it more like daily, at least during the school days.
Before getting on the review for Poetry Memorization we were able to start working through the big IEW program, Teaching Writing Structure and Style as well as some thematic units. That review is posting soon as well, with a giveaway.
When I was just starting out on my curriculum research journey and people were always pointing me toward IEW, I thought it was ridiculous and that surely there must be cheaper materials out there. Yet after getting a true glimpse of the quality of these materials, I think that they are worth their price and more. The giveaways and freebies from the company are such a blessing around the Easter and Advent seasons. The free PDF student pages e-books or in some materials the free PDF teacher’s guides are incredible bargains! I am so much a fan of IEW these days after spending months with their products that I’m in the process of adding affiliate links to my website to direct people toward their products and support them. IEW is a brand that the Creative Madness Mama family truly stands behind and will be continuing with through out the years in our children’s education.
What is in the box?
The spiral bound books are a durable slick cardstock cover and spiral that are lasting our on shelves, and I believe will last with repeated pick up and put away usage. The leather audio CD case is so luxurious and I love that it is embossed and easy to recognize. (Our poetry is brown, and the TWSS is black. I find it interesting to report that Phonetic Zoo audio CDs are actually in a plastic case. More on that in a few weeks…) The CD includes all 96 poems and speeches on audio read by Mr. Pudewa for easy listening and practice.
Memorization is something that we have been working on since the beginnings of Junior Kindergarten with a little of this and a little of that. I actually was not aware of the IEW Poetry Memorization program until the opportunity for the review came up and I asked my SisterL about it. I have found that the timing of introducing this product to our curriculum line-up was perfect and my six-year-old (seven in the summer!) second grade daughter is just now getting permission to use CDs on her own and she has been delighted to start her mornings when we all come past the gate with poetry after her Bible lessons. Much like with TWSS, Poetry Memorization comes in a reusable, durable full-color box. The main set includes the spiral Teacher’s Manual and 5 audio CDs. There is also the blue page with the secret link to downloading MP3 audio files of the same as what is on the CDs making it easy to use on-the-go on any portable device. The set also includes access to a download for pages of a Student Book e-book PDF which makes it accessible for as many students as you have working together! For us, AppleBlossom used the spiral student book we were gifted in addition to the set, and I printed particular pages for the Princess to join in as well. Other freebie goodies included with the purchase are access to downloading 7 MP3 speeches on a variety of topics including: Nurturing Competent Communicators, Mastery Learning, Ability Development, and Individualized Education, On Listening, On Speaking, On Reading, and more others all included.
How did we use it?
As a routine, it came that in the mornings after AppleBlossom finished up her Bible lessons and the rest of us ventured beyond the gate she set up the living room CD with the first disc of poetry memorization. AppleBlossom and the Princess each got out their own book/printed pages and sat down to color/read through as we listed to the appropriate poem(s) for the day. The Princess plays at recitation while AppleBlossom appears to take it super serious and is quite surprised with how well she is memorizing the pieces. As a witness to the evidence of her progress I can comment that it is indeed much like our violin training, which is touched on quite often in Andrew Pudewa’s talks as he mentions how he was a Suzuki violin instructor in a formal life and likes to apply such slow, “Easy + 1” method to almost all learning.
The coloring page illustrations are cute, and thick black lined. Perfect for both girls to color at a preschool and early elementary school level. The poems that we are working on are a bit silly for my taste, but I suppose we cannot start with Thoreau or Robert Frost necessarily… It is a great introduction to poetry and each step by step is giving AppleBlossom grace and pride at her accomplishments and indeed, it is making her want to spend more and more time within poetry.
Indeed, our shelves have been filled with childhood poetry collections and treasuries, but it was not until we introduced an active poetry memorization into our daily curricula goals that she discovered them for herself and started pouring over them. She even has taken initiative to copy some down in her own cursive as well as memorize a few others to impress her daddy, the Enginerd Principal.
The copyright for the downloadable Student Pages PDF e-book is unlimited for use within your immediate family. There are five levels within the poetry program, actually including four levels of poetry and the fifth level is speeches. The student pages also include biographical information on the authors and poets featured in the program. We are working in Level 1 for both of my girls. All of our poems are on the first CD and there are 20 selections to choose from (including a blank slate to choose your own selection to add in there). We’ve been discussing word twisters from Ogden Nash, to Stevenson, to Lear, to Rossetti and beyond. I love the calendar check list in the front of the student pages (which you mark when you’ve practiced your poems for that day). Truly, this book will last us a long time, but the program will stick with us, because after spending our time with the repetition and seeing how the Poetry Memorization program breaks things down I can definitely see being able to add other poems in, of our own selection, in the future to keep the learning and fun continuing.
Don’t ever let the price of something from IEW scare you away. It works and is worth the price. Otherwise, you can always know that they stand behind their 100% Money Back Guarantee. No limit, unconditional. IEW takes care of their customers!
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How about some free downloads?!
Just head on over to http://iew.com/creativemadnessmama and see what IEW has to offer!