IEW - Do you HAVE to start with Student Intensive A?

Has anyone started IEW with theme-based writing instead of student intensive? Also, with the lessons on DVD, how independent is it? We tried Essentials in Writing this past year, and while I liked it, my son had a hard time working on his own. He will be in 5th grade in the Fall. I also have an incoming 3rd grade boy. I thought about using BJU for Grammar & Writing, but I’m intrigued by IEW and like that they teach outlining & summarizing right off the bat (or so I think they do!).

Any insight is appreciated!

We started with SWI A with my two oldest. I actually watched the videos with them and helped them along as needed. While the videos “teach” the lessons, the parent is encouraged to help as much as needed. Eventually they will gain confidence with the dress ups. I liked it so much for my kids the next year we did SICC A with the two oldest & then Bible Heroes with my youngest. The next year we did SICC B with the oldest & then All Things Fun & Fascinating with my 2 youngest. Last summer we did Teaching the Classics with the two oldest & I was able to teach some of the concepts with my younger boys too. Clearly I love IEW. Let me know if you have more questions. By the way, they also have a forum too. Kelly


@kellyc - What is SICC?

Student intensive continuation course

I also have 2 going into 3rd and 5th. I looked at IEW and it looks great but this is our first year homeschooling in the fall and I was worried about picking too many teacher intensive things and also overwhelming my girls their first year. So we went with BJU this year. But the more I see of IEW the more it looks awesome. We are definitely using it next year.


We have homeschooled from the beginning and it has made me more confident to add things with my younger boys. They have loved the lower levels of IEW with Bible Heroes and All Things Fun and Fascinating. I was able to spread it out across the year and that was very manageable. (ended up being maybe 20 minutes a day) I had them together so they were able to brainstorm together, etc. They each had a folder and I would alternate which folder the final copies went in, but they always colored or drew something that coordinated with what we were writing about. It was worth it for sure. Have a great school year.

We started with a theme based curriculum (Bible Heroes). With the SWI, I believe the child watches DVD lesson so there is less of a burden on the parent to do all the teaching. With the theme based curricula, the parents needs to pre-watch the parent videos and provide the instruction.