Excellent Resources

When attending the Homeschool Convention back in June, I knew I wanted two things: a writing program and a socials curriculum with a Canadian focus. You can only imagine my extreme excitement when I came across a company who managed to incorporate both! I love when I can find curriculum that covers more than one subject especially since my kids have been asking to learn more about Canada, its history, and our provinces.

When researching their website I found this information about them:

“Excellent Resources Inc.is the Canadian Distributor for The Institute for Excellence in Writing, a highly effective, award-winning program by its Director Andrew Pudewa based on the “Blended Structure & Style” program of teaching writing by Dr. J.B.Webster.”

I am choosing to do a review today on The Excellence in Writing program that is integrated with Canadian History.

My daughter, who by the school program would be referred to as grade 7, has started this program and shared with me her thoughts on it.  Although the book says its focus is on grade 4/5 students, the fact that it was focusing on history is what grabbed her attention. The next book she will go into is geared towards grade 6/7 and is called Canada: Neighbours with a Difference.

The first thing my daughter told me is that she liked that the subjects are combined. She wants to become a stronger writer while learning about Canada’s history. My daughter is a writer who loves history, so being able to learn a subject she loves -writing – while learning about something she is interested in -Canadian History – is great.

With each program book comes links to online videos where an instructor goes through each lesson plan step by step. Although I haven’t gone through every video, the ones I did find can be anywhere from 7 minutes to 25 minutes depending on the lesson.  I found the videos to be easy to follow with step by step information that the kids can easily understand.  My daughter said she enjoyed that she could watch the video and follow along with the lesson. Plus, she understood what the instructor was talking about – it made a lot of sense.

There are also lots of options with this program. You can choose to buy the workbook or just download it online. All the videos are online so there are no CDs to deal with – just links. We did buy the workbook which was simple and not too overwhelming. My daughter enjoyed being able to keep it all in one place.

There were some things we think can be approved on with this program. First, although the videos were easy to understand and did go step by step, the instructor some times made mistakes and corrected them online – confusing my daughter.  It would have been better that it was edited and if something was forgotten to be said to go back and put that in there. Also sometimes the words on the screen behind her were cut off and the video looked homemade.

The links that were on the workbooks we got, did not work so I had to email to get the links.  I am not sure why they didn’twork but they were quick to send me out the new links and those did work fine.

Overall I would recommend this as a great writing and socials program to anyone who wants to combine the two. It’s easy to follow, the lessons are clear and concise, and it is not overwhelming.

5 Comment(s)

  • by heather Posted November 12, 2012 8:42 am

    I had no idea that IEW had a Canadian social studies course… I’ll definitely look into this. Thanks!

  • by Bev Rempel Posted November 14, 2012 1:25 pm

    Hello,
    Thank you for the review! I appreciate the comments from your daughter. Appreciate the comments for ‘improvement’. Yes, I agree, the instructor (me) did make some mistakes – somewhat as a live teacher would. A revision to the videos will be in the works and as they are revised the new videos will be added to the links.

    Enjoy the Neighbours with a Difference!

    • by Lee Posted November 15, 2012 1:51 am

      Hi Bev,
      We really do enjoy the product and are thankful that you have created something for Canada!! Thanks so much. -Lee

  • by Deb Ross Posted September 25, 2014 12:57 pm

    I also enjoyed your review. However, I was very distracted by the number of grammar and spelling errors peppered throughout. This is a perfect example of why there are individuals who are vocally against homeschooling! How ironic that you are reviewing a writing program!

    Anything worth doing is worth doing rihgt, eh?

    • by LisaMarie Posted September 25, 2014 1:28 pm

      Hi Deb,

      Thanks for pointing out the edits that needed to be made in this post. It was a guest post done by another mom, so I missed it. Feel free to proofread again and let me know what else might be wrong.

      As for it being an example of why one shouldn’t homeschool – I think there are far better reasons for opposition. One hastily crafted blog post better not be the downfall for all homeschool education!

      I will assume that your use of “rihgt” here was done intentionally, and not as a matter of a misspelled accident.

      Irregardless of the errors that you found distracting, I hope you managed to take away the information at the heart of this review – a quality Canadian themed program designed to help writing skills while learning about Canadian history.

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