Posted in #grammar, Homeschooling, IEW

Review of The Nose Tree (Book 1) of the Fix It! Grammar Program from IEW


I am so excited to share our review of The Nose Tree [Book 1] part of the  Fix It! Grammar program from the Institute for Excellence in Writing (IEW).  Throughout our years of homeschooling, Institute for Excellence in Writing has become one of our favorite companies.  IEW has a way of making subjects interesting for children, and especially our children.

For this review, we received the spiral bound Student Workbook and the spiral bound Teacher Manual.  This is the first book in a six book series.  Our 16-year-old daughter was the one completing the work.  I felt it would be a great grammar curriculum for our family to use.  The lessons in the book cumulatively tell a story by the end of the course.

The course is meant to be completed over thirty-three week, with about fifteen minutes a day for four days a week.  My daughter was happy to have the fifth day off.  Of course, what day of the week, we did not do IEW depended on our schedule for the week.  I loved having the extra flexibility that plan provided for us.  The Teacher Manual provides detailed instruction for completing the coursework, how to download the extra material needed for the course along with detailed instructions for completing the daily assignments.  My goal is to speed up and complete two lessons in a week by the time we reach the midpoint of the course.

My children started off hating writing and grammar, so finding IEW early in our homeschooling journey was a blessing.  We started with the writing programs, but with two children now in high school, grammar still needs to be covered.  Because our daughter had never really used Fix It! Grammar in the past, I decided to have her start with Book 1.  Although we started out at the traditional pace of one lesson a week, I expect as we move farther into the book that we will go at a faster pace.  I wanted to make sure she understood what she was supposed to be doing and what was required of her before speeding up.

The Teacher Manual provides detailed instructions for completing the coursework, how to download the extra material needed for the course.  The downloadable materials include Fix-It! Student Book 1 (ebook), Mastery Learning e-audio, and But, But…What about Grammar? e-audio.  The Teacher’s Manual provides clear and concise guidance about what the students are expected to know and do for each lesson.  I love how there are no distractions on the page, literally, everything is in “black and white”.  Here are some sample pages from the Teacher’s Manual.



The course covers everything from recognizing paragraphs, proper end markings (or punctuation), nouns, verbs, articles, homophones, adjectives, adverbs, and more.  Each lesson builds on the material presented in the previous lessons, so the students are getting constant reinforcement.  I really appreciated this connection and practice.  I allowed our daughter to use a word processing program to do the vocabulary, rather than having her write it all out.  But, when it came time to rewrite the paragraphs and mark the book, she did those activities by hand.  At the end of the Student Workbook is a glossary with all the important terms.  I feel this would be extremely useful for students who are younger or do not have a strong background in grammar.  Here are some pictures from the glossary.




For each lesson, the student reads the sentence and looks up a word in the dictionary and writes that definition down in their notebook using keywords and using the proper labels.  On the first day, my daughter and I read the instructions together and completed the necessary steps for the first paragraph.  Then, we discussed anything she might have missed, that way she could learn from her mistakes.  On days 2-4, she used the abbreviations at the top of the page along with the grammar cards to remind her about how to mark the paragraph.  Once again, I helped her with anything she missed.  Finally,  after making the corrections and discussing the section with me each day, she rewrote paragraph making sure to double space and not including any markings.

Since our daughter is 16, she had no difficulty with following the instructions or understanding what she was supposed to do.  However, I expect younger children may require more guidance and direction with completing the assignments.  I love how in the Teacher’s Manual, parents are told, “If your children start to groan when you say, ‘Time for Fix It!’ something is wrong.”  So far, my daughter is enjoying what she is doing.  Here are some sample pages of what she has been doing.


Overall, our daughter is very pleased with this grammar point.  It gets to the point, explains clearly what needs to be done and allows her to finish the assignments in a reasonable amount of time.  She loves being able to learn to mastery rather than just learning things for a test.  Of course, it helps knowing Grammar is something she will use for the rest of her life.

Our family has loved all the materials we have acquired from IEW, including their grammar program and their writing program, through the years.  Of course, we could be biased since my oldest son had the opportunity to ride in an elevator with Mr. Andrew Pudewa at a homeschool convention.  To this day, we still talk about the meeting.  Of course, I think almost everyone in our family has interacted with Mr. Pudewa in some way.  We absolutely love the writing and grammar products from IEW as it is called around our house.

You can find the Institute for Excellence in Writing (IEW) on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, and Instagram.

So if you are looking for a grammar curriculum that is relatively fast and easy to use, check out Fix It! Grammar program from the Institute for Excellence in Writing (IEW) for yourself.  Other members of the Home School Review Crew are reviewing this curriculum this week.  So if you want to read other reviews about this level or if you want to read reviews about other levels, click here or on the graphic below.



Posted in Create, Delight, OneWord 365, writing

One Word


It is the start of a new year.  It is a time for making decisions about goals and aspirations for the new year.  It is a time for dreaming and imagining all the possibilities that life has to offer through God’s goodness and mercy.  Starting last year I chose to stop pursuing the idea of making resolutions I knew I would inevitably fail at reaching due to circumstances or choice.  Instead for 2014, I decided to embrace several words for the year – including #Create, #Delight and #Write.  These are words that embrace the path I would like to see my life take in the coming months.  I want to create memories with my children.  I want to create a lasting impact in our children for God’s Kingdom.  I want to create a lasting love of learning in everything we do for our homeschool. As a result of this desire to create, one of the Life Verses I have chosen is Psalm 51:10.  I want a clean heart that helps to renew a right spirit within me:

Psalm 51 10

I want our family to spend time creating art, journals and other things that bring glory to God.  My plan is to spend time working on Bible Journaling, Art projects, journaling, writing and other ways of creating memories and tangible items.

For this year, I also want to delight in every aspect of our life.  I want to delight in all the changes that are around us.  I want our children to delight in the world around them as well.  I want them to focus on the delights of the world rather than concentrating on the negatives.  I want our family to delight in God’s Word and in spending time intentionally with Him.  Delighting in the Lord leads to greater joy, contentment and vision for the future.

My second Life Verse is:

Psalm 37 4

When we delight in the Lord, He will give us the desires of our heart.  It may not come in our time or be what we thought we actually wanted, but instead it may be something far greater.

So what is going on with you today?  I look forward to hearing from you.


#Delight  #Write  #Create #OneWord365



Posted in advent, Blogging, Christmas, NaBloPoMo, NaNoWriMo, writing

WOW, I Did It! I Completed NaNoWriMo and NoBloPoMo for November

Well I officially did it.  I successfully completed the NaNoWriMo challenge, meaning I have officially written at least 50,000 words in an original novel by me.  I had just heard about these two challenges in November, but decided to attempt to complete them both.  After all I had everything to gain by trying and nothing to lose.  So I stepped out on faith and was amazed this evening to be able to write this post saying I completed both challenges.  I am amazed that I did them both.

I know that some people knew what I was trying to do, but I did not really broadcast it to everyone.  Now I want all my friends to know what I have done with God’s help.  I know it had to be Him on provided the inspiration and that helped the words flow freely.  I truly am amazed at His goodness and mercy.  I still need to finish the novel, because for some crazy reason, fifty thousand words was not enough to complete what I wanted to say.  But there is not much left.  Plus I can already see this book is going to need at least one sequel to complete the story.  I am not willing to commit beyond that.

Today is also the first day of Advent.  Unfortunately my advent wreath is up in the attic still, so I am praying I can convince my children to bring down our Christmas tree tomorrow.  At least my Christmas tree is up even if we don’t have any lights or decorations on it yet.

So what is up in your world today?