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1 Stars Out Of 5
March 27, 2017
We've been using and impressed with IEW for many years. This product did not impress us at all. It has left me, the teacher, feeling disorganized, and my 8th grade daughter feeling unmotivated and overwhelmed in her writing. I would not recommend this product.
We've had great success with other IEW programs such as SWI-A, SWI-B, SWICC-A, SWICC-B, and Ancient History Theme-Based Writing, but this product, The Elegant Essay, was just awful. I have a B.S. in Education and M.S. in Library Science, am a published freelance writer and have taught composition in public schools for 11 years and this book was laborious even for me, much less my 9th grade daughter, who absolutely hated it. She is, by the way, an A student, and does not struggle academically. Up until now, she has loved and excelled in writing, having participated and placed in two national writing competitions. Now she looks at writing time as drudgery (and I dread teaching it with this course). Trying to coordinate the teacher edition with the student edition was time consuming (they don't appear to go together at all). Explanations for students were unclear and probably over the heads of most college-age students. I had to constantly re-write so my daughter could do the assignments. I am currently looking for a replacement because I don't see that her writing is improving, and the joy is certainly missing!
We have been successfully using IEW for a few years. So when my son finished SICC-B and the little flowchart said to use The Elegant Essay next, I bought it. I am used to students working very independently with IEW. But TEE is *extremely* teacher-intensive. It is geared toward classroom/co-op use, and if the teacher is not available or not able to teach the material, the student simply can't do it. The teacher's guide is very vague, and in order to teach, the teacher must use the student book in addition to the teacher's guide - all of the information is not in the teacher's guide.
I am very unhappy with this purchase and am looking for an alternative to teach my son the same material so we can get back to IEW for SICC-C. We have managed to slog through about 3-4 chapters, and those have been an utter disaster. I simply can't do any more.
I am using these books (teacher and student editions) to teach a homeschool high school composition class. Myer's method of organization is logical and easily learned by the teens in my class. It is necessary to have the student edition along with the teacher's book. Some components are in one or the other, not both.
I have overviewed Elegant Essay in preparing to do the Elegant Essay boot camp with my dd15 this summer. It looks good, and I must say, what I like best about the IEW products ( I have PAL for my youngest) is that they actually teach you how to teach. Many of us are not gifted teachers, and instead of learning the skill through years of practice, I can pick this IEW project and be at least a competent teacher right away! Pretty good, I say!
My only suggestion is I wish the front/back cover was laminated, or wipeable. I've already gotten it wet accidentally, and it looks, well, very used already.