Debate Team, High School, Homeschool, Homeschool Debate, Middle School, Public Speaking

Introduction to Public Speaking from IEW

Introduction to Public Speaking for Middle and High School was sent from IEW for our honest review.

Just when you thought IEW couldn’t get any better they have released a new curriculum Introduction to Public Speaking for Middle and High School. We received a copy to check out and it couldn’t have come at a better time. My son joined a debate team this spring and he felt overwhelmed. I was super excited that IEW asked us to look over the Introduction to Public Speaking for Middle and High School we desperately needed proper public speaking structure and guidance. My son is type A and he likes to be prepared and organized when he starts a program. Andrew Pudewa and the team over at IEW have once again come to the rescue.

When I first received the curriculum I immediately was transported back to my sophomore year speech class. Not only was this similar to my speech class it was better. Let me just tell you IEW team has done an exceptional job with Introduction to Public Speaking. There are 12 lessons which are accumulated to 12 weeks, but who am I kidding there is no way we are going to finish this in 12 weeks nor do I even want to. My son is a rising 6th grader and we need to take our time moving through this curriculum. What I will say is that we will be more than ready in September when the debate team starts back up.

Introduction to Public Speaking

You will receive the teacher’s manual, student binder, and code for IPS stream videos. If you are familiar with IEW Style and Structure you will notice the binder is similarly set up as a working binder to help keep kids organized. There are four tabs that are divided into speech templates, memorization, critiques, and class notes. Both teacher’s manual and student binder tell you how to set up your student’s workflow, scope, and sequence. In the bundle, you also receive Portable Walls for Public Speakers which is a quick reference for students to help them with their speeches. There is also a weekly overview and objectives for the week. Each week’s lessons are spread out over a 4-day schedule. We decided to stretch lessons over 1-2 weeks, I didn’t want to overwhelm him. Students who have never had experience with the keyword outline will learn this technique in week one. IEW’s infamous keyword outline is used in the weekly lessons, my son loves keyword outlines he said it helps him with memorization. Students are learning to speak publically from their notes.

The 12 weeks cover:

  • Delivery and Speaker Evaluation
  • Body, Introduction, and Conclusion of a Speech
  • Preparation for Narrative, Expository, and Persuasive Speech
  • Primary Speech Goals
  • Extensive Memory Techniques
  • Three modes of persuasion
  • Impromptu Speech
  • Various Speech Opportunities

Students will learn vocabulary, proper public speaking etiquette, structure of speeches, and memorization techniques. The videos average about an hour and are interactive. Students will need to practice what they are learning with you, their siblings, and themselves. They will learn the Five Canons of Rhetoric: invention, arrangement, elocution, memory, and delivery. In the front of the teacher’s book, you will find a link to the downloadables for your course. The videos are about one hour, but feel free to break them down in the way it works for your student. I broke the videos down over the course of 2 days. Andrew Pudewa is a great instructor he has a natural rapport with students. I appreciate that the videos include a diverse student class. The videos include on-screen directions for the student, so they are learning right along with the students in class.

What is essential while doing Introduction to Public Speaking is treating this program as a learning experience for your student. What worked for us was making sure my son was having fun while getting the full benefit of the program. You can also see samples of Introduction to Public Speaking by clicking any of my hyperlinks in this review. The first two IPS lessons (videos and handouts) are available at

This self-explanatory program empowers teachers to help students become competent and confident public speakers.


I really like the critique part of this program because it gives my son positive and constructive feedback. I also appreciate that my son is learning to slow his speaking down and speak from memory and not relying on just reading from his paper. The one thing I know my son was struggling with was his confidence and anxiety in delivering speeches. I have noticed that both his anxiety and confidence have improved. My son is a huge researcher, but through using Introduction to Public Speaking he is now able to learn how to organize his research and articulate his note in proper structure and etiquette for speeches. Introduction to Public Speaking is preparing him for the upcoming debate team in the fall, so he is ready for anything that is thrown at him because now has the proper tools to be successful.

We highly recommend Introduction to Public Speaking for Middle and High School students who are exploring public speaking and debate. My son has goals to attend a 4-year university and medical school and I know he will need all these skills that he is learning for his future. This program is excellent for the homeschooled family because this is an area some of us tend to overlook. If you are looking for homeschool high credit this is also a great option for your student. Please check out my middle schooler’s review below of Introduction to Public Speaking for Middle and High School.

Middle Schooler Review

When I started debate this year I was unsure what to do. I felt uneasy because I was the new kid and some of the kids had more experience. After completing 3 weeks of Introduction to Public Speaking for Middle and High School I feel more educated and organized for what’s to come in the fall debate team. Mr. Pudewa is funny and encourages us in the video. I like that I am not just watching a video and there are things for me to do and set goals that I can work at. I don’t look at my paper as much and I have learned techniques that have taught me not to rush. I am glad we are doing this curriculum and can’t wait to keep using it.

If you would like to learn more about our favorite IEW products be sure to click our IEW landing page at the top of our blog.

Until the Next Time,

Mom and J

Curriculum, Education, Grammar, High School Grammar, Homeschool, Middle School, Reviews, Writing

Grammar for the Well-Trained Mind Level Purple Review

I received the Grammar for the Well-Trained Mind Level Purple from Timberdoodle Co. in exchange for my fair and honest review.

If you have been curious about the Grammar for the Well-Trained Mind like I have, this is going to be a great review of the Purple Level. Grammar for the Well-Trained Mind Level Purple is one of 4 books part of the program. The idea is that students should move through all four books by high school. There isn’t a big difference between each text. Grammar for the Well-Trained Mind non-sequential grammar program. Therefore you can start with any of the books and work your way through the program. Grammar for the Well-Trained Mind Level Purple is a secular curriculum that follows the classical education model.

From basic through advanced grammar concepts, the Purple Workbook provides clear definitions of rules, repeated examples, and plenty of practice. Step-by-step instructions and regular review help every student succeed

Well Trained Mind

Grammar for the Well-Trained Mind Level Purple is included in the 8th-grade Timberdoodle curriculum kit. My son is gifted in grammar, so we need to provide a rigorous grammar curriculum for him. We are eclectic homeschoolers and I have been looking for a supplement for our upcoming school year. Grammar for the Well-Trained Mind Level Purple is a 36-week program, there is no hurry to complete a level in one school year. We could possibly do two levels in middle school and the remaining levels in high school.

This innovative grammar program will take your student from the fundamental definition of a noun through a detailed analysis of complex sentence structure.

Timberdoodle Co.

Grammar for the Well-Trained Mind Level Purple bundle comes with the student workbook, answer key, and core instructor book. The instructor book is to be used across all levels of Grammar for the Well Trained Mind. The purple level is recommended for grade level for students from 5th -12th. In my honest opinion, the rigor in this book would be suited for gifted 5th graders or the spring of the 5th-grade year, but it may be a better fit for a 6th grader. Since we will be continuing this in the fall, I am following the recommendation of just doing 16 weeks and then picking up weeks 17-36 weeks for our school year.

Lesson Layout

Grammar for the Well-Trained Mind Level Purple as well as the other levels has 3 elements of learning. These levels of understanding are:

  • Comprehension and Memory
  • Examples
  • Practice

As I previously stated there are 36 weeks in the text. Within those weeks there are 4 lessons with exercises per week to complete. Every fourth week there is a review of the previous 3 weeks with 6 exercises. Ideally, high school students should complete one level each year. Younger students can work at their own pace, therefore, completing the 4 levels over a period of time until they completed all four. You don’t have to follow the layout you can work at your own pace and modify as you need.

Grammar for the Well-Trained Mind Level Purple starts off really basic with nouns and adjectives and provides a hefty amount of practice during the lesson. Grammar for the Well-Trained Mind Level Purple is a mastery program and I am finding that with my son moving into middle school he needs more of a mastery curriculum so he is prepared for high school and college entrance examinations. Students will master all the grammar and writing skills they will need to be successful in writing and speaking.

The text is in black and white which I like because my son and I both are highlighters. Highlighting for him provides him with a key for referencing when he is working on activities. The lesson is instructor-led, but it is not overwhelming, and the instructor guide is scripted. Grammar for the Well-Trained Mind Level Purple can be modified for special learners. The purple level can work for students up to grade 12, they will be prepared for college-level English and writing. If you do decide to move to another level you will find the same concepts covered they will just differ in practice questions and assignments.

You can use Grammar for the Well-Trained Mind Level Purple alongside your spine curriculum or use it as a stand-alone curriculum. I would just adjust how you use it, so it doesn’t become too overwhelming for your student. You can preview Grammar for the Well-Trained Mind Level Purple sample pages on the Timberdoodle Co Grammar for the Well-Trained Mind Level Purple landing page.

My Thoughts

I wouldn’t start Grammar for the Well-Trained Mind Level Purple with a student earlier than 5th grade. I would also start it in the spring of the 5th-grade year. I also think it is an excellent idea to start Grammar for the Well-Trained Mind Level Purple or any of the levels in middle school. Starting in middle school gives you and your student plenty of time to work through all four levels. Grammar for the Well-Trained Mind Level Purple has a fair amount of rigor so I would also be mindful of this and plan according to your child’s needs and learning style. The books provide a fair amount of practice and grammar. Students will also practice sentence diagramming. I do like that they do a review after every 3 lessons and the core instructor text that you can use across all 4 levels is a money saver. My son has solid grammar background and is gifted in this area of his studies I have confidence he could probably do the lessons on his own, but because this a program that is used across years I would still prefer to oversee his lessons.

I completely recommend Grammar for the Well-Trained Mind Level Purple for rising 6th -12 graders. It is a great program and provides everything your student needs for grammar.

Until the Next Time,