Parent Perspectives: Structure and Style for Students: Karen’s View

Jan 10, 2020 | Posted by Jennifer


Recently we had the opportunity to hear from a family who had three students participate in Structure and Style for Students (SSS). One of the learners was Grant, a seventeen-year-old senior in the Level C class. Another was his sister, Gabbi, who was in the Level B class. Josh, their youngest brother, participated in the Level A class. Mom, Karen, was also able to share her takeaways from having her kids participate for the past two years. Josh’s interview was featured in a blog post already, so today we are focusing on Karen and her thoughts about how her children learned to write in their classes with Mr. Pudewa. In ensuing posts we will share Grant’s and Gabbi’s thoughts.


IEW: What were your children’s experiences with writing prior to the SSS?

Karen: Grant didn’t much care for writing. He had had some experience, but our instructor wasn’t the best, and he lost what knowledge he had gained. We were both really struggling for help and direction when this opportunity came along; it was a lifesaver. Gabbi had some experience but wasn’t interested in it or comfortable doing it. Joshua had no writing experience whatsoever and struggled with writing paragraphs and constructing sentences.

IEW: What surprised you about the courses?

Karen: I was especially surprised by how Mr. Pudewa could teach such a complex subject to so many different students on so many different levels while making it enjoyable for everyone including myself. He’s truly amazing and gifted.

IEW: What support did you provide to your students?

Karen: I was there to offer ideas, to advise on the key word outline, to suggest which words worked better than others, and to edit when they were finished.

IEW: Did you find the course assignment directions clear and easy to understand?

Karen: Absolutely. Directions were always laid out with precisely what needed to be done in which order. I really appreciated the organization; it was easy for me to understand and communicate to them what needed to be done. They appreciated it as well; it made it easy for them to check what they needed to do next.

IEW: What unexpected challenges did you encounter?

Karen: Since we are a busy homeschooling family and belong to a rather large social co-op, we struggled with having home days to focus on writing, but we were able to make it happen and were so glad we did! Saying that, time was our biggest challenge, but I am thankful that we made it a priority.

IEW: Now that your students have gone through the SSS, how do you feel about how well they are prepared for future writing assignments?

Karen: I feel like my students can produce a paper with very little instruction or oversight. They are much more confident in knowing where to start and what it should look like. Their vocabulary has grown tremendously! They love using creative words, adding alliterations, and dressing up their papers.

IEW: If you could describe your students’ experience in one word, what word would that be?

Karen: Fulfilled.

IEW: What did you appreciate about Mr. Pudewa’s teaching the most?

Karen: His amazing ability to reach children at all levels, to engage students, and to make absolutely any subject interesting and fun.

IEW: What are your plans for next year’s writing coursework?

Karen: I plan to revisit Structure and Style for Students. I am certain it is just as good the second time around!

IEW: What was the greatest change you saw in your student’s ability?

Karen: Confidence. They all grew from not really knowing where or how to start into much more independent writers.

IEW: What did your students enjoy the most?

Karen: Learning under Andrew Pudewa, and his corny jokes that kept everyone laughing including the moms. It was a privilege and an incredible experience for all of them.️ Andrew is definitely a unique soul and a treasure to have as a teacher.

To learn more about Structure and Style for Students, click on this link. Year 1 Level A is available to order today, and the remaining courses will be available soon.


Jennifer Mauser has always loved reading and writing and received a B.A. in English from the University of Kansas in 1991. Once she and her husband had children, they decided to homeschool, and she put all her training to use in the home. In addition to homeschooling her children, Jennifer teaches IEW classes out of her home, coaches budding writers via email, and tutors students who struggle with dyslexia.

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