The Reviews Are In!

Jul 06, 2023 | Posted by Juhls

Introduction to Public Speaking (IPS) rolled out earlier this year, and many homeschool educators were excited to use it in their own homes. IPS reviewers noticed that this course is not only excellent for students but also helpful for adults. A number of IEW affiliates reviewed this new public speaking course and provided feedback about their experiences.

Brandy Ferrell at Half-a-Hundred Acre Wood finds that public speaking doesn’t come naturally to her. She was looking for a program that would “lay down the rails for me to teach as well as learn alongside my children. IPS is exactly what we needed to provide structure and practice for developing skills in speech-writing, memory techniques, and delivery.” Even experienced speakers such as Nicki Truesdell glean from IPS. In her review, she wrote, “As a public speaker myself, I was excited to add some of the techniques taught in this program to my own presentations.”

The fear of public speaking was a concern for several of our affiliate reviewers who found solace after completing the IPS course. “We are nervous presenters!” exclaims Deann Hadley from As We Bloom. “I don't like public speaking, even if I'm just saying a few sentences.” Deann reports, “We have learned many new skills. I can personally see how I have improved, and if I keep practicing, public speaking won't be such a scary thing to me anymore.”

IPS not only alleviates fear of public speaking, but it also builds students’ confidence in their skills. DeShaun Silas from Little Learner and Mom, whose son has struggled to speak in public, has noticed that his confidence has grown. He claims, “I feel more educated and organized for what’s to come in the fall debate team. I don’t look at my paper as much, and I have learned techniques that have taught me not to rush.”

Content and layout continue to be a much-loved component of IEW’s materials. Lorraine Quiñones from Homelife with Us is impressed to find “the whole program is based on clear instruction, clear expectation, and a focus on developing an effective speaking presence.” In Alicia Brown’s video review at Write with Mrs. Brown, she notes, "One of the standout features of this product is the variety of speeches students get to prepare and deliver. From narrative and expository speeches to persuasive and impromptu speeches, IEW covers a wide range of speaking styles.”

The keyword outline is a favorite tool of Arlene Sluchak. In her video review at Arlene & Company, she boasts, “It’s amazing. It’s like magic sauce, that secret sauce that’s in your favorite recipe. I can’t say enough good things about it, especially for my oldest who is dyslexic. [Even though] IEW is advanced in a lot of areas, they make each component bite-sized and attainable even for your struggling learners.”

Learning new tools and techniques for public speaking, students not only flourished, they also enjoyed doing so. “My son liked this,” praises Sharon Rowley from The Secret Life of Homeschoolers. “He put a lot of thought into critiquing the students and [looked forward] to seeing how his scores compared to Mr. Pudewa’s.” With her son heading toward his Eagle Scout Project board of review, Sharon believes “the skills he’s learning in this public speaking course for teens will help immensely!” Megan Robinson appreciates that homeschoolers who are not in a group setting are still able to utilize the constructive criticism technique. In her video at Pennies and Salt, Megan relates that one strong point of IPS is “it actually prompts them to record themselves to self-critique.”

Reviewers found Andrew Pudewa to be an excellent instructor. “It’s nice to have someone who knows the topic well to be our subject teacher,” Crystal McClean shares in her blog at Castle View Academy. One thing that Gena Mayo at I Choose Joy loves about this course is “there are students in the class that Andrew Pudewa is interacting with. He’s not just delivering the lecture to my own students through the video. We see those other students ask and answer questions. It feels much more interactive and engaging this way!” Homeschool with Moxie blogger Abby Banks describes Andrew Pudewa’s teaching style as “engaging yet easy to understand.” When she asked her teen why he enjoyed Mr. Pudewa as his IPS teacher, he mentioned that “Mr. Pudewa is funny yet doesn’t talk down to the students.”

Parents and students have been delighted to see the development of skills along with measurable improvement in public speaking after using IPS. Destiny Mawson’s daughter “learned how to give a speech without reading from a script and improve her overall presentation.” The Some Call It Destiny blogger values how “the self-evaluations allowed [my daughter] to see herself from the viewpoint of the audience and work to make changes. Most of all, she gained confidence in her ability to deliver an impactful speech.”

IPS has been instrumental in improving the speaking abilities of these students and their parents. With the tools, techniques, format, content, and video instruction included in IEW’s Introduction to Public Speaking, many now have the opportunity to become confident and competent communicators and thinkers. IEW offers the first two lessons free in a fully digital format. Try it for yourself!

Juhls Spencer lives in Oklahoma with her husband, Michael, and Hunter, their son. Juhls became involved with IEW when her son was chosen to participate as a student in the production of the Structure and Style® for Students video courses. She and Hunter enjoyed having Andrew Pudewa as his teacher. Juhls has a bachelor’s degree in art from the University of Central Oklahoma and has a love for learning and teaching.

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