A Weekly Spoonful of Inspiration

Jan 01, 2017 | Posted by Kristin Patterson

by Kristin (Boutross) Patterson

“We (IEW) should do our very own podcast.” This sentence was not initially greeted with much enthusiasm, believe it or not. Doubts of not having enough content, or the right equipment, or enough time threatened to kill the idea while still in the abstract; however, as with many ideas cooked up here, we decided to give it a shot and see where it took us. That was almost two years ago. In that amount of time this little seedling of an idea has blossomed into one of our IEW family favorites with over 1,600 subscribers who listen weekly.

As with any new endeavor, it took a bit of trial and error at the beginning. To share a microphone or not to share? “Wait, what was the question?” “Do I really need to wear rubber gloves to touch the microphone?” (True story!) “Can you hear me!?” After a few episodes of straining to hear the final product (those who know what I’m talking about—I can hear you chuckling!), we struck a fine balance, and the foundation was set. The Arts of Language podcast was born.

Although there were some technical hiccups at the onset, the endeavor was and is truly a success because of the people behind the mics: Andrew Pudewa and Julie Walker. Together they produce a podcast that is informative and insightful, nestled within an atmosphere of friendship and humor. Andrew Pudewa is the founder and director of the Institute for Excellence in Writing and an internationally known speaker who travels worldwide to teach students and encourage their parents in the great work of learning how to communicate well. Julie Walker, a former schoolteacher and homeschooling parent, is IEW’s director of marketing and has worked closely with Andrew in nurturing and refining IEW’s mission and reach since 2007.

Drawing from their own education and personal experience, Andrew and Julie discuss a variety of subjects pertinent to challenges facing parents, teachers, and students today. Topics range from the power of memorization and understanding child brain development to practical tips on teaching and evaluating writing and the art of motivation. Some of my personal favorites are the “Ask Andrew Anything” episodes where Andrew and Julie get a chance to answer questions submitted by parents and teachers (and occasionally students!). Interviews with authors and other well-known figures in the world of language arts are also among my top ten. All things considered, there seems to be a little something for everyone!

If you aren’t already intrigued, I invite you to give our Arts of Language podcast a listen! I believe and hope you will find support and inspiration as well as a bit of fun to help you in this great task of educating the next generation. It’s not always an easy road, and sometimes the going is tough. The good news is that great things often come from ambitious ideas paired with persistent effort. You’re doing great. You can do this. We’re here to help!

This article first appeared in the 2017 Arts of Language Homeschool Magalog

© 2017, Institute for Excellence in Writing, L.L.C.
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