Despite being a precocious reader, our son struggled when it came to writing.  Grammar was fine.  He enjoyed learning and applying grammar rules, and he excelled at it.  The challenge was composition.  He didn’t know how to organize his thoughts, which caused him to feel frustrated and eventually led him to believe he could not write well.  Try as I might, I just made it worse.  Then came IEW and Mrs. Odell. 

We quickly found out why her classes had been highly recommended to us by numerous friends.  The IEW program breaks the writing process into manageable chunks and provides a framework for students to build on.  Expertly guiding students through the steps, Mrs. Odell puts students at ease with her relaxed, friendly demeanor.  Fun is the undercurrent and mutual respect is the rule in her classes.  Under Mrs. Odell’s instruction these past five years, our son has flourished and grown into a confident writer.  We are so thankful for her and highly recommend her classes!


Mrs. Odell is the best! She took the conflict out of doing IEW with my daughter. Not only does she know the material inside and out, she explains it clearly to students from elementary to high school. She’s also patient and gentle without lowering the standards of the program or her expectations for the students. We are so glad we found her class!


Our two sons take Mrs. Odell’s IEW writing class and it has been an amazing blessing to us. They went from being a bit below grade level in writing to right where they need to be. They have greatly benefitted from the smaller class size and cozy atmosphere of her home. I have watched them gain confidence and skills in their writing that being in this class provided. We are so grateful for Mrs. Odell!


Mrs. Mary Odell is, has been, and always will be the best IEW writing teacher that I know. Generously exercising both patience and authority, Mrs. Odell has an excellent way of holding every student’s attention, while continuing to bless them with the freedom of mobility. Having a squirmy son of her own, this wonderful teacher is understanding and compassionate, especially toward those who find it difficult to sit still and listen. Her class is enjoyable. The way that she teaches continues to help me to creatively apply her required writing techniques to my own personal writing. Mrs. Odell is fully capable of teaching anyone to write with excellence while growing a love for literature.  — Lydia (student)

Free to wiggle

As a homeschool parent of six children, who have all progressed through Mrs. Odell’s classes, I have often said that she is one of my top resources for homeschooling. Applying what they learned in her classes, two of my children each received six college credits for English through CLEP. One of my daughters earned her B.A. degree in Humanities and was well equipped when she recently taught English as a long-term substitute at a highly accredited private school.

Apparently, Mary’s outstanding reputation has spread to other homeschool families in neighboring counties. At the 2019 FPEA Homeschool Convention, I met people from all over the state. One mom, new to homeschooling, asked for curriculum suggestions. At my referral to use IEW, I also mentioned that we have the privilege of attending weekly classes with a wonderful, sweet, and gifted teacher in our area. Without my mention of Mary’s name or location, the young mom asked me, “Is this by any chance in Geneva? I keep hearing about her.” Surprisingly, even in St. Cloud and Poinciana, news of Mary Odell’s exceptional teaching of IEW has spread. Families are willing to carpool once each week from over an hour away in order to tap into this blessing.

While the IEW curriculum is foundational for our personal family’s homeschool, it would have had only a fraction of the impact had it not been for Mary Odell’s classroom experience. She warmly welcomes families to enjoy the beauty of the rural setting of her home. Her enthusiasm is contagious. Her knowledge is extensive. Her teaching style is endearing. Because Mary has dynamically taught the IEW method so successfully, each of my kids possesses an extremely strong foundation in writing and grammar.

–Jeri (parent)

Strong Foundation for Higher Education

I have taken Honors English classes from Mrs. Odell for the past two years. I completed her Intro to Literature class as well as Writing Research Papers. I really enjoyed her teaching and now qualify for dual enrollment. The deep discussions we had were my favorite part of her classes. I feel that I received a higher education and a deeper understanding of the material presented. I would definitely recommend Mrs. Odell’s classes to anyone who wants to improve their writing and develop a greater appreciation for literature.

Steven (student)


Deeper Understanding

Mrs. Odell has been a God-send to our family. We have been homeschooling for 9 years and, although I am a certified teacher and was a NBCT for 10 years, I am not comfortable teaching the advanced writing that is necessary for my high school students. Writing, reading comprehension and proper grammar are so important for their future success and Mary is such an insightful and extraordinarily passionate instructor in these fields. She consistently strives to motivate and help each and every one of her students reach their full potential. Her invaluable teaching techniques afford her students the tools necessary to improve and succeed. My kids have thoroughly enjoyed her calm but challenging classes. We love Mary Odell and the enthusiasm she has when she presents the IEW curriculum.

Sandee (parent)

A God-send for High School

Blue skies, a farm and farm animals, and Mrs. Mary make a perfect setting to learn how to be a skillful writer.  I love walking into Mary’s silent living room right before class is about to start.  As the rest of students enter, the sounds of in the room increase as we quickly take out our Nose Tree homework from our notebooks.  In a calm space she shares our writing.  Patiently, she introduces the next new skill such as; dress ups, strong verbs, quality adjectives, who which clauses, ly words, and adverbial clauses. Mrs. Mary really knows how to explain the new skills in the simplistic way possible which helps us to understand the material better. Mrs. Mary is funny.  She loves reading. I love listening to her.  I am so glad that out of the millions of teachers I could have experienced, I got Mrs. Mary Odell.

–Noah (student)

I Love the Setting and the Teaching

We have been homeschooling for 9 years, and although I can do many subjects at home, writing was not something I learned well. I felt strongly that writing was a practical skill to have, but I was reluctant to believe all the great things I heard about IEW because it sounded to simple. I am so grateful we decided to enroll both my  boys in Mrs. Odell’s class.  Mrs. Odell loves this subject and  she cares for her students.  I believe that makes all the difference in her teaching style. She explains things well and also has fun with her students. I have seen both of my boys gain the skills and confidence to write! They have also been challenged to practice their thinking and organizational skills.  She has been a blessing in our homeschool journey and I know she can be a blessing in yours. — Monica M.

A Blessing on our Journey

Mrs. Mary continues to be a  favorite with all of my students. Thanks to Mrs. Mary’s writing classes, my older two have graduated from high school, excelled in college, one is in the Honors’ program and the other was able to CLEP out of college English and has graduated Summa Cum Laude. Now that my middle group of children have started classes, their love for writing has shot from zero to hero in just a few short months! Each week they look forward to class, and they are excited about the material and what they have learned. Mrs. Mary’s enthusiasm is contagious! In a perfect world, Mrs. Mary will continue teaching for at least the next 15 years, so my younger students can also benefit from her teaching! — Joy R.

Enthusiasm is Contagious