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Testimonials

Here is what some of our parents and former students have to say! If you would like to personally speak to any of our parents, please contact Eva Goldstein-Meola at eva@opententacademy.com and she would be happy to make arrangements for you!

My family has benefit from Eva’s classes for almost ten years. My oldest son, currently in high school, claims that many of the skills Eva taught him in third and fifth grade were instrumental in his overwhelming success with SAT exams and DBQ answers on multiple AP exams. I find it amazing that these basic fundamentals have been so useful. In addition, I have implemented many of Eva’s tools and techniques in my own writing. Currently my youngest son is enrolled in Powerful Paragraph, and like my oldest he finds Eva’s instruction to be engaging and challenging! Although we prefer a live format, we have been able to learn successfully and enjoyably in the online format as well. Whenever any of my five children are asked about their effectiveness in writing, we are quick to credit Eva Goldstein and her creative implementation of IEW principles.

Christine

Parent – Sterling, VA – Intro, PP and MSW


Eva uses IEW as her framework but puts her own personal style into it. Having used IEW previously on our own at home, we were familiar with the program. There is no more succinct or thorough writing program than IEW. It is phenomenal! Based on recommendations from friends who had taken her online classes previously and because Eva uses the basic foundation of IEW, I knew that the class would be top notch. However, Eva’s classes even exceeded my expectations. First, they meet every other week. This is important for our family because we have many other activities that we are involved in and this doesn’t tie us down every week for class. Being able to be “live” as the virtual class is happening is incredibly helpful. If my daughter has a question or isn’t clear about something she can ask it right then. Even if a question comes up between classes, Eva is always quick to respond to email questions she may have. Missed classes can be watched at a later time/date if you are out of town or can’t make the regularly scheduled class time. This has been beneficial on several occasions. In addition, having Eva give feedback and evaluate her papers has been by far the biggest benefit. Eva is very encouraging by pointing out what you did well and excelled in, but also in gently pointing out areas that could be improved upon. My daughter has never felt bad or defeated by feedback she has received. I believe it is crucial to have somebody other than, “Mom” critiquing papers. Critiques were taken personally and there were hurt feelings when the critiques came from me, but not when they come from Eva. Eva’s online class has prepared my daughter for the SAT essay as well as given her the tools and confidence to write well-written and organized essays. She will use the skills she has learned from this class in the remainder of high school, college, and the rest of her life. We are moving in a few weeks to California. Although my older daughter will not be taking classes next year; my younger son is registered in online class with Eva in the fall. Virtual classes enable us to continue taking HER classes wherever we live. Consistency is vitally important to education.

Tracy M

Parent – California – PP and AAE – Virtual


I just wanted you to know that Laura and I were discussing classes for next year (2014 – 2015). I was thinking that she would “take a break” from your class for one year and then return for the high school classes. Laura insisted, “Absolutely not. I learn so much from Eva. Not only about writing; but about how to be a better person. Eva expects excellence out of us in all areas of life.” Laura truly enjoys all that you bring to the class, your energy, humor, and all that you teach. She has learned so very much from you and I know you have her highest respect along with mine. Personally, I am a terrible writer. Laura loves to write; however, that was not always the case. Without your instruction, I cannot even imagine the quality of her work. I thank you so much for everything. I am so glad I met you years ago in NJ at ENOCH. You have changed my daughter's life for the better!

Michelle

Parent – Cherry Hill, NJ – MSW – Virtual


I just wanted to let you know that Bashir has been accepted to George Mason University with a nice – very nice – merit scholarship. Thank you for all that you have done for him! The two years you worked with him as a high school student made a tremendous impact on him as an individual. You understood his crazy schedule (as part of the Olympic Development Team in Soccer AND DC United Training); however, you consistently pushed him to be on time with his work showing him the importance of follow through in all areas of his life. He still echoes your words of “quality of quantity” as his motto. You made a huge difference in his writing, confidence and life. We are both forever grateful.

Rhonda –

Parent – South Riding, VA– AAE and HSR & M


My children have been in virtual classes since our move to Alabama. My daughter is in Middle School Writing, while my son is in High School Research. Writing is not easy for my daughter and I never thought she would love writing, but thanks to Eva she does. Eva is so well organized and teaches each new concept in steps; with all details in various handouts she provides for each student so they can refer back to them after the virtual class, that even with learning from a distance, Anna is successful. It is amazing to watch my daughter’s face as she succeeds! Eva makes it easy for each child to be successful! I was so happy to be able to continue with you via virtual classes and have been pleased with every lesson. Thanks Eva!

Rhonda

Parent – Alabama – MSW and AAE


My boys once a long, long time ago participated in Eva’s live classes. For personal reasons, we enrolled them in school the following year. Very late in the summer of 2013, we decided to bring the boys home and homeschool again. By that point, Eva’s classes live class were (not surprisingly!) full. It was without a doubt that we would only take writing classes with Eva! The only choice left was to take a class with her VIRTUALLY. We knew nothing about taking classes this way. After a very long conversation while she was away, (her daughter was at a college interview and Eva was sitting in the car waiting for her) Eva patiently explained all the details of virtual classes. She eased all of our concerns, answered all our questions, and made our preparation to begin the classes so smooth and worry-free. Because we were familiar with her teaching style and expectations, the transition was effortless. Even if one were brand new to her writing classes, her signature style and unique energy and enthusiasm makes writing “FUN!” It turned out that enrolling in Eva’s virtual IEW classes has been such a blessing after all. We had quite a busy year and my son could not make it to every class. Having the option to view the recording of the class the next day saved us! My son could follow exactly what was covered in class and he could complete the assignments on time without any problems. We highly recommend Eva’s VIRTUAL classes. We would enroll in any of her VIRTUAL classes again if given the chance!

Caroline

Parent – Great Falls, VA – MSW


We have really enjoyed the virtual writing class this year. As you know Eva, I drive from Bowie, MD to Sterling, VA for my younger daughter’s class with you. The drive alone with morning traffic takes about an hour and a half. I am so grateful my son is able to attend his class from the comfort of our home, so I don’t have to do the grueling drive. He comes home straight from his religious school and starts taking the class. We love that it’s after school, so he can participate in the discussion. This is especially important because for most homeschoolers virtual and live classes are during school hours, which doesn’t fit our schedule at all. My son appreciates the fact that if he forgets something while he is writing his paper, he can always go back and listen to the recording of the class. The manner in which everything is laid out in the printouts makes writing a breeze. We especially value the student samples as it makes it easy to comprehend how our writing should flow. The feedback we get from you on the papers has been vital to his improvement in writing. We have really enjoyed participating in your virtual class this year and are looking forward to coming back next year. Thanks!

Maryam

Parent – Bowie, MD, Intro and MSW


My daughters have known Eva for a long, long time. We used to live in Northern Virginia where Eva holds “live – in person” classes. My girls adore her! It was a sad, sad day when we learned we were moving to Texas. The girls had to leave Eva’s classes mid year; however, Eva strongly encouraged us to move into her virtual classes and we are so glad we did. Eva uses technology that allows the students to interact with her and with each other as if they are sitting in a classroom together. Prior to each class, Eva emails information about the upcoming class and the parent prints it out so that the student will be prepared for the class. After reading the papers, the student is aware of the lecture material prior to the class, which is quite beneficial. The lecture is concise, clearly explained, and interactive. Eva keeps the students engaged via a chat box so that they are active participants. Eva also sends a Power Point presentation so that the student can review the material after the class and before beginning the assignment. The assignment is clearly laid out and broken down into manageable steps. Once completed, Eva provides feedback on each writing assignment in a very timely manner. Eva is very accessible to both parents and students making communication very easy. Since our move to Texas, all three of my daughters have taken virtual classes from Eva, and I firmly believe that they are better writers because of her classes. I would highly recommend Eva’s virtual classes to anyone that is seeking writing instruction for their child. According to my youngest daughter, Eva’s classes are “Very informative. I have learned so much about writing. Eva explains the lesson very clearly. And class is a lot of fun!!” When your children are learning and having fun – there is nothing better!

Melanee

Parent - Texas – PP, MSW, AAE and HSR & M


Our 6th grade son, took the online Powerful Paragraph’s course, for the first time this past (2013-2014) school year. This was also our first experience with an online course; we didn’t know what to expect. It turned out to be one of the BEST school decisions we made this year. The class itself, was informative and fun! Our son enjoyed communicating, via chat, with the instructor and the other students. The class sessions are always well organized and Eva has excellent “classroom management” of her students. The materials needed for class were always clearly provided before class, with instructions for both the student and the parents. The instructor was always prompt to answer questions we might have and reminded the students many times to take advantage of her availability to help answer questions in between classes. Our son learned so much this year about writing. He has grown as a writer and as a student because of this class. We are part of a large homeschool community and have shared with other families, the course curriculum. They have been duly impressed and many are expressing interest, as this is often a difficult area to instruct at home.

Anna

Parent – Military Family currently stationed in Germany, MSW


I enrolled my eighth grade son in Middle School Writing at the last minute this past year (2013 – 2014). Anyone who has had to deal with 12-13-14 year-old boys knows how each and every subject can become a power struggle! With my fourth son, writing was “our” struggle. At this point, I knew I needed help! Eva’s classes and the ability to watch them over or on your own time have been helpful. I left my son to his own devices with this class because I was done arguing, nagging and cajoling. He was surprised and shocked when his papers did not meet up with Mrs. Goldstein-Meola’s approval. Secretly, I have been secretly cheering her because she was not allowing my son off the hook. It’s been a long year but he’s finally getting it. He is following instructions, checking and proofreading his own work and the improvement is amazing. REALLY. AMAZING. As a parent I love the way this class is structured. I know what is going on and can be as involved or uninvolved (in my case) as I like. The student is given all the information, instructions and examples he needs to do a good job if he chooses. Personally, my son took most of the year to see the light and I have been sitting on my hands and biting my tongue. But . . . he’s finally got it! He has rewritten many of the assignments multiple times until he finally got it right. And, at last, things clicked – follow the directions the first time and poof! No rewrites. Mrs. Goldstein-Meola never waivers in her expectations of excellence. She gives clear instructions and it’s up to the student to follow through. For my son, this class has been a terrific lead-in to high school (and above) level work.

Amy

Parent - Orlando, FL – MSW


If you are looking for children to have a fantastic, creative, and inspirational way to learn to write or express themselves, then Eva Goldstein-Meola is that once in lifetime teacher. Through the “Institute for Excellence in Writing,” Eva has, with such a passion, taught my children for the past seven years. Through her compassionate way of teaching, Eva, at times would express, “Hold their hands, hold their hands, Hold their hands,” …..meaning…. help them along with their writing, and then when the time was right, she would say, “Let go,” …. Meaning……Let them write and express themselves on their own…. in their voice. They have grown immensely in their writing. I highly recommend Eva Goldstein and the Institute for Excellence in Writing program because of this program my children will be well prepared for the future years in furthering their education and life. Thank you so much Eva in giving my children a voice in writing because of your teaching, you also gave me a voice through your instruction as I learned to help my children.

Sharon

Parent – Fairfax, VA – Intro, PP, MSW, AAE and HSR&M


Six of my daughters have taken and really enjoyed Eva’s virtual class! They all appreciated the online class because of its versatility. They are able to ask questions and participate just as if she were in the actual classroom. If they were unable to attend the live class, they always could always watch the recording later at her convenience. In addition, Eva did not lose contact with them when they graduated and went to college. If my daughters needed her, they emailed her and she was right there for them. She always calls all students "her kids"; and she treats them all like they are her own. All two hundred of them! This is a gift that not many parents find in an instructor. I highly recommend taking advantage of Eva’s virtual classes.

Ann

Parent - Arlington, VA – PP, MSW, AAE and HSRM


I am a Jewish Homeschooling Mom. My daughter has participated in both in-person and virtual classes with Eva Goldstein. My daughter preferred the virtual classes this year for several reasons. To begin, she did not have to waste time sitting in the car, driving back and forth. Secondly, the on-line class gave her more responsibility in making the class totally hers. My daughter would print out the assignments and organized them in her book. The virtual class cut out the scheduling difficulties between outside classes/lessons, that is allowing enough time to get from one to another. In addition, Eva is always very clear on what is the expected homework assignment for the following class and provides plenty of time to complete the assignments. You will not be disappointed in reading what your child will learn how to write and how organized their writing will be. Eva brings out the writer in each and every students, including reluctant writers like my daughter. Eva’s classes are a blessing to homeschoolers. With deep gratitude…..

Joanne

Paren - Great Falls, VA - PP and MSW


Mrs. Goldstein-Meola’s Virtual Middle School Writing course has been an answer to my prayer! I have been in search of a reputable, effective writing teacher for several years now. My son’s Classical Conversations Tutor introduced me to Mrs. Goldstein-Meola last year. I have seen remarkable improvement in my two boys’ writing since they have taken this course. They are becoming more and more independent in their writing assignments (with minimal complaints) because Mrs. Goldstein-Meola provides thorough instructions and guidance for each writing assignments. She also keeps them accountable by providing constructive reviews of each writing assignment, which keeps them accountable to learning the information and not just going through the motion of writing. Thank you, Mrs. Goldstein-Meola, for offering this class and maintaining your high standards.

Taeim

Parent – Annapolis, MD – AAE and HSR&M


They say that the pen is mightier than the sword. Indeed! With Eva’s writing classes, you discover how powerfully and fluidly your child will improve in his or her writing. Eva’s long and vast experiences of teaching and tutoring writing will have you put on your proverbial seat belt and brace yourself for a wonderful literary ride! She has taught three of our children, of whom one has graduated from all of Eva’s classes, another one who is currently on her last class in High School Research (Oh, how the time flies!), and the third one in her Powerful Paragraph class. We began in 2008 and presently are still enrolled in Eva’s writing classes. In the almost eight years that we have enrolled, we have been thoroughly pleased with our children’s writing prowess. Eva’s classes have had a fluid, thought-provoking and mature effect on our children as we are completely blown away by their quality and mastery of writing. She injects humor, history, a great grasp of understanding grammar and she cleverly develops a student’s deep and eternal love of writing from writing being a chore, to how should I make my words jump off the page and captivate the reader. She also makes herself available to her students whenever they need assistance, whatever that may be. Eva is truly organized in the fact that she provides all the class dates for the year, class notes and assignments ahead of time, and all her classes are recorded. That way should your child miss a class, he or she is able to watch the missed lesson in order to catch up. These tools help us a family to plan our homeschooling with ease, especially when we take a family vacation. In spite of geographical challenges and time differences, Eva remains dedicated to her trade and her students by providing virtual classes. To our family, this speaks volumes of her consummate dedication and commitment to what she loves best, teaching. Please spread the word far and wide. Eva Goldstein is hands-down, the finest, the most dedicated and the best writing teacher your child could ever be privileged to have. Thank you, Eva!

Tanti

Parent – Alexandria, VA – PP, MSW, AAE, HSR


After driving my three kids to Eva’s “live” classes for the last several years, this year we decided to try one of her virtual classes. At first, my youngest son (middle school age) wasn’t sure what to expect or if he liked it at all. He was given the option to switch back to a live class, but after weighing out all the possibilities he realized he really did like the virtual approach. He was able to stay home, still get the same feedback he was use to, and have his papers read and evaluated. It took some adjusting, but having the opportunity to write out questions and speak with other classmates via the chat board helped. After discussing my son’s options for classes next year, there wasn’t a question and we have signed him up for another virtual class for his second year. I would highly recommend taking one of Eva’s classes. My boys have become amazing writers under her teaching using the IEW method. In fact, my oldest son , currently in college, has said multiple times, if it wasn’t for Eva’s classes he knew he wouldn’t have been nearly as prepared for college and all the writing he has had to do. Thank you, Eva, for your love of teaching writing and willingness to share it with as many kids as possible!!! Our family has benefitted greatly from your efforts! With sincere appreciation!

Christine

Parent – Manassas, VA, – PP, MSW and AAE


I have enjoyed taking your class this past year. Presently, compared to September, I am more confident with my writing skills as well as well informed on how to approach different types of essays. On a personal note, I wanted to tell you how much I appreciated getting your critiques/evaluations on my papers. You are always quick to compliment making me feel proud of my writing with constant encouraged on any shortcomings, so I can learn and attempt to fix my mistakes in my next essay. Your classes are so much fun to be part of. It felt as if we were in the same room instead of in a virtual classroom. I will miss hearing you laugh, joke, and instruct us every other Wednesday. Thank you for being a truly AWESOME writing instructor!

Jessica

Student - 9th grader – AAE


This is my first year that I have attended classes Mrs. Goldstein-Meola. Having just started learning with her online this past school year, I am already at least ten times more confident in my writing skills and knowledge. I had jumped right into the All About Essays class, and absolutely loved it! She has shown me so much and has guided me to becoming a better writer. Mrs. Goldstein-Meola keeps the classes interesting and fun while still pushing us to learn more and improve anyway we can. With her help I finally feel ready to move forward in my writing, and move on to her next class High School Research. That said, I also could not be happier with how she teaches and runs her class. If someone had asked me less then a year ago if I enjoyed writing I would have said no, but now I look forward to her lessons. I finally feel confident and prepared with my writing.

Sage

Student - Massachusetts - AAE and HSRM


Thank you so much for teaching me in your homeschooling MSW classes for the past two years. You are the best English teacher I have ever had! And probably the best teacher I have had overall! Also, you are not only a great teacher but a really magnificent friend (Is that is proper to say to my teacher?) Thank you again. I am going to tremendously miss you next year when I attend private high school!

Mira

Student - Fairfax, VA - MSW


“Mom, I think I learned more in that hour with Eva than I have in the 8 months of 5th grade Language Arts at school.”

Tim

Tutoring Student - Burke, VA - Private Tutoring


I hope you and your family are doing well. I should share with you a good news about our son, A. He just heard back from the Virginia High School League (VHSL) and received 1st place in Creative Essay writing competition this year. He was the only student, who received a 1st place award from his high school (TJHSST, Alexandria, VA) in the competition this year. In addition, he received a Washington Regional Gold Key award for his personal essay writing in Scholastic Art and Writing competition this year. For all of his achievements, we thank you greatly and highly recognize your invaluable contributions to his writing skills.

Maryam

Parent of a Private Tutoring Student


I have two older sisters who enrolled in Mrs. Goldstein’s writing classes. One ‘graduated’ and another one is in her final class, High School Research. They continuously rave about how intriguing, fun and informational her classes are. As her Powerful Paragraph student, Mrs. Goldstein inspires me to expand beyond what I already know about writing and how to choose my words carefully, yet in manner that will cause readers to want to read my paper even more. My favorite is learning how to write paragraphs chronologically. I believe my brain is thankful that I am now able to structure my thoughts in a more organized manner! Mrs. Goldstein is always there to help me, especially if I have any questions. Not only does she e-mail all the class notes ahead of time, she makes herself easily reachable even if she is rather far away. It is quite comforting to know you have a teacher who really cares about you and ensures that you understand each assignment fully. I have only had the privilege of attending Mrs. Goldstein’s virtual classes. Nevertheless, I am thankful that Mrs. Goldstein is my writing teacher. As a homeschooling student, my mom attests that she is not jealous at all that Mrs. Goldstein is the absolutely best writing teacher in the universe. Thank you, Mrs. Goldstein!

Emily

Student - Alexandria, VA - PP and MSW


Mrs. Goldstein has been my literary life-saver! In the five years that I have been her writing student, she has taught me an invaluable lesson that words are capable of creating a positive and long-lasting influence in my life. From Powerful Paragraph, to Middle School Writing, All About Essays and presently High School Research class, I have witnessed a profound change in my writing. Mrs. Goldstein opened my eyes to the beauty of grammar and writing, how I can wield a sentence to evoke the most unexpected of emotions and interest just by tweaking a different stylistic technique here and there. She is also full of knowledge, ever present to provide a lending hand, in spite of the time difference and location. What I appreciate most about Mrs. Goldstein classes is that she provides the weekly class notes in advance, providing me ample time to review them before class begins. She also provides all the class dates for the year and all her classes are recorded so that in the event I miss one, I was able to catch up on what I had missed. Time is just flying way too fast because the High School Research class I am taking right now, is the final one of Mrs. Goldstein’s. Yes, technically she does provide other supplementary virtual classes but it will not be the same. Thank you very much for your tutelage, Mrs. Goldstein! I am very honored and privileged to be part of your remarkable writing legacy! (NOTE: This student continued on with me once I added Lit & Writing)

Bethany

Student - Alexandria, VA - PP, MSW, AAE, HSRM and Lit & Writing


Over the past two years, I have immensely enjoyed participating in Mrs. Goldstein-Meola’s writing classes. After taking her All About Essays class last year, I am currently in the middle of High School Research and More. Although I have only taken her virtual classes and have never met her in person, I believe that I have learned more from her classes than I ever have in any live classroom setting. Her passion for writing is infectious and allows her classes to be interesting and informative at the same time. In addition, her desire to see all of her students grow in their skills and reach their personal best is clearly evident. Through “attending” her virtual classes and reading her evaluations of my work, I have improved dramatically in my writing abilities and feel better-equipped to take on any writing assignment, be it a personal essay or a five-paragraph research paper. Furthermore, the essential skills that she teaches during her classes have allowed me to easily complete writing assignments for my other classes, from literature to economics. In fact, I frequently find myself replacing “banned words” with stronger ones in all of my writing — even in assignments that are not for Mrs. Goldstein-Meola! I especially appreciate her willingness to read and evaluate essays that are not written specifically for her classes (i.e., college admissions essays) and provide valuable feedback on them. As I prepare to head off to college, I am sad to say goodbye to Mrs. Goldstein-Meola, whose classes have truly been one of the most rewarding and enjoyable aspects of my high school years. Nevertheless, armed with my writing binder that is full of Mrs. Goldstein-Meola’s invaluable tips and secrets to successful writing, I am excited to test my newfound abilities in the college realm, confident that the numerous lessons I have learned from Mrs. Goldstein-Meola will continue to guide me.

Brittany

Student - Winchester, VA - AAE and HSRM


(NOTE: I received this years I had Issac in my classes. He had kept in touch with me over the years and I was over the moon that he aced his SAT Writing Section.)

Ms Eva, I just got my SAT scores back, and I got an 800 (out of 800) on the writing section. Thanks so much for laying the foundation in writing back when I was in elementary and middle school.

Isaac

Graduated Student - Sterling, VA - Intro, PP and MSW