A Brave Writer’s Life in Brief

Thoughts from my jungle to yours

Friday Freewrite: What if


Describe what might happen if kids stayed up as late as they wanted and parents had to go to bed early?

Today’s writing prompt was inspired by Julie at Creekside Learning. She’s also hosting a cool Brave Writer giveaway (five copies of A Gracious Space) until August 31st!

Image © Yurchyk | Dreamstime.com

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Boomerang Book Club’s September Selection

To Kill a MockingbirdThe second title in our Boomerang Book Club is the American classic about race and family, compassion and human dignity: To Kill a Mockingbird.

In this time of modern uneasy race relations in America, there could be no more timely book to read and examine.

The book discussion starts on Monday September 8, so don’t wait! Your students should begin reading the book now.

Each month of the Boomerang Book Club includes The Boomerang as part of your class fee. That means you will get the digital downloadable issue that gives you your grammar, punctuation, spelling, and literary device notes to help you ensure growth in the mechanics of writing as well.

Sign up HERE.

Purchase a copy of To Kill a Mocking Bird on Amazon.com (affiliate link).

Image @ Amazon.com

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Peter Rabbit inspired

Peter Rabbit inspired_image by Rebecca

Hi Julie,

I shared this earlier on the Lifestyle FB page, and was encouraged to send it to you.

I’m planning to start Jot It Down with my K and 2nd kiddos on Monday. My DD5 loves animals and art, but refuses to “do school.” Today I read Peter Rabbit for the first time (!!!) and also a book with info about Beatrix Potter. It was meant to be the first lesson in our LA program, but DD5 refused to narrate. She did, however, decide to draw a picture of Peter. Then she asked me to write out the part of the story she had drawn. Five hours later she had made a whole book of Peter Rabbit, including a map of their home.

Something tells me she won’t mind the first project of Jot It Down!

Thanks for planting seeds that sprout wherever they will… Now to get DS7 to respond as well to a story… I’m thinking Star Wars.

Looking forward to your Quiver, too! Getting my boy interested in stories is proving quite a challenge!


Image (cc)

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Blog Roundup: August 27th Edition

NaaD 58 Kirsti -blog

Read how other homeschooling families implement the Brave Writer Lifestyle!

Learning Ripples in Homeschool

Just as ripples spread out when a single pebble is dropped into water, the actions of individuals can have far-reaching effects. –Dalai Lama

“I love this quote from the Dalai Lama for many reasons and I’ve seen an application of it to learning. It began with writing. Writing is an area where variety is enjoyable.” ~Tristan, Our Busy Homeschool

What it takes to continue homeschooling

“In the last couple of years, I have often said, “Oh, I don’t read homeschooling books anymore” and “I don’t look for curriculum anymore.” I mean it has to stop somewhere, right? Someone will always be writing another book or presenting another curriculum. And I have so many books and guides and projects that I haven’t even used yet. I just keep telling myself to find something I already have and use it. And those thoughts come on the good days. On the not-so-good days, I just want to get through the checklists and see some completed workbook pages.” ~Two Culture Mom

And here is an inspiring conference report:

VAHomeschoolers Conference 2014

“Julie Bogart has a well-deserved cult following in the homeschooling world. She homeschooled her five children, worked as a professional writer and created the popular “Brave Writer” series of language arts curriculum and online writing classes. She is an incredibly engaging speaker, so well-spoken, charming and funny. Some conference attendees just sat in her sessions alone for the entire conference!” ~Anne, ruly

We hope to share more roundups in the future! If you write about an aspect of the Brave Writer Lifestyle, let us know! Email your post’s url to Jeannette, our Social Media admin (blog@bravewriter.com). Thanks!

Image by Brave Writer mom, Kirsti (cc)

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Tuesday Teatime: Very first!

Tuesday Teatime Caitlin 1

It’s raining Pigs and Noodles over here!

My three little friends thoroughly enjoyed their first Tuesday Teatime. My eldest wrote a poem once our time time was over and just read it to me.

I Ate 10 Pies

I ate 10 pies.
I really am so fat.
I can’t get through the door.
And that is that.

Tuesday Teatime Caitlin 2

Not bad for our first session…


Image (cc)

Want to start your own Poetry Teatime? Here’s how.

Would you like your family featured on Tuesday Teatime? Email us your teatime photos with a few lines about your experience (put “Teatime” in the subject line)! If we select your photo to post then you’ll receive a free Arrow or Boomerang of your choice (once per family). Note: all submissions fall under Creative Commons licensing.

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The sky is the limit


Hi Julie,

We have just begun our Brave Writer Journey.

My daughter, Sara, has left traditional school after the completion of tenth grade. I was watching the system stamp out all the creativity that drives my daughter’s soul. It was suffocating her.

This summer she started out with the photography and writing course. Sara is more engaged than I have ever witnessed. Her camera is barely set down and she has spent hours everyday taking photos and in the online classroom.

This transformation is what I have been hoping and praying for as this daughter is special beyond words. Everything traditional school does and expects drives that specialness into a deep dark cave.

Now that she is starting to find her voice in a safe and supportive community I can only believe that the sky is the limit.

Thank you


The next Photography and Writing class starts September 2nd!

Check it out!

Image © Jan Wachala | Dreamstime.com

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Friday Freewrite: You’re awesome

187/365 - 4/13/2011

List three things that make you awesome then elaborate on one of them.

New to freewriting? Check out our online guide.

Image by Gabriela Pinto (cc)

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Student Spotlight: Kaylee


Brave Writer students are so creative!

Here’s a writing project based on a Daily Writing Tip (use specific words in a letter to someone–and it can be fictional). The words were:





Kaylee’s letter:

I regret to inform you parents/guardians of Emma Thomson. Your child Emma is fanciful. She believes in another land or world. When we discussed this with her, she was very emphatic that this is true. I would like to clarify that this kind of imagination, to an extent, is healthy. But she has taken it too far and thus it needs to be purged out of her.

If you are successful in your attempt it will most definitely improve your daughter’s character, and most likely, will not damage her sprightly personality.

–Kaylee (17)

Image © Yukchong Kwan | Dreamstime.com

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Avoid the temptation to judge your child’s brain

Image by Yahiliz-blog
I get calls occasionally from public school parents who want to use Brave Writer to beef up their kids’ skill set in writing using BW as an extra-curricular tool. We’re good with that! We’ve had loads of public schooled kids in our programs.

One distinct feature of these calls is that the parents are highly aware of their children’s standardized test scores, IQ numbers, and grades. The system continually assesses students and gives parents sets of numbers to tell them whether or not to be proud of their kids, or desperately worried about them. All this numerical analysis is so unhelpful to the parent-child relationship!

Whether a child scores well or poorly tells us very little about the human being living in the skin of your precious child. Spelling scores tell you nothing about the child’s mind life. Computers can be programmed to correct spellings—they can’t be programmed to tell stories worth reading.

A child’s IQ should never be known by the child (and it if were up to me, by the parent either). Once you label a child’s mind as smart or average or “good enough,” you subtly shift your expectations (even if you try not to!). You will be temped to think that your child either should be performing at a much higher capacity (according to some arbitrary standard of what “educated” means) or that that child should be steered away from rigorous academics due to limited intelligence.

Both of these positions are absurd! Human beings are more than the sum of scores and school practices. Intelligence resides in social skills, empathy, artistic promise, and athletic ability as surely as it does in nailing the reading comprehension portion of a pressurized, fake, standardized test with Scantron bubbles.

(An aside: homeschool kids routinely perform less well than expected on reading comprehension tests, to the mystification of their parents who know that their kids read more widely and deeply than most of their schooled peers. There’s a reason for this. Reading comprehension tests have nearly nothing to do with pondering themes deeply, seeing connections to broader concerns, or extrapolating powerful lessons from the story itself. Reading comprehension tests concern themselves with retaining picky details under pressure. Triple UGH! Useless!)

The best education you can give your child is one where you value your child’s natural strengths as they make themselves known to you. You can’t know them through tests. You already know them through life—you KNOW your children! You are home with them all the time. You know! Honor and love the socks off those rascals!

When you see a child show generosity, say so!

When your kid scores four times in one soccer match, that’s the time you say, “You have incredible athletic skills.”

When your son brokers peace among fighting factions of siblings, you thank him for being a peace-maker.

When your daughter creates a system that streamlines where homeschool tools and books go so everyone can find them easily, you recognize her superbly organized mind!

If you are worried (a child is “behind” in math, for instance), do not test! You know! Get help. Do not limit your child’s chance of success by pre-determining that that child is not good at math or better work really hard or she’ll never make it to college.

Be positive, believe more in your child’s mind than the test-makers, and add brownies. Make a plan, stick to the plan. You are not behind. Your child is not “dumb” or “damaged.” Your child is your child with a set of experiences and aptitudes. Your job is to nourish and nurture them.

Every brain has a genius. Pay attention to your child’s particular bents and you’ll find it. Stop letting school and testing tell you who your child is.


P.S. I don’t get all “capital letter-y” very often, but this morning, I just had to.

Cross-posted on facebook. Water writing image by Brave Writer mom, Yahiliz.

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Tuesday Teatime: Pinkies out!

Tuesday Teatime Rebecca

Tea time has always been one of our most favorite times. My 10 year old son is known as the “tea time nazi” due to his insistence that we always use the formal, nature themed tea set. Every. Single. Time.

Here he is a little over a week ago with his cousin, enjoying an impromptu tea time break – which was preceded by a Minecraft binge and followed up by a dip in the pool.

The boys opted to “discuss things” instead of our usual tea time read aloud tradition.

Pinkies out!


Image (cc)

Want to start your own Poetry Teatime? Here’s how.

Would you like your family featured on Tuesday Teatime? Email us your teatime photos with a few lines about your experience (put “Teatime” in the subject line)! If we select your photo to post then you’ll receive a free Arrow or Boomerang of your choice (once per family). Note: all submissions fall under Creative Commons licensing.

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