Bring Your Friendship Voice to the Table

Shared Learning Mode: Bring Your Friendship Voice to the Table

Move into “shared learning mode” (instead of “teacher mode”) when home educating.

Be the one who:

  • is curious,
  • doesn’t know all the answers,
  • wonders aloud,
  • is inspired by a child’s idea,
  • gets a kick out of her kid’s antics.

Let go of your need to be obeyed, thanked, and appreciated.

It’s a little shift—a tiny tweak, really, to sit on the same side of the learning table as your child. It’s the unique opportunity that is not always possible in school.

Lucky us!

The Brave Learner

Engage with Nature: Week 1

Engage with Nature Week 1

Spring hasn’t been canceled!

  • Walk around your neighborhood.
  • Play in the backyard.
  • Look out the window.

Nature is there, ready to burst with new life.

It’s a wonderful time to ground our kids in the steady cycles of nature all around us.

Nature Study is an integral part of the Brave Writer Lifestyle. To encourage you to add or maintain nature study routines in this unusual time, we created twenty simple prompts to help you and yours engage with nature.

Each Friday in April we’ll share five simple ideas.

Pick one to do the following week, then let us know what you did by sharing on Instagram (#bravewriterlifestyle) or in our Brave Schoolers Facebook group.

Ideas for Week 1

  • Get down and take a close look at a patch of ground.
  • Chase the sun! Make it a quest to find the BEST spot to enjoy the sunrise or sunset. 
  • Wonder out loud about something you see outside.
  • When your kids spot a bird or a bug or a leaf, make a BIG deal about what awesome observation skills they have! 
  • Count colors in nature as you drive, walk, or look out the window.


Friday Freewrite: Ups and Downs

Friday Freewrite Ups and Downs

Let’s explore the saying: “Life is full of ups and downs.”

  • On a piece of paper, list two or three recent “down” times (for example, when you felt sad or frustrated or scared).
  • Then list the same number of “up” experiences (when you felt happy or excited or peaceful).
  • Next, cut the statements into separate strips.
  • Place the statements in any order you like. For instance, alternating “up, down, up, down” or “down, up, down, up,” or sharing all the “downs” first then all the “ups” (or vice versa).
  • Read aloud your string of statements (to help it read more like a story, feel free to insert connecting words like “and,” “but” or “then”).
  • Now rearrange them and see how that changes the tone or feel.

New to freewriting? Check out our online guide.

A Surprise Package of New Ideas

A Surprise Package of New Ideas

Back in 2002, I dreaded opening a big thick textbook for any school subject. There’s something heavy about knowing you have 200+ pages of any program to get through, delivered all at once, to be parsed out correctly over ten months.

I had been using Family Fun magazine as my primary schooling inspiration in the 1990s, and loved it! Each month came fresh. Felt like a surprise package of good new ideas!

It dawned on me that we could do something similar for writing and education at home.

  • What if we picked one read aloud per month for the whole family?
  • What if all the language arts activities and practices were included in one package?
  • What if the practices could be modified up or down for a variety of ages and skills?

The Arrow was born—one book to read aloud, one family to listen, four copywork/dictation passages to adapt to all levels + notes in conversational English, one literary element explored, one writing activity to try. The Arrow spread like wildfire. I think you all felt relieved, just like I did. One month at a time.

I must have tapped into something because the Arrow quickly became our best-selling product (still is). We expanded to create similar products for other levels (the Boomerang is the higher level). And we’ve expanded the contents to include discussion questions and book club party ideas.

Today, the monthly Arrow and Boomerang run some 40 pages! We don’t leave you to figure out how to use them either. We provide detailed, user-friendly guidelines, too.

What’s cool is we’ve been at it for 18 years so we have a slew of single issues for a wide variety of titles. You can pick a book you want to read and buy an Arrow or Boomerang to go with it.

For under $12.00 (!), you will purchase a month’s worth of reading, writing, and language arts for multiple ages of kids, complete with guidance for how to grow your writers.

Check out the Single Issues of the Arrow and Boomerang in our store.

We have free samples (click on single issues pages) for you as well. All products are digital and can be printed at home or via any print shop if you prefer.

The Homeschool Alliance: April 2020

Homeschool Alliance: Mathematical Relationships

A New Angle: Mathematical Relationships

Worried about your children’s math skills? Your own relationship to math? 

Did you know your feelings about math and your kids impact how well your children learn mathematics?

In April’s Homeschool Alliance Master Class, we’ll explore how to live a mathematical lifestyle, so “Everyday Math” can become a foundational part of math learning in your homeschool from early childhood through high school. 

Julie Schneider of Boco Learning will present our webinar “How to Follow a Child’s Curiosity to Conquer Your Anxiety and Help them Succeed in Math” at 7 pm ET, Thursday, April 9.

As Julie says, “The answer isn’t another worksheet.”

Instead, create a life of math-rich experiences!

The Homeschool Alliance