Blog Roundup: March 2018 Edition

March 2018 Blog Roundup

Welcome to the latest blog roundup! This month’s theme in the Brave Writer Lifestyle is Big Juicy Conversations. See how these homeschooling families have implemented this theme in their homes.

Our Brave Writer Lifestyle Plans in March by My Little Poppies

Big Juicy Conversations in Our Homeschool by Nourishing My Scholar

5 Tools to Encourage Big Juicy Conversations in Your Homeschool by Bethany Ishee

See how other homeschooling families use Brave Writer:

5 Easy Ways To Explore Language Arts In A Relaxed Homeschool by Bethany Ishee

Is Brave Writer Enough? by You Really Can Homeschool

How We Use Brave Writer Arrow and Boomerang Guides by Learning Well Community

How We Use Brave Writer’s Partnership Writing Program by Learning Well Community

Using Brave Writer’s Quiver of Arrows by Blossom and Root

Nim’s Island Book Club by Hide the Chocolate

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 Thanks!

Brave Writer Lifestyle

Brave Writer Podcast: Natural Stages of Growth as a Home Educator

Brave Writer Podcast Stages of Growth

In Brave Writer we talk a lot about the natural stages of growth for young writers, which help parents place their children and figure reasonable expectations. Today we’re looking at the natural stages of development for homeschool instructors.

If you are a home educating parent, this is made for you – and if you are married to someone who is not a home educating parent, this may serve as a helpful guide for them. Even if your spouse is not on the exact same journey, it is valuable for them to understand the unique journey you’re undertaking.

Stage 1 – Jumping In!

Quite often, home educators jump into homeschooling without any formal training. We’re drawn to the notion of bonded family, participating in our children’s firsts, and the idea that we can provide something better or different than the school system… but we don’t necessarily know what the heck we’re doing!

At this point, the blossoming home educator is probably going to be quite enthusiastic about their new decision, and this is contrasted by little to no change in your children. Your children didn’t make a big decision to get excited about – they are just living their lives.

This stage may last anywhere from 6-12 months, no matter what ages your kids are.

Read the rest of this entry »

Friday Freewrite: Grocery Shopping

Friday Freewrite Grocery Shopping

If you were in complete control of the grocery list and could get whatever you wanted for one shopping trip, what would you buy?

New to freewriting? Check out our online guide.

Writing Coach Interview: Karen O’Connor

Writing Coach Interview with Karen O'Connor

Continuing our series of interviews with our fabulous writing instructors, here’s the latest installment: an interview with the incredible Karen O’Connor!

Karen O’Connor is a published author, mentor, and speaker who loves to work with Brave Writer students in her Write For Fun classes. She is also Julie’s mom! Watching young people share their thoughts and ideas and creativity keeps her smiling. And when she isn’t teaching she’s either hiking or line dancing or playing choo-choo train with her great-grandson Massey.

What kind of a writer were you in high school?
Writing was always my best subject. I worked on our high school newspaper.

You’re a new addition to the crayon box. What color would you be and why?
I’d be mint green (unless someone beat me to it). I wore a mint green and lace dress to my senior prom and since then that color has been my favorite.

Read the rest of this entry »

Movie Wednesday: The Phantom of the Opera

Movie Wednesday The Phantom of the Opera

by Amy Frantz, Brave Writer alum

Christine Daaé is an orphaned chorus girl living in the ballet dormitories of the Opera Populaire. After a mishap in rehearsal, the reigning prima donna storms out, declaring that she will not perform that night, and Christine is called upon to replace the temperamental diva amidst anxiety that the accident was the work of “the opera ghost.” The performance is an outstanding success for Christine, who has been taking voice lessons from a mysterious “Angel of Music.” Afterwards she is reunited with her childhood sweetheart and the new patron of the opera house, the handsome Raoul, but before Raoul can take Christine for a romantic outing, she is spirited away by the Angel of Music. Down beneath the opera house, Christine must confront the identity of the man behind her masked angel as she begins to suspect that the phantom haunting the Opera Populaire may not be so spectral after all.

[This post contains Amazon affiliate links. When you click on those links to make purchases,
Brave Writer receives compensation at no extra cost to you. Thank you!]

The Phantom of the Opera, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s award-winning musical based on the novel by Gaston Leroux (originally serialized from 1909 to 1910), opened on the West End in 1986. One of the most successful works of musical theatre to this day, and the longest running Broadway show, it was adapted into a film in 2004, directed by Joel Schumacher and starring Gerard Butler, Emmy Rossum, and Patrick Wilson as the ill-fated love triangle at the center of this extravagent Gothic Romance.

Famously, Lloyd Webber first entertained the idea of turning Leroux’s novel into a musical one afternoon when he happened to pick up the book at a shop to read. Although Lloyd Webber felt that the classic novel, which has inspired countless adaptations and derivative works, was a “confused” book, he also thought that it could be turned into a successful musical if the story were refocused into a high romance.

The stage musical opened to critical acclaim and became a phenomenon almost overnight. Talk of adapting the stage show to screen began in the late ’80s when the production went to Broadway, but did not come to fruition until the early ’00s.

With lavish sets and costumes meant to create a sense of “heightened reality,” with Lloyd Webber’s iconic score played on a 105 piece orchestra, the 2004 film is a feast for the senses. But at its core the story still remains one that asks the audience to ponder deep questions such as the line between intense love and obsession, as well as social prejudice against those who are different.

A note to parents: The Phantom of the Opera (2004) is rated PG-13. We recommend looking up the film on sites such as Kids in Mind before deciding if it is right for your family.

Discussion Questions

  • Do you think the Phantom loves Christine or is he simply unhealthily obsessed? Explain your answer.
  • At the end of the story, Christine returns the Phantom’s ring and departs with Raoul. Do you think Christine made the right choice? How would the story change if she made a different decision?
  • Christine is an orphan and feels the loss of her father strongly. Do you think her lack of parental figures makes her particularly vulnerable to the Phantom’s manipulations? Explain your answer
  • Due to his deformity, the Phantom has faced extreme social prejudice and abuse which has caused him to become violent. He blames his deformity for Christine being unable to love him, but Christine says that the “true distortion” is in his soul. What do you think the story may be trying to say about social stigmas and the impact they can have on a person?
  • What is your favorite song in the musical and why?

Additional Resources

25th Anniversary production of the stage musical starring Ramin Karimloo, Sierra Boggess, and Hadley Fraser.

Official Phantom of the Opera YouTube channel – Behind the scenes of the stage productions, trailers, and more

Movie Discussion Club