Get Ready: Cyber Monday Sale is Coming!

Brave Writer 2018 Cyber Monday Sale

Cyber Monday is around the corner!

The Brave Writer elves are gearing up for the holiday season by offering a Big Discount on Brave Writer products for one day only AND a Brand New Item in the Holiday Shoppe that will make the perfect gift for your Brave Schooling Brave Writer friends!

Tune in to my live broadcast today where I’ll share more details about our Cyber Monday sale plus I’ll give you a first look at our new Holiday Shoppe item (you’re gonna love it)!

JOIN ME on Facebook or Instagram LIVE Nov. 14, 2018 at 11:30 AM ET.

30% discount on ALL Brave Writer products purchased in our store (not classes) for 24 hours. Sale starts on Monday November 26 9:00 AM (Eastern) and ends 9:00 AM (Eastern) on Tuesday November 27.

Monday, November 26 will also be the opening of our annual Holiday Shoppe! It will provide you with gift ideas for holiday shopping and will be open through midnight Eastern Dec. 31, 2018.

JOIN ME on Facebook or Instagram LIVE
this morning (Wednesday) at 11:30 AM ET.

Movie Wednesday: Next Gen

Brave Writer Movie Wednesday Next Gen

by Amy Frantz

Mai has never been the same since her dad left. Her well-meaning but self-centered mother tries to help, but it often feels like the mother and daughter are speaking two different languages when they attempt to connect. When Mai wanders off on her own, a chance encounter with a secret and experimental new AI changes her life.

[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!]

Next Gen is a Chinese-North-American CG animation science fiction film released in 2018. It stars the voices of Charlyne Yi and Constance Wu.

A common trope in stories is “the boy and his X.” The “X” can stand for robot, monster, or any unique entity. As the trope name suggests, these stories are often centered around boys who form a deep, unusual bond with another being as they come of age.

In Next Gen, the main character is instead a girl who forms a connection with a special robot, which helps her to heal and grow past her pain, allowing her to reconnect with her mother and finally form healthy relationships. The film is an interesting look at both the ways in which the trope changes around the main character’s gender and the ways in which it remains fundamentally the same regardless of gender.

A note to parents: Next Gen is rated TV-PG, but we would still recommend looking up the film on sites like Common Sense Media, since it does contain intense animated violence and implied swearing (no actual swearing is heard in the film), before deciding if it is right for your family.

Discussion Questions

  • Mai has a lot of misdirected anger over her father leaving, which she channels into retaliatory violence against the kids who’ve been picking on her. What is the difference, do you think, between standing up for oneself and simply becoming another bully?
  • Mai is a flawed character, who has to learn from her mistakes and heal herself emotionally. At which points in the film do you think Mai demonstrates this growth and how does she demonstrate it?
  • The film tells us that “memories make us who we are.” 7723 gives up his memories, essentially who he is, to save Mai. At the end of the film, Mai is shown “teaching” 7723. Do you think it will ever be possible for Mai to regain the friend she had, or is that version of 7723 gone forever along with the deleted memories? Explain your answer.
  • Molly, Mai’s mother, uses robots and technology to fill the gap in her life left by her husband leaving and much to the detriment of her relationship with her daughter. But by contrast, Mai’s friendship with 7723 (a robot) allows her to heal, confront her flaws, and repair the relationship with her mother. What do you think the film may be trying to say about the roles of technology in our lives and its healthy vs. unhealthy uses?

Additional Resources

Next Gen is streaming on Netflix

Next Gen soundtrack

Amy Frantz is a Brave Writer alum and now works as a Virtual Marketing Assistant for Brave Writer. When not over-analyzing Star Wars, she has a lot of feelings about fictional robots.

Movie Discussion Club

2019 Spring Class Schedule

Brave Writer Online Classes

Brave Writer Spring Writing Classes

Registration opens Monday, December 3, 2018 at noon ET

Mark your calendars. Classes fill quickly!

We grow writers—we’re not about grading them. Sure, if you need a grade for a high school transcript, we’ll provide one to you. But our fundamental commitment is to growing writers—helping your kids become fluent, powerful writers. What’s interesting is that our students realize that this environment for writing is about their growth. They feel it!

Here’s what one essay student told us:

This class really changed my drive to do my English work. Normally, I thought that English, as a subject, was boring and either too easy or arbitrarily difficult. Yet, this was a class I enjoyed doing, and as so, I looked forward to it each morning, while still being challenged to an appropriate degree. (Jayden)

I mean, wow! Isn’t that amazing? I love that our classes deliver this kind of self-awareness and hunger for learning to write.

If you’re looking for support in transforming your child’s experience of writing, Brave Writer’s online class program is perfect for you!

Tune in to my live webinar today where I’ll share more details about our online writing class program and answer any questions you may have.

JOIN ME on Facebook LIVE this morning at 11:30 AM ET. Edited: Here’s the REPLAY if you missed the broadcast.

Spring Class Schedule

Brave Writer Podcast: Growing a Mind & Cultivating Curiosity with Christa Gregg

Brave Writer Podcast

Have you ever wondered if you’re teaching your kids “all the things”?

Do you worry that they’ll reach age 18, and they won’t have some piece of information or some subject studied well enough and it will be “all your fault”?

Join me while Christa Gregg and I discuss the weighty responsibility of being a homeschool parent.

Brave Writer Podcast S5E2

We talk about how to create a family dynamic that naturally explores all manner of subjects without that “school teacher voice” so many of us resort to. It’s a wonderful conversation and ends with a particularly poignant worry that I think many of you will understand. So listen to the end!

Making the Shift

How do we shift us from a “this is school time” mindset to a “we can be learning all the time” mindset – without turning EVERYTHING into a lesson?

Christa, like so many homeschooling parents, wants to create a culture of learning and engender curiosity in her children. But how do we do this without forcing it down their throats?

We need to remember that sometimes trying to create a lesson or plan, getting into “teacher mode,” is the very thing that makes it feel stale. It can be scary, it can feel like flying blind, but learning moments arise around us naturally every day – we just need to get into the habit of capitalizing on them.

When we trust our engagement with our children and the world around us, these learning moments foster what Julie likes to call Big Juicy Conversations!

So, practice being self-aware in these moments and pay attention to your children’s reactions. If you feel distraction and disinterest from them, be aware that you need to shift out of that current mode… and your children will guide you if you let them! This isn’t an issue of not having enough ideas, this is an issue of trusting your children.

Remember you are growing a mind, not establishing beliefs.

Julie’s Recommendations

  • TRUST. Trust the natural process. Stop teaching, get curious, and let your children guide you.
  • Make a note on your calendar and keep track of the patterns where you move in and out of teaching mode and curiosity mode.
  • We’re looking for peace and progress in our homeschool. You can achieve that by toggling between skillwork and fun application. For example: for math, practice skill work through a workbook, then apply fun through a game, cooking, etc. — some way to encounter math in a real tangible way.
  • Don’t become too deeply rooted on either side. Try to have a good blend of skills work and fun.
  • Make the challenging skill work more of a collaboration. Remember the shoulder-to-shoulder concept with things you want your children to learn. Don’t just check boxes – collaborate and learn together!
  • You are a deep person and what you want is depth for your own children. Trust that this is already happening!

Please post a review on iTunes for us (here’s a handy guide)?
Help a homeschooler like you find more joy in the journey. Thanks!

The Brave Learner

Friday Freewrite: Favorite Word

Brave Writer Friday Freewrite Favorite Word

What is your favorite word? Come up with as many sentences as you can using that word.

New to freewriting? Check out our online guide.