January 2019 Arrow Book Club

Brave Writer Arrow January Book Club

The Arrow Book Club for January 2019 is starting soon! It’s hard to believe that December is almost halfway over already, but January will be here sooner than you know it, and we at Brave Writer want to make sure you don’t miss out on the January Arrow Book Club.

If you’re looking for an easy way into online classes for your child, the book clubs are great for that! Kids love “talking” (a.k.a. writing) about books. In these Brave Writer classes, they will be able to discuss the books freely with instructor guidance and encouragement.

Also a FREE digital copy of our language arts guide based on the book is provided.

[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!]

January’s Arrow Book Club selection is Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes by Eleanor Coerr.

Hiroshima-born Sadako is an active, full-of-life athlete until she falls ill with leukemia. Legend holds that if a sick person folds one thousand paper cranes, they will regain their health. Sadako takes up the challenge with courage and bravery. Based on a true story, this short, classic tale will touch your heart.

Purchase the novel here.

The Arrow Book Club provides an online discussion space (asynchronous, bulletin board style) for students to learn to discuss literature using literary analysis vocabulary without the pressure of writing “essays.” Homeschool students especially need the chance to talk about what they read—-yet the busy mother-of-many doesn’t always have time to take the discussion to a written form.

Let Brave Writer help you. These book discussions are drawn from entertaining works of fiction that your kids are sure to love!


Caveat: Please remember that you’re the parent. If you have doubts about the content of a particular book, please check the reviews of the novel or read it for yourself first.

Also starting in January are our Boomerang and Pouch Book Clubs.

Brave Writer Podcast: Community is Self-Care with Jennifer Hunter

Brave Writer Podcast: Ask Julie!

Homeschooling can be a lonely journey. Our days are filled with little faces, but quality time with a fellow adult might be sparse!

Today’s (Canadian!) podcast guest of honor, Jennifer Hunter, wrote to me about experiencing loneliness in her current season of life as a large, single-vehicle family with small children.

Do you ever feel overwhelmed with the effort, expectations, and disappointment of making new friends? I’ve been there! And I’m here to help.

Brave Writer Podcast S5E6

Being part of a community is an essential part of your self-care.

Jennifer and I chat about:

  • Taking the risk to be vulnerable & reveal a need
  • The importance of modeling Awesome Adulting
  • How to engage in your passions with or without your kids
  • Leaving perfectionistic guilt in the dust

Are you ready to take the courageous leap and carve out a slice of sacred time for yourself?

Start with this episode: pour yourself a mug of something warm, and press play.

What about when homeschooling is lonely?

Our fantasies for more don’t go away when we ignore them; they grow and they become a voracious appetite for your soul. If these feelings are pushed down, the appetite becomes so large that it could shipwreck the thing you value the most.

So, pay attention to your hungers and value them. If there’s a pain somewhere, that means there is a need that matters and needs to be addressed. It’s important to give yourself love and kindness, just like you do for your children. You’re modeling self-care for your kiddos!

When looking for new friends, whether they’re people who you can spend time with to get a break from your children or potential family friends, remember that everybody has different needs and desires. It might take multiple attempts to find a good match, but don’t give up!

Julie’s Advice

  • Start by defining for yourself some affinities. What are you curious and passionate about? What will make you happy? Get as specific as possible in your free write and remember this is for your eyes only, so anything goes!
  • Put your intention in multiple places. You have the freedom to test things out until you find a match, and you’re not married to anything – and if it doesn’t work out, know that there will always be another opportunity.
  • The anticipation of an upcoming event can be a lifeline to hold onto during periods of drought. So, stay alert and look for opportunities that will nourish you. It doesn’t have to be a weekly group get-together; choose what works for your comfort level.
  • You should also make some space to be alone with yourself and have introvert time. Journal about your intentions, and the energy you put into your intentions will be matched. Trust that the realization of those intentions will not only come from sheer grit – sources outside of your own will become apparent, and will come to your aid as you stay attentive.
  • Make a bulleted list of your ideal situation: what kind of friend you want, what their family looks like, their interests, activities you could do together, etc. Try to focus on the possible positive outcomes and don’t worry about failure!
  • Now look at your list in three categories: Social Media. Local Support. Collaboration.

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: Playing Cards

Brave Writer Friday Freewrite Playing Cards

Take a deck of playing cards and pick a suit (clubs, diamonds, hearts, spades). Within that suit, choose a card and describe it in as much detail as you can. What does it look and feel like? Does it have a bent corner? Etc.

New to freewriting? Check out our online guide.

DEEP DIVE with us into the magical world of Harry Potter!

Brave Writer DEEP DIVE into the magical world of Harry Potter

Whether your kids are new to Harry Potter or veteran “Potterheads,” this delightful franchise primarily following the journey of the Boy Who Lived is not only enchanting to experience but is also a great opportunity to DEEP DIVE into literary techniques, adaptation theory, and even playwriting!

The Harry Potter universe is rich with diverse forms of storytelling and delves into universal themes such as love, loss, and the need to make a stand for what one believes in.

[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 first installment of the Harry Potter novels by J.K. Rowling was published in the UK in 1997. As difficult as it may be to believe now, at the time Rowling was a complete unknown. A first-time author, she had written much of the first Harry Potter novel in a small flat while desperately trying to support herself and her young daughter. She had no idea that her little novel would explode into one of the biggest franchises of all time!

The Story

The Harry Potter series follows a boy wizard who, at its onset, does not know he is a wizard. An orphan raised by his abusive aunt and uncle, and tormented by his cousin, Harry believes there is nothing special about him at all, until one day a giant arrives and informs Harry that he is a wizard. Not only that but somehow, as a baby, Harry survived an attack from the greatest dark wizard of all time, Lord Voldemort. Harry’s parents died in the attack, but miraculously Harry survived with only a lightning bolt shaped scar on his forehead, and Voldemort’s powers were broken.

Harry leaves behind his miserable life with his aunt and uncle and begins magical training at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. There he meets his best friends, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger, and together they face mysterious plots, the impending return of Lord Voldemort, and perhaps most terrifying of all…end of year exams!

Diving In

The Harry Potter franchise now encompasses a book series, film adaptations, supplementary materials, a play, and now new films taking place long before Harry ever went to Hogwarts. It is one of the most successful and well-loved franchises and it provides a wealth of language rich experiences for kids and teens.

One of the wonderful things about Harry Potter is that you can decide how deeply you want to dive. If your child only wants to read the books, there is still so much to be learned, discussed, and examined. But if they want to read the books and watch the films, or if they want to take the full plunge into paratexts and prequels and plays, there is so, so much to be discovered.

Brave Writer Resources

A great resource for your deep dive is our Arrow guide for the first Harry Potter novel. The Arrow is the monthly digital product that features copywork and dictation passages from a specific read aloud novel.

You can also register for our Arrow Book Club in May, which will cover the first Harry Potter novel.

In addition, we have Movie Wednesday posts for the first Harry Potter film as well as Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. They include summaries and discussion questions, along with party ideas, recipes, and crafts.

Need even more discussion questions for Big Juicy Conversations?

Here are some more ideas to give your kids food for thought.

  • Is Harry an unreliable narrator? The books are primarily from Harry’s point of view and present his thoughts and feelings as integrated parts of the narrative. Multiple times in the books, Harry makes assumptions about characters and their motives which are often proven wrong at the end, even though these assumptions are presented as fact at first. Should we ever completely trust Harry’s observations, then?
  • A red herring is when a writer deliberately misleads the reader to come to an incorrect conclusion. Perhaps the most famous red herring in the Harry Potter series is Sirius Black in the Prisoner of Azkaban. Can you think of any other red herrings in the series? Which ones and did any of them fool you the first time?
  • If you looked into the Mirror of Erised, what do you think you would see?
  • The Goblet of Fire film is noticeably different from the book it adapts in order to conform to time constraints. When the movies were being made, there were quite a few fans who felt that the fourth book should have been adapted into two films instead of trying to cram the whole book (it’s over 700 pages long!) into a single film. Do you think the fourth Harry Potter film suffers from such heavy condensing or do you think the streamlined structure makes for a better film? Explain your answer.

A note to parents: Although the first three Harry Potter films are rated PG, many of the later films are rated PG-13 and contain some dark, mature, or frightening elements. We recommend looking up the films on sites such as Common Sense Media before deciding if they are right for your family.

The ArrowLearn language arts with the Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone Arrow!

The Arrow is the monthly digital product that features copywork and dictation passages from a specific read aloud novel (you purchase or obtain the novels yourself). It’s geared toward children ages 8-11 and is an indispensable tool for parents who want to teach language arts in a natural, literature-bathed context.

2019 Spring Classes: Registration is OPEN

Brave Writer Online Classes

Registration is OPEN!!

Secure your spot in our spring online writing classes

The biggest threat to our children’s education is putting “school” ahead of “learning.” Our online class program prioritizes writing growth—not writing grades.

Can’t wait to work with you and your kids!

If you have any difficulties registering contact us asap at help@bravewriter.com. Put URGENT in the email and a phone number if you want a call. We’ll be ready to help!