Friday Freewrite: A Day in a Dollar’s Life

Friday Freewrite a day in a dollar

Write about a day from the point of view of a dollar bill in a cashier’s drawer.

New to freewriting? Check out our online guide.


Movie Wednesday: Jane Eyre

Movie Wednesday Jane Eyre

Jane Eyre is an orphan. She lives in her cruel aunt’s household where she is mistreated and blamed for her mistreatment. Her aunt soon sends her away to an all girls boarding school where the appalling living conditions are matched only by the ill-treatment of the students. Finally, as an adult, Jane departs and takes up a governess position at Thornfield Hall where she meets the enigmatic Mr. Rochester. A strong passion begins to grow between Jane and her employer, but there are mysteries contained within Thornfield that will threaten everything Jane has come to know and love.


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Brave Writer receives compensation at no extra cost to you. Thank you!]


Originally published as Jane Eyre: An Autobiography under the penname Currer Bell in 1847, Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre is considered a classic of Gothic Romance and has been oft adapted to screen with films dating back as far as 1910.

In 2011, Jane Eyre was once again adapted to screen by director Cary Fukunaga and starring Mia Wasikowska in the titular role and Michael Fassbender as Mr. Rochester, alongside Judi Dench as Mrs. Fairfax. This film tells Jane’s story out of sequence, beginning with her fleeing Thornfield and flashing back to the events that led her to do so.

A note to parents: Jane Eyre (2011) is rated PG-13. We recommend looking up the film on sites such as Commonsense Media for detailed lists of content so that you can make an informed decision about whether the film is right for your family.

Discussion Questions

  • The 2011 film uses a nonlinear narrative, meaning scenes are out of strict chronological sequence, did you find it difficult or easy to follow? How does the format impact the telling of the story?
  • Jane begins at Thornfield as Mr. Rochester’s employee, he even withholds a portion of her wages attempting to insure she returns from visiting her ailing aunt, how do you think that impacts the power balance between the two characters? Is it possible to form a healthy relationship when one person holds most of the power in a dynamic?
  • Fire is a running motif throughout the story, beginning as small candle flames and hearths but escalating to engulf Thornfield Hall and disable Mr. Rochester, what do you think the fire represents?
  • Mr. Rochester withholds vital information about himself from Jane with disastrous consequences, why do you think he did that? And do you agree with Jane’s decision to return to him after she has learned the truth?

BoomerangLearn language arts with the Jane Eyre Boomerang!

The Boomerang is a monthly digital downloadable product that features copywork and dictation passages from a specific read aloud novel. It is geared toward 8th to 10th graders (ages 12—advanced, 13-15) and is the indispensable tool for Brave Writer parents who want to teach language arts in a natural, literature-bathed context.


The Preciousness of Life

The Preciousness of Life

This August we’re reading Station Eleven in our Boomerang Book Club (the book club for teens). Written by a Canadian homeschooler (Emily St. John Mandel), it was a national book award finalist.

The story is about a post-pandemic world where not enough people survive to sustain life as we currently know it—no one to ship our goods across oceans, no one to run the power grid, no one to drill for oil and turn it into petroleum, no more harvesting of crops, no running water, and so on… The modern world grinds to a halt. The remnant population is forced to hunt and scavenge in the ruins of the 21st century.

I read this book last August, in fact. It so moved me, I wept openly on a plane, amazed at the miracle of flight—that I had been born in a time and place where transcontinental travel was taken for granted, that even my tray and cupholder were perfectly designed and formed: a delight to use. A miracle!

All year, I’ve lived with that feeling—that we have lost touch with just how incredible it is to be alive now, in this moment aware of all the moments that came before and able to take full advantage of all that we offer each other now.

It’s taken all ten thousand years and billions of human beings to create every single taken-for-granted item and service we live with daily—to be at a point where travel, telecommunications, and agriculture make life on our planet comfortable, productive, and stupendously amazing!

The overnight news of rising tensions between the US and North Korea (I’ll admit) freaked me out. I’m amped on adrenaline and the old 1970s fear of nuclear holocaust (only so much more aware of what that really means) has returned with a vicious vengeance. I found myself wishing I were already dead—I don’t want to be alive when nuclear holocaust comes. Honestly.

It struck me as prescient really that we are reading this book about a kind of post-apocalyptic world as a community this month.

It’s an illusion to think that tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow will be here waiting to be enjoyed or faced.

The luxury of the illusion of time allows us to be cranky, to be careless with our attitudes and words, to assume that an opulence of time allows us to mistreat one another knowing we can make up for it whenever we want to—some other day we can be kind, understanding, gentle, tender. Today, we’ll be moody, irritable, annoyed.

Yet today is a miracle—that you and I are still here, still sipping coffee, listening to music written by someone we’ll never meet, piped to us by machines the size of a pocket in a pair of jeans fueled by energy whose source is every bit as mysterious as a witch doctor’s incantation.

I’m typing my thoughts and they will instantly transmit to every corner of the globe through no effort of mine.

All of this astonishing achievement can be snatched from us in a moment—a careless, angry, ego-laden move by a national leader designed to protect one set of interests against another.

The real danger of our interconnected, startlingly brilliant 21st century world IS our interdependence—the collective need to collaborate rather than compete. Our nationality, our ethnicity, our geography hold us hostage. “Survival of the fittest” no longer works. To make it, we must partner and care about each other’s welfare as we do our own.

It starts at home. Today.

No more going nuclear on our kids, on our spouses.

No more permitting them to go nuclear on us.

It feels like we don’t have time to be cruel. I remember a friend saying years ago when faced with awfulness, to respond in the opposite spirit. It occurred to me tonight that in light of the international tension, we can flip the script at home.

It’s time to take time in hand and hold it gently, with reverence, sharing love with those we love, being kind and considerate. There’s no time to waste. This is it.

Be Good to You: Self Care Practices for the Homeschooling Parent


Friday Freewrite: Speaking to Animals

Friday Freewrite Speaking to Animals

One morning you discover you can speak to any animal of your choice. Which animal do you choose and what do you think you might talk about?

New to freewriting? Check out our online guide.


DEEP DIVE into Jane Austen’s World

Deep Dive into Jane Austen

DEEP DIVE into the world of Jane Austen!

If your kids are already avid Austen fans or are reluctant to take the plunge into her literary works, these additional resources (including film adaptions, biopics, and books inspired by her work) will enhance the experience of the avid fan as well as offer a more accessible “in” for those who are unsure.


[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!]


Jane Austen’s novels were originally published anonymously (several with the byline “By a Lady”) and brought her little fame in her lifetime. Two of her works were in fact only published after her death (Northanger Abby and Persuasion). Though she might not have been a household name in her time, she certainly is now. People of all ages and walks of life have enjoyed her stories across generations, as attested by the fact that her novels have been continuously in print since 1833.

Austen’s novels deal with concerns of marriage, social standing, etiquette, financial (in)stability, the importance of reputation, and the roles of women in society. The particulars of life in the 1800s may no longer be strictly relevant in the 21st Century, but Austen’s themes still resonate with readers to this day.

There is a wealth of material exploring Austen’s writing, her life, and her impact on her readership. So, let’s dive in!

Pride and Prejudice Quote

FILM ADAPTATIONS

Pride and Prejudice begins when two rich, eligible bachelors, Mr. Bingley and Mr. Darcy, move into the previously quiet countryside, stirring up a buzz of excitement as the ambitious Mrs. Bennett sees an opportunity to make advantageous marriages for her older daughters, Lizzie and Jane. Jane and Mr. Bingley immediately gravitate towards each other, but Lizzie overhears Mr. Darcy making snide comments about her family and determines that she will never like him. But fate has other plans as the unlikely pair are continuously thrown together and begin developing feelings which surprise them both.

First published in 1813, Jane Austen’s seminal comedy of manners has delighted readers and viewers alike and has been adapted to screen numerous times. This has the happy result of providing many choices for television and movie viewing. Some of the most notable are the 1995 BBC miniseries and the more recent 2005 film.

In addition, if you will be reading Pride and Prejudice, our Boomerang for the book provides a month’s worth of copywork/dictation, notes on grammar and literary style, as well as “think piece questions” to aid your children with literary analysis of the text.

Sense and Sensibility is the story of the Dashwood sisters, whose father passes away and leaves everything to their half-brother forcing them to move out of their own home and live meagerly with a distant relative. There the young women encounter love and heartache as they navigate their new social status.

Published in 1811, Sense and Sensibility was adapted into a film in 1995 directed by Ang Lee and starring Emma Thompson. This film is partially credited with a boom in interest around Austen’s work. There is also a Boomerang for Sense and Sensibility, which comes from the earlier years of Brave Writer and isn’t as robust as later issues (hence the lower price). It’s an oldie but still a goodie!

Becoming Jane is less of a biopic (the actual details of the authoress’s life are murky) than it is an ode to Austen’s published works. The film is partially based on the book Becoming Jane Austen by Jon Hunter Spence but plays fast and loose with historical fact. Still, have fun picking out the many references to Austen’s stories, particularly Pride and Prejudice.

BOOKS

Enjoy Jane Austen’s novels, of course.

Also in Polly Shulman’s Enthusiasm, Julie’s best friend, Ashleigh, is a Jane Austen enthusiast. Though Julie might not be as enthusiastic, both girls love Pride and Prejudice leading them to dress up in period clothes and sneak into a dance at an all-boys school looking for true love.

You can also use the Boomerang for Enthusiasm to further help teach language arts and delve more deeply into the book.

WRITING PROMPTS

  • Write the proposal scene in Pride and Prejudice from the rejected Mr. Collins’s point of view.
  • If you could be Elinor Dashwood in Sense and Sensibility for a day, what would you do?
  • Write about the scene in which Lizzie and Mr. Darcy dance together for the first time from the point of view of the dance floor.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

YouTube videos:

Regency Era Hairstyle Tutorial

What a Jane Austen Junk Journal might look like (How to Make a Junk Journal Tutorial)

The Life of Jane Austen

Website:

Jane Austen’s World – all about Jane Austen


Deep Investigation Led by Fascination!