Brave Writer started with the idea that a family could grow in writing if the mother felt equipped to coach her children in the writing process without damaging their relationship.
I wrote The Writer’s Jungle to fill that gap—to be the one curricula that focused on the process (both of writing and parent-child relating while writing).
The Writer’s Jungle continues to be the key resource that moves parents
and compassion for their kids.
Without the shift that The Writer’s Jungle offers (both in how to see writing and how to understand your role in that journey), other tools for writing will continue to lead you down the same paths—writer’s block, messy mechanics, stilted writing products, insufficient development in the writing piece itself, resistance, boredom, and the endless quest to know if you’re doing enough or too much or if your child is “on grade level.”
Not only that, other writing curricula give you a false sense of “writing competence.” Kids may churn out answers to prompts, they may follow the guidelines suggested yet never actually feel proud of what they write (excited by it, invested in it).
Just because a child has written 20 writing products in a year doesn’t mean that any of them are interesting to read.
Somehow the goal of being an original writer with interesting things to say, written with power and panache, has been edited out of many programs on the market today.
I’ve been asked many many times why The Writer’s Jungle (let’s face it—a three-ring binder with 246 pages and tab dividers) costs so much ($97.00 for the binder edition, $79.00 for the digital version). Why charge so much for this information?
One of the key differences between Brave Writer and any other program I know about in homeschooling is that The Writer’s Jungle spans the lifetime of your homeschool. We don’t offer “The Writer’s Jungle: Grade 1″ and “The Writer’s Jungle: Volume 7.” The tools and concepts in it are meant to last you for all your kids, for as long as they are at home with you. I hoped (12 years ago when I wrote the manual) that you would make this one purchase and not have to make any others.
While Brave Writer offers other products too (because so many of our fans have asked for them and appreciate how we teach, and want to marinate in our philosophy and practice), it is possible to simply own The Writer’s Jungle and teach your own kids for the rest of their lives using that one resource.
I did. I used the methods I share with you and never bought a single stitch of writing curriculum. I created my own writing assignments for my kids based on what they were studying and where they showed curiosity. I didn’t buy into the schoolish notion that kids were supposed to produce a “set” of writing assignments at each grade level. I focused instead on the liveliness of their communication, capitalizing on their interests, helping them to express those insights in writing. We fit the form to the content, not the other way around. Over time, they emerged as wonderful writers (all of them, even the resistant ones).
I realize now that not everyone will feel this level of confidence in coaching writing. I also know that what I do naturally doesn’t come naturally to others (you’ve all told me that!)—hence, our 100s of products 12 years later.
But the original thought was that you could use The Writer’s Jungle and be done with this endless quest for “the perfect writing curriculum.”
I still feel that way.
I remember overhearing two moms recently say that The Arrow, for instance, seemed unnecessary because anyone can pick passages for dictation—Why should Julie Bogart do that for us? I laughed. I agree! I say so in Chapter 1. If you open any novel you own, you can use any passage your finger finds, to good effect. They all work. Just do it. Be consistent. Get it done.
The Arrow and The Boomerang grew out of a cry from our customers—they wanted someone (me) to pick the passages and help them know what to say about the literature that would make copying the passage a rich experience in language arts. They wanted an “open-and-go” program. These are busy moms with lots of kids. I understood!
So in 2002, I started creating monthly products with the goal of keeping the instruction simple and easy to use (less is more). Clearly this approach (one small piece of curriculum per month, not overwhelming, not overly demanding) fit that bill beautifully because we’ve had nothing but success with those products.
Likewise, our new line of writing program products attempts to meet the other need—writing projects based on the developmental stages of growth in Chapter 14 of The Writer’s Jungle. You don’t HAVE to use these. But sometimes it’s nice to let someone else do the thinking. My goal is to provide HELP—not to replace you and your creativity, your intimate knowledge of your kids, or to hijack your family’s style of education.
When I wrote The Writer’s Jungle, I committed myself to helping families when they get stuck. That’s part of the price—my tangible help.
We have a website with hundreds of pages of free, useful material on it. I answer email, chat messages, and phone calls all day every day giving detailed, personal help to any customer who asks for it. Sometimes I’ve been on the phone with Australia at 3:00 a.m. on a Sunday night! (Time zone calculations are tough!)
My point is this: Brave Writer isn’t like other companies. We’ve relied on word of mouth and the laws of attraction, not promotion. I want to grow at a pace that can provide the support families require to be successful home educators. We are smaller than you might think. And to me, that’s a good thing. I love the way we’ve grown and I love our customers. And we’ve grown—tremendously—without sacrificing our commitment to you.
Many of us happily spend $97.00 on
2 video games,
1 dinner out as a family of six,
3 piano lessons,
a helmet for lacrosse,
2 hours of tutoring,
1 boxed curriculum for one single grade level,
24 cups of Starbucks!
What price would you put on transforming how you understand writing and teaching it? What if you could re-route the trajectory of your homeschool’s future? This is what Brave Writer families tell me—that writing changed for good, once they waded into our waters.
Brave Writer doesn’t sell curriculum. It sells transformation—the essential skills and ideas you need to become the effective writing coach and ally to your kids that you want to be. Not everyone needs what we offer. Some moms are already there, naturally. But for those who do need what we have, The Writer’s Jungle is the place to start and may even be, the end of your search.
My goal is for your family to be set on a new, freeing, transforming path, one that takes you all the way to college with your kids.
We aim to help you get there through timely, generous support, and to keep you writing, however we can.
Brave Writer intends to meet the needs of families who want to create lively, powerful, competent writers while fostering a nurturing home environment.
Peace and progress, in the writing process.
That’s what Brave Writer is all about.