Archive for the ‘Brave Writer Lifestyle’ Category

5 Tips for Your Morning Homeschool Routine

5 Tips for a SANE Homeschool Morning Routine

Some say: follow your children’s delight! Let them play and see what they want to learn.
Others say: plan your day with check boxes so that your kids know what to do when, and what to expect.

I found a third way—a practice that led to our

  • greatest productivity
  • most engaged learning
  • least conflict-producing atmosphere
  • best memories

Our Morning Routine became the foundation of our homeschool, and it happened by accident, and grew into the strength of our home education experience.

Watch the workshop below (recorded on Periscope) to learn more!

Nature Journaling

Best of the Brave Writer Blog: Nature Journaling

The world is mud-luscious and puddle-wonderful. ~e.e. cummings

Nature Journaling is an important part of the Brave Writer Lifestyle. Turn the exploration of the great, messy outdoors into a joyful writing opportunity!

The Basics

  • Walk together.
  • Collect little rocks, leaves, twigs, mosses, acorns, flowers, and feathers.
  • Bring them home.
  • Set a few of them on a large sheet of white paper in the center of the table.
  • Using drawing pencils and paper, sketch one or more of the items.
  • Then record a few details about the object or the day. One good sentence about the color, or texture or the memory of collecting it or what it looks like, or what it reminds the writer of, is perfect.

Branch Out!

Here are three blog posts full of tips that will enhance your nature journaling experience.

If You are New to Nature Journaling

Nature Journaling Wherever You Are

Writing Exercise: Make Your Nature Walk a Color Walk!

Also, Brave Writer offers an online class each spring and fall that is designed to make nature journaling a natural part of your life. Click on the image below to learn more.

Brave Writer Online Writing Class Nature Journaling

Deep investigation led by fascination

Deep investigation led by fascination

Shared this on BraveScopes:

Turner Classic Movies did a marathon of Emma Thompson films last night. We caught the end of “Much Ado About Nothing” (always a family favorite!) and then watched in full “Sense and Sensibility.” S&S will always be special to me. It was a breakthrough in my homeschool—an epiphany moment! I watched it, then I watched it with the kids, then I read the book, then I read some of it aloud to my kids, then I read Emma Thompson’s book where she writes about making the film and writing the screenplay (fabulous~!), then I read parts of that to my kids, then I discovered that she and the actors wrote each other letters in character to help deepen their acting, so we did that in our family.

Then I checked out the soundtrack to the music and we used it for our copywork time. It became my most checked out CD from the library in all the years I took the kids there (I never bought it—no money for that!). That soundtrack led to listening to soundtracks. This became a “thing” in our homeschool and to this day, Jacob still shares soundtracks with us (and his love of classical music bloomed as a result).

Finally, I received the DVD as a Christmas stocking gift one year and the Jane Austen set of novels (several times…haha).

I found myself watching all the Emma Thompson films, I became acquainted with Ang Lee films (he’s the director of S&S and so I watched “Eat, Drink, Man, Woman” –Chinese subtitles first, and then most of his films like “The Ice Storm,” “The Wedding Banquet,” “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon,” “Brokeback Mountain” [my favorite], and “Life of Pi”).

Because of S&S, I became familiar with amazing actors: Kate Winslet (before “Titanic”), Hugh Grant in a more serious role, Alan Rickman (RIP—Snape!), Hugh Laurie, Imelda Stauton, Greg Wise, and more. We found ourselves looking for more films that featured these actors, the director, and so on. I wound up reading “Emma” to Johannah at night before bed and she went on to write a novella set in the Civil War based on the story-line of Emma. Our Jane Austen love affair led to our Vintage Dance experience. Our enjoyment of Emma Thompson in “Much Ado About Nothing” fueled our Shakespeare habit.

I wanted to share this with you because as I was watching the film last night, this flood of memories came to me and I saw in a way I couldn’t while it was happening, the richness that came from one film, one deep investigation led by my fascination, my craving for romance and British accents, and great acting and writing.

This is what home education IS. Last night I missed it so much, it almost hurt. I beat back tears several times as the actors uttered lines that had become family favorites (Fannie is PRICELESS “I am the soul of discretion” and “I will be as silent as the grave” and so is Mrs. Jennings—”I’ll find something to tempt her. Does she like olives?”).

As you build your family lives, you are bringing a kind of education that DEFIES planning. Know what I mean? It’s the “way leads on to way” education.

Embrace it.

The Georgian Theatre Royal

Georgian Theatre Royal

The Georgian Theatre Royal

by Finlay Worrallo

In the heart of England, in the Yorkshire Dales, amid the shops and supermarkets of Richmond, lies the Georgian Theatre Royal. It doesn’t look much: a small building between a hotel and a pub, hemmed in by a chemist and a bakery on the other side. But creep down the cobbled alleyway and heave open the solid stage doors… and wonders are waiting inside.

The soft, black curtains swish around the sturdy planks of the stage, which creak as actors step on them. There is a constant hush around the dark corners behind the curtains; the air is thick with the smells of dust and excitement.

Deep in the theatre’s belly there is row upon row of exotic costumes. Coarse fake beards that have tickled a hundred chins; strange felt hats, pointing forward like giant ravens’ beaks; billowing capes of crimson with mysterious designs stitched into them; dresses that went out of fashion two hundred years ago. I’ve worn green and yellow waistcoats that clash spectacularly under the spotlights, and bright blue trousers with golden rosettes sewn on.

It’s crowded behind the curtains and uncomfortable when you’re jostling for space with half a dozen other actors. It’s not much better in the dressing rooms – every surface is strewn with clothes and scripts, and there’s usually only a couple of chairs. The floor gets saturated whenever it rains, and the lights overheat if left on too long. It’s a battered old building, it’s true, but within it we can create entire worlds that last for a few hours at a time, then burst like soap bubbles.

High in the rafters, countless beams and metal poles illuminate me with their glaring lights. The audience is a sea of unpredictable darkness. Will they laugh at the jokes? Will they sit in silence? I feel tiny on stage, someone else’s words on my lips – but then they laugh and I feel like a giant again.

I’m thirteen. I’m standing in a pool of blue light, dressed in black, eyes filled with defiance in the face of defeat. I raise my arm as I deliver my monologue. The audience is silent, but I can feel hairs standing on end. It’s an electric moment.

I’m fourteen. I’m bursting with adrenaline, as I’ve just kicked another boy to death. The other characters stare at me, appalled, but I don’t care. Fifty seconds later and I hit the ground myself, the hero’s knife in my stomach. There is silence.

I’m fifteen. I’m in a crowd of international teenagers in white and red – we’re chess pieces. And we’re dancing. Left, right, forwards, backwards, hands thrust up to the ceiling, shimmying and spinning and loving every second, music bursting all around us.

I’m sixteen. I’m dressed in a seventeenth-century coat, mostly hidden by a bright red tabard that makes me look like a playing card. I draw my sword and snarl an insult. Three heartbeats later and I’m in the centre of a bloody duel. All of my comrades fall and I have to dash off stage, hat and dignity both gone. Why do the heroes always win?

It’s addictive – the thrill, the nerves, the glory of holding an audience spellbound. Come into our world, we say, conjuring realms in our wooden O. Quite simply, it’s magic.

This is a place where anything can happen. If you have the patience to sit upon the unforgiving hard seats for a few hours, magic will unfold before your eyes.

At the Georgian Theatre Royal, everyone is ever so slightly mad – but it’s a place where everyone is accepted. This is a place where I belong.

Image by slgckgc (cc cropped, palette knife, text added)

Summer To Do List

Summer To Do List

Saw this fantastic To Do list for Summer while at a family reunion and thought of all our Brave Writer families. The activities are things like

water balloon fights,

taking a hike,

riding a pony,

movie in the backyard,

sidewalk art, and

visiting Grandpa at work!

You might consider creating vision for the summer in a similar way!