Archive for the ‘Brave Writer Lifestyle’ Category

Training Tip: Wordplay

Training Tip: Wordplay

Words are the building blocks of our imaginative world.

Think of words like Lego bricks. Before our kids are building the Eiffel Tower out of Lego, they simply investigate the bricks through play. They:

  • take them apart,
  • attach them in new formations,
  • mix and match them. 

Words are the same!

Here’s a training tip to encourage wordplay in your homeschool.

Training Tip: Wordplay

Wordplay is also the perfect preparation for our Arrow (ages 9-12) and Boomerang (ages 13-18) Book Clubs. They offer a virtual living room space–where students gather to freely discuss the novels they read with you at home.

Brave Writer’s online Book Clubs are a great way to homeschool in a busy season. Try our low-intensity, warm and welcoming discussion clubs!


We also invite you to log in to a sample class. Click around, play with our text editor, and read real instructor responses to writing posted in class.


Brave Writer Arrow and Boomerang Book Clubs

Training Tip: Conversation Starters

Training Tip: Conversation Starters

Are your kids participating in a Brave Writer online book club or are you planning your next group Party School based on a recent read aloud?

When kids become used to sharing their ideas on engaging topics at home, they’ll feel more comfortable doing so with others.

So get warmed up for Big Juicy Conversations with this Brave Writer training tip!

If you still find yourself tongue-tied sometimes, use these additional tools for help and support.

More conversation tools:


We provide meaningful and memorable reading experiences in our Brave Writer Book Clubs!

Brave Writer Arrow and Boomerang Book Clubs

Get Outside

Get Outside

“Let them once get in touch with Nature, and a habit is formed which will be a source of delight through life. We were meant to be naturalists, each in his degree, and it is inexcusable to live in a world so full of marvels of plant and animal life and to care for none of these things.” —Charlotte Mason Vol 1, pg 61.

I read these words for the first time in a condo in Orange County CA and felt depressed. Oh, we could identify pill bugs and sparrows, but drought resistant plants and asphalt in every direction under the endless sunny skies did not a naturalist make (in me). Charlotte said to get outside no matter what weather—and all I wanted was one gray day as a reason to stay in—with a fire!

Her challenge stayed with me, though. We began walking in a dry creek bed, we visited horses that lived up the hill from us (discovered accidentally on a stroller outing). We drove in nightmarish LA traffic to the beach and tide pools. We named the trees, the shrubs, and the American crow.

Then we moved to Ohio. Oh. My. Now we had a creek, and more types of birds than we could name or count, trees taller than our house, and the ever-changing weather.

Good thing Charlotte’s words hung in my mind:

Get outside in every temperature,
with appropriate clothing.

So we did. And I still do. Changes how I see the day. Grounds me. Keeps me connected to an older wiser story—that was going on long before I got here and will continue long after I’m gone.

A day gone wrong can be rebooted with gloves, a hat, and a brisk walk.

Bundle ‘em up! Head outside!


This post is originally from Instagram and @juliebravewriter is my account there so come follow along for more conversations like this one!


Brave Writer Lifestyle

The Best Investment

A Total Win

The best investment we made when we moved to Ohio was to purchase a trampoline. Sure, people die on trampolines. I know. We fretted about that. But since I was already the mom who said “no” to a backyard swimming pool (I’m definitely not a good enough mother to always remember to lock the sliding door so no toddler drowns), it seemed sane to risk broken arms with a trampoline.

It’s the one piece of backyard play equipment that was as attractive to my little kids as my teens. We played a family game where the kids would jump and Jon and I would hurl balls at them; Yeah—good times!

The trampoline was a great place for a one on one chat. I’d climb on top and lay on my back next to a kid who needed to talk—sky and tree branches above offered a place to look without eye contact. Fresh air expands the conversation.

Kids did math and copywork on the trampoline. They jumped together and alone. They made up their own games. They exhausted themselves on days of agitation and too little activity.

Teens in love sat on the tramp talking or laid side by side for privacy yet in public—the perfect combination.


This post is originally from Instagram and @juliebravewriter is my account there so come follow along for more conversations like this one!


Brave Writer Lifestyle

Time to Get Outside

Time to get outside

Boots have been tossed in favor of sneakers. Bikes are ready to be pulled out of storage. Warm sun is streaming in the windows. Tulips are blooming.

But how do I know spring has arrived? The kids are kicking the table legs. Drumming their fingers. Dropping their erasers—a hundred times. And the squirming! It’s like there’s an itch over their whole bodies.

Spring fever is HERE! And I say, don’t fight ‘em, join ‘em!

Here’s an enchanting opportunity to let your kids have what they crave at this time of year AND let you finish your homeschool year strong. (That’s right, you don’t have to pick just one!) Join our Nature Journaling online whole-family class! (One tuition, the entire family!)

Nature journaling inspires kids to uncover countless mysteries and surprises as they interact with the wondrous world around them!

The best part? While your kids are grabbing their notebooks and sun hats, they’re interacting with earth science, art, math, and getting the benefits of physical education.

But here’s something maybe you didn’t know. This class plants the seeds of their academic skills too. The kind they’ll grow and nurture through middle school and high school—until they bloom in college one day! 

Yep, we’re doing that, right now! 

Those ‘seeds’ include 

  • Acting as questioners and observers — the basis of academic exploration!
  • Harnessing the power and authority of scientific language
  • Doing research as they look up technical terms and explanations for what they observe
  • Choosing which details are relevant to share in class and what is unimportant
  • Practicing being an expert! They get to be the authoritative source on their local park or pond. 

How great is that?


What parents had to say about the Nature Journaling class:

When I asked [my daughter] to reflect on this month of journaling, her response was, “Can we keep doing this after the class?” 🙂  -Elizabeth S. 

This month of nature journaling has helped me to get a better idea of what it consists of and the various ways to do it. -Carolyn D. 

I used this activity in my Science enrichment class and my students loved it!!. -Leif E.


It’s our little secret—surprise your kids and let them think you’re letting them off the hook for homeschooling this month. We both know you are finishing your school year strong with Nature Journaling!

Nature Journaling