Archive for the ‘Brave Writer Lifestyle’ Category

The Brave Writer Lifestyle in 2018

2018 Brave Writer Lifestyle Calendar

Our Holiday Shoppe is open and we’re selling this lovely Brave Writer Lifestyle Calendar. It is MORE than a calendar however.

Here’s the fun part:

Each month of the calendar features a beautiful illustration which celebrates an aspect of the Brave Writer Lifestyle. Each month of the year, I’m going to partner with you in implementing that aspect of the lifestyle!

We’ll post on the blog, on Instagram, and in the Homeschool Alliance about that month’s theme (like copywork or poetry teatime or nature journaling). We’ll provide you with resources and ideas to implement the BWL theme. And I’ll likely share about the theme on Facebook Live too.

2018 Brave Writer Lifestyle CalendarThen you can share about what you did in your family (here, on Instagram, and in the Alliance).

The calendar will give you a place to record your activities, which child did what, and to make plans for field trips etc.

Consider this a starter-year-kit for making the Brave Writer Lifestyle a natural part of your homeschool experience!

Can’t wait to go on this adventure with you!

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that will share free Brave Writer Lifestyle resources and tips!

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


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.


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.


  • 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.


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


Jane Austen’s World – all about Jane Austen

Deep Investigation Led by Fascination!

Are You New to Brave Writer?

Are You New to Brave Writer?

Welcome to Brave Writer! You made it. This is where the magic happens. We’re all about:

  • exploration,
  • curiosity,
  • taking it one thing at a time,
  • not having to know what to do yet,
  • figuring it out as you go,
  • and asking for help.

There are no right answers. There are only attempts to create your own rhythm, style, and routine. We’re here to help you find what works for you!

Brave Writer is a program of interconnecting parts. You can’t mess it up.

If you’re brand new to us, though, here are some blog posts, podcasts, and resources that might help you learn more about our philosophy and practices.

Have a Paradigm Shift

Get to know our educational philosophy. It is THE most important step in implementing the Brave Writer program in your home!

Learn about the Natural Stages of Growth in Writing

Discover which stage of writing your child is in. It’s much more effective to look at how writers grow naturally than to focus on scope and sequence, grade level, ages, or the types of writing that ought to be done in some “established sequence.”

Determine Which Products You Need

Decide which Brave Writer products will work for your unique homeschooling family.

Implement the Brave Writer Lifestyle

Take Brave Writer’s natural and lifestyle-oriented approach to living language arts and incorporate it into your family life. And for a start, do our 7-Day Writing Blitz! It will give you a feel for how the Brave Writer Lifestyle might look in your home.

Practice the One Thing Principle

Start with the product or idea that piques your curiosity or inspires you or seems to meet your need. Ignore the others for now.

Join the Community

The Homeschool Alliance

The Homeschool Alliance provides coaching from Stephanie Elms and me. It’s the one-stop Internet community sandbox for home education. We’ll do it together, one month at a time, one subject or child at a time, making sure that you can see and measure your progress.

Together we will build a community that supports your risk-taking choices, that applauds your successes, and empathizes with your struggles.

Braveschoolers Facebook Group

Our Braveschoolers group offers support from fellow homeschoolers as you allow your knowledge and intuition to guide you to what you need for your particular family.

The Homeschool Alliance

Brave Writer Lifestyle IN ACTION

Guest post by Lora Fanning

By Brave Writer Ninja Lora Fanning

[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!]

Question: How do you practice the Brave Writer Lifestyle?

How to Teach Your Children Shakespeare isn’t Brave Writer specific, but the addition of memorization and storytelling into our daily routine has definitely enhanced our Brave Writer experience. We march around the house quoting Shakespeare in our best British accents, giggling and memorizing at the same time. The language, the rhythms, and the stories are the “out loud” version of copywork. My kids are soaking up all of this – and learning the power of a well-placed Shakespearean insult at the same time!

My youngest son gets inspired to write most often while sitting in church. He just started sounding out words and I cheerfully hand him a pen and encourage him to write all he wants. Sometimes he asks me to spell things (in a quiet whisper) and sometimes he just draws pictures, but even at the age of 4, he’s learning the beauty of the act of creating words on paper. Just like my own mother saved my very first story about a chicken, I’ll save these scribblings like the museum-pieces they should be.

My co-op students write Just So Stories every year and the illustrations are just as delightful as the stories. Pictured above: The elephant whose ears grew when he got a sinus infection, how the giraffe got his long neck, how the squid got his ink, and other wildly creative stories!

I have several children who are dyslexic and dysgraphic. We do writing just like I do with my younger kids. They dictate their thoughts to me and I type them up like a good little secretary. Then we read it out loud together. They look over my shoulder and edit as they hear the words spoken. The final piece is all their own, written with the help of their trusty writing partner and typist (that’s me.)

My 6th grade co-op students do historical journals of famous people. One industrious student made sure his diary of George Washington had a fully “authentic” look. He did the wood-burning and wood cutting (supervised) himself! It practically counts as science, too! 😉

We don’t just use our words for school. When our kids have a birthday, we often “surprise” them with a creative display of balloons in their bedroom when they wake up. Since my twins are teenagers now, we decided to alter the tradition slightly. On the morning of their 13th birthday, they received one balloon (for old time’s sake) and a letter written for them by each of their parents. Our goal is to capture our hopes and prayers for them so they can see how they grow each year. Plus, we get to tell them all the mushy love stuff they don’t like for us to say out loud any more. I have a box of keepsake letters I’ve received over the years. I hope my children have one some day, too.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned from Julie, it’s that brightly colored ink makes everything better, even math work! #betterifitsparkles

Poetry books live in our living space. You can find them on the coffee table, in the school room, and in our hands as we sit around the table at lunch time. I can’t predict when my kids will crave verses and whimsy, but I can make them easy to get to on a moment’s notice.

I write with my kids, for my kids, and just for myself. I try to model the sort of behavior I want my kids to have, so that means leaving space for myself to be creative. When I’m writing my stories, I invite my youngers to draw the tiny bit of the plot I’m working on so they can be with me while I’m creating. And then when I’ve edited and cried and revised my own work til I’m blue in the face, I let them use old drafts for scrap paper. #cycleandrecycle

Even reluctant writers can get behind a lesson on rap music. For my co-op classes, we did a short unit on Hamilton and then learned how to write our own rap songs. #homeschoolerscanspitrhymes

Lora Fanning is a mom of seven kids. In addition to teaching her own children at home, she teaches in local co-ops and is a Brave Writer writing coach. She blogs at

Brave Writer Lifestyle Podcast Series

Brave Writer Lifestyle Podcasts

Season 2 of the Brave Writer podcast has blown us away! Over 75,000 people have downloaded this season already. We’ve hit #1 in the K-12 Education category on iTunes multiple times.

If you are looking for practical encouragement for your homeschool project, this season’s podcast is for you! I interview parents, just like you, in the trenches who are sharing their hope, optimism, and creativity with you in addressing the most vexing problems. You’ll get to hear how each family implements the Brave Writer Lifestyle in their own unique ways, offering you inspiration for applying the principles in your own way too.

Season 3 is in the works, but until then, enjoy Season 2!

Tune in to the Brave Writer podcast on iTunes, Stitcher (or your app of choice), and here on the Brave Writer blog.

S2E1: A Brave, Hip Homeschooler – with Rebecca Spooner
Podcast | Show Notes

S2E2: Unexpected Homeschoolers – with The Homeschool Sisters
Podcast | Show Notes

S2E3: Homeschooling Diverse Children  – with Julie Kirkwood
Podcast | Show Notes

S2E4: What is Learning Well? – with Alicia Hutchinson
Podcast | Show Notes

S2E5: Overcoming Challenges & Charlotte Mason – with Nadine Dyer
Podcast | Show Notes

S2E6: Partnership & Adventure in Home Education – with Mary Wilson
Podcast | Show Notes

S2E7: Remember Self-Care – with Amy Milcic
Podcast | Show Notes

S2E8: #BraveSchoolers are the Best Schoolers – with Chantelle Grubbs
Podcast | Show Notes

S2E9: An Inspired Homeschool Mosaic – with Angela Awald
Podcast | Show Notes

S2E10: Tidal Homeschooling – with Melissa Wiley
Podcast | Show Notes

Would you please post a review on iTunes for us? You’ll help a homeschooler like you find more joy in the journey when you do. Thanks in advance!