Archive for the ‘Brave Writer Lifestyle’ Category

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.

Are you new to Brave Writer?

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.

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!

Who are these children!?

Who are these children!?

Dear Julie,

I have purchased and received the Writer’s Jungle, Arrow, and Partnership Writing. I can’t wait to get started! That’s the hardest part – me doing my homework so we can get started!!

Anyway, my reason for contacting you, is of course, to share a story or two:

First, yesterday as part of our reading time, I asked both boys to pull out their journals and choose an entry to read to the rest of us. Well… That was amazing, (just as you said)! They loved reading aloud their thoughts and ‘old’ writings. It even opened a conversation to writing a short journal entry EVERY DAY!! Who are these children!? 😊

Next, we experienced poetry tea time! Oh my goodness… I get teary thinking about it. While our ‘big’ (9y/o) guy was finishing up some work, my younger and more artsy guy helped me get the table ready. What a joy that was! We couldn’t find the right coloured table cloth… so we used a baby blanket (Easter colours were required– so funny!) Then, I explained that we wanted a ‘proper’ table setting, which he worked on diligently. Then we made tea (two kinds), and I had cut up some baking into smaller pieces and we ate with exquisite manners. And read some poetry.

Julie, I have to tell you, that was the most enjoyable experience! We all can’t wait to do it next week! It truly felt like a little breather- a time of peace in our busy day.

Thank you for introducing me to this life. I can’t wait to get on the bus!

Best regards,

Partnership Writing

Tidal Homeschooling: The Ebb & Flow of Home Education -Melissa Wiley

Brave Writer Podcast: Melissa Wiley

Today, I’m tickled purple to announce our Season 2, Episode 10 Finale. I have invited the incomparable Melissa Wiley (children’s novelist and homeschool veteran of six!) to join me for a rip-roaring big juicy conversation about home education, special needs kids, her theory of homeschooling (she calls it “tidal homeschooling”) and more.

[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!]

Melissa is mom to “a small army of children” and she has been writing children’s books since 1995, including her Brave Writer featured book The Prairie Thief. In 2005, Melissa started her blog Here in the Bonny Glen to document her family adventures – it’s a favorite homeschooling blog and it’s hilarious, so make sure you head over there and read it.

She’s delightful, funny, smart, and we’ve been friends for 20 years. Enjoy!

Listen to the Podcast

You can also download show notes.

Brave Writer Podcast Show Notes
Download Show Notes

Want to be notified when a new podcast is released?
Sign up here.

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

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!