Archive for the ‘Brave Writer Philosophy’ Category

Raising World Citizens

Raising World CitizensJacob and Johannah in Thailand

The world needs to be known, not ignored! We discuss giving our kids a global perspective in the video below.

Book Suggestions for Raising Globally Aware Kids

[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!]

Would you like a PRINTABLE COPY of the book list above?

Great to take with you to the library!

Raising World Citizens Book List

Sometimes it’s not easy to be a world citizen when you’re homeschooling full time and trying to pay for math and science books. You can create an environment, though, that gives children a window of insight and also an appetite for pursuing global experiences when they’re adults.

Watch the video below to learn more!

Combine global awareness and language arts:
The titles above are available as Arrows and Boomerangs!

Five Keys to Working with Teens

5 Keys to Working with Teens

1. Teens need risk and adventure in learning and life.

(TRANSLATION: you will be uncomfortable—that’s how you know they are taking risks or having adventures.)

2. Teens want to prove to themselves that they will be able to be adults one day.

(TRANSLATION: they will shock you with their opinions, choices, and occasional belligerence—it’s not personal.)

3. Teens want to be bailed out when they mess up.

(TRANSLATION: they still need their mommies and daddies to kiss their bruises, aka the bent fender, or the speeding ticket, or the missed deadline.)

4. Teens need conversation partners, not independence in learning.

(TRANSLATION: yes, they can work on daily tasks alone, but for meaningful education, they need an invested parent or adult who will talk to them about books, ideas, history, philosophy, politics, religion, and more. That person is you.)

5. Teens deserve hugs, LOTS of food, a twenty dollar bill slipped into their hand once in a while “just cuz” when they go out, and your curiosity about their music, games, and passions.

(TRANSLATION: learn what says “I love you” to a teen, and then do that A LOT no matter how messy the room gets, no matter how hard-headed they seem, no matter how inconsistently they love you back.)

You got this!

The Enchanted Education for Teens

How Does Brave Writer Work?

How does Brave Writer work?

Shared in BraveSchoolers:

One of the things I’ve noticed when parents are confused about how Brave Writer works is that our program asks them to shift paradigms. All paradigm shifts feel “confusing” at first because they are unfamiliar.

The key difference between what we offer and what many are used to is that we divide writing into two distinct categories:

1. Mechanics of writing
2. Original thought

We give attention to the mechanics through literature and the practices of copywork and dictation. We teach literary devices, reading, grammar, spelling, punctuation, and handwriting using someone else’s writing. We’ve found that kids can give full attention to the demands of the physical act of writing when they are first borrowing someone else’s thoughts—already written ideas.

We then turn to original writing in our product The Writer’s Jungle or our online Kidswrite Basic class. In these, we focus on giving you and your kids training in how to work together to help your child access his or her inner life—how to put those thoughts and ideas into words, how to get them out of the body, how to expand and enrich them as a team.

Eventually, these two sets of skills come together (the mechanics and the original thought) into writing projects. As your child feels free to self express in written form, you can now slowly add projects that match that child’s current developmental stage.

Need more help? Check out these posts, podcasts, and videos:

How Writing is Like Sewing

Natural Stages of Growth in Writing Podcasts

A Guided Tour of Brave Writer

Everything You Always Wanted to Know about Copywork and Dictation

You are enough

You are enough.

by Brave Writer instructor, Jean Hall

Homeschool mamas, I know what some of you are thinking.

You are wondering if you are enough. Are you smart enough to own your children’s educations rather than delegate them to professionals? Are you organized enough to juggle all the curricula, the competing demands of multiple ages, and the laundry? Are you dedicated enough to keep up with the other homeschool moms with their co-ops, field trips, basketball teams, and robotics tournaments? Are you patient enough to deal with the immature emotions and incomplete communication skills of your kids day in and day out? Are you brave enough to face down the judgements of skeptical relatives and random challenging strangers at the grocery store? Are you strong enough, have you researched enough, do you have enough money?

Let me be the voice from the other end of the path. You are enough.

  • You don’t need to be a professional educator. There is no subject area you can’t learn along with your children. Your kids need the love and encouragement of mom, and you are enough for that.
  • You don’t need to be a time management guru. Life is messy, and it doesn’t always follow schedules. You are enough to handle those daily pressures. You will adapt and flex, as needed.
  • You don’t need to “keep up” with anyone, whether it’s that person’s reality or just their public projection. Each family is unique, and your own set of personalities and challenges and needs won’t match anyone else’s. You are enough being just who you are, and letting your kids be who they are.

Some days, your toddlers crying or your preteens crying will wear down your patience. You will be frustrated and will need support or time to calm yourself. You are enough, even when your patience pulls a bit too thin and gives way like soft caramel.

Some days, sideways comments or disdainful sniffs will bounce off your armor, and some days they’ll arrow through the chinks and leave you bleeding. On some days, kind words and unexpected praise will pick you back up. You are enough, regardless of whether outsiders recognize it or not. Their perceptions do not define you.

What if in an honest evaluation of what your kids need and what you can provide, you realize that you need outside help? A professional writing instructor? A math tutor? A housekeeper or babysitter? A therapist to help you deal with anger or discipline issues? A specialist to help your child learn strategies to cope with disabilities or disorders? A doctor to prescribe proper medications? A nutritionist to tweak your eating plan? Then you will hire or barter, and you will triangle in the support you need. Sometimes, someone will hold your hand the way you held up your daughter’s bike when she learned to ride, and together you will be enough. Enough doesn’t always mean alone.

This journey will challenge you. Will surprise you. Will uncover strength and creativity you didn’t suspect. Keep pouring yourself into your family, your children. Keep searching for ways to improve and people who will empower you. Embrace the journey, learning right alongside your children. Embrace the moments with the people that matter most. Embrace the connections. Come as you are to this homeschooling adventure, and know that whatever happens, you are enough.

Brave Writer Instructor Jean Hall


Brave Writer Classes Taught by Jean Hall:


BraveSchooler Permission Slip

BraveSchooler Permission Slip

A while back, a homeschool mom reached out to me for support. Her arms were tired from stringently clutching the schedule, the rules, even the “inspiration” she had heard was supposed to come when she embraced the so-called enchanted education.

The weariness was apparent in every sentence. She asked sincere questions like, “How can I keep going?” and “Why aren’t they happy when I’m trying so hard?”

I could relate. I’ve had those moments too—where it felt impossible to right the ship. We were all floundering in the sea of too many good ideas, workbooks, methods, ideologies. Which one would deliver us safely to the shore of “happy homeschool”?

It occurred to me that what might be missing—what had been missing for me at various junctures—was permission to simply enjoy homeschool. Such an odd revelation! As though I needed to be told that it was okay to get a kick out of my kids, to pause to notice the sweetness of the read aloud, to play soccer in the back yard and count it as “on task.”

The original Brave Writer motto was “Joy is the best teacher.” I had to scribble it at the top of notebooks to remind myself that when the crying comes, the lesson’s done. It was important for me to return to joy—not through a program, but through permission. I could have the homeschool I wanted—I just had to be willing to live it, to not discount it, to not undermine it when it showed up. I got permission from my best friend’s daily example. Her whole-hearted entry into her children’s world reminded me that I could do the same, and homeschool would sing.

As I read this mom’s email, I could tell she was looking for my permission. I represented some authority to her and if I told her it was okay to enjoy her kids and her life, maybe she’d let herself do just that. So I wrote a little permission slip (a paragraph) and sent it to her. She loved it!

I figured she might not be the only mom looking for that permission to be a happy homeschooler. So I wrote a long form permission slip and posted it to Facebook. It garnered hundreds of likes, shares, and comments—because we all want permission to be our happiest best selves.

I talked with my team about it in a staff call. I realized right away that what I really hoped parents would learn is to give themselves permission to be the homeschoolers they secretly aspire to be. True permission comes from within and that sense of confidence in our choices undergirds the moments when life is less than ideal.

In that spirit, I created a permission slip to download, print, sign, and date.

BraveSchooler Permission Slip

You might try framing it! It is your commitment to yourself to live your happiest version of your homeschool—as best as you can, without guilt or doubt (of course you’ll want to look at the document when those assail you).

Share it with your friends. Let’s get a movement going of giving ourselves permission to be the kinds of home educators we most wish we were. At the end of the day, what we want to remember is the joy of our children’s company in the exploration of the wide world around us.

Download Your BraveSchooler Permission Slip!

If you do print and sign your permission slip, I want to see it! Post it on Brave Writer’s Instagram or Facebook accounts with the hashtags: #bravewriter #bwpermissionslip I’ll come congratulate you when you do!

The Homeschool Alliance