Archive for the ‘BW products’ Category

Happy Birthday, George Orwell!

Wednesday, June 25th, 2014

Animal Farm 1946 Jacket design by Art BrennerIn celebration of George Orwell’s birthday (111 years, born June 25, 1903), we’re making a special offer! The Boomerang for his novel, Animal Farm, is:

Half price for one day only: $4.95!

Orwell’s withering critiques of totalitarianism have become a cornerstone of modern Western thought. In Animal Farm, Orwell tells the story of a group of farm animals that revolt against human control. These animals begin with lofty ideals and 7 Commandments that slowly disintegrate to the famous phrase: “All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others.”

George Orwell himself lived a fascinating life. He was one of the most influential political writers of the 20th Century, famous for such classics as 1984 and his satiric letter “A Modest Proposal.” He traveled widely—born in India, Orwell also worked in Burma, fought in Spain, and wrote as a war correspondent in WWII. Orwell’s real name was Eric Blair, but he chose his pen name for St. George, the patron saint of England, and the River Orwell.

As a writer, Orwell advocated using precise and clear language. In his essay “Politics and the English Language,” he lists six rules for writers:

1. Never use a metaphor, simile, or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print.

2. Never use a long word where a short one will do.

3. If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out.

4. Never use the passive where you can use the active.

5. Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word, or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent.

6. Break any of these rules sooner than say anything outright barbarous.

So, celebrate George Orwell’s “eleventy-first” birthday and take advantage of this special offer today!

Also, if you’d like to buy a copy of the novel, it’s available through Amazon: Animal Farm (affiliate link).

The Boomerang is a monthly digital downloadable product that features copywork and dictation passages from a specific read aloud novel. It is geared toward 7th to 10th graders (ages 12—advanced, 13-15) and is the indispensable tool for Brave Writer parents who want to teach language arts in a natural, literature-bathed context.

Image of Art Brenner’s Animal Farm 1946 jacket design by Karen Horton (cc)

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Announcing the release of my Brand New Book!

Monday, June 23rd, 2014

A Gracious Space_Fall Edition 500x650CopyrightAll rights reserved

50 Daily Readings for Fall

Homeschooling can be a lonely road. You are at home with children, embarking on a task that changes every year (sometimes every month!) as your children grow and mature. The ability to sustain that commitment comes from sheer grit, idealism, faith, and trust. When in doubt, where do you turn? Some of us rely on close friends, homeschooling support groups, and Internet communities. These companions are important and must be nurtured and cherished.

In addition, though, it helps to refresh your philosophy of education and parenting. How do you renew your faith that you and your children will know what to do when you face challenges and obstacles to a harmonious home education?

A Gracious Space is a non-sectarian compilation of fifty essays about homeschooling and family life designed to encourage you, the homeschooling parent even on your worst day. Read an entry with your morning coffee or tea to help you focus on the principles and ideals that undergird your homeschool.

Essay titles include

  • It All Adds Up!
  • Content, not Conventions
  • Know Your Kids as They Are
  • Less is More, Really!
  • It’s the Relationship, Sweetheart
  • Prophecies of Doom
  • In Defense of the Disillusioned
  • How You Say it Matters
  • To Plan or Not Plan Your Lesson Plans
  • When Your Kids are Unhappy, What Can You Do?

This collection of essays currently comes in two formats: PDF and ePub (for iBooks). You will receive both of these formats when you order.

Purchase Price: $9.95

Order Today!

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Happy Birthday, Brian Jacques!

Sunday, June 15th, 2014

RedwallIt’s Brian Jacques’ birthday today (June 15, 1939), and to celebrate, we’re making a special offer! The Arrow for his novel, Redwall, is:

HALF PRICE through Monday at Midnight! ($4.95) OFFER HAS EXPIRED

Redwall tells the epic tale of the animals of Redwall Abbey, who valiantly defend their home from the attacks of a one-eyed rat and his fearsome army. The story is a moving tale of the courage of the small and weak against the strong. Like the other 21 books in the series, Redwall contains wonderful descriptions of food, as well as delightful accents particular to each type of creature in the stories.

Although now acclaimed as one of the greatest children’s authors in the world, drawing comparisons to Kenneth Grahame’s Wind in the Willows and Richard Adams’s Watership Down, Brian Jacques’ first attempt at writing was not nearly so successful.

At ten years old, for an assignment at his school in Liverpool, England, Brian Jacques wrote a short story about a bird that cleaned a crocodile’s teeth. His teacher refused to believe that a ten-year-old could write so well and ordered Jacques to say that he had copied the story. When Jacques refused, he was caned. So it was that Brian Jacques first realized his talent for writing.

Before pursuing writing full-time, Brian Jacques worked as a merchant seaman, a fireman, a long-distance truck driver, a bus driver, a boxer, a bobby (British policeman), a postmaster, and a stand-up comic.

When Jacques began to write Redwall, his first audience was the children at the Royal Wavertree School for the Blind in Liverpool. Because he was writing to a blind audience, he attempted to make his writing as descriptive as possible so that the children could picture the events in their imagination.

In fact, Brian Jacques was only published when a former English teacher submitted Jacques’ story to a publisher without telling Jacques. The publishers loved the book and immediately drew up a contract for five more books. Ever since, the Redwall stories have been delighting children and adults all around the globe.

So, don’t miss out—celebrate Brian Jacques’ birthday and take advantage of this special Arrow offer!

Also, if you’d like to buy a copy of the novel, it’s available through Amazon: Redwall (affiliate link).

The Arrow is a monthly digital product that features copywork and dictation passages from a specific read aloud novel. It’s geared toward children ages 8-11 and is an indispensable tool for parents who want to teach language arts in a natural, literature-bathed context.

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Happy Birthday, Andrew Clements!

Thursday, May 29th, 2014

Frindle_Andrew ClementsIn celebration of Andrew Clements’ 65th birthday (born in May, 1949), we’re making a special offer! The Arrow for his novel, Frindle, is:

Half price till midnight May 31st: $4.95!

Just what is a frindle?

“I will never use the word PEN again. Instead, I will use the word FRINDLE, and I will do everything possible so others will, too.”

In 1990, Clements began writing his first novel, Frindle. Published six years later, the novel tells the story of a boy who creates a new word and tries to get it into the dictionary.

Some fun facts about Andrew Clements (from an interview with the New York Public Library):

  • Writes in a cabin in the woods or in a shed behind his house where there are no distractions
  • Takes about a year to complete and publish a novel
  • As a teen, loved Jack London and the Sherlock Holmes stories
  • Listens to the Beatles, Bob Dylan, and John Mayer
  • In his free time, plays guitar, tinkers in his workshop, hikes, and practices calligraphy

Advice on writing from Andrew Clements:

“I don’t know a single writer who wasn’t a reader first. Read, read, read. Read all the good books you can to learn what good writing sounds like and feels like. And think about what you read.”

When he doesn’t have anything to write: “I’ve learned to make myself make something happen next. The thought ‘I can’t think of anything to write’ is the same as ‘Nothing could possibly happen next’—and that is NEVER true.”

“Sometimes kids ask how I’ve been able to write so many books. The answer is simple: one word at a time. … You don’t have to do everything at once. You don’t have to know how every story is going to end. You just have to take that next step, look for that next idea, write that next word.”

So, celebrate Andrew Clements’ birthday and take advantage of this special offer! Offer ends on May 31st at midnight EDT.

Also, if you’d like to buy a copy of the novel, it’s available through Amazon: Frindle (affiliate link).

The Arrow is a monthly digital product that features copywork and dictation passages from a specific read aloud novel. It’s geared toward children ages 8-11 and is an indispensable tool for parents who want to teach language arts in a natural, literature-bathed context.

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Teaser for fall: Homeschool Coaching Program

Friday, May 9th, 2014

Julie Bogart on computerThis fall, I’m looking for brave homeschool parents who would like to be a part of a new venture. I’m calling it The Homeschool Alliance.

The Homeschool Alliance will be a month-by-month homeschool coaching program—consider it ongoing professional development for you, the home educator. If you like the kinds of posts I write here on Facebook and the blog, imagine being in a context where you get direct. timely, year-long support for your particular family from me, and other Brave Writer families.

If you’ve ever thought, “I wish Julie lived in my neighborhood,” this is your chance to move into mine!

 

I’ll help you create your own personal homeschool philosophy through shared readings, exploratory processes, and discussions, I’ll help you set reasonable, attainable goals for the school year, and we’ll create incentives to achieve them (gentle, rewarding accountability). We’ll do course-corrections when things go awry.

Also included:

  • monthly check-ins to measure what you are doing against your goals and aspirations,
  • access to homeschool materials,
  • training for high school transcript creation, help for end-of-the-year written narratives,
  • a monthly webinar by me about a topic related to the month’s theme,
  • quarterly personal consultations with me (via phone or Skype) about your particular family for a premium price,
  • community interaction (a place to post your successes, photos, student work, and creative ideas, as well as questions and struggles), and more.

I will also be looking for you to help me shape this experience in its inaugural year—to make it the most meaningful it can be for you and your friends!

Let me partner with you so that you can become the homeschool coach and ally your children need and want!

Looking forward to it!
Julie

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Bard Day!

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014

449px-William_Shakespeare_1609We’re celebrating Shakespeare’s 450th birthday by offering the Boomerang based on Gary Blackwood’s book, Shakespeare’s Scribe:

Half price today through Friday: $4.95!

In Blackwood’s novel, we follow Widge, an actor in Shakespeare’s troupe. After the Globe Theatre is shut down due to the Black Plague, the company sets off to tour England, where Widge’s unique shorthand makes him a valuable member…until someone threatens to reveal a past secret.

The book is a sequel to The Shakespeare Stealer, but stands well on its own.

Also! Brave Writer instructor, Susanne Barrett, posted ways to celebrate Shakespeare’s birthday in the Shakespeare Family Workshop.

Here are her ideas:

• Have a Talk Like Shakespeare Day (or even just an hour, if that’s all you can handle).

• Perhaps gather around the table with scones and jam and some Earl Grey tea and read some of Shakespeare’s sonnets aloud (you can find Shakespeare sonnet apps for your smart phone or check out this site).

• Read some of Shakespeare’s famous monologues aloud dramatically, perhaps even in costume. Here’s a list of some of the best single-person speeches, one list for men and one for women. Try performing them for family members and/or friends or at a co-op!

• Perform a Shakespeare scene as a puppet show or act out a scene in costume; either memorize parts or make copies of the scene for all the actors. Here are some scenes and scripts for kids from the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C.

• Watch your favorite Shakespeare play on film (mine is Kenneth Branagh’s Much Ado About Nothing). Check your local library or Netflix for some excellent titles, and the International Movie DataBase includes some helpful parents guides with advisory content for you along with ratings and information on most film versions.

• For older kids, check out Michael Woods’ in-depth documentary In Search of Shakespeare which first aired on PBS in 2004. Both the DVD and the companion book should be readily available through most public libraries.

• Better yet, see a live Shakespeare play as soon as possible. Check out college/university performances near you as they’re usually much less expensive than professional productions.

So, celebrate one of the greatest playwrights of all time and take advantage of this special Boomerang offer!

The Boomerang is a monthly digital downloadable product that features copywork and dictation passages from a specific read aloud novel. It is the indispensable tool for Brave Writer parents who want to teach language arts in a natural, literature-bathed context.

Image above: The Flower portrait of William Shakespeare, c. 1820-40 (via Wikipedia).

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Happy Birthday, Beverly Cleary!

Saturday, April 12th, 2014

Mouse and the MotorcycleBeverly Cleary is 98 years young this weekend, and to celebrate we’re offering the Arrow based on her book, The Mouse and the Motorcycle:

Half price through Monday at Midnight! ($4.95) OFFER HAS EXPIRED

Ralph S. Mouse is not just any ol’ mouse at Mountain View Inn.

He is always looking for adventure. So when a young guest named Keith arrives with a shiny miniature motorcycle, it’s Ralph’s lucky day. Right away, Ralph knows that the motorcycle is special—made to be ridden by an adventurous mouse. And once a mouse can ride a motorcycle . . . almost anything can happen! (HarperCollins)

 

The Mouse and the Motorcycle is the first book in a trilogy (Runaway Ralph and Ralph S. Mouse being the other two in the series). Clearly has written other popular children’s books, as well, featuring the characters of Ramona Quimby and Henry Huggins.

Also, every April 12th is Drop Everything and Read Day! Beverly Clearly was so inspired by the idea when she learned about it that she wrote about D.E.A.R. in her book, Ramona Quimby, Age 8. Since then D.E.A.R. programs have been held nationwide on April 12th in honor of Cleary’s birthday.

So, drop everything and read plus take advantage of this special Arrow offer!

Also, if you’d like to buy a copy of the novel, it’s available through Amazon: The Mouse and the Motorcycle (affiliate link).

The Arrow is a monthly digital product that features copywork and dictation passages from a specific read aloud novel. It’s geared toward children ages 8-11 and is an indispensable tool for parents who want to teach language arts in a natural, literature-bathed context.

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Happy Birthday, Kate DiCamillo!

Tuesday, March 25th, 2014

Winn Dixie“I like to think of myself as a storyteller.” ~Kate DiCamillo

We’re celebrating author Kate DiCamillo’s birthday today! The Arrow based on her book, Because of Winn-Dixie, is:

Half price for one day only: $4.95! OFFER HAS EXPIRED

When asked where she got the idea for Because of Winn-Dixie, Kate DiCamillo says she missed her childhood home in Florida. Then adds:

Also, it was the first time in my life that I had been without a dog. I was living in an apartment where no dogs were allowed, but there weren’t any rules about imaginary dogs. So I made a dog up, the best dog I could think of: a smelly, friendly, big old mutt.

That big old smelly dog in the book is, of course, Winn-Dixie, the pet of India Opal Buloni, a ten-year-old girl who is dealing with her mother’s abandonment. After moving to Florida with her father, Opal goes to the grocery to get macaroni, white rice, and tomatoes and comes home with her furry companion. Winn-Dixie then helps his young owner meet people in the community. Opal learns about forgiveness and acceptance as she gets to know her new friends, like Miss Franny Brock who once “fought off a bear with a copy of War and Peace,” and Otis, the ex-con musician who serenades the animals in his pet shop.

So, celebrate Kate DiCamillo’s birthday and take advantage of this special offer today!

Also, if you’d like to buy a copy of the novel, it’s available through Amazon: Because of Winn-Dixie (affiliate link).

The Arrow is a monthly digital product that features copywork and dictation passages from a specific read aloud novel. It’s geared toward children ages 8-11 and is an indispensable tool for parents who want to teach language arts in a natural, literature-bathed context.

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Happy Birthday, Jeanne Bendick!

Tuesday, February 25th, 2014

Archimedes and the Door of Science

“Questions are more important than answers… If I were a fairy godmother, my gift to every child would be curiosity.” ~Jeanne Bendick

Jeanne Bendick was born February 25, 1919, and in celebration of her birthday we’re making a special offer! The Arrow based on her book, Archimedes and the Door of Science, is:

Half price for one day only: $4.95!

An artist as well as an author, Jeanne Bendick used words and drawings to make difficult concepts understandable. Inspired by her grandfather who often took her to New York’s American Museum of Natural History, Bendick developed a lifelong interest in science and grew up to write over 100 books!

“One part of the job I set for myself is to make those young readers see that everything is connected to everything-that science isn’t something apart. It’s a part of everyday life. It has been that way since the beginning.”

In Archimedes and the Door of Science, Bendick introduces us to the ancient Greek mathematician, and her captivating illustrations help bring the story to life.

So, celebrate Jeanne Bendick’s birthday and take advantage of this special offer today!

The Arrow is a monthly digital product that features copywork and dictation passages from a specific read aloud novel. It’s geared toward children ages 8-11 and is an indispensable tool for parents who want to teach language arts in a natural, literature-bathed context.

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It’s Brave Writer’s 14th Birthday!

Tuesday, January 14th, 2014

14th_Birthday

Not only are we celebrating Jack London’s birthday with a sale on The Call of the Wild and White Fang boomerang, but Brave Writer also turns 14 this month, so we’re offering a $14 discount on both the digital The Writer’s Jungle (usually $79), and the binder version (usually $97).

The Writer’s Jungle today only: $65 or $83!

In the last fourteen years we’ve gone from a kitchen table enterprise run by one to a thriving business that employs a number of instructors (fourteen!) and support staff. From the Introduction to The Writer’s Jungle:

I never set out to write a writing curriculum. This whole shebang started when a friend conned me into teaching a Sunday school class for homeschooling moms desperate for help in writing. I hesitated. Just because I worked in the field of writing and editing (wrote articles, worked as an editor, helped struggling D Min students with their dissertations and had ghost written a few books) didn’t mean I knew the first thing about the educational philosophy of teaching kids to write.

My kids were writing, but I had never used anyone’s writing manuals. I just taught them the way I’d learned to do my jobs. For one of them, my style of teaching worked great. For the older one, I found myself inventing new ideas on the fly-regularly-to keep his pen wet and his pages full of words. He thought writing itself a cranky and irritating process.

So I showed up for that first class of fifteen and within an hour discovered something that rocked me back on my heels. The principles I taught were brand new to the moms in the room. I wasn’t repeating information from their various and sundry manuals. None of them had heard many of the ideas I suggested. In fact, it’s become common since that day for mothers to tell me that what I teach has transformed how they themselves write.

What started in a church Sunday school class grew into a business that has helped thousands of families nurture multitudes of Brave Writers all over the world!

Here’s to many more years to come! 

Image ©  | Dreamstime.com

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