Archive for the ‘BW products’ Category

Happy Birthday, E.B. White!

Saturday, July 11th, 2015

charlottes webby Brave Writer intern, Amy Hughes

It’s the birthday of E. B. White! To celebrate, we’re making a special offer! The Quiver Arrow (especially designed for 1st and 2nd graders) for his novel, Charlotte’s Web, is:

HALF PRICE through July 13
at Midnight EDT ($4.95!)


Born July 11, 1899, E.B. White’s best-known novel is Charlotte’s Web, a timeless novel that describes where friendship, death and the enduring power of hope meet.

E.B. White’s prose is concise and descriptive of the beauties of the countryside. In this story of barnyard creatures, Wilbur, a pig, forms a friendship with the spider Charlotte.

Born and bought up on a farm, E. B. White loved animals from an early age. While E. B. White wrote newspaper columns to earn his living, he wrote a number of books about animals, including Stuart Little. Charlotte’s Web was inspired by his own attempt to nurse a sick pig back to life that had initially been destined for the butchery.

Here is a sample from the text to demonstrate the wonderful way in which E. B. White describes the seasons and weather of the country:

The next day was rainy and dark. Rain fell on the roof of the barn and dripped steadily from the eaves. Rain fell in the barnyard and ran in crooked courses down into the lane where thistles and pigweed grew. Rain spattered against Mrs. Zuckerman’s kitchen windows and came gushing out of the downspouts. Rain fell on the backs of the sheep as they grazed in the meadow. When the sheep tired of standing in the rain, they walked slowly up the lane and into the fold.

So take advantage of our special offer today!

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

The Arrow is a digital product that features copywork and dictation passages from a specific read aloud novel. A Quiver of Arrows is especially written for a younger set and includes a French-style dictation passage each week.

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2015-16 Arrow and Boomerang Titles–ON SALE!

Tuesday, June 9th, 2015

2015-16 Arrow Titles

2015-2016 Arrow Book List (books not included):

August: The Mysterious Benedict Society (Trenton Lee Stewart)
September: Flora and Ulysses (Kate DiCamillo)
October: How to Eat Fried Worms (Thomas Rockwell)
November: Wonder (R. J. Palacio)
December: Poppy (Avi)
January: Love That Dog (Sharon Creech)
February: Courage Has No Color (Tanya Lee Stone – Non-fiction)
March: Understood Betsy (Dorothy Canfield Fisher)
April: Cracker: The Best Dog in Vietnam (Cynthia Kadohata)
May: Love Ruby Lavender (Deborah Wiles)

The Arrow is the monthly digital product that features copywork and dictation passages from a specific read aloud novel (you purchase or obtain the novels yourself). 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.

On Sale June 1 – 30, 2015!

All ten issues, ten dollars off! Enter this code: ARR1516

Get your Arrow discount here

2015-16 Boomerang Titles

2015-2016 Boomerang Book List (books not included):

August: The Sea of Monsters (Rick Riordan #2)
September: I am Malala (Malala Yousafzai)
October: Life of Pi (Yann Martel)
November: Great Gatsby (F. Scott Fitzgerald)
December: The Pearl (John Steinbeck)
January: The Book Thief (Markus Zusak)
February: Brown Girl Dreaming (Jacqueline Woodson)
March: Paper Towns (John Green)
April: Things Fall Apart (Chinua Achebe)
May: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (Mark Haddon)

The Boomerang is the monthly digital product that features a classic work of fiction each month. These novels are used to teach teens the mechanics of writing (grammar, spelling, punctuation, and literary elements). In addition to the weekly passages used for copywork and dictation, The Boomerang includes ten “think piece” questions which are used to enhance a student’s comprehension of the novel’s themes and construction.

On Sale June 1 – 30, 2015!

All ten issues, ten dollars off! Enter this code: BMG1516

Get your Boomerang discount here

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Happy Birthday, Norton Juster!

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2015

Happy Birthday, Norton Juster

It’s Norton Juster’s 86th birthday today (June 2, 1929), and to celebrate, we’re making a special offer! The Arrow for his novel, The Phantom Tollbooth, is:

HALF PRICE through May 3rd at Midnight EDT! ($4.95)


The Phantom Tollbooth is an amazing book not just for its Lewis Carroll-like puns, wordplay, double entendre, satire, and wit, but also for its lovable—and relatable—hero. Milo, along with his faithful watchdog, Tock, and their acquaintance, the Humbug, embark on a quest to rescue the Princesses of Sweet Rhyme and Pure Reason.

In case you haven’t yet read this gem of a story, here are some quotes to whet your appetite:

I’m the Whether Man, not the Weather Man, for after all it’s more important to know whether there will be weather than what the weather will be.

Whether or not you find your own way, you’re bound to find some way. If you happen to find my way, please return it, as it was lost years ago. I imagine by now it’s quite rusty.

Whatever we learn has a purpose and whatever we do affects everything and everyone else, if even in the tiniest way. Why, when a housefly flaps his wings, a breeze goes round the world; when a speck of dust falls to the ground, the entire planet weighs a little more; and when you stamp your foot, the earth moves slightly off its course. … And it’s much the same thing with knowledge, for whenever you learn something new, the whole world becomes that much richer.

Norton Juster said the following about his story:

It’s all about looking at things in a new way. There’s a wonderful old “Peanuts” cartoon that sort of embodies this. … Well, Charlie Brown and Lucy were talking about poetry. And in the next little box in the comic strip, Charlie Brown asks, “But how do you know what it means?” In the last box she says, “Someone tells you.” And it’s absolutely perfect.

So, let Norton Juster “tell you what it means” and take advantage of our special offer today!

Also, if you’d like to buy a copy of the novel, it’s available through Amazon: The Phantom Tollbooth (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.

Image by Keith Trice (cc cropped)

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What’s coming this summer to Brave Writer

Wednesday, May 27th, 2015

What's new at Brave Writer
Image by Allison (an entry in our Where Brave Writers Write Giveaway!)

Some fun news! Take notes, share with friends.

1. I’m speaking at the Well Trained Mind Online Conference in July. You can still register!

2. Our DVDs from last year’s Brave Writer Retreat will be available this summer! Get ready for a big dose of Julie in huge earrings, a showing bra strap, and hands that won’t stop gesticulating! (Otherwise, the production quality is outstanding!)

3. The summer class schedule includes a BRAND NEW literature discussion class for adults to teach you how to interact with your kids around literature. It is featuring my favorite book of all time: A Room with a View.

4. The long-awaited Pouch of Boomerangs (designed for kids in 7th-8th grades) will be available for purchase by August. Here’s the book list:

The Master Puppeteer
The Sword in the Stone
A Wrinkle in Time
The View from Saturday
Number the Stars
The Endless Steppe
The Cay
Walk Two Moons
Shakespeare Scribe

5. We’re offering a BRAND NEW short story writing fiction class for 7th-12th grades in the fall. All your passionate fiction writers will get to work on a story they write and it will have a beginning, middle, AND END! If you’ve got kids who are determined to write the Great American Novel, this is the class to start them down that path.

6. The Homeschool Alliance will focus on planning your coming school year in June and July. I’ll post more details then, but if you want to use the summer to read the year’s worth of material, and get a jump on how you plan your school year, sign up now.

7. For your passionate middler writers, we are offering a BRAND NEW writing class that will feature The Greek Myths! This class will read several myths and then lead kids to write their own! No parental involvement needed; designed for that 10-13 year old set that loves to be independent.

8. Lastly, we are creating an ARROW BOOK CLUB (ABC) for 10-13 year olds. We’ll pick the Arrow titles to feature (it won’t be every month). Same model as the Boomerang Book Club but for younger kids. More details on that in June or July.

So that’s it! Hope there’s something here for you that you would enjoy!


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A Gracious Space: Spring!

Monday, April 20th, 2015

A Gracious Space_Spring

The third installment in the journey of daily encouragements is here!

A Gracious Space: Spring Edition

As you stride to the finish line, keep the good going. These daily readings are designed to support, inspire, and guide you in your homeschooling commitment.

Each of the 50 essays can be read in a few minutes a day.

More than curriculum or a homeschool “how-to” book, this volume offers you perspectives that will help you

establish a rhyme and rhythm in your homeschool
a pace and style all your own

as you create a gracious space for learning and living.

Three formats: PDF, iBooks, and Kindle for $9.95. Print copy available for $14.95!

Buy now!

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Faltering Ownership is here and ON SALE!

Thursday, April 16th, 2015

Faltering OwnershipYou’ve waited patiently.
Your 11-12 year olds are ready.
And now, it’s here!

Faltering Ownership is the next product in our Natural Stages of Growth in Writing series. Watch your emerging writers take more and more responsibility for their writing with our 12 month-long writing projects found in this amazing program!

You’ll guide and coach your middlers in writing forms that facilitate growth in skills like summary, reporting, citing sources, letter writing, book reviewing, and interviewing. Projects include a semester long report, writing a diary for a historical person, exploration of literary elements, and a dust-jacket book review.

At the same time, you’ll help your kids emotionally invest in their work by appealing to their creativity, personal passions, and expanding curiosity!

The Faltering Ownership program product:

  • Four color, 150+ page PDF file suited to all screens or can be printed
  • Includes 12 month-long writing projects
  • A month-long, week-by-week plan for each project integrating all aspects of your language arts lifestyle
  • A semester-long guide to writing a report (and throwing a party!)
  • Brand new Brave Writer Lifestyle Tips for each subject area and a few new ones

Promote happy writing in your home with our latest in the series of writing programs: Faltering Ownership.

For our Brave Writer friends and fans:

We’re taking a whopping $20.00 off the retail price!

Thank you for your enthusiasm, your business, and your friendship.

Faltering Ownership is on sale until April 30, 2015.

Regular Price: $79.00
With Discount: $59.00

Use this code at check out:


Get Faltering Ownership NOW!

Congratulations to all of you who are finding joy and progress in writing! We produce the products, but you create the learning opportunities for your children. Well done!

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Happy Birthday, Laura Ingalls Wilder!

Saturday, February 7th, 2015

Laura Ingalls Wilder blog

Beloved author Laura Ingalls Wilder was born February 7, 1867, and to celebrate we’re offering the Arrow based on her book, Little House in the Big Woods:

Half price through Monday at Midnight! ($3.95) OFFER HAS EXPIRED

Laura Ingalls Wilder was encouraged by her daughter, Rose (an author in her own right), to chronicle the pioneer stories of Laura’s childhood which were filled with both hardship and love. Editors rejected her first manuscript. It was reworked and expanded into its present form and published as Little House in the Big Woods.

An excerpt from the book:

Little-House-in-the-Big-WoodsWhen the fiddle had stopped singing Laura called out softly, “What are days of auld lang syne, Pa?”

“They are the days of a long time ago, Laura,” Pa said. “Go to sleep, now.”

But Laura lay awake a little while, listening to Pa’s fiddle softly playing and to the lonely sound of the wind in the Big Woods. She looked at Pa sitting on the bench by the hearth, the firelight gleaming on his brown hair and beard and glistening on the honey-brown fiddle. She looked at Ma, gently rocking and knitting.

She thought to herself, “This is now.”

She was glad that the cosy house, and Pa and Ma and the firelight and the music, were now. They could not be forgotten, she thought, because now is now. It can never be a long time ago.”

―Laura Ingalls Wilder, Little House in the Big Woods

So, take advantage of this special Arrow offer!

P.S. This issue comes from the early years of Brave Writer’s Arrows so it isn’t as robust as more current titles (that’s why the lower price). It’s an oldie but still a goodie!

Also, if you’d like to buy a copy of the novel, it’s available through Amazon: Little House in the Big Woods (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.

Little House on the Prairie Museum image by David Hepworth (cc cropped, darkened, text added)

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A Gracious Space: Winter is now available!

Monday, January 5th, 2015

Gracious Space WinterThese daily readings are designed to support you in your homeschool journey. If you are in that mid-year slump or in need of fresh inspiration to keep going, this could be the ideal daily reading for you.

Each of the 50 essays can be read in a few minutes. They include a “sustaining thought” to take with you, to help you focus on one key idea per day.

More than curriculum or a homeschool “how-to” book, this volume offers you perspectives that will help you establish and rhyme and rhythm in your homeschool-a pace and style all your own, as you create a gracious space for learning and living.


This book of daily readings comes in three formats: PDF, iBooks, and Kindle. A print version will be available by the end of January.

Use our January Anniversary Thank You code for 15% off: HAPPY15


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Happy Anniversary to Brave Writer!!

Friday, January 2nd, 2015

Happy 15th Anniversary to Brave Writer!


(Discount does not apply to online classes)

Plus here’s a little history of Brave Writer! This was posted New Year’s Eve on Facebook:

I’m feeling sentimental this afternoon.

It’s the last day of 2014. 15 years ago today, I completed the working draft of The Writer’s Jungle and was set to launch a little company I called “The Writing Compass” in January 2000. I never liked the name of the company but I was determined to start and couldn’t keep sitting around waiting for the “right name” to reveal itself. I have notebook pages filled with possibilities. None right. I gave in. The Writing Compass it would be.

My first “Kidswrite Basic” class began the first Monday of January with full enrollment (25 moms), the last one registering at midnight before class began (that enrollment happened to be the extraordinary Rachel Boyer, who went on to become a Brave Writer instructor for 5 years!). How fortuitous that she found me! We bonded and she learned to teach the way I taught (not much of a stretch for her).

That first class in January 2000 lasted 8 weeks (phew!) and was run exclusively through an email list. (You think forums can be confusing!) Tuition? $25.00 per family! Ha ha. I think my hourly might have been about $2.00 an hour by the time it was over. I was a happy, exhausted dishrag at the end of that first class, burning the candle at both ends, learning as much as my families. I still have most of the emails.

A few notable students came through the first session:

  • Anne Somanas (whose essays are the models in Help for High School)
  • Gabrielle Linnell (whose “Adventuring Maid” story in The Writer’s Jungle is the first time she was published–age 8; she’s gone on to be quite the writer, starting her own online magazine for teens, featured in Chicken Soup for the Soul’s Extraordinary Teens, and interviewed by Writer’s Digest as a promising up and coming young writer!)
  • Logan, famous for his hilarious and honest freewrites that I share at every convention and included in The Writer’s Jungle.
  • Bennett Horton, my 16 year old student who *would not write* and started from scratch (Jot It Down!) and went on to get As in freshman composition in college just two years later (I have his thank you note still!). Today he is married, a father of two girls, and is making his way up the corporate ladder quite successfully. So reassuring to see!

I had a blast with these families, and loved my work! Suddenly speaking engagements popped up! The attached photo is of me at the CHEO convention in Columbus Ohio, June 2000—my first big speaking gig, where we rolled out The Writer’s Jungle, my only product. Cindy Clark, who works for Brave Writer today, helped me assemble the first volumes in my living room along with Bennett’s mother, Paula Horton (who also works intermittently for Brave Writer now). Sold every one I brought with me! Blew me away. Apparently it was something I said.

Mid-workshop while speaking, I heard myself saying these words, “We want free writers! We want brave writers!” and as the words escaped my lips, my brain thought, “Crap! That’s it! That’s the name of my company: Brave Writer!”

Naturally “” was emblazoned across the vinyl cover of The Writer’s Jungle. Such a dilemma! My first exposure to the world of homeschoolers and I was already going to make a huge change in identity. I went straight home and bought the URL: Jon set up a redirect on the original site and I never looked back.

15 years in Internet time is an eternity. When I go to my entrepreneurial social media gatherings, I am always the oldest business by several years, built on social media long before it was called by that name. Brave Writer has grown by word of mouth. I didn’t want it to grow too quickly. I wanted to homeschool my kids and not miss soccer matches and lacrosse games.

In those years of slow growth, I learned a lot about writing, home education, parenting, and business. I went to graduate school. I got a divorce. I went on college visits. I became an adjunct professor. I value it all, even the life-shattering, life-rearranging moments.

Today, Brave Writer is strong and growing by leaps and bounds. My family is well—including Jon, without whom I could never have launched a company in 2000. He designed my first website and laid out The Writer’s Jungle and Help for High School. His freshman composition teaching career in college gave me countless resources that helped form what I teach and write. I’m grateful to him. We have a good relationship today.

Thank you for being a part of the Brave Writer community and journey:

for all your good ideas
for finding typos in my products that I miss
for sharing your amazing children with me and my staff
for your patience when my product roll outs get delayed
for your passion for your children
for learning how to be coaches and allies to your children (not everyone wants that job—but I’m so glad you do!)
for observing copyright (homeschool parents are the most ethical consumers and I don’t take that for granted!)
for helping each other and showing one another kindness and consideration
and for sending me uplifting emails that help me keep going.

I love this community and opportunity to put all of my skills and heart into a venture that I believe in. Without you, Brave Writer quite literally wouldn’t exist.

Much much love to you all and your dear families on this, the last day of 2014. Tomorrow, we start 2015 and January offers you a special deal for Brave Writer as my thank you for your years of loyalty! (Sneak peek on the home page of the site, if you want to see it.)

May you each reflect on the past year(s) and see how far you’ve come, and trust you will get where you need to go.

Happy New Year! /blows horn!/ /tosses confetti/

xoxo Julie

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Simple Homeschool Gift Guide PLUS 15% discount on BW products!

Monday, December 1st, 2014

Image by Dana -blog

Check out Simple Homeschool’s

Holiday Gift Guide!

Also, take advantage of Brave Writer’s December discount:

From now until December 20, 2014
15% percent off Brave Writer products*
on orders of $50.00 or more

*Online classes do not apply

Image by Brave Writer mom, Dana (cc)

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