Archive for the ‘Julie’s Life’ Category

Enjoy the Peace

Enjoy the Peace

That peace you hear? That’s the sound of your life working. ~Susan Elliott

Years ago, I read this pair of lines by blogger Susan Elliott that knocked me sideways. I paused to consider a new idea.

Did I need chaos, activity, crisis, a problem to solve to feel productive or alive?

What did I experience in moments of peace? Did I welcome the calm as a sign of health or as the eerie stillness before the next storm?

Did I see struggle as a sign of learning?

Did I see ease as a shortcut, cheating, evidence of not trying or too beginner—not challenging enough?

I noticed that with an active household and a challenging marriage, sometimes when the stars aligned and we had a moment of serenity, I’d feel agitated. It’s like I’d be on the hunt for something to fix or a problem to solve or a new challenge to tackle. Instantly struggle returned and I’d be back to striving rather than enjoying.

I took this watchword, then, and said it to myself on the mornings when the kids were happily busy. Why wreck it by pulling out the math books? Enjoy the peace! My life was working!

I said it to myself when I had a blank date on the calendar. I could leave it empty. I could relish the peace.

I said it to myself when there were extra dollars at the end of a month. I could leave them there and enjoy simple abundance, rather than rushing to spend them yet again.

I said it to myself when I successfully took time away from home and no one missed me. I could realize I’d done a good job of preparing them for successful living without dependency.

You try! What signs of peace could you relish rather than rushing to fill the quiet calm with activity and stress?

This post is originally from Instagram and @juliebravewriter is my account there so come follow along for more conversations like this one!

The Homeschool Alliance

Keep Going

I was a part of an online unschooling group years ago. One of the moms asked about how to homeschool as a single parent. Her husband had just filed for divorce.

I offered a few thoughts. The moderator told me not to urge people to get divorced. The original poster responded that it was out of her hands; her husband had already filed and left. I countered that I was merely offering support based on her experience and mine. I received a private message telling me not to comment ever on divorce and to only promote marriage. This was not a religious community. I’ve since learned the stigma of divorce in the homeschool world.

In 2009 (seen in the photo above), I began to live as a single mother. The isolation in homeschooling and religious communities was staggering. For the first time, I felt like a member of a misunderstood class and as though I ought to hide or pretend. It’s taken a decade to become more and more comfortable with the truth of my family in this public space.

The post I shared a couple of days ago about abuse matters. I support the concept of longterm marriage especially when kids are involved. That said, abuse is bad for children. Period. It is more important to prioritize the welfare of individuals in a family than to protect the institution of marriage. It is not our job to make marriage look good. It’s our job to create homes with peace, well-being, and health.

So if you ever wonder if anyone in homeschooling gets it: I do. And those of us who’ve walked your steps are here for you. Totally. No shame.

It took about 3 years for me to remember what happiness felt like. I could see it in others, but I could not feel it as a sensation. The loss of the fantasy, the ideal, the badge of health and family success is crushing. People asked often about my marriage, offering thoughts and prayers. I needed them to ask about *me*—to put my welfare first, to believe me.

Do that for your friends.

My favorite show of solidarity came from one of my married friends. She accompanied me to the courthouse when I had to face the judge for my divorce. I cannot think of a deeper commitment of friendship. Fearless. Loyal.

If you’re in my space suffering, I see you. Keep going.

This post is originally from Instagram and @juliebravewriter is my account there so come follow along for more conversations like this one.

The Homeschool Alliance

Get Outside

Get Outside

“Let them once get in touch with Nature, and a habit is formed which will be a source of delight through life. We were meant to be naturalists, each in his degree, and it is inexcusable to live in a world so full of marvels of plant and animal life and to care for none of these things.” —Charlotte Mason Vol 1, pg 61.

I read these words for the first time in a condo in Orange County CA and felt depressed. Oh, we could identify pill bugs and sparrows, but drought resistant plants and asphalt in every direction under the endless sunny skies did not a naturalist make (in me). Charlotte said to get outside no matter what weather—and all I wanted was one gray day as a reason to stay in—with a fire!

Her challenge stayed with me, though. We began walking in a dry creek bed, we visited horses that lived up the hill from us (discovered accidentally on a stroller outing). We drove in nightmarish LA traffic to the beach and tide pools. We named the trees, the shrubs, and the American crow.

Then we moved to Ohio. Oh. My. Now we had a creek, and more types of birds than we could name or count, trees taller than our house, and the ever-changing weather.

Good thing Charlotte’s words hung in my mind:

Get outside in every temperature,
with appropriate clothing.

So we did. And I still do. Changes how I see the day. Grounds me. Keeps me connected to an older wiser story—that was going on long before I got here and will continue long after I’m gone.

A day gone wrong can be rebooted with gloves, a hat, and a brisk walk.

Bundle ‘em up! Head outside!

This post is originally from Instagram and @juliebravewriter is my account there so come follow along for more conversations like this one!

Brave Writer Lifestyle

The Best Investment

A Total Win

The best investment we made when we moved to Ohio was to purchase a trampoline. Sure, people die on trampolines. I know. We fretted about that. But since I was already the mom who said “no” to a backyard swimming pool (I’m definitely not a good enough mother to always remember to lock the sliding door so no toddler drowns), it seemed sane to risk broken arms with a trampoline.

It’s the one piece of backyard play equipment that was as attractive to my little kids as my teens. We played a family game where the kids would jump and Jon and I would hurl balls at them; Yeah—good times!

The trampoline was a great place for a one on one chat. I’d climb on top and lay on my back next to a kid who needed to talk—sky and tree branches above offered a place to look without eye contact. Fresh air expands the conversation.

Kids did math and copywork on the trampoline. They jumped together and alone. They made up their own games. They exhausted themselves on days of agitation and too little activity.

Teens in love sat on the tramp talking or laid side by side for privacy yet in public—the perfect combination.

This post is originally from Instagram and @juliebravewriter is my account there so come follow along for more conversations like this one!

Brave Writer Lifestyle

Hello Old and New Friends!

Julie Bogart

Glad you’re here. I’m Julie Bogart—a homeschool veteran (5 kids, 17 years), a writer, and an entrepreneur.

Early in adulthood (when I was 22!), a friend of my then-fiance asked me on a hillside in Spain: “So Julie, are you going to homeschool your kids?” “Um, what’s that?” I replied in 1984 having never heard the term in my life. Willie launched into his speech about subverting the soon-to-be-communist-take-over of America through home education, and tossed in as a follow up: the family closeness and bonding homeschooling promised. I wanted that (the closeness, not the communism). So I signed on Willie’s dotted line and never looked back!

My five kids are now adults: daring to live life on their own terms all over the USA and globe. While they were growing up into who they would choose to be, I became a writer (people paid me to do it—which was fun!). I eventually launched Brave Writer (January 2000), as a response to the wooden, lifeless writing programs my friends were using and hated. I wanted my homeschool mom friends to love coaching writing, as much as I did.

Brave Writer is my playground and mission tied together by one core belief—when you prioritize *power* (energy, surprise, voice) in writing, you get to accuracy and academic achievement much more effectively and happily!

The secret side effect? Power and closeness in your relationship—between parent and child. The commitment to READ your child’s writing as a revelation rather than a requirement, changes everything.

In Brave Writer, every product, class, and contact with us (my crack team of over 50 staff members!) is meant to deliver that experience—power to grow writers, not grade them.

Fine print: I love being a woman, I love French, I love watching sports, I love steaming cups of British tea, and I live for sunshine.

Pictured above: Gruyères Switzerland

This post is originally from Instagram and @juliebravewriter is my account there so come follow along for more conversations like this one!