Archive for the ‘Online Classes’ Category

Check-In from Our Movie Club

Brave Writer Online Movie Club for Teens

Outlaw Readers and the Power of Words

by Nancy Graham

[This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting Brave Writer!]

Brave Writer movie clubs draw a robust and enthusiastic bunch of cineastes. Our conversations call for close observation of composition, camera movement, light, sound, music, and performance. Naturally, we also look at literary elements such as story, theme, character, and narrative voice—so movie clubs prepare the participants for literary analysis as well as media literacy!

We had three movie clubs in a row this spring at Brave Writer—Monster Mash, Enchanted April, and the one that just wound up: Outlaw Readers and the Power of Words. For this last club we viewed and discussed four movies—all of them adapted from novels—set in times and places in which reading is forbidden in one way or another. The first three dealt with book burning as a strategy of oppression and censorship: The Book Thief, set in Nazi Germany; Nightjohn, set in the American antebellum south; and Fahrenheit 451, set in an imagined future in which firemen rout out books and burn them. In our final movie, Dead Poets Society, a band of young men at an elite prep school have their love of poetry ignited by an unconventional teacher, inspiring them to meet for midnight poetry readings and make choices that defy the expectations of their parents and the school administration.

We have such great conversations in our movie clubs. Below are some thoughts from some Outlaw Readers club members, ending with a couple of intriguing questions for you to mull over.

Timothy (age 15) on The Book Thief:

When I close my eyes I see the scene were the car is driving along in the snow, there is nothing there it is like the car is driving along on a blank sheet of paper, there is nothing written on it no trees no houses not even a smudge of a road, a blank world. The scene is sort of like her new life, she is driving away from the old one to the new one, it is blank, waiting for her to start again from the start she has new parents, a new house and new friends. The only thing she has from her old life is a picture of her brother. Everything else is left behind.

Julio Wagner (age 16) on Nightjohn:

I think that the literacy of slaves was considered dangerous because if a slave knew enough as much as their master/owner did, they would have a sense of control and free will about them, as I think John displays in the movie. And it’s that last bit of idea that led me into this next one. The moving scene where John is punished and after starts writing in the dust with a stick. John says, “A, stands up on its two feet…” It’s that saying that really stands out to me, as it shows strength and will power for the will and commitment of acquiring knowledge.

Olivia Vazquez (age 10) on Fahrenheit 451, in which characters save books from burning by memorizing, therefore “becoming” them:

If I had to choose one book to save, I would choose “I’ll Give You the Sun” by Jandy Nelson, which is a story about twins who drift apart. This is one of my favourite books because it switches from one point of view to another over the course of a few years, and I like how the characters evolve throughout the story. Although I would rather save this book, the book I would most like to become is “Beauty” by Robin McKinley because I like the way it is written and because it possesses poetic qualities. “Beauty” retells the story “Beauty and Beast” and is about Honour (widely known as Beauty), who was once rich then tragedies made her life take a drastic turn.

Josie (age 18) on Dead Poets Society:

I think what Mr. Keating teaches his students is important because of the culture of conformity in the school. There was definitely a lot of pressure on the boys—from both their parents and schoolteachers—to do what was asked of them, and live up to the expectations and wishes of the society they lived in. Mr. Keating taught the students that they could “seize the day” and take control of their own lives. He taught that there can be more to poetry than simply memorizing or studying it.

The conflict between Mr. Keating’s independent, free-thinking philosophy and the high-pressure culture of the school and parents comes to a climactic point late in the movie. One of the students, Neil, kills himself as a response to his father’s demands that he quit acting, a pursuit he is passionate about. The school tries to explain this by saying that Neil’s death was the result of Mr. Keating and the Dead Poets Society, who inspired Neil to try acting. This results in Mr. Keating being fired from the school, and the students gathering in a last show of support as he leaves. I think this is important because it shows that, in the end, Mr. Keating did have an impact on his students.

Ivy Favier (age 15) on the feeling of being moved…

I loved how the last boy to understand Mr. Keating was the first to stand up for him. Though it took him the longest to show it, I think that he was the one who most understood the importance of what Mr. Keating stood for; to be who they want to be and to live life fully, while they still can.

Wow. That was a powerful scene. It made me cry and laugh at the same time. And it gave me that feeling… I’m not quite sure how to describe it… Chills going up my spine. I got that same feeling in Nightjohn, when Sarny told all of the slaves their worth, and when John kept writing after he lost his finger, right when he said that A stands on its own two feet. I also got a little bit of that feeling when Liesel and Rudy shouted “I hate Hitler!” I always seem to get that feeling whenever someone in a film does something extremely brave and meaningful, like in those moments I described. The only way I can think of describing that feeling is the chills running down my back, and sometimes laughing and crying at the same time. How would you describe this feeling? What adjectives would you use to describe it?

The next movie club’s theme: Magnificent Horses! Starts July 25th! Movie Discussion Club

2016 Summer Writing Class Registration is NOW OPEN!

2016 Summer Class Registration is Now Open

Summer Writing Class Registration
NOW OPEN!

I’m still on a high from the Brave Writer Teaching Staff Retreat from last week. I want to reach through the screen and share with you how brilliant, compassionate, competent, and passionate our instructors are. They care so much about you and your kids, but even more, know how to draw out the best from both of you!

If writing has become a waterloo in your house, don’t miss this chance to right the ship! Allow Brave Writer’s wonderful team to bring new life into your writing experience. (A bonus: you will fall in love with your kids again too.)

Summer Class Schedule

 

Write for Fun 1 June 20-July 8 Karen O’Connor
Expository Essay July 5- August 12 Jen Holman
Kidswrite Basic July 5- August 12 Deb Bell
Kidswrite Intermediate July 5- August 12 Joy Sherfey
Fan Fiction July 5- July 29 Susanne Barrett
SAT/ACT Essay Class July 5- July 29 Jean Hall
Kidswrite Basic July 5-August 12 April Hensley
Kidswrite Basic July 11- August 19 Sarah Holden
Movie Club: Magnificent Horses July 25-August 19 Nancy Graham
Write for Fun 2 August 1 -19 Karen O’Connor

 

 

If you need help deciding on a class, contact me using the website chat box
or by email (julie@bravewriter.com)!

Register Today!

 

Be an Awesome Brave Writer Student!

How to be an awesome Brave Writer student by a Brave Writer student!

by Finlay Worrallo, Brave Writer student and intern

1. Remember the name: Brave Writer. Repeat that name to yourself whenever you feel disheartened. If you write, you are a writer, and anytime you share your thoughts for others to read, you are brave. So you are a brave writer! You can even make yourself a badge saying “Brave Writer” [we created a Brave Writer button you can use if you’d like!].Brave Writer button

2. Know you’re in safe hands. Brave Writer has been running for 15 years, has taught over 15,000 students, and their students do well in college and beyond. Brave Writer can be trusted to educate you!

3. Let Brave Writer mix with the rest of your life. For instance, discussing a film doesn’t have to suck all the enjoyment out of a good movie. If you simply view every film you watch with a slightly more analytic eye, you’ll get a bit more out of each one. Likewise, thinking a little more about each book you read and how well it’s written will improve your reading and writing skills without boring you. Home education is not like school. There isn’t a clear line between work and fun. And that’s great!

4. Don’t fear the unknown; jump into the assignments. Expect to enjoy yourself and widen your comfort zone. Brave Writer is all about helping young people to learn, to write, and to enjoy both. They’re on your side, so dive in!

5. Write what you want to write. For instance, in a Brave Writer class you can be yourself! You don’t have to conform to preconceived notions of what is or isn’t good writing.

6. Have fun! When you think about it, you’re being guided in creating entire worlds out of tiny letters scribbled onto a piece of paper. You’ve got about 500,000 words in the English language to play with, and even more if you make some up. So don’t take it too seriously!

Brave Writer student and intern Finlay Worrallo

 

Finlay Worrallo lives in Swaledale, a beautiful valley in Britain. He enjoys reading books, writing stories, and watching Doctor Who. He loves studying languages, especially Spanish. People are always telling him how tall he is, which he’s heard before, and how good he looks in hats, which he likes to hear. He plans to write novels, act in plays, and travel the world when he’s an adult.

2016 Spring Class Registration is OPEN!

Brave Writer Spring 2016 Online Writing Classes

Spring Registration is OPEN!

Last time, you CRASHED my server during winter class sign ups!
This time we’ve beefed up the servers so all should be well.

If you need help selecting a class, contact me in the via chat
(home page of the website) or email. Happy to help!

Our Online Writing Classes are unique!

We teach you, we teach your kids, we teach your family.

We have a BRAND NEW class for 5-8 year olds!

Brave Writer Online Class: Story Switcheroo

Story Switcheroo is designed for your 5-8 year olds (you’ve been asking for a class for little kids; now we’ve got one!). Enter the world of fairytales and then mess with them! Sure to delight your young writers.

Check out the full class schedule.

Also, I shared about our online class program on Facebook LIVE. You can watch the replay for information about how our classes work!

Classes fill up quickly!

Register NOW!

Just So Stories Experience

Just So Stories Success!

Brave Writer mom Audria writes:

Hello!

My family loved the online Just So Stories class. I can hardly put into words how positive this experience has been for us. I just wanted to share about it on my blog and just let y’all know how delighted I am to have found Brave Writer.

Thank you very much,

Audria

Here’s an excerpt from Audria’s awesome post:

We spent the month of January in the Just So Stories online family class. The goal of the course was for each child to write a little tale based on Rudyard Kipling’s Just So Stories. Ms. April gave us assignments and guided the kids in crafting their very own Kiplingesque short story. Our instructor proved not only to be a writing instructor to my kids but also a coach for me. Observing her interactions with my crew I learned how to walk my own children through the writing process…read more.

Brave Writer Just So Stories Online Writing Class