Archive for the ‘Online Classes’ Category

A New Model for Teaching Writing

A New Model for Teaching Writing

Meet Vincent and Shannon! 

Even Language Arts teachers get the writing blues! We wanted to share this enchanting story with you of a loving mom—a former teacher—and her son in our The Writer’s Jungle Online class.

Vincent and Shannon

Once upon a time, this Disney-lovin’ mom was a Language Arts teacher. You’d think that Shannon would ride off into the sunset with the traditional school system, but not so! 

The typical brick-and-mortar school system was not working for her neurodiverse son, Vincent, so they embraced homeschooling.

Shannon certainly had the know-how to teach Language Arts. Except one thing. She’d always taught to the test, and now she didn’t want to do that. 

[I]t’s difficult for me to hold back my “teacher training”… I was afraid to correct, afraid to comment, and afraid to help him add any details for fear of crushing his passion.

High five, Shannon! In fact, Shannon was doing many of the things we recommend to parents when students are finding their way.

My son started dictating stories to me from a very young age. I was his “secretary.” We had only tried one formal writing curriculum and it was not for us. I was determined to keep writing enjoyable for my son. 

But she started to feel like it was not enough.

We literally did NO writing unless he decided to do so… His writing was all over the place, but he did have the content and original ideas.

The balance between teaching mechanics and preserving the fledgling voice of a child is a hard one to walk. Many parents struggle to grow their child’s writing skills without ruining their desire to write at all.

Enter Brave Writer! 

Shannon signed up for our The Writer’s Jungle Online class. This is our flagship course where the parent is the student! 

Brave Writer coaches

  • Model gentle, constructive feedback to writing
  • Show parents how to spur growth in writing, without harsh tactics
  • Validate the mind life of the student and help them find their voice
  • Provide tools and practices you can use when class is over 

Shannon learned a new model for teaching writing. One she knew would work for them. 

I learned HOW to support his writing in a positive way without ruining his spirit. Learning how to support him was the most important aspect because I saw how quickly he could grow. My biggest fear had been conquered and he had been supported in a positive and honest way.

It wasn’t long before Shannon noticed the effect this new writing experience was having for Vincent. 

[T]he best part about the online course was that my son was getting feedback from someone else other than myself. He was actually excited to see what his teacher had thought of his writing. He’s a pretty confident writer and really wanted that feedback.

Perhaps one of the biggest surprises was how many of Shannon’s concerns began to improve on their own. 

Over a short time, I watched his writing expand and become more ordered. He used new vocabulary and actually planned before writing. It was a dream come true.

How’s that for win-win?

Vincent is 12 years old now and looks forward to writing more and more! His creativity gets to shine. Shannon tells us he loves to make up stories and write about his passions in a humorous way. What a guy!

Here’s one thing I’ve noticed over the years. It’s not just writing-averse parents and children who need a hand with writing instruction. Our established attitudes regarding writing —whether positive or negative, whether from our own schooling or professional experience—can hold us back.

Bottom line: even if you know how to write well, even if your child loves to write, it’s okay to get a helping hand. We’re here for you!


Check out our upcoming sessions of The Writer’s Jungle Online. And save $20 on each enrollment while you’re at it. Sale ends December 15!

The Writer's Jungle Online

No Two Kids are the Same

No Two Kids are the Same

Dragons, bugs, tanks. Origami, poodles, photosynthesis, endangered species, baking the perfect pie. 

These are just some of the things our Brave Writer students have written about! 

No two kids are the same—with their different

  • interests,
  • quirks,
  • and learning styles.

That’s why so many of us embraced homeschooling in the first place! To let our kids be themselves.

That’s Brave Writer’s mission, too.

We embrace each child as part of our community. We value their quirkiness and individuality and we comment on their writing accordingly. Each student receives feedback tailored to their

  • personality,
  • abilities,
  • and imagination.

Our writing coaches tell me all the time how your kids delight and fascinate them!

The bottom line: our classes are designed not only to instruct, but also celebrate, nurture, love, and lead your fabulous little people.

Thank you for trusting us!


The Writer's Jungle Online

A Storyteller with a Passion for Music

Brave Writer Songwriting Online Class

When our Songwriting class debuted this fall, we were acting on a hunch that teens were searching for a new and unique outlet for their biggest ideas and deepest longings. 

Even we were surprised by how true that was!

Below is the story of one family from our inaugural run of the class. Plus a songwriting inspired training tip.


Meet Roz and Telle! 

“When I saw the Brave Writer songwriting class I knew it was the best way to kick off the school year. I hoped it would engage her passion and put her creative soul to work in her writing. I know you aren’t shocked to hear this but it worked!” ~Roz

Roz is a veteran homeschooler but when Telle came through the ranks of their family, it was clear that Roz wasn’t going to be able to follow the same routine she had for her son.

Telle listened to read alouds, played games, and loved all our creative activities but was completely unwilling to read, write, or do more traditional learning.

Thus began a search to find out what would work best for Telle.

Roz leapt out of the box with gusto—

[We were] identifying the letters with flyswatters, [would] build words with Playdoh and even dig letters out of our sandbox to spell words but learning could never feel like anything but fun… She taught me that interest-led learning was going to be our jam and I have pretty much followed that route since.

Telle remained a reluctant writer. Academic exercises were intimidating.

However, Roz knew that the mind life of her child was dynamic and alive—a storyteller with a passion for music!

I knew we needed to grow her confidence and writing skills… and so the songwriting class was the perfect fit.  I also knew from past experience with my son in Brave Writer classes that is an ideal opportunity to employ partnership writing to get through the “tough” stuff.

Enter Brave Writer’s Songwriting class!

Music and lyrics serve as the entry point for teens to:

  • engage their critical thinking skills,
  • to harness the power of syntax and diction,
  • to explore poetic devices such as metaphor and powerful associations. 

Enticed, Telle jumped in with both feet, completing writing assignments, analyzing songs and poetry with joy.

Their family commemorated the 1919 Standard Steel Car Strike during the class time frame. Telle chose to focus on the impact of the strike on her family history. She writes,

Labor rights… are very important to me because my great-great-grandfather was shot and killed in the 1919 Standard Steel Strike. He was fighting for better working conditions and the 40-hour work week…. We learned that the family was kicked out of company housing. My great-great-grandmother never remarried and went on to raise her kids alone. She did this without the help of a union because that is what they were fighting for and it wasn’t in place to help widows. 

Telle was so inspired by her family history that her final song for the class is a wistful, yearning love song, inspired by how her great-great grandmother must have felt at the loss of her husband.

Roz shares the impact on Telle:

I love it when learning comes together in a meaningful way…. We collaborated on writing in ways that we have never before accomplished.  She drafted, edited, and wrote music effortlessly. Can any mom ask for more?  

We don’t think so!

At Brave Writer, we know that there are lots of different kinds of writers out there just waiting to be spoken to in their own love language. For Telle, it was music and a connection to her family’s past.


Songwriting Training Tip

What’s your teen’s passion? 

Brave Writer offers a variety of classes, because we know our students are

  • diverse,
  • imaginative,
  • and one-of-a-kind!

We find it fruitful to engage your child in the realm they’re most comfortable in, be that movie making, fantasy books, or the outdoors! Join us! 

Brave Writer Songwriting Online Class

Winter/Spring Writing Class Registration + The Writer’s Jungle Online Sale

The Writer's Jungle Online SALE

Registration for winter/spring sessions is now open!   Sign up for the class that started it all in January 2000:

The Writer’s Jungle Online

When you sign up for a winter/spring session of The Writer’s Jungle Online, you’ll get $20.00 off of the main tuition AND $20.00 off of each additional student.

The sale runs from December 2 – 15, 2019 and only applies to The Writer’s Jungle Online sessions offered in the winter and spring.

  • Jan 6 – Feb 14 2020 **FULL**
  • Jan 13 – Feb 21 2020 **FULL**
  • Jan 27 – Mar 6 2020
  • Feb 10 – Mar 20 2020
  • Feb 17 – Mar 27 2020

Or sign up for any one of the amazing classes we offer (here’s a sampling).

And so many more

Register Here

If you have any questions, feel free to email us (also check out the recorded broadcast below): help@bravewriter.com

Excited to join you on your writing adventure in 2020!

Boomerang Book Club: December 2019

Boomerang Book Club

“It’s a classic.”

I’m guilty of making my kids read something that I hated in school. Sometimes I want them to read something I don’t even want to teach!

Guess what? We’ve got book club instructors who love these books—so you don’t have to!

Gone are assignments of boring comprehension questions. We uncover the rich, juicy morsels in classic novels together with your teens.

[This page 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!]

Here’s what we’re reading in December: Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

Set in Concord, Massachusetts during the Civil War, Little Women was first published in two volumes in 1868 and 1869. The novel follows the lives of Marmee, Jo, Meg, Beth, and Amy—the March family! This classic brings to life not only the time period but the tug of war between the expectations of society and being true to yourself—a theme that resonates with readers even today. The Christmas holiday season provides an important setting in the book, and the latest movie adaption will be released in December, so it’s the perfect pick for our December read!

We’ll discuss this classic work of literature with the Brave Writer approach:

  • Freedom to explore ideas in writing
  • Shared discussion with fellow students and an insightful instructor
  • Exploration of literary themes and elements
  • Weekly highlighted posts from the student comments

By the end of the month, teens gain COMMAND over the literature and write confidently about the work. And you can check it off your list!

Our book clubs are top notch and fill up fast, so sign up early!

Boomerang Book Club