Archive for the ‘Online Classes’ Category

NEW Expository Essay 2 Class

New Online Class: Expository Essay 2

Are you ready for a truly juicy writing experience that will rocket your high school student’s ability to handle nuanced and sophisticated writing skills?

Our BRAND NEW Expository Essay 2 course adds new layers to our other offering, Expository Essay. This class relies on the foundation of the original essay form (the five-paragraph expository essay) to launch students in new, expanded directions for essay writing.

Consider the Expository Essay class as the “learning to ride the bike with training wheels” course, while this writing course is an opportunity to gain your balance on this new bike!

Who should take this course?

This course is designed for high school students between 10th–12th grade.

Students should already be competent writers, and have some experience with academic formats. The Expository Essay class is a recommended preparatory course, though not required.

Class starts October 17, 2016

Instructor: Jean Hall

LEARN MORE

Brave Writer Online Classes

Calling all armchair travelers to our fall movie club, now boarding!

Movie Club for Globetrotters: India

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

Brave Writer Minister of Magic, Nancy GrahamNancy Graham joined Brave Writer’s fulltime staff this year as our Minister of Magic. She has been teaching with Brave Writer since 2011. We interviewed her about the upcoming Movie Club for Globetrotters: India.

How does Movie Club for Globetrotters: India differ from Brave Writer’s other movie clubs?

This will be the first in a series of movie discussion clubs devoted to movies from around the world. Another thing that will distinguish this club is the amount of subtitles, which is great reading practice!

What movies will the club be discussing?

Movie Club for Globetrotters: India

Our first film, Pather Panchali, is considered one of the great classics of world cinema. It’s the first of a trilogy of films that follows a Bengali boy named Apu as he grows into a man. The images are so beautiful that watching is like stepping into a black-and-white version of Bengal in the 1950s. The director, Satyajit Ray, was an eloquent visual storyteller who showed great compassion for his characters. He was influenced by other world-renowned directors such as Jean Renoir and Vittorio De Sica.

Movie Club for Globetrotters: India

From there we will jump to Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in India, a more recent, more commercial Bollywood musical! Set before independence, Lagaan is about a cricket match between a British regiment and the local villagers that they are unfairly taxing. I think everybody will be cheering by the end.

Movie Club for Globetrotters: India

Our third movie, The Lunchbox, somehow manages to be a love story and a sociology lesson at the same time. In Mumbai, lunches are delivered by 5,000 dabbawallahs who rarely make a mistake. In this story, through a mix-up, lunches start going to the wrong man and he and the woman who prepares them strike up a correspondence. It’s a sweet story and I highly recommend anyone watching it have some dal, rice, and curry on hand because it will make you hungry. So does writing about it: my daughter read over my shoulder as I wrote this paragraph and we decided to break immediately and head for our favorite Indian restaurant.

Movie Club for Globetrotters: India
Now that I’ve had my arugula dosa and chai, I’ll tell you about our final movie, My Name is Khan. This one stars Shah Rukh Khan, a major Indian film star, in a story that takes us from India to the US where its protagonist, a Muslim with Asperger’s traits, finds himself in the midst of tragedy and anti-Muslim sentiment after 9/11. This movie is a great discussion starter and relevant to today’s conversation about appearances, immigration, violence, and kindness.

Why sign up for an online movie club class?

Here’s how Brave Writer Movie Clubs help kids develop as writers:

1. Movies are great writing prompts. Few if any of us can watch a movie without sharing an opinion. Typically other family members watch too, so discussions ensue that help prime the pump for conversing with other members of the movie club. This is writing-as-conversation rather than as a solitary activity, and it helps writers tune in to their inner conversations. This kind of dialogic writing gradually eases the second, solitary form of writing demanded by high school composition.

2. The movie clubs offer breadth and depth in terms of developing media literacy, a complex set of analytical and creative abilities essential to 21st-century communication. We consider shot composition, transitions, lighting, scoring, sound effects, narrative development, qualities of performance, camera movement, costumes—the list goes on and on. And these topics are rarely introduced by me—it’s the participants who generate insights; I elaborate and invite further exploration.

3. Movies begin as literature with a screenplay, novel, or short story. So discussing movies is often necessarily also a consideration of the art of adaptation from one medium into another.

4. Cinema writing shares much of the language of literary analysis. Thanks to the internet, many young people are now familiar with tropes, archetypes, and other elements of literature, and regularly apply them when discussing animé, manga, and games. Our movie clubs validate and deepen the application of this terminology to the works of popular culture. Participants come to view what they do for entertainment as existing on a continuum with what we think of as high art and literature.

5. We try to make the clubs a blend of commercial successes and movies that get kids’ feet wet with independent or lesser-known works. I hope that as they grow, their increased awareness of alternative film will lead to their having expanded taste and going off the beaten track to screenings at universities, community centers, and art house cinemas.

I hope you’ll join us for our trip to India on September 19th!

Movie Discussion Club

Registration is OPEN for 2016 Fall Online Writing Classes

Registration is OPEN for 2016 Brave Writer Online Writing Classes

“Brave Writer way is a kinder, gentler, much improved way to learn writing…”
—Brave Writer parent

Fall Class Registration is OPEN!

We have an incredible line up of amazing writing classes for your families. Join us, if you want a turbo boost of energy for your fall! We offer more than 40 classes during the fall! Take a look!

2016 Fall Writing Class Schedule

Why Our Classes are PERFECT for Homeschoolers

Asynchronous
You don’t have to be home on Tuesday at 10:00 with a headset—log in any time when it is convenient to you in your time zone!

Writing workshop style
Classes include other families for support, feedback, and shared learning.

All materials included in tuition

Instructors who have homeschooled
Our Brave Writer team has both homeschooled or been homeschooled and they are professional writers!

3-6 week commitment at a time
Each class lasts a short enough timeframe that you can commit and then take a nice break when it’s over.

Warm, supportive, useful feedback
Our instructors give kind, productive, thorough feedback to your kids and to you! Available at all times for questions.

We are using a BRAND NEW registration system for Fall Class Registration. If you already have a Brave Writer Username and Password, you will want to use those login credentials to enroll in a fall class.

Warning

Our fall registration day is ALWAYS by far our busiest (popular classes and sessions fill quickly!). I’ll be online (email), we’ll have our chat window open for immediate questions, AND you can email me (julie@bravewriter.com) if you need help picking a class or run into technological difficulties.

Sign Up for Fall Classes Now!

Registration is OPEN for 2016 Brave Writer Online Writing Classes

Registration is OPEN for our Arrow and Boomerang 2016-17 Book Clubs

Arrow Boomerang 2016-17 Book Clubs

Rather than reading in isolation, without the benefit of examining the writing and the layers of meaning novelists intend their readers to experience, The Arrow and Boomerang Book Clubs provide a forum for that opportunity.

Homeschool students especially need the chance to talk about what they read—yet the busy mother-of-many doesn’t always have time to read those lengthy dense books, let alone discuss them in depth!

Brave Writer provides you a virtual coffee house—where students gather to freely discuss the novels they read at home.

The 2016-17 Books

ARROW

August: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (C.S. Lewis)
September: The One and Only Ivan (Katherine Applegate)
October: Homer Price (Robert McCloskey)
November: Carry On Mr. Bowditch (Jean Lee Latham)
December: The Birchbark House (Louise Erdrich)
January: The Green Ember (S. D. Smith)
February: Bud, Not Buddy (Christopher Paul Curtis)
March: Out of My Mind (Sharon M. Draper)
April: A Long Walk to Water (Linda Sue Park)
May: The Secret Garden (Frances Hodgson Burnett)

BOOMERANG

August: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (Ransom Riggs)
September: Julie of the Wolves (Jean Craighead George)
October: The Prince and the Pauper (Mark Twain)
November: Moon Over Manifest (Clare Vanderpool)
December: American Born Chinese (Gene Luen Yang)
January: Mountains Beyond Mountains (Tracy Kidder)
February: The Crossover (Kwame Alexander)
March: Divergent (Veronica Roth)
April: The Chosen (Chaim Potok)
May: Echo (Pam Munoz Ryan

Sign Up Today!

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