Archive for the ‘Online Classes’ Category

Winter class schedule is up!

Thursday, November 13th, 2014


Registration Opens Mon, Dec. 1, 2014
Noon Eastern (12:00 p.m. EST)

Classes Offered:

Expository Essay
Groovy Grammar
High School Writing Projects
Just So Stories
Kidswrite Basic
Kidswrite Intermediate
Literary Analysis: Rebecca
Middle School Writing Projects
Movie Discussion Clubs: Gutsy Boys and Brave Girls
Playing with Poetry
Photography and Writing
SAT/ACT Essay Prep

Feel free to email Julie or to contact Brave Writer via the online chat option (lower right corner of the home page) if you need help determining which classes would be best for your kids and you.

Click here for more info!

Image by Brave Writer mom, Colleen (cc)

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Why we use writing to teach writing

Monday, September 1st, 2014


An email question from Lisa:

“I love your curriculum but really do not like the Format for the online classes. Please look into live Online instruction. Most students are not going to Read through all the post of others in the class. This Really doesn’t give the group interaction live Instruction does.”

My response, in case you are wondering the same things:

Hi Lisa!

Thanks for your feedback. We welcome it! I’d like to explain to you a bit about our style of instruction. It’s a deliberate choice on my part, not an accident, not because I haven’t “updated” to the current style of online instruction. In fact, what we do mirrors what colleges offer in Blackboard, Coursera, and Canvas. It is my belief that reading and writing create the best writers, and that lecture (while it can be enjoyable and even a short cut at times in explanations given) is not as effective in growing writers.

We’ve taught our online classes using this technique for 15 years. We’ve taught more than 15,000 students worldwide. It’s a deliberate decision based on pedagogy. Students are trained to read, understand, interpret, and apply what they read to their writing. All the interaction in our classroom is reading and writing—reading feeds writing and enables growth and development that lecture cannot/does not impart. Even the questions students ask are written and the responses are written. This helps writing growth in the following ways:

  • Students learn to clarify their thoughts in the written word, and have a record of those thoughts as they develop so that the words they create don’t “vanish” into the thin air of spoken language, but remain visible to the student for continued reference.
  • Students read the assignments and processes, which gives them vocabulary that will become useful in their own writing. They are able to scroll back through, re-read, and assimilate the language, structure, and ideas from the written word. Writing is necessarily just enough different from speech that it is of enormous help to read rather than listen.
  • Reading skill (the ability to analyze and process meaning and content from the written word) is the key skill in writing development. No other process has been more strongly linked to writing growth than reading.

We’ve discovered that our students do, in fact, read most of the posts (some can’t get enough of them—they read and reread!). What happens is that our students wade into the waters of writing gently. They are not distracted by hairstyles, tone of voice, personality, and their own fatigue or boredom or hunger. They come to the classroom when they are ready to concentrate and read and reread if they need to.

They have ample time to form their thoughts and consider what they are reading. There’s no “pop question” type pressure to respond in the moment over audio-visual equipment. They have ample access to the instructor for her feedback which is carefully crafted and thoughtfully given.

I’ve taught at the university level, and in many in-person contexts for writing (with homeschoolers). I am never as satisfied with the writing growth in those class environments as I am with my online classes. We use reading and writing to teach reading and writing. it works.

I hope you’ll try us!


You can still sign up for fall classes now!

Image by Brave Writer mom, Renee (cc)

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Boomerang Book Club’s September Selection

Thursday, August 28th, 2014

To Kill a MockingbirdThe second title in our Boomerang Book Club is the American classic about race and family, compassion and human dignity: To Kill a Mockingbird.

In this time of modern uneasy race relations in America, there could be no more timely book to read and examine.

The book discussion starts on Monday September 8, so don’t wait! Your students should begin reading the book now.

Each month of the Boomerang Book Club includes The Boomerang as part of your class fee. That means you will get the digital downloadable issue that gives you your grammar, punctuation, spelling, and literary device notes to help you ensure growth in the mechanics of writing as well.

Sign up HERE.

Purchase a copy of To Kill a Mocking Bird on (affiliate link).

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The sky is the limit

Monday, August 25th, 2014

Hi Julie,

We have just begun our Brave Writer Journey.

My daughter, Sara, has left traditional school after the completion of tenth grade. I was watching the system stamp out all the creativity that drives my daughter’s soul. It was suffocating her.

This summer she started out with the photography and writing course. Sara is more engaged than I have ever witnessed. Her camera is barely set down and she has spent hours everyday taking photos and in the online classroom.

This transformation is what I have been hoping and praying for as this daughter is special beyond words. Everything traditional school does and expects drives that specialness into a deep dark cave.

Now that she is starting to find her voice in a safe and supportive community I can only believe that the sky is the limit.

Thank you


The next Photography and Writing class starts September 2nd!

Check it out!

Image © Jan Wachala |

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2014 Fall Semester Class Update

Monday, August 18th, 2014


We have a couple of classes starting on Monday August 25 that are not yet full:

Kidswrite Intermediate
(for 8th-11th grades). Preparation for academic writing and the development of the rhetorical imagination.

College Admissions Essay (11th-12th grades). Don’t miss the chance to get help with this most important of essays. Not limited to homeschoolers, either. We love helping kids write powerful essays.

Sign up while there is still time and space. Kidswrite Intermediate is a good class to take before the essay class so get it in early if you want to take the essay class in October.

Also, the Expository Essay Class that starts October 6 is FULL. We still have space in our second class which starts October 20. Both sessions are identical. If you have high schoolers who have yet to learn to write academic, research based essays, this is the class for them! We teach them how to cite sources, how to identify source credibility, and how to paraphrase, in addition to structuring the essay and writing surprise reversal thesis statements. A must for college bound students.

Register Today!

Image by Brave Writer mom, Sarah (cc)

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College Admissions Essay Class

Thursday, August 14th, 2014

Caitrin college - blog

Wake up the College Admissions Staff with an Awesome Essay!

College Admissions Essay Class

starts on August 25!

Don’t miss your chance to get your teen help!

If you’ve got college-bound high schoolers, it’s high time to work on that Common App or College Admissions Essay in time for early application deadlines.

Homeschoolers set themselves apart regularly through their powerful prose, demonstrating command of language and a wide range of unusual experiences. Grades for homeschoolers mean less to admissions officials. The essay is what gives your teen the chance to showcase homeschool in all its creative diversity!

Yet it can be hard to prioritize the writing of a killer essay when you are up to your elbows in the college hunt.

Are you in the midst of what I like to call “Operation Line-Up-Your-Ducks”? If so, you are visiting schools, taking tests, shopping online for the best popcorn popper, and filling out the Common App. Somewhere near you is a long to-do list. Some of the items on it take hours to complete. One of those items is “write my essay.”

Enter Brave Writer and our College Admissions Essay class, which begins August 25th and ends September 19th, and will send you into the fall with one item gloriously ticked off that list. Join us and create your essay with the enthusiastic support of Nancy Graham (our awesome instructor) and an online classroom of confrères (if you don’t know that word, look it up–your student may find it on the SAT).

Nancy is excited about this class because the college application essay prompts give you an opportunity to review your life up to this point and glean the moments that have made your student unique. Nancy gets to be the witness, goad, and cheerleader. It’ll be like spending an evening around a campfire near the top of a mountain, looking back down into the valley and sharing stories about the journey so far. Tell your teens to bring their laptops, memories, and a few s’mores.

The Essay as Capstone Project

The final results of this essay class will not only be exciting to college admissions officials, but to you, the parent–an amazing capstone project at the end of the wonderful homeschool years.

You’re nearing the end. (Sob!) Let’s celebrate together!

Read more here about how the class is structured.

Tuition: $229.00
4 Weeks: August 25 – September 19, 2014

Sign up today!

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Fall Online Class Registration is OPEN!

Monday, August 4th, 2014

student_ipad_school - 143

Fall Online Class Registration Opens TODAY!

Brave Writer is dedicated to the task of reuniting you and your kids in the joy of self-expression, captured in writing, using tools and practices that will absolutely overhaul how you experience each other and writing.

If you want to radically alter your homeschool, sign up for one of our writing classes this fall.

Truly Brave Writer classes are nothing like any other writing online class system out there. We’ve taught thousands of students and families from around the globe. We’ve been at it for 15+ years.

We know what we’re doing.

I am here to answer questions about classes, placement for your kids, and any other details that concern you. Please call me (I will answer, unless I am on the other line, in which case I will call you back asap). We do our best to ensure you get the right fit.

Our online classes require no change in your schedule to participate (you participate when you are alert, your kids are fed, and you have daylight in your time zone, if that’s what you prefer). They are taught by professional writers who also happen to homeschool or were homeschooled themselves (they know your life!).

The classes involve all students so you get to read their work, and the instructor feedback on ALL work in the class too—creating a supportive writing workshop environment.

Call me! (513) 307-1405

Email: julie AT bravewriter DOT com

Or use the “Chat with us” option in the bottom right corner of our home page

Don’t delay! Some classes fill up quickly!

UPDATE: We are closing KIDSWRITE BASIC for August.

However, WE STILL HAVE SPACE in September (starts the day after Labor Day—9/02/14). Sign up before it fills too! We’ve got space right now, but I can’t promise how long it will last.

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ONE week left before Fall Registration opens for Online Writing Classes!

Monday, July 28th, 2014

We’re really excited about Fall!

We have such a great line up this year and more offerings than ever. Don’t forget to consider classes like Nature Journaling, Photography and Writing, and Just So Stories.

We are not your usual writing company offering a school-like program that creates stress and performance anxiety.

We are all about HOME, convenience, personal attention, opportunity for un-graded risk and exploration in writing, support, affirmation, process, and satisfying progress.

Check out our line up of classes!

Also, if you need help with online class decisions, do contact me. I’ve got work to do at my desk and I’ll answer the phone or call you back. If you email me, I try to respond as quickly as possible (within 24 hours max, but often within the same day).

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Announcing: College Admissions Essay Class

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014

Caitrin 2aNow you can get help with your student’s college admissions essay using Brave Writer practices and instructor support!

Introducing the College Admissions Essay Class which will start right at the end of August, finished in September, in time for all those critical fall deadlines. Make it easier on yourself—get help! I’ve been helping students with college admissions essays for a decade and have trained Nancy Graham, one of our high school instructors, to lead your kids into a thoughtful review of their years of homeschooling as they head off to college. Make that essay “pop”! Especially important for homeschooled kids whose essays are usually of great interest to admissions staff.

Class dates: August 25 – September 19, 2014

Fall Registration Opens Monday August 4, 2014 Noon EDT

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What makes Brave Writer classes different?

Wednesday, June 25th, 2014 © |

It’s that time of year where I’m getting lots of email about online classes.

We are different from what else is out there. Here’s how.

1. We were first! I started online classes in 1999 via email. So we know what we’re doing. We’ve had thousands of families go through our programs and what we do works. Period.

2. We believe parents chose to homeschool because, well, they wanted to homeschool their kids. I wasn’t under the impression that parents who homeschooled wanted to find other people to do the teaching of their kids. Sure, we all want help (particularly in the upper grades in areas outside our skill set). But for the primary years in particular, most of us want to be the home educators, not tutorial coordinators.

So, I decided to offer classes first to parents. They need to know how to teach writing even when they aren’t in a class. Kidswrite Basic teaches YOU how to be the best coach and ally to your child that you can be. Together, you and your kids learn to become a happy writing-editing team where your kids actually WANT your input and feedback (if you follow our plan, they’ll come back to you all the way to college to make sure they’ve had your set of eyes look over their work).

3. Our classes are only 3-6 weeks for a reason: you are busy homeschooling your children. We know how difficult it is to coordinate select soccer, dental surgery, your mother-in-law’s hip replacement, piano lessons, and moving to a new house with homeschool let alone a lengthy commitment to an online class with due dates!

Instead, you get to give a good quality burst of energy and commitment to a few weeks of quality, intense, instruction and then take those lessons and apply them to your homeschooling practice once that session ends.

4. Our classes are not tutorials, but writing workshops with multiple students/families and one instructor. We create a support group atmosphere where everyone learns from each other—all questions, all feedback on all papers available for all to read. Suddenly feedback on work is normal—everyone needs it and gets it and it is shown to be supportive and valuable.

5. Our online classroom is asynchronous so everyone from around the world can participate during the hours you are most alert and ready to work. Why should you be tied to 10:00 a.m. every Monday and Wednesday? That’s like being in school. We are trying to accommodate home as much as possible. Log in when you are ready and the instructor will do the same. Questions get answered within 24 hours, feedback on papers within 48 hours (unless otherwise told–some high school work requires longer for feedback). All questions, any time of any day during the class session, are welcome and answered. That’s the whole point of the class.

6. We don’t use video or multi-media because we want to strip down to words—reading words, writing words. It’s subversive really. Half the time your kids don’t realize they are writing. They are asking questions in writing, commenting in writing, discussing in writing. All that “type written thought” trains the mind to think, type, and write at once. When the student goes to actually produce a paper, suddenly they are aware that they know how to do it—they’ve been thinking and turning that thought into writing all along.

7. Our instructors are both professional writers AND home educators. We do more than teach writing. We coach you and your kids how to grow as learners, how to get along, how to maximize your homeschooling commitment. We’ve been there. We know how it is to work on writing with one out of seven kids while all h-e-double-toothpicks is breaking loose! We’re here to help.

8. We focus on writing voice, first, and add academic formats later. Easier to learn the formats with your voice in tact, than to go from formats to “injecting voice” later. Professional writers all know this.

So that’s it!

If you have any questions, let me know. Our fall schedule is posted. Registration opens Monday August 4 (no need to pay us in June for a class that starts in October!). Fall is competitive so mark your calendars (Noon EDT). If you live in Australia or any southern hemisphere country, contact me. We have a better registration time for you.

Summer classes are still registering NOW and start on July 7. Lots of fun ones! Fan Fiction is a blast! Photography, creative writing with Write for Fun, and our fabulous movie discussion groups (great way to “trick” kids into writing if you’ve got resistant ones!). And we have the usual suspects too: Kidswrite Basic, Expository Essay, Kidswrite Intermediate (for high school).

Cross-posted on facebook.

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