Archive for the ‘Online Classes’ Category

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).

Image © Robert Byron |

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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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Fall Class Schedule is up!

Monday, June 9th, 2014

Image by Erica 2

Registration opens on Monday, August 4 at noon EDT!

It is always a wild ride that day so be sure to set your alarms on your phones if you know which classes you want.


And if you are wondering whether or not to take an online class with Brave Writer, my obvious advice is: take one.

Here’s why.

Because they work.

There aren’t any other classes online like them. Our program is workshop style. Your kids (and you!) have frequent opportunities to interact with the instructors and with other writing students. The feedback is supportive—not sugar-coated.

For instance, the feedback isn’t a gentle correction:

A comma goes here. Be sure to remember capitals at the start of sentences (smilie face).

Our feedback helps kids get in touch with how they generate thought, ideas, insight, and details, through friendly thoughtful comments:

You are a miner. What do you mine? Do you sell it at the trade goods market? What is that like? Who is there? How do you advertise your minerals? Carry them? Hawk them? Who buys them? I’ve got a whole market scene in my head, dusty and filled with creatures ala Star Wars on Tatooine. Is this even close?

The feedback engages the writer at the level of the creation of the piece and helps to unlock the mind-life of the young writer—giving the child access to language that lurks inside, unobserved.

The reason our classes feel different from others is because we are about the process of writing, not simply completing assignment after assignment. The student might revise the whole piece or simply sections of it. It might go through several revisions (expanding individual sections at a time).

All the while, the child retains the authority to apply feedback or not according to the writer’s vision.

We also offer classes that help kids play with language and writing, rather than feeling all that pressure to produce academically “sound” essays every time they touch the pen or keyboard. Write for Fun and Fan Fiction give kids entree into a world of writing where not only their imaginations are unleashed, but their best and most sophisticated vocabularies have a chance to unfurl themselves.

Photography and Writing was a HUGE success this year, too, so we are offering it again while there’s lots of sunshine and warm weather for outdoor hikes and photo walks. Photography goes with writing in this digital age. Becoming proficient in photography ought to be a basic requirement of every child’s high school education.

Summer is a great time to try a Brave Writer class—you have the ability to focus on it and your child is not distracted by math. We are also more flexible in summer, accommodating your travels or weekend camping trips.

Sign ups for SUMMER CLASSES are open!

Cross-posted on facebook.

Image by Brave Writer mom, Erica (cc)

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Summer Class registration opens TODAY!

Monday, June 2nd, 2014

Image by Deirdre

Lots of great summer classes available: Movie Discussion Club (fantasy films), Photography and Writing, Write for Fun, Fan Fiction, plus Kidswrite Basic, Intermediate, and Expository Essay.

Sign up now!

Registration opens at noon EST!

And if you need help determining which classes would be best for your kids feel free to contact Brave Writer via email or the online chat option (lower right corner).

Image by Brave Writer mom, Deirdre (cc)

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Movie Discussion Club: Spring 2014

Wednesday, May 21st, 2014

Movies 240x240The theme for our spring Movie Discussion Club is Miyazaki! The films:

1. MY NEIGHBOR TOTORO (1988, G) Two girls move to the country to be near their ailing mother and are introduced to whimsical forest spirits who dwell nearby.

2. SPIRITED AWAY (2001, PG) In the midst of a move to a new house, a ten-year-old girl and her parents become lost and happen on an amusement park that turns out to be a inhabited by spirits.

3. HOWL’S MOVING CASTLE (2004, PG) An 18-year-old hatter transformed into a 90-year-old woman encounters a wizard who lives in a walking castle with a fire demon. Based on the novel by Diana Wynne Jones.

4. PONYO (2008, G) A five-year-old boy and his adventures with a goldfish princess who longs to become a human.
We have an expert teaching our film discussion class. Nancy Graham has her MA in Cinema Studies and is a homeschooling veteran.

Join us in celebrating a filmmaker whose career has spanned more than five decades and witnessed the evolution of animation from hand-drawn to computer-generated techniques.

Class starts June 2nd
Sign up today!

Also, the Summer Class Schedule is now posted (registration opens Monday, June 2, 2014, noon EDT).

Image © Sonulkaster |

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Literary Analysis: Romeo & Juliet

Thursday, May 15th, 2014

At the Cell of Friar Laurence by Arthur RackhamLooking for a great way to end your homeschooling year?

Susanne Barrett (MA in English and former university instructor) will be teaching Literary Analysis: Romeo & Juliet starting Monday, May 19 through Friday, June 13!

In this course (intended for high school students), Susanne will lead the class by reviewing:

  • The pertinent facts about Shakespeare and his times
  • The Elizabethan theater scene
  • The background and sources of Romeo and Juliet

Then the class will read and discuss Romeo and Juliet act by act and scene by scene.


  • The elements of plot
  • Characters
  • Motifs and themes
  • Use of language
  • Symbolism

The class with close with a formal essay on one of several possible topics.

Check it out!

Painting “At the Cell of Friar Laurence” by Arthur Rackham

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2014 Summer Class Schedule!

Wednesday, May 7th, 2014

Image by Kuovonne

Our Summer Class schedule is posted!

Registration opens Monday, June 2

We’re offering The Expository Essay over the summer for the first time! Great chance for kids in school to get extra help in working with the format between school years. Also great for kids who need space around writing, to help them focus without the other subjects competing. Lastly, perfect for high school students Down Under!

Image by Brave Writer mom, Kuovonne (cc)

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Spring Registration opens at noon EST!

Monday, March 3rd, 2014

Now he wants his ownImage by Peter Dedina

Spring Class Session REGISTRATION OPENS today at noon eastern. These online classes start March 31. Here is the class schedule.

ALSO, Six winter classes start this morning! Sign ups still open. Don’t miss them!

Whether you want to start your writing program right now or you want to wait until April, May, and June, we’ve got something for everyone!

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Winter Classes Open for Registration!

Monday, December 2nd, 2013

Image by Dawn The above image is by Dawn and is an entry in our WBWW Kindle Fire Giveaway!

Open for Registration!

Add water and stir!
Winter Session Writing Classes
are like a warm mug of hot chocolate
in the snow storm of education.

Check the Winter 2014 Online Class Schedule below or online.


Brave Writer online classes were described beautifully by one of our high school students:

What I like about Brave Writer, which I’m posting in case anyone wants to know:

1. You can be social. You can make friends. I pictured an online class as being you and the teacher.

2. No face-to-face stuff. That’s right, no Skype calls, or anything like that.

3. The teachers are GREAT. Really nice, understanding. They help you think outside the box.

4. No rush. Brave Writer is very relaxed. I really love that. If you’re sick, it’s not the end of the world. Family vacation, no Internet? Take your time!

5. Easy to navigate. I remember my first Brave Writer class, and being scared that it would be so hard and confusing. But it’s not.

6. The students. Great kids. Encouraging. They read your projects. They comment.

7. Can be used world wide. Brave Writer can be used by anyone, any where in the world. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be here.

8. No classroom pressure. No “stand up and read in front of the class.” Who misses that???

9. Fairly short, painless classes. No ongoing lectures that you could go to sleep on. You’re on the edge of your seat instead.

10. The layout. Simple, easy. Can’t get lost like hallways. No sir.

So, thanks Brave Writer! You’ve made school and writing so fun!

–Audrey (16)

This “writing workshop support group” atmosphere does more to create growth in writing than all the lecture style, video formats. Why? Because you are writing, the instructors are writing, children are writing—it’s all done through writing. This is how the growth happens. Everyone reads everyone’s work and feedback.

If we lived together in person, I would add brownies.

The point is this: a lot of writing growth happens when there is space and time to write, when the opportunity to read peer writing exists in a safe context, and when writing feedback is not a private, one-to-one experience, but a shared-with-everyone opportunity. These are the ingredients that create growth in writing. Pros know this. This is how they do writing support groups!

I hope you’ll join us, if this appeals to you.


P.S. The chat line is open (I’m on it now), my phone is at the ready (513) 307-1405 – if you want to call, or you can email me your questions and I’ll help you make the right choice for your kids and family.