Archive for the ‘Online Classes’ Category

Woo-hoo! The 2015/16 winter class schedule is here!

Thursday, November 5th, 2015

Brave Writer online class schedule for winter 2015-16

Winter Writing Class Schedule
is now posted!

What makes Brave Writer’s online classes special?

  • Your kids will be writing in the company of other young writers!
  • Feedback is not only about “accuracy,” but writing voice–finding and fostering the child’s natural self-expression while expanding it and enhancing it!
  • Our classes are a deep-dive for 3-6 weeks, and then you all get to take a good long break before writing again.
  • Instruction is directed to parents, not just kids! We want to help you be the effective writing coach and ally your kids need, and the sort you want to become!
  • You can sign in any time of day from anywhere in the world and not miss a lick of class! All instruction is asynchronous while taught by a real instructor.
  • Our teaching staff are published writers and home educators–they know the dynamics of teaching their own kids to write, which is one reason they are so helpful!

So mark your calendars! You’ll want to sign up early to secure your space. Our classes for fall have been filling up in advance!

Registration OPENS on MONDAY December 7, at Noon EST

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So much more than writing

Wednesday, October 21st, 2015

So much more than writing

Dearest Julie,

Just a quick note to tell you what a treasure you are in “homeschool world.” You/Brave Writer are about so much more than writing. You are about LIFE, about DREAMS!

As a homeschool veteran of 23 years, I learn from you every time you send out a post. This article encouraged me so much to just BREATHE, to know it is going to be OK. You and your materials are so real-life focused, not just another tool in the homeschool belt.

I have had 4 of my 6 children take various classes with Brave Writer over the years and they were marvelous. My oldest son, 27, still talks about how he found out he had more to say than he realized taking one of the classes (one of my quiet ones, haha.) He went through a period of great stress in his late teens and writing became an outlet for him to decompress.

My 17yo, whom I called you about last year, took your Movies class. Though he didn’t really write much, he seemed to have found his “voice” (another quiet guy) and really opened up more with his own opinions. When I picked him up from class today (he is in a specialized school for 11th and 12th graders and is learning welding) he was so excited about an essay contest that is open to the welding students! He has never been excited about writing! His teacher said that no one from her class has ever entered an essay. He said (with much confidence), “I can write a 500 word essay, Mom. Can I do it?” I am thrilled! The prize is $250, and the topic is “How welding has/will affect my life or someone else’s.” Go figure.

Anyway, thank you, you are a gem. Looking forward to more classes in the future as my youngest is 10. Winking smile.

Have a blessed week!


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Why we don’t use video in Brave Writer online classes

Saturday, August 22nd, 2015

Why we don't use video in Brave Writer online classes

Some people ask why our classes don’t make use of video. It’s a pedagogical choice: reading produces better writers than listening. Not only that, reading requires depth of concentration and attention that enable the reader to internalize what is being read. Listening allows for greater distraction. For instance, have you ever noticed how you can be looking at your child and rearranging the cabinets in your mind at the same time? You appear to be listening, but you’ve “checked out.”

Listening to lectures creates a similar result. You may have an affective moment of “Wow that was wonderful!” but the retention of the particulars is not nearly as complete as if you had read the same material.

“In fact, studies have shown that reading uninterrupted text results in faster completion and better understanding, recall, and learning than those who read text filled with hyperlinks and ads. Those who read a text-only version of a presentation, as compared to one that included video, found the presentation to be more engaging, informative, and entertaining, a finding contrary to conventional wisdom, to be sure. Additionally, contrary to conventional educational wisdom, students who were allowed Internet access during class didn’t recall the lecture nor did they perform as well on a test of the material as those who weren’t ‘wired’ during class. Finally, reading develops reflection, critical thinking, problem solving, and vocabulary better than visual media.” ~Jim Taylor Ph.D., Psychology Today

Some thoughts about technology and learning.

Image by Brave Writer mom Anne


Check out Brave Writer's NEW online class pageCheck out our NEW online class page!

It’s magical! Click on the choices by age or semester or type of student (Family Classes, Parent is Student, Child is Student, and High School) and the page transforms for you!

Brave Writer online classes are uniquely designed with the busy homeschooling parent in mind. Classes last anywhere from three to six weeks. We offer courses that address a specific writing need so that you can take one or more over the course of a school year. We keep the class sessions short so that you may work around your family’s schedule.


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I’m so proud of home educators

Thursday, August 20th, 2015

Power of story- Jen

From a recent e-newsletter:

We read aloud to our children each day, fulfilling this basic “requirement” that our kids get an education from quality literature often not aware of how deep that education goes just from reading Redwall (again) or The Wind in the Willows. I don’t know if we (as a group) have plumbed the depths of how powerful all that reading is. In fact, I daresay that we mostly have not!

How many of us have associated the pleasure of Trumpet of the Swan with furnishing academic brilliance?

Yet this is precisely what is happening in living rooms strewn with Legos across the country (and globe). Home educators are doing a greater service for their children and the aims of education through the simple practice of immersing themselves in story each day than any other single practice.

You’re providing the education academics DREAM of providing.

Did you know that STORY is the foundation of a quality liberal arts education?

Rudyard Kipling says:

“If history were taught in the form of stories,
it would never be forgotten.”

Story as Education

Narratives, tales, myths, legends, fictions–the ability to see the story
in any subject area is the heart of a sophisticated, multi-faceted education.

Here’s why.

Academics like to talk a lot about the “imagination”–the capacity to imagine oneself into other times and places, cultures and worldviews, value sets and moral dilemmas.

Your child’s academic imagination grows
in direct relation to immersion in story.

Reading aloud, reading fiction, reading poetry, reading biographies, reading non-fiction, reading religious texts: Reading leads to a robust exploration of what it means to be human, sharing a planet.

Story also comes from other sources: film, video games, plays, documentaries, lectures, sermons, artwork, music, and television.

What homeschoolers do better than any other educational tool is plunge their children into the heart of STORY, every day:

moral dilemmas,
enriching cultural detail,
other times, other places, other worlds!

You’re great at it!

As we give our children this gift of STORY from the rocking chair or cuddled on a couch, we create connections in our children’s minds that resurface again and again. Charlotte Mason calls these connections: “The Science of Relations.” In Brave Writer, we call them: “Powerful Associations.”

Modern day stories that make use of ancient mythology are resonant for active readers (Percy Jackson books, Harry Potter, Hunger Games). Historical fiction shows us the world before we arrived and gives us context for our every day experiences (Johnny Tremain, The Master Puppeteer, The Bronze Bow).

Cross-cultural exploration through story shrinks the globe
and creates empathic ties to people who are different from us.

One of my favorite professors (40+ years as a professor, Harvard Ph.D.) said to me last week that what’s missing in too many of today’s in-coming college freshmen is the capacity to imagine richly–with texture, openness, and connection between subjects. Reading and writing in the humanities, in particular, depend on a complex intuitive understanding of the narrative arc:

what creates surprise,
the nature of viewpoint,
power dynamics,
moral right and wrong as they are funneled through lived experiences and confronted by characters/actors through dilemmas,
the underlying mythology of the narrative.

Moral Imagination

One of the core curriculum classes at Xavier University is called “Literature and the Moral Imagination.” The goal of that class is not dissimilar to what you all do every day you read aloud to your children. You are shaping your children’s understanding of morality, intuitively, without lecture. Your kids are forming their values through confronting the moral dilemmas faced by beloved characters!

As I spoke with Professor Dewey, I shared about what we do in Brave Writer. We offer classes that are designed to plunge our children into the juicy soul of STORY.

We not only read Rudyard Kipling’s Just So Stories, we ask our students to write them!

We not only enjoy Greek Myths, we explore them for their structure and ask students to produce their own fictional accounts of Gods and Goddesses they create!

Dr. Dewey was thrilled, saying that he wished all schools did this for children.

We’re not just “creative writing” here at Brave Writer.

Our story writing classes offer your students a pathway to
intellectual excellence and moral development.

Hope you’ll take advantage of them!

Just So Stories ClassJust so stories

Every child wonders how our array of extraordinary animals came to be! Why did the rhino get a big horn on his nose? How did the kangaroo wind up with a built-in pouch for babies? Whose idea were those flamboyant feathers in the peacock’s tail?

Rudyard Kipling playfully recounts tales he told his children when they were small about the origins of many animal peculiarities. He makes use of his own literary style to do it (musical language, rhyme, nonsense words, and magical powers). After reading four of these tales together, students in our Just So Stories class get to write their own.

You know what else? One Tuition pays for ALL your kids class! Imagine working with everyone on one writing project for one price! We enroll you, the parent, along with your kids.

By the end of the month, you’ll have conquered a complete writing project for all the writers in your family, and September will barely be over!

Image of child reading by Brave Writer mom Jen

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Fall class registration is OPEN!

Monday, August 3rd, 2015

2015 fall online class registration is open!

Registration is open for Brave Writer’s fall classes!

Trust your instincts. You know best for your homeschool. If a little outside support, gentle accountability, and hand-holding will ease your mind this fall, join us for a fall writing class.

We look forward to making writing a little less daunting for you and your family.


And hurry! Classes fill quickly!

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