Archive for the ‘Podcasts’ Category

Read-Aloud Revival podcast

Monday, April 13th, 2015

Big, Juicy Conversations Read-Aloud podcast

Brave Writer teamed up with the vivacious Sarah of Amongst Lovely Things for a Read-Aloud Revival episode!

The Read-Aloud Revival is is a regular podcast hosted by author Sarah Mackenzie, mama of six, where she talks with educators, authors, and others dedicated to helping parents read aloud to their children and build a family culture around books.

In our “Reading with Teens & Big Juicy Conversations” podcast:

Find out what reading aloud with teens might look like, how to start a poetry tea habit, and how to, in general, enjoy being with your kids.

Listen to the podcast NOW!

PLUS there’s a podcast opportunity for kids! Children can use the recording device on Sarah’s website to share a little about their favorite read-aloud then they may be featured on an upcoming episode during the “Let the Kids Speak!” segment. Find out more about it here (scroll down).

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Big Juicy Conversations podcast

Saturday, February 1st, 2014

After a long, dark slumber, we return! In fact, we recorded this podcast a couple months after recording the previous, Englishes, but because of complications in life, it sat forgotten and ignored on the Internet. No links, no listeners, no happiness. No more! Please join us as we tackle a topic close to my heart, Big Juicy Conversations!

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Natural Stages of Growth in Writing

Sunday, July 21st, 2013

The Natural Stages of Growth in Writing PodcastsImage by woodleywonderworks (cc cropped, text added)

Understanding a young writer’s stages of growth is vital. In my years of working with families, I’ve found that it is much more effective to look at how writers grow naturally than to focus on scope and sequence, grade level, ages, or the types of writing that ought to be done in some “established sequence.”

The different stages are thoroughly explained in The Writer’s Jungle, but check out the following podcasts concerning them, as well. Just click on the titles below to be linked to each page:

Jot It Down

Before kids can write their thoughts and ideas, someone else needs to do it for them.

Partnership Writing

Focuses on the most overlooked stage of development in the writing journey and accounts for the development of writer’s block and writing resistance in kids. If you successfully navigate the Partnership Writing phase, your kids will not be plagued with the “blank page, blank stare” syndrome. You’ll both know how to create writing and what role you each play in the process.

Natural Stages of Growth in Writing podcasts

Image by Rui Fernandes (cc)

Faltering Ownership

The stop and start stage of writing. One day the student gets a detailed story to paper. The next week, she complains that she hates writing. In this podcast we look at how you can create the conditions for growth and joy in writing with your kids.

Transition to Ownership: Part One

This is our first of a two part discussion of the Transition to Ownership stage of writing growth. This is the time when your students are making the somewhat treacherous journey from adorable, fact-centered child to rhetorical imagination (the awareness that the world is inhabited by unlimited numbers of perspectives).

Transition to Ownership: Part Two

Continues the discussion of your role in the “Big Juicy Conversations” you need to be having with your fledgling thinkers.

Eavesdropping on the Great Conversation

This podcast features discussion about the high school writing life, on into college. Don’t miss it! It will help to shape your philosophy of writing, not just your program for writing. Enjoy!

P.S. Learn more about Brave Writer and the different stages here.

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Englishes podcast

Monday, February 11th, 2013


Today’s podcast discusses the relationship between speech and writing. For those of you who are long-term Brave Writer fans, you’ll know that I refer to Dr. Peter Elbow as “my guru.” His vision for writing has long guided how I teach. When this new book Vernacular Eloquence hit the stores, it was thrilling to realize that Brave Writer has already captured and honed these very insights, but in the most practical way. We urge the kind of linguistic development Dr. Elbow examines in his research in this volume.

He and I have since dialogued about the way Brave Writer has evolved and explored that relationship through the most unique, yet effective context for writing growth: the parent-child editor-writer relationship.

The podcast today is about how to foster the various voices/registers needed for the variety of writing tasks our kids will face. How do we help them move between what Elbow calls “Edited Written English” (EWE) and the spoken language they use orally and in writing (online, in casual correspondence, when writing for popular audiences)?

Elbow says that EWE is “Shorthand: [for] ‘no mistakes.” This need to avoid mistakes is the key source of paralysis in the writing endeavor as many of you well know. Our aim to free the original writing impulse to come forth without undue pressure is what makes Brave Writer’s approach to writing different than other writing strategies.

Elbow goes on:

Students are constantly warned not to confuse their everyday speech with ‘serious’ writing. EWE or standardized written English is a dialect or language that differs in grammar and register from everyday speech.

He continues:

When students and others follow traditional advice and try for correctness at every moment, their language is often stiff, awkward, and unclear. Their attempts sometimes even lead them to the kind of peculiar mistakes people make when they try to use a language they don’t know well. Because of this, many people try to play it safe and stick to relatively simple sentences. When teachers look at student texts with this kind of simplified or plodding language, they sometimes blame speech—when really is was fear of speech that impoverished the syntax. When people let themselves genuinely speak onto the page, their language is more flexible and complex and sometimes eloquent.

Join Noah and me for a discussion of how these various “Englishes” manifest in the homeschool and what you can do to help support fluency in all of them.


One Thing Principle

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013

One Thing! I’ve written about the One Thing Principle many times on the blog. Today, though, I wanted to share with you in more detail about how to get that fantasy homeschool you imagine into the real world of your routine family practice.

Noah shares about our family and what we did that he remembers and I am hoping that my comments will ease some of the frustration and doubt that get in the way of enjoying your time at home with your kids.

And forgive the silly picture. My business photo shoot included these shots of me with the numbers 1, 2, and 3 for possible inclusion in marketing materials. They turned out really silly… but then, maybe silly is a little bit what’s missing for all of us in this serious business of raising, nurturing, and educating our kids.