Archive for the ‘Podcasts’ Category

Brave Writer Podcast: Homeschooling High School: Real Talk about Teens, Writing, Wonder, and Weirdness

Brave Writer Podcast: Real Talk about Teens

Do you have teens? Will you have teens? Have you heard that they will be challenging or wonderful? Your best friends or strangers in your children’s bodies?

Teens are awesome—in every way, from being competent and so interesting, to mystifying and sometimes downright frustrating. Let’s talk today about all the wonderfulness of parenting and home educating the teen years.

Psst: you get the hang of it more and more so just know you’re growing too!

Your Kids Will Change

Kids change during their teen years. They get curious, they start to notice that you’re not a sage expert, they meet friends and compare notes, and they start to wonder about the world beyond your house.

Especially in homeschooling, when you have curated this environment so carefully, it can be a shock if they start finding fault with it.

But every child has to go through this; every child has to examine the source material of their own childhood.

Didn’t you?

Have a Big, Juicy Conversation

We love this exercise because it allows you to partner with your teen child in exploring their opportunities, interests, and goals – and helps you facilitate those in any way you can.

All you and your child have to do is brainstorm a huge list of all the things they want to do before they turn 18. Joining an acting troupe, going to space camp, learning an instrument, indoor rock climbing, a new language, going on dates, attending a prom: whatever it is, put it on the list!

It can be easy to forget that our own children have awareness of what typical teens do, and they likely want to sample experiences like school dances.

After your child turns 13, they get to have an increasingly large say in their lives. We just have to get comfortable with it, even if we don’t like their say.

So can you re-conceive of life for your teenager in a way that is meaningful for them and honors who they are? Can you get comfortable allowing them to take a risk, something not working out, and then trying again?

You don’t have to push your children out of the nest – you can escort them out of the nest and give them some opportunities to see the world is bigger than the house they’re in.

Please post a review on iTunes for us (here’s a handy guide)?
Help a homeschooler like you find more joy in the journey. Thanks!

Brave Writer Podcast: Making Money as a Mom and Homeschooler

Brave Writer Podcast Making Money as a Mom and Homeschooler

Do you wonder if it’s okay to earn money on the side while homeschooling? Are you skilled in some way but don’t know how to monetize it? Would it help your family to know that there was a stream of income that could pay for the extras like lacrosse gear or a field trip to Williamsburg?

These were the questions I asked myself that drove me to find ways to earn extra money while homeschooling. I didn’t launch a full-fledged business right out of the gate. In fact, my first income came from freelance work as a ghost-writer and editor of PhD dissertations.

In this episode, I give you some tips for how to go about adding additional money to your strapped finances without crushing your homeschool under the weight of too much work.

The first thing we need to address is the mindset.

Right off the bat, know that it’s okay to want to earn money! You’re not a bad homeschooler, you’re not a bad spouse, you’re not less devoted to your children, you’re not overly materialistic.

Now, you have the freedom to decide whether you want to do that, and it’s okay to decide you don’t – but it is YOUR choice!

The 4 keys to earning money while homeschooling:

  1. Determine your skills. You may be wondering, what is it that I’m going to do? Well, this probably isn’t the right time to reinvent the wheel. Consider the things you’re already good at it and use that as a starting point – work doesn’t have to be something difficult or something you don’t want to do!
  2. Get good at your skills. You deserve a little time away from your family to devote to yourself, and that’s how you’ll grow as the human being you were born to be. You need it, you deserve it – all you need to do is take it!
  3. Give your skills away. You can start getting some work experience by volunteering your skills. And if you’re pursuing something you like to do, this should be fun!
  4. Start charging money! Pricing is always a challenge, and you can do some research but, ultimately, you may end up having to sort of make a guess and pick a number. But people, particularly women, often undervalue themselves – so start with the number that sounds right to you and then double it!

Please post a review on iTunes for us (here’s a handy guide)?
Help a homeschooler like you find more joy in the journey. Thanks!

Brave Writer Podcast: How to Be Your Child’s Partner in Writing

Podcast How to be Your Child's Partner in Writing

After working with parents for years, we have learned that there is often a reluctance to give your own efforts to your child’s writing. But kids with parents who are involved in their education get better grades, and as a result, they feel more successful – and children who receive no support end up performing worse.

Today’s podcast will help support you as you support your kids, so that they can be their best academic selves.

Partnering with Your Child

Parental involvement in education is what produces the greatest results in children!

It’s easy to understand why this happens in a traditional school environment with one teacher for 20 or more kids. All that teacher can see is the final result of effort, and they have no way of knowing who contributed what amounts of effort.

But you aren’t in a traditional school environment – and you have a front-row seat to your children’s development! You can see exactly what they contribute, and you know when you help them structure or sentence or add in a vocabulary word; you know what is their effort and what is your combined efforts.

So just kick that fear out of your brain and embrace involvement in your children’s writing education – collaboration in writing is a gift, and you have both the responsibility and ability to give that gift to your child so that you can mentor them into the writing experience!

Please post a review on iTunes for us (here’s a handy guide)?
Help a homeschooler like you find more joy in the journey. Thanks!

Brave Writer Podcast: 6 Writing Myths Busted

Brave Writer Podcast 6 Writing Myths Busted

Have you heard that to grow as a writer, you have to write every day?

Perhaps you’ve been told that for a child to write well and freely, that child needs to master spelling and punctuation first. Once that happens, the child will find writing easier.

How about this one? Children prefer writing from their imaginations than from facts.

These are three of the myths about writing I bust in this episode of the podcast. Tune in to hear why they’re myths AND to find out about the other three.

The 6 Writing Myths

  1. Mechanics first, writing second. Some educators and writing instructors talk about writing like it’s learning a foreign language or musical instrument; they assume that if a child has a good grasp on the mechanics, then they should inherently be able to write freely and easily. But writing is not made up of or dependent on mechanics like grammar and punctuation. Our children are already fluent in the English language and they have the writing impulse coursing through their bodies – they just don’t yet know how to transcribe it for themselves.
  2. Write every day. I bet you’ve heard this one before, haven’t you? It’s probably the most pervasive myth on this list, but it’s not great advice for everyone. Write every day if you are a professional writer. Write every day if you feel that writing is your vocation. But you do NOT have to write original, generative, from-scratch writing every day if you are just learning to write. However, you should ENGAGE with writing every day! So that might mean revision, copy work, reading, or even just exploring new ideas.
  3. Kids prefer imagination to facts in writing. We want our kids to have confidence in drawing on their own direct experience and their deepest vocabulary, and their best vocabulary will come from what they know really well – their personal experiences!
  4. The incremental approach through formats is a good strategy for writing education. This systematic approach may give you some comfort, and if that’s the case we won’t stop you, but it’s not the best way to teach good writing. Learning self-expression in writing has to start with your voice, not formats!
  5. Know your audience first. It’s good to know who you’re writing for… but do you really need to know it before you pick up the pen, especially as a new writer? Learn to write for yourself first, then decide who the audience is.
  6. If you hate writing, write more. If someone is struggling, they need support, they need a partner, they need an incentive to struggle, they need a context that is safe for risk-taking. So as you are preparing to write with a young person who you know hates it, consider what you can do to provide a little scaffolding. Make brownies, rub shoulders, write at the same time, let your child talk while you handwrite for them, play a game – anything you can do to move from “write more” to “let’s actually get some writing done.”

Your kids are brilliant, and they all have a writing voice inside of them. They just need a little help bringing it out!

Please post a review on iTunes for us (here’s a handy guide)?
Help a homeschooler like you find more joy in the journey. Thanks!

Brave Writer Podcast: A Modern Miss Mason – Interview with Leah Boden

Brave Writer Podcast Interview Leah Boden

Today’s podcast is brand new! I am delighted to share Leah Boden with you. She’s a Brit (so we do spend a few moments chatting tea, of course!) and a Charlotte Mason enthusiast. Her work in the UK helps parents find their feet with living literature, nature study, and valuing your children as persons first (a Ms. Mason gold standard for education!).

Join me for a truly delightful, encouraging conversation. I know you’ll love it!

[This post contains Amazon affiliate links. When you click on those links to make purchases,
Brave Writer receives compensation at no extra cost to you. Thank you!]

What’s the difference between being a Modern Miss Mason and being an originalist?

  • Lean isn’t trying to reproduce a Victorian school in her house. The heritage there is incredible, but it’s not a script you have to follow verbatim – “It has to bring my family to life, I have to see my children as whole.”
  • Charlotte Mason just lays out some guiding principles. It’s not the end all be all of what you do in your home.
  • You have permission to find your freedom in the philosophy! Every home educator is also an educational reformer.


Please post a review on iTunes for us (here’s a handy guide)?
Help a homeschooler like you find more joy in the journey. Thanks!