Archive for the ‘Students’ Category

Student Spotlight: McKenna

The Sound of Swimming by McKenna Rooney

One of our students in last spring’s KidsWrite Basic class (taught by the fabulous Sarah Holden) and had her final piece published on a swimming website! Congratulations, McKenna! Here’s the intro to her essay:

The Sound of Swimming

by McKenna Rooney

It’s Regionals, the last big meet before State. Three grueling days of racing. It’s Friday night, day one.

The normally packed Rec Plex, (one of the biggest aquatic sports complexes in all of America) is pretty empty – there must be very few crazy people like me who want to start their weekend off with a distance race.

I’m waiting to swim the 500 free – 20 long laps of music going through my head over and over again. Ugh.

As I get up to approach the blocks my coach, Scott, said to me “I want you to break seven minutes.”

I gulped and said “Okay? Sure?” My seed time was 7.11.96, meaning I had to drop almost 12 seconds off my best time to achieve this new goal. I nod my head, but in my mind I’m thinking, “You’re insane!”…Read the rest on Swim Swam.

Brave Writer Kidswrite Basic

“I am writing!”

I am writing

Dear Julie and Brave Writer Gang,

I just found this note on the dry erase board in our school room. Thought you might enjoy it.

Golly gee – doesn’t she know it’s summer break??? Tee hee hee. 😉

Thank you for helping to restore my daughter’s love of writing!


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How Home Education Has Made Me The Person I Am

How Home Education Made Me the Person I Am

How Home Ed Has Made Me The Person I Am Now

by Finlay Worrallo

Six months ago, the rain and wind washed a family of ducklings into a drain and trapped them. Their mother couldn’t rescue them and they had no chance. Luckily, my mother could rescue them—with the aid of a fishing net and a hessian bag. Unfortunately, the mother duck had vanished, so the ducklings simply came back to our house to live. After recovering from their traumatic experience, they spent the next month or so in a dog pen in the garden, swimming in a washing-up bowl full of weedy water and making peep-peep noises.

That incident sums up home education for me—not only because a schooled child doesn’t get to study in the garden with ducklings, but also because of how it represented being raised in a completely different way to the majority. I daresay our ducklings’ lives would have looked extremely odd to ducklings who grew up on the river, but they survived and were perfectly healthy ducks by the time they moved to a nearby pond. Home education isn’t quite like being washed into a drain and then swimming in a washing-up bowl, but it’s certainly unconventional and certainly works.

First and foremost, it’s allowed me to find my own identity through trial and error. For example, four years ago, I loved wearing a cricket jumper the whole time, and for several years before that, my hair was so long people mistook me for a girl. I’d probably have been mercilessly teased for this at school, but as it was I simply grew out of it and discovered the joys of cardigans!

Another thing I love about home education is that you don’t have to fit into a huge education system that does the same thing for everyone—it’s all about what’s best for you and you alone. I haven’t wasted years studying subjects I hate; I’ve focused on the ones which I need and want, instead of just collecting GCSEs pointlessly. This last term, I’ve only studied three subjects (English Literature, Spanish, and German), but I’m passionate about languages and reading, and I want to be a polyglot and published writer one day, so each of these subjects will help me fly.

But the best thing about home education for me has been the deep relationships I’ve forged with my family. In a world with far too many family feuds and estranged siblings, it comforts me that mine will still be at my side until death. We’ve been nothing short of a team during the decade or so we’ve home educated. We’ve been on countless trips into London, visited stately homes, national monuments, the Globe Theatre, and many more. We’ve completed projects together, learned different subjects, and conducted scientific experiments. We’ve read books and poetry and fallen in love with the English language. We’ve gone out sledging on snowy days instead of studying; we’ve gone walking in the countryside through sun and rain; and we once cycled twenty-two miles in a day for an animal charity. Even something as boring as moving to new house was quicker and easier because we didn’t have to find new schools for us children.

I don’t know what school could have done for me, but I can’t imagine having a more stable home, a happier childhood, a stronger family, a better outlook on life, or more plans for the future.

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Playing What They are Learning

"Dutch Masters" in the studio

Brave Writer mom Lise (Free to Be a Child) writes:

Yesterday “Vermeer” and “Rembrandt” were at work in the studio, taking turns sitting for portraits by the other. L has been listening to a series of books about artists (Art for Children), and is particularly interested in Dutch artists, as she is part Dutch. So those names stuck with her.

She spent the day in her Dutch-inspired costume, and when S arrived, he joined her for some klompen (Dutch clogging) dancing.

Naturally, when they later decided to paint, they took on the names of Dutch artists.

"Dutch Masters" in the studio

Playing what we’re learning is common here, a Reggio-inspired early childhood program in my home (where I also unschool my daughter). But becoming artists who paint portraits of each other is clearly influenced by some of Julie’s scopes, which inspired me to incorporate a morning basket, including lots of art appreciation.

🙂 Lise

Learn more about art appreciation in your homeschool:

Check out Brave Writer’s Art Appreciation Workshop!

American Girl Party School and Poetry Teatime Rolled Into One!

Party SchoolParty School (ending study of American Girl Samantha and the early 1900s)

Brave Writer mom, Christine, writes:

To finish our study of Samantha, we hosted a Victorian tea party and luncheon. We had yummy sandwiches, fruit salad, lemonade, and tea. The girls went on a hunt for beautiful leaves and we made leaf rubbings as our craft.

We talked about the era and even read poetry together! It was a wonderful end to the study of this time period.

Host your own party school! Click on the image below to learn more.

Party School!