Archive for the ‘Webinars’ Category

The Enchanted Education

The Enchanted Education

What is being learned, exactly, when your kids walk with you on a trail in the woods?

What are they gaining when they lie on their backs on the trampoline, looking at the sky?

What’s educational about visiting Disneyland or the zoo with an annual pass?

Is there educational benefit to meandering through a farmer’s market or picnicking by a pond?

I remember days of enchantment. There was the afternoon my girls made fairies out of fabric and pipe cleaners. They created little houses out of leaves and sticks, and then planted the fairies in their homes in the nooks and crannies of tree branches and bushes.

Our little homeschool brood took trips to the art museum so frequently, each child had a favorite painting. The quiet, the color, the high ceilings, the Chihuly chandelier, the post cards in the gift shop… magical.

In those outings and experiences, time moved molasses slow, deliberately, peacefully (for the most part), with pleasure and focus.

The Enchanted EducationImage by Steven Depolo (cc cropped, tinted)

And yet…were these outings, these experiences ‘educational’?

I’m certainly not the first home educator to strip an event of magic through ‘adding information.’

Fairies? Here’s a book about the history of fairies. The act of making little houses isn’t enough. We need information to legitimize the craft. Let’s read, narrate, and discuss fairies, and then write about it.

The woods? Shouldn’t we pluck wild flowers (by name) or make bark tracings or compare birds to a field guide? We walk quietly, together. Is pleasure and fresh air enough? Surely not! Here—use these binoculars, draw this tree, note the temperature in your notebook.

Sometimes the most sacred moments in our days with our children
show no outward educational value.

We can’t quantify them. Books and records ruin the spirit—the shared purpose, invisible, intangible, yet felt by all.

The Enchanted EducationImage by Steven Depolo (cc cropped, tinted)

The enchanted education.
Collect these moments like treasures.

Set them on a shelf in your heart—the time you all soaked your tennis shoes in the tide pools; the trip to the frozen yogurt stand that led to sitting side-by-side on a wall in the sunshine, licking; the weekly visit to the zoo where the lions and tigers nearly became your family pets.

You can’t say or know what is being learned. You know it by heart, by feel, by love, by pleasure, by shared memory.

These little wisps of attentive focus without an intended program lay the rails for so much learning that is by the book. It’s just that you won’t always see the correlation—because this is a work happening on the interior, person by person, connection to connection, created through peace.

The threads of happiness and opportunity, creativity and exposure in outings and long stretches of focused attention forge connections, invisible to you. Education results.

The Enchanted Education. Trust it.

For more about an Enchanted Education, watch this broadcast:

Top Image by Mikael Leppa (cc cropped, tinted, text added)

FREE Poetry Teatime online workshop

HECOA Not Back to School Summit

I’m speaking about Poetry Teatimes on September 21 at this free online summit!

Poetry + tea + treats = a rich excursion into language and joy for your homeschool. Ease into the school year with celebration and exploration. Find out why an appreciation and enjoyment of poetry creates great writers and readers. Learn about how to make your homeschool more about home than school. Poetry Teatimes are the hottest new homeschool practice, and you can join the movement!

Sign up and receive your ticket. It includes FREE:

Basic Membership
LIVE sessions
Replay for 24 hours


Image by HECOA

Visit our Poetry Teatime website!

Double your pleasure!



Movie club Animals

The Summer Movie Club
Start your school year in August with
movies about ANIMALS!

August 3 – August 28
The WHOLE family
ONE tuition:

Break into writing this year the easy way:
popcorn and chatting about movies.

FINDING NEMO (2003, G), directed by Andrew Stanton and Lee Unkrich. A tiny clownfish sets out on a big journey to find his son.

CHICKEN RUN (2000, G), directed by Peter Lord and Nick Park. An escape adventure set on a chicken farm in 1950s England.

A CAT IN PARIS (2010, PG), directed by Jean-Loup Felicioli and Alain Gagnol. A Parisian cat with a nocturnal life as a cat burglar’s aide is called to heroism when the girl he lives with is endangered.

FANTASTIC MR. FOX (2009, PG), directed by Wes Anderson. Mr. Fox really is fantastic, but he can’t help raiding the local farmers’ larders, which leads to a high-spirited adventure.

Starts Monday!

Register now!


Partnership Writing 1

MONDAY August 3, 2015 (Noon EDT)
Registration OPENS
for Fall Online Writing Classes

Mark your calendar!

Image of kids by Patty

“So much more than a Language Arts program”

So much more than a Language Arts program


I just finished watching the webinar on Copywork and Dictation and I have to tell you the impact it had on me.

Brave Writer is so much more than a Language Arts program. It surpasses all the parenting coaching I’ve undertaken, all the advice looked to throughout my parenting life from psychologists, teachers, friends, all the workshops on teaching and learning in all areas.

It is indeed, as you say, a lifestyle in loving life and connecting with your children.

My little man is about to turn 11 and he has suffered greatly through the years. Last year he went through a depression, saying things like ‘What’s the point, I may as well kill myself,’ feeling so sad saying he had no friends, no-one liked him, etc. (he has life long friends scattered around but struggled to have everyday relationships with kids his age in educational settings). And he would face the world every day from the perspective that life was dangerous and acted accordingly.

He absolutely refused to go to school in the end and I am finally letting go of the guilt I have carried by listening to the school rather than listening to him.

We have since moved to the Sunshine Coast, live on the beach, started homeschooling (including his little sister aged nearly 8) and with this new focus on connection, presence, time in nature, and ‘letting go’ we are hearing him laugh again, seeing him smile again, witnessing him choose happily his own company over the company of some of the unkind children in the street. And at the same time make new friends.

After watching this webinar, I am moved to tears as I watched you, with such a grounded and joyful energy remind us to follow the path of learning together with our children and seeing it as joyful rather than a task.

I was beginning to put myself under pressure again, thinking I wasn’t doing enough and I know very well when I do that, all the wonderful, whimsical interactions come to grinding halt and the learning stops anyway.

I wish to purchase that webinar to watch it again and again.

My heartfelt thanks to you for putting yourself out there for us all to gain the best perspective in life and parenting. To trust.


Watch the webinar:
Everything You Always Wanted to Know about Copywork and Dictation

Image by Carissa Rogers (cc tinted)

Copywork transformed!


Hi Julie!

I have to tell you that we are one week post-copywork/dictation seminar and our copywork experience has been completely transformed! We had a pretty dry/boring routine previously, whereby I would assign passages from their readings, and they would copy them onto looseleaf pages that I would insert in their “Language” binder. It was pretty uninspired, and a bit of a chore. After your webinar I told them we would do things differently and they would have much more ownership over the exercise.

Copywork_Jennifer_1_blogSkip to now: the kids are ready with their own personal, sparkly notebooks and fancy pencils, jotting down whole pages from the books they are reading. For when they lack their own inspiration, an old jar has been dug up, dusted off and filled with quotes from our favourite books – Harry Potter, Pippi Longstocking, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, the Phantom Tollbooth! Last night after my kids had gone to bed, I saw my youngest daughter doing copywork by the glow of the hall light, propped up on her elbows in bed. Of course, I let her turn her light back on.

Such a difference! Thank you for the tips and inspiration to make this a much more pleasant and meaningful experience!

Just to add – my only rule is for them to write their passages down with the correct grammar, punctuation, etc from the original passage. Despite their best efforts, sometimes mistakes are made, and handwriting is not always perfect. I am overlooking this right now to keep their enthusiasm up. There will be time for that as we go along, I figure. I know that they are already learning from it, since my 8 year old keeps telling me, looking up from her page, that, “Mom, I think I know how to spell ‘business’ now…”. Or, “forgotten” or “Hermione.” What a gift to see such results so quickly!

The marvel isn’t really mine – that’s the best part. I actually just handed it over to them, and told them to utilize the materials that were meaningful to them – and look what happened! Relinquishing the control and trusting the process was obviously the key, and the transformation unfolded organically from there.


P.S. I am starting my own copywork journal today! I am excited to start!

CHECK OUT our Copywork and Dictation Webinar!
FREE for Homeschool Alliance members
Others can rent or buy