“You were right”

Brave Writer mom says: You were right

Brave Writer mom, Melissa, writes:

Dear Julie,

I’m the homeschooling mom of three kiddos (ages 11, 9, and 6). I’m also a multi-published novelist. My kids started out in private school, where I used to volunteer to teach a writing workshop each year and helped the first and second grades create a literary magazine. So, when our life journey led us to homeschool, I had many worries, but teaching writing wasn’t one of them.

Pause for the belly laughter. AHAHAHAHAHA

I’ll spare you all the details of what DIDN’T work. But this past Fall I bought The Writer’s Jungle and read it, but I’ll be honest, I was still resistant. Then a few things happened: My youngest and I signed up to take a Storytelling Class at a local center mainly so I could have some one on one time with her. And she LOVED it. I didn’t really view it as learning because it was so gentle and playful, so I was a lot more fun during that hour, I’m sure.

The next thing that happened was I signed up for the Brave Writer Lifestyle yahoo digest but didn’t actually implement anything.

In fact, I backed off any assigned writing entirely until I could get a handle on my thoughts. Meanwhile, the oldest was tearing through a sports-themed book series, creating draft lists for various sports, and producing YouTube videos; the middle was reading voraciously and keeping a private diary and drawing maps inspired by the fantasy books he reads; and the youngest was discovering the joy of reading for pleasure and acting, oh, so much dramatization. We were watching lots of great movies together and playing language-based games. We have always read aloud as a family, and that continued.

Finally, just recently, I heard you speak on The Homeschool Sisters podcast and then, through them, discovered your podcast and social media community.

And I realized, wait a minute, we’ve been living the Brave Writer Lifestyle all along!

ANYWAY, today we went to the local art museum where we have a membership because it’s featuring a great exhibit called Into the Pixel—all about video game art.

I took a deep breath when we got in the car and told them on the way home they were going to do a five-minute freewrite about something from the museum. I explained the rules and got a fair amount of pushback from the younger two. But when we left the museum, I set a timer, and without complaint they wrote during the drive home. When time was up, I got a chorus of groans that they needed more time!

My perfectionist, who really chafed at the thought of not fixing his mistakes, cheerfully admitted that he’d had fun and volunteered to read his piece. My little one, who wanted help spelling, finally understood it wasn’t going to happen and drew a sketch that she labeled with invented “kid writing.” And my oldest somehow managed to tie his love of sports into the exhibit.

I now have three envelopes sitting on my desk waiting for next week’s freewrites (which I already have planned for a visit to our bookstore to pick out travel journals for an upcoming month-long road trip.)

This is all a VERY long-winded way of saying you were right. And I’m ever so grateful.

All the best,

Freewriting Prompts

Movie Wednesday: The Wizard of Oz

Movie Wednesday Wizard of Oz

Dorothy lives a quiet life on her family’s farm in Kansas. She longs for adventure—and that’s exactly what she gets when a tornado sucks up her house and drops it into the Land of Oz!

With her little dog Toto, Dorothy meets a host of colorful characters: the Scarecrow, the Tin Man, and the Cowardly Lion. Together they set off for the Emerald City home of the Wizard of Oz. Only he can grant their deepest wishes, and get Dorothy home. But can they escape the fearsome Wicked Witch of the West? And is the Wizard all that he seems?

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Adapted from the widely popular novel by L. Frank Baum, the Wizard of Oz was brought to the big screen in 1939. The film had a troubled production period. The script had many drafts by various writers and the production went through five different directors! Many of those writers and directors are not credited in the final film regardless of their contributions.

Despite all this and the fact that the film was initially considered a box office flop, the Wizard of Oz has gone on to become an iconic staple of American cinema. Notable for its juxtaposition of black and white film with bright outrageous technicolor, as well as its award winning score, the Wizard of Oz is widely considered a classic.

Discussion Questions

  • The film differs from the book in a number of ways (example: the ruby slippers were originally silver). Why do you think some of these changes were made?
  • The ending of the film, where the audience is told that the Land of Oz was just a dream, was added in because the studio felt that a 1939 audience wouldn’t accept Oz’s fantastical elements. How does this change the message of the film? Do you think it hurts or enhances the story? Explain.
  • One of the two Oscars the film won was for the song “Over the Rainbow.” What’s your favorite song in the movie and why?
  • The Wizard of Oz has a lot of memorable lines. Do you have a favorite? Why is it your favorite?
  • What do you think of the Wicked Witch of the West? Why do you think she might behave as she does?
  • If you found yourself in Oz, what would you do?

Additional Resources

DIY ruby slippers

How to make Wizard of Oz inspired bookmarks

DIY no sew Dorothy dress

Movie Discussion Club

2017 Fall Class Registration is OPEN

Registration is OPEN for Brave Writer Online Classes

Brave Writer Online Classes provide a safe space for writing risks.

Fall Class Registration is OPEN

Today is our biggest online class registration event of the year. Our Arrow and Boomerang Book Clubs are open for registration as well. Spots fill quickly so don’t wait to sign up!

New to our online class registration day? I’ve got tips for you!

You will receive two email confirmations (one of payment and one showing your classes)

Charter School payments are collected later. Select “charter school” at the payment window to complete your registration. You will receive ONE receipt.

We’ve created an FAQ you can read too.

If you get stuck, contact us:

  • Use the live chat box on the website
  • Or email us at help@bravewriter.com (Put a clear subject line: “Payment didn’t go through” or “I can’t get past the ‘add a child’ page”)
  • We’ll get back to you as quickly as possible!

Register for Fall Writing Classes HERE

Friday Freewrite: Fly on the Wall

Friday Freewrite

Have you heard the saying: “I wish I could’ve been a fly on the wall”? Most people simply mean they wish they could have been a hidden observer. But what might that actually be like? Pick an event (historical or fictional or from your own life) and describe it from a pesky insect’s point of view.

New to freewriting? Check out our online guide.

August 2017: The Homeschool Alliance

August 2017 in The Homeschool Alliance

Guess what? I am here to help you have a great school year. Seriously! I want you to feel supported, loved, helped, and encouraged. Consider me your “cheerleader” in all things parenting and homeschooling.

As you get ready to enter into your homeschool year, it’s easy to focus on academics, projects, and schedules. Let’s flip the script! How about starting with your child? Let’s imagine the world from behind the eyes of your kids, first, and then look at how you can bring your adult objectives to life.

Stephanie (the other Homeschool Alliance coach) and I love to lead webinars and offer support through our private classroom.

Join us in August! You can join any time and leave any time. We will support you as we hash out parenting, learning, and living this lifestyle we call homeschooling.

Join the Homeschool Alliance