Brave Writer Lifestyle: Big, Juicy Conversations

Big Juicy Conversations

We’re talking about Big, Juicy Conversations in March!

We’ll be discussing this month’s theme on Instagram and in the Homeschool Alliance, and I’ll likely share on Facebook Live too.

For regular encouragement as you implement the elements in your home this year, sign up for our monthly BWL email (sent on the 1st of every month in 2018). This month’s newsletter includes these FREE downloadable resources:

  • Hand-lettered Tips
  • Conversation Starters

I had such fun drawing the Big Juicy Conversation Tips for you. Hoping you can glance-and-go with big juicy questions for every topic under the sun. If that isn’t enough for you, my team put together a two-page guide of conversation starters as well!

For more information about the Brave Writer Lifestyle, check out this part of our website.

Monthly Brave Writer Lifestyle Email

2018 Themes

January: Read Aloud
February: TV & Film
March: Big, Juicy Conversations
April: Poetry Teatime
May: Art Appreciation
June: Nature Journaling
July: One on One Time
August: Language Games
September: Copywork
October: Freewriting
November: Shakespeare
December: Celebrate!

Share, share, share!

We’d love it if you shared your Brave Writer Lifestyle adventures on Instagram, the BraveSchoolers Facebook Group, in the Homeschool Alliance, or wherever you hang out online.


Brave Writer Podcast: 61 Things I Did RIGHT in My Homeschool

Brave Writer Podcast 61 Things I Did RIGHT in My Homeschool

To be a home educator is to value learning – if you are part of the Brave Writer community, it is because you value learning. Although your children may not be able to articulate it, they know that your home is about learning, and that that is important to their parents. It is this gift that creates the platform for all else that you do.

Truly, if you approach your homeschool from a space of valuing education, as opposed to a fear of public schools, your children have already earned a sacred space in their hearts for learning. Just by living and breathing the value of education around your children, you are already ahead of the game.

With that in mind, this episode contains 61 things that I did in my homeschool – and that I am proud of!

I am also glad that I learned what it means to establish a home that kids want to return to, even now. I am so glad that our memories are bound up in all these activities.

When you put the relationship first, you put joy and learning first, and you support your children—and you help them see that their ideas, imagination, and words are valuable to you—any system will work.

Would you post a review on iTunes for us please?
Help a homeschooler like you find more joy in the journey. Thanks!

55 Things I Did NOT Do as a Homeschooler

Friday Freewrite: Marble

Friday Freewrite Marble

Imagine you are tiny and live inside a marble. What might the outside world seem like to you from that perspective?

New to freewriting? Check out our online guide.

Want to be on the Brave Writer Podcast?

Ask Julie!

Would you like to receive FREE homeschool coaching?

Submit Your Question for Season 5 of the Brave Writer Podcast!

Does your family struggle with a particular homeschool challenge? Is there one nagging issue that you’d love to address in a new way, yet you feel out of ideas? Know that you’re not alone! Any veteran homeschooler will tell you that bumps, potholes, and even road blocks are natural on the home education journey.

I want to help. Our podcast team is putting together Season 5 and we’re calling it: “Ask Julie!”

In each podcast episode, I’ll interview a BraveSchooler (like you!). I’ll listen to your story and then collaborate with you to create new approaches to tired issues. We’ll explore as many options as are helpful, together.

Then you will take a few months to implement the ideas. We’ll meet back for a follow up interview to see how things went! We’ll share the resulting podcasts in late fall.

Know that your willingness to talk about your personal challenges will help thousands of other families. If this idea sounds good to you, I hope you’ll apply! I can’t wait to talk with you!

How to Apply

SUBMISSION:  Submit your application for the chance to be interviewed by me, Julie, for Season 5 of the Brave Writer Podcast. Please take a little time to whittle your issue down to a concrete description. Then, apply!

DEADLINE: March 14, 2018.

Brave Writer staff will contact you via email by March 31, 2018 if we are interested in inviting you to appear on the podcast.

Submit Your Application

Movie Wednesday: Frozen

Movie Wednesday Frozen

by Amy Frantz, Brave Writer alum

In the Kingdom of Arendelle, a coronation is being held. The Princess Elsa has come of age and is to be crowned queen, and the gates to the palace are to be opened for the first time in years. The two princesses, Elsa and Anna, have lived in isolation for years and no one knows why. Anna herself does not understand why her sister suddenly withdrew from her and shut herself away as a child. In her over-excitement for contact with the outside world, Anna almost literally runs into Prince Hans, a dashing young man who seems to have stepped out of her fantasies to sweep her off her feet.

After the coronation, when Anna asks Elsa to bless her sudden intention to marry Hans, an argument ensues between the sisters and the truth about Elsa is revealed. She has the power to make cold and ice and snow, but she lacks control over it and she accidentally lashes out. In reaction to the people’s shock and horror, Elsa flees and leaves Arendelle in a perpetual winter. It’s up to Anna, with the friends she meets along the way, to find her sister, repair the damage to their relationship, and bring summer back to the land.

[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!]

Disney’s Frozen is loosely inspired by the Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale, The Snow Queen. The idea of turning the Snow Queen into an animated picture had been around since the 1930s but kept getting scrapped for various reasons.

In 2013, Frozen was finally released and quickly caught on with young people, inspiring many kids to watch and rewatch the film over and over. The lead song, “Let It Go,” became a cultural phenomenon, spurring endless covers online. The film’s themes of the redemptive power of familial love and the importance of taking the time to form meaningful bonds with others, aided by catchy pop tunes and a strong visual aesthetic sense, clearly struck a strong chord in young audiences.

That strong aesthetic sense has roots in our real world. Nærøyfjord in Norway served as an inspiration for Arendelle, along with Scandinavian and Sámi culture, clothing, and architecture. As with most things that Disney films pull inspiration from, liberties are taken with these sources, which has drawn some controversy and much discussion on the internet.

Some viewers have drawn parallels between the character of Elsa and mental illness, pointing out that she demonstrates signs of anxiety and depression through her social isolation and struggle to control her powers. Frozen can represent an important opportunity to talk to kids to about mental health in an age appropriate context.

So, cuddle up under some thick blankets and travel to the frosty magical world of Frozen!

Discussion Questions

  • The central relationship in Frozen is between Elsa and her sister Anna. Despite the importance of this relationship, the sisters don’t actually spend much time on screen together. How do you think this impacts the story and the portrayal of their relationship?
  • Do you think Elsa’s parents reacted appropriately to her powers by isolating her or did this contribute to her inability to control her powers? Explain your answer.
  • Throughout the film, various characters show concern regarding Anna’s decision to marry someone she has only just met, pointing out that she doesn’t really know Hans. And indeed, Hans is eventually revealed to be a villainous character who is only out for his own personal gain, seeking to exploit the two sisters in order to seize power for himself. What might the film be trying to say about the “insta-love” tropes used so often in older Disney films?
  • If you could either have Olaf, the heat-loving snowman, or Sven, the carrot-addicted reindeer, as your companion, which would you choose and what would you do if you spent a day together?

Additional Resources

Let It Go – Behind the Mic Multi-Language Version (25 languages are featured in this video!)

Cover of Let It Go fused with Vivaldi’s Winter by the Piano Guys on YouTube

Movie Discussion Club