Pouch Book Club: May 2019

May 2019 Pouch Book Club

Brave Writer’s online Pouch Book Club is for middle schoolers who want to discuss novels with their peers, who are ready to learn the art of thinking and writing simultaneously all while excited about a great story!

Our book clubs provide:

  • thought-provoking questions,
  • engagement with one of our writing coaches
  • and a safe place to have interactions online about a common interest: books! 

Plus a FREE digital copy of our language arts guide based on the book selection for the month.

[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!]

May’s selection for the Pouch Book Club (ages 11-14) is Shakespeare’s Scribe by Gary Blackwood.

When an outbreak of the deadly Black Plague closes the Globe Theatre, William Shakespeare’s acting troupe sets off on a tour of England. Widge, the orphan-turned-actor, knows that he’ll be useful on the trip. Not only does he love the stage, but his knack for a unique shorthand has proven him one of the most valuable apprentices in the troupe. But then a mysterious man appears, claiming to know a secret from Widge’s past-a secret that may forever force him from the theatre he loves.—Amazon

Purchase the novel.


Caveat: Please remember that you’re the parent. If you have doubts about the content of a particular book, please check the reviews of the novel or read it for yourself first. Pouch and Boomerang books in particular may include sexuality, graphic language, and mature themes.

Also starting in May are our Arrow and Boomerang Book Clubs.

Brave Writer Online Book Clubs

2019 Summer/Fall Class Registration Opens June 3!

Brave Writer 2019 Summer Fall Online Writing Classes

It’s that time when our thoughts turn to the upcoming school year. Are you curious what that year will look like?

Curiosity—both yours and your kids’—is at the core of a thriving homeschool.

You know how it can be: sometimes homeschool can feel like dragging an unwilling child through the grocery store. We’ve all been there. Complaining, boredom, acting out. You want to get things done and invest time and money—and your kids couldn’t care less.

How can you tap into the curiosity that sparks interest and passion for learning?

After all, curiosity is the magic pixie dust that

  • Gets our neurons firing (suddenly it’s like a pinball machine in our brains!)
  • Propels us over hurdles of implementation (we’re motivated to get supplies, do research)
  • Keeps the momentum going when normally we’d get tired (our attention span is longer when we’re interested)
  • Gives us superhuman speed and urgency (how often does your child say about a project they’ve devised, “But Mom, I need to do this NOW!”)

You could ask your kids to research something YOU think is important, or you could notice what sparks an interest for themGet curious about what makes them tick. Learning and writing about how dogs are trained to be service animals is going to teach writing and research skills as well as any textbook-chosen topic. Probably better.

Our online class offerings are designed to spark curiosity and embrace your child’s take on the world. Even within our broad topics like Nature Journaling, we give our students the opportunity to dial into their obsessions. To do a deep dive into something that fascinates them. 

Across the board, our Brave Writer students are learning to write on their own terms. And that’s how we find they learn best.

Summer/Fall Registration opens June 3 at noon Eastern. Yes, it’s true! Are you ready to kickstart a writing journey, Brave Writer style?

  • Mark your calendars
  • Check out the class schedule
  • Get ready for a writing adventure like no other!


We’ve combined summer and fall registration into one earlier start date this year. Be sure to nab the fall classes you want when registration opens. Popular classes fill quickly!

Brave Writer Summer/Fall Writing Classes 

Learn more: All About Online Writing Classes 

If you have questions about which class is right for your child, we invite you to send an email to our Help Desk (help@bravewriter.com). Our friendly, knowledgeable staff will be glad to give you suggestions that are just right for your family!

Brave Writer Online Classes

The Method is not the Goal

The Method is not the Goal

The method is not the goal. The goal is the goal.

In other words: your allegiance to a method that doesn’t get you to your goal means you’ve made the method the goal and lost sight of your true goal—whatever that may be!

  • Love of learning
  • Mastery of phonics
  • Steady effort in a challenging subject
  • Reading…

You are free to scrap any method that doesn’t work to experiment with methods that you shunned, even when your friends disapprove.

The method is not in charge.
The goal is.

If you make the goal the goal, you will adopt any strategy that gets you closer to the goal. But if you make the method the goal, even inadvertently, you may wander in a wilderness of wondering why you never get where you thought you were going.

Liberation comes when you give yourself permission to have a journey in education that is unique to your family (not the one you have been told you must follow or it doesn’t count and won’t work).

This post is originally from Instagram and @juliebravewriter is my account there so come follow along for more conversations like this one!

Friday Freewrite: Crayons

Friday Freewrite

You’re coloring a picture and suddenly the crayons start talking to you! The different colors all have reasons why you should pick them for your project. What are they saying?

New to freewriting? Check out our online guide.

High School Essay Writing for the Win!

Expository Essay: Rhetorical Critique and Analysis

Looking for a winning move?

Join our Expository Essay: Rhetorical Critique and Analysis online class this spring!

Essay writing is not only about essay formats. Likewise, chess is not only about the checkered board and black and white pieces.

There’s more to both games!

Yes—it’s essential to know the rules of the game, but it’s how the players (writers) apply their unique skills to those rules that makes chess (and writing) powerful to experience and exciting to watch/read!

Check it out:

RISK. Making a bold move/offering a bold perspective.

CREATIVITY. Surprising the opponent/reader with an unexpected move/view.

IMAGINATION. Picturing the opponent’s behavior/reader’s perspective and matching it.

Essay writing is a creative, strategic act!

Just like the mind of the chess player drives the action on the board, it’s the mind of the writer that unleashes powerful insight in the game of academic writing.

Expository Essay: Rhetorical Critique & Analysis

To read and write rhetorically means to

  • Extract meaning from complicated texts
  • Be deliberately open to a wide variety of viewpoints
  • Understand how word choice can elicit a reaction or persuade the reader
  • Recognize how images shape a message or appeal to emotion

Don’t remember covering this in school? That’s because most traditional writing classes focus on the “rules of the game,” not the strategy to go with playing.

Deciding what to do with your ‘chess pieces’ takes a little risk. Some imagination. Creativity. Collaboration with a seasoned essay writer helps. Good news—Brave Writer has a space where your teen can play with all of that!

In Expository Essay: Rhetorical Critique and Analysis, students will

  • Write summaries, drawn from complex topics
  • Consider differences in purpose, genre, and audience when writing
  • Learn to uncover deeper levels of thought and analysis
  • Examine the literary choices authors make
  • Practice critiquing a piece of text
  • Develop visual literacy skills by analyzing images

Your teens will write two essays:

  1. Summary/strong response essay
  2. Image analysis

Expository Essay: Rhetorical Critique and Analysis is the ultimate endgame for your school year! Teens will finish strong with this offering! Sign up now for our session starting April 29.

Note: This course is designed for high school students between 10th–12th grades. Students should already have some experience with academic formats.

Expository Essay