Language Arts for everyone

Brave Writer has launched its new year of the Arrow and the Boomerang, our tailor-made tools to help you execute your best intentions with regard to grammar, spelling, punctuation and writing mechanics. These tools feature a terrific, classic work of fiction while highlighting passages that assist you in teaching these language arts elements to your kids in the context of real writing.

Sometimes I’m asked if these tools are sufficient for teaching grammar, in particular. What I’ve noticed over the years of home educating five kids myself as well as the thousands of students we’ve now taught through Brave Writer is that the best education for the mechanics of writing is reading real writing. Some parents complain, however, that their kids read a ton and aren’t making the connection between what they read and what they write. It worries them! And of course it does! These are your kids.

What the Arrow and Boomerang do (and likewise, the high school already-published issues of the Slingshot) is to give you the ability to feature language arts elements in the context of great writing! Your kids naturally come to adopt the mechanics of writing in English through the soothing, repetitive practices of reading, pondering, copying and writing the passages in their own hand.

The power of this methodology came clear to me again just this week. My 14 year old son, Liam, who has struggled a lot with writing (has dysgraphia and was delayed in writing), has suddenly blossomed. His last year of copying passages from Redwall (his previous obsession) has borne fruit! As he started writing his own reviews of novels he’s reading, the flair to his natural writing voice, his “knack” for punctuation and his spelling are startlingly accurate. Sure he’s got some run-on sentences and occasional fragments. We can address those. But the heart of his writing is pure flair and personality, mixed with terrific spelling and a reasonable grasp of basic punctuation.

I did no formal teaching of grammar with this child. I’ve just continued to trust the process of reading aloud, read to self, talking a lot about the novels and stories and then copying the passages. We haven’t even graduated to dictation yet! Still the results are impressive.

To take a look at the Arrow or Boomerang, go to their website pages. Download the free samples and try them this month. Then if you like them, feel free to sign up for the monthly subscriptions or order back issues tailored to the books you’re reading. You’ll be glad you did.

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