Nurturing Brave Writer Families Retreat 2014!

Retreat Center

Join me for our first-ever weekend retreat, here in Cincinnati!

  • Have you wished that you could make your fantasy homeschool a practical reality?
  • Are you wondering how to become a Brave Writer family—-one that naturally fosters a language-rich environment, while accomplishing your academic writing goals at the same time?
  • Do you need a break? A chance to regroup and talk to other homeschooling parents, to think clearly about the past year and prepare for the coming one?
  • Maybe you’d rather prepare to be the home educator you want to be in an intimate setting, nourished by food, friendship, and trees, rather than merely one curriculum shopper in a sea of ten thousand.
  • Wouldn’t it be nice to skip the huge impersonal convention this year and instead, do one thing at a time, thinking about each child, using the tools and materials you’ve already bought?
  • How good would you feel going home with a plan that is reasonable and enticing? It’s possible to organize your days into a calm, yet stimulating routine that your kids enjoy.

The Nurturing Brave Writer Families Retreat is not like any other homeschooling conference or convention. I designed it to be what I wished had existed when I homeschooled my kids. What I needed was a time away—away from more decisions about curriculum, away from my kids, away from my home, away from competing philosophies of education. I wanted to be in a space where I was given practice with the tools I would then use with my kids. I wanted to test the methods, and discover how they worked. I wanted guidance from people who were good at the various practices to show me their tricks and tips to make home education the amazing, satisfying journey I knew it could be!

This retreat is all of that.

  • We’ll test and try the techniques Brave Writer teaches in The Writer’s Jungle together, so you know how to do them.
  • You’ll get to experience copywork and dictation in the same way your students experience it, and learn how to maximize it.
  • We’ll practice nature journaling and art study.
  • We’ll share a full tea with china teacups, handmade scones, flowers, and poetry (and I promise you’ll enjoy the poems—they won’t be intimidating).
  • You’ll have down time to use a planning tool to craft a homeschool routine for the coming year.
  • You’ll have time to take walks or go for a hike or run. You can get coffee with a friend or take a nap.
  • My staff and I will be available to talk to you about your specific worries and children, too.
  • And because I know how hard you work, we have a few pampering surprise gifts in store for all who attend.

This retreat weekend is a sound investment. I remember attending a Charlotte Mason workshop midway through my homeschooling career. I loved it! We focused on all the aspects of being home educators rather than endless shopping for new books. That was a big turning point for me. I grew as a home educator. That is my wish for you—that you will grow in your skills and resolve, resources and vision. Let me help you.

I look forward to meeting each and every one of you.

Also, you should know: I like small-ish groups. The Center only has space for 40. Sign up early to secure your space and to save money.

  • Dates: Friday June 27, 2014 (4:00 pm) – Sunday June 29, 2014 (1:00 p.m.)
  • Food: Six meals and snacks included
  • Environs: Walking paths, benches and gazebo, chapel, and a delightful town square walking distance from the Center.

Registration is limited to 40 retreatants, (34 in individual rooms, and 3 double rooms holding 6 people).

BONUS! Each registration comes with a $50.00 coupon (issued at the retreat weekend), good for any Brave Writer product.

Four price points:

  • Single Room, Earliest Bird (by 2/28/14): $299.00
  • Single Room, Early Bird (by 4/30/14): $329.00
  • Single Room, Regular Price: $349.00
  • Double room: $499.00 (1 price, 1 coupon; 2 people)


The retreat is non-sectarian, though there is a chapel for those who enjoy them. Nursing babies are welcome.

Commuter Spaces Still Open: Sign up here!

Cancellation Policy: A “no questions asked” full refund is available up to a week after you register. After that, all refunds will be 50% until June.

No refunds after June 1, 2014.

Registration is now open!

Sign up here!

Visit the location website here: The lovely Transfiguration Spirituality Center in Glendale Ohio (near Cincinnati—CVG airport).

Psst: we’ll do a full tea with scones and poetry and everything. For examples of sessions we’ll do at this retreat, read the following “Nurturing Brave Writers Workshop” outline. The Retreat will have additional experiences available. We’ll send you a schedule of activities and lectures closer to the weekend itself.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact Cindy at

For a description of the workshop read more…


Nurturing Brave Writers Workshop

The Nurturing Brave Writers Workshop is an in-service training for parents who homeschool their kids. But why limit it to homeschool? This workshop will empower any parent to be the best writing coach and ally they can be during the crucial developmental years of 8-18. We’ll spend a Friday evening and all day Saturday together not just listening to Julie talk, but working together through various exercises, learning how to make use of the tools that enhance your children’s writing abilities and most importantly, tackling that beast called writer’s block that thwarts even the most passionate writers from time to time.

Our time together will look like this:

Friday night:
Rescuing Reluctant Writers
6:00 – 9:00 p.m.

Natural Stages of Growth in Writing
9:30 – 10:45

Brave Writer Lifestyle
11:00 – 12:00

12:00 – 1:00 (local fast food options for off-site meal)

Language Arts
1:00 – 1:45

Help for High School Writing
2:00 – 3:00 (optional session for parents with older kids)

Relaxed interaction, discussion, sales
3:00 – 4:00

Friday Night: Rescuing Reluctant Writers It seems everyone has one reluctant writer. And even the “natural writers” give their parents fits (they write run-ons and never finish their stories and hate assigned writing but love to keep journals…) The Friday Night Workshop is devoted to stripping away myths about writing and the teaching of it.

  • Are you under the impression that kids need to write every day?
  • Do you wonder why your 12 year old is a bad speller?
  • How much help can you give before the writing is no longer an original product and is yours instead?
  • How do you foster an environment of safety and risk at the same time?
  • When should I worry that my child is behind in writing? What should I do then?

We’ll look at how relying on the old adages about writing actually cripples your writers, or damages their authentic voices. Not only will we look at your writers’ struggles, but also your insecurities about teaching writing. Friday night is both therapy and practical support in liberating your writing program from the oppression of wrong thinking about writing. Don’t miss it!

Saturday Morning: The Natural Stages of Development in Writing Saturday morning we click along.

  • Wonder whether your child should be writing essays or short stories, cartoons with captions or villanelles?
  • Have you tried to edit/revise your child’s writing only to be shut down by tears or resistance?

By mid-morning you’ll be able to identify what developmental phase of writing each of your children is in. We’ll look at practices and principles that will help you to shape a tailor-made curricula that will give both you and your children confidence that progress is being made. And yes, you’ll do some writing to help foster that understanding. Natch!

Midday: The Brave Writer Lifestyle
Once you have a sense of how the writing process works and how to apply it to your unique child, we’ll show you how to create a lifestyle that makes writing as natural as learning to speak.

  • Poetry
  • Spelling
  • Art
  • Nature study
  • Grammar
  • Shakespeare
  • Copywork
  • Dictation
  • Grammar
  • Reading
  • Teatimes, art museum visits, nature hikes
  • And more….!

This is where writing gets fun!

Afternoon: Help for High School
At the end of the day, I’ll show you the “down and dirty guide” to getting through high school writing with the minimum fuss and maximum results.

  • The three writing formats essential to success in high school
  • Preparation for the SAT/ACT writing portions of the tests
  • How to ensure a properly rounded composition/literature curricula over four years

Nurturing Brave Writers is the hands down best way to transform your writing program in one fell-swoop. Not only that, we have such a great time together! You’ll love meeting other Brave Writer moms (who happen to be among the most genuinely kind, earnestly caring mothers I’ve ever met) and you’ll get a chance to pick my brain. Bring your favorite pen and a fat notepad (or laptop!). We’ll work together to write, write, write and change how your homeschool functions for good.

I want to share a story that for me typifies what the “Nurturing Brave Writers” Workshop is all about.

One of the participants at a workshop in 2008 shared how much her daughter hated writing. This mom felt like helping her daughter with her writing projects would be to give in to her daughter’s bad attitude. So she punished her daughter by sending her to school (took away the privilege of homeschooling!). Yet this mom came to the workshop anyway, hoping to glean some ideas of what could be done to help her daughter grow as a writer even while in school.

After our time together and a good personal conversation over lunch, this mom went home with a new mission: to support her daughter with interest, practical help and affirmation. The next morning, her daughter had to produce a report for English. Rather than simply writing a report on a sheet of notebook paper, this mother chose to help her daughter create a lapbook. They took an entire day cutting out pictures, doing research, typing up information, creating interesting flaps for the book. About two-thirds of the way through their work together, the daughter (age 10) turned to her mother with a big smile on her face and said, “This is so much fun. You must really love me.” Gulp.

The mom sent me an email the next morning to say: “I got it.” She suddenly saw that woven throughout our work with our children is another message: They are lovable. They deserve our time. Their voices are worth preserving in writing.

The Nurturing Brave Writers Workshop is specially designed for homeschooling groups of 40-100 participants. To host one in your community, you will need to be able to provide the following:

  1. A Venue (place to hold the event: YMCA, a room in a library, a church, a homeschool building, a hotel conference room)
  2. Advertising to homeschool groups in your area (announcements, contacting leaders, emailing to list serves, posting notices in places where homeschoolers congregate, etc.)
  3. We need a minimum of 50 participants.

The Nurturing Brave Writers Workshop covers the following material:

  • Understanding the role of empathetic nurturing in releasing writing. Both reluctant writers and prolific writers are in need of that special support that gives them the self-confidence to take writing risks. In the Friday night session, we interact through paired sharing, writing, using the whiteboard and lecture material.
  • Learning what the natural stages of growth are in a writer’s life and how to specifically apply those to your children.
  • We look at how to create a rich language arts environment as well as how copywork and dictation function in the Brave Writer Lifestyle. Grammar, spelling, punctuation and mechanics are all addressed.
  • The afternoon session on Saturday is devoted to high school and academic writing to help take the mystery and intimidation out of it.

These workshops are more than a set of formulas to follow when you get home. We aim to transform not just how you understand the writing process, but how you relate to your interesting, quirky, endlessly fascinating children who have so much to say, yet have not discovered the power of putting their words into writing. There are ways to unleash that writer within your child. It’s up to you to foster the empathetic, nurturing environment that creates that safe context. By the end of our workshop, you’ll go home knowing that you are the perfect person to lead your children into the writer’s jungle.

One Response to “Nurturing Brave Writer Families Retreat 2014!”

  1. Shannon C says:

    I REALLY want to go to this! I hope I can swing it, it would be life changing, I’m sure!