Happiness. That elusive subjective experience. I was thinking about it today—how we want our kids to be happy, but please Oh Guiding Force of the Universe, let them be happy about the right things! So you watch them light up over Fortnite but see a crest-fallen face as you drag your child away from the computer to the kitchen table.

Do you feel guilty? Do you wonder what to do? Should your child only ever play the game or watch TV—to ensure happiness? Or should you end the entertainment in favor of read aloud time or math problems, even if your child acts miserable or complains?

Whenever we transition from an effortless pleasure to a task that requires grit or concentration, a let down follows. You’ve experienced it—the transition from relaxing with a cup of tea while scrolling through Instagram, to regrouping to prepare lunch. One is easy—inducing a feeling of contentment. The other requires focus and work. The transition is felt as a loss. You don’t get to happiness automatically.

Your kids are the same. Don’t worry that happiness is not immediately evident in the schoolish task. Support the transition with a shoulder rub, or accompanying the little gal or guy from sofa to table, or by chatting about the fun first and then gathering energy for the new task. Happiness is not static. It ebbs and flows. You can confidently lead by letting your child know that sometimes fun is on the agenda and sometimes a pivot to the effort of intentional learning is the next item on the agenda—and you’ll be there to help that adjustment with kindness and companionship. Tolerating the momentary grief or sadness associated with the transition is how you support the move from one activity to the next.

Happiness matters, but it’s not the only emotion your kids will feel. It’s okay to help your child cope.

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

The Brave Learner

Friday Freewrite: Promise

Friday Freewrite

Is it ever okay to break a promise? Explain your answer.

New to freewriting? Check out our online guide.

Training Tip: Essay Prep

Training Tip: Essay Prep

Here’s the thing. I can teach you the formula for a 5-paragraph essay on a napkin. That’s easy! But because educators often over-emphasize format, other crucial elements of essay writing get overlooked.  

That’s why we created our Essay Prep series. It covers the foundational skills and practices that comprise essay writing—beyond just the number of paragraphs.

Essay Prep: Dynamic Thinking is our revolutionary class that grows your teens into critical thinkers.

Great essays are built from great insight. To generate that insight, teens need to consider multiple points of view simultaneously and dispassionately. Academic discourse requires the writer to know what they think, and why. 

Check out Brave Writer’s Essay Prep series: 

Start with Dynamic Thinking or the one that looks most interesting to you!

You can learn more about our online classes here.

We also invite you to log in to a sample class. Click around, play with our text editor, and read real instructor responses to writing posted in class.

Brave Writer's Essay Prep Classes

What Closeness Looks Like

What Closeness Looks Like

This is what closeness looks like. Father and son, reading side-by-side, sharing silent, yet companionable time each week. I chatted with the dad as I was leaving. He said Friday morning Starbucks is his son’s favorite time of the week. We chuckled about how books have become tablets. His son got animated at that point. They were darling!

Not all communication needs to be verbal or facing each other. A mix of shared space in comfortable quiet + eye contact and conversation makes for a healthy, free relationship.

I was with my dad recently and thought about our relationship when I was young. I remember his sharing the newspaper with me over breakfast. I remember side by side TV viewing (sports!). I remember the thrill of shopping alone with him (our own outing). We had conversations too. But what made life easy around my dad was that I felt no pressure to perform or prove anything or to fill the space with words. Talk? Or not talk? All the same to him.

Those minutes add up to a felt memory of who your parent is. If you find conversation challenging or wonder what to say, start side-by-side. Build a little cache of shared, peaceful, no pressure space. You may be surprised at how close you feel to your child.

One interesting sidenote: I notice that my person (Jim) is that kind of person for me now. I’m such a talker, and it feels so nice to have one quiet, peace-filled relationship where I get to show up without words or pressure to entertain. A gift.

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

Brave Writer Lifestyle

The Writer’s Jungle Online SALE

I’m obsessed. Brave Writer turns 20 (twenty years old!) in 2020 (I love all those 20s together!)—which is mind-bending and utterly amazing. 

My kitchen table operation (which is still on the kitchen counter, by the way) has blossomed into a company with over 30 employees and tens of thousands of customers and oodles of products and classes designed to help you and your kids keep writing. 

Thank you! 

Your enthusiasm for what we offer has carried us and inspired us to keep making products and offering classes that support your homeschool life. 

To celebrate the incredible journey we’ve taken together, get ready for a slew of specials rolling out all year long. 

To kick off this grand celebration…

Let’s start by taking $20.00 off of the tuition of the online class that got it all started in January of 2000:

The Writer’s Jungle Online

You wonder where to begin? Begin here. It’s the secret sauce.

Thousands of families have transformed their experience of writing in this class—it’s THE class that flips the switch ON for kids and parents alike.

A sale just for you!

Psst: Brave Writer never lowers tuition for online classes, however…

We are lowering the price for this class for two weeks only as a thank you!

When you sign up for a winter/spring session of The Writer’s Jungle Online, you’ll get $20.00 off of the main tuition AND $20.00 off of each additional student.

Set your calendar alarms

Registration opens Monday December 2 at Noon Eastern.

The sale runs from December 2 – 15, 2019 and only applies to The Writer’s Jungle Online sessions offered in the winter and spring.

We appreciate you. You are doing the good work of raising the next generation who will be articulate, powerful communicators! Thank you!

Our Winter/Spring class schedule for all classes is available to view, too. Find it here!

Happy 20 years to us and to YOU!