Friday Freewrite: Stop Time?

Friday Freewrite

If you could stop time whenever you wanted and for as long as you wanted, would you do it? Explain your answer.

New to freewriting? Check out our online guide

MLA Research Essay Q&A

Brave Writer

I remember the day. I’d been asked by many parents over the years to provide an in-depth college-prep research essay class. What to do? Then I saw it: an actual college textbook. Of course!  

So Brave Writer’s MLA Research Essay class was made with your college-bound teen in mind. We draw directly from the principles real colleges use when teaching writing.

It sounds a bit daunting, but when we break this major project into manageable chunks, writing a research paper really isn’t that difficult; I promise!

“What is MLA format?” 

MLA stands for “Modern Language Association.” The MLA started publishing a “style sheet” to help students write research papers in a standard format, and since then the MLA has been refining the elements of the MLA research essay format. 

“Should my kid be familiar with this system?”

Yes! The MLA format represents a consensus among professors, scholars, and librarians for documenting research in their respective fields. Basically, MLA style dictates how students use citations, works cited, footnotes, headers…

“Is it unreasonably hard?”

Believe it or not, the MLA style is a simpler style than other formats such as the APA or the Chicago Manual of Style!

“Is it BORING?” 

Not the Brave Writer way! We encourage your teen to choose a topic that makes them tick. It helps to love what you’re writing about!

“Is it worth the price?”

Let’s ask the teens from previous classes!

This class made me feel a lot more confident in my overall knowledge of the MLA style components. The instructions and explanations of what is required were far more clear and detailed than any others I had received for previous MLA essays. —Student Sarah

I learned much more about citing sources in the MLA format… I had never written that long and complex of an essay, so it was a good learning experience. —Student April

Thank you so much for all your amazing feedback on my work in this class! I think I have a good understanding of MLA research essays after taking this class. —Student Max

That kind of confidence? Priceless!

Learn more about Brave Writer’s

MLA Research Essay Online Class

Brave Writer Online Classes

Podcast: Raising Neurodivergent Kids with Debbie Reber

Brave Writer Podcast

Debbie Reber knows firsthand how to navigate the journey of raising a neurodivergent child. As the founder of Tilt Parenting and author of Differently Wired Raising an Exceptional Child in a Conventional World, she shares her personal experience of homeschooling and helping other parents. Debbie’s goal is to provide support and resources for parents, caregivers, educators, and professionals.

Debbie Reber
Debbie Reber

Join us for today’s Brave Writer podcast as we discuss the different forms of neurodivergence and how they affect your family.

Show Notes

Debbie Reber shares her personal experience of homeschooling her son Asher, who is now an adult, and how she created her own website and podcast to help other parents navigate the journey of raising a neurodivergent child.

In the homeschooling community, many parents choose home education specifically for their differently-wired children. This was the case for Debbie as well. She believes that homeschooling chose her family, as they struggled to find a suitable educational environment for her son Asher, who is twice exceptional and has ADHD and other neurological differences.

Despite initial reluctance, Debbie began homeschooling Asher in third grade and found it to be a transformative experience for both her and her son. It allowed her to get to know him as a learner and as a person and helped her reframe her thoughts around neurodiversity. Debbie’s experience highlights the importance of finding an educational environment that truly fits the needs of differently-wired children.

Rethinking what it means to be a parent and family

Being a parent can come with a lot of societal expectations and pressure to conform to a certain mold of what a “successful” family looks like. For Debbie Reber, the founder of Tilt Parenting and author of Differently Wired, moving to a foreign country helped her strip away these expectations and find freedom in creating her own unique family vision. She found herself surrounded by families in Seattle participating in after-school sports, camps, and traditional family vacations, and she felt pressure and frustration when she couldn’t replicate that for her own family.

Moving abroad allowed her to break free from the comparison and expectations of others and make up her own rules for what works for her family. This included creating new rituals like going to the coffee shop and playing Minecraft together, and not worrying about what others thought. Debbie’s experience highlights the importance of finding what works for your own family and not getting caught up in societal expectations.

The value of diagnoses

Diagnosis can be an important tool for understanding and addressing the unique challenges faced by neurodivergent children. Diagnoses provide context and can help adults understand areas of challenge and strength, it also can give an individual sense of understanding about themselves and their challenges. It is important to remember that a diagnosis should not be seen as the solution, but rather as a way to provide better support for the child. In addition, in traditional school settings, a diagnosis can also help in getting support and services that can help the child in the classroom. Overall, evaluations and assessments can be a great tool for parents to understand their child’s unique needs and find ways to support them.

Giving kids a place to feel seen and heard

Finding a support group and community is essential for neurodivergent children, as they may feel isolated and different from their peers in traditional environments. Debbie suggests that it’s important for neurodivergent kids to spend time with others who are neurodivergent, so they can feel like they belong and understand that there are others like them. She also suggests that open communication and understanding about neurodivergence is important, as it helps to break down the idea that there is a “normal” group and an “outlier” group.

It is important to acknowledge that everyone is unique and has different strengths and weaknesses and that neurodivergence is just one aspect of a person’s complexity. By creating a more open and understanding environment, children can feel more comfortable being themselves and not feel like they have to fit into a certain mold.

When it comes to raising a differently-wired child, it is important to take a step back, trust your intuition, and not feel pressured to have all the answers right away. It’s important to give yourself time to process and not feel rushed into making any decisions. It is also important to remember that a diagnosis is just information and your child is not broken. Rather, it is a chance to get to know your child better and understand their unique strengths and challenges. Trust your intuition. Don’t feel pressured to conform to societal expectations, but rather support your child in a way that is aligned with your values and what you know to be true about your child.


Connect with Julie

Brave Writer Podcast

Dart, Arrow Boomerang: Semester-Long Themed Collections

Brave Writer

You want to get started with Brave Writer but you’re mid-year. Is it too late?


The time is now!

Jump into a semester with Brave Writer: February to June!

Give our program a test drive before you shop for next school year!

Yes, we know! Curriculum-shopping season is right around the corner!

With this in mind—for the first time ever—we’ve created semester-long collections of our popular literature handbooks!

Imagine your child actively learning:

  • grammar,
  • punctuation,
  • spelling,
  • and literary devices

All in the context of stories they will love and remember!

Watch them apply what they’ve learned to their own writing!

We see it all the time.

Darts (ages 8–10), Arrows (ages 11–12), and Boomerangs (ages 13–14) are monthly digital handbooks that train parents and caregivers to teach grammar, punctuation, spelling, and literary devices through time-tested practices in their natural environment: literature!

Each handbook contains:

  • 4 Passages (one per week) from a specific read-aloud novel for copywork/dictation
  • Notes about grammar, punctuation, spelling, and literary devices
  • Featured Literary Devices (and literature analysis in the Boomerang)
  • Writing Activities 
  • Questions
  • Family Book Club Party Ideas 
  • 45–50 pages

Each bundle includes a Guidelines PDF! 

  • 30 pages of training content—learn to teach writing mechanics the Brave Writer way
  • Sample routines (schedules)
  • A planner—plan your weekly and monthly content 
  • A tracker—track your child’s writing skill development and growth
  • Tips for copywork and dictation practices 

We’ve collected five popular titles from each level to create semester-long collections!

Dart (8-10): Children’s Classics

  • Charlotte’s Web
  • The House at Pooh Corner
  • The Mouse and the Motorcycle
  • Sarah, Plain and Tall
  • The Trumpet of the Swan

Arrow (11-12): Adventure Stories 

  • Amari and the Night Brothers
  • The Lion of Mars
  • Mañanaland
  • The Nerviest Girl in the World
  • Greenglass House

Boomerang (13-14): American Perspectives 

  • How I Became a Ghost
  • Fever 1793
  • Hidden Figures (Young Readers Edition)
  • Refugee
  • They Called Us Enemy

Teach grammar, punctuation, and spelling in a whole new way.

You can do it! Give us a semester. We’ll show you how!

Brave Writer

Friday Freewrite: On the Water

Friday Freewrite

A small sailboat and a big cruise ship float side by side. How does their conversation go?

New to freewriting? Check out our online guide