Author Archive

Research and Citation Class REVISED

Essay Prep Research Citation Revised

When I wrote Raising Critical Thinkers it felt… risky. I knew that the ideas in my book would be a challenge to some of you. But I also knew that they would challenge ME and my team! Based on this new information, some things would need to change. However uncomfortable.

First on that list? The way we teach research and citation. 

So we completely dismantled and re-created our Essay Prep: Research and Citation class to address the modern challenges of doing research online. 


It’s still got great stuff like paraphrasing and how to take notes. But now it also has these critical components.

How to

  • Avoid being fooled by the “look” of a website
  • Wade through one million results on a Google search
  • Vet online sources like fact-checkers do
  • Discern a deliberately crafted story (presented as fact)
  • Design an investigation into a topic of interest

I’ll tell you right now—there is no other class like this on the market.

Fast forward to college. 99% of the answers they need are out there, to be found in research. Our kids need to learn how to find it and use it right. Let us help.


Essay Prep Research Citation

Podcast: Do You Have the Wrong Personality for Your Temperament?

Brave Writer Podcast

I am recording some of my Tea with Julie emails for the podcast for those of you who prefer to listen. These are messages of support for your life of parenting and educating, as well as taking good care of you. If you’d like to receive them, they are free. Sign up at

Does it sometimes feel like your personality and your temperament are at odds with one another?

Whether you keep a ship-shape house or you’re relaxed and casual, let me promise you this: There is no one personality type better suited to homeschooling than another. And no one personality type better for:

  • parenting,
  • loving,
  • or nurturing.

Each has its own strengths and liabilities, and the goal is to work to become more self-aware, recognize when we are in our element, and find out what it means to best serve the moment.

Show Notes

Complete Tea with Julie notes can be found HERE.


  • If you’d like to get these Tea for Julie newsletters in your inbox every week, sign up at

Connect with Julie

Brave Writer Podcast

Your Child Is Learning

Brave Writer

The quickest way to kill the atmosphere of learning is to suggest that it’s time to learn!

If you announce “Time to learn” you’re telling the child that without an adult, they aren’t learning. The truth is: learning happens whether or not you intend it. What’s being learned? That’s up for grabs!

The temptation is to say: “Let’s learn how to divide fractions.” What might get learned instead is that math is boring.

The best way to kick the door open for learning? Try this.

  • Tie what you want your child to learn to something they value, like fractions and baking.
  • Notice learning in action: “You divided the recipe in half! Did you know there’s a way to do that on paper, not just with measuring cups?”
  • Learn without words (I know, it’s hard!). Sidle up and do the activity together. Draw the fractions on a page and work them next to your child so they have time to hover and notice, rather than having to hear instructions.

Learning is already going on.

Drawing, building, reading, talking to self (that’s consolidating what they are learning), asking for help, making a snack, playing a game with a friend, completing a puzzle, wandering around the house (that counts too!)—if these are happening, your child is learning.

TUNE IN and take notes. Observe and name what’s going on.

Try these kinds of words to describe what you see:

  • Decoding
  • Writing
  • Narrating
  • Experimenting
  • Collaborating
  • Giving selfcare
  • Gaining vocabulary
  • Constructing
  • Discovering cause and effect
  • Playing independently

…and more!

Yes, your child is learning. No need to make an announcement. It’s already happening without you! Hop on board and ride that train.

Growing Brave Writers

Podcast: Meet Your Own Needs

Brave Writer Podcast

I am recording some of my Tea with Julie emails for the podcast for those of you who prefer to listen. These are messages of support for your life of parenting and educating, as well as taking good care of you. If you’d like to receive them, they are free. Sign up at

A family is an interdependent system—no one person can carry it alone. There must be give and take, support and nurture for each person, even if in uneven doses at times.

All you can do is become the healthiest version of you that you can be—taking care of your welfare so that you don’t wake up one day and “flip out.”

You’ll be given good advice: Be generous. Give. Share. Listen. Pay attention. Make adjustments. Become a partner to your kids, to your spouse. Forgive. Find the good, the true, the pure. Let go of petty resentments and high expectations.

But you also need to take care of you. Be sure that you, the care-giver, are being given care too—by someone, somehow, somewhere. It’s how you keep going.

When you hit your limits, you’ll get advice to give more. You’ll be told what the ideals are. You’ll be reminded of your original goals. You’ll try harder. We women are especially likely to take this advice to heart.

Just remember: in the trying (which is right and noble and good), stand up for you too. You matter as much to the whole system as all the people you love and serve freely every day.

Be good to you, no matter what that looks like. You get one life, too. It needs to be a good, peace-filled, lovely one. No Joan of Abeccas here. No Teresa of Calculadders allowed.

Show Notes

Self-care is essential to the happy functioning of your family.

Self-care is not, however, ensuring that everyone in your family is behaving according to your plans and standards so that you can finally have a rest.

Self-care happens in the middle of the muddle, when things are at their most stressful, when you feel the least capable of meeting your own expectations and hopes. That frazzled feeling? A flashing red warning light that you need to take a self-appointed time out.


Growing Brave Writers Q & A

Growing Brave Writers


This is the official Q&A for Growing Brave Writers

What’s new in GBW?

 Glad you asked!

  • Coaching Guides written to YOU in each chapter
  • User-friendly Activities in each chapter laid out in step-by-step instructions
  • Assessment tools for each chapter
    • A Checklist for Self-Esteem (so you can feel good about what you get done)
    • A Word Bank to track scope and sequence requirements (if you have them)
    • A Narrative Sketch sample to help you write one for your student
  • A chapter called, How to Use GBW: with kids in schools & co-ops and across the curriculum
  • Beautiful design, wide margins for notes, and motivational quotes at the top of each chapter

Does GBW meet school standards for writing instruction?

You bet it does!

Growing Brave Writers was designed with much care to address the most important markers in learning to write. Our team consulted the most current research into writing instruction while also drawing on over 20 years of experience teaching students.

You can know that your students will become effective writers in any environment once they have worked through all the writing processes.

Over 100,000 students have used our methods!

Does GBW work with learning-challenged students?

Exceptionally well!

The beauty of this system is that it is tailored to the developmental stage of growth of each unique child (not grade level) including your children with language challenges. That means you can meet your child where they are without pushing them to be further along. Each practice is easily modified for any learner. 

Parents who have children with language delays or learning disabilities have found these methods to be absolutely liberating!

Growing Brave Writers

What if I’m not good at writing?

You’re my favorites!

As you teach your child, you will heal your own poor relationship with writing. You may even discover a long-lost love of writing once you are set free from the memory of painful writing instruction in your youth.

Truly: if you are a blocked writer yourself, remember the method that failed you. Do not apply that method to your child! Try ours—it’s a completely different approach than schools take. And it works.

You’ll love these activities!

Can I use GBW with multiple kids at multiple ages?

You sure can!

In fact, that’s the beauty of this program. It’s designed for family use. Each activity can be easily modified up or down to adapt to your young writer. Not only that, each activity can be used again at the next stage of growth for greater and greater skill development.

How long does it take to work through GBW?

About one school year.

If you do each activity in a row, following the instructions, it will take about a single school year to work through the entire program. That said, these are activities and tools that are meant to be used until college! Growing Brave Writers is a program that will be a resource to you throughout the entirety of your children’s academic career. A fantastic investment!

What if I want a print copy?

I have great news for you!

Brave Writer has entered a partnership with The Homeschool Printing Company!

When you print with them, they give you a high-quality printed copy at a low price, and they put you at the front of the line for printing! (USA only) The link to our special print form with them is located at the order link below!

When does Growing Brave Writers publish?

July 15!

For those who preorder, you are invited to attend a FREE webinar with me on July 15

I’ll walk you through how to implement Growing Brave Writers right on the day it publishes.

Preorder Today

Thanks for all your questions!

Still have a few more? Email us at and our warm, eager-to-serve customer service team will reply to your particular situation.