Archive for the ‘Arrow’ Category

A Surprise Package of New Ideas

A Surprise Package of New Ideas

Back in 2002, I dreaded opening a big thick textbook for any school subject. There’s something heavy about knowing you have 200+ pages of any program to get through, delivered all at once, to be parsed out correctly over ten months.

I had been using Family Fun magazine as my primary schooling inspiration in the 1990s, and loved it! Each month came fresh. Felt like a surprise package of good new ideas!

It dawned on me that we could do something similar for writing and education at home.

  • What if we picked one read aloud per month for the whole family?
  • What if all the language arts activities and practices were included in one package?
  • What if the practices could be modified up or down for a variety of ages and skills?

The Arrow was born—one book to read aloud, one family to listen, four copywork/dictation passages to adapt to all levels + notes in conversational English, one literary element explored, one writing activity to try. The Arrow spread like wildfire. I think you all felt relieved, just like I did. One month at a time.

I must have tapped into something because the Arrow quickly became our best-selling product (still is). We expanded to create similar products for other levels (the Boomerang is the higher level). And we’ve expanded the contents to include discussion questions and book club party ideas.

Today, the monthly Arrow and Boomerang run some 40 pages! We don’t leave you to figure out how to use them either. We provide detailed, user-friendly guidelines, too.

What’s cool is we’ve been at it for 18 years so we have a slew of single issues for a wide variety of titles. You can pick a book you want to read and buy an Arrow or Boomerang to go with it.

For under $12.00 (!), you will purchase a month’s worth of reading, writing, and language arts for multiple ages of kids, complete with guidance for how to grow your writers.

Check out the Single Issues of the Arrow and Boomerang in our store.

We have free samples (click on single issues pages) for you as well. All products are digital and can be printed at home or via any print shop if you prefer.

Arrow Book Club: April 2020

Arrow Book Club

Brave Writer offers a virtual living room space–where students gather to freely discuss the novels they read with you at home.

At the heart of our Book Clubs, you’ll find:

  1. reading
  2. questioning
  3. reflecting
  4. discovering!

[This post contains Amazon affiliate links. When you click on those links to make purchases, Brave Writer receives compensation at no extra cost to you. Thank you!]


Here’s what we’re reading in April in our Arrow Book Club (ages 9-12): Bronze and Sunflower by Cao Wenxuan. Candlewick, 2017. 400 pages.

A best-selling children’s book in China, Bronze and Sunflower has been translated for American readers. What a gift. The story follows Sunflower, a young girl from the city, who is transplanted to the countryside during the Chinese Cultural Revolution, which occurred between 1966 – 1976. She befriends Bronze, the often ostracized and misunderstood deaf boy from a nearby village. After tragedy strikes, Bronze supports Sunflower and she becomes the sister he always wanted. While life is hard in the village, Sunflower loves her new family—but will she be able to stay with them? If you enjoyed The Birchbark House, you’ll love this book!

Purchase the novel here.

Try our low-intensity, warm and welcoming discussion club this April!

Arrow Book Club

Arrow Book Club: March 2020

Arrow Book Club

Brave Writer’s monthly online book clubs are where your kids can meet to discuss thought-provoking questions about books with one of our amazing writing coaches.

And kids are having a ball!

What students have to say:

I would definitely recommend this to a friend because it was very fun and awesome. HOORAY FOR BOOK CLUB!!!! —Drew

This class gave me a greater sense of “knowing” the book. If it wasn’t for this class, I would’ve likely understood less and didn’t have as much of a “full” feeling.  —Arina


[This post contains Amazon affiliate links. When you click on those links to make purchases, Brave Writer receives compensation at no extra cost to you. Thank you!]


Here’s what we’re reading in March in our Arrow Book Club (ages 9-12): Book Scavenger, Jennifer Chambliss Bertman. Holtzbrinck Publishers, LLC Reprint Edition, 2016. 368 pages.

Here is a delightful tale of friendship and finding a place to call home. Emily’s family moves—a lot. While her parents see the freedom of their nomadic life as a gift, Emily yearns for roots and friendship. When they land in San Francisco, she unexpectedly stumbles upon a mystery, and just as unexpectedly, finds a friend to help her solve it. Part coming-of-age, part mystery—Book Scavenger adds up to a whole lot of book-binding adventure.

Purchase the novel here.

Arrow Book Club

Help Us Choose Books for Our Arrow and Boomerang Programs

Help Us Choose Books for Our Arrow and Boomerang Programs

I recently invited followers on Instagram to recommend book titles for our Arrow and Boomerang mechanics and literature programs.

Do you know what happened?

Our Brave Writer community recommended fantastic titles!

Some titles were new to us, and some—well, some were titles that we prize so highly we’d already created an Arrow or a Boomerang for them!

You all totally get us!

Below are the recommended titles that are already in our collection of 240 single issue Arrows and Boomerangs.

Recommended Titles

Arrows

Boomerangs

Great books, right?

We realized we needed to get the word out about the treasure trove of phenomenal single issues we have available in the shop!

Help us choose titles for our 2020-2021 book list!

When selecting books to read aloud, we (at Brave Writer) follow a key principle:

𝘿𝙞𝙫𝙚𝙧𝙨𝙞𝙛𝙮

The idea is to lay a feast of ideas (hat tip: Charlotte Mason) before your children, to create opportunities for empathy, to help your children grow in critical thinking, to expand a child’s world, and to entertain! That too.

The goal is to offer a selection of books over a year or several years that is diverse in lots of ways. Keeping this list handy will help you get out of ruts and habits too. When reading gets stale or predictable, shake things up!

Here’s how. Select from these categories:

  • 𝗗𝗶𝘃𝗲𝗿𝘀𝗲 𝗮𝘂𝘁𝗵𝗼𝗿𝘀: all kinds of Englishes, all different backgrounds
  • 𝗗𝗶𝘃𝗲𝗿𝘀𝗲 𝗰𝗵𝗮𝗿𝗮𝗰𝘁𝗲𝗿𝘀: male and female protagonists, older and younger, varieties of circumstance and worldview
  • 𝗗𝗶𝘃𝗲𝗿𝘀𝗲 𝗲𝘅𝗽𝗲𝗿𝗶𝗲𝗻𝗰𝗲𝘀: familiar childhood, historical events, natural disasters, humanitarian crises, humor, suspense, fantasy
  • 𝗗𝗶𝘃𝗲𝗿𝘀𝗲 𝗴𝗲𝗻𝗿𝗲𝘀: poetry, prose, nonfiction, graphic novels, comics, plays, short stories, fables

In that spirit, I’d like to invite you to recommend books for our Arrow and Boomerang programs! We’re putting together next year’s lists and we’d love your input. 

Hop over to my Instagram post then click reply and let us know if there is a book we should consider for the 2020–2021 list.

Share Titles

We’ll announce the books that made the cut at the end of May! 


Are you new to Brave Writer? Learn more about the Arrow and Boomerang writing mechanics and literature guides, and how they fit into the complete Brave Writer program, here

Arrow Book Club: February 2020

Arrow Book Club

Brave Writer offers a virtual living room space–where students gather to freely discuss the novels they read with you at home.


[This post contains Amazon affiliate links. When you click on those links to make purchases, Brave Writer receives compensation at no extra cost to you. Thank you!]


February’s Arrow Book Club title (for ages 9-12): Stella by StarlightSharon Draper. Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books Reprint Edition, 2016. 352 pages.

Stella is a brave, tenacious girl growing up in a segregated North Carolina town during the depression. When Sella and her brother witness the activity of the Ku Klux Klan late one night, it is a sign of unwelcome changes to come. As Stella struggles to find her purpose, her community grapples with the oppression perpetrated by the Klan members in town. This book about family, community, and hope is infused with a sense of time and place. Draper weaves song and dialect into the story to create vivid scenes that bring the story to life.

Purchase the novel here.

Join the Arrow Book Club and let Brave Writer do all the heavy lifting for you. All you need to do is provide the cookies!

Arrow Book Club