Archive for the ‘Brave Writer Lifestyle’ Category

Reading Aloud: Connecting to Life Itself

Brave Writer Reading Aloud

Reading aloud is more than getting through the chapters to the end. Reading to your children is a chance for them to experience you—your values, your priorities, your heartfelt connection to life itself.

My daughter Johannah called me from college. “That’s why you cried,” she said.

Johannah had always wondered why I couldn’t get through the end of Charlotte’s Web without leaking tears. It’s that final sentence. It gets me every time.

“It is not often that someone comes along who is a true friend and a good writer. Charlotte was both.”

Charlotte was both—sob! I’m all choked up again.

When Johannah was a child, this line seemed like a matter-of-fact statement about Charlotte. Johannah wondered what feelings I was having that she wasn’t. As a newly minted college student, Johannah reread the book to find out. Cue adulthood, and she experienced a different reaction to those legendary lines. She saw their poignancy, the subtle way E.B. White affirmed writers for their craft, and the power of loyalty in friendship until death. Values—she now understood—demonstrated in my tears, a decade earlier.

When we read to our kids, we aren’t just conveying words or a narrative. Our living, breathing reactions make impressions too.

  • We show an appreciation for courage or hardship,
  • we laugh at the plays on words,
  • we smile with delight at alliterative phrases,
  • we demonstrate surprise or moral outrage.

Our children, listening along, take in the story and adult response—both. Even when they don’t quite “get it yet.” These shared experiences with you form the bedrock of their values.

Next time you feel a little chagrined by your inability to read without tears streaming down your cheeks—let them flow. Let your children see the good, compassionate, sensitive feeling the story evokes from you.

That’s half the lesson.

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Brave Writer Listicle!

Brave Writer LIsticle

17 Things Only Brave Writer Homeschoolers Would Know

1. Wrinkled paper makes a freer writer.

2. A chair is essential to teaching prepositions.

3. The term “Elbow” is not a mid-joint in your arm.

4. Weapons make perfectly appropriate names for children’s curriculum.

5. Planning from behind does not involve toilet paper.

6. It takes more time to prep poetry teatime than to do it.

7. Copywork is better by candlelight.

8. Brave Writer lets parents be dictators—get it?

9. Dotty has an art table in your living room, even though you’ve never met Dotty.

10. Your lesson planner is a BINGO card.

11. If Brave Writer initially confuses your school-brain, you’re doing it right!

12. Writing in lipstick on a mirror counts.

13. Doing “not enough” is just enough.

14. Brownie mix is on the back-to-school materials list.

15. Watching the movie first is a legit book club.

16. Mouths are full of big juicy conversations, not hamburgers.

17. You’re haunted by the Ghost of Public School Past…less.

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7 Key Ideas

7 Key Ideas

There are 7 key ideas (or so) that are good to know when practicing a Brave Writer Lifestyle.

Key Ideas

1. Jot down your child’s words when you hear an act of spontaneous passionate self expression. Value your child’s thoughts and get them written. Read them back later to an interested audience (family). Watch your child discover joy at being read and a reason to write.

2. Immerse your children in a language-rich environment—books, poetry teatime, big juicy conversations, movies, comic books, jokes, and lots of writing implements to explore.

3. You create an invisible education for your child with the atmosphere of your home and family life. Kindness matters. So does telling the truth and not pretending. Give your children a healthy family life, and improve the quality of your homeschool. Get help if you need it—no shame in that.

4. You get one life. It matters that you like the one you’re living. Home educating your kids can be a grand adventure—yours. When it stops feeling that way, find out why and make adjustments. No child wants to be the source of a parent’s unhappiness.

5. Your curiosity is enough for your homeschool and is just as important as your child’s (could be argued that it’s more important). Trust it to lead you.

6. Do one thing. Just one. Prepare. Do it well. Be present. Remember it fondly. Then do another thing.

7. Homeschooling is cutting-edge education reform. You are Charlotte Mason or John Holt. You and your family are testing and experimenting with new tactics every day, and will contribute insights to the project of education for all. Thank you for risking your kids. I salute you!

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

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Engage with Nature: Recap

Engage with Nature Recap

Each Friday for the last month we’ve shared simple ideas to engage with the world outside (we suggested picking one a week to try).

Our Brave Writer families have watched clouds roll by, turned over rocks, and built fairy houses.

The twenty nature prompts can continue to inspire as you practice the Brave Writer Lifestyle throughout the year.

Here’s the complete list (click image to enlarge).

Need more support?

Brave Writer offers a 4-week Nature Journaling online class!

Nature journaling is a way of writing, drawing and reflecting through observations and art. Kids get to uncover countless mysteries and surprises as they interact with the wondrous world around them!The best part?

While your kids are grabbing their notebooks and sun hats, you know they are interacting with earth science, art, math and getting the benefits of physical education.

Nature Journaling

Engage with Nature: Week 4

Engage with Nature Week 4

Is it the end of April already? We may be losing track of time, but nature is right on schedule.

Our twenty nature prompts can help you and yours jump into nature study, one of the Brave Writer Lifestyle elements, and enjoy the grounding routine of the shifting season.

Each Friday in April we’re sharing five simple ideas.

Pick one to do the following week, then let us know what you did by sharing on Instagram (#bravewriterlifestyle).

Ideas for Week 4

  • Watch the clouds. 
  • Make a nature date—virtually—with a Natural History Museum, Botanical Gardens, or Nature Center offering online events.
  • Lap your house or apartment building looking for nature before heading inside. 
  • Play “If you could be any animal what would you be?” (Ask why and for lots of descriptions about what life would be like as that creature.)
  • Observe how dew or rainwater rests on a leaf.

See All Ideas Here


Seasonal Nature Walks