Archive for the ‘Brave Writer Lifestyle’ Category

Time to Get Outside

Time to get outside

Boots have been tossed in favor of sneakers. Bikes are ready to be pulled out of storage. Warm sun is streaming in the windows. Tulips are blooming.

But how do I know spring has arrived? The kids are kicking the table legs. Drumming their fingers. Dropping their erasers—a hundred times. And the squirming! It’s like there’s an itch over their whole bodies.

Spring fever is HERE! And I say, don’t fight ‘em, join ‘em!

Here’s an enchanting opportunity to let your kids have what they crave at this time of year AND let you finish your homeschool year strong. (That’s right, you don’t have to pick just one!) Join our Nature Journaling online whole-family class! (One tuition, the entire family!)

Nature journaling inspires kids 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, they’re interacting with earth science, art, math, and getting the benefits of physical education.

But here’s something maybe you didn’t know. This class plants the seeds of their academic skills too. The kind they’ll grow and nurture through middle school and high school—until they bloom in college one day! 

Yep, we’re doing that, right now! 

Those ‘seeds’ include 

  • Acting as questioners and observers — the basis of academic exploration!
  • Harnessing the power and authority of scientific language
  • Doing research as they look up technical terms and explanations for what they observe
  • Choosing which details are relevant to share in class and what is unimportant
  • Practicing being an expert! They get to be the authoritative source on their local park or pond. 

How great is that?

What parents had to say about the Nature Journaling class:

When I asked [my daughter] to reflect on this month of journaling, her response was, “Can we keep doing this after the class?” 🙂  -Elizabeth S. 

This month of nature journaling has helped me to get a better idea of what it consists of and the various ways to do it. -Carolyn D. 

I used this activity in my Science enrichment class and my students loved it!!. -Leif E.

It’s our little secret—surprise your kids and let them think you’re letting them off the hook for homeschooling this month. We both know you are finishing your school year strong with Nature Journaling!

Nature Journaling

Blog Roundup: April 2019 Edition

Brave Writer Blog Roundup

Welcome to the latest Brave Writer blog roundup! See how other homeschooling families use Brave Writer products and practice the Brave Writer Lifestyle.

How to Create Writing Topics That Excite Your Kids Using a Topic Funnel – Dachelle (Hide the Chocolate)

Choosing a writing topic is more than just picking something your child is interested in writing. It involves narrowing the topic to something that your child can handle. Read More

How to Actually Love to Teach Writing – Alicia (Learning Well)

Brave Writer’s writing programs are not based on grade level–not by a long shot. The programs are based on skill level. They meet your child right where they are, developmentally. Read More

How to Bring the Element of Surprise into Your Homeschool – The Brave Homeschooling Mama

Writing Lessons with The Three Little Pigs (Creative Writing for Multiple Ages) – Kay (Heart-to-Heart Homeschooling)

Yes, your students need writing instruction and assignments according to their grade levels, but that doesn’t mean you can’t at least do some activities together. The key: expect students to produce work at the appropriate level for their ages. Read More

What if Elizabeth Bennet Had a Blog? (A Creative Writing & Literature Study for Teens) – Kay (Heart-to-Heart Homeschooling)

Time is limited. So how can a homeschool mom cover all of these different components of language arts study—the essay, literary analysis, and creativity? The answer is simple: combine them. Read More

Brave Writer Partnership Writing Review – April The (Simple Rugged Path)

How to Homeschool in the Midst of Family Hurt – Dachelle (Hide the Chocolate)

Homeschooling thrives when we shift from power over our kids to power with them—building empathetic relationships where the parent and child are partners in learning. Read More

Shakespeare in Spring: The Ultimate Guide to Teaching Shakespeare in Elementary and Middle School – Dachelle (Hide the Chocolate)

Are you a Fen-sucked Dull-Eyed Canker-blossom? Do you know how many sonnets the Bard wrote, or which phrases we use that he coined? Have you any idea what an oxlip looks like? If you’re curious about answering any of these questions, then this Ultimate Guide to Teaching Shakespeare might be for you! Read More

Brave Writer Lifestyle

Help Kids SEE Differently

Help Kids See Differently

In chapter 4 of The Brave Learner, I write about the 4 Forces of Enchantment and how they catalyze learning. The second force is “mystery.”

Mystery provokes:

  • depth,
  • awe,
  • closer scrutiny,
  • a shift in perspective.

It’s the force of “unknowing”—the heart of any deep dive in learning.

One of the ways I suggest promoting mystery is to help kids SEE differently using all kinds of tools:

  • microscope,
  • binoculars,
  • magnifying glasses.

When I visited the Getty Center a while ago, I noticed these BIG magnifying glasses hanging on the wall. They were provided to examine Da vinci sketches. Adults flocked to them. You had to wait for one to come free and then they were immediately snapped up again.

Holding the glass, looking carefully through it meant every person spent more time examining the artwork in that room than any other room I had been in. I noticed as I looked that the drawing had been composed of deft hashmarks, layered—sometimes close together, sometimes far apart. Made me wish I had a magnifying glass for every painting, too!

A shift in how you SEE leads to an awareness that my habits of seeing are limited. There is always more to see/know when we shift perception, when we find aids to help us move away from the familiar to discover more.

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

Brave Writer Lifestyle: Celebrate

Brave Writer Lifestyle Celebrate

This month’s Brave Writer Lifestyle focus is: Celebrate!

Congratulations! You’ve lived a year of the Brave Writer Lifestyle! Well done: trying activities, applying slogans or suggestions. So important to pause, and take stock. This is your month to relax from effort, to appreciate your willingness to dive into a lifestyle and make it part of your own routine.

For December, I thought I’d “flip the script” on you.

This month, you should be curled up in a furry blanket knitting next to the fire. Therefore, I do not have a set of hand-lettered tips for you to implement in December.

Instead, I charge you to create your own hand-lettered celebration page!

Hang it in your office or on your kitchen bulletin board to remind you that you at least attempted to implement some of the ideas I shared this year.

Easy Hack: Make a bullet list that highlights your favorite activities—those suggestions that went well with your family.

Then, will you share it with me? You can send it to or tag me on Instagram: @juliebravewriter

I would love to see how you honor your efforts this year.


I’ll be honest: learning how to hand-letter was a lot more challenging than I expected and I did it a lot less well than I thought I would! Isn’t that how it goes when you learn a new skill? Except I never think that will be true of me. I expect to be good at the thing instantly. Then I want to give up when I’m not. Because I had a year-long commitment to draw hand-lettered tips and I made that commitment to YOU, I kept at it—persevered past my own lack of skill, and found that I did grow anyway. #wow

So: here’s a gentle push to recognize your own growth this year! Then share with me what you create.

Happy Holidays!

Monthly Brave Writer Lifestyle Email

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for how to implement the lifestyle.

2018 Themes

When you sign up you’ll receive any back downloads that you missed!

January: Read Aloud
February: TV & Film
March: Big, Juicy Conversations
April: Poetry Teatime
May: Art Appreciation
June: Nature Journaling
July: One on One Time
August: Language Games
September: Copywork
October: Freewriting
November: Shakespeare
December: Celebrate!

Share, share, share!

We’d love it if you shared your Brave Writer Lifestyle adventures on Instagram, the BraveSchoolers Facebook Group, in the Homeschool Alliance, or wherever you hang out online.


November 2018: Blog Roundup

Brave Writer November 2018 Roundup

Welcome to the latest blog roundup! See how other homeschooling families practice the Brave Writer Lifestyle, including Shakespeare which is the theme for November!

Why We’re Going Back to Brave Writer – Erika (Miles of Highway)

“Last year we began the year with a focus on literature, copywork and dictation for the basis of our language arts. [But] at some point in our year I became insecure and wondered if we were truly doing enough. [My son] began to moan about language arts like he never had before when our focus was on literature, copywork, and dictation. […] Here are my top reasons for going back to Brave Writer this year with full confidence that this is what is right for us…” Read more

Five Basic Tools You Need to Start Freewriting And Encourage a Reluctant Writer – Dachelle (Hide the Chocolate)

“I had to come up with something new to get their creative juices flowing and to keep the meltdowns at a minimum. It was about that time that I was introduced to Brave Writer. This relaxed homeschooling lifestyle appealed to the beleaguered homeschool mom in me, and the writing philosophy was so different that I thought that it just might work.” Read more

Shakespeare in Spring: The Ultimate Guide to Teaching Shakespeare in Elementary and Middle School – Dachelle (Hide the Chocolate)

“[A] fabulous resource is Brave Writer’s Shakespeare Family Workshop. Because it’s a family workshop, all of your children (and even mom and dad) can participate in the class. The teacher was very knowledgeable and the class was easy to follow. It is teacher-led with hands-on activities in a five-week workshop (perfect for Shakespeare in Spring!). My kids especially loved building a replica of The Globe theater.” Read more

Reading Shakespeare’s Plays with My Kids – Mary (Not Before 7)

“The words and the language of Shakespeare’s plays can be intimidating for kids, and let’s face it, most adults as well. Do not let that stop you from tackling this subject with your younger students. They can learn to appreciate, enjoy, and perhaps even fall in love with the world of Shakespeare.” Read more

Shakespeare for Kids: Introducing the Bard to My Babies – Mary (Not Before 7)

“To support our efforts and my plan at home, we signed up for a Brave Writer Shakespeare class. This class is offered to the whole family for one price. We all participate in the assignments under one registration. So far the class has been a lot of fun and very informative. The material supports and encourages my efforts at home.” Read more

Brave Writer Lifestyle Monthly Tips and Resources

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PLUS a free hand-lettered PDF download by Julie!