Archive for the ‘Brave Writer Philosophy’ Category

Thriving over Striving

Brave Writer

It’s not hard to inspire children. They thrive under a certain condition. The condition is as follows: Admire your kids. It’s really that simple.

Your children want you to love them, sure. But they especially want you to know them for who they are.

  • They thrive when you admire their competence.
  • They strive when you praise their achievements.

Let’s pick thriving over striving.

Here are some examples.

There’s a difference between “Good job” and “You kept me in suspense in that opening line. I couldn’t wait to read more.”

They feel capable when you say: “Your gentleness after I lost my cool helped me get back on my feet.”

They feel known when you say: “It must have taken you a lot of thought to decide you didn’t want to play that sport any more.”

They feel pleased with themselves when you offer an encouraging nod or wink privately.

They want to know that when you look at the composite picture of who they are, you see someone who is making it—someone who has what it takes to arrive on the shores of adulthood, ready to tackle whatever comes their way.

Admire your kids. Notice their inherent worth and competence. Express that admiration in concrete terms. Do for them what you wish your parents had done for you.

It’s that simple, yes.

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

Brave Learner Home

Delight-Based Learning

Delight-Based Learning

Enchantment is delight-based. Knowing what brings that delight is the result of getting to know your children.

Lots of times parents tell me they created this magical setting (candles and cookies) and the child STILL resisted the lesson. In those moments, ask yourself if you were using candles and cookies to get your child to do X or Y.

True enchantment supports the environment. So if the child resists math, just adding candy or stickers doesn’t necessarily make it more meaningful for the child. What would make math more meaningful would be attending to what the child needs.

  • Some kids simply need a collaborator: you!
  • Some kids may enjoy being cuddled by a blanket.
  • Some need you to make the math itself more relevant.

The goal of enchantment in learning is to whet the appetite so your child will want to out forth the effort it takes to learn. If the child continues to resist, that simply means you haven’t found that sweet spot yet.

Go back to talking with your child, identifying the pain point first. Once a child feels heard and supported, adding a little whimsy goes a long way.

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

Focus on Meaning

Focus on Meaning

Brave Writer is different from other writing programs because we use a contextualized approach to:

  • literature,
  • grammar,
  • and mechanics instruction.

Rather than a linear-sequential approach, we focus on meaning-making (how children internalize what they are learning, rather than merely being exposed to material and tested on it).

The Arrow is a literature-rich program that allows parents and children to learn about the mechanics of writing as well as grammar and literary devices. These are taught through the literature and lead to depth of understanding and personal insight.

If you begin with the Arrow, you will cover a wide variety of grammar and writing mechanics concepts this year. Your child will experience great literature. You will discover how to connect to your learner.

To add a writing component, take it one thing at a time. If your child is needing help learning to put pen to paper and gain confidence, I recommend either:

If you feel comfortable with the writing process, start with Jot it Down or Partnership Writing to add what we call writing projects (writing assignments). These are month-long excursions into writing that result in a completed work (poem, report, letter, etc.).

Arrows and Boomerangs

A Different Kind of Learning

A Different Kind of Learning

Here at Brave Writer, we work hard to hear our parents and to make the programs accessible and useful to you.

This year, we’ve even added lifetime membership to the Brave Learner Home when you purchase a bundle (or take our classes). We will be a part of walking you through your programs that you use. We’ve added skills trackers and even planning tools.

What I’ve found in my time talking with customers over the last 20 years is that they are sometimes nervous about a program that asks them to read. They make a purchase and stop short of reading the program. They want the program to be “self-teaching” in a way. That they can open it and discover the instructions while standing next to their kids at the table. A “fill in a blank” or answering a single question or following specific criteria kind of writing assignment.

Brave Writer is not designed that way because that’s not optimal for writing growth—the kind of writing that

  • has power,
  • connects to a reader,
  • and is enjoyable to read.

The Writer’s Jungle is meant to be read with a lemonade in one hand and a highlighter in the other. I seek your conversion to a new way of thinking about writing. There are activities to do in each chapter, but there is information to read first. The primary guidance for implementation is simply: read the chapter, do what’s in it.

The Dart or Arrow—same thing. Read the guidelines, then try one book, one week and see how it goes. Learn to have natural conversations about grammar and mechanics rather than chugging through worksheets.

It’s a different style of learning and education. It does take parental investment. We want to help you experience the shift. If you connect to my work in video and podcasting, you can have confidence that what we have built follows those principles. But it may take a leap of faith to experience it for yourself.

Hope that helps! You can always reach out to us at with specific program questions.

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

Brave Writer Language Arts Programs

Don’t Do Everything

Don't Do Everything

A familiar refrain I am seeing everywhere in the Brave Writer space: that you feel overwhelmed by too much to do.

Let me make it perfectly clear here.

Don’t do everything!

Start with ONE of our products. Just that one. Read the information at the front or in the guidelines or one chapter of the Writer’s Jungle.

Then DO that thing without reading anything else, without planning anything else, without thinking about how it all fits together. That is utterly unnecessary.

You will get so much value if you deep dive into ONE of the products and take it just ONE week or project or activity at a time.

So do ONE thing this month and shelve everything else. If you find yourself really enjoying that thing, do it more! Don’t rush on to the next thing. Maximize the value right there. If you notice flagging interest after a bit, then turn your attention to the NEXT product and do ONE small bit of that one.

You cannot do this wrong!

Each product creates engagement with writing. ALL of them do. They all work.

You’re going to be okay. Take a risk and TRY one thing. Just one! See how it feels.

xo Julie

Brave Learner Home