Archive for the ‘Brave Writer Philosophy’ Category

Brave Writer Precept #8: Help Helps

Brave Writer Precept

The eighth Brave Writer precept is: We acknowledge challenges and face them bravely. We reach out to others, knowing that help helps.

It’s really hard to be a homeschooler without support. We make brave decisions every day to show up and believe that what we have to offer our children is enough to give them the education they deserve.

One of the ways you can stave off the feeling of inadequacy is to find like-minded parents. I love to say that help helps. I’m not a big fan of the parenting strategy that tells children when they’re bored that they must solve that boredom on their own, for example. Similarly, I would never say to a parent who is struggling with parenting or education, figure it out on your own.

We are all better when we provide each other with support.

Brave Writer’s 12 Precepts

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Brave Writer Precept #7: Honesty, Emotional Safety, Love, and Creative Problem-Solving

Brave Writer Precept

The seventh Brave Writer precept is: Our life together is protected by our commitment to honesty, to emotional safety, to loving each other, and to creative problem-solving.

You know what makes a holiday happy? It’s not the presents under the tree. It’s not the best foods.

It’s the feeling of being seen and safe as you are in your family.

That’s it. That’s the whole thing!


  • honest,
  • caring,
  • loving,
  • and solve problems with creativity and heart.

You might try writing this precept on a sheet of paper you stick to your bathroom mirror! Would make a good start to each morning once the onslaught begins.

Brave Writer’s 12 Precepts

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Brave Writer Precept #6: We Take Risks

Brave Writer Precept

The sixth Brave Writer precept is: We take risks and experiment with methods, knowing we can double back any time to sure footing.

When learning becomes stale, the best strategy is to take learning risks, and to experiment with different methods.

For instance, what if your child got to pick any page in the math book to work on today? Does it matter if that child knows how to do the problems on that page? It doesn’t! Why? Because the fact that the child had curiosity and picked a page that looked interesting provides the foundation for teaching and experimenting and learning.

Can the child use skills they already have to figure out what that page is trying to teach? Is there a meaningful approach the child could take without any help from you? What does a child need to know that they don’t know yet simply by looking at that page?

Same thing is true for any subject. Perhaps you hand your child the book you’re reading aloud and say to your child: “Pick one sentence on this page that you think is interesting for any reason.” If the child comes back and says all the sentences are boring, ask them to find the most boring sentence. Discuss why.

Experiment, get curious, take a risk!

What would happen if you told your child that it was time to write, but every sentence had to end in an exclamation point? How would that impact what they wrote?

What if you asked your child to write on a sheet of paper in landscape view rather than portrait? How about if your child used a different color pen for each word?

We’re only limited by our imaginations and our willingness to depart from the conventional. Be brave! You can’t blow it.

No matter what you do, you learn something.

Brave Writer’s 12 Precepts

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Brave Writer Precept #5: We Are Seekers and Finders of Everyday Magic

Brave Writer Precept

The fifth Brave Writer precept is: We coordinate academics with our children’s delights, passions, and skills. We are the seekers and finders of everyday magic.

It’s the holidays where seeking and finding everyday magic is a little easier. Maybe it’s the twinkle lights or the fragrance of cinnamon in cookies and hot apple cider. Maybe its festive decor that helps us really see the room we’re in with new eyes.

Now is a great time to slough off the schedule and lean into learning through living. Academics can look a whole lot like preparing for the end of the year celebrations.

Learning through Living

Reading: poetry, lyrics to holiday songs and hymns, stories about the holiday, spiritual literature if that is a part of your family’s tradition.

Math: shopping for gifts with a budget, counting houses with lights on a drive, baking sweet breads and holiday cookies, assembling apparatus or hanging lights

Writing: place setting name cards, gift tags, letters to family and friends, the note to “Santa” if that is in your tradition, wishes and regrets as you enter the new year

History and Geography: identifying New Year’s celebrations around the world, tracing the history of the spiritual tradition your family celebrates, tracing the history of celebrations others enjoy, picking one tradition (like tree decorating or the dreidel) and doing a deep dive on its origin

Science: making candles, baking, sustaining the life of a cut tree, building a fire, shooting fireworks, stringing lights, mulling cider

Handicrafts: knitting, embroidery, making baked clay ornaments or earrings, rolling beeswax candles, creating window stars from kite paper, decorating a holiday table

Nature: making a wreath, collecting nature items for a centerpiece, creating a bird feeding bell from pinecones, peanut butter and birdseed, decorating an outdoor tree with dried oranges and cranberries for visiting birds

Brave Writer’s 12 Precepts

The Brave Learner

Brave Writer Precept #4: Plan Ahead and from Behind

Brave Writer Precept

The fourth Brave Writer precept is: We plan ahead or we plan from behind, whichever serves in the moment.

The bane of everyone’s existence is PLANNING.

Which are you?

Team Plan Ahead—you don’t feel able to begin until you know exactly what’s coming next. You can deviate from the plan, but you must have a plan to start or you feel discombobulated (that’s a weird word to spell!).

Team Plan from Behind—you get inspired by an idea and run with it, then later give yourself credit on your calendar, in your planner, or via assessment tool.

For me, ever the unpredictable personality type, I toggled between these two. When my world got weedy and overgrown, planning ahead reminded me I would eventually get to everything.

Once the plan became a tedious drudge, I’d break free and follow a wild, inspired idea. But since the new idea wasn’t ON THE PLAN, I had a hard time giving myself credit for the brilliance that followed.

One day I realized: IT ALL COUNTS.

Every bit of it counts: the pre-planned and the post-planned activities and inspirations and habits.

It’s okay to plan ahead: peaceful vision of my future.

It’s good to plan from behind: giving myself credit for the good things that happen that never make it to the calendar in advance.

Today’s precept liberates you to both provide a little structure and to fly free of it when needed. The balance between the two will match your personality, so let your planning style flag fly!

Brave Writer’s 12 Precepts

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