Archive for the ‘Brave Writer Philosophy’ Category

Listening Feels Like Love

Brave Writer

When you listen, it helps to imagine the feelings of your child by attempting to see the world through his or her eyes. That’s empathy and it’s critical to a happy homeschool.

Knowing you’re loved and feeling loved are not identical.

You can know someone loves you, even when they are distant or cruel or hurtful. It won’t feel like love but their love can be cognitively accepted. We go to therapy to understand that the love offered missed the mark emotionally, but we can accept that it was real.

But to feel loved? That’s something else. When you feel loved, you don’t need therapy to tell you that what is being expressed is love. It takes no work to feel it. That kind of love is a balm, a summer rain shower, a bouquet of freshly sharpened pencils in New York in the fall. Feeling loved is a pleasurable experience—it delivers:

  • safety,
  • connection,
  • and trust.

The best news?

To show love is easy. It requires no flowers or candy.

Just listen.

Your child is giving you clues to their inner world all day every day. Sometimes we’re exhausted by the acts of love and service we offer freely. Even as those are loving, for a child to feel loved, they need something else. They want a kind, listening ear—a person who will hold space for their:

  • thoughts,
  • emotions,
  • worries,
  • and wishes.

Kids feel loved when they feel free to be known as themselves.

The challenge, of course, is not running ahead to solutions or worries of your own. It’s a shift to get behind your child’s eyes to see the reasonableness of their point of view. It doesn’t have to be the right point of view—just that given all that the child knows today, this is how they see what they see.

This means sitting on the tendency to have words. You introverts may have an advantage here. Let’s get quieter and kinder and more spacious and more attentive. Let’s work on doing less and loving more.

Let’s listen.

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

Your Child Is Learning

Brave Writer

The quickest way to kill the atmosphere of learning is to suggest that it’s time to learn!

If you announce “Time to learn” you’re telling the child that without an adult, they aren’t learning. The truth is: learning happens whether or not you intend it. What’s being learned? That’s up for grabs!

The temptation is to say: “Let’s learn how to divide fractions.” What might get learned instead is that math is boring.

The best way to kick the door open for learning? Try this.

  • Tie what you want your child to learn to something they value, like fractions and baking.
  • Notice learning in action: “You divided the recipe in half! Did you know there’s a way to do that on paper, not just with measuring cups?”
  • Learn without words (I know, it’s hard!). Sidle up and do the activity together. Draw the fractions on a page and work them next to your child so they have time to hover and notice, rather than having to hear instructions.

Learning is already going on.

Drawing, building, reading, talking to self (that’s consolidating what they are learning), asking for help, making a snack, playing a game with a friend, completing a puzzle, wandering around the house (that counts too!)—if these are happening, your child is learning.

TUNE IN and take notes. Observe and name what’s going on.

Try these kinds of words to describe what you see:

  • Decoding
  • Writing
  • Narrating
  • Experimenting
  • Collaborating
  • Giving selfcare
  • Gaining vocabulary
  • Constructing
  • Discovering cause and effect
  • Playing independently

…and more!

Yes, your child is learning. No need to make an announcement. It’s already happening without you! Hop on board and ride that train.

Growing Brave Writers

Teach Everything with Anything

Brave Writer

The easiest way to dive into home education is through whatever attracts you and your kids right now.

For instance, if your children are obsessed with Nerf guns, follow your child into that passion. But as Maria Montessori says, “Follow as his leader.”

Like this:

  • Ponder aloud: “I wonder how the trigger launches the Nerf dart.”
  • Ask: “How far do you think the gun will shoot? Let’s shoot and compare to your guess.”
  • Notice: “This dart feels light. What would happen if we made it heavier? Would it go farther or a shorter distance?”
  • Comment: “I want to run while shooting and see if that makes the dart go farther!”
  • Read: Grab the box and read the materials. Look up unknown terms. Google the company that makes them.
  • Research: Who came up with Nerf? What does the name mean?

Have Big Juicy Conversations. Allow anything to teach everything and everything to teach anything.

Learning is all around you. As Ferris Bueller says, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

Be brave! You can do it.

Brave Learner Home

Free Download: Ten Things to Have Done by the End of High School

Ten Things to Have Done by the End of High School

You loved it on Instagram, so we put it in a FREE downloadable PDF to print and hang on your refrigerator!

Here are ten things to get done by the end of high school. Easy! I know you can do it.

Download Your Copy to Print!

Thankful for You!

Julie Bogart

These last two years have been an odd emotional starvation. We’ve missed our people. And as we miss them, we’ve been trained to be a little afraid of them too. We’re bracing ourselves for arguments about vaccines or politics. We’re worried about the random jab or the pop quiz.

While we need each other, we are learning how to be with one another again.

Most Thanksgivings, I’ve shared an annual message that sees you—the you that works so hard to make the world better through the energy and sincere efforts you make. You can read it again here.

Today, though, I have a different message. Keep reading.


Let the rope go slack

In the last two years, not a single person on the planet escaped the traumatic impact of the pandemic.

Unlike a car accident, where you can draw support from your friend who was not in the accident with you, the pandemic was global. There’s nowhere to turn for support from a person not impacted.

The re-entry into “life as usual” feels tinny—off, not quite right—because there’s no one to show us the way.

Trauma—of a global scale.

To combat the feelings of being out of control and vulnerable, we arm ourselves with plans. We prepare a feast and decorate the table and invite our loved ones in. Or we pack up the goodies and make the journey to see the people we love who we haven’t hugged in a while.

We go into the season doubling down on happy—willing it into being by our sheer force of will. 

We expect a return to normal—to find it’s vanished.

Someone is rude.

Someone has a strong opinion and imposes it.

Reticence to hug or defiance in the face of the reticence send new signals—lines drawn about who is safe and who isn’t and what that means about their politics, loyalty, and spirituality.

Preparation can’t save us. The carefully planned holiday, the soldiering on now papers over the new reality.

We can’t escape that we are vulnerable and life is fragile and we don’t know the way on.

To each of you holding space for the memory of a carefree holiday, I honor you.

Each dish you prepare, each candle you light is a faith-based affirmation that we have come through the worst and can find our footing again.

When the inevitable effects of trauma sweep their way into your space—the careless word, the overbearing opinion, the debate about safety—it’s okay to feel it. 

  • And then, we can serve pie.
  • We can play with the babies.
  • We can look through a window at the fallen leaves and a bright red cardinal on a tree.
  • We can take long, slow breaths, grateful we can rely on our lungs once again.

We can yield to whatever this holiday is as one step back on the path to our formerly taken-for-granted lives.

We can let the rope go slack.

Thank you for wanting a good life for and with your family.

This Thanksgiving, that’s enough.

It may be realized this year, it may be the next. No matter what, we’re back on the path together—all of us—in every corner of planet Earth, looking for happiness and connection and peace.

You are not alone. We’ll find it together one day at a time.