Archive for the ‘Brave Writer Philosophy’ Category

Learning Happens

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What is my child learning? The content of the subject or resentment of the system that teaches it?

Learning happens whether you want it to or not. What the child is learning? That’s up for grabs.

I like to compare the school subjects to learning a hobby. What’s the difference? When I taught Noah to knit, I had tons of patience. We only worked on knitting when he wanted to knit. I used books, I modeled, I didn’t set a time of day called “knitting.”

He knit when I read aloud, he knit during movie time, he knit during afternoon hours or before I got up in the morning. When he got stuck, he asked for help. He taught himself some skills by reading a book about knitting. I bought him yarn and needles for a Christmas gift. He was delighted to receive them because knitting, for Noah, was an experience and activity he valued.

Zero Stress

It’s amazing to think about how easy it was for Noah to learn to knit in part because I felt zero stress over his performance. I didn’t worry that he hadn’t finished X number of rows in an hour or that he lost interest for a week or two or that he needed more help sometimes than others. I didn’t ask myself if he would be a professional knitter or if there was a career path that depended on knitting.

We simply knitted together until he got what he wanted from that experience and moved on.

A great question to ask ourselves: How can learning math or grammar be more like learning to knit? What would we do differently?

If your kids are balking at subjects you consider essential, focus on the how—what is it about the system you are using currently that leads to resentment? Shift the how, and shift the value of the subject for your kids.

Psst: this is how we teach grammar in our program, by the way. We bypass all that stress by making it as easy to learn as knitting.

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

Webinar: Get to Know Brave Writer

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  • Is your Language Arts program not working?
  • Kids bored? Disengaged?
  • Are you worried they will “fall behind” in writing?

Brave Writer offers a totally unique approach to teaching writing.

Engage your kids. Grow confident writers.

We can help!

Join us for a FREE webinar:

Get to Know Brave Writer

Tuesday, November 15, 2022 at 3:00 PM Eastern 

Dawn Smith, Brave Writer’s Director of Publishing, will walk you through the Brave Writer approach to writing and introduce you to Brave Writer products and support. 

Get to know Brave Writer. Learn how we can make a difference in your homeschool!

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A replay will be made available.

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Listening Feels Like Love

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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

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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