Archive for the ‘Brave Writer Philosophy’ Category

“Love given is never wasted.”

Love given is never wasted.

My beautiful friend Debbie and I homeschooled together. Last week we went to the pool and shared about our lives now. Debbie works with opioid addicted women and some men here in Cincinnati. We got to talking about what it felt like to see someone give up the addiction, and make progress in their lives, and then revert to drug use. Debbie made a wise observation that I felt was critical for us to think about.

She said when she joined the organization to do this work, she believed her task was to help rescue people so that they would have improved lives. Naturally, not everyone can achieve the improvement. There are lots of stories of progress, not finished work, with growth and back tracks. She said she discovered she had to change her criteria for success in order to keep going and to not lose heart.

What Debbie believes now is that any time she gives love, she is offering her highest act of service, no matter the outcome.

As Debbie says, “Love given is never wasted.”

That phrase keeps echoing in my mind. How often is our goal to push for an outcome as opposed to creating a sacred space of love?

Perhaps a good question to ask ourselves when working with our kids is, “Is this the loving thing or the pushing them to my agenda thing?”

I want to remember: any love I give is never wasted—no matter how it looks today.


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

3 Keys to a Complete Writing Program

3 Keys to a Complete Writing Program

Scroll down for “The 3 Keys to a Complete Writing Program” webinar replay!

I’ve been asked countless times: Is Brave Writer a complete writing curriculum?

The short answer: Yes!

A complete writing curriculum is made of three parts.

  1. Writing mechanics and literature.
  2. Original thought.
  3. Writing projects.

Let’s take a look at how the three pieces of Brave Writer fit together! 

Writing Mechanics and Literature

1. Writing Mechanics and Literature.

Writers can hire someone to physically transcribe for them, but the process goes much faster when writers are competent in 

  • handwriting,
  • spelling,
  • punctuation, and
  • grammar

With these skills, they can skip right to giving their attention to all the ideas they want to express.

How can young writers become competent in writing mechanics? Through regular copywork and dictation using quality writing.

The Brave Writer mechanics and literature guides (Quiver of ArrowsArrowsPouch of Boomerangs, and Boomerangs) provide that instruction and practice. 

Original Thought

2. Original Thought.

When was the last time you finished a book and said, “Wow! The comma usage in that book was phenomenal!” 

Um, never? That’s because punctuation supports communication. It’s not a replacement for it.

While writing mechanics are important for the ease and pleasure of reading, it’s the author’s original thoughts that stick with us!

  • The new insight.
  • The tantalizing argument.
  • The immersive storytelling.

These are the aspects of writing that connect the writer with the reader

Your children are already natural storytellers—they freely share about 

  • the games they play,
  • the bug they saw scurry onto a leaf,
  • the time they saw their friend fall and skin her knee. Ouch! 

The key is to get those stories (original thoughts) onto the page—without the constraints of proper grammar, punctuation, or spelling. 

Those thoughts need the freedom to spill out just as they appear—skinned knees, muddy shoes, and all. 

The Writer’s Jungle provides parents with the tools they need to facilitate getting those words to the page and preserving the original thoughts (and voice) of the child. 

3. Writing Projects.

Now it’s time to bring it all together! 

Writing projects blend writing mechanics and original thought to create a finished piece of writing to publish and share. 

Jot It Down!Partnership WritingFaltering Ownership, and Help for High School all provide projects to hone writing skills and original thought.


Brave Writer Bundles

We pull all three pieces together for you in our Brave Writer Bundles. Each bundle is designed for a targeted stage in writing development


Want to learn more? Watch this FREE webinar!

Run Into a Brick Wall with Writing?

The Brick Wall of Writing Resistance

If you’ve run into a brick wall of resistance for writing, ask yourself these questions.⠀

  • How do I react to errors in spelling, punctuation, and grammar?
  • When I’m disappointed in the content, what do I say to my child?
  • Do I see writing as a requirement or a revelation?

If your answers reveal expectations that are felt by your child as pressure, it could be that you’ve made the space unsafe for writing risks.

To ensure freedom for risks, shift focus to:⠀

  • Curiosity (what does the writing reveal?)
  • Care (how can I validate what was offered?)
  • Collaboration (what help can I give to grow the writing?)

To write is to risk exposure. Be gentle, kind, and supportive.


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


The Writer's Jungle Online

The Method is not the Goal

The Method is not the Goal

The method is not the goal. The goal is the goal.

In other words: your allegiance to a method that doesn’t get you to your goal means you’ve made the method the goal and lost sight of your true goal—whatever that may be!

  • Love of learning
  • Mastery of phonics
  • Steady effort in a challenging subject
  • Reading…

You are free to scrap any method that doesn’t work to experiment with methods that you shunned, even when your friends disapprove.

The method is not in charge.
The goal is.

If you make the goal the goal, you will adopt any strategy that gets you closer to the goal. But if you make the method the goal, even inadvertently, you may wander in a wilderness of wondering why you never get where you thought you were going.

Liberation comes when you give yourself permission to have a journey in education that is unique to your family (not the one you have been told you must follow or it doesn’t count and won’t work).


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

Two Important Ideas

Brave Writer: Two Important Ideas

I’ve noticed two strains of homeschooling advice that I want to bust as worthless.

  1. That learning is hard. It requires a systematic approach. Because the subjects are hard, buckle down with a program and get it done.
  2. That learning is natural. Stop all systems. Go with the currents of a child’s interests and let those teach a child everything he or she needs to know. Get out of the way.

It took me about 20 years to admit two important ideas.

  1. It takes effort to get good at anything.
  2. You only put in effort if you see a benefit to yourself.

The first concept is why some parents get exasperated and focus on “getting done.” The second concept is why other parents cross their fingers that Tinker Toys will teach trigonometry.

I want to change the conversation around learning. We should be discussing ideas for how to provoke interest in a topic that seems dull. We should talk about how to build stamina to keep trying when a child loses heart.

We should be free from proving our membership in a particular philosophy of education (where we prioritize how we appear to adults rather than how our children experience learning).

Want to learn more? Dive into all the free content available on the Brave Writer website.

And for individual hand-holding, join me in the Homeschool Alliance where we address these kinds of issues each month in our Brave Learner Book Club.

The Homeschool Alliance