Home education is not about having it all figured out but rather about the process of discovery along the way.
Have you ever doubted your ability to teach any of the subjects to your kids? I felt that way about math. In fact, I felt like I was learning the subject as I was teaching it. (Psst: that’s allowed!!)
When I designed the Brave Writer® program, I kept in mind that the average educated adult didn’t remember anything about grammar. I was aware that most full grown adults with high school and college degrees couldn’t remember the rule for using a semicolon. I also understood that most native speakers have a pretty good sense of syntax—how to speak intelligibly with clear meaning and good grammar.
With this in mind, I asked myself a question: “What would it take for children and parents to learn grammar concepts, so that they stick and support powerful communication?”
That’s how I began our literature and grammar programs. I realized everyone needed to see spelling, punctuation, and grammar concepts in quality writing. So we use living literature to highlight how authors use language to pack a punch.
Then we created games and activities that help children not only explore those concepts, but play with them and master them. Once a child understands what a powerful verb is, that child can use powerful verbs in their own writing. They can’t get there if your focus is on filling out a worksheet. They need you to understand the role of a powerful verb in quality writing too.
February’sDart, Arrow, Boomerang, and Slingshot shine a light on the power of perseverance and self-determination. While exploring writing, mechanics, and literary devices, your family can glean inspiration from amazing individuals, some real, some imagined, as they knock down obstacles with a mix of intelligence, humor, charisma, and confidence.
This month’s Quill is Space: Planets, and we think you’ll agree that it’s out of this world! We’ll investigate infographics, master mapmaking, and ignite imaginations with interplanetary wordplay!
This Quill is out of this world!
In our Book Shop, you’ll find books about space that we adore! These are not required (you can use any books about these topics that you have at home or discover at your library), but we find it’s helpful to have a list to get you started.
In this issue, we’ll:
vroom our way through some playful planetary vocabulary;
design a delightfully fact-filled planet poster;
master mapmaking (and give our motor skills a marvelous workout);
Spend time with fifth-grader Ryan Hart as she navigates relatable childhood twists and turns in this joy-filled sequel to Ways to Make Sunshine. (Note: No need to read the first book before jumping into this novel, but if you want to, we have a Dart for that one too!)
This month’s literary device focuses on Rhyme!
zigzag our way through an exploration of action words;
wrestle a tricky possessive pronoun into its proper place;
festoon a horse with adjectives;
grow our understanding of a literary theme;
have a little fun with a lot;
enjoy a good time exploring rhyme; and so much more!
When a young boy named Homer escapes enslavement from a southern plantation, he finds a wondrous new community, but before he can enjoy his new freedom, he must liberate his mother from the plantation he escaped.
February’s literary device is Juxtaposition.
discuss and explore conjunctions;
find out why figurative language flies high in writing;
Poet Maya Angelou’s debut memoir, the story of her childhood in the segregated south, is a modern American classic.
In this Slingshot, we’ll:
time travel to explore historical context;
mull over motivation;
partake of poetic prose and hyperbole;
associate images and ideas with allusions;
analyze autobiographies in the context of coming-of-age stories;
discuss denouement when we reach the end; and so much more!
A note about content: I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings touches on mature themes of human experience. We encourage parents to read the book ahead of time in order to be prepared for deep conversations with your teens.
January’sDart, Arrow, and Boomerang selections are about characters who encounter adventures and challenges of different shapes and sizes. From heartwarming storylines to white-knuckle adventure, these page-turners are an entertaining way to explore:
and literary devices with the entire family!
Sow seeds of wonder and curiosity with this month’s Quill—On the Farm! Go on a hunt for noisy nouns, discover who’s who on a farm, and explore eggsellent egg activities with us!
On the Farm
Cultivate your young child’s curiosity with this month’s issue of the Quill!
In the Brave Writer Book Shop, you’ll find books about farmyard fun that we adore! These are not required (you can use any books about these topics that you have in your stacks or discover at your library), but we find it’s helpful to have a list to get you started.
In this Quill, we’ll:
notice a number of nifty nouns;
wonder who, what, why, where, when, and how;
interview an animal and practice some mooo-ter skills;
have an eggciting time with dots, lines, and curves;
crow with glee over counting games;
and we’ll cock-a-doodle-do a bit of skip counting!
Enjoy an adventure with Duane the polar bear and his arctic friends in this charming sequel to The Very, Very Far North (Note: No need to read the first book before jumping into this Arctic adventure, but if you want to, we have a Dart for that one too!).
This month’s literary device focuses on Personification and Anthropomorphism. We’ll also:
tuck dialogue between quotation marks;
plop capital letters into place in proper nouns and sentence starters;
fall for figurative language;
enjoy a bit of juxtapositioning;
discover characterization through dialogue; and so much more!
December’sDart, Arrow, Boomerang, and Slingshot selections are packed with awesome adventures. Literary allusions, historical context, plot twists, and resounding resolution await you as your family explores:
and literary devices.
It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s this month’s Quill—Superheroes & Heroes! Spot bravery, ingenuity, and compassion in action! Collect sound effects and design superhero trading cards and capes with us!
Superheroes & Heroes
It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s the December issue of the Quill!
In the Brave Writer Book Shop, you’ll find books about superheroes and heroes that we adore! These are not required (you can use any books about these topics that you have in your stacks or discover at your library), but we find it’s helpful to have a list to get you started.
In this Quill, we’ll:
make a ruckus with supersonic sound effects;
gather an array of words that describe heroic figures;
create a superhero trading card;
build fine motor skills by giving an everyday hero a fabulous cape;
Among the most widely-read fables of all time, this satirical novella will give your family lots to talk about!
In this Slingshot, we’ll
mull over a monologue manifesto;
ruminate on rhetorical questions;
probe personal maxims;
spot symbols and forecast with foreshadowing;
pore over propaganda; and much more.
A note about content: Animal Farm is an allegory reflecting the overthrow of monarchy and rise of communism in Russia, which was characterized by violence and death as well as propaganda and disinformation. We encourage parents to read ahead in order to be prepared for deep conversations with your teens.
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