Archive for the ‘Help for High School’ Category

The Definitive High School Class Guide

Brave Writer High School Classes

What’s your teen’s attention span like? 

We know there are tons of apps, songs, videos, and texts competing for your teen’s attention. And that’s just on their phones! 

We’ve noticed this trend. That’s why we took our essay writing curriculum and broke it up into manageable chunks. 

We made our online class program more flexible for YOU, too!

Whether you’re using Brave Writer® as your plan, or addressing your teen’s writing needs as they come, there’s something that works for everyone!

  1. Want a long-term plan that’s got you covered?
  2. Like to do things your own way?
  3. Finding a gap in your teen’s skillset?

Below are the 3 main ways families use our program. Read on to find YOUR preferred style!

OPTION 1: Ducks in a Row 

Here’s the simple formula:two core classes per school year + one elective.


Essay Prep Series ← Start here if you have a tween or young teen who is just beginning!

Essay Writing 101: Analytic Essay
Essay Writing 102: Persuasive Essay

Essay Writing 201: Critical Response Essay
Essay Writing 202: Timed Essay

Essay Writing 301: Advanced Composition
Essay Writing 302: MLA Research Essay

High school for Option 1 can look like this:

In between classes, students will practice the skills they’ve learned in class, re-writing essays with new topics.

OPTION 2: Sooooo Chill

You’ve probably noticed: We tackle one essay type per essay writing class. It just makes sense! 

Here are some reasons why you might want to choose your classes à la carte.

  • Back up to review an essay style studied previously
  • Gain a completed, polished essay for the portfolio
  • Stretch out processing time between learning sessions
  • Choose classes that appeal most to your child

High school for Option 2 can look like this:

📚 A deep dive into 4 weeks of intense learning with our instructor

🏠 Time at home to practice new skills and re-do exercises with new topics

🧠 A brain break while they do some different types of writing for a little while

👉 Pick a new class and start again with a fresh mind and energy

🌀 Repeat!

OPTION 3: On a Need-to-Know Basis

Perhaps your charter school or co-op is covering much of the mechanics of essay writing, but do they cover…

  • A playful approach to academic writing? (EW 101)
  • Paraphrasing in detail? (EW 102)
  • Decoding essay questions? (EW 202)
  • Deciphering images in the news? (EW 201)
  • Avoiding accidental plagiarism ← that’s a biggie! (EW 102)
  • Situating an original text in its historical, social milieu? (EW 301)
  • How to navigate a specific style like MLA? (EW 302)

Our short, focused essay writing classes mean that you don’t need to ditch your homeschool co-op entirely or devote an entire year to boosting a single skillset. Easy peasy!

Brave Writer Online Classes

Make Learning Stick: High School and College Prep Writers

Brave Writer Bundles

Your high schoolers are ready for risks and adventures! You know, like D R I V I N G!

But they also like to entertain risky thoughts and go on literary adventures. Your hope is that all this education you are giving them will stick! You want them ready for college (if they go) and beyond! But maybe you’re overwhelmed with how to plan for high school! (It’s the homeschool Big Leagues, after all!).

To that end, Brave Writer has programs designed to give:

  • your teens the best experiences in reading and writing they could ask for
  • you, the support and training you need

No more:

  • dusty old books 
  • boring examination of themes
  • tedious exercises in grammar
  • predictable writing exercises
  • red pen critiques that don’t improve the writing

With Brave Writer, we help teens:

  • deep dive into making powerful associations between what they read and the social, historical, and cultural contexts of the literature we teach
  • discover the role grammar plays to add power and insight to literature
  • develop their own writing voices
  • draw out ideas of their own as they write reflection pieces
  • discern credible research from poppycock
  • determine what sort of writing form matches the aim of the writing task

We do all of this and more in our High School and College Prep Bundles.

Both bundles include Help for High School (you only need to buy HHS once no matter how many kids you have).

  • The High School Writers bundle uses our Boomerang Literature program.
  • The College Prep Writers bundle uses our Slingshot Literature program.

Learn moreHigh School Writers and College Prep Writers Bundles

We’d love to have you along for the ride this year! It’s not too late to start!

I can’t wait to hear all the great stuff your teens learn through our program.

Brave Writer Bundles

If you’re looking for some additional support, check out our online classes for teens. We teach how to write essays and fiction, as well as how to analyze movies and books using the tools of literary criticism!

Psst: Do you have new-to-Brave-Writer friends? You can get a discount for them and for yourself using our Refer-a-Friend program!

Brave Writer Bundles

How to Research a Topic Online

Online Research

We taught our kids to tie their shoes by tying them for years in front of them, then with explicit teaching and supervision.

We taught them to load the dishwasher, brush their teeth, run a load of laundry, and buckle up in the car the same way.

When it’s time to learn how to research a topic for writing, you can use the same tactics!

  • Model what it looks like to do an online search.
  • Show them how criteria changes the search results.
  • Discuss how to differentiate reliable and unreliable sources.
  • Look at viewpoints in conflict with each other.
  • Discuss the key ideas that each source wants to convey.

Each of the search ideas below shift the focus slightly to seek and include more data from a variety of sources.

Search Terms

  • [topic] data
  • [topic] experts
  • [topic] interview
  • [topic] vocabulary
  • [topic] eyewitness
  • [topic] controversy

Try this exercise even if you aren’t working on a writing assignment. The practice of conducting these searches, even with topics like “Yu-Gi-Oh cards” or  “swimming” or the “Olympics” will call up controversy and aspects of the topic you and your kids have never considered.

See what you find!

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

The Original Chat Room

Teens write every day. On their phones! In texts, social media, and chat rooms, they freely express their opinions and ideas.

Time to level up: academic writing is the original chat room! 

Higher education is all about making those opinions precise and well supported. Just with a more narrow set of rules.

We want to show students how to

  • navigate difficult topics 
  • avoid ranting, emotional language 
  • use research and logic to make their points
  • understand someone else’s opinion
  • disagree respectfully, without resorting to personal attacks

These skills are essential to the academic enterprise and to all communication!

Need more help?

Brave Writer’s Essay Prep: Research and Citation teaches your kids how to find reliable, essay-worthy information on the Internet. We also tackle the nitty-gritty when it comes to current expectations on how to format an essay and cite sources.

Students will:

  • keenly observe and examine an idea 
  • use inquiry as the basis for writing
  • research with search engines and local library databases
  • evaluate the credibility of a source
  • take efficient notes
  • summarize, quote, and paraphrase 
  • plan and write a research project
  • cite sources using MLA format

Rescue your kids from hours of fruitless Internet research and let us teach them tools to find reliable information quickly. Register for Essay Prep: Research and Citation today!

Essay Prep: Research and Citation

Transitioning from Homeschool to Public High School

Transitioning from Homeschool to High School

We’ve decided to send our homeschooled teen to public high school. Help!

Enjoy the transition if you can. Buy football tickets and go to games this fall. Meet the teachers. Make sure you attend back to school night. Test the lockers and make sure your teen knows how to open and close them, lock and unlock them before school starts. Get new clothes or shoes. Focus on the adventure of school, not on what wasn’t learned at home.

Don’t feel you have to cram. Freshman English will teach the essay again to everyone. Let your child look forward to school and be confident that he or she has been well educated at home. If there are struggles, get help then.

My daughter struggled mightily with algebra at the local high school. I met with the instructor and he gave me a plan to help her and she implemented the plan and wound up catching up in a semester and sailed through math the rest of the year.

Jacob was behind in band (saxophone) and same thing: once he was in that environment, he caught up because he was in that environment and wanted to.

School exerts a kind of pressure that can be healthy when your kids aren’t burned out and have not been in the system.

On the flip side, I thought Jacob was not a strong writer like his sister and brother had been. I put him in regular English and was called into the school to move him into Honor’s English. I was floored. They told me he was advanced. I didn’t know.

So try not to pre-judge the experience.

Good luck and enjoy!

Memories from a Good Public School