Archive for the ‘Homeschool Advice’ Category

Tending Our Garden of Home Education

Tending Our Garden of Home Education

I address the topic of what I call “The Invisible Education” in my book, The Brave Learner. I felt that it was important to squarely face the lived experiences of homeschooled children (many now adults) who grew up in toxic family environments that were hidden within the homeschool context.

Early adopters in particular had a stake in proving the superiority of home education and sometimes parents and their communities covered up their failures to protect the movement rather than children. It’s important to face that unique dynamic honestly and to put ourselves into healthy accountability (which is why I talk about abuse so frequently).

I have received messages from moms letting me know that they came to awareness of the abusive atmosphere in their families reading posts I’ve shared. That’s good. We need to do that—to tell the truth, to support women in particular as they stand up to control or mistreatment. It’s on us to name it for what it is.

Even with that awareness, I am still unhappy with the framing of the issue that somehow homeschooling creates a more dangerous context than traditionally schooled kids. Not true!

What we all want to face is the danger of:

  • authoritarian control,
  • shame,
  • blame,
  • bullying; and
  • adults exploiting children when children are meant to trust them.

This kind of “power over” happens in loads of adult-child contexts.

Teachers, coaches, daycare workers, parents, aunts and uncles, grandparents, employers, directors, referees, and instructors—all carry responsibility to be fair and kind to children. It starts with all of us calling out abuse—learning what it is, then bravely naming it, then standing up to it for the sake of children. Period.

Let’s tend our garden of home education. Let’s not tolerate cruelty, toxic control, or violence against children in our space. That’s my plea. We work on this stuff with parents in our online classes, and in the Homeschool Alliance. Because it matters—and creates the best conditions for a thriving education—for learning.

xo Julie (recovering from abuse in my own life)

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

The Homeschool Alliance

Needing Support Due to COVID-19?

Welcome Home

We know many of you are “suddenly-at-home schoolers” and most of you are “already homeschoolers.” 

During this time of confinement due to COVID-19, all of us may feel a little uneasy, at loose ends, and antsy. Brave Writer has lots of resources to help you.

We’ve made some of our paid resources free until April 30, 2020 so that you can enjoy them without spending a dime. 

We’ve also created a 20% off discount code (scroll down) for those who want to purchase our products but are going through an economically challenging moment (like all of us, really).

Finally, take a look at our online classes listed below if you are looking for short-term, powerful writing instruction while your kids are home from traditional school or are being homeschooled. 

Our classes are 3-6 weeks in length and new ones start every Monday.


100 Daily Writing Tips (Writing prompts for the whole family, 144 pages!)

7-Day Writing Blitz (One week of pure writing fun!)

Friday Freewriting Prompts

Content from the Homeschool Alliance

To access the “free preview” content in the Homeschool Alliance, you will be asked to enter your name and email address. Once done, you will have full access to the complete Lesson Plans and Master Classes listed here (look for the yellow tag that says “Free Preview”).

Ready-Made Lesson Plans

Use these ready-made lesson plans to create learning using what you have on hand. These lessons are free for a limited time (until the end of April).

Master Classes: Creating the Learning Environment

Also taken from the Homeschool Alliance, these are webinars and readings to help you create a healthy context for learning.

A Gracious Space

Download my book, A Gracious Space: Spring.

These daily readings give you support and encouragement. Included: 50 non-sectarian essays designed to comfort you when you run up against your limitations and to provide energy for learning at home.

If you’re brand new to Brave Writer you can learn more here: Get Started.


Use STUCKATHOME to purchase products in the Brave Writer Store and get 20% OFF through Friday, March 27, 2020, at midnight EDT.

Download our free Product Sample Set here.


Our online classes require no special software and are asynchronous (you can log in when convenient to you). Suitable for kids who homeschool or attend traditional schools. We have lots of additional offerings, but here are some suggested classes to get you started in March and early April.

Ages 9-12

Family Classes

High School

Movie Discussion Clubs (Discounts when you sign up for 2 or more)

More FREE information and support

And we have so much more for you to read, peruse, or pop into your earbuds.

Brave Writer Podcast

The Brave Writer Lifestyle

A Brave Writer’s Life in Brief Blog

Brave Writer YouTube Channel

Poetry Teatime (Download the FREE Quick Start Guide)

The Brave Learner Companion Guide (goes with The Brave Learner, Julie’s book)

Questions? Contact

Watch the recorded broadcast below to learn more.

“Less is More” Checklist

"Less is More" Checklist
Boad game pictured: Carcassonne

Which are you? A “less is more” or a “more is more” person?

I’m the latter who daily reminds herself to do less, that my less leads to more: more satisfaction, more ease, more peace, less clutter, less striving, less frazzled and self-defeating.

Whenever you need to ease into homeschooling (after the holidays or a vacation or a busy season of life) then you should feel free to test the “less is more” theory of learning.

I’ve made a SHORT list below (less is more!) to help you. The list covers:

  • reading,
  • science,
  • history,
  • literature,
  • math,
  • handwriting,
  • original writing, and
  • following directions.
Less is More Checklist

This is enough for a whole month—in fact, pick one day a week for games, and you’ve got it!

Imagine the rabbit trails from a library visit alone. And baking and cooking lead to chemistry and math lessons in real life (Quick tip: read PIE by Sarah Weeks and bake the pies from each chapter).

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

Ease is Your Friend

Ease is Your Friend

“Just because it was easy doesn’t mean they didn’t learn anything new.” ~Julie Bogart

It’s so easy to associate learning with struggle and pain. Yet studies show that when you’re relaxed and happy, you’re more receptive to learning. Not only that, ease of practice gives your brain more room to notice details, to make your work more

  • precise,
  • accurate,
  • beautiful,.
  • or creative.

Repetition leads to confidence and competence. When a task becomes easy, you feel freer to

  • improvise,
  • test alternate strategies,
  • and understand why, not just how.

For instance, think about cooking. The more familiar you are with a recipe, the more ideas you have to improve it, to alter the seasoning, to coordinate it with other parts of the meal.

Ease is your child’s friend too. Flying through the multiplication tables again may be establishing connections invisible to you.

Consider resisting the temptation to up the stakes in learning just because your child “got good at (fill in the blank).” Joy AND deeper intimacy are the fruit of mastery.

What if today your kids only did what they’re already good at? How might that help them learn and grow differently than struggle?

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

The Brave Learner

Podcast: Love + Collaboration

Love + Collaboration in Learning

You might be coming to the Brave Writer podcast to learn about:

  • teaching six kids six different subjects,
  • dealing with cantankerous children,
  • or sharing your love of reading with a kid who doesn’t seem interested yet.

But if you want to achieve any of those things, you need to consider a few things about love.

Listen to the Podcast

Show Notes

Love: A View From Different Angles

Julie compares our expectations around love to that moment when you have a bad itch on your back that you can’t reach. You’re sitting on the couch, you contort your body as you move forward, and your partner starts to scratch your back. It can be so difficult to get them to scratch the right spot without just grabbing their arm and moving it to the right spot.

A part of you imagines that the person who loves you so much should just know where to scratch your itch, and if we’re honest, this is often what it feels like to be in love; it’s that irrational desire to be merged, to be known, to have your needs met. We endeavor to find someone who is willing to divide the burden of being ourselves, splitting all of our tasks and emotional needs with the person who loves us.

“We want love to help us with our messy imperfections without any judgement,” Julie says. “But that kind of love is a lot of pressure to put on someone at all times.”

When we’re forced to confront that this “I know you better than you know yourself” kind of love will inevitably fall short of our wants, one polarizing word will inevitably come up these days: self-love.