Archive for the ‘Julie’s Life’ Category

It’s a Privilege

Brave Writer

We are the lucky ones. We live each day, conscious that our choices shape the next generation indelibly. These little people are with us for a short 18 years and we get to see it all unfold, right before our eyes.

I’m cleaning out my files and shelves, stumbling across handmade birthday cards and handcrafts from my children when they were still children.

It feels like such a big responsibility to raise them and hope they choose to be decent people with good values. 

There’s a lot I couldn’t control. There are mistakes I made. Sometimes I got it exactly right. And often: the difference between a mistake and a good decision were razor thin apart.

So much is the result of that word we don’t like: luck. Or serendipity. Or lack of foresight.

But I do know this. At the end of the day, I have never regretted being there for all of it. I hope you can hold onto that too—that being with your kids, now, as their parent-educator is a privilege, even when it’s hard.

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

You’re in a “No Shame Zone”

Julie Bogart

So I’m out and about the other day, and suddenly a darling family shouts hello and calls me by name…and I meet an after-schooling Brave Writer family! It is the most delightful discovery!

For those of you who would walk right by me at Kroger without a glance: welcome. I’m Julie Bogart and I’m dedicated to you (and my favorite sports teams and UCLA, obvz). I’m a homeschool veteran with five grown kids, one daughter-in-love (and one spectacular granddaughter). We homeschooled, Charlotte Mason schooled, unschooled, and even public schooled a little. The five all got accepted into great colleges and three into law school and grad school—a little reassurance for your journey! Your hopes and dreams—their hopes and dreams—are possible!

What you’ll find here at Brave Writer is an outlook on learning that I hope offers you:

  • support,
  • concrete practices to implement,
  • and vision for a life of love and learning with your kids.

Your fragile faith in that vision is justified!

“No Shame Zone”

You’re in a “no shame zone” when you spend time with me or Brave Writer. Risks? Welcome. Trial and error? Expected. Breakthroughs and insights? Promised.

All you need to start is desire: a desire to experience learning, love, parenting, and growing together as a family. You don’t get there in one big step, but little ones, over time, noting your moments of joy long enough to value them. When you do, you build momentum and your homeschool becomes more and more what you want it to be. Until it doesn’t any more and it’s time for the next dream—whatever that is. Until then: I’m here!


Brand new to Brave Writer? Start Here.

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

Kids Need Access

Kids Need Access
Jacob: 4, Johannah: 6, Liam: 2

This hidey hole: brought to you by a scarf from Morocco, a hand-me-down dresser I repainted salmon-colored, a garage sale over-sized pillow and an artificial indoor tree. Result: three happy kids.

Your children don’t care about your house. They don’t care how it looks, or what furniture you bought, or whether the paint color is salmon enough. They don’t think like you think.

What kids want? Access. They want to move stuff around, to find the nooks and crannies that allow them to live their big imaginations.

  • See if math worksheets are more palatable in a blanket fort.
  • See if the reluctant reader would open a book if a reading nook could be fashioned under the stairwell.
  • See if the overwhelmed 4 year old would settle down if she were tucked behind a sectional with a flashlight and her dolls.

Use every inch! Moving furniture creates vision and gets all of us out of ruts. After months trapped inside with each other, consider how to bring novelty to the living space.

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

Who I Am Becoming

The best thing about you and me is our development—our growth. The way we go from oblivious to conscious, or how we hold back manipulation and irritation. It’s also a super cool moment the first time we say “No” and stick the landing. I like the journey piece as well. For instance, my own growth has included getting better at the stuff—like reading about brain-based learning, or going to grad school, or hiring experts to teach me how to run a company.

Growth, however satisfying to you, can feel unfriendly to others. Everyone who got used to the old “you” is invited to re-up when the new you attends the next meeting of your friendship.

Suddenly, you zig instead of zag.

  • “Wait, I thought you hated TV. Why are you letting your kids watch?”
  • “So you don’t believe X any more? I’m afraid for you.”
  • “You don’t seem like yourself lately. Are you okay?”

Anything to ram you back into a comfortable shape for them. The modus operandi is: “I need to get her to be the predictable person whose behavior validates my choices and beliefs while meeting my needs.”

This is how criticism, gossip, and exclusion get going. Sometimes a whole group will send out a red flag: “Look out! She’s dangerous!”

But that’s not friendship.

Friendship says: I see the “you” under all the presenting details and I like her. I want her good. I’m committed to curiosity over judgment, trusting her growth over my need to “fix” her. That’s a huge gift when you receive it—and rare.

Sometimes you will lose people on the journey who don’t get it, or you. Sometimes they even make up stuff to explain the you they no longer understand or accept. That hurts.

My best friends over the last 20 years are those who’ve been fascinated by my growth, not afraid of it. The people whose opinions have meant the most to me are those who are growing too—and aren’t afraid of change or the uncertainty of becoming more aware and honest.

I named some of these people on my personal Facebook page. You won’t know most of them. This particular group is made up of people I’ve met online whose kindness, brilliance, and camaraderie sustained me at critical moments. It’s good to have room to grow and friends. Both.

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

Expand and Include

Expand and Include

Sometimes I feel the world sway under my feet. I knew so many things when I was 22, 34, 41… The stuff I didn’t know came in waves, and like the ocean, the questions came in sets. I’d have one question and it would expand into a series, each one more confounding and nuanced, and even contradictory, than the next.

I was, for instance, a co-sleeping, on demand breast-feeder until my fourth baby broke me. I hadn’t had to test my beliefs to that degree—four kids under 7, a bedwetter, pregnant again, a toddler still nursing, a baby who needed to be attached to my body in order to sleep. I became desperately sleep-deprived.

Broke me, busted up everything I had so smugly known. I looked outside my approved literature and circle of authority because the former answers couldn’t contain my new reality. It felt dangerous and disloyal…and liberating.

And it’s been just like that thousands of times since. A day dawned in my late forties when I saw things differently—that no belief or practice comes pure. No one way solves all the iterations of need. Everything we “know” is contingent on interpretation and context.

In fact, if someone says a thing is 100 percent true, you can be sure that’s context too. It’s a way to get you to pretend you didn’t choose or shouldn’t think for yourself or can’t vary your practice or belief, else you lose membership in the “club.”

I woke up today thinking about how important it is to expand and include. When you run out of options, go outside the safety of what no longer serves. Life gets tight and unworkable when we trap ourselves into rigid systems unrelated to the complexity of being a unique self. We have options. We have choices. We are not alone. We can find well-being. It’s not up to them. It’s up to us.

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