Archive for the ‘Julie’s Life’ Category

Something Worth Saying

Brave Writer

Bogart Kids

I have a million photos of my kids. My 5 are forever hoisting one big kid sideways in celebration of a life event.

I love them, even when the faces are blurry.

I have one well-posed photo that we all hate. Before we took the “family portrait,” half of us were in tears. No one would stand still, there was an argument about whether or not to keep the top button buttoned on a shirt, and we had to stand in line WHILE behaving (as if behaving and line-standing at once are possible in this time-space continuum). The photo shows smiling faces. The family is arranged just so. And it’s lifeless.

Sure, I’ve got some well-staged photos of my kids that show all their teeth, each person looking at the camera and no one seething that they had to button the top button, too. As they’ve gotten older, though, even those photos have changed. They wear clothes that express their personalities, they stand in the order they prefer, they laugh or pose or act all serious.

And now: the Grand Analogy to Writing you were waiting for.

Would you still rather believe that stiff, lifeless prose that matches a format, achieved through tears, tantrums, and trauma will result in better writing than tapping into your child’s quirky, insightful, natural personality?

Can you imagine what would happen if you believed your child had something worth saying and that your only job is to capture it like a candid photograph—a snapshot of their inner life, at this moment in time?

Did you realize that the writing your child does (from their tender heart or their silly sense of humor or their fact-packed mind) IS the snapshot of their person that will preserve who they are for you even better than silly photographs and family portraits?

Nab it! Jot it down! The forms for writing come easiest when a child has full access to their ideas, beliefs, and words. Brave Writer has tools that help you teach the forms while maximizing your child’s originality! These forms match a child’s stage of growth (we don’t expect 3rd graders to write essays—PLEASE).

New to us? Start here!

Brave Learner Home

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!