Archive for the ‘Online Classes’ Category

Boomerang Book Club: February 2020

Boomerang Book Club

Looking for a great read for teens that is filled with potential for insightful Big Juicy Conversations? Look no further than Brave Writer’s online Boomerang Book Club!


[This post contains Amazon affiliate links. When you click on those links to make purchases, Brave Writer receives compensation at no extra cost to you. Thank you!]


February’s selection (for ages 13-18): Unbound: A Novel in VerseAnn E. Burg. Scholastic Press, 2018. 352 pages.

Grace, a 9-year-old enslaved girl is sent to work in the Big House. Her mother warns her to keep her head down. Witnessing the heartlessness and hatefulness of the Master and Missus first-hand, it is increasingly difficult for strong-willed Grace to hold her tongue. A terrible chain of events is set off when Grace lets out the thoughts she has been holding inside. Grace’s story introduces readers to a little-known chapter in American history—the story of enslaved people who sought freedom in the Great Dismal Swamp, a region spanning the boards of Virginia and North Carolina.

Purchase the novel here.

Brave Writer book clubs provide thought-provoking questions, engagement with one of our talented writing coaches, and a safe place to have interactions online about a common interest: books!

Join us!

Boomerang Book Club

Arrow Book Club: February 2020

Arrow Book Club

Brave Writer offers a virtual living room space–where students gather to freely discuss the novels they read with you at home.


[This post contains Amazon affiliate links. When you click on those links to make purchases, Brave Writer receives compensation at no extra cost to you. Thank you!]


February’s Arrow Book Club title (for ages 9-12): Stella by StarlightSharon Draper. Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books Reprint Edition, 2016. 352 pages.

Stella is a brave, tenacious girl growing up in a segregated North Carolina town during the depression. When Sella and her brother witness the activity of the Ku Klux Klan late one night, it is a sign of unwelcome changes to come. As Stella struggles to find her purpose, her community grapples with the oppression perpetrated by the Klan members in town. This book about family, community, and hope is infused with a sense of time and place. Draper weaves song and dialect into the story to create vivid scenes that bring the story to life.

Purchase the novel here.

Join the Arrow Book Club and let Brave Writer do all the heavy lifting for you. All you need to do is provide the cookies!

Arrow Book Club

Training Tip: Out of the Ordinary

Training Tip: Skip into Science

Blend writing instruction and scientific curiosity!

Are homemade volcanoes, paper airplanes, and animal behavior your kind of thing? Want to become a better writer while finding out how the flu spreads or what it takes to make a high-speed train go faster?

Brave Writer’s Skip into Science class is popular with kids who are less about writing and more about

  • exploring,
  • analyzing,
  • and experimenting.

Writing gets tossed into the bargain. 

Training Tip

Our Skip into Science class… 

  • introduces students to formatted writing. Students pick from a variety of interesting project types.
  • allows your kids to choose topics of interest. This choice fuels a sense of ownership over their work.
  • keeps writing assignments short and manageable. We make sure we’re catching your child’s best moments—no burnout, breakdowns, or boredom!
  • offers plenty of support! Our writing coaches are masters of affirming, helpful feedback that your children want to receive.
  • cultivates writer’s voice. Students reveal their quirky interesting personalities in their writing for powerful connection to the reader.
  • ignites their love for learning. Academia is based on inquiry and curiosity—and it’s FUN!
Skip into Science

Passion and Partnership

Isabelle and Caitlyn

Writers come in many different shapes and forms. Whether writing fiction, nonfiction or legalese, there’s a place for you at Brave Writer! 

Here’s the story of one family who found the perfect niche in our classroom.

Meet Isabelle and Caitlyn! 

Talk about multitasking! Homeschooling parent of 5 kids, Caitlyn is an attorney in bright and beautiful California. In the evenings she works as a legal writer and copywriter. In her free time, Caitlyn reads a lot of nonfiction and runs in preparation for her first marathon. Go, Caitlyn! 

(Her other main “hobby” is driving her kids all over the Bay Area, doing drop-offs at activities and coops. We hear you, Caitlyn! The chauffeur gig is intense!)

The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree! 

Daughter Isabelle follows closely in mom’s footsteps, being an avid reader and new runner. She dabbles in learning Russian, Mandarin, and coding. 

Cool fact: she’s practically started college already—

She was born during winter break, our second year of law school. In utero she attended lectures by Justice Scalia, and when she was a few months old she attended 1 Art Law lecture.

How awesome is that!

Isabelle has been homeschooled since kindergarten, but they came across a stumbling block: writing. Caitlyn knew they needed some different tools.

I think she had it in her, but it seemed intimidating. I didn’t know how to bridge getting it out of her without it seeming inauthentic.

Caitlyn enrolled Isabelle in Middle School Writing Projects where she got to embrace her love for facts and direct her own research. Isabelle wrote to our coach,

Things I know about myself as a writer are 1. sometimes when I’m given an interesting assignment, I want to finish it before it’s due, and include lots of interesting facts and pictures. And 2. I really enjoy researching for facts on the topic I have picked or been assigned.

A match made in heaven!

Middle School Writing Projects is designed to help transform children’s nonfiction knowledge and personal experiences into meaningful writing projects.

Isabelle’s final project centered around the golden jellyfish native to Palau.

Caitlyn tells us—

It was exactly what I was looking for. There was a high level of engagement, tons of feedback from the teacher to my daughter, social interaction with other kids through the forum, tons of scaffolding in teaching structure, and an open line of communication between the teacher and the parent. 

That’s what we’ve found too: early writing discomfort can often be helped by adding passion and partnership! Isabelle seems to agree—

I think this writing class has made writing more fun for me. I used to think writing was boring, now I find it fun.

Caitlyn plans on signing Isabelle’s little sister for the same class in 2020. I wonder what she’ll choose to write about! 


Middle School Writing Prompts

Cozy Up with a Book

We’re barreling forward to the end of 2019 to enter a whole new decade.

JANUARY 2020! 

Want to kick it off strong in literature and writing without stress? We’ve got you covered! 

We recommend starting the New Year with BOOKS! 

Here’s why.

  • Reading is an educational activity your family can ease into.
  • Right now your kids have plenty of time to read a book.
  • Hands off while you put ‘real life’ back together again after the holidays.

Need Support?

We’ve got early-January offerings ready for you so you have a PLAN come January 1.

Book/Movie Duo: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams 

Don’t miss the opportunity to introduce your kids to this beloved British sci-fi romp through the universe as told by the hilarious (and at times irreverent) Douglas Adams. Seriously—a hip choice for teens!

Arrow Book Club: PIE by Sarah Weeks 

What’s more fitting for post-holidays than a book called PIE? Alice loves her Aunt Polly, and she connects with her beloved aunt through one of Polly’s favorite things: making pies! When her aunt unexpectedly passes away, Alice is left with Aunt Polly’s cat, Lardo, and a mystery!

The good news? This book features many pie recipes!

Boomerang Book Club: A Separate Peace by John Knowles 

Set at a boys boarding school in New England during the early years of World War II, A Separate Peace is a harrowing and luminous parable of the dark side of adolescence. This book is a well loved classic and worth a read for you, too, if you’ve never read it.

Brave Writer Online Classes