Archive for the ‘Online Classes’ Category

Boomerang Book Club: June 2019

Boomerang Book Club: To Kill a Mockingbird

We offer our Boomerang Book Club as a comfortable first step into the classics for wary teens.

[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!]

Every student should read To Kill a Mockingbird!

Some books feel like a rite of passage.

I remember when I first read To Kill a Mockingbird. And when my kids read it!

Harper Lee’s classic continues to be a spark for countless conversations in schools, literary circles, and academia—still!

This controversial book has been both banned AND awarded the Pulitzer Prize. 

How’s THAT for impact on American culture? 

To Kill a Mockingbird is

  • Highly readable—iconic characters, a thrilling plot, and killer dialogue
  • Doesn’t skimp on substance—themes like integrity, relationships, and race
  • Timeless—a classic but also relevant to events today
  • A port of entry for story lovers—history, political science, and law
  • Present in our culture—this book is referenced in TV, movies, and other books

Our book clubs help teens learn to read books thoughtfully and then to put those thoughts into writing.

Remember—in Brave Writer, we move incrementally.

  • First, we expose kids to great literature.
  • Second, we talk about it.
  • Third, we write about it freely without structure.
  • Fourth, we learn to write about it with structure.

The Boomerang Book Club helps you with steps 1-3. Perfect way to go into summer!

I’ve seen it time and time again: this book turns students into fans of ‘assigned reading’!

See what students say about the book club:

This is definitely one of those books that I’ll read again in 20 years and probably love it even more. -Tiernan

The article you posted [in class]…opened my eyes to a perspective I hadn’t thought about while reading the book. -Sadie

I would definitely recommend this book discussion club to a friend! The questions asked in the discussion were very interesting and a little challenging, but the best part is that you are able to read different responses and maybe you would learn something (which I did!) -Jae

We’d love to be a part of this reading milestone with your kids!

The Boomerang Book Club for To Kill a Mockingbird opens June 1 and book discussion begins June 10. This is our last book club of the school year. Don’t miss it!

Boomerang Book Club

Extra! Extra! Write all about it!

The Scoop: The Art of Journalism

Let me tell you a story…

Once upon a time, your parents read the news over their morning coffee. Teens? Not so much.

Today, articles about celebrities, politics, human and animal rights, science, and the arts are at everyone’s fingertips. Most teens interact with a news source of some kind every single day. Countless Big Juicy Conversations live on their phones, and they’re reading them!

The bigger question: what’s the difference between an online screed or rant, versus a thoughtfully researched article? How do they know who to trust and what constitutes journalistic integrity?

High school is a great time to grow your teen’s writing skills through the art of journalism—a slam dunk for kids who find the typical sterile composition class too dull.

The Scoop: The Art of Journalism

The Scoop empowers your teen to join the ranks of journalists for four weeks! They get to:

  • Follow their curiosity
  • Contribute to an issue they care about
  • Mimic the actual job of being a journalist
  • Publish their writing in our online magazine
  • Practice their new skills in the real world!
  • Engage their craving for engagement (giving passionate teens an outlet!)

The Scoop is a perfect opportunity for teens who have academic essay fatigue (you know—end of the school year exhaustion).

You may be surprised how much journalism overlaps with academic writing skills.

  • Critical thinking and logic
  • Media literacy skills
  • Fact-checking and research experience
  • Learning how timeliness and proximity determine impact
  • Evaluating trends and finding the ‘hook’ in a piece
  • Developing writing voice appropriate to genre and audience

Meanwhile your kids have a blast seeing their voices “in print.”

See what our students have to say:

I am extremely happy with all that I learned throughout this class! I have grown immensely as a writer and gained so many valuable concepts that will carry me so far throughout my journey… 
– Maya A.

I used to think that journalism was just something you do if you have a publisher or a film crew, but now I view being a journalist as more of a mindset through which you interpret events. – Will K.

I had never asked to set up an interview before, but thankfully it went well, and I could and would do it again. – Lara B.

Check out our BW Gazette! Past students have written about stray animals, archery, school shootings, competitive eating—and more! 

The Scoop: The Art of Journalism

The Scoop online class runs May 20 – June 14. Don’t miss the chance to see your teen publish! Register today! 

Time to Get Outside

Time to get outside

Boots have been tossed in favor of sneakers. Bikes are ready to be pulled out of storage. Warm sun is streaming in the windows. Tulips are blooming.

But how do I know spring has arrived? The kids are kicking the table legs. Drumming their fingers. Dropping their erasers—a hundred times. And the squirming! It’s like there’s an itch over their whole bodies.

Spring fever is HERE! And I say, don’t fight ‘em, join ‘em!

Here’s an enchanting opportunity to let your kids have what they crave at this time of year AND let you finish your homeschool year strong. (That’s right, you don’t have to pick just one!) Join our Nature Journaling online whole-family class! (One tuition, the entire family!)

Nature journaling inspires kids to uncover countless mysteries and surprises as they interact with the wondrous world around them!

The best part? While your kids are grabbing their notebooks and sun hats, they’re interacting with earth science, art, math, and getting the benefits of physical education.

But here’s something maybe you didn’t know. This class plants the seeds of their academic skills too. The kind they’ll grow and nurture through middle school and high school—until they bloom in college one day! 

Yep, we’re doing that, right now! 

Those ‘seeds’ include 

  • Acting as questioners and observers — the basis of academic exploration!
  • Harnessing the power and authority of scientific language
  • Doing research as they look up technical terms and explanations for what they observe
  • Choosing which details are relevant to share in class and what is unimportant
  • Practicing being an expert! They get to be the authoritative source on their local park or pond. 

How great is that?

What parents had to say about the Nature Journaling class:

When I asked [my daughter] to reflect on this month of journaling, her response was, “Can we keep doing this after the class?” 🙂  -Elizabeth S. 

This month of nature journaling has helped me to get a better idea of what it consists of and the various ways to do it. -Carolyn D. 

I used this activity in my Science enrichment class and my students loved it!!. -Leif E.

It’s our little secret—surprise your kids and let them think you’re letting them off the hook for homeschooling this month. We both know you are finishing your school year strong with Nature Journaling!

Nature Journaling

Harry Potter *Updated* Arrow Guide

Updated Harry Potter Arrow

The world of Harry Potter is bursting with surprise, mystery, risk, and adventure! Delightful names like Quidditch and Diagon Alley abound. Peculiar characters (including one who deems explosion from school to be more dire than death) are the norm.

[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!]

A magical school for witches and wizards—with invitations delivered by owl, no less—provides the backdrop for the adventures of the first installment of the seven-book series: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.

You and your children can explore all of this and more in our

Updated and Expanded
 Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone ARROW Guide!

Along with all the usual elements of our Arrow guides (grammar, punctuation, spelling, literary element, and writing activity), the guide has been updated with nine Big Juicy Questions and Party School Book Club ideas.

Who is ready for a magical book club party to celebrate the completion of the book?

The Arrow guide is a companion to you, the parent. It’s the language arts partner that helps you teach writing mechanics and literary elements to multiple children of varying ages and skills—all with one guide!

Grow your young writers while following Harry, Ron, and Hermione on their adventure!

Win! Win!

Get the Harry Potter Arrow

FYI: Save the Date! The 2019–2020 Arrow and Boomerang book list reveal is May 31! More details soon!

If you are a planner and want a year-long language arts program right now, grab the 2018-2019 Arrow or Boomerang collection at the year-of-release discount rate—available until May 30!

Boomerang Book Club: May 2019

Boomerang Book Club

Don’t tell your teens: the Boomerang book club experience at Brave Writer isn’t just about having fun reading and chatting with new friends online. The deep reading experience we offer includes benefits your high schoolers don’t even know they’re getting!

Plus a FREE digital copy of our language arts guide based on the book selection for the month is provided.

[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!]

May’s selection for the Boomerang Book Club (ages 13-18) is The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros.

A series of poetic vignettes about the life of Esperanza Cordero, a young Latina girl living in Chicago. The oldest child of a family that moves from one apartment to the next, Esperanza finds her voice as she navigates a world filled with joy and heartbreak. Available as an audiobook read by the author.

Purchase the novel.


Caveat: Please remember that you’re the parent. If you have doubts about the content of a particular book, please check the reviews of the novel or read it for yourself first. Pouch and Boomerang books in particular may include sexuality, graphic language, and mature themes.

Also starting in May are our Arrow and Pouch Book Clubs.