Archive for the ‘Online Classes’ Category

Boomerang Book Club: January 2020

Brave Writer Boomerang Book Club

Snow as far as the eye can see? Never fear—no bus, no boots, no winter coats needed! The Boomerang Book Club is open! Whatever the weather.

Whether you live in a rural location, are traveling abroad or homebound (under two feet of snow for the next 4 months), we’re only a click away, every day.


[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!]


January’s Boomerang Book Club selection (for ages 13-18): A Separate Peace by John Knowles. Scribner, 2003. 204 pages.

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. Gene is a lonely, introverted intellectual. Phineas is a handsome, taunting, daredevil athlete. What happens between the two friends one summer, like the war itself, banishes the innocence of these boys and their world.

Purchase the novel here.


We’ve curated a gathering place where you and your kids can always find us and other like-minded homeschooling folk. We work hard to maintain a community that’s welcoming and warm. Join us and get a free copy of our language arts guide to go with the book.

Boomerang Book Club

Arrow Book Club: January 2020

Brave Writer Arrow Book Club

Let Brave Writer’s Arrow Book Club selections open worlds for your kids! 

In discussion with their peers, they

  • Create empathy and a broader perspective on a topic
  • Practice composing responses and figuring out their opinion
  • Imbue more sophistication in their writing long term

[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!]


January’s Arrow Book Club title (for ages 9-12): PIE by Sarah Weeks. Scholastic Paperbacks Reprint Edition, 2013. 192 pages.

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! What is the secret to her aunt’s world-famous pie-crust recipe? And why did she leave the recipe to Lardo? Small-town politics, pie-baking contests, and a few red herrings make this a delightful read. With a pie recipe at the beginning of each chapter, you and your kids will be running to the kitchen to make award-winning pies all month long!

Purchase the novel here.

A rich array of experience await! Join the Arrow Book Club and get a free copy of our language arts guide to go with the book.

Arrow Book Club

A New Model for Teaching Writing

A New Model for Teaching Writing

Meet Vincent and Shannon! 

Even Language Arts teachers get the writing blues! We wanted to share this enchanting story with you of a loving mom—a former teacher—and her son in our The Writer’s Jungle Online class.

Vincent and Shannon

Once upon a time, this Disney-lovin’ mom was a Language Arts teacher. You’d think that Shannon would ride off into the sunset with the traditional school system, but not so! 

The typical brick-and-mortar school system was not working for her neurodiverse son, Vincent, so they embraced homeschooling.

Shannon certainly had the know-how to teach Language Arts. Except one thing. She’d always taught to the test, and now she didn’t want to do that. 

[I]t’s difficult for me to hold back my “teacher training”… I was afraid to correct, afraid to comment, and afraid to help him add any details for fear of crushing his passion.

High five, Shannon! In fact, Shannon was doing many of the things we recommend to parents when students are finding their way.

My son started dictating stories to me from a very young age. I was his “secretary.” We had only tried one formal writing curriculum and it was not for us. I was determined to keep writing enjoyable for my son. 

But she started to feel like it was not enough.

We literally did NO writing unless he decided to do so… His writing was all over the place, but he did have the content and original ideas.

The balance between teaching mechanics and preserving the fledgling voice of a child is a hard one to walk. Many parents struggle to grow their child’s writing skills without ruining their desire to write at all.

Enter Brave Writer! 

Shannon signed up for our The Writer’s Jungle Online class. This is our flagship course where the parent is the student! 

Brave Writer coaches

  • Model gentle, constructive feedback to writing
  • Show parents how to spur growth in writing, without harsh tactics
  • Validate the mind life of the student and help them find their voice
  • Provide tools and practices you can use when class is over 

Shannon learned a new model for teaching writing. One she knew would work for them. 

I learned HOW to support his writing in a positive way without ruining his spirit. Learning how to support him was the most important aspect because I saw how quickly he could grow. My biggest fear had been conquered and he had been supported in a positive and honest way.

It wasn’t long before Shannon noticed the effect this new writing experience was having for Vincent. 

[T]he best part about the online course was that my son was getting feedback from someone else other than myself. He was actually excited to see what his teacher had thought of his writing. He’s a pretty confident writer and really wanted that feedback.

Perhaps one of the biggest surprises was how many of Shannon’s concerns began to improve on their own. 

Over a short time, I watched his writing expand and become more ordered. He used new vocabulary and actually planned before writing. It was a dream come true.

How’s that for win-win?

Vincent is 12 years old now and looks forward to writing more and more! His creativity gets to shine. Shannon tells us he loves to make up stories and write about his passions in a humorous way. What a guy!

Here’s one thing I’ve noticed over the years. It’s not just writing-averse parents and children who need a hand with writing instruction. Our established attitudes regarding writing —whether positive or negative, whether from our own schooling or professional experience—can hold us back.

Bottom line: even if you know how to write well, even if your child loves to write, it’s okay to get a helping hand. We’re here for you!


Check out our upcoming sessions of The Writer’s Jungle Online. And save $20 on each enrollment while you’re at it. Sale ends December 15!

The Writer's Jungle Online

No Two Kids are the Same

No Two Kids are the Same

Dragons, bugs, tanks. Origami, poodles, photosynthesis, endangered species, baking the perfect pie. 

These are just some of the things our Brave Writer students have written about! 

No two kids are the same—with their different

  • interests,
  • quirks,
  • and learning styles.

That’s why so many of us embraced homeschooling in the first place! To let our kids be themselves.

That’s Brave Writer’s mission, too.

We embrace each child as part of our community. We value their quirkiness and individuality and we comment on their writing accordingly. Each student receives feedback tailored to their

  • personality,
  • abilities,
  • and imagination.

Our writing coaches tell me all the time how your kids delight and fascinate them!

The bottom line: our classes are designed not only to instruct, but also celebrate, nurture, love, and lead your fabulous little people.

Thank you for trusting us!


The Writer's Jungle Online

A Storyteller with a Passion for Music

Brave Writer Songwriting Online Class

When our Songwriting class debuted this fall, we were acting on a hunch that teens were searching for a new and unique outlet for their biggest ideas and deepest longings. 

Even we were surprised by how true that was!

Below is the story of one family from our inaugural run of the class. Plus a songwriting inspired training tip.


Meet Roz and Telle! 

“When I saw the Brave Writer songwriting class I knew it was the best way to kick off the school year. I hoped it would engage her passion and put her creative soul to work in her writing. I know you aren’t shocked to hear this but it worked!” ~Roz

Roz is a veteran homeschooler but when Telle came through the ranks of their family, it was clear that Roz wasn’t going to be able to follow the same routine she had for her son.

Telle listened to read alouds, played games, and loved all our creative activities but was completely unwilling to read, write, or do more traditional learning.

Thus began a search to find out what would work best for Telle.

Roz leapt out of the box with gusto—

[We were] identifying the letters with flyswatters, [would] build words with Playdoh and even dig letters out of our sandbox to spell words but learning could never feel like anything but fun… She taught me that interest-led learning was going to be our jam and I have pretty much followed that route since.

Telle remained a reluctant writer. Academic exercises were intimidating.

However, Roz knew that the mind life of her child was dynamic and alive—a storyteller with a passion for music!

I knew we needed to grow her confidence and writing skills… and so the songwriting class was the perfect fit.  I also knew from past experience with my son in Brave Writer classes that is an ideal opportunity to employ partnership writing to get through the “tough” stuff.

Enter Brave Writer’s Songwriting class!

Music and lyrics serve as the entry point for teens to:

  • engage their critical thinking skills,
  • to harness the power of syntax and diction,
  • to explore poetic devices such as metaphor and powerful associations. 

Enticed, Telle jumped in with both feet, completing writing assignments, analyzing songs and poetry with joy.

Their family commemorated the 1919 Standard Steel Car Strike during the class time frame. Telle chose to focus on the impact of the strike on her family history. She writes,

Labor rights… are very important to me because my great-great-grandfather was shot and killed in the 1919 Standard Steel Strike. He was fighting for better working conditions and the 40-hour work week…. We learned that the family was kicked out of company housing. My great-great-grandmother never remarried and went on to raise her kids alone. She did this without the help of a union because that is what they were fighting for and it wasn’t in place to help widows. 

Telle was so inspired by her family history that her final song for the class is a wistful, yearning love song, inspired by how her great-great grandmother must have felt at the loss of her husband.

Roz shares the impact on Telle:

I love it when learning comes together in a meaningful way…. We collaborated on writing in ways that we have never before accomplished.  She drafted, edited, and wrote music effortlessly. Can any mom ask for more?  

We don’t think so!

At Brave Writer, we know that there are lots of different kinds of writers out there just waiting to be spoken to in their own love language. For Telle, it was music and a connection to her family’s past.


Songwriting Training Tip

What’s your teen’s passion? 

Brave Writer offers a variety of classes, because we know our students are

  • diverse,
  • imaginative,
  • and one-of-a-kind!

We find it fruitful to engage your child in the realm they’re most comfortable in, be that movie making, fantasy books, or the outdoors! Join us! 

Brave Writer Songwriting Online Class