Archive for the ‘Online Classes’ Category

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

Winter/Spring Writing Class Registration + The Writer’s Jungle Online Sale

The Writer's Jungle Online SALE

Registration for winter/spring sessions is now open!   Sign up for the class that started it all in January 2000:

The Writer’s Jungle Online

When you sign up for a winter/spring session of The Writer’s Jungle Online, you’ll get $20.00 off of the main tuition AND $20.00 off of each additional student.

The sale runs from December 2 – 15, 2019 and only applies to The Writer’s Jungle Online sessions offered in the winter and spring.

  • Jan 6 – Feb 14 2020 **FULL**
  • Jan 13 – Feb 21 2020 **FULL**
  • Jan 27 – Mar 6 2020
  • Feb 10 – Mar 20 2020
  • Feb 17 – Mar 27 2020

Or sign up for any one of the amazing classes we offer (here’s a sampling).

And so many more

Register Here

If you have any questions, feel free to email us (also check out the recorded broadcast below): help@bravewriter.com

Excited to join you on your writing adventure in 2020!

Boomerang Book Club: December 2019

Boomerang Book Club

“It’s a classic.”

I’m guilty of making my kids read something that I hated in school. Sometimes I want them to read something I don’t even want to teach!

Guess what? We’ve got book club instructors who love these books—so you don’t have to!

Gone are assignments of boring comprehension questions. We uncover the rich, juicy morsels in classic novels together with your teens.

[This page 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!]

Here’s what we’re reading in December: Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

Set in Concord, Massachusetts during the Civil War, Little Women was first published in two volumes in 1868 and 1869. The novel follows the lives of Marmee, Jo, Meg, Beth, and Amy—the March family! This classic brings to life not only the time period but the tug of war between the expectations of society and being true to yourself—a theme that resonates with readers even today. The Christmas holiday season provides an important setting in the book, and the latest movie adaption will be released in December, so it’s the perfect pick for our December read!

We’ll discuss this classic work of literature with the Brave Writer approach:

  • Freedom to explore ideas in writing
  • Shared discussion with fellow students and an insightful instructor
  • Exploration of literary themes and elements
  • Weekly highlighted posts from the student comments

By the end of the month, teens gain COMMAND over the literature and write confidently about the work. And you can check it off your list!

Our book clubs are top notch and fill up fast, so sign up early!

Boomerang Book Club

Arrow Book Club: December 2019

Arrow Book Club

Need a way to make the busy season less stressful? Have your kids join a Brave Writer book club because we do all the work for you!

Log in to the Brave Writer classroom and find:

  • enthusiastic conversationalists—all reading the same book
  • thought-provoking questions and discussion points
  • exposure to diverse opinions, new friends to be made!
  • a writing coach moderating the discussion and providing activities
  • opportunities to dig deep in the parts of the book that fascinated them

Plus class tuition includes a free copy of the Arrow guide based on the book.

[This page 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!]

The selection for our December Arrow Book Club (ages 9-12): The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street by Karina Yan Glaser! 

This timeless, heartwarming story reads like a classic in a contemporary setting. Set in Harlem, the endearing cast of characters brings this New York neighborhood to life on the page. The five Vanderbeeker kids live in the same neighborhood where their dad grew up. To stay in their beloved brownstone home, they’ve got to convince a landlord they never see to renew their lease. Their hijinks will make you laugh. Their tenderness will make you sigh. Their determination will make you root for them! If you liked the Penderwicks or the Melendys, you’ll adore the Vanderbeekers!

Brave Writer book clubs are a wonderful sneaky way to draw out the writer. They think they’re chatting with new friends online. You know they’re naturally growing writing skills!

Arrow Book Club

Training Tip: Essay Prep

Training Tip: Essay Prep

Here’s the thing. I can teach you the formula for a 5-paragraph essay on a napkin. That’s easy! But because educators often over-emphasize format, other crucial elements of essay writing get overlooked.  

That’s why we created our Essay Prep series. It covers the foundational skills and practices that comprise essay writing—beyond just the number of paragraphs.

Essay Prep: Dynamic Thinking is our revolutionary class that grows your teens into critical thinkers.

Great essays are built from great insight. To generate that insight, teens need to consider multiple points of view simultaneously and dispassionately. Academic discourse requires the writer to know what they think, and why. 

Check out Brave Writer’s Essay Prep series: 

Start with Dynamic Thinking or the one that looks most interesting to you!

You can learn more about our online classes here.

We also invite you to log in to a sample class. Click around, play with our text editor, and read real instructor responses to writing posted in class.

Brave Writer's Essay Prep Classes