Dart, Arrow, and Boomerang: Nov. 2020

Dart Arrow Boomerang November 2020

Friendship is the tie that binds the November Dart, Arrow, and Boomerang books. As we dig into the grammar, punctuation, spelling, and literary devices that make stories tick, we’ll tag along with Pooh and company in the Hundred Acre Wood, we’ll meet a brother and sister living in a longhouse, and we’ll learn about the Trail of Tears through the eyes of a ghost.

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Dart Nov 2020

House at Pooh Corner, A.A. Milne.

Return to the Hundred Acre Wood in A.A. Milne’s second collection of Pooh stories, The House at Pooh Corner. Here you will rediscover all the characters you met in Winnie-the-Pooh: Christopher Robin, Eeyore, Owl, Piglet, Kanga, tiny Roo, and, of course, Pooh himself. Joining them is the thoroughly bouncy and lovable Tigger, who leads the rest into unforgettable adventures. ~Amazon

Get the Dart.

Purchase the novel here.

Arrow Nov 2020

Children of the Longhouse, Joseph Bruchac.

When Ohkwa’ri overhears a group of older boys planning a raid on a neighboring village, he immediately tells his Mohawk elders. He has done the right thing—but he has also made enemies. Grabber and his friends will do anything they can to hurt him, especially during the village-wide game of Tekwaarathon (lacrosse). Ohkwa’ri believes in the path of peace, but can peaceful ways work against Grabber’s wrath? ~Birchbark Books

Get the Arrow.

Purchase the novel here.

Boomerang Nov 2020

How I Became a Ghost, Tim Tingle.

Told in the words of Isaac, a Choctaw boy who does not survive the Trail of Tears, How I Became a Ghost is a tale of innocence and resilience in the face of tragedy. From the book’s opening line, “Maybe you have never read a book written by a ghost before,” the reader is put on notice that this is no normal book. Isaac leads a remarkable foursome of Choctaw comrades: a tough-minded teenage girl, a shape-shifting panther boy, a lovable five-year-old ghost who only wants her mom and dad to be happy, and Isaac’s talking dog, Jumper. The first in a trilogy, How I Became a Ghost thinly disguises an important and oft-overlooked piece of history. ~Birchbark Books

Get the Boomerang.

Purchase the novel here.

Brave Writer Language Arts

Friday Freewrite: Scared

Friday Freewrite

Remember the last time you felt scared. Write about that experience.

New to freewriting? Check out our online guide.

Let’s Talk Over Tea

Let's Talk Over Tea

When I was a senior in high school, most nights my mother and I would drink Celestial Seasonings tea and eat a warmed bran muffin with unsalted raw butter. And we’d talk. Sometimes for 15 minutes. Sometimes an hour.

When I lived in Morocco as a newlywed, newly pregnant, my midwife would check my baby bump and then offer me British tea with biscuits (cookies). The first time, I was alarmed: “Ann, I can’t have tea! The caffeine. I’m pregnant!” She replied: “Julie, do you really think English women give up tea just because they’re pregnant?” And so we sat in her sunny kitchen chatting and sipping, extending the prenatal visit each month by an hour.

My Moroccan neighbors rotated through our subdivision each afternoon at 4:00 pm taking turns pouring mint tea sky high out of silver teapots so we could visit with each other—babies in tow, toddlers and cats underfoot. We sank into plush cushions and visited while drinking yellow sweet mint tea from a glass.

When we moved to a new city and apartment, my British friend Stella hooked up the butane gas bottle to the stove, still displaced in the front hall, and put the kettle on. 9:00 pm. She said, “And now it’s time for tea.” So it was. We paused, feeling accomplished, resting and sipping.

The world over, tea and coffee signal a break and conversation. They create instant intimacy or easy companionship. Tea, for me, is a rite—it let’s me reset the stress dial. Others achieve this result with coffee (or some other beverage of choice).

Consider what might happen if you:

  • added tea to the math lesson,
  • poured a cup of tea and brought it to a disheartened teen,
  • or set up a tea service for two little friends on your back deck.

What about addressing the difficult topic over tea and biscuits? If tea’s not your drink, do a little online search for alternatives. Lots of cultures have versions of hot beverages to try. Try them! Go on a tea/coffee break adventure and create space for sharing.

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





Before you know how.

  • “But I don’t have the right programs!”
  • “What’s my schedule?”
  • “I’m not good at phonics.”
  • “What if I push too hard?”
  • “What if I’m too chaotic?”
  • “How will I know I’m doing it right?”

Answers to every question come along the way. You can’t solve homeschooling in advance, or ever.

It is a way.

A way of life.

A way of being a family.

A way of learning and education.


Reading to your children appeals to you? Open a book now. Read it to whoever is gathered.

Wondering how to teach math? Start: count spoons, door knobs, fingers and toes. Add measuring cups for a cake. Play with the calculator. Invite someone to play cards or a board game.

Recite a nursery rhyme, a limerick. Tell jokes. Sing songs.

Flip on the television and watch baking shows, wilderness challenges, anime’ .

Tie knots, knit, fly a kite, kayak, turn the wheel of a kaleidoscope.


The education you want for your kids is not hiding between the covers of textbooks. It’s already here: an opened gift waiting to be enjoyed, known, explored.

Trust that you’ll know what to do as you find your joy and footing. Trust you’ll discover what to add along the way.

Books and curriculum are a part of the larger whole of this way of life to offer ballast, good ideas, handholds. They are not learning. They are guides.

You’ll never master homeschool. It’s a process, not an accomplishment.

You can live this way of life, each day, starting now, with optimism and chutzpah.


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

Friday Freewrite: Epilogue

Friday Freewrite

An epilogue is an added section at the end of a story that acts as a conclusion to what has happened. Think of a favorite novel that does not already include an epilogue. Now write one for it titled: Ten Years Later.

New to freewriting? Check out our online guide.