Online Movie Club: Marvelous Musicals

Get your dancing shoes on!

I’ve been tapping my toes ever since we made these selections for our Movie Discussion Club: Marvelous MUSICALS!

Musical numbers model writing power! 

  • The poetry of the lyrics.
  • The narrative.
  • The playful way that songs create new dynamics between characters. 

These are a few of my favorite things.

Students get to amp their cultural literacy, visit a time and place far from their own—oh, and we get them to WRITE.

There’s a place for us.

Whether your kids are fans of metal, country, or rap, there’s something unifying about the power, the DRAMA, the appeal of a good musical. Instant investment!

One more day. Another day, another destiny.

We’ve got your summer playlist all lined up! Your kids will be learning while they are humming. And you’ll be singing along!

No, no, no, no, no way I’m livin’ without you…

Have you figured out which musicals we’re doing? 

The Sound of Music (1965) A woman leaves an Austrian convent to become a governess to the children of a naval officer widower.

Les Misérables (2012) In 19th-century France, Jean Valjean (who, after breaking parole, is hunted by the ruthless policeman Javert) agrees to care for a factory worker’s daughter. The decision changes their lives forever.

West Side Story (1961) Two youngsters from rival New York City gangs fall in love, but can love flourish in the midst of intense friction between the warring Jets and Sharks?

Dreamgirls (2006) A trio of black female soul singers cross over to the pop charts in the early 1960s, facing their own personal struggles along the way.

What students say:

I love the way it doesn’t feel like writing, even though it is!  – Brian

I was surprised that we dug so deep! At first I just took this class to have an excuse to watch more [movies] but then I started to really enjoy it. – Sarah

I knew I would enjoy watching the movies in this class, but I didn’t know how much I would enjoy writing about them and sharing my thoughts.  – Mark

Lay ee odl lay ee odl lay hee hoo… Secure your spot in this fun class and be prepared to sing your way into September and the start of a new school year!

Class starts Monday, August 5, 2019.


Brave Writer Movie Discussion Club

Homeschool Alliance: August 2019

Think Like a Writer

Applying the Superpowers: Think Like a Writer

The Brave Learner reveals techniques for treating our kids like real writers. As part of The Brave Learner Book Club in the Homeschool Alliance, let’s dive deeper into how homeschooling parents can create the growth atmosphere professional writers seek—for our own kids!

We’ll look at the practices the pros use to support one another in writing workshops, and we’ll talk about how to implement those practices in classes, homeschooling, and beyond.

  • How do Brave Writer’s coaches bring out the “real writer” in their students?
  • How can parents extend that experience as they support their young writers?
  • How does Brave Writer’s approach relate to essays and college prep writing? 

Kirsten Merryman, director of Brave Writer’s online instruction, will lead our webinar this month, sharing strategies for encouraging both reluctant and willing writers to take risks and grow. 

Be sure to download our Brave Learner Companion Guide.

Check out a FREE Preview of the Homeschool Alliance!

The Homeschool Alliance

3 Keys to a Complete Writing Program

3 Keys to a Complete Writing Program

Scroll down for “The 3 Keys to a Complete Writing Program” webinar replay!

I’ve been asked countless times: Is Brave Writer a complete writing curriculum?

The short answer: Yes!

A complete writing curriculum is made of three parts.

  1. Writing mechanics and literature.
  2. Original thought.
  3. Writing projects.

Let’s take a look at how the three pieces of Brave Writer fit together! 

Writing Mechanics and Literature

1. Writing Mechanics and Literature.

Writers can hire someone to physically transcribe for them, but the process goes much faster when writers are competent in 

  • handwriting,
  • spelling,
  • punctuation, and
  • grammar

With these skills, they can skip right to giving their attention to all the ideas they want to express.

How can young writers become competent in writing mechanics? Through regular copywork and dictation using quality writing.

The Brave Writer mechanics and literature guides (Quiver of ArrowsArrowsPouch of Boomerangs, and Boomerangs) provide that instruction and practice. 

Original Thought

2. Original Thought.

When was the last time you finished a book and said, “Wow! The comma usage in that book was phenomenal!” 

Um, never? That’s because punctuation supports communication. It’s not a replacement for it.

While writing mechanics are important for the ease and pleasure of reading, it’s the author’s original thoughts that stick with us!

  • The new insight.
  • The tantalizing argument.
  • The immersive storytelling.

These are the aspects of writing that connect the writer with the reader

Your children are already natural storytellers—they freely share about 

  • the games they play,
  • the bug they saw scurry onto a leaf,
  • the time they saw their friend fall and skin her knee. Ouch! 

The key is to get those stories (original thoughts) onto the page—without the constraints of proper grammar, punctuation, or spelling. 

Those thoughts need the freedom to spill out just as they appear—skinned knees, muddy shoes, and all. 

The Writer’s Jungle provides parents with the tools they need to facilitate getting those words to the page and preserving the original thoughts (and voice) of the child. 

3. Writing Projects.

Now it’s time to bring it all together! 

Writing projects blend writing mechanics and original thought to create a finished piece of writing to publish and share. 

Jot It Down!Partnership WritingFaltering Ownership, and Help for High School all provide projects to hone writing skills and original thought.

Brave Writer Bundles

We pull all three pieces together for you in our Brave Writer Bundles. Each bundle is designed for a targeted stage in writing development

Want to learn more? Watch this FREE webinar!

Friday Freewrite: Collection

Friday Freewrite

Are you a collector? If so, describe your favorite collection and how you found some of the items. If not, explain why collecting isn’t your thing.

New to freewriting? Check out our online guide.

A Sneaky Way to Encourage Writing

Here’s a question. Do your kids read English language textbooks for fun? I didn’t think so! 

So why do we think they’d like to learn to write that way? Steps, rules, and dry, boring topics. 

Let’s embrace what they love READING to help them in WRITING! It makes sense!

  • In their beach bag: Percy JacksonHarry PotterLord of the Rings.
  • Stacked on their bedside table: Hunger GamesTwilightDivergent.
  • On the family camping trip: well-worn copies of Fangirl and Eleanor & Park.

Their enchantment is our roadmap! So let’s get on board! We’ve got this port of entry set up for you with two online writing classes this summer:

Fan Fiction—starting July 29th

  • Only offered once a year.
  • THE class for pop culture junkies—they can write about books, TV and movies too.
  • All the traditional elements of story-writing with a nontraditional muse!

Our instructor, Susanne Barrett, has a cult following for her published fan fiction AND a graduate degree in British literature and poetry. (How’s that for the wondrous colliding of worlds? Only at Brave Writer, I tell you!)

Writing a Greek Myth—starting July 29th

  • Myths set the stage for EPIC storytelling!
  • Familiar characters and setting make an easy entry to story writing.
  • The gods—they’re just like us! Use tools like character profiles to inform your story.
  • Create a modern god who rules over today’s world or a story of your own devising!

See what students say:

I now know that if you have good ideas, you can write anything! – Joshua

I love Greek and Roman mythology. Now I can think of all the gods and goddesses and write a story in my head. Then I can tell it around the campfire or even at a sleepover. My friends would love to take this class and I can’t wait to tell them about it. – Gracie

I’ve gotten way more confident with sharing my ideas and writing. In addition to this, my grammar has improved a lot and so has my understanding of what it means to be an author. – Althea

Fiction writing feeds directly into the academic writing your kids will do in high school and college.

When a writer helps us care about a protagonist, that makes it easier to convince us to care about a thesis in a persuasive essay later on. And those inciting incidents that kick off the action in a fiction piece also serve as strong opening hooks in an academic paper.

Transfer of skills is everywhere! No time spent developing writing skills is wasted.

Register for a Fiction Class!