Let’s not assign motives to our children’s actions. Kids might be rushed, distracted, or trying so hard not to spill the milk, they spill it! Be open to the possibility that children are eager to please us, just as we’re eager to make them happy.

Guilty. I can remember the times I let my frustration with childishness boil over. Naturally I expected Noah, the oldest, to be a shining example of maturity at 4 years of age in a way I never expected Caitrin, the youngest, to be at the same age.

What gets in the way:

  • our exhaustion,
  • our unrealistic expectations,
  • and our tendency to get inside the heads of people who displease us.


One time when my little boy Liam, at age four, carried the milk jug to the table ready to pour his own glass of milk, I loaded up a reprimand. But my mother, his grandmother, saw what was coming and intervened quickly saying, “Look at him. Only four years on the planet. He still has so much to learn!” Instantly, I saw him through new eyes.

I walked calmly to his side, helped him support the jug, and allowed him to pour his milk. He beamed.

Naturally, it’s not only the milk that gets spilled in our children’s attempts to grow up and become competent human beings. They want to be skillful and happy. And they want us to be happy with them. It’s good to remember that.

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: L-O-N-G Words

Friday Freewrite

Write a story using L-O-N-G words like these:

  • Magnanimous: courageously noble; unselfish.
  • Parsimonious: economical; frugal.
  • Accoutrements: accessories.
  • Inconsequential: meaningless; not important.
  • Incomprehensibility: impossible to comprehend or understand.
  • Sesquipedalian: characterized by long words; long-winded
  • Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia: one of the longest words in the English dictionary and its definition is fear of long words!

BONUS: Honorificabilitudinitatibus is from a medieval Latin word which can be translated as “the state of being able to achieve honors.” (Fun fact: it’s mentioned in Shakespeare’s play, Love’s Labour’s Lost.)

New to freewriting? Check out our online guide

Brave Learner Home: September 2021

Video Games and Education

Ah the big bugaboo: Video Games!

Should we regulate them? Allow them? Play them with our kids?

Do they have any educational bang for their buck at all?

How can I know if the research I read about them is reliable?

In other words: Help!

We get these questions every single day—video games rank as the most frequently asked question in education circles. To that end, we’re going to help you gain confidence and skill in handling this delicate topic with your kids!

Video Games and Education

Teachers and parents often look for innovative ways to keep students and kids motivated and engaged.

Amazingly, video gaming is automatically good at both.

Gamers know firsthand how elements of video games can keep them riveted and motivated for hours. 

  • But are all games created equal?
  • What makes a “good” game for learning?
  • Are there any negative effects?
  • How do we take the motivating elements of gaming and add them to education environments?

Join Ash Brandin, a public school teacher who uses video games as a learning tool, as we investigate some simple yet effective ways to take tips from video gameplay and turn it into best teaching practices, without gimmicks.

Join us for our Master Class webinar in Brave Learner Home:

  • Video Games and Education with Ash Brandin
  • Thursday, September 9th at 7:00 pm (Eastern)

Ash Brandin, EdS, is a middle school teacher in Boulder Valley School District in Boulder, Colorado. Since 2016, Ash has spoken across the country about how academic spaces can mimic game structures to make learning compelling, motivating, and engaging. They believe games, specifically entertainment-based games, can help us create better teaching, more engaged learning, increased empathy, more inclusive classrooms, and motivated lifelong learners.

A lifelong Coloradan, Ash got their start in education as an orchestra director in grades 5-12. After several years in the orchestra classroom, Ash wanted a way for their students to feel more comfortable to make mistakes and increase their musical skills.

After brunch and brainstorming, Ash successfully implemented gaming principles into orchestra, social studies, and math classrooms, both in-person and virtually.

Their expertise has been a vital source of encouragement to thousands of families, including our Brave Writer community! Ash will take all your questions too, if you attend the webinar live. Hope you come!

How to Join

If you’d like to attend this live webinar on September 9, you’ll need to be a member of Brave Learner Home, our community of nearly 10,000 families where we help you find peace and make progress in educating your kids (whether homeschooled or in traditional school).

There are two ways to join for free and forever!

Or select the third option if you prefer to purchase your membership.

Three ways to join the Brave Learner Home

  1. You can sign up for an online class (over $198.00 in tuition in one registration) and be added to the Brave Learner Home for a free lifetime membership!
  2. You can purchase $198.00 worth of materials from our store (in one shopping cart) and be added to the Brave Learner Home for a free lifetime membership.
  3. Purchase either a six-month membership for $99.00 or a Lifetime Membership for $198.00.

Can’t wait to see you inside!

Brave Learner Home

Thriving over Striving

Brave Writer

It’s not hard to inspire children. They thrive under a certain condition. The condition is as follows: Admire your kids. It’s really that simple.

Your children want you to love them, sure. But they especially want you to know them for who they are.

  • They thrive when you admire their competence.
  • They strive when you praise their achievements.

Let’s pick thriving over striving.

Here are some examples.

There’s a difference between “Good job” and “You kept me in suspense in that opening line. I couldn’t wait to read more.”

They feel capable when you say: “Your gentleness after I lost my cool helped me get back on my feet.”

They feel known when you say: “It must have taken you a lot of thought to decide you didn’t want to play that sport any more.”

They feel pleased with themselves when you offer an encouraging nod or wink privately.

They want to know that when you look at the composite picture of who they are, you see someone who is making it—someone who has what it takes to arrive on the shores of adulthood, ready to tackle whatever comes their way.

Admire your kids. Notice their inherent worth and competence. Express that admiration in concrete terms. Do for them what you wish your parents had done for you.

It’s that simple, yes.

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: Permission

Friday Freewrite

Make two lists: the first for things you need permission to do and the second for things you don’t need permission to do. Which list is longer? Are there any items you’d like to move from one list to the other? If so, explain your reason(s).

New to freewriting? Check out our online guide