Posts Tagged ‘Brave Writing kids’

What is It to be Brave?

What is it to be Brave?

I remember standing in the front of the packed room, explaining the principles of “The Writing Compass” (the first name of my online writing company) to 100 homeschooled moms.

“We don’t want writers who are inhibited. We want free writers. We don’t want writers who are afraid of the blank page. We want brave writers.”

As the words rolled off my tongue, my mind said, “Drat! There’s the name of my business: Brave Writer. Shoot! I just ordered 100 books with on the front cover.”

And so, I went home and changed everything to Brave Writer. Just like that.

I knew in an instant that I didn’t want to churn out good writers, competent writers. I wasn’t interesting in distilling “writing” into its most important principles. I wanted to catalyze bravery in moms, in kids. I wanted to cultivate kids who would stare down those blank pages and offer themselves to their readers. I wanted to inspire moms to trust that process and to revel in it, to enjoy it, to see the quirky, insightful, brilliant minds in their children.

What is it to be Brave?

Here are some of my goals for what Brave Writer might inspire in your families.

Brave Parents

  • Trust that writing is as natural as speech.
  • Write. They use writing in their daily lives and their kids see them writing.
  • Jot down the insightful things their kids share with them.
  • Coo over their children’s interesting word choices, notice specific detail, admire orderly sequence and laugh at all jokes.
  • Believe that a child’s writing voice is more important than proper format.
  • Read. They read to themselves and to their kids. They buy books, check them out from the library and strew them throughout the house.
  • Toss any writing curricula that tells them that writing is primarily a formula, a system, a method to be drilled into children.
  • Stop writing with their children, if it is painful. Seek ways to relieve that pain.
  • Expect writing to be good (enjoyable) to read, not just correctly formatted.
  • Discover the power of the written word… and write more themselves.

Brave Writers

  • Enjoy talking to their moms (and dads and siblings) about everything and anything.
  • See writing as a means to an end – communication. They can talk or write – either one.
  • Have online journals, write on their bedroom walls, keep copy books, pass notes to friends, send letters, use email, freewrite, write stories, keep lists, create websites, design newsletters, publish stories, post flyers…
  • Aren’t afraid to learn new writing forms as they need them.
  • Face the blank page and know what to do to “un-blank” it. 🙂
  • Like and play with words.
  • Read, read, read. (Any and all reading – magazines, email, websites, books, plays, billboards, advertisements, brochures, propaganda, holy books, game instructions, cereal boxes.)
  • Expect, nay, assume (!) that someone will enjoy reading their writing.

Sound good? Then keep taking the steps toward brave writing (and brave living).

Brave Writers assume that someone will enjoy reading their writing.

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Coach Julie Bogart: Brave Kids Writing

I’m pleased to share some writing that has been forwarded to me by proud moms. I leave in all spelling errors because we are enjoying the stage of development that this writing represents (just like we enjoy the mispronunciations our kids use as they learn to speak). Look what vivid images these children discover all by themselves.

Heather shares about the Color Walk she took with her three children:

Today it was unseasonably warm for January in Ohio so we decided to try the color walk with my daughter Chelsea (9), and two sons ages 5 and 7. This is what Chelsea wrote about the color brown when we came home:

“Fall-like leaves spread about, like when God separated people at the tower of Babel”

“The old rickedy fence bowing low in our yard, as if a king is riding by”

“The steady, packed mud sneaking beneath poky, green grass, as if trying to rob it’s beauty”

“Singing wooden chimes with hollow tones and patient voices, as a music teacher” ….

As you can tell, she absolutely loved the idea of the color walk! My boys also came up with neat descriptions of things that were green: “a swimming pool of bushes” (the 7 year old said he was very proud of that description!) and “tiny leaves shaped like hearts” from the 5 year old. All of these descriptions came from a silent walk where we said nothing and everyone came home and quietly wrote on their own. We had a wonderful time and even read some poems about color after everyone had a chance to share their list! Thanks so much.  Just had to let you know what a blessing this email list is to us busy moms!

Then Laura shared a short piece of writing her son jotted down at a gymnastics studio (that definitely qualifies for Lifestyle Writing):

I just have to send you my 11 year old son’s writing. He has always struggled with getting any words on paper at all however, he was actually pleased with this work and agreed to me sending it to you!

I took him to a local gymnastics studio to observe his younger brother’s class and he was really able to capture his keen sense of perception on paper for the 1st time.

Enjoy – we really appreciate your help in unlocking our senses!

by Abe

the rigging on the
bars reminds me
of the rigging on
a ships masts.
the rope extended
from the roof could
be holding the anchor
the mats form a
makeshift raft .
the students look
unsure of themselves
drunk like a pirate
crew, beware , they
are a ruthless crew.

Would your kids like their writing published? Send their writing to me and we’ll add it to our growing collection of Brave Kids Writing on the Brave Writer blog.



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