There have been many times when I’ve been absolutely sure that God led me to a certain book, curriculum, or resource. (A few examples would be: All About Reading, Draw Write Now, Five in a Row, NaturExplorers, and Teaching Textbooks.)
THIS is certainly one of those times when I felt the Lord placed just the right resource in my lap. (He’s so awesome!)
Let me explain:
We’ve been struggling our way through writing for a few years now.
My skepticism simply arose from the fact that I have really had a hard time finding writing programs that worked for our children. Especially my eldest, who is an extremely reluctant writer. (He’s 11.)
It only took me a short time of reading The Writer’s Jungle and various other resources from Julie Bogart to feel confirmed that the Lord brought Brave Writer to us and our homeschool. I am so (SO!) excited to starting using these philosophies and resources in our home.
I am nearly done reading through all of The Writer’s Jungle. I have about a billion sticky tabs all over the place to remind me of great suggestions, projects we need to do, and tips that will prove helpful more than once (I’m sure!). It acts as a comprehensive, friendly manual for helping us understand how to better relate to our children and help them learn to write effectively. The Writer’s Jungle is not a curriculum, it is a description of a lifestyle and a compilation of chapters of insight and inspiration for moving past stumbling blocks and getting to the heart of what it really means to ‘write well’. It is fabulously inspiring.
Chapters include topics like: Narration, Copywork, Dictation, The Role of Communication in the Art of Writing, Rescuing Reluctant Writers, Revising, The Topic Funnel, Editing, Dumb Assignments, and so much more.
There are also loads of assignments to work on with your kids that correspond with the chapter topics. A couple examples are: The Communication Game, The Keen Observation Exercise, Topic Funnel Exercise, Journal Writing, etc.
I also decided to invest in A Quiver of Arrows and The Arrow for our language arts this year and so far, I’m loving everything I am seeing! (More about that below.)
My first impression is that Brave Writer is a gentle, natural, intentional approach to not only writing, but also relationship with our children.
Julie Bogart (the creator of Brave Writer) describes that the Brave Writer philosophy/lifestyle often “…feels foreign, almost like entering a different culture.”
Honestly, I don’t feel like we will have to change our educational philosophies at all – Brave Writer’s philosophies fit so well with what we’re already doing! It’s quite remarkable, actually.
If you lean towards gentle teaching and/or a Charlotte Mason inspired homeschool, Brave Writer is very likely to appeal to you and your children.
Julie also says:
“Brave Writer is focused on PEOPLE. That’s why it is called Brave Writer not Brave Writing… One of the reasons our program feels different is because I’m inviting you to get to know your kids. To value what comes out of their mouths. To be interested in their thoughts. To have eye contact and big, juicy conversations. To celebrate language with them not to do school to them. That’s the difference…. We are about a lifestyle more than a program.”
When I hear those words, I am overwhelmed with a sense of rest, peace, and great relief.
They affirm what I already know to be true in my heart, friends – that writing is a natural process that can and will develop if nurtured in the right ways specific to every individual child. Especially when relationship is the core focus, children will thrive in their ability to communicate well with us and others.
Figuring out How it Works
A Focus on Family Relationships and Reading Great Books
YES!!! A writing ‘program’ that puts a complete emphasis on building great relationships with our kids and reading great books together! Imagine that!? The majority of everything Brave Writer offers in centred around relationships, an atmosphere of rest, and sharing age-appropriate living books together as a source of knowledge, inspiration, conversation, and enrichment.
Need I say more? I was pretty much sold from ‘hello’ on this one, friends.
Poetry Tea Time and Friday Free Write
But I’ve never intentionally had a tea/poetry time on a weekly basis. We are starting this habit this year. I’m pretty pumped about it.
We may choose to move on to other courses after that, but I’m not sure yet.
Language Arts Programs
There are also countless online classes available through the Brave Writer website. If this is something that interests you, you can learn more by browsing their website’s Online Classes section.
If you are longing for a relationship-based, restful approach to language arts and writing?
Then Brave Writer might just be what you and your kids need.
I hope this preview is at least a little helpful if Brave Writer is completely new to you.
I am working on a full review of The Writer’s Jungle along with my thoughts on A Quiver of Arrows and The Arrow, coming up in the couple of months. We need to actually use the program for me to properly review and discuss it with all of you!
I just had to share this preview and my excitement in finding Brave Writer so you can start browsing their stuff if this sparks your interest!!!
More to come…
For those of you who are wanting more information about the foundations of Brave Writer and how all the pieces fit together – check out this video: