When I discovered Brave Writer curriculum a little over a year ago, I was unaware at all that “Brave Writer” entailed. We received Jot it Down and The Writer’s Jungle to review and enjoyed reading more about this new (to me) style of teaching writing. But the more I read about Brave Writer, the thing that stood out to me more and more was not the curriculum so much as something else–the Brave Writer Lifestyle. And so we developed a Brave Writer routine.
There is so much information in The Writer’s Jungle and on the BW site, that frankly, trying to wrap my brain around it all was overwhelming at first.
But when I did….oh, then.
We’d been living a Brave Writer lifestyle for about 15 years. I just wasn’t aware it had a fancy name.
Last September I wish I would have had a guide or even just some examples of what they style of homeschooling looked like. This is what I hope to show you today.
What is the Brave Writer Lifestyle?
Basically it boils down to this–Having a language rich home.
But what does that mean?
Under the influences of Charlotte Mason (what was also one of my earliest homeschool influences) Julie Bogart, BW’s founder, has styled this type of homeschool approach around providing your children with activities that are rich in language.
Here’s a breakdown of what the BW lifestyle encompasses:
(I’ve linked to a few of my posts to share more about these things.)
- Poetry Teatime
- Reading Aloud
- Big Juicy Conversations
- Literary Elements
- Nature Journaling
- Writing Projects
- Art Appreciation
- Movies and Television
- One on One Time
- Jot It Down–writing down what your kids say/recording their stories
- Language Games
- Sharing Your Writing–display kids’ writing for others to see, mailing writing pieces to Grandma, etc.
As I learned more about the BW lifestyle, I loved the way it sounded. It took so much pressure off checking boxes and more focus on checking those invisible boxes, like:
- going outside for a walk and noting the birds you saw
- watching a great movie together
- writing a letter to a pen pal
- playing games
Basically, it was more about the relationship with your kids instead of focusing so so much on academics.
Because ultimately, your kids won’t remember having a hard time they had with Math Lesson 45 on page 165, but they will remember how we made it harder by freaking out on them.
After getting acquainted with with the BW lifestyle was, I knew we were off to a great start:
- Reading Aloud? Oh yes!
- Art Appreciation? Of course!
- Movies? Every Friday night!
- One on one time? Yes, and making a point to do it more!
- Games?? Done!
But, on a more concrete level…what does this look like every week?
Our weekly Brave Writer Routine (for language arts)
Last year, I chose to use Jot it Down (writing program) for my then 2nd and 4th graders.
This year, we have fully immersed ourselves in BW language arts curriculum even more.
This year, we’ve moved up to Partnership Writing for my now 3rd and 5th graders.
We’ve added in Help for the High Schooler this semester for my 9th grader.
Along with a few other elements, this is what our week looks like for language arts:
|New Copywork (taken from current read aloud)||Correct Copywork: kids look over their copywork from yesterday and correct any punctuation or messy handwriting.||Word game and/or Freewrite||Last Friday of the month we complete the writing assignment from the final pages of the Arrow guides.|
|3rd + 5th Grader: Introduce new writing project from Partnership Writing at the beginning of the month. We work on these projects throughout the week.||Work on writing project.||Lesson from the Arrow and Boomerang guides.||Work on writing project.|
|9th Grader: Follows the text and writing prompts/assignments in Help for the High Schooler. This is M-F, except for co-op day.|
My kids each keep a composition notebook. The first half of the book is for copywork and Arrow/Boomerang lessons. The last half is for freewriting.
Our weekly Brave Writer Routine (for everything else)
What I really love about the BW lifestyle is that it’s about so much more that school! And learning more about the BW lifestyle taught be to COUNT the things that we do that might not look like a typical school day.
Here’s the other things we incorporate into our school weeks and months for a language rich home.
|Nature walk and journal entries (a few times/month).||One on one time with certain kids during the week depending on our activities.||Poetry Tea Time||Fine Arts Friday: art projects a few times a month|
|Read Aloud almost every day.||Field trips! (usually 1-3/month)|
|Family Movie Night|
A ‘could,’ not a ‘should’
My purpose for writing this post is to give you a clear picture of what a Brave Writer routine could look like, not should look like. As always, never copy and paste. Always modify, tweak, and adapt ideas for your own family.
We love using Brave Writer and we are writing more than ever this year. I am so excited about that.
I have let go of many things that unpractical expectations for my kids (and myself) over these almost 10 (!!!) years of homeschooling.
But all that refining, tweaking, and reexamining is always for the better.