Last week I told you that what I am looking for now in homeschooling blogs or speakers is not theory or even new products, but encouragement and practical ideas I can do with my kids without spending lots of time or money. This week I want to share with you a bit about Brave Writer, where you can spend time and money, but, like Read Aloud Revival, you don't have to. You can still come away refreshed and ready to jump into new things with your kids!
A disclaimer before beginning: I've bought The Writer's Jungle and Jot It Down, but I haven't finished them yet and have only implemented small parts with my kids so far, so I can't really tell you a lot about all of the many different products at Brave Writer. I can tell you about the wonderful ideas and community that has come from Brave Writer, though, and that doesn't have to cost you a thing. That being said....
There are so many companies out there offering products and classes to help you teach your kids how to write. I've purchased IEW before, and have been fairly pleased with them because I think the structure of writing is important, but Brave Writer differs from other writing programs in the emphasis it puts on the relationship between the parent and the child in the writing process. Instead of being the one to impart knowledge of the writing process to your child, you're there to come alongside him and guide him in finding his voice as a writer and to enjoy the writing process, the details can come in later, but the voice of the writing is key.
So why do I enjoy Brave Writer so much when I've hardly used Brave Writer products? The short answer is Julie Bogart, the founder of Brave Writer. She does such a wonderful job of sharing experiences and offering insight from the other side of raising kids. She's so encouraging to listen to, not just pertaining to writing, but regarding the whole learning and growing process. Check out:
Periscopes: I don't even have the app, but almost all of her scopes (usually three a week) are archived, so you can go back and listen at your leisure.
Brave Writer Lifestyle Group: If you like what you hear on her scopes, check out the lifestyle group page on Facebook. There are like-minded mamas there who share their great thoughts there!
A Gracious Space: My friend won me a copy of Julie's fall edition of A Gracious Space, and it was such a needed gift when it arrived on my doorstep literally days after our big move. I have described this book to several people as a homeschool devotional, which is probably appropriate since my friend and I have become sort of Brave Writer missionaries, seeking out unsuspecting mamas at various events and launching into the hundreds of things we love about Brave Writer. Ha!
I think that Brave Writer is a community you'll truly appreciate if you've been homeschooling several years at least. The perspective she offers is so often just what I need to hear when I've gotten myself wound up about some minor detail or when I'm discouraged about how our day has gone. Sometimes this homeschooling thing is really hard, and it's so nice to have someone telling you that you can and will make it!