Download Your Free Writing Lessons!
owner and creator of
Brave Writer, the
homeschool writing program
designed to ensure peace
in the writing process.
I wonder if you're at all like I was as a home educator.
I remember sitting at the kitchen table with an open math textbook, a child
looking up at me with pleading eyes, and my heart racing because I literally did
not understand the mathematic process on the page. It was in that moment that I
dearly wished I could contact the author and ask him, "What did you mean by this
information in your instructions?"
Alas, I could not ask that question! Instead, I was left frustrated and alone,
and my child lost some confidence (rightly so!) in my ability to be helpful to
her when she encountered math difficulties.
I discovered that many parents had
this exact experience when teaching writing!
They would open the writing manual to read a set of instructions about a
descriptive paragraph, they would explain them to their child...and
The parent would hand the child a blank page
and get back a blank stare!
At that moment, parents enter the lonely space of "Now what do I do?" and
have nowhere to turn.
Most homeschool writing materials focus on "what to do" rather than how you
actually get it done. It's like a math book that tells students to do long
division but never shows a child how to factor or the relationship between
multiplication and division.
Not to worry!
YOU are uniquely qualified to come to your
child's aid! You can become a writing
coach and ally to your child!
Understanding grammar and writing formats
alone will not help your children to write well.
What will help them to be effective writers is to give them tools so that
they discover the writing partner that
lives within. They need to get in touch with the
language, ideas, thoughts, and stories they want to tell, in the ways they want
to tell them, freely, into an emotionally safe space, supported by a parent who
is head-over-heels in love with that child. That's you!
Brave Writer offers a host of products that give you a variety of ways to
interact with writing. The website and
are rife with free insight and instruction. Our materials are divided into three
types of products:
How do these fit together?
Language Arts Tools
Online Writing Classes
Glad you asked! Keep reading...
How writing is like sewing
learning the skills needed for sewing, students start with
Once the student is comfortable with sewing, she may use patterns to create
Writing, like sewing, is a set of skills a person masters over time that can
eventually be applied to academic forms of writing, with developmentally
appropriate writing experiences along the way.
In Brave Writer, The
is the sewing machine.
The manual orients a child to the processes of writing: finding the words that
live within, observing keenly, generating insight, and hooking readers.
These processes are explored using
is in the mouth and mind of the child at the time (like sewing skills are
learned using scrap fabric).
The writing is
interest-driven and exploratory.
The child is gaining facility
with the practice of accessing language from within and getting it to the page
in a variety of ways (all different styles of "language stitching"), supported
by you, the parent.
Each week, the parent reads a chapter of the manual and then tries the practice
with the child. This is how you would teach sewing—one stitch at a time.
In writing, these skills are:
and so on...
- learning to say what you mean,
- finding descriptive language through exploring your sensory experience deeply,
- asking yourself meaningful questions about the material before you try to write about it,
- saturating in the subject area long enough to have a vocabulary to support writing about it,
These are the skills of writing that must be explored
before attempting writing assignments
language arts products that teach the mechanics of writing) are similar to
managing the needle, pedal, and thread of the sewing machine.
As students learn the functional skills needed to run the machinery of writing,
such as spelling, grammar, punctuation, handwriting, and/or typing, parents come
alongside and support their children's original writing impulses by partnering
with them—helping them "thread the machine" or "guide the fabric," so to speak,
until their kids are able to perform those skills unaided.
In Brave Writer, we offer "writing assignments"—the formats of writing—in
several different ways.
We have two stand-alone products designed for the early developmental stages
And we have
online writing classes
that explore a variety of writing projects suited to the ages and stages of your
children.Writing is a set of skills
The point is this:
Writing assignments are the dress patterns of writing.
Don't hand your brand-new-to-writing student the equivalent
of an evening gown dress pattern and expect it to turn out right on the first
try just because there are "clear instructions." After students
understand how the machine works and can manage the demands of the machine,
then it's time to make a dress all on their own!
Formats for writing never teach your child how to write. Writing is a set of
skills applied to formats. This is why starting with formats is as wise as
handing your child a sewing machine and a dress pattern to teach her to sew.
Without having learned to stitch and buttonhole on scrap fabric, your child will
not be able to follow the pattern. Likewise, until a child has learned to write
using the scrap language that lives in her mouth and mind, she will not
successfully be able to write to format. Learning the skills of writing comes
practiced independently of assignments,
leading to developmentally appropriate writing projects
that reinforce and expand evolving skills.
exists to promote positive relationships between parents and children as they
embark on the writing process. In
other words, not only will your children learn to write using Brave Writer
materials, but your connection to your child will be enhanced and protected
through the processes and philosophy of Brave Writer's writing instruction.
Let me know how I can help you!
(513) 307-1405 (My direct line—call me!)
Download Your Free Writing Lessons Now!
Brave Writer offers you a natural, guided, nurturing approach to teaching the
writing process. Get started today!
P.P.S. We were voted a
top educational website
by Homeschool.com readers!