What is Brave Writer?
Welcome to Brave Writer
Kids are tremendously interesting people, even the ones who write poorly. My goal is to help you do your job—to draw out the mind-life of your child so that you can capture those precious thoughts in writing. What’s on paper ought to be a fair and insightful representation of all that goes on in your kids’ busy heads. And when it is, you and your young writers will love the results.
That, in a nutshell, is why Brave Writer exists.
Self-expression in written form should not be so infuriatingly difficult to teach. But it is for most of us. We have to learn what writing isn’t before we can teach what it is.
Let me back up.
How did I get into running a business about writing instruction? Many of my homeschooling friends were tremendously frustrated teaching their kids to write. Knowing that I’m a professional writer and editor, they asked for help. I enjoyed teaching my kids to write (though it wasn’t always easy) but was unsure if I had anything new to say to these moms. Still, I offered my help and discovered right away that professional writers talk very differently about writing than educators. What started in a church Sunday school class quickly grew into a business.
My goal then (as it is now) was to enhance the mother-child relationship through the teaching of writing rather than the usual weeping and gnashing of teeth that accompanies so many writing programs.
(For more information on the origins of Brave Writer, read the Introduction to my home study course, The Writer’s Jungle.)
This website offers you thoughts on writing, a few exercises to try at home with your children and a forum where you can post questions and expect helpful replies. We also offer online courses for you and your kids so you can get the support you need as you need it. These classes are designed to offer accountability and group interaction to help you carry out your best writing intentions.
The classes enrich my life. I’ve watched children discover that what they have to say is important. I’ve seen reluctant writers perk up and take pride in their work. I’ve been privileged to work with high school kids who catch the writing bug and become passionate writers. And I’ve watched mothers gain confidence and joy in helping their children become competent writers.
The online classes are taught by me, and our Brave Writer Instructors: Jon Bogart (MA literature and composition), Rachel Boyer, Rachel Ramer, Christine Gable, Jean Hall and Rita Cevasco (MA speech pathology). All have homeschooled their own children, have been published and/or have worked in their respective fields as professionals. All materials are written and created by me.
The Writer’s Jungle is a written version of the Kidswrite Basic course plus oodles more. In it, I give mothers the right tools to attack any writing assignment they encounter or create for the educational lifespan of their homeschools. Most kids begin writing in earnest around ages 9-10. This course works for children of all ages since its goal is to teach mothers and kids the nature of generating original thought and committing it to paper (you may find that your own writing improves upon using this course, too).
Once kids realize that paper is a safe place for thought exploration, they can learn how to craft their writing into satisfying finished products that use all kinds of writing devices. Writing becomes a safe playground instead of an intimidating foreign country. Brave Writer works through all the steps from thought-origination to published work of writing.
An amazing primary benefit to this method of writing is that you get to enjoy the bright, imaginative minds of your children in a new and conscious way.
One of the mothers I worked with said:
I’m getting to know my kids better. I talk to them more, ask them what is going on inside, am more careful to draw them out rather than critique every sentence out of their mouths. I’m looking for ways to encourage sharing instead of looking for ways to get them to be quiet and give me some peace. I’m looking at who they really are, not pressuring them into being someone I think they should be.
You can teach your kids to write. You’ll discover that they’re fascinating people waiting to be heard and that their insights and thoughts deserve to be recorded and remembered. And you’ll find that you’re just the person for that job!
Where should you read next?
Read about The Writer’s Jungle.
Learn more about online classes.