Join Brave Writer for a tour of Steinbeck country!

This four-week literary analysis class will take a deep dive into the life and work of John Steinbeck, Nobel Prize winner and one of America's foremost authors. To give students a true taste of Steinbeck's body of work, we will be looking at books from early, middle and late periods of his career, spanning the three different genres he mastered so poignantly: short story, fiction and memoir.

The Red Pony consists of four short stories that explore several episodes of maturation and growth in the life of a young boy, Jody Tiflin.

Of Mice and Men is a classic of American literature. This novella follows George and Lennie, two migrant laborers in California during the Great Depression.

Travels with Charley is a late-in-life memoir that chronicles Steinbeck's trip around the country, to see America one last time, in a makeshift camper van with his loyal dog, Charley.

Each of the first three weeks will cover one of these works, along with readings on the major themes  in the context of Steinbeck's life and point of view. Students will complete short, thought-provoking exercises and engage in lively discussion surrounding the plot points, literary devices and reflections on the genre itself. Students will be expected to comment thoughtfully on responses written by other students.

Our last week will tie together what students have learned about Steinbeck and his work into a larger writing project, of 500-1000 words. Here students get to leap into the pool of literary analysis, connecting their own dots and sharing their interpretations of what they've read.

In studying Steinbeck's trademark style, common themes and life story, this class lays the groundwork for future study of Steinbeck's longer books, such as The Grapes of Wrath, and East of Eden.  

This is a reading-intensive class, with over 500 pages across all three books. It is recommended that your child be a strong reader and preferably have read one or two of the books in advance. Students wishing to take this class should be working at a solid grade 9-12 level. Each book will need to be read prior to that week's discussion.

Brave Writer cannot ensure the appropriateness of this reading material for your child. This class is recommended for high school students, but it is up to the parent to review these books thoroughly to determine whether or not each book is suitable for your child to read.

Class Structure Description

Brave Writer online classes are specially designed with the busy homeschooling parent in mind. Classes last anywhere from four to six weeks. We offer courses that address a specific writing need so that you can take the ones that suit your family throughout the school year. Short class sessions enable you to work around family vacations, out-of-town swim meets, recovering from wisdom teeth removal, and visits from grandparents. We operate on the quarter system, including a summer session. Our most popular classes repeat each quarter, while others are seasonal.

Our classes meet in a customized online classroomBrave Writer values here.

What makes our program especially unique in the world of online education is that we value a corporate experience. Rather than teaching your child in a tutorial format, we prefer students to have the opportunity to both publish their work for an audience (other students) and also to have the chance to read other student writing. In no other setting is this possible. Schools-in-buildings rarely have students read each other's work. Homeschooled children are rarely in a classroom environment to begin with, so the opportunity to read peer-writing is nil.

Our classes provide an utterly unique experience in the world of writing instruction. Since most writers grow through emulation of good writing, it is a real advantage to Brave Writer kids to get the chance to read the writing of their fellow home-educated peers. They love it! They get to examine and internalize other ways of writing, analyzing and expressing ideas similar to their own. They have the chance to validate and cheer on their peers. And of course, the best part of all is that they receive the praise and affirmation of kids just like them.

Not only that, all instructor feedback is posted to the classroom for all students to read. That means your kids get the benefit of instructor comments on many papers, not just their own. We've noted that this style of instruction is especially effective and hope you'll test it and agree!

Click here to login to a sample classroom.