Are homemade volcanoes, paper airplanes, and animal behavior your kind of thing? Want to become a better writer while finding out how the flu spreads or what it takes to make a high-speed train go faster?

If so, you're invited to join Sarah Holden for Skip into Science! In this four-week course you will ask, think, play, and share like a scientist. Each participant will choose a topic, research it, possibly create an experiment, then record discoveries in a piece of science writing.

Week One: Ask Like a Scientist

Question everything! The world won’t look the same once you observe and probe with the razor-sharp focus of a scientist on the hunt for knowledge and meaning. 

Week Two: Think Like a Scientist

Deep research and note-taking.  You will create a feast of resources on your chosen topic (books, media, experts) and settle in to a large plate of learning.  You’ll be encouraged to put everything else aside this week as you drink deeply from the records of the world while taking notes on the most enticing bits.

Week Three: Play Like a Scientist

Experiment week! Play like a scientist by designing and conducting a formal experiment on your topic of choice while exploring the precision of data and reporting.

Week Four: Share Like a Scientist

Put it all together! You will finalize your project, revise, and present it to the class.

Study and, in general, the pursuit of truth and beauty is a sphere of activity in which we are permitted to remain children all our lives.

-Albert Einstein

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 classroom, designed specifically to meet the needs of Brave Writer. Only registered students and the instructor have access to the classroom to ensure your privacy. Assignments and reading materials are posted by Brave Writer instructors each week (no additional supply fees necessary, unless otherwise indicated). Either you (homeschooling parent) or your child (homeschooling student) will visit the classroom daily at your convenience to read helpful information about the current topic or to find the writing assignment. We operate "asynchronously" (which means that the discussion is not live, but that posted information remains available to you in your time zone at your convenience). Instructors check the classroom throughout the day to answer questions and give feedback on writing.

Writing is done at home and then typed into the classroom, and shared with both the instructor and other classmates. You're not required to be online at any specific time of the day. We have students from all over the world participating in our classes so "live" discussion is impossible. Instead, the online classroom enables the instructor to post information and assignments when it is convenient to the instructor. Then, when it is convenient for you, you come to the classroom and read the latest postings.

Instructor feedback to student writing is offered for all participants to read. Writing questions are welcomed and encouraged! That's the point of class. We aim to give you immediate support as you face writing obstacles.

Brave Writer takes seriously the need for encouragement and emotional safety in writing. No student is ever at risk of being humiliated or mistreated. All online dialog is respectful and supportive of your child's process. This is the core of Brave Writer philosophy. You can read about Brave 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.