Brave Writer Lifestyle
Have you ever thought, "I love the Brave Writer philosophy, but how do I make this work every day for my family?" If you have, you are not alone.
Many times, a new family will purchase The Writer's Jungle or will take the Kidswrite Basic course and then ask, "But now what?" Lots of moms will want to know how to take the Brave Writer natural and lifestyle-oriented approach to living language arts and incorporate it into their lives. Up until now, I've pointed moms back to The Writer's Jungle and have suggested more online courses. Both of these are still primary ways to stay connected to Brave Writer so that you grow as a writing coach and as someone who provides a language rich environment for your kids.
Still, at the back of my mind was a nagging sense that I could do more to put moms at ease in using this new philosophy.
Recently, I had an experience that helped me grasp the meaning behind the desire for further support in Brave Writing. I've always been someone for whom housework does not come naturally. I love my house when it is all picked up, vacuumed and pillows fluffed. I love to have company over so that I'm pushed to make that happen. But on the whole, any attempts I made to sustain that kind of clutter-free, clean environment seemed to break down over time. Inertia and a feeling of powerlessness overruled my intentions. At times I got downright depressed about it and wondered what I could do to change that trend.
Earlier this year, I discovered (through the recommendation of a friend) the Flylady website. She helps non-intuitive home executives like me to learn how to manage our homes in a natural, yet truly helpful way. Her website and her email list offer practical support and reminders to keep me on track (even when I take a week off or just don't do all that she suggests).
Within weeks, my home took a dramatic turn toward improvement. And I started to understand why my mother and friends who maintain neat homes are confounded by my inability to do so. They are naturally inclined to think in terms of their homes. This is part of how they spend time. They think, imagine and plan because they are conscious of their homes in a way I am not. My mental energy and creativity were being expressed elsewhere.
It's not that I couldn't do what they do (I am perfectly capable of mopping floors and throwing in loads of laundry). It's that I wasn't doing it with any consistency that left me feeling "on top" instead of "coming from behind" all the time.
My Aha #
It was at this point that I had an "Aha!" for my Brave Writer community. My lifestyle approach to writing and language arts is similar to my friends' approach to their home management. I'm intuitively able to create an environment for my kids that encourages written expression, that majors on reading and literature discussions, that naturally promotes word games and lively discussions about grammar and its uses. Yes, these things all happen naturally for me. I have an internal radar that seizes on opportunities to make language and self-expression, reading and story analysis part of our daily lives.
I realized that none of what I do is difficult. Any of you can do it and probably already do to a greater or lesser degree. But you may not be spending your free time ruminating about language arts like I do. Hence, you find yourself running in short energetic bursts with poetry, writing and narrating, yet feel guilty that you are "coming from behind" instead of "staying on top."
Over the past month, I've been taking notes from my own life to get a feel for how I do what I do. The results of that self-study will be found in the new program I've developed called, The Brave Writer Lifestyle. I've also included ideas from families who've been a part of Brave Writer over the last couple of years.
When I began Brave Writer, it was with the intention of "holding the hands" of moms who didn't have the confidence to be their kids' allies and coaches in writing. Our online classes and the home study course have provided that support for hundreds of families.
The Absolutely Free Program #
Now, I'm pleased to announce that we are taking that philosophy to its next logical step. I've set up an email list for anyone interested in daily and weekly reminders that will help you to implement the ideas and actions that you believe in but feel somehow paralyzed to perform. Or perhaps you are just forgetful or can't figure out where to start. Now you will remember and know where to start.
Each of the activities will have a corresponding page on my website that will help you to know what steps to take, what materials you need and suggestions to enhance what the email reminder tells you to do.
Also, because of the significant influence of Charlotte Mason on my thinking, I have included nature study and art appreciation as part of the Brave Writing philosophy. Building on those, I've included movie viewing and theater performances as exceptional ways to keep your kids vitally involved in story, characterization and script writing.
You can receive the emails individually or in digest format. They will come on a regular basis. The purpose of the emails is to jog your memory–to jumpstart you in fulfilling those habits and routines that you know you want to do but keep forgetting to include. Of course you can just delete the ones you aren't interested in. But the reason I find the emails so powerful is that even when you fall off the wagon, you will be reminded and inspired again to just start up where you are. You won't have to feel bad for the next several months and try some other program to assuage your guilt (when you already know that this is how you'd prefer to live).
Don't feel guilty for not doing everything every week. I might send an email once a week for teatime. But if you only get to it once a month, that's plenty! It's fin e. If I only sent the message once a month, you might not remember to do it except every three months. This way you can pick a week that works for you. (Or if you are addicted to tea times like my kids are, you will do it every week).
The following is an itemized list of the Brave Writer activities that support the creation of a language rich lifestyle:
- Tea Time and Poetry
- Friday Freewrites
- One on One (One-on-one conversations with your kids that cause greater skill in narration)
- Nature journaling
- Artwork narration
- Grammar and spelling
- Language Games
- Writing projects (I'll send reminders for the writing process for each week of each month if you are working on one project per month. Detailed steps to follow for drafting and editing are still found in The Writer's Jungle though a quick reminder list will appear on the website)
- Read alouds
- Literary Elements
- Sharing your writing
- Using online writing communities
As we think of more ideas, we'll add them to the list and give you the support you need.
This list is totally free. You may share about it with your homeschooling groups, your online communities and any homeschooling friends. My "program" is actually a lifestyle and works well for families who are unschoolers because it is not a curricula. Rather, this is how I live regardless of whether or not my kids are in school.
One of the unique aspects of being a Brave Writer who is a mother is that I see you participating in both reading and writing. You'll learn more about the process of writing and depth-reading if you are growing as a writer and reader yourself. This is a whole family approach to living the writing/reading lifestyle.
Click on the area that interests you for more details about the various ways you can become a Brave Writer with your kids. And, if you are so inclined, sign up for the email list here: