The Arrow

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On Sale in June, 2015

Skip to the NEW 2015-2016 Book List


Target audience:

  • 3rd to 6th grades
    (8-11, remedial for 12 year olds)
  • Partnership Writing and Faltering Ownership stages of growth (Chapter 14 in The Writer’s Jungle.

It takes approximately 24 hours to activate your year long subscription or your monthly subscription to the Arrow. You will hear from us via email with your login credentials once we’ve created your account.

What is the Arrow?

The Arrow is a monthly digital downloadable product that features copywork and dictation passages from a specific read aloud novel. You may look at (and use!) a sample issue by clicking on the “Download a Sample” button on the right.

It is the indispensable tool for Brave Writer parents who want to teach language arts in a natural, literature-bathed context, using copywork and dictation. It is a language arts resource that equips you, the homeschooling parent, to fulfill your best intentions related to:

  • Spelling
  • Punctuation
  • Grammar
  • Literary elements
  • Quality living literature

The practices of copywork and dictation teach your children the fundamentals of written communication. These practices naturally facilitate the development of accurate mechanics in the context of quality literature (the best words, in the best style, accurately edited).

The Skinny

  • Each month, the Arrow features one classic novel to be read aloud to your children.

  • Each week, it features a selected passage from that novel. The passages are accompanied by notes that detail spelling, punctuation, grammar and literary style elements found in the passage. These notes are designed to make it easy to pre-teach the passage (no advanced preparation necessary). Three of the four weeks, we feature a specific grammar element taught with creative exercises.

  • Each issue also highlights a literary element of the month. These are elements like assonance, alliteration, dialog, onomatopeia, powerful verbs, rhyme and more. Examples of the element are included in the issue and are taken from poetry, other novels or the novel featured in the Arrow.

  • Each literary element is accompanied by a writing tip or exercise that gives your kids a chance to play with the element in their own writing. The goal is to help kids notice quality writing and why it is successful. Then they can practice using the element so that eventually, they will naturally incorporate it into their original writing.

Brave Writer is unique on the market because we put such a strong emphasis on Literary Elements. These elements make writing pop. Your kids need to know how to use them in their own writing to be powerful writers (far more than they need to learn formats).

You may subscribe to this school year’s Arrow (new issues published on the 1st of each month), or buy them all at once (Complete Year Subscription for a reduced price) or you might like to buy them ala carte: Already Published Issues.

How do I use it?

You and your child will read the passage out loud to hear the musicality of the language, to notice the correct use of apostrophes or semi-colons, to note new vocabulary and tricky spellings, to pay attention to the grammatical structure or the special dialog punctuation. The Arrow supplies you with notes to help you notice what you might overlook in the passage. The Arrow helps you identify why the writing works and is enjoyable to read, as well as highlighting excellent uses of punctuation or alliteration or description.

After you’ve enjoyed the passage together, your child will either copy it into a copy book attempting to reproduce it exactly, paying close attention to all of the spelling and mechanical demands of the passage (copywork), or you will read the passage to your child and he or she will write it out onto a sheet of paper while listening to you, attempting to remember how to punctuate and spell the passage correctly (dictation). Copywork/dictation done about once a week over several years does more to increase your child’s ability to punctuate and spell correctly than any other practice I’ve ever run across.

The French swear by it and use dictation from Kindergarten all the way through lyceé (high school). I had to take dictation in college when I attended a French university! One other benefit to a steady diet of copywork and dictation is that eventually your kids will be able to take clear notes during lectures in high school and/or college. They will have developed an ear for really listening to the words and writing them quickly as well as accurately. This skill (writing accurately and quickly) is especially valuable in timed essay writing—college admissions tests as well as in-class essay exams.

Consistent copywork/dictation practice allows you, the home educator, to use quality literature to cover the aspects of writing that you care most about without the tedium of workbook sentences isolated from the context of real writing.

How it Works

The Arrow is a digital product only. We post each month’s issue in a private folder for subscribers. When you sign up, you are granted access to the private folder where the Arrow is housed. You may then open the folder, download the current issue and print it. You have a month to access and retrieve your issue of the Arrow. It does not exist in hard copy format.

You can order the ten-issue, year-long subscription to the Arrow for a reduced price (issues cost $7.90 rather than $9.95). When you do, you have access to all the issues as they are posted throughout the year in the special online folder. What that means for you is that you can come back to the folder in January and re-download September’s issue if you’ve accidentally deleted the file off your computer. A wonderful bonus!

Every subscription to the Arrow includes a Guide that teaches you how to execute copywork and dictation practice, as well as how to modify dictation based on the age and stage of your student. Download a sample Arrow by clicking on the “Download a sample PDF” button in the upper righthand portion of this page.

Be sure to consider pairing The Writer’s Jungle with The Arrow in our Two-Product Package for a complete year’s worth of writing instruction. You won’t need anything else AND these two together will cover a range of ages and levels.

2015 - 2016 Arrow Book List

IMG_5440 All Writer’s Jungle Platinum orders will be subscribed to this 2015-2016 list beginning June 1, 2015, as will all year-long subscriptions.

Monthly subscriptions starting in June and July 2015 will feature already published issues for those months until August 1, 2015 when the first title of the new book list publishes.

Books are not included in your purchase.

Caveat: It is up to you to “pre-read” or review these books to discover whether or not the content is suitable for your child. Brave Writer selects quality literature that we believe is appropriate for children, but we acknowledge that individual families will have their own set of criteria for what they consider a “match” for their values. There are no refunds or swaps for titles.

The ISBN numbers are only guidelines for locating the book. You are free to use a different edition for your homeschool.

August: They Mysterious Benedict Society; Trenton Lee Stewart
(ISBN-10: 0-316-00395-6)
Link to reviews.

“Are you a gifted child looking for special opportunities?” ad attracts dozens for mind-bending tests readers may try.

September: Flora and Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures; Kate DiCamillo
Link to reviews.
(ISBN-13: 978-0763660406)

It begins, as the best superhero stories do, with a tragic accident that has unexpected consequences.

October: How to Eat Fried Worms; Thomas Rockwell
(ISBN-13: 978-0440421856)
Link to reviews.

Because of a bet, Billy is in the uncomfortable position of having to eat fifteen worms in fifteen days.

November: Wonder; R. J. Palacio
(ISBN-13: 978-0375869020)
Link to reviews.

August Pullman wants to be an ordinary ten-year-old… But he is far from ordinary.

December: Poppy (Dimwood Forest #1); Avi
(ISBN-13: 978-0689837180)
Link to reviews.

At the very edge of Dimwood Forest stood an old charred oak where, silhouetted by the moon, a great horned owl sat waiting.

January: Love That Dog; Sharon Creech
(ISBN-13: 978-0064409599)
Link to reviews.

Written as a series of free-verse poems from Jack’s point of view, Love That Dog shows how one boy finds his own voice with the help of a teacher, a writer, a pencil, some yellow paper, and of course, a dog.

February: Courage Has No Color: The True Story of the Triple Nickles, America’s First Black Paratroopers; Tanya Lee Stone
(ISBN-13: 978-0763651176)
Link to reviews.

Sibert Medalist Tanya Lee Stone reveals the history of the Triple Nickles during World War II.

March: Understood Betsy; Dorothy Canfield Fisher
(ISBN-13: 978-1887840132)
Link to reviews.

A warm and charming portrayal of American life in the early 1900s.

April: Cracker: The Best Dog in Vietnam; Cynthia Kadohata
(ISBN-13: 978-1416906377)
Link to reviews.

Cracker is one of the United States Army’s most valuable weapons: a German shepherd trained to sniff out bombs, traps, and the enemy.

May: Love Ruby Lavender; Deborah Wiles
(ISBN-13: 978-0152054786)
Link to reviews.

When Ruby’s grandmother, Miss Eula goes to visit her new grandbaby in Hawaii, Ruby is sure that she will have a lonely, empty, horrible summer without her in boring old Halleluia, Mississippi.

2014-2015 Book List

still subscribing through the end of May 2015.

August: The Mysterious Howling: The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place; Maryrose Wood
(ISBN-13: 978-0061791109)
Link to reviews.

Found running wild in the forest of Ashton Place, the Incorrigibles are no ordinary children…

September: Shadow Spinner; Susan Fletcher
Link to reviews.
(ISBN-13: 978-0689830518)

A delightful fictional retelling of the 1001 Arabian Nights.

October: Homesick: My Own Story; Jean Fritz
(ISBN-13: 978-0142407615)
Link to reviews.

This fictionalized autobiography tells the heartwarming story of a little girl growing up in an unfamiliar place.

November: Hatchet; Gary Paulsen
(ISBN: 978-0689840920)
Link to reviews.

Stranded in the desolate wilderness, Brian uses his instincts and his hatchet to stay alive for fifty-four harrowing days.

December: Hereville: How Mirka Got Her Sword; Barry Deutsch
(ISBN-13: 978-1419706196)
Link to reviews.

A graphic novel about “[y]et another troll-fighting 11-year-old Orthodox Jewish Girl…”

January: Where the Red Fern Grows; Wilson Rawls
(ISBN-13: 978-0375806810)
Link to reviews.

A heart-warming adventure tale of a boy and his dog. Bring the Kleenex.

February: One Crazy Summer; Rita Williams-Garcia
(ISBN-13: 978-0060760908)
Link to reviews.

Newberry Honor novel about three sisters traveling to Oakland California in 1968, in search of their mother.

March: Om-kas-toe; Kenneth Thomasma
(ISBN: 978-0801088841)
Link to reviews.

Life changes dramatically for the Blackfeet people in the early 1700’s when a twin brother and sister discover a strange animal and succeed in bringing it back to the tribe.

April: Same Sun Here; Silas House, Neela Vaswani
(ISBN-13: 978-0763656843)
Link to reviews.

In this extraordinary novel in two voices, an Indian immigrant girl in New York City and a Kentucky coal miner’s son find strength and perspective by sharing their true selves across the miles.

May: These Happy Golden Years; Laura Ingalls Wilder
(ISBN: 978-0060264802)
Link to reviews.

Friendship soon turns to love for Laura and Almanzo in the romantic conclusion of this Little House book: 8th in the series.

How to Purchase the Arrow

Monthly The Arrow can be purchased as a monthly automatic payment starting any time (June and July will feature already published issues, new book list will start in August). Sign up using the Paypal button for subscribers on the upper right side of this page. Each individual issue is $9.95.

Year Long You may also purchase all ten issues at once for a reduced price: $79.00 for all ten issues ($7.90 per issue, rather than $9.95). Each issue is published on the first of the month. Sign up here.

Or, send a check (made out to Brave Writer LLC) to the following address:

Brave Writer LLC
7723 Tyler’s Place Blvd. Ste. 165
West Chester, OH 45069

Be sure to state that you want the Arrow 2014-2015 and include both an email address and phone number.

Refund Policy

The discounted, year long price is a non-refundable subscription. If you aren’t sure whether or not the Arrow is for you, sign up for the monthly subscription at the end of July so that you can cancel if you choose to, or download the sample issue so that you may try it out first.