The Arrow

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All ten issues for 2012-2013 released one issue at a time (the 1st of each month).

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$9.95
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A huge variety of titles.

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Skip to the NEW 2013-2014 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 Platinum 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.

2013 - 2014 Arrow Book List

All Writer’s Jungle Platinum orders will be subscribed to this new 2013-2014 list with the release of the first issue on August 1, 2013.

Monthly subscriptions starting in May, June, and July will feature already published issues for those months until August when The Lemonade Wars is published.

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: The Lemonade War; Jacqueline Davies
(ISBN-13: 978-0-547-23765-7)
Link to reviews.

Sibling rivalry over dueling lemonade stands where math-smarts and people skills are on display.

September: Inside Out and Back Again; Thanhha Lai
Link to reviews.
(ISBN-13: 978-0061962790)

Written in accessible, short free–verse poems, Lai describes Ha’s journey from wartorn Viet Nam to a new life in America.

October: Turtle in Paradise; Jennifer L. Holm
(ISBN-13: 978-0375836909)
Link to reviews.

Newbery Honor Book about “Turtle,” a young girl who moves to Key West in 1935.

November: The Great Turkey Walk; Kathleen Karr
(ISBN: 978-0-374-42798-6)
Link to reviews.

Entrepreneurial prowess by a 15 year old set in 1860. Simon herds 1,000 turkeys from Missouri to Denver.

December: All of a Kind Family; Sydney Taylor
(ISBN-13: 978-0440400592)
Link to reviews.

A story about five daughters in a Jewish post World War I family, living on the upper east side of New York City. A well known classic book and series.

January: Navigating Early; Clare Vanderpool
(ISBN-13: 978-0385742092)
Link to reviews.

“New York Times Best Seller Navigating Early by Clare Vanderpool, Newbery Medalist for Moon Over Manifest, is an odyssey-like adventure of two boys’ incredible quest on the Appalachian Trail where they deal with pirates, buried secrets, and extraordinary encounters” (Amazon).

February: Chitty Chitty Bang Bang; Ian Fleming
(ISBN-13: 978-0763666668)
Link to reviews.

A magical car and a magical book by the creator of James Bond!

March: From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E Frankweiler; e. l. konigsburg
(ISBN: 978-0-689-71181-7)
Link to reviews.

Two-time Newbery Medal winner, Konigsburg, writes a tale about a child who runs away to the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

April: The Dreamer; Pam Munoz Ryan
(ISBN-13: 978-0439269988)
Link to reviews.

“Respinning the childhood of the widely beloved poet Pablo Neruda, Ryan and Sís collaborate to create a stirring, fictionalized portrait of a timid boy’s flowering artistry” (Booklist).

May: A Single Shard; Linda Sue Park
(ISBN: 978-0-547-53426-8)
Link to reviews.

“In this Newbery Medal-winning book, Tree-ear, an orphan, lives under a bridge in Ch’ulp’o, a potters’ village famed for delicate celadon ware” (Amazon).

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 2013-2014 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.