Monday, March 30, 2009

Brave Writer vs. Other Writing Programs

I started working for Julie Bogart and Brave Writer, her language arts business for homeschooling families, in the spring of 2002 when I taught a poetry class. My health worsened immediately after the class and I couldn't handle teaching another course, so I helped Julie with the poetry portion of the Slingshot, a monthly language arts subscription for high school students. Later I wrote more of the Slingshot, the novel portion and the writing assignment suggestion as well as the poetry. As I have started improving in health in the last year, I picked back up with teaching the newer "One Thing" series of classes, including courses in Shakespeare, poetry, and grammar. Julie asked me to write the Boomerang this spring for her, the monthly language arts subscription for grades 7-9, and I'm enjoying writing it each month.

I've extensively used Julie's two writing guides, The Writer's Jungle and Help for High School. Both are really terrific in developing kids into writers. I love her approach: nurturing our children into discovering and developing their voice as writers. Because Julie comes at writing from the position of a professional writer rather than as a teacher/academic, her approach is very different from any writing program available. Julie's focus is the writer, not forms nor content ... both of which come into play once the writer is expressing him- or herself with relative ease and confidence.

After spending the weekend at a homeschooling conference, Julie addressed the differences between Brave Writer and other programs on the market. Her Brave Writer blog is a wonderful writing resource, even if you are using other programs (which can work with Brave Writer) and really is a not-to-be-missed home school resource. You may read her post by clicking here: Brave Writer vs. Other Programs. On the Brave Writer site are many FREE resources, including articles and her extremely helpful Yahoo loop which is really a FlyLady for homeschoolers.

If your family (like mine) has some reluctant writers, then Brave Writer may be the program for you. It's a wonderful way to teach writing that truly comes from the heart of our writers. That's what writing is all about in the end, after all. And the focus is on our kids first and the writing second which is exactly the way it should be.

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