*Disclosure: I received a free copy of The Writer’s Jungle and Partnership Writing for review purposes and am being compensated for my time. I am not required to give a positive review. As always, I am sharing my honest opinion with you. This post contains affiliate links.
First, a Confession
I owned the Brave Writer curriculum years ago. I’d heard good things about it and bought it used for a crazy-low price when my two oldest were in early elementary. I thumbed through it a couple of times, stuck it on a shelf, and eventually sold it because it seemed too complicated. I had four young children and didn’t have time for complicated. What I didn’t realize at the time was that Brave Writer isn’t a book of lesson plans for students – it is a guide for the parent on how to teach writing.
A few years later I came across a link for a poetry tea. I added it to our Theme of the Day schedule and it quickly became the highlight of our week. We collected teacups from the thrift store and checked out seasonal poetry books from the library. I signed up for Julie Bogart’s newsletter and that was when I realized that I had given up a gold mine. I was over-the-moon excited when I found out that I was getting a second chance with this review!
Writing is the hardest subject for me to teach. I had no problem writing when I was in school, but struggled with how to pass along those skills to my kids. I had a MAJOR light bulb moment while reading The Writer’s Jungle (the how-to guide for parents). I’ve spent years creating my own curriculum plan so that our school year meshes with real life. We do Funschool for every season. We read living books. We practice grammar with Mad Libs. We cook and craft and celebrate every little holiday. No wonder my kids moan and groan when I assign some seemingly random writing assignment! They can’t see an application to real life and it is as dull as dirt.
Our Brave Writer Curriculum
The Writer’s Jungle – This is the guide book that teaches the parent HOW to teach writing. I am slowly working my way through this, taking notes as I go. (Some of my favorites are shown in the pics.) It is filled to the brim with ideas for making writing enjoyable, and with invaluable insight into how kids learn and process writing essentials. The Writer’s Jungle takes you by the hand and shows you how to work side-by-side with your children to stretch and strengthen their writing skills.
Partnership Writing – 10 monthly projects, step-by-step instructions, and a lesson plan schedule are included in this writing program for ages 9-10. (I am using it with my 10 yr. old & 12 yr. old.) Also available is Jot It Down! (5-8) and Faltering Ownership (11-12). The emphasis of these programs is on partnering with your children as they write instead of just handing them an assignment.
Learning to Enjoy Writing
My 12-year-old son hates writing. And I mean haaaaates writing. It’s dumb. It’s boring . It’s pointless. He always does the bare minimum. Going into our first Partnership Writing assignment, I decided to set the bar low and simply let my kids enjoy the Secret Code assignment. One sentence is all I required. You can imagine my shock when he started writing and asked, “Do I have to do just one sentence? Is it okay to do more?”, and then went on to write a whole paragraph to translate into secret code. High five Brave Writer!!
For the first time EVER, I look forward to our writing times each week. I am learning so many ways to turn my children into brave writers through activities that are already a part of our homeschool days.
- Poetry teatime
- Nature study
- Art appreciation
- Read Alouds
- Word Games
Connect with Brave Writer:
Have you tried Brave Writer? Do you love it as much as we do?