A Brave Writer's Life In Brief

By Julie Bogart | Brave Writer

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Category: K-12

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Description

The Brave Writer podcast is a big juicy conversation about how to bring learning to life for your kids! Julie Bogart and guests talk about how parents and children are partners in the learning adventure, especially when approaching the daunting task of writing. Brave Writer appeals to homeschoolers, educators, and parents who want more out of "school" than merely passing tests. Visit us at http://bravewriter.com and follow along at the blog for show notes: http://blog.bravewriter.com

Episode Date
S4E25: Learning How to Learn | with Barbara Oakley
40:41

We recently had the pleasure of sitting down with Barbara Oakley, Ph.D., educator, writer, engineer, and perhaps most importantly, a female Indiana Jones!

 

Barbara’s work focuses on the complex relationships between neuroscience and social behavior, and we think that any Brave Writer fan is also going to be a fan of Barbara’s newest book – Learning How to Learn: How to Succeed in School Without Spending All Your Time Studying; A Guide for Kids and Teens – which teaches kids and teens simple tricks for learning difficult subjects, even if they don’t feel like they’re “good students.”

 

You can download show notes for the podcast here: http://blog.bravewriter.com/category/podcasts/

 

Resources:

 

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Brave Writer is produced by Podcast Masters

Aug 13, 2018
S4E24: Unschool Undefined (& Other Home Education Philosophies)
42:25

Do you ever feel stressed out talking about home education philosophies? When Unschooling, Classical Education, or Charlotte-Mason come up, do you ever feel like you’re going to have to defend yourself? Have you ever felt this way in an academic homeschooling community?

 

It’s weird, isn’t it?

 

In this episode, Julie discusses the importance of safe communities, the dangers of ideological purity, the red flags she saw around Unschooling, and three principles for a healthy education.

 

You can download show notes for the podcast here: http://blog.bravewriter.com/category/podcasts/

 

Resources:

 

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Brave Writer is produced by Podcast Masters

Aug 06, 2018
S4E23: The Top 10 Things to Have Done by the End of High School
47:45

Before getting into the topic of this episode – the top 10 things to have done by the end of highschool – we want to make something clear: you can’t teach your children everything by the time they’re 18.

 

As a matter of fact, your education wasn’t finished when you turned 18, either!

 

It’s okay to save or discover some things in adulthood. And truly, life would be so much less satisfying if learning and growth just stopped when we turned 18.

 

Homeschooling is, as Charlotte Mason says, providing a feast of ideas and giving your children the opportunity to sample many things, while developing confidence in their own self-educating powers.

 

That said, there are still some things that all parents probably want to equip their children with before the end of high school – and today we’re going to talk about them!

 

You can download show notes for the podcast here: http://blog.bravewriter.com/category/podcasts/

 

Resources:

 

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Brave Writer is produced by Podcast Masters

Jul 30, 2018
S4E22: Exploring Learning Differences: ADD, ADHD, Dysgraphia, Autism, Dyslexia
31:52

A disclaimer for this episode: we are not trained experts and our specialty is not special needs, so anything we share today is based on our own efforts to do research and learn from other trained efforts. So nothing in this episode should be considered clinical diagnosis or expert referral – this is all parent-to-parent sharing.

 

And Julie’s children are all adults now, so the stories she has to share come from the perspective of someone who has already made it to the other side and can see how it all worked out.

 

You can download show notes for the podcast here: http://blog.bravewriter.com/category/podcasts/

 

Resources:

 

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Brave Writer is produced by Podcast Masters

Jul 23, 2018
S4E21: Are you one big happy family? Homeschool advice for the frazzled!
51:58

Are you a happy family… or are you not? Today, we hope to solve that dilemma!

 

There’s a temptation to only consider the family identity when we think about our families, and that can be a wonderful identity to share!

 

But a family is a collection of individuals and we can’t forget that. The friction of human beings living in a family space together is always going to feel a little bit like controlled chaos – and it’s totally okay if that’s the way that it is!

 

However, making space for everyone in your family to have some of your focused attention and some alone time or downtime is the challenge, particularly for big families. So how can we leverage the unique benefits of homeschooling to do that – and what should we avoid?

 

You can download show notes for the podcast here: http://blog.bravewriter.com/category/podcasts/

 

Resources:

 

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Brave Writer is produced by Podcast Masters

Jul 16, 2018
S4E20: Partnership Home Education: Finding Friends for You
43:05

We often see families join Brave Writer or The Homeschool Alliance who get excited about this style of living, but then we struggle to find other like-minded individuals out there in the world.

 

Even in the homeschooling community, there can be a big disconnect between your theory of education and a friend’s. This may be someone you like personally, but they have a different vision of homeschool and it causes a little bit of conflict.

 

There are a few types of friends that you’ll want to cultivate in your homeschooling life, and today we want to share principles and stories that will help you do that.

 

You can download show notes for the podcast here: http://blog.bravewriter.com/category/podcasts/

 

Resources:

 

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Brave Writer is produced by Podcast Masters

Jul 02, 2018
S4E19: Family Dynamics in Homeschool: The Roles Your Kids Play
40:29

Today we want to talk about the roles in our families – and the incredible power of choice. We delve into the labels and roles we use to characterize our kids, how those may limit our children, and how to let young people explore who they want to be through choice.

 

Homeschooling is an empowering choice, and we can leverage that power to provide the best learning environment for our kids!

 

You can download show notes for the podcast here: http://blog.bravewriter.com/category/podcasts/

 

Resources:

 

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Brave Writer is produced by Podcast Masters

Jun 25, 2018
S4E18: No Silver Bullet: Searching for the Perfect Homeschool Curriculum
27:50

Julie spends a lot of time looking at the homeschooling zeitgeist, and she notices a common theme coming up every so often: the search for the one thing that’s going to magically create a flawless homeschool.

 

But really we shouldn’t be aiming for perfection – we should be aiming for progress!

 

You can download show notes for the podcast here: http://blog.bravewriter.com/category/podcasts/

 

Resources:

 

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Brave Writer is produced by Podcast Masters

Jun 18, 2018
S4E17: Brain-Based Learning - Part 2
21:53

In the last episode, Julie started breaking down some research on brain-based learning, or the science behind what it looks like to be a good learner. Today, we’re going to dig into the rest of that research so that we have a holistic understanding of how our children learn!

 

You can download show notes for the podcast here: http://blog.bravewriter.com/category/podcasts/

 

Resources:

 

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Brave Writer is produced by Podcast Masters

Jun 11, 2018
S4E16: Brain-Based Learning - Part 1
37:14

When Julie started learning about home education, she read a lot of work by home educators. Of course this makes sense because she wanted to understand the philosophy behind home education. However, learning the philosophy didn’t teach her to understand how learning functions inside a person’s brain.

 

So much of educational training is focused on organizational skills, but it’s also important to understand what’s happening inside our children's’ noggins!

 

You can download show notes for the podcast here: http://blog.bravewriter.com/category/podcasts/

 

Resources:

 

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Brave Writer is produced by Podcast Masters

Jun 04, 2018
S4E15: Permission to Party School
41:01

Julie coined the term Party School when she was developing her own homeschool experience. Today, we’re going to look at the properties of Party School and how you can turn it into a practice that brings a little enchantment to your homeschool.

 

With these tips and some imagination, you can transform the study of any subject into something more engaging and fun!

 

You can download show notes for the podcast here: http://blog.bravewriter.com/category/podcasts/

 

Resources:

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Brave Writer is produced by Podcast Masters

May 28, 2018
S4E14: The Ages & Stages of Awesome Adulthood
29:02

As we get older, we go through many different stages of our lives, and it can be challenging to discuss the topic of “Awesome Adulthood” because of this fact. Not everybody feels like they’re in a position to add anything to their lives, let alone an awesome new passion, hobby, or career choice.

 

If you have children under the age of five years old, for example, your primary job to to take care of them and your enriching self-education is going to be look like becoming skilled at parenting.

 

Our hope is that, when you’re in that early stage of parenthood, you will give yourself permission to become effective, understand what you’re doing, and care about that child. It’s a huge responsibility that you have, and they’ll be around for at least 18 years!

 

But as kids start getting to school age, your primary self-educating focus will shift to becoming a career home educator.

 

And like the many career educators in public and private schools, home education is indeed a career – but unlike other career educators, home educators don’t necessarily get any breaks from their students.

 

Without any breaks, the burnout is very real. Too many of us get depressed, feel inadequate, blame ourselves, or isolate ourselves. The joy can dissipate, and the more you devote to the home education task, the worst it gets; “You start to feel like your whole life is consumed with an unattainable task.”

 

Because not only is the act of teaching exhausting, not only do you not get a break, but your identity is directly tied to how your children perform.

 

And unfortunately, when you feel depressed or discouraged or joyless, your kids see that too, and they will reflect it back to you like a mirror.

 

The Remedy is Awesome Adulthood

 

“If you’ve made your well-being dependent on how somebody else is doing, you are no longer the master of your own soul, of your own wellbeing; you have taken this personhood that is yours and relocated it, in your children.”

 

What’s the remedy? Staying connected to the you that was you before the “you” became a “We,” whether that’s through marriage, children, or both.

 

This doesn’t mean you have to find a new career or a time-consuming hobby – you just need to try retaining that piece of you and allow it to express itself.

 

Does the word “awesome” in adulting scare you? Don’t worry, that’s really not the important part! It’s just alliterative!

 

Maybe you think of it as being a Happy Adult, or a Fulfilled Adult, or a Meaningful Adult – but you do deserve some time for yourself.

 

You deserve a prep period, a summer vacation, or a sabbatical… but, unfortunately, that’s not an option. But as a home educator, there’s something you CAN do that other educators can’t: mini vacations!

 

You can’t necessarily take an extravagant trip for yourself when you have children living at home, but you can still do something for yourself!

 

Here are a couple things to think about…

 

  • If a subject area in school piques your interest, but your kids lose interest, keep going! “Home education is a re-education for mothers.”

 

  • Every day, build in time for choices that make you happy. Even if it’s just for a moment, do something that reminds you that you have choices, value, and wants. The more that you allow yourself to desire, and be okay with that, the more your children have permission to do the same. It’s hard to teach someone to follow their passion if you don’t have experience cultivating your own.

 

 

 

Resources:

  • Check out this brand new, free product designed to kickstart your writing program this school year: 7-Day Writing Blitz (and tag your creative young writers using #BWBlitz on Twitter & Instagram!)

You can download Free Writing Lessons here: go.bravewriter.com/free-writing-lessons

May 21, 2018
S4E13: Being an Awesome Adult & Living Your Most Fulfilling Life
47:44

As home educators, what does it mean to have a satisfying adult life? How can we nourish and enrich our lives when we are so depleted from giving away so much to our kids? What happens if we spend so much of our time preparing our children that we end up watching our own lives go by?

 

Today we’re going to address these questions, and many more, with a conversation about Awesome Adulting.

 

You can download show notes for the podcast here: http://blog.bravewriter.com/category/podcasts/

 

Resources:

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Brave Writer is produced by Podcast Masters

May 14, 2018
S4E12: Developing Cultural Literacy & Empathy Through Books | with Sarita Holzmann
31:03

In 1989, homeschool curriculum programs were few and far between; parents had to assemble products piecemeal, and this problem was far worse overseas. However, Sarita Holzmann decided to help by creating book lists for parents living abroad and then shipping those books to them, all before Amazon and the modern Internet.

 

Fast-forward to present day: Sarita is the co-founder of successful homeschool curriculum brands Sonlight and Bookshark. The book selections are superb, and we especially enjoy the global focus.

 

In this episode, Sarita shares how books help expand a child’s perspective of the world and how she chooses the 300+ books she reviews each year.

 

You can download show notes for the podcast here: http://blog.bravewriter.com/category/podcasts/

 

Resources:

 

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Brave Writer is produced by Podcast Masters

May 07, 2018
S4E11: The Split Between Structured & Unstructured Learning
43:37

When Julie started homeschooling, all of the curricula she saw focused on what tasks the kids should do – there was nothing explaining to parents what it actually looks like to facilitate that process.

 

In other words, most writing programs and teaching methodologies said what to do, but not how to do it. So when Julie started Brave Writer, her goal was to help parents and children become partners in writing and learning because she saw that as the key element of a successful home education.

 

You can download show notes for the podcast here: http://blog.bravewriter.com/category/podcasts/

 

Resources:

 

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Brave Writer is produced by Podcast Masters

Apr 30, 2018
S4E10: How to Include Poetry Teatime in Your Family
38:31

What’s the difference between Brave Writer and some of the other writing programs available online? Julie originally saw the writing process as a relationship between trusted allies; the child and the parent.

 

You don’t grow a writer simply by focusing on the skill and act of writing – you also have to establish bonds of affection and joy around language.

 

And it’s so easy and natural to find that joy through Poetry Tea Time (so easy, in fact, that we call it the gateway drug to Brave Writer)!

 

You can download show notes for the podcast here: http://blog.bravewriter.com/category/podcasts/

 

Resources:

 

 

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Brave Writer is produced by Podcast Masters

Apr 23, 2018
S4E9: Integrating Cultural & Language Learning in Your Homeschool | with Anne Guarnera
51:44

Anne Guarnera has always been passionate about learning, languages in particular. Anne shares her passion for language learning with her husband, Daniel, and they are now introducing that love of language to their two young sons – and the rest of the homeschooling community through Language Learning at Home.

 

In this episode, Anne shares how cultural learning can be integrated into any homeschool curriculum, even if you don’t speak a second language yourself.

 

You can download show notes for the podcast here: http://blog.bravewriter.com/category/podcasts/

 

Resources:

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Brave Writer is produced by Podcast Masters

Apr 16, 2018
S4E8: Back to Homeschool: Maximizing the Perks of Home!
37:59

Today I want to talk about hominess in homeschool, and how you can you help your kids stay on task, while still experience the peace and comfort that home provides all of us.

 

At Brave Writer, we steadfastly resist images of yellow #2 pencils, school buses, and apples because we are not bringing school into our families. We want to reinforce the properties of home, as opposed to reinforcing the qualities of a faux school.

 

Home is about relaxing; letting go of obligation and pressure. It’s the place you get to show up as yourself – and when we mix in the properties of school, we’re actually violating that sense of hominess.

 

You can download show notes for the podcast here: http://blog.bravewriter.com/category/podcasts/

 

Resources:

 

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Brave Writer is produced by Podcast Masters

Apr 09, 2018
S4E7: Adding Adventure, Community, & Collaboration to Your Homeschool | with Dachelle McVey
35:36

Dachelle McVey owns and operates Hide the Chocolate, a blog about homeschooling adventures, parenting, and – occasionally – hiding the chocolate! She currently homeschools her daughters, ages 10 and 12, and homeschooled her son, who is in his first year of college.

 

We talk about the value of collaborative learning, how you can bring both local and online communities into your homeschool, and bringing your children on literary adventures.

 

You can read full show notes for the podcast here: http://blog.bravewriter.com/category/podcasts/

 

Resources:

 

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Brave Writer is produced by Podcast Masters

Apr 02, 2018
S4E6: The Scourge of Perfectionism
52:19

Today we’re going to look at the habit of perfectionism. We all know, deep down, that we have to let go of this compulsion to do things right on the first try, if we want to get better at living a satisfying life. So if we all know that, why do so many of us have this bad habit?

 

To figure that out, we’re going to explore the different dynamics of perfectionism, look at the topic through a new lens, and come up with some more tools for letting go of the things that just don’t work for us.

 

You can download show notes for the podcast here: http://blog.bravewriter.com/category/podcasts/

 

Resources:

 

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Brave Writer is produced by Podcast Masters

Mar 26, 2018
S4E5: The Natural Stages of Growth for a Home Educator
43:37

Julie has written a lot on the natural stages of growth for young writers, which help parents place their children and figure reasonable expectations. Today we’re looking at the natural stages of development for home school instructors.

 

If you are a home educating parent, this is made for you – and if you are married to someone who is not a home educating parent, this may serve as a helpful guide for them. Even if your spouse is not on the exact same journey, it is valuable for them to understand the unique  journey you’re undertaking.

 

You can download show notes for the podcast here: http://blog.bravewriter.com/category/podcasts/

 

Resources:

 

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Brave Writer is produced by Podcast Masters

Mar 19, 2018
S4E4: Diversity, Inclusion, & Literature | with Charnaie Gordon
26:34

Charnaie Gordon is a computer programmer by day, blogger and influencer by night, and a wife and mother of two 24/7. She is also a self-proclaimed lifelong learner, podcast junkie, and diversity and inclusion expert.

 

In Charnaie’s blog, Here Wee Read, she expresses her creativity and passion for reading, diverse literature, and literacy. More than anything else, Charnaie cares about connecting people with great books that they love because she believes – and we at Brave Writer agree – that books are an absolute necessity.

 

You can download show notes for the podcast here: blog.bravewriter.com/category/podcasts/

 

Resources:

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Brave Writer is produced by Podcast Masters

Mar 12, 2018
S4E3: 61 Things I Did RIGHT in My Homeschool
37:24

To be a home educator is to value learning – if you are part of the Brave Writer community, it is because you value learning. Although your children may not be able to articulate it, they know that your home is about learning, and that that is important to their parents. It is this gift that creates the platform for all else that you do.

 

Truly, if you approach your homeschool from a space of valuing education, as opposed to a fear of public schools, your children have already earned a sacred space in their hearts for learning. Just by living and breathing the value of education around your children, you are already ahead of the game.

 

With that in mind, this episode contains 61 things that Julie did in her homeschool – and that she is proud of!

 

You can download show notes for the podcast here: blog.bravewriter.com/category/podcasts/

 

Resources:

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Production & Development for The Brave Writer Podcast by Podcast Masters

Mar 05, 2018
S4E2: 55 Things I Did NOT Do as a Homeschooler
33:53

Julie homeschooled five children, and today each of them is grown and thriving, in very different environments. We know that homeschooling parents often have some anxiety around the aspirations for perfection that are so prevalent in home school education – but we don’t have to be perfect!

 

In this episode, we want to dispel some of that anxiety by sharing 55 thing that Julie did NOT do in her homeschool, but at some point thought she should do (or did do, and at some point thought she shouldn’t do)

 

You can download show notes for the podcast here: http://blog.bravewriter.com/category/podcasts/

 

Resources:

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Production & Development for The Brave Writer Podcast by Podcast Masters

Feb 26, 2018
S4E1: Morning Routines That Support Your Homeschool & Family
46:34

Today Julie is talking about one of her favorite topics in the world: morning routines! She discusses how you can approach structuring your mornings, five things you can do before noon, and the educational philosophy behind what we’re trying to achieve with our morning routines.

 

This is NOT a list of things you need to do every morning if you want to have a good day of homeschooling – it is an exploration of how morning routines really helped our home school, and how they may be used to help you too.

 

You can download show notes for the podcast here: http://blog.bravewriter.com/category/podcasts/

 

Resources:

 

 

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Production & Development for The Brave Writer Podcast by Podcast Masters

Feb 19, 2018
Bonus - Brain Breaks: How Stopping Instruction (and Having Fun) Can Help Children Go Further | with Joshua MacNeill
46:48

We know the early years are crucial when it comes to a child’s development – but do you know, specifically, how it affects the brain?

 

For example, in the first year of life, more than one million new neural connections are formed every second. Adversity impairs these new connections, and the greater the adversity a child faces, the greater the odds of a delay in their cognitive, language, or emotional development.

 

Today we’re going to learn more about the developing brain so that we, as parents and home educators, can incorporate brain-based practices into our family’s lives. Our guest for this episode is Joshua MacNeill, Director of Lakeside’s NeuroLogic Initiative and an expert in trauma-informed education.

 

You can download show notes for the podcast here: http://blog.bravewriter.com/category/podcasts/

 

Resources:

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Production & Development for The Brave Writer Podcast by Podcast Masters

Feb 05, 2018
S3E13: Be There: A Brave Role Model for Parents | with Karen O'Connor
47:47

Season three of the Brave Writer podcast has been all about Brave Shifts; how to make the necessary shifts so you can have the homeschool you long to have. The shifts that Julie has made, and the growth she has experienced in her life, has been guided and shaped by one individual more than any other: her Mom, Karen O’Connor!

 

Karen has always been a role model for how to grow, adapt, change, and become the best version of yourself no matter what life throws at you – and today we want to share that with you!

 

Karen is the author of over 80 books, which have sold hundreds of thousands of copies. Although she was a teacher as a young adult, she has bore witness to the power of home education. She currently teaches three writing classes for Brave Writer, inspiring children to find their writing voices.

 

You can download show notes for the podcast here: http://blog.bravewriter.com/category/podcasts/

 

Resources:

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Production & Development for The Brave Writer Podcast by Podcast Masters

Dec 11, 2017
S3E12: Dealing with a Diagnosis & Leaving a Beauty Mark on the World | with Joules Evans
48:33

Joules Evans is a mother of three, writer, cancer activist, fierce cheerleader of her friends in all of their creative endeavors, a girl with a severe case of wanderlust, YouTube vlogger, and on a mission to leave a beauty mark that she was there.

 

Nine years ago, Joules received a breast cancer diagnosis – and, today, she celebrates every single day, even the day she heard the scary C word. She shares her journey, writing her memoir, and what she’s doing now to support others.

 

You can download show notes for the podcast here: http://blog.bravewriter.com/category/podcasts/

 

Resources:

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Production & Development for The Brave Writer Podcast by Podcast Masters

Dec 04, 2017
S3E11: How TeachThought is Innovating Education & Empowering Students | with Terry Heick
01:06:47

Terry Heick is the Founder and Director of TeachThought, one of the world’s leading progressive learning brands, and their philosophy of education pairs beautifully with the Brave Writer lifestyle.

 

In this episode, we discuss the education trends in our digital world and how we can best apply those insights to the home environment.

 

You can download show notes for the podcast here: http://blog.bravewriter.com/category/podcasts/

 

Resources:

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Production & Development for The Brave Writer Podcast by Podcast Masters

Nov 27, 2017
S3E10: 21 Years of Home Education Wisdom: Poetry, Fanfiction, & Chronic Illness - with Susanne Barrett
41:49

Susanne Barrett is a beloved teacher, staff writer, and friend who has been with Brave Writer since the very beginning, when our classes were taught via prehistoric Yahoo Groups! She is currently in her 21st – and final – year of homeschooling, and she joins us on the show to share the lessons she’s learned along the way.

 

You can download show notes for the podcast here: http://blog.bravewriter.com/category/podcasts/

 

Resources:

Nov 20, 2017
S3E10: 21 Years of Home Education Wisdom: Poetry, Fanfiction, & Chronic Illness - with Susanne Barrett

Susanne Barrett is a beloved teacher, staff writer, and friend who has been with Brave Writer since the very beginning, when our classes were taught via prehistoric Yahoo Groups! She is currently in her 21st – and final – year of homeschooling, and she joins us on the show to share the lessons she’s learned along the way.

 

You can download show notes for the podcast here: http://blog.bravewriter.com/category/podcasts/

 

Resources:

Nov 20, 2017
S3E10: 21 Years of Home Education Wisdom: Poetry, Fanfiction, & Chronic Illness - with Susanne Barrett

Susanne Barrett is a beloved teacher, staff writer, and friend who has been with Brave Writer since the very beginning, when our classes were taught via prehistoric Yahoo Groups! She is currently in her 21st – and final – year of homeschooling, and she joins us on the show to share the lessons she’s learned along the way.

 

You can download show notes for the podcast here: http://blog.bravewriter.com/category/podcasts/

 

Resources:

Nov 20, 2017
S3E9: There Are No Educational Emergencies: Learning To Trust Yourself, Your Kid, & The Process | with Homeschool Alliance Coach Stephanie Elms
38:28

Stephanie Elms is Brave Writer’s fabulous Homeschool Alliance coach, and we hired her to help all of you homeschool with peace and progress. She is a passionate and experienced home educator who encourages parents to trust themselves, trust their kids, and trust the process.

 

You can download show notes for the podcast here: http://blog.bravewriter.com/category/podcasts/

 

Resources:

Nov 13, 2017
NaNoWriMo 2017: Don’t be a Perfectionist & Other Advice for Young Writers Participating in National Novel Writing Month | with Millie Florence
33:35

Millie Florence is an enthusiastic homeschooler and a published author – and she’s only 13-years-old! Her debut novel, Honey Butter, was published in August 2017, and she’s currently working on two more books: a collection of poems and a fantasy novel. She shares how NaNoWriMo changed her  life, and offers her own tips for young writers.

 

We are hosting a Brave Writer classroom for all of the young people who want to write as part of NaNoWriMo, and you can sign up your kids for FREE!

  1. Visit the Young Writers Program and sign up for an account.
  2. You will be prompted to join a classroom by entering a code. Our classroom code is: CKXQFLWR
  3. Our classroom name is NaNoWriMo for Brave Writers!

 

You can download show notes for the podcast here: http://blog.bravewriter.com/category/podcasts/

 

Resources:

Nov 09, 2017
S3E8: Coping with Unimaginable Loss | with Brian & Tywana Smith
34:45

Today’s guests have experienced one of life’s most harrowing events: losing a child. Brian and Tywana Smith are fellow homeschoolers and, more importantly, dear friends of Julie’s.

 

They came on the show to share their story and offer support in the hopes of encouraging others who live, as Tywana describes, with “one foot in the spiritual world with Shayna and one foot in the physical world.”

 

You can download show notes for the podcast here: http://blog.bravewriter.com/category/podcasts/

 

Resources:

Nov 06, 2017
S3E7: The Homeschooling Paradigm Shift | with Rita Cevasco
01:14:38

Rita Cevasco is a speech language pathologist, mother of three incredible children, the author of Trees in a Forest, and the Founder of Rooted in Language, a private speech and therapy practice that she conducts with her daughter.

 

Julie and Rita share many of the same ideals, and their families have been on a Homeschooling journey together since Brave Writer was in its infancy.

 

You can download show notes for the podcast here: http://blog.bravewriter.com/category/podcasts/

 

Resources:

Oct 30, 2017
S3E6: Enchanted Roadschooling Adventures for Families | with Ashley White
53:13

Ashley White enjoyed her career as a first grade teacher, but when her children were born, her entire world changed—including her perspective on public education. With the full support of her husband Jeremy, Ashley decided to focus her attention on homeschooling.

 

The White family has since put a twist on traditional homeschooling by embarking on what they call Roadschooling. It’s just like it sounds—they hop in their minivan and take their education on the road, visiting the places that intrigue them and incorporating enchanted education along the way.

 

You can download show notes for the podcast here: http://blog.bravewriter.com/category/podcasts/

 

Resources:

Oct 23, 2017
S3E5: How to Be an Awesome Adult: Play & Self-Care | with Christy Thomas
44:30

Christy Thomas is the definition of an Awesome Adult! Her husband Adam is on active duty and they have moved eight times in 13 years on the whim of the Navy. Christy balances the unpredictability by homeschooling their three kids, and she fuels her Awesome Adult life by running, drawing, knitting, reading, and blogging.

 

Self-care isn’t just a luxury for Christy – it’s a priority.

 

In this episode, Christy shares her tips for developing an Awesome Adult mindset and integrating these pockets of happy into your busy life.

 

You can download show notes for the podcast here: http://blog.bravewriter.com/category/podcasts/

 

Resources:

Oct 16, 2017
S3E4: Learning to Write Outside of the Academic Rubric - with Gabrielle & Kim Linnell
49:31

Kim and Gabrielle Linnell are an amazing mother-daughter duo we invited on the show to share how Brave Writer — and homeschooling in general — has shaped their understanding of education.

 

Gabrielle is 25 and was homeschooled for about nine years, also spending time in private and public schools. She currently works at Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C., as the digital projects associate, where she gets to work on awesome digital initiatives relating to Shakespeare and his world.

 

Gabrielle’s mom, Kim, has taught English as a second language for more than 20 years to international students in schools and universities, both in America and abroad… but she describes the 10 years she homeschooled her four daughters as the high water mark of her career.

 

You can download show notes for the podcast here: http://blog.bravewriter.com/category/podcasts/

 

Resources:

Oct 09, 2017
S3E3: World Schooling: How to Take Your Homeschool Abroad | with Christina Celebi
44:59

We were first introduced to Christina Celebi in the height of live streaming broadcasts like Periscope, and we were immediately attracted to her contagious passion and sparkle. We sat down to talk with her because her family have made a brave decision: they have taken their homeschool on the road abroad!

 

Christina immediately fell in love with the freedom that homeschooling created for her family. That independence, mixed with her and her husband’s wanderlust, took root and blossomed into what she calls “World Schooling.”

 

Christina shares how World Schooling changes her homeschooling experience, how she travels on a budget, and how you can start World Schooling if you’ve never travelled before.

 

You can download show notes for the podcast here: http://blog.bravewriter.com/category/podcasts/

 

Resources:

Oct 02, 2017
S3E2: Creating a Warm & Rich Homeschooling Environment | with Dotty Christensen
44:35

Dotty Christensen is a one of Julie’s long-time friends, mentors, and partners in shared homeschooling. They sit down to discuss how families can create a warm, rich environment in their homeschool life, and why parents shouldn’t be afraid that homeschooling is a dead end – it can even be the catalyst for something exciting and new in your adult life!

 

You can download show notes for the podcast here: http://blog.bravewriter.com/category/podcasts/

 

Resources:

You can download Free Writing Lessons here: http://go.bravewriter.com/free-writing-lessons

Sep 25, 2017
S3E1: Susan Wise Bauer on Homeschooling Culture & Rethinking School
52:38

Susan Wise Bauer is best known for writing her homeschooling classic, The Well-Trained Mind, and she is a trusted authority in the homeschooling community. Her new book, Rethinking School: How to Take Charge of Your Child's Education, will be available later this year.

Susan also has a uniquely comprehensive understanding of the history of the home education movement because she’s been a student, a teacher, and a homeschool business owner.

 

We are starting this series about Brave Shifts with Susan because we want to learn, from her unique perspective, how the culture of homeschooling and education can shift to become even more powerful and effective in families around the world.

 

You can download show notes for the podcast here: http://blog.bravewriter.com/category/podcasts/

 

Resources:

Sep 18, 2017
An Inspiring Young Author | with Mason Lawler
15:57

Today’s guest, Mason Lawler, is 14-years-old and recently self-published his first book, How the Chameleon Got Its Colors.

2016 was a rough year – Mason went through surgeries and long recoveries – so his mother focused on a big project that would lead to a satisfying outcome. They decided to write a book.

 

We discuss...

  • self-teaching the self-publishing process
  • commissioning illustrations
  • and why there is a grain of truth behind all good fiction.

 

You can download show notes for the podcast here: http://blog.bravewriter.com/category/podcasts/

 

Resources:

Sep 04, 2017
S2E10: Tidal Homeschooling: The Ebb & Flow of Home Education | with Melissa Wiley
01:01:21

We’ve reached the finale of this Brave Writer Lifestyle Series. The past interviews have shared literally decades of homeschool experience, including all of the challenges, discoveries, family relationships, and friendships that have resulted from this Brave Writer lifestyle of love and learning. (Don’t worry! We’ll be back with a new episode next week!)

 

We’re going to wrap up the series with the wisdom and wit of the wonderful friend, author and homeschooling pro Melissa Wiley.

Melissa is mom to “a small army of children” and she has been writing children’s books since 1995, including her Brave Writer featured book The Prairie Thief (affiliate link). In 2005, Melissa started her blog Here in the Bonny Glen to document her family adventures – it’s my favorite homeschooling blog and it’s hilarious, so make sure you head over there and read it.

Melissa will also be teaching two Brave Writer classes in the Spring! One class is about comic strips and the other is titled “Penning the Past.”

Melissa was drawn to many of the great ideas in Unschooling, Charlotte-Mason and the classical method – but she didn’t like how strict the teaching methodologies were. She found that her family was constantly learning in different ways.

 

Shifting between more and less structure was working, though. The tide would come in and the tide would go out, but they were learning at every level. She observed her home education style and coined the term Tidal Homeschooling. It’s not a method, it’s a description.

  • High Tide – The family charters the ship and maps out the journey. The parents are the captain and the children are the crew. They’re open to side trips and adventure, but the captain is in charge and there’s a planned course of action.
  • Low Tide – The family is at the beach. The children are all wandering along the shore, exploring their own interests. Although the children are all doing their own thing, the parents are still involved and can act as a facilitator.

 

Everyone is present at every stage of the journey, but their roles may change along the way.

One of the benefits of looking at home education through the lens of Tidal Homeschooling is recognizing that we go through these seasonal changes. Tying ourselves to only one point of view about learning sometimes limits our creativity and causes us to miss a natural ebb and flow in how learning gets expressed by our children.

When I talk about the Enchanted Education I talk about surprise, mystery, risk and adventure. It can be an adventure to go solo, but it can also be an adventure to participate in a well-prepared lesson or plan.

It’s a beautiful metaphor that expresses how the seasonal shift can make us feel and why we should move with the flow of things rather than fighting it.

 

Melissa’s oldest child is in college right now, and overall she feels that Tidal Homeschooling was an effective primary education.

  • During her first year, Melissa’s daughter realized, laughing through tears, that she didn’t have a bad teacher until she was 18.
  • She said she could have used more practice doing timed tests.
  • While many of her peers relayed a high school experience full of pressure and AP classes, Melissa’s daughter loved her high school years.

 

Melissa’s husband, Scott Peterson, is a comic book author. Her kids grew up on comics and comics played a role in their home education.

The images support the text and the text supports the images, and so kids have multiple shots at decoding comics. They can actually invite children into decoding risks and provide them with the courage to read.

Melissa’s 3rd daughter learned to read using The Adventures of Tintin. Her youngest child did the same thing with Calvin & Hobbes. The vocabulary is often more advanced than what you might find in an early reader’s book, too.

 

“She had so much motivation to decode those words in the bubbles, in the balloons, because she wanted to have the whole story, not just the half that the art was telling.”

 

The images can also offer assistance to children who struggle with reading. The art will help them make sense of the story, and going through that process teaches them to decode context clues for meaning.

We’re in a golden age when it comes to comic books for kids. They’re bound in sturdy collections that can stand up to young children, distributed digitally, and available at most libraries.

 

To close out this Brave Writer Podcast Series, here are Melissa’s five things that should fill every child’s day (based on Charlotte-Mason):

  1. Good books
  2. Imaginative Play
  3. Meaningful Work
  4. Encounters with Beauty
  5. Ideas to Ponder and Discuss

 

You can download show notes for the podcast here: http://blog.bravewriter.com/category/podcasts/

 

Resources:

Apr 17, 2017
S2E9: An Inspired Homeschool Mosaic - with Angela Awald
43:26

Angela Awald wears a lot of hats. She is a mother of six kids, a certified teacher, a writer, and a doula. She also runs the blog NurturedRoots.net.

 

“I came across the Brave Writer lifestyle and it clicked. Everything that I had read and felt in my heart just clicked when I read about it.”

 

Angela is a classroom teacher turned homeschooler, and transitioning to homeschooling was more difficult than she expected. She spent a long time trying to force school at home.

Moving away from school at home took a lot of trial and error. Instead of looking at a list of what they need to cover, she learned to look at what was best for her children. When she stopped trying to meet other people’s standards, the home education process started coming together.

In 2014, she came across the Brave Writer lifestyle and it clicked. The days started to flow more smoothly because everyone was more engaged and connected.

 

“That’s what I love about the Brave Writer lifestyle … I think of it as a framework that allows a lot of grace and flexibility.”

 

Angela created a delightful twist on Poetry Teatime – Poetry & Pajamas day! Every Thursday, the family comes to the table for breakfast treats, poetry and a project relating to the theme of the day.

The treats bring everyone to the table and the flexibility of the activity allows everyone to participate when they want to. By being flexible, she doesn’t pressure anyone to engage more than they want to while leaving an open opportunity for them to participate when they feel inspired.

Angela lives an inspired homeschooling lifestyle, meaning she develops an education guide that allows for inspiration. Angela steers clear of the word “plan” and, instead, focuses on intention.

Based on the Brave Writer lifestyle, she created a visual planning guide that covers everything she intends to get to in the next month. At the beginning of the month, she assesses what requires more focus so that she can better respond to the needs of her family.

 

“I try to think of it as intentions. As soon as I say the word “plan,” I automatically become rigid in my own thinking.”

 

Angela’s experience with homeschooling six children has taught her a lot. She says the keys to homeschooling are an open mind, a spirit of adventure, flexibility and love.

  • “An open mind is just being open to the other ideas that might pop up. The input of our children. Some of the best learning that has happened in our home was not my idea. It was the idea of a child.”
  • “A spirit of adventure means just being willing to step outside of our own comfort zone … being open to the things our kids can teach us, the the things the world has to offer, and not being afraid to go out there and experience them.”
  • “Before we had children, I was a very by the book. You start at point A and you go to point B. There’s no detour. Well, I have learned that that just doesn’t work anymore so flexibility is the name of the game around here.”
  • “If all else fails, or even if it’s all going well, just love ‘em … If we just keep focusing on the love we have for the child who’s right in front of us, it puts everything in perspective.”

 

At NurturedRoots.net and on her Pinterest page, Angela offers a lot of awesome resources for homeschoolers, parents and doula care. You’ll find...

 

“If we nurture ourselves and our families, those are our roots, and that’s what’s going to change the world.”

 

You can download show notes for the podcast here: http://blog.bravewriter.com/category/podcasts/

 

Resources:

Apr 10, 2017
S2E8: #BraveSchoolers are the Best Schoolers - with Chantelle Grubbs of Play 4 Life Moms
40:43

Chantelle Grubbs, her husband Tony and her five beautiful kids have been using the Brave Writer lifestyle since 2014. In Spring 2016, Chantelle and her friend Christy Thomas launched a venture they call Play 4 Life Moms based on their experiences with the Brave Writer lifestyle.

Chantelle fell into homeschooling because she didn’t think public schools were offering enough to her first two boys. She felt the school expected every child to perform and act the same way, and that’s just not the case.

Chantelle was first introduced to the Charlotte Mason method of homeschooling, but she had difficulty implementing it. When she started, she didn’t know how to translate the ideas into actual lesson plans. It ended up looking a lot like school at home, and that didn’t work.

 

“It took a lot of tears and trying over and over again to come to a place where we were enjoying ourselves and also learning at the same time.”

 

Chantelle noticed that her kids were more engaged with learning when they were having fun with activities. This is because, when children are problem solving and using their bodies, they’re imprinting the lesson in a different way than just reading about it.

When Chantelle started a weekly Poetry Tea Time in her household, her two oldest children were reluctant to enjoy poetry. Of course, they still came for the snacks. Over time, they came to enjoy the poetry too.

Now everyone in the Grubbs household is excited for Poetry Tea Time, although not everyone likes tea and some of the older children aren’t able to be there for a whole hour – but that’s fine! Lemonade, snacks and poetry for 10 minutes is still a great family learning experience.

Chantelle’s biggest challenge has been figuring out what is best for each child, and accepting that they all need something different. No two people learn in exactly the way.

One of her children is actually finding the support and education she needs in a public school environment, and Chantelle couldn’t be happier.

 

“I think you have to do what’s best for each child. That’s the biggest obstacle. It’s not always the easiest thing – the easiest thing is to pick one thing and have everyone do it – but that doesn’t make it the best thing for each child.”

 

Play 4 Life Moms allows you to sign up for encouraging texts or emails that inspire you to build connections in your home through play.

The service started after Chantelle and Christy interacted during one of my Facebook Live videos. They both wanted a solution to remind themselves, as homeschooling mothers, to slow down and embrace play.

The text messages range from challenges to positive comments to inspiring quotes that help homeschooling parents live up to their best intentions.

 

“Those little reminders help bring you back to where you want to be. That’s what we’re trying to achieve for other moms.”

 

Some example texts:

  • Drink a warm cup of tea today and savor the warm decorations in your house.
  • “Play builds the kind of free-and-easy, try-it-out, do-it-yourself character that our future needs.” –James Hines, Jr.
  • Try to sit down to eat during lunch this week. Enjoy your food. You’re important <3

 

Having these quotes and reminders on a daily basis help create a sustained imagination and allow mothers to tap into their own experiences and best intentions. You can sign up for Play 4 Life Moms text messages here.

Having your own story is what counts – not being somebody’s poster child for their story. Every home education experience is different. Chantelle’s incredible story and willingness to adapt will be an inspiration for any #BraveSchooler.

 

You can download show notes for the podcast here: http://blog.bravewriter.com/category/podcasts/

 

Resources:

Apr 03, 2017
S2E7: Note to Homeschooling Parents: Remember Self-Care - with Amy Milcic
34:51

Amy Milcic is a former mental health therapist and a homeschooling parent of five active, busy boys. She has a great blog, Rock Your Homeschool, that will add sparkle to your family’s learning fun.

I first ran into Amy on Periscope, where she starts her day by pumping up other homeschool moms (I think coffee is one of her secrets!). Today, she is going to help pump you up in your homeschool efforts, too.

Amy’s kids are drawn to the freedom of the Brave Writer lifestyle. It allows them to embrace who they are as an individual and keep out of any cookie cutters.

 

“The Friday Freewrites have been… oh my goodness! I could cry when I think about the effect it has had on our family.”

 

Friday Freewrites have been hugely beneficial for Amy’s family. They have helped her kids be comfortable in who they are, their thought processes and how they can express their thoughts on paper.  

One of her children even said, “Mom, I never knew writing could feel this good.” Before Friday Freewriting, it was a struggle. The same child would crumple into a fetal position at the first mention of writing.

Poetry Teatime has also been very meaningful for Amy’s family. It’s so popular that they want to do it more than once a week!

 

“As a mental health therapist, I feel that self-expression is so important and poetry is just a beautiful way of carefully selecting words to express your thoughts and feelings.”

 

Poetry has helped Amy’s boys realize that there are different writing formats and different ways to express yourself. Poetry Teatime opens up a world of new conversation and discussion that, otherwise, they never would have had. For the athletes in Amy’s family, poetry also helps them find a part of themselves that they never knew existed.

If you want to see some wonderful examples of Poetry Teatime with five boys, check out Amy on Instagram @rockyourhomeschool.

As a former mental health professional, Amy is acutely aware of the importance of self-care in homeschooling. As parents, we want to give everything to our children – yet, we need that time to reconnect with ourselves.

 

“Self-care as to be a priority. Otherwise, if my cup is empty, I can not be there for my family. I feel that is a vital part of a homeschooler’s life.“

 

Whether it’s self-care or lesson plans, there is no one way to do it. Many homeschooling parents and children feel boxed in, feel overwhelmed or feel like they should do something differently. That is simply not true.

One of the wonderful things about the Brave Writer lifestyle is that there are so many different ways to do any one thing, and we can focus on using our own individual gifts to help our children.

There’s many different ways to teach any one thing. We all can use our own individual gifts to help our children with that “and, in the process, learn more about our children and help them discover their unique potential.”

 

You can download show notes for the podcast here: http://blog.bravewriter.com/category/podcasts/

 

Resources:

Mar 27, 2017
S2E6: Partnership & Adventure in Home Education - with Mary Wilson
47:09

Mary Wilson is a popular Brave Writer blogger and the only person I know who may love tea more than I do. In her blog, Not Before 7, she writes about homeschooling, parenting and adventure.

In 2016, I put out a challenge for parents to show how they are leading an Enchanted Education lifestyle via Periscope. Mary used the hashtag #EnchantedEducation and walked us through her amazing child-friendly home to showcase the power of an Enchanted lifestyle.

For Mary, there’s a Brave Writer lifestyle and then there’s a Brave Writer philosophy, which helps guide all of the other choices we are making. Mary first incorporated elements of the Brave Writer lifestyle into her home, and the philosophy naturally followed.

She started by implementing pieces of the Brave Writer lifestyle that connected right away, like Poetry Tea Time, The Arrow and free writing. Mary was drawn to resources that allowed her to teach all four of her children together and effectively.

 

“It was so great to move to this place where I could teach all my children together and accomplish so much.”

 

Mary also started hosting book club meetings for her family and other families, but she takes the meetings to another level. She brings in appropriately-themed activities, puzzles, experiments, foods and even invitations to turn book clubs into an adventure.

  • For “The Mysterious Benedict Society” by Trenton Lee Stewart, Mary sent out invitations that looked like a newspaper ad, set out a series of clues, used a red bucket to collect items and communicated using morse code using flashlights in the dark.
  • For “Lord of the Flies” by William Golding, Mary turned her home into a jungle, procured a conch shell, started a fire and made food in the shape of pigs.

 

Children aren’t just learning at these parties – they’re also excited to keep coming back. Mary has seen kids start public high school and continue to remain in the homeschool book club because it’s such a highlight of their learning education and their social life.

The Brave Writer philosophy has encouraged Mary to look at her relationship with the child first, to look at the total person in front of her. Adopting this philosophy helped her take a year to focus on improving one of her children’s mental health. The extra focus was extremely beneficial and it greatly improved academic progress for her whole family.

 

“Now we’re making so much more progress academically because we’re not fighting against the way my child is programmed. Now we’re working with the way that she is programmed.”

 

Embracing this philosophy has also helped Mary shift from a Teacher-Student role to a Partnership role. This shift helped her overcome the preconceived notion that the teacher’s goal is to, eventually, not be needed in the education process.

Collaboration through partnership is not only a useful tool for the education – it’s also a critical skill in the workplace. The most effective employees, workers and entrepreneurs of the future are those who know how to collaborate on a peer-level with their fellow co-workers.

The Brave Writer wants to free parents from any obligation they may feel to make their student self-directed in learning without any conversation, direction or lesson preparation. Freeing yourself will allow you to invest in your children’s education, as opposed to controlling it.

 

You can download show notes for the podcast here: http://blog.bravewriter.com/category/podcasts/

 

Resources:

Mar 20, 2017
S2E5: Red Berries in the Winter: Overcoming Challenges & Charlotte Mason - with Nadine Dyer
40:21

Nadine Dyer and her two kids are living a big, juicy homeschool life above a rowan tree in Ontario, Canada. On her blog, Up Above the Rowan Tree, she talks all about her journey as a homeschooler, especially her experience using the Secular Charlotte Mason method.

 

“There are moments of joy that definitely outweigh the difficulty, but I was completely unprepared for how hard it was. I don’t feel that enough people mention that part.”

 

When Nadine first started homeschooling, she wishes she knew how difficult it would be – and how rewarding those hard days would be when her children overcome an obstacle.

When we see our homeschooling communities on social media, we are often looking at the bright red berry moments in a dark winter. We sometimes forget that, behind those bright moments, there are days, weeks or even months of challenges.

 

“One of the scariest things that I’ve done as a homeschooler is saying I need to back off. That didn’t feel intuitive to me. That didn’t feel natural to me. It made me feel like somehow I was neglectful if I didn’t just keep pushing and prodding.”

 

We also forget that children can offer us a lot of insight into their experience, if we’re willing to act on what they say and not just talk them out of it.

Nadine has tackled her biggest home education challenges by giving herself permission to slow down, offering her kids the control and trusting in that process.

One of the things I love to advocate when we talk about the Brave Writer lifestyle is imagining what would nourish a sense of commitment to education. Is it freedom, is it one-on-one time, is it eye contact, is it a treat, is it feeling like this space is intended for a specific purpose?

Too often we’re juggling 12 balls at once and we want our kids to exclude all the distractions or just get it done so we can move on with our day, and we don’t consider what it is that we’re asking them to do. We don’t set the context.

To add context to a difficult subject, Nadine really embraced Teatime. It became something that she wasn’t forcing because there were no worksheets or quizzes. It was just sitting, enjoying, reading and talking together. It became such a positive connection for her kids that she started putting down tea and snacks right before their math lessons.  

 

“[Teatime] became this thing that they connected with calmness and safety and there was not a lot of pressure. Anytime I need them to do something difficult or challenging I make a pot of tea or a pot of hot chocolate and we will do whatever it is that’s hard, while we sip tea, because everything's better when you’re sipping on tea.”

 

Nadine was first introduced to Charlotte Mason while reading The Writer’s Jungle. She saw pushback to the Charlotte Mason ideology, but those ideas were also what worked for her kids and brought peace to her home.

It works for her family and, ultimately, the goal of homeschooling is for a tailor-made education directed by a real human being.

Nadine has a wonderful blog and Instagram account. Follow her to learn more about how she is using the Charlotte Mason methodology to craft a unique homeschool experience for her family and how the Brave Writer lifestyle has helped her overcome family challenges.

 

You can download show notes for the podcast here: http://blog.bravewriter.com/category/podcasts/

 

Resources:

Mar 13, 2017
S2E4: What is Learning Well? - with Alicia Hutchinson
44:33

Alicia Hutchinson is the founder of Learning Well and a homeschooling mother of four. The funny thing about Alicia is that she never really saw herself as a mom – much less a homeschooling mom.

Now Alicia can’t imagine life without homeschool.

Alicia begins every day with a morning meeting. It started as a time to sit down, talk about the day and, on Mondays, go over the coming week. The meeting has grown to incorporate more activities and a daily focus.

 

“What I’m doing as the home educator is I’m teaching them to love to learn.”

 

The Morning Meeting:

  • Sit down with an assignment notebook to write down what each kid has to do for that day.
  • Talk about what is happening later in the day.
  • Each day has a daily focus: Nature Study, Math and Logic, Writing, History and Geography or Fine Arts.
  • Alicia runs down a list of fun activities or discussions: daily idioms, current events, games, journaling and more.

 

“It’s really, really important for me to have a house where my kids can create and play and learn together.”

 

What is Learning Well?

Learning Well is the idea of not being so hung up on the logistics of everything and focusing more on our kids. What you do may look different than what the homeschooler next door does. Education works differently for everybody, but if you’re all learning together then you’re doing it right.

Learning Well is a community of homeschoolers teaching each other – and having fun!

 

“Learning Well is the idea of not being so hung up on the logistics of everything and focusing more on our kids. If you’re all learning together then you’re doing it right.”

 

The Learning Well Community website is full of valuable lessons, planning tools, reviews of homeschooling products and a community of like-minded homeschoolers. Make sure you also follow the @learningwell Instagram account. There’s so much value in seeing the life in action and her posts are fabulous.

 

You can download show notes for the podcast here: http://blog.bravewriter.com/category/podcasts/

 

Resources:

Mar 06, 2017
BONUS: Poetry, Sports, and The Crossover | with Newbery Winner Kwame Alexander
32:05

Today we have a bonus treat for the Brave Writer community, especially those of you in the Boomerang Book Club.

We are introducing you to Kwame Alexander. He is a poet, educator, New York Times Bestselling author, honorary Brave Writer, and recipient of both the 2015 Newbery Medal and the Coretta Scott King Award.

 

We explore...

  • self-publishing
  • poetry as a form of form of activism
  • and why Kwame blends poetry and sports.

 

You can download show notes for the podcast here: http://blog.bravewriter.com/category/podcasts/

 

Resources:

 

 

 

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Production & Development for The Brave Writer Podcast by Podcast Masters

Mar 01, 2017
S2E3: Homeschooling Diverse Children Through Diverse Experiences - with Julie Kirkwood
44:23

Today two Julies sit down to discuss how the Brave Writer lifestyle draws on diverse experiences to provide excellent home education.

Julie Kirkwood, our guest, is a mom to three kids who believes in the value of curiosity, exploration and a daily dose of nature in her homeschool world. She created the fantastic home education website Creekside Learning.

Creekside Learning is a space to share STEM and Naturalist learning resources for adventurous kids, as well as inspiration for homeschooling parents. The focus on STEM developed because it was her kids’ biggest interest.

Julie also shares a number of tools that she and her children develop, including Positive Thought Cards. They are positive affirmations for learning that can act as a reset button when you get to a point where learning stops. It’s a unique, effective tool – and it’s completely free!

 

“The STEM stuff really grew out of my kids’ interests. It was not my big interest, but when I saw how interested they were and how excited they were when we would learn about science and technology, it just grew and grew.”

 

A huge aspect of the Brave Writer lifestyle is that we are trying to give our children a rich landscape of experiences – it’s not just focusing on language arts properties. If we immerse them in experiences that call out access to language then we find ourselves more capable of writing and more able to draw on a richer and wider vocabulary.

Julie’s family often experiences homeschooling outside of the home. The outings are intentional, but they have no agenda. It’s entirely child-led. She’s found that the learning then continues at home because her children see something and then they want to learn more about it.  

 

“The natural environment becomes important to them, and so it does come out in their writing, it comes out in what they talk about and it comes out in what they desire to do.”

 

Like nature, a weekly Poetry Tea Time experience can be re-centering for the family. There is something about changing the routine, coming together and simply enjoying poetry (or the outdoors), as opposed to requiring learning to happen, that actually creates a safe space for learning to occur.

 

“We’re in year seven right now and never, ever have my kids balked or fussed when I said it was time for Poetry Tea Time.”

 

Julie’s children love to build, which led to a fascination with LEGO and, of course, Minecraft.

Julie views Minecraft as a valuable learning tool. Her children think very analytically when they are building something and she’s noticed that they now look at the rest of the world in a more analytical way.

Julie does have some anxiety about the frequency with which her children, and most children, are in front of screens. She talks to them about and encourages a balance between games, activity and nature.

 

“It’s really interesting to see them face a new challenge with whatever video game they’re playing and figure stuff out, and I think there’s great value in that.”

 

You can find all of Julie’s excellent resources at Creekside Learning for incorporating STEM, Naturalism and diversity into your home education. I know I’m going to print out a set of Positive Thought Cards for my family!

 

You can download show notes for the podcast here: http://blog.bravewriter.com/category/podcasts/

 

You can download Free Writing Lessons here:

http://go.bravewriter.com/free-writing-lessons

 

Resources:

Feb 27, 2017
S2E2: Unexpected Homeschoolers - with The Homeschool Sisters
52:03

Today we are talking about the Brave Writer lifestyle and how it shows up in homeschooling families all around the globe. Our guests and partners in crime, Kara Anderson and Caitlin Fitzpatrick, co-host the wonderful The Homeschool Sisters podcast.

 

“I think Brave Writer brings joy because it gives the parent permission to let school be a lifestyle, and take the school away from the education.” –Caitlin Anderson

 

Caitlin is a school psychologist, a mother of three and calls herself an “unexpected homeschooler.”

Kara never imagined herself homeschooling either, when she was working at the newspaper. She brought her passion home with her and works part-time while learning with her two favorite people on the planet.

 

“As a writer and somebody who love books, I want my kids to love it, but I know it’s not going to work if I try to force them to love it. Brave Writer has been a perfect solution to that, and the whole lifestyle has taken that worry and anxiety and turned it into joy.” –Kara Anderson

 

So… what is an unexpected homeschooler?

 

Caitlin works as a school psychologist and she is a product of public education. Her vision was that, when her kids were old enough to go to school, she would go back to work. Things don’t always go the way you envision.

Caitlin and Kara both had to reassess what they knew about school and education when their kids experienced difficulties during the first few years of public education. The public classroom didn’t address their kids’ needs, so both of them decided to go on a new journey with their children.

 

“It was a very unexpected, impulsive decision and one that I haven’t regretted for a second.” –Caitlin Fitzpatrick  

 

Support can be a vital part of homeschooling, for both the child and the parent. The Internet makes finding that support easier than it has ever been. Kara and Caitlin have never met, but they support each other through every step of the homeschooling process.

You can connect with like-minded, brave individuals online – and it can be vital for your own well-being as a homeschooling parent. Online communication can bring you together from hundreds of miles away to help each other, at any time.

Kara and Caitlin are a gentle, supportive and nourishing presence in the homeschooling world. If you haven’t already, head over to TheHomeschoolSisters.net and listen to the podcast.

 

Resources:

 

Feb 20, 2017
S2E1: A Brave, Hip Homeschooler - with Rebecca Spooner
35:45

Welcome to the beginning of this Brave Writer Podcast series. Today we’re talking to Rebecca Spooner, a hip homeschooler and a shining example of the Brave Writer Lifestyle. Rebecca writes about homeschooling on her blog Hip Homeschooling, and she helps others with planning their lives and launching their own blogs at RebeccaSpooner.com.

Rebecca has five kids between the ages of three and nine, all of whom are homeschooled. It turns out, being homeschooled gave Rebecca unrealistic expectations for being a homeschool teacher. She came in with a plan and schedules, and then she had a massive wake-up call. Her five kids need five entirely different styles of teaching.

 

“I had it all figured out, but it was just this massive wake-up call because all my kids have are different learning styles. Every one of them.”

 

Rebecca’s first child is an auditory learner. She relates to that, so the teaching style is easier. Her second child is a kinesthetic learner, a more tactile learning style that involves learning by physically doing, which is almost the exact opposite. Rebecca had to learn and adapt to the differences, and becoming a Brave Writer helped her accomplish that goal.

 

“All kids are going to learn better when it’s experiential and they can own the experience. It’s totally shaped the way that we do everything.”

 

One of the key features of the Brave Writer Lifestyle and Enchanted Education is the family participation, and Rebecca is a champion of the lifestyle. By embracing the Brave Writer Lifestyle, Rebecca made homeschooling what she wanted it to be: an environment where her kids got to learn together, and where she got to learn because she was learning with them.

 

“Brave Writer really did change the entire way that I approach homeschooling … it totally changed my perspective and it gave me permission to make homeschooling what I wanted it to be.”

 

Rebecca’s main goal with her website is to show other moms real life and provide a sense of community, because she feels like everything we see out there makes us feel like a failure and makes us feel like we’re not doing enough. She shows her successes, but she also shows her failures. It’s an excellent resource for anyone interested in homeschooling or education, and she also hosts a podcast.

I appreciate Rebecca taking time out of her busy day to join us today. She shows that a Brave Writer can nurture any learning style, and Hip Homeschooling provides a strong community and a great example for any current or potential homeschool teacher.

 

Resources:

Feb 13, 2017
S1E19: Interview with Poet Jane Yolen
37:45

Today we welcome one of the most prolific writers of children’s fantasy and poetry, Jane Yolen! [This post contains Amazon affiliate links. When you click on those links to make purchases, Brave Writer receives compensation at no extra cost to you. Thank you!] When I began my freelance writing career, I chose the picture book […]

Oct 17, 2016
S1E18: Poetry with Janet Wong & Sylvia Vardell
27:19

Today we’d like to welcome two amazing women who are on the cutting edge of children’s poetry. Janet Wong is a prolific writer of poetry and short stories for young people. Her work has received wide recognition from shows like Oprah Winfrey to awards such as the Asian Pacific American Award for Literature. She is […]

Sep 01, 2016
S1E17: Healthy Homeschooling & Happy Marriage
01:03:25

I’m excited to introduce you to my good friend (and sorority sister, ha!) Leslie Gustafson! Leslie’s worked as a marriage and family therapist for over 25 years and is a homeschooling mother of a teenage son. She regularly appears on the Fox Morning show in Denver Colorado sharing relationship advice for couples. Because so many […]

Jul 21, 2016
S1E16: SAT Prep with Brave Writer Coach Jean Hall
12:55

by Nancy Graham, Brave Writer Minister of Magic Hi everybody! Our summer online writing classes are filling up but there are spots left in a choice few (classes start July 5th!)— Kidswrite Basic with Deb Bell, April Hensley, or Sarah Holden my summer movie club, Magnificent Horses, and the SAT/ACT Essay class led by longtime […]

Jul 01, 2016
S1E15: Interview with Poet Amy Ludwig VanDerwater
38:25

Image of Amy Ludwig VanDerwater is by Melissa Deakin It was my delight and privilege to talk with Amy Ludwig VanDerwater. Her poetry is delicious—like a strawberry smoothie or a fresh mint lemonade. She brings vowels and consonants together in ways that leave the mouth happy and satisfied. Not only that, her family lives in […]

May 04, 2016
S1E14: Interview with Poet Marilyn Singer
42:30

Welcome to our first Poetry Teatime Podcast! I was honored to interview Marilyn Singer, award-winning poet and author. Marilyn and I met for the interview long distance—she, in her home in Brooklyn, and me, Julie, in a library in Cincinnati. Unfortunately the library failed us, a bit. The Internet connection was variable throughout and you […]

Mar 30, 2016
S1E13: Homeschool Alumni Tell All - Noah and Johannah Bogart
37:19

Johannah (26) was in town, and Noah (28) was downtown. I brought them together in my backyard for a conversation in front of our Periscope audience. They share about their experiences growing up, what they are doing today, and answer questions from parents. I am hyper and too loud and talk too fast. I was […]

Oct 24, 2015
S1E12: Big Juicy Conversations with Noah Bogart
45:17

After a long, dark slumber, we return! In fact, we recorded this podcast a couple months after recording the previous, Englishes, but because of complications in life, it sat forgotten and ignored on the Internet. No links, no listeners, no happiness. No more! Please join us as we tackle a topic close to my heart, […]

Feb 01, 2014
S1E11: Englishes
36:44

Today’s podcast discusses the relationship between speech and writing. For those of you who are long-term Brave Writer fans, you’ll know that I refer to Dr. Peter Elbow as “my guru.” His vision for writing has long guided how I teach. When this new book Vernacular Eloquence hit the stores, it was thrilling to realize […]

Feb 11, 2013
S1E10: One Thing Principle
43:12

I’ve written about the One Thing Principle many times on the blog. Today, though, I wanted to share with you in more detail about how to get that fantasy homeschool you imagine into the real world of your routine family practice. Noah shares about our family and what we did that he remembers and I […]

Jan 22, 2013
S1E9: Eavesdropping On the Great Conversation
39:26

Finally!! We are at the end of our series “The Natural Stages of Growth in Writing.” This podcast features discussion about the high school writing life, on into college. Don’t miss it! It will help to shape your philosophy of writing, not just your program for writing. Enjoy! Julie

Dec 02, 2012
S1E8: Interview with Author Melissa Wiley
55:14

  Today’s podcast (podcast player at the bottom of this entry) features children’s author and home educator, Melissa Wiley. Melissa and I met in 2005 online and instantly formed a wonderful connection around writing and homeschool. Her most recent children’s novel, The Prairie Thief, is the featured title for the October Arrow. You may purchase […]

Sep 11, 2012
S1E7: Conversation with Rita Cevasco
35:25

This podcast discusses the role of the brain in writing as well as how to teach the mechanics in a way that actually leads to their incorporation in the original writing task. Be sure, too, to sign up for Rita’s Class: Foundations in Writing. It starts October 1 and always fills up so don’t miss […]

Sep 05, 2012
S1E6: Transition To Ownership pt.2
28:09

Hi everyone! This is our 7th podcast, 5th in the series related to the Natural Stages of Growth in writing. We started discussing the Transition to Ownership in podcast 06 and this is the second half of that conversation. You’ll want to listen to that half first. We continue our discussion of your role in the […]

Aug 20, 2012
S1E5: Transition To Ownership pt. 1
30:17

This is our first of a two part discussion of the Transition to Ownership stage of writing growth. This is the time when your 13-14 year olds (8th-9th graders) are making the somewhat treacherous journey from adorable, fact-centered child to rhetorical imagination (the awareness that the world is inhabited by unlimited numbers of perspectives). Noah […]

Jul 29, 2012
S1E4: Faltering Ownership Stage of Development
28:07

Today’s podcast features the characteristics of writers between the ages of 11-12. Join us as we look at how you can create the conditions for growth and joy in writing with your kids. Julie UPDATED: Faltering Ownership product now available A Year-Long Language Arts Plan! 11-12 year olds (age range is approximate) Developmentally appropriate projects. […]

Jul 21, 2012
S1E3: "Partnership" Writing Stage of Development
19:36

We press on! This week’s podcast is the second in the series where we look at each of the natural developmental stages of growth in writing. This particular episode focuses on the most overlooked stage of development in the writing journey and accounts for the development of writer’s block and writing resistance in kids. If […]

Jun 19, 2012
S1E2: "Jot It Down" Stage of Development
20:29

In this week’s podcast is the first in a series where we look at each of the natural developmental stages of growth in writing. In my years of working with families, I’ve found that it is much more effective to look at how writers grow naturally than to focus on scope and sequence, grade level, […]

May 30, 2012
S1E1: Manage the Damage
18:47

Our second podcast features a discussion between Noah and me. We look at how a parent can help a child understand the value of writing in his or her life rather than resenting or resisting it. Noah shares memories from when we worked on writing together when he was young. And we added intro music. […]

May 10, 2012
S1E0: This Is A Test: Be Gentle
12:41

First test podcast with Julie and Noah!

Apr 29, 2012