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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Has anyone used this woman's services? Newsletters or classes? She also has a blog. I'm very intruiged - her methods seem very sane and intuitive. She aims to empower parents to guide their children's writing skills, and expects the teaching parent to write along with the student. She seems to have a lot of success with running a class that makes the writing process truly fun for a kid. We'll see... it's not inexpensive, but at the same time, worth the cost if the class is what she claims.

http://www.bravewriter.com
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Lmk what you decide. I think the enrollment happens really fast, like you have to sign up that first day. Did I drop the ball again, btw, about pen-palling? I think I sent you emails for my boys, right?
 

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I've been perusing her site for a while now. I do like what I see. I think for the time being I'm going to use some of her ideas for creating a better writing environment (and simply more time for it) in our home, with the idea of possibly signing up next year (or the next). I don't think even my oldest is quite ready for that yet.

I'm also slogging my way through Any Child Can Write (Harvey S. Wiener) looking for ideas. I like to write myself, though time is an issue, but I have always hated traditional "creative" writing assignments.

Anyway, I'd be very interested to hear from someone who has some experience with Bravewriter.

--LL
 

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Oooooo, I love Bravewriter!

I have The Writer's Jungle -- the old version, plus the add-on preface. I haven't made it all the way through Writer's Jungle
: but it's really well writen and inspirational.

I just subscribed to The Arrow a couple of weeks ago. Love it! The first book is Charlotte's Web, which my kids know backwards and forwards.

I get her emails through the yahoo list. After getting them for several weeks I FINALLY got around to Tuesday Teatime. My kids adore it, and it's become a weekly thing. They also like the Friday Freewrites, although we're spottier on implementing them.

I don't think we're ready to sign up for a course, though. My kids are 6 and 10, and I think we need to play around more.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
queen, can you tell me a little more about the newsletter? I'm confused about whether these are book discussions, just dictation or copywork (which my kids have never done) or what?

I'm leaning toward not taking the class just yet. I want to do it when I can really participate well and do my own writing too, and right now (newborn and 2yo) my circumstances are not ideal for that. Does anyone know if she offers the basic class again sometime this year? Like late winter or early spring?
 

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I think there's a sample of the Arrow on the website. I remember reading a sample at some point before I subscribed.

Dd (10yo) has done copywork and dictation before on an erratic schedule. She really likes to do it out of a book that we're currently reading. I really despise skimming through the book to come up with nice passages to work with, plus I tend to always look for the same thing every time -- interesting punctuation. So we don't get much variety if I'm in charge of picking out passages. Plus, you know how on Bravewriter website Julie's always encouraging you to discuss interesting literary elements with your kids? I rarely notice those elements while I'm reading, so I'm a wash out at that, too. So I'm hoping that The Arrow will help with those issues.

When you subscribe you get admission to the Arrow part of the forum.

From there you can print off the stuff that you subscribed to.

First off was a few pages on how to use the Arrow. She mentions some resources you might want to get, but they aren't required. One was Nitty Gritty Grammar, which we already have. She also mentions a poetry book she really likes.

She explains how to do copywork and dictation. It's sort of a condensed version of chapter 1 of The Writer's Jungle (I don't know if this info is also on the website).

Then I printed off the first issue of The Arrow. She goes through Charlotte's Web, dividing the discussion into weeks, and pulls out interesting passages. She suggests things to talk about (interesting literary elements! woohoo -- there they are!). She suggests using the same passage for copywork/dication. It's up to you to figure out what your kids can handle, although she does make suggestions.

Then, theres a Literary Element of the Month, in this case alliteration, which happens to be the only literary element I ever notice on my own. She has examples of alliteration from various kids' lit -- poetry and books (oddly, none are in Charlotte's Web). Finally, there's a writing exercise; this month's uses alliteration. This is just something to try (or not) sometime during the month -- sort of like a writing game. I don't know if the Literary Element of the Month always ties to the writing exercise.

The first week of this issue is the beginning of the book -- the "hook". The second week is in chapter 5, the 3rd in chapter 6, the 4th is the end of the book. You could either read the book a little at a time and stretch it out over the whole month (sort of like Sonlight) or just read the whole thing at once -- totally up to you. She doesn't even discuss how to schedule, probably because no one follows written schedules anyway.

I had 10yo use the opening passage as copywork on the first day. We discussed all the different ways that dialog was punctuated -- there's a nice variety in that passage. I also noted the various utterances: said Fern, replied Mrs. Arable, continued Fern, shrieked Fern, she said. Julie hadn't mentioned that in The Arrow; it was something I came up with on my own, and I'm pretty proud I noticed it. Since 6yo also wanted to do copywork I had her copy out the first sentence: "Where's Papa going with that ax?" and then draw a picture of a pig on the paper. To do the copywork I copied the appropriate passages on paper, then the kids copied from me. It's easier for them to do it that way then trying to focus on the typeset page.

Then on "dication day" I dictated the first little paragraph to 10yo (The Arrow had suggested that a 9-10yo could do half the opening passage -- the opening passage is most of the first page of the book, all the way down to "The pig would probably die anyway." -- as dictation one day and the rest the next, but I thought that was too much for us). Since she had just copied it out, it was pretty easy. For 6yo I just dictated "Wilbur is a pig."

........

I'm re-reading what I've written, and I think it might be sort of garbled. She has something to discuss about Charlotte's Web each week along with copywork/dictation suggestions, then a literary element and writing exercise/game that you can just do some time during the month.

ETA: She does the classes year round. I think the summer classes are cheaper or maybe just easier to get into.
 

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I subscribed to The Arrow last spring. I didn't really give it a go, though, and am interested in trying it again.

I have trouble getting used to online instruction formats. I start to feel my eyes getting blurry and this mental block go up, sort of like how I used to get in math classes in high school.

The only other online course I tried was at Barnes and Noble U; on homeschooling. Between the course going over a lot I already knew and my other problem - I dropped out.

I'm going to go ahead and re-subscribe, see how it goes.
 
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