Brave Writer curriculum

I am looking into this writing program for my daughter and my son to use for next year. They will be 2nd and 5th grade. I did IEW All Things Fun and Fascinating with my son this year (4th grade). We enjoyed it, but I’m looking for something a little less structured and with a bit more creative writing fun.

Does anyone have any experience with Brave Writer? I’m looking at Jot it Dowb, Partnership in Writing and Arrow.

Usborne Write Your Own Story Book (can find it on Amazon) - fun, not too structured, can move at your own pace - lots of writing ideas, prompts and information, but in a very fun, easy “journal” format

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We started with the Arrow and my son Loves it! We’ll be continuing next year too. Julie Bogart’s approach to writing and literary elements is a perfect fit for us. It seems very relaxed, however I have never had such deep, meaningful, rich conversations and reading experiences with my 3rd grader! We also do her poetry program, her Friday Free Writes and now we are implementing literary elements study with Wed. Movie Day. I think it feels natural (and not like a lot of “work”) because it’s a homeschooling lifestyle. We love books and my son is a big reader, so it’s been such a joy for us.
Next year I will add in The Writers Jungle and Partnership in Writing, just so I can offer a deeper education as he goes into 4th and 5th grades.

Thank you so much for your response! I’m greatly encouraged by it. I love the idea of deep, rich conversations. My son too is an avid reader and I love literature. The idea of digging deeper and not having the writing process feel like a box to check off is very enticing for me.

I took the leap and ordered The Writers Jungle, Partnership and Jot it Down. I also got 5 back issues of Arrrow and Quiver. I was able to pick 5 of the same books so hopefull I’ll be able to do Arrow/Quiver together with them.

You’re welcome! Brave Writer offers a wonderful variety of support and encouragement as well. I hope your family enjoys it like ours!

Hello! I was wondering how Brave Writer went for you and your family. I’m looking at it as a possibility for my kiddos who will be 8,7, and 5 this school year. I’m wanting a full LA curriculum that won’t be just another workbook. Any pointers would be great!

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I agree! I’m exhausted from LA style workbooks! Spelling… grammar… vocabulary… writing… reading… TOO MUCH!! I was researching alternatives last night, and I also came across Brave Writer. I’ll be watching for responses to your question to see what others have to say.

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Thank you so much for saying that!! :grinning: I was beginning to think I was being too picky and I know my husband has probably decided I’ve completely lost it!! I have been digging through so many curriculum reviews over the last couple of weeks in hopes of finding something that is all in one and not another workbook. We’ve used a very good phonics program for K and 1st. It has done the job and my children know their phonics rules and they’re reading. However, it became a very painful routine mid way through 1st. I have looked at the second grade level and it is super rigorous and has very little LA to it. I know it will send my oldest son over the edge and it will not be worth the fight. I also know I do not want to use it again for our youngest who will be entering K in the fall. I feel like I’m making this so much more complicated than it has to be. I want it to be an enjoyable learning process for us all. My kiddos love learning and exploring on their own. Especially my oldest. He’s very mechanically inclined. So I want to embrace that better than I have so far. Being a former 1st grade teacher, I feel like this is my fault. The teacher in me has wanted to continue that public school mindset instead of truly embracing the glorious freedom of homeschooling as I had intended to when we first knew we were led to homeschool. Ok! That was probably much longer than it needed to be!! :grin: So please y’all!! Any pointers would be great!

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@KBroom - I know exactly how you feel! I am a former 2nd-4th grade teacher. Many of my homeschooling friends are former teachers. We all have similar reasons for leaving the traditional school setting to homeschool, yet almost all of us have difficulty letting go of the school setting mentality. Our homeschool is extremely hands on, especially with history and science. Math is great, and my children are both voracious, natural readers. They also enjoy writing. As they get older (not that old yet - 2nd and 4th grade!), I find that we are enjoying language arts less and less. We love the reading and writing, but the spelling, vocabulary, handwriting, grammar and overly structured writing assignments that accompany it in all of the different zillions of workbooks is wearing on us, and honestly, it’s a bit boring for a family that is so tactile. I think it’s being segmented too much… or over complicated? I’ve seen some amazing things other parents have done - and it’s inspiring.
Things I’m looking at?

  • Dictation or Copywork? A year ago I absolutely thought these were an absurd waste of time, but after researching it, they actually make a lot of sense… more so than meaningless workbooks. And if it’s done in a notebook, with their little sketches, doodles and drawings, then you’ve got a cool keepsake.
  • Drop handwriting - my kids have beautiful cursive handwriting… why bother continuing with the workbook?
  • Spelling: My children are not natural spellers, so we’ll keep picking at it, but mostly they will need to practice using dictionaries and spell check.
    *Vocabulary: Is a workbook necessary? They are such voracious readers - I feel they have natural vocabularies that grow with all of their reading… not sure what to do here
  • Grammar and Writing: Our program is working, but it’s sooooo much! It’s exhausting, and it seems so complicated! There are so many simpler grammar/writing programs out there - I’m determined to find one. I’d also like writing to be a bit more organic or natural… not sure exactly what I mean here… some programs “speak” to me more than others.

Things I’m intrigued by:

  • Brave Writer
  • Good and Beautiful (we are secular, but this would be manageable)
  • Writing and Rhetoric

What are you looking for in a program? Aside from Brave Writer, have you found anything else? Okay - rambling done. Happy Curriculum Hunting. :slight_smile:

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