Aimee, I agree. I had bought Writer's Jungle, Jot it Down and several back issues of the Arrow last month. I actually forgot I had them. I am blaming my brain fog problem.
I'll try to explain as best I can, but bear in mind that I've not yet used it. I can only say I understand it because I have it in front of me.
The Wand, Arrow, Boomerang and Slingshot are LA programs for their respective grades. They are set up similarly. I will use the Arrow as the example since it's what I have handy.
Once per month, you're emailed an issue (unit) based on a novel which is recommended to be read aloud during that month. This example is from Ginger Pye by Eleanor Estes. Each unit is meant to take 1 month and is broken down into weeks. Each week includes copywork and dictation from a passage in the novel. It helps to work on spelling, punctuation, grammar and literary elements using quality living books.
- Each week - "The passages are accompanied by notes that detail spelling, punctuation, grammar and literary style elements found in the passage. These notes are designed to make it easy to pre-teach the passage (no advanced preparation necessary)."
- Each issue (unit) - "Each issue also highlights a literary element of the month. These are elements like assonance, alliteration, dialog, onomatopeia, powerful verbs, rhyme and more. Examples of the element are included in the issue and are taken from poetry, other novels or the novel featured in the Arrow."
- Each literary element - "Each literary element is accompanied by a writing tip or exercise that gives your kids a chance to play with the element in their own writing. The goal is to help kids notice quality writing and why it is successful. Then they can practice using the element so that eventually, they will naturally incorporate it into their original writing."
"Brave Writer is unique on the market because we put such a strong emphasis on Literary Elements. These elements make writing pop. Your kids need to know how to use them in their own writing to be powerful writers (far more than they need to learn formats)."
The Bravewriter Lifestyle - this is a very CM idea and the more I read about it, the more I love it. Making LA an interesting, natural part of everyday life. You can read about the various elements on the page linked. Poetry, nature journaling, copywork, dictation, games - all are detailed a bit more. She recommends having a LA routine - Poetry Tea Times on Tuesdays, Freewriting on Fridays, etc.
Jot It Down - this is lesson plans for using either the Wand or the Arrow. It is written for 5-8 year olds, but easily adaptable for the older ages. It tells you how to incorporate poetry tea times, weekly movies/shows, nature study, art appreciation, music discovery, read alouds, word play and more.
- Weekly Sample Routine that adjusts per term (adapt to your child's skill level as need be)
TERM 1 TERM 2 TERM 3
Mon. copywork* copywork copywork
Tues. poetry teatime & handwriting page poetry tt & hw page poetry tea time only
Wed. copywork & library French dictation* & library French dictation or reverse dictation*
Thurs. handwriting page & nature exploration hw page & nature exp. hw page & nature exp.
Fri. Art or Music or Movie Art or Music or Movie Art or Music or Movie
Daily read aloud, learn to read read aloud, learn to read read aloud, learn to read
* Copywork - many things mentioned that work. Scripture passages, passage from literature or historical book, foreign language, song lyrics, lists of lego sets wanted, math forumals, etc. BW does recommend using the same passage for copywork and dictation as "Familiarity breeds better results in dictation." Also recommends allowing some copywork to be typed.
* Dictation - "Don't make the mistake of treating dictation as an option. If you must omit a subject for the week, drop the grammar exercise book or the spelling pages in order to make room for dictation. The fruit is far more substantial even though it doesn't look like it initiallhy."
- French dictation: 1 - Write one sentence for your child omitting one word. 2 - Teach spelling by leaving blanks for multiple words. 3 - Add sentences to the initial one but leave several more words blank. 4 - Dictate the entire passage withou any clues. (It is mentioned that in French high school long dictation passages are given w/o prior acquaintance with the material.)
- Reverse dictation - giving a passage with errors and omissions and having the child correct it. BW recommends paying a penny for each correct correction. No penalties for missed ones. (My note - While I'm only skimming Writer's Jungle, this seems to promote seeing the wrong thing which CM did not recommend.)
See summaries of each chapter in Writer's Jungle (main teacher guide/handbook) here.
All quotes are from the above mentioned BW materials.
Does that help? Overall, it looks like a well put together program that utilizes many methods that Charlotte speaks about in her volumes. I am going to review it more and see how we might implement it.