Topic | Brave Writer vs. SCM Language Arts

Viewing 14 posts - 1 through 14 (of 14 total)
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  • Emily
    Participant

    This week I’ve been researching and watching YouTube videos about Brave Writer. It looks amazing and I’ve read nothing but good comments about it.

    Ive also done the same for SCM language arts for spelling wisdom & using language well.

    My questions: Has anyone used both? Do you like one more than the other? I like the idea of the Jot it down writing projects but I’m not sure the mechanics of writing is necessary from the arrow guides if they are using SW & ULW. Brave Writet is very pricey especially for a digital download.

    Next year I am hoping to homeschool and I will have a kindergartener and 3rd grader. They both literature and being read to and like how Brave Writer combines many elements of ELA into the books  that are read aloud.

    Any thoughts? Suggestions? One minute I’m like this is what they need, then I think nope just stick with SCM!!

    Michelle
    Participant

    I’ve used both at different times. We did a couple Arrow Guides this year and they were fun. (We used A Long Walk to Water and James and the Giant Peach…both books were amazing.) We have tried to use Partnership Writing this year and it is just too loose for me. The activities seem fun, but narration for composition is just more appealing to me. There is a bit of preparation in some of the activities and I literally would have to walk my kids through it to complete a project; hence, the “Partnership” part. It’s an ideal situation, but just not for me with 4 kids ages 6-11.

    All this being said, it appears I will be coming back to SW and ULW for a more simple and laid out approach to LA.

    I wouldn’t suggest doing both at the same time. You could do Jot It Down with either the Arrow or ULW. But I would also suggest…just jot down those oral narrations and occasionally do a Friday free write from Bravewriter.

    Emily
    Participant

    Thank you for responding. It seems like an amazing product but almost too much for me as a CM newbie. My daughter would be transitioning from public school so this whole method would be a big change. But a change she would brace well because of her love to read and be read aloud to. I am trying to understand the methods more and more and do my research and homework to implement these practices. The narrating part almost scares me though. Especially when they get old enough to do written narrations. My daughter does quite a bit of free writing on a topic from her teacher for 2nd grade. I love to read what she writes. The teacher doesn’t focus on grammar for these free writes. My daughter loves to write as well. She sends letters to people in the mail and creates her own stories and homemade books.

    From I’ve read, written narrations come naturally after much practice with oral narrations. I probably need to read the SCM book hearing, reading, speaking, telling (or something like that) to reality know the right questions to ask my kids about what they’ve learned. I would hope to have conversations about the topic learned which would be similar to the Big Juicy Conversations in Brave Writer. (Typing fast and have proof read this! Sorry so long!)

    Wings2fly
    Participant

    For 3rd grade CM Language Arts, you only need reading practice (phonics), copywork (transcription), and oral narrations.  Dictation and written narrations begin about age 10.  Grammar can start then as well.  Start with one written narration per week, maybe a paragraph, and gradually work up to a full page or two daily in high school, keeping to daily oral narrations.

    I do highly recommend Sonya Shafer’s Hearing and Telling, Reading and Writing and Narrations: Your Questions Answered.  We have been consistent with Spelling Wisdom and my 9th grade son is starting book 4 soon.  It has worked well for us.  We used Simply Grammar since ULW was not available for him.

    Julie Bogart of Bravewriter supports using the Charlotte Mason (CM) methods of copywork, dictation, and narrations.  Both have a strong appreciation for poetry.  I have the Writer’s Jungle, a handbook for parent teachers to help children with writing.  It offers ideas for creative writing projects and helping each student find their writer’s voice.  One project is worked on over the whole month.  It shows you how to encourage your students in their writing, while helping to make some corrections and progress, a little at a time.  CM says to focus on just one or two corrections in written narrations after they have become comfortable and confident in getting their thoughts written down.  I see how they can complement each other.  CM emphasizes using the Bible.  I think Bravewriter is secular, with a strong focus on family ties.  I hope my experience with these products will help you decide what’s right for your family to try.  You might have to try a few things before you find what works for you.  And you don’t have to use a whole program just the way it was written.  Keep what works and change what doesn’t.  We use a wide variety of resources with mostly CM methods.

    Emily
    Participant

    Thank you for adding in your personal experience with SCM materials. I love that the products have a biblical base, another reason to why I have been drawn to the method and these specific materials.

    My daughter reads really well and tests on a 5th grade reading level for public school standards. But she definitely needs read aloud practice. She may be able to read on that level but still prefers to read her picture chapter books because her attention span isn’t on 5th grade yet!!

    I noticed the Spelling wisdom books can be used for copywork as well. And the spelling and language books go they 4th grade for book one. This will help me save money!

    I guess I was worried she would lose her creativity with writing if she isn’t required to write each week.  But I also don’t want her to hate to write because of a forced assignment. When she is at home away from public school she just randomly writes family members and makes up stories.

    Wings2fly
    Participant

    My daughter is in 6th grade and keeps a journal on her own off and on.  She has also written several stories in her own free time.  She enters an annual summer writing contest.  She works at improving herself each year for it.

    Through the years, we have been consistent with CM methods.  And we have had the freedom to try different creative writing projects.  This has included ideas I tried from The Writer’s Jungle, as well as from other sources.

    We found it kind of late in elementary, but we have enjoyed using Five in a Row unit studies, too.  I add CM copywork and oral narrations with it.  And we don’t use it all through the year.  We can do a unit for a week or two at a time.  We have really enjoyed learning a lot about literary elements and art elements through wonderful picture books.  We have enjoyed the writing and art assignments from it.  I hate to throw another option at you, but it can be used for both children together.  Your older student would have more books and assignments.  They each have their own math and reading/phonics.  There is also a Bible supplement and cookbook that can be added.  I still recommend learning as much as you can about CM methods, especially for the upper grades.

    Emily
    Participant

    So after these responses I’ve dug deeper into SW/ ULW and looking closer at the PDF. Also looking grade three lesson plan book. I noticed SW/ULW is 1-2 days a week then she would have read aloud and cursive writing. I didn’t see where it included copywork. If I use the SW book for copy work does she do copy work everyday from the selected words she needs to learn? She loves to copy. She will copy the Bible verses the preaches on during his sermons. I guess I just want to see routine and see what others have done for their routine. I like the idea of not doing spelling and grammar every day even though she would be working on it some thru copy work.

    Any help is appreciated!!

    Wings2fly
    Participant

    https://simplycharlottemason.com/blog/a-system-or-a-method/

    That is great that she already likes to write in her free time!  Keep encouraging her.  Don’t be critical at all on these extra writings.  In her school writings, pick just one thing at a time to correct and work on.  Keep the joy in writing.

    Wings2fly
    Participant

    In our home, we used copywork 4-5 days per week.  We used a variety of resources for short assignments.  I have written out our copywork in lower grades, downloaded cursive copywork from Currclick, and had them copy from their own books.  For Spelling Wisdom, my students (grades 6 & 9) copy and study the passage one day and do dictation with me the next day.  I think the schedule is different for grade 3.  The general goal is to use half of book one for transcription that year.  But your goal may be different.

    Wings2fly
    Participant
    Amy Harter
    Participant

    I think one of the main reasons we are attracted to Julie Bogart’s Brave Writer program is the lifestyle invovles many of the CM principles. (She has a fabulous new book out: Brave Learner).  You can purchase digital goods at 40% off from homeschool buyers coop.  If I were you, I would get the jot it down and use projects with both your kids, letting the older one write if she wants.  It is creative writing, sparky, fun projects…something that is not recommended in the SCM language arts.  My kids have absolutely loved the few projects we’ve done from Jot-and that’s including my middle schooler!  You could continue with the SCM ULW and SW but if you wanted to try a month of an Arrow for copywork, dictation, grammar, you could just buy one to try.  I find the literature based BW is much more meaningful and engaging for the kids to use, than the quotes in SW, but ULW/SW is an easier open and go option for a very busy mom.  Overall, I think it depends on your interest life season- we’re living a marathon, and we must be able to enjoy what we’re teaching.  Have fun!

    Emily
    Participant

    Thank you all for helping thru this. I did more research and made sure I understood copywork, transcription, dictation! I’m not sure why I let these all confuse me! I found the article on the website that explains these three stages!

    I may have to try out Brave Writer eventually but I think the slow pace of figuring out and implementing CM method is going to be enough. I plan to use the reading kit 2 for son and that’s a little different way in learning to read as well. He has been working with Bob Books this year for early reading. I may even continue with that.

    For my rising third grader I just wanted to make sure I was doing enough! She practices 24 words a week in public school but is taught in a different way. Words with similar sounds or phonics rules. Way too many for my liking but she gets them all right!

    Also back to copy work , she will continue with cursive writing. She has started it some in 2nd grade this year.

    So her Language lessons would be a variation of reading aloud to me or her brother4-5 days, spelling wisdom/ using language well (2days).  And cursive writing 2-3 days, and of course oral narrations/ group discussions on our readings for history and science etc.  I’m trying to go by the yeah by year  overview.  And hopefully I can encourage her to send more letters to people etc. And maybe halfway thru the year I can afford Jot it down or writers jungle for some fun activities!!

    Thanks again for all your advice!

    Wings2fly
    Participant

    That sounds like a good plan.  You can also begin to implement these a little at a time so you aren’t overwhelmed with too many new resources all at once.  When you are comfortable doing one or two of these, then add in something else.

    Michelle
    Participant
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