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I really like the looks of Bravewriter but I like being able to see where a program will go and how it will look within our homeschool. What programs would I use for each year for the elementary grades? How do you “schedule” your week? Do you use the same program for multiple years, for example Jot It Down for grades 2 and 3 or is each program only good for one year?
Any help would be greatly appreciated!TristanParticipant
The best page to get your mind wrapped around some of this is the getting started page on Brave Writer. As you scroll down you’ll see general age ranges for each stage (and a link to corresponding products if you want them). However there is also a big purple button that takes you to a download of 11 free samples – this is going to be really important so you can peek inside products. Get it! http://www.bravewriter.com/getting-started-with-brave-writer
Now, in general, here is how I describe BW products:
The Writer’s Jungle is the theory course for mom. You can create your own writing program with it, but it is not going to give you many ready to use assignments for your kids. I reread it each summer, but it is not where I would start.
The project books (Jot it Down, Partnership Writing, Faltering Ownership) give you a year of month long writing projects with instructions, sample schedules, and ideas for tweaking those projects to fit children in the corresponding stages/general age ranges. You can take longer than a year with these. We tend to use them as a springboard – do a BW project or two, then do some writing projects that are spinoffs or my kids come up with, then go back to a BW project. I also have used a single book for a wide age range by adjusting my expectations for each child. A Jot it Down stage child does oral narration and I scribe, they illustrate. A Partnership Writing stage child takes short turns writing and I still scribe some, they illustrate. A Faltering Ownership stage child does the majority of the writing and I’m a brainstorm partner, sounding board, and occasional scribe.
A second part of Brave Writer is the Language Arts products like The Arrow and Boomerang. I don’t use these, but basically they give you copywork and some grammar instruction, maybe discussion questions, all centered around a single read aloud book.
The other large part of BW is the Brave Writer Lifestyle. This is all the other things you do in a month to bring a language rich environment to your family. Much of it is Charlotte Mason inspire: copywork/dictation, read alouds, big juicy conversations, poetry tea time, art appreciation, nature journaling, movies, language games, one on one time, etc. The tabs down the left side of this page explain each of those (and each project book has a section about these, with a sample suggested schedule of how to plug them in to your month). http://www.bravewriter.com/program/brave-writer-lifestyleAlysee123Participant
Thank you so much, Tristan for that helpful reply!bethannaParticipant
I have been reading in the Brave Writer blog and listening to her podcasts for a while now. I finally ordered The Writer’s Jungle and some single issues of the Arrow and the Boomerang for us to try. What helped me decide which resources to purchase was an analogy that Julie Bogart wrote likening the resources to sewing. She said The Writer’s Jungle is like getting to know your sewing machine. The Arrow, Boomerang, etc. are like your tools to help you sew – scissors, hem gauge, etc. Jot It Down, Partnership Writing, etc. are like patterns to help you create a specific project. That description clicked with me and I could finally decide what to buy. 🙂bethannaParticipant
Now I need to figure out the practical aspect of when to work with each student. And how often. Dd12 zipped through the Boomerang on Little Women without much involvement from me. Is it supposed to be that way? I chose A Cricket in Times Square from the Quiver of Arrows for both ds10 and ds7, but ds10 insisted that he did not want to do the same book as his brother. So I gave him The Sign of the Beaver to read and for copywork, but he still listens to me read Cricket… aloud and listens to the “language lesson” part that goes with it. I feel like my approach to it is a bit choppy. No two weeks have gone the same way with the boys.HarterhouseParticipant
If you decide to purchase a product or more, check out the Homeschool Buyers coop where Brave Writer is listed at mostly 40% off.
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