Ever wished you could just ask a million questions about Brave Writer? Me too when we first started using it. If you’re wondering about it too, it’s your lucky day! Here’s a big Q+A about Brave Writer.
Q+A about Brave Writer
I love sharing about Brave Writer. It’s become one of the most dear parts of our homeschool. We began using BW in 2015, about seven years after we began homeschooling. I was asked to do a review of The Writer’s Jungle for Brave Writer. That review was my first post, and now, after a few years, I’ve added MANY posts to that Brave Writer list.
If you’re looking for some answers about Brave Writer, chances are I have a post on it. Here’s a list of all the posts I’ve written on Brave Writer and the Brave Writer lifestyle.
Learning Well LLC is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Affiliate links from Amazon or other programs are used on this website. For more info, please refer to our disclosure statement.
- Our Family’s Brave Writer Lifestyle Routine
- How We Use Brave Writer’s Partnership Writing
- 10 Things We Love about Brave Writer’s Arrow and Boomerang Guides
- How We Use Brave Writer’s Arrow and Boomerang Guides
- Learning to Love to Write: A Writer’s Jungle + Jot it Down Review
- Learning Well Community does Language Arts
- Boomerang Guides: Connecting with Teens through Books
- 36 of the Best Books Turned Movies (with Boomerang Guides)
- Enchanted Education
Get the 6 Secrets to a Simpler Mom Life
The following posts are mostly about curriculum in general, but they all include ideas about Brave Writer that might be helpful in your search for BW answers too:
- Our Kindergarten Curriculum Choices
- Curriculum Choices for Grades 5 + 7
- Curriculum Choices Based on your Enneagram Type
- Our Top Ten Current Favorite Curriculum
- Alicia’s Day in the Life
- Gathering the Goods for Winter Homeschooling
- Homeschool Your Child for $100
- Learning Well Community Homeschool Curriculum Directory
Watch a bunch of info on this handy video:
A couple of weeks ago, I asked for all your Brave Writer questions on Instagram. You all had a LOT of them! I recorded many of the answers to those questions in a series of videos. Here’s that series put into one handy video for you to check out.
A breakdown of Brave Writer Resources:
A lot of people I talk to are confused about where to start with Brave Writer. With that in mind, I’ve put together a quick breakdown of the curriculum Brave Writer offers.
The best place to start: The Writer’s Jungle
- an overall guide of Brave Writer’s approach to the writing process
- it was unlike ANY writing program I’d ever tried…and SO much less stressful!
- helps parents evaluate their kids’ writing in a way the encourages more writing instead of frustrating kids
- includes tons of writing games and ideas
- HUGE encourager to parents in writing and home educating in general
- there’s sample writing plans to help you lesson plan for your young writer, but it is NOT lesson plans like a regular scripted curriculum. It’s very much parent-led. YOU decide how to schedule your days and teach your child.
The Writing Programs: We have used each on of these except Faltering Ownership…we’ll be using this with 5th and 7th grade this school year.
- Jot it Down
- For very young kids (I’d say kinders and up)
- Kids do NOT have to be able to read to do this program
- I would recommend purchasing for a Kinder if you have other kids coming up that will use it, but it is not 100% necessary for Kinders.
- The parent acts as a scribe and “jots down” what the child “writes” (says)
- The beginning of the program gives tons of ideas on the BW lifestyle and learning ideas
- 2nd have of the program gives the writing projects…10 writing projects (about 1/month) to do with your kids..they are SO fun!
- Partnership Writing
- For kids who are becoming more able to write on their own, but still need help from Mom.
- Same as JID, gives writing projects for kids to do together or individually
- Faltering Ownership
- For kids who can write on their own, but still might need some assistance here and there.
- The writing projects for this program get more in-depth but are still super fun and not like regular “report writing.”
- The projects do not get monotonous or boring…ever!
- Help for the High Schooler
- For your oldest students…
- Written to the student, not the parent.
- Really encourages kids to think and explore areas of interest.
- My son loved working on the writing projects in this program!
The Arrow and Boomerang guides are for language mechanics. They are guides to accompany great books, so each guide covers one book.
- We use it for grammar, spelling, vocab, literary elements, and copywork.
- There is also a writing project in the back of the guides that fit the style of the book. Super fun.
- You can purchase single guides OR a years subscription
- Arrow Guides are for ages apx. 3rd-8th in our house
- Boomerang Guides are for ages apx. 7th+ in our house
- The Wand is for early readers
- Quiver of Arrows is for kids not quite ready for the Arrows (apx. 1st and 2nd grade)
- Pouch of Boomerang is for apx. middle school ages.
What the Guides include:
I want to share what’s included in the guides but preface by saying this: these guides have been in production for lots of years and have evolved over time. Some have more included than others. I’m going to share what’s included in all the newest guides, but you’ll want to check the description for the guide you are actually buying to see what it includes. The folks at BW are constantly updating the older guides, but that takes time. Make sure to read the description.
- 4 selections for copywork and studying
- literary component lessons
- a writing project
- discussion questions
- Party School guide for book club
- grammar lessons
- spelling word selections
For us, we purchase single issues based on what I want to read to my kids instead of the whole subscription. But everyone can decide how they want to do it!
Not sure if you’re ready to commit? Try it for free!
For real, you can download samples and freebies for dayssss over in the BW Store. When people are on the fence, I always tell them to try it for free first! If you don’t like it, no problem! Save your freebie and try it again at a different time or move on. Not every curriculum or homeschool approach is for everyone! That is the beauty of homeschooling!
A few closing thoughts:
User BW with pre-readers:
A lot of people ask me if they should be purchasing BW for their pre-readers. In a word? No. If I had it to do over, I would purchase way less with my littles. It’s just not really necessary. Like I said, if you have a lot of kids and are going to get a lot of use out of it, that’s great! But to purchase curriuclum just for self-assurance in what you’re doing in your homeschool isn’t a good thing.
That said, I think Jot it Down would be great fun with a Kinder that doesn’t read yet. I’ll be using that with Vera for her Kindergarten year, but if I didn’t already own it, I would wait another year.
Is there a ton of prep-work for mom?
In another word? No. I would say the most prep you have to do as a mom is just to read! That’s it. Sit down before school begins with a cup of coffee or sit outside and snuggle up on your patio and read. I love reading through The Writer’s Jungle every so often. It’s so inspiring!
Partnership Writing vs. Jot It Down? What to buy??
Look at your kids’ ages and the recommended ages and descriptions for the writing program and shoot for the middle. Personally, I think it would be really tricky for me to be doing two or more separate writing projects with my kids at the same time. My motto is to always keep it simple and doing one writing program rather than multiple is definitely more simple 🙂
You’d have to make that decision for your own kids, but that’s how I have chosen what writing curriculum we’ll do each year.