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  1. #1

    Default Thoughts on the Bravewriter? or suggestions in essay-writing for middle schoolers?

    I'm in my second year of homeschooling an only child, 11 years old, and I have been using the Bravewriter program in pieces (just the Arrow, and just finished the sample Boomerang); just buying the individual digests depending on DD's and my preferences in the book covered.

    Lately, I feel like we need more - I have no real idea on how to get her to the 'WRITING' stage - that 'Descriptive Essay' level is looming big going into Formal Essays etc in the next few years. Our forays into this have gone somewhat unproductively. She is an advanced reader, but now I realize, that putting pen to paper is lackluster at best... I have been exploring enrolling my daughter in the online classes.

    Does anyone have any experience with any of her pricier pieces like The Writer's Jungle, or Faltering Ownership...and should I even consider her new book? It feels like she has alot of exercises to break 'writer's block' but I'm more concerned with how to begin writing middle school level essays and the like, as we need those far more than creative writing ASAP!

    Thanks!

  2. T4L In Forum Oct19
  3. #2

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    We adopted Brave Writer when it first came out. Back then, it was just the Writer's Jungle. Then within a year or so of Writer's Jungle being published, she came out with the Boomerang and Arrow subscriptions. And then the individual components like Faltering Ownership an the Online Classes. I was able to successfully implement the Brave Writer method of language arts with just The Writer's Jungle and the Arrow/Boomerang subscriptions and my older three kids range from competent to outstanding writers. The newer products like Faltering ownership and the online classes will just make it less work for you, the teacher.

    I know it seems like high school is just a stone's throw away right now but she really does have lots of time to prepare before then. With my middleschoolers doing Brave Writer, We started with paragraphs in 5th grade. We would usually alternate between history and science topics they were studying for their paragraphs. They would do the first draft then we would go over it and revise and then write a final draft. I would concentrate on one language art teaching topic at a time while we were revising until they were no longer making frequent mistakes with it and then we would move on to another topic. Once their single paragraphs were looking pretty good, we would move on to 2 paragraphs and then three. The single paragraphs we tried to do one per week, once we started doing multi-paragraphs, we would back down to whatever seemed reasonable for that child. By junior high (7th and 8th grade) we started doing essays. If I had homeschooled for high school (I wanted to but it just didn't work out that way) they would have start literary analysis essays in 9th grade. I have two kids who have graduated and one who is a senior in high school this year, none of them struggled with high school essay writing. The Writer's Jungle was my go-to guide for learning this process but I know some people say you don't need TWJ if you use the newer components. Personally I really enjoyed reading TWJ and implementing the ideas in a way that they worked best for us but YMMV.

    As for her newest book, The Brave Learner, I am working my way through it right now and while I feel it is a wonderful book with lots of good information, it's not going to really help much with what you are asking about here. It is more of a general information book about applying the Brave Writer philosophy to all areas of homeschooling and not really specifically about writing.

  4. #3

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    Thanks for your thoughtful response MapleHillA. Great to hear on the ground experience with BW, and your own experience too. To me, the process of learning to write was not tangible. I know when I learned mechanics of grammar, but don't remember how it even started! I will try to be patient and do small steps to prevent frustration on both our parts.

    I actually just enrolled us into the next session of online Writer's Jungle. cross fingers.

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Thoughts on the Bravewriter? or suggestions in essay-writing for middle schoolers?