Brave Writer Classes

I have been teaching at Brave Writer since 2002. Founded by Julie Bogart in January 2000, Brave Writer is a true stand out among writing resources for homeschooling families. Centered in the philosophy of 19th-century British educator Charlotte Mason, Brave Writer stresses gentle family learning and a better-late-than-early focus on “formal” writing. Younger students instead learn the important pre-writing concepts of copywork and dictation which Julie explains in detail on her web site.

Julie offers online classes taught by carefully handpicked instructors which highlight the Brave Writer values of non-coercive learning as a family unit, encouragement of student writing, partnership writing, and gentle modeling of writing formats. Designed for students in late elementary through high school, online classes vary from The Writer's Jungle Online (paralleled in Julie’s excellent handbook The Writer’s Jungle) in which moms are trained to be their children’s best writing cheerleaders and coaches to courses in Literary Analysis, Expository Essay (paralleled in Julie’s Help for High School, written directly to high schoolers), Shakespeare, and The MLA Research Essay for high school students.

In July 2012, I was promoted to the position of Senior Teacher, Staff Writer, and Curriculum Developer.

In Fall 2019, I will be teaching three family workshop courses at Brave Writer: the Groovy Grammar Workshop, the Shakespeare Family Workshop, and the Playing with Poetry: Discovery Workshop. Both courses are designed for use by the whole family as I facilitate learning activities, games, and assignments that turn the non-lovers of grammar and poetry into people who are converted to a true appreciation (if not outright LOVE) of these formerly “boring” topics.

Designed by Julie, The Groovy Grammar Workshop is absolutely revolutionary as it shows how grammar works through inventive word games and intriguing assignments. Lots of fun for the whole family, the course finishes with students’ original “nonsense” poems based on Lewis Carroll’s poem “Jabberwocky.”

I revamped Julie's Shakespeare Family Workshop course, expanding it so that we spend a week on Shakespeare's life and times and the Elizabethan theater, one week on Shakespeare's language and poetry, and then three weeks on his plays: one week on the comedies (focusing on Much Ado About Nothing), one week on the histories (focusing on Richard III) and one week on the tragedies (focusing on Hamlet). This is a terrific introduction to Shakespeare for younger kids as well as for high school students who may enjoy taking this class on their own. The Shakespeare Family Workshop is extremely interactive with a variety of hands-on activities to do and video clips to watch. This class has garnered some of the most enthusiastic feedback of any class I’ve taught, so it’s an experience I highly recommend!

I designed the Playing with Poetry Workshop which also uses wordplay to create poems of many different sorts, allowing families’ creative juices to flow, even on sluggish wintry days. When we found that had collected so many awesome poetry forms to write, we decided to break the five-week class into two four-week parts: the Playing with Poetry: Discovery Workshop and the Playing with Poetry: Exploration Workshop; the latter will be taught in Spring 2020 only. Families enjoy exploring poetic forms and writing their own poems following model poems, receiving encouraging feedback from me and from each other.

All of these courses are a ton o’ fun for me to teach, and feedback from families has been extremely enthusiastic. Don’t miss out on Groovy Grammar, The Shakespeare Family Workshop, and Playing with Poetry: Discovery at Brave Writer this fall...and with the addition of Playing with Poetry: Exploration in the spring semester as well!

And along with these family workshop courses, I will be teaching The MLA Research Essay course for high school students in which they will plan, research, organize, and write a formal college-level research paper according to the new 8th Edition (2016) of the Modern Language Association (MLA) format. The students are allowed “free choice” of their topic, as long as it contains an “argumentative edge,” or is a persuasive-type essay in which the students seek to prove an aspect of their topic. Teaching the MLA Research Essay has always been near and dear to my heart as it was my favorite class to teach at Point Loma Nazarene University when I was an adjunct instructor.

In Spring 2020, I will be adding teaching Literary Analysis: Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet which is designed for high school students. This class will provide many interesting links, facts about Shakespeare, his life and times, the background and sources of the play, an act-by-act discussion of the play itself, and will finish with a Final Writing Project chosen by the students from four project options. We’ll also watch and discuss film clips of various scenes from the play as well.

In Summer 2020 I will be teaching the uber-popular Fan Fiction class that I have taught for the past eight summers. In this class, we explore the definition of Fan Fiction (works written with characters from already published books, movies, video games, music groups, television programs, etc.), read and analyze some short single-chapter Fan Fiction stories called One-Shots, then write, revise, and edit three Fan Fiction stories: one flash fiction story (300-1000 words), one story or chapter of 1000 words minimum, and one story or chapter of 1500 words minimum. The students always write extraordinarily creative stories, some of which they choose to publish online.

So these are the classes I’ll be teaching at Brave Writer over the 2019-2020 academic year! Please join us in some excellent and enjoyable online courses!!

On the journey with you,

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