We have pretty well adopted what is known as the Brave Writer Lifestyle for our English language and literature studies this year. (Actually, we’ve always implemented many parts of the lifestyle. I just didn’t call it that. 😉 ) When we embarked on our study of the Civil War, I decided that both girls would read different books for their assigned reading. Lulu, age eleven, read Across Five Aprils; Louise, age just-turned-ten, read Turn Homeward, Hannalee. We used the Boomerang for Across Five Aprils and the Arrow for Turn Homeward, Hannalee for our language studies (via dictation) and discussion. I tried to follow the work timeline as suggested in Faltering Ownership, and it worked fairly well for my reluctant writer. Lulu is fairly resistant to most writing, so I was really pleased with the amount of engagement this elicited from her. She gave a good bit of thought into the images she wanted on her cover, choosing the roses because they were suggested as an “April flower.” She researched the author to write her biographical sketch, and she looked at sample book reviews/critiques from books we own to write her blurbs. The summary, of course, was the most work.
Louise, age nine (at the time she worked on this project), is just a bit young for something quite as involved as this. She’s actually a more willing writer right now, but she lost interest in the project before completely finishing it. She did spend a good bit of time on her cover, choosing images that represent her story, so I want to share it here, too.
I apologize for the poor quality of these pictures. They were taken with my cell phone, which is my default camera nowadays. The middle picture is one of a battle, and the bottom picture is an actual picture of women and children exiled from the Roswell mill. The picture of the button at the bottom is an actual image of a persimmon seed button, an important symbol in the story.
I’ve learned a lot from implementing writing using the Brave Writer philosophy. Mostly I’ve learned to let a lot of things go in favor of letting my girls feel comfortable with writing. Once upon a time I would’ve absolutely insisted that Louise finish this project, but now I’m happy that she wrote several drafts, and I’m okay with the fact that she lost steam before bringing it all the way to completion. There will be other projects, and I know she learned something from this one. In my book, that’s a win.
Are you interested in trying out Brave Writer risk free? Julie Bogart will be teaching a writing lesson/exercise on Periscope on Wednesday, December 2, at 4 p.m. EST. Go here for more details.
(None of these links is an affiliate link, though they probably should be. 😉 )