Becoming brave writers: A review of The Writer’s Jungle

Becoming brave writers: A review of The Writer's Jungle
Written by contributor Lora Lynn Fanning of Vitafamiliae

Last semester, I determined my third grade twins should do a writing project. I requested a paragraph from each about their history studies. Simple, right?

A week later, we were all in tears and only after much angst did they eke out their boring four sentence paragraphs. I was baffled. I’m a writer. I love to edit. They like to write. Why was this so painful???

I spent my Christmas vacation evaluating our writing program. Or lack thereof. Apparently, my kids weren’t going to learn to write or to love writing just by living with their blogging mama. I needed something else.

I stumbled across the Brave Writer website and the correlating book The Writer’s Jungle by Julie Bogart. By the time I finished it, my copy of the book looked like this:

junglenotes

In The Writer’s Jungle, I found the tools to make writing pain-free:
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A day in the life of an introverted homeschool mom

a day in the life of an introverted homeschool mom ~SimpleHomeschoolWritten by contributor Lora Lynn Fanning of Vitafamiliae

I always knew I was an introvert but I knew it in my bones by the time that fifth or sixth child arrived. At first, I thought it was exhaustion that sent me to my room every afternoon during naptime, no matter how much work I was ignoring. I blamed myself for being so lazy.

But then I remembered: I’m an introvert! And there are people here all the time! No wonder I feel overwhelmed!

personalities at home

Now we have seven children we homeschool. My husband works from home. And there’s me, the introvert. That’s nine people at home: all day, every day.

A girl’s gotta figure out how to cope, right?
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Do We Really Do School In Our Pajamas?

do we really do school in our pajamas

Written by contributor Lora Lynn Fanning of Vitafamiliae

Recently, I put a small statement out on twitter and facebook to say that, for the first time, we had actually DONE school in our pajamas. I’d always heard people joke about homeschoolers spending the day in pj’s, but I’d never actually done it until that morning, when the lure of the elastic waistband in my pajama bottoms was just too strong…

My email and twitter stream blew up with responses ranging from, “Really? I haven’t bathed or gotten dressed all week!” to “We don’t wear pajamas outside our bedrooms.”
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Lora’s homeschool day in the life (with a 10 months, 2-, 4-, 5-, 7-, 8-. & 8- year old)

15 minutes of peaceWritten by contributor Lora Lynn Fanning of Vitafamiliae

It seems this “day in the life” assignment always comes around when I’m in the midst of transition or crisis, but I suppose that’s just what homeschooling is: educating our kids in the middle of Life.

Our family moved to a new house last month. My school room looks like this. Not exactly Pinterest-worthy, yet, is it?

messy school room

The good news is, despite moving, the flu, the holidays, and another cold amongst us, we’re still plugging away with school.

dayinthelife1-300x2102Our school day is divided into two chunks. We have a morning session that involves me teaching directly. Once their time with me is finished, my kids are free to play for a bit. After lunch, there is a chunk reserved for independent school work.

I’m essentially working with two levels of students: those who can read and those who can’t.
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Using YouTube for homeschooling

Written by contributor Lora Lynn Fanning of Vitafamiliae

Late one Sunday night while lesson planning, I discovered I’d neglected to obtain the books I needed for the following day’s lesson.

I couldn’t make it to the library and I wanted to keep us on schedule. So I did what any mother in the 21st century would do: I went to YouTube.

First, I gave myself a quick crash course on our topic:
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