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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Lessons learned from Little House

Jamie Martin, editor of Simple Homeschool, also blogs about motherhood at Steady Mom

After several months, my three kids and I recently finished reading all nine books of the Little House on the Prairie series by Laura Ingalls Wilder. Reading these to my own kids was like a dream come true.

I fell in love with Laura and her life as a young girl myself and have read through the whole series three or four times. But experiencing them as an adult with children of my own gave me a new perspective  than I had before.

Certain parts made me laugh, some parts made me cry, a few parts shocked me, and I took away a few lessons to remember as well.
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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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Giveaway: Oak Meadow curriculum package (Back to School Week)

This giveaway has now ended. Thanks for entering!

Thanks for joining me for this year’s back to school week! I hope this week’s posts encourage you in your school and life planning as the start of the traditional school year grows nearer.

I discovered Oak Meadow through the magic of the blogosphere, and found it to be just what I needed for my kids at the time. The curriculum and the philosophy behind it have become a steady part of our home learning experience since then.

What first drew me to Oak Meadow was the heart behind it–is it possible for a curriculum company to have heart? Yes, it totally is! And I found that Oak Meadow’s connected with much of my own–their gentle approach, their slow introduction to academics, their focus on nature, free play, and stories.
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Starting school (with activities for your younger kids)

Written by contributor Jessica Fisher of Life as Mom and Good Cheap Eats

This year I’ll be teaching six kids.

Let’s pause and let that sink in a bit.

This year I’ll be teaching six kids!

Don’t get me wrong. I love having a big family. I love cooking big meals. And I love getting to the bottom of that monstrous pile of laundry each week. (Yes, it does happen every once in a while.)

But, I’ll confess that teaching six kids has me shaking in my boots a bit. This year we’ve got 10th, 7th, 5th, 3rd, 1st, and pre-K grades going. So, you can just smell the crazy brewing in my head. [Read more...]