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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Exploring Online Learning in our Homeschool

Written by Heather Bruggeman of beauty that moves

I’m not sure I would have been a very good homeschooler fifteen years ago. You see, the internet is such a valuable, expansive place for us. I’m amazed nearly every day by the endless variety of resources available, both free and paid.

We love our home-based and in town libraries, but there came a point in my daughter’s development where she craved something more formal. She wanted accountability beyond mom and dad. Lacking the right fit (so far) with a good homeschool co-op, we started looking around online for classes.

At fourteen years old, she is naturally ready for more.

This year we’ve had the opportunity to explore three different online learning tools/courses, each with varying degrees of formality and expense – I’d love to tell you about them today.
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Relaxed Elementary Education (2011 Curriculum Fair)

Written by contributor Renee Tougas of FIMBY

Ages of my children: 12, 10, and 8

Educational Philosophies I pull from: Leadership Education, Literature-Based, Charlotte Mason, Unschooling

When Jamie first proposed this series I thought, “That will be easy to write. We don’t use much.”

Then I saw all the questions from the introductory post and realized I might actually have something useful to say.

A few of your comments jumped out at me:

  • The repeated request to know what has worked and what hasn’t, and why.
  • How to “make your own” curriculum.
  • How to use readily available resources (like the library) and literature as materials for learning.

I can answer these because of our own eclectic and interest-led elementary homeschooling experience.
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Choosing Curricula for Multiple Students (2011 Curriculum Fair)

Written by contributor Jessica Fisher of Life as Mom

Ages of my children: 13, 10, 8, 6, 4, and 2
Educational Philosophies I Pull From: Classical, Charlotte Mason, Literature-Based

I don’t know if it’s my academic background, my penchant for planning and dreaming, or my love of learning, but exploring curriculum choices makes me happy. Like a kid in a candy store, I eagerly look forward to this time of year when our current books and resources fade in excitement and freshness, and I start thinking toward next year and all the wonderful, new things we’ll be studying.

I admit it; I am a planning geek.

Back in the early days of our homeschool when I “just” had three kids, I mapped out the rest of their school lives, calculating what grade each of my sons would be and what curriculum we’d be using. I wanted to be able to build our school library over time, as finances were tight, and I was, of course, dreaming big dreams.

Over the years our family has grown. Now as I approach “formally” schooling five children in grades K, 2, 4, 6, and 9, I find that my plans crafted many years ago have changed. Big surprise, eh?

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