Creating a Rich Writing Experience in Our Homeschool
I’m honestly not sure if one can be involved in the homeschool community in any way online without quickly hearing about Brave Writer. If you read around homeschool blogs for more than five minutes you are going to hear about someone raving about Julie and Brave Writer. And for good reason.
Remember when I was talking about Poetry Tea Time and how much my kids adore it (if I forget one week they are bound to remember)? Well, Poetry Tea Time is the brain child of Julie over at Brave Writer.
I recently received The Writer’s Jungle from Brave Writer after hearing so many people rave about it.
When people find out that I’m actually a teacher by education they always comment on how it must be so helpful for homeschooling. It’s not. Honestly, there were very limited courses that I took in university that were actually beneficial to me in the classroom (home economics and social studies to be exact), I came out with a degree in education with an English minor and had no idea how to teach kids to write.
After graduating university and before having kids I was covering a maternity leave and my main classes I taught were grade 7 & 8 English. Oh man, looking back now I feel so sorry for those kids. I had no idea what I was doing. As I was reading through The Writer’s Jungle I just kept thinking, if only I would have had this when I was teaching! It would have been so helpful.
And while I can’t go back and fix my mistakes as a teacher in the classroom I can make sure I don’t make those same mistakes as a homeschooling mom, and The Writer’s Jungle is definitely going to be a part of making sure that doesn’t happen!
so what is the writer’s jungle?
The Writer’s Jungle is a huge ebook (or binder if you buy that copy) that is designed to teach the homeschool parent how to teach writing. Julie includes a number of different ideas and activities that will help your child fall in love with writing. With The Writer’s Jungle it’s not about learning different techniques just to know them but to enrich a child’s writing.
While reading what Julie wrote about alliterations I was inspired to teach Raeca about them and now we like to make up silly alliterations about people, like: Robot Riding Raeca, Finger Fighting Phillip, Carrot Kicker Chloe, Bouncing Ball Billy, Jumbo Jumping Jilly, etc. It was a fun way for her to learn alliterations and we randomly shout out new ones as we think of them.
The Writer’s Jungle is intended for ages 8-18 and they do have a program called Jot it Down for younger children.
The book is large (over 260 pages!) but don’t let that intimidate you! You don’t need to read the whole thing before you can start implementing what Julie shares.
my child is 5 (or 6 or 7), do I need to purchase jot it down or would the writer’s jungle be better?
Honestly, I haven’t read Jot It Down so I can’t say for sure but my daughter is 6 and I’ve been implementing and adapting a number of the activities in The Writer’s Jungle with her, though I do most of the physical writing (or typing). If you want to purchase both Brave Writer has them together in a bundle along with your choice of The Wand or A Quiver of Arrows where you can save some money by purchasing them all together.
All in all, I’m really excited to implement so much of what I have learned from The Writer’s Jungle into our homeschool and while I wish I would have read this back when I was teaching in the classroom I’m glad to have come across it so early in our homeschooling journey!
Helpful Hint: I got the digital copy, which I love because I’m all about ebooks these days, if you get the digital copy you can send it to your Kindle (or Kindle app) and actually have it convert to the Kindle format. This is really helpful for when you want to highlight half the book like I did.
To send it to yourself you need to know your Kindle email address, you can find this by going to Amazon – Your Account – Manage My Content and Devices – Settings – Personal Document Settings. Under this heading they have your Kindle email listed.
Now all you need to do is email this address with the PDF attached, doing this will send the PDF version but if you type convert into the subject line it will convert it into a Kindle book. This has been so helpful for me, I now use this all the time.
While Ephraim isn’t doing any type of Brave Writer writing at this point he likes to sit beside Raeca and write letters, it’s pretty adorable.
Full disclosure: I received a free copy of The Writer’s Jungle in exchange for an honest review, but I actually contacted the lovely people over at Brave Writer about it because I had heard so many good things about The Writer’s Jungle!