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I really love The Arrow (Bravewriter). New formatting!


tammyw
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I bought an issue of The Arrow a year ago, and I really wasn't impressed.

 

Thankfully she changed the format, and now I love it!

 

I just looked and the current "sample" issue now shows her updated format/style. It is Ginger Pye and I haven't looked at that one specifically, but I'm printing it out right now so I can add it into our program.

http://www.bravewriter.com/program/language-arts-programs/the-arrow/

 

I bought one year's worth of lessons (new one released each month) through Homeschool Buyer's Co-op. We are doing The Penderwicks right now and I am loving it! The format is much better and more in-depth - so much more content, and so interesting! I really feel like she's figured out a winning formula. Honestly, I love it! Last week we learned all about onomatopoeia, and it was done in such a way that it really stuck. We ended the week with a freewrite exercise using onomatopoeia words.

 

I love that it also pushes us to read a new (and great) book aloud/together every month. Great program!!!

Edited by tammyw
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I was thinking about buying it a month at a time. Can you do that with the new releases or do you have to buy the whole year's worth? I was also thinking about picking and choosing from the old issues, but if the new ones are so much better.... hmmmm.....

 

Yes, you can buy a month at a time, but if it goes back on homeschool buyer's co-op, I'd go that direction, because it's much cheaper.

 

And yes, at one point I thought about picking and choosing from the older ones (based on which books looked interesting to me) but now that i've used the new format compared to the old, I wouldn't go with any old versions.

 

Thankfully I am very happy with the book selections!

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So if I place an order, I would get September's and October's immediately, right? Then every month thereafter one Arrow will be emailed to me?

 

You know, I am not sure on that. I ordered it a couple months ago, and I got my first one right away.

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Would this be a good fit for a struggling reader? As in, does the child need to do assigned reading on ones own?

 

No, I wouldn't say it targets that, but you could certainly assign the book for reading alone, if you think the books are appropriate level for your struggling reader. For us, I like doing it as a read aloud in this case, because it makes for better discussion. It forces me to read one great book to my dd every month (especially since I have to tailor so many of our read aloud selections to ds5).

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So if I place an order, I would get September's and October's immediately, right? Then every month thereafter one Arrow will be emailed to me?

Bravewriter's year starts in August, so you'll immediately have access to August, September, and October. After that you'll get an email telling you where to go to download the next month's issue.

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Bravewriter's year starts in August, so you'll immediately have access to August, September, and October. After that you'll get an email telling you where to go to download the next month's issue.

 

Thank you for letting me know. I'm going to try to squeeze 3 books into a month. We've read Ginger Pye, but I'm willing to do it again to have a more meaningful discussion.

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Thank you for letting me know. I'm going to try to squeeze 3 books into a month. We've read Ginger Pye, but I'm willing to do it again to have a more meaningful discussion.

 

I wouldn't try to squeeze them into a month, just use one a month until you are done and then you can sign up again if you want to keep going and continue getting more lessons.

 

I think you should definitely take the full month to do each unit, depending on the age. For my 8YO, one a month is all we can handle, because we do so much other stuff.

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I want to love this program because I love the idea but I bought one month to see how it actually looked and it left me wanting.

 

From what I can see the main point is to read great books aloud with your children and discuss them. We do this already (though having some leading discussion questions would be helpful). From there the author adds in a dictation passage to discuss each week. Am I missing something?

 

OP, and anyone else using this, what do you like about it and how are you using it? I'd love to hear how to implement this is a way that is rich.

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I want to love this program because I love the idea but I bought one month to see how it actually looked and it left me wanting.

 

From what I can see the main point is to read great books aloud with your children and discuss them. We do this already (though having some leading discussion questions would be helpful). From there the author adds in a dictation passage to discuss each week. Am I missing something?

 

OP, and anyone else using this, what do you like about it and how are you using it? I'd love to hear how to implement this is a way that is rich.

 

I'm so sorry you're not loving it. Of course everyone has different wants/needs in a curriculum, so we're not all going to love the same things. I'll try to describe what I like about this, using The Penderwicks lesson.

 

1. I like the copywork passages chosen. There is always a reason as to *why* that particular one is chosen, and she specifies the reason, and then we discuss that.

 

2. I like that she adds grammar, punctuation, etc. in a very natural way. For example, the introduction of Onomatopoeia. I loved how she chose a passage that included an example, talks about what it is, includes her own great example of an Onomatopoeia freewrite, and encourages us to watch for examples throughout our week (and end with our own freewrite assignment).

 

3. I love that she points out specific things in the writing samples that someone might otherwise gloss over, the em dash, where her father calls her Jane-o, why some nouns are treated as proper nouns and therefore capitalized, how some sentences don't follow the mechanics of a complete sentence, but rather the pattern of natural speech, and therefore can work.

 

There are many other things I like about it, but harder for me to put into words at the moment. Honestly, the lessons just feel like natural learning to me. The discussions we have, the notes she includes, all of it really comes across in such a way that makes it really stick. And it seems more meaningful because it's all based on one book.

 

We also have WWE (currently on level 2) and while I used to really enjoy doing it, I'm finding myself skipping it in favor of The Arrow lessons. We also plan to work through the Island level of MCT, but there's just something that draws me to The Arrow lessons a heck of a lot more than any of the others.

 

Hope that helps!

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Thanks, Tammy. Looking at it that way it does seem like a rich and natural approach to this aspect of LA.

 

I think the issue is that I'm not really sure what I want for LA at this point. We're about to begin WWE but with some trepidation on my part as I abandoned it last year. I don't like a scripted approach and neither does dc and I didn't like the choppiness of the passages. Also I disliked the illustrations and felt they detracted from the quality of the passages but I think I'm in the minority on this one *and* I digress.

 

I realize that I can use WWE in whatever way works for us so we're trying again. I'll have another look at the month we bought for Bravewriter. Part of my ambivalence might be that we just finished the book that was indicated. Thanks for taking the time to write out your approach with it.

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Thanks, Tammy. Looking at it that way it does seem like a rich and natural approach to this aspect of LA.

 

I think the issue is that I'm not really sure what I want for LA at this point. We're about to begin WWE but with some trepidation on my part as I abandoned it last year. I don't like a scripted approach and neither does dc and I didn't like the choppiness of the passages. Also I disliked the illustrations and felt they detracted from the quality of the passages but I think I'm in the minority on this one *and* I digress.

 

I realize that I can use WWE in whatever way works for us so we're trying again. I'll have another look at the month we bought for Bravewriter. Part of my ambivalence might be that we just finished the book that was indicated. Thanks for taking the time to write out your approach with it.

 

You'll find your way. It does take some time trying various things. It helps for me that I just read The Writer's Jungle and therefore really love the approach.

 

I have to admit, as I was typing all of this out, I realized that I really am not enjoying WWE anymore, for all the reasons you mentioned. I guess those aspects always bothered me but for lack of a better alternative, I just went with it. Now that I have The Arrow, I kind of doubt we'll continue with WWE.

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