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do you love Bravewriter?


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Nah, I feel the exact same way. To me she rambles and I find it on the whole not very well organized (or maybe it's that I find the organization counterintuitive). It was difficult to implement and the free writing was a source of so much stress and tears for my ds that I just gave up trying to make sense of it. It was a disaster.

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I recently purchased TWJ and I started with the Preface, it was way too long for my taste. So I decided to skip this section altogether. I went straight to Chapter 1 and from there it has been smooth sailing. I'm what you would call a "forced" reader, it definitely does not come naturally. :laugh: My son seems to be a reluctant everything but this might really trick him into writing. Just the idea of not forcing him and letting it come naturally is very appealing. Heck, I think I will learn a lot from this program. I also plan to include the Arrow and Teatime into our curriculum. This will teach him grammar, dictation, copywork and other parts of literature through reading the assigned books. The sample looks very interesting.

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Yes, I love Brave Writer - and I couldn't get through The Writer's Jungle myself.

 

As I struggled with TWJ, I discovered that there was an online course - Kidswriter Basic which is basically TWJ with mom as the student interacting with the teacher and then teaching your own kids. They give assignments out of TWJ, you give them to your kids. You then "turn in" what your kids write and they give all sorts of feedback on how to improve the writing and then ask you to help you kids with the process of rough drafts/edits etc. I thought is was crazy to pay for the class after I already paid for TWJ, but I'm very glad I did. The class also gives you the opportunity to chat with other moms about the process, questions along the way, and what you are learning. I love the feedback from the Brave Writer instructors.

 

If you don't like the BW philosophy then it's definitely not for you; if you need help implementing it, the you might consider the online class.

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If you want a shortcut I would recommend her Writing WTM Online Conference. It's almost over, but you can still buy it and watch the two already recorded sessions. That might get you through it to see if it's right for you.

 

I do love it. It can be hard to be more relaxed, but she says to take what you like or what works and leave the rest.

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It took me a full year to get through TWJ, and I didn't feel like I got that much out of it (maybe because it took so long!) Later I purchased Jot It Down, and while we didn't end up doing any of the projects, I felt like it was a much clearer, more succinct explanation of the "lifestyle." 

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The WTM conferences are great, and you could also listen to Julie's podcasts on the BW website.  I had trouble with TWJ  mostly because I hate reading books electronically but was too cheap to spring for the print version.  The info is out there in other formats, though, many of them free or inexpensive.  I do love the writing/teaching philosophy.

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I think part of my problem is that I find the book so annoying to read that I'm not sure I want her approach to teaching writing... but then people whose opinions generally are similar to mine like it. I have tried from the beginning and also starting at random places and it didn't help.

 

Emily

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I always suggest people start with the other stuff - like Jot-It-Down or Partnership Writing. First off, they're cheaper and secondly, she rambles less. It's a great deal more succinct and obvious what the brick of TWJ is trying to say when you come at it through that lens.

 

That being said, if you've already bought TWJ and it's iffy, maybe you don't want to spend more money. There are people here that I really respect who *really* like BW. Eh, we'll just agree to disagree on that one. ;)

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I like the idea of it--it's the way my favorite college professor taught writing. But I didn't find BW particularly helpful when it came to trying to implement the ideas with my own reluctant writers. They've thrived with a more direct, incremental approach. I think my youngest would now enjoy a BW approach, after having a different kind of foundation. TWJ on it's own was just ideas and not enough "here's what to do with your kids" for me. Jot it Down and Partnership Writing weren't out when my kids were younger, so I haven't looked at those. Essentials in Writing is what ended up working well here.

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Yes, I love BW. 

 

TWJ is a bit of an organisational mess, imo, and needs an edit and a second edition. 

 

But the philosophy is sound, and the more specific products ( PW, FO, Arrow, online classes etc ) are fantastic. I got a much clearer sense of the approach when I used Partnership Writing than when reading TWJ. 

ditto this  :iagree:

 

LOVE Brave Writer, but not because of TWJ. Julie Bogart is the most inspirational speaker on homeschooling that I listen to. I try to catch her anywhere she's speaking (her own podcasts, her WTM conference sessions, she was on the Read Aloud Revival podcast recently, etc). I think her methods and products are brilliant, but she needs a total overhaul of her website and TWJ to help her communicate what she has to offer. 

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I was hearing her speak that really hooked me. I did love TWJ... but now that my initial joy of reading it has faded, I can see the criticisms of it. I think I was just so thrilled to have found something that reflected how I felt about writing that I do still have a special place for it in my heart. I like Sadie's suggestion of a second edition. It could stand one.

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I really like Julie Bogart, and I think she has found something that speaks to a certain segment of the homeschool community, and my dd enjoyed the issues of The Arrow that we worked through, but ... no, I do not love Bravewriter. Having been an editor and worked professionally in writing, which means I have seen tons of writing and talked to tons of people about writing and the writing process, I simply think her philosophy is lacking.

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I am agreeing with everyone that TWJ is not an easy read.  You have to hunt through it a bit and digest it and the organisational layout is in serious need of help.  

 

So yes, it does beg the question... why use this woman's program for writing?   :laugh:  :lol:

 

I fell in love with Braveewriter because it is what I would consider a literature based homeschooling method.  As opposed to the WTM/Classical history centered approach, or the gaining popularity of a STEM-centered approach (Note that I am a STEM major, but did not want a STEM cantered approach.) 

 

I want to have a LITERARY HOME CULTURE.  It is all about the culture to me, and Julie Bogart paints a vision of that culture in everything she writes and publishes that appeals to me on a very deep, visceral level.  She blurs the line between home school and family life, "learning time" and cherished family traditions.  

 

Do I take lessons form TWJ/JID/PW directly?  Sometimes, yes.  My daughter is working through a number of the JID projects as described in the book.  But for actual writing instruction, I love The Most Wonderful Writing Lessons Ever, and I actually made a set of lesson plans for it that I'm happy to share with anyone who already owns the book.  

 

Brave writer is all about the building of the literary culture, but not necessarily where I look for my day-to-day plans.  

 

HTH!

 

 

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Monica,

I'd love to see your lesson plans for The Most Wonderful Writing Lessons Ever.  I recently bought this book.  I haven't done any writing instruction with my kids, and I plan on using this and Jot it Down this year. They will be 3rd and 4th grade, but I think they will actually like JID, and I bought it a couple years ago, so I might as well give it a try!

 

Thanks, Chelsea.

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IMHO, TWJ needs an overhaul.

 

Yes the philosophy is sound.

 

But me? I like the laid out structure of Partnership Writing and wish I found that first.

I agree.

I bought JID, PW and Arrow singles before buying TWJ. I would have been fine without it. The podcasts and WTMOC are what really helped me wrap my brain around the big picture. 

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I find it inspiring for me as a teacher but completely unusable as an actual curriculum. There's one poster on this board (whom I really like & respect, don't get me wrong!) who always raves about BW. I could never figure out why she liked it so much until she mentioned in some thread that she'd previously worked as an English teacher. Then it made total sense to me why she had such a different opinion about BW. She didn't need a lot of hand-holding or explicit guidance on how to teach writing like I do.

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I love Brave Writer. I love all of it. I guess I don't see TWJ as an organizational disaster (though I, too, have worked as a professional writer). I can see how, for some, particularly after reading a lot of other homeschool literature out there, which can be kinda formal and stuffy, it might seem rambly. To me, it's just conversational. Julie writes the same way she talks. Once you've heard her speak a few times, you can identify her writing just from reading a few sentences. It has a distinct voice, which is one of the things she wants so much for our kids to develop. TWJ also shows a real comfort with writing as a means of expression...another thing Julie is going for with her materials.

If you're approaching TWJ as a writing curriculum or an instructor's manual, looking for clear directions on what to do next, you will be frustrated and it will feel like you're hacking through a jungle of a different sort in search of a few pieces of "useful" information. But I take TWJ to be not so much a writing curriculum or instructor's manual, but more an exploration of Julie's writing/education philosophy. As others have said, you can also get a good feel for that philosophy through her audio lectures, her blog, or hearing her speak in person (she really is so inspiring!). I do think it takes a lot of exposure to her ideas and materials to really feel like you're getting it. But that isn't because she doesn't communicate clearly or because it's a poor product (and it's so much more than a product!). It's because she's trying to communicate an entire LIFESTYLE, a philosophy, a way of thinking about education, and a way of viewing our children. That's a lot of stuff. 

 

So anyway, I'm an unabashed devotee. The first time I read through TWJ, I was constantly turning to my husband and saying, "That's what I always say!" or "Yes! Doesn't this make so much sense!" And then when I heard Julie speak at our homeschool conference (where I went to every one of her sessions, even though I had only registered for one), I was sold--not just on her approach to writing, but her approach to education and parenting. It just really resonates with me. Clearly, it's a good fit for me. It won't be a good fit for everyone. :)

 

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I love Brave Writer. I love all of it. I guess I don't see TWJ as an organizational disaster (though I, too, have worked as a professional writer). I can see how, for some, particularly after reading a lot of other homeschool literature out there, which can be kinda formal and stuffy, it might seem rambly. To me, it's just conversational. Julie writes the same way she talks. Once you've heard her speak a few times, you can identify her writing just from reading a few sentences. It has a distinct voice, which is one of the things she wants so much for our kids to develop. TWJ also shows a real comfort with writing as a means of expression...another thing Julie is going for with her materials.

 

If you're approaching TWJ as a writing curriculum or an instructor's manual, looking for clear directions on what to do next, you will be frustrated and it will feel like you're hacking through a jungle of a different sort in search of a few pieces of "useful" information. But I take TWJ to be not so much a writing curriculum or instructor's manual, but more an exploration of Julie's writing/education philosophy. As others have said, you can also get a good feel for that philosophy through her audio lectures, her blog, or hearing her speak in person (she really is so inspiring!). I do think it takes a lot of exposure to her ideas and materials to really feel like you're getting it. But that isn't because she doesn't communicate clearly or because it's a poor product (and it's so much more than a product!). It's because she's trying to communicate an entire LIFESTYLE, a philosophy, a way of thinking about education, and a way of viewing our children. That's a lot of stuff. 

 

So anyway, I'm an unabashed devotee. The first time I read through TWJ, I was constantly turning to my husband and saying, "That's what I always say!" or "Yes! Doesn't this make so much sense!" And then when I heard Julie speak at our homeschool conference (where I went to every one of her sessions, even though I had only registered for one), I was sold--not just on her approach to writing, but her approach to education and parenting. It just really resonates with me. Clearly, it's a good fit for me. It won't be a good fit for everyone. :)

:iagree:  :iagree:  :iagree:  :hurray:  :hurray:

 

Well said!  As I said in another recent BW thread, when trying to define my philosophy, I find myself wanting to say not that I am classical or CM or "rigorous eclectic"... but that I am a BraveWriter homeschooler.  It is a global, holistic philosophy.  

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If you're approaching TWJ as a writing curriculum or an instructor's manual, looking for clear directions on what to do next, you will be frustrated and it will feel like you're hacking through a jungle of a different sort in search of a few pieces of "useful" information. But I take TWJ to be not so much a writing curriculum or instructor's manual, but more an exploration of Julie's writing/education philosophy. As others have said, you can also get a good feel for that philosophy through her audio lectures, her blog, or hearing her speak in person (she really is so inspiring!). I do think it takes a lot of exposure to her ideas and materials to really feel like you're getting it. But that isn't because she doesn't communicate clearly or because it's a poor product (and it's so much more than a product!). It's because she's trying to communicate an entire LIFESTYLE, a philosophy, a way of thinking about education, and a way of viewing our children. That's a lot of stuff. 

 

 

I agree with this, but for the normal price she charges (as opposed to the heavily discounted HSBC price I paid), I really think that it's a rip-off. For $80, it needs to be more than just an inspirational discussion of her writing philosophy IMHO. She needs to either flesh it out with an actual "here's how to implement my ideas" or cut the price in half.

 

Just my $0.02...

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I like The Writer's Jungle, but use it more as a reference book. I skimmed it, then look back when I need to get more information. So for me:

 

*She said somewhere 2 projects a year is enough. We are combining with IEW so less is better for us, but still... I am thinking 3 a year would work -- summer, fall, and spring. We just finished one project based on a series of 8 freewrites over the summer.

*If you go to Chapter 14 (Growing a Writer) then select which stage your children are in, you can then get the page numbers for the projects associated with that stage in Chapter 14 and Appendix I. I look and see what others have done to see whether I think my daughter will actually like it.

*If you have the PDF version, search her descriptions to see if its actually in there (what to do).

*She usually has not given enough information in TWJ AT ALL -- so I usually search bravewriter blah blah blah online (e.g., bravewriter animal book) and then see what other people have done (lame, I know). I also own partnership writing and find that there is a huge amount of overlap and often I can get some more information there (although honestly, not a lot more, it's just in a better format). There are some great project ideas in Partnership writing though that I don't remember from TWJ (e.g., the map project).

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I think I've gotten some clarity now. Thanks for the responses.

 

Bucolic, I think one reason I have a problem with TWJ is that it is so chatty - it sounds like a blog post. I don't like reading blog posts because they are usually so rambly and I expected that a book would have been better put together. 

 

Emily

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I think I've gotten some clarity now. Thanks for the responses.

 

Bucolic, I think one reason I have a problem with TWJ is that it is so chatty - it sounds like a blog post. I don't like reading blog posts because they are usually so rambly and I expected that a book would have been better put together. 

 

Emily

 

Fair enough. :)

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I painstakingly read TWJ ... I felt like I needed a medal for finishing it 😜 that said, I really enjoyed the content.... It just took time and effort to get through it. Jot it Down and Partnershp Writing gave it feet to implement it, along with The Arrow. We used BW, moved away from it, and this year are headed back. I love it really. And I have realized the work involved to do it that way is worth it.

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