[Click on the tab 2023-2024 above to read summaries of our book options]
Book reports, analysis, and reading have an important place in education. Lucky for homeschoolers that they aren’t saddled with a long list of required books someone picked 40 years ago. Every child is different, so why shouldn’t their reading be unique, too?
Welcome to book study—Brave Writer® style!
Choose your own (literary) adventure!
We know that no two kids are the same. That’s why this class is based on a theme, not a single title. Every session of this class will encompass five options from our Arrow catalog of books.
Choose ONE. Choose a classic. Or choose a quick read. Choose the one most appealing to your child! (Or one you meant to cover last year!) Students will read and complete coursework based on their pick.
The theme for this fall’s offering is
(October 9 - November 3, 2023)
Your child can read any one of these books for class:
- Amari and the Great Game by B. B. Alston
- The Wild Robot Escapes by Peter Brown
- Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert C. O'Brien
- Finding Langston by Lesa Cline-Ransome
- The Green Ember by S. D. Smith
- The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis
That’s right: no need to squeeze your kids into a genre or reading level they are not ready for.
Stay tuned! We’ll update the theme and book selections every semester. That means this class is repeatable. A wonderful way to accomplish the literature part of your language arts program.
This is a writing class!
We’re taking literary analysis to the next level. Beyond just seeing symbolism or imagery on the page, we want to put these skills into your student’s toolbox to actually use in their writing.
We use reading to grow them as writers.
Exploring setting, character, and plot, students will analyze the book AND practice the skills that make writing strong. Feedback from our writing coach is icing on the cake. Expect to see writing growth over these four weeks!
This class is designed to facilitate analysis of great books. Your student will need to keep up with the reading schedule:
Read the first 1/3 of the book before starting on Week One assignments
Read the second 1/3 of the book before starting on Week Two assignments
Finish the book before starting on Week Three assignments
Week Four is dedicated to the final writing project.
It doesn’t stop there!
All our titles are also offerings in our Arrow store (older titles can be found on our Old Brave Writer® Favorites page). As an optional extension of learning, purchase the Arrow to explore grammar, punctuation, spelling, and more literary devices based on the book.
Remember: The exercises in this class are designed to work with the rotating list of themes and books on our list. Once you’ve finished this class, you can repeat the exercises at home with a new novel or prepare to take an upcoming class.
Brave Writer® cannot ensure the appropriateness of this reading material for your child. This class is recommended for middle school students, but it is up to the parent to review books thoroughly to determine whether or not they are suitable for your child to read.
For more information about how the classes are run, please read about online classes.
To explore our Brave Writer® classroom, click here to access a sample class.
Materials Used in This Course:
We invite you to sit down with your child and explore book options. Pick the one that best fits your needs and interests!
Fall 2023 Session #
Theme: Courage #
(Oct 9 - Nov 23, 2023)
Titles—Choose One! #
Secure a copy of the book and plan to read the first 1/3 of it before the class start date.
Amari and the Great Game
by B. B. Alston (432 pages)
**Part of this year's Arrow lineup!**
Sequel to the New York Times bestseller Amari and the Night Brothers!
Artemis Fowl meets Men in Black in this magical second book in the New York Times and Indie bestselling Supernatural Investigations trilogy—perfect for fans of Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky, the Percy Jackson series, and Nevermoor.
After finding her brother and saving the entire supernatural world, Amari Peters is convinced her first full summer as a Junior Agent will be a breeze.
But between the fearsome new Head Minister’s strict anti-magician agenda, fierce Junior Agent rivalries, and her brother Quinton’s curse steadily worsening, Amari’s plate is full. So when the secretive League of Magicians offers her a chance to stand up for magiciankind as its new leader, she declines. She’s got enough to worry about!
But her refusal allows someone else to step forward, a magician with dangerous plans for the League. This challenge sparks the start of the Great Game, a competition to decide who will become the Night Brothers’ successor and determine the future of magiciankind.
The Great Game is both mysterious and deadly, but among the winner’s magical rewards is Quinton’s last hope—so how can Amari refuse?
The Wild Robot Escapes
by Peter Brown (288 pages)
Shipwrecked on a remote, wild island, Robot Roz learned from the unwelcoming animal inhabitants and adapted to her surroundings--but can she survive the challenges of the civilized world and find her way home to Brightbill and the island?
Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH
by Robert C. O'Brien (240 pages)
Some extraordinary rats come to the aid of a mouse family in this Newbery Medal Award-winning classic by notable children's author Robert C. O'Brien.
Mrs. Frisby, a widowed mouse with four small children, is faced with a terrible problem. She must move her family to their summer quarters immediately, or face almost certain death. But her youngest son, Timothy, lies ill with pneumonia and must not be moved. Fortunately, she encounters the rats of NIMH, an extraordinary breed of highly intelligent creatures, who come up with a brilliant solution to her dilemma. And Mrs. Frisby in turn renders them a great service.
by Lesa Cline-Ransome (112 pages)
When eleven-year-old Langston's father moves them from their home in Alabama to Chicago's Bronzeville district, it feels like he's giving up everything he loves.
It's 1946. Langston's mother has just died, and now they're leaving the rest of his family and friends. He misses everything--Grandma's Sunday suppers, the red dirt roads, and the magnolia trees his mother loved.
In the city, they live in a small apartment surrounded by noise and chaos. It doesn't feel like a new start, or a better life. At home he's lonely, his father always busy at work; at school he's bullied for being a country boy. But Langston's new home has one fantastic thing. Unlike the whites-only library in Alabama, the Chicago Public Library welcomes everyone. There, hiding out after school, Langston discovers another Langston--a poet whom he learns inspired his mother enough to name her only son after him.
The Green Ember
by S. D. Smith (368 pages)
Heather and Picket are extraordinary rabbits with ordinary lives until calamitous events overtake them, spilling them into a cauldron of misadventures. They discover that their own story is bound up in the tumult threatening to overwhelm the wider world.
Kings fall and kingdoms totter. Tyrants ascend and terrors threaten. Betrayal beckons, and loyalty is a broken road with peril around every bend.
Where will Heather and Picket land? How will they make their stand?
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
by C. S. Lewis (224 pages)
Four adventurous siblings—Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy Pevensie—step through a wardrobe door and into the land of Narnia, a land frozen in eternal winter and enslaved by the power of the White Witch. But when almost all hope is lost, the return of the Great Lion, Aslan, signals a great change . . . and a great sacrifice.
Brave Writer® online classes are specially designed with the busy homeschooling parent in mind.
Class Structure Overview #
- Class is held in a private discussion board with 20-25 other participants.
- Class is asynchronous—you log in when it is convenient for you each day of the week at no specific time of day.
- It is text-based—no video.
- Student writing assignments are posted in a text box, published to the classroom, and all students are able to read student writing.
- Class is a writing workshop format, with all coaching feedback available to be read by all families.
- Class work, student writing, and coaching feedback can be downloaded and saved in a PDF format.
Class Length and Time #
Classes last anywhere from three to six weeks. We offer courses that address a specific writing need so that you can take the ones that suit your family throughout the school year. Short class sessions enable you to work around family vacations, out-of-town swim meets, recovering from wisdom teeth removal, and visits from grandparents. We operate on the quarter system, including a summer session. Our most popular classes repeat each quarter, while others are seasonal.
We operate "asynchronously" (which means that the discussion is not live, but that posted information remains available to you in your time zone at your convenience). Instructors check the classroom throughout the day to answer questions and give feedback on writing. Writing is done at home and then typed into the classroom, and shared with both the instructor and other classmates. You're not required to be online at any specific time of the day. We have students from all over the world participating in our classes so "live" discussion is impossible. Instead, the online classroom enables the instructor to post information and assignments when it is convenient to the instructor. Then, when it is convenient for you, you come to the classroom and read the latest postings.
Private Classroom Space #
Our classes meet in a customized online classroom, designed specifically to meet the needs of Brave Writer® Only registered students and the instructor have access to the classroom to ensure your privacy. Assignments and reading materials are posted by Brave Writer® instructors each week (no additional supply fees necessary, unless otherwise indicated). Either you (homeschooling parent) or your child (homeschooling student) will visit the classroom daily at your convenience to read helpful information about the current topic or to find the writing assignment.
Instructor feedback to student writing is offered for all participants to read. Writing questions are welcomed and encouraged! That's the point of class. We aim to give you immediate support as you face writing obstacles.
Safe Community #
Brave Writer® takes seriously the need for encouragement and emotional safety in writing. No student is ever at risk of being humiliated or mistreated. All online dialogue is respectful and supportive of your child's process. This is the core of Brave Writer® philosophy. You can read about Brave Writer® values here.
What makes our program especially unique in the world of online education is that we value a corporate experience. Rather than teaching your child in a tutorial format, we prefer students to have the opportunity to both publish their work for an audience (other students) and also to have the chance to read other student writing. In no other setting is this possible. Schools-in-buildings rarely have students read each other's work. Homeschooled children are rarely in a classroom environment to begin with, so the opportunity to read peer-writing is nil.
Our classes provide an utterly unique experience in the world of writing instruction. Since most writers grow through emulation of good writing, it is a real advantage to Brave Writer® kids to get the chance to read the writing of their fellow home-educated peers. They love it! They get to examine and internalize other ways of writing, analyzing and expressing ideas similar to their own. They have the chance to validate and cheer on their peers. And of course, the best part of all is that they receive the praise and affirmation of kids just like them.
Not only that, all instructor feedback is posted to the classroom for all students to read. That means your kids get the benefit of instructor comments on many papers, not just their own. We've noted that this style of instruction is especially effective and hope you'll agree!
To explore our Brave Writer® classroom, click here to access a sample class.