For details on the films in each session, click above on the tab for "Summer/Fall" or "Winter/Spring"

The more learning is like play, the more absorbing it will be. -William Reinsmith

Your kids will be so excited about movies, they'll hardly notice they are writing!

Movie Discussion Club takes the popular movies that your kids love and provides the spark for

  • writing practice
  • critical thinking
  • Big Juicy Conversations
  • sharing their thoughts with peers

Play used to involve blocks and dolls. Now conversation is the exciting new playground for your tweens and teens. Let's harness that desire to talk about all. the. things!

In this class, we bypass the pain associated with formats, mechanics, and writing assignments and open the door to playful exploration of

  • new ideas
  • new puzzles to solve
  • new connection
  • new points of view

Psst! Don’t tell your kids—while they are exploring and sharing with their new friends in class, they are gaining transferable thinking skills and growing their writing proficiency! (I know!)

How it works #

  • Each club lasts one month. We watch one movie per week.
  • Students dissect each movie with other fans in our online classroom
  • Our coach leads specific discussions to
    • explore character
    • uncover themes
    • dissect plot points
    • examine cinematic technology and art

Students discover fun new movies and appreciate old favorites. You get to see them composing, exploring, researching and engaging in critical thinking. What’s not to love?

Here’s our pop culture must-see list for fall! #

Sept 5 - Sept 29 Shark Month

  • Shark Tale
  • Finding Nemo
  • Soul Surfer
  • Finding Dory

Oct 2 - Oct 27 Gamers Unite!

  • Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves
  • Wreck-It Ralph
  • Sonic the Hedgehog
  • Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle

Oct 30-Nov 28 Animation Exploration

  • Inside Out
  • Castle in the Sky
  • Corpse Bride
  • Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit

Nov 27 - Dec 22 Aliens

  • Arrival
  • E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial
  • Men in Black
  • The Iron Giant

Note: We choose movies ranging from rating G to PG-13. Be sure to evaluate all movies to determine which are appropriate for your family. And remember to check movie availability in your country/region before signing up!

There are no essays or writing assignments in this club. Kids will write, naturally, as they post their thoughts and responses in our online classroom. But since none of their writing will be revised, polished, or graded, your kids will have the chance to explore their thinking using written language, without the pressure to "perform."

Later, when students write essays in other classes or at home, they will find they have greater access to their thoughts and ideas. They'll associate sharing their opinions in writing with ease, delight, flying in a cat bus, and running on water!

Take advantage of this pleasurable way to expand your child's writing and thinking skills. And remember the popcorn!

Important: In Brave Writer®, we watch movies that address a wide variety of perspectives and that include time-bound references. Please be aware that you may experience strong reactions to what you watch. By using film as a teaching tool to foster understanding and growth, we have the opportunity to discuss evolving ideologies.

We encourage you to preview movies to determine their appropriateness for your family and to prepare to have discussions on these topics with your students as they participate in the class.

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.

Summer/Fall Movie Clubs #

Before the club begins, line up your copies or streaming sources of the movie through your local library, Amazon, Netflix, AppleTV, or YouTube rental.

You'll start by watching the first film before class starts.

Prescreening Resources #

In order to evaluate whether or not these movies are appropriate for your family, we recommend watching them first and/or using one of the websites below to research titles. It is possible to "sit out" one of the films and participate in the remaining three, though not for a reduced price.

[This page contains Amazon affiliate links. When you click on those links to make purchases, Brave Writer® receives compensation at no extra cost to you. Thank you!]

Clubs for Summer/Fall 2023 #

Shark Month (Sept 5 - Sept 29, 2023) #

Forget shark week—we've got a whole month of shark action on tap! Join this club to discuss some of our favorite underwater adventures.

  1. Shark Tale (PG 2004, violence, mafia references)
    Oscar is a little fish who dreams of fame and fortune. When his blowfish boss, Sykes, says he needs the $5,000 Oscar owes him, pretty receptionist Angie gives him her family heirloom pearl, which Oscar sells, but then loses the money gambling. Sykes' Rasta-jellyfish henchmen take Oscar out to rough him up, but a mix-up occurs in which Sykes' henchmen believe that Oscar has killed a shark, and the little fish returns home to be celebrated as "the Shark Slayer." Oscar enjoys the high life until the sharks come searching for him. -
    Common Sense Media
  2. Finding Nemo (G 2003)
    Clownfish Marlin is a fond but nervous dad -- understandably so, since a predator ate his wife and all but one of their eggs. When it's time for Marlin's surviving son, Nemo (Alexander Gould) -- who has an underdeveloped fin -- to start school, the little guy is excited, but Marlin is terrified. Marlin has done a good job of making Nemo feel confident and unselfconscious, but he's still overprotective, which makes Nemo anxious to prove that he can take care of himself. But Marlin's worst fears are realized when Nemo is captured by a deep-sea-diving dentist who collects fish for his aquarium. On a journey that will introduce him to extraordinary characters and teach him a great deal about the world and even more about himself, Marlin must go literally to the end of the ocean to find his son and bring him home.
    - Common Sense Media
  3. Soul Surfer (PG 2011, shark attack)
    Based on true-life events, Soul Surfer chronicles the life of Bethany Hamilton in the weeks leading up to the shark attack that resulted in the loss of one of her arms -- and the months of healing that followed. Her parents struggle to keep her strong even as they learn how to process the overwhelming feelings. Bethany ultimately has two challenges to face: getting back on the board with confidence and joy and coming to peace within herself over the tragedy.
    - Common Sense Media
  4. Finding Dory (PG 2016)
    The story takes place only one year after clownfish Marlin -- with a lot of help from Dory, a blue tang with short-term memory loss -- found his missing son, Nemo. Everything is going well for the friends/neighbors until Dory has a flashback to her life as a little fish and remembers something about her parents for the first time. Realizing she and her parents used to live on the California coast, she asks Marlin and Nemo to help her find her family. Thanks to their pals the sea turtles, they quickly arrive at the Marine Life Institute in California, but they're separated when scientists rescue and tag Dory. She must befriend new sea creatures, like an octopus named Hank, to help her locate her parents, while Marlin and Nemo desperately find a way into the institute to look for her.
    - Common Sense Media

Gamers Unite! (Oct 2 - Oct 27, 2023) #

Board games, video games, parlor games, car games... Give us all the games. Homeschoolers love 'em, and we love talking about them. A great way to let your kids' passions count as school!

  1. Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves (PG-13 2023, language, romance)
    This film introduces viewers to imprisoned best friends Edgin, a disgraced harper, and Holga, a disgraced barbarian, who are pleading their case for early release to a judicial board. Edgin explains that they were caught after being double-crossed by a villainous wizard, Sofina, during a heist that they only agreed to do in order to raise Edgin's late wife from the dead. After escaping from prison, the friends try to reunite with Edgin's tween daughter, Kira. But they discover that their former partner-in-crime, Forge, now lord of Neverwinter, has been acting as Kira's adoptive father and has kept all of the old gang's stolen riches, including the much-needed resurrection amulet.
    - Common Sense Media
  2. Wreck-It Ralph (PG 2012, first-person shooter footage, drinking, potty humor, language)
    After 30 years of playing the villain in the arcade game Fix-It Felix, Wreck-It Ralph decides he needs to prove that he has what it takes to be a good guy. He sneaks and stumbles his way into other consoles -- specifically, an alien-invasion, first-person shooter game and a Candy Land-esque racing game -- in search of a hero's medal, which he believes is his one-way ticket to being accepted within the arcade community. With the help of new friends, Ralph's journey becomes much more than a quest for peer validation. - Common Sense Media
  3. Sonic the Hedgehog (PG language, violence, drinking)
    Iconic Sega video game character Sonic is on the run in rural Montana from Dr. Ivo Robotnik. Robotnik wants to steal Sonic's supersonic speed powers to take over the world. With the help of local cop Tom "Donut Lord" Wachowski, Sonic takes off to evade his captor. Naturally, he gets into plenty of mischief along the way.
    - Common Sense Media
  4. Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (PG-13 language, violence, sexualization)
    This film is an updated adaptation of Chris Van Allsburg's picture book, this time turning the life-changing board game into a video game. The movie opens in 1996, when a teenager's father gives him the Jumanji board game. When he bemoans aloud that nobody plays with board games anymore, it magically transforms into a video game, which he gets sucked into. Fast-forward to the present, and four high schoolers are sent to detention on the same day: self-absorbed "hot popular girl" Bethany, bookish Martha (Morgan Turner), nerdy Spencer, and his childhood friend turned football star Fridge. While serving detention, Fridge and Spencer find the Jumanji game in an old donation box and convince the girls to play. After they each choose an avatar, they're immediately pulled into the game... To get out of the game, the foursome must work together to save Jumanji from the control of the evil Van Pelt -- before any of them lose all of their three assigned lives.
    - Common Sense Media

Animation Exploration (Oct 30 - Nov 28, 2023) #

We're diving deep into animation styles with this offbeat club. If you love art, animation, or just a great story, you'll have fun discussing these titles.

  1. Inside Out (PG 2015)
    When baby Riley is born to her loving parents, so is her first emotion -- Joy, who's soon joined by Sadness, Anger, Fear, and Disgust. The quintet live and work in Headquarters (aka HQ), the part of Riley's brain that experiences feelings and makes memories. With Joy as their leader, the group helps their girl through toddlerhood (ick, broccoli!) and childhood (hooray, a hockey goal!). But everything changes when 11-year-old Riley (Kaitlyn Dias) and her parents move from Minnesota to San Francisco after her dad gets a new job. As Riley tries to cope with a new house, a new school, and her parents' increased stress, things get out of control back at HQ: Sadness and Joy tussle over Riley's core memories and end up getting sucked into long-term storage. Can they make it back to HQ in time to help Riley get back in touch with all of her feelings?
    - Common Sense Media
  2. Castle in the Sky (PG 1986 violence)
    Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki's first film released by animation giant Studio Ghibli. Castle in the Sky's steampunk setting is a vaguely European early 20th century. In this world exists a legend of a fabulous flying fortress called Laputa that's laden with treasure, robots, and powerful weapons. Sheeta, a farm girl with an heirloom amulet crystal that points the way to Laputa, is chased by both government forces and a family of sky pirates. Briefly escaping into a mining community, Sheeta finds an unselfish ally and protector in a brave boy named Pazu. Together they try to outwit their enemies while on a journey leading inevitably to Laputa.
    - Common Sense Media
  3. Corpse Bride (PG 2005, references to dead bodies, death, decay)
    Tim Burton's unique animation style is on display in this magical film. Victor Van Dort and Victoria Everglott are to be wed in an arranged marriage. Their parents and recently poor gentry expect the marriage to leave both families better off, either by means of money or class status. When a nervous Victor flubs the ceremony rehearsal, Pastor Galswells sends him off to practice his vows. Stumbling around in the dark woods, Victor finally seems to get it right, slipping the ring onto what seems a twig. But no: the wood is really the skeletal finger of the Corpse Bride. Victor is transported immediately to the Bride's netherworld. Though Victor wants to get back to Victoria he is also sympathetic to the sweet Bride's lonely plight, and he waffles, lies, and generally watches his life and possible death go on around him.
    - Common Sense Media
  4. Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit (G 2005, drinking, violence, sexual references)
    Wallace and Gromit run a pest-riddance company, Anti-Pesto. Each night, they're alerted by the elaborate security system the townspeople have attached to their prized vegetable gardens, and go forth in their well-outfitted truck to capture (but never kill) the offending creatures -- typically rodents and rabbits. Wallace then deposits the animals in cages in his basement, where he keeps them supplied with carrots and lettuce. Wallace's desire to reprogram the bunnies so they won't desire veggies leads to an experiment that goes awry, and soon a giant were-rabbit is stomping through the town at night, ravaging the squashes and pumpkins, and threatening to shut down Tottington Hall's annual Giant Vegetable Competition. Wallace and Gromit are on the case.
    - Common Sense Media

Aliens (Nov 27 - Dec 22, 2023) #

They are coming. Or are they already here? Alien life in all its forms leads to some rousing discussions via these classic films.

  1. Arrival (PG-13 2016, language, drinking)
    Professor of languages Dr. Louise Banks is headed to work when news of an alien landing spreads. Twelve alien pods are now hovering in different spots all over the world. Before long, she's approached by Colonel Weber. He asks for her help in translating the alien language, in hopes of learning the purpose of their visit. Paired with scientist Ian Donnelly, Louise ascends into the spaceship and meets the aliens face-to-face. After several trips, she finds she can communicate with them through writing. As the world waits and starts to panic and talk of war begins, Louise and Ian may have discovered the secret that could save them all -- if it's not too late.
    - Common Sense Media
  2. E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial (PG 1982, language, racial slur)
    A young boy named Elliott discovers an extraterrestrial being who was left behind when his spaceship departed without him. After Elliott brings E.T. home, it becomes clear that the benevolent otherworldly creature can't survive in Earth's environment and must return to his home planet. While hiding E.T., Elliott develops a close friendship with the alien and a connection that binds them to each other. With the help of Elliott, his siblings, and their pals, E.T. sends a rescue message to his planet, but they must face government scientists who want to capture and study E.T. instead of allowing him to return home. - Common Sense Media
  3. Men in Black (PG-13 1997, violence, language)
    The central premise of Men in Black is that aliens have been living among us for years, monitored and controlled by a secret government agency that must keep the human population unaware. New recruit Agent J joins up and learns the ropes from veteran Agent K, just in time to save the world from a brand-new threat.
    - Common Sense Media
  4. The Iron Giant (PG 1999, violence, language)
    Set in rural Maine during the late 1950s, The Iron Giant centers on 9-year-old Hogarth Hughes, who lives with his waitress mother, Annie. One night, he discovers a huge robot in the woods, munching on whatever metal it can find, including the town's electric substation. Hogarth is frightened but takes pity when the robot is enmeshed in wires and turns off the power so that the robot can escape. The robot turns out to be the world's best playmate, whether cannon-balling into the swimming hole or acting as a sort of amusement park ride. His origins remain mysterious, but his reaction to Hogarth's toy ray gun suggests that he may have served as a weapon of some kind. Local beatnik Dean McCoppin lets Hogarth hide the robot in his junkyard, but government investigator Kent Mansley thinks the giant is part of a Communist plot and presses Hogarth to turn him in. Mansley calls in the army, and suddenly the robot and the surrounding community are in real danger.
    - Common Sense Media

Completed Clubs #

Marvel vs. DC (June 5 - June 30, 2023)

**This club is recommended for teens only

  1. Wonder Woman (2017 PG-13 sexual references, language)
    Young Diana desperately wants her aunt, warrior General Antiope, to train her -- but her mother, Queen Hippolyta, forbids it. Eventually the queen relents, and Diana becomes the strongest warrior on the island, embracing the Amazons' responsibility of protecting humanity against Ares, the god of war. One day during World War I, an airplane crashes in the sea, and Diana saves the pilot -- the first man she's ever met.
    - Common Sense Media
  2. Captain Marvel (2019 PG-13 misogynistic innuendo, language)
    Captain Marvel's origin story begins as Kree warrior Vers visits Earth on a mission to stop a shape-shifting alien infiltration. She teams up with Nick Fury to save the planet from a war between two alien races. As she regains lost memories, she realizes the extent of her own powers and develops into the universe's most powerful superhero.
    - Common Sense Media
  3. Shazam! (2019 PG-13 sexual references, language)
    Troublemaking 14-year-old foster kid Billy Batson gets a last-chance placement with a large, diverse foster family. One day at school, Billy protects his new foster brother, Freddy, who has a physical disability, from bullies and ends up in the secret lair of a powerful but aging wizard. Suddenly the wizard gives Billy the ability to transform into an adult superhero by saying the word "Shazam!" - Common Sense Media
  4. Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021 PG-13 language)
    Shang-Chi is the son of two supernatural people: superstrong (and basically immortal) Wenwu, possessor of the Ten Rings, and Ying Li, a fellow martial arts master who hails from the secret powerful community Ta Lo and is the only rival to ever defeat Wenwu. When Shang-Chi's mother dies, Wenwu, who had given up the Ten Rings to devote himself to his family, goes back to building his criminal empire and training Shang-Chi to be the best killer/assassin and successor; he eventually escaped. Years later, Shang-Chi is trying to lead a normal life when danger comes calling.
    - Common Sense Media

Taking Flight (July 10 - Aug 4, 2023)

It's summer, time to take flight! These four movies explore the particular lure and challenges associated with taking to the sky.

  1. Top Gun: Maverick (PG-13 language) Tom Cruise reprises his role as Capt. Pete "Maverick" Mitchell, who's found his niche in the Navy as a test pilot, pushing the limits of new aircraft. When his friend and former rival Adm. Tom "Iceman" Kazansky reassigns Maverick to train a new group of Top Gun graduates for a special high-risk mission, he must return to Miramar. But when he learns that the class includes Lt. Bradley "Rooster" Bradshaw, the son of Maverick's late best friend, Goose, he must find a way to resolve the past -- for the sake of Rooster's future. —Common Sense Media
  2. Apollo 13 (PG language, smoking, sensuality) Two-time Oscar winner Tom Hanks plays real-life astronaut-hero Jim Lovell in this true story of the APOLLO 13 mission to the moon that almost left three astronauts stranded in space when an oxygen tank exploded. Mission Control, thousands of miles away from the stranded astronauts, must figure out a way to get the men home in one piece. —Common Sense Media
  3. Amelia (PG sensuality) July 2, 1937: Pilot Amelia Earhart and her navigator, Fred Noonan, make their way home after circling the world. But instead of refueling on Howland Island, a speck of land in the middle of the vast Pacific Ocean, they drop radio contact and are never seen again. AMELIA chronicles this fateful journey and the years leading up to it. —Common Sense Media
  4. Devotion (PG-13 war, smoking, sensuality, racial slurs) The story of how Ensign Jesse Brown, the United States' first Black naval aviator, forged a close friendship with his white wingman, Lieutenant Thomas Hudner. At first, Jesse, who's originally from Hattiesburg, Mississippi, is apprehensive about Tom, a recent graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy. But as they get to know each other, Tom proves that he's not a racist officer... In 1950, as part of the Navy's Fighter Squadron 32, they find themselves training with an F4U Corsair, a difficult-to-land plane. As they train and prepare for eventual deployment to the Korean War, the two form a trust that leads to a remarkable sacrifice in battle. —Common Sense Media

Winter/Spring Movie Clubs #

Before the club begins, line up your copies or streaming sources of the movie through your local library, Amazon, Netflix, Apple TV, or YouTube rental.

You'll start by watching the first film before class starts.

Prescreening Resources #

In order to evaluate whether or not these movies are appropriate for your family, we recommend watching them first and/or using one of the websites below to research titles. It is possible to "sit out" one of the films and participate in the remaining three, though not for a reduced price.

[This page contains Amazon affiliate links. When you click on those links to make purchases, Brave Writer® receives compensation at no extra cost to you. Thank you!]

Clubs for Winter/Spring 2024 #

Clubs for 2024 will be announced in mid-October. Here's what we watched in 2023! #

Completed Clubs #

Miyazaki Magic (January 2 - January 27, 2023) #

  1. My Neighbor Totoro (1988 G)
    It's 1958 Japan, and 10-year-old Satsuki, 4-year-old Mei, and their father move to the countryside where their mother is hospitalized with a long-term illness. As they get settled into their new home, the girls discover there are magical creatures, like dust sprites, that inhabit their house and neighborhood.
    - Common Sense Media
  2. Spirited Away (2002 PG)
    Chihiro is a sullen 10-year-old girl who wanders into a world ruled by witches and spirits, where humans are changed into animals. The film centers on Chihiro's quest to save her parents after they're transformed into pigs by Yubaba, the scary witch who rules over the spirit world.
    - Common Sense Media
  3. Howl's Moving Castle (2005 PG)
    Howl is a wizard who's had his heart stolen by a demon. His efforts to recover himself include assembling a ragtag "family" to live with him in his moving castle. The newest member is Sophie, a 90-year-old housekeeper who's really an 18-year-old hat-maker, cursed by the large and lumpy Witch of the Waste so that she can't tell anyone that she's been transformed. - Common Sense Media
  4. Kiki's Delivery Service (1990 G)
    Kiki follows family tradition and settles down for a year in a foreign city to serve as the resident witch. She makes friends, finds room and board, and uses her broom-flying ability to launch a delivery service. - Common Sense Media

Myths and Legends (February 6 - March 3, 2023) #

[Perfect pair with January's Boomerang Book Club title, The Odyssey]

  1. Hercules (1997 G)
    Hercules was the adored son of gods Zeus and Hera, stolen by Hades, ruler of the underworld, and made mortal. He must become a true hero to become a god again so he can live with his parents on Mount Olympus.
    - Common Sense Media
  2. Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief (2010 PG)
    Seemingly normal (albeit dyslexic) D student Percy Jackson realizes that something is very wrong when he's attacked by a demonic beast during a class trip and whisked away by his mother and friend Grover to a secret camp. He wakes up in an infirmary like no other, teeming with teens in Greek battle gear.
    - Common Sense Media
  3. Thor (2011 PG-13)
    After his son Thor storms Yodenheim -- the realm that the Norse gods' native Asgard has been in an uncertain peace with for eons -- because of an unexpected attack from the Frost Giants, Odin banishes him and his hammer to Earth. There, Thor literally runs into an astrophysicist who impresses him; he also learns humility and grace.
    - Common Sense Media
  4. The Sword in the Stone (1963 G)
    Based on the book The Once and Future King by T.H. White, The Sword in the Stone is the story of the early years of King Arthur. Nicknamed "Wart," the future King Arthur is squire to a knight when he meets Merlin the magician, who promises to take on his education. - Common Sense Media

Fantasy Epics (March 6 - March 31, 2023)

  1. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe (2005 PG)
    Based on C.S. Lewis' beloved novel, the story begins when the Pevensie children -- Peter, Edmund, Susan , and Lucy -- are sent away from the dangers of World War II to live in the country with Professor Kirke. While playing hide and seek, they discover the magical wardrobe that serves as a portal to Narnia, a kingdom under the power of the evil White Witch.
    - Common Sense Media
  2. Inkheart (2009 PG)
    This story chronicles the adventures of 12-year-old bookworm Meggie and her father, Mo, a respected bookbinder. Mo is not only a rare-book specialist, he's a Silvertongue -- he has a secret magical ability to bring the written word to life when he reads aloud.
    - Common Sense Media
  3. Stardust (2007 PG-13)
    Based on Neil Gaiman's novel, Stardust chronicles the adventures of Tristan, a young man who ventures beyond the mysterious wall that surrounds his town to find a fallen star so he can bring it back to the town beauty to prove he's worthy of her love.
    - Common Sense Media
  4. Golden Compass (2007 PG-13)
    The movie opens in an alternate world version of Oxford, where Lyra lives with her uncle, Lord Asriel. In Lyra's world, everyone has a "daemon," an animal embodiment of his or her personality and soul. While adult daemons are "settled," children's are in flux. Lyra is troubled as her friends disappear before they can mature, apparently kidnapped by "Gobblers."
    - Common Sense Media

Survivors (April 3 - April 28, 2023)

[Perfect pair with May's Boomerang Book Club title, The Hunger Games, and the Arrow Book Club title, The Wild Robot]

  1. Wall-E (2008 G)
    The story begins on an Earth centuries in the future. It's a bleak, garbage-strewn place whose only citizen seems to be WALL-E (short for Waste Allocation Load Lifter Earth-Class), a sanitation robot who's improbably enamored of the musical Hello, Dolly! Then one day, a spaceship drops in for a pit stop and leaves behind an egg-shaped robot
    ... - Common Sense Media
  2. The Hunger Games (2012 PG-13 intense violence)
    In a distant post-apocalyptic future, North America -- now known as Panem -- is composed of 12 districts that are controlled by the totalitarian Capitol, and every year, one boy and one girl from each of the districts are randomly selected to compete in the Hunger Games, a televised battle to the death for the Capitol's amusement
    . - Common Sense Media
  3. Raya and the Last Dragon (2021 PG)
    This is the story of Kumandra, a once prosperous land where powerful dragons co-existed with humans until the Druun, a plague-like enemy that manifests as relentless purple-and-black blob monsters, started turning everyone to stone.
    - Common Sense Media
  4. The Jungle Book (1967 G)
    Based on Rudyard Kipling's story, the movie tells the tale of Mowgli, the "man cub" found by benevolent panther Bagheera, who tucks the baby boy safely away with a family of wolves. Mowgli grows up happy, living in the jungles of India. But the jungle won't be safe for him once the tiger Shere Khan finds out here's there.
    - Common Sense Media

Anime Adventures (May 8 - June 2, 2023)

  1. The Boy and the Beast (2016 PG-13)
    The Boy and the Beast is an animated Japanese fantasy about an orphaned 9-year-old boy, Ren, who would rather take to the streets of Tokyo than move in with distant relatives. Grieving, he wanders the streets of the city's Shibuya district (reminiscent of Times Square); while walking in dark alleys, he ends up stumbling into an alternate universe called Jutengai, which is filled with speaking "beasts."
    - Common Sense Media
  2. My Neighbors the Yamadas (1999 PG)
    Meet the Yamadas, a kooky family of five: impatient father Takashi, frazzled mom Matsuko, easily embarrassed son Noboru, mischievous daughter Nonoko, and feisty grandmother Shige. In several short vignettes, the family deals with dramas large (accidentally leaving Nonoko behind at a mall; Shige realizing her good friend is hospitalized) and small (kids leaving their homework; Matsuko not knowing what to make for dinner; Noboru experiencing his first crush) with their own comical flair. - Common Sense Media
  3. The Girl Who Leapt Through Time (2008 PG-13 language, bullying, sexual reference)
    Makoto Konno, a seemingly typical teenager, discovers she can leap through time and alter the course of events in her life and the lives of those around her in ways both large and small. As she begins to understand the effects this "time leaping" has on her friends, Makoto must learn to be honest with her feelings as she struggles to make things right. - Common Sense Media
  4. From Up on Poppy Hill (2013 PG)
    In 1963 Yokohama, Japan, Umi is a junior in high school who has a lot of responsibility: She runs her family's boarding house, takes care of her younger siblings, and makes time for her schoolwork while her mother studies abroad in the United States. Her father was presumably lost at sea during the Korean War. One day, Umi has a formative encounter with classmate Shun, one of many boys trying to save their school's historical clubhouse from being demolished and replaced in the lead-up to the 1964 Tokyo Olympics.
    - Common Sense Media

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.