Creating a shared vocabulary

What to do when others question how you homeschool

Whether it’s a spouse or mother-in-law, we all have people in our lives who want to direct our homeschools for us. One way to create space for a meaningful conversation about home education is to provide the meddling (I mean, curious) person with an article to read. Ask the loved one to read the article and then to get back to you with a time to go out for coffee to talk about it!

The goal is to create a shared vocabulary around the topic of homeschool so that the family member doesn’t use “school” ideas as a yard stick for your homeschool efforts.

Examples of homeschool articles to share:

A Call For Homeschool 2.0 by Terry Heick

A Conversation with John Holt by Marlene Bumgarner

Infusing Child-Led Opportunities into a Traditional Approach by Angie Kauffman

Project-Based Homeschooling by Lori Pickert

Tidal Homeschooling by Melissa Wiley

Please don’t call my child a reluctant learner by Julie Kirkwood

And Brave Writer’s How Writing is Like Sewing

For more on how this works, check out this Part Two of the scope, Doubting Your Homeschool (Part One is here):

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“Seeing a spark”

Silly Poem by Erik, Brave Writer student

Dear Julie

My boys were making up silly poems last night when I was putting them to bed so I told them they should write down all their ideas. So today, among many short poems, my son Erik wrote this and then rolled on the floor laughing:

my speling is grate!
‘ain’t gott a misteak!
‘do’nt kare wut u sai,
‘cause me spelin ees great!

I thought you might enjoy that. As silly as that is I do really love seeing a spark in my boys that I haven’t seen in a while. I’m in high demand as an editor now as one boy writes historical fiction set during the French and Indian War and the other writes about a horse that wants to learn to fly from a wise eagle named Dr. Smart.

Your ideas are revolutionizing our homeschool. Thank you.



What a high level of linguistic skill is apparent in this adorable poem! He’s nailing it! This is what leads to powerful writing as he gets older—such facility! Love it! –julie

Brave Writer Poetry Guide

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Poetry Teatime: In Claire’s words

Poetry Teatime

“I love poetry tea time because we have yummy food, tea and poetry,
it fills my heart and tummy.” ~Claire, age 5

Want to start your own Poetry Teatime? Here’s how.

Would you like your family featured on Tuesday Teatime? Email us your teatime photos with a few lines about your experience (put “Teatime” in the subject line). If we share on our blog then you’ll receive a free Arrow or Boomerang title of your choice (once per family). Note: all submissions fall under Creative Commons licensing.

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Savvy Homeschool Moms Podcast: Part One

Savvy Homeschool Moms podcast with Julie Bogart: part one

The Savvy Homeschool Moms is a podcast by homeschooling moms for homeschooling moms. “In the trenches as we’re going through it!” Each episode peeks into Beckie and Tina’s homeschooling lives, answers listener questions, and reviews resources they like and recommend.

Enjoy Episode #59 where the Savvy Moms share updates on their homeschools and then interview Julie! This is Part One of the interview. Part Two is coming soon!


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Happy Birthday, Elizabeth George Speare!

The Witch of Blackbird PondIn celebration of Elizabeth George Speare’s birthday (born November 21, 1908), we’re making a special offer! The Boomerang for her novel, The Witch of Blackbird Pond, is:

HALF PRICE ($5.95) till Monday,
Nov. 23 at midnight EST

Elizabeth George Speare was born in Melrose, Massachusetts. She lived in New England until her death in 1994. Most of her novels, including The Witch of Blackbird Pond, take place in her native homeland. Inspired by the wild woods and headlands of her home, Speare began writing her stories at age 8. Later, she earned first a bachelor’s degree from Smith College and then a master’s in English from Boston University.

In 1936, she married a man named Alden Speare and they had two children together. From all accounts, Elizabeth never stopped writing and led a happy life with her family in Connecticut. Starting with her novel Calico Captive in 1957, Speare began her career. Her works are usually based on historical happenings, and, as in the case of her first book, the real journal of a girl captured by Indians.

The Witch of Blackbird Pond, Elizabeth’s second novel, was not based on a real person, but instead focused on the colonial time period and the fear of witchcraft that plagued Massachusetts. Speare won the 1959 Newberry Award for her work. Later, she would win another for her book The Bronze Bow. While not a prolific writer (she wrote four novels in her lifetime), Speare’s influence continues in a brilliant legacy of words.

“Everything in our lives leads up to everything else in our lives. So a moment in the present has a reference point, both in the past and in the future. I want you to know that you–as you are right now and as you ever will be–are fully enough for this moment.” ― Elizabeth George Speare

So, celebrate Elizabeth George Speare’s birthday and take advantage of this special offer today!

Also, if you’d like to buy a copy of the novel, it’s available through Amazon: The Witch of Blackbird Pond (affiliate link).

The Boomerang is a monthly digital downloadable product that features copywork and dictation passages from a specific read aloud novel. It is geared toward 7th to 10th graders (ages 12—advanced, 13-15) and is the indispensable tool for Brave Writer parents who want to teach language arts in a natural, literature-bathed context.

Image is of the 1958 first edition cover published by Houghton Mifflin.

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