The one question I get the most about our Brave Writer Lifestyle is “What does that look like on a normal day?” The short answer is “It changes all the time.” But, you don’t want the short answer. You want to know how we incorporate the Brave Writer Lifestyle into our daily lives. So, today we are going to walk through our Brave Writer Lifestyle daily routine.
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Brave Writer Lifestyle Daily Routine: Family Gathering
Each day begins with our Morning Meetup. The only exception to this is if we will be fieldschooling that day. Fieldschooling is a large part of our homeschool and meshes well with the Brave Writer Lifestyle. It’s important for my children to be able to experience their education, not just read about it in a book. So, many days we are exploring our world around us. Often we can be found at the theater, the library, book club, poetry teatime, local homeschool clubs, the park, historical sites or a local community service.
Morning Read Alouds
During Morning Meetup we have read aloud time. The read aloud’s vary depending on what we are studying or what we are interested in reading. They change daily and monthly. Currently, some of our read alouds are:
The truth is that our Morning Basket stays pretty full because I’m always finding something I want to read with the kids. Of course, I don’t always read aloud; sometimes we use Audible books.
Shakespeare in Spring
During the Spring, we reserve one month for a Shakespeare study. During this month our morning meetups will be focused on a particular Shakespeare play instead of our regular read alouds.
Brave Writer Lifestyle Daily Routine: Individual Time
After our Morning Meetup, we move to family subjects that the girls do together. Then we split up so the girls can work on their individual subjects separately.
Daily Individual Reading
Each girl is assigned a book to read for the month. These books always coordinate with our monthly book club. I will assign chapters for each girl to read each day. I make sure to check the copywork for the week, so they will not be doing copywork on a passage they haven’t yet read. I try to keep their reading to approximately 30 minutes per day, but that depends on the length of the book.
Monday – Copywork
Mondays are the day I introduce our copywork selection for the week. For our spelling and grammar, we use the Arrow and Boomerang guides. On Monday morning I put the week’s copywork in a clear frame. This will set out on our table all week.
I start off by reading the passage to each girl. We will go over the grammar and spelling issues that are discussed in the guides. For my younger daughter, I will underline key spelling words I want her to learn in red. Each girl will then copy the passage into their copywork journals. This usually takes between 15 and 20 minutes per girl.
Tuesday and Wednesday – Grammar
On these days, we will use any additional grammar or spelling exercises in the guides. Sometimes there aren’t any more items to discuss in the guides, so I will just ask my daughter to review the copywork. My older daughter, who is using the Boomerangs, will spend this time working on the Think Piece Questions included in the guide or choosing a quote for her Golden Lines Journal.
Thursday – Dictation
On Thursdays, I dictate the passages to the girls. For my younger daughter, this will be French Dictation. I will type the copywork and leave blanks for key spelling words or key punctuation we have discussed this week. She will then fill in the blanks as I dictate the passage.
For my older daughter, this will usually be straight dictation where I read the passage and she writes it on notebook paper remembering to use proper punctuation and spelling. On occasion, I will use Reverse Dictation. In Reverse Dictation, I will type up the passage, but leave out all capitalization and punctuation. She will then become an “editor for a day” and correct all the mistakes.
After the girls have completed their dictation, I then give them back the printed quote and ask them to note their mistakes. If they have a spelling error, they will copy that word correctly several times on their paper. If they make a grammar error, we will discuss why they made that error and how to prevent it in the future. This usually takes 5-10 minutes.
Monthly Literary Element
At the end of each Arrow guide, are a literary element and/or writing project. The last week of the month, we will discuss these and have a writing assignment. If I am hosting the monthly book club, I will include these in the book club meeting instead of in our daily work. These projects usually take 30 minutes to an hour.
Monthly Book Club
At the end of each month, the girls will meet with their respective book clubs to discuss the book they have just finished and to have “party school.” Book club is a highlight of our homeschool. The girls and their friends look forward to these meetings each month. Book clubs vary depending on the host, but most last around 3 hours.
Monthly Poetry Teatime
Once a month we meet with our local homeschool group at the library for Poetry Teatime Tuesday. As the kids enjoy snacks, I share a few poems related to our monthly theme. Then I open the floor up to anyone who would like to share a poem or two (or sometimes 6). After the children are finished sharing, I discuss a type of poetry and we practice writing a poem.
Brave Writer Lifestyle Daily Routine: Fun Friday
On Fridays, we change things up in our daily routine. We don’t continue our regular subjects but instead have Fun Fridays. Fun Fridays including writing, games, art and nature study.
We’ve slowly been working through the Partnership Writing program. This program is designed with ten monthly writing projects. The projects can be short (1 week) or long (several weeks spread out). The projects progress from simple activities to detailed writing projects. I’ve seen quite a bit of improvement in the girls’ writing due to this program. This can get pretty detailed, so I leave around an hour to work on our project each week.
Friday Freewriting is another fun way to get my reluctant writer inspired to write. We’ve used several techniques like:
- Timed Writing – I set a timer and the girls can write anything they want until the alarm sounds. This can even be “I hate this”, though that rarely happens.
- Writing Prompts – I give them a prompt and let them write a few sentences on that topic.
- Graffiti Writing – The girls are given chalk pens and they write on the glass doors in our house or you can take it outside and use chalk to write on the ground.
- Journal Writing – The girls can write anything in their personal journals.
- Writing Atmosphere – During this writing time, the kids get to choose where and how they will write. That might mean outside on the porch or inside snuggled in a blanket next to the fireplace.
Try mixing the techniques up and always let them write anything they want. Freewriting should be fun and not strict. I never grade their papers and I don’t read them unless they want to share them. I don’t let this go on for a long time, usually 5-15 minutes and I always write with them. This way the girls see me participating and hopefully realize that writing isn’t painful.
I keep plenty of games available for Fun Fridays. These games are for solitary play and team play. They include math, grammar, and history. Some of our favorite language arts games are:
I’m going to let you in on a little secret. I love art study. I’m pretty sure I love it more than the kids. This year we have been using Chalk Pastel Tutorials. We spend anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours drawing and being creative. It makes Fun Friday even fun for Mom!
That is our Brave Writer Lifestyle routine. I like that it is a routine and not a set schedule. We like to be flexible to change things up if we want to explore a little off the plan some weeks. The key to the Brave Writer Lifestyle is to make it about your family and your homeschool. Do what works for you and drop the rest.
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