I just posted the other day about how I haven’t made very many changes at all this year to our curriculum. That must have got my mind in gear a bit, because lately I have been feeling like our language arts choices are a bit lackluster. I do still like and plan to use both Writing with Ease and Writing with Skill, but for now I think we need something different for awhile. A breath of fresh air, creativity….something fun! Must be spring in the air. Anyway, I started thinking about Brave Writer again and our old Bravewriter plan.
The main thing I do not love about Brave Writer and The Writer’s Jungle is that they are so messy…for lack of a better word. I tend to gravitate toward neatly laid out, open-and-go programs. That’s why I made that list, so I could just do the next thing. But the way we do things has changed quite a bit, so an updated list was in order. We read a lot of poetry for Bookshark and we already have our own teatime ritual, so I didn’t need that on the list. Movie-watching and discussing has just become a regular family thing as the kids have gotten older; it didn’t need to be on the list. Ditto with games.
My general plan is for Christopher to do Writing with Skill Level 1 about twice each week, probably on copywork days, in addition to our BW activities. Grace will alternate between Writing with Skill and The Creative Writer most days, joining in with BW activities as she wishes. I did give her the option of taking a WWS break, but she wants to stick with it and finish the book. My younger two are going to take a break from WWE to focus on our BraveWriter activities.
So copywork, dictation, and freewriting will make up our basic writing framework. Each week we will also spend at least two days working on our current writing project. I am trying to embrace a less is more approach, so we will focus on just one (or two short) writing projects each month.
* Keen Observation Exercise – over the course of two weeks or so… observe and take detailed notes on an object, turn the notes into a paragraph, then work on editing and word choice.
* Start some sort of list on one of our copywork days (lots of ideas in TWJ for doing this!).
* Read some limericks and tongue twisters together and try writing some!
* Retell a famous story. This link is helpful. I plan to introduce some basic plot diagramming as part of this project. Illustrations would be great for this as well!
*Choose a freewrite to revise next month. By month’s end we should have about eight freewrites to choose from.
* Work on editing chosen freewrites, including expanding on them as necessary… again, lots of tips in TWJ for doing this.
I think this plan should take us through the spring and straight into our summer break. I am pretty excited about it and the kids are too!