Our experiences with Brave Writer

Celeste was a late bloomer with reading. She only really started enjoying and getting much more comfortable with reading this past January. 

For the last few years, I had been concentrating on her reading skills. Encouraging her to read, reading to her, practising reading, listening to audio books while following along, and lots more. I learned from her over time that a gentle approach worked best for her. 

Writing, besides handwriting, wasn't our concern. Celeste did copywork but not regularly.

This spring, we both started talking about writing. At first, Celeste was very worried that she couldn't write. I assured her that she could. I knew that it would be like reading, it would take practice and baby-steps progress. I learned with our experiences with reading that there is no point in pushing my youngest daughter. She will write. 

To help me encourage her to discover writing and enjoy it, I purchased the Writer's Jungle from Brave Writer. I also bought Jot it Down and recently the brand new Partnership Writing to use after Jot it Down. I had been reading pretty much everything on the Brave Writer website for months! 

We added Poetry Teatime as soon as I read about it. Celeste and I love it. You can see the posts related to that here

We looked through the projects in Jot it Down together and Celeste chose to start with The Fairy Tale Project. 

We slowly read several fairy tales. We often read more than one version, so Celeste could compare. After reading, Celeste retold each story visually. She  used toys or paint. She then would narrate and I typed her words into a word document. This took place over the whole month of May. 

After reading and narrating The Ugly Duckling, The Snow Queen, and The Magic Wishbone, I printed all her narrations and printed photos of her visual representations. We then glued each page and photograph on construction paper and stapled everything together. 

Our next project will be the Animal Mini-Book. Celeste is choosing to do this on sharks. If she really enjoys it, we talked about doing a second mini book about Audrey Hepburn. 

I have noticed a big turn in the last two months, Celeste is now picking up pen and paper on her own and writing. She asks me how to spell words. She gets so excited when she does write something on her own! It's a delight to see her excitement. 

She likes to write letters to her pen pals or thank you notes. She tells me what she wants to write, I write it down and then she copies it. 

I had read to her an example in the sample for The Arrow. It was about observing a pet and writing a journal from the pet's perspective. She laughed while I read the sample writing and then ran off to find a notebook to start her own list of observations for our two cats and our dog. The photo in the top right corner of the mosaic at the very top of this post shows her reading her observations to our cat Clara. She asked me to write down her stories for her, which I did. Here is one for our cat Sophie:

"I like to run, jump, sleep, and meow. I am a cat of excitement and energy. I am afraid of all living things. I am way too skinny for my body. I am as little as can be. I like bugging Clara even though she's mean. I love Orion. He always respects me for who I am." 

Celeste often picks up her Fairy Tale Project and reads the stories aloud to anyone who is willing to listen to her. It has been so wonderful to see her happiness with her writing experiences, and witnessing her getting more brave with her writing! 

I didn't receive any compensation or free curriculum from Brave Writer, I only wrote this post to share our experiences with the program. Writing was a source of stress for my daughter. I am very grateful to Julie Bogart for writing a program that now makes learning how to write an enjoyable activity for both of us! 


  1. Thanks for sharing! Which level of Writer's Jungle did you buy, and if a child is older, do you need to backtrack to use Jot it Down, or just start with the Partnership one? I'm not sure if my 9yo will be hs'd or not this fall (because I just *love* this up-in-the-air every single year thing), but if he is, I'm thinking about adding in some writing nudges. Not like school does, though. He hated that...

  2. Thanks so much for sharing your experiences with this! I'll definitely be ordering Jot it Down for next year. I think it will be perfect for my just-learning-to-write 5yo. I can't wait to do some of those projects with her! And I can see my 9yo getting creative with them, too.

  3. What a great post! We don't do writing enough ... I'm definitely looking into The Brave Writer. Thank you for sharing! :)


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