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Brave Writer is a company that produces Language Arts Curriculum. I have frequently heard of Brave Writer and seen it recommended as a writing curriculum in homeschooling groups. Although I have been very happy with the Writing with Ease curriculum and highly recommend it, I have been looking at other writing curriculum option to use for 4th grade. This article reviews Brave Writer’s book, The Writer’s Jungle.
Overview of The Writer’s Jungle
“The Writer’s Jungle” describes the philosophies and techniques of using Brave Writer as a writing curriculum. There are specific descriptions on components and activities to develop writing competence. For example, the author describes how to help a child develop their writing in important areas including topics, revision, voice, and mechanics. In addition, procedures and appropriate expectations for each stage of writing development are described.
Benefits of The Writer’s Jungle
“The Writer’s Jungle” is written by a professional writer and it shows. The book is well-written and ideas are clearly and thoroughly presented. The writing program described in “The Writer’s Jungle” provides age-appropriate expectations for each state of writing. For example, early writers are not required to do the actual writing in an assignment. They are allowed to dictate stories and narrations for others to record. Copy work is a part of the process, but children are not pushed too far too fast. Expectations for the writing process are developmentally appropriate. Suggestions for how to help children develop their writing skills are also appropriate. The author provides specific recommendations on how to guide children in their writing without overwhelming or discouraging them. Appendix I includes sample Language Arts Schedules for each writing stage (generally based on a child’s age and development) including daily and weekly activities and appropriate types of writing projects.
Limitations of The Writer’s Jungle
The information presented in the “Writer’s Jungle” may be difficult to synthesize into practice. There is so much information presented, it may be difficult to know how to implement the Brave Writer way of approaching language arts. The sample schedules and activities in Appendix I may help a parent move from reading about what to do to the every day routine.
When I initially went to the Brave Writer website, it took me a while to filter through all of the curricular materials to see what I would need to buy. After reading through the “Writer’s Jungle” the writing stage labels given (e.g., Jot it Down) make more sense to me.
For parents who like an open-and-go curriculum, this is not for you. To truly understand the Brave Writer process, you will need to read the “Writer’s Jungle” and think about how to implement the program within daily, weekly, and monthly activities. Planning and preparation are required.
Conclusions on The Writer’s Jungle and Brave Writer
I found reading “The Writer’s Jungle” to be helpful in understanding the Brave Writer methods and philosophies. The Brave Writer approach provides developmentally appropriate ways to help facilitate children’s development of writing skills. Brave Writer also has specific curriculum books (i.e., “Jot it Down,” and “Partnership Writing”) with a detailed plan on how to implement a Brave Writer language arts program, or in their words, lifestyle. Additional curricular materials, such as the “Quiver of Arrows” series provide a more open-and-go type of program option for specific recommended writing activities, such as copy work and dictation activities.
I would recommend using the Brave Writer curriculum and materials due to its developmental approach through gentle guidance. This writing program would be a good fit for parents who have the time and resources to:
- Read and study “The Writer’s Jungle” and other needed curricular materials from Brave Writer.
- Make a plan for implementing the suggested activities within the homeschool setting.
I would not recommend Brave Writer for families who want an open-and-go type of curriculum.
Where to buy The Writer’s Jungle and other Brave Writer Curriculuar Materials at a Discount
#1 Way to Save
Homeschool Buyer’s Co-op frequently offers discounts on the Brave Writer curriculum and materials. I was able to save 40% on “The Writer’s Jungle” by purchasing through the Co-op. It is free to join and provides discounts on a variety of homeschool materials and curriculum. CLICK HERE to go to the Homeschool Buyer’s Co-op website.
CLICK HERE to read my comparison of Brave Writer and Writing with Ease.
CLICK HERE to read my review of Language Arts Curricula.
CLICK HERE to read my review of Elementary Writing Curricula.