One of the most daunting challenges of teaching high school at home is writing. Maybe it’s because so much seems to ride on the all-important “College essay!” We certainly don’t want our kids to mess that up. Or maybe it’s because we remember the dreaded red ink pen markings all over the essays we submitted as teenagers, slashing and striking through our carefully crafted thoughts and ideas. Even now the thought of a teacher tearing through a piece of writing I worked so diligently on makes me feel a little heartbroken.
I shuddered to think of doing that to my own children, but yet, I wanted them to be successful in writing their high school essays in preparation for college work. Was it too much to hope that we could get there with a minimum of tears and maybe even enjoy the process?
Bravewriter Help For High School
That’s where the Help for High School by Julie Bogart at Brave Writer helped. This is not your typical high school writing textbook. It’s more of a guide written in a conversational tone for students ages 13 to 18. This book will take the young writer (and mom) from elementary school creative writing to the rigors of academic essays in high school.
Let me start with the parts that really appealed to me as a mom…
It’s only $79 and it’s nonconsumable! I really appreciated that on my very frugal curriculum budget! For the price, I got a downloadable, 81-page textbook in a PDF file. I could print the book out for each of my children and they could make notes and highlights to their heart’s content. I could also print out pages as we needed them. So when I wanted my student to read chapter one, that’s all I needed to print. I kept the introduction of the book on my computer to read myself, but I never printed that out for my students.
The entire first part of the book is a preparation for essay writing. If you’ve done any of the Writer’s Jungle or elementary Brave Writer Classes before, that part will be a good review. If that philosophy is new to your student, this will be a good foundation for the rest of the book. This part of the text is truly about learning to love words and finding your voice, even in academic writing. The exercises to do that are fun and creative.
The second part of the book digs into actual essay writing. It covers topics such as essay forms, writing a thesis statement, documenting sources, and paraphrasing. But it doesn’t just tell your student what these things are. There are a generous number of examples written by other young writers so that the student can get a better handle on the topic at hand.
Brave Writer’s Help for High School also encourages Mom to come alongside the young writer. My kids bounced ideas off of me and we had conversations about their topics. I learned to be a better writing teacher and an effective editor. I was also able to refer back to the earlier exercises when one of my writers got “stuck” on what to write or how to write it. The exercises on that are invaluable.
I have used this book with my own children. Bravewriter has lots of other free resources to help you like Julie’s regular podcasts. We also eventually took some of the Bravewriter high school courses online with some of my more advanced college-bound children.
If you’re looking for an expensive program that will help your child to become a confident writer while you make memories crafting essays during the high school years, I highly recommend this Help for High School and the Brave Writer approach.
Elena LaVictoire is a wife and homeschooling mother to six children. She writes at My Domestic Church, where she blogs about marriage, motherhood, and music with a side of mirth.