Last month we added Brave Writer’s The Arrow to our Language Arts studies and I’ve noticed the difference in our homeschool already. We’re having so much fun with “The Brave Writer lifestyle”. Our own language as well as our awareness of language around us – written, spoken and performed – is heightened. Here are some examples of what we’ve done.
Two weeks ago, on Movie Wednesday, we watched Ferris Bueller’s Day Off! Beforehand, we discussed the meanings of plot, plot twists and climax. I paused the movie as we went and we discussed who the good guy and bad guy should be according to the rules of right and wrong and who the good & bad guys were in B’s eyes according to their personalities. We discussed how important the script writing and each actor’s portrayal of their rolls were in getting us to root for Ferris and relish Principal Rooney’s mishaps.
I stopped it a number of times for B to tell me what the plot was, what he thought would happen next, his reaction to the “next” not being what he thought it was, etc. When it was over, he excitedly told me when he thought climax began and when it ended. We had this long, animated discussion about how people are not just black and white; we are all full of grays – good and evil, making right and wrong choices for the right and wrong reasons, etc.. It was so wonderful to see him expressing and discussing without just using the words, “Awesome” and “Amazing”.
Yesterday, I asked him to write using descriptive language. I wanted him to paint a picture with his words. His writing in the past has been, “I played outside with my friends.” I asked him to use words to describe the feel of the sun or the warmth of that Spring day. Playing outside was just an example I gave him; he could write about whatever he wanted.
He chose to describe tasting a macadamia nut, which he did for the first time earlier that day. I have to share his description with y’all.
“Today I tried a macadamia nut and it was awful!!(There was a frowny face with a tongue sticking out under the 2 exclamation points.) It was so unbearable and repulsive I had to regurgitate it into the trash.”
Now, he didn’t try to describe what he thought it tasted like, an old gym sock, for example, but that’s something to work on. The fact that he wrote more than, “I hate macadamia nuts.” or “Macadamia nuts are awful.” and he wrote two sentences makes me very happy. He took the assignment seriously and I can give more detailed direction in the future.
Most importantly, he’s enjoying language and writing. He’s getting how important it is to his understanding and entertainment and we’re (Julie Bogart and I) are stoking the desire in him to write like that for others.