[Essay Prep: Dynamic Thinking is part of a three-class series. The other two classes are Essay Prep: Reading the Essay and Essay Prep: Research and Citation. This series is based on the former class Kidswrite Intermediate.]

The only class of its kind! #

You want your kids to write essays? The format is a snap; it can be taught on the back of a napkin!

The question is: Will your teens know what to put in the format?

Essay writing depends on robust thinking and access to a vivid vocabulary. These thinking and writing skills need to be cultivated through exploratory exercises before we expect teens to house those same insights in the straight jacket of the essay form. Essay Prep: Dynamic Thinking is an utterly unique class. It expands your teens' mental agility and offers them the chance to explore myriad viewpoints before they adopt one in a thesis statement.

The Essay Prep series provides a foundation for the Expository Essay class and ought to be taken first if your kids have never studied the essay form. The classes in this series are designed to be taken in any order.

Essay Prep: Dynamic Thinking is designed for 8th to 10th graders or high school students who've had little experience with academic writing.

In this class, students will:

  • learn to think about the controversial nature of a topic for writing
  • powerfully associate ideas using metaphor and analogy
  • identify their true perspective about a topic to aid thesis development
  • believe and doubt the same argument, to grow a student's mind
  • create a collage of writing (a final project synthesizing writing from the class)

Essay Prep: Dynamic Thinking acts as a transition between the free-wheeling, personal experience-driven writing of youth and the more disciplined, rhetorically-driven thinking of academic writing. Unlike any other writing program, this class takes seriously the need to protect and nourish a student's original writing voice, while also calling on that student to develop a sophisticated investigation of academic topics. Rather than simply leaving childhood writing behind, Essay Prep: Dynamic Thinking invites students to apply the flair they've developed to the academic task.

This class features writing exercises developed exclusively for Brave Writer. Most writing programs expect kids to make the transition from early childhood writing to academic writing without providing them the tools to make that journey. Essay Prep: Dynamic Thinking stands in that gap and offers a set of exercises and writing processes that your child can use again and again as he or she moves into high school and beyond. Once the Essay Prep series has been completed, the high school student will be ready to write the academic essay formats!

Learn more about the content of our three Essay Prep classes and how they complement each other by watching this 30-minute video. Please contact us with questions.

To explore our Brave Writer classroom, click here to access a sample class.

Class Structure Description #

Brave Writer online classes are specially designed with the busy homeschooling parent in mind. Classes last anywhere from four to six weeks. We offer courses that address a specific writing need so that you can take the ones that suit your family throughout the school year. Short class sessions enable you to work around family vacations, out-of-town swim meets, recovering from wisdom teeth removal, and visits from grandparents. We operate on the quarter system, including a summer session. Our most popular classes repeat each quarter, while others are seasonal.

Our classes meet in a customized online classroom, designed specifically to meet the needs of Brave Writer. Only registered students and the instructor have access to the classroom to ensure your privacy. Assignments and reading materials are posted by Brave Writer instructors each week (no additional supply fees necessary, unless otherwise indicated). Either you (homeschooling parent) or your child (homeschooling student) will visit the classroom daily at your convenience to read helpful information about the current topic or to find the writing assignment. We operate "asynchronously" (which means that the discussion is not live, but that posted information remains available to you in your time zone at your convenience). Instructors check the classroom throughout the day to answer questions and give feedback on writing.

Writing is done at home and then typed into the classroom, and shared with both the instructor and other classmates. You're not required to be online at any specific time of the day. We have students from all over the world participating in our classes so "live" discussion is impossible. Instead, the online classroom enables the instructor to post information and assignments when it is convenient to the instructor. Then, when it is convenient for you, you come to the classroom and read the latest postings.

Instructor feedback to student writing is offered for all participants to read. Writing questions are welcomed and encouraged! That's the point of class. We aim to give you immediate support as you face writing obstacles.

Brave Writer takes seriously the need for encouragement and emotional safety in writing. No student is ever at risk of being humiliated or mistreated. All online dialog is respectful and supportive of your child's process. This is the core of Brave Writer philosophy. You can read about Brave Writer values here.

What makes our program especially unique in the world of online education is that we value a corporate experience. Rather than teaching your child in a tutorial format, we prefer students to have the opportunity to both publish their work for an audience (other students) and also to have the chance to read other student writing. In no other setting is this possible. Schools-in-buildings rarely have students read each other's work. Homeschooled children are rarely in a classroom environment to begin with, so the opportunity to read peer-writing is nil.

Our classes provide an utterly unique experience in the world of writing instruction. Since most writers grow through emulation of good writing, it is a real advantage to Brave Writer kids to get the chance to read the writing of their fellow home-educated peers. They love it! They get to examine and internalize other ways of writing, analyzing and expressing ideas similar to their own. They have the chance to validate and cheer on their peers. And of course, the best part of all is that they receive the praise and affirmation of kids just like them.

Not only that, all instructor feedback is posted to the classroom for all students to read. That means your kids get the benefit of instructor comments on many papers, not just their own. We've noted that this style of instruction is especially effective and hope you'll agree!

To explore our Brave Writer classroom, click here to access a sample class.