Playing with Poetry: Discovery is the most fun you can have with your kids while working on writing!

Playing with Poetry: Discovery enrolls you with your child(ren) in this class. Poetry allows your kids to set aside grammar and punctuation rules and just play with language, discovering the magic of imagination and poetic form in a relaxed and fun way! Copied in careful handwriting (and perhaps even illustrated!), the poems you write together as a family can be collected and bound into a book, creating a memorable poetry anthology that your family can enjoy throughout the years. Poems can also be shared with extended family and friends as birthday cards, in e-mails, or even in letters (you know, the kind that are rarely written anymore).

ALL AGES enjoy this class, from the youngest child, to the senior in high school, to both parents!

This workshop will allow you the opportunity to discover and write poetry in the following forms:

  • Week One: Introduction to Poetry and Free Verse
  • Week Two: Visual Poetry: Shape, Concrete, and Acrostic poems
  • Week Three: Counted Word Poetry: Cinquain, Diamante, and Etheree poems
  • Week Four: Japanese Poetry: Haiku and Tanka poems

These unrhymed poetry forms allow your family to discover the amazing world of poetry without having to get too technical. In Playing with Poetry: Discovery, taught by our own Susanne Barrett (MA in poetry), your family will not only learn to understand and appreciate poetic forms, but you will also have the satisfying pleasure of writing them. You and your kids will discover a variety of poetic forms and learn the art of poetic language. Brave Writer places a strong emphasis on poetry, particularly in the younger years, because it is such a natural source of language development, literary elements, and rich vocabulary. Plus, poetry is plain fun. I call it: “The Sudoku of Language.”

Enjoy a month of guidance and support in creative wordplay with your kids in Playing with Poetry: Discovery and discover the enchantment of reading and writing poetry as a family! Add in some tea and goodies, and Poetry Teatimes may become a weekly tradition in your family for years to come!

Playing with Poetry follows a similar format to The Writer's Jungle Online: parents interact with the instructor, work with their children and then post their work to the Brave Writer online classroom for them (though children are welcome to post directly, as well). Enroll the entire family in this class for one affordable price and get ready to dive deep into this fascinating topic!

High school students are welcome to take this class on their own, or they may post separately from the rest of the family if younger siblings are also taking the class.

For more information about how the classes are run, please read about online classes.

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!

Playing with Poetry: Discovery is what we call a "Family Class" in Brave Writer. Your children are enrolled in the class and will be the ones doing the activities, but the parent is the "student" in the classroom. The instructor will teach not just your children, but also you, the parent! In fact, in this class, parents are encouraged to produce poetry as well as the kids! It's a family party of poetry writing. Together, you and your children will learn about a variety of poetic forms. You will read the assignments and support your kids in doing the activities; then you will report back to the instructor by posting your children's work. We find that many kids have a much more successful experience with poetry when parents are involved!

That said, your kids are free to convey their thoughts and reactions to the instructor, too. She will want to get to know them! The structure of this class is that the parent is the enrolled student, and the kids are the active participants. Our hope is that both you and your children will discover the joy of writing poetry by the end of the five weeks together!