This class is a family class. Click on the "Family Class" tab above to learn more.

Sure, you know the stories of Robin Hood and John Henry. But have you heard the tales of the Runaway Pancake, the Thirsty Frog, and the Glass Knight? How about the Buried Moon, Skeleton Woman, and the Ship of Wheat?

Stories from around the world await you in this class. Elementary Writing: Telling Tales enrolls you with your child(ren) in this class. Since the writing activities are flexible and you get to choose your own books, this class is a perfect fit for a variety of ages, particularly for those kids in the Jot It Down or Partnership Writing phases. In this Family Class, you, the parent, will partner with your child to explore tall tales, ancient myths, and favorite legends as you uncover the common elements in these classic tales. Children this age benefit from a partner as they engage in original writing. Parents are invited to take over transcription and typing duties as needed and then post the results of all writing activities in the classroom.

Not only will children read compelling stories and write about them in Elementary Writing: Telling Tales, but they'll also hone their ability to tell stories aloud. The ability to narrate—recalling what the dog just did in the backyard, complaining about the unsatisfying end to a movie, or relating the perfect strategy to win a card game—is an important part of a child's development as a writer. Your family will be abuzz with chatter as you navigate the storytelling games and oral activities in this class.

An excellent follow up to Brave Writer® 101: Guided Writing Process (though that class is not a prerequisite), Elementary Writing: Telling Tales will give you gentle structure as you incorporate reading, writing, and elements of the Brave Writer® Lifestyle into your weekly routine.

Families in this class will need to be stocked with myths and legends to read. You can use books you have on hand, or pick up an anthology at your local library or bookstore. It's especially fun to choose favorite stories or characters and read and compare various tellings. Here are some suggestions if you are looking for a place to start:

A World Full of Animal Stories: 50 Folktales and Legends — Angela McAllister

A Year Full of Stories: 52 Folktales and Legends from around the World — Angela McAllister

Ashley Bryan's African Tales, Uh-HuhAshley Bryan

Asian Children's Favorite Stories: A Treasury of Folktales from China, Japan, Korea, India, the Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia — David Conger, Marian Davies Toth, Kay Lyons, and Patrick Yee

D'Aulaires' Book of Greek Myths — Ingri d'Aulaire and Edgar Parin d'Aulaire

D'Aulaires' Book of Norse Myths — Ingri d'Aulaire and Edgar Parin d'Aulaire

Mightier than the Sword: World Folktales for Strong Boys — Jane Yolen

Native American Stories — by Joseph Bruchac and Michael J. Caduto

Not One Damsel in Distress: World Folktales for Strong Girls — Jane Yolen

Vietnamese Children's Favorite Stories — Phuoc Thi Minh Tran

Please keep in mind that traditional tales can contain dark and disturbing themes, so it’s up to you to select the most appropriate volume for your kids.

Elementary Writing: Telling Tales follows a similar format to Brave Writer® 101: Guided Writing Process: parents interact with the instructor, work with their children and then post their work to the Brave Writer® online classroom for them. Enroll the entire family in this class for one affordable price and get ready to dive deep into this fascinating topic!

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.

Brave Writer® online classes are specially designed with the busy homeschooling parent in mind.

Class Structure Overview #

  • Class is held in a private discussion board with 20-25 other participants.
  • Class is asynchronous—you log in when it is convenient for you each day of the week at no specific time of day.
  • It is text-based—no video.
  • Student writing assignments are posted in a text box, published to the classroom, and all students are able to read student writing.
  • Class is a writing workshop format, with all coaching feedback available to be read by all families.
  • Class work, student writing, and coaching feedback can be downloaded and saved in a PDF format.

Class Length and Time #

Classes last anywhere from three 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.

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.

Private Classroom Space #

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.

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.

Safe Community #

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 dialogue 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.

The Telling Tales Class 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 about writing, but also you, the parent! Our goal is to provide a model for you to follow showing how to partner with young writers in the writing process. Learn more about how to support a child in the early stages of growth in writing here.

Together you will read the material 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 kids have a much more successful experience with writing when a parent is involved in the whole process.

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 have a transformed relationship with writing by the end of the four weeks together!