My teaching experience began in a fifth grade classroom after receiving my elementary education degree at Towson University. After two years as an elementary school teacher, I received my certification in math and began teaching middle school. Years later, my teaching experience started in a new, fresh way when I began homeschooling my oldest child.
In the summer of 2013, I was introduced to the Brave Writer Lifestyle at a Brave Writer conference in Richmond, Virginia. That fall, at the start of our school year, I presented my four children with their first freewriting notebooks and teacups for Poetry Teatime. The Brave Writer lifestyle officially began in our home that day and we have never looked back.
Becoming a family of Brave Writers helped me reconnect with my own love of teaching language arts to my children. I learned how to teach writing and experience learning with my children in a way that I was not trained to do in the classroom. I was eager to share our experience with other families and began to form book clubs for my children and their friends as an aspect of our enchanted education.
Once a month, my kids gather with their friends to discuss and explore great literature. The mothers involved help plan book themed food, activities, and sometimes even costumes. Our Brave Writer party school book clubs have become one of the most memorable aspects of our homeschool lifestyle. I mean who can forget Effie Trinket showing up at your Catching Fire Book Club or an afternoon of Morse Code flashlight games at your Mysterious Benedict Society book club?
I am thrilled to begin teaching a Brave Writer online book club! I love discussing literary elements with students and have seen first hand the value of building a community around literature. Book clubs have certainly given my children a platform to learn how to analyze literature, but more importantly they have provided a community with varying viewpoints and insights that they had not considered on their own.
You can find the details of many of our book club meetings as well as other homeschool activities on my blog, Not Before 7, aptly named for my night owl tendencies. When I am not planning or teaching, I enjoy writing on my blog, reading, and running. You can also find me dreaming about future vacations, playing games with my kids, and sipping iced tea on a daily basis.