This is the final post in a series from my former blog, originally published in 2013. The first two posts recorded my discovery of Brave Writer and our plan for implementation. This third and final post records the beginning of Freewriting and Teatime in our home. We still implement a Brave Writer lifestyle in our homeschool and it is a delight to look back at our enthusiastic beginnings and realize that my enthusiasm has only grown since then!
We did not have our traditional scavenger hunt for school supplies this year.
We did not need any more pens, pencils, notebooks, and such. Though I do admit that I might have purchased a pack of sharpie markers for myself because I might just be a bit obsessed with them.
But other than the sharpies, our only school supply this year was this lovely set of mugs.
And not one student was disappointed with only one school supply! Because shortly after revealing it, I explained what was soon to become our new tradition of Tea Time Tuesday as part our new BraveWriter lifestyle.
And we had our first tea time:
It was simple. Lemonade. Leftover cookie cake. Poetry. And smiles.
Lots of smiles.
We have NOT missed a Tuesday Teatime this year. Period.
My kids will not let me. My four year old wakes up on random mornings and asks, “Is it Tuesday?”. They LOVE this time in our school day.
Our Teatime looks a little different each time, depending on my prep time and energy level and our schedule.
One week my oldest daughter, K (age 11), laid out a lovely table for us.
Notice the new cute dishes from Target clearance AND the two tiered plate!
We read various poetry books as we enjoy our treats and sometimes the kids bring their own poetry journals to share.
Sometimes our snacks are homemade. Other times they are store bought. There are times we even enjoy random stuff out of the pantry.
We drank lemonade when the weather was nice and now that the weather has turned cooler, we drink hot chocolate with Redi-Whip! YUM!
(None of the kids like tea. I am the only one)
All in all, this has been a favorite part of our year. We are pretty flexible with the timing and the eats. In fact, for three weeks we have had Teatime after dinner so that Daddy could be included!
Our other BraveWriter essential is FreeWrite Friday. We spent some time decorating our journals on our first Friday. We had a great time with stickers and markers.
Then we attempted our first freewrite. We set the timer for three minutes and wrote whatever came to mind. I gave them an optional topic of what they liked so far about Raleigh, but told them to write whatever came to mind and to keep the pencil moving!
This wasn’t easy. My oldest wanted to make a paragraph, complete with opening and closing. She didn’t get the “freewrite” part, so she was done early and I let it go.
My other daughter has a hard time with handwriting but refuses to dictate, so she didn’t get much written and was frustrated.
But I kept it lighthearted and fun. I gave the younger daughter some more time and then we shared our freewriting.
Now that it has been a few weeks, it comes easier for both of them. And they enjoy it. We usually write for about four minutes now with an optional topic. Sometimes they use the topic idea and other weeks they write on their own topics. Sharing is optional.
My oldest son, 6, often draws a picture. Later, he dictates a story to me about the picture. Even my 4-year old has asked to tell me a story for his journal.
Boy, these journals are going to be my favorite homeschool treasures!
And yes, Mommy freewrites as well.
And there you have it. Our humble Brave Writer beginnings. Three years later and we still have Teatime and freewrite on a regular basis.
My homeschooling ideas are often recorded on my Pinterest account. I contribute to a group board specifically for Poetry Teatime and have my own focused on the Brave Writer Lifestyle ideas. I even have a board dedicated to Poetry Writing ideas. Follow along for some great ideas!