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The Brave Learner: Finding Everyday Magic in Homeschool, Learning, and Life
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The Brave Learner: Finding Everyday Magic in Homeschool, Learning, and Life

4.18  ·  Rating details ·  2,473 ratings  ·  395 reviews
A joyful and accessible approach to homeschooling that harnesses children's natural curiosity and makes learning a part of everyday life, whether they're in elementary or high school

Parents who are deeply invested in their children's education can be hard on themselves and their kids. When exhausted parents are living the day-to-day grind, it can seem impossible to muster
Paperback, 320 pages
Published February 5th 2019 by Tarcherperigee
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Average rating 4.18  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,473 ratings  ·  395 reviews

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I wanted to love this book. I have a MS in Applied Psych, focused on educational psychology. I'm a homeschooling mom. We practice delight-directed learning. The cover art is adorable. I'm clearly sold on the premise of this book!

Unfortunately, Bogart just doesn't present the information in a way that connects with me. She gives an example of a commonly accepted idea from ed psych, say, scaffolding, without identifying it as such at the time - but then goes on to include the term "scaffolding" i
Mar 13, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: education
I have enjoyed listening to Julia Bogart's youtube/podcast. I have heard so many positive reviews about the Brave Writer curriculum that I have considered using it (but have not). I knew from listening to her before that she takes a neutral stand in her curriculum on religion/theology. Which I don't have a problem with as it is teaching writing not the Bible. So going into reading this book I knew it would not be from a Christian worldview. I believe she claims to be a Christian.

There are some
Feb 08, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Dirty bathrooms ,hiring cleaning staff ?

I really dislike the chapter on not cleaning or hiring cleaning staff .saying teenagers need to be in the world not the kitchen,saying housework is not rocket science .it all sounded so is a skill as worthy as any other .not cleaning the kids bathroom ,but if they are filthy cleaning it every quarter .ugh not for this family .you can home school and all chip in with t h e care of the home ,children's learning should be vast enough to enc
Christy Lindsay
Mar 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I'm giving this one 5 stars only because I can't give it 4.5. And the the things I didn't like may be the things that help another mom out there so I'll leave it at 5.

Julie gives such practical no nonsense wisdom and advise. She helps you let go of the non-essentials and helps you get your vision and focus back in track. The end of the book was invaluable in that she becomes like a homeschool therapist and helps you get to the root of maybe what's going wrong in your homeschool and how you can
Feb 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is for anyone with a child. The ideas and suggestions for leading children to learn with delight are valuable and easy to implement. There is also plenty of encouragement for the times when, to a teacher’s dismay, education seems so mundane and dreary. It happens. Pick up and continue. I’m recommending this to homeschoolers, public schoolers, and private schoolers, and I’m planning on using what I’ve learned with my youngest child (and I’m in my penultimate year of homeschooling and wi ...more
Michael Fitzgerald
Nov 01, 2019 rated it it was ok
Full of triteness and what is to me, just common-sense, this book seems to be exactly what some people want. Which is a little depressing.

The introduction starts off, "Before we begin, pour yourself a cup of coffee or tea. Adjust the reading lamp. Arrange yourself comfortably. I'll wait. Ready?" and it concludes, "Inhale. Exhale. Be brave. Keep reading. Grab a cookie. Let's get started." Good grief.

I'm a little leery of someone who thinks that the "types of math" include "geometry, long divisi
Amy T.
Apr 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What an encouraging voice Julie Bogart is to the modern homeschool community! She advocates for what she calls "natural learning," which is not an idealogy or formula, but rather a lifestyle and a mindset.

Some of the book's highlights for me:
*"Take children's cues of curiosity seriously. Meet those needs as readily as you would their physical hunger." p. 69
*"The holy grail of home education seems to be 'independent learning.' But the truth is, our quest for that independence is more about relie
Kristin C
Feb 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
I am a new brave writer follower and I am in love with Julie’s philosophy and ideas. We think along the same lines in regard to parenting and homeschooling. This book would have been perfect, except for the fact that I have been binge listening to all of her podcasts (which I love) and the podcasts were the exact same content as her book. If I hadn’t just heard all the same stories, I would have thoroughly enjoyed the read, but I was so excited to dive in and hear from her some more, I was disap ...more
Carolyn Leiloglou
Feb 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed Julie’s slew of practical suggestions. I’m not sure I, or any one person, could put them all into practice. But I think that’s the point. Rather than sticking to just one theory of education, drop the guilt, pay attention to your kids, and do what works for your family.
Jennie Louwes
May 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book isn't perfect; but, neither am I. Quite frankly, it's a wee bit repetitive; but, sometimes we need that when the subject matter is something new and foreign to us. It's the small amount of repetition that allows the new knowledge to seep in, stick, and be applicable for us in real life.

Do you know what this book is capable of? Setting you free! And that, my friends, is why I have given this book a 5 star rating.

For homeschooling mom's (and dad's) who want to bring enchantment into th
Melanie Tillman
May 30, 2019 rated it did not like it
The only reason I checked this book out from the library was the endorsement by Susan Wise Bauer. Now that I've read it, I'm scratching my head as to why Bauer would endorse this book when it goes counter to everything I've ever heard her espouse. So be warned if you are not an unschooler; that's what this book is.

I read an earlier review from someone who said this book made her feel more stressed, and I wholeheartedly agree. I felt like if I wasn't some sort of whimsical combination of Mary Po
Katie Fitzgerald
Like The Read-Aloud Family: Making Meaningful and Lasting Connections with Your Kids, this is another book whose popularity is baffling to me. I've read a few "how to homeschool" type books, and this is the least organized and least compelling of them all. The tone was by turns condescending and childish, and the writing style felt very amateurish. Quite a few lines in the book made me laugh, but none of them were intended to be funny. Part of my disappointment with the book was the fact that it ...more
Apr 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book. This book!
This book was hard for me to get through. At first, I was excited about the new ideas. Then, as I got into it, I realized that what she was suggesting was so completely different from what I normally do. Changing to fit this model would be a lot of work, and would it be worth it? Why fix what ain't broke?
But we are broken. I am broken. Changes need to be made. The book made me feel guilty. And hopeless. And discouraged. I almost didn't finish.
And then, I kept reading. It's
Mandi Ehman
Jul 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Julie Bogart's social media posts have been a regular encouragement to me throughout my years of homeschooling, and I never doubted that this book would be worth the read. Even so, it still surpassed my expectations, and I'm confident it will be one I turn to again and again. Along with Sarah Mackenzie's Teaching From Rest and Richard Louv's Last Child in the Woods, it's a book I would recommend for every homeschooling family (and non-homeschoolers who are passionate about learning!).

Be sure to
Mar 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I think different homeschooling parents will get different ideas and advice from this book, but for me it was five stars because her ideas are already helping to breathe FRESH life into our homeschool days! Did I agree with everything? No. Being ok with kids not cleaning until they’re adults? But I loved her ways of connecting to a child, learning WITH them, and collaborating to make learning fun.
Molly- The Modern Homeschooler
Book review! This book has been passed around and talked about in so many Christian circles that I felt the need to read it for myself!
There was one gem in this whole book— (to paraphrase) homeschool classically in the Fall, project based in winter, and unschool/field trips in the Spring. I loved that idea and makes total sense because that’s pretty much what we do already. She just vocalized it for me!
Unfortunately, I was very disappointed with the rest of the book. The author has not stated
Enola Stevenson
May 30, 2019 rated it it was ok
2.5 stars really. I wanted so badly to like this book much more than I did. It reads like a collection of notes or blog posts under a theme rather than the well-constructed book that I was expecting. I will say that there are absolutely some gems to cherry pick from this, but as often as I put a little page flag for a great idea, I wrote 'disagree!' or '?' in the margin.
I'd say my over-arching philosophy is quite different...I would rather be my child's parent than their best friend (not saying
Apr 09, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: partially-read
Funny, I checked this book out hoping I would be able to calm my home-school-mom anxiety, but I found myself getting more and more stressed out as the pages progressed, and thinking even more seriously of just putting my kids in public school next year. (Disclosure: I’ve got a 3 month old baby). So I stopped reading. There are some great ideas here for cherry picking, and maybe sometime I’ll revisit this book. But overall, I can’t see myself adopting Bogart’s philosophies. I guess I’m just not t ...more
Feb 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The Brave Learner is an excellent book! Julie not only gives a compelling vision of how parents can support learning at home but practical advice that one can implement right away. I had a hard time putting this book down, finishing it in three days. However, I've already begun re-reading it to glean specific ideas for implementation. Thank you, Julie, for writing such a treasure! ...more
Elizabeth Peterson
Apr 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I don’t know when or if I’ve read a nonfiction book that has resonated with me as much as this one did. I’m in the throes of an awesome book hangover now. Excuse me while I try to figure my thoughts out, possibly cry, and copy the entire book into my commonplace journal. Highly recommend.
Aug 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
While I didn’t love everything about this book, I really enjoyed it. Lots to think about and some really interesting perspectives. Worthwhile for anyone considering homeschooling.
A sweet, veteran homeschool mom friend gave me this book. This book was such an encouragement to her she wanted it to encourage all the homeschooling moms she new, so she gave it to me when I started homeschooling. Unfortunately, from the first chapter it stressed me out. The idea of having an art table in my living room? I just can't handle that kind of mess and chaos.

This book would probably be great for those that lean more toward unschooling. But that is not me, I have too much type A in me
Mar 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is truly wonderful but also a bit overwhelming in the sense that it makes you want to overhaul a lot and introduce all her wonderful ideas - but she encourages you to try one thing a month, to take it slow.
I am a longtime fan of Julie and her podcasts and "Gracious Space" books, and this book condenses a lot of her wonderful advice about incorporating surprise, risk, mystery, adventure, and curiosity in your homeschool. Julie knows that the best education takes place when parents and
Sep 19, 2019 rated it it was ok
While there were some hidden nuggets of homeschooling advice I took away from this book, the overwhelming majority of the ideas were, um, should we say Liberal and secular?!? I did a lot of brow raising and eye rolling, for instance when the author suggested to study the origins of curse words to liven up English... or when her overall suggestion for dealing with housework was to hire a maid or to just clean "quarterly" but under no circumstance force your child in participating in household cho ...more
Jun 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
So so good. I’ll be reading this again for sure.
Dec 29, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
My second star is because of the general idea behind being flexible and having a home that breeds love, kindness, curiosity, and learning. The first star is because there were a few noteworthy lines.

Overall, I don’t agree with much here. My kids are doing chores. I’m keeping a clean house. There is a level of mess or clutter that comes with homeschooling several kids and being in your home so much, but foregoing housework is not for me (and I don’t want my kids raised believing it’s acceptable).
During the course of listening to this book I realized that at the end of my life I would almost certainly look back and think to myself, "I really didn't need to push myself so hard, what I thought mattered didn't actually matter so much and wish I would have just enjoyed the journey more." I'm grateful Julie's book helped me find this truth and see things differently. I know I will listen to it often as a resource to redirect my path, so hopefully at the end of my life I'll think instead, "Wow ...more
Feb 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Whether you've homeschooled for 2 years or 20, whether your kids are in public school or private, whether you work outside the home or not, this is an invaluable resource for bringing connection, happiness, and warmth to your family. Julie's blend of humor, inspiration, and practical ideas apply to all parents, all styles, all beliefs, all backgrounds! I plan to re-read every year on principle and every time I face a moment of doubt or crisis. ...more
Amanda The Book Labyrinth
Jun 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Truly the most encouraging and Inspirational book for any caregiver or homeschooling family. This book helps you to understand how freely your children learn and want to learn and how we need to get the spark of learning back into our hearts and see as our children do. We need to see past the traditional ways of education. In my eyes and heart this book is a true gem and needs to be the first stop when looking to home education or for a better connection with your children.
Mar 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
One of the best books on homeschooling I've read. I liked that it didn't fall rigidly into any of the schools of thought of homeschooling. Didn't agree with her on her views about housekeeping or lack thereof, but everything else was palatable. ...more
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Julie Bogart is the popular voice of common sense and compassion for home educators. Her online coaching community, The Homeschool Alliance, her podcast A Brave Writer's Life in Brief, and her YouTube channel are lifelines for tens of thousands of weary homeschoolers all over the world.

Julie’s the creator of the award-winning, innovative online writing program called Brave Writer and the fast-grow

News & Interviews

Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “We are not makers of history. We are made by history.” So, this January, as we celebrate Martin Luther King...
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“If homeschooling stops being a source of joy, begin by shifting your attention to the awesome adult you want to be. Just that shift can inject energy into a flagging homeschool.” 2 likes
“The key to a successful education is not remembering the sequence of battles in World War I or getting an A on the geometry test. A robust education is the ability to make meaningful use of any and all information.” 2 likes
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