Wanted: Personal Tutor

Available each month
Gives instructions in plain English
Teaches parents and kids together
Covers the early essentials in grammar, spelling, and punctuation
Playful and friendly

Meet: Dart

For brand new readers and writers! 

Our hand-holding handbook is that personal tutor you crave!
Even if you’re rusty in grammar and punctuation rules . . .
Even if you’ve never done copywork and dictation practice before . . .
We’ve got you—and your wee ones—covered!

Each month, we’ll lead the way by:

  • Picking a classic read aloud
  • Selecting four gorgeous passages for copywork and dictation
  • Giving simple, essential instructions for how to implement copywork and dictation
  • Offering expert, easy-to-understand notes for grammar, spelling, and punctuation
  • Asking big juicy questions for playful book conversations
  • Planning book club parties so you don’t have to!

How it works

  • Each Dart is a digital PDF file that includes four weeks of writing mechanics instruction
  • New Darts are uploaded to a private folder on the first of each month
  • Check your email (once your purchase is complete) for login instructions
  • Download the Dart Guidelines anytime after purchase
  • Download the released Darts at your convenience anytime after August 1
  • Print or read on your device (you own them)
  • No matter when you purchase, you’ll have access to all 10 Darts by May 2022
  • See the tab at bottom of page for in-depth Program Details.

Dart 2021-2022 Read Aloud List

August: The One and Only Bob (Katherine Applegate)
September: Rickshaw Girl (Mitali Perkins)
October: Skunk and Badger (Amy Timberlake)
November: Peacemaker (Joseph Bruchac)
December: Heartwood Hotel: A True Home (Kallie George)   
January: Wishtree (Katherine Applegate)   
February: Ways to Make Sunshine (Renée Watson)
March: Julieta and the Diamond Enigma (Luisana Duarte Armendáriz)
April: The Turtle of Oman (Naomi Shihab Nye)
May: Nim's Island (Wendy Orr)

Books are not included with purchase of the Dart.

Book list contains Amazon affiliate links. Brave Writer receives compensation at no extra cost to you.

Support indie bookshops! Our friends at Here Wee Read have listed all of the 2021–2022 Brave Writer Dart, Arrow, Boomerang, and Slingshot books in the Here Wee Read bookshop

The Dart appears in our Beginning Writers Bundle and Growing Writers Bundle.

Find single issues of the Dart here.

All purchases of digital products are FINAL. No refunds.

Join us in funding Summer Camp Reading! Let’s bring great books to everyone! Learn more and donate here!

  • Age: ages 8–10; kids who are reading readers, needing easier copywork passages.

    Format: PDF files, downloadable to your computer or tablet. Permission to print is included. See https://thehomeschoolprintingcompany.com/ for good prices and quality printing.

  • Download the sample here

    Dart Guidelines are included with each purchased issue but are not available with the sample.

  • What is Dart?

    The Dart is a digital downloadable product that features copywork and dictation passages from a specific read aloud novel.

    It is the indispensable tool for Brave Writer parents who want to teach language arts in a natural, literature-bathed context, using copywork and dictation. It is a language arts resource that equips you, the homeschooling parent, to fulfill your best intentions related to:

    • Spelling
    • Punctuation
    • Grammar
    • Literary devices
    • Big juicy conversations
    • Quality living literature
    • Book Club Party Ideas

    The practices of copywork and dictation teach your children the fundamentals of written communication. These practices naturally facilitate the development of accurate mechanics in the context of quality literature (the best words, in the best style, accurately edited).

    The Skinny

    • Each month, the Dart features one novel to be read aloud to your children.
    • Each week, it features a selected passage from that novel. The passages are accompanied by notes that detail spelling, punctuation, grammar and literary style elements found in the passage. These notes are designed to make it easy to pre-teach the passage (no advanced preparation necessary). Three of the four weeks, the Dart features a specific grammar or punctuation concept taught with creative exercises.
    • Each handbook also highlights a literary device of the month. These are devices like assonance, alliteration, dialogue, onomatopoeia, powerful verbs, rhyme, and more. Examples of the device are included in the issue and are taken the novel featured in the Dart.
    • Each literary device is accompanied by a writing activity that gives your kids a chance to play with the device in their own writing. The goal is to help kids notice quality writing and why it is successful. Then they can practice using the device so that eventually, they will naturally incorporate it into their original writing.
    • To dig a little deeper, Big Juicy Questions about the novel guide investigation of the book's themes, plot, and characters.
    • Each Dart includes a Book Club Party Ideas section to help you celebrate the book.

    How do I use it?

    1. Read the Guidelines (separate download, included with purchase) before you begin.
    2. Read the first week’s passage and the accompanying notes.
    3. Investigate (orally) the passage with your children, highlighting the grammar, spelling, punctuation, and literary devices.
    4. Give your children the opportunity to copy the passage or to write it from dictation (the Dart highlights a different practice each week to help you and your child learn).
    5. One of the weeks, explore the featured literary device and try the writing activity.
    6. By the end of the month, discuss some of the Big Juicy Questions and hold a book club party.

    How the Dart fits into a Complete Writing Program

    The Dart is one part of a three-part complete writing and language arts curriculum, meeting the need for instruction in writing mechanics and the reading and study of quality literature.

    A three-part Brave Writer writing program for ages 8–10 includes:

    1. A tool for mechanics and literature: punctuation, grammar, spelling, literary style. (Dart)
    2. A tool that teaches the writing process for original writing (The Writer’s Jungle).
    3. A tool that supplies writing projects (assignments) that makes use of mechanics and original writing skills (Jot It Down!, Partnership Writing and Online Classes)

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