Secret Codes

Some of you probably know that a new Brave Writer product just came out called Partnership Writing.  We got it and dove right in.  It’s on sale until the end of June, at which point the price goes up a bit, so if you’re considering it, then I say go ahead.

It’s intended for kids age 9-10, but I found that my still 8 year-olds are the perfect stage for the projects.  The first half of the book covers some familiar ground to anyone who has already read The Writer’s Jungle.  It explains narrations, poetry teas, movie times and other Brave Writer lifestyle ideas.  The second half lays out ten writing projects.  Some of them involve very light writing, like this first one, but others are more involved.  All of them are creative and fun.

We had just finished a letter writing project, so we were ready for something new and started up on the secret codes project right away and have done several activities with it.  This also allowed us to pull out a fun resource we hadn’t used in a long time: Secret Code cards from Usborne.  These are really fun and have dozens of different types of secret codes for kids to decipher that range from easy to very difficult.

BalletBoy writes a treasure hunt in secret code.

So far, our favorite part of the secret codes project has been making a treasure hunt in a cipher.  Here’s one of those activities that’s made for twins, as BalletBoy and Mushroom made hunts for each other.  Clue treasure hunts have been a learning staple of our household for a long time.  When the boys were small, we used them as a way to practice reading, then as they got older and could write them, we used them as a way of practicing writing.  We moved from reading clues like, “tub” and “hat” to clues like “look inside the coldest place in the house.”  Doing a hunt in a secret code was a new twist though.

Mushroom decodes the treasure hunt.
Mushroom decodes the treasure hunt.

We’re looking forward to tackling the rest of these projects as well.  Earlier in the year, I had said the writing project was the Brave Writer piece that was the most uneven for us.  We got much better about it by using opportunities like letter writing, local essay contests, and stories the kids have started as our projects, but I’m glad to have a set of easy, fun projects for us to do.


2 thoughts on “Secret Codes

  1. I love that Mushroom is pulling on his lips to think! That is one of my daughter’s habits, and she does it ALL THE TIME. Part of me wants to make her quit and the other part tells me to shut up. I waffle. Anyway, I’m glad the projects are working! I’m looking forward to trying them this fall.

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