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    Books & Reading, Educational Philosophy, Mother's Education

    Spring 2023 Habit Trackers Are Here!

    March 14, 2023 by Brandy Vencel

    Spring is the perfect time to turn over a new leaf. March has arrived and we are armed and ready with brand new spring Mother Culture Habit Tracker and a whole collection of coordinating reading trackers for your students, plus blank habit trackers so you can track a lot more than your reading. Here’s a sampling:

    Get Your Mother Culture Habit Tracker Now!

    What are we tracking?

    I like to remind you each time: What exactly are we tracking with these Mother Culture Habit Trackers? Since we can’t track nebulous things like “personal growth” or “feeding the soul with ideas,” we choose instead to track habits that lead to these sorts of ends. We define Mother Culture here according to the original article in The Parents’ Review: 30 minutes per day of reading. Maintain a stack of books (at least one of each) in three categories: stiff, moderately easy, and novel. When it’s time to read, pick up the book you feel fit for.

    It’s that simple!

    Need book ideas? Here is a recommendation for each category to get you started:

    Stiff Book:

    Redeeming the Six Arts

    Romans Roads Press was kind enough to send me a review copy of Brent Pinkall’s book Redeeming the Six Arts before we interviewed him for Scholé Sisters and wow is all I can say! I am in love with this book. The history of education in ancient China was absolutely fascinating and I marveled again and again at how familiar the Eastern tradition seemed. East and West have far more in common than our current classical philosophy has with secular modernism!

    Moderately Easy Book:

    The Power of Habit

    Charles Duhigg’s The Power of Habit is a fairly easy read but it can pack a powerful punch for those of us who think of our own character as a collection of habits that we ought to continually improve. We often end up at the question of how to habit train ourselves, and this book gives some super helpful insights into what works.



    I just finished reading Stephen Lawhead’s Byzantium aloud to my teenagers and it was excellent. It was truly an epic adventure with heroes captured by pirates, sold into slavery, and losing their faith (only to find it again). I was deeply moved by the whole tale.

    Spring it on, friends!

    Educational Philosophy, Home Education

    Swedish Drill Revisited: New Expanded Edition

    March 7, 2023 by Dawn Duran

    Introducing the New and Improved Swedish Drill Revisited Expanded Series It is with great excitement that I announce the expanded Swedish Drill Revisited series! QR Codes! What makes the series “new and improved”? I’m glad you asked! Beyond its fresh new look (thanks to my friend, Rebecca at A Humble Place, for the new cover design, and the incredible skills of my friend, Hayley, for the update to the interior pages), each manual in the series now contains QR codes Continue Reading…

    Books & Reading

    The Official 2022 Afterthoughts Read Aloud List

    January 19, 2023 by Brandy Vencel

    Reading aloud when children are young is imperative. Many treat the older years as optional. I’m so glad no one convinced me to stop! It is so much fun now that my children are older. Reading aloud to them doubles as reading for myself — so many of these books are on my personal list and I can shift titles to the read aloud stack to get them done. I’d much rather share books with people I love than read Continue Reading…

    Books & Reading, Mother's Education

    The 2023 Afterthoughts Book Awards

    January 10, 2023 by Brandy Vencel

    This felt like an odd reading year to me. My categories were a bit different from normal, and I did a lot more whim reading than I intended. (I really think whim reading is the only solution during times of high stress!) But I’m happy I read what I did, and I do have a number of gems to share with you today. As usual, the only contenders for these awards were books I actually finished in 2022. I read Continue Reading…